Monthly Archives: January 2017

I Don’t Do Stupid Well

In fifty some odd years of being involved in horses, the one thing I’ve learned is that the more you know, the more you realize you don’t know.

Everything to do with horses is a different category to be learned.  From feeding, to breeding, to handling, to different disciplines, to various tack and training items, they are all like a diamond with different fascists.

So I’m on Facebook the other day and a friend, who is a knowledgeable horsewoman and horse business woman, is ranting about some group that is critiquing pictures of people and their horses.  From what they were saying, they didn’t have a clue what they were talking about.  Some of the pictures were taken out of context.  What really put her over the edge was that these people had gone to other people’s Facebook pages and taken pictures from them without their permission and criticizing their abilities.  A beautiful picture of a professional barrel racer was criticized for how low to the ground the horse was turning a barrel.  A picture of a horse with his ears turned back to listen to his rider was criticized that the horse must be in pain.  No wonder my friend was so irate.

What is wrong with people?  Who do they think they are just taking people’s private pictures and making an issue on social media without asking?  What makes these people think they have even a clue as to what they are talking about?  Don’t they realize they are opening themselves up for legal actions?  This site is not monitored by any knowledgeable, responsible horse person.  However, people are going to buy into this nonsense.  It is ruining some of the accused people’s reputations.  I think they call that slander.

I know that Equus used to have a section where people sent in their pictures and George Morris used to make professional comments about their form, tack, turn out, horses ability, and suitability of horse to rider.  But the people did this knowingly, to a person who was the best in the business.  Even then, Mr. Morris would always say something like “from what I can see in this picture.”  He knew that without actually being there, knowing the full story of the horse or the person, sometimes what you see is not what it really is.

Professionals know not to volunteer information unless you are asked and usually paid to do so.

What I can say to these people is “Your ignorance is showing, and you are opening yourself up for a lawsuit.”

Oh my, stupidity runs rampant these days.

Keeping On The Same Idea, Sort Of

I do odd things here.  Partially because I care too much and partially because they work.

Last week I was talking about syringing meds into a horses mouth with kindness.  This week I’m going to continue that thought with deworming.  Oh, the dribbling effect doesn’t work with wormer, but kindness does.

This all came about when I unintentionaly killed one of my dogs with horse worm medicine.  I was giving my horses Ivermectin and some of it dripped out of one of the horse’s mouth onto the concrete isle way.  I picked up the blob, but didn’t really clean all of it up right away.  My Border Collie/cross dog came over and licked at what was squished into the concrete.  I didn’t think a whole lot about it because she was getting Ivermectin in her heart worm medication.  Well shortly there after she was not feeling well.  I brought her to a vet (not my normal vet because they didn’t have any openings) and they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her.  She was there a week and they said to bring her home, maybe she would eat there.  Well she wasn’t eating and that’s why I brought her in, in the first place.  Took her to another vet and she had been poisoned.  I went nuts.  With what?  Who could have done that?  She was only three years old.  I need to know, I had three other dogs at home.  Well it wasn’t for almost 8 years before I heard that Ivermectin was poison to Collie breeds.  I was devastated.

So after that I became extremely careful about horse wormer.  If any dropped it was picked up right away, totally.  I started gently wiping the horses muzzles with a wet wash clothe to make sure the dogs got absolutely nothing.  It was then I realized that they liked having their muzzles cleaned of the extra wormer smooshed on their lips.  After that they didn’t seem to mind taking the wormer, as long as I followed up with a wet wash clothe.

Look I can’t explain it.  I didn’t sit here and do research about it.  I just know that they like it and look forward to getting their lips wiped.  Even the Clydesdale who wants nothing near her mouth or nose.  When she was really sick with the spider bite she was getting all kinds of antibiotics.  They were strong and bitter.  We even started drilling out the middle of carrots, placing the pills in the carrot to get the pills into her.  Ever since then she hates anyone coming at her with a syringe or anything to the mouth, and when a Clydesdale decides you’re not getting anything into her mouth, trust me, you’re not.  But with the wormer, no problem.  I let her smell it and she says she doesn’t want it, but then will drop her head and take it.

Now the intranasal flu is a different story.  We have to keep pushing carrots into her mouth and then Surprise!! Squirt!

It’s amazing how many tricks my vet can come up with.  She’s an amazing woman.

I’m certainly not telling you how to deworm your horse, but it works for me and my crew. What I will tell you is that wormer can be deadly for some dogs.  Be mindful.

Slow and Easy

Slow is the internet this morning.  I couldn’t get on.

My boarders give me so many interesting things to talk about.  Maybe more than the horses.

Well one of the horses is on medication for Cushing’s.  I’ve always crushed it and put it in applesauce and then syringed it into their mouths.  I want to know that they get the full dose.  This horse is usually very good about taking it.  That is until the day after the owner gives it to her.

