Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Last Day (Photos Added)

Crap, I forgot to add the photos last night...I had to do a photo of the photo because I don't have a digital copy, so they aren't that great, but you get the idea. ;-)

One of the things I realized after my 1st run and told L, I never should have entered in the first 100 horses to run on the first day. Obviously, we had planned to be at the arena hours before we actually arrived, the night before and figured we would have plenty of time to watch the Xtreme 15 Race. I never bothered to enter Moon in any of the time-only's because I don't particularly worry about him spooking at anything (not that we would have made those anyway). Him seeing the arena before hand is not a big priority. It is for myself.

Seeing the arena beforehand and being able to watch some of the runs gives me a chance to get the feel for the arena, positioning and ground conditions. L had run at this arena before so was not running in blind like I was on the first day. I mean, I had taken the time to actually look into the arena, but there is no way to really watch a full run from the warm-up pen.

After L and I had run and taken care of horses on the first day, we went back up and watched most of the 200 plus runs yet to go. After watching about 50 runs, I turned to L and told her I was ready to run. She got a pretty good laugh out of that, but said that she felt bad she hadn't thought about the extra time I might take me to get mentally prepared to run when she suggested we enter the first 100. I didn't think of it either. Mostly we had just planned on getting our runs over with before the heat of the day. Another lesson learned.

On Sunday, I was better prepared mentally and after we all came to the conclusion that running Moon would be okay, L told me I needed to put that worry out of my head and get prepared to make my run. Luckily, this time, she ran well before me, got her mare put away and was in the stands ready to give me instructions.

One thing I have always hated is people who just scream at someone through their whole run. It's not cheering or hearing people holler, 'Yea, Go On' or hollering 'Sit' or 'Look' that bothers me...it's the incessant screaming of, 'Kick, kick, kick...Go, go, go...Sit, Look, Kick, kick, kick' through the whole run that drives me nuts. All you hear when you are running is a jumble of screams that usually make no sense at whatever point you are at. L is really good at pinpointing when to yell a specific instruction and just generally cheering at the right point. I cheer for L whenever I can as well because her little mare really responds to people cheering for her, the little show-off. LOL

Even though Moon had had a problem going in the gate the day before, I sort of prepared myself for him to not really want to go in this run. That was the one little niggling reservation I had left. I told myself if Moon didn't want to go in the gate that meant he was probably still hurting and I was not going to push him in the run. I would just let him coast, even if that meant slow loping the pattern.

What I almost wasn't prepared for was Moon walking through the side gate and charging through my hands TOWARD the barrels. I had just started to gather up my reins when Moon saw those barrels. He didn't try to leave, instead he gathered into a full bore charge, shooting straight toward the 1st barrel. I got my reins gathered up and the only thought in my head was, 'He wants this, ride the hell of it.'

I did too. I don't think I was pushing Moon very hard to 1st, but he was running, I just told myself to sit down about 2 strides before the barrel and let him come around. He did and never lost a step...

One problem I have been having is letting go of the horn too early and switching hands before Moon even really gets out of his 1st turn. I know I started to do this again, but only made it one stride before remembering to get both hands back on the reins to help keep Moon balanced all the way into his 2nd pocket. It worked. Moon almost wanted to rate a bit before the barrel, but I just drove him that one extra stride up into the turn and then let go of the outside rein...

I knew I missed my last look spot on this turn because I remember looking at the edge of the barrel and telling myself, "Don't drop your shoulder or he is going to take that barrel out coming out of it.' He did roll right back around and I felt my leg brush the barrel, but it didn't even rock. (Whew)

Moon whipped around that second barrel and took off like a shot. I don't think I 2-handed him to 3rd (that was a bit of a blur). If Moon comes out of his 2nd barrel good, he doesn't really need help to 3rd. Just point him toward the pocket and let him run. I sat down a bit late at 3rd, which didn't affect Moon, but it did me a little bit. I wasn't quite sat down when he rolled around the barrel and I know I dropped my hand and shoulder. My chin dropped and I remember looking at the top of the barrel. My leg tinged the barrel and it rocked. I was saying to myself, 'Oh crap, oh crap, look up, look up.' I did and we made it out of there.

One of the nice things about run out gates is that you don't have to look to the side to see when you pass the eye. I have had Moon try to cheat me a little when he feels me look to the side to see when I pass the timer/flagger, but this time I just kept looking straight ahead at the end of the alley. Moon ran straight out like a pro.

As good as Moon ran, I figured for sure our time would be just a hair under 16 seconds, but it was only a 16.123.

A HUGE, VAST improvement over the day before...don't get me wrong on that...but that run felt so darned good and I know Moon is so capable of clocking that I was a tad miffed our time had been that slow. As a matter of fact, we have had several really good runs this year and yet can't seem to make the times I thought we should make. I can't figure it out.

I sure enough wanted to find out where we lost all that time at and this barrel race had the perfect solution...

Even more yet to come...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It Ain't Over Til It's Over

I gotta tell you guys...

Hanging with L these last few weeks has been a boon for me. She is a seasoned veteran in the rodeo/barrel racing world. I try like hell not to be the whiny novice. I've been fortunate to have several of the girls I run with and whose abilities I respect, give me helpful tips. It's really interesting because usually what *I* think is the problem, is not even close. These ladies can spot the root of whatever problem I have ever had and it is usually about 2-3 strides before where the problem actually happens. L is particularly good for me because, while she is not mean, she is blunt. I appreciate blunt.

When I came out of my crappy ass, first time to town run on Saturday, L was there shaking her head at me. She had to get ready for her run, so kept my mouth shut and waited at the gate with her. I am very careful about disturbing anyone when they are trying to concentrate on what they need to be doing. Sadly, the world does not revolve entirely around me. LOL

Afterward, L and I talked at length. She believes more than anything, I am just playing mind games with myself. She thinks Moon is capable. She thinks I am capable. I just don't always get my head right before I run and on a horse like Moon...it shows up...In a big way.

We decided that when it cooled off in the evening, we would get horses back out and have a little late night practice session.

I didn't think Moon felt right when I was warming him up. He was wringing his tail more than ever and starting to do his stop and stand there thing again. Personally, I think Moon always has a pissy-look about him, but he looked abnormally pissy...and felt it too.

I had checked his back before saddling and he wasn't reactive in his loin, so I wasn't sure what was going on.

L had me go around the pattern a couple of times and Moon did not feel right in his turns. I wished I could be more specific when I say 'did not feel right', but there really is no way to describe exactly what the problem was. The only thing both L and I noticed was Moon was really wringing his tail as soon as he set in for a turn. That alone is a problem.

Out of curiosity, L had me reverse the pattern and send Moon to the left barrel first. Moon started to set into that left hand barrel and then all of the sudden, he slung his head and started crow-hopping with me.

