& The Tale of Milton: Horses, Life, A Touch of Geek

Hunting Zebras

While I do not rule out an emotional component, it appears that Rodney’s overreaction to his minor injury [Back Issues] had more to do with me using the wrong meds.

In medical school, my husband Greg was told that the world has many more horses than zebras. Therefore, don’t go looking for zebras. In other words, the most obvious diagnosis is probably correct. Don’t go looking for obscure diseases. Occam’s razor for medicine.

At the beginning of the year, I did a post on gentian violet [You Know You Are A Horse Person When]. My mother commented that my great-grandmother used it in her ears. Purple ears? Not obviously. The goal is to place it down in the ear canal. I started doing this to address a minor ear irritation that occasionally blossoms into an ear infection. Success. I also use it for those annoying, painful, winter fingertip cracks, as well as for equine dings and dents. I came to think of it as a miracle liquid.

So, when Milton scraped Rodney’s back, out came the Blu-Kote. The layer of loose skin sloughed off. When a second layer of skin began peeling, my medical advisor thought something was odd. He researched the purple goo and emailed me, “It is drying and cytotoxic. Both are good for keeping infection at bay, but not so good for fast healing.” Google tells me that cytotoxic means toxic to living cells.

I switched to slathering the injury with Vetasan (chlorhexidine gluconate), as much for the moisturizing as for the medication. Rodney immediately relaxed and has stopped flinching. The abrasion is now healing normally. So much for my elaborate psycho-social theories.

Sorry, Dude.

OTOH, Greg points out that Rodney remains a drama llama, “We’ve all gotten some of the purple goo on us and none have taken to the fainting couch quite like he has.”
Driving Thursday will be intermittent until the weather cools off. We’ll do some ground-driving with Milton and saddle seat driving lessons at SSF. We will do fewer treks up to Whip Hand Farm in Tennessee for combined driving. Little car [What’s in Your Stocking] has an awesome set of squirrels, but an economical approach to air conditioning.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Saddle Seat Wednesday

I was happy at a horse show.

How did that happen? Truth in advertising, I was a neurotic mess on the drive up, per usual. As soon as we hit the grounds, I began to have a blast. Not usual. Most of the time, I am nervous to the point of people commenting on it [Update]. Not that it is ever difficult to guess what goes thru my head, whether I speak or not. But I digress.

This time, I was showing a different horse AND showing in a double bridle. Both are one-offs. I return to status quo Sam next time. So, even though it was a big show, it felt more like an experiment. As long as I got in, got around, and kept my reins sorted, I planned to declare victory.

The life lesson here is not complicated. Most of us can have fun when the pressure is low. The challenge is keeping a positive attitude when the pressure is high. Still working on that.

Plus, Greg was at the show, which always makes my day better. On days when I am letting the horse show get to me, my husband’s presence doesn’t mean I get less nervous. It means I have someone to be nervous at.

Oh yeah, I won all my classes. Kermit Dance!

My good mood beforehand did not affect my ride. I can win when I’m a sick puddle all morning. [Report, the same show where the above referenced comment was made]. It’s just that pre-ride nerves make the day SO much less enjoyable.

I heard what people wrote about saddle seat being a distraction [More]. I have come up with a compromise. However, as my credibility on this matter is non-existent [To Show or Not To Show], I will refrain from elaborating for the moment.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Mind Games with Milton

It shouldn’t be this much fun to outsmart a horse.

Milton knows groundtie. Mostly. I drop his rope on the ground. He knows to stand. However, if I threaten him with something dire, such as hoof oil, he will slowly woozle sideways. I am aware this is coming, so I stomp on the end of the leadrope as he drifts off.

He gets a look of utter amazement. His thought bubble says, ‘She’s nowhere near me and yet, I stop. How is she exerting this magical force over me?’

I giggle.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Back Issues with Rodney

Can a horse’s body remember trauma from a decade ago?

On the upside, Rodney and Milton continue to play [Downs & Ups, Outtakes] On the downside, they now come in with with bumps and bangs.

Milton peeled a thin, 2-inch-long layer of skin from the center of Rodney’s back. (In an extremely inconvenient place for riding sitting upon.) No blood. Barely a scrape. Just hair, skin, and maybe the teeniest, tiniest bit of red skin under the scab.

However, Rodney reacted out of proportion to the (lack of) severity of the injury. When I checked on it, he would fling his head, flinch, and sink his back. Yes, he is a drama llama, but this was extreme even for him. You would expect this level of response after surgery.

It is in the same/close to the same area where he had a near-fatal injury as a colt [Daddy Dearest, scroll down]. Does the discomfort cause him to have flashbacks? Can horses have flashbacks?

Bodies are weird.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott


Inspired by the work of Jessica Hische. Although, there is a good chance she would be horrified by my overuse of the form.

“I love swashes, but you should always try to add them sparingly … When making decorative lettering, the decorative bits, no matter how over the top they may be, should make sense and feel like natural extensions of the letterforms.” In Progress, Jessica Hische [Chronicle 2015] p48

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

USDF July Aug 2016 cover

“Behind The Scenes: Heidi Zorn, Premier Equestrian
USDF Connection
July/August 2016
United States Dressage Federation

A short interview about selling with dressage arena products.

USDF July Aug 2016 text

©2016 United States Dressage Federation. Used by permission. Reproduction prohibited without prior written permission of the publisher.

[Previous Behind The Scenes]

Blue Jul 18 2016 roof

As a photo practice, I have been trying – with moderate success – to haul out my big camera for 10 pictures a day. Not 10 decent photos. Not a photo-a-day challenge that will be see by the rest of the world. Just 10 clicks of the shutter. I mess with buttons. I mess with ISO numbers. I take a lot of tree pictures. I take a lot of cat pictures.

How do you keep yourself creative?

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott


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