A chipped tooth and a bloody button in the ear!

No, I have not gone mad, this is exactly what I had to discuss and deal with yesterday. You know, when things go too well for you, life knows how to get your feet back on the ground!

Last weekend during the clinic I had him turned out in a pasture a couple of hours during the day, with lots of clover in it. I just had him put back into his stall when he flehmened (not sure if this is the right form, but I hope you’ll get it 😀 ). I was standing at the sink and prepared his Mash, so I was maybe 7-8 meters away from him. I noticed something black on his teeth and thought

Great, a clover leave stuck on his teeth, the horsey equivalent to spinage between your teeth!

The next day I remembered the “clover leave” and just wanted to check if it’s gone….so I lift up his lip…and screamed out in chock. What I had seen the other day, was NOT a clover leave, but actually a broken tooth with a big whole in the shape of a clover leave.

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Sweat started to form immeadiately on my forehead, I was always so proud that he had so healthy teeth and now there a is huge darn whole right in the middle of it. The panic rose up my spine, what if the root is affected and he is in pain. What happens if the tooth is so damaged that it needs to get pulled, he needs to eat…. Thoughts running through my brain while I was looking at this huge gab between his incisors.

Thankfully my trusted vet was able to have a look at him yesterday. Barley didn’t seemed to be bothered at all!!!

This is the only reason I did not get more panic attacks, he was happy as a fiddle, eating everything that I put in front of him…he even tried plum (minus the stone, of course) and seemed to love it. Crazy shrimp 😉

My vet said the same thing as my friend during our countless talks in which she tried to calm me down. Nothing serious is damaged, he is not in any pain because of the tooth, everthing is fine. Big sigh of releaf. Once again, what I thougth was a big deal was nothing at all! Great… 🙂

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I also had asked her to please check out the sarcoid in Barley’s ear, because I would like to get it removed since that one does seem to bother him and I  thought it’s a good time, now that the weather is getting colder and the insects are getting less.

When I bought Barley, he already had this equine sarcoid in his right ear. For the first two years it didn’t give us any headaches. About two years ago he was turned out with another horse in the pasture and one day he came in with a bleeding ear. I guess they were playing tug-o-war and the result was an open sarcoid that was bleeding a lot.

Apparantely a sarcoid is a kind of “skin tumor” that does not spread by metastasis, but when damaged, it can spread. I used a lot of Propolis tincture on the sarcoid and it healed again.

Normally the sarcoid looked like this, kind of like the button in ear from one of those Steiff animals. Nothing to worry about. It’s in a good place, nothing in the proximity that might irritate or damage it, like in the girth area or where the halter or bridle sits.

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Unfortunately this summer it started to look like this (picture below). The dry skin fell off and a bloody looking knot was on display and it is getting bigger, too. Barley got pretty irritated by flies, so I had a fly mask on him and a couple of times a week I put Propolis tincture on it, because I wanted to prevent any infection. But it happened a lot that the propolis crust fell off, too. Propably when he was shaking flies off, the sight of this bloddy “button in ear” was not so nice, so I thought, we remove it and then it’s over..

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And this is were I was wrong. I had read, that you can surgically remove sarcoids, but my vet explained, that this is not the case, if the sarcoid is located in the ear. When you remove a sarcoid, you need to remove a lot of flesh to minimize the chance of its return. Since the ear is only cartilage and skin…we would need to amputate the top of his ear.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! 😮

And this is were my stomach turned. This can’t be happening! I can’t amputate his ear 😦 poor thing! Fortunately there is a cream that has had great results with destroying these sarcoids and this is what we will try first. So please, hold your thumbs for Barley, that the cream will help and that we get rid of this damn thing and he will be left in peace next summer by the flies.

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I am going to do a kind of documentation about our journey, so stay tuned if you are interested.

 

 

Posted in #Summer, this can't be happening | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

A valuable lesson!