Bingo!!! We found the problem.

Something is still pinched in Moon's left side/hip and when he sets for that turn...it hurt. Hence the stiff neck.

The nice thing about these big barrel races is there is almost always a vet, a chiro and at least one 'alternative' therapy person.

I wasn't impressed with the chiro, all I had seen the vet do was inject hocks and the 'alternative' therapy was something I had never seen done before.

I pretty much figured that the next morning I would have to request a horse change. We had brought Spooks with us on this trip as a back-up for just this reason. I knew I wasn't going to be running Moon in the shape he was in.

As L and I stood there discussing the situation and the options, another barrel racer came over, she apologized for overhearing our discussion, but told me to take Moon up and have the alternative therapy person work on him. She related several personal experiences with this type of therapy and thought it to be very beneficial.



Well...

I sure didn't have anything to lose at this point.

They did have a special going on, 3 treatments for the price of 2. Another mere $200 that disappeared into someone else's pocket (note the sarcasm?)...

Even though it was late, the gal hooked Moon up to her little machines. The poor horse had brass tags and wires coming off of him all over. From his poll, down to his front feet. From his hip down to his back feet. The other horses I had seen worked on had all seemed exceptionally relaxed and quite content. Moon?...Not so much.

He slung his head. Stomped his feet. Tried to sideswipe the tables with the machines on him and generally acted like a jerk. The therapy takes 45 minutes to complete. About 35 minutes into it...Moon started to have a fit. He started wringing his tail, stomping his hind feet and swinging his head and body every which way. He was pissed and making no bones about showing us all something was aggravating him. That carried on for about 5 minutes, which seems like eternity when you are trying to keep your horse from demolishing these people's very expensive equipment. I was just about to tell them to take it off, when all of the sudden, Moon dropped his head and relaxed.

No exaggeration. It was like someone had flipped a switch. The gals working the booth all nodded and said, 'Yup...It finally worked it's way through whatever was causing him pain.'

????...Uhhhh...Ooohhh-kayyy?

Heck if I know.

I put Moon in his stall, he immediately drank almost a full bucket of water, took a big long pee and proceeded to finish his supper.

The next morning, I was back at their tent at 7am for his second treatment. Moon was most definitely better this time around. If not totally relaxed to begin with. At about the 30 minute mark, he got pissy again for a few minutes, stomping his feet, wringing his tail and slinging his head. Knowing from the previous night that the therapist believed this meant the pulses had found and started working their way though the painful spot, I wasn't as worried about stopping the treatment. Within a few minutes Moon relaxed and started yawning. He yawned and yawned...chewed and yawned some more. He just got more and more relaxed. This time I noticed a big change in his eye. It got much softer. He wasn't slinging his head around any more or wringing his tail or stomping his hind feet.

Now, I didn't really think the night before that the treatment was going to work enough on Moon to be able to run him. I was totally prepared to go to the office and switch horses.

I asked the girl if she was sure I should be running Moon. Since the treatment seemed to be helping relax him...did I want to risk undoing what seemed to be a good thing happening by running him?

She said, the only way to know was to ride him and see what I thought, but the whole point of the treatments was to relieve pain, start the healing process and keep the horse competing. I put Moon back in his stall for about 30 minutes to relax, he again drank almost a full bucket of water, took a pee and started working on what was left of his breakfast.

When I saddled him up to test him out, there was not a single bit of aggravation. No head slinging, no tail wringing. He was just 'Moon' again. His neck felt much more flexible and he just felt soft and willing.

Ya know...and at this point...You just wonder what the hell is the right thing to do?

His pain was obviously relieved, but is running him going to undo what the treatments seemed to be helping?

Were the treatments just a band-aid?

At this point, I find myself questioning everything. I have very little experience with determining how far to push forward with a horse that is 'off his game'. People want to act like the lines are so cut and dried...and they are not. If a horse is gushing blood, sick or 3-legged lame...it's obvious. Moon crow-hopping with me around the barrel the night before...pretty obvious.

Now, with what felt like my 'old' Moon back under me...serious doubts were taking over. Horses can't 'fake' being better. Sans drugs (which Moon had none of)), either they are better or they are not. I had to talk to my more experienced friends to help me decide. With people watching, I put Moon through his warm-up routine and loped the pattern once. I thought he felt fine. They thought he looked fine. No tail wringing, no aggravated looks, no hesitation in his movement. We came to the conclusion that there was no reason not to run him.

Now it was time to get my game face on.

To be continued...

**Note...I did not know exactly what these treatments did until I got home and started reading up on them. I was concerned that if this was something that was gong to help and Moon needed more of these treatments that I wouldn't have access to it without driving 4 hours to this gal's home base, but I believe this is the same type of system that my farrier uses on his reining horses and he has offered to work on Moon for me as well.

At this point, I still do not know exactly what is going on with Moon, although he seems much better. *I* suspect he has dropped a vertebrae (or 2) between his thoracic and loin juncture (T18-L2). The chiro was not able to get that back in line, but perhaps if I get him and the farrier to work together, we can get that to pop back into proper alignment. I was told that these types of treatments work well together when something gets really stuck. The electro acuscope and myopulse mitigate the pain and tension around the locked up area allowing the chiro to achieve the necessary manipulation. I was also told that sometimes the electro treatments mitigated the pain/tension/inflammation issues enough on their own that the vertebrae were able to move back into the correct position on their own. Either way, this therapy is fairly fascinating to me and I am looking into taking the certification classes and purchasing the equipment.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

From The Beginning

What at weekend....

I apologize for the lack of posts last week. I was on a mission to have everything ready to go on Friday, when L and I headed off to Salina, Utah for the last Xtreme Barrel Race of the Year.

It was a heinous week to say the least.

However, by 3pm on Friday, L and I were loaded and heading down the highway. We took my rig because it gave us a lot more room to haul everything. We girls don't exactly pack light. LOL

About 30 miles out of town, we passed a rig we knew, pulled off to the side of the road with a blown tire. It looked like the girls just about had the tire changed, so we kept rolling. Not even a mile down the road...

Yup...We blew a tire.

So there we were, in 95 degree temps, out there changing OUR tire. I already had the spare ready to put on, when a nice guy pulled over and finished the job for us...

Uh-Oh....

I've never had a flat on my trailer before, but my step-dad taught me to occasionally whack the spare to make sure it was full of air. Guess I forgot to do that the last couple of times. My spare was flat.

Soooo...I get on the bat phone and call the hubby.

He heads our way with an air bomb. Airs up the spare, but we are hesitant to continue on with no spare. We turn around, come back home, have the station put a new tire on the spare, check the rest of the tires....

Which by the way, still look brand new.

Everything checks out. L and I bite the bullet and head out again.

