Today when I went to the barn, my plan was to brush Cass, wrap his foot, give him a carrot, and then leave before it got dark. I didn’t want to do any turnout today because the arena still isn’t fully dry from all the crazy rain, but we did go for a 10 minute handwalk over to the arena and just to go visit the other horses. Cass was being kind of a weirdo because it was windy, but he wasn’t awful. His biggest spook was when a scary, horse eating chicken snuck up on him and made a chicken sound that obviously meant “Dinner!” And then all he did was sidestep a little.
So then I brushed all the mud off. He’s still really dirty and definitely needs a bath, but it’s probably too cold this week so he’s going to be stinky for awhile. While I was brushing him, he was chewing on his lead rope (which he wasn’t even haltered to – we were in his stall), my other brush, the fence, anything he could stick his mouth on. He’s normally mouthy and likes to lip things, but it was getting a little ridiculous today. He would not stop licking things for more than 15 seconds after he got in trouble.
And then when I bent over to pick his feet and wrap his leg, he would grab the hood of my sweatshirt and pull me over onto my butt and then just look at me like “well, how did that happen?”. Or else do that thing where they wiggle their upper lip (like when they’re digging through grass) and put it right on the spot of my neck where there was no hair or sweatshirt. Or he was grabbing the belt loops on my jeans and just holding them in his mouth. Or I had my hair up in a bun. I have a lot of hair, so it was about the size of a grapefruit or small melon up there. Cass apparently didn’t like my hair because he kept biting the band (actually accurately – he wasn’t even grabbing much hair) and trying to pull on it.
He also wanted to eat my phone. This is not allowed since he’s broken a few phones of mine before by stealing them out of my back pocket and crunching or tossing them. And I really like my phone, so it’s off limits of his mouth. That doesn’t keep him from trying though – these are my photos from today.
This is the best photo of the day. He was en route to try and eat something on me.
First it rained. A lot. Looking out the windshield of a car made it look like I was underwater. I was expecting some lobster to scurry across my hood and a school of fish to swim past in the rearview mirror. And then it stopped raining and just got really, really windy. And then it drizzled with the wind. Then it was overcast all the way up until about midnight, which is when it started pouring hail.
The hail was so loud. I was walking to the bathroom when it started (full force, no warning) and I almost peed in the hallway. The wind was blowing it against the windows and roof and everything else. It sounded like there was a war going on outside. That lasted probably a full half hour. Then it started to pour rain again. For around six hours solid. There was a drought warning, but I think since we got enough moisture to rehydrate africa, it’ll be okay.
When I got up at 7:00 this morning, it was overcast but not too awful. And then the cloud layer had burned mostly away by 11:00. It was still cold (it’s supposed to be 75° right now!), but it wasn’t torrential or anything anymore. It was even sunny! Not warm at all, especially with a cool breeze blowing, but it was weather I could work with. Until the breeze turned into gale winds and a few trees blew over.
So it’s another no barn day for me and another huddling in the corner of his stall, avoiding the scary sounds for Cass.
These are two really bad videos squished into one really bad video. This was on Friday after Cass had his feet done. Do not watch if prone to motion sickness or if you are pregnant or suffer from high blood pressure.
This was today. Not exactly a good day to do anything. I guess I’ll get to see how well the new arena dries though.
The wind and rain was the least of my worries today, though. I got a call this evening saying that one of the horses I had trailered Cass with on Sunday was in the same barn as a herpes infected horse at HITS. Her horse is now in quarantine but not showing symptoms. So far, I’ve only been able to get ahold of one vet (left messages for a few though) and he said that he was actually the HITS grounds right then and he didn’t believe that there had been any outbreaks. I’ve already heard of three sick horses who seem to have contracted it at Thermal, however. This has all been word of mouth, but the security was low this year. I wouldn’t doubt it.
Now I have to figure out what to do with Cass. He’s not showing any symptoms (his hind is stiff, but I assumed that was more from inactivity and being lame. But muscle problems back there ARE a symptom) and he’s acting normal. I’m going to take his temperature and just go from there. I’ll have to watch him. And tell my new barn owner – that will be fun, not even a week in and already bringing in viruses.
I rise this blog from the dead. da da dummm.
So it’s been forever long. I’m sad to report that absolutely nothing exciting has happened between now and then with Cass. Basically he’s been a pasture ornament for a lot of it, and I’ve been a pony neglecting college student. But no more! I’ve finished all my core classes now and since I’m a design and illustration major, all I’ve got left is art and computer based classes. I.e. classes that require pretty much no study time. And I hereby declare that no matter how few hours of sleep I got the night before, how bad the hangover, how achy my wrist is from painting for 8 hours straight, I WILL go to the barn and do what needs to be done.
It’s not even that I don’t want to go to the barn; I do, I love going to the barn. It’s just that sometimes I wish I was one of those annoying rich people who show up, ride, and leave. Every time I go, I have to clean, brush, tack, clean tack, wait for sweat to dry, bathe, bla bla bla and it takes hours. I even like doing a lot of those things, but sometimes it’s just like ‘do I really want to get up and spend 5 hours outside?” and the answer is usually no. Or at least, not then. I can do it later! (have I ever mentioned I’m the world’s biggest procrastinator? I’m still working on ‘laters’ from 2008)
This ends now. Being lazy sucks and is super unfulfilling once the whole not wanting to wake up thing passes.
