March 28, 2014

Updates of Nothing

Whole lot of nothing going on here. Which after the last few months we've had, is ok with me. 

Snow earlier this week, now back to the 60's and rainy. Last weekend I reseeded half of Echo's paddock so the rain is welcomed to help the grass grow. Her paddock has a fence w/ gate in middle, so for now she's in the front half which was basically a dry lot already. I put the seed on the back half for later this summer when she can run free. The front half isn't much bigger than the round pen so she's been upgraded from round pen freedom to tiny paddock freedom. 

Vet was out this week to do vaccinations and I just had mine dispensed to save myself a few $. I haven't poked them yet, which I should probably do tonight and over the weekend.

Dad will be here visiting me this weekend, so extra time won't be with the ponies but it will be good to see him. I may have to tell him about Echo, I'm scared! He's never known about a second horse I've owned until after I sold it. Dakota was the first and only as far as he knows. Echo isn't going anywhere so he has to find out at some point. I can't keep hiding her when he goes to the barn with me, especially now that she's on stall rest. 

Monday is farrier. Dakota could probably wait another week for a reset but Echo needs her hind hoof reset in the bar shoe so I'm just going to have both done to save time / effort.

Next weekend a friend is coming to Lexington and we're going to the women's NCAA final 4 in Nashville. Despite Nashville and Knoxville being super close to me, I've never gone so I'm super excited. Plus she bought the tickets so I'm happy to go to a free series of basketball games!

Spot, our barn cat that belongs in the the barn Echo & Dakota don't live in, keeps coming to visit us at night. She's super loving and was sitting on my shoulders while I walked in Echo's stall and then this happened. Naughty Spot! Echo didn't care though, good mare. 

March 21, 2014

Horse Racing & PETA

I've had to play with the idea of writing this blog. I work in the industry and my name is easily associated from my blog and social media outlets. However, at the end of the day, I am a horse owner, lover, racing fan and lover of the sport. I live in the USA, and for first time in my life, I'm playing the freedom of speech card. I need to vent, I need to write. 

PETA and horse racing have a long standing relationship. When something happens, have no fear, PETA is there. I am all for animal rights, I do not believe in using them in laboratories, abuse, etc. However, my problem with PETA and horse racing comes from the lack of facts provided in the past. 

Thoroughbreds = bred to run. While some are lazy, most thrive in a racing environment. The true horsemen of the sport take extremely good care of the animals. Without the horse, there is no sport. I could go on and on about why I don't think the act of racing itself is a problem and how the daily life of the horses living at a track isn't all that bad, but it's not my purpose here. If people want, I'm happy to write about it in it's own place in time. 

Here are your articles from yesterday:
There is zero doubt that in the NY Times article, there is some disturbing video and the fact is, it's over a talented horse that died. The owner of the horse is distraught and has vocalized his feelings on Twitter. This is also an owner who I feel, is known for truly loving his horses. They have also removed any horses under this trainer from races they're already entered in - something I admire. 

I find myself torn reading all these articles and putting myself in the heat of social media. The main trainer in question is one I particularly despise. Again, I could go on listing out reasons and why I think he is a terrible trainer and not so great for the sport. I should note, he's not the only one I feel this way about, but he rotates with two others for who's in what position of my top three. However, I also despise PETA for historically not getting their facts together before reporting, but I suppose at the end of the day, that is the heart of reporting only one side of a story. 

The biggest thing taken away, is the sport NEEDS reform. Drastic measures. We're the only country / region that uses race day medications the way we do. Yet, the organization that should step up as our national governing body, doesn't. How does a single individual like myself promote change? Significant people, not insignificant me, in industry want and know the change is needed. Yet I feel like no one person is really standing up and being vocal enough. Great things have happened in all types of history, small and large scale, when people with a cause are together on the same issue so why isn't this happening?
War Front sums up how I feel. Taken in 2007.
I know that my blog is sport horse based, and many of my readers are not as passionate about horse racing, but we all know the Thoroughbred is one of the most influential sport breeds so this still has a home here. And it's still something I have felt the need to vent and question myself and my own voice over. 

March 20, 2014

Blog Hop: Whats In Your Bucket?

