Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

To One And All

Saturday, December 27, 2014

S-h-h-h, Don't Say It Too Loudly

I'm Holding My Breath

Nearly two months ago, my vet was out for fall shots. As you may recall, he gave Chance in injection of Osphos, a new drug just released in the US for treating navicular disease. I has be used under the name of Tildrin in Europe for some time with good results.

Today, since the weather was beautiful, my cold was feeling better, and the footing the the arena was quite good, I decided to lunge Chance just a little to see how he looked. He was lame when Dr. Klayman was here.

Well, of course, Chance had lost a shoe. Darn. These are orthopedic shoes, egg bar with wedge pads. So losing one is certainly going to mess up his gait.

But wait! The ground was soft, so I decided to try a couple lunging circles anyhow.

On the left. Sound.

On the right, Sound.

There was no sign of a limp at all and no unevenness in his gait due to the lost shoe.

I quit, set him free with a happy sigh and haltered Tucker for a little bit of work.

Well, two sound horses in one day has been pretty rare lately, so seeing him move happily off with two shoes still on made my smile even bigger. I took off his sheet and gave him about a ten minute work leaving his sheet off at the end since it was so warm.

I took off Chance's sheet too, and headed for Toby who promptly trotted off--also beautifully sound--to escape me until he realized all I intended was to undress him for the rest of the sunny afternoon.

I'm not going to brag about the Osphos. Not yet. One never knows.

We'll get that shoe back on and see how things go. I know Dr. Klayman wants to see Chance soon. Here's hoping shoes and soundness will be intact when he comes.

If so, then we can both give the drug a potential thumbs up.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happiest of Holidays

Feeling Poorly

I have been a little sick the last few days so I haven't blogged or done too much else.

So, now is the time to wish you all the best of Season's Greetings. May your heart and homes be filled with love, laughter, and joy.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

And Just How Did You Get Undressed?

And Where Did You Leave Your Clothes?

The Land of Lost Socks has nothing compared to the Land of Lost Horsewear.

Now, mind you, the Horsewear Black Hole includes more than just socks. Actually socks usually stay on the horse despite his efforts to go naked from the pastern down.  It does include: horseshoes, bell boots, halters, flymasks, and blankets of all sorts.

I do often find the lost items months later when I am dragging the fields or the arena, or simply out hiking across the pasture to bring one of the Boys in for a ride. Last month, on "lead the colicky horse around the pasture" mission, I spied a flysheet buried in a weedy section of the field.  I didn't retreive at then, and with the rain and other " not get home until dark" days, I haven't pulled it out of its hiding place yet. Frankly, I forgot.

Today reminded me. When I went out to feed the Boys dinner, I found Tucker naked. Where was his Rambo sheet? OK, I'll admit one the belly straps needed some TLC, but still, it had stayed on for well over two weeks after the strap malfunction. What happened today?

As it was nearly dark, I did not go on a search mission. It was getting chilly and I need to brush off the mud off his coat and get Tuck dressed again for the night. I had to rummage through a pile of "needing some repair" sheets and blankets to find one to dress him in.  Mission accomplished, the sun set behind us and I decided tomorrow was another day. (Scarlett was right.)

I suspect finding the Rambo will be easier than the last lost bell boot or Chance's special orthopedic shoe and pad, but I am just wondering what condition it will be in.

I once owned two Rambo lightweight sheets. Rambo claims indestructibility...well almost. These sheets have been around for a good number of years, so the claim must have some merit. Yet anyone who knows horses, nothing is indestructible in the face of a determined horse. The "other" Rambo is lying on the tack trunk in a rather tattered state. I have a bad habit of just piling up the torn outfits to wait for the day when I either decide they are too far gone to save, or I go to it repairing them.

Since Rambo #2 was only suffering from a broken surcingle, it may yet have another life. On the other hand, if it looks anything like Rambo #1, the cause may be lost.

The dawn--well perhaps 8:30 AM will bring the answer. After I feed, I will go on the great sheet hunt.

Oh, yes, maybe I'll pull that flysheet out of its gravesite too. It deserves a proper burial.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Change Rein

OK, The Dressage People Understand the Joke

For the rest of you, we did a little modification of the book cover.

Herewith, the newer version:

Reins shortened, ears up more, Whim's eyes more open.

If you can do a close up look at the other Jamus in the waterfall, you can see he has a nasty look on his face.

See anything missing?

Into detail?

Here is the final version of the picture without the text. See if you can spot the difference. (Aside from the missing text.)

