Friday, September 29, 2006

Farrier Visit

Billy has been my farrier for 3 years, but last time he was here, he told me he could no longer come to my house to shoe my horses since he'd dropped all other clients out my direction. I thought I might be able to trailer out to him, but the more I thought about it, the more I decided this was not practical on a regular basis. So I decided to have Tony shoe my horses now.

Tony is another farrier that works with Billy and has been out to my place many times. He usually works on Serts and then helps Billy finish Tanna since Tanna takes longer.

I was very pleased with Tony's work today. Tanna's feet look very nice. The chunk out of his left rear hoof is getting smaller.

Here is a picture taken right before Tony arrived.

And here is a picture taken just after Tony left.

Tony just did a reset of Tanna's shoes, so he didn't have to shape new shoes or alter the left rear to accomodate the nails in the different places. These shoes only have 5 weeks and about 35 training miles on them, so they're not worn down at all and should last me through my coming endurance rides.

Last time Billy and Tony were here, Billy added stud pins to Tanna's shoes. These are the middle of regular horseshoe studs, but just the middle. Billy drilled a hole into the heel of each shoe, one on either side and put a stud pin in each hole. The friction holds the mini stud in place. These studs are very useful for pavement work as they are so small they only come into play when the horse is on pavement or solid rock. They don't affect any thing in grass or gravel.

I have been very pleased with the performance of these stud pins. I have ridden Tanna on the pavement a few times. Our local road was black-topped in Spring 2006 and without these stud pins, Tanna will slip. With the stud pins, he can do a nice trot without worrying about falling. The silly horse even tries to canter on the pavement, he feels that secure. I don't allow him to do that, but he sometimes gets a few steps in before I can rein him back to a trot. We even go up and over a local paved hill without incident.

With some studs you have to worry about too much traction and worry about the wear and tear on the joints, but these stud pins give enough to not be hard on the joints, but not so much that the slipping is dangerous. They are really a great tool for me since many of my training rides are out my front gate onto pavement. While we get off on the shoulder as much as possible, we still are on pavement a good bit of time.

These stud pins are going to become standard equipment for my horses whenever they are shod.

And one last picture of the boys after all the standing around waiting for the farrier to come and be finished.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Another successful ride

Cave Country Canter (September 23, 24) has been branded a rousing success. No Treatments! No pulls! No lameness, no sprains, no...well, nothing.

Cave Country Canter, a brand new 2-day ride located in southern Indiana just west of Louisville, KY, was cancelled this morning due to extreme weather conditions. Many inches of rain was dropped along with high winds, close cloud-to-ground lightening strikes and even some hail. There was also a Tornado watch for the area. The forecast for Saturday and Saturday night called for more of the same. Ride management wisely decided to call the ride on account of rain and sent everybody home.

To give you an idea of the rainfall. I had taken a 20 gallon tub and put it in my horse's pen for water. I had only filled it with around 6 gallons of water and then Tanna drank some of that. I never got back to filling the tub any further, but by morning, the tub was full! At one point during the night, I walked from our camper to Tanna's pen and was walking in ankle-deep, rushing water.

This morning, after hearing the ride was cancelled, two local would-be riders volunteered to go unmark trail. They came to the first small ditch crossing which had turned into a 3 ft deep creek with rushing water. While they knew they could cross that at that moment, they were concerned about being able to return to camp after more torrential rain fall, so turned back.

I know the ride management spent a lot of time planning this great ride for us and I was really looking forward to riding some new trails. Hopefully, the ride can be rescheduled and if so, I plan to return. Thanks to the Ride Managers, Steve Cummings and Sue Keith, and the Daniel Boone Distance Riders club, the vets, Kevin Sloan and Otis Schmitt, and all the volunteers for putting on this ride. Not your fault the weather didn't cooperate! What a rousing success to have no pulls! ;-)

I was disappointed to not be able to ride, but I'm happy to be back home with a sound, content horse in the pasture. Next try: Alabama Yellowhammer Pioneer

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

AERC Calendar now in Google Calendar

My husband, Daniel, and I are pleased to present, for your convenience, the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) calendar in Google Calendar.

