He is trying to put me into an early grave

3 05 2010

So Picasso being Picasso. Today he was set to be picked up from Circle Oak and taken back to Wine Country Sporthorse. He was standing tied in the sun drying from a morning hydrohorse session. As it got warmer I moved him into the shade and retied him. I left to go over to the barn office to wait for Annika to come get us. When she got there I showed her where to go and found Picasso with his right front left over his lead rope. He looked quite calm about it so I unhooked him and he was fine. Then I checked his legs. Guess what. The right front leg was slightly swollen. Joy oh joy.

Now back at WCS he has been cold hosed, iced, poulticed, and wrapped. What a great homecoming.


Picasso wants to be a paint

21 04 2010

On Saturday I decided to give Picasso a bath. Figured he could use one…. Big mistake. After returning him to his pasture, he promptly rolled good and hard. Ground that dirt in there. Clean side

The dirty side

Now for the fun! So on Monday, he went into the hydrohorse. I was not there. Tuesday I went to see him, and he had done more decorating…

Today I went out because it was another hydorhorse day. I go over and say hi to Picasso. After a few minutes of scratching his nose, I look down and see his left front fetlock is bleeding! What the hell!!! I take him up to the wash rack and hose it off. One of the Circle Oak staff comes over, and we clip it to see what is going on. Neither of us can figure it out. It’s oozy, bloody, and raised. Doesn’t immediately seem to be anything recognizable.

I proceed to clean him all off. During his de-mudding, I use my shedding blade to get the caked mud off. On a pass down his right front leg a whole chunk of hair comes off!!! What the hell is going on here!

We decide to shave this section too and discover it is quite large!

After getting both areas cleaned up and after some texting with my vet…. we all conclude this is mud fever!!! He did not have it Saturday, and the Circle Oak staff swear he didn’t have it Monday…. hmmm……..

So poor Picasso is locked in his stall for a few days until the mud in his pasture dries up some. And he is getting his sores cleaned and treated with an antiseptic every day. Great just what I needed 4 days before I graduate!!!!!

After more discussion, we came to the conclusion that hydrohorse + bath + wet weather + mud rolling all contributed in a perfect storm to give him mud fever. So he is restricted from the hydrohorse for at least a week depending on how fast these things heal…

Oh and I shaved off all his feathers just for good measure…

Things are looking up!

30 03 2010


Picasso will officially move out to a stall with an attached pasture on the 1st of April. He has been grazing in this pasture for a month or two now, but NOW he gets to live out there full time! The Circle Oak staff were a bit weary about letting him out, as was my vet. Everyone was rightfully concerned about Picasso pulling some weird move and hurting himself. That is always a risk with pastured horses. But I just knew Pica would continue to be kind of a jerk the longer he was stalled. Yes, my dear, sweet, loving, gentle Picasso has been kind of a wanker lately…. But today we experimented with having him out for longer. I thought he might be a little looney…. but he turned out to be rather mellow the whole day even with the raging wind. We started in the attached stall where he was given his grain. The stall walls are made of upright tick “sticks”. Basically 2-4 in diameter “branches” that have been cut to be even and layed side by side to make the walls. These “sticks” are strapped to metal bars. Ok I suck at describing this, just look at the photo.

The whole point of telling you how it was made was to tell you that he was pretty nervous. The wind was whipping through the opening between the sticks. Plus stuff was falling around the neighbors property and the geese where honking a lot. He couldn’t see anything of this and it made him nervous.

Enter endotapping! I got my endostick and tapped him into submission! Just kidding. I did tap him into relaxation. He was still concerned, but post tap he would stand still instead of circle the stall. His breathing slowed and he as more relaxed. I then let him out and he just sauntered out. Very nice. Anyone interested in endotapping, please comment and/or email me. I’d love to share the knowledge!

So he was out all day! And he was great. He actually was very sleepy by the end of the day. Nice. Now that it is pouring rain and the wind is whipping outside, I am glad he is back in his stall in the barn. 🙂

Also got the all clear from the vet, the gracious Tere Crocker, that we can add 5 minutes of walk and 2 minutes of trot to our riding regime EACH WEEK!!!! Woo hoooo!!!!!!!!!!!!