We're rolling down the road, laughing and talking, roll past where we blew the first tire, hold our breathes and keep rolling.

Not 10 more miles down the road...

Yup...We blow another tire.

Holy Hell!!!

L and I can not believe it. We are just sick.

L and I decide trying to proceed on, with no spare and we are pretty sure there is no place between Grand Junction and Salina that we can buy another one...and lord knows what's going on with my tires is not a good idea.

She calls her husband to bring her rig, so we can trade out.

Her husband hauls butt to meet us. When he gets there, L and I haul everything we need out of my trailer, load it in her trailer and haul to the next exit to switch horses. At this point, we are hot, tired and not sure if Karma is trying to tell us something...

I told L, if she blew a tire on her rig, we were turning around and going home. I would reimburse her entry fees. LOL...I would have too. It really looked like the cards were stacked against us.

Salina is only a 3 hour trip and it's Interstate the whole way...It took us 7-1/2 hours to get there.

So much for getting there early in the daylight to get unloaded, settled and have time to watch the Xtreme 15 race.

By the time we got horses settled and taken care of, not to mention ourselves...It was 1am.

Six a.m. came pretty quickly the next morning. Not that we or the horses got much rest because there were rigs pulling in all night.

For some odd reason, both L and I thought the barrel race started at 10am the next morning, so we were dinking around, until nearly 8am. L goes up to get the draws and comes back on the run. The barrel race started at 8am. Both of us were in the first 100.

Yea...The f.i.r.s.t. one hundred. There were 245 barrel racers pre-entered and by the time it was all said and done, 351 barrel racers ran.

I ran before L on Saturday and let me tell you...I was not prepared.

#1) Moon had gotten a scrape on his leg the weekend before and on Wednesday, it decided to swell up. A scrape mind you!! He was completely sound and I had gotten most of the swelling out with ice and Bigeloil before we left, but Geez, it freaked me out a little to have his leg swell up like that. I feel like I have the damn vet on speed dial here lately. Over the stupidest crap too. The vet reassured me, it was probably the heat and flies (even though I had the scrape itself bandaged) that caused the swelling. He didn't see any reason not to go ahead and go.

#2) I have never been to this arena before and because we got there so late, I never even got a chance to see it or to see anyone else run. I was up too early in the draw to be able to take the time to go sit and watch any of the runs, so I really felt like I was running blind. NOT a good feeling, particularly since it was a run in, run out alley. Moon has only ever had one opportunity to perform in a run-out and I was having flashes of me turning into an arena dart or getting a knee scraped off if he decided to circle left at the end of his run instead of run out the open gate.

#3) When I was warming Moon up, he was wringing his tail. Moon is NOT a tail wringer. He seemed to be moving out fine. Picked up both leads and held them, pooped normally, took his pee...but he felt stiff in his neck and was wringing that tail.

Needless to say, I had a lot of other stuff on my mind when we came through that side gate and headed in to make our first run.


It was a disaster. It felt like Moon really took off. He turned 1st barrel beautifully and then it was the same old problem we have struggled with. He got stiff in his neck and rather than ride him forward and round the barrel, I just sat down and tried to get him to flex. We hammered 2nd barrel.

For Cripes Sake...After all we went through to get there and I go in and completely chicken out during my run?

I was just sick...

What a stupid, stupid thing to do.



To Be Continued...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Next Day

The next day we hauled up to the 2nd barrel race and when we unloaded, Moon was again a bit sore over his loin. Even though he had not been before we left and it was only a 40 mile trip. But he wasn't as sore as he had been the day before. The vet had told me it might take a couple of days for everything to settle down again and of course, there is still the possibility of the feed affecting his kidneys or an infection, which would take a few days to work itself out.

I gave him 2 grams of bute, hand walked and massaged him til he was once again relaxed and dozing. During warm-up he was still hesitating, but he didn't feel as he was as uncomfortable as he was before.

Since he had been such a booger about going in the gate the night before, I was concerned he was going to do it again. One bad gate night is not much cause for concern. Two in a row...spells trouble brewing.

But Moon walked right up the L-shaped alley and gawked around the arena. I was really hoping he would pick up that 1st barrel, so I gave him a few seconds. This was not the same kind of run we had going as the night before. Too much other stuff on my mind I guess...



I can just about count out 2-10ths we lost on 1st barrel and at least 2-3 more 10ths we lost getting to and around 3rd. I have NO IDEA what the hell I was doing letting him get so wide at 3rd. It's like I just sat there and let him fade out. I hollered at him...LOL...but did nothing to bring him back in line until we were at the barrel. Sheez!



Spooks on the other hand, had his best run yet...



You can see where he is losing time, coming out of 1st and coming out of 2nd. But, like I have said, he is still very green. These things will come to him, but he sure is trying to run harder.

Megan picked up a few more points in the Youth division on him and is now tied for the lead. The outcome will all rest on the last two races at the Finals.

I did end up picking up checks on both horses though. Moon placed 3rd in the 2D and Spooks placed 2nd in the 4D.

Monday, August 22, 2011

It Was So Simple

Come to find out...Moon was an easy fix!

Any guesses as to what these nasty little buggers are?...














Okay, okay...no sense making 2 posts about it....

I had a couple of friends watch Moon move while I was warming him up and after watching him for about 10 minutes, both of them came to the same conclusion.

Moon probably had either a troublesome 'bean' or a bladder or kidney infection.

It just took a fresh set (actually 2 sets) of eyes and people with no preconceived notion about what the problem might be.

All three of the big beans were hard, but two of them felt like rocks they were so hard. I couldn't even squish the center of them with my fingers.

The girls recommended I have a vet clean Moon out, but I've never had any problems cleaning him myself, so I just grabbed some mineral oil and a bucket of warm water and had him cleaned up in less than 10 minutes.

I'm quite amazed that Moon had accumulated so much and that two of those balls got so rock hard. I just cleaned everyone in March and I regularly clean everyone's sheaths with plain water when I am bathing them. I don't dig around for a bean every time I go groping around in there, but a couple of times a year, I make sure to clean the head. None of my geldings need to be aced for me to do it.

On Sunday, I went through the entire herd. Within an hour, 5 geldings had been cleaned. Turk had a single, soft bean...interestingly enough it was completely white. Spooks had a huge bean, about the size of the end of my pinky, but it was soft. Bugs, who is the most prone to getting a swelled up looking sheath, barely had anything. Frosty had 2 kidney bean sized, but soft beans and Jet, had nada.

To be on the safe side, I am going to try to catch a urine sample from Moon and have it tested for infections, but I am leaning toward the problem being those rock hard beans. I had not noticed Moon having difficulty urinating, nor did I notice anything strange about his stream, but they say a bean that presses against the right spot can make a horse sore in the loin and hips, imitating a kidney infection.

