Tuesday, June 30, 2015

For Romantic Horse Lovers

Here's Your Book!

The Loving Cup has been published and is available at Amazon for Kindle.  Other formats will be available soon at Smashwords.  And the paperback will follow.

Cristine Wilding’s finds her heart captured by the magnificent horses of Tarrywood and the two handsome Weston brothers who ride them--Steve, lighthearted and smiling, and Jim, brooding and haunted by the death of his wife.  But love doesn’t come easily to anyone in a world tangled in the mystery of Ellen Weston’s death.

Cristine’s determination to discover the truth takes her into the world of horse shows where magnificent jumpers clear huge fences in quest of glory.  But all is not as it seems when the quest for victory has a dangerous price. 

Ride along on the course to romance as Cristine solves the riddle of The Loving Cup. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

So What's Up, Toby?

Strange Behavior

Toby, my old guy, has been acting strangely the last few days.  When the weather has been nice, the Boys have all been grazing out in the pasture.

Now, I do not have lush grass by any means, but with the rain we've had these last few weeks, there is definitely grass growing out there. Still, it certainly isn't enough for a horse to survive on for too long.

At any rate, several times now, when I have gone out to feed, particularly in the morning, the two younger horses, Tucker and Chance, have come in when I've called, but Toby has not.  I have gone out to give him a special invitation and he has just kind of meandered in.

I say "meandered" for a couple reasons. In the first place, he's walked very slowing with a little bit of a "strange" gait. Not lame, but just not normal. This morning he kind of wandered into the weeds near the gate before finally making his way to the barn. Once he's in, he eats just fine.

Of course, since he is a Cushing's horse, I do worry about laminitis and it could be he is having a mild bout. The grass may be a trigger. I do feel a pulse in his front feet, but not a lot of heat and he isn't pointing his feet or acting as if he doesn't want to stand on them.

I called the vet today and she will be out on Wednesday. In the meantime, I am keeping him in his stall--well bedded--and I've given him a dose of bute. I will give him more tomorrow and see how he is.

Since his walking gait was a bit cautious, it could be that his front feet hurt, but he doesn't seem to have an issue with going out to pasture, just coming back in. It's almost as if he doesn't care.

Strange, and not like him because he is normally very herd bound and would not want to stay out when the other two horses come in.  Even now, when he is in his stall, if the other Boys wander too far from the barn, he nickers to them.

If any laminitis exam shows nothing, I will have Dr. Parisio draw blood for a Lyme test. Otherwise, I just don't know.

Might need a call to the animal communicator if it keeps up.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Good Karma

A Nice Payback

My local saddle shop, Rick's, holds an annual tent sale. There are all kinds of bargains for sale and one of the highlights is a drawing for some kind of big prize.

In the past, it has been a $1000 shopping spree. When you enter the store, you receive one ticket for the drawing. Then, for every $50 you spend, you earn another ticket for the drawing. You must be there for the drawing to win.  I have been going to these events every year since Rick started them and it's more than twenty years.

This year, the rules are a little different. There were three drawings. The first was for a complete show outfit:  Charles Owen helmet, Tredstep boots, Ariat breeches, an Essex shirt, gloves, and a show coat. That drawing was at noon today. A young girl won the prize--perfect.

I went to the store for the later, 3PM drawing for one of the two $500 Wintec/Weatherbeeta drawings.

I did my shopping, found some neat stuff for Christmas presents, fly spray on sale, and a pair of Ariat winter paddock boots at a substantial discount. Paid for my stuff, and started out to put in in the truck, when I suddenly realized the amount I had been charged and what I had estimated I was going to pay disagreed by quite a bit of money. I looked at my receipt and saw that the cashier had failed to ring up my boots. $90 was a lot of money. So, I went back to the register to let them know about the error.

Well, they were really surprised. "I guess you are one of the honest people we keep hearing about,' They said. I told them I certainly didn't think it was right not to fix the mistake, and then I joked that maybe I should get a few extra tickets for the drawing. The store manager told them to give me a bunch of tickets.

So, I got maybe ten extra tickets. "Karma," the manager said. "You know you are going to win the drawing because of what you did." I just laughed. I'd been trying to win for twenty years and certainly didn't expect anything today.

Well the 3 PM drawing started. They pulled one number and the person who had the ticket was not there. So they pulled a second number and the person was not there. Then they pulled a third number.

In the string of ten tickets I'd "earned" for paying for my paddock boots was the winning number!

I could hardly believe it.

I had my picture taken with the Weatherbeeta representative and one of those huge checks.

