Saturday, August 29, 2015

S Update

I just don't have time to update during the work week so I'm going to tell you about S's first week all in one post.  The place he was on before coming here was big and grassy so that's all he had to eat (one reason he's a tad thin) so he wasn't used to eating hay.  It took a couple of days (and me pulling off the outer layer) for him to finally decide he likes hay.  I didn't like the idea of him going without for those days so I let him have some of my nicer hay which he gobbled up.  I'm happy to say he now spends most of his time with his head buried in his bale of hay.  :D

I mentioned in the first update that I untangled his mane and that he was jumpy about the sound it made.  So I groomed him every day while he ate his ration balancer/fat supplement and now he's perfect for it.  I can groom him all over and he doesn't move away, flinch away or startle.  He's very leery about hands reaching toward him, especially his face, but he doesn't shift away anymore while I'm grooming him.  When I reach for his halter he still moves away slightly.  I need to work on that though because his halter is starting to rub the hair off his jaw and I just don't like leaving halters on them.  I'll probably work on that tomorrow.

So although he still doesn't like to be caught he is very curious and friendly now.  His Friesian personality is definitely shining through.

In fact it makes it hard to take pictures because he's always as close as he can get, reaching out to sniff me hehe.  That's not a white mark on his nose, it's a scrape from the trailer ride.  He must have bumped his nose.  I forgot to mention all of these pictures were taken today at dusk with a cell phone because I can't stand posting without pictures, but I didn't have time to take any during the week.  So they are random and don't have much relevance to the post (other than to show how cute he is) lol.

On Thursday he was limping.  I started to panic, but it wasn't bad and there was no heat/swelling, so I decided to watch it, since my farrier was planning to come out today anyway.  The foot he was limping on is the one he paws with and he's due for a trim and we have a lot of gumballs so I figured it was one or a combination of those things.  I'm happy to report that by today when the farrier saw him there was no limp at all.  :D

He did fabulous for his first trim with my farrier.  He picks his hooves up so easily (nice change from Rocky's resistance and Chrome's laziness).  He had some balance issues like all baby horses do when asked to stand on three legs, but with lots of breaks he did great.  I was very proud of him and he's not even my horse hehe.  I can't even claim credit for that.  She is going to come back in two weeks when the other boys are due and do some more on him.  She didn't want to push him too far his first time.  I love that she's all about making it a great experience for them!

Other than that the only change is that he has mildly loose stool.  I forgot that he's not used to getting grain/feed and I increased his fat supplement too quickly.  I'm impatient to see him with more weight, but I know slow and steady is important so I'm backing off on the supplement and I'll increase it a lot more slowly when his tummy straightens out.  The feed has probiotics and prebiotics, but I was thinking about getting him a tube of probios since this whole thing has been a huge change for him.  It will probably help straighten out his gut flora.

So all things considered it was a good week.  I'm hoping next week will go even better and be minus some of the negatives we've experienced this week.  I can tell you one thing though.  I'm loving working with a baby again!!!  I actually miss the days of working with Chrome during the pre-riding days.  It's something about being the one to share these brand new experiences with a young horse.. I don't know.  It's just fun and satisfying.  :D

Now I'll just leave you with some more pictures from tonight.  There are quite a few of Chrome because... well he's my boy and I love him!

 This kind of shows how tall S is.  Pretty sure my panels are five feet.  I'm going to see if hubby will help me measure him tomorrow since he's a lot calmer now.

 Droopy lip.  Shows how much more relaxed he is now.

 My boy looks good in black and white.

 Got carried away with the black and white.  Chrome was rubbing his nose on the fence and S is just looking cute.

 Just handsome isn't he??

Chrome's sweet itch is flaring up horribly and he's rubbing his mane and tail... might be time to cut his mane off again.  I was loving the mohawk so I'm kind of sad, but I don't like how it's bent over by his withers.  I'm doing his neem oil every night again, so hopefully the itching will subside soon.  I shouldn't have stopped using it, but I got lulled into complacency during the hot, dry weather I guess.  :\

 He's not crooked, he was resting a hoof.
Is it just me or is his butt getting dappled?? 

Rocky finally showed up to see what was going on.  He doesn't hang as close to S as Chrome does.  He's more interested in being boss than in comforting the newcomer.

I do have a Rocky story to share from last night.  I was fly spraying Chrome (with his neem) and hubby was scratching Rocky's itchy belly.  They were about six feet away from each other (I know too close out in the pasture, I wasn't thinking) and we weren't between them.  I don't think Rocky could see me on the other side of Chrome.  All of a sudden Chrome lunged at me.  I shoved my hand at him to push myself away, hyper-extending my wrist in the process, and stumbled backwards, almost over the fence into the goat pen.  Chrome bolted away without stepping on me thank goodness!  My first thought was that he spooked, but hubby told me Rocky went after him.  I was pissed!!!!

