Saturday we had a Spring Cleaning day out at Lazy Acres Racehorse Spa. Of course I did have my camera, but being out of it and busy all weekend, I haven’t gotten a chance to upload them yet.
The weather was nearly perfect- sunny and a decent temperature, but with a bit of gusty wind that made it hard to know what to wear. When out in the wind, it would seem cold, and I’d wish for another layer. Back at the barn, while grooming, I’d get warm and need to strip off my jacket.
The mares were pretty much awful. Apparently, the hormones are flowing, and they are taking that as an excuse to dance around and be goofy. One mare, the delightful and large Wek, decided she was much more interested in a gelding herdmate (who thinks he’s some sort of herd stallion, of course) than in coming in, so at one point she managed to get her lead rope out of Deidra’s hands and go galloping off to the other end of the field. Fortunately everybody survived this debacle, and we did manage to get a few mares cleaned up.
Even Rosey was being a little goofy, but fortunately we had some extra hands (Allie, heh), and a chain lead (which worked beautifully. Rosey just needed a tiny reminder, apparently, and didn’t test things after that). She does look wonderful, and appears to be sound and ready at any time to come back for some riding. Of course, just because she’s spiteful, after getting her cleaned up and checked out, her first order of business was to find the slimiest mud possible and roll in it. When we were out in the field later to photograph horses for an upcoming article, she looked like she was in the middle of getting a mud and seaweed spa wrap.
The geldings weren’t really all excellent either- Cecil (the horse who came in after re-bowing a front tendon), was a little shirty, but vastly improved from the last time I handled him, when he was constantly trying to bite. He only tried it a few times (well, compared to how he used to be), and mostly stood. His patience level was a bit low so he was returned to the field fairly quickly, after being brushed and inspected. Mikey, bless him, decided that standing still was boring, so kept searching for things to do. It was sort of comical, as he was trying to get into the brush boxes, and trying to turn around, and trying to pester other horses, but at the same time, he maybe needs a teeny bit of work on manners. I think we can’t help but spoil him a little, because he’s earned it. On the other hand, he’s bored silly, and I think he’ll be much better when he’s got a job 🙂
Whisper was lovely, of course. He was happy to stand there and receive attention, so he got the works. Bite marks soothed, rain rot treated (he only had a tiny bit), mane and tail detangled and brushed out. He still looks like a Barbie horse.
We also had some play time with some new horses, of which there are three I haven’t talked about before on here.
That’s… Something Wildcat. Total Wildcat, maybe? He came fairly recently, and I had only seen one photo of him. In it, he looked rather feisty and full of himself. On Saturday, though, he was acting very sweet and quiet. I was able to groom him without even tying him. He leaned right in and really enjoyed his ears being rubbed, and was pretty adorable. Allie had been calling him The Deuce, because his attitude on arrival was so much like Klondike’s (very, very proud of himself and cocky). And of course, his current attitude is still like Klondike. Because of the similarities, I figured I’d call him Yukon.
He was so coated in dried mud that I was huffing and puffing by the time I got it all off. But under all the dirt was a lovely horse, with a broad chest and stocky build. He’s going to be super-sweet, and like Klondike, I have visions of him with a kid.
“View My Rear,” the newest arrival (he’s been with CANTER a little over two weeks), was not interested in being social, so I don’t have any decent photos of him yet. He is in that phase of his new life where he doesn’t really want much to do with people. And while he came up to inspect me at first, he very quickly took to walking the other way when approached with a halter. This is pretty common with these guys- once they discover freedom, they decide they’d rather be left alone. Until they get bored, of course, and then they turn into Truckee and Mikey, following people around and demanding attention. I’m looking forward to him getting to that point, because he is a big and pretty horse.
Here’s another new face:
This guy is still waiting on a nickname. Of course at the moment I can’t remember his racing name, but we came up with a bunch of possibilities- Snoopy, Will, etc. I’m not sure what fits. So, for fun, we’ll test our readers’ creativity and ask for YOU to suggest something! He has a lovely, sweet personality and seems fairly quiet. He also looks (to me) like a nice hunter type, if that helps. Please comment with your suggestions!
In other news about this horse, he suffers from a breathing issue that will require surgery to fix – so he won’t be available until that is taken care of. Chondromas are tumor like growths on the horse’s airway, tending to grow on or near the larynx (these tend to be caused by previous damage to structures in the throat- sp it might be seen in horses with previous tie-back surgery). This can eventually cause a severe obstruction to breathing, and in this horse’s case it is quite obvious there’s a problem. Even when quietly hanging out, you can hear him breathing (you don’t even have to be right next to him). When working (we free lunged him a few minutes to see how bad it was), the roaring sound gets very loud. So before he can safely begin retraining, these will need to be removed. For some more information and a photo (yuck!) you can check this link to a page from “Diseases and Disorders of the Horse.” Anyone interested in buying a horse off the track might want to learn more, as it seems to be becoming a little more common, from our observations. A chondroma can be serious enough to completely obstruct breathing, and effects not only inhalation but exhalation as well.
On a brighter note, here’s a pic of Mikey, King of the Hill: