With the time change comes more light after work. The best part about DST is that I get to ride Eli right around sunset during the summer. As long as the light doesn’t get too low — twilight makes Eli a little more anxious than usual, even though he has zero evidence of lions existing in Texas. Okay, well, I guess there are mountain lions. But not really around the farm where I board Eli. And the coyotes don’t start howling until after sunset. So he has no excuse.
Eli continues to do well without the front pads. The footing was downright exquisite on Sunday afternoon, and Eli felt great. I skipped riding Monday because that’s what I usually do and it was drizzling, which Eli hates.
Eli’s dental appointment is scheduled for next Wednesday — I have that whole week off work. I planned to take that week well in advance, in order to avoid corporate SXSW crowds downtown … now I’ll just avoid downtown and unofficial/alt SXSW crowds.
I am not sure COVID-19 warrants all the cancellations, but nobody wants to be the guy that said, “It’ll be fine” right before everyone gets sick. I certainly braved some crowds for cake …
Who knew a café in Bastrop would be so hoppin’?
I do enjoy seeing pretty sunsets from the back of a horse! Y’all might be sick of between-the-ears sunset shots by August …
I can’t say I am looking forward to 105F. But I am looking forward to warmer temperatures in the evenings. This would mean more riding for me and Eli.
I have some tentative good news — after two weeks of rest for his RH, Eli seems to be sound and quite willing to work. Not only that, but the farrier removed his heel pads up front. His soles look good, he has a little more heel, and he doesn’t seem to be foot sore. I hope this holds up.
Of course, we are expecting storms and a lot of rain in this area Tuesday night into Wednesday, so this evening might be the last chance to ride for a few days.
The next thing on the horizon for Eli is a dental appointment — just his regular float, but also to check on the chipped tooth, which does not seem to be bothering him. Hopefully, he will get to keep it!
In contrast to the cold rain of today, this past weekend was spring-like, warm, just sunny enough … for sure the kind of weather that Eli likes to work in. Okay, Saturday was on the chilly and misty side, and Eli was a bit of a goob for it, but on Sunday and then again on Monday our rides were quite pleasant.
I did notice on Tuesday evening that he had a little bit of swelling around the fetlock of his right hind. This … is not good. Although I can’t feel any heat in it. Perhaps the rainy weather forcing time off work for Eli is a good thing? I’m keeping an eye on it, wondering if another ultrasound might be a good idea. Or maybe I’ll just give him a few weeks off and ice the fetlock daily and see if the swelling resolves.
Eli was going to get shoes on Tuesday, but that got postponed until tomorrow. And again, with how rainy it is, it doesn’t really matter. His feet seem to be in really good shape. I wonder if I can credit that to the alfalfa, too?
Eli also got some new fluffy Eskadron fetlock boots. I should probably clear out my fetlock boot collection next and sell some of the ones that Eli rooster-walk-hates! I am keeping all the Eskadron ones, though.
I don’t think it’s all that unusual to have a picky-eater OTTB. But Eli is really taking it next-level. I changed his diet a while back because he went on a little grain hunger-strike AGAIN. So he’s been getting a flake of alfalfa with his morning and evening meals (sorry, wallet). He still gets a small amount of senior feed and the regular amount of hay, regular meaning what comes with board — 2 flakes in the morning, two flakes at night.
Well. Guess who eats most of his alfalfa BEFORE touching his senior feed.
To the best of my knowledge, Eli has never had to compete for food and is extremely polite during feeding times. So in some ways, it’s not surprising he has the luxury of being picky, and is a slow eater in general. But not eating grain first? I don’t think I’ve ever seen that. … Definitely not with my other 3 horses over the years.
Eli just REALLY loves alfalfa, I guess. He does eat his grain … eventually.
Now, I am sure we have all heard anecdotes of alfalfa making a horse cuckoo bananas, but I have not noticed that at all in Eli. (Rice bran DID have that effect on him.) Honestly, he looks to be in the best weight of his life, and in some ways he seems calmer, almost. I have only been riding sporadically, and even without getting on for a week, Eli comes out ready to work (and play a little) without much nonsense. Unless it’s cold, then forget it. I think that has to do with Eli hating cold weather and not so much with diet.
Of course, it’s about to be cold and rainy for the rest of this week, so I know the earliest I might get to ride would be Saturday. Hopefully it won’t rain too much and the turnouts will stay usable.
I honestly wish I had discovered years ago that alfalfa seems to be a good choice for playing a major role in Eli’s diet!
Closet clean out! Free shipping in continental US, PayPal (or Venmo if I know you). Everything is in excellent, gently used condition. Selling …
Botori Kate riding pants, size S. I LOVE Botoris but I take a medium in the Kate style as the material is not as stretchy as the Taylor style. The Kate Small seems roughly equivalent to US dress size 4. Worn once. SOLD.
Romfh Gabriella breeches in White Sand, size 28. LOW RISE. Some boot marks at inner knees. SOLD.
Romfh Gabriella breeches in Sage, size 28. LOW RISE. Love this color! SOLD.