Kidney and bladder infections are fairly rare in horses...but when the girls mentioned a possible kidney infection, I got to thinking...

About the time that Moon popped his back out, I had started him on an additional feed called PowerGlo. The heat was zapping his energy and I hated to up his oats intake even more. PowerGlo is a high-fat, concentrated feed with vitamins, minerals,and probiotics designed specifically for barrel horses and high performance horses. It's entirely possible that it was too much of a load for his kidneys.

Did Moon hurt his back?

Yes, I do believe he did. The run he had right before he turned up lame was right before I had shoes put on him, I knew he was stabbing his hind toes and as bad luck would have it, that night the arena we ran in had shallow, hard ground. I'm confident that is when he popped his back out.

But even the chiro was stumped as to why he was still so reactive in his back the last time he saw him. He said he was not out and couldn't feel any damage to the muscle. So we figured he just needed some time off.

I couldn't keep feeding Moon that high-powered feed if he wasn't running or being ridden because in just a couple of days he started climbing the walls. So I kept his oats level where it was at and stopped feeding the PowerGlo. For the next week, Moon would be fine one day and reactive the next. This last week, he had no reaction in his loin muscle...

But he still did not seem himself....

When I knew I was going to start running him again, I started adding a bit of the PowerGlo to his feed again and worked him back up to 2lbs a day again. And Boom...As soon as I hauled him, he was sore over the loins again.

I've pulled the PowerGlo from his feed again, however won't know if it was the feed or the beans that caused the loin soreness. I'm going to give Moon this week, with no PowerGlo and see how he does. Cleaning those rock-hard beans out should help and might have been the only reason he was sore.

When I get a couple of weeks when I don't have to run him, I'll try the PowerGlo and see if he gets tender in the kidney area again. If he doesn't then it was the beans. If he does then it was the feed and I'll dump it from my program. The urine tests will tell me if there is an actual infection.

As of this morning, Moon is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. No soreness and all hesitation in his movement is gone.

Ooohhh...And lest I forget to mention....As soon as I cleaned Moon out at the barrel race, I gave him 2 grams of Bute. Yup...There I am again...Buting my horse so I can compete on him. LOL...

Nawwww...the old, retired veterinarian (husband of one of the barrel racers) that was there told me I probably should give him a couple of grams to help calm any residual inflammation before running him. By then the horse had been massaged to within an inch of his life and wasn't reactive over the loin anymore...

It was mostly just a better safe than sorry precaution. LMAO...It ended up being unnecessary because we didn't get much of a run in after all. ;-)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Well...That Was Interesting

Headed to a couple barrel racings this weekend...with almost a full load.

Spooks, Frosty and Moon.

Megan too.

I left Turk at home because I figured I would have my hands full with what I had.

Meg hasn't been going to the barrel racings with me lately, but since she was still sitting 2nd in the Youth 3D, with only a one point difference...I asked her to go to the remaining 3 barrel races and see if she can't pick up enough points to win the saddle.

(A terminology post about the 'D's to follow this post to explain how they are determined)

We got to Montrose on Friday, got horses settled in and I checked Moon's back as has become an almost obsessive habit now...

After a week of absolutely NO reaction...

His loin muscle was reactive.

Oh HELL!!!

That is a post within itself and I think we finally have it figured out....but you'll have to wait to hear the whole story.

We did get Moon fixed up and I ran him...

Well....Sort of...


I chose to run Spooks first, as it is easier to move from him to Moon than it is the other way around and had 25 barrel racers between the two runs...take into consideration there is a tractor rake of the pattern every 5 barrel racers....and that gives you a lot of time to warm-up.

Spooks had a nice run. OMG, that horse cracks me up. He came in, popped off in the wrong lead, so I broke him down, he picked up his correct lead just before the electric eye and shot off like a rocket. I guess Spooks is getting the idea he is a barrel horse. LOL. He was too close to the barrel to shoot off like that and ran right by the first barrel. L said she had to laugh, my head rotated all the way by the barrel. *I* was looking where I needed to go...Spooks...Not so much.

He recovered well though and the rest of the run was good. Spooks is struggling just a bit coming out of 2nd barrel yet and is losing time there, but his 3rd barrel was perfect and he really ran home.

I don't plan on doing anything different with Spooks than what we are doing yet. He is so green still, that it would be senseless to keep getting after him with the bat or do any kind of massive training overhaul. With just a dozen runs on him, I think he is doing pretty darned awesome to be as consistent as he has been. He placed 4th in the 4D, but didn't pick up a check this time. That little run by cost us a couple of 10ths, but we still picked up points.

I walked him out til the next rake and then went and got on Moon. The night air had cooled off, Moon had a good nap after his massage and he was full of himself.

I took him out on the racetrack and once he was loose and limber...We loped. I actually wanted him to come down a bit. I know Moon has been bored spitless this last couple of weeks and he was r.e.a.d.y. to be back to doing his job.

This was the first time since much earlier this year that I have felt him soooo amped up and we did have a problem getting in the gate. When Moon gets excited...he goes sideways. Some horses lunge forward, some horses have a hard time walking forward...Moon goes sideways. Luckily Megan was there on Frosty. Moon sucked up to Frosty...who is quite terrified of the dun horse, so he kept trying to leave. Moon kept trying to suck up to him. It was actually a bit humorous, since I know exactly what was going through each one of my horses' heads at the moment.

Moon is thinking..."I need a little security here."

Frosty is thinking, "OMG...That horse scares me, I gotta get out of here."

Frosty was trying to leave and Moon was stuck to his side like glue. I told Megan to just circle Frosty around again and when we came back by the gate, I just made Moon do a spin and he spun around through the gate. The gate man closed the gate and Moon stood there looking a bit confused. He was facing the wrong way though. I wasn't quite sure how to get him in position. I knew if I turned him to the right he was going to spin around and take off for the barrel, but I wasn't quite sure he had the barrel located. I didn't want him to run off wildly out of position. I finally backed him up and did a 45 degree pivot to the left and walked him a few steps down the fence. He turned his head and saw the barrels, so I rolled him back on the fence and made him travel back to the center of the gate. He was looking to the right, locating that barrel and when he got in position, I let him pivot and leave.

He was off with both rocket launchers firing. He was flying!!

He run up to the first barrel in perfect form, I sat down and gave him his 'hup, hup' and he set into that barrel and turned it without a single misstep. If felt freaking awesome! Moon popped me forward at the exact perfect time and I knew we had 2nd in the bag and was going to make an incredible run...

And then I tried to sit up...

But I couldn't!

Something jerked me back down over Moon's withers.

Ohhhh.....

Nooooooo.....

When Moon popped me forward, my belt went over the saddlehorn and I was hooked.

