Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Omolene University

Purina Mills has created Omolene University to educate horse owners about equine nutrition. It is actually a really cool/fun program. You sign up, watch 4 online videos which are about 30 minutes each, take 4 quizzes and they send you a coupon for $20 off two bags of Omolene! Plus, they will donate $1 to the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association! They send 50 cents to a local facility of your choice (I chose Coffee Creek Riding Center in Edmond, OK because I used to voulenteer there) and 50 cents to the national organization. Also, with each course you complete, you get points which can be redeemed for shirts and hats. You have to pay shipping on the products, but who cares?!? I can get extra points towards merchandise if you sign up through a link I send you. If you are interested, post a comment with your email! If you don't know me and don't want to help me out, you can sign up on your own at
Also, if you don't feed Omolene, you can always send the coupon to someone who does (ahem)...
I currently feed Ultium, as you may well know, and it is pretty expensive. Omolene is less expensive, but one thing I learned from the online course is that Ultium is a very low carb diet, which Boomer probably doesn't need. Horses that need a low carb diet are generally geriatric, obese, prone to laminitis, tying up, or colic. Omolene comes in three types- for pleasure horses, performance horses, and growing horses. I think Boomer would be good on the pleasure horse feed through the Winter until we really start training hard!
Anyway, I really enjoyed the online courses and can't believe the benefits of doing it! Way better than graduate school *hehe*!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Why do I feel so busy?

I swear, I don't do anything all day but I always feel busy! The power went out for about an hour yesterday while I was trying to upload pictures from the horse show.
Here they are:

Here is the lineup for a purebred English pleasure class. It was a very good class.

Here are the top ten riders waiting to see who will be reserve and national champions. I really liked all of the banners and lights hanging above!
This man was really old and hunch backed, but he was a real crowd favorite! We later learned that he was an Auschwitz survivor! We saw his prelim class as well as this class, where he earned a top ten.
Here are a few dorks in the crowd!
Here is the winner of the costume class. Her horse was a really nice one. Her costume was also very good.
I thought this was a cool picture!
This one was my other favorite. She got top ten. Her horse reminded me of Stolen Fire, my horse from when I was a kid! He was the same color chestnut, with tall white socks, and a big blaze.

Boomer is doing well. I worked him pretty hard yesterday. I set up some low jumps by putting one end of a 2x4 about 8 inches up the fence and letting the other side rest on the ground. I put two on some side of the paddock and one on the other side to make it easy for him to get the right distance around the lunge circle. He did very well. He will, by no means ever be a jumper, but he tried and I think he enjoyed himself! I also longed him over the tarp a little and then went to the back of his paddock and worked on cantering. He is still a little pissy about cantering. He will pick up the canter but doesn't want to stay in it. When I try to make him stay in it he sometimes stops and bucks. He did that once yesterday and I ignored his response and calmly made him walk on and then trot for a LONG time, then when I asked for the canter again, he was fine. I think that ignoring his stupidity is the best tactic. I think, but haven't decided for sure. Overall, very good. I gave him today off. I let him out in to the open area in front of the paddocks so that he could graze and have a change of scenery. He seems to have enjoyed himself. He wasn't too keen on being caught though! Sabumi can be really funny about being caught. He sometimes walks right up to me, sometimes he walks away and then circles back to me, other times he walks until I catch him. Always though, as soon as I am near his head, he stops because he knows he is caught. Sometimes he is a grump about putting the halter on and pins his ears. Other times he puts his nose right in. He can be moody, I guess that is just him.

Other items of note:
I cut my own hair last night
Welch's White Grape Pomegranate juice is awesome
I want more stuff than I need and may very well have my 'wants' and 'needs' confused :)
I want a new saddle
I need a trailer
See why that is confusing?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I can't keep up!!!

Lots of updates!!!

