Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Breath Easy..er

I won't rehash the whole history of Moon's breathing problems, but since I am planning on running him a bit this year, I need to formulate an effective program to attempt to prevent what happened to him that last winter in AZ from happening again. I really feel that Moon's bleeding problem in the end was simply another symptom that his already compromised respiratory system was struggling and not something that was going on for along time. Of course, now that he actually did progress to bleeding, the chances of him bleeding again are significantly higher.

I know the 2 biggest culprits for setting Moon's respiratory system off are; alfalfa and dust. Heat is a bit of a factor, but moreso when coupled with dry conditions (dust). The heat does not bother him nearly as much when there is some humidity and dust is not a factor. Eliminating alfalfa from his diet has been an easy enough fix. No alfalfa hay and no supplements that have an alfalfa base. I do have some alfalfa growing in my pasture, but the green plant does not seem to affect him, so I'm safe there. Dust is a little harder to control. Although I think having an irrigated pasture for him to live in now will make a big difference. The irrigated part is just as importance than the pasture part because in the past, even when Moon was on dryland pasture, once it got hot and dry he would get a cough. Again with the dust problem.

There are 2 external products that I have decided to use and a 3rd I wished I could afford, but can't right now. The first and easiest is using the Nasal Flair strips regularly. Mostly for competition, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to also use them when doing any work that requires Moon to exert himself, such as sprint days or rigorous hill work. Studies show that at low speeds the Nasal Flairs only improve breathing by 25-30%, but at high speeds they improve breathing and reduce bleeding by as much as 50%. That is pretty significant. The second product is a nebulizer. I am going with the Equi-Resp model. I have talked to people who use them and have been told that they have seen significant improvement in their confirmed bleeders. One lady told me that it has helped enough that they were able to take their bleeder off of Lasix.

The third product I'd like to get, although I can't afford to right now is a hay steamer. If I thought that I'd ever be able to go down the road with Moon again or when I have another horse ready to go down the road on, I'd make that more of a priority, but I'll be staying pretty close to home this year with all of my horses. Even if I do decide to hit a rodeo or two, it will only be one or two day trips.

That brings me to the final phase of protecting Moon's sensitive respiratory system and that is supplements. This is where things got really confusing. I've tried numerous supplements on Moon over the years, but I was never really sure about what I was doing. I was just dumping recommended supplements into his feed with only a vague idea of what they were supposed to do. There was a couple that I know helped and some I know didn't. In the end, I had totally lost track of what I was doing. I've spent hours and hours looking for and reading the labels of dozens and dozens of supplements that purport to help the respiratory system. The more I looked the more I realized how lost I was. Just like joint supplements, respiratory supplements all seem to have similar ingredients, just in varying compounds. I decided that if I was going to be able to make better choices about the supplements I wanted to try, I had better do a little research on what exactly those ingredients were supposed to accomplish. I wrote pages and pages of notes about individual ingredients, but I was still having a difficult time figuring out exactly how they would fit together to help Moon's respiratory system. I just kept researching and reading until I happened on a little gem. A snipet out of some holistic vet book that broke it all down and suddenly it made sense.

To Be Continued!!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Gotta Start Somewhere

Seems like every since I got everybody home from the failed trip, I have been putting out little 'fires' on a daily basis. I'm actually glad I'm home to deal with them. It's just been stupid little stuff, but still stuff that I would have felt bad if the pet sitter had to deal with them. I always say, things happen for a reason.

I didn't make it to the indoor arena with even one load of horses last week. I kind of decided that I should probably invest a little bit of time doing some saddling and lunging at home.

Funny thing is, for some odd reason I find myself working horses in a different order than I planned. LJ is getting worked. But instead of working Moon and Frosty, I'm working Shooter and Belle. Somehow the 2 horses that were the farthest down on my list made their way to the top. LOL. I'm just doing lunging and ground work at home though, so it doesn't really matter who I start with...I just had to get. started.!!!

