Tuesday, September 22, 2015

September JCHSS Show

I'm getting a little burned out, and I had to really force myself to go to this show. I'm stressed about some non-horsey thing, stressed about some horsey things (hello, muzzle), tired of the hot weather and bugs, worried about my horse's hooves even in her hoof boots... so I had to drag myself out of bed on Saturday.

I'm also tired of some of the stuff I keep seeing at the shows, and it's SO frustrating. I don't want to get into the drama here, but it's typical horse show stuff. I usually try to ignore it, but it affected me slightly on Saturday and greatly impacted a friend of mine. Consistency would be nice, and that's all I want to say about it.

There would normally be two more shows left, but November's show was cancelled, so that just leaves the show on October 31st. Normally I would be sad to see the season end, but I think I'm looking forward to it. There's a lot I hope will happen between the end of this season and the start of the next one.

Because I was feeling blah and wasn't sure how Lilly would be feeling, I only entered her in classes that would give us points for the two divisions we're going for; stock and adult. Not being so busy gave me some time to wander around and be a little more social than normal, so that was nice for a change.

Halter was up first, and we placed 5th out of 5 in the stock type class, which is expected. I just do it for the points, and I think that gets me one point in the stock division.

Showmanship adult was up next and there were only three of us showing. I thought Lilly had a great pattern, but we got second place, which gets me no PAC points, but a good number of points in the adult division because that class counts for double points. Here's the pattern:

For English, we did a walk/trot stock type class and a GAYP adult class. The turnout wasn't great, so the classes were pretty small. I forget exactly how many horses were in the stock type class (at least eight) and we placed 7th. It was a class I felt we did really well in, and I expected to hear my number second or third. I was obviously disappointed. We won the adult class, but there were only three of us in there.

After the English classes, I went over to do my trail pattern. It was posted online that we had to "lasso" a barrel, which I found strange, but wanted to see someone else do it before I made an attempt. While I was watching others go, I heard the judge say that the lasso was only for the working western class and it was a mistake. I was happy to hear that! Below is the pattern, just pretend the lasso part isn't in there.

Lilly did really well. She didn't want to sidepass over to the gate post so I could latch the gate, but we got there eventually. Otherwise, I felt the class went really well. We ended up with first place... out of two.

For western, I had the same plan as I did for English. I only did the stock type and adult classes. We placed fourth out of 4 in stock, and third out of 4 in adult (I think there were four). Lilly was AWESOME in her western classes, and probably gave me her best ride ever in the stock type class. It was incredible.

Here's a recap of our placings for the day:
Halter Stock Type = 5th out of 5
Showmanship Adult = 2nd out of 3
English Walk/Trot Stock Type = 7th out of 9
English GAYP Adult = 1st out of 3 (1 PAC Point)
Trail Adult = 1st out of 5 (1 PAC Point)
Western Walk/Jog Stock Type = 4th out of 4
Western GAYP Adult = 3rd out of 4

All our winnings in the adult classes earned us enough points for reserve champion. They had pretty neck ribbons this time, and I think Lilly looks gorgeous in hers.

Pretty girl!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I Guess It's Time


I guess it's finally time to break down and buy a damn muzzle for Lilly. I've been avoiding this as much as possible despite the fact that people keep telling me over and over and over that it's probably a good idea. I just really wanted to manage her 'metabolic issues' in different ways. It's not working, and I've finally come to terms with it.

I mentioned in my last post that it was possible Lilly had some kind of metabolic event around the time of the last horse show. When my trimmer came out shortly after that, she noticed separation on all four hooves, and Lilly also had a little bit of bruising on her front hooves. I have never really had issues with her hind hooves, so to see separation back there was a bit alarming for me. We were on the lookout for other signs of laminitis, but those never came (thank goodness). She's been a little bit more tender, and my barn owner noted that Lilly had a difficult time doing a tight circle to the left on one occasion, but for the most part she's been ok.

Her hooves have been chipping like crazy, which is why I think she's been a little more tender. Once the separation shows up, and with the type of hooves my girl has, it's only a matter of time before it all starts chipping away. I've been keeping up with it by keeping her mustang roll going as much as possible, but I was fighting a losing battle. Without the hoof wall for support, she's walking much more on her soles, and we've lost some of the concavity we had back before August. I think she's also put on some weight since the last time my trimmer was there.

My trimmer was out again last night and I told her what I'd been seeing, what my barn owner noticed, and what I've been doing about it. The good news was that my trimmer didn't see any sign that whatever we had going on in August was still ongoing. It all looked old, the separation wasn't still chalky, and the bruising was nearly nonexistent. We could see a very clear line on her hooves, which indicated when the event happened, and the new growth above it looks really solid. So now we're in a place where we're managing whatever happened. The problem is, when is it going to happen again?

The weather has been crazy here... we went from HOT days and warm nights, to cooler days and even cooler nights, back to warm weather, and now we've been getting temps in the low 50's for nighttime lows. I'm sure the grass is going nuts.

Being in a boarding situation, there's only so much I can do in regards to Lilly's turnout. When Lilly had her episode, I asked my barn owner when she planned on switching the horses from night turnout to day turnout, and she said she keeps them out at night as long as possible because it's the schedule that gets them the most turnout. I was hoping we'd be switching sooner rather than later because I want Lilly to have LESS turnout. Last night when I arrived at the barn around ten after five, she was already turned out. On the weekends when I go over to check on her, sometimes they'll still be outside at 10am. I'm not sure when she brings them in on weekdays, but I know it's not super early. So even if they come in at 8am, we're looking at 15 hours of turnout. That's a LOT. And when I went out to the pasture to grab Lilly for the trimmer, I noticed quite a bit of grass in her pasture.

This is not good. So the only real way to regulate her grass intake if she's going to be on pasture that much is to buy her a stupid muzzle.

My trimmer recommended the Best Friend muzzle, which I have researched plenty of times and have decided is probably the best muzzle for Lilly, but I don't know whether I should get her the one with a breakaway halter attached, or the one I attach to her nylon halter.

Muzzle with halter?
Muzzle without halter?
I don't like the idea of her wearing something on her head for turnout, but the pastures are all free of trees, so I only have to worry about other horses and maybe the t-posts. The posts do have caps on them, but horses are horses. I'm thinking of going with the one already on a halter because it looks like it would be more 'minimal' and she could wear her fly mask without having lots of bulk on her face.

Any thoughts? Pros or cons to either? Or is there a muzzle you like better?

I hope she doesn't hate the muzzle as much as I hate the muzzle...