I rode Sabumi Friday and Saturday! He was very good. I used the new girth which is really nice and the new full cheek snaffle. I was a little, um, exuberant about riding him again and decided to go straight for a ride along the highway. Probably not a good idea. It was windy, he was fresh, and there was lots of traffic. He actually did very well, but he seemed afraid. He was overwhelmed and very antsy. The scariest part for me was that we were on the high side of the ditch along the highway and at one point Sabumi turned in a half cirlce and ended up facing uphill, unsure of what to do he started to back up. I looked back and saw water in the ditch and had a horrible vision of us backing up, hitting the water, and flipping over towards the road. Needless to say, we headed back. Although, my stubbern self decided it would be best to walk towards the farm, turn around and walk past the 'scary area', and THEN head home for good. All went well and we ended on a good note onthe highway. After we got back to the farm, we walked along the fenceline and the pasture horses galloped up to see up. Every horse on the property was running around their pen and screaming. Sabumi was pretty excited about that and as soon as he calmed down I got off and walked him be hand to the grassy open area. Once out there, John held my stirrup again and I got back on. We worked on walking, woahing, turning, and being generally wonderful. We were all much calmer and we ended on a really good note. Phew!

Saturday we went out to ride again. As I was grooming, John was cleaning out the paddock. At one point John kicked the shed really lightly and Sabumi spooked. He went to the end of his lead rope, felt resistance at the end and kept pulling. He pulled the rope all the way through his blocker tie ring and ended up on his rump about 15 feet back from where he started. I proceeded to catch him, and walk him in circles while John banged on the shed a bunch. Sabumi did much better but was still jumpy. So, that is something to work on! We saddled up and rode out to the grassy open area again. We worked on walking squares and straight lines. I really think the new bit is helping him understand the direct rein contact from my hand to his bit. We only rode for about 10 minutes, but it was really good. I have a really great book that I am going to start doing exercises out of just as soon as John gets home. Oh, did I forget to mention that John is gone again? This time only until Wednesday. Then he leaves again Sunday and will be gone until the next Friday. After this, his trips will be over except for a few days that he will be working in Kelleyville, OK which is not too far away, I think!

US Nationals has been awesome! We went Saturday, Monday, and Yesterday! I had so much fun! I don't remember what all I have blogged about so far. All of the classes were really good. I was very impressed with all of the horses I saw. My favorites were a yearling filly in a halter class named French Kisses, a mare who won an amatuar Park class named I'm A Believer, and yeah... thats mostly it. I got to see a few famous studs like Vegaz and Mandalay Bey. I took a few videos while we were there. There is a costume class video and a park class video I think. The park class victory lap is nutty. The reserve champ fell off!!! Of course, I didn't capture the moment, but her horse was coming towards us, spooked and bolted the other direction and the girl just came down over his shoulder! After that mishap you can see National Champion Im A Believer in all of her glory!

Here is the victory lap of the Costume class. I thought I got the whole class on video, but I guess not!

Here is the first part of the purebred Park class. Someone threw a shoe and I quit filming at the break. Each rider is allowed a 5 minute break, starting from when the farrier touches the horse.

Here is the top 10 of the Park class, the winner was my original favorite, I'm a Believer.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Hooked on House Tours!!!

Click here to see more house tours!

Here we go:
Front Porch pumpkin display!!!

Front Room. The table is from the late 1900's and was a library table from New York. John and I had quite a time getting all of those picture frames just right. The basket in the corner is where Charley stores his toys when he is not flinging them around the house!

Here is a close up so that you can meet Fish and see that not all of our pictures are real.

Dining room.

Please excuse the messy kitchen, it is pumpkin pie season. That is my story and I'm stickin' to it! Isn't the backsplash great?

Cozy fireplace!

Cozy den! We spend a lot of time in here despite the wood paneling and ugly couches. Comfort forgives ugly.

Our room!!! We need a new comforter...
Can't forget about Charley's master suite! I made the bed for him out of old towels that I cut into strips! Charley likes to keep his alarm clock close so that he never misses a chance to play with his 'spare tire' toy!!!
This is where you stay when you come to visit!!!

