Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sam sees Koko the chiropractor!

Finally after owning Sam for nearly two years now I finally found a chiropractor for him!!!!! Koko came and braved our horrific weather today - 6 degrees, strong icy winds, over cast with a bit of rain. It turns out that Koko was my horses chiropractor at boarding school 16 years ago!!!!! Once I realised it was the same Koko I was very happy.

Poor Sam was out pretty much the throughout his whole body. Poll, neck, both shoulders, both hips. She said that at some point in his life - probably when he was young he had a major accident. If you have a look at this old photo of Sam just behind where the saddle would sit - I guess the loin area you will see a bump, it dips before the rump area. This is where at some point in his life he has had some major trauma.
The trauma could have been from pulling back really hard, tipping over backwards, a fall maybe during the breaking process. I guess we will never know.

Koko said he is fixable and the difference already is amazing. Already if we hand walk him on a small circle he is stepping under himself a lot better. Even backing in hand is better though we can't work on that yet, forward first then rein back!!!!! He did a lot of yawing, licking his lips and shaking his head after she adjusted something.

We have to do a lot of walking and trotting in straight lines for a while so he can start to build the right muscles. No wonder Sam had a lot of trouble in the arena, he really did put up with a lot of pain and I understand now, why in our lessons he would sometimes rear - he was just in too much pain.

I feel bad for asking so much from him when we were in Townsville but there was no one there to help us. I am just glad that we can start to get him feeling better so he can work my comfortably. Koko did warn that once we have Sam on the right track he might start to be a little more forward than he normally is because it doesn't hurt anymore. I guess that will be a good thing. :o) I don't think Sam will be really naughty just lively and I am sure he will settle down and behave :o)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fighting our Fears!

I am a nervous rider and even Sam worries me sometimes. At our new agistment place the main riding paddock is a 30 acre paddock that has a small gully running through it but it is mostly level. Lovely big trees and different size logs to pop over. Currently there is about 50 head of cattle in there but they are leaving on Monday. I am scared of cows. I like them on the other side of the fence, but Sam loves them and is happy to chase them.

I have been worried about riding Sam in this large paddock that has sheep over the road (which he has never seen before) and things to look at etc. Also if he decided that he had had enough and wanted to go home he would have to go through the small gully to get to the gate.

Today was a lovely warm sunny day with a slight cooling breeze. I decided to be brave and have a go in the large riding paddock. I took Sam for a walk through it a few days ago and he didn't stir up so I figured it is now or never!!!! I walked him down and lunged him to begin with. He was fine looking around a bit but listening to my voice. I asked him to canter and he had a good strong canter. I haven't seen one like that from him for a long time. He was really very calm so I thought 'Nina just get that butt of yours up in that saddle!!!!'

I went through my pre mount check, give to the rein left and right, wiggle the saddle so he can adjust the way he is standing if needs be, I place my foot in the stirrup and look at him - my way of asking him if I can mount, standing up in the stirrup and make sure again he is comfortable before I swing my leg over and land lightly in the saddle. He stood stock still and waited until I asked him to walk off. We walked around, halted, walked on again all on a very light contact. We looked at the tyres strewn across the arena, looked at the sheep across the road. He was walking out boldly so I decided to trot. He didn't listen to my legs so I used my voice and asked for trot. Up we went into a powerful, forward trot. I didn't now he had that kind of impulsion and power. It was awesome. He was slightly round with his nose sticking out a bit but thats ok. What I really liked was that he listened to my outside leg and rein when he was falling out.

Back to walk for a bit. Up into trot and this time I felt brave enough for a canter. I asked with my voice and he didn't rush as much as he normally does, he 'popped' into canter. It was a lovely big, bold canter once again on a light contact. He listened and came back to me when I asked. I am sure if anybody was down there watching they would have thought I was crazy - the grin I had was bigger than ear to ear!!!!!!!

I will be fine now to ride down there and I thanked him a lot for looking after me. I think Sam was a bit put out that we finished so quickly but I am still concerned about his hind end and it looks like the chiropractor is happy to come out on Sunday. That is awesome but it is meant to be raining, windy and 10 degrees!!!!!!! Hopefully he will be happy to stand int he shed for the treatment.

So it was a great ride and I over came a little fear. I am sure Sam thinks his mum is crazy!!!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Some happier photos!

This is Sam's new paddock. Unfortunatley it is all weed - no grass but it is safe and there are some trees in it (not shown in the photo)
Snoozing Mum!!!!
Oh Hi!!!!!!!
Bit sleepy still!
Just wanted to warn you of the post below. There are some graphic pictures of his tail when he got off the truck and after he had seen the vet.

Warning may upset some people

These are the photos of Sam's tail when he got off the truck. Warning some might find them a little graphic.

The next photos are of after the vet came. We shaved his tail, scrubbed it and covered it in pregnoderm.

Monday, September 21, 2009

What a moment!