So, What supplements and other feeds does your horse vacuum down everyday? 

LOVE. As a lot of you know, I'm a neurotic, obsessed horse owner when it comes to feed. I could talk about nutrition enough to run it's own blog. So this week's subject of Lyssette's Blog Hop is hands down going to be my favorite of her series. My # 1 necessity in the feed room is my digital scale. Everything gets measured on a daily basis. The only think I don't measure (which has it's own scale for when I do) is hay. I've pretty much mastered the 'feel' of how much a flake weighs and when I do measure it's weight I'm usually within a 1/4 of pound so I draw my neurosis there at weighing hay daily. 

Echo's rice bran pellets being measured out.
I've talked extensively about Echo's diet in recent weeks with her poor condition after moving back from Texas. Here is my post detailing out her diet. While there have been a few changes since with her hoof injury, it has relatively remained unchanged. She now only gets 14 ounces of Rice Bran pellets since shes put a good deal of weight on and now gets a different calming supplement in the morning. 

Dakota's diet on the other hand is something I haven't really discussed so here it goes! His main grain is a mix of two feeds from our wonderful local mill, Hallway. Fiberenergy is a low NSC sweet feed. With his founder history and slight rotation, NSC % is the very first thing I look at when selecting his grain. Low and 'safe' is considered anything in the 12-15% range, but this stuff is 7%! You're suppose to feed it at a minimum of 6 pounds a day, but Dakota is such an easy keeper he would be a potbellied pig at this rate. So, to counter the amount and make sure he gets the proper amount of nutrients, he gets Stamm 30 added. Some feed Stamm 30 straight to their easy keepers but Dakota being picky, isn't a fan of a pellet only feed like Stamm 30. Stamm 30 is also low in NSC so no complaints from me there. Neither grain has made him hot either, double bonus. 

10 ounces of Fiberenergy
1/2 lb of Stamm 30

10 ounces of Fiberenergy
1/2 lb of Stamm 30
1/2 ounce of MSM (14,000mg)
1/2 ounce of Remission

Remission is a supplement that AniMed produces for metabolism. It's for horses prone to dietary founder/laminitis or those that have had it before. MSM is for a little bit of everything. So far in the 9 months he's been on this regime I haven't had a problem, he's fat, happy and his hooves are great. 

So there it is! Can't wait to see what everyone else does nutrition / feed wise.

March 19, 2014

Forgive and Forget

Last night as I drove to the barn I had the realization that I need to let go of the grudge I had toward Echo about my leg. 99.99% of the time I've gotten injured around a horse, I can look back and say it's my fault in some way. However I can't say that about Saturday's incident. The only thing I could have changed is having a chain on her, but I still think it would have happened. Plus she should be able to behave without a chain on her nose. My closest friends know I don't let go and I rarely forget the things that I dislike. I'm more prone to remember the bad than the good. Something I should work on in general. Since I don't feel like I have a real reason to fault myself over Saturday, I know that the last few days I've really really been holding it over her and it's affected my attitude toward her. I have to let go if I ever want to trust her and her, trust me. It's likely I would eventually forget, but my limbering around the barn and the shooting pain when I move my leg any direction but straight has been a constant reminder of her landing on it. The fact I came to terms with my attitude this quickly makes me give props to myself. #SelfGrowth

I cleaned Dakota's stall and did everything I could before I headed over to Echo, who was staring at me the whole time out her stall door. I took a deep breath, put her halter on and just said to her "we're going to go outside and we are going to get over it" - I led her to the round pen since the arena was in use, went into the pen with her and let her free. 

After a few rounds of bucking and being a total spaz, she wanted to do nothing but follow me around. She knew. I even tried ignoring her and she did nothing but nose me and want my attention so I gave it to her and just hugged her giant lovable head and scratched her massive ears. It's these moments I know she's bonded to me. She just has to learn about respecting which is an ongoing learning process for her. I've been trying to drill it into her since day one. Some days I feel like there have been baby steps and others, I feel like we've gone wrong direction. None the less, I'll take the good days like yesterday.