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Three years ago, I attended my first clinic with Barley. It was a clinic in Västerås arranged by the local western trainer and we were riding for George Maschalani. The only thing I knew was, that he had won the european championship several times, he had won the Futurity and was crowned Rider of the Year. At that time I was riding for six months. You can imagine how nervous I was! In the beginning of this year I was asked, if I would like to be the organizer of this clinic. I was thrilled and honored and accepted gladly.
Last weekend the clinic took place and this time (I think it’s the fourth time I am riding for him), I promised myself to just push all nervousness aside and really listen. He is a really nice guy and wants to help. The past clinics I felt that my nervousness got in the way of me listening to what he has to say, this time this should not stop me.
I was very focused and tried to suck up every little piece of knowledge he had to offer.

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Barley was very relaxed and didn’t either act up during warm up and I believe that my relaxed state of mind had a lot to do with it.

The past year I had problems again with him leaning to the inside when we were on a circle and I didn’t know how to fix it. I had become very frustrated with myself because I know that George had showed us during a clinic and I had forgotten. Thankfully he picked up the issue by himself because we all had problems with it. The other thing was the usage of our spurs. Over and over we heard him say

More leg, not spur!

I know that he was right again, we were all too sloppy with them.
Before it was my turn to ride the next excercise, my DOH appeared at our side and told me to take off my spurs. My friend and personal trainer Anne had send him to collect my spurs and I think it was a great idea. During the first excercises I tried very hard to not touch him with them but it still happened. I leaned forward and whispered to Barley

Please, listen to my legs, it will make life easier for both of us! Please, please listen!

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Then it was our turn. The excercise was to jog/canter on a circle over 4 poles.
We started with the jog and and he did an awesome job, then we were asked to canter a right circle. I felt right away what I had felt the past year when we were loping indoors..he leaned to the inside.

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So I carefully lifted up my hands a little (I was riding with two hands), the left hand a little higher to put him straight with the neck. My reins were so long, I didn’t even touch the bit. I kept the rythm with my legs, although it was not visible for those who were watching, except for George, I guess ;).

Suddenly everything felt so easy. I got some great comments from George. I was so happy that I was able to correct Barley before George told me to. And then I remembered all the months I had pulled on him and was yet again unfair to him because I didn’t know better. I know that he could hear me, so I appologized while we were loping on our circle. Then George said that we were allowed to walk now and I am not really sure but as soon as he had slowed down a huge wave of emotions run over me and I started to cry like a baby.

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The day after the clinic I found a quote on facebook.

The beauty of horseback riding is that you need to learn how to be in complete controle while at the same time in complete surrender…

I guess that is what happened, I had that moment with Barley!

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George started to panick and asked what’s wrong??? What happened??? 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

Until I had the strength to answer, that it was just such an awesome to have ridden Barley like this and that I was just overwhelmed.
Then he actually cracked a smile :).

My DOH said, that even a visitor watching turned around to him with tears in her eyes. I tried to get it together and stop sobbing while stearing Barley back into the line up to allow the next one to start this excercise. The third member of our little group came up from behind and touched my shoulder. When I turned around, her eyes were filled with tears as well.

I almost started to cry again when I saw that she was so touched and happy for Barley and me, that we had this beautiful moment. He was standing in the line up yawning over and over again and was completely relaxed.

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I wish you all that you will have this moment with your horse, it is the most awesome feeling. ❤

Posted in #Fun, #Summer, clinic, George Maschalani, Happy, Workout | Leave a comment

A fountain of new inspiration…Charles de Kunffy!

Jumping excercise

Jumping exercise

During my vacation I was browsing the internet and some how ended up watching an interview by Rick Lamb from The Horse Show with Charles de Kunffy. (The Horse Show, Episode 530).

For those who do not know anything about Charles de Kunffy. Charles was born and raised in Hungary as a member of the Austro-Hungarian nobility and has collected so many equestrian credentials that it is too much to list them all.

If you want to find out more, you can find out more under Charles de Kunffy – bio.

I even added the link to the interview on YouTube.