This is where I blog and do homework! Notice the saddle in the corner chair! Oh, and the diploma... That would be mine!!! Don't worry, it is of utmost importance to remove the blackout curtains just as soon as I get a free moment!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


You will be glad to know that I borrowed John's lappytop and have a TON of pictures for you!!!

I am debating on if I should just post them all here or do a separate post for Charley, Boomer, and the horse show. Hmm... while we wait, Youtube is uploading about 6 videos! I will start with Boomer since he doesn't have any videos uploading! Yesterday we took him for a walk to enjoy the sunshine. He has been so good lately. I am really happy with him. I would like to try and ride him again later this week if weather permits. It has been pouring for 24 hours. Again. Anyway, we walked through the new hay barn and he was totally fine with it. We grazed a little and John got artistic with the camera. Then we turned him out in a paddock and got him to show off and took more pictures.

These were taken by me a week or so ago:
Looking better!

One good lookin' Cowboy!

Doesn't he look like a sweet little angel?
He is quite the trickster!

These are the pictures John took yesterday:

Monday, October 20, 2008

Back to work!

Boomer's shoulder is looking great! It has started to scab up and is looking really good. I put Corona ointment on it yesterday and today it looked as if it had softened the scab, so today I only applied Corona to the sutured areas and will let the wound scab over again. I am very happy with the process and there is very minimal swelling.

Boomer has been back to work for three days and his attitude is completely back to normal! The first day I let him back out of stall rest he started free longing at a trot around me. He walked and reversed on cue. It was really incredible to see him so eager to work! The following day I longed him at a walk and trot and he was great! Today I longed him again while there was some construction work going on the new hay barn. He was totally fine with the distractions and was very calm. I took him into an extra paddock and asked him to canter. I like to canter him with at least three solid sides to our longe area. This gives him a freebie when it comes to balancing. He responded almost immediatly without any fuss in both directions. I decided to keep his canter session very short as I don't want to sour him to it. I thinkbefore he was giving me trouble because he was bored and getting sour. I want to ride him as soon as possible to keep him from getting sour on the longe. I am very satisfied with how he has been working thus far and am excited to keep up with his training!

John and I spent all day Saturday at US Nationals. AWESOME!!! I got a new girth since my 48" was too big for Boomer. It is a really great girth, exactly what I wanted! I also got a full cheek copper mouth snaffle in the hopes that it will help Boomer when it comes to turning and steering. As it is, he doesn't fully react to direct rein control, so I wonder if having the full cheek giving opposition will help him understand. We saw a bunch of classes and I was really happy that John got to experience the Arab world! He was exposed to Hunter pleasure as well as Saddle Seat English pleasure and Country pleasure. My favorite part of the shows has always been watching people schooling their horses on arena breaks. I really enjoy watching the trainers ride because that is when you really get to see the horse at it's best. John and I also enjoyed the traveling beer golf cart which brought us an ice cold beer when we were sitting outside watching the goings on of the longing arena. I was happy John got to see that Boomer is not a nutty horse specifically, but that generally- Arabs can be a little nutty. At one point we saw a lady leading a nice grey gelding down the road. He reared up, his back right slipped a bit and he sat down on his rump. Once he scrambled up, they kept walking like nothing happened. He was still a bit jumpy, but no other ordeals as far as we saw. John said it gave him confidence to know that something like that is so normal around Arabs that you just move on and deal with it, no biggie. I was glad to see that John was beginning to understand the Arabian horse. It is a horse with much fire and action. Arabians are lively and expressive. They love to get excited. They are also athletic as all get out and can and will go to the ends of the earth for their riders. They are tireless and their spirits are unbreakable. This is the breed I love.

We are headed back to the show tonight, get ready for videos of the Native Costume class and Park class, two of the most exciting Arab classes ever!

Monday, October 13, 2008


Here are pictures I uploaded to John's computer of Boomer, the new cat, and a video of Charley!

Looking good at day 5.

Still looking good when the vet came out.

