Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A different farrier will shoe Limerick tonight....eeeks.

I never thought I'd see the day, but a different farrier needs to trim Lim's hooves--which happens tonight!

My usual guy threw his back out some time ago. Lim had an appointment with him on March 6 but he was unable to make it. When I asked him to recommend another farrier for the time being, he said he could come out and do Lim's feet himself when he had a better day.

Unfortunately, that day never came.

I know enough about back injuries to realize it might be a while before he can do Limerick's feet. In the meantime, they haven't stopped growing! So, I am finally resigned to finding someone else for the time being. I hate doing it but I have no choice.

The farrier I used before my current guy made Limerick lame, in more ways than one, so I am understandably worried and apprehensive about this. But again, I have no choice.

We'll see how it goes tonight.

At least I know Limerick isn't carrying a phantom foal. When I rode her on Sunday, she displayed obvious signs of heat. She was energetic but had a hard time channeling this energy. I had to strongly encourage her to use that energy to move forward. If she had it her way, she would have stopped to throw a temper tantrum every time another horse was ridden near her.

I don't usually get impatient with her but on Sunday I admit that after she tried to point her hindquarters at a horse for the second time, I made it abruptly clear to her that I wasn't going to tolerate that. I quickly turned her nose towards the offending horse and did a kind of shoulder-in away from that horse. I took her crankiness and turned it into work.

She was a bit better after I did this a couple times and settled into a nice, long-strided trot. After a few moments of this lovely trot I called it a day. When you're working with a mare in heat, it's better to err on the side of caution and end the day on a good note, no matter how short that note may be!

The spring heats are always the worst but at least she's settled down a lot in her older years.

I've been riding (and owning) her for 14 years this month and she's really come a long way from the temperamental fireball she once was. My mom can definitely attest to this. Limerick is like a fine wine--better with age!

On the running front, I'm running my second ultra-marathon this Saturday--the Clinton Lake 30. I feel far more prepared for this one than I did Farmdale. I'm excited and nervous! I feel like my legs could pull off something good but anything can happen in a race of this distance so we shall see.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

An update!

Wow, I didn't realize how long it had been since I updated my blog. It seems like just a couple weeks ago that Limerick's photos were taken as she galloped and played in the snow.

The snow has melted, the spring rains and fog are coming and going, and pretty soon it will be trail riding season!

In early February, I received a letter from the barn stating that the board was to go up by $50. Yikes. Since the board hadn't been raised in two years, the amount wasn't very surprising. Unfortunately, the letter arrived at a bad time for me, financially.

The letter also noted that the cost of the middle barn stalls was to remain the same. These were the stalls that I had moved Limerick out of over the summer. There was nothing wrong with them, really, they were just old and had no runs. They used to be pretty dark, too, but windows had been recently installed in them so they were brighter during the day.

Since Limerick didn't use her run all that much (the only difference was she opted to crib outside on the door to the run rather than inside the stall) and she was turned out every day, I decided it wouldn't be all that bad to move her back to the middle barn and save $75 a month.

So I did that during the last weekend of February.

Around the time of the letter regarding board increase, my husband made a feed store run for me. He texted me from the feed store to tell me that they only had two bags of the feed I wanted. Ugh...frustrating!

It seems like every other time I get feed, there is some sort of problem. They're either out of pelleted or texturized, or they only have X bags when I want to purchase more, or the price of the bags has suddenly gone up, or blah blah blah.

As I made a note in my day planner to go back in two weeks for yet more bags, if they even had them, a small voice in my head dared to ask, What if Limerick was switched to Equine Senior?

Purina Equine Senior. It is fed by my barn and included in the board cost. I do not get a discount for feeding my own grain, so if I move Limerick to a new stall and switch to the feed provided by the barn, I would be saving around $150 a month.

Hmmm. Two years ago I wouldn't have even considered it. But now? Limerick is doing extremely well. She grazes on pasture grass in the summer with the rest of the herd, sans grazing muzzle. She eats the same hay as everyone else, unsoaked. She looks and feels wonderful. The danger of reoccurring laminitis appears to be long past.

To be sure, I did some research. The NSC (starch and sugar) levels of Purina Equine Senior aren't as low as Buckeye Safe N Easy, but they're not as bad as I thought they would be, either. Senior horses appear to do very well on this feed. I inquired with my farrier and vet. My farrier said "go ahead" and my vet said that it would most likely be okay, but to be safe we should run an insulin test on Limerick after she has been on the Equine Senior for a couple weeks.


Well, the test was done last Friday and the results are in--her insulin levels are excellent, nice and low. I will continue to monitor her but both my vet and I feel she will be just fine.

And last but not least, she loves that feed!