The Spell of January

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I am pleased to report that our frightful cold snap went on its way and the last several days have been much warmer. It is so much nicer when you can take your gloves off for a second without getting frostbite.

We've all been keeping plenty busy this month so far. Even without new loads of snow there is tons to get done. Both last weekend and this weekend, Christine and I were able to get trail rides in. Last Sunday was reallllllly beautiful.

It was cold and snowy, but not so cold you wished you were inside by the fire. The woods were quiet and the sun was out. Christine said the ride was so special, she was giggling to herself about it all week long.

This weekend we were out again. It was still warm with no wind, but a fog had settled in. Christine thought the woods looked very fairytaley. There was a magical quality about it. Later this week it is supposed to get harsh and cold again, so I was so happy to get another fabulous ride with Lilly in. I am not sure if she felt so happy about it; when I went to put the saddle on her, she quickly tried to escape down the driveway.

Do you see these two containers of bute? I got the big bucket-sized one from the vet who had just come to visit Lilly for her abscess. I didn't check the price at the time but since Bill's smaller container ( in photo) had cost him $33, he was convinced that I must have paid at least $100 for the larger size. But when I got the itemized bill from Dr. Schmidt, it listed the huge size for $33 also. Bill was convinced there was a mistake in the bill. We went back and forth about it, him insisting the vet billed me incorrectly, me insisting that they had listed the correct price. Christine got so tired of our bickering over it, she told us to shut up! We decided I would call the vet and check for sure. We even placed a $5 bet on it! WHO WOULD BE RIGHT???

BAH HAH HAH! Do you see who is handing over the five dollars that he lost?????? HAH! YES! I WON! Bill ended up paying me the five dollars. In a text to him I chirped, I WON I WON!!! I WON!! Bill felt compelled to send me a text in reply telling me to win with more grace. HAH! As it turns out, and we would have noticed this if we read the label more carefully, the dosage on each container of bute is different. On the big size, you need to use a lot more of it to get the same zing as the smaller container. Bute mystery solved! 

I took a few pictures of the bottom of QTee's foot to show you what ideal feet she has. Bill and I joke that the concavity of her hoof is like a little soup bowl. 

And QTee has never had any problems with her feet at all. She is not prone to abscesses, and has never been lame once that I can remember due to any problem with her hoof. You can say her frog looks a little scraggly, but her feet have been top notch for the 15 years plus that Bill has had her.

And then there are my brumby's feet. They are not like little bowls at all. They are more like big, white dinner plates. Flat as the dining room table, as my grandmother used to say. Of course, she was not referring to my brumby's feet but the midwestern landscape. But you get the idea. F  L  A  T.  Brumby does have a nice and robust frog, however.

After our ride today and the hoof inspection, I got out my large bag of carrots and apples and let Lilly and QTee replenish their electrolytes. Oh, they were very interested. It is the only time Lilly is not afraid of the crinkle of a plastic bag.

I am not kidding. Lilly and QTee really love their snacks. I know there are all kinds of schools of thought addressing treating horses. I am in the school that allows it, for motivation and for pleasure. 

I also share the yummy treats with the cow and the alpaca. They love them as much as the horses do. The cow's mouth is huge and slobbery. The alpaca's mouth is very delicate.

 My parting shot is of Charlie and Christine in the mist. I thought this picture had a kind of timeless quality to it. Is that really Christine? Maybe it is Guinivere saying goodnight to her faithful steed, Hengroen. 

What is having horses about if not, in some small way, imagination?

Hope everyone has a good week!


Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

Oh the mysteries of hooves! Laz has a Lilly foot, an A cup, lol-flat, and a club front. The flat foot has a more robust frog (I assume b/c it helps with support and it in contact with ground more) and the club has taller heels, like Qtee, and also has a thinner frog. It's interesting. The most is how one hoof shape/frog shape works for one, may not for the other. xo

Paint Girl said...

My Fritzy has the same feet as Lilly. She has very flat feet and weak soles. And she is very abscess prone. Usually she is barefoot in the winter and I have to put shoes on her in the summer to ride. She wouldn't make it through a ride without shoes.
We are in the middle of a cold snap too. Down into the teens at night and barely breaking 30 during the day. I had to move horses to a different pasture because they couldn't walk on the 6" of frozen mud. I'd rather have cold temps like this then warm and rainy.
Your ride looks wonderful. I love seeing your snowy trail rides!!

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

More beautiful magical trail rides for you and your brumby. :D

No such thing as too many treats, so says Val.

Re your question about ring riding - often I have certain exercises in mind to focus on when I mount up, and most every... no make that every time, we end up doing something different. (Val would say I need work on my focusing skills)

lmel said...

The woods WERE magical in the fog, were they not? Enjoy the warm weather while it lasts--I rode without gloves today!
That's a great shot of Charlie and Christine!
We ALWAYS have carrots on hand for rewarding shy/spooked horses being brave, and for when they come to us in the pasture--I'm a believer in treats and, like you said, natural electrolytes.

juliette said...

Such happy rides in special snowy white and magical fog. I have to say, our fog is less magical because it is all we know - grey fog followed by grey days. Ugh. Still planning the move to Bear River.

Lilly is so adorable in her carrot eating photos! She loves her specials and deserves them too! Funny money and text exchanges about the bet. You and Bill crack me up! More reasons to move there...but I am afraid you would have to quit your job because we would have to be out riding all the time!!!!

Rachel F. said...

I'm sure you're tired of it by now but I would love to go riding in the snow sometime! Oh and congrats on winning your bet!

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