I wasn't quite half way across the arena yet, but Moon was rolling and I knew if I didn't get myself unhooked quick, Moon might make me a lawn dart when he turned the barrel. I leaned forward and yanked on the belt a couple of times, but it wan't coming off the horn.

All of the sudden 2nd barrel was right there, Moon was running straight for it, I'm laying over his neck, can't get my arm over enough to move him over, can't get unhooked, can't even get him pulled up.

I had to pull him around to my left leg. Thankfully, Moon had realized something was not right by then and had slowed down before I pulled him around, but I still almost took a header off the right side. I was practically hanging upside down in the saddle. My belt popped off the horn then. Imagine that! (she says with dry sarcasm)

Of course nobody realized what the problem was until I got Moon stopped and was sitting in the middle of him again. The girls in the crows nest called down to see if I was okay. By then I was laughing my butt off...I think mostly out of half-hysteria. I hollered up at them I had gotten stuck on the saddlehorn and gave them a thumbs up.

Moon didn't seem particularly upset, but I asked if I could trot him through the pattern so he didn't have that ducking off incident left in his mind. I long-trotted him back around 1st barrel and let him about 1/2 run to and around 2nd and 3rd. He handled that fine, so we dropped to a trot back to home.

Unfortunately, that little misshap cost more than a just a bit of embarrassment. This particular association runs an 'Award Series' throughout the season. To qualify, you have to run in 4 of 6 selected races. They average your 4 best times and give out some nice prizes. Moon and I were sitting right in there in the average. All we needed was for this run to be a good one.

I guess there is always next year. ;-)

To be continued...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

At The Risk Of...

Making everyone hate me....

I mentioned to My Honey a few weeks ago, that considering all of the cars he is collecting...

We didn't have a single convertible.







Now we do...




It's a custom 1927T Street Rod with a 350, V8 engine. It does have a snap-on rag top, but there are no side windows, so even with the top on, your gonna feel the wind in your hair. ;-)

Now to be fair...When MH told me about the car...It wasn't exactly what I had in mind. :-/

How quickly my mind did change when he came roaring in the yard with it to actually show it to me and take it for a test drive.

My barrel racing buddy, L and I are going to take it to brunch tomorrow. I can't wait.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Define Irony...

Soooo...I started on Spooks earlier this year...put all of the conditioning, training and effort into him. I knew after a couple of runs that he was never going to be a 1D barrel horse. Not a snowball's chance in hades. But he was patterning nicely and he tries.

So I told Megan to run him in the youth division. From the first one, she started picking up 3D checks on him (three seconds off the fast youth time).

Megan flaked out on me again this summer, much to my dismay as in very short order she was leading the 3D in points on him and could have easily won a buckle for the little effort it required to go to the races and ride the horse...:(

Since Moon has been out of the last few runs, I decided that even though I didn't think Spooks had much in the speed department, that at least I had a horse that was capable of running a nice pattern, so I might as well haul him and run him. It would be good for me to stay in practice and maybe I could work on a few things.

Who knew the darned horse would draw a check regularly or collect so many points?

I've run him 3 times, which counted toward 5 races (2 were carry-over times), he's won $130 and garnered 8 points in one association and 6 in another association.

Now granted...he is running 4D times, which means he is at least 2 seconds slower than the fastest times, but between Megan and I running him this year, he only has 10 competition runs. I couldn't be more pleased with his consistency. He may never burn a hole in the wind, but he is sure enough a fun ride...

video

(Not so happy with the i-phone videos. They look crystal clear on the phone....not so much on the 'puter.)


Oh yea and Spooks is my 'lefty' horse, my video person forgot that. LOL. Because he had trouble with his left lead when I started riding him at the beginning of this year, I started patterning him to the left barrel first. He could auto change from his left to his right lead, but not from his right to his left lead. When he got good with his left lead, I tried to switch him to running to his right barrel first, but he wasn't getting it, so I reverted back to the left barrel first and will keep him that way now.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Almost There ??

It would seem that Moon is almost 'all better'. I have not ridden him since last week. Ponied him a lightly every other day and keep checking for soreness along his spine. One time I will get no reaction, the next time I would. A little massage with some Sore-No-More and he comes right out of it.

I have kept him up all of this time in a big pen and just let him loose to graze in the yard. The chiro didn't want him traipsing around the pasture until the inflammation was out of that muscle. I did respect the chiro's wish for me NOT to use DMSO on him, for one simple reason (that made sense to me)...The heat from the DMSO would relax the muscles and increase the circulation to that area, promoting healing...however, if Moon's vertebrae didn't want to stay in, the relaxed muscle would allow it to pop out.

Okay then.

However, Moon is not a horse that particularly likes to be penned up for very long. After a week...he was getting pretty antsy...even though I eased up on his feed a little bit, got him a little exercise and gave him the opportunity to graze on the luscious, but useless yard grass. So the other night, I finally had to let him out in the pasture...alone. He did nothing more than wander around and graze. He's not much for 'playing', even if the other horses are out. I was more worried about the mean-ass taking after someone and re-injuring himself being a jerk than being a spaz.

It's safe to say that Moon is a very unhappy camper. He was thriving in competition mode, probably the happiest I have ever seen him and this lay-off is pissing him right the heck off. He's as ornery as I have ever seen him. Crabby toward me and flat out mean as heck to anything else that gets near him.

This morning, I thought I would take him over to L's and put a light ride on him.

No dice. I got reaction when I stroked that muscle. It seems to be very localized and it didn't take long for me to massage the tenderness out, but I decided not to ride...just yet.

I do think that we are beyond the possibility of the vertebrae popping back out and so this evening, I hosed him down and applied DMSO to his loin and hips.

There is a barrel race this weekend, but I will not be taking Moon. I don't think he is 100% yet and what I am really gearing toward is a big race in UT in a couple of weeks. There is no time for set-backs by insisting on competing.

I thought I would give him time to heal naturally, so did not schedule a G3-electromagnetic therapy for him this last week. Since he is taking longer to heal than I anticipated...I most likely will have a treatment done to him this coming week and see if that does not get him back on track. If for no other reason than to be able to get him back into working mode, even if that does not mean I can compete on him until the big race. Hopefully that will improve his disposition.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Almost Caught Up

Generally, there is only two times a year that I get the cleaning bug...

Spring...

And Fall...

It seems a little early to have the Fall cleaning urge hit, but it has.

I just have a couple of areas left to get after, but if I keep up this pace...by the time real Fall hits...I won't have anything to do but a little winterization. I can ride to my heart's content when the weather gets beautiful again.