I left her alone while I went in and cleaned her stall and prepped it for the evening. We still had some daylight so I decided to take her to the opening of the track for a few minutes of hand grazing. 
Nothing but a dopey mare. 
So I'm going to push ahead and keep trying to forget. For now, I've forgiven the MareFace and we're back to loving each other. I have video of her spaz moments but I'll share those later this week. I want this post to focus on the positives. 

Tonight, hopefully a few minutes of grazing if it's not raining. Tomorrow, I'm going to the barn early and hopefully going to be there when the vet hits everyone in the barn for yearly vaccines. 

March 17, 2014

Something To Remember Me By

Oh Echo. It's really all I can say at this point. 

Last Thursday I did a number on myself by hitting my head on metal shelves int he feed room, causing a giant bump to form after the bleeding stopped. I ended up with a dull headache on Friday and Saturday making me think it may have been a very very mild concussion. Of course the weather was wonderful and I wanted to ride Dakota but I wasn't going to risk me doing something stupid. 

Instead, Saturday I decided to go for the 'safe' option and took Echo out of the round pen where she was having some outside time and headed off for a walk around the 'track'. Most the horses were already in, but a few were running since it was time for them to come in. Que Echo rearing, and bolting backwards. I held onto her and made her run backwards for her idiot moves. Time to continue our walk and we moved on. 

We got past the spot she freaked before and about 10 strides later in one swift movement she reared next to me but moved into me on her landing knocking me to the side. I didn't fall and caught myself but instead of holding ourselves together, Echo jumped behind me with a half-ass rear and landed on the back of my leg mid step. Needless to say my leg is covered in a solid bruise from back of my knee down to my heel and any time I move, I think of Echo. 

After a discussion of not pulling me around like a giant bully, I fumbled my way into getting Echo into her stall. I shoo'd her to the back of her stall so I could dump her alfalfa cubes like I do EVERY night. Que butt turning, tail swishing and a valid attempt to kick me. I took the only thing I had, my 8qt pail her alfalfa cubes had been soaking in and whacked her across the rear with it. I made her stand at the back of her stall until I saw signs of a submissive mare, licking and chewing. Two hours later I got what I wanted from her and I allowed her to eat. 

Last night it was snowy again, I was sore and just wanted to be at home. Cleaning Echo's stall I notice this: 
Poor attempt to break 100% free from the wash stalls. 

In the meantime, I think Dakota is enjoying my fury with Echo and sucking up to me hard core, nickering at me anytime I walk past him.

March 13, 2014

Spring In The Air

Tuesday I took my lunch hour at 4pm and was off work at 5 so basically got to leave an hour early. Work was super quiet so I do this sometimes when I have a good chance and the weather is perfect for pony time. My goal was to ride Dakota and have some good time with Echo. Goal = Achieved. Took Dakota on a leisurely hack/ride with White Prince and Honey. He was super good! He got a bath after and then I turned my attention to Echo, spending lots of time hand walking and grazing on whatever she could find. 

Today = Today marks my work schedule being shifted from me working closing shift on Fridays to now Thursdays. 

Despite it snowing yesterday, it's back to warmer temps and spring is definitely coming! Fingers crossed that the white crap is officially done. 

March 12, 2014

Blog Hop: What's In Your Name?

No arm twisting this week! I enjoyed doing L's Blog Hop last week so here's week 2!

Whats the story behind your blog name / URL? 

I feel pretty uncreative when it comes to the name of the blog. Woven Web = Echo's registered name with The Jockey Club. I've always been a lurker of reading friend's blogs but I never had my hand in the blog writing world until I got Echo. The purpose of the blog has always been to have something for me to look back on and see what we've gone through. As well as the process of unbroke, broodmare Echo to a riding horse or back to broodmare if riding is a failure.

Since Woven Web is a little techy if you think about the name in a way not associated to... spiders. So of course was taken. Side note - since I failed to find a barn name for Echo related to spider names or Charlotte's Web I think if / when I ever breed her I'll twist the foal names to more of a techy sense of her name if I use her name as naming inspiration. 

