Wednesday, September 29, 2010

New Farrier

Chrome doesn't look too happy in the above picture but I promise he wasn't upset. I don't know what that expression was about unless maybe I had just gotten on to him for being mouthy. It look like I'm petting him in the pictures so maybe he was just chilling. I don't know but aren't his new feet pretty? I'll get pictures of him on the road out front tomorrow or something so you can see them better.

Anyway I really like my new farrier. And, get this, he lives two miles down the road. I could literally walk to his house if I needed to. I also found out he actually trims for my neighbor too. He doesn't do shoes at all, just barefoot trimming. He seems really nice. He brought his wife with him and the four of us stood around and talked for a little while after he was done with Chrome. He invited us to go squirrel hunting sometime so his dog can teach Jackal how to hunt (yay!). They were both really nice.

The poor guy was in a lot of pain. He hurt his back a couple of days ago and was hurting almost as bad as my husband. Well maybe not that bad. The reason I don't have many pictures is because my husband broke out into a sweat just holding my little digital camera. :( He's fine once he sits down though.

Anyway the farrier said that Chrome has really great feet and that I shouldn't change a thing I'm doing with him because I'm doing everything right. He was surprised and happy when I told him I use salt water for the thrush because that's what he tells his clients to use and nobody will do it because it doesn't have a brand name. *rolling my eyes* Some of the people around here are really stupid. He was happy, and not at all surprised, when he heard I was having such great success with it.

He said Chrome's feet were very unbalanced because they haven't been trimmed before, but that structurally they are very strong and healthy. He said he naturally has steep angles (his rear legs are pretty straight) so he said don't worry about the short toes so much. We'll work on getting his heels lowered slowly over time so we don't make him sore.

He trimmed him, balanced his feet and trimmed back the frogs. He did point out an area on one rear hoof where the white line is separating a bit, but he said it'll grow out fine when we trim them regularly. He likes to trim his own horses every three weeks, but normally does his clients' horses every five weeks. He said I can go longer than that if I want since I have rocky ground. Depending on the money situation I might do it every three weeks for a while. I can always do a little rasping in between visits. He said the fronts were much better than the backs so apparently the rasping I was doing was helping.

Here is a picture of the rear hoof with the mild white line separation. The farrier was full of compliments for Chrome and I could tell he was genuine and not the type of guy to toss around compliments for flattery sake. He agrees he's going to be big and he'll make the 15.2hh mark easily. He liked Chrome's temperament and said I was doing a great job with him. I love getting compliments on Chrome. It's like being told your child is a genius by the school principle lol. :D

Anyway I am so happy I found a farrier I like. He seems like a nice guy who seems very genuine and honest. :) He was very nice to Chrome, even gave him a bit of a cuddle, and was very patient with him. He's just so different from the jerks we had available when I was a kid who would hit our horses with a rasp for trying to pull away (we did not have that particular farrier back ever again). And I'm so happy he didn't see anything to be majorly concerned about. He did notice the rear hoof looked clubby, but we should be able to get it back to normal. If it is a club hoof it's very mild. I'll just have to keep in mind when he's older that he has steep angles and straight rear legs so there won't be any jumping in our future (which I'm totally fine with). :) I'll get more pictures when I can.

Oh and thank you all for your kind comments on my last post. I do feel like downsizing is the best thing right now and as one of my followers pointed out it'll give me more time to go riding in a couple of years when he's ready. :) I'm so looking forward to that!

What's Been Going On

Picture taken 8-29-2010.

Chrome is doing well. He absolutely loves being out on the lease land full time. I love it because it allows them to browse around and eat what they need and they move around a lot more like a wild horse would in search of food. Horses are built to be continually eating and moving all the time, so this is much healthier than being cooped up in a tiny paddock.

I've been asking about his hooves on a forum and they think he may have a tendency toward a club foot on one of his rear legs, but it almost never occurs in the rear feet so it may just be because he needs trimming done. I've finally located a farrier that I like. He should be coming out tomorrow to meet Chrome and work on his hooves. I'm excited and nervous at the same time. No one else has ever worked on his feet, but due to my back still being in a fragile state I can't work on them myself. Besides I don't know enough about it to correct any problems that may be occurring.

