Kitten picspam

Kitten LUVS Puff. Jet and Marcus are not so crazy about it. However, I’m getting them all high on catnip and hoping everyone will mellow out.


Kitten update

Kitten went to the vet today along with the dogs. (It’s mosquito, flea and tick season; do you know where your Heartgard and Frontline are? The good news: she is FIV and Fe-leuk negative, and got her first kitten shots. She needs a booster in a month, so she can go back with the big boys who are due for rabies and other shots.

Unbelievable news: they looked at her teeth. She is AT LEAST six months old. The vet says she undoubtedly got a ‘rough start’ and will probably never get very big. This doesn’t seem to bother her. Hopefully she’ll be able to hold her own with the boys. I put her back in the mud room and will introduce her this evening when I’m home to supervise. At the vet, the techs said she was so concerned with clinging to the table when they took her back to draw blood that she never even noticed the needle! When the vet looked her over, she did the same thing, clinging to the table and hanging over the side watching Puff. The vet asked her if her ‘big protector’ was down there. Puff as usual was very concerned.

Tucker spent her time in the waiting room sitting with other people. She wants to meet EVERYONE. Except other dogs. Though once they went nose to nose she seemed okay with a very exciteable West Highland White.

Nothin’ like…

…sittin’ in McDonald’s with a coffee and WiFi in smelly barn clothes. Covered in shedding hair. Also, I did the stall today. Don’t like it, sit somewhere else.

Today was a short ride, not so much for behavior as because I did ride longer than anticipated yesterday and because of BUGS! Yech. Little, pesky, in-your-face bugs. Lucky fussed about having fly spray wiped on his ears, but then complained the whole time we were out with head-tossing and snorting and trying not to breathe in bugs, while I tried not to snort and shake MY head.

We went in the big ring today, and I figured just some walk/trot and maybe some poles. Besides one little rush that might have been an aborted spook, he was good, except for a little stopping and the constant head-shaking because of the bugs. For which I could not blame him. They were insanely annoying. We worked a bit on going forward and straight over the poles, and then I gave up. He’d gotten a long grooming so I figured a short ride was fair. We did an open the gate from the back and rode out, with no explosions a la yesterday, and I dismounted at the barn. He was ready to go in and this time he was a great deal more cooperative about having his ears done! He also got liniment for the legs, and iodine on the patchy spots. The ones we’ve been treating with iodine and bag balm look better, at least, so hopefully this will clear up with care. After he went back out I did his stall–I’m on full board, but the BO is off at a training thing this weekend in Ohio and J. is watching the barn, so I figured I might as well do it so he doesn’t have to.

Since I’m on high-speed, here are some other pictures:

Lucky riding by the scary woods of doom!

Free kitten, anyone?

Battery is starting to go and so should I. Ought to get home and walk the dogs.

Rain, rain, go away!

How can it be just overcast here and a steady downpour at the barn? I went out with plans to ride, but that turned into scraping and toweling, with a little strapping thrown in. He was still cold, but at least he wasn’t dripping! Then it was all hands on deck to get everyone else in and dried off. I am glad that I do not have a horse with extensive white markings like Dino and Takota. And Dom the palomino was not very palomino. Everyone was quite happy to come in and eat and get out of the rain.

The kitten’s eyes are better, and she does seem to be eating and drinking. The dogs think this is interesting every time they go in and out.


New tack! Oh, new tack. The nice leather smell, the fitting it to the horse, the first ride . . . .

Okay, so they’re not NEW. In fact God knows how old the bridle is–it came with a nickle full cheek that doesn’t look or feel like anything I’ve seen in bits in a while, and it IS a flat hunter-style English leather bridle. It’s also in a cob size. He’s now wearing it with the caveson on the second hole, the cheek pieces on the second hole, and the throatlatch just barely reaches, while in the raised (yuck) horse-size everything is on the very shortest hole possible and the cheek pieces are still too long. You can only punch so many extra holes before you run out of leather. I may take it down to this man in Shipsie who does leather work and have him make the throatlatch longer, but the rest fits pretty well. He just has this very teacup muzzle, dished short face, and then a regular old horse-style throatlatch. (Also, anyone know where to get a set of Havana brown snaffle and curb reins? Because my reins do not match.)