Sunday, December 07, 2014

New Book Cover

Silvrin Shards Cover

Some of you may remember the title to my fourth book was going to be Cave of Shadows.  If you don't remember, that's just fine. Since then the stories to be included have evolved in a slightly different direction.

As a result, since they all will be involved with twisted reflections from the Way of Mirrors--you do need to read the book to fully understand--I've changed the title.

Silvrin Shards now works better. "Silvrin" is the stuff mirrors are made of in Magiskeep. "Shards" are, of course, broken bits of mirrors. They will reflect only parts of the world, offering a distorted view of reality. Strange things happen in a world where reflections and reality touch and it's hard to tell where one begins and the other ends.

So, taking a scene from one of the stories, Dave Melanson has designed a new cover for me. Since it features Whim so brilliantly, I thought you all might like to see it.

I love it!

And, ah, yes, perceptive viewers. That is Jamus' and Whim's reflection emerging from the waterfall. One has to wonder what will happen next.

Look for Silvren Shards in early February, 2015.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Off Topic, Fallen Heroes

Not Horses This Time

I am sorry to hear the accusations against Bill Cosby.  I am not one of those people who puts all kinds of celebrities on my list of most admired people. I am not a big fan of any rock stars, or actors, or politicians, in general.

My list of public people I really respect is very short.  But, of late, I have been repeatedly disappointed by the few people I have admired more than most.

First, there was Tiger Woods. What disappointed me the most about him was that he put on the facade of morality as a role model for sportsmen and young golfers.  Behind the scenes, he was another kind of person. Fortunately, I still respect his superior skills as a golfer and can admire all the hard work he's putting into reestablishing his career after all the scandals.

Then, along came Lance Armstrong. I was in awe of his cycling skills, his personal battle to overcome cancer and his efforts to better people's lives through the Livestrong Foundation. He fell from grace once he admitted to using performance enhancing drugs over the years in order to win. Apparently, he too is trying to remold his life and his image, but all those victories in one of the most grueling races in the world have been wiped out by his cheating.

Now, Bill Cosby seems to be falling from grace as well. Again, he was a man I admired. First, he is a stellar comedian with a unique perspective on human beings. I can still well remember two of his comedy routines I adored--one about a visit to the dentist office and another about a balky Volkswagen. Yet, now it appears this talented spokesman for education, proper behavior, and humor in our lives has lived a horribly immoral life and may well be guilty of some serious sex crimes.

I do not choose idols easily. Nor do I worship them as some fans might. Yet when one falls off the pedestal so dramatically, I still feel let down.

These men, of course, are not the only famous people who have lost their good reputations. One after another, celebrities seem to find it hard to be "good people" in the face of fame and fortune. Most of the time, they don't matter much to me. These three men did.

Lesson learned?  I doubt that I will look for true heroes much anymore.

Maybe it's another perk of my writing fantasy. I can create my own heroes and keep them from falling with just a flourish of the pen.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Little Bit of Colic

Despite My Better Efforts

As I mentioned in the last post, I have been wetting the Boys' feed with hot water every day.

I do not give bran mashes since bran actually causes digestive problems and that's why horses often have loose manure after eating it. So it's off the list of feeds. Instead, I just water down the pelleted feed to make a hot mash. Might add a few carrots now and then just for fun.

I've been doing that for days.

Today it was warm jacket weather for me. The Boys were naked. But there was another weather front on the way with some rain coming and cooler temperatures.

I stuck to the wet feed schedule.

When I came back from the feed store with a load of grain, Toby was lying down in the riding arena. He was also looking at his belly now and then.

I watched him for a bit to assure myself he wasn't going to roll and unloaded the feed. In the meantime, he got up and followed the other Boys to the barn. Then he promptly lay down again under the run in shed.

Since I'd seen him pawing when he was up, I was pretty sure he was having a colic episode.

I considered calling my vet but then decided to walk him a little first to see if it made any difference. I got him to his feet and led him around the riding arena a few times. Then, thinking that hills can actually help, we went out into the pasture and walked around it twice, up and down the fairly steep hill. As we moved along, Toby perked up and seemed to be acting much happier.

I fed everyone then, giving Toby a lighter ration than usual. He ate happily.

I just went out a while ago to check on him and put the rainsheets back on my little herd. The temperature must have dropped ten degrees and the rain was cold. I gave each Boy another flake of hay and will go out for late night snacks around midnight.

So far, so good. I'm hoping the colic is over. I know the changes in the weather certainly aren't.