Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Long Memorial Day Weekend Adventures

Poor Buckshot is probably tired of me by now! I spent Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday with him. We had a great time most of the time. I’ll share some of the highlights of the weekend here. It was quite hot here in Virginia. So I am getting acclimated to the hot weather, although this seems a little early in the summer to be doing so. My hot weather preparations include the following: I take about eight or nine bottles of water, ice frozen in bottles, Gatorade, and tea with me. I also take food, usually a half sandwich of some kind and some breakfast bar things. I wear a visor and also a headband/sweatband, as well as a neck tie/thing that is wetted with water, and has little water-holding-beads in it. I liberally apply sunscreen. And I walk slower, and take my time more. And I take more breaks where I go sit in the main barn for a while to get a break from the direct sunshine. All of these things help me to be able to withstand the brutal Virginia summers and spend all day at the barn with Buckshot. So I have survived the first few days of the heat just fine. I suppose I could add to this list of preparations that I could sit in my car for a while with the A/C on. That is a summer heat weapon I could add. Oh, and bring my sense of humor as well. That always helps!

On Thursday and Friday, Buckshot and I rode with the BO. We spent time in the main arena, then went on the trail, then on to the field arena. Buckshot did great! At times, his energy was low, but I didn’t blame him as he, too, is getting acclimated to riding in the hot weather. But overall, he had good energy, and we did some really nice trotting and cantering both days. Good Buckshot! And what a canter he has!

In fact, his canter is so powerful that now my seatbones hurt! Oh, no! On Sunday, there were moments they hurt enough that they distracted me from my riding. I didn’t know what was causing this, but today I researched it a little on the internet and others mentioned that the seatbones can hurt when riding a horse with big action. Buckshot certainly has a big action, and since I am now riding his canter more than I ever have in the past, I think this is what has caused it. I have tried to add more inner thigh exercises to my repertoire but still the seatbones have bothered me. So today I ordered a Cashel foam tush pad for the Western saddle. I think it will help quite a bit. I may yet someday get my skills to the point that I ride his canter without any separation from the saddle, but I am not there yet, nor am I very close to it (no pun intended!). So I think the foam pad will help me with the discomfort. I can’t wait to get it.

Buckshot has a case of rain rot, also called rain scald or mud fever, which is a bacteria on his skin. For two weeks, I have been attacking it with Eqyss spray and Betadine, with some success (meaning, one patch seemed smaller but another patch appeared in a new area). I did some research on it and decided that he needed a medicated shampoo as well. So on Saturday, after our class ride, I wanted to give him a full bath with the medicated Eqyss shampoo. Fortunately , my sister, who rides in the class, said she would help me. Unfortunately, dark clouds were starting to roll in overhead as I started the bath. So I went into high gear to give him as much of a medicated shampoo as a shortened time would allow. I dumped my big sponge into the water bucket and got it soaked, followed by my sister squirting some of the shampoo on it, and then I worked on Buckshot with all my might to get him lathered up as quickly as possible. I was pretty tired by this time of day, but Buckshot needed the medication, so I dug deep down for all of my strength to get it done. My sister commented once about him getting a spa day, but I growled and said this is more like a car wash! I hated that the weather was hindering me, but his medication mattered the most so I worked hard and stayed with it. And then I rinsed him generously. He was a trouper about it. I put Eqyss skin spray on him a little later. And then of course, it rained, which I didn’t want to have happen to him given his skin condition.

Now I have done further research on the condition and have more things to do as well. I need to sterilize his grooming tools, and saddle pads. I also need to remove the scabs. One commenter to my last post recommended Shapely’s MTG and I found another website that recommended this lotion as well. I have a bottle of it, and have used it once, but it is so strong smelling and oily I didn’t really want to have to use it. But now I think I will try it.

So, other than the rain rot, it was a wonderful weekend with my sweet, wonderful Buckshot. What a great horse he is! I love him, and appreciate all of his strengths. He is a sweet heart. I dread having to work on the skin condition but so be it. We all face these issues with our horses and we just have to find the resources and inner strength to do what our horses need done. I hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend with your special horses as well!

1 comment:

Once Upon an Equine said...

I've not experienced rain rot, but it sounds like one of those stubborn conditions. I hope your treatment goes well. Stay cool there. We are just starting to warm up here.