Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The better to bite you with, my dear

I didn't make it out to the barn yesterday, but Spaghetti's owner and I met for a playdate this afternoon.  I think it's safe to say she is my best barn buddy!  We are able to meet at the barn pretty often, for playdates as well as rides, and although I like pretty much everyone at the barn, I find I relate to her the best.

Anyway, both horses were quite happy to put their newly floated teeth to work, playing bitey face:

Horses playing

Both of them got rabies shots in their butts on Monday.  My vet put them in the butt because he said they tend to work out the stiffness more easily that way, as they walk around.  Panama, who is in a fairly large corral, was only slightly sore — it wasn't affecting his gait at all, but he was less interested in running with Spaghetti than usual, when we turn them out together.  Spaghetti, though, is in a shed with a run, and therefore doesn't move around as much, and the difference was quite obvious: He was extremely stiff, and was taking shortened steps with his left rear leg, which was the side he got the shot in.

The vet had warned us that it could happen, and just recommended some Bute if either of them was sore.  So we gave Spaghetti some, which was a bit of a rodeo.  I guess he is difficult to deworm, too.  After his owner wrestled with him for a little while, I asked if she wanted some help.  I used my "deworming trick" that I use on Panama, and used on the other horses at our last barn when I dewormed them, too: I stood next to his neck, facing the same direction as him, and put my right arm under and around his jaw, with my hand over the top of his nose.  At first he stood still, and I told him he was a good boy and rubbed his face; then he tried tossing his head and backing up, at which point I tightened my hand over his nose so that it kind of squeezed his nasal passages shut.  The instant he stopped, I released the pressure, told him he was a good boy again, and rubbed his face a lot.  After that, he stood more or less still while Allie put the syringe in his mouth and gave him his Bute.  Little booger just needed someone to say, "This is what we're doing now and 'No' is not an option!"

We hung out in the cross ties for a little bit — good practice for Spaghetti, who is just beginning to be okay with standing in the cross ties — until we could tell, from the way he shifted his weight more easily, that the Bute was starting to take effect.  The vet had indicated that a little exercise was good and would help the stiffness to loosen up, so I saddled Panama and she rode Spaghetti bareback.  We rode indoors — since it was beginning to get cold — and we just rode at a walk.  Panama wasn't quite as stiff and probably could have trotted, but we took it easy for Spaghetti-O!  He likes to follow Panama, and though he wasn't walking as fast as usual, after a while he started moving a little easier.

We have some snow and really cold weather moving in tonight and tomorrow, so I probably won't be riding again for a few days.  No lesson, either.  It's too bad — I was really hoping the weather would stay nice enough for another trail ride this Friday, but with a forecast of a whopping 10 degrees, I don't think that will happen!



At December 30, 2010 at 6:51 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

My cure all as you probably have heard is arnica gel. My old girl Naigen used to get a HUGE swelling from the west nile shot. The next year right after I gave her the shot I put Arnica on her neck there and we never had a problem after that. That stuff just plain works for swelling, bruising and sprains of any kind, all animals alike.

At December 31, 2010 at 7:23 PM, Anonymous Melody said...

That's amazing, the way you handled Spaghetti! You're fearless, lol!

i'm glad they are both doing well.

Oh, and thanks for the tip Sydney!

At January 1, 2011 at 5:24 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Oh Melody, I am anything but fearless -- Panama can be spooky and scares the crap out of me on a regular basis. I'm much more confident on the ground, and plus, both Spaghetti and Panama are smallish horses. My trainer is the one who taught me that trick for deworming, by the way, and it really does work!


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