Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring Wind

Today it was much warmer, upper 50sF, and quite windy - 20mph with higher gusts. We're supposed to be into the 70sF for the next few days! The horses are all shedding like crazy; their shoulders are almost done and now the sides of the barrel and the hindquarters are really throwing off the hair. Of my three horses, Maisie is the one who really changes color - Dawn and Noble are both red bays and only get slightly darker in the winter, whereas Maisie's winter coat has a lot more black and less red than her summer coat. A lot of black hair is coming off right now. Maisie also gets whole-body dappling in the summer and that's already showing through on her shoulders.

When I went to bring Maisie in, she was lying down taking a nap, not by the round bales but out in the middle of the turnout. She was very adorable, with her long legs all folded up and her sweet, sleepy face - I was able to walk right up and pet her (sorry no photos). I was (only momentarily) tempted to get up on her before she got up, but thought better of it. If I'd been 30 (or 40) years younger, I'm sure I would have. She stayed there for a bit and then got up. She seemed a little bit bloated - she's had impaction colics several times and I always am a bit concerned if she's lying down at odd times (for her). She seemed a bit sleepy while I groomed, but otherwise behaved normally, including taking some treats - horses that are colicing don't usually eat treats in my experience. We saddled up, and went straight out on the trail - I didn't want her getting sweaty from a ring workout if her insides were at all questionable.

We took a long loop we haven't been on before this year. It took us much farther from the barn than we've been, and isn't a trail that we go on a lot. One part of the trail took us along some backyards, which had interesting trail challenges like a wooden swing blowing in the wind and a fairly nasty barking dog (luckily confined by an electronic fence). Although at times she was nervous and a little looky, she was really good - no jigging or jogging and completely responsive to all requests to slow, stop or back. A number of trails we ride go very close to houses, which means the horses are exposed to all sorts of things - one house has a large pair of metal sculptures (two cows), there are lots of different pieces of play equipment (including the plastic pool that one day blew into the middle of the trail - now that was a fun ride!), running children, barking dogs and even occasionally one of those large inflatable "bounce houses" people rent for children's parties. We get to experience a lot of things, which is good for trail training.

When we returned to the barn, we went in the arena (freshly dragged) for a few minutes. She was certainly plenty awake and forward by then! We did some trot work and figures for a little bit, and then took a brief walk away from the barn and back, and she was done. Maisie started eating hay as soon as I put her in her stall, and ate her dinner, all of which is good. She didn't pass any manure while I was riding, which is unusual for her, but did pass one pile in her stall - it was a little dark and hard in my opinion. When I left she was completely comfortable, but I'll be keeping a close eye on her over the next several days.

Then I brought Dawn in and groomed her ground-tied in the parking lot. She remembered her ground-tying perfectly. Our chiropractor is coming tomorrow for both Maisie and Dawn - a spring tune-up of sorts - and I want her to look at Dawn's right side along the rib cage where she seems a bit sensitive, and I also want to check saddle fit for Dawn.

12 comments:

  1. Your time with Maisie from start to finish sounds like it was perfect. I hope she is feeling well tomorrow. Surely, the ride you took helped move any problems. I love the thought of her curled up sleeping.

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  2. I envy your trail access, so convenient and it sounds like you have so many options.

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  3. Ugh--this is the time of year for colic--you know I've been there, and I'm like you--if they're lying down at odd times, I'm on alert. Ninety-nine percent of the time whatever it is resolves itself, but just when you don't expect it--one gets impacted. :(

    Sounds like she did GREAT on the ride, though! Enjoy that 70 degree weather coming your way!!!

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  4. Sounds like a great ride. And good for Maisie, too, if she was having any problems. Moving is always better. But I bet she was just enjoying the warmer temps and the soft ground and feeling sleepy.

    It's great that you're having such great weather, too. It's still a little nippy up here and very windy. We're supposed to have gusty winds 50mph the next couple days and probably rain and wet snow. ugh!

    ~Lisa

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  5. Oooh! Almost forgot! I adore your new header. So cute!
    And looks like black lipstick on that sweet muzzle. hehe!


    ~Lisa

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  6. Sounds like a wonderful ride!

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  7. I thought of you when my daughter and her two boys flew into Chicago last night (on their way to Nevada). Your weather is coming through as usual. Mid 50s today and 80 on Saturday. Crazy!

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  8. Sounds like your girls are enjoying the warmer temps, as you are as well, I'm sure. Great trail training opportunities for Maisie, and one-on-one time for Dawn.

    I did the "sit on the laying-down horse" thing once, when our first colt was coming two. I walked out and he just lay there, so then I leaned against his back...and he just lay there. So then I gingerly went astride...and he just lay there. I hollered at my hubby to bring the camera, and even tho it took several minutes, Eddie just lay there the whole time! He was (and still is) such a mellow fellow--Jackson reminds me of Eddie a lot.

    Sounds like with Maisie it was that she wasn't quite feeling herself, so it's probably best you didn't go there. Hope she's feeling better.

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  9. That sounds very dear--a curled up and sleepy horse who lets you walk rght up to her a pet her. That's a bit of a gift, isn't it?

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  10. Adorable new header. I love horses when they lay down. (I also love them other times, lol.)

    I'm glad you're finally getting to ride. You must have missed it.

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  11. Well that sounds like a great day! I hope Maisie feels better soon.

    Have a great rest of the week!
    ~Jeni

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  12. Ah, riding season. There's no better time.

    I bet it was fun riding through that plastic pool experience. We ride through neighborhoods too and there's a few houses being built. Cibolo is not so crazy about porta potties.

    It's a concern we share. :)

    Give them an extra skritch from their fans in Texas.

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