I listened to it over and over again and found Mr. de Kunffy’s answer just perfect!

Rick asked: When did you get interested in jumping? Your book (A Rider’s Survival from Tyranny) is filled with pictures of you jumping. I always thought of you as a dressage (rider), I thought that was your thing.

Charles de Kunffy smiles and answers:

Yes, it is, because, we didn’t separate anything. There were two kinds of riding. Good and bad, and the good riders did everything. Jumping is an extension of dressage and flat work.  You control the horse to the fence and after the fence and in flight you are only following, not controlling. So, it is a dressage movement, you can do a piaffe or passage or you can jump a hurdle.

Rick Lamb asks the follow up question:

Does it bother you that today those are very distinct disciplines?

Charles de Kunffy:

Yes, it bothers me a lot, because some jumpers jump, the horses are very good and they do the jump but they are not in correct balance and of course, content defines form. Correct content is what is called a beautiful form. Very few jumpers have beautiful form because they don’t have beautiful content, they are out of balance over the fence, but it doesn’t bother a horse that is bred…, it’s the triumph of contemporary breeding. It’s no the triumph of horsemanship, it’s the triumph of the breeders that give you a horse that can do it, in spite of…..

In my opinion this is not only valid for dressage or jumping, but for all other disciplines within the equestrian world as well. I feel more and more reluctant to say that I am a western rider. I would rather like to say that I am a very well balanced rider, sitting (most of the time) in a western saddle. 🙂

That would be something that I could be really proud of. The be able to say, that I am a balanced rider, who is not a burden to my horse and is not pulling on the reins for balance, would be the most wonderful thing.

Fortunately I know that I am far away from being able to say this as a true statement, but every day I am in pursuit of this goal.

I know, however, that I have become better. On Monday I was delighted when my trainer said:

Now look at that…. you actually start to ride your horse, and look what happened to him, he is a completely new horse!

This comment slingshot me to the moon and back, not only because it was a very nice comment, but because I felt it. You should have seen him, he was chewing on the bit and licking, with his tongue stretched out full length, and his back elevated me in the saddle a couple of inches. I know that Barley is not one of those fancy dressage or jump horses, he is a western horse that is not bred to do piaffes or passages or jump high fences, but I am very proud of what we have achieved together. We learn basic riding, where I learn how to relax my body in the right places and to find balance, and he learns my aids and builds the strength to carry himself with me on his back.

Hey you...

Hey you…

Well, this is maybe a bit wrong, I have come to understand that he actually knows what aids are needed to do specific things, it’s just that I need to do them correctly and when I ask things of him that he finds difficult, it might just take a few minutes for him to accept and actually do what I ask of him. For this I need the help of my trainer in order to know what is what.

The goal is still for us to grow together, develop further and to strive after perfection. I believe in our versatile training, there is to be learned so much from other “disciplines”, if you now want to call it that.

Most important for me is that we both have fun doing it, Barley is still yawning when I put on the saddle and bridle and his muscles are like jelly when we are done with our rides/workouts and this, I find, is a very good sign. My biggest goal, in everything we do, is still that he enjoys it and it is in benefit of him becoming a healthy, strong horse with a relaxed and stable mind who is looking forward to our working together instead of being uncooperative and reluctant due to pain or discomfort.

Here another beautiful quote from Charles de Kunffy:

For horses can educate through first hand, subjective, personal experiences, unlike human tutors, teachers, and professors can ever do. Horses can build character, not merely urge one to improve on it. Horses forge the mind, the character, the emotions and inner lives of humans. People can talk to one another about all these things and remain distanced and lonesome . In partnership with a horse, one is seldom lacking for thought, emotion and inspiration. One is always attended by a great companion.
~Charles de Kunffy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Happy | Leave a comment

Love is…

When you look at him and get all warm and fuzzy around your heart 💝

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Guess you guys know the feeling I’m talking about!

