Friday, August 29, 2014

Trying Something Different - and Finally, Three Rides!

Today was a very good day - I finally got to ride all three horses, even if two of those rides were only at the walk - it was still all just fine with me.  It's about two and a half weeks after Dawn's dental surgery, and she was good to go - they're coming back to check her in September, but she's eating well and seems very comfortable.  All we did today was about 15 minutes of walk work, although she would have willingly trotted - we'll do a bit of that tomorrow.  We worked on circles and serpentines and getting softness with an inside bend - softness on the inside rein is the trick for that.  It was lovely to be riding her again.

Red and I also had a very nice 15 minute walk ride, with cones.  Lots of circles and serpentines and some leg yield, as well as intervals of "marching" walk.  At one point he clearly would have trotted if I had asked, but I want us to get up to 30 minutes of walk work before we do any trot work under saddle.  Iced his leg after, and he seemed pretty satisfied.

Pie has a sore on the left side of his face, about where the bridle lies.  It's probably a sting or bite by a big fly, and it's been very slow to heal and also borderline infected.  I've been cleaning and treating - we're trying to get it to dry out a little, and I'm using Swat around it to keep the flies off.  I brought out my side pull - a very nice one from Buckeroo Leather that I haven't used in a while - and cleaned it up and we tried that out - it didn't touch the sore spot.  I used to ride Pie in it back when I first got him, but he didn't do that well in it since he didn't know much about softness in the bridle at that point.

He was just great in it.  He was just as soft and responsive as in the bit, and seemed if anything more relaxed.  We didn't work that long as it was hot and very humid, but did some very nice work at walk and trot and then some excellent relaxed work at canter.  His backing was excellent - he seemed to really like the side pull and we'll use it again soon.

A really fine day with horses!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Riding Red Again, and Up and Out with Pie (It's All About Me!)

Today was a good day.  I rode Red again for the first time since July 18, and he was as good as gold.  He was much calmer today - I think our work session yesterday reestablished that I was the leader, and he felt much better about the world - his anxiety and the nipping were a sign that he felt insecure.  He doesn't really want to be in charge, but he strongly feels that someone has to be (or else, being a horse, he's going to be eaten).  He's happiest when I give him clear, consistent direction and boundaries - he relaxes right into that.  So, as a result, we had a wonderful 10-minute walk ride.  He couldn't have been better - stood beautifully for mounting, and was soft and responsive throughout our ride - we even did some really nice leg yield.

We'll be adding 5 minutes to our walk work every other ride, and when we get to 30 minutes, we'll see where he is soundness-wise at the trot, before doing any trot work under saddle.  The leg is looking better every day, and we continue to ice and put on Traumeel ointment.

Pie and I had a very nice ride as well.  I worked on me - it's always about me when things aren't quite right.  I worked on feeling the energy rising up through me from Pie's hind legs and up and out of my body - this requires me to keep his forward energetic (without nagging), and my posture open and erect and eyes up.  I wanted him "in front" of me at all times, and we did some very nice, very forward trot work.  When I ride him this way, all the issues dissolve - no falling in, no diving with his head, no poor upwards or downwards transitions - most of the problems arise when I brace or look down at his head rather than up and out.  We finished with a lovely set of walk/trot/walk transitions, with about three strides in each - forward, happy, marching trot into forward, happy, marching walk, continue - when I use just my exhale to cue the upward transition, this works much better than pushing with my leg.  He seemed pretty happy with the whole thing.  He's much more engaged and interactive since I started the "treat campaign" - I even got a nicker yesterday, which was a first.

And I can start riding Dawn again later this week (bought her a new fuzzy dressage girth to celebrate) - pretty soon all three will be back in action!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Nipped in the Bud

I clearly haven't been handled or working with Red enough - the more he's handled by the barn workers (who really don't know much about how to handle or lead horses, and tend to hang on the horse's faces), and the less he's handled by me, the more braced he becomes.  He also tends to start to lose his ground manners - he was not very good at all for the farrier last Friday, which is not normal for him these days.

