Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ceremonial Work and Miscellaneous Things

It's too cold today to get much done, but Dawn and I did a little bit of "ceremonial work" this morning - just enough so she felt like she was getting a bit of attention.  The temperature was about 20F, but there was some wind so the wind chill was in the low teens.  Dawn was wearing her medium-weight turnout blanket, and I just left it on and we did a tiny bit of ground work, probably about 10 minutes in total.  I put on her snaffle bridle (nicely warm from the heated room it lives in) over her fuzzy-nose halter and we did some in-hand work - just some backing, some turns on the forehand and some sidepassing, working on both sides.  Then I took off the bridle and clipped on the gound-driving lines and we did a bit of driving in the parking lot area, including some backing.  She was nicely responsive, and then she got to go out to the turnout with her herd.

Later in the morning, I gave Pie a quick ride on the trail, still in the sidepull since his teeth were done yesterday.  It was nice and sunny, and I was well bundled up, so it was fun.  We went with Sugar and Charisma.  We didn't do a lot of trotting as the trails are like concrete.  We didn't do anything special - just enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine together.  Pie did do one amusing thing.  As I was tacking him up, I put my gloves on the ground in front of his front feet - I can't do up the girth with my gloves on.  He pawed at them until they were under his feet and then stood on them!  I think he's got a sense of humor . . .

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Last evening at bring-in time Pie was (most uncharacteristically) grouchy when his blanket was removed - even making biting gestures at our p.m. barn lady.  His left side seemed to hurt.  She let me know about it so we closely observed him.  He had no signs of colic - he was pooping and eating well, but something obviously hurt.  This morning he looked like he had a small hematoma on his flank in front of hip - perhaps he got kicked in the side.

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I made an addition to my post on bitless options - the Light Rider bitless bridle (or noseband).  It looks like a pretty good bitless option with a fairly direct action.

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I mentioned yesterday in the comments on the post about Pie's dental work that natural balance dentistry is beginning to make some inroads into the traditional veterinary community.  Mike, although he is not a vet, is now teaching about it at a major veterinary school.

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So far I've had a policy of not accepting free products to review, both because it's time-consuming and also because I think getting something for free could bias my opinion.  I was contacted by the woman  whose company makes the Hock Shield I mentioned in an earlier post - she found me through the traffic on their site and has offered me the product for free to try on Pie's hock sore.  Apparently the product had been checked by several vets to be sure it didn't impair circulation.  Since I found them before they found me, so to speak, I am willing to review this product, but instead of getting it for free, I'm going to go ahead and order one and pay for it just like a regular customer and let them (and you) know what I think.

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I've got some posts in the works - continuing the softening series (on the sidebar) now that Pie and I can begin that work formally with a bit (my preference at this point - some bitless options would work also) since his teeth have been done, and a new series on the equine digestive system - a fascinating and complicated topic and one dear to all our hearts.

10 comments:

  1. You've got a lot going on, despite the weather. Sounds like a good day.

    What type of bit do you prefer to use? I'm looking at the wide world of western bits and there are so many options...

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  2. SprinklerBandit - I don't have any specifically Western bits - I just use my standard D or full-cheek Mylar or KK bits, of which I have many. Some people who ride Western prefer loose-ring snaffles - I just happen not to prefer those as they can sometimes pinch. Pie goes in a ported D - he's got a big tongue and that gives it room. Dawn does in a simple jointed Mylar. There are specifically Western snaffles you can buy, including Mylars - they tend to have more decorated Ds than the plain English ones. If you search "bits" in the search box, that'll take you to all my posts on bits - there are some that have lots of pictures.

    If you're looking to use a curb, make sure she neck-reins well first and will go on a loose rein, and get a curb with a solid, not a jointed mouthpiece - the jointed mouthpiece with curb action is very confusing to most horses.

    You may get a lot of different opinions on this subject!

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  3. Good post. I save the information on the new bitless bridle.

    I use a Rocking S snaffle with my Rocky Mountain Horse and it works well with her.

    Dan

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  4. You've been busy. I admire your determination in the cold.

    I'll be interested in hearing about the hock boot. Hopefully it will solve the problem with Pie's hock sore.

    Sorry he got hurt, but I'm glad he let you know about it by reacting to the blanket. It's a good sign then he feels he can communicate with his human caretakers. Now, you all just need to learn how to listen...as you proved this time.

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  5. I really admire your dedication to working with the horses in the cold. When we lived in Vermont I had myself convinced I was going to love riding in the snow and I did it exactly once. I was just too cold and really all I wanted was to go inside!

    I just ordered a new pair of insulated paddock boots to start preparing myself for winter. I know it is coming one day as much as I don't want it to!

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  6. Gosh Kate you are brave facing the cold weather. I had to get out a temp conversion chart as we use degrees celcius. Thats cold. Its about 27 celcius here in Taranaki NZ and we haven't had rain for weeks. It seems to pour or not at all. My horses are wallowing in dust so its strange to hear about all your snowy world. I think its cool that Pie has a sense of humour.It sounds like you are both getting on well....and I'm sure Dawn enjoyed her jaunt in the car park.

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  7. Kate, I hope Pie is feeling better- poor guy if he got kicked. And the story about him moving your gloves so he could stand on them is so cute! He does have a sense of humor!

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  8. you sound like you have a lot on, i love being busy! really looking forward to the equine digestive posts, i'm fascinated with nutrition, and in turn, digestion! pie is such a cool boy :D

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  9. I love the story of Pie and the gloves - what a character! Also, great ride in the cold and work with Dawn earlier. You braved some cold temperatures.
    I hope Pie feels better - ouch. Poor guy.

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  10. Busy days even in the cold weather. Pie sounds like he does have a sense of humor, love that in a horse. Glad Dawn enjoyed some work too.

    I'll be interested to know what you think about the hock boots.

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