Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Rain, Rain and More Rain

Tucker's face looking fabulous! Note all the flood water in backgound.
Since I moved Imp and Tucker back to Nikki's, all it has done is rain. And rain. And rain some more. Not our normal afternoon showers. No. Torrential rain. Like 5 inches in 2 hours rain.
Every day.
I am ready to build an ark.
Of course, the pastures are all flooded.
Nikki is over it. The horses are over it. I am over it. I am sure the deer are over it.
The only ones really enjoying all this rain are the wading birds!
There has been one bright moment to come from all of this rain.
Because the pastures are so flooded, not to mention we are getting middle of the night storms, the horses are on limited turnout. An hour here and there in the morning, and an hour or 2 when Nikki comes home from work. Some days, they just get hand walked.
As a result, Tucker's skin looks...dare I say it...drumroll, please.....AWESOME!!!
Yes, awesome!
After months of fighting summer sores, crusty tummies, itchy and hairless tails and raw manes, his skin is finally getting a reprieve and healing.
Unlike the itty, bitty barn, his stall at Nikki's is large and cool. Having 4 fans blowing on him helps too! Limited turnout really helps.
Neck almost healed
I noticed about 2 weeks ago that he seemed to be doing better...a little bit each day.
Then, last week, I started him on SmartPaks SmartProtect. It is for the immune system and contains such ingredients as grape seed extract and Vitamin's C and E.
Tail regrowing...again!
In the last week, since being on it, his tail has re-grown by over 50% and his skin has dramatically cleared up. He seems less itchy, too.
He had been on the product for only a few days when I was showing Tucker to my friend, Chris. That was when I started to realize the sudden improvements.
I was giddy!
So lessons learned?
First, no more night turnout during the summer.
Once we move to our own farm, this will be easy. Limited turnout in the early AM and again before sunset.
And just as I have always speculated, his allergies have been immune related. I have tried other products in the past, with no success. The formula that SmartProtect uses seems to be the right combination for Tucker and it is working.
I am going to start Imp on the SmartProtect as well.
She has been started on Hilton Herb's Vitex Plus, for Cushing's horses. She simply refuses to eat the Pergolide, no matter how I disguise it. She likes the Vitex Plus and in just a week, she is beginning to shed out...finally. I hope she continues to show improvement on it.

Now all together, lets sing: Rain, Rain, Go Away! Go Out West! We Are Over You!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Painting Barns, Rain and Family

Gosh, I can't believe it has been more than a month since I last blogged.
It seems like so much has happened, that I don't know where to begin!
To start, I moved the horses back to Nikki's. Unfortunately, there was a bit of a blow up between the owner of the little itty barn and myself. It started with a broken water pipe, which I do not dispute was most likely caused by Tucker stepping on. It would have been easy enough to fix, but she didn't know where the shut off valve was and had to call a plumber.
This escalated into an 11:00 PM phone call (first a voice message, which I have saved, and then I returned her call), where she berated me for turning my horses out, saying how cruel it was (mine are currently on night turnout during the summer months and in their stalls with fans on them during the day). She thought it would be more humane to just "lunge and ride them and then put them in their stall."
Explain how I am going to lunge and ride Imp,  my retired 22 year old, who's legs swell after standing around during the day and NEEDS to be out and about, walking.
Exlain how I am going to have a sane and calm Tucker, if he gets no turn out?
She then blamed the erosion around the barn on my horses, and said that I should be maintaining the barn to the level of painting it!
Yes, painting the barn.
Don't let other barns get whiff of this. I can see the ads now:
Stalls for rent. X amount per month. PLUS, you get to paint the barn. And weed. And paint the fences. And then you can paint the house!
Potential boarders should be lining up in droves, don't you think?
I paid to lease the barn for a set amount each month. I picked up the poop around the pastures at least 5 times a week. If something broke, I fixed it. I weeded around the barn and even planted Four O'Clocks around the barn! I kept the barn neat and orderly.
Sorry, painting the barn is not something I should have to do.
I even put an ad on Craigslist for the ever growing mound of manure, which she chose to ignore. I arranged to have some gardners come haul a bit of it away.
Meanwhile, she took my board money and invested none of it back into the barn. Even when she had someone out on 3 different occasions to do yet more work on her pond, she didn't bother having them move some of the poop off the hill.
But I needed to paint the barn.

She mentioned the crazy lady next door. The crazy lady gets to lease that barn in exchange for fixing it up. She doesn't pay board. Lately, that barn is looking somewhat decent, with new paint. Now, my barn owner claims that crazy lady pays board AND paints the barn....so therefore, I should be painting the barn, right? See where this idea came from?
Needless to say, I left.
I mucked out the stalls, swept and cleaned, and left the barn in clean order.
Except, I didn't paint the barn.
She did lock the gate to the side field where I kept my jumps. She wouldn't answer the door when I knocked.
So I jumped the fence, and took the little stuff.
She can keep the rotting PVC standards and the rusty barrels.
I am now a rep for US Show Jumping!
How cool are these? High Density Polyethylene plastic. They are light weight but have galvinized steel bases so they don't blow over. They are UV resistant, so unlike PVC jumps, they don't disintegrate or fade. The poles are wood encased in the plastic, so they have the weight of traditional wood poles, without the maintenance. No more painting parties! Hooray!
So the horses are at Nikki's for the time.
And of course, the torrential rains begain after I moved there.
Of course.
Tucker's legs are swollen from the standing water.
But the barn is so much cooler and he has multiple fans on him. Initially, his skin allergies took a major nose dive but I think we have things under control. The rain has actually been a blessing to the allergies, because he goes out only for a few hours in the AM and before sunset, then the horses are back in the barn.
Imp, meanwhile, was tested for Cushings and the results came back positive.
Of course, she won't eat the Pergolide, so I put her on Hilton Herbs Vitex Plus and she eats it. It is for Cushing's, so hopefully, we will see some results soon.
Well, that pretty much brings me up to date...oh, yes, proud mother moment here...my daughter Jen graduated last week from the University of South Florida, with a degree in Civil Engineering. It was a proud moment! Two down and one more left....just 2 years of college tuition left!
Happy Riding!