February 28, 2014


Slow day on the Dakota and Echo front so I thought I'd take this opportunity to show everyone Karasoon. He is Echo's oldest half sibling and was born in 2007, so a year older than Echo. Sired by 1996 Kentucky Derby winner Grindstone, he was exported to Russia as a yearling. The only thing I know about his racing career is he won 3 races from 16 starts with a record of 16-3-2-3 and raced at 2, 3 and 4.

I guess he gives me more insight as to what their dam looks like. He has the same knees as Echo and overall body type. 

For the sake of my job, I will not disclose how I managed to find these...

February 27, 2014

Hooves Don't Lie

Sorry for the lack of updates. It's been a tiring week since Echo was injured last Wednesday. Last big update on her injury was the next day when the podiatrist came out and put the bar shoe on her hoof Thursday. Well, Saturday my vet came out for the first hoof bandage change and while I was at work, it was reported that she was pretty naughty for it but the hoof itself looked clean and in ok shape. I was told to go ahead and proceed with every other day changes and stick to the hand walking plan. 

Monday I was at the barn bright and early to meet the farrier. First I held Windy for Colleen while he got his front hooves done. He's had chronic abscesses problems so she decided to have my farrier have a look at him and he did a great job with him. Next, Dakota stood like a pro (unlike last time) while his shoes were reset. Farrier was really happy with how his hooves have changed in the short 6 weeks he's been working on him. 
Stall set up. Moved Jolly Ball though and added a second hay net. 
Next up... Echo. Plan was to at least get through her front hooves and if she would tolerate it to try trimming the hind left (uninjured one). She was hesitant to pick up the fronts but was very well behaved for the ordeal. She actually offered up her hind left so the farrier went after it. Good news is the hoof is trimmed. The bad news is the hoof was in very poof shape. He said the trim she had right before leaving Texas set her hooves up for failure and that the right hind one probably tore easy like paper. Essentially the bars of the hoof weren't trimmed proper and over grew and created a nice hook for her to catch things on.

Last night was my second hoof wrap change. I got new no-bow wraps which I will write a review on at some point after we're through all of this to see how they hold up. They're the Lettia Coolmax ones and I love my other Coolmax products so I'm optimistic. I've been keeping her hind legs wrapped almost 24/7 just for support. She's had some filling in both with minimal heat in the right. Wrapping itself last night was smoother than Monday's hoof change thanks to Colleen and her ability to entertain a yearling state of mind. 
CANNOT stand still!
This definitely happened...
Me: "Crap there's another piece of gauze up in there" 
Picks up hoof and looks to see how I'm going to get it out.
Me: " I can't tell if that's gauze or... lamina"
Colleen: "Yeah that's lamina" 
Looks closer
Me: "Well I'm happy I didn't try to tear that out!"

February 26, 2014

Entertaining the Mare

Here's a post I had ready to post the day after Echo got hurt. I had been putting together for the week prior to her injury. I still need input from everyone! I've since broke down and bought her a JollyBall which she is terrified of and wants nothing to do with. 

So I've been toying (no pun intended) with the idea of decking out Echo's environment with toys. She's obnoxious and mouthy and I feel like that's the perfect combination for a horse that needs something to mess with. Either to add stimulation to work her brain in a good way, or it will boggle her mind.

Nose-It - Pricey but the food factor might help keep her interest. Plus looking at my options the price isn't all that bad. I can get a good size food nugget to put in there so it wouldn't be all treats. Something 'healthy'. My previous mare that I owned, Jitterbug, has one and she appears to like it. If anyone read's Jitter's Chronicle of the Horse column we know how particular she is about life so her review and approval is something I don't take lightly. I did own her for 4+/- years after all. Seems to be the USA version of the Elico Equine Decahedron that I know Aoife showed with me a while back. There are also two more roll and food is dispensed toys out there. I'm not sold on these since they don't seem as rolly and she's not always food motivated. There's the Amazing Graze and the Pasture Pal. but neither look like they roll and move as easy. 

Horse Playball - Cheap and small. If she does nothing with a toy I wouldn't feel as much pain if she cared less about it. However it looks like it could be easily flung around or targeted at things when she got going which if that happened I'd feel for anything in a 20 foot radius of her. I've seen her swing empty buckets around. They fly. Possibly not too durable. Schneider's also carries one that's pretty much the same thing and have one 2" bigger. 

There is always the classic Jolly Ball? I feel like this is one that you can just never go wrong with. They've been popular and around for so long. I think Dakota had a small one at one point, if he did, who knows what happened to it.

