Sunday, November 15, 2009

Extreme Makeover Part I

First of all -- as most people know, I am a bit of a prankster, especially at the barn. So, of course, now that I am officially back, I have started setting up some lovely little props around the farm. The above pic is of my latest work (in Jennie's trunk). And I have now proven that Jennie is officially blind as a bat because, after about twenty minutes of watching her walk back and forth to the tack room and not shrieking, I started getting a bit fed-up. It turns out that she thought the bloody hand reaching up out of her trunk was a pink glove! Jennie, get yourself off the road and on to an optometrist's chair ASAP!

And now on to the Ponykins, who has been going through a myriad of changes lately. First, Heather got on him last week and managed to install a Dressage Pony Button on him in one ride! She is a great teacher and he is obviously a super-fast learner (Einstein and Smarty Jones have now been added to his list of nicknames). Now, with a fair amount of leg (and spur) and some soft contact, he willingly arches his little neck and stretches down into the hand. And all without draw reins or any other gadgets. Hooray! Thank you, Heather! I will definitely get some pics of that soon.

Secondly....Salem's feet. I have been pulling my hair out over the barefoot situation, as there is not a single farrier down here who does an actual barefoot trim. My farrier trimmed Salem's hooves exactly as if he were going to put shoes on them. This is not a true barefoot trim and it has lead to mucho flaring, chipping, cracking, and under-run heels for Mr. Salem. Well, one of the feed store owners has done quite a bit of research on barefoot trims, including attending a clinic, and he trims his own five horses. He was kind enough to come out and show me a few things on Salem's front feet. He took off all the flares, cut the bars down a bit, and gave the hooves a bevel or "mustang roll." This takes the weight off the hoof wall, which will cut down on the flaring. He also discovered a small abscess that popped out of Salem's right front coronary band (more on that later). Here are the results:

I'm not quite sure where we go from here, as I can't exactly ask Joe to come out and fix Salem's feet every few weeks. He left me a rasp and showed me how to file them, but Salem will need more than that eventually. I guess we'll have to see what happens...

Moving on -- seeing how Salem had been fluffing up like a little chick (plus the fact that his skin had been getting increasingly flaky despite my best efforts), I decided that it was time for a Body Clip. Now, this was a big deal, seeing as I had never body-clipped and Salem had never been clipped before. To make things easier, I got a syringe full of Rhino Tranquilizers (not really, lol, but the stuff was strong!) from our favorite vet, Dr. Bob Scott. (Heather and I are the co-presidents of his Fan Club and always half-joke about making glittery "We ♥ Dr. Bob" posters whenever he comes.) Of course, first Mr. Salem had to have a bubble bath...

Where's my rubber ducky?

...and I had to take plenty of Before pics. After all, what's an Extreme Makeover without before pics?

(Jennie was originally holding Salem for these pics...until she stepped on a dead frog, threw Salem's lead rope on the ground, and ran away screaming like a little school girl. Salem reacted to this by looking at her quizically, pooping, and going back to munching grass.)

After Salem had completely dried, I put him in the wash rack and got everything all set up. Salem got his syringe of Rhino Tranquilizers and embarked on a lovely little "trip."

Oh, yeah...that's some good stuff

Jennie (who had by now recovered from the Frog Incident) was kind enough to start off the clipping job and let me watch her technique for a bit. I was horrified to see what all of that flaky skin was -- fungus! Despite tons of currying, I had no idea just how much gunk was underneath all of that woolly mammoth fur. Egads!

Eeeeeeeeeewwwwww! There's a fungus among us!

Poor Salem! He is absolutely covered in fungus -- back, butt, shoulders, belly, sides, and legs. The only fungus-free areas are his head, neck, and chest. I am very perplexed as to why this happened -- he gets groomed thoroughly every day, hosed off after every ride, and bathed every few weeks. I use a clean saddle pad every ride, clean my brushes often, etc. and he never stands out in the rain. Anyhow, I am using Malaseb shampoo on him in order to dry it up. The first day, I covered him in MTG, but the stuff is just so yicky. I'm going to switch to Lotrimin (Athlete's Foot medicine) spray tomorrow.

Last but not least -- Gas Chamber Hoof! :-) I got some White Lightning to clear up Salem's abscess. It's supposed to be the best stuff for abscesses, thrush, white line, etc. (it supposedly also kills Anthrax), but it involves a very complex process. You mix the product with vinegar and put the horse's hoof in a plastic bag...for 45 minutes.

Gas Chamber Hoof!

Salem tolerated this very well. Sure, he had on his Worried Eyes and was a bit unsure of himself, but he took it all in stride. Unfortunately, I do not make a very sturdy Gas Chamber because it lasted all of five of the necessary forty five minutes. This was most likely due to Salem's excessive pawing, stomping, and flinging about of his hoof. I guess I'll have to rethink my strategy and try again tomorrow.

*sigh* What are you doing to me now?

Next time, I will have After pics of Salem's new look -- body-clipped, dressage-cut and dyed black tail, and pulled mane. And maybe I'll have some Dressage Pony pics, as well (fingers crossed).


eventer79 said...

OMG, seriously, you are dying his tail?? AHAHAHAHHAHAHAH snork snicker chuckle!

On the skin side, part of the problem could be the bathing every few weeks. Bathing is not really very good for horses -- it strips the natural oils from their skin and hair and dries everything out horribly. It's best to reserve baths for seasonal changes -- e.g. getting out winter grunge in the spring -- and white horses. To remove dirt for the show princesses a good brushing and a vaccuum does the trick (you'd be surprised how many horses really enjoy vaccuuming!).

SprinklerBandit said...

He's a pretty (and brave) boy.

