Dear Blog: 5/16/2020

Hey all! I feel like I haven’t had enough time to dedicate to my blog lately. I’ve been busy, but in the best ways. I recently have started making my own rope halters. Getting that page up and running took more time than I had imagined it would, but it is finally up! There is a super simple order form that you can submit directly from that web page if you are interested in ordering. I have a lot of kinks to work out yet, but it’s a start! 

I have also been busy making multiple orders for rope halters. I appreciate everyone’s patience! I was not expecting to have nine to make so soon, but I am absolutely thrilled! I love seeing everyone’s unique color combo choices.

Aside from being busy with my latest adventure in halter making, I also have had a crazy couple of days with Cash. A few days ago I was tacking up for a ride on the last sunny day of the week, when I noticed Cash seemed “off”. He was not breathing hard, but his nostrils were flaring more than his usual. He also had an odd “pulsing” in his jugular vein. I could see it travel up and down his neck quite prominently, and could feel it as well. I decided not to risk it and canceled our ride. I took Cash out for a hand walk instead, and he seemed to get more and more worked up. I attempted to walk him around the pond on my parent’s property without luck. I then decided I would turn him loose in the back pasture so he could blow off some steam and I could help him calm down in an enclosed area. Well…my plan didn’t go so well. Usually, Cash drops his head to graze immediately, giving me time to close the pasture. This time, I unhooked his lead rope so he wouldn’t step on it, and he turned and took off before I knew what had happened! I couldn’t believe it! He’s NEVER done anything like that before, so the change in behavior worried me as well. I found in him the field beside the front pasture where the steer was. Luckily, he allowed me to walk up and catch him without a fuss. 

It was a bit of a struggle coaxing him back into the barn, but he realized that was his ticket to finding his buddy; the steer, Itty Bit. I was absolutely dumbfounded that my horse was this worked up over being separated…it’s so not like him! I called a few knowledgeable friends and got opinions on how to move forward. Most said to just monitor him since he was still interested in eating and drinking, and was still passing stool. I assessed him over and over, checking for any signs of pain, gut sounds, pulses above the hooves, heat in the front hooves, gum color and cap refill…nothing else seemed out of the ordinary. Ultimately, I pulled him off the pasture and gave 2gms of Bute in case there was a pain sign that I missed. 

The following morning I checked on him before work and fed him. He seemed more relaxed, but the jugular pulsing was still there. It was much less prominent, which made me feel better. I decided I would call the local vet on my lunch break and get his thoughts. 

Before I got a chance to call, the vet office called me to let me know Cash’s coggins results were in. I used the opportunity to ask about the pulsing while the vet was on the phone. Dr. Bowen seemed a little concerned, and recommended he make a farm call. He didn’t really have room in his schedule to come out the following morning, but he made time. 

Fast forward to Thursday around noon, Dr. Bowen arrived and checked Cash over. The pulsing was so minimal that it made it hard to find. His heart tones sounded good, rate was regular, and lungs were clear. Dr. Bowen was confident that Cash was fine for now. We discussed the need for a possible ultrasound in the future should another episode occur. Dr. Bowen does not have that equipment, but said he would reach out to colleagues in the area so we are prepared for next time. 

I was relieved to know Cash was fine, and my wallet was relieved to not have to pay for an ultrasound at this time. My parents definitely think I overreacted…and maybe I did. However, I know my horse well, including what’s normal for him, and what is not. I would always rather play it safe than be sorry later. A farm call fee is so worth the peace of mind I have now. 

I still don’t know what caused Cash to get so worked up, but I think we have some work to do on “buddy sourness”. Who knew he’d freak out this much over being separated from the steer…he never seemed to care about the horses around him! 

I’m sure with time, Cash will continue to get more comfortable in his new home. I will also become more comfortable making decisions regarding Cash’s health without calling four different horse friends…hopefully. Lol. 

“A girl’s home is where her horses roam.”

-Rhonda Hendricks

This whole ordeal has made for a long stretch of days without riding. Fortunately, the rain stayed away today so Cash and I got a quick ride in. It definitely could have been a better ride, but I was just glad to be back in the saddle. Cash threw quite a few fits, but we were able to work through them and continue our ride. He’s been extremely buddy sour to the steer, so I’m hoping to work on this a little bit each day before it gets worse. It’s supposed to rain for the next couple of days, but hopefully it will hold off for a few hours so I can sneak in another quick ride tomorrow.

Until next time,

Happy Trails!

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