It’s Raining.

I haven’t ridden in about a week because the sky decided to open up and today has literally been the first day with no rain in forever. Now, I’m just waiting for my ground to dry up so I don’t try to ride and end up with a horse falling because of how slick it is. The ground is literally a death trap right now.

First things first, I have some bad news. Jubilee has some pretty bad stifles. Her left stifle is the worst. Our farriers, vets, everyone, has told us that it’s all from the Big Lick and that it may be treatable with some good joint medicine and work. She went lame about a week and a half ago, it lasted for 2 days, wasn’t bad. Every time it rains, she somehow slips and manages to go lame again. Three days ago, she did it again. This time, the stifle had a bit of warmth to it and it was swollen. We had just started her on Yucca and MSM and took her off of the Dumor joint because we didn’t think it was strong enough. We called our vet, she said to add the Dumor back and use all three, and said the joint medicine needs about 2 more weeks to really get in her system. She sounded hopeful and told us that if she wasn’t improving by two weeks (also when she’s coming out, soonest appointment I could make) we’d discuss options like injections, and etc. I’m going to ask her if a chiro/massage therapist would help her, and we’ll request X-Rays if we feel it’s necessary. I’m just praying and hoping that she ends up alright and we can find something to fix this with, because I can’t let a horse live and be lame 99% of the time. But, she’s most definitely not at a point where I feel like she should be put down, at all. So we shall see.

On a good note, we put her on a different supplement. As I’ve said before, every weight supplement she’s been on has given her terrible loose stool. Our vets said we needed to find something with low sugar…and we finally did. I can’t remember the name, but that stuff is incredible and she’s putting on weight so well. Looks better than she ever has with us. So, if we can get the stifle thing under control…we’re good to go.

She’s actually getting a halfway decent butt.

As far as the rest of the herd, Stormie is ridiculously hormonal right now but still hasn’t come in season. When she comes in season, it’s obvious. But this isn’t it. She’s territorial with the other horses and super clingy with people like always. Mouse actually pinned her ears at her yesterday and Stormie replied with 4 big kicks to Mouse’s butt and ended up making a big draft horse’s butt swell up. Needless to say, Mouse isn’t going near her again. Red is the only one she seems to be okay with. We’re having the vet see if she’s pregnant when she’s out so we can figure out a game plan if she is. It’s a very small chance but knowing our luck, I wouldn’t be surprised. On the brightside we’d probably get a grey, haha.

Mouse is also getting a bit of an attitude on her with the rest of the horses and went after Red a few days ago, of course, he refuses to fight back. Luckily he seems to have learned to keep his distance and things are okay now as long as they don’t get near the same gate during feeding time.

I watched the Buck Brannaman documentary for…geeze, the fifth time, and each time I watch it I get something new out of it. Red’s biggest issue at this moment is just being a stubborn mule in two situations – one, when he’s on the lead and I’m trying to lead him somewhere. If he doesn’t want to go or if he wants to be eating hay or with the herd instead, he just stops and refuses to go. Two, when I ask for a canter and he decides “Nah, don’t feel like it” he either stops and refuses or he crowhops until I slow him down. He’ll lead perfectly and canter perfectly when he feels like it, but when he’s done, he’s done. Buck said something about having the constant contact with the stubborn horse, and instead of jerking on the lead or the reins to stop them, getting the contact super abruptly, you need to ease the pressure however they need it and hold it until they give and do what you are asking. It seems so simple and stupid, but it made sense. He used another person as an analogy, gave a man the end of a lead rope and had the other end in his hand. He’d randomly tug the lead, the man would brace. Eventually, the man was bracing before he even tugged it, just like the horse will learn to do. Red learned to brace against me and of course he doesn’t want to listen properly. I started working with it on the lead yesterday, giving the pressure until he gives, then releasing, and after about 5 minutes, he was about 70% better at following my motions instead of being stubborn and bracing and refusing to walk when I walk, back when I back, and etc.

So, we will see how it changes things under saddle. It’s about time to work him through his little attitude and ride it out. It always frustrates me when he will canter off perfectly when he feels like it, then a few minutes later he just decides..nope, don’t want to. And I’ve let him do it, so I’ve made the situation worse. Time to cowgirl up and ride the annoying crowhops out!

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1 thought on “It’s Raining.”

  1. Stifle issues are such a pain in the butt-literally! Bobby has had serious stifle issues his whole life. He started out with locking stifles, but I eventually got them upgraded to just falling off his bum stifles, and now they’re in pretty good shape. It takes years of strength building (really the number one best remedy) and body work. Some people don’t agree on supplements working–I had Bobby on Recovery EQ for five years and only took him off of it this year because I couldn’t afford it anymore, but I do feel it helped him out.

    I know Jubilee is a little bit older and probably gets quite a bit of her unsoundness from her former show life (Bobby’s issue is mostly genetic, but the racing certainly didn’t help much), so there might not be as many options out there for you guys. Not being able to ride her every day and really put in the miles of walking that’s a surefire way to help build up her hind end is also going to make her situation a lot harder to manage.

    Anyway, sorry for the novel! I just wanted to extend my sympathies for butt issues. I’m sure you guys will come up with a good game plan for her!

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