Congratulations to H

I met my friends at the Kawasaki dealership last week because I can't pass up the opportunity to check out brand new motorcycles and inhale the new tire smell that permeates such places. A few weeks earlier it was the Harley shop.. where I indulged my "Born to Be Wild" fantasies and sat on a few Harleys. Naw.. no hawgs for me.

These Kawasaki Ninjas are pretty cute though. ... Oh, before my mother falls off her chair while reading this, and the word Ninja she should know that these bikes - the red one especially- are the same size as those used in the learn to ride class I took. The yellow one I'm on is a little bit larger- but not by much- .. for taller people.. *cough*

So I'm posting this pic because today, Saturday, my friend H is getting her Kawasaki Ninja delivered. I bet she is too exited to sleep tonight and is busy spending her sleepless night making a nice, new parking place in her garage. I picture a nice, warm, cozy nest... ok.. maybe just move the two Harleys over a bit. There, that'll do.

Mallow of the Flatland enjoying a daydream, while H gets the real thing! Way to go H, Congratulations!!

Hoof comparison part 2

Silly me.. last time I made a comparison of Aristoitle's front feet I mistakenly used a photo of a Left fore and Right fore. The results are still interesting but not exactly, um, as accurate as I had first thought.

Not long ago I came across an article on thrush when I was doing some Internet surfing of barefoot hoof trimming sites. The article stated that even though a hoof may not look as though it is infected with thrush, it may in fact still have thrush down deep in the collateral grooves. One might not necessarily have the stinky, cheesy (ew) falling apart frogs associated with a bad thrush problem.. but it can still be there. Aristoitle has the occasional crumbly frogs, so I spray them with a full strength solution of Lysol after picking them out and brushing all the debris from the central sulcus and collateral grooves. I have been keeping up with this Lysol regimen for a month and am beginning to see some interesting changes. Guess what? Heel soundness and the desired heel first landing can be brought about by treating a thrush problem! So, if you have been trimming your horses feet, and you still see that he is a little tender in spite of careful trimming try a thrush treatment- it may be the missing piece of the puzzle towards your horses soundness.

Aristoitle's hoof today vs. January '06.. quite a difference! Even though the January photo isn't framed the same way one can see that the hoof is returning to its natural shape now that is free from the shoe. Notice that the hoof has become less oblong. There is a nice callous forming all around the inside on the sole (like an upside down crescent). I keep a nice bevel, or mustang roll on the hoof wall to prevent any more laminar separation.

The lamina (a.k.a. white line, which in the '07 picture looks like a dark band around the inner edge) are not feeling anything at this point. What does hurt is a long hoof wall w/o a bevel because it acts like a lever pulling upward and outward with each step the horse takes. Imagine your index finger with a long fingernail and you want to push your fingertip straight down onto a table. The fingernail gets bent backwards with pressure, right? Now if the nail were trimmed back you would be able to apply pressure to your fingertip. This is what the bevel or mustang roll on the hoof wall does for the horses bare foot.

Why does he have this funny looking white line? 1. Dietary changes, 2.Worming medications, 3.Vaccinations, 4.Anything that will cause a large disruption & die off of the flora in the digestive tract.

Vaccinations? I don't have medical proof of this, and I'm not a veterinarian, but I am starting to believe that we vaccinate our horses too much. And can it really be good for the horses system to receive 3-4 vaccinations all in one day, in combination with (possibly) sedating him for a dentistry and other treatments?? Think of all the chemicals/vaccination bodies/ whatever you want to call it that just got put into the horses system.

Dietary changes? If you keep your horse in a boarding facility that buys its hay from various suppliers, how do you know what kind of hay your horse is getting? Is that quality consistent? Variations in the diet will certainly make an impact on the horses hooves. Just start looking down there for those "growth rings" and you will see what I'm talking about. The daily feeding of hay, sweet feeds, coupled with the worming meds can add up.. especially (in my opinion) the double paste worming routines.

Got grass?
Go to Safer Grass and you will never look at a lush, green pasture in the same way again.

If you are fortunate to have your horse on your own property and can arrange a version of Paddock Paradise you really should look into doing so.

Catching up on past activities

Have you ever gone without doing something for awhile, like, say for several weeks, then you get back to doing that thing again and it all goes really well? That's what happened when I rode Aristoitle the other day. He was great! He felt a bit stiff initially so I took things slowly and walked around the arena to warm him up. Then I asked him for a trot and he was fine -even a bit slow- which is unusual for my speedy Gonzales. As he warmed up he got a little faster, but he was relaxed with his head and neck low. At one time I lost my balance a little bit and his head popped way up..boing!! "Ack, what's she doing up there?!" .. then he regained his composure when I got my balance. :-)

I rode with only the bareback pad, the rope halter & lead rope. He is getting so responsive with just the shifting of my weight. It's really interesting to experiment with steering just by turning my head and upper body and have him respond to that alone with out my using the rein. I never thought I'd ride THIS horse with only a rope halter. I have Mr. Pat Parelli to thank for this. Thank you, thank you, thank you Pat.

I hear munching sounds

The giraffe horse neck

What do you mean giraffe?