I've been cleaning out his front hooves daily and spraying them with salt water to help combat thrush (a fungus that's common in wet areas). The frog (the soft v-shaped center of his hoof) is starting to look healthier in both front hooves. I'm doing the rear hooves when my back feels up to it. I'm going to work on teaching him to pick them up easier using a rope so I don't have to use my back. Maybe when he is more balanced (through practice) I'll be able to clean them more frequently. Luckily I don't think he has thrush in the rear hooves or if he does it isn't bad yet. The salt water does seem to be working really well. Oh and the gravel in the barn is a huge help! Now if I have to put his hoof down to rest my back I don't have to start all over and clean them out again. :)

I've also discovered why part of his mane is ripped out. I thought it was because the donkey was grabbing it when they were playing, but it isn't. He's rubbing it out on a tree. I checked really well and didn't see any ticks or bites of any sort. It may just be because it's dirty. When I have the time I'm going to wash his mane really well (tail too!) and condition it. Maybe that will help.

This next bit of news probably won't mean anything to people who don't own horses but I'll explain it as best I can. I was worried for a while that both of his testicles weren't going to drop (can be a problem in dogs too so you might be familiar with it). It's called cryptorchidism and if you're interested an explanation can be found on wikipedia here. The reason this is such an issue in horses is because the surgery to get the horse gelded (castrated) is a lot more expensive and more likely to have complications then if both testicles are descended. It would also mean having to contact the owner of the sire and letting them know that one of the offspring is cryptorchid, because it is thought to be hereditary. I am happy to report that Chrome has two perfectly descended testicles lol! For a long time one was missing, then it was there but carried high and a lot smaller. Now it has joined it's fellow and both appear to be normal. :) Yay for not having to pay more lol and this also means we can finally go ahead and get him gelded. Finally! The reason we weren't able to get it done in the spring is because we were waiting to see if they would come down on their own.

We also got the results back from my husband's MRI. He has two bulging (herniated) discs in his back. :( They are going to start out treating it with rest and steroid injections. Hopefully it will heal up okay. I really don't want to go the surgery route if at all possible. If anyone has experience in this let me know anything that might be helpful please.

After what happened to Rip (Aslan's brother) my dad is ready to take a break from raising animals, so the goats will have to come back here. He's also giving us his turkeys. He's going to let Rip be a yard dog instead of a livestock guard dog. They love him too much to give him up. So this means we might possibly have to sell the goats due to financial reasons and space problems. We shall see I guess. Thank you all for your prayers and good thought. :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cute Pictures

I didn't really know what to post today so I went looking back through my pictures and found some really adorable pictures of the dogs with one of the chicks. I completely forgot I had these. Check them out.

Looks like she's saying "Mmmm smells good!" LOL

I love this picture. One of those oopsy shots that turns out good. :)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Feeling Better

The cutest dog in the entire world!

My spider bite is healing up way faster than I would have expected. Since the doctor gave me a choice I decided against taking an antibiotic (which make me feel worse than what I'm treating usually). I can't believe how much better it looks. After the research I did when it first happened I'm guessing this is what they call a "dry" bite which means no venom was injected, so I'm thanking my lucky stars lol.

My dad called me this morning to tell me that Aslan's brother Rip got chewed up by a neighbor's dogs. They just about ripped his ear off. He's at the vet right now getting sewn up. Amazingly during it all he's been happy go lucky and calm about the whole ordeal, but it's going to be a huge chunk of money for my parents. I'm so tired of bad stuff happening all the time.

I hadn't mentioned it until now because frankly I'm sick of complaining on my blog. That's not the reason I started it. My husband hurt his back a week ago and it's not getting better so he has to have an MRI on Monday. The doctor suspects a slipped disc. I'm hoping it's something minor. Money is really tight right now because he's on temporary disability from work for now. I don't know how long it will be.

I've been having to take care of all of the animals, doing all the household chores and cooking, working, etc by myself because my husband literally can't do anything. Carrying the basket of eggs from the hen house to the house is about all he can manage before he has to sit back down. So it's been a stressful week. I'm going to spend some time with my friends tonight because I really need a break from everything. Anyway that's an update on what's going on. Sorry it's mostly complaining lol. I feel bad for doing that because I would like my blog to be upbeat and positive. :-/

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Good News

The spider bite (if that's what it is) looked much improved this morning. I went to the doctor anyway since it doesn't cost me anything and he said that it looked fine. I don't even have to take antibiotics. :) Felt like a waste of time but I guess it was worth it for peace of mind. Thanks for the comments guys.

