Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cries . . .

My back is definitely not better! I went back to work today and once again by the end of my shift I was almost in tears. :( My dad (who has had back problems) told me it can take months for a pulled back muscle to heal. I can't even sweep my floors. :(

I did get my blood work back. My Thyroid levels are good, but I am low on Vitamin D and Iron. They told me what supplements to buy so maybe I'll start feeling more energetic soon. If anyone has any suggestions for encouraging my back to heal as fast as possible please let me know. Ibuprofen doesn't help the pain at all so I might try Excedrin Back and Body or Doans to see if they work any better. I need something to get me through work for the next four days.

In other news Aslan hurt Sycamore by playing too rough so he's tied back up. Sycamore's leg is bloody but he seems ok. When my husband gets home from work he'll catch him and check it closer. With my back hurting I can't do anything. Also the guy who is brush hogging our lease land didn't call to have us put up Chrome and Zep. They ran around like crazy until they were pouring sweat. The crazy thing is that they would run up to the barn and then go back out with the tractor. I was at work by the way and my husband was trying to sleep because he's on night shift. As soon as he realized what was going on he locked them in the paddock. Unfortunately Chrome's knee is swollen (not the whole joint, just on the front) and a little warm. I don't know if Zep kicked him (which is likely considering how they play) or if he fell. He's not lame at all and it isn't tender. He let me do whatever I wanted with it and he has no problem picking it or the opposite leg up. I cold hosed it, but I think he'll be fine.

Well I'm going to try to rest my back. Send healing vibes my way please. :)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Time Flies - Edited to add third picture . . .

November 2009

Time sure flies by quickly. Look at how much my baby Chrome has grown!

June 2010

I edited the post to add the picture below that was taken today for further comparison. :)

August 2010

Also wanted to let you all know that my back is feeling much better. I still have to be careful what I do and what I try to pick up. The darn muscle relaxer makes me sleep all day though. I've slept more in the past two days than in the past week before that lol. I'm only taking half of one now and can sort of function now haha. :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Back Update

I just got back from the doctor and he thinks it's a pulled muscle because of the way it hurts all the way across my ribs and I had forgotten until late last night that when I was doing Chrome's hooves the other day that I almost rolled my ankle so I let myself fall. I landed hard on my hands and knees and fell to my hip which could have definitely wrenched my back. He gave me a muscle relaxer to take at night so I just have to get through today and I'll have three days off to heal. Obviously if it doesn't get better I'll demand an xray, but my gut instinct is that it's just a pull. I've never had back problems before.

I also asked them to check my thyroid levels (because I've been exhausted and lost weight again) and we're going to check my vitamin D levels (because my mom's are very low) and my iron levels. So I'm hoping we'll find out what's going on and by this time next week I'll be all better. :) Thanks for your kind words over my post last night. I knew I'd get some advice because of how prevalent back injuries seem to be. You guys are awesome!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Back Pain!

Ugh. I've had moderate (but keep in mind I'm a wimp so even moderate pain is bad) back pain for three days now. I kept thinking it would go away because when I'd wake up in the morning there wouldn't be any. By the end of the day I'd be in so much pain I could barely walk. It's been torture making it through work each day where I have to be on my feet. It's on my left side and goes from the spine about mid way down my back all the way across my ribs to the front. I'm pretty sure it's muscle related because when I stretch it hurts!

I woke up with a crick in my neck earlier this week and I'm wondering if that did it from compensating. Or it could have been trimming Chrome's hooves because when I was working on the last one as I went to set it down my ankle rolled and to prevent twisting or spraining it I let myself fall. At the time nothing hurt, but you never know with back injuries. When I run my hand along my spine I can find a sharp pain about midway down to the left of the vertebrae. I'm going to the doctor tomorrow anyway to get my Thyroid levels rechecked, so I'll ask him about it then. I really hope he can give me something like a muscle relaxer to help me make it through work tomorrow, then I'll have three days off to let it heal. Let's hope this heals quickly.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Taming Zeppelin

I mentioned the progress I was making with petting and taming Zeppelin on Chrome's Monthly Progress Report the other day. I finally got a video of me petting him, not using any treats to lure him with. You'll see in the video that I can almost touch his neck. If anyone has any suggestions on the next step I'd love to hear them. All the horses I grew up with were used to being handled. The one filly I had that we couldn't touch was very curious, friendly and not at all scared. One day I was sitting in the pasture while they grazed around me and I reached up and touched her belly with a long stick. From that day forward I could love all over her. I don't know if teaching Zep to touch a target and then teaching him to let me touch the target to parts of his body would work or not. Let me know what you guys think.