We learned last week the basic Likit is just pointless with her. I can try it again and just let her destroy it when she has a fit or get her the Boredom Breaker version which looks much more inquisitive. Plus lots of fun flavors I could try with ding-dong Echo. Likit also makes the holder / ball combination or a stall mounted "tongue twister" version. There's also the Pas-A-Fier that can be stall mounted. Anyone ever use this? I've never seen one in action.

The Mega Jolly Ball - This option is most intriguing to me. Mostly because when I think of it, all I picture is this video of a colt being an idiot. I'm sure my 6yo mare could duplicate his charades. I would probably get it with a cover since it since it would hopefully make the thing last longer with her. Then there's the risk of her being a complete idiot and injuring herself. Lots of pros cons and risk, but the potential of a lot of entertainment and laughs for me might be worth it. 

Thoughts? Any other options I'm missing? Suggestions on which to try first? 

February 22, 2014

Things to Come

This is a post I've been picking at for awhile and now with Echo's injury, I'm glad I had already made some life decisions. 

I'm moving. Again. 

The apartment / townhouse I'm living in just does not fit my budget. In hindsight I should have never moved there in first place but I was blinded by the negative apartments I saw prior and I lived in this complex before. 

I've been having some problems financially and Echo coming back has just put it over the edge. My apartment lease isn't up until end of July but I've worked with the management of the complex and as soon as they find someone to move in I'm moving out early without being penalized. 

Holly, Abu and I will be staying with a co-workers significant other. Their job and schedule is pretty opposite of mine so I might not even see them often. It's a 3 bedroom house so I will have my own room and have a spot for the three of us to sleep. Best part is I'll be saving a lot of money in the coming months, again something that now Echo has been hut is even more important. Worst part is this means moving twice this year, but in the end it's for the best for me. After a few months of staying in the house - hopefully end of summer I will either A) Find my own townhouse or condo to purchase where a mortgage will be cheaper than rent or B) find a new apartment to stay in.

My thoughts on moving twice in one year. 
Since I'm not 100% sure of when I'll be moving from current apartment I've slowly started the packing process of things I won't need between now and then. Stay tuned, I'm always keeping my life interesting!

February 21, 2014

Breathe Deep & Don't Overreact

First and foremost, I'm so grateful to everyone at the barn who got to her so fast on Wednesday. Their quick action drastically reduced her risk of infection. Secondly, thank you to everyone who has sent me messages tell me Echo has been in her their thoughts, the support means a lot. I'm sure I'm not the only horse owner that jumps to the worst conclusion and outcome. I was a mess Wednesday and those who were there did a great job trying  to keeping me positive. 

Podiatrist from Rood and Riddle came out yesterday to take a look at MareFace. I got there a few minutes before him since I stopped along the way to get hay and some supplements. Her stall was trashed and she had managed to get the duct tape off her hoof but was quiet and putting slight weight on the leg, thanks to bute. 

Podiatrist gave her a double dose of sedative since after one she still was freaking out if you went near her leg. Despite this, him and his 2 interns kept calling her a princess which made me laugh! He unwrapped her leg most of the way and then did a nerve block so he could work freely with the leg and not cause more pain. Once the block kicked in, he pulled all the gauze off and his first comment was that it's not as bad as expected. The diagram below - the one on left is what we thought it was, the one on right is actual. If it had been the one on left her suspensory would of been involved and more hoof tissue would of been exposed. We still have to worry about growth, scar tissue and infection but that is half the things that could of gone on if the cut/tear had been deeper or at a different angle. 

I quickly asked to see it, because my inner desire to be a vet comes out. It was... bloody, and gross but so interesting. Pretty sure his intern was peeved he had to keep holding Echo when I wanted to see something but I can't help myself. Anyways, the podiatrist proceeds to tell me he thinks we can bypass the hoof cast and go with a bar shoe and lots of padding. 

He trimmed the rest of her hoof since she's scheduled for a routine trim Monday, so her hoof was in best condition to put a shoe on. Packed the gap in hoof and under bar shoe with gauze and wrapped it up. He put a standing wrap on her leg since she had been blocked he didn't want her pulling something stupid. 

We're proceeding with a vet check up tomorrow from my normal vet.  I have to change her bandage every other day so she will take a look at it when it's time to be changed. She's expected to not need bute by the end of the weekend. If it's dry outside 100% she can go out for short amounts of time in her field. After 2 weeks I don't have to wrap her hoof as extensively, it won't be as crucial to keep the hoof dry. She can also be hand walked in the indoor if she's moving comfortably. The best news is when I said something about it being 10ish months of healing he stopped me and said it's more like 3-4 months because of it being by the heal and that equaling more blood flow. Plus once we see what the scar tissue does, he sees no reason that in time she can return to normal work.