Sam is doing really well. I think he is a little lonely so I am on the hunt for a Shetland to keep him company. I lunged him lightly on Saturday. He had a wonderful time bucking and carrying on but I did notice he is dragging his off side hind a little. Hopeing the chiropractor can come out this week. I lunged and rode him on Sunday. Scott and Jack came with me and we all went for a little walk. Sam did really well. He was on his best behaviour in the round yard. He perked up when we left the round yard but still stayed with me. He didn't try to race off, stopped a few times but was then happy to continue after having a look around.

Today we had an amazing moment. I took Sam up into the round yard and let him loose with his saddle and bridle on. I had a halter on him as well as I was going to attach the lunge lead to it. I let him have a look around but he didn't want to go anywhere so I walked off around the round yard and pretended to look at things and ignored him. He was watching me intensely the whole time but wouldn't walk around. I started to do a bit of weeding and then he started to sniff around. I moved to the middle of the round yard and asked him to walk on. I held out my left arm in the direction I wanted him to go and used my voice, I also wiggled the lunge whip behind him slightly. He walked on a few strides then stopped. I asked him to walk on using my voice and held out my left arm then wiggled the lunge whip. This went on for a bit before he continued to just walk. We then practiced walk, halt, walk, halt. Then I asked him to trot. I didn't have to use the lunge whip! We did a few trot, walk transitions and then changed the rein. He changed direction by turning away from me which I didn't like but I didn't push the issue. I then did the same on the new rein. I was also able to ask him to canter. I bought him back to a halt and then asked him to come to me. I closed the gap by half, asked him to 'come up' and then I tried something. I lent forward, smiled and pretended that a lead rope was attached to him and pretended to comb the lead rope. (I don't know if this makes sense - if you know the Parelli sevens games you use it when you ask them to come in to you)

HE TURNED AND WALKED UP TO ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This was amazing. Why because even when I have him on a lead rope we always have tension, resistance when we do this. To have this happen with no lead line was just awesome!!!!!! He was then locked on to me. Followed me all around, stopped, turned, his nose at my elbow the whole time. Then an unfortunate situation arose. In the paddock next to the round yard is Pepper who is a yearling and a paint gelding who is 3. The paint gelding was having a roll when his cotton combo slipped and when he got up he broke both leg straps and the whole thing slipped around so it was all hanging in front of his chest. He tried to walk and kept stumbling and getting caught in it. Pepper was getting quite scared - cantering away, turning back around and snorting. This wasn't helping the geldings reaction to what was happening with him. During this Sam was watching but still locked into me. I was torn, I was having a moment with Sam but this gelding obviously needed help.

I left Sam and helped the gelding. He was very good, stood still while I undid the chest strap and the last neck buckle that was still done up. I have never handled this horse or been near him. I also have never watched him be handled so I was hoping he knew how to pick up his back legs as the rug was caught around this I think he would have really panicked if I had left him to try and get it off himself. He was very good and let me pick it up and untangle the back leg.

I noticed Sam watching very intensely the whole time. I was prepared to have 'lost' him when I got into the round yard but he came straight up to me and and continued to follow me. Just what I wanted!!!!! I mounted him and went for a walk in a new area. It was large and open so I pushed him into a trot. I could feel his power and implusion. He was active and really wanted to go but stayed with me on a loose rein. We did a few trot, walk transitions using my voice and he was listening really well. He then chose to walk.

It really was an amazing time with him and I will remember it for a long time.

What would you have done - continued working with your horse when you have something that you have never had before or would you stop and help the horse in need?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Every day is getting better

Every day Sam seems to be getting better and better. This morning I moved him too his new paddock which he seemed to like. He had a good canter around, buck, jump, roll and then chatted to the yearling over the fence. His lumps are just about gone. I want to try and figure out what caused it but I am scared to do that as well!!!!!!

I took him out for a pick this afternoon for about an hour. He didn't lift his head once just munched away. He has even put weight back on I noticed this afternoon. He had a really good drink yesterday and I hope he did the same today. I might try and get the automatic waterer turned off so I can monitor it for a few days.

I put him back in the paddock while I went too get his dinner. He had wandered back up the back so I called him - he cantered down with a whinny which was great to see.

We move into our house on Wednesday so I am hoping to ride him next weekend. I will try and get a chiropractor out this week to give him a once over.

His tail is healing really well - it must be starting to get a bit itchy because he really enjoys it now when I clean it in the afternoons. He likes me scrubbing the scabs away. I am guessing that is a good sign. I hope to be able to rug him properly soon as we are forcasted to get some rain this week and that will make it really cold for him.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Animals - they make you worry

It has been a worrying two days. Yesterday morning I went out to see Sam and he was covered in little lumps. He seemed happy enough so I thought that it may be the hessian combo I put on him. They were only where that rug had touched him. He ate, drank, pooed, wee ed so I wasn't too concerned. His temp was 37.3. When I went back in the afternoon too feed the lumps were covering his whole body. He ate his small hard feed but wasn't interested in the hay. His temp was up to 38.1 (His normal temp is 37.1) He seemed depressed, his tail was sore, in general he just wasn't happy. I couldn't hear gut sounds but I didn't have a stethoscope. I was worried. My other half was awesome and came out with me at about 9.30pm too check him. Temp was still up, not hay had been eaten but I heard some good gut sounds on both sides. We left him to relax.

