Friday, February 27, 2009

Happy Friday!

Nothing of consequence has happened around here lately. Nothing blog worthy at least. It snowed here yesterday, a total of about 5 inches which is not totally unbearable. It all seemed to come down at once though, making the driving less than desirable.

Scotty spent most of the yesterday inside, munching on his hay buffet. Winds and small ice pellets made me feel more comfortable keeping him inside. After all, I'm fresh out of bubble wrap and heaven forbid he get another injury. I did let him out to stretch his legs for about an hour while I cleaned his stall. Boy did he stretch his legs!

Once the field road of doom is plowed and some of the snow is gone I will bring Scotty in to the vet for his knee xrays. He will be sedated and also have his teeth floated, perhaps spring shots will be in order as well. I am mentally calculating just how many Venti Skinny Carmel Latte's from Starbucks that equates to. Ramen Noodles are on the menu for the next few months for sure. Many of you have emailed asking how to help and where to donate: Again, I'm not one for soliciting donations but apparently Scotty has touched so many lives that some of you feel compelled to help.....

All donations can be sent directly to the vet clinic, and yes they do accept Credit Cards via phone.

Cleary Lake Vet Clinic
18577 Natchez Ave
Prior Lake, MN 55372
Attention: Scotty c/o Annie Gallus

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Scotty

Never in all my years of owning horses have I ever thrown one of them a birthday party. It seems silly to me, actually. Just another day to Scotty. For me though, this one is a big deal.

On December 6, my friends and I physically lifted a severely emaciated 3 year old chestnut horse into the trailer. I remember preparing myself for the worst. Chances were slim he would even make it the 30 min trailer ride, much less survive overnight. He was so weak that his muscles trembled and he wobbled back and forth. I went into the mindset that he would most likely need to be euthanized but at least this way he'd die a dignified death. We couldn't get him into the vet clinic for two days so it was important for me to spoil him during that time. At least he'd know he was loved , if only for a short period of time. We blanketed him, fed him numerous small meals and all the hay he could handle. He was kept in a stall so he wouldn't expend energy. Slowly, over the next two days he began to come around, his eyes brightened, and his appetite increased. It was then I promised him I wouldn't give up on him.

Scotty has come a long way over the past 3 months. Certainly a cause for celebration.


Monday, February 16, 2009

It's a bird... it's a plane...

Yesterday was a nice day. I spent most of it at the barn grooming and doting over the horses. Not much to do really when the entire barn, pastures, and field road are glare ice. We've started dumping the used shavings into the pasture as the horses were having trouble walking up the slope to get to the water. It's horrible and I'm terrified something will happen to Scotty (or my other boys). Last winter my daughter's pony slipped on the ice and fractured his pelvis. This past weekend I took a digger outside the barn, landing on my hip and bumping my head. A minor concussion and a rather attractive bruise were the results. I almost feel I need to stuff my Carharts with pillows and and wear a crash helmet when I go out there these days.

I was taking pictures of the ponies yesterday as I usually do on the weekends. As I was shooting, I hear a noise from above. Off in the distance I see three Paragliders coming my way. Now, Minnesota is not the best place for paragliding. We have no mountains to catch the thermals and such. These turned out to be motorized paragliders - the same glider wing, only with a motor to keep them aloft. They preceded to fly in formation directly over our pasture and over my head at only a few hundred feet. How absolutely awesome is that? You just don't see such things in my neck of the woods. Of course the first thing I thought of was my friend Scotty Marion (my horse is named after him) and how he loved paragliding, ultimately losing his life doing it. I watched in awe as they passed over head. Only one of the 9 horses bothered to pay attention- Scotty (the horse) was busy burying his head in the round bale. His chestnut butt is next to the horse that is blanketed in the picture.

Call me crazy but since this horse has entered my life - I've experienced some strange things, all of which force the memory of my friend to the forefront of my mind. It's almost as if Scotty himself is saying "Hey, I'm still here".

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Ark commeth..

We've had unusually warm weather here for February. It's been in the 40's the last few days. It has given us a false sense of spring, knowing soon we will be seeing temps below zero again. You've all heard me complain about the cold and how I absolutely detest it. Everything about it I cannot stand, so I try hard not to complain about the side effects that the warmer weather brings.

The snow and ice are melting, the 3/4 mile long field road up to the barn is a disaster. Today you'd be sucked in for sure if you tried to drive on it. I learned my lesson a few years ago when I decided to attempt what should not have been attempted. Not a wise idea as I got stuck only a few hundred feet in. In my attempt to un-stick myself from the mud I had turned the event into a 4X4 off roading adventure. There was mud everywhere. I managed to move a few extra feet, spun myself in reverse and wound up sideways in the corn field. I was stuck up to my running boards, mud packed high up into my truck's wheelwells. Fantastic! Since then I've been a bit more careful on which days I attempt the muddy road of doom.

We have had crazy rains the past two days. Nothing too out of the ordinary, but with the winds gusting to 35mph it seems a lot worse than it is. I slept well last night knowing that Scotty was safely tucked in his stall. This morning as I was driving to the barn I couldn't help but notice all the surrounding crop fields which now resembled large lakes. Plan B was put into effect and I parked in the residential neighborhood on the far side of the east pasture and trekked in on foot.

Scotty was happy to see me per usual. Or maybe it was just the grain he was happy to see. I've gotten used to hearing that friendly nicker when I slide the barn door open in the morning. He always seems to smile at me, his head and neck always filled with shavings from his past night's sleep. I absolutely adore him. I can't wait to see what his future holds. I do know what my future holds, however. With all the thawing and rain, two of the four stalls are swimming pools of poo water. It will only get worse and there will be some digging out to do tonight. Scotty's stall is dry for the time being and I'm considering sand bagging. Seems everything is flooded. As I try to sweep the water from the main barn isle, I just keep repeating "I love the warmer weather, I love the warmer weather".

Last night our farrier braved the muddy road of doom to come trim Scotty's hooves. As he was scraping part of the sole away he noted that Scotty had some severe bruising. He would find that three of his four feet were badly bruised. They were older bruises he said. He also pointed out the lack of heel, as well as a few other issues. Essentially Scotty has typical TB feet. Small, brittle and crappy with no heel. Padded shoes were discussed, however it would be difficult to keep them on with the condition of his hoof walls. I am considering Boa type boots for the front feet at least for his turnout time. Perhaps that will provide him some comfort from the bruising and maybe prevent any additional damage.

In the mean time I will focus on building an Ark so I can sail into the barn instead of drive.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Playing Dress Up

Today was unusually warm (in the 30's WOW) so I figured it was time to actually do something with Scotty. His only jobs since he arrived on December 6 were to gain weight and try not to hurt himself. He has proved to excel at the first - not so great at the latter. Now it was time for him to branch out a bit and start earning his keep.

So I brought him in and tacked him up. Being a racehorse, who knows what I was going to encounter. I've been to the racetrack many times, I've seen horses flip over while being saddled in the paddock area. I've also heard stories of re-training OTTB's and this happening. FANTASTIC, I thought. So I took my time. There were no issues other than him losing his patience and moving around, oh... and the crabby faces he makes where he bites at the air. I slipped on the bridle and led him out to where the photo shoot was to take place. I handed off my camera to Kate and let her click away. I was happy with the results and overjoyed that I now had some decent pictures of Scotty and I. Normally I am on the other end of the camera.

Overall Scotty did really well. He was patient for the pictures and almost seemed like he was ready for me to get on him. We still have a ways to go before that will happen, and I was happy today just to play dress up.