Removed Piece of Hoof - I won't lie. Last night Colleen and I found this piece laying around in the dirt, cleaned the blood off and had fun touching parts of the hoof and feeling the lamina. 

Finally her standing on it after being all wrapped up. Gauze filling in the shoe and injured area, vet wrap, more wrap, duct tape and then a leg wrap since she was nerve blocked during the procedure:

February 20, 2014

Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now

This might be the hardest post I've had to write to date and second hardest to reread, only second to Lyssette's goodbye post to Carlos. 

I planned to write about different horse toys to help cure Echo's boredom and to give her something to take out life's frustrations on. However a call yesterday at about 3:50 changed that. I was at work with my cell phone on silent. I happened to glance at it and saw a missed call from my barn owner when simultaneously my work phone started ringing. My heart sank and I knew it wasn't just an ordinary call. 

All I hear is Echo has cut herself and is bleeding perfusely, do I have your permission to call the vet. Of course I agree and learn it's her hoof that's injured. I tell her I'm on my way and tell, not ask, my supervisor I have to leave and on my way to the barn I went. 

Get to barn, she was in wash stall. They had her nearly wrapped and done so I never saw the injury unwrapped. Of course when Echo saw me she snapped out of her sedation and started acting up. My vet got some duct tape on the bottom to help water proof her hoof, but its not too pretty - at least its effective for now. 

She essentially cut straight through from the inside of her hoof to the back of her heal. She's been given a 4-5 day antibiotic shot to help prevent infection. Her hoof wrapped:

Picture my vet took of the hoof before being wrapped. I'm not inserting the photo for those that don't want to see it. The hoof is cleaned at this point and not a lot of blood, but its there. Better visual of what happened. LINK TO PHOTO.

2 grams of bute last night, 1 this morning. The plan going forward is to apply a hoof cast some time today or first thing tomorrow morning. She's on stall rest for foreseeable future. I'm assuming, mostly because we haven't gotten to that point, that the first thing we need to accomplish after cast being put on is her bearing some weight on the leg. Lots of risk to over come including infection and her mental state of being stalled. She's angry, and I mean angry over the hoof being wrapped, she keeps kicking trying to get it off. 

Her long term prognosis is unknown but there's a solid chance of her not being riding sound. There's been a lot of soft tissue damage and no knowing yet what could of been sliced in there. It's least of my worries at this point and just want her healthy again. 

I will post updates as they come. 

February 19, 2014

Happy Real 6th Birthday!

My mind usually just goes by the Jockey Club standards of January 1st birthday for all Thoroughbreds but I'm actually aware of what day her birthday is this year (unlike last). I just forgot to post this yesterday!

Someone is a scardey cat when it comes to the sound of clippers. I made her wait it out while one of the ponies got their bridle path and muzzle trimmed. She wanted as far away as possible from it! 

February 17, 2014

Weight Gain Update - Week 6

Today is 6 weeks since Echo arrived back to KY. Time is flying! Haven't been able to get down to business with her because of weather limitations. The last thing I want to do is work her 2 days and have her sit 2 weeks. We're breaking 40 degrees for the entire next week so I think we're within 10-14 days of starting back. Consistency, consistency with her!

So point of this post is to update everyone with her body condition, myself included. I see her every day so this is why pictures are so wonderful. 

The following are from late last night. I put her on the same side of the wash stall and tried to get it from the exact same angle. Thoughts? I plan to do 2-3 week updates now that she's improving in condition. It will be interesting to see how she holds her weight as she goes back into work too. End of March / beginning of April cannot come fast enough, come on green grass.

New photos to compare for the future - the butt shot! I wanted to get one head on of her chest too for when she goes into work so I can see muscle development. However someone is too curious and wont stand long enough for a non blurry photo. 

I think there's some definite improvement in her weight. I won't lie, I was terrified to put the pictures side by side and not see any improvement. I think her coat, while it was pretty decent upon her Kentucky return, has also gotten healthier looking. 

Not impressed over being groomed. 
Hungry mare!

February 11, 2014

Lick It, Destroy It

More cold wintery days in the bluegrass. Warmth is ahead! Got to the barn yesterday and as I'm driving up I see my favorite face hanging out by the fence.

Hi Mom!
Dakota in all his glory. Love.
Cleaned stalls. Saw Echo destroyed her LickIt that she had ignored to this point. She either really hated it or really liked it because it no longer exist! Think it's time to explore the idea of non edible toys with her! Dakota hated the LickIt, she's so mouthy I figured she would enjoy it more.

February 8, 2014

The Moment When...