I think I will even get a couple of projects I had planned on waiting 'til next Spring done. A friend's husband has had a lot of time off lately and I asked if he would be interested in some day labor work. I just don't have a clue when it comes to getting my irrigation in order...well, I have a clue, but I'm not that enthused about having to do it all by myself...so he will be coming over next week to take a look at everything. Hopefully, we will get the drainage trenches dug out and new pipe installed so I can properly irrigate these last couple of months. If that be the case, then I am going to have another friend come over, tear most of the pasture up and have it reseeded. I do plan on leaving 5 acres alone so I have a place to turn horses out this winter While they are at it, I am going to have them leave an arena sized area unplanted. I'm not all that concerned about getting an actual arena put up...it's not like I actually need a fence around my riding area. I just need a decent place to set my patterns up and work my horses.

It took the contractor we hired...TWO....months to get the roof replaced and doors on my little 2-stall barn...but he finally got it done. Now I just need to get the rest of the junk out of there, pack some dirt in the stalls and around the foundation and get my pens set up so the horses I put in there can have indoor/outdoor access.

I am hoping my friend's husband is going to put a loafing shed up for me as well. The aforementioned...slow as molasses...contractor was supposed to build it, but I was so irritated by his lack of work ethic by the time he got my barn done...I ixnayed having him do any other work. Slow might not have been so bad...but my husband TOLD the guy it was MY barn and to do whatever *I* wanted done on it. Every time the guy had a question, he would hang around until MH showed up and beeline it to him to see if it was 'okay' to do what I asked him to do. MH finally got mad at the guy and told him to, "Stop It. The barn was none of his (my husband's) business." The guy got the hint and stopped bothering MH. He must have known he messed up badly because he didn't even bother to ask about the other work we had initially asked him if he was interested in doing. Not very smart in this economy to screw yourself out of about $10,000 worth of work (shakes head in disgust).

Instead, I have another contractor lined up to do the repairs on the exterior of the house. New windows, screen doors, trim and gutters, along with replacing some shingles on the house and reshingling my storage shed. I really, really want to get that work done this year as well as get the house sprayed with stucco and painted before another winter. Our heating costs weren't horrible last year, but they could be improved on.

Sometimes I don't think we have even made a dent in the to-do list around here, but the other night we ran into one our neighbors and he praised us on how much better this place looks. I guess this place used to be quite beautiful. We have not come close to restoring it to it's former glory, but I guess we have made a noticeable dent.

(Sorry...I keep meaning to take pictures...but really not that interesting...just piles of weeds I have pulled, cleaning pens, watering trees and getting the mowing all done up.)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Dentist Cometh

One more thing to check off the list this morning. The equine dentist was out to work on a few of the boys.

Moon is an annual job...
Although I no longer get to call him a 'scissor' mouth. Yaayyyyy! The dentist says his mouth is plumb normal now and he just touched him up a bit.

Turk's teeth were done 2 years ago and last year when I had the dentist out, he said he still looked good and didn't even touch him...
This year, he worked on leveling his front teeth a bit and took off the beginning of a hook in the back. Other than that...not much to work on.

And then there was Frosty...
I had Frosty done by a local veterinarian...not the vet I use now...and I KNEW he did a shit job on the horse's teeth. I was so pissed over that deal, I have never used that vet for anything since then. First of all that vet decided he couldn't float Frosty's teeth at his clinic (because he does not have a large animal room), so he had me haul him up to where I used to board horses...for his convenience mind you...and charged me a farm fee. Jerk! Second...I warned him that Frosty's mother had been very susceptible to drugs and I suspected Frosty would be the same...Did he listen?

Oh hell no. He just gave him a 'normal' dose and about knocked my horse to the ground. The vet tech and I literally held the horse up so the vet could work on his teeth.

And he did a very piss poor job on Frosty's teeth.

The dentist I use now said Frosty had very sharp edges, his grinding action was off and the vet that did the work previously didn't even put in bottom bit seats. He put in top ones...but not bottom ones? What a maroon.

However, Frosty has a good mouth and good teeth, so it didn't take long to remove the shoddy work the vet had done. The dentist asked if he could come back and check him in 6 months to make sure there was no residual incorrect wear. He may or may not need a touch-up then.

And what do you know...this dentist actually listened to me when I told him the horse was susceptible to the drugs and only gave him a 1/2 a dose. He said next time, he probably won't even have to give him that much. Frosty is a light-weight.

While I knew these guys were due to be worked on anyway, one of the underlying reasons for having Turk and Frosty done was because both horses have some poll rigidity and the chiro recommended having acupuncture done on them to help relax those muscles so he could get a good adjustment. Well, poll rigidity can come from the teeth being out of whack as well, so I like to start with making sure the teeth are good before moving on to other stuff.

In about a week I will know if I need to proceed with additional work or if getting the teeth done relieves a lot of the poll tension. Moon and Turk's work was so slight that they will both be fine to ride by tomorrow. Frosty may need an additional day, but then it will be back to work as usual for him.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Today's Haul

Those of you who are fellow garderners know the good feeling you get when you first start to harvest from the plants you have so carefully tended...barring bad weather and/or a poor growing season (as I know some of you have suffered that this year)....

But it doesn't take long and before you know it, you are pulling hauls like this...
Which happens to be my Sunday morning gather.

Lord have mercy...

This was Friday's gather...


My counters are stacked with veggies!

I seriously need to get out my canning/freezing books and start to get some of this stuff stored.

I had fun running Spooks at the barrel racings this weekend. He did good...nice, smooth patterns...and we even won some money in the 4D. I'm glad I went. I took Frosty as well and he got rode both days. I didn't get much of a chance to practice pattern him on Friday night. I kind of waited 'til most everyone had done their thing and left. I was just getting ready to start working him on the pattern when this other gal came barging in and kept cutting me off as I was trying to get to 1st barrel. Since I was planning on spending the night at the arena...to save mileage getting to the race the next day...I thought I would let her have a couple of go's.

But she just kept going and going and going...

Finally I got irritated and the last time she cut me off, I told her it was my turn...she had had ample time on the pattern...and it wasn't getting any better (she was headed for a wreck and anytime someone is knocking over barrel after barrel at a lope...they need to quit cause they are not helping themselves or their horse). I got a couple of turns on the pattern (along with some dirty looks-LOL) and then they turned the lights out.

Oh well...I got up early the next morning and got to enjoy riding with L (her and her husband stayed over as well)..and we had the entire facility to ourselves. Frosty was struggling a little on the pattern...he's really starting to look for those barrels...so he is wanting to kick his hind end out and pick up the wrong lead...it's a perfectly normal thing to have a green horse do, so we just slowed it down again...got his body squared up and didn't make a big deal about it. By the end of the session, I think he was about as soft-bodied and minded as I have ever felt him. He's coming along nicely, so we left it at that for the weekend. I am in no hurry to push him to run in competition...I just want soft, relaxed and completely comfortable and confident. I have doubt when he gets to that point, we will be able to crack open a run and people will wonder where I have been hiding him. ;-)

After my run on Saturday, I rushed home to shower and get 'girlie' to go to the Mule Deer Banquet with My Honey. Sometimes it sure feels good to get out of working clothes, put a little make-up on, a pair of high heels and get out on the town. We didn't win any cool door prizes or buy any guns this time, but I saw this and HAD to have it...
(Okay...what I was hoping for was that it wouldn't go for an exorbitant amount and I might be able to get it.) It's a 3-4 y/o Buffalo Bull skull with the most beautiful artwork painted on it. I hope you guys can see how gorgeous the picture is...It was really hard to photograph...
It's just stunning work and I fell in love with it.

