Sunday, 25 September 2011

Pony weightwatchers

Weigh in day and the tape still says 504kg.  Steady is good :o)  The weather has turned, so he's back in the bottom two fields again - his restricted turnout finished last week and so far (touch wood) he's been back on full space turnout with no problems, despite a bit of bouncing.

As per the horse listener's suggestion he's currently unrugged and the improvement in his skin has been amazing.  Virtually no dandruffy lumps and he's been warm whenever I've checked him, so he'll stay naked for as long as we can manage.  He's got a field shelter with a bed down, water and a haynet if he wants it, but he's been preferring to stay outside, albeit he seems to be attempting to thatch himself by rolling in sheep shit...

I've started running again this week.  I only intended to run 5 miles, split 1.25, 1, 1.25, 1.5, but ended up running 1.25, 1 and 5.15 after I discovered a runner doing 40 marathons in 40 days was coming past the village and wanted company.  I'm planning 6 miles next week, 1.5, 1, 1.5, 2.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Scan day

Or not.

Merlin's fetlock was still slightly puffy after a bit of unscheduled bouncing when he was turned out, so the vet started off with a thorough examination of the leg in question and then got me to trot Merlin up.  He plugged in the clippers to shave the back of Merlin's legs (I'd run an extension cable out to the field for the scanner) and Merlin's eyes came out on stalks, he pulled his 'WTF???!' face and started river-dancing.  Obviously they make a different sound to Mick's beard trimmer!  So the vet went back to his car to get a twitch and a sedative and by the time he'd walked the length of the garden and let himself back into the field he'd changed his mind about doing it.

The reasons are as follows: the tendons above the fetlock feel perfectly normal, the portable scanner isn't brilliant for fetlocks and feet and he thinks we're going to need x-rays as well, as the diagnosis is veering back towards arthritis again.  So we've arranged to take Merlin to Thurso on the afternoon of October 11th, which is the first date that both equine specialists and my husband (needed to drive the tow vehicle!) are all available.  He'll be sedated, scanned and x-rayed and hopefully we'll finally get to find out what's going on in there.

The farrier managed to get to us yesterday, which was fantastically quick, so the feet have been sorted out :o)

Monday, 12 September 2011

Knobber horse

'Knobber horse' is an affectionate expression pinched from the Horse and Hound forums for when your horse has done something idiotic. I would call it 'having a donkey moment' except that would be an insult to donkeys...

Anyway, we were due some rough weather last Friday night so I went and caught Merlin to put him in for the night. He was being a git to lead, stopping every few strides to put his head down and graze, and by the time we'd got down into the third field I was thoroughly annoyed by it so I grabbed the leadrope about 18" under his chin, hauled his head up and marched off. He planted his feet and threw his head up - and discovered that the velcro on his field safe headcollar comes undone if he does that. He buggered off to the tasty grass and I was left with a dangling headcollar. Just the day I didn't want him to be trotting as well, because I'd forgotten to turn the fence on earlier, he'd done the splits to get at fresh grass and his right fore had started to fill again.

I stomped up to the house, grabbed some carrots, caught him and put him in, but he'd obviously decided this was a good trick because when I brought him in tonight he tried exactly the same stunt again. What he hadn't realised was that he was in an ordinary headcollar rather than the field-safe job and all he managed to do was stand on his own back feet and rip a bit of hoof wall which is now flapping like a hangnail - there's too much still attached for me to twist off and I haven't got anything tough enough to nip it off.

I'll call the farrier in the morning...

Friday, 9 September 2011


I thought it would be sensible to check with Merlin's previous owner whether he'd ever been clipped or not and the answer was not as far as she knew. So this morning I borrowed Mick's beard trimmer, took it out to the field and switched it on while Merlin was standing next to me.

There was a lot of ear waggling and he took a couple of steps back, but after 20 minutes of switching it on and off randomly while I was shovelling muck he was ignoring it and he didn't seem bothered when I put the hand with the trimmer in against his neck so he could feel the vibrations, though he did step away after 15 seconds.

All good anyway - if he has been clipped in the past it certainly wasn't a bad experience for him. I'll keep the trimmer in my pocket and hopefully come next Thursday he'll be completely unbothered when they shave his legs.

Monday, 5 September 2011

We have a date :o)

15th September, here, and apparently he'll need his legs shaved! Can you get equine legwarmers...?

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Weigh in day

504kg - 7kg off :o) Strip grazing from May next year I think...

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Another month

Still not much to report on the horse front (busy month for us, we got married!). He's chomped his way through field 2 now and I moved him up into field 1 this morning. He's back on a tiny square because he's in 4" lush grass and if we get a September flush up here then the sugar content is going to go through the roof.

The leg seems to be much better, he's bounced on it a couple of times after he's been in overnight and he's sound in trot, striding out well in walk and seems to be landing heel first again, all of which are good signs. Still trying to organise the scans, the current situation is that the new portable large animal scanners at Thurso and Wick won't show enough detail, but Wick still has their old one which will. Last time Bridget (the equine specialist vet who'll be doing the scans) spoke to Wick it wasn't working, so she's trying to get hold of them to find out what the situation is and if it's fixed she'll borrow it and come out to us, which will be a LOT easier than hauling Merlin into Thurso.

Currently wondering what to do about my insurance, since the renewal has come through. It's gone up to £32.99 a month, which isn't bad given he's now officially a veteran, but there are now exclusions on his front right fetlock (and I haven't even put a claim in for that yet!!) and his rear right hock, so I'm not entirely sure I wouldn't be better off putting £30 a month in a savings account instead. If he was going to be prone to laminitis it would have shown up this summer and since he ate half a bin of unsoaked beet shreds at a previous home with no ill effects, his digestive system is pretty robust as well. One to think about.

Weigh in day for him tomorrow, if he hasn't gained weight he'll be the only member of the family who didn't in August!