I'm a pretty recent follower, so I guess I've missed something: why are you going barefoot? Or more specifically, why is he? I guess I don't really care what's on your feet, so long as it's safe. ;-) My mare is barefoot (with a barefoot trimmer), but that's mostly because she's not doing anything strenuous right now and it's cheaper. Any thoughts?

Anonymous said...

I love Salem's sleepy eyes, he looks so "um, what did you just give me? not that i mind... i'm just... so tired..."

Can't wait to see the new and improved pictures!

Frizzle said...

Lol, Solo, yes, his tail will be dyed. Now that all of his sunburnt body fuzz has been removed, his highlighted California surfer dude tail looks ridiculous. I've never dyed a tail before, so we'll see how that goes. Now that I think about it, I've only bathed Salem twice since he got here, one of which was the pre-clip bath(well, other than the medicated baths because of his fungus). He sweats a LOT, so I'm wondering if that plus his fuzzy coat could have trapped the yicky stuff in there (?).
SprinklerBandit, Salem was track-broke as a 2 year and then turned out in a pasture for three years. When he was started back this summer, he was kept barefoot and has been just fine. I've been doing a lot of research and have found that, when possible (and done properly), barefoot is usually better for the horse than shoes. Not to say that I'm a Crazy Barefoot Cultist, but it does make a lot of sense. I just need a farrier who knows how to do an actual barefoot trim, no a pasture trim.
Anni, hahaha, yeah -- he was in a whole other world!

Nina said...

Hi, First time reader and I am in love with Mr Salem. He looks adorable!!!!!! Can't wait for the 'after pictures'

eventer79 said...

His feet do look a lot better. Just be verrrrrrrrrry careful what you do -- I am not really a fan of DIY trimming, which is distinguished from touch-ups between trims, which I have no problem with. It is just so easy to screw up the whole balance of a foot with one bad line. See, even on your second pic, the toe rounding is uneven which could unevenly load the foot during breakover. Of course, I know you are between a rock and a hard place and this was just a step to help Salem out. Good luck, be careful, and I hope you can track down a person with training!!

Frizzle said...

Solo, I still haven't touched his feet yet. I'm a big chicken! The little "dent" that you're talking about is something that has been growing out -- maybe an old abscess? There was a big crack there before. Poor guy, his feet were pretty messed-up (TONS of flaring, under-run heels, etc.) and they're still not perfect, but they're better.
The feed store owner has the name of a barefoot trimmer for me. He doesn't know about her person's work, but knows that she was trained in the actual "barefoot" method, not just a pasture trim. Please keep your fingers crossed.
Nina, thanks! He is a big, loveable goofball with donkey ears and a very kiss-able muzzle, hahah.

Denali said...

Your boy reminds me a lot of my girl. They look very similar. I'd love to know his pedigree (maybe it's on here somewhere, I'll need to look around) His feet look good! I'd love to keep Denali barefoot (and have tried) but her fronts always platter out. Always. I dont' have the money to have a BFT out every three weeks. Our shoer is awesome and always takes extra care of her. I love him for that.

Denali said...

Oh also, if you ever have dandruff, a really good, cheap way to treat it is Listerine! Your horse will smell minty fresh, but it helps clear it up!

jennie bang said...

oh my gosh, oh my gosh...i love the pic of the hand in my trunk cause you can see all my pretty extra pink brushes and you can even see Phantom's pink twinkie toes hoofy polish! yeah, loved the hand in my trunk....almost as much as i loved you asking me to hold Salem and standing him right where a huge dead frog was......good one meeeeeeeeeghan!!! i missed grazing my pony with you tonight...see you at the barn tomorrow! btw, Salem's skin looks so much better...extreme makeover '09 was a success!! oh, and one more btw before i go....Salon Equestrian rules!!!!!!!!!!!

jennie bang said...

omg....i have a typo in my comment....i put Phantom's twinkie toes, when i meant to put twinkle toes....twinkle, not twinkie...not only am i blind, i'm also retarded!

Frizzle said...

Denali, Salem is not tattooed or registered, so I have no idea what his lineage is. He is Ocala-bred, and that's about all I know. Thanks for the Listerine tip -- I've heard that, but never tried it. Right now, Salem is covered in fungus, so he's getting Malaseb shampoo baths every other day, apple cider vinegar rinses in between, and Athlete's Foot spray every day. I had used MTG the first day, but it's so oily and yicky. Then I did two days of a prescription spray that a fellow border gave me, but then that ran out. The fungus is getting better, but still not cured.

Jennie, hahahaha, twinkie toes sounds yummy! And, yeah, that dead frog thing was an awesome prank (even though it was a surprise to me, too, lol). Salem missed grazing with his Phantom Pony tonight. He was all, "Eeek! It is dark! And I am alone! Where is my Phantom Pony? I would like to bite his pretty little neck cuz I am a Vampire Pony!"

Denali said...

Well that's good that he's not tattoo'd then he didn't have to go trough the track training. I have yet to meet a TB that hasn't been on the track, although I am also about 30 miles from the track.

Also, I started using the cocosoya oil and I'm convinced that she's already shinier! It's only been two days.

Denali said...

Also, I think that Denali and Salem should be long distance boyfriend/girlfriend. He looks SO much like her.

Frizzle said...

Hahahaha. Denali, I just saw your comments. That would be quite the long distance relationship, lol. Also, Salem is still a young lad, so he's very much "playing the field" at the moment (and a bit bi-curious, as well, lol).
Glad to hear that the Cocosoya oil is working so well -- that stuff is like liquid gold!

JustMeSuzanne said...

Why do his hooves have a whitish, rougher looking area around the top? My mule has recently developed this along with lameness in his front hooves. I found your photos by searching "white band below hoof corona". My mule's feet look just like this, and it is the only picture I am finding that matches his appearance.