Monday, May 16, 2011

Little Bit by Little Bit

Well, I did end up washing Arabee last week - it went well. It loosened up a lot of her winter coat, which she's missing now as I type this because it turned off chilly again this week - in the 40s-50's at night. But she still has a lot of fuzz around her muzzle and on the tender skin around her legs - she'll slick up very soon when the weather heats back up!

After I bathed her, I worked M-T-G in her dock, and in the crest of her mane, and put sunscreen on that itchy patch where her neck meets her chest where the bugs bite but she can't reach them.

I also went ahead and started on her hooves, rasping a good rollover on the toe of both front hooves.

She stayed in the dry lot overnight, then stayed in the pasture all day Friday, then back to the lot Friday night. Saturday afternoon I haltered her, finished rasping her front hooves, groomed her, then carefully checked her tail and crest for ticks - I found 5! Ick....

It misted rain all day on Sunday, so she stayed in the lot all day, then I pulled her out for a little bit of hand grazing and I did a roll on the toes of her hind feet. I scratched her itchy spots, mane and tail included, but didn't comb her over for tick since she hadn't been in the pasture at all that day. I went ahead and stalled her overnight, because I am wanting to try to keep her legs dry to prevent scratches from coming back this summer.

She wasn't bad about it this morning when I went to let her out of her stall - didn't try to run me over at all when I opened the door. But she was very glad that I opened the gate to the pasture. I hope to be able to finish rasping her hind hooves later this evening, but I may not get a chance until Tuesday.

Is there anyone who makes a product that will keep ticks off of horses? We use Frontline on the dogs, and it works great - what do others do to keep their horses pest-free??

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Finally had enough! On Tuesday I said to my husband - I AM going to groom my horse. I had to. Even if I never find time to actually ride, I have to at least care for her physical needs. So I groomed her really well all over on Tuesday afternoon, then turned her back out.

Happily, her frogs are in great shape! She does need a trim, and I will find time for that over the weekend. And the scratches on her lower legs are gone! She has become a roly-poly fat thing after getting green grass turnout - and I think what I'll do, both to prevent the scratches from returning, and to keep her from getting even fatter yet, is stall her at night when the grass is wet - that way she can't eat, and her legs and feet will stay dry. Maybe I can teach her to pee on command, too - after she gets out of her stall in the morning? We'll see!

She's still got some bug bite marks where she's been rubbing to scratch itches, and those need some care. Tonight I am going to bathe her, and really give her a thorough cleansing scrub from poll to tailbone. One of the benefits of being married to a farmer is having a big water tank - Matt filled it with water last night, so it won't be as cold as it would have been had it been straight from the hose! It's getting hot, but not hot enough yet that we need ground temperature water! So anyway, after the bath I'll apply some sort of lotion to help those rubbed patches heal.

It may not be riding, but it's a step toward horsey-time.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Still fuzzy.....but on grass, now!

It's been raining here for days and days and days. We've had so many inches of rain I don't even want to wager a guess - but it's soggy.

I haven't ridden since the last time I posted (probably no surprise there, since I'd only just started back to riding since the wet spell) but Arabee has been getting her heart's desire - pasture turnout with tall, green, spring grass!

She's been getting ticks, too.....poor mare - I've never seen her have so many all up and down her mane. I think it's because she's the sole horse - she and Jack always used to groom each other, which probably helped remove ticks from the crest of the mane. I really need to commit to at least getting her out and grooming her daily - if not riding regularly.

It's just...well, May, and I'm married to a farmer who also has a full-time off-farm job, and I have 3.5 year old and 1.5 year old children. Which means spare time for riding = essentially non-existant. But I am a firm believer in that a person MAKES time for what's really important.

So do I make time for the horse right now, or do I find a 'free to a good home' pasture mate who can tooth-scratch Arabee's itchy mane for her? That is the question. However, I don't see either one being a realistic option given the circumstances.