Thursday, February 21, 2013

Poor Little Beam Beam

Beamer just hasn't responded well to the abscess therapy. One day he's a little better, the next not so much so today Liz returned to radiograph his hoof.  The best that can be said is that Beamer found the entire process very entertaining, especially so since he was the center of the ministrations of three females.  But he did his very best to examine all of the equipment thoroughly,  not because he was nervous but because it made for some fascinating sampling.
Still, the rads were not encouraging,  showing several different gas pockets, each the result of a separate abscess pocket. The deepest pocket lies immediately next to the coffin bone, which itself is not infected but does show periosteal reaction to the bacteria. This requires immediate intervention in the form of increased hoof soaks, stronger poulticing, and oral antibiotics.  OK, this all falls within reason but I'm headed to Florida on Saturday for ten days. Sis is farm sitting and if this were a normal equine it would not be a problem. ..but it's BEAMER we are talking about.  Very few horses have the agility to pull their own tails and fewer still can pull the elasticon from your hands while you wrap a hind hoof but he is one of them. Again, Beamer is not bad boy but is a classic case of ADHD and I'm concerned Sis won't be able to treat AND babysit at the same time, so I have 24 hours to either find a layup facility or arrange for additional help.
Beamer, like Owen, evidently cannot stand the idea of my being bored!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Go Shopping

If I was to pick the theme song of my life it would be, "Taken in , taken in again," by Mike and the Mechanics. Still horribly  reeling from the blow to our bank account inflicted by our previous builder, we were again stunned by the latest bid which came in easily $50K over budget..
Are you kidding me?  Given that the first guy skedaddled with our deposit how could we possibly iNCREASE our budget for the house?  And if that weren't bad enough we just got served with a mechanic's lien from the original architect since the contractor never paid him and he has to make his payroll somehow; so he's come after us for $25 K, due the moment we break ground even though we aren't even using his plans but had the added expense of purchasing a set from another architect.  So what does any other wronged and innocent party duped out of $75, 000 do but immediately go out and buy a house?

Don't get me wrong,  I love living at Cold Saturday but we can't keep forking out $1, 500 per month rent with no equity in sight.  So we found an adorable little stone house about 10 minutes from the farm.  It's not in the country and not an ideal location but it does shave 15-30 minutes off my morning commute, plus it has room for me to organize all of my sidesaddles, habits,  and appointments.  Quite simply, it's just a lovely house.

There's no room for horses but the cats should enjoy it.

And speaking of horses, Owen is laid up with a prolapsing disc that' s affecting his lumbar spine and Beamer is still horribly lame from his never ending abscess.  Tomorrow Liz is coming to take radiographs.  I'm spending a fortune on lame equines!

Friday, February 1, 2013

And Never the Swain Shall Meet

One thing that's really hampering my posts these days is lack of internet access,  forcing me to write these from my phone. I suppose that qualifies as some sort of new literary genre similar to the new Twitter short story which should add a bit of charm.  But I'm also still bogged down with whatever illness I'm incubating and no doubt I was not improved by yesterday's foray out into the wind and cold.  Not good for bronchitis to have 40 mph winds raring down your throat but like most devoted horse people I had to put my own welfare on the back burner. ..doctors will never understand.   I popped out to the barn from my sick bed only to find Beamer shivering out in the cold...on 3 legs.  I will admit to 5 minutes of internal turmoil whilst in my flu befuddled state I frantically tried to text another vet. Yes, my previous experience in equine medicine told me this was a simple abscess yet the female middle aged horse owner in me won out.  I couldn't get a signal in the barn and was forced to stumble out from the shelter of the barn into the raw wind to find a signal.  We didn't name this farm Woodwind for nothing.

In the end the reasonable part of my brain was validated and when Liz arrived armed with hoof testers and a knife it was indeed proved to be an abscess.  Beamer totally charmed the Dr and her tech with big eyes and adorable little ears; they felt sorry for him but I think he's just fishing for attention.

Despite both of us being on the biddy list I do have some sidesaddle topics to report, mainly that Beamer is going to be a bear to fit.  He is narrow, slab sided, and has no withers.   Conventional saddle fit wisdom neatly compartmentalizes horses into narrow, medium, wide, etc. but the reality is more complicated than that.  Consider that the foretree has to fit several distinct parts: withers, rib cage, along with two moving shoulders.  We like to think of horses being consistent in their assemblage of parts, i. e. cobby and round, narrow and throughbreddy (that's an old scientific term!) but horses are illiterate and have not read the manual.

I am planning a more detailed and anatomical post but in the mean time suffice to say that keeping a sidesaddle well positioned on him is going to require professional assistance.   My little Martin & Mayhew has the best chance of fitting,  while Jeannie's Swain, for which I had hopes, is totally off the mark.  When I tried Beamer I only noted his mutton withers without assessing the rest of him.  I naively assumed he would be round bodied like an arab.

This long point of the M & M has a fairly good fit:

The saddle fits fairly level but needs some flocking in the front to make it stable.

But you can clearly see this Swain would be disastrous to ride in...there's a huge gap between the point and his rib cage.

 Who knows...? Perhaps little Beamer will need a compass point saddle.