Friday, November 27, 2009

Worry of the day is Brisa.

More specifically she's coughing. Twice now. In the stable, same time of night. Only four or five and then she'd quit but it's happened twice in the last week and I didn't like the way it sounded. She has no other signs, but I don't like it. >:

Her is the little brat a few minutes ago out in the paddock.

As you can see...her nostrils are clear.

She has a little weepiness from one eye, but she always has.

See that other red nose poking in there?

Brisa comes for cookies. Mandy comes for me. Mandy doesn't like cookies but where I am she's never far behind if possible.

Little shit. :-)

Ok, enough Mandy, this is about Bree


No cookie. :-(

She is such a little stinker but I sure do love her.


Did I mention she grew? She's a whole 12.3 hh now.

*proud momma*

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Mandy's hooves to be specific.  

I haven't been riding since Nov 22. Partially because I haven't had time, and partially because we(Juan and I) have been trying to sort out what to do about Mandy's feet. When I was walking her back up after the last ride I noticed that she's striding base narrow. Continuing to wear only the outer fronts to quarter. When I  first saw her at auction, her fronts were straight and it's faded in my memory now, but I think she was striding true.

Here she is still shod, the day I picked her up at the auction.

She seems to be landing toe first and wearing off only that as her heel hoof wall was beginning to ravel. This morning Juan filed a small amount off her heels again as well as the inside quarters  to encourage her to step straight rather than swing to the inside. She's not rope walking. It's not that bad, but still something that needs to be addressed before a small problem becomes worse. Her hinds are wearing much more evenly.

 You can see here where the majority of wear is occurring.

It almost looks like she's dragging her feet. It doesn't feel like it when we're out riding though and she's never tripped or taken a clumsy step.

The only other thing I can think of is that she's out at the elbows. She's not perceptibly base narrow when standing.

Anyone else have any ideas?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Progress on the pastures and Mr. Magoo made an appearance.

Juan was out in the pasture planting grass and I thought this would be a good opportunity to walk back and see what changes have occurred since dry season ended.

On my way down to the pastures I saw... MR Magoo the Mango Marauder!!! How exciting. I hadn't seen him in a few months so it was nice to see him still around.


I also saw some nice stuff blooming in the  shade house.


Out in the (pretty much ignored) garden, I happened upon the rare feral squash. That was special.

LOOK, they're breeding!

And some neat looking caterpillars.

Here is a shot from a few months ago for comparison.

See how sneaky I am? I managed to get Mico in here. :D

It was very VERY wet from the recent rains with water runnng over the ground in quite a few areas.


The Tanzania and Star grass seem to be growing well. Para Grass also grows well here, but I've been studying  the nutritional components of the different tropical grasses and Para grass is high in Oxalates which block the absorption of calcium during the digestive process. Not really what you want when you're trying to build strong healthy bones in your horses.

Making pastures from scratch is a long, drawn out incremental process. *double sigh*

We will get there...I just don't know when.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ride # 6 I haz a headache... but I went for a ride.*grin*

Luckily the headache didn't start till I got back from riding. Probably just the effects of my swelled head from doing so well with Mandy. :-p

I went out alone again today but we went about 6 miles. She continues to be sound on everything except gravel. I got off for the last mile and walked her home. Triple benefit, I got in a little extra exercise, she didn't have to carry me, and by the time we got home she was all cooled out.

Today was snorty day. FOUR jig snort spooks before we finished the first mile. Amazing how she's TOTALLY not ouchy on gravel when she's spooking. Lol.

Then there was a fertilizer bag that was gonna eat her so we spent about 5 minutes circling that and going round and round. Finally we got close enough to acertain that it was relatively harmless and 5 minutes after that we walked over it. Twice.

Once we got down into the citrus I decided since she was settled, and going well we would do some loose rein work. I steered her through the trees asking her to cross over about every third tree first using my seat and eyes then a little bit of rein if she didn't get it.(at a walk) By the end of the row she was getting very responsive to my seat and we managed a nice halt without using the reins. Just sitting back and a quiet whoa and she halted. GOOD GIRL!!! I'm also by necessity(taking pictures, opening my coke bottle etc.) using my reins one handed on a fairly regular basis and she seems to be picking up a little on neck reining just from that.