I was up early this morning to check him. All hay had been eaten, temp was back to 37.1 I found 5 fresh poos that had some formation and he was a little brighter within himself. Phew!

Jack our dog is in the kennel and we have been worried about him because sometimes he stresses and doesn't eat. We decided to take him out for the afternoon. So we picked him up and he looked great. Happy, hasn't lost any weight. We took him out to see Sam and we took them both for a long walk. Sam was able to have pick on some nice grass and Jack had a lovely time exploring. I think Sam really enjoyed getting out, seeing new things and spending time with us. I gave him a quick brush as well. I had to dress his tail and he coped quite well. I don't think it is as sore now, either that or the cold water numbed it a little too :o)

He still wasn't that interested in his hay tonight but was picking at it. His temp was still normal. I have to move paddocks tomorrow but I think it will be better. A better shelter, more trees, closer to other horses for company, will be able to see all the comings and goings of the place a lot better as well. Not much feed in it, maybe enough for a small pick but one of the neighbours is a yearling and they should have a lot of fun chatting over the fence.

I just want the lumps to go down. I am going to give him until Monday, if they haven't gone down by then I am going to call the vet again. I have also stopped the pellets. The hessian rug and pellets are the only new things. We move into a house on Wednesday so Wednesday night I will be able to start him back on his old feed. I bought three bags with me and that should last upto 3 months.

I am sick of feeling sick in the stomach. I always feel sick when my animals are off. I struggle to eat and feel like throwing up all the time. I can see not next week but the week after when we are in our new house, Sam is settled and feeling better, we have Jack with us I am going to some down with some virus. I think my body will let go after all the stress!!!!!

Poor little Sam!!!!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


My beloved Sam arrived at 8am this morning. He walked off the truck like a pro and stood at the bottom of the ramp while we changed halters over. He was very quiet, looking around moved off to the side to have a wee and then proceeded to have a pick. I have missed him soooooooo much and was extremely glad to see him again.

Now for the not so nice news. I had Sam quite plump when he was in Townsville and I did expect him to loose some weight but not as much as he has. His rump drops away, he has no top line, his neck looks like a giraffes and he was very tucked up. The worst was his tail. For 6 days he has sat back on his rump in the truck and it was a matted bloody mess. I was in tears when the truck left. My poor little boy. Here I am dragging him 2000klms across the country and look at what he had to go through.

I took him up too his new paddock and he walked very quietly and calmly next to me. I let him go and he walked around, sniffed a few things, had a trot and then came back over for a chat. I made sure he was quiet and then raced off to the feed store. I wasn't expecting him to arrive so early in the morning. I also organised for the vet to come and check his tail. When we got back from getting some feed he was standing quietly, half asleep probably glad to have some quiet. I gave him a small hard feed which he ate with gusto. Good Sign. Then he had a small drink, better than nothing. I tried to clean up the tail area but he wouldn't let me. It was obviously very sore. We left him rugged and with some hay so he could settle in and relax.

The vet came out at 2.30pm. We sedated him and then clipped the area. He now has a show horse tail. It is clipped from the top of the dock to about half way down. There was pus and the vet said that it looked like he had done it on the first day. You could see where it had become too painful and he had tried to move to another spot. There are three areas with some minor infection, the rest scabs. I will wash it with luke warm iodine wash and apply pregnoderm to it daily. He was given a long lasting penicillin injection.

I sat with him for about 2 hours waiting for the sedative to wear off and too make sure he was ok. I rugged him up for the night and boy did he buck! The rug was rubbing on his tail. Quick phone call to my other half and sent him to the local saddlery for a rug. We couldn't get anything waterproof and really warm so all he has on tonight is a polar fleece rug, woolen rug and a hessian combo over the top. We cut away the hessian so it doesn't sit on his tail.

I will be ringing the transport company tomorrow telling them how disappointed I am. I have used them so many times before but this time I really am horrified at the state Sam turned up in. All they had to do was put a tail wrap on him.

Anyway I have him with me now and I can take good care of him.

We found a house to rent today. Not on acreage but only 10min away from Sam and 2min away from my other half's work. It is still being built so we can't move in for 3 weeks but it is brand new, clean, close to the important things.

For Sprinkler Bandit - we moved because my other half is in the Defence Force and they move us around the country side about every 3 years. This was a big move but hopefully we will be here in Wagga Wagga for 6 years.

We have found 26 acres and are looking into buying it. I wouldn't be able to keep Sam on it yet because it is about 40min away but we are hoping to build.

OK guys I will post photos when I can and I will keep you updated on poor little Sam. It is meant to get down to 1 degree tonight - hope he doesn't freeze too much!!!!!!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

We have arrived!!!!

Hi Everyone!!!!!!

Really quick post to say that we have arrived in Wagga Wagga and it is beautiful!!!!! Sam left on the Truck on Thursday and they had a few problems getting him on. Hopefully he will improve with loading as the trip goes on. I went and checked out where I will have him living and it looks like a lovely friendly place. Huge - 50 horses.

We haven't found anywhere to live yet but we are still searching. I still don't have a lot of access to the internet so I will do short posts when I can!

I hope you are all having fun with your ponies!!!!!