Now I have $500 dollars to spend on Weatherbeeta or Wintec prodects one a one day shopping spree at the store before July 20.  Turns out I can order stuff that may not be in stock.

I'm a bit torn about what to get. Obviously, my Boys, Tucker in particular, have really bad track records with sheets and blankets, so I'm pretty sure that's where the money will go. Can't quite decide on whether some nice turnout sheets would be good, or a winter blanket--maybe two--or another flysheet.

My good friend Stacie was there and had her eye on a fly sheet for her mare and I would be quite pleased to get it for her. I just ordered two fly sheets off the Internet, so my Boys may be good to go for the season. Still, it's always handy around here to have a surplus.  There is also a nice 1200D waterproof turnout sheet and durable winter blankets aren't a bad idea. Fly masks? Saddle pad?

It's kind of strange to have all this money to spend and no idea what to spend it  on.

Karma. Honesty is the best policy, and this time, I was rewarded.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Triple Crown at Last

When A Picture Says It All

Victor Espinoza visited American Pharoah after the Belmont Stakes. I think the picture speaks for itself.  This was posted on his Facebook page. 

I love this picture. 

I have been privileged to see four Triple Crown horses on TV:  Secretariat, Seattle Slew, Affirmed, and now American Pharoah.   Every one of them was amazing.

I am not a big racing fan, but these three races always capture me. I did not watch the Belmont live and tuned in just as the race was called at the end. The last 12 disappointments made me both superstitious and too emotional so I just don't watch any more. (Well, now that we have a Triple Crown Champion again, I may watch.)

My fear is always that a horse will be hurt and indeed, at Belmont earlier in the day a horse was put down due to a broken leg. Such tragedies are far too common in racing where the stresses on horses' legs is incredible. Until you have stood at the rail at a track and watched horses break from the gate, or run for the wire, you cannot even begin to appreciate how hard they run.

One of my friends noted that American Pharoah had no bandages. He does have a special shoe on his left front, but other than that no extra protective gear. If his legs are clean that is a sign to me he's a superior athlete, built for his job. Certainly watching his gallop in slow motion shoes tremendous talent.

He did not break Secretariat's records in any of the three races, but he certainly dominated the other horses of his generation. A look at his pedigree shows some famous sires in his bloodline, including Secretariat, Northern Dancer, and  Bold Ruler.  Pedigree American Pharoah

Both my Thoroughbreds have some of the same ancestors, Bold Ruler in particular. Neither of them ever raced, so no Triple Crowns.

I still give them kisses anyhow.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Shoes Make the Difference

And Chance Tells All

Scott came on Saturday to shoe Chance with a new angle and pads.

Dr. Parisio had sent him Chance's X-rays for reference and they had talked about shoeing options.

Well it took a long time for Scott to fashion the shoes and pads for the boy. He shortened Chance's toes and wedged him up.  The shoe is a full bar with a really rolled toe.

During the shoeing, Chance was patient and well behaved. He had a little trouble standing on his right hind for his back hoof trim, but he really tried to cooperate.

He was on bute, as I said in my last post, and that may have helped if that right front was indeed in pain. Still, I have to admire his attitude about it all. He is such a good, patient boy.

Well, after he was shod, he looked a whole lot sounder. Still, he was on bute, so we could not judge more than that.

Well, this morning I let him out of his stall to walk around the barn aisle and he looked absolutely fine.  He'd had no bute since Saturday morning.

I took him outside for just a minute or two to see how he was walking and to do just a few strides of trot.

It got a bit scary for a minute when he leaped up to buck. Normally, I wouldn't worry too much but it had rained in the night and the ground was slippery. Fortunately, he settled down and trotted a few strides as I asked--sound.

Amazing, considering how lame he had been last week.

Still, we don't want to take any risks. Dr. Parisio wants me to keep him on bute for ten days--5 days of 2 grams, then 5 days of one gram. This will help settle any inflammation he may have in his soft tissues. Then, another couple weeks of either stall rest or restricted turn out.

I will probably just close in the run-in shed for those two weeks. Toby and Tucker will not be too happy as they really do hang out there, but they will have to sacrifice.  Then we can try regular turn out to see how things go.

Without a very expensive MRI, which I really cannot afford, we can't be 100% sure of what's going on, but at this point, we can only try things out to see how it goes.

All I know right now it that Chance is feeling good on his feet. I know he's not happy being stall bound, but I will be able to take him out to graze every day and I am trying to give him hay to munch on.

I might try one of those slow feeder hay bags if I can find one locally. Other than that, it's just wait and see.