Today was a good opportunity to get things back on a good footing.  I took him into the arena with a web halter, a long line and a dressage whip.  We did some leading work, focussed on him following me correctly and not intruding into my personal space.  We did some groundwork - changes of direction at the walk, working on him not cutting in.  We did a little bit of lungeing - he's pretty much sound now at the trot, just slightly short-strided on the right hind at the trot when tracking left but not taking protective steps anymore when he slows down at trot.  He's ready to start ridden work at the walk - we'll likely do that tomorrow.

Things got more interesting when I started doing some close-in lateral work.  He's always been a bit fussy about close-in work, and particularly when I'm on his right - he apparently thinks people are only supposed to be on his left - I'm violating a rule or something.  I was asking him to circle tightly around me and then to take lateral steps to the outside with both fronts and hinds.  My being that close to him, and him being a bit frustrated by not quite getting what I wanted at first, led to some attempted nipping.  He's not mean, he's just overly expressive of his frustration and needs to be reminded that certain behaviors are not ever acceptable.

Well, I nipped that in the bud, so to speak.  There were a couple of sharp slaps to intruding muzzle (with teeth), and some forceful reinforcement of backing out of my personal space.  He got the point fairly quickly.  We just kept working on our lateral work, and he gradually relaxed - when I was on his right it was still harder for him, but I rewarded every good effort with praise and a walk around.  We got there, and I think the balance is reestablished - for now.  Red is a horse who needs and likes to work hard, and we haven't been able to do that for a while.

I was pleased with where we got to and he seemed to feel more content and less nervous as well - when his nervousness amps up that's a sign he's not feeling entirely right with the world.

Hoping that tomorrow we ride - if only at the walk.

Sunday, August 24, 2014


Today, when I was riding Pie, I tried to approach lateral work - bending through the corners, circles, leg yield, etc. - with the thought of giving him precise openings to move into.  Rather than thinking of  leg as pushing him over - which creates a brace - thinking of leg as a very soft cue, with my body - upper body/posture/head/focus open and allowing for forward, and outside leg creating just the right amount of freedom for him to move into.  Pie approves.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Proof That One-Size-Fits-All Deworming Programs Don't Work

Back in the good old days (not that long ago, but you know what I mean), I did rotational deworming, administering a different dewormer every 6-8 weeks throughout the year.  Did it work? Maybe, but it also probably contributed to parasite resistance to dewormers that were being used.

The new thinking on deworming is to do periodic fecal testing, and focus deworming efforts on those horses that show up as high shedders - this doesn't necessarily mean they're unwell due to the parasite load they carry, but they tend to be the ones that can spread worms in the environment.  And good manure management - manure removal and at the very least harrowing so manure is broken up - can make a big difference.   I followed this protocol at my old barn (very small, and with very good manure management practices), with very good results.

In the past several years, since at my current barn my horses are turned out in large herds - the mare herd that Dawn is in has about a dozen horses and the gelding herd that Pie and Red are in has close to 20 geldings - and since my barn practices zero manure management in pens and pastures and has no worming policy for boarders, I had reverted to something approaching my old practices.  I did spring and fall deworming, and also did daily Strongid.

Well, I've been proved wrong.  I recently fecal tested Red, and he came back with a heavy load of strongyles.  I've just completed treating him with a Panacur 5-day Powerpac at the recommendation of my vet (Red and I are both glad that's over with), and will do a fecal retest in about two weeks.  I also just tested Pie, and he came back as a zero - effectively no worm load.  They are turned out in the same pasture everyday, and follow exactly the same feeding and deworming protocol.  Pie appears to have an inherent resistance to parasites, and Red does not.  So the same program doesn't work for both of them.

My theory that a regular program was required to, and would, protect all my horses at the new barn proved wrong - I'm going back to fecal testing and treating my horses as they require.

Old dog, new tricks . . .

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Photos of Dawn's Removed (and Cleaned) Teeth

After about a week, the teeth are clean enough for public viewing.  Dawn continues to do very well and eat up a storm, and once you see the photos, you'll understand why she's much more comfortable now even though her mouth is still healing.

These teeth are from the left side of her mandible (lower jaw).  The tooth that was removed last month was from the right side of her mandible.  It's hard to believe when you see these photos, but the tooth that was removed last month - the 409 - was in much worse shape - only the buccal (cheek) portion of the crown was left and the tooth was listing towards her cheek, putting it above the dental arcade and also abrading her cheek.  Removal of the 409 last month resulted in much improved eating, even with the two teeth shown below still in her mouth.