Boomer got all drugged up for his unsuccessful sheath cleaning. I did post about that, right? He kicked and kicked even when he was this drunk! The vet said I was welcome to trailer him in so that we could use the stocks. We will get right on that.

Looking peaceful, grazing while the sedative wears off.

Sutures ripped out. Ugh.

New cat! She is just a tiny thing with no tail! Very cute and friendly! She looks like a llama!

Llama Cat! Watch out! Charley is lurking behind you!

Here Charley decided that the exercise ball is his new favorite toy! He had a blast with it!

Here Charley balances on the ball and walks around backwards! Then he pops the ball. That was a short lived toy!

This is Charley last March at Lake Thunderbird in Norman. Charley was 10 months old and cute as heck!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

This is what happens when the sutures rip out...

Arg, time to call the vet!

Yup, all was going so well. I was hoping the scar would be so minimal that the hair would cover it. Then Boomer ripped out about half of his sutures. Dr. Hawkins explained that the skin flap was only acting as a band aid and that it is OK for this to happen, as long as infections don't start cropping up! He asked me when kinds of ointments I had and I started my list with iodine ointment and he said that that was what I needed to use. So, I rinsed it really well and slathered on the iodine ointment. This will take a little longer to heal and will probably leave a bigger scar, but at least he is still getting better a little everyday.
Pretty gross, huh?

When I started to lead him out to rinse his shoulder he kept stopping short and wouldn't walk. I worked on backing and side stepping and he still wouldn't walk. So, I did the karate chop on the leadrope trick and it worked. I got the longe line out so that I could use the stud chain while I rinsed him. Having the stud chain under his chin actually is the best trick for his "I don't want to walk" issue. He stood very well while I rinsed his wound. I used a gentle stream of water but I sprayed in right into the wound to clean out the debris. I put the iodine on it and groomed him. I even brushed his belly and flanks and he didn't even put his ears back. I'm not sure what to think of all of this ear pinning/kicking business. I'll think about it more when he is healed up.

Clean, but ugly!

Covered with Iodine it doesn't look so bad!

I fed him but left him tied up and made him wait while I mucked out his paddock. He is really learning to be patient about his food. When I was ready to feed him I untied him from the Blocker Tie Ring and walked him slowly towards his food. When I say we went slowly, I mean that we took one step and he put his head down by my knee, we took another step and he tossed it up and then put it back down when we stopped. After about 10 steps he had figured out that it was easier to walk with his head down! That was a first! This went well until we were about 3 feet from the feed bucked and he started prancing and tossing his head. We stood for a few minutes until he calmed down and I released him. This process is going really well. Now I am just concerned about his attitude while he is eating. He stomps his feet, never kicking, but stomps with all of his feet angrily. Any suggestions? Should I just leave this one alone? I would like to feel safe enough to muck out his stall when he is eating.
All groomed up! What a good lookin' horse!

His tail is so long! I was trying to get him to look at me for the picture by waving hay above my head... He was not impressed! He did thank me for taking a few pictures of his 'good side' for once!!!

When John gets home I will post more pictures. I will probably go back and add pictures to old posts just to keep his healing timeline less confusing!

*Interesting article on saddle fitting*

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Can you say 'procrastination'?

Heather here, doing what I do best! I have a 5 pager due on Friday. 1200 words. I bet I have typed 1200 words into Google, answering emails, and blogging since I started procrastinating this evening. Now, I shouldn't sell myself short, I have 954 words so far! I am SO CLOSE!!! I am writing on the pros and cons of media mergers. What that has to do with Library and Information Studies, I can not figure out. That seems to be the way things go with this program though.

