Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas

Well... Mother Nature wasn't acting too kindly upon us Minnesota folks for this year's holiday season. We got snow. A lot of snow. The roads and weather were so bad on Christmas day that my brother wasn't able to make the hour drive back home. Still unsure when we'll be having him home for "Christmas" because he's now set to work 12 days straight. Great paycheck, lousy timing.

So, yesterday I made it out to the barn to see the boys. Oh, have I missed them both a lot. Poor Gus. His blanket (Dover Northwind) was almost soaked through. Uggh. So, now he's sporting his Schneiders blanket liner plus his Schneiders Aquanon sheet. It works. Hopefully his blanket will be dried out by this next Thursday, so I can swap blankets again.

The photo below is of Gus in his new sheet/liner combo.

Anyways, as tradition, I took plenty of photos yesterday celebrating Christmas. Both boys got a lovely mash of alfalfa pellets (Gus also had some added beet pulp) plus their normal grain ration. Both enjoyed their treat immensely - especially Gringo. I think he was literally moaning in excitement.

Without further ado, here's the "best of the best" from the photo op. Gus really wouldn't cooperate this time around, so I'm not too pleased with his photos, but Gringo took good shots, as usual.

I think his stifle is bothering him again... note how he's holding the RH in both the photo above and the one below.

I REALLY like this photo. It is so much better in black & white... it's very intense.

I like this photo too. It was a perfect day for photo taking... nice and dreary out.

Both boys enjoying their hay.

And this is Lylette. She's the Pileated Woodpeck who lives on the property. She's very photogenic.

I'm changing the boys' grain up, yet again. I'm going to be switching back to Progressive ProAdvantage Grass Formula ration balancer. Only, Gus will be the only horse on it. Gringo will strictly be on alfalfa pellets. Gus will get alfalfa pellets too.
I'm thinking about starting with:
Gus -
2lb Progressive ProAdvantage Grass
2lb alfalfa pellets
1/2lb rice bran pellets
1/2lb alfalfa pellets
Only Gringo will need to remain on the Mega Cell multi-vit, since the alfalfa pellets plus grass hay he gets already will not be meeting his nutritional guidelines. Hopefully that plus the Tri-Amino from Uckele will help Gus put that weight and muscle back on. I'm just dreading the ol' switch-r-roo. I hate changing feeds up...
Anyways, hopefully the weather will remain halfway decent, least until Thursday. I'm hoping to ride Gus again Thursday morning before work. I think he's missing his routine (that or his stifle really is bothering him) as he's started cribbing again. I do have his crib collar all padded up and ready to go, but I really don't want him wearing that 24/7. That's not fair to him... and he's only destroying (lightly) the wood in his run-in (the kick boards) and a little bit on the wooden gate. Uggh.

Monday, December 7, 2009

My back is back!

A weird play on words, but my back is finally starting to get back to normal. I think the prescription pain meds (hydrocodone and Flexirl - a muscle relaxer) are helping more then anything else. Thankfully, I've not been needing to take anywhere near the recommended dosage... and when I saw my chiropractor today, she was pleasantly surprised that my back was holding the adjustments better. True, it was still slightly out of alignment, but it's much better then it's been in weeks.

So, yesterday (Sunday), I went riding. First time I've ridden (pain free) in WEEKS. I was so happy. True, it was only 19 degrees F outside, but still better then nothing. I am going to finally take my lesson this week... but I'll be sure that B takes it easy with me. I know my back can't handle too much, as it's still quite weak.

Gus and Gringo are both doing fine. They both were dosed with Anthelcide Eq, an oxibendazole dewormer. The dosage given was 1.5 times their weight. Other then a few looser piles of manure, I never did nothing anything unusual with the powerpak. Still unsure which horse had the softer piles...

Weight wise, Gus is staying the same at around 1079lbs (per the weight tape) and Gringo has gained some, up to about 1045lbs (from around 1000lbs earlier this year).

Gus's grain changed, yet again. Well, actually I haven't changed it too much from what I posted late last month. He's still on 1lb of TC Lite, 2lbs TC Senior and 1/2lb rice bran... but he'll be getting 1lb of beet pulp and 1.5lbs of alfalfa pellets whenever I'm out as an "extra" meal. I may end up having the BO feed either A) more rice bran or B) alfalfa again if I can't get more weight on Gus. I do think I'll be upping the TC Senior again within a couple weeks. Uggh, hard keepers can be a pain in the arse.

Other then that, Gus is wearing his Dover Northwind turnout currently sans neck cover. It's been getting a lot colder and he needs the extra help to keep warm. I'm not sure when I'll pull out the neck cover. I'm thinking when the temps are consistently in the lower teens during the day. Gus does have a decent hair coat on his neck, but... he's use to having the neck covers too.

My only other delimmia currently is that Gringo is rapidly losing the frog in his left front hoof. I've noticed it shrinking over the last couple weeks, but now it's almost all gone (the thick, fleshy part anyways). He's not lame or sore on that hoof/leg at all, even though that is his bad hoof. It's weird. I'd call the farrier, but well he's due out in two weeks anyways... and still not sure what he can do at the moment. I'm thinking that perhaps he's unbalanced in his trim and that's leading to his hoof being loaded (weighted) differently. Hmm. I'll try to remember to post pictures, though you can't really tell much by looking at them. I'm curious, too, wondering if it's thrush. So, as a preventative measure, I've been using the dry cow stuff (forget if it's ToDay or ToMorrow). No changes...