I also have an adorable video of Chrome playing with Jackal. I really hope you all can see it. I forgot to take snapshots from the video when I was editing it. You really have to see the video to hear Jackal barking and to see the fun they're having. :)

Anyway sorry for the short post. I hope you enjoy the videos. :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Chrome's Hooves - Need Advice

Ever since Chrome and Zeppelin got into the feed shed and ate all of the grain I have been doing some research on founder, laminitis and barefoot trimming. I've known for a while that Chrome's hooves were getting a little long and I needed to trim them, but I kept putting it off because I was afraid of messing them up (I've trimmed my own horse's hooves all my life but I've never had professional instruction and it's been three years since I've done it). Looking at them the other day I noticed horizontal lines that I am almost positive are old founder lines (he may have new ones too), so that's what started the research.

My husband and I gave Chrome his first mini trim yesterday just to get him used to the positions, the equipment and the handling. He did really well. As would be expected he had balance and boredom issue like any young horse would, but he did really well all things considered. We didn't take too much off because we figured less is more. Below are before and after pictures with comments below the pictures.

The first thing I noticed is that he looks like he's toeing out. And the inside walls appear shorter than the outside. I don't know how much of this is incorrect growth, conformation or camera angles. Do you see the horizontal lines almost midway down? Does anyone know if those are old founder lines? Just for informational purposes Chrome has never taken a lame step in his life (knock on wood) that I've seen, but he did have heat in his joints a while back. I'd have to look back through my blogs to see when it was.

The bottom of the hoof before the trim. I definitely can see that the hoof walls are long. I don't know enough to know if his heels are contracted . . . maybe someone more experienced might know? Also his grooves are deep (and dirty! I have to start cleaning them daily!) and my husband noticed a bit of a smell so I might have to do an anti fungal treatment in case of thrust. If anyone has suggestions on the best way of going about that I would appreciate it.

We had already started to trim before I took this picture. I forgot to take a side shot. Again you can see the horizontal line. I don't know enough about angles yet to know how his are. And I'm also not sure if his heel is too high. Help? Also I wanted to mention that I've been searching the internet like crazy for someone who does natural barefoot trims and I've only found one in my state. I haven't contacted her yet, but I plan to soon. I might even point her to this blog post.

This is after the trim. You probably can't see much of a difference. I didn't want to do too much his first time for training reasons as much as trimming reasons.

The front again. The toe on the far right looks flared to me, but I'm not 100% sure how to resolve that. We do need to go shorter as you'll see in the coming pictures. That might resolve the issue. Again I don't know if this was caused by letting them get too long or low grade laminitis or conformation faults. I just don't know. I have so much information swarming through my head right now that I'm just confused lol!

Another from the bottom. Same hoof. Sorry it's blurry and his hoof was dirty again lol. As you can see we didn't take enough off, but I didn't want to make him stand any longer. I want to keep the session short and positive. Not to mention it was fifty million degrees outside lol.

Looking down at the hoof. I read that the hoof should match the coronet. To me the hoof looks a bit pointed (this is a front hoof). I don't know if this is because they are too long or if the heels are contracted (someone needs to explain that to me better because I don't understand exactly what it means).

This last shot was an eye opener for me. After perusing several websites I decided to run back out and get a shot from this angle. Wow! The walls are too long! We definitely need to do more trimming. The other thing that concerns me is that his soles are not concave at all. I wasn't really able to get a good picture that shows it. I don't know how to resolve that either.

Anyway if someone can help sort out these confusing thoughts and newly learned lessons in my poor aching head I would really appreciate it. If you know of someone who might be able to help me I'd also appreciate that. I'm not scared of any immediate danger, but I know enough now to know that his hooves are headed down the wrong road. I want to head off as much damage as I can.