A paraphrase of the dental surgeon's report before the surgery to remove these two teeth:
308 is fractured with only a small buccal portion remaining in the mouth.  This tooth appears to have complete endodontic failure, and has a large periapical lucency [indicating periodontal or root disease].  The 309 appears to have mesial root resorption and bone loss.  This tooth is probably being affected by the periodontal disease present around the fractured 308.
Here's the buccal (cheek-side) view - the 308 premolar is to the left (towards the front of the mouth) and the 309 molar (towards the back of the mouth) is to the right - the gum line at the top of the 309 is clearly visible.  The 308 has developed a nasty hook in the middle. The two tooth fragments below the 309 are pieces of the root - the piece towards the middle broke off during or after the surgery, and the piece to the far right was actually broken off the tooth in situ (visible on x-rays), and was pushing up against and aggravating the adjacent tooth.  That fragment didn't come with the 309 when it was removed, and x-rays after the teeth were removed showed it was still there - the surgeon went right back and got it out - that's the degree of care they used.

Here is the lingual (tongue-side) view of the 308 premolar (to the right - towards the front of the mouth) and 309 molar (to the left - towards the back of the mouth) that were removed - the severe damage to the 308 is visible in this photo:

Here's a top view of the teeth, which shows how much of the lingual (tongue-side) aspect of the 308 was missing - I find the folds of dentin and enamel fascinating - my own dentist has asked to see the teeth since he was so interested when I was describing their structure:

And here's a close up of the 308 - even after a week of soaking and drying, there's still pieces of old hay packed down into the roots that won't come out - it's hard to imagine how uncomfortable this must have been for Dawn:

Dawn should really benefit from having these teeth out.  She's always had difficulty maintaining her weight, particularly in the winter, and this should now be less of an issue.  And untreated periodontal disease, besides being very uncomfortable, also can lead to overall poor health.

My equine dentist, who referred me to the dental surgeons (my regular vet/vet hospital also uses this same dental surgeon for all their dental surgery), was very pleased that the surgeons were able to help her out.  Having good (make that great) professionals to help out my horses when needed is very reassuring.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


. . . in the nose . . .

I had a fecal test done on Red - he's always carried more of a parasite burden than my other horses - and sure enough he came back with a heavy load of strongyles - he's a high shedder.  Here's some good information on fecal testing and deworming programs.  My barn has large herds and no manure management whatsoever - no picking up manure or even harrowing.  I'm now also testing Pie, who's in the same herd as Red, to be sure he also doesn't need deworming.  Dawn is in a separate herd, so isn't at risk from Red's shedding parasite eggs.

My vet prescribed a Panacur Powerpac for Red - that's a whole tube of Panacur (fenbendazole) - double the regular dose - for 5 days in a row.  It's a big tube, and Red says that it tastes just plain awful.  Yesterday, when I was working on getting it down him, he flung his head and bopped me pretty hard right in the nose.  Ouch!!!  No bleeding, and nothing is broken, but my nose is swollen and red and I'm breathing about like when I have a bad cold.

Those of you who've been following along may remember that Red used to be very good about medicines by mouth, but that was "untrained" apparently by mishandling (being forced) when he was at the vet clinic for his surgery - he's now inclined to fling his head around and pull and resist.  I used clicker to get him to accept his meds during recovery from his surgery, so it was time to use clicker again.

Today we had a good session, in the barn aisle, with Red on a loose lead.  I successively rewarded him for touching the tube with his nose, letting me hold the tube next to his mouth without him tossing his head, letting me touch the corner of his mouth with the tube, opening his mouth and letting me stick the tube in, and then letting me give him the meds - there is so much in one tube that it took a number of efforts to get all (or most - some of it ended up on the barn floor) of the meds into him.  He did really well and tried really hard, and we got there in the end - without any more nose bopping.  Three more days . . .

My bribery campaign with Pie seems to be having some effect.  He actually looked at me with ears up a couple of times when I was in his stall and grooming him, and we had a really nice ride in the outdoor arena, with some excellent, forward work at both trot and canter.  He even did a number of trot/canter/trot/canter transitions without getting worried.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Temptation, Bribery and Eating Well

These three things aren't really related . . . but each is related to a specific horse . . .