No side effects so far

19 03 2010

Picasso did well last night. The owner of Circle Oak Ranch, Ron, went out and checked on Picasso around 8:30. Said he was quiet and had good gut sound! I went out to see Pica this morning for a shortened hyrdohorse session (did 7 minutes, taking it easy for a few days), and he seemed great! Now when we first started the hydrohorse, I was told that eventually horses get to the point where upon coming out of the hydrohorse they are all jazzed and excited. We have reached that point. Picasso comes out charging and usually has to be restrained. Then once he is hosed off he is usually led to go graze. On the way over, he gets quite acrobatic… Today, he had to go back to his stall while they mowed the paddocks (why the are mowing when they have free grazers was puzzling lol). So he was mighty miffed and not going out IMMEDIATELY. He was striking and trying to push me in the direction of the grass. I told him to knock it off and it out right defiance and angst, he pulled quite an impressive rear! Cheeky….. Sorry no pictures of it. 😉

Here are a couple of pictures of Picasso being “cheeky” before we went to Circle Oak. I love this first one because he and I are in sync with our steps.

This is quite an impressive shot. Not sure how he managed to bend that way, but he did…..

Tildren on its way…

7 03 2010

My vet let me know that the Tildren was en route a couple of days ago. So that means it should be here within a week! I have been a little leery of my decision to use Tildren given some of the potential side effects… But I have had several conversations with people who have used it and all have been pleased. One woman I found has a jumper gelding who had the exact some cyst (type wise) that Picasso has! She gave her horse Tildren last year and he is back to kicking butt as a jumper. Tildren isn’t used as often for bone cysts, but it clearly worked for her. Let’s hope it works for us too.

Picasso is up to 5 minutes or so of trotting. We’ve been letting him do this on the Eurociser. But I wasn’t real pleased with how he crowded the gate so much… basically neck inverted, prancing a long.  He didn’t do this every time, but enough. So today I thought maybe I could lunge him on big long ovals and get the exercise done that way.  I let him warm for several minutes to loosen up. He began trotting and all was fine until he upped his trot to a bigger trot. Then it was apparent he was still very asymmetrical. Not lame, but not even…. Kind of a let down…. He is pretty even at the walk now, but not always. I am sure part of the shortening is from his tight hamstrings. When massaged, they do loosen up and he walks evenly… But what is causing his hamstrings to be tight….

Hoping the Tildren will fix that…..

Fingers crossed everybody!

Professional Butt Rub

27 02 2010

Today Picasso got a second visit from massage therapist Margaret Manion (scroll down for her contact info). Margaret is an excellent massage therapist. She works wonders on a horse. They are transformed. She first saw Picasso right before he went to Circle Oak. He was VERY tense around his sacro-iliac joint and his poll was completely blocked up and tight. She worked on him for an hour and finally got that poll to loosen up.

Today she said he was much better. I have been massaging him since her last visit, and she said my efforts have been helpful for him! His poll was not as tight, although there was some tension. She also said his hind end was tight but better than last time. He is also gaining more muscle. Horray! Go Picasso!

Today was the weirdest weather. The storm rolled in around 10 am, started to POUR around 11 am. Then at around 3 pm, it suddenly stopped and blue skies emerged! It was quite a beautiful afternoon! Good ole Sonoma County!

Adding more rehab work

23 02 2010

At Circle Oak, Picasso has been getting progressively more “stuff” added to his rehab schedule. He is up to 45 minutes of hand walking and that means he can get 5 minutes of trotting!!!! Monday-Wednesday-Friday he goes into the hydrohorse for more time. He gets an extra 30 seconds tacked on to each session. Tomorrow he will be doing 9 minutes! We are working up to 15 minutes per session. We also have been experimenting with how to get Picasso to stretch his neck out in the hydrohorse….. I’ve been taking his Jolly Ball and dangling it in front of him and asking him to touch it. This usually results in him stretching out his neck to touch the ball. Mission accomplished! If only he would hold his head there…..

Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday, he gets to go on the Eurocizer for a few minutes. Today we tried to see if he could trot in the eurocizer, with mixed success….

He already finds it annoying to have to have his speed policed by a big metal gate… so to add to that, he now can have some energy and trot..but still be policed by the big bad gate. We pumped the eurocizer speed up to trot speed cause he was so excited he was trotting a the walk speed. (eyeroll) So after increasing the speed, nothing really got better. He still crammed himself up again the lead gate, head straight in the air. Lovely….. Megan is going to experiment with when to trot him in there, i.e. after 15 minutes of hand walk, in the afternoon, after he gets his calm and cool. He seems to be quieter in the afternoons anyway, so maybe all of that will help is calming him down. After he stopped trotting, we let him walk for a few minutes, and he FINALLY did a nice long and low walk. I think he was tired.

Picasso is also getting as much turn out as weather and his boredom will allow. So far he has been averaging 1 hour per turn out. After about an hour, he gets bored of grass and starts to play. But yesterday he did a whopping 2 hours!!!! It was sunny and warm, and he was in heaven. Then the horse in the neighboring paddock began to run and he joined in. Party time…. over…..

He is starting to get some more muscle across his back and hind end! Yeah!!