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Posts Tagged ‘quest horsemanship’

The beginning of the week I brought Becca into the barn for an overdue grooming session. Good thing I did because I found a fairly serious wound on her front right foot!

1st day discovering of wound.

1st day discovering of wound.

Lexy and I cleaned and medicated it. We slathered the area around it with Swat to keep flies away. She wasn’t moving strange or limping, though she didn’t want me picking her foot up. I’m sure the bending motion is ouchy. I asked Becca what the heck happened… she’s not talking.

Couple days later.

Couple days later.

The vet was out to work on Bandero so we had her take a look at Becca’s foot. She’s worried about “proud flesh” taking hold so she’s given us strict instructions. We must scrub with Chlorhexidine until it bleeds. Then we need to do hydrotherapy (hosing at a high pressure) for 20 minutes. Then it needs to be dried, apply antibiotic ointment then bandage. This must be done every day.

I’ve wrapped plenty of dog legs but wrapping/bandaging a horse leg is new territory. Dr. Christie Cichra gave me a quick lesson on proper bandaging then left me to my own devices. The next day I was able to rely on my handy-dandy-horse-whispering barnmate, Gary, to do her doctoring. Have I mentioned he’s a natural horsemanship trainer? He’s also a natural dog trainer. Check him out on Facebook – Quest Horsemanship. He got her all bandaged up, no problem… by himself.

I took the challenge. I am fully capable of caring for my own horse. So today was the day. I scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed. It bled as it needed to. She was a very good girl, stood patiently.

Cleaned and ready for hydrotherapy.

Cleaned and ready for hydrotherapy.

We did the hydrotherapy for about 10 minutes, not the 20 minutes ordered but just don’t tell Dr. Cichra! Becca was a good girl, for the most part, at the water hose. It probably doesn’t feel real good to have cold water blasting into this open wound but we have to do it. Brought her back into the barn and dried her leg and foot. We had all our supplies for medicating and bandaging set up and ready to rock & roll!

Things didn’t go so well.

1st solo bandage attempt - fail!

1st solo bandage attempt – fail!

I destroyed 5 sterile pads, 1 bandage roll and half a roll of vet wrap. As soon as I would place the medicated sterile pad on the wound and begin to wrap, Becca would lift her foot in a bit of protest. I’m sure it hurt a bit. I think we would’ve been successful if I had one or two extra hands. The worst part was I allowed myself to get angry and frustrated. I try real hard not to let those emotions into the barn but sometimes it just happens. I collected myself, Becca realized I wasn’t mad at her and we finished by medicating and covering with an ointment that won’t wear off until it’s rinsed off. I generously fly sprayed her legs  and put the mighty Swat around the wound. She finished her morning doing what happy horses do, grazing with their friends.

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Gary assured me he will get her bandaged tonight when he goes back to feed dinner. Sigh. I will accomplish this newest task! I will try again tomorrow.

Her boyfriend, Bandero, is in the background.

Her boyfriend, Bandero, is nearby.

Right after taking this photo of Dash, Becca decided he was too close to me. She wheeled around and ran him off. I quickly scooted out of the way! It was a close call but she has taken on a protective roll toward Cass and me now the boys are living with us. It’s kinda nice but I just have to be sure to be aware of what she’s thinking! I asked her again, how she hurt herself and she’s just not talking.

Dash, the other resident gelding.

Dash, the other resident gelding.

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The time has come to clean our vintage saddle. I was assured by our trainer/friend, Gary Adams (Quest Horsemanship) that it was neither too heavy or in ill repair. It even fits Cass. Years of dirt have built up and there are a few pieces that need to be replaced but all in all,  it’s in excellent shape for being an old-timer. I had no idea how to clean a leather saddle. He schooled me and assured me there was no way I could really hurt it. So here we go!

Eva awaits more instruction after gathering needed supplies.

Eva awaits more instruction after gathering needed supplies.

He told me to dunk the saddle (several times) in water! I filled our large water trough and prayed this was really what I was supposed to be doing.

Filling the big tub.

Filling the big tub.

The water immediately turned brown.

The water immediately turned brown.

I made sure to dunk it and dunk it again and dunk it one more time, covering it completely.

Dripping on the stand.

Dripping on the stand.

If I thought it was heavy before this… the water must have added another ten pounds! No turning back now, my saddle was soaked. A good scrubbing was next.

Soaping it up.

Soaping it up.

Dawn dishsoap, safe enough for ducks, safe for my saddle.

Dawn dishsoap, safe enough for baby ducks, safe for my saddle.

I got brave and removed pieces that were rotten. This piece shows where I believe the saddle was made. There’s a store in TX called Luskey’s/Ryon’s. I was thinking it was made in the ’70’s. Gary thinks it may even be older than that.

Rotted pieces.

Rotted pieces.

Gleaming in the sun.

Gleaming in the sun.

Lots of grime came off, not sure if I will need to do another scrub or not.

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Positioning the stirrups.

Positioning the stirrups.

Gary told me to use brooms to position the stirrups so the fenders would dry in the proper position for riding. The next step in our process will be oiling it once it’s had time to dry. I feel much more confident than when I began this task. Once the saddle is ready I’ll have no more excuses, will I?

Eva's waiting.

Eva’s waiting.

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We’ve got a lot going on in CassidyLand. Becca will be leaving for “school” this weekend! Egaads! Gary (Quest Horsemanship on Facebook) has been looking forward to starting her under saddle and the time is finally here. Notice I didn’t say break her? That terminology is not used in Natural Horsemanship, which is the philosophy I’ve used since she was born. The last thing I ever want to do is break either of my girls’ spirits. She’s going to be a quick study and we’re excited to embark on this part of our journey.

Gary & his Arabian, Bandero.

With Becca going to Gary’s that meant Cass would be completely alone at our little red barn. I conferred with several of my horse folks and got varying answers as to if she should be alone or not. Horses are herd animals and feel safe as long as they have their herd. Becca, Cass and me are a herd. With Becca gone that leaves Cass and me… but I’m going on a super-secret trip the same week Becca leaves! Oh, no. I felt this would be too much to ask of Cass. We brought her friend, Tanner, over to keep her company.

Cass took her time finishing breakfast before venturing out to see what Becca was fussing about!

Cass and Tanner have similar personalities and have always gotten along well. Both feel eating is waaaaaaaay more important than acting a fool. Tanner’s mom, Therese, agreed they’d both be fine.

Cass says, “Hi Handsome!”

Becca wasn’t quite as happy to see Tanner.

Becca says, “Are you kidding me?!” as she snorts.

Tanner came over nicely to say hi to Becca and ended up having to put her in her place. She was acting like a brat. I’m thankful Tanner is such a nice boy and only gave her enough of a kick to get the message across. She listened to him after that.

Poor Becca, has to behave.

Perfect hoof print on her butt.

The swelling only lasted a day. Let’s hope the lesson lasts longer. Becca’s not ever liked having to share her momma.

She’s looking in disbelief still.

Bringing a horse into a herd of horses can be a dangerous thing and take days to accomplish peace. This took all of five minutes.

Becca’s getting a message she doesn’t like.

Smart girl doing what momma says.

The rules got set quickly.

They have a large, run-in shed which is where hay is shared. Will the peace remain?

Yep, no problems here.

Becca may think this is a problem. Poor kid. She needs the number for Dr. Phil!

I think Cass is going to be just fine. Becca’s world has just begun to rock!

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