Dawn is doing very well - eating up a storm.  She's still on Banamine and antibiotics and seems to be completely comfortable.  And seeing the teeth that were removed, I can sure see why she feels better now.  There will be photos of the teeth (not the tooth that was taken out a month ago - that one I threw away) - as soon as they're cleaned up enough to be ready for public consumption without grossing anyone out.  Right now they're soaking in hydrogen peroxide, being rinsed in water and put on paper towels to dry in the sun, then repeat, and repeat, and repeat . . .  Dawn is getting two weeks off from riding, but she's enjoying her almost daily thorough grooming.

Red has decided that he's just fine and that it's time to ride.  He's a determined guy, and finds our not-riding pretty frustrating.  His ankle is looking much better - only a little bit of wind puff swelling left, and after icing even that is almost gone.  I expect he'd be sound at the trot if I put him on the lunge.  But we're not going to do that - soft tissue injuries heal very slowly and there's a big risk of reinjury if the ligaments/tendons aren't completely healed.  We're waiting another two weeks, to allow more complete healing, before we try out the trot on the lunge and, if he's sound, start ridden work at the walk.  In the meantime, we're doing in-hand work and also "virtual riding" as described in my earlier post, as well as daily icing and application of Traumeel ointment.

Now, on to bribery.  I'd like to build a closer connection with Pie, who is normally very (extremely) standoffish.  When I go in his stall, he ignores me - continues eating or resting - he doesn't look at me and even will look annoyed when I approach - his basic attitude is "leave me alone" - he's quite the grump.  Ears up isn't really part of his repertoire.   He's willing and obedient under saddle, but because we don't have a strong connection, when he's worried he has trouble relying on me to help him and keep him safe.  We're not strongly connected, we're a bit mechanical in our relationship. I think this is part of his spookiness, but I'm also increasingly convinced that his eyesight is poor, perhaps due to the growing cyst in his left eye (I see more vet bills in my future . . .).  Even in the indoor, now, he'll spook at high contrast - light shining on the dark floor, or a lunge whip lying on the ground - particularly if it's to his left.  If it's true that his vision is impaired, it's no surprise he is worried and needs reassurance.  (I've started turning on all the arena lights when I ride, even during the daytime, to reduce the contrast and help him out.) And he'll be more comfortable accepting help from me, and being reassured by that help, if we have a stronger connection.  He doesn't have to be friendly or in my pocket, I'd just like a more pleasant interaction and for him to be more comfortable trusting my judgment.

I normally don't feed my horses treats.  Instead, I use them for specific purposes.  Bribery is one of those purposes - horses that are persistently withdrawn or standoffish often open up if they begin to associate you with tasty food.  And Pie is particularly food motivated . . . giving me an opportunity.  I've started treating him after our rides - using these low-sugar peppermint, apple or carrot treats from Buckeye, which he thinks are just fine.  And we're going to start some clicker training using these treats - to get a horse interested is one of the cases I use clicker training - more on that later . . .

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Why Worry?

Another fascinating post - this time from Kate Sandel, on worry - and at the bottom there is a fascinating video - well worth watching.


A lovely, and very wise, post from Nic at Rockley Farm about the mutual confidence, or lack thereof, of horse and rider.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Dawn Does Dental (Again)

Today was another long dental day.  This was Dawn's second appointment, to remove two more damaged molars, for a total of three.  She has a fourth fractured molar, but it appears to be alive and stabile at the moment so it's being left alone.

The dental surgical team arrived at around 9:15 a.m., and by 9:30 a.m. Dawn was sedated, in the stocks and they were working away - two vets, a vet tech and an assistant who did the heavy work of positioning and holding up her head.  I was so proud of her.  When I brought her into the barn, she saw the stocks and all the equipment and she knew what was up, but she walked right up and stood on a loose lead while they gave her the shot for sedation.  She seems to understand that when I ask her to do unpleasant things like this, that it's for a good reason, and she always cooperates with whatever I ask.