The vet came out this morning and said Boomer is doing well. His sutures can come out on Sunday evening. I just need to pull up on the loose end, cut under the knot and pull it out. Sounds easy, huh? I will have John there and if Boomer allows it, we will film the process. Boomer is allowed out of his confinement and can resume activity after I get the sutures out. When I let him go he wandered around, grazed and touched noses with his neighbors. I thought he would run and play, but no. Just a very happy looking horse, ears forward and eyes bright. We were both happy.
Almost forgot, the vet sedated Boomer and went to work on his sheath, Boomer kicked. The vet twitched Boomer, Boomer kicked. The vet tried without gloves, Boomer kicked. The vet tried the other side, Boomer kicked. This was partially expected on my part. He has always let me touch him before, but in the past few weeks he has gotten more and more cantankerous about it. The vet said he had always heard that horses could kick while sedated, but this was the first he had seen of it! They were not half-hearted kicks either! He wants me to try and watch him pee sometime soon and if he doesn't drop down all the way or if his stream is a spray instead of a nice steady stream he wants me to bring him in so he can put him in the stocks to clean it. HA! I'll get right on that! Even if we had a trailer, I would anticipate at least two weeks before he is comfortable in the trailer and at least another two weeks before we can take him off the property! So, yeah. Oh, the vet's twitch was awesome! It was a long wooden pole, like a walking stick, still had the bark on it! The rope was attached with a brass fitting and it had a brass name plate on it! Fancy!
I got a few pictures, but can't upload until John gets home Friday night, which I am sooo ready for! I miss you baby!!!
OK, back to the paper I go.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The squirrels are stealing our pecans!

Things are progressing well. Boomer's shoulder seems to be doing much better. The edges of flesh are no longer...alive... for lack of a better description. They are blackish and seem to be closing up. There is still no puss or drainage. The swelling is going down. This morning it appeared that Boomer had laid down last night and his right side was a bit crusty. I think this is a good sign as he was able to lay down and get up without tearing the sutures. Getting up from laying down really works the shoulder and leg, so I was happy about that! I cleaned his stall and gave him three bales of hay. Then I dumped his poop in the compost pile and hosed out my truck bed. His attitude is improving, but he stills acts 'bossy' with his back end occasionally. He will swing it towards me if I ask him to move it away, but I pop him with the crop and he hops in line. So, I think he is really antsy, frustrated, and bored and is just trying to let me know that he is ready to be out of the stall confinement! Last night, I decided to get an exercise ball for him to play with. I got one that has 'burst resistance' so it will deflate slowly if it is punctured. Well, I blew it up and it turns out that it is two layers thick and has sand in it. So, it doesn't really go anywhere without a good shove. So far, Boomer doesn't care about it. I had anticipated keeping it outside of his stall until he was used to it but, he really didn't care about it! So, I put it in his stall and he barely sniffed it. Today he bumped into it and didn't even look at it! Hopefully when John gets home we can let Boomer out of stall rest and try to play a little family soccer!!!

The vet comes tomorrow and I kind of hope he leaves the sutures in because I am paranoid and tend to leave band aids on for longer than necessary! I am excited about the sheath cleaning though!!! I will try to film it, but I'm not sure how Dr. Hawkins would feel about ending up on YouTube with his hand up Boomer's 'ahem'!!! For those who are unaware, the sheath is just like what it sounds- it houses the horse's penis. It needs to be cleaned about once a year. The penis gets sweat and dirt on it and pulls it into the sheath, rolling the dirt into junk called smegma. When a horse drops down during grooming because he is relaxed it is a good opportunity to pick off what you can from the penis. I usually just give it a few gentle, but quick, swipes with my hand until the horse begins to retract into the sheath. What I am having the vet do is check for a 'bean'. Inside the tip of the penis is a small pouch which can get smegma build up which rolls up into a small bean. The cleaning process involves putting a finger in the tip of the penis and using the thumb on the same hand to roll it out. Those of you who have been with the blog for a while will understand why Dr. Hawkins is doing this procedure under an anesthetic!

