Halloween is one of my favorite “Holidays”, mostly in part because I have always loved creating costumes. None of my animals are safe during Halloween time, and even the ponies got in on the fun the other day as they so kindly allowed me to dress them up as Super Ponies!
Our adorable trio make for some pretty striking Super Heroes!
Our two brothers, Blitz and Boomer, made for a particularly adorable pair. And I’m pretty sure Blitz was convinced that younger brother Boomer was dressed as his sidekick.
Of course somehow Boomer always manages to steal the show…..
But Blitz was determined to be top Super Pony, and he showed us just how fast he can fly!
I’m pretty sure if I was in need of rescuing I’d want these Super Heroes to save me!
Meanwhile on the sidelines, adorable Ammo was in charge of all costume changes….
If you want to check out what Ammo dressed up as for Halloween, be sure to check out his blog post!
Lately we have been doing a lot of cattle work. We’ve gone to a couple ranch sorting clinics and we’ve even tried some team penning. Boomer has really started to enjoy chasing cows, and I think my favorite of them all is the team penning!
Here’s a short video of Boomer trying some team penning, this is only his 4th time on cattle.
On this particular trip we even brought along my sister’s mare for her first time on cattle. She was a natural and jumped right in to chasing cows.
Perhaps someday we’ll get our own cattle on the farm, because it seems all the ponies really enjoy moving them around!
Minnow was diagnosed with high ringbone back in 2008, and he’s been retired from all riding and competition since then. He’s lived pretty comfortably for many years, but this year he has been noticeably more sore. So in an effort to make him more comfortable for years to come I’ve been trying lots of options to help him be more pain free.
Our previous attempts to help Minnow can be read about here:
Since then we also began giving Minnow Pentosan injections because we had heard great things about this drug from some of our friends, in helping horses with arthritis. There really wasn’t any noticeable difference when Minnow was given Pentosan, so it wasn’t going to be a long term benefit to him.
We also tried giving Minnow Equioxx, which did help with his pain some, but the most helpful by far was giving Minnow bute along with a Fast track supplement to help protect the lining in his stomach.
While bute did help make Minnow more comfortable I still wanted to do all that I could to help him be more pain free, and bute is never a great long-term pain medication just because of the harm it can do to the intestines. So with the help of our vet we made another appointment for Minnow at New Bolton to have him injected with Ethyl Alcohol into his pastern joint with one of the renowned vet’s there.
The goal with the injection was to destroy the remaining cartilage in the joint allowing the joint to fuse as it has been trying to do naturally for the past several years. With this injection there is no guarantee it will work, and likely no results would even been seen for many months as it takes time for the joint to fuse. But there really is no down side to this procedure other than the risk of infection due to inserting the needle. Minnow should not be any more painful than he already is. So with fingers crossed we took Minnow back to New Bolton to have him injected.
Using X-rays, the vet was able to put the needle into the right space in Minnow’s joint to inject the alcohol (which was a bit difficult because his joint is already pretty deteriorated).
After one day we miraculously already saw improvement in Minnow. For the past 2 weeks he’s been “resting” in his stall and the small turnout paddock attached to his stall.
Here’s a video of Minnow BEFORE the injection:
Minnow a week AFTER the injection:
While Minnow is significantly improved, the hope is that his joint will continue to fuse over time and eventually he could be possibly even be pain free. He is so much more comfortable already that we have taken him off all of the pain meds and this week he gets to go out in the pasture with his buddies again.
While this procedure is never recommended for horses that will be ridden (Minnow will never be ridden again), Minnow met a lot of the criteria to make this procedure successful for him. Time will continue to tell how beneficial it will be to him.
Minnow is very special to me, and I will continue to do everything I can to make him comfortable and happy!
Last weekend we took a trip to Double Rock Farm to attend a beginner Ranch Sorting Clinic with Blitz and Boomer. You might remember that we’ve been to Double Rock before, where I introduced Boomer to his first cow.
Both ponies picked back up where we had left off last fall (before my knee surgery) and I think they both enjoyed bossing the cows around.
I noticed that Boomer really likes being able to move the cows with some speed, so I’m very much interested to try some team penning soon – which is a little bit more of a faster paced sport.
Below is a video of Boomer’s first time on the cows that day. I find the hardest part in Ranch Sorting is thinking ahead to where that cow might end up when you start to move it. But I know this will just improve the more we’re able to practice…..now if I could just talk my parents into getting some cattle on the farm!
In January I took Minnow back to New Bolton Center to have his diagnosis of Ringbone reassessed after being treated 5 years earlier. Without too much hope we were left to experiment with different types of shoeing in the hopes of maybe making Minnow a little bit more comfortable in the coming years.
I decided to test out the Ground Control Shoes with Minnow first, to see if they might take away some of his pain. Some of the key points I had read about the Ground Control Shoes are:
- Outlasts metal 2:1 guaranteed!
- Unsurpassed shock absorption.
- Better than barefoot flexible fit!
- Keeps performance horses sounder longer!
- Provides relief from arthritis pain, navicular, founder and ringbone.
- Safer on roads and rocks!
- Won’t ‘snowball’ in winter.
- Shapes and wears to fit your horse’s needs!
- NO special tools or nails required!
Feeling hopeful I made sure to take videos of Minnow prior to having the shoes put on and then again 2 weeks after wearing them.
After having Minnow wear the Ground Control Shoes for almost 4 weeks I’ve decided that they haven’t benefited him significantly – if anything he might be a tad worse than he was when barefoot.
So next shoeing they will be removed and we will try something else – I think a rocker type shoe.
I think the ground control shoes could probably work for some horses – depending on what you need them for, but for Minnow’s situation it’s just not enough of a benefit to warrant spending the money to have them put on every month.
So onto the next shoeing experiment!