Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I have an appointment to call Dr. W for Bijou on Monday. This will hopefully produce some bone fragment from her head that, once removed, will speed up the last bits of the healing process. If I were a better blogger, I would have taken before and after pictures, but I'm not.

Lunged today, just enough to get the willies out. The round pen was really nice, soft and not too deep. Being in a small space really made her move from underneath herself. Can't wait to get some side reins on her in there. For today I thought I'd work on just getting her to stay going one direction. Worked pretty well except once. She was bucking and kicking up a storm when I turned her out in the grassy area. Weighed again, still no change, although the cleft between her hip bones (for some reason that bothers me SO much) has begun to be just a little indentation. Her ribs don't stick out so far from her hips either. Point of shoulder is still there just under the skin though.

Goals: GET HAY!!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Search is Over

Coincidentally, S's Circuit fits Bijou perfectly. Or at least as much as I can tell so far. I rode her at the beach in it and there were two large dry patches of equal size etc on her which I hope will fill out with more weight as time progresses.

I was griping about how hard it was to find a good saddle, and there one was, sitting right beneath my nose. I feel foolish.

On another note, We had lots of fun at the beach for our second time. My favorite part was when we ascended the dunes and got our first look at the ocean. Bijou was in front and her head popped up into the llama pose, her ears pointed forward so much they were almost touching, and I could hear her thoughts as clear as day: "What the HECK is all that swirly blue and white stuff!!!" but we walked on down the dunes and eventually made our way into the water, although reluctantly. We almost raced Wyatt and S. Wyatt has been trained by his previous beach buddies (all TB's with the need for serious speed) that he must take off at the first sign of a spirited canter. Bijou was obviously not meant for a race horse. She saw Wyatt jump off in front of her, and rather than tucking her hind end in and racing, she slowly lengthened her stride to catch up. I think she would have been one of the TB's that started in the back of the pack and worked her way up. She just doesn't have the quickness. That comes in handy when she's trying to skitter away from the water. Sometimes it just caught up to her and there was nothing she could do about it.

I also rode her in the arena the one day it was dry enough (mostly). In the slippery patches she thought it would be funny to pick up a canter and buck around a bit. Her idea of misbehavior is quite understated for a 5 yr old TB. It was more head shaking than anything else.

Goals: Buy some hay, ride more.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Oh the Joys of Saddle Fitting

S has been having a ridiculous time figuring out a saddle that fits for Wyatt. I think some of it (if only a small case of the TB-with-high-withers) has rubbed off on me. I have ridden in my Bates Caprilli Eventing saddle:

for the only few times that I have ridden her, but I am afraid that even with the medium narrow tree it is still sitting on her withers once it is girthed and has my weight on it. This has led me to search for more wither friendly saddles. Unfortunately I don't like the price tags, although the saddles are very pretty. There are so many saddles out there that it makes it near impossible to choose. I really like the stubbens, but I have never heard of them being particularly good for a horse with slightly higher than normal withers.

I rode her in my bates yesterday, did mostly walking and some trotting. Just enough to get her warm and make her think, but not enough to tucker her out. She's very wobbly in her steering, I'm trying to help her a lot with my leg and really 'open the door' for her around the turns but I think she's just not really balanced. It didn't help that the arena was slippery in patches. I think she got scared when her feet slipped, and she would take off and throw a little fit. This was expected since she hadn't really been worked in about 3 weeks. She will throw her head around when I first ask for her face, and then she'll just walk out in a nice little frame for a while, and then she'll throw her head around again. I think it's the lack of ride time, but I hope I'll be able to get more consistent after all this darned rain quits.

When I was at Farm Supply, I found they had the probiotic supplement I was looking at online for a fairly decent price. I think I'll get some of that for when she gets off the antibiotics to prevent her from losing more weight because her gut bacteria isn't there to help her out. I've been trying to figure out a way to go pick up some nice alfalfa/grass hay to free feed her for the remainder of her stall stay, but I can't seem to locate a willing truck lender. This is when it would have been really nice to have gotten one myself, but I still love my little Gizmo.

Goals: ride more, weather permitting.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

If you want something done right...

For the first few days of Bijou's antibiotics, someone was forgetting to give them to her at least once a day, so very little progress was made. Now she's getting them properly (I need to go out and make more baggies today) and looking quite a bit better.

Bijou's been under a blanket for almost a week and I had been feverishly hoping that when I took it off there would be some semblance of weight gain but I'm afraid not. She looks just the same, and when I measured her with the weight tape, it confirmed this. I am thinking about adding corn oil to try to get her to beef up and I will de-worm her again just to make sure that there's none of that going on. I've started her back on the beet pulp, so we'll work that up in volume again. She hasn't been doing really any work at all, and I turn her out to eat the extra grass in the arena a lot. I don't know what else to do but give her time...

Shelly and I went to check out Barbi Breen-Gurley's facility, and had a really good time. Depending on what the lessons are for price, we'll probably take some. I don't know how it will go with Wyatt and Bijou on such different levels, but we'll try to work something out. I would love to get things off on the right track, and hopefully under Barbi's tutelage we will have some serious success.

