Wednesday, September 20, 2017

How Not To Prepare For A Show

First off, thank you everyone for the response to my last post. My sister in law, after 7 days in a hospital bed, 5 surgeries and receiving her clam shell body support, was able to walk a step to a chair and then later walk back to her bed. We sent a little stuffed corgi with my brother so she would have her therapy dog, since her real corgi can't visit.

So on Thursday, I headed into work and traffic just before the highway was bad. This area is tough because people are merging from the highway, going onto the highway and jumping into the right lane from the middle. Well on this day someone did something to cause brakes to slam. I quickly hit my breaks and breathed a sigh of relief as I avoided the person in front of me. Then I was rear ended. Luckily it did not push me into the car in front. Everyone involved was uninjured, but two out of three cars had damage. Unfortunately the one who was at the rear left before the police came, so it is being treated as a hit and run. Shaking, I dealt with the police and insurance and my family. I did not go to work so I could start the claim process.

This was stressful since my car is 15yrs old with over 300,000 miles. I started cleaning my car right away to help with it's value. I think I found another corgi in the back seat. During that process, the adjuster called to say it was not totaled yet. Now I had to stress until it went into the shop for the final assessment. Of course with the great timing of fate, the drop off was on Saturday. I did feel better when the shop said they thought my car had some wiggle room from the estimate and total. Tuesday evening I finally got the call that though they found more damage, the work was approved by the insurance.

The same Saturday I needed to do show prep. Needless to say, I did not have my normal amount of time to bath and load the trailer. Roscoe did not appreciate his 9pm bath, especially after getting one last week. Plus my bridles did not get cleaned. A car accident is definitely not the best way to prepare for a show.
When they fit on one side of the trailer

Their first show ever :)

Show day dawned and my show nerves were raging in addition to the tension of sore muscles. Rosemary had mud on her face which required touch up. As I worked on her, I saw Roscoe take off out his door and start racing around. Oh boy, the last show he did not work for 4 days before a show, he took an hour to warm up. I took some hope from the fact that he loaded himself on the trailer after I told him he was going to get to work. We ended up having to drive back to the barn when I realized I forgot my whip. At this point I was hoping the old saying of bad before means a good show...

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A Loss Of Core

Well, I will post the pictures of the Welsh show a bit later. We received news that my sister in law was in a horrible head on accident Friday. Unfortunately we were not informed the true extent of the severity until the show day. So we had to rush away from the Welsh show to get back to the barn. Mom and Dad then went to see my brother, who had been in TX when he received the initial call.

Getting hit head on at 50mph and surviving is equivalent to winning the Powerball 3x in your life. So her being alive is amazing in itself. Her guardian angel worked her ass off and if you can believe it my sister in law was lucid when help arrived. Fortunately neither of her kids were in the car. She sustained a broken foot (bone penetrating), dislocated ankle, broken knee (bone penetrating), broken hand (probably hit the radio), fractured back, she lost part of her small intestine and she lost her core muscles. As riders we all know and respect the core. Her six pack lost blood flow when her seat belt dug in. Her abdomen was an open wound for nearly two days until a top trauma surgeon could attempt to give her support with mesh and plugs. The surgeon declared it a "Victory" though my sister in law will always have a floppy stomach.

After five surgeries, she can finally leave ICU and begin to look ahead to therapy. A loss of core muscles means she will have to relearn to move using her back. She has a long road ahead and a loving husband and family to help where they can. I am a big believer in the power of positive energy so everyone send some her way if you can. Already she has received better results than the initial assessments. Her back fractured in such a way that it should heal on it's own retaining her mobility.

I am certainly going to appreciate my sore core muscles next time because now I know they can be lost in a flash. My sister in law is a very strong women and I am so glad she lived to fight on. She is the core of her family and that is one core that is irreplaceable.

Plus send some positive energy to Peggy's brother too, who is also facing serious medical issues. This double whammy, along with worry about family in hurricane zones has zapped my energy. I am glad our show on Sunday will be in the afternoon. Time to recoup :)

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Chopped Hay, Chaffhaye And A Third Meal

We have had a slight breather recently, but we have two shows coming up. The last VA Welsh show is Saturday and the dressage show is the 17th. I am taking the leap to Training, fingers crossed, and I convinced my Mom to ride Rosemary in the show.