Well obviously My Honey bought it for me...but I couldn't believe no one else was bidding on it. Lucky for us I guess. It's going to look awesome hanging next to MH's buffalo head mount. I just need to take the tacky fake eagle feathers out and put some real ones on it. ;-)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Vet Out

I just couldn't bring myself to be overly enthused about hauling 2-1/2 hours to make a courtesy 'lope' around the barrel pattern tonight, so I pulled out the rulebook and perused the 'vet out' section. I was trying to decide what was going to save me the most financially.

If I 'turned out' it would cost me Entry Fee + Office Charge, but I would save gas money (and a day).

If I 'vetted out', I was told by someone it would cost me, $50 + Office Charge...but...You need a vet release to fax to the main office as well. I figured the cost of hauling Moon to the vet to obtain the release would be at least another $40, but probably $60.

Luckily, I was talking to L this morning (crying in my coffee cup ;-) and she told me to call the main office and ask if they would accept a release from my chiro. Huh...that never dawned on me...Probably because chiro is 'one of those things' and not all places recognize them as valid practitioners.

So I did...they WILL accept a release from a chiro.

Yippeee!!!

Total cost to 'vet out' = $14. (Lord knows where that someone came up with the extra $50 charge?...Good thing I resorted to the actual rule book.)

Sooooo....

I feel better about that. (Not that I was going to run Moon anyway...in case anyone misreads and thinks that was my intention.)

But you know what?


I'm still going to run barrels this weekend. I am loading up the black horse and Frosty and we are heading the other direction. There are 2 runs this weekend that are much more 'Spooks' appropriate. Spooks might be able to place in the Open 4D and I will get some exhibition runs on Frosty.

Life gives ya Lemons...By god...I'm going to make me some Lemonade!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Not Exactly The Way I Had Planned

Well...


Looks like I will be doing a courtesy run on Spooks on Friday.

The chiro worked on Moon on Monday, I ponied him on Tuesday morning, left him in the round pen because Beretta was out in the pasture and Moon likes to chase her. Ponied him on Wednesday and turned him out to pasture with the rest of the boys. I was poking around the yard all day, kind of keeping an eye on everyone because the chiro didn't want him chousing around, but all they did was wander around and graze. Got everyone up in the evening. Ran my hand across Moon's back and he about had a seizure.

(Lots of cussing)

I cold hosed him, DMSOed his loin and waited til morning to call the chiro.

Chiro shows up today...Frowns at Moon's reaction to pressure across the loin.

Checks him out, says he's not out, but he is not sure what is going on...and we all know what that means...

No way is he in any shape to run.

I talk to chiro about alternative remedies to ease the soreness...

He agrees icing his back is a good idea. No more DMSO though...heat may reduce the noticeability of the muscle reaction, but it brings the inflammation level up.

I asked him about having my farrier use his electromagnetic shock therapy machine on him and he agrees that would be a good idea. Acupuncture probably isn't the route to go.

Also, no more pasture turnout. The 50' round pen is plenty of space and the ground is nice and level.


Poor Spooks...he got stuck as back-up. I sure as hell know we aren't going to be winning any money...but oh well....I'll just give a little Queen Wave as he lopes his way through the pattern. ;-)

On a little better note, I went ahead and had the chiro check Beretta's hips while he was here and he got her leveled out really nicely. Beretta still travels a little 'off' once and awhile due to her hind fetlock injury, but the chiro thought if we adjusted her every 3-4 months, we could keep her hips leveled up nicely and hopefully improve her future outlook. I'm all for that because I sure do love my little girl...
Her chest has taken forever to go down...even with cold-hosing every day and alternating DMSO and External Rub. The vet said there wasn't anything he could do unless it developed a 'water bag' (mushy feeling). If it did that, he would come over and lance it. Well, actually he told me, *I* could lance it...to which I gagged at the thought of and told him, 'No Thanks...I was perfectly willing to pay him to come do that.' (Gak) So it has just had to slowly go down on it's own.

This next couple of weeks is going to be hell on the pocketbook...Equine dentist is coming, Electromagnetic therapy for Moon, Acupuncture for Frosty and Turk...to be followed by adjustments...I'm sure by then someone will need to have shoes reset....

Uggghhhh....when they talk about 'paying dues'....They literally mean paying dues!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Frosty's Turn

Honestly, you would think that the way I go on and on about that silly dun horse of mine, he was the only one I've got...

Nawww...

He just kind of took over my brain this year. I told myself in January...This was it! Our do or die year!

It's taken a long time to find that 'happy' place...but I think we are there. Nothing but continued competition is going to finish getting us seasoned.

I didn't let everyone else go completely to pot, but I sure wasn't putting in the time on them that I had been earlier this year. They just kind of became nice distractions from thinking about the seriousness of competition all the time.

Seriousness vs. Fun...

Well, there is no question that I find competing fun. But obviously not in the same 'fun' way that it is to jump on a horse and tootle around bareback, ride out in the desert or poke around at a playday with friends. I do take competing very seriously, but in a 'I want to improve every chance I can' kind of way..Not a 'I need to/have to win some money' kind of way.

I started hauling other horses with me, mostly to get them exposed to the goings on at the competitions. Other horses, traffic, loudspeakers, the hauling, the standing tied, drinking out of buckets, eating out of hay bags...Pretty much all of the stuff that turns your 'World Champion At Home' into a frenzied, melting down mess in public.

Frosty sure enough had one of those episodes at a barrel race this year. I was quite mortified. But since then, he has been pretty good. I have learned how far I can push him and each time it gets better. We can actually sit amongst a group of horses now. Still no dice on having horses lope toward him...but his reaction has been reduced from spook and blow up to just a spook and whirl. The girls have been very decent about it and I am very careful not to get myself or them in the middle of a shitstorm.

All of the hauling has done wonders for the saggy-belly boy...

Sometimes I glance at him and think he is still kind of fat, but he's not. He's a big, solid gelding and that is all there is to it. He will continue to change and eventually look more fit, but I still think his system is not 100%. It obviously takes a long, long time to get a horse's system working properly after they have suffered a long bout with IR. He doesn't have a lot of stamina and his energy levels are a bit radical.