When she's listening, and not distracted, we are consistently getting a decrease in speed by sitting back and just lifting the reins for a halt if the seat doesn't do it. When she wants to eat grass or turn around it's still a whole 'nother story. It will come. We have time. I'm still watching that crack on her LF, but it hasn't widened and the toe has chipped itself so there's no direct pressure on the crack edge. For now it's just something to watch I think.

Someone mentioned the possibility that her hoof soreness may be caused by something in her diet. It's possible(anything's possible), but considering that her daily grain intake is two(baking) measuring cups of Omolene 200(one morning and one night) I doubt it. It's really just enough to mix the biotin and apple cider vinegar into. If I could get what I WAS feeding(straight oats) I would be much happier but this is Belize so I'm making do. I did find a pelleted feed that's molasses free in Belize city, and we're going to make the switch to that over the next two weeks.  I'm kind of pissed off that I haven't been able to buy straight oats anywhere in Belize now for * counts *


How pathetic is that? I may have to start importing my own horse feed. I will NOT use the local feed it has Far FAR too much molasses in it and I don't trust their quality control. (remember all the dead dogs from using moldy corn in the dog food?) The last time I tried to buy oats the bag had a few holes in it, (suspicious me asked to open and check it before I accepted it) It was FULL of weevils. Not just a few... FULL. I refused it and asked for another bag. They told me they had lots of oats but they were all like that. Yeah, and that goes into their local mix. No thank you. I don't even like the Omolene, but it's the best I can do for the moment. :-\ Ahh, the tropics, isn't it wonderful?


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Visiting Friends.

So instead of riding today, I went to visit friends.

I made the journey up to see Svea, and the lovely Amira. It was wonderful to see Svea for the first time in nearly a month. Amira's looking so fit and contented. She seems fine in a paddock on her own. She does have the company of Bytesh in the adjoining paddock so isn't completely alone. I was worried about her when I took Mandy.

I also, initiated the transfer of registration so that the horses will be officially registered in BASB.(Belize Arabian Stud Book) That way any foals they have will be registrable here and exportable (with registration)to any country with an Arabian registry. This is important. A grade(unregistered) foal has less options.

I continue to be delighted with the soundness of mind of both mares that I brought down. Both mine and Svea's. They are both turning out to be extremely intelligent and thoughtful girls. Sometimes decisions made in a split second with little time to think can be good ones.

Svea has also been kind enough to continue lending me her back copies of Equus. * dances *

She has every single magazine all the way back to the very first issue. What a great resource. Especially for someone like me trying to absorb as much knowledge as I can in a very short time.

I have so much to learn.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ride? Don't? Also, thoughts on equine social dynamics.

ETA: I updated the hoof shots as I found some shots from the day she came home. You can find the post HERE

*Sigh*  So many important decisions. Right now I 'm thinking I might ride Fred and pony Mandy so she continues to get a little workout but not have to carry weight. I find it ironic that the poorly bred mutt is kicking the Ay-rab when it comes to hoof quality. His hooves however have improved in the year he's lived with me however so perhaps I will see an improvement in Mandy's soon.

I do notice that her hoof has increased its rate of growth in the month she's been here. There's 3/4" of really nice looking hoof growing down from the coronet. When it reaches the bottom is when we'll see the truth. It's so hard to wait though. I'm just not configured for patience.

I am already seeing changes in her physical condition, her flanks are beginning to fill in and she's getting that nice Arab roundness back. We just need to keep up the activity to turn it into muscle and not flab.

Equine Social Dynamics

All this past year I've been feeling bad about Brisa being lonely and Fred turning out to be so decidedly anti-social. Bree is one of those horses that wants to interact with her herd mates. She's playful and kind of a clown. Very socially oriented and looking for that contact.

Fred is one of those horses that you could keep in a paddock all alone for the rest of his life and he'd be perfectly fine with that. Or so I thought.

The day I brought Mandy home was a big day for Bree. You could just see the cogs turning in that little head of hers.
A horse? For...ME? Really?!? AWESOME!

We introduced everyone over fences and it all went like a textbook introduction. A little squealing, a strike or two not aimed at anyone, some posturing and it was all sorted out and done. Within two days I witnessed Mandy and Bree grooming each other*jump for joy* and Fred still seemed perfectly happy off in his own little paddock.