During the break we were able to take a look at our older horses. Dottie has been battling diarrhea for awhile now. Nothing has completely cleared her up, but she is doing better. The vet said that older horses have trouble absorbing fluid. We added diatomaceous earth, pysllium and pro bi to her meals to support her system.

For awhile now, we have chopped soft hay for the older horses. We use a leaf vac/cutter to chop the hay to a length easier for them to manage. During the worst of Dottie's diarrhea we soaked the hay to reduce the scratch factor.

The vet also recommended feeding her chaffhaye. This is also called "pasture in a bag."

Chaffhaye is premium, non-GMO, bagged alfalfa that mimics the characteristics and nutritional benefits of fresh pasture.  It is carefully cut and harvested to retain its natural plant juices, preserving the natural probiotics of the feed.  It is lightly sprayed with molasses to initiate natures fermentation process and compressed into air tight bags within hours of being harvested.  This process locks out dust, rain, mold, rodents and other undesirable elements to maximize nutrients, palatability and 

It is very strong smelling, but Dottie and DaVinci love it. We worried when we found white spots in the bags, some bigger than a hand. So we carefully picked out those spots. We feared it was mold. But the vet relieved that fear when she came back out for Ember by telling us it is yeast. The horses can safely eat it. It seriously still turns my stomach to feed though.

And finally Peggy gives Dottie a third meal in the afternoon. DaVinci protests that he is the oldest and should get the same privilege, so he gets some chaffhaye. After about a month of wet chopped hay, chaffhaye and third meals, Dottie is looking the best she has looked this year. She even walks away from the chaffhaye. I guess she is full. She has even been more active in the field. So great to see :)

DaVinci has been looking good without having fluid on his belly, but he has been flaring. Mom scheduled his next chiropractic appointment for next week to help him prepare for winter.

Senior management is tough sometimes because you don't always realize how far they have slipped and getting them back is a long haul. Luckily we caught Dottie before winter. The way she looked, I don't think she would have made the season.

Now we just need to get her past this abcess she has developed... and DaVinci past his swollen eye. Gotta love the vintage ponies. They keep you on your toes as much as the young ones.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Affordable Dental Care, Absolutely Possible

Remember my sticker shock from last years dental bill? Well I was not happy to go that direction again. So bless FaceBook, I saw an ad for a Virginia Dentist with reasonable prices.

McCarthy Equine Dentistry

Routine Float:

$85 if one horse is floated at a barn

$75/horse if two horses are floated at the same barn

$65/horse if three or more horses are floated at the same barn

Discount also applies to private owners that schedule themselves together and are within 5 miles of each other.

Farm Call Fees For Barns Greater Than 100 Miles

100-150 miles from our home $10/horse
151-200 miles from our home $15/horse
201 or more miles from our home $20/horse.

The most anyone will ever pay for one horse is $105. That would be for a single horse floated at a barn more than 200 miles from us. We believe you will not find many other practitioners out there that offer the quality of work we do for these prices. 

A routine float is where the sharp points are removed and the mouth is completely balanced. It allows the horse to chew more effectively, reduces dropped and wasted feed, and helps increase weight on older horses and those that are "hard keepers". For riding horses, bit seats are offered at no additional charge. There are also no additional charges for reductions of waves, ramps, hooks, or other occlusion abnormalities. Even if the horse requires an extensive amount of work, you will not see it added to your bill. We believe this is part of balancing the mouth and should be performed during every float. We realize this goes against the business model of many EqDT's who charge additional fees for these reductions. That is not how we conduct our business and you can rest assured you know what your fee will be before Sean even starts his work. 

This dentist also has a flat rate for Rescue Horses of $60. He travels to VA, WV, PA, MD and even Wellington and Ocala FL. It took a bit to get our guys scheduled because this guy stays busy. He was well worth the wait.
Sean worked with the horses, letting them meet him and settle. Since VA requires a vet for any use of power tools, he only used hand tools this visit. We did get to see his power float and it was much better than the drill kind the vet had. The big plus to his tools, no sedation needed. His website shows a horse being power floated without sedation. It is great to know that option is available if we need it.