It was actually Lyssette that suggested to me naming my URL something along the lines of what I'd want to one day name my own farm. Lighthouses = reminding me of Michigan and Lake Michigan. I love Lake Michigan, the beach and water so it was something I kind of settled with. Water = blue and my 'colors' are royal blue and kelly green so it all tied together in my mind. Now that being said, if I ever have my own farm here in Kentucky, lighthouses are not exactly something iconic for the area. I'd probably make myself some sort of pond and put a lighthouse on the edge or find a way to make it work. Only time will tell. 

One of my favorite places in the world. 

March 11, 2014

Time Change Hangover

I really need to be better about posting updates on my day's off work. However, time on my laptop when the weather is so nice is limited so yay for lengthy Tuesday updates. Also I feel like I got zero weekend time and time change has thrown me completely off. At least I come bearing pictures and/or video. Videos are from Instagram so I apologize for the not so great computer quality.

Saturday the arena was busy so MareFace just got to go walk and trot around a little on her lunge line. She was not pleased, but she lived. Here are a few compiled clips of her from her first days of arena freedom. 

My unstressed mare. Thanks to someone at the barn for sending this to me Saturday.
Sunday Echo got freedom in the arena again where she just decided to run. A lot. She needed a good cooling out so we set out to walk the 'track' outside. I need to measure it but I've been told one lap is about 3/8 of a mile. We walked it twice so about 3/4 of a mile. She loved it, definitely in our new hand walking routes. 

Monday I met my farrier super early in afternoon (not the plan) and he threw a shoe back on Dakota. Dakota already inside and 65 degree weather? I knew I'd kick myself if I didn't ride. The round pen was dry except for a small area at one side. I put ground poles up against the wall to attempt to block it off and put Echo outside. I didn't want to witness her buck show and probable attempt to play in the mud so I went back inside to get Dakota ready to ride. Apparently she put on quite a show for bystanders... 

Anyways, I decided to attempt riding Dakota, and not just sit there and wander around. Holy... note to self, be sure to stretch again before riding, and probably after. Heels down? Pfft. Shoulders back? Pfft. I mostly worked on staying in a steady walk rhythm, something we always struggle with. Then the dreaded trot battle. We did a solid 10-12 walk / trot transitions where the trot was his 'I want to be a gaited pony' trot. Miserable. FINALLY got him to move forward and not up and down like a gaited gait. Called it a day. By that time we were both sweating. However I hadn't had enough apparently because somewhere in my mind I thought it'd was a good time to attempt a solo outside ride. Luckily we both survived and he only had one moment where I felt him contemplating his options of how fast he could take off, but we managed to stay at a walk! Overall I was very happy with him ending on a good note, an achievement for us in a ride. 

Love any view that's between those ears. 
After riding I cleaned stalls and reeled in Echo from the round pen. It was warm enough for a bath finally and she was in dire need. I left for a bit to go visit a friends new mare but came back to the barn for the evening to finish up. Took Echo out for a walk and some hand grazing time. 

Hopefully tonight we'll have another hand walk outside before the weather gets crappy and cold again tomorrow. 

March 7, 2014

Two Week Post-Injury Vet Visit

Notes from today's vet visit. 
  • Her hoof has cornified and her risk for infection has significantly decreased, almost to non existent. 
  • Still on stall rest but activity level can be increased. This means Echo now gets to be let loose in a dry arena, round pen, etc. As long as she isn't where she'll be in mud she can be out. 
  • I can wipe down the hoof now with wet towel, cloth, etc to clean it. Before I was forbidden to get it wet. 
  • Hoof wrapping is no longer going to be 5 layers, but now two: vet wrap and duct tape. 
  • I can continue her low dose bute if she's acting off a day or over does it in the arena like she did today.
  • Vet's extremely happy with her weight from where she was after coming from Texas, night and day difference in her. Vet also was happy to see how content Echo is with me. Since she's the one who really found Echo and passed on her need for a home to my friends she has a special place for Echo and loves her. Echo is pretty fond of her as well, which she proved by continuously searching her for cookies. 
I have video of her arena outing that I will have to post over the weekend. Lots of running! I don't think she'll get so amped up now that she'll get to do this every day. 

Shameless plug for horse racing. Tomorrow there will be a rematch between the first two place finishers of the Breeders' Cup Classic. Watch if you can! Such a great rematch and day of racing. This stuff still makes me feel like a kid in a candy store. Click the image for more information on watching. 

