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Following Cass

September 27, 2009
Thursday, 3:30 PM – Cass loaded nicely onto the big scary trailer.  Had to coax him with a carrot for a minute, but then he jumped right up.
ETA: Sunday evening at 10-12 AM at 7 AM, now.  They must drive fast! 8:3o AM – driving out to meet them now!

Sep 27: Cass has arrived safely!  They got here right on time.

Cass was very good about unloading and was actually surprisingly good once on the ground – he was looking around with a llama neck, but he was more interested and aware than afraid and nervous.  He led very well and began to eat grass after about a minute.

There was a horse already out on a lead being grazed in the yard when he got there and when that horse was taken back to the barn Cass got a little bit nervous.  He finally looked up wide-eyed and was like “Oooh – where am I?  *snort* I have never seen a pasture this big!  *snort* What’s that!?  A cat?  Oh, okay then.  Can I eat it?”

After his attempt to remove the cat’s tail, Cass went back to grazing.  The trailerers brought out three of the other four(?) horses to let them graze and stretch their legs a bit while the driver cleaned stalls.  Cass was interested in this and wanted to go talk to his friend, the paint filly (he is such a pedophile!  He always wants to talk to the two year olds.  He forgets he has been gelded if it’s a filly) so he tried to drag me over there (work on getting our ground manners back?  I think so!) and when that didn’t work he decided to slowly inch over there while grazing.  Sneaky, sneaky.

I was taking to one of the drivers, so he actually got pretty close before either of us noticed.  Sneaky, still.

The driver said that, at first, he would not load.  He was rearing and pulling and being really awful.  This was because the barn helper guy at the other barn was the one doing the loading – Cass hates him.  Once the driver tried to lead him in, Cass hopped right up on the big and scary trailer (with no ramp!  He had never done that before).

They said he was perfect for the rest of the 1600+ mile drive – one of the better horses they have driven.  They stopped three times and let him out, once in a small turnout paddock for a few hours, and he loaded back up perfectly.  They said his only problem the entire time was he was being a llama the whole way – he wouldn’t put his head down to clear out his nostrils while the trailer was moving, not even when they put his hay on the ground.

He looks terrible though!  The barn owner gave him a bath for me, but he was very unshiney and he lost a lot of muscle.  He got thinner, which is good because he was quite the fatso, but makes me suspicious because he was hard to keep weight off of when he was getting exercised every day – one hour of turnout a day should not thin him up that much.  His coat feels gross – I am sure a lot of this (and hopefully the loss of his shine) is due to road dirt and muck – but still, two months with no grooming did not make him very pretty.

When I first got him, as a recently broke and not ridden very much four year old, he reminded me of a giraffe when you looked at him head on – he had no shoulders and was a little bit ribby and had absolutely no butt at all.  Before I left, I was really liking his front end – very pretty, muscular neck and nice shoulders – and was pretty proud of how far his butt had come even with no hills to ride up.  But now he is between how he was and a giraffe :(  23 hours in a stall every day have not done his previous buns o’ steel any favors – he is pretty mushy now.

Anyway, Cass got his first experience with cross ties today.  He didn’t like them much at first.  Actually he still doesn’t, but he stood fairly nicely for his shiny new pull on bell boots (which he has never had on before and which he has already lost one of).  He is a rearer when it comes to his head – he used to hate baths and water up by his face?  Rear up!  Clipping a bridle path?  Rear up!  That big and permanent knot on the side of his neck?  From rearing up when he was being taught to tie! – so I was kind of worried he would try it with the cross ties.  He was definitely thinking about it – he was getting really, really light up front!  He then pawed at me.  Not violently or anything, but still – not allowed.

After he stood in the cross ties for a minute after I put his boots on, I took him out to one of the “dry” lots.  It was a disgusting mud lot today because of a big thunderstorm yesterday.  Mr. Prissy feet didn’t want to walk in at first.  I really wanted to turn him out in the indoor instead, but people were coming out to actually ride and the barn owner did want him in the dry lot until tonight.

He walked and trotted around the lot a bit and whinnied a few times looking for new friends.  He was pretty sure footed considering the conditions, but did fall at least once judging by the lovely half body mud mask he gave himself and the big flat spot in the arena.

I am planning on going out later, like 6 or 7 to check on him again and figure out which stall he gets and what his normal turnout lot is going to be.

6:30 PM – Just went out to the barn again.  They were just bringing the horses in from turnout and thankfully Cass got one of the sunny stalls instead of the stuck in a dark and lonely corner ones.  He can even reach his head over the divider and talk to his pony neighbor.  I was looking at Cass a little more carefully and wasn’t super happy; besides all of his hard earned muscles pretty much completely going to atrophy, he looked really…peaky.  That isn’t the right word but I can’t think of a better one right now.  He just looks like he has not been getting fed well.  He isn’t skinny by any means, but he definitely isn’t fat anymore and the area behind his ribs is looking very odd.  I had even thought he had displaced his hip or something until I saw it was like that on both sides…meaning either he lost even more butt muscle than I thought or something is messed up with his lower back causing him to suck up in ouchy.  There is a warm spot on the part of his back above his loins on the right hand side, but he didn’t mind me touching and it was only slightly warmer than the “normal” side’s temp.

It wasn’t the best conditions for critique today so I am going to check him out more thoroughly tomorrow on the longe

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 28, 2009 6:56 am

    That sort of trip can be really hard on a horse – some good food and grooming, and possibly worming, should put him right soon enough. He might have also developed a respiratory infection on the trip – that happens too – if he stays “peaky” after a day or so, take his temp and watch for nasal discharge and coughing. Good luck – and I expect he’ll be fine soon!

  2. September 28, 2009 1:54 pm

    I don’t think it was the trip…I was expecting him to be looking a bit icky from that seeing as how he had never been on over a two hour trailer ride before – he wasn’t going to be Pine-Sol fresh after a cross country trip! I’m thinking he wasn’t getting fed properly while at the other barn, which is a definite possibility with my past experiences with them.

    If I had Cass out (riding/hand grazing/bath/anything where he wasn’t in his stall) he wouldn’t get fed. I would have to go and get the hay and grain. I know that Cass has been on one hour turnouts while I was gone…I wonder if some of those coincided with what should have been feeding time

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