Sunday, August 21, 2011

Horseless at Home

There are no horses in the Land of Once Upon.

Misty and SaraJane have both gone away to sleep-away school.

Misty left a couple of weeks ago and our foster filly, SaraJane, left Friday afternoon.

The horse rescue that owns SaraJane received a training grant and with Misty away at school, this was a perfect time for SaraJane to get some training and become more adoptable.  I had hoped to be home from work in time to say good-bye to SaraJane before the rescue picked her up, but I was too late.

When I arrived home, no horse greeted me.

The barn felt empty and lonely.

I got teary-eyed.  

I miss them.

Fortunately it is just temporary.  And as much as I enjoy my daily barn chores, I'm not shedding too many tears over a brief furlough from manure scooping.  

It's all good.

Misty is doing well with her training.  She's a novelty at the stable where most of the horses are long-legged, fancy, shmancy hunter/jumpers.  So she gets a lot of attention.

The rescue owners notified me that SaraJane loaded easily into their trailer and has settled in well at her boarding school.  She's such a sweet-natured filly.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Happy (Horse Trailer) Campers

I had hoped to do some horse camping this summer, but Misty's tooth issues derailed those plans.

At the beginning of Spring, my riding club held an overnight horse camping practice.  I went sans horse, but it gave me a chance to see how I would fare sleeping in the bunk of my gooseneck horse trailer.

I don't have living quarters, so I was without the usual creature comforts in my bare, steel trailer.  Springtime in Colorado can be very chilly.  This particular weekend brought one of the last cold snaps of the season.  It got down to 35F/1.6C during the night, with a light rain, at our mock campsite.

Brrrr.  I had no heat, but my trailer nest turned out to be "beary" cozy.

For my bed, I use a king size foam mattress topper;  folded in half, it is the perfect size for a bed in the bunk.

For bedding I use flannel sheets, an open sleeping bag, and a heavy duty down comforter topped with my decorative fleece horse blanket.  Inexpensive kitchen valances serve as window coverings.  A battery operated camping lantern and magnetic tent light provide some illumination.  And a 3-drawer plastic storage chest fills in as a nightstand.

Even at 35F,  I was fairly comfortable with the addition of socks, gloves, fleece cap, and a cowl neck warmer.  It got pretty toasty in my little nest.   In fact, I awoke at 2:00 am and couldn't peel off the socks, gloves, hat and neck warmer fast enough.

I followed advice to crack one of the windows open, but still developed some condensation in the trailer.  I do have a ceramic heater, but there was nowhere to plug it in.  I'm considering purchasing a Little Buddy Portable Heater to take the chill off next time.

Have you used a portable camping heater? I'm curious what others have experienced.

There is one more item that comes in handy in a non-LQ horse trailer, whether you are camping or parked at a trail head.

I never leave home without my Luggable Loo.

Have you camped in your horse trailer?  What creature comforts do you take along?  I'm not a seasoned camper, so would love to know what works for you.

Do you have pictures to share in a blog post?  If so, let us know in the comments where your post is, and please link back to this post.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

And the award goes to...


For best dental check-up!

We went back to our local horse doc today for our last, final, concluding, determinate vet  visit since this whole tooth ordeal began four and a half months ago.  

The vet and the tech discussed checking Misty without sedation.  They decided, "Yes, let's try it because she's been such a good girl."  So they inserted the dental speculum and flushed Misty's mouth.  Misty stood patiently while the vet reached in and examined the empty socket...and declared it good!

The socket is granulated up to the gum line. 
There is no putrid odor. 
External facial swelling has decreased to almost normal. 
Misty can go back to work.

I'm not wasting any time.  I'm taking my girl to a clinic on Saturday and then taking her back to her trainer on Sunday.  I'll probably just do ground work at the clinic and will play it by ear on some very light riding.  And Misty's trainer will begin easing her back to work and put some finishing on her.  And maybe, just maybe, I'll get to go on a few trail rides before it starts snowing.

Here are the final pictures of the tooth as it was removed in stages.

Left to right:  The slab fracture removed in March, the pieces that broke apart when my local vet tried to extract the remainder of the tooth in May, and finally the rotten root portion that was removed via Steinmann Pin Repulsion in June.
The dentist who performed the repulsion said this hole was not made by the Steinmann Pin.  It might have been caused by decay and abscess.  Interesting. 

(I hope, I pray)