One of the things I read that surprised me was that chemical dewormers can cause hoof issues due to gut disturbances. I never knew that! I've been reading a lot about founder and acidosis (which I was familiar with in goats, but not horses) and that's where I found that information. I had stupidly been worming Chrome every month as a weanling because that's what I'd been told to do to prevent damage from migrating worms. I've stopped doing that and will now be getting fecals done before I worm them.

Anyway thanks in advance for any advice, comments or encouragement I will receive from my fantastic friends. You guys have been really great. :)

Edit: I found this video on natural hoof trimming on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsXusOCNS-U&feature=related However it is several years old so probably outdated. It was interesting to be able to actually see it done. If anyone has any opinions on this (or on the video comments which were interesting) I would love to hear those.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Nighttime Escapades

Okay, I meant to write about this yesterday but really wanted to share the recipe so I didn't. On Friday night I let Chrome and Zeppelin stay on the lease land all night!! I was nervous but I figured they were big boys and they'd get more grazing done at night than during the day because it's cooler and the flies aren't as bad.

So anyway my husband and I were sitting on the couch watching a movie when someone knocked on the door (which always freaks me out because no one ever knocks on my door lol). It was a neighbor telling us that our horse and donkey were out on the road!!!! I slammed the door in her face, pulled on some shoes and grabbed the floodlight. Luckily she wasn't offended by my rudeness. She knew I was scared and in a hurry.

So I ran down the road while she drove behind me. She showed me the place she'd seen them, but they weren't there so she continued down the road while I checked the big gated to the lease land (it's on a side road that runs alongside the property). Sure enough it was open. The guy that is brush hogging the land for us didn't know we were putting the horse and donkey out there and he'd left it unlatched (it's getting a lock asap).

I found them about a minute later across the road grazing in a neighbor's yard. Chrome came right to me and let me put the halter on (grudgingly). Zep followed him back into the pasture and all was well.

I woke up Saturday morning at 6:30am (which is extremely early for me because I'm not a morning person lol) and couldn't go back to sleep wondering how they'd done during their first night. I went out on the back deck and scanned the lease land. Eventually I saw Zeppelin at the very far end just as he disappeared into some trees, but I couldn't see Chrome. So I donned my boots and camera and went looking for them.

I think Chrome was surprised to see me lol. They were both just fine, grazing along the neighbor's fence visiting with his gorgeous Katahdin sheep.

Even that early in the morning the big, evil horseflies were out. They always land right on top of Chrome's rump just out of his reach. Look at this miserable expression.

Luckily he's finally learned that if he comes to me I'll smack them and kill them. It took him a long time to figure out why I was randomly hitting him lol!! He soon realized I wasn't hurting him and that I was getting rid of the evil flies. :)

I also got to see the beautiful sunrise (I don't see it often - once again I'm not a morning person lol).

I wish the power line hadn't been in the way and that the tree line was lower or a little further away, but I still think it turned out nice. :)

Oh and I almost forgot. Here's how Zep takes care of his fly problem. :)

Check back tomorrow for a video update on my progress with Zeppelin. It shows how I can pet him and where. :) I'll also be sharing a fun video of Chrome playing with Jackal.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cooking? Me?

Okay anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely HATE cooking! It's one of my least favorite chores. It's up there with cleaning the toilet and washing dishes lol. I would rather muck out the barn. :)

Unfortunately due to health problems that I've had over the past five years (yeah it took me that long to figure it out lol) I have to cook and eat my own food. I haven't eaten fast food in two weeks (okay I had fast food on the day Chrome and Zep got in the feed shed because I was stressed but it was from a small eating place that has decent food - not fried or fatty) and I feel fantastic!! I still have some issues, but I've been destroying my system with nasty, fatty, fried, artificial fast food for so many years (I ate real, home cooked food growing up, but started eating fast food when I left home) that it's going to take a while to recover.

So anyway I've been trying new, easy recipes to help alleviate boredom and tedium. The one I tried today is soooo good I had to share it. :) I'll write the recipe how it is in the book (Eating For IBS by Heather Van Vorous) and then tell you what I did differently and give my opinion on it.