This mare is very particular about everything, and doesn’t hesitate to let you know when something is not to her liking.  She is not food motivated and this makes everything harder to do.  Some days I feel like I have to stand on my head, do the old “here comes the airplane into the hanger” thing to get her to eat.  Some days she will eat most of her food and someday’s you are just out of luck.  She needs weight so this becomes a real challenge.

So back to the medication thing.  When I give this horse her meds I speak to her and let her sniff the syringe.  Oh of course she’ll put her head up and say “I don’t want that.”  I just lay the syringe next to her mouth and she’ll put her head down with acceptance.  I’ll place the tip of it in the corner of her mouth and depress the plunger very slow and let it drip on her tongue.  She will lap it up with no problem.  The day after the owner, it’s like -no way are you getting into my mouth with that thing.

Okay so what’s the difference?  Spoke to the owner this morning about her technique.  Shove it in and squirt it in.  I looked at her and said “How rude.”  How would you feel if I walked up to you, shoved this thing in your mouth and hit either the back of your tongue or throat with this stuff.  Would you look forward to that tomorrow?”  Sometime we’ve got to do what we have to do to get what they need into them, but if you try it the easy way, and the horse is good about it, why would you anger the nice horsey?  Remember, whisper until you have to yell.  The owner told me I was so smart and kind.  I told her, years of playing the game.

Always look at a situation with the idea of, how would I like this done to me?

Maybe I think too much about silly things.  But if it works, why not?

A Taste Of Italy

When my husband asks what’s for dinner, and I tell him anything but something Italian or Sea Food, he tells me try again.  I love both of those meals, but I do enjoy other foods as well.

I was handling my friends tack, a few years back, and her saddle and bridle were so supple I had to ask what she used on them.  When she told me she used Olive Oil I was amazed.  Really?  Since I was a kid I was taught to use Saddle Soap and Neatsfoot Oil.  Then Lexol came to the forefront.  Of course I was taught to heat the oil so the leather would absorb it better, which I always did.  But my leather could not compare to hers.  So I figured it was worth a try.  Never thinking about the negatives.

What could possibly be negative about Olive Oil.  You could buy it at the grocery store.  It was probably cheaper or at least the same price as the expensive stuff they have on the market today.  Did it make a world of difference?  Not as much as I thought it would.  She had been using it for years, so I thought I would just wait and see what happens.

Now over the years the tanning process has changed.  To me, the quality of leather is not what it used to be, but the prices have surely gone up.  I’ve always gone for the best quality I could get.  When you are out Fox Hunting your life depends on the equipment you are using.  In a lot of disciplines it does.  If you’re at a full-out gallop and something breaks you’re in deep do-do.

So I oiled my tack with the Olive Oil and went about my life.

Now I never gave it a thought that a rat would have a taste for Olive Oil, but they do. They absolutely love it.  I had oiled my good tack and my older, no longer used tack with it.  My good tack, which I keep in my office was fine, but the tack I kept in the boarders tack room, which is not frequented, was like dining at a fine Italian Restaurant for a rat who wandered in.  My Jack Russell rarely went in there because the door is always closed, so there was no warning that we had a rat.  He nibbled along the back of the cantle.  It gave it an interesting look, but I went ballistic.  I never used these saddles except for breaking babies and using as a guide for body clipping so it wasn’t going to really matter, but it did to me.  The one saddle had been my first.  I’ve had it for fifty years.  It was a cheap, but all I could afford at the time.  I kept it in memory of my first horse, and my first saddle.  The second one was the saddle I most hated all these years, but I still didn’t want to see it chewed up.  It was a flat saddle that everyone had to use if they wanted to really compete in the show ring back in the 70’s.  But one of the most uncomfortable saddles I’ve ever ridden in.  The only one that was worse to sit in was the old Calvary saddles we used when we were kids.  They were great on a horses back but so hard on our butts.  How the Calvary spent hours and days in those saddles is beyond me.

I mentioned what had happened to a friend of mine who works with leather, and she laughed and said “I never recommend it for tack, rats love Olive Oil.”  No joke.

Lesson learned.  So I went back on the hunt for some products I could use to keep my leather healthy.  We don’t often think of leather as our skin, but it was somebody’s skin at one time.  Just like ours, it needs cleaning and moisturizing.  When leather dries out the fibers are no longer stretchy so they snap.  Kind of like my old wrinkly skin now.  I’ve been moisturizing since I was 15 and I still look better than most my age, but as long as I don’t look in the mirror with glass, I look just fine.

But I pass this on to you.  What ever you use, make sure it’s not on a healthy, nutritious listing of edibles for rats.