I'm all for letting horse settle their differences when they are out in the pasture alone, but it is NOT cool for them to put humans in danger.  Hubby chased Rocky off and I refused to feed him (we were in the area where Rocky normally eats so he was defending "his space").  Tonight when we fed I had hubby take Rocky's bucket waaaaaay far away from the gate (we had been feeding him right by the gate because he gets his food first) and then I fed Chrome and Zep.  I'm hoping that will convince Rocky that the gate is not his and he is not allowed to guard it.  Since then I've been keeping Rocky out of that area and not letting him get close to me and Chrome and keeping myself between them.  So far, so good.

To be honest Chrome is the first horse I've had that was the submissive horse.  All of my horses growing up were the herd bosses (my sister had the submissive ones for some reason, it just worked out that way) so I'm not used to having to guard my horse against the other horses.  I should have had more situational awareness and I won't be making that mistake again.  My wrist is feeling better today, so no lasting harm done luckily.

 S wants to be Rocky's friend.... Rocky doesn't lol.

 The rest of the herd.  Sorry they don't get as much attention.

 This sums up Rocky's opinion on the matter lol.

Well that about covers it.  Sorry it was so long.  I hate not getting to post more often, but this is better than nothing I hope.  I hope you all haven't bailed on me with my absences.  I'll try to post again tomorrow!


  1. I was just thinking the other day about how I have to constantly be aware of what each horse is doing when I'm working around them in the barn, because if one horse chases off another horse, I could get hurt. I always let Gabbrielle out of her stall last because she's such a bully. Then when she is out, I have to constantly be scolding her when she pins her ears at the other horses. Then she flicks her ears forward and gives me her innocent look. By having another new horse on the property, it'll take a while for all the animals to sort out their pecking order and develop new habits, so its hard to predict what they're going to do. I hope your wrist continues to feel better.

    1. I'm glad you are already constantly aware!! Good job! I should have been more careful, but it's just not something I'm used to having to do. :) Bringing S in did really stir things up, even though he's in the round pen, but I think what really got things messed up is because that changed the feeding situation. I was feeding Chrome in the round pen where Rocky couldn't get near him, now I'm having to feed them out in the pasture together. Ugh! So far moving Rocky way out by the pond is helping, so I'll keep doing that until S goes home and then I'll put Chrome back in the round pen.

  2. I'm sorry you caught in the herd dynamics. I would make sure that they are well separated in the future. i don't know that i believe he didn't know you were there because horses are hyper aware of their surroundings.
    On a good note, the baby is very cute and it won't take long for him to settle in.

    1. You're probably right. They are hyper aware. He probably just didn't care. I was giving him the benefit of the doubt since hubby was scratching his belly and he has his head turned sideways and his neck all stretched out (seriously I have to get a video, it's really cute) right before he attacked, so he was very distracted. However I'm pretty sure I was talking right before it happened, so he probably was aware of me. They are definitely going to be well separated when I'm out there from now on. I'll even tie Rocky to a tree while I fly spray Chrome if I'm out there alone. That is not happening again!!!!

  3. For the sweet itch, try putting SWAT every where he typically rubs to keep the gnats away. Those are what causes it to flare up. :( Right now i've been using fly spray (skin so soft recipe) and SWAT and I haven't had to use MTG or anything else more than like three times in the whole year. :) I don't know what you normally use, but if you ever need any new ideas on the sweet itch I've tried just about every product out there!

    1. I'm using neem oil. It isn't really a repellent, but it kills the gnats (and all the other bugs) by messing with their nervous systems. It really makes a dent in the population. The problem is I get off work so late that they are already out before I can put it on him.... If I stay consistent though it does make a difference. I've been putting zinc oxide on his open sores to help them heal and keep them from getting infected. It also keep the gnats and flies off the open sores because it's so gooey (diaper rash ointment). I use Ultrashield about once a week for ticks. I was using the Skin so Soft fly spray recipe when I could spray twice a day, but now that I can only do it once I don't bother with it. It would really help if I could do it in the morning, but I can't... I guess I could on my days off though. I forgot about that. At this point it's the itching from the bites he already has (because I wasn't spraying him everyday) that are causing the problem... not really new bites I don't think. :\ I wish I weren't so terrified of steroids because that would give him some relief... but it's so risky. It won't be long before they go away. I never thought I would be a cold weather person, but this stupid sweet itch takes a lot of the joy out of summer....


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