Since Mandy came home it's been interesting fascinating to watch the social dynamics of my little herd changing as they all find their new places. Mandy seems to be one of those horses that I equate to the *popular* girls in high-school.  Not the ones who were the prettiest, but the girls that everyone liked from all the different factions. The one who hung out in the cool crowd, but would always be nice to everyone.

Now, not to say that Mandy doesn't boss Bree around now and again, but she seems to be an equalizer horse. I have even seen Fred making overtures of friendliness to her over the stall walls which I was just floored about the first time I saw him do that. He's shown ZERO interest in Bree for a whole year and now he likes Mandy. Huh. You can think you have one all figured out and then they go and surprise you. Never fails.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Happy Garifuna Day!

And we are celebrating! With Fufu!

Fish Serré with Fufú. Serré is probably one of my Favourite things about Belize.(except for Pigtail and Panades maybe)

God Bless the Garifunas for this magical concoction.

Ok, enough words...on to the pictures.

The Serré:

The Fufú


more Fufú

The beginnings of nirvana.(Dished up by the lovely Rose)


It's already half gone, but this was the beginning. : )

Ok, now for those of you unlucky enough to have never tasted the delights that are Serré and Fufú...

Fish Serré is Fried fish(usually whole) that is then simmered in a coconut milk broth infused with onion and culantro.(cilantro for those who don't have culantro growing in the back yard)

Fufú is a local dish made from boiling both ripe and green plantains till soft and then mashing them together. Scoops or spoonfuls of this are then dropped in the Serré.

I may have to go back for seconds...

Life is good.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ride # 5 Looking at things the positive way.

If you do something the hard way long enough you will eventually find an easier way to do it.

Jane put Ginger on Clavamox for her maybe some kind of infection. I've been fighting with her since Saturday night with varying amounts of success to get the damn liquid in her. Sometimes it goes down, and sometimes it comes back up. Usually right onto my *sigh*

However, last night I discovered that if I just pull out the side of her lip and squirt it in she will swallow it with out a fight. YAY! for using your noodle.

Regarding last nights shortened ride I picked out some positive points.

Mandy will head out alone with no issues whatsoever.

She is beginning to look to me for reassurance when she encounters something that worries her.

She is fine with vehicles passing from behind(Steve passed us in his small pickup) when they're driving slow.

I also mounted for the first time yesterday without someone holding the saddle from the other side and it didn't slide.

Yesterday was the first day she didn't pin her ears and get cinchy while tacking up. She must have someone cinch up too fast in the past but we're going slow enough to pass muster it seems.

A couple of pics from the ride. It's a lot harder to get pictures when you're alone.


After we came back

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ride # 4 Feetses. They're consuming my dreams.

Well I did go for a ride today. A very short one. Only two miles. Other factors interfered with my fun. Boooo.

Buuuut, this gives me the perfect chance to concentrate on one thing...twelve actually. Twelve hooves.

I did shots of Mandy Fred and Bree as I have been trying to do for the last couple weeks. I managed to get side, sole front and heel shots. That's a lot of shots. and now my back is sore.

We'll start with Mandy as Fred is still sound as anything and Mandy is the ouchy one.

Mandy's hind feet. What I see is that her hooves(especially on the rear) are very narrow.

Right Hind Sole


Left Hind


Hind Angles




Left Front

All of this minute inspection gave me a great chance to notice a hairline crack in Mandy's LF hoof.
Now I can keep an eye on it.


Right Front



There's a lot of improvement I'd like to see here. I wish I had thought to take a picture of her right front BEFORE Juan did the first trim as the amount of heel she had grown was amazing. He didn't take it right down, we're doing it gradually.

ETA: I DID take some pics the day she came home. So here's some untrimmed shots.
Left Front

Left Hind

Right Hind


Anyhow, enough of what I'd like to see and lets talk about what we DO have. We have an iron hard hoof horn. I mean really. Amazingly hard. The soles don't match. Some of that could be from being shod, and some could be from living in soft pastures. Some could be genetic.

We will just have to wait and see how her feet handle the next few months of riding and wear.

Whew. That was a lot of pictures.Hope I didn't break anyone's bandwidth. ;)