Spider Bite

Last night I found what looks like a spider bite on my leg. I haven't had any systemic symptoms (nausea, headache, etc) but it is red, a little swollen and has a small blister in the middle. I can't get a doctor appointment until tomorrow morning. Has anyone here ever been bitten by a spider? Is there anything I should watch for? Should I try to find a different doctor that can see me today? Also do antibiotics help spider bites or is it being overused as with most everything else? I really hate taking antibiotics because they make me sick. Anyway thanks in advance for any help or suggestions.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Rest of the Pictures

Here are the rest of the pictures I took yesterday. They were just too cute to not share. :) Hope you enjoy them.

They look upset, but they love to play together.

Zep stands next to Jackal's pen almost every day.

Jackal barking at Zep.

Chrome and my husband giving kisses.

Chrome smiling for the camera. I can't wait until I can get this on a cue. :)

And yawning. He always yawns when he thinks it's time to eat.

Zep sniffing my husband's hand.

He's getting braver and calmer everyday.

Chrome's ouchie on his ear. Don't know how he did it but it doesn't seem to bother him.

Zeppelin checking me for treats.

He's a little nippy from being fed treats, but he hasn't ever tried to bite so far lol.

I told you Zep is the dominant one. This is why Chrome eats in a closed stall hehe.

I hope you enjoyed the silly pictures and I hope everyone is having a great day!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Gravel Adventures

Wow, I can tell I was upset when I wrote that post yesterday! I normally proofread my posts, but I didn't on that one. I'm almost embarrassed by all of the typos! Anyway first I had to clean out the barn. And there was a LOT to clean out. Luckily it was just dried manure mixed in with dry dirt, so it was light to move.

My tools.

This is all of the manure and loose dirt I got out of Chrome's side of the barn.

Zeppelin says he didn't do it. :)

Chrome isn't admitting anything either.

The cleaned stall.

And the gravel. It was 2.8 tons. See the mound in the middle?
My back couldn't take anymore raking.

The chickens liked it.

Okay, so after the episode last night Chrome was immediately wary upon entering his stall.

He was on high alert, but curious.

Checking out the mound of gravel he tripped in last night.

He would stand at the edge of the gravel and beg Zep for a bite of his dinner lol.

"Hey mom! What are you doing over there in that horse eating gravel??"

I put out the lure. I put it further away because I didn't figure it would take as long in daylight.

"Hey mom. Do you mind pushing the feed closer since the scary rocks don't eat you?"

"Well okay fine. I'm too hungry to argue anymore."

I moved the feed to his normal bucket and he played in the gravel a little with his lips.

Sorry it's blurry. This is when he finally walked to his feed bucket.

Finally happily eating.

Watching Zep play with Jackal while he munches on yummy beet pulp. :)

Does anyone else notice faint dappling or is that wishful thinking?

He finally started pawing and really playing in the gravel.

"Hey mom, wanna play?"

Checking Zeppelin's bucket for leftovers through the fence.

Letting himself out of his stall. I leave the gate closed but not latched and he lets himself out.
Works well for keeping Zep away since he's the dominant one and doesn't eat much.

After checking Zeppelin's bucket again he went back in the stall all by himself!
Told you he'd be a pro in no time.

Then Zep joined him and they checked for crumbs.
It was funny watching them spit pebbles back out.

Zep playing in the gravel with his lips.

More pawing.

And more pawing. I think Chrome enjoyed himself.

Zep seemed to enjoy it too.

Oh and I forgot to mention when Zep first walked on it he spooked too, but he got over it quickly.

Dirty lips from playing in the gravel. Cute!

And Zep's dirty lips.

Spitting a pebble out when he accidentally picked one up. I love how delicate equine lips are.

I love Zep's expression in this picture.

As usual I took over one hundred pictures this morning so I'll post the non-gravel related ones tomorrow. Hope you enjoyed and as you can see no ill effects from last night. :)