I also got sidetracked by another project that was left to sit for far too long and got completely out of hand...Cleaning my hubby's shop. Every since he fired that worthless mechanic that was working out of his big car shop at the other house, MH has simply been going over there to work on his stuff and the shop at the house where we live magically turned into a huge climate controlled catch-all space. You couldn't even get around in there anymore. I kept nagging MH to do something about it, but like most men, he would walk in, look at the mess and turn around and walk out. It was just too overwhelming for him. I think women are 'usually' a bit more equipped to handle dealing with disaster areas. Usually I don't like messing with MH's stuff, but in this case, I had to do something. MH will have quite a stack of boxes and contains to go through when he gets home from AZ, but all of the junk is gone, the floor has been swept and there is room to do something in there now.

This week I will start hauling some horses to the indoor arena...Frosty and LJ for sure. I'd rather take Moon out on trails and I can alternate ponying Shooter or Jet with him. Belle is a ways off from hauling anywhere. She didn't remember ANY of the previous groundwork I had done with her, but it has been almost a year, so I forgive her. ;-). I'll just continue to work with her at home until she is farther along. I'm so anxious to get going on this filly, but she isn't going to be a cream puff. She has an I'm-the-boss kind of attitude and she is a bit on the stubborn side. That will be GREAT on down the road...but right now...Well, let's just say that we are in discussions about who is running the show. LOL.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Well, THAT Was Fun...

What a week...

Wished I could say that it was all fun in the sun down in Arizona, but, truth is...I never even made it.

As if getting on the road wasn't difficult enough (dead batteries on the trailer and then a flat on the dually), I made it 200 miles and Big Bertha (my LQ horse trailer) broke down...again. That's the third time the old girl has broke down on me. Luckily the other 2 times I was close to home and getting rescued was no big deal. This time...I was in the middle of nowhere. It was a damn miracle I even had enough phone signal to make calls, cause the cell service through that area is barely existent.

The part that makes it so frustrating is that last Fall I spent a shit-ton of my hubby's money getting whole new axles/hubs/brakes under the old girl. Now, my hubby says he doesn't care what the problem is when they repair it this time...Big Bertha is getting traded in. I'm of the same opinion. In all of my years of beating horse trailers up and down the road, I've never had hub problems like I have started having with this trailer, so she has to go. It's just too big of a risk.

Luckily, I have a great network of friends and a friend of a friend brought their 4-horse trailer down to me and then hauled my horses back to the Moab arena for the night. I got them settled in and taken care of and then I limped the LQ back home. Not only did I have 4 horses with me, I also had Red Dog and my 2 traveling cats, Deuce and GoGo.

The next morning I made a couple calls and borrowed another 4 horse from a local friend and went to bring the horses on home. It's getting harder and harder to find people with 4-horse trailers. Even my little gray trailer only hauls 3, so it was either borrow a bigger trailer or make 2 trips to Moab to get my horses.

After finally getting everyone home, the plan was to get new tires on my gray trailer, load my stuff up in it, load a couple of horses and try the trip again. Unfortunately, our local service station closes at noon on Saturdays and I didn't get back in time to get new tires on. So that would have to wait until Monday.

Sunday I just vegged. I just couldn't believe that after spending all of that money on the LQ that I only made it 200 miles before blowing bearing on a brand new hub. Talk about depressing.

Monday turned out to be a holiday and that is when I hit the wall. I just totally and completely shut down. There comes a time when you realize that you are in an uphill battle and you are not winning. Even so, I figured I would just spend the day feeling sorry for myself and then regroup and get on the road on Tuesday.

By the time Tuesday morning rolled around, I realized I had lost all enthusiasm for making the Arizona trip. I called my poor hubby, who was already in Arizona and told him I wasn't coming. Of course, he was disappointed, but he understood.

If nothing else, the weather here has gotten significantly warmer. We are actually hitting those 40* temps they predicted. Odd thing is, there is water running from the melting snow, but the snow really isn't going away. Looks like I am finally going to have to knuckle down and start hauling horses to the indoor to get them worked. Thank goodness for my little gray trailer, or I'd be dead in the water around here.