DaVinci was up first. Sean checked his alignment and grind. He kept in mind his age when working on his teeth. He was even able to work on his incisors, which some horses are not thrilled with. Plus he made sure to remove a big spot of tartar.

Dottie came next. Though she is younger than DaVinci, her teeth are much older. Some are down to the gums. Sean checked for sharp edges, but decided to leave the little she has. Dottie has been able to eat her food and recently has put on good weight. Her chopped hay and chaffhaye diet is something she can manage with the little teeth left. Sean did not even charge us an exam fee.

With Rosemary we were able to feel her sharp edges. Some of her riding issues could definitely be caused by that. She reacted while Sean was working and he made sure to find the trouble spot. After he did the work, he put on her riding bridle and driving bridle to check the fit of her bits.

Ember got his introduction to dentistry during this visit. He has a bump on his cheek that Sean carefully checked out. He was patient with Ember's coltish behavior. Eventually he will take out Ember's wolf teeth, but this time he only did like rasping. He only charged the $20 exam fee. Ember was less cooperative for the vet the next day. His mystery bump should go away on its own. The vet thought it was from those sharp baby teeth.

Mystery bump

Comrade had some corrective work needed. He had a wave going on which Sean definitely wanted to correct before he had the cupping issues older horses get. Comrade also got incisor work too.

Roscoe was actually the hardest one for Sean to work on. He was a bit of a shit. He had some weird shifts of his rear teeth toward the palette. Sean dealt calmly with Roscoe's antics and got the work done. He did not address his "smile" because he wanted to end on a good note.

Bad hair day :)

Well if you have been keeping track of the totals at the bottoms, you can see that we paid under $300 for five horses. For comparison, we paid about $1200 for six horses last year. Sean actually went into dentistry after not being able to find affordable care for his own horses. He provides quality work for affordable prices so that horses do not suffer. Horses are expensive and sometimes things like dental work are put off to pay for day to day necessities. This guy was the answer to all our worries. My horses did not have to be sedated, were much calmer and received the work they needed. Affordable dental care is absolutely possible and McCarthy Equine provides quality without billing high quantity. Such a relief!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Summer Salute, Welsh Show

I was dragging as Sunday dawned. We did not make it to the barn with time to clean before loading. Ah well, we had time to do that later. Luckily both Ember and Roscoe seemed to still have white socks.

Ember loaded with only a little hesitation. And little man is not so little anymore...

Once we arrived at the show, we only had to wait for the Section B's to finish. Ember and Roscoe ate hay on the trailer and perused the area. Closer to the time for their classes, I squeezed inside with them and dusted them off. A quick spot clean of whites helped. Roscoe had to be measured now that he is six, so we headed over a little early. Mom took him while I led the wild one. Actually Ember was quite good. He only reared up once during the walk to the measuring area.

Unfortunately, the person who measured Roscoe made him lose an inch. That is not much for many horses, but it is the difference between a section C and a D. At the next show if they measure him the same, I will ask for a retake. Roscoe was so chill at this show. I guess with everything we have done with him this year, the show was nothing exciting.

When it was Ember's turn, I prayed I could keep up with him. The arena footing was a little deep from the rain. Our first run was good and we did not run over the ring steward. Ember missed the memo to walk toward the judges. They asked if he was 1 or 2? When I said 1, they said he will be a big boy. Our second trot was a bit more exciting since he went up. The people watching were impressed by his movement. Someone even mentioned he should be inspected and that he could make premium. Overall I was happy with his behavior. Pro shots can be seen here.

Then I had to switch ponies with Mom and run Roscoe. He was so quiet and boy did he look good.

After his class, Mom took Roscoe and I reclaimed Ember to go in for the Cob Champion class. It was pretty cool to see the boys in the same show ring. One judge said she would be interested to see Ember in a few years. His trot showed moments of greatness with even more extension waiting to come out. Roscoe took the class over Ember.

The next class was the Supreme class. Roscoe and Ember were up against the cute A's and B's. Most of the time Roscoe does not stand a chance. This time the second judge had all her Champions run again. I knew Roscoe did not win when the judge told us "Win or lose, you did great." Ah well, I was thrilled with both the boys. This was a successful show and a super end to the weekend.