These calendars contain endurance rides gleaned from the main AERC calendar, but are viewed on a standard calendar view. Each region is shown on its own calendar sheet. If you have a Google account, you can view multiple regions on the same calendar sheet and/or copy an event to your personal calendar.

Below is a view of the month of September for the MW and SE regions combined into one view.

Where there are GPS coordinates available, we have included those on the Google Calendar as well. Clicking the Map link for an individual ride will take you to Google maps where you can view the ridecamp location as well as get driving directions from your house. Please be sure to verify the directions from the ride flyer or ride manager!

There is also a link from the Google Calendar event to the AERC calendar page where you can download ride entries or link to the ride's web site.

Click the picture below to get an example of an event in Google Calendar.

These calendars are unofficial calendars. In the event that the AERC web site or the Endurance News prints something other than what is listed at the Google Calendar, the Google Calendar is wrong. These calendars are maintained by my husband and myself and are provided only as a convenience service. No warranties are expressed or implied. ;-)

Central Region http://tinyurl.com/zt8n9

Mountain Region http://tinyurl.com/gy3u5

MidWest Region http://tinyurl.com/keaoj

NorthEast Region http://tinyurl.com/jf62d

NorthWest Region http://tinyurl.com/ff6zy

Pacific SouthWest Region http://tinyurl.com/z4dos

SouthEast Region http://tinyurl.com/zggen

SouthWest Region http://tinyurl.com/gpvsj

West Region http://tinyurl.com/zrehb

Monday, September 18, 2006

Trace Tribute -- AHA and SERA

I am very happy to announce that the Trace Tribute will be recognized by the Arabian Horse Association (AHA)! This will apply only to the 50 mile event; AHA does not recognize limited distance.

I just found out that we are also officially sanctioned by SERA!

Angie Fura, Ride Manager

This information will be posted to our website soon. Please stay tuned for more details. Your Trace Tribute team is hard at work to bring you an awesome ride on April 7.


Blood Test Results

SertsEvery spring, I take both horses, Serts (pictured above) and Tanna, to my vet, Dr. Matt Povlovich of Equine Medical Associates, for coggins tests, spring shots, and dental work. In March 2006, I did the normal routine and hauled both horses to Dr. Matt's office.

During the course of the visit, Dr. Matt and I decided to pull blood on Serts because he had some small leisons in his mouth and we wanted to see if there was anything weird in his blood that would account for these. Serts was found to be slightly anemic, which isn't a major concern for a pasture potato. However, I thought it'd be a good idea to pull blood on Tanna, too. So I requested a blood panel.

Tanna was found to be even more anemic than Serts. Tanna's red blood cell count (hematocrit) was at 26.6%, which was much lower than the normal levels of 32-52%. Dr. Matt explained that since Tanna is an athlete, his red blood cell count should be in the middle of the normal range and certainly not 5.4% below normal.

I asked what the implications are for anemia and Dr Matt said it just means that Tanna would not have the energy to do as much as if he had the right amount of red blood cells. I made sure I would be ok taking Tanna to endurance rides while I was trying to remedy the anemia. Dr. Matt assured me it would be fine, Tanna would just get tired sooner than he would with the right amount of red blood cells.

I did some research and re-evaluated Tanna's ration, paying particular attention to his B vitamins and iron levels. After careful consideration and consultation with my vet, I decided to supplement his ration with Vita-Key's Antioxidant Concentrate. I started on that supplement as soon as it arrived.

In June 2006, I had Tanna's red blood cell count rechecked. He was at 30.4%. That was very encouraging and much closer to the low end of normal.

Today, we had an appointment for another check to see if the upward trend had continued. And indeed it did! Tanna's red blood cell count is now 37.8%!! This is very good news. He is now smack in the middle of the normal range.

Maybe this explains the increased energy level exhibited in one or two of my previous blog posts! LOL.

Tanna and I both should be good to go for our endurance ride this coming Sunday at Cave Country Canter in southern Indiana.

Finally riding!

I am getting back to normal! I was finally able to ride my horse last Thursday. Tanna did very well. I came home from work, but still had to work. So between answering emails, I saddled him up. He ended up standing saddled for about an hour, but I finally was able to steal away from work for 45 minutes to take a ride around the neighborhood.

