Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Last Weekend of Winter

When I went to the farm to see Buckshot last Saturday, he had several big bug bites on his chest. In one section, his long winter hair had matted over the bumps. I pulled out a flashlight and squatted down in front of his chest to see them closely, then I applied TriCare antibiotic cream. We rode in the arena, and had a great time in our class. I had helped out in the earlier class with three young boys who were beginner riders. Leading one horse, the rider told me several times how “really awesome horses are!” I had to grin widely and agree! They are awesome!! It does your heart good to be around a new rider and see and hear their pure admiration for the horse. It reminds me of those days when I was new to horses and riding and I, too, thought they were the most fantastic, wonderful creatures on earth. I still think that. It is heartwarming to hear it in a young person as well.

Sunday was a cloudy, gloomy day but Buckshot and I had a good ride. We rode with the BO and BOH, in the arena, down the road and to the reining arena. After trotting and a few canters on the rather-hard footing, I took Buckshot to the grassy side of the arena and let him graze. Then a neighbor boy appeared in the field, riding his bicycle over to help muck stalls! I lifted Buckshot’s head so he would see the boy approach, but he didn’t react or seem bothered by it. Good boy! I think that is the first time he may have seen a child riding a bicycle so his calm reaction was very nice to see. He immediately went back to grazing. LOL! The skies cleared and blue sky beamed overhead. After walking back to the main barn through the woods, I wasn’t ready to end our ride so we went into the arena and did more patterns and trotting. Another boarder came along on her horse, so we went back down the trail for a while. A lovely day.

On Monday, I stayed home from work so that I could go to the farm for a vet visit. It was time for Buckshot’s annual vaccinations and fecal count. We had 8 or 9 horses, and five different owners, for this vet call. After I groomed Buckshot, I took him outside to do light exercises in hand while we waited for the vet, who was delayed by an emergency call. I had a pocketful of treats to give Buckshot and so we did spirals, circles, very straight lines, cone bending with imaginary cones, and patterns. Then Buckshot just started walking to the trail head. He wanted to walk through the woods! So off we went, with me keeping an eye through the woods on the farm road, for the vet’s truck. Buckshot was quite happy to take us through the woods, a pleasant surprise!

As we approached the small bridge over a creek, I decided to use the time to train him to turn around on the bridge, just is case we ever need to do so. We walked on the bridge, halted at midpoint, and I turned him around just fine. Back to the other side of the bridge. Then we turned around and went over the whole bridge. Stopped, turned around and back onto the bridge, where we stopped and practiced turning around again. He did great! I was very proud of him because this was the first time we had ever done this. He stayed perfectly calm, and put his feet right where they needed to be, important because it is a small bridge. We continued on and then turned around and went back to the barn, and right then, the vet pulled up.

I walked over to the vet, introduced myself and Buckshot and told her he needed his vaccinations. I asked if I should put him in a stall. She asked if he was okay with shots, and I said yes, he was fine with them. So she gave him his three shots right there outside the barn. He didn’t flinch or have a problem with them at all!! What a great horse!! I had collected a stool sample earlier so Buckshot and I went into the barn to get the little plastic bag and brought it back to the vet. And we were done! I am so proud of him! I know it is a little thing, but the stories I’ve heard of horses who don’t like shots, and how difficult it can be, make me proud of my sweet Buckshot and how good he is with shots! Every wonderful thing about him makes me proud of him! I’m sorry I’m bragging about him, but I adore him and think he is the best horse in the world, and well, this blog is one place I can brag about him a little. I am so lucky to have him as my horse and I love to say that! Forgive me.

I gave Buckshot a treat for his excellent vet visit and walked him back to his pasture. He could have the rest of the day off. I then watched and helped out with the other horses who got dental checks, teeth floating, sheath cleaning and some Coggins and other vaccines. When the vet pointed her forehead light into a horse’s mouth, I stood behind her and watched intently, wanting to see the horse’s teeth. I saw some amazing teeth! And watching her clean sheaths was impressive. I still have yet to do it myself. Of course, she was doing it on sedated horses so it was relatively easy. But still, I have to get up the courage to actually clean Buckshot’s sheath. The last time his was cleaned was by this vet several months ago when he was sedated for his teeth floating. I’ve got to learn how to do it, and do it.

It was a nice three day weekend with Buckshot- doing some old, normal patterns and riding, some new adventures, and some normal vet work. I hope you had a good time with your horse as well!


Story said...

I think I get more apprehensive about the vet than my horse does. I mean, I'm afraid of needles so why shouldn't she be? Isn't it always a relief when they are so good?

juliette said...

Buckshot is a great horse - shots right outside. He is trusting of you!

The bridge works sounds good too.

Glad you got to enjoy the weather. It has been so nice lately for riding.