So, horsey update. Saleem is doing fine, (fingers crossed,) we have not worked for months now, due to winter and snow and me being a lazy slob, but he is holding up nicely and he even managed to keep most of his muscles in his back and hind quarters despite the fact that he has been off work. That is great, much better than I dared hope for.
The fistula he has got, as a last complication from his fractured jaw, four years ago, are not mending, but my vets and I are treating it locally with antibiotics, keeping it clean from infection, so it doesn’t bother him. We clean it every day and he does not mind. I am looking forward to the spring though, and to his long fur going away, since it is very difficult to find the entrance to the fistula at the moment, no matter how often I attack him with a pair of scissors, his fur just keeps growing rapidly, right in that area.
So, all in all, a happy little horse, with a minor issue, (of course, unattended it is a huge issue, but we are managing it,) and I guess I should not complain about that. All horses have issues and this is not bothering him at all.
Tardis is still fat, her belly growing bigger by the second, sometimes I swear I can see it expanding if I look close enough. With her due date still two months away, we all wait and watch, wondering if there is only one foal in there, or two, since she didn’t have an ultra sound when she first got pregnant and it is too late for me to do it now.
She is happy though, she talks a lot, just like Saleem. I wonder if that is an Arabian thing. Saleem and Tardis are hands down the two of my horses that talks the most. They always make little sounds, telling me if I should come over, if I should feed them, Tardis has even started calling for me when she is thirsty, too fat and too lazy to walk across the frozen ground to the water barrels.
She does drink when I am not there, not to worry, but if she can get around it, and have me serve her when I am there, she does. Well, you do earn a few privileges when you are a young, pregnant lady.
Apocalipse seem to have recovered from his strange viral infection, although I am having quite a bit of trouble feeding him enough to make him put on the weight he lost when he wasn’t eating for a week. He reminds me so much of his dear mother, Amalia, if she lost weight it was a night mare to make her put it on again. Add to that, Apocalipse, just like his mom, is a selective eater, he does not eat anything that is served and he only eats until he is not hungry anymore, making it near impossible to “over-feed” him, just a little. The more actual food I hand him in the buckets, the more he just skips eating hay, which was so not my idea of how to make him gain weight.
He is happy again though, fever free, and playing with Saleem, so I guess I should not moan too much about his weight loss. That is just me, bothered by having a skinny horse on my pasture.
I did discover yesterday that he has a ringworm infection, on his right shoulder. I must admit, I did not see that coming, after all, my horses are groomed every single day, they have their coats off every single day, and still, here we are… How do other horses survive?
Luckily, I have some of the Imaverol we use to treat it, left from years ago when Poseidon and Amalia got it one winter. Always in the winter, just because karma wants to make it as impossible to treat as possible. You see, ringworm is quite easily dealt with, you just need to wash the horse two times a week, for two weeks, meaning four times in total. Not a problem, right?
It’s really not, except when it is freezing. I picked up my Imaverol yesterday, to find it half frozen in its glass bottle. I managed to scoop some of it out with my scissors and mix it in a bucket of ice water and wash my young man on the shoulder. He wasn’t too happy about me, but he forgave me rather quickly.
Technically, I should wash down the entire horse, to make sure it doesn’t spread. Ringworm is highly contagious and it spreads across species easily, meaning that the other horses and myself are quite possibly going to get it as well if I am not quick enough to prevent it.
I just don’t want to wash the entire horse in this cold, so hopefully I can contain it. I have managed to do that before, so I am counting on being able to do that again.
So where did he get it?
No one knows. My friends horse Gaia, has it, but she is in treatment, and she should not be contagious anymore. Back when Poseidon and Amalia got it, I had no idea where it came from. It is a fungi, it can be airborne and come a long way, and of course Apocalipse, having just been sick, was the likely victim.
Last but not least, Marble is really shaping up. At almost two years old, she is already as tall as Apocalipse and Saleem and taller than Tardis. She reminds me more and more of my dear sweet deceased Legacy. They look so alike, the face, the shade of brown in their fur, the way their eyes are positioned… Sometimes I can’t help but feel sad, when I look at her, wondering if Legacy looked like that when he was her age and if I had met him then, if I could have saved him…
No good thinking like that, I know, but I can’t help it.
Marble is a young lady with a huge temper. She is turning out to be quite a challenge. After having recovered from the pneumonia she had when I bought her, and the growth issues she had last summer, causing her tendons to tighten up, she has become very defensive. I get where she is coming from, I really do. This is a young girl that has been through a lot, and who has decided that the best defense is an offence.
I am not going to fight her. My friends keep telling me that I need to teach her not to bite me, but I am so not listening. I will not attack her, I will not tell her off, I will not be unpleasant company to her. She is on high alert at the moment, growing up, recovering, and figuring out just how strong she is. The fact that she feels the need to defend herself to me, is more than prove enough for me, that she does not need me to be angry with her.
So, I ignore her when she is bad and I tell her that she is good when she is good, except for the one moment when I feed them. She is extremely dangerous when I feed them, she has developed a new ninja skill, which includes rearing up on her hind legs and jumping towards me when I hand her the bucket. (Bear in mind, I don’t have a stall, my horses are fed in buckets on the ground and I usually hold Marble’s bucket for her while she eats because she trips it if she is left alone with it.)
I do carry a whip when I feed them, solely because when Marble comes at me like that, I need to be able to be taller than her. Raising the whip above my head, she responds to that and backs down instantly. She really is a good girl, she just has a few issues she needs to work through and I am not going to make the same mistakes with her as I did with Apollon.
When Apollon was young he was sick too, and very defensive, and he would attack me too, and with him, I always responded, I always told him not to, I fought fire with fire with Apollon. I was young and inexperienced and I listened to those older and supposedly wiser than me.
That gave me a horse that never really liked to be touched and that never- deep down- trusted me. I am going to do it differently with Marble. I am not going to teach her anything, I am going to stick around and be nice company. Of course she needs boundaries. I do not let her push me around. Not to worry, I am not going to let her flat line me, and hopefully I am not going to let her kill me either, I do have it under control most of the time.
It is a bit of a high risk horse, since I am at the stable alone almost every day, and no one would notice if she did really get me, but well, nothing much to do about that. I am pretty sure that come summer, and sunlight and green grass and Tardis’ foal, Marble will grow out of this more or less on her own.
If not, come summer, I will be able to train her, take her for walks, work my horsemanship magic with her from the ground, all sorts of things we can do to improve our relationship, as long has her tendons do not act up again. Right now, we wait.
So, that’s a little update from the gang and me, we are never just able to say “everything is just fine,” but really, all of this, are small issues. I can totally handle it. Ringworm, fistulas, pregnancy, violent behavior. Nothing I haven’t seen and dealt with before. (Okay the fistula is a bit of a “first,” even for my vet, but we are coping…) As long as no one is dying and they are all happy and eating their food and their hay and do not run a fever or swell up random mysteries places, I am breathing much easier.
One of my friends just called me up yesterday, saying that they had just lost a two month old foal, due to a strange illness that seemed to be spreading across the country, emanating from my area. We are still waiting for the blood work on that deceased foal to come in, trying not to freak out.
My condolences, I could not imagine losing a two month old, precious little foal. It must be horrible. And I really hope that it turns out not to be because of some new virus that seem to be sweeping across the land these days. That would leave a lot of foals in danger this year. Including my own.
Nope, not going there. Not even thinking it. We are going to have a good year this year. We so are. I just decided that. No more tears. I have four beautiful young horses and a foal on the way. For once, I will not expect the worst. 2013 is going to be good.