The saddle, meanwhile, is a Crosby Prix des Nations that has obviously been VERY well cared for. The flaps are like butter and the seat is beautiful. The tree, obviously, is fine and he does seem to take a medium comfortably. Even with a 17.5″ seat it’s still not GREAT for me. Still like sitting on a board. But he seemed to like it better, and it’s definitely lighter than the Stubben. He was okay with that, but lightening the load a bit can’t hurt.

He is still suffering from horsey ADHD. Anything a half-mile away is more interesting than what is going on, sometimes enough to get bouncey. And Trudy being ridden in the woods was downright mystifying and scary. (Apparently Trudy wasn’t thrilled to pieces with the idea, either.) We also had serious issues with standing still while dismounted and NOT using owner as a scratching post. We had a good amount of trotting in the round pen, and I realized very quickly why I have to shorten the stirrups about two holes from where I had them on the AP. Ow. Hi, knees. Sorry about that. Between this and the dance shoes this was not a good week for you. Something in the woods got scary and we had a minor spook, and finally a stop with complete ignoring of the bit. I got off and we walked over to the big ring and had a couple walks around to the far end where the scary things live. I got back up and again we had the inverting and the horsey ADHD. The BO’s daughter (mother of T., who rode Lucky a few weeks ago) hopped up and decided to take him around the ring, spooks or no. (I meanwhile was starting to consider the virtues of acepromazine as horsie Ritalin.)

It was VERY nice to not only stand back and watch him go under saddle but to have someone on him who had ridden an OTTB a lot. The BO didn’t quite get why I was not entirely thrilled with his brain, saying that he doesn’t have a vicious bone in his body, which of course he doesn’t. Her daughter got what I meant about ADD. He’s a looker. He is paying attention to everything everywhere all the time. She also agreed that there’s something just a bit funky with his right back leg. I watched her trot him, and she watched me trot him (and then we stopped as he had been ridden for almost forty-five minutes, the longest yet!) and while he’s not in any pain that we can see, he’s just kind of unbalanced. Not in a wobbly way, just in the sense that his right side is not as developed as his left and it shows particularly in his right stifle. When the ground’s uneven (there’s a bit of a slope to the big ring) it seems to work him harder. So nice to know I was not imagining that! We both agreed that the saddle is also a great ride. He seems to like it, too.

Back at the barn, we talked about our respective OTTBs, her old one and mine. Both were much more ‘hot’ than Lucky (who is not so much hot as very easily distracted) and yet both seemed to have a knack for knowing when their rider was not someone who knew how to deal. You could put a little kid on either of them (and I suspect Lucky, too) and they became the blandest lead-line pony imaginable. They were just smart like that.

Lucky, by the way, saw the vet and equine dentist while I was away (I had a ballroom competition on the east side of the state, which was a ton of fun and went extremely well for my not having danced in six months.) The vet gave him his vaccines and checked out the two hairless patched on his left shoulder. In her opinion, they are a benign sarcoid (yay, not mange, fungus or fleas) and I can treat it with an iodine wash and/or bag balm, and they will not bother him. They don’t seem to, certainly, not the way Old OTTB went mildly nuts with a fungal infection that made him itch. The equine dentist, meanwhile, was yet another ho-hum moment for Lucky (he was the only horse who did NOT need sedating) but his teeth are worse than mine. His funky double tooth in front is a baby tooth that never fell out. And there is one tooth in back the dentist could not reach and he is recommending having someone who uses power tools get it. Rather than call the vet back out, I’m first going to check with my friend B., who had mentioned having someone who uses drill grinders do her two Arabs and she was quite pleased with the result. She is an older lady whose family bred Arabs and she’s quite picky about caring for her two, so I would trust her recommendation.

And I came home from the barn with a, hopefully temporary, souvenir. While I was putting the iodine and Bigeloil away (iodine for the hairless patch, Bigeloil for his legs) I heard a loud kitten meow behind me. I turned around and saw a black and white kitten prowling the tack room. Now, the BO does not have a black and white kitten. However, her daughter is the source of Pest and Pest’s brother (who went home with another boarder) so I thought, okay, maybe she brought another one. I scooped the kitten up and called BO and daughter back to the barn. By then I’d seen the goopy eyes and figured that this was probably not a new resident-at least not a planned one. I held on to her while I gave Lucky his treats and put him away (he was very tolerant of the strange snuffly thing in my other arm, probably because everyone else was getting dinner and he just wanted to get to his stall) and the BO’s daughter (vet tech) took a look. Kitten is dehydrated, lungs sound clear but the eyes and nose as goopy, and kitten obviously is cold and tired.