Tanna was definitely full of himself and a handful. We only did a 5.5 mile ride, but we did get in some good trotting and cantering. On the way home, Tanna was very energetic, so I decided to throw in a steep hill for good measure.

I was very pleased with Tanna and with my response to the riding. I was only in a small amount of pain. I'm sure I'll be very sore after my upcoming endurance ride this Sunday, but I can't wait! LOL.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Temper, Temper

Here are more pictures of my wild child acting up. This time it was at Hoosier Daddy in June 2006. I had saddled him up for a short ride the day before a 50 mile endurance ride. I got on him and he seemed ok, but then reared up. I slid off him and these pictures were taken by my husband after I safely dismounted.

I particularly like the top one. I mean, he looks like one of those Lipizzaners! Now just imagine me trying to slid off him and you'll get a mental picture of the minute before these were taken.

The bottom picture is the calm before the tantrum and I thought I was in the clear and he was going to behave himself. Not to be.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

New Camera

A couple of days ago, I finally upgraded my digital camera. I had been using an old Epson PhotoPC550 that I bought in 1999. The Epson has been awesome. It's lasted almost 7 years and still takes nice pictures in ideal conditions. Some of the pictures in my early blog entries were taken with that camera.

I've been wanting a new camera for quite awhile and we finally decided that we could buy me a Nikon Coolpix L4. I picked mine up from Circuit City for $120. Added a 1 GB fast write SD card for $35, and I had an instant upgrade.

Now I have a Flickr account to share some of my pictures as well as this blog. I added a "badge" of random pictures from my Flickr account here on my blog as well.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Activity slowly increasing

My activity level is slowly increasing. I had hoped to ride yesterday, but decided I wasn't healed enough. Instead, I spent an hour and a half walking. Hopefully, in the next couple of days, I'll get to ride.

In the meantime, I found this picture my husband took of my horse at Chicken Chase in April 2006. This is a top view of Tanna saddled and waiting to be bridled for a look at the trails the day before competition. Daniel is standing on top of our horse trailer looking down.

And here are a couple of pictures of Tanna just a little while later as I was lunging him prior to mounting. These actions are why I don't want to ride this horse until I'm certain I can handle him without being distracted by pain.

He really is a good horse, but he will take advantage if given the opportunity. After his little tantrum, I lunged him for several minutes. Then mounted and had a pleasant 45 minute ride with no more issues from him.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Candy Treats

This afternoon when I came home, Tanna met me at the gate. After closing the gate I came through, I went and gave him a pat.

Serts is my non-endurance Arabian and Tanna's best bud. Since they are our only two horses, they've bonded pretty well.

Anyway, Serts meanders over to see if I have any treats. I didn't have anything handy, so I dug through my computer bag and came up with a Baskin Robbins hard candy. I offered it to Tanna and he readily ate it and asked for more.

Serts, of course, wanted his share, too. I couldn't find another Baskin Robbins candy, but had a mini fireball jawbreaker, but warned the horses they wouldn't like it. I offered it to Serts first. He promptly spit it out as expected. I picked it up and offered it to Tanna. Well, he thought that was just grand and crunched it up and asked for more.

I burst out laughing. What a funny horse. I didn't have any more, so had to give them each a pat and go on up to the house. But I think I'll get a bag of fireball jawbreakers and see if Tanna really likes them or just was caught up in the moment.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Daniel is in the process of moving his photos from PhotoStockPlus to Flickr. So I've added a Flickr "badge" to my blog on the left hand side. There soon will be lots of pictures from past endurance rides on that site. Hope you like it!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Out of Commission

Well, Tanna's doing great. His feet look very nice. He is getting a bit fat, though.

I was really looking forward to going to the Big South Fork Endurance ride (BSF) next week, but that is not to be again. Last year, I missed BSF because I had a broken arm from falling off a horse in mid-August. This year my missing BSF is because of appendicitis. I had my appendix removed on Wednesday night and I won't be up for endurance riding by Thursday. I'm hoping to be back on a horse next Sunday or shortly thereafter, but I'll have to sit BSF out.

I'm doing well and healing nicely and will likely return to work on Tuesday after Labor Day and hope to be back riding as soon as possible. In the meantime, I'm totally jealous of my friends getting ride in this very nice low 80s weather we're having!!!