Anyway, I’m wrapping up this rambling because I have to go meet the farrier who needs to chop like a whole foot off of Cass’ feet. Seriously, they’re gross. And I’m not even exaggerating – they’re probably at least 3 inches overgrown, each. I was at a different school this semester that’s like a hundred miles away from his barn and I was too poor to move him out to me for a few months. But I had been at that barn for a while, it was always very well run, and I liked it. Yes, it had a new owner, but she had been a trainer there for who knows how many years and everyone already respected her quite a bit. Basically, I felt like I was leaving him in good hands.
Yeah, not so much. I find a job and a barn out in the new area about 3 weeks ago. So I call the old barn (which shall herefore be referred to as the Barn of Horrors) looking for the BO. Get her voicemail. No problem, I leave a message and send her a text. Two days pass and no reply. Rinse and repeat, for the next week and a half. Finally I send her a last text that says something to the effect of “I’m picking up my horse today, if you could leave my stuff somewhere I can find it, that’d be great. Let me know how much I owe you for March” and drove down there.
So it’s a few hours drive, and there’s traffic too, but overall I’m in a pretty good mood because I finally get my horse back again. I mean, I was kinda angry that she had all my tack and blankets besides my saddle locked in her office and due to unresponsiveness, I was pretty sure I wasn’t getting those back that day, but whatever. I can always make another trip, no biggie really.
So then I get there, my trailer guy gets there five seconds before me, and I have to go find Cass in a pasture. He wasn’t in the two horse one that he was in when I left, he was in one that was bigger and further back, with five horses in it. I just figured she rotated the pastures every once in a while and didn’t really think anything of it. I mean, I trust her. She wouldn’t put him in with nasty horses knowing he’s the low guy on the totem pole, right?
Yeah, first thing that happened when I walked into that pasture was this obese paint mare tried to attack me (for treats presumably) and then when she found out I didn’t have any, she spun around, knocking me with her butt, and bit Cass in the neck before running off with pissy ears to stand in a corner. He had been right behind her because he also trotted up to me. After that, he got all “OMG I’m in trouble” and also hid in a corner. The farthest corner.
It’s a big pasture, but not a huge one, so I didn’t mind walking over there to him. Well, I wouldn’t mind if I wasn’t being followed by three galloping bucking horses, at least. The mare had come out of her corner and was trotting and galloping around with these two palomino twin horses, and all of them were kicking and rearing and basically having no regard for me walking. Seriously, I feared for my brain matter a few times. The mare had shoes and I could just see my head splattered against the fence with one misaimed kick.
Anyway, I avoided death and successfully made it across the field of doom. Cass is fuzzy and not very clean, but I was expecting that. What I was not expecting was this:
Also, I realized once I started walking him, that Cass was dead lame. He was so lame I couldn’t even tell which leg it was. I could see it was in the front, but he had to walk all retardedly with his non-lame leg to make up for all the trouble his sore one made.
This was his front left foot after I scraped a little mud off. Yes, Cass has a nice little abscess brewing. It’s already gotten up to the coronet, so who knows how long he’s been having to deal with it. The photos above are at the new barn the day after I had him trailered in, so they’ve had the mud scraped off too. Thankfully, there were no surprises under those ones.
And then this is today. I soaked his foot in epsom Monday and Wednesday, and wrapped it in an epsom poultice + betadine from Monday to this morning. I was picking off some more scabbing/dried ooze/whatever had worked it’s way in there when I finally got to the last piece and pulled this chunk out. Insta relief for Cass. Also note the dog trying to be in all my photos; I think she likes the way my camera makes the ‘click’ noise since she kept acting like she wanted photos taken.
And then that’s the hole that’s left. Ew. It looks scarier than how it started, but Cass is feeling way better. I turned him out in the arena after he got his feet done (all these photos are pre farrier) and he had some fun running around and getting sweaty.
I’m still debating between daily turnout and just hand walking him. I would consider longeing him, but stupid BO at the Barn of Horrors still has all my stuff and replies with one text a day, resulting in a very slow conversation. But anyway, Cass really likes running around, so that’s what he does when he’s turned out. At least for the first 10 minutes or so. I know abscesses need some action, but he’s also really stiff in his hind and I’m not sure what’s going on there yet or if it’s worsened by galloping like an idiot. I think tomorrow (or the next day – it’s supposed to pour tomorrow), I’ll turn him out and see if he’s looking any looser with his nice new feet.
So we survived the first week. Not that it was super difficult – I’m not the world’s greatest rider, but even I can stay on at a walk and Cass isn’t the world’s fittest fatty, but even he can walk for a half an hour without dying.
5 days of mostly walking has been boooorrrrring. I let him canter a circle on Friday to try to offset the boringness and he was pretty good. His attitude isn’t bad at all for the amount of time he has had off. He’s being kind of a butt about just walking (everytime I use my legs at all, he thinks “Yay! Trot fast!”), and he’s bucked a few times, but they were little happy bucks, not “die, evil floppy rider, DIE!” bucks. Overall, we look pretty awful though.