Wednesday, May 06, 2009


Over the weekend, I watched an episode of MacLeod's Daughters, an Australian TV show I've been getting on Netflix. When one of the horses foundered, Stevie, one of the main characters, refused to take the vet's advice to put the horse down. She set up a forge and made a set of shoes to take the pressure off. In the middle of the night, during a terrible wind storm, she stood in a barn and shaped white hot metal. It worked, and the horse lived.

I loved that episode. I wish I were that skilled and innovative, although my method would likely be hoof boots with foam pads instead of metal.

We thankfully haven't had founder here, but lately it's been an alphabet soup of littler things: tick bites, an odd ear full of wax on the pony, thunderstorms and tornado watches, and slightly muggy, jungle-like weather that makes it necessary to take showers between each round of barn chores.

Thus far my standby, calendula tincture and warm water, has been the remedy of choice for almost everything.

On the good side, Keil Bay is losing the tan-colored hair on the backs of his front legs, the pony is no longer in need of the grazing muzzle, Salina's annual rain rot during shedding seems to be resolved, and Cody's flaxen mane and tail are shifting to a deep copper color. Donkeys are healthy but not overweight, Keil Bay's hooves are looking good, and my sense is all of this has to do with balancing the diets of these equines.

I've completed Eleanor Kellon's NRC Plus class and received my certificate, which I hung proudly in the feed room, where it serves as a reminder that I am constantly learning new things and new ways to keep the equines healthy and fit. Next week I start the next course, Nutrition As A Therapy. A bunch of us from this last NRC Plus class are taking it, so it will be fun to have familiar names on the discussion list.

Tomorrow we have the vet over for EEE shots, Coggins' tests, and teeth checks. She'll also be taking a peek inside a pony's ear just to make sure we're on the right track with that.

Otherwise, there are cicada shells everywhere, the sun is shining for the moment, and Keil Bay just blasted one of his hyena sounds through the neighborhood. Which likely means the pony is annoying him, and what that means is this: we're having a normal spring afternoon at November Hill.


Grey Horse Matters said...

Except for your minor problems everyone seems to be just fine. I'm sure it's due to your diligence and willingness to explore different therapies and ways of doing things. I find it refreshing that some of us try to keep an open mind and keep learning instead of just slogging along with "that's the way it's always been done".

We've got the vet coming tomorrow too and a hay delivery etc...There's been so much to do around the farm I find it hard to even think of something to blog about. Maybe after the weekend something will come to me.(I hope)

billie said...

Arlene, I know you and your daughter are the kind of horsefolk who continue learning and adjusting for the best of your horses. For me, I am compelled to do it, and have been since I was 12 and had my QH Bojinx. I was studying feed and feet way back then, but I didn't have the internet or the means to carry out all my findings. :)

Hope your vet day is doing smoothly. And that the hay is beautiful and an NRC-PLUSers dream. :)