Horses, Life, A Touch of Geek

Archive for the ‘Horse Care’ Category

A Tale of Two Tums

We are stuffing Rodney with ranitidine and Maalox-equivalents (cheaper). We tried stopping. Not so much luck. He’s back on, at least for the duration of the cold snap. [What’s Up]

We are stuffing me with Zantac and Maalox (I prefer the taste). Zantac has joined hot showers and Tylenol in my arsenal of a mood lifters. [Pre-Show: A Change in Attitude]

Horse and rider on the same meds. Perhaps it is something in the air.
If I may whine, for a moment. I held a grumpfest last weekend. Exactly a year ago, I stayed home from a show that offered seven, that’s 7!, classes in order to be ready for Rodney’s first dressage lesson [Lesson]. Not only did that not pan out [Dubious Future], the aborted attempt appears to have taken my saddle seat along with it [I Do It All, But Not as Well As Milton Does]. I know, I know, I’m lucky and my life is wonderful. I’m hitting myself with the gratitude stick [A Look Inside My Head]. Frustration is still frustration.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Equine Neologism: Guardienergy

Guardienergy – a portmanteau of guardian energy, the reason one is exhausted after spending the day sitting in the sunshine watching one’s post-surgical horse quietly grazing.

[Equine Neologisms]

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Stall Rest Decisions


Milton has spoken:

I do not drink bucket water. I only drink trough water. Please attend to me at regular intervals so that I may hydrate.

I do not pee in my stall. I only pee in the field. Please attend to me at regular intervals so that I may unhydrate.

In addition, I require hay, cookies, and carrots. You may snuggle me, but only when I am feeling punk. You may also pat me when I am feeling lonely. Otherwise, you are dismissed. I have important horse business to address. But don’t go too far. I may require you again.

That will be all.

Milton the Magnificent

Note to Self, Other Horse

Hangry, Hangry Hippo
Upset tums don’t get fed. Milton was not happy about this.


Hey, see that brown lump in the field? That’s your other horse. Perfectly sound. Ready to ride, to the extent that you two ride these days. Did you forget?

You would think I could find 20 minutes to sit on Rodney. Alas, no. Ministering to Milton takes most of my time and all of my energy. Rodney is once again marginalized by a sick roommate [Shadow Horse].

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Foto Friday: Year of the Dog


For today’s post, I had intended to labor mightily in the vineyards of art to produce a stunning, compelling, virtuoso photograph that distilled the essence of canine.

Instead, you get a impromptu smartphone snap.

Holding a leadrope and reading a book while your horse grazes shouldn’t wear one out. But it does. At least, it does me.

Milton is doing great [Medical Update]. My work? The dishes? The blog? Not so much.

Happy Year of the Dog.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Milton’s Medical Update

My life for the next two weeks, give or take.


Not much to report, which is excellent news.

Last Friday, Milton went in to have a large, fist-sized melanoma cut off the inside of his upper right hind leg. Equine melanomas are not the dire diagnosis that they are in humans. It’s a bump. It got cut off. It will come back. On veterinary advice, we waited as long as possible. When the leg around the bump swelled, the time had come to address the issue [God Laughs, Ups & Downs].

In my understanding, the big deal was the anesthesiology. We would have had the bump cut off years ago if it could have been done under local. Therefore, as soon as Milton stood back up Friday morning, the excitement was over.

We are left waiting for the wound on his leg to heal. As soon as the mass was cut off, the skin sproinged apart. Nine stitches were used on a few small blood vessels and to close the hole down as much as possible. The most likely worst case scenario is that the skin sutures give/come out and we have to wait for a larger hole to heal. The medical people involved are not worried.

I will continue to put out a daily update Tweet, on sidebar —>. They may get boring. Boring is good.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

In or Out? On or Off? Questions of Horse Management

Ice on the butt …

… front doesn’t care.

When the recent cold snap was looming on the horizon, many of my neighbors chose to blanket &/or put up their horses. We chose to do neither.

Human behavior toward horses often reflects our values as a species rather than the way the horses see the world [How I Learned to Think Like a Horse]. In this case, my desire to be toasty warm inside my house and not come out until Spring. If I do go out, I wear enough layers to cause comment from passers-by.

Yes, if you clip a horse’s coat, you are responsible for replacing the defenses that you removed. You are committed to a winter’s worth of blankets, stalls, lights, whatever it takes. This is one reason I don’t clip.

I’m not anti-blanket. Mathilda and Previous Horse wore them for years. Mathilda scoffed at them when she was younger, but became quite the blanket hog in her old age. Rodney doesn’t get them because he shocks himself [Zap!]. Milton points out that there is no reason that HE should be punished because Rodney can’t manage a blanket.

After this bout of weather, I’m pondering that blankets are far less necessary than I had previous thought, provided the horses are healthy, fit, well-cared for, etc. My Shetland doesn’t blanket, except for individual need, and those horses live in far more extreme conditions.

I am mildly anti-stall. I understand that there might be insufficient land or that people are worried about the safety of expensive show horses or that some horses (coughSamcough) would be appalled at the idea of living outside. Overall, the only purpose of a stall is to make life easier for the humans.

Instead of stalls and blankets, we shoveled hay and hot water at Rodney and Milton. I upped the grain a little, mostly for my benefit. Internal warmth comes from the long-term digestion of hay. So they got hay. Lots and lots of hay. Little snacks throughout the day rather than one big load. The frequency of snacks wasn’t a problem since we were marching up to the barn every few hours with buckets of warm water from the house. They love this. Rodney will drop half a bucket in one go. Providing water also meant we didn’t worry when the trough froze over. They have access to shelter at all times, but didn’t use it (unless we put their hay there).

Truly cold weather is rare enough that all of this is feasible. Obviously, we would make different arrangements if we lived farther north, or had more horses.

They seemed fine with it. Some mornings, after thunder and rain, we can see that they are tired from a long night. This week, they were happy and rested for the entire arctic episode. We never had wintery mix, so they didn’t have issues of getting wet. The snow settled on their backs and their dense, plush coats insulated the horse underneath. They seemed bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. And wanting more hay.

Forty years with horses and I’m still learning.

Snow Posts
[Foto Friday: Snow Day Photo Essay]
[Letter Art: Snow 2018] pending

[Foto Friday: Stella] Guest Photo
[Winter Tournament (S)No Report]
[Foto Friday: Snowrise]
[Snow Day]

[Hay Roll Art: Snowman]

2014 Snowmageddon
[Post Called On Account Of Snow]
[Foto Friday: Snow Day Montage]
[Text Art: Snow Letters]
[Show Today: Winter Tournament, Rocking S] Guest Photo
[Foto Friday: Ice]

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott