A Blog About My Journey Riding and Training Sora, My Soulmate

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Confusing =/

First I would like to introduce you to my newest family member. This makes my little family me, Sora and the dog AKA Riley. Riley is a ten month old female rescue that's a mixed breed. As far as I can tell she's either Lab/Pit, Greyhound/Pit or some combination of the three. She's incredible and nearly perfect partly because she lived with a foster family for about seven months before I got her. After this experience I would happily rescue again (although not in the near future =).
The confusing part is about Jackson. As I mentioned in a previous post I thought he had foundered. He showed allllllll the classic symptoms, had always been overweight, had recently been more out of shape, had that incident where he got into the corn etc. Because of this we had the vet out again and after carefully examining him this time he wanted X-rays.
I've never had a horse x-rayed before and didn't know what to expect but the wonderfully positive vet and her assistant made it easy. Going into the x-rays I thought, according to the vet and my own knowledge of Jackson and founder in general, there was about a 95% chance he would need to be put down. I was surprised when the vet took the first x-ray and said, hmmm, that's interesting. After taking all four she called me over and I saw that there was absolutely NO rotation, none, zip.

"He didn't founder" the vet concluded.

"Hmmm, so then what's going on?" I asked

What we found is that he has two big abscesses in each front foot. We feel that a combination of more constant trims that are stressing his soles a little (which will eventually be a good thing) and possibly some laminitis explain the abscesses.
Mainly the most incredible news is that he's already feeling better. He's walking around in Duct Tape and Diaper creations (note to self, purchase hoof boots at some point) and getting daily Epsom salt soaks along with Antibiotics and Bute.

(Obviously the above pictures were from before he foundered as I would carry him now to keep him from being uncomfortable if I could)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Sorry for the brief hiatus! I just welcomed a new family member to our house and have been busy and tired from the short nights. Hint for my next post, she's canine not human =)

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Today was wonderful! Great weather, great horse and great training session. I went out originally to work on the fence but while I was in the horse's pasture I couldn't even do anything because Sora was right in front of me and was blocking me even from walking sometimes. I finally listened to her and took her out.

Recently one of the behaviors I've been working on is getting Sora to put her foot on things, like a pedestal, to make hoof care easier for me and to teach the beginnings of the Spanish Walk. For a while she has just been pawing when I ask her to leave her hoof on the object so today I decided to show her what to do. I placed her foot on the crate I was using and held it there for a minute while feeding her treats. When I let it go she left it a little longer and I continued to feed her until she took it off. She chewed for a minute with a thoughtful expression and then neatly placed her other foot on the crate and left it. I fed her treats for about a minute as she left it there while jumping up and down and giving her a hug (yes she does like hugs lol).

After that I worked a little more on liberty lunging her, in our front yard with good grass underfoot, and she was perfect. The best change is in her behavior and courage in different conditions and environments. A year ago with the same circumstances she would have been flipping out, galloping around with her tail flagged, snorting at everything I asked and difficult to catch. Today she was calm, studious and thinking hard. She is so interested in trying to figure out how to behave to get treats that she's not even paying attention to the scary things or just doesn't care about them anymore. It is the best change out of everything!!!

I also was able to do some more work on her hooves. It is completely up to her most days whether she wants me to work on them or not. This works because everyday she is out I do at least a little so they never really need it. When I do NEED to work on them I tie her and she's perfect. Today though she was happy to show off her knowledge of when to pick up her hoof. The cutest thing is that since I let her pick up her hoof before I take it sometimes she mixes up which one I want. Today I wanted her to pick up her left rear and when she was grazing, not paying enough attention, she kept picking up her left front and holding it up like "look lady, I've got a foot up, it will just have to do." and of course it does, I just work on that hoof instead. Kind obliging girl probably thinks that hoof needs more work anyway lol.

Monday, September 6, 2010


I've been quiet recently for no really good reason other than a general lack of motivation and time. I've been doing all the necessary horse owner things and Sora is content but I haven't been training with her or spending that much time with her so I just haven't had anything to write.

For part of it I've been sick but mostly I've just been unmotivated. Part of it is probably that the horse we've had the longest, Jackson, foundered about a month ago and it's been tearing my heart out. He's finally better to the point where he is walking around sound and in much better spirits.

It wasn't anybody's fault really that it happened, just a bad collection of events. He's older and gotten heavier and when he was at his heaviest he broke out of our drylot, diet program, and got into our corn field. The other two horses are fine because they are in better shape and Sora is also younger and better able to bounce back from the excess sugar. Still hard not to blame myself.

Today I finally went out and spent some more time with all three horses and it was wonderful and very motivating. The cooler weather is making them all more energetic and cheerful and Sora was extremely happy to run around and play with me after the long break and I figured out how to ask for two behaviors that I've been having more trouble with, namely putting her front feet on a pedestal and sidepassing.

Hopefully you will all be seeing more of me in the next week or so =)