Wednesday, October 12, 2011

routine maintenance

Isn't the dream of owning a horse the picturesque "riding off into the sunset"? When you have the dream, no one tells you about the day to day dirty stuff that needs to be done to maintain a horse's health. For the longest time, I could not pick hooves, the smell made me gag. Then there is the poop, oh all the poop! And if you have a gelding. . .good luck cleaning that sheath.

Today, I had to de-worm Shyloh. Her fecal sample came back positive for worms, so Mike picked up some paste from the vet for me to administer. So far, Shy has eaten anything that comes in contact with her mouth without a problem. Thank goodness the de-wormer was no different! Shy took it like a champ! Robin gave me a little scare saying that it tastes bad and sometimes horses spit it out. But, I am pretty sure Shy has been de-wormed before. . .she was looking at me (as I was reading the instructions), like hey, I know what that is and I can clearly tell you do not know what to do with it! 
Little bit of paste on her mouth
Next, I decided to clean her teats. I have attempted a few times before, but I never went through with it. . .those cow kicks are quite intimidating! But today I had the time and I brought the baby oil. It took about 20 minutes, but I did it! At first, Shy was not happy. I had to adjust some of the things I usually do. I attached the lead rope while she was in the cross ties and put the excess over her back. When she cocked her leg as I was running the towel under her, I told her no! If she raised her leg off the ground, I put pressure on the lead rope that was attached to her halter. As soon as she put her leg back down, I released the pressure, then I started over. If I could run the towel underneath without her doing anything, I praised her. I should mention that I used warm water and baby oil on the towel. Eventually, I was able to get all the gunk out of her teats! I think she actually enjoyed it!
Shy's first reaction was to back herself into the corner as far as she could to avoid the teat cleaning. . .
Kathy came up to the barn and offered to let Shy try on her saddle. It fit well, so I was going to take Shy into the arena to walk her around and work on mounting block behaviors. 

Whoa! I got a totally different Shyloh than the one I have been working with recently! She reverted back to the old Shy, the one that first came to the barn. She refused to go into the arena, then refused to walk once I got her in there. Her ears were back. She started doing her nervous licking behavior. What was going on? She had a saddle on yesterday and was fine, but I did not ask her to do anything in it. Since Shy has only been ridden a few times with me, I am thinking that either a) she is upset about having a saddle on and the possibility of carrying a rider or b) something bad happened to her in the saddle. Who knows. . . ? I do know that she spent a short time at a trail riding park, all saddled up and ready to go each day, so I am guessing she had some bad rides.
Not a happy pony
Fortunately, Kathy is being generous enough to let me use her saddle to work Shyloh in it. And that is what I am going to do. . . saddle her up to work her so she can get comfortable in it. I know I have said this before, but that saddle didn't work out. I will take as long as I need to let Shyloh know that she can trust me, with or without a saddle on her back.
Kathy on pretty Shamon. I wanted a better picture, but my phone battery was drained.
After I put Shy back outside and gave her some hay, Robin had a lesson with Beth. She was doing long lining with Ryleigh. I was there to watch, but Robin invited me into her lesson to let me try long-lining with him! It was amazing and Beth taught me a lot about the whole process. I cannot wait to try this out with Shy!  I really love our barn! In addition to having friends there that came from the old barn, all of the other boarders are very friendly and helpful!
Robin and Ryleigh with the long lines!


  1. Camryn here:
    Thanks for reminding my Mom bout worming "NOT"!!! Actually I don't mind it at all either. And teet cleaning once you get used to it does feel soooooo good. Hope you get used to being saddled so you can take your Mom on adventures. It's way fun to get out and about. And if you think your Mom loves you now, just wait cause they love you even more onced you've adventured together. Honest they do!

  2. Camryn, Sorry about the reminder! Just know that your mom does it for your own good.
    I think Shy will adjust to being in the saddle again, she has been out of one for a while, so she has to get used to it again.

  3. Hey, Pippin here, I'll come clean your... ah... um...(blush) well, you know... any day!
    Our Mrs. Owner has worming stuff, too. She keeps forgetting to bring it down to the barn.. uh oh.... now you've reminded her! Well, that stuff isn't all that bad. I've tasted worse!

    OK, enough from Pippin! As for the saddle... if she didn't react that way with the other saddle, could it be that this one pinches or hits her in a way that is uncomfortable? You are right, it could be association with bad times, but we have a few horses at therapeutic riding who react that way when the saddle hurts them.

  4. Hey Pippin, in an attempt to keep this G rated, Shy would probably return the favor. . .

    I am not sure about the saddle. The other one was too big. This one seemed to fit her fine. She was fine being tacked up and standing in with it on, but once it appeared that we might "work" she got her little attitude. I am going to try it again Friday and see how it goes. I don't want her to hurt, but at the same time, I know she can play me. . .so we will see.

  5. Hope you get her sorted under the saddle soon!
    I wish we could send off our faecal samples to be tested then only worm our horses when we needed to but on our livery yard we are all on a worming program and have to worm at the same time whether they need it or not!

  6. hay, Shyloh!!

    you sure are pretty. wish you were at my barn; it is just a bunch of boys. chill, girl. haffie life is awesome & humans love us. do your lips flap?


  7. The Horse Talker, that really stinks! It can't be too good for them to be de-wormed if there are no worms! I'll get her sorted out with a saddle. I'm in no hurry. If Shy has taught me anything, it is to respect her timeline and slow and steady is the way to go.

    Odie, Thanks! I will be sure to let Shy know! Just be warned. . .she has suitors lining up out of the door for her! Our barn is all geldings except for three mares.
    Shy's lips do all kinds of crazy things, flap, yawn, stretch. . .they are quite animated!

  8. Didn't Neal diamond sing a song called Shyloh?. Richard from Amish Stories


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