Monday, February 9, 2009

Question for today

Here's my query for today. What are the top 5 things you would advise someone to study about horses? There is sooooo much information out there, where's one to start? I love my horses and every day in this blogging world I'm realizing more and more that I don't know squat about anything. lol I know the basics that mostly everyone else knows, but I don't really have any deep down knowledge about anything in particular. I love reading about genetics, even though I hardly know anything, and BrownEyed Cowgirls' several last posts are about genetics and genetically linked lethal conditions and from which great stallions they are linked to.

So my question to anyone who wants to or can answer (or heck, even ask YOUR questions, maybe someone can answer them), what do you think should people study first or where do you suggest should they begin? I know I'd like to know more about the genetic disorders, more about certain sires that were big and why, certain rules for specific disciplines, or certain other ailments like laminitis and colic. Then you have other areas like first aid. There's much much more. I don't really know where I should start though. I know it depends too on if you own and/or ride as well. Let's assume your suggestions are for someone like me, owner and rider :)) Maybe you have a good book, or a good website, or a good magazine or something. Let's hear it, I'd LOVE to know. I have read several training type books and breed books (more like an encyclopedia).

For my second question, I'm sure you all have 100 answers and yeppers to. Have you ever went ahead with something you knew probably wasn't a great idea, but went ahead and did it anyhow? Yeah, I knew it. We are finally having some nice, mild weather yesterday. It was about 40 yesterday and I was so excited to ride. We were going to let the girls out to run, but one of the draft horses was out there. The geldings got separated from the mares last summer after one of the draft horses (we have two) would keep chasing them around any time we wanted to go get them from the pasture. THEN, when the second drafty came, the two boys would sit there and try to fight over them. I finally had enough when they started in with each other like 5 feet away from this little human. I said uh uh, no more and told the barn owner either separate them, keep them in all day or we'd be gone, so he finally put the three girls all together, which is what he should have done from the start. The girls get along great. Well, my two have their issues, but it's mine, not someone else causing the problems with each other, so that's a little different. So back to my story about yesterday. The one draft, Tundra, who's an appy percheron mix, was already turned out. We couldn't remember him ever giving us trouble, it was usually the other one, inaptly named Angel, who's part Clydesdale and part dumb shit, that gave us the trouble. So we asked if she minded if we turned the girls out with him. She said she didn't have a problem if we didn't. Mistake!!! He was ok at first and it was the girls that were squealing and turning their butts towards him with their ears pinned back and hopping around. They don't like any of the boys. I think they are lesbians. Anyhow, it was the girls causing all the ruckus so we watched and they were ok for a little while. Well, my husband just happened to turn the one time and see Tundra kick out at them. He thought he heard contact (from that nice, newly shod draft hoof) with one of them. Yeppers. Turns out to be my girl, as usual. She's ALWAYS the one to get hurt. She has a huge patch of flesh showing on her right shoulder. It's like someone skinned her. No blood or anything, but a closely skinned patch. Grrrr. When I was grooming her, which is when I noticed it, she didn't flinch or anything when I was scrubbing with the curry rubber brush. Do horses flinch at things like that? She didn't react. Then I noticed it and felt bad. Does heat at an injury sight usually happen immediately or gradually? I tried feeling and compared the right with the left shoulder, but neither of them were particularly warmer than the other. I saddled her up and tried to ride. That was short lived. She was walking really stiff and only wanted to go to the left, which is usually her off side. So we only walked for about 5 minutes and I stopped torturing her. We told the barn owner what happened and he said she probably is bruised. Maybe a couple days off and she'll be ok. Big dumb draft horse. Stupid owners :)) I know that time it's our fault, we should have known better. So, once again, mare's out of commission.

Also, when I was grooming her rump area above her tail (yep, I need to study horse anatomy for sure!), she flinched and kind of danced forward, like I was tickling her. So I ran my hand over it, pushing down and she kept tucking her butt under (if that's the right way to describe it). I hope she's not out again already.


Melissa-ParadigmFarms said...

There is so much to learn about horses and the old saying about the more you learn the less you realize you know is so true. Horse people that think they have all the answers scare me.

There is so much to study; behavior, training techniques, hoof care, nutrition, breeding, barn management . . . I don't know if I can answer your question!