It has been raining here for two days and it is starting to get chilly. I have really been debating whether or not to get Boomer an outdoor blanket for winter. I thinkI have decided against it for a few reasons. First, I want him to be able to produce his own winter coat and protect himself from the cold. Horse hair stands of end when they are cold and traps warm air close to the body. A blanket flattens the hair and loses that added natural warmth. Blankets are great for horses who need to be clipped for the winter, but Boomer is nowhere near in good enough shape for me to expect to be riding him until he sweats every day this winter, thus, no clipping and no blanket. What we do need though is a nice cooler. Coolers are made of wool or poly fleece blends. I have been a long time fan of wool for lightly used coolers but the downside is shrinkage. Poly fleece is supposed to have improved over the years and many endurance riders use it and prefer it. I believe I am going to try a poly blend cooler. The shape I am used to is a rectangle that has a browband and ties in front of the neck. This type of cooler must be used only under close supervision and has a tendency to slide around. I am looking at a cooler that velcros around the neck and has belly bands to keep it in place. Like this one. I need to measure him for fit still. Oh, I got a weight tape and it looks like he weighs about 1,025 lbs. I thought he was lighter than that! That means he probably weighed around 1,300 lbs when I got him. That is as much as a thoroughbred which would stand about 4-8 inches taller than him!

US Nationals starts on the 17th. I am so freaking excited!!! It runs through the 25th and I plan on being there for as many days as possible. Don't tell anyone, but this is another reason I quit my job. I would have been devestated if I hadn't gotten to see any of the horses that made it to the Arabian Horse Nationals this year! Plus, the shopping! Schneider's is always there and I plan on getting a girth for Boomer. I want this one. I have a similar girth that is 48" long but Boomer needs a 44".

In case you were wondering, the title of this post has something to do with the sleek, shiny, happy squirrels who keep running across the fence out of our yard with big fat pecans in mouth! I wanted to make pies this fall, but I'm not sure there will be any left!!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Charley and the neighbor's cat!

Charley is aware that he is not supposed to chase cats. He generally freezes when he sees them. Here is the result of him seeing one when I opened the truck door to let him out!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Pictures and such!

Everything is going well. Wednesday morning the vet will come back out and check the sutures and clean Boomer's sheath while he is sedated. I'll make sure and get a video of that! HA, kidding!
Boomer is being really aggressive and angry the past few days. I am thinking it is because he is confined, hurting, and probably bored and frustrated. But, at the same time I'm not sure how to handle it in the given situation. He pins his ears frequently and makes attempts at biting. He has also kicked out at me twice. Today I took a long riding crop in his pen with me and when he started to turn towards me and duck his rump like he wanted to double barrel me, I whopped him one on the butt. After that he kept his hind end away from me and watched me intently. I am trying to be patient, but there is never an excuse for dangerous behavior.
John was here for a day and we had a blast. We went to the fair and watched the draft horse pull contest and the mounted shooting contest! Both were actually really awesome! After the fair we went up to Caney, KS to the motor speedway. I had won tickets to the drag race and it was AWESOME!!! John loved it and I got a thrill out of it! It made my heart pound being so close to those cars! We saw about 6 races and there were parts flying, wrecks, and all kinds of crazy stuff. We even saw a 14 year old boy win a race against adults. Apparantly it was nothing new to the regulars.First thing in the AM, the vet was on his way.

Close up.

The vet scrubbed it with iodine.

The vet sutured up the inner fatty tissue with 5 or 6 sutures. The are absorbable so we will never have to see them again! Here he is working on the flesh also.

Two sides done!

All stitched up! He is on 30 grams of Tucoprim a day and will have 10 days of stall rest. We can resume training after 14 days.

The culprit. There is hair around the nut, blood all over it, and the yellow stuff is fat. It seems that he was rubbing on the corner post and the wire at the bottom of the fence panel popped off and the panel slammed to the side and his shoulder went right onto the bolt.

Here is his temporary stall. Brandi, the new boarder had these fence panels handy! The are secured with chains to the shed. The blue tub is his water. The vet told me not to even hand walk him unless he is getting stocked up or antsy. I am supposed to to a cold water rinse daily, which Boomer does not like.

Day 2 or 3

*Edit- I now have a youtube account. Go to and search under the user name booksarenerdy. Thats me! Check out the video of Charley and the cat!