We have still had some last attempts at snow, yet I feel that spring is around the corner. The horses are beginning to shed their winter coats!
I am going to purchase a 15-day supply of Regu-Mate for Loretta next week. I have done some reading online (message boards can be addicting!) and have noticed quite a bit of information about "mare" issues and behavior and heatcycles/estrus, etc. While I can't find anyone that has had a mare with the exact symptoms as Loretta, I am hoping to help her by trying this first. Why? Well, the veterinarians can not tell me (by no fault of their own, as horses can't talk!) which of the two issues could be causing her symptoms and discomfort. Not even the ulcer scope was not 100% accurate due to water present in her stomach. Treating the ulcer first would be highly expensive. I will keep you updated.
As many of you know, catching My Boy has always been a huge issue when he's in a pasture, so as much as I hate it, I leave a turn-out halter on him. The other day one side got up over his ear and of course when I unbuckled it to fix it, he pulled back and away he ran, the halter left hanging in my hand. What a stinker! Ranch Boy and I have devised a way to get him haltered, though. It was my master plan and has worked twice. I am sure my smart pony has figured us out and it won't work again. I hate to use this method as it feels like cheating but let me tell you, this 18-year old is a piece of work when it comes to being caught. If he was young enough, I'd apply for him to be in a Clinton Anderson clinic!
So here is what we do. We use the white woven hot wire tape to create a smaller corner of his pasture. I feed hay as usual, then give him grain. We unplug the hot wire, tie one end on a post, then walk behind him to create the smaller corral. Now, My Boy is smarter than that and the first time he saw this space becoming smaller he took off running to escape but luckily Ranch Boy waved him back before he got by. He does not figure out the tape is not electrified (just shaking it a little is enough to keep him from it.) My Boy has always been respectful of fences. We shorten this triangular space little by little, until he is forced to stand in his run-in shed. Once he is there, he will stand parallel to the wall and look away from me in defiance, knowing he is trapped yet still not wanting to give in.
Here is what I did this time. I stroke his shoulder and just talk to him quietly. Then, I hold the halter to his head. The second he lowers his nose to smell it or even look at it, I pull it away. After doing this a few times, he actually would turn his head and follow the halter (almost taking a step.) I even had him dipping his nose in it. I would then pull it off and just pet him. It is interesting to me how this "pressure and release" method really works with horses. It is so frustrating to me that the minute my horse sees me approaching him with a halter in his pasture he won't let me near him, but when he knows he has no where to go, he dips his nose right in the halter. Due to his arthritis he is not the kind of horse I can keep in a confined space but if he was, I feel like we would not have this catching issue at all. But I love that he has plenty of pasture to roam around in all day.
I got my new necklace-making supplies today. I am really excited to start creating!! I also just finished a temporary job. I have next week off and then I will be starting a new job the following week. Lots of exciting changes going on!
Have a lovely weekend everyone!!