I didn't leave the barn for lunch until after 11:30 a.m..  They work carefully and slowly to be sure that the whole tooth (in this case two adjacent teeth) is fully removed with no breakages or fragments remaining behind.  This is difficult to do with a horse who isn't elderly, as the teeth have very large roots.  This surgeon has pioneered new techniques to do these extractions without the use of general anesthesia and without going in through the side of the jaw - he goes in through the mouth and using facial nerve blocks, as well as sedation, which reduces complications and recovery time.  Both my equine dentist and my vet/vet hospital use this surgeon and his team for dental surgery work.

Dawn's two extractions took time, since the teeth were fractured and also had large roots. They also said that Dawn being so healthy otherwise and such a cooperative patient was what made it possible to do these extractions at the barn, rather than at a vet clinic.

When they are done, they take x-rays to be sure that everything has been removed.  In the case of one of Dawn's teeth, there was a fragment (that was already fractured off in the original x-rays they took) which didn't come out with the whole tooth.  The surgeon was able to remove it within a few minutes, but it's that degree of care and attention that makes the difference.

Another boarder's horse was also being seen - he's almost 30.  He has troubles with his incisors - a number of them are fractured, and many of them are being reabsorbed by their bony sockets.  His owner (who wasn't able to be there - I was looking after him) elected to have the worst tooth removed, which didn't take long and didn't even require nerve blocks, just sedation, since the root was fairly short.  His remaining incisors may also fail over time.

After a quick lunch, I came back to the barn about 12:30 p.m..  Dawn was able to walk well enough by then that I moved her to her own stall (she'd been borrowing another stall near where the vet team was set up).  Then I sat with her in her stall until after 2:00 p.m., reading a book.  Since she was in the barn by herself, and had nothing to eat, she seemed to appreciate the company.  She snuffled around in her shavings and ate fragments of hay.  When Pie and Red came in from turnout, I groomed them, and then at 3:00 p.m.  I was able to give Dawn her hay and feed her her dinner - she fell on the food and seemed to be chewing without difficulty.  I also gave the other horse his hay, and his owner came by later and gave him his dinner.

She's getting some Banamine for the next 3-5 days to help with pain and swelling, and also is getting Uniprim antibiotics once a day for about 10 days.

This whole dental experience wasn't cheap, but it should make a big difference to Dawn's quality of life now and as she gets older.  Not having damaged/diseased teeth will allow her to be more comfortable, eat better and hold her weight.  I'm fortunate to have such an excellent dentist - Mike Fragale - who does a superb job maintaining my horses' teeth but also knows when the specialized services of a vet specializing in equine dentistry - Dr. Travis Henry and his crew at Midwest Equine - are required.

Now Dawn will get two weeks off from riding, so Pie is my one currently rideable horse.  (Red says "but what about me? Me? Me?"  I say "soon, Red, soon, for now we get to walk around together.")

Friday, August 8, 2014

Getting Creative: Virtual Riding

Red's insisting on being worked every day - we have to do something, but I need to keep it non-strenuous until he's more healed up.  Just hand walking around the arena, or standing together to watch things going on, is fine, but it sure is boring, so I've been having to come up with things for us to do.  Pasture hand walks are good, except Red's still having some trouble going down the steep hills in the pasture so we shouldn't be doing too much of that right now - he's getting enough hill work during his daily turnout.

I was thinking about ground driving - Red and I have done some of that before - but the mice apparently got to my web surcingle and one of my lines, so need to replace those before we can do more, at least with a bridle.

So today I came up with something different - virtual riding.  Sorry, no computers or internet involved, just Red and me.  What I did was to groom him and then put on his bridle - he got pretty excited about this and dove for the bit - I think he thought we were going for a bareback ride, which is something he likes.

My idea was to ride him from the ground - I didn't know if it would work or if he would understand what I wanted, but thought it was worth a try.  I've used this technique before, but only to help a horse learn to back.

Here's what I did.  I stood next to Red's girth, right against his body, facing in the same direction he was facing - so my body was about where my leg would be if I were riding.  (A lot of "in-hand" work I've seen seems to involve facing the horse and not doing the movement with the horse - more doing something to the horse - I didn't want to do that.) I held the near side rein in the hand away from the horse, and held the offside rein in my hand next to the horse, with my hand on the other side of his neck - in fact I either rested my wrist just in front of Red's withers or even hooked my elbow over his back behind his withers - this wouldn't work on a larger horse but Red was the perfect size.   I held my dressage whip in my hand that was away from the horse, and when I used it I was tapping right at the girth area just in front of my body.