Dover Moto breeches, size 28. Moto detailing on outer thighs. I wish I had bought these in size 30. My loss! Worn twice. $35.
The amount I’ve ridden Eli this winter? Low. Not a lot. Paltry. But … I have figured out that even if he goes a week without a ride, if it’s a nice day, he’s a nice horse.
He HATES the cold. Drizzle sends him in head-shaking fits, complete with hops and squeals. Oddly, it can be windy AF, as long as it’s warm – and he’s totally okay, even with jump standards blowing over as we trot by.
So, of course, is riding in nice weather only showing any kind of respect for my horse as an athlete, or for the sport as sport? Nope. We are not athletic right now. Instead we are tubby and casual and happy (on warm days). Eli still has the same level of care, maintenance, turnout time, and I lay eyes on him most days. I just don’t ride as much right now. But when I do ride, I thoroughly enjoy my horse, and he enjoys the exercise. I am on the fence about getting Eli back in the show ring any time soon, too. Partly because I am waiting to see if this Osphos stuff lasts him at least 6 months. So far, so good, but we’ve got another month to go. Maybe he can go even longer than 6 months, I have no idea. His comfort is my top priority, of course!
Having quiet, relaxing, pleasant rides in nice weather is a close second.
We have experienced a spate of good weather here in central Texas, although we have a cold front coming through that will put us back in the middle of winter. So before that happens, while I am enjoying the warmer weather, I thought I’d share things on my radar for this spring.
The first thing is these Horze Tara breeches. They are high-waisted and they are back in stock — even in some punchy, Easter egg colors. I am torn between the light blue and the black! They’d be my first experience with Horze breeches, so we’ll see what happens!
The next thing is absolutely all for Eli. I mostly feed him apples and softer treats like the German Horse Muffins, since he seems to have teeth issues. But he loves these flax seed Stable Snax! He never got too greedy about the minty flavor, but he vacuums these out of my hand almost as quickly as the German Horse Muffins. They seem to be picky-eater approved.
This next thing — while it is in cookie form, it is a supplement. I switched Eli from the Finish Line stuff over to these, as they offer a higher dose of magnesium. Do I think these calm Eli down? No, not at all. But, they do seem to make him less jittery, if that makes any kind of sense. He’ll be feeling good in this good weather instead of crabby. He still has all his energy, he’s just a little less tightly-wound on magnesium (which I think might be true for quite a few horses). Majesty’s other cookie supplements are definitely worth looking at, and they have stuff for dogs, too!
The last key ingredient to spring survival in Texas (that’s isn’t Benadryl) is a good set of clippers. I have clipped Eli a few times with the Wahl KM10 clippers and I can’t recommend them enough. Amazon seems to have a $30-off coupon right now on these, too (if you wanna click through the link). We all know how sensitive and quirky Eli is, but he doesn’t mind these clippers at all. When I was clipping his neck and chest especially, he’s start licking his chops and falling halfway asleep. This was not the case for his flanks, but we can’t have everything, can we? These clippers are lightweight, quiet, and with the right blades they are excellent for a full body clip or just show touch ups and everything in between.
How do you get you and your horses ready for spring where you are?
If something is wrong with Eli, chances are it’s wrong on the right side of his body. Face, hoof, suspensory … elbow dandruff. (And his big ugly frankenscar on his neck is on the right.) Yes, he even has elbow dandruff *just* on his right elbow. Oh … k.
Treating elbow dandruff in the winter is a bit of a challenge because I am reluctant to use a medicated shampoo on it when it’s 40F outside.
However, when I can, I use the Banixx Medicated Shampoo and follow up with Zephyr’s Garden Skin Rescue Salve. In the warmer months, this seems to work out great, and I can keep Eli’s right elbow from getting too flaky.
But perhaps there are more winter-friendly solutions … does anyone know of any? How do I keep away this gross elbow dandruff without shampooing it all the time?
It’s not that I am deliberately not blogging. But I’m not trying to write much, either. It’s winter in Texas, which means wet, which means a lot less riding. Pretty much all last week was too wet and gross to ride. There was one day where it rained all day, which is very unusual for Texas. The arenas suffered accordingly. So I didn’t have much to say.
But if nothing else, I have learned something about Eli. He can go a week without work, but as long as it’s a warm and at least partly sunny day, he’s perfectly fine under saddle. I’m not going to say a gentleman, because he’s a little to free with his opinions, but it’s a big change from, say, Eli of 2013 (before I owned him but was riding him a lot). Instead of trying to explain what I get to work with, I’ll just post the entire ride here … (it’s only like 17 minutes … check out 12:14-ish for Eli’s signature embellishment, which I think is adorable)
We’re hardly presentable, but with a few days of good weather and rides like this, I think we’d look a lot better. It’s so interesting to me to compare this horse of today with the one of a few years ago. I also think he looks pretty sound, which is always a relief at this point. Although I didn’t canter him much or ride for quite as long as usual because the footing needed a drag after baking in the sun all day. But I will take any and every ride I can get on him, even the short ones.