It's 11pm and you're scrambling to finish up in the barn. You're on your last stall and you go to remove muck tub. You're so tired and out of it that while you're pulling muck tub out of said stall, it tips over and muck goes everywhere.  Yep true story.

What are those moment's you had where you just feel defeat when you're working around the barn? 

February 7, 2014

Round Up on 2013 Goals

This is overdue. But hey it's done first week of February so at least it's done now! In all honesty this post has been sitting as a draft for weeks but got buried and I forgot about it. Since horse news is slow and I'm stuck mostly inside because of weather here it is. 2013 got kind of shot because of moving, Echo going to Texas, etc. Here's to a more productive 2014! The goals page has been updated with 2014.

  • Be able to ride again - Riding again!
  • Be able to canter again - Cantered for first time outside in November 2012.
  • Canter again in arena - NEW Goal
  • Have health problems resolved
  • Graduate with my associates degree
  • Transfer to Western Michigan University
  • Lose 50 lb
  • Get a new car

The Horses
  • Improve headset through the trot
  • Perfect headset at walk
  • Work on lateral movements at walk and trot
  • Begin canter work
  • Compete in a sanctioned dressage show

     Woven Web
  • Have solid ground manners
  • Introduce bit / bridle - Achieved!
  • Introduce saddle - Achieved!
  • Begin riding Woven Web - First ride on 2/8/13.
  • Get 30 days of solid work on her
  • Get 60 days of solid work
  • Get 90 days of solid work
  • Present to AHHA for breeding inspection

  • Get my Courbette Husar Touring XL Dressage Saddle Re-Flocked
  • Finish USEF registration
  • Finish USDF registration
  • Go to Rolex Kentucky
  • Go to Arlington Million

February 6, 2014

Equestrian UnBucket List

Here goes my attempt at 30 things I've been lucky enough to do in my equestrian lifetime. Visit Lyssette's and Lauren's for a much better read! Their's are much more exciting with a lot more showing experiences :)

1. Get to ride. I started riding at 7. 
2. Own my own horse. I got Dakota when I was 12.
3. Ride a horse in a parade.
4. Took on a project horse and resold to a good home.
5. Saved a horse from a kill buyer/pen.
6. Be the first person on a horses back.
7. Own two heart horses.
8. Have a heart horse that you don't own.

9. Win a blue ribbon in a horse show. 
10. Have a horse lay down with me on it's back.
11. Crash and burn and get back on.
12. Go camping with your horse.
13. Trail ride at Cumberland Falls.
14. Go on a 15 mile trail ride.
15. Own a dressage saddle.
16. Own a stallion.
17. See Zenyatta in person!
18. Met my first horse racing hero, Point Given.
19. Met HOTY Havre de Grace.

20. Getting to go on farm calls with world class vets and actually be of assistance.
21. Met online horse friends.
22. Meet the Budweiser Clydesdales. 
23. Working for Equibase. I may hate my job at times but when I step back and realize it's North American horse racing database it's pretty cool. 
24. Go to Breyer Fest - this was way more exciting when I was 11.
25. Go to Kentucky Horse Park.
26. Gone to Churchill Downs among other race tracks.
27. Attended the Breeders' Cup (twice in 2002 and 2006).

28. Attended 2010 World Equestrian Games. Crossing fingers for 2018 too!

29. Attended Rolex Kentucky 3 Day Event.
30. Attended Richland Horse Trials @ Richland Horse Park.

February 5, 2014

Dear Kentucky

Dear Kentucky,

24 hours of amazing winter riding weather does not justify a week of pure shit weather. January 20th you gave us a sunny 50 degree day. The week after you gave us snow, wind and bitter temperatures. February 1st I was able to enjoy another sunny 62 degree day outside and not be stuck at work, rare for a Saturday. Because you were crap for 2 weeks prior, my outside ride on Dakota was limited to walking, slipping, sliding and sinking. You wrapped up our glimpse of spring by 6" of snow after a mini ice storm. Now yesterday a full force ice storm followed by more snow today. Thanks, I think enough is enough. Bring on March and normal temperatures. 

Dakota post ride on Saturday.
I left Michigan for many reasons, but it's crappy weather was a major factor. Go back north and leave Kentucky alone. This back and forth weather is not doing any of my allergies, sinuses, etc any favors. 

A very annoyed resident and her 2 horses.

PS while I was secluded away at home today with what I'm assuming was a lovely case of food poisoning (from my own cooking eek - no idea what was bad!) I sat home watching Netflix all day. Holly and the Tudors provided ample entertainment. Enjoy my special cat and ignore my TV playing The Tudors in the background...