Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wild and Windy and Misty Takes a Tumble

We had some wind-driven rain last night and this morning it is cold - mid 30sF - and very windy with gusts up to 30mph.  We're supposed to get some light snow showers on and off, and then the temperature's supposed to drop in the afternoon.  Not much of a riding day - even Pie, who is pretty laid-back, did one canter around the pasture before settling down to the round bale.

Misty, on the other hand, was more excited this morning.  I don't write much about Misty - she's been at our barn for a number of years, but her owner only works with her on very rare occasions and no longer rides her, although I believe her owner does come late at night to the barn some times to groom her.  Misty is a pretty girl - a lovely buckskin with dapples and some frosting on her rump during the summer.


Misty is Impressive-bred (I believe she's HYPP N/H, which means she has one copy of the HYPP gene), and has the heavily muscled body type that many Impressive-breds have.  She had two foals when she was younger.  Misty can be very excitable - she prances, dances and runs at the slightest provocation, although she rarely runs for long - she's not in shape and is in her mid-teens with some arthritis and can't keep up with the other mares.  (In the header picture that's up right now, that's Dawn in the lead with Maisie, who was pretty fast although not as fast as Dawn, next to her and Sugar trying hard to keep up - Misty's completely out of the cropped picture as she got left behind.)  She seems to be a worrier and to have a nervous temperament, and apparently could be somewhat spooky on the trail when her owner used to ride her.

Sometimes when I go to halter her in the morning, she's pacing in her stall and flapping her lip from nervousness (she gets no grain - just mineral/vitamin pellets and grass hay).  And she's extremely herd-bound - she's one of those horses you can't leave alone in the pasture as she'll scream and run the fence line at a full gallop to the point of exhaustion, which isn't a good idea anyway due to her HYPP status (although she's never had an HYPP problem that we know of).  And she's obsessed with Dawn - absolutely obsessed.  If Dawn's not in the barn, Misty screams for her.  If Dawn goes to turnout first, Misty screams for her and is frantic to get out there and get to her.  Dawn, on the other hand, could care less for Misty - Dawn pretty much ignores her except when she's chasing her.  Dawn cares about the herd - Dawn is our alpha - and the horses in the herd as a totality - are they accounted for and behaving themselves - but not really about any one horse, and Dawn really doesn't mind leaving the herd.  This in my experience is pretty typical of alphas.

Long preamble to this morning.  Dawn went out first this morning.  Then I led out Sugar and Misty as a pair - all the horses were pretty up this morning with the cold and wind.  Misty was prancing at the end of the lead as I fed Sugar into the pasture and turned her to face me over the fence while keeping Misty in the aisle - Sugar headed off at a  gallop as soon as her halter came off.  Misty was beside herself, snorting and dancing.  I got her into the pasture without getting mowed down - I'm big on not getting mowed down and the horses know it - and turned her to face the gate - I always do this for safety as I remove halters.  I slipped off Misty's halter and she spun and bolted towards Dawn.  She didn't get far - she slipped in the slick area near the gate as she spun and her hind feet and then her front feet went out from under her and she flopped down hard on her side.  She immediately scrambled up and bolted off using all legs normally, so I figured she was OK, but I went out to the round bale and checked her out for scrapes or leg problems, but all seemed well.  I did sent an e-mail to her owner and the p.m. and other a.m. barn workers in case she comes up sore.  Silly mare! - I hope she's OK.

16 comments:

  1. She's a pretty mare, but you already know I like the Impressive horses :)

    I'm also relieved to see you don't ride in all weather! LOL You always make me feel like a slacker, but in a good way--you help me get motivated to ride!

    I just want to help with a couple of items--you probably mean she's HYPP N/H? There is no N/P/ Only N/N (negative), N/H (one copy of the gene), or H/H, (two copies of the gene).

    Also, exercise is very good for a HYPP positive horse. It helps clear out the excess potassium in their muscles, which is what causes the twitching and attacks in the first place (their body lacks the ability to flush it out of their muscles adequately). So, the more she moves, the better for her (and her arthritis as well). The stress of her being so herd-bound would be more of a contributing factor for an attack than exercise.

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  2. Jessie - thanks for the corrections and information! I've corrected the post for the HYPP point.

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  3. Silly thing,I am sure she is fine,its amazing what they can go through

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  4. Jessie is 100% correct. If you do your research and care appropriately for n/h horses you will hopefully never have a problem. I've never seen my n/h horse have an attack and I plan to keep it that way.

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  5. Sounds like the morning routine really keeps you on your toes, especially with a herd-bound horse like Misty. I think I'd need a glass of wine after all that excitement. lol!

    ~Lisa

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  6. Our horse are always out in the back so we don't have to go through that with them. When I come out about 6:30 AM to feed them they both kind of saunter into their stalls to get their hay. Every once in a while, if the wind's up and they are in the far back, one of them will get a wild hair and start running in and the other follows of course. I just stand aside and watch them. It's a lot of fun when they do that.

    Dan

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  7. It sounds like the wet, windy and wild day I blogged about recently. It wasn't cold but there is nothing like rain + wind to get the horses going. I'm guessing Misty is probably just fine although she may be a bit sore for a day or two. Silly horses.

    I always find it interesting when one horse is obsessed over another horse but there is no reciprocation. It makes you wonder why they don't eventually pick another horse to obsess over where it might be a 2 way street!

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  8. Poor girl...probably more embarrassed than hurt, although I'm not sure she's the type to get embarrassed.

    Horse herd bonds are fascinating. Here, with only three, the match-ups seem to vary from day to day, but my alpha boy still worries about the "missing" horse even when he has his other buddy to keep him company. Sounds as if a mare hierarchy might be a bit different...with the lower horse suffering more from separation anxiety.

    Wonder if that's so?

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  9. Hope she's not injured, she's a pretty girl. Wonder if her owner took her out more if she would be less herd bound and less energetic.

    Not a good day to ride today here either. We must be getting your weather. Rainy, cold and a little windy.

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  10. Things just happen. We can't always control what we would like to. I hope the mare's OK.

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  11. Misty is beautiful! I think sometimes horses play hard-to-get. There is a mare at the barn that Panama is fascinated with, but when we encounter her in the arena or in the cross ties, she pins her ears and sometimes even tries to bite. But when we go visit her in her stall, she sniffs noses with Panama and seems just as interested in him as he is in her.

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  12. My guy has been known to get super excited about his friend coming back to the field and fall down in the process. Hope the silly mare is ok :)

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  13. Oh good grief, your story about Misty slipping almost gave me a heart attack! I don't know why i worry so much about animals who obviously are strong and able enough to handle thousands of years of evolution and survival but I do. I do not like to see a horse down! Even if she just scrambles back up again. Good for her. I am glad she's fine. (And i do have a special place in my heart for a buckskin. Wheewwweee they are pretty)

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  14. Sometimes I wonder how horses were able to make it without becoming extinct! Guess they did better without us... :)

    I'm glad Misty is ok. She's definitely a looker!

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  15. I am not familiar with the Impressive breed, but Misty really is pretty. I like Buckskins. That is sad that she fell, but good that she is ok. Sometimes they get so worked up inside and a small patch of mud can take them out. I still marvel that you are able to lead two out at a time and take their halters off safely! I would be the one in the mud on the ground! lol!

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  16. I like the looks of Misty. It's a shame she doesn't get the attention she probably deserves.

    Our Paint gelding Dozer has Impressive on his papers. We haven't had him tested, don't see the point since he is a gelding. He's a good horse, which is all that matters.

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