Long story short, the BO’s dog would eat it if they took it in, daughter has a pregnant cat at home and can’t take a cat with an infection in, while I have a mud room where I can keep her isolated. BO had some leftover pink liquid (tetracycline–they make the same nasty pink stuff for animals as humans) from one of the other cats, loaned me a carrier and a big towel, and off she went with me. Right now, she’s curled in the cubby beneath my deacon’s bench, and has had her first dose of tetra, eaten a bit, and has a full water bowl, rugs and towels, and a small litter box. Hopefully she can get some rest and get in shape to be a barn cat. She’s probably eight or so weeks old-barely enough to be on her own. She did eat the little bit of food I gave her, and I think she drank some, so now I’m leaving her alone for the night. Pictures tomorrow, when hopefully she’ll be feeling more social. Tucker sniffed, Puff kind of glanced at her, and I don’t think that my cats (who don’t go in the mud room) even realize she’s here.

Nothing Much To See Here

Except insanely busy weeks at work, plus what I hope is just a cold (body aches, cough, and the sensation of having been run over by a truck.)

Tucker did get her stitches out Tuesday, though, and is doing fine–she is down 2.2 pounds from when I got her, so we are making slow progress. Lucky could probably use that weight moved over onto him! We’re thinking of slowly upping his grain while the weather is this cold. He gets all the hay he wants, but a few more calories can’t hurt in this weather.

And, apropos of nothing, I thought I would share a picture my mother sent me of Thursday, the amazing turkey-herding cat. Story behind the picture: the turkeys (there are about seventy) are Eastern wild turkeys that view my mom’s birdfeeders as their personal stash. Apparently Thursday (one of their five, possibly six, barn cats–Creamsicle hasn’t decided whether he’s staying) wanted a drink out of the sump pump runoff. The turkeys were between him and the water. Th e turkeys are apparently poor judges of relative size, and unable to count or comprehend that 1 cat < 70 turkeys.

Lucky’s Roomate

This is one those times when I really wish I had a digital camera. I would love to have a photo of Lucky’s apparent roommate.

I went to the barn this morning earlier than usual, after dropping Tucker at the vet at 7:30. Did you know it’s dark at 7:30? (No. I’m not a morning person. Not remotely. Well, actually, they’re not so bad, it’s the getting-up part that’s the killer.) That was much too early, even allowing for the half-hour drive to the barn, so I killed time at the McDonald’s with one of those cinnamon melty things and a coffee. (I’d had coffee before I left. That wasn’t enough.) I did actually manage to remember to bring a book at least.

The drive to the barn was all in grayscale. The sun was starting to come out, but with the weather we’ve been having, there was fog. The trees were all frosted over as well, making everything white or gray. Another reason to wish I had a camera. The temperature has been high enough that things are melting, and then today it was below freezing again (still high twenties, but colder than it’s been.) Unfortunately at the barn that meant not much of anything today–the snow that’s melted on the ground has refrozen into ice, and when I tried to turn for the outdoor Lucky skidded and had no traction. So we walked in the lane instead, where some melt has gone all the way through to grass and he could graze a little, much to Trudy’s annoyance.

Oh, yes, Lucky’s roommate. When I got there, I put his first dose of biotin pellets into his tub to see if he’d eat them without grain (not a problem. The search for something Lucky will NOT eat continues.) While looking down into the stall to do this, I saw something on the ground by his manger. There was a little brown mouse at the corner of the manger (basically a rectangular wooden box about two feet deep, three feet long, and a foot and a half wide), apparently rooting for seeds coming off the hay. He seemed very unconcerned about the giant horse feet inches away, and he didn’t seem at all worried when I came in to get said horse. And when I put Lucky away, the mouse was not only still there, but apparently had escaped the notice of Black Cat (another barn cat) who was taking a nap in the manger and was thoroughly put out that Lucky wanted his hay back!

Not that I mind the stunning winter scenery, and as I keep reminding myself Lucky is supposed to be having time off, but the ice is not helping any real progress here.

Previous Older Entries Next Newer Entries