Goals: Research probiotics, Get Bijou fatter.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

No Rest for the Weary

So I finally picked up the antibiotics (Today was day one of SMZ's), and amidst all the finals stress I found my way out to the barn and got all muddy so that Bijou can have her BID SMZ's. Hopefully all the feeder people will catch on so we can get this stuff dealt with.

It's been rainy, so no riding. Probably won't be very much riding considering the weather report... ugh. Winter time is no fun! I really wanted to get training started in earnest over winter break, but it's going to be so nasty for the whole first week I doubt it will dry up in time.

Talked to a woman down in AG with a saddle that looks like it may fit, but she hasn't gotten back to me with tree size or seat size, so I can't even say if it's worth going down there to look at it or not.

Goals: stay dry

Sunday, December 6, 2009

It's Leaking

Unfortunately, Bijou's head's been leaking again. I was supposed to go to the vet's office to pick up some antibiotics, but I'm a bad mommy and I had other errands and it got too late to run all the way out to Osos and still make it back to feed her any before it was WAY past dark.

Shelly bought seven million (well maybe only seven) saddles, tried on a few, of course the stupid heavily AP one fits Bijou the best. I swear the cantle sits 4 vertebrae up, you can barely see the waistline of my pants, that's how high it is.

She's supposedly gained ~50 lbs (now ~1080) since I first recorded it, which was a few days after I got her. I finally got some wormer in, so she's had a good dose of ivermectin, which should hopefully take care of any remaining ticks (ICK!!) that are still hanging out. I'll probably dose her again in a few weeks, I'll have to look up what the initial dosing requirements are first.

Not much to report so far on the riding. She will happily walk over poles, she can trot poles but would rather not. She's still very skinny and I feel bad making her burn calories that she obviously needs to pack back into all the depressions that aren't supposed to be there. Like the one between her hip bones:

It's already gotten a little better than that ^ but still not a thing I like to see. I've been keeping her blanketed whenever possible so that she's not losing energy to heat losses as much, especially because it's been so cold! I finally got a plain waterproof sheet for the days it will get over 65 degrees.
Goals: Ride more!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Beach Ride

We got invited to go to the beach! This would be my second time riding her, and she hadn't been out to do anything since the first day I got her. Oh well, I figured I could figure it out. Besides, it might be fun to see her with some serious spunk!

We had to keep the fly mask on because of her little pasture escapades...

The second day she was out in pasture, she decided to puncture a hole through her head into her sinus. This showed up as a little bumpy scrape on her head. Sarah thought nothing of it, and figured she'd mention it to me later. Well, the next day I came out only to find large quantities of yellow thick gooze coming out of her nose. I called the vet that night, he came out the next day and found the hole in her head. $200 later she had a tube poking into her sinus so that I could flush saline down into it to rinse out her nasal passages. She's still on the antibiotics, but the tube's been removed and we're now in the last phases of the healing process. Hopefully my one bucket full of antibiotics keeps me until the end of her regiment so I don't have to go to the vet for more.

Aaaanyways, the beach:

She hopped right into the back of the 2 horse trailer, even though there were already 2 horses in it (for all the safety freaks, we've done this before, and the trailer is an extra long, so they have plenty of space so hush) and even though she's the mare, she kept all four feet firmly planted while Wyatt decided to paw.

She backed right out of the trailer, took one look around, and decided that the grass was way more interesting than the other horses, ATV's, and motorhomes all around us. We tacked up, hopped on and tried to make our way through the dunes the way we usually go, but there was a terrifying terrier yapping at us right on our path, so we re-routed and found our way across all the scary shadows.

Once on the beach she wasn't too fond of the water, and I don't know if it was because she could see it really well and didn't like it, or because she couldn't see it due to her flymask. We walked up and down banks, trotted, cantered, said hi to some people, got our picture taken, and eventually we could trot into and out of the water as long as it wasn't rushing towards us too fast.

There was one really long stretch of trotting, I just put a little contact on her, and she dropped right into a nice forward frame. She wasn't too keen on moving away from the other horses however. That's something we'll need to keep working on.

First Day

She got here around 10 am on Saturday November the 14th, I have to write it down or else I'll forget :D

I bathed her, let her out into the pasture and made sure the big ole mean guys didn't try to take too many hunks out of her hide. She did just fine. After riding Godiva and making sure she got along with the other horses in pasture, we did about 30 minutes of easy riding stuff. She's not very willing in the lateral movements, she just has no clue that when only one leg goes on her she's supposed to move sideways away from it. I didn't want to keep her out too long, I worry about her burning too many calories and not being able to put enough into getting fatter.

We walked and trotted over some poles, which were very scary at first, but eventually we maintained a trot over them, although it was very gingerly.

She's just overall a very calm and pleasant horse to be around. Not jumpy, flighty, etc. She does have a shiver response when you walk up to her. I'm still trying to figure out what triggers it and how to get her over it. I think she's just still learning to trust me.