Italian Lemon Tuna Sandwiches

3 tablespoons onion, finely chopped
1 medium garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon dried parsley
2 teaspoons dill weed
6 oz. can of olid white albacore tuna, packed in water, rinsed
Salt and pepper to taste
Small bunch of fresh basil, stems removed, finely shredded
Small tomato, thinly sliced

One 18" long narrow French bread baguette, halved horizontally, toasted

Whisk the onion, garlic, oil and lemon juice together, then whisk in parsley and dill. Stir in tuna until well blended and season with salt and pepper to taste. Assemble sandwiches with fresh basil on the bottom, tuna in the middle and tomato on top (this will keep the sandwiches from getting soggy).

Okay, here are the deviations I made and the result. I used minced dried onions because I HATE fresh onions. I don't like the flavor or texture of them, but I love the crunch of minced onion. I also used jarred minced garlic because I'm out of cloves (you must be a garlic addict like me to like this recipe lol). I used dill seed because I don't have dill weed. If you do this keep in mind dill seed is a LOT stronger than dill weed (I just put in five or six little seeds and crunched them up). I only put in half the amount of lemon suggested (used bottled lemon juice) because I generally do not like a lot of lemon. I also didn't use tomato because I don't like them (are you beginning to see how picky I am?). I used regular white bread because I didn't have french bread. I think the french bread would have been much better, but I didn't have any. I also didn't toast it (I forgot). I think that would have made it better, but regardless I LOVED the result. It was delicious.

If you decide to try this let me know what you think of it. :) It takes literally no time at all to put together (if you already have the ingredients lol) which is a huge bonus for me (especially with no cooking lol). Hope I didn't bore you too bad. :D

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Introducing Sycamore

Back to our regularly scheduled program after our scare lol. This post was supposed to have been done like three days ago. :)

Sycamore is one of the little bucks that were born this spring. He was born 3-24-2010 and he's already so big!! We brought him home to keep Kudzu company (and so that he doesn't mate with his sisters by accident) because Jasmine went back to my parents house to be with the other does. I wish you could have seen him and Kud meet for the first time. Sycamore was not backing down at all! He's a bossy little boy.

Sizing each other up.

See how close Sycamore is to Kud in height? I haven't weighed him yet so I don't know how close he is in weight. He's bigger than I was expecting. :)

Sycamore has his ears back, his ruff up and isn't backing down.

Kudzu grimaces at my husband after receiving his dewormer lol.

A nice picture of Sycamore. Isn't he built so nicely? His mom is Alyssum, so are you surprised?

Alyssum, Sycamore's mom.

Another picture of Sycamore. Don't you love his belly splotch and sock??

Look how tall Aslan has gotten!! He's in a forever growth spurt lol!! My husband is almost 5'10" and Aslan's back is mid thigh. Wow!

I LOVE Aslan's expression! He looks like such a sweetheart (which he is to us), but you should see him around strangers. Although I had a friend over the other day who is a total animal lover (we worked together at the vet clinic) and he let her pet him!!

Aslan loves Sycamore!!

And the last is my absolute FAVORITE!!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Feeling Better - Picture Update

"Hey Mom! Are you coming?"

Here is the photo proof that Chrome and Zeppelin feel better that I promised. :) They had a ball yesterday. We had a storm blowing by (barely missed us so no rain unfortunately) so the wind was blowing and it was overcast. It felt wonderful since we're back up to 106F heat index again. Enjoy!

"You can't see me."

Stallion Play

Stretching his legs.

Really stretching his legs lol. Doesn't he look like a racehorse all leaned over sideways? :)

Elvis lips.

I wish a bush hadn't been in the way for the next two pictures because they turned out so nice.

Zep doesn't want to be left behind.

Horse heaven!

Even Aslan got to join the fun. He went straight to the pond. :)

Zep went over to say hi to his old buddy Kudzu, but the goat didn't remember him.

Kud ran to Aslan for safety and they trotted off to explore together.

Chrome and Zep coming back to me after a running, bucking race.

Chrome chasing poor Kudzu.

And my favorites below.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Chrome and Zeppelin are doing great. I think we're pretty much out of the woods but I am going to continue to check his hooves for heat. If he doe founder I want the vet out asap to try to prevent too much damage. It's probably unnecessary but you fellow worriers know how I feel lol. Tomorrow I'm going to show you some pictures I took a few minutes ago to show you how much better they are feeling. I got some pretty good ones. :) Thanks again guys for your comments and healing thoughts.