Gus's hooves look a tad funky too, but he's not losing frog. Instead, he's got a deep crack in the heel bulb area. So, I've been dosing his hooves with the dry cow stuff too. Uggh.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It's December!

Can you believe it's already December? Sheesh, where did the time go? Anyways, nothing new to report from the other day... just found some cute photos of the boys that I couldn't resist sharing.

What you'll see below is Gus in the box stall and Gringo tied up on the outside. Gringo knows the hay is kept in the hay net (mind you it's one of the small mesh ones... to slow down hay consumption) and he was hungry. So he helped himself thru the bars of the stall. Gus wasn't too pleased, but he couldn't do anything about it.

And, since it's been a few weeks since I last posted photos of Gus's body condition, I thought I'd post some newer ones. These were taken 11/19, if memory serves me correctly. He's staying the same. I suppose it could be worse (like he's losing weight) but thankfully that isn't the case. Hopefully with the new diet that was implemented starting yesterday he'll start picking up weight again.

I did order some more dewormer for the boys. As soon as it comes in, they'll be getting dosed at 1 1/2 times their body weight with Anthelcide EQ Paste (it's an Oxibendazole based dewormer). I should've dewormed them about a week or two ago, but just put it off for no other reason other then lack of funds.
Other then that... again nothing new. I'm outta commission for a while, at least as far as riding goes. I injured my back about 3 weeks ago and it just won't heal. I tried riding yesterday for the first time in nearly a month and ouch... it just didn't work. Anyways, went to a "real" doctor yesterday and got some good pain meds. I'm going back to my chiropractor here this next week... I'm hoping to resume my riding soon, hopefully.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Turkey Day!

Well, Thanksgiving came and went without a hitch. The boys even got an extra 1/2 bale of hay to celebrate the day. I'm sure they were giving A LOT of thanks for that.

On to new news. Gus is still not gaining any weight, despite the increased grain. So, I made changes yet again. He's now getting 1lb of TC Lite and 2lbs of TC Senior daily, and in another week or two it'll increase to 2.5lbs of TC Senior. If he's still underweight, then we'll up to 3lbs and reevaluate from there. I also purchased some Rice Bran to add into his diet. See: He's going to be getting 1/2lb daily to see if that helps at all. It's a nice pelleted product that should help with weight gain, considering it's 20% fat. I'm still considering removing the TC Lite completely and just feeding the TC Senior and Rice Bran... but we'll see.

ETA: I also cut out the alfalfa pellets for now...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Diet Modification, again.

Well, seeing as Gus still isn't putting on pounds, I decided to change around his grain, again. So, he's now getting a 50/50 mix of TC Lite and TC Senior... 1.5lbs of each currently. The plan is to change that again, to 2lbs TC Senior and 1lb TC Lite, or 3lb TC Senior... depending on what Gus needs. He sure as heck doesn't mind... as he's loving every bite as it stands currently.

As far as riding goes, it's a no go. I ended up messing up my back on Friday while flipping the manure pile (the one that's been composting all summer) and while doing so I heard a "snap" in my low back. Yep... something is definitely wrong with it. I've got an appointment with my chiropractor tomorrow. Hopefully she can fix it otherwise it's off to the MD for x-rays. Uggh.

Gus is still doing really well though. Staying sound and fairly fit. I want to see that topline improve, but I don't think there's too much more I can do unless we add cavalletti or ground poles into the mix (which I am planning on doing this spring).

Gringo's doing well also. Pretty darn sound, actually. I'm hoping if he keeps sound for the next year, maybe a year from now we'll work on getting him started under saddle, again. We shall see... if I do go that route, he'll be sent off to a trainer for 60 days or so.

Other then that, no new news. Which is good, right? Except, I did end up changing them to a different type of magnesium. I'm using MagOx 56% from HorseTech now, instead of Magnesium 5000. Both boys are getting about 9000mgs of magnesium daily versus the 5000mgs before. So, time will tell if there is any changes.

Also... I noticed yesterday when I was picking up piles (these piles were deposited between Friday early afternoon to Sunday early afternoon) I noticed two really "solid" piles. We are around day 9 - 10 post PP. So, just wondering if someone's having issues with the PP? Gus is still on SmartGut for possible ulcers (no more cribbing that I'm aware of since that day a few weeks back) so I not sure what to think about the "solid" piles at the moment.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

More Photos.

Here's some of my "real" photos.

Image Overload.

So, I took A LOT of photos on Monday... and lots of video. I'm still working on editing the video and the "real" photos, so that should be coming soon. The photos below are video stills. It's nice to see Gus pushing thru slightly with his hind legs. Hopefully after making some cavalletti and working with those, that hind end will improve even more.

The clips below are a dismounting sequence... just for giggles :-).

Gus seems to be doing really well though. Soundness is staying about the same. I do think I'll need to get his stifles injected before too much longer, but I just don't have the extra money at the moment to get that done. So, we'll see if we can keep him reasonably comfortable for a while longer.