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.


TBDancer said...

When I moved to the High Desert (the Mojave Desert) I got real tired REAL quick of hearing about the heat index (or "How Humidity Makes You Suffer") and the wind chill factor (or "How The Wind Makes You Colder"). There is some terribly complicated formula for figuring the "real feel" temperature, but now the weather services are at least reporting that.

Bottom line, I know how you feel. When my hands are bright red and my knuckles are blue, it's too darned cold out. And when it's so humid it's hard to breathe, it's time to go to the Mall and enjoy someone else's air conditioning.

Re the feet: I've had remarkable luck with hoof supplements (I've used Biotin Plus, Biotin 22X, Grand Hoof, and the Dynamite product, which I think is called Dynahoof). Now Huey does not get hoof supplements, but I do put my own hoof dressing formula on the feet especially in the summer because the sand and the heat do a number on the horn.

My shoer does not take much sole or frog off when he trims every six weeks. Huey grows more hoof when we've been riding, but this winter I've been busy with work and the weather has been so wet I've not had much time to ride, so he's been getting resets, which saves me a bit of money.

Back to the hoof, it takes time to get a better hoof on a TB, but it is do-able. Huey's heels don't crush anymore and his angles are good. Do you feed a supplement for hooves? I find the Dynamite product good but expensive--and the United Vet Equine Biotin products to be as effective.

Scotty is looking good ;o)

Annie said...

TB Dancer,
I don't feed a hoof supplement yet. Our vet suggested introducing supplements slowly so all we are doing is Weight Builder at this time. I would like to eventually something for joint and hooves.Maybe I will try one of the two you mentioned. :-) Thanks and I WISH I lived in the desert about now.

Caprice said...

I read your last blogs and I'm so sorry you had to put Maggie down- but how brave of you to do what was ultimately best for her. She sounds like she was a great horse to be rememberd do fondly by you.
Scotty is a very pretty TB and I love the photo of him "playing dress-up."
Thanks for sharing your success with Scotty. I found you when I followed a rabbit trail that started with Desert Horses (I think). I love blogging with people who love their horses!
Stop by my blog and meet my lovely fillies some time.