I asked Red for softness, and contact, and forward.  It only took a moment, and he was right on it, and I hardly had to use the dressage whip as a cue at all.  We had a smashing time - we set a line of cones and did weaving through the cones, serpentines, figure eights, backing and more.  He stayed soft and forward and seemed to get exactly what I wanted.  His bending was excellent.  Most of the time I was close against his body, actually touching him with my side, and was always facing where he was going and going there with him - at the walk or in backing, his stride is the same as mine (this will be true for lots of folks with horses that are short enough for them to mount from the ground).  We just marched around together.  From time to time, I changed sides - things worked pretty much equally well from either side.  We worked exactly as if I had been riding him bareback, with the same intent and feel in the reins.

I think one reason it worked so well is that, due to all the work we've already done together, Red is pretty much automatically soft and responsive and forward now, and very keyed in to me and willing to try to do just about anything I ask.  He also moves in all directions at just a touch on his side or chest, so if I wanted him to step away from me all I had to do was move into him, and he won't move into me unless I bring him into my space by moving away.

He didn't want to stop, and neither did I.  I expect we'll be doing much more of this in the weeks to come.  I'm sure he would have been happy to do the work in trot too, but he's not ready for that and by the time he is I hope I'll be riding him again.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Pie and I Work on Transitions and Anticipation

Today Pie and I had a ride where I went in with a specific objective in mind.  I find when I ride aimlessly or without purpose, I don't enjoy riding as much - it's still great to be on the horse, but I tend to lose my focus, which means the horse also loses focus.

I wanted to work on Pie's canter, and specifically on two aspects of his canter - his tendency to become unbalanced and to rush at canter (which usually means he falls back into trot), and his tendency to anticipate the canter any time I sit the trot.  Now, to be fair to Pie, both of these aspects of his canter are my issues, not his.  He's a big, long horse, with a big stride, and our indoor arena is quite small - when we first started canter work indoors, he could hardly make it around the corners in canter.  He's well past that, but can still become strung out at the canter if I don't ride him correctly into and around the corners, keeping my posture open and up.  And the anticipation is a result of the way I've been asking for canter - almost always from sitting trot and almost always in the corners - of course he's anticipating based on my pattern - he's a smart horse.

So today I set out cones inside the track in the corners and around the end of the arena, to keep us honest in the corners.  We did a nice warm up focussed on keeping the inside bend, and being sure that forward was there - any time Pie gets behind my leg, I lose the hind end and his shoulder tends to pop out - keeping him forward using the secondary cue of an occasional tap with the dressage whip keeps this from happening.

We did big circles at canter, followed by diagonals or center line canter where I asked him to come to trot and then almost immediately - after two or three strides - go back to canter, followed almost immediately by trot again.  This required him to balance himself without much if any interference by me - I think horses learn these things best when they're given the chance to learn them without being "programmed".  On the second canter, I didn't care at all what lead he was on as we were coming right back to trot - that can be refined later (it depends precisely on how many trot strides there are after canter before canter initiates again).  I just wanted him to balance through the transitions.

And while we were doing this, we also worked on reducing his anticipation of canter - we did sitting trot all over the ring - small circles, serpentines, etc.  His more collected trot is really coming along, and so long as I kept him forward at the same time, it was springy, engaged and very nice.  I never asked for a canter departure unless he was relaxed and soft at the sitting trot - when he anticipates he rushes and braces a bit.  He stayed much more relaxed and some of the canter departures were very nice.

After our ride, we took a short pasture expedition as a reward.  More nice weather coming up, so more Pie rides in my future.  Red is getting some hand walks after grooming - he's very jealous of my time with Pie and unhappy about not being ridden - and Dawn's next (and I hope last for a while) dental surgery round is next Tuesday.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Mark Rashid on Collection

An interesting post from Mark Rashid on the subject of collection.

The only thing I would add is that there are a lot of people who think they've got collection, when all they've got is a tense, braced horse (usually with a tense, braced rider) and the "appearance" of a frame.  This is true even at the highest levels of certain disciplines, where the "appearance" may be rewarded by judges.  That's not collection, it's false collection - as Mark so wonderfully points out, true collection comes from relaxation and softness.