I did get shoes on him this year. First time he's ever had them and he was such a good boy about it. He has always been kind of platter-footed and IR made him very tender-footed, so I finally decided it was worth it to see if shoes would help. They have. He is getting much more supple in his shoulders and is back to using his hind-end like he is built to. The horse has no lack of booty on him...
and he has a much hock set than Moon. He is built to really drive from behind and get up underneath himself...when he wasn't doing that anymore...I knew something was not right.

He's riding a lot better and when I took him over to L's house to practice barrels on...she was amazed at how well he turned them. I knew he could turn a barrel...just haven't been able to spend the time with him like I should to bring him along. I'm hoping to stick with him the rest of this year and be able to compete on him at the NBHA runs. 'Compete' might be a misnomer because I won't be pushing for much more than to get him to be able to make a 4D run. That would mean he would be running 2 seconds slower than the top horses. Which is a pretty significant margin.

Now I don't know if Frosty is as fast as Moon in a straight line..I've only ever gotten him up to about 3rd gear and that was plenty fast for me...not knowing if he was going to stretch out and run or if he was going to suck back and buck me off and all...but I do know that the actual act of turning the barrel is a lot easier for him than it is for Moon...so it might be kind of close as to who will be Top Dog when Frosty actually does learn how to run.

Seasoning him is going to be the trick...whereas Moon sees and hears nothing that concerns him when he locks onto a barrel...I am doubtful Frosty will be as single-minded. I see spooks from the chutes and the grandstands and flags and noise in our future. I am just praying that we don't get the suck-back and blow-up reaction that he is so well known for. ;-)

**I wrote this post last night, but decided I wanted to wait to put a picture of the slimmer version of Frosty up and wouldn't ya know...He was a total shit this morning. Tried to blow up when I went to get on, so I lunged him for a little bit first. I am NOT afraid to use that lunge line with him. LOL...Ground is kind of hard this time of year. ;-) Ended up just going for a ride in the desert rather than get to practice him. I had to up his oats a little bit because he just did not have any energy in this heat. I guess it kicked in. LOL

The question may be when I start running him...Are they going to give me a time or a score?

LMAO

Monday, August 1, 2011

My New Hero

To make a long story short...Moon was sore in his back again on Sunday after running 2 days in a row, so I called my barrel racing buddy and got the number to the other chiro she has used in the past. This guy is a manual manipulator. L had used him before but due to costs preferred the previous guy she recommended. At this point, I didn't give a flip what this guy cost. Something was up with my horse's back and it needed to be remedied. I was just praying that this guy was a valid manipulator because my experiences over the last 10 years has been that a lot of them 'claim' to be equine chiros and few ever manage to even get a single pop.

Lord have mercy and hallaluya!!! I have just found the best equine chiropractor I've been able to locate since I first stumbled on this phenomena back in 1999. I was spoiled you see. The very first equine chiro I ever used was one of the best in the country. Probably still is...I could ever find him. Last I heard he was somewhere in Texas. (Texas is a big damn state ya know. ;-)

Anyway...This guy located Moon's locked vertebrae in nothing flat. A couple of pushes and...pop! Has it back in.

He got a nice big pop in his right hip as well. He continues to go over Moon and gets a good pop out of his right shoulder. As he is working his neck, the chiro asks me if have trouble with our right turns. Uummmm..kinda...but I don't think it's so much Moon as it is me being late to the rate. He thought about that for a second and asked me if he traveled straight. Huh...now that has been something that has bothered me about Moon for a couple of years now...the darned horse constantly fades to the right when he is walking out in the open. I had him checked over by a vet/chiro last year and she didn't find much. The chiro braces himself and says, 'This should help.' and Whop! He gets a massive pop out of Moon's neck just in front of his shoulder. He says, 'I think he'll turn better for you now too.'

O.
M.
G....

This is the kind of chiro I have been looking for since my other guy disappeared!!! This guy can fix things...not dink around, pushing here and there and end up telling me that it will take several more treatments to get the horse right. Uuggghhhh...I am so sick of the 'wannabe's'.

Sooo...Moon's week will consist of being ponied for the next two days. If things are back to normal, I can ride on Thursday and haul to my only rodeo on Friday. If Moon still seems sore, the chiro will come out and re-adjust him on Thursday and I will have to ice (which has become part of my routine anyway because I think it works better than cold-hosing). He said either way, running one run on him isn't going to hurt anything. Next week, we will see how things are and go from there.

I know Moon did this on that Tuesday run 2 weeks ago. The damn ground was shallow and he stabbed those hind toes into the ground and gave himself a jolt. That's why I already had him scheduled to be shod...we figured out his hind fetlock tenderness was because he was stabbing his hind toes and not getting full flexion when he set to turn a barrel.

Well...all that is fixed now. Shoes on and adjustment accomplished. Moon was so relaxed after his adjustment, he just stood where I dropped his lead rope and went to sleep. Now that's the miracle of a good chiro!!

Sooo...as the chiro was writing up my bill...Amazingly it was only $70. I have paid twice that for some of those faux fixer-uppers (Uuggghhhhh)...I asked him if he was in a hurry or if he had time to take a look at another horse. He said sure, so I run and got Turk out of his pen. Turk is scheduled to have his front shoes reset tomorrow and of course, this morning, I notice that his G-shoe is loose. So he didn't get to go out to pasture with the big boys today, he got lawn-mower duty...
The chiro took one look at Turk and said, 'You have some issues going on with this horse.' That assessment just from watching the horse's demeanor. Awesome!!

I showed him Turk's foot and his shoe and a bit of the history of what we have done in the last year to get where we are. The chiro nodded, walked straight over to Turk's shoulders, lifted his right front leg (the injured hoof leg), got his hands on the horse's withers and gave a tug. Turk's shoulder gave a massive pop and he about bugged out. The chiro apologized to Turk for hurting him and told him to give it a minute and it would feel better. Not more than a minute or two later, Turk dropped his head and started licking his lips.

People like this fascinate me. They are sooooo good at what they do, so quick and efficient and so sure of the outcome. They truly have a gift.

The chiro got a big pop out of Turk's right hip, turned around and told me I shouldn't have as much trouble with him picking up his right lead anymore. My jaw just about dropped. I NEVER said a word about having to work at getting Turk to pick up his right lead.

The horse was too rigid in his poll to get the adjustment that he needed up there, so the chiro recommended that I have the other gal I use do acupuncture on him to see if those muscles can be relaxed enough for an adjustment. He said then he won't be as heavy on his front-end...Again with the jaw dropping. I never said anything about Turk being heavy on his front-end.

That's it...I have a full book of everyone I need...Veterinarian, Farrier, Dentist, Acupuncturist, Chiro. I am set. All I gotta do is feed 'em and ride 'em. I'm in freaking heaven!!!