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!!!

1 comment:

oregonsunshine said...

You get to go to Nationals?! I think I'm a bit jealous! My sister showed at Nationals a few times. I always wanted to go.

Now that I'm here in Oregon, I haven't even made it to Regionals, which are held locally. Hmm... Guess I'll have to see about fixing that this next year.

Hope you have fun!