Hope your horse is back to 100% soon, we all have membership in the "I did it anyway knowing I shouldn't" club.

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

I have no idea of where a person should start after learning the basics. I guess it depends on what your interests are.
If you are interested in bloodlines, a good place to start is looking at what the bloodlines are of the horses you have and work backwards. Learn everything you can about those specific individuals and then start learning about the get they produced. At first it is so confusing, but pretty soon you get familiar with the names and you realize just how repititious the good bloodlines are in everything that is winning today.
Training is the same way, learn as much as you can about the specific events you really like and then carry that knowledge into other events. That is repititious as well-it's just the nuances that are different from event to event.

The most important thing I can impart is that common sense rules. If your gut tells you that something someone is trying to teach you doesn't make sense(not the understanding part-but the lack of common sense part), then it probably isn't right. No matter how much they try to make you believe their way is right or market it to you...your gut will tell you something isn't "right".

On the "I did it anyway" thing...I can't tell you how many times I have done things I felt like mayyybeeee I shouldn't, but did it anyway. I thought I crippled Moon a few years back. I turned him out with "the herd", knowing he is a jerk and often brought punishment upon himself. Well, he met his match with some of our much bigger geldings and like your mare, got kicked in the shoulder. He got a huge hematoma and was sore for a week. I was just sure it had done permanent damage. It took about 10 days and doctoring with liniment and aloe vera gel to get the lump down and another week or so before he wasn't sore on it. All that, because I thought he needed to learn some herd manners(head slap).

Ohhh-and it is possible your mare is in heat! I have some that get really sensitive when they are coming into, in full heat and/or going out of heat. Is it possible that she might have been showing heat signs and one of the geldings jumped on her?

kdwhorses said...

ON the mare thing~I agree with BECG she could have been in heat. I know my mare is sensitive when she is in, especially if I ride her bareback. She doesn't act bad, but you can tell she is sensitive on her back area. I had a friend who's mare was acting strange and she had a cyst on her ovary that was causing the problem. How does she normally act when she is in? Normally I don't even know with my mare, unless I left her tail and check. I'm lucky she is the same all the time in that aspect.

ezra_pandora said...

Melissa: Yes, thankfully I don't personally know too many people who claim to be all knowing.

BEC: We definitely didn't use common sense with turning her out with that silly boy. Especially with Sassie, she's ALWAYS the one that gets hurt. She finds it. There was an article once I read about horses spending their entire life finding out where they want to die. I think she has 9 lives. Thankfully nothing's been crippling or life threatening yet. But we definitely need to be more careful. lol

And with her being in heat? She's apparently perpetually in heat. Both the trainer AND the chiropractor made mention about that. And it wasn't "she could be" it was "she is." I don't think that was part of the problem though, I don't think Tundra was trying to mount her, I think she was being bitchy so he was being a punk right back and they were both probably kicking at each other intermittently.

kdw: the chiro told us about easy mare with valarian root for her cycles. He said if it didn't help greatly with her goofyness and attention, she might have cysts, so after we get it and use it for two months, if there's no improvement, he said call the vet to check it out. Since she's always in heat, we just assume it. She never acts different really, like really different anyhow, but maybe when I touched her rump and she jumped, that's why. We'll have to see here when we go out again if she's still touchy.

Thanks for the suggestions.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I don't think you can ever stop learning about horses. There is so much to learn.
I'd like to learn more about hooves. Too me all horse hooves look mostly alike. I just can't tell when something is a little off. And hooves are amazing when you think about it...relatively thin structures holding up a 1000+lb horse frame......along with a rider and saddle.

So sorry about your horse's injury. I hope she feels better soon and that there's nothing serious with her back end either.


Sully said...

I lived on a farm with horses for 7 months. I know the routine for those horses and that is about it. I think the biggest thing with YOUR horse is learning what is the norm so you know when something is off. The woman I lived with brushes or rubs down her horses nightly before putting them in their stalls for the night. She has caught many illnesses before they were a problem by knowing her horses so well. Of course, she knows a lot about horses and still nothing. I know nothing about horses, well except that I adore their sweet little faces and want to snuggle them and kiss their soft noses. I am such a dweeb.


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