Good night y’all 😀

Posted in Happy | 2 Comments

Summer evenings are the best

Yesterday evening was beautiful, the horses started to feel a little frisky and took the smallest things as an excuse to start a little running game. Two bikers came downhill, Barley had spotted them first…I think he’s the watcher in the herd.

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Guys, bikers...get ready to go crazy!

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Wild boys 2015

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Show off 😆

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Love the light in the evenings

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OAWH - Original American Watch Horse 😂

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Some more action

Then Barley spotted somebody riding on the far end of the pasture…needed to be investigated right away!

Good that they have other things except for eating to keep them occupated.

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Time to breath and blog again!

Finally vacation time has arrived. Oh, what I have been looking forward to this, for the next few weeks I am going to breath deeply, will not hurry nor stress, will do things I haven’t done in a long time, yeah, like blogging… 😉 and will just enjoy all my little sweet moments.

Right now my DOH is watching telly, our dog is lying on the couch asleep and the cat is lying in my bed, also asleep. I made myself comfortable on the couch too, with my favorite blanket…the Swedish summer really rocks right now (yes, from time to time I enjoy a little sarchasm), a nice cup of coffe and listen to Enya.

This feels like a nice ending to a wonderful and relaxed day.

Belly full coma

Belly full coma

Now let’s see, what have we been up to?

In April we had some nasty spring storms, rug tucking storms. Another lesson learned, if the weather forecast says it’s going to blow with 25m/s (= 90km/h), make sure that the knots for the tail string are really strong (read: bomb-proof), otherwise you might find a surprise in the pasture 😉

Spring storms April 2015

Spring storms April 2015

He looks a little bit like from a commercial, he is running with the cool guys.

If you are a fashion-conscious horse, then this is the right rug for YOU! We have listened to horses and designed our rug so that it can be worn in different styles. If the sun comes out and the rug gets too warm, just follow the instructions. 1. Lay down and role, make sure to stretch so the string below the tail opens. 2. Turn your stylish butt into the direction the wind blows. Now you can wear your rug as a scarf! IMPORTANT: Safety advice! Act completely innocent in case your owner shows up!

But we also had some very nice evenings when it actually was warm enough to dare to put my breeches on and an English saddle on Barley.

Evening in paddock April 2015

Evening in paddock April 2015

Of course it’s not just riding, we even worked with the long line…

(may I just point out his nice butt? I am so proud of that butt ❤ 😀 )

Long line May 2015

Long line May 2015

We took long walks together…this is what I call them, he might call them ‘long picnics’.

Long walks (=long picnics)  June 2015

Long walks (=long picnics) June 2015

Out and about again June 2015

Out and about again June 2015

But now we are in July and July means vacation time for me and some horsy time for Barley. Even though I sometimes have a huge knot somewhere in my stomach area, I know it’s good that he can be in a herd with other horses. Even though it’s still a fact that I either have a very clumsy horse or that he is really just low in rank, or a combination of both, but he is having the most holes in his ‘all-in-one suit’. In any case, I confince myself over and over again that he is more happy this way.

I scratch your back... July 2015

I scratch your back… July 2015

And they do look happy, don’t they ❤

Allright folks, more from us during this years vacation.

Cheerio and nighty night! 🙂

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Nom nom nom :D

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We are now up at 50 minutes of grazing.
Best part of the day! He sometimes even lifts his head…for very brief moments. Otherwise I think he is currentlt breathing through his ears.

One thing is also very interesting to me.
For the past two weeks he was ‘actively-resting’ again. After a little accident in the box where he had apparently big trouble getting up again after he had layed down (and/or rolled…who knows, he didn’t really tell), his back was sore and we needed help from an equine therapist for some massage, chiropractic and lasertreament.

As you can imagine he has a lot of energy right now and has become quite reactive.

But as soon as he is allowed to graze, a bomb could explode beside him and wouldn’t give a damn. 😂😂😂

Anybody else still trying to make the change on to fresh grass or are we the last ones? 😎

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Posted in Equine therapy, Fresh grass, Happy, Pre-summer | 2 Comments