March 6, 2014

Two Weeks Post Injury

Yesterday marked week two since Miss Echo's injury. After a bout of my stomach not doing so hot yesterday after I ate something I should of, I skipped out on doing a hoof wrap change on Echo last night. 

Tomorrow my vet is coming out in the morning before I head to work to do a check up. Fingers crossed that I can get her cleared to have some more freedom. Ideally I'd love to be able to set her free in the arena to do her own thing, probably with a bit of ace the first time. However, I'll be happy if I can even get the ok to put her on a lunge line and try and control how fast she goes. She's still handling stall rest fine, but her hand walks are getting more and more challenging. 

Video of Echo being... Echo.

March 4, 2014

Blog Hop: 7 Deadly Sins

After much arm twisting L @ Viva Carlos has me doing her blog hop. Okay, not so much twisting as explaining because I've never done this and was /am clueless. 

Pride - Seven great things/strengths in your riding life.
1. Being self efficient in my horse care
2. Staying calm in a horse emergency
3. Knowledge of Thoroughbreds
4. Barn organization
5. The fact I'll still get on a horse after head injuries I've had
6. I can master any sitting trot, no matter how bouncy
7. Teaching ground manners

Envy - Seven things you lack or covet for you or your horse.
1. Unlimited budget
2. Confidence
3. My own truck and trailer
4. Wooden tack trunk
5. Those who can get on their horse without lunging before
6. Broader knowledge of warmblood pedigrees/lines
7. A new Charles Owen

Wrath - Seven things that make you angry
1. Not cleaning up after your horse in a wash/grooming stall
2. Bad arena etiquette
3. Not warming your horse up before a ride
4. Not picking hooves before a ride
5. A bad polo wrap - don't bother if you can't make it look 1/2 decent
6. Not having any empty muck tubs when I need to clean my stall
7. Uneducated owners

Sloth - Seven things you neglect to do or cut corners on
1. Not bleaching my feed pans & water buckets as often as I should
2. Let my stalls go a day longer than I should before adding more shavings
3. Not rinsing my bit after every ride
4. Grooming only saddle area and picking hooves sometimes
5. Rarely cleaning my paddock boots after riding
6. Anything to get out of pulling a mane
7. Waiting to buy hay and shavings after I'm already out

Greed - Seven most expensive things you own for your horse/riding
1. Courbette dressage saddle
2. Dakota's Stubben hunter bridle
3. Dakota's Stubben dressage bridle
4. Back on Track Sport Boots
5. Back on Track Saddle Pads
6. Leather Halters - love me an expensive leather halter
7. My sheepskin half pad

Gluttony - Seven guilty pleasure or favorite items
1. Shampoo's & Coat Conditioners 
2. Hearing people tell me how pretty Echo is
3. Saddle pad hoarding
4. Discovering a great horsey product first
5. Lots of white, I love some chrome on a horse
6. Back on Track
7. Rarely happens now, but our group dinners at Jalapenos

Lust - Seven things you love about horses and riding
1. Mental, physical and emotional benefit of being around horses 
2. The equine community
3. The never ending list of friends and networking connections
4. Leather
5. Fashion & Style
6. The smells of a horse barn - hay, fresh shavings, etc.
7. The jokes, lingo and all the tiny things only other horse people -get-

March 1, 2014

Back to Bute

The good news is Echo seems content still being on stall rest. Not too nervous or stressed. The condition of her stall wouldn't let you believe that but she's not a neat mare to begin with. 

The bad news is she seems to be resting the injured hoof more than she was in the inital couple of days. I've started her back on low dose of bute to see if it helps. I gave her 1 gram last night and will earlier on tonight to see if I can see it kick in at all. 

She's resting her hoof and wearing a hole her 2 day hoof pack in less than 24 hours. Through many many layers of Gorilla Duct tape, which should say something. I also ordered one of these hoof wraps to put it's strength to the test. If it holds up to her wear and tear on this hoof I'll be a believer for life. 

Also Dakota pulled a shoe yesterday! Bad pony is going to get beaten by me. Hopefully I can get it back on ASAP.