Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Random Updates

Well it's official. I received Otto's registration papers in the mail and apparently AHA wanted to be doubley sure,   because they sent me two copies. This is  first time I have owned a horse registered with the AHA. I was actually surprised that the half Arabians are all part of the same registry as the full bred Arabians. I was thinking there was a separate Registry for anything less than full Arabian.
So, I need to research the awards programs, and all that goes along with it.  This is all new territory for me. My background is Morgans and the Jockey Club.

It's been a busy week. Temps have mostly regulated but it's still been quite cold. It's provided a great learning opportunity for blanketing.

With the cold temps Otto has had lots of practice with the blankets being put on and taken off. If it's above 15 degrees, he gets to be naked. The day time highs have been in the low to mid 20's and he seems to be handling those temps just fine without a blanket.  Night time lows dip into the single digits so when he gets his evening grain, he gets his blanket put back on. We have only had one issue with the blanket. He managed to chew up the ends of the front chest straps the first day he wore it but we worked on "correcting" that behavior in short order.
He really needs a size  66" right now but the smallest I have is a 69 " so we are making it work.  I am keeping an eye open for a used 66" . I really don't want to buy new because I know in three months he will have outgrown it.

On other fronts, in addition to cold temps, my poor baby colt (cough)  has apparently done something to his eye. He has had a weepy , slightly swollen right eye that I have been watching for a few days. I am not sure how long he has been having an issue but I only noticed it this past weekend.  There doesn't seem to be anything in it that I can see , nor does he  appear to be rubbing it, that I have noticed,  but it's definitely not right.

Yesterday it looked worse ,  so I put  some eye ointment in it to see if it would give  him any relief. It It seems to be helping. yesterday,  it looked better and the watering had stopped. The swelling was slightly less. So , I have been giving him a shot in the eye of goop each morning and night.

When it comes to eyes, I don't take any chances. We have a vet appt scheduled on Saturday for Cassidy to get his dental, so we decided to schedule Otto to go in as well. He needs his boosters anyways and I can get a new weight on him as well. And.. I will probably have them take a look at that spot on his pastern as well. * Update on that is that it hasn't changed a bit and it doesn't seem to be bothering him when I touch that area anymore.

there is also the  added benefit of trailer loading practice and getting to go somewhere.

I actually worked on the loading the first week he arrived here,  because in the event of the emergency situation where we have a :

" I need you to get your butt in the trailer NOW "  moment...

I wanted to make sure we had the loading thing down. He got it figured out pretty quickly  but his dismount needs work. For now it's manageable. He just has to ponder the getting out. At this point, I let him turn around and step out but we have to work on the backing out because before long, he will be too big to turn around.

We will leave that for another day..

So, while we wait for Saturday to arrive and we can get to the vet, we have been instructed to keep putting the ointment in as long it doesn't appear to be making things worse. At this point it isn't.

Ofcourse getting the ointment into his eye is a trick.  Otto doesn't exactly think it's too much of a fun game and doesn't cooperate like I would like him too. I am trying to be quick about it but his studdy mouthiness is making it more challenging. getting mouthy. Just getting the halter on him alone is a trial by fire process because he tries to grab a hold of it as I am slipping it over his muzzle.  Once I manage to  get the halter on, he is busy trying to chew  the lead rope, my sleeve, or whatever else he can find to get in his mouth.  I am ready to buy him a horse sized passifier. Cassidy is concerned he won't have a tail left by spring because Otto likes to get a hold of it pull it , so hard that sometimes, Otto gets a mouth ful of tail hair

The plan was/ is to wait until April before we get him gelded.  Mostly, he is fine (other than his mouthiness) but his boy hormones are kicking in it seems. He's not super studdy , he isn't pushy to handle, but  there is the rearing thing when I try to work him on the ground. That seems to come and go at this point . I am beginning to think it has less to do with being a stud and it's more of a behavior issue when he doesn't get his way.  Some days are good , some days are bad. I did heavily consider arranging to have him gelded this weekend.

My vet said he COULD geld him on Saturday..meaning he has time in his schedule. There are pros's and cons to consider and in typical fashion, decisions like this, I might tend to overcatastophize the situation. After a bit of hand wrenching on my part trying to decided,  I sat down with pencil and paper and  made my pro's and con's list. This made the decision alot easier.

The cons of doing it now:

  • Stress of weather added to trauma of wound could cause other issues.
  • Colder weather means the horses move less generally,  which means I have more work to keep him moving in order to keep the wound open and draining properly.That also means I would probably have to lunge him, which he doesn't exactly do at this point and the footing is bad enough in our round pen that I can't reasonably ask him to run around in there without risk of some other injury. ( gotta love winter)
  • Lesser development in regards to heaviness of bone that would come if the boy hormones were allowed to remain a bit longer. 

*** Normally I would not consider this so heavily,especially if I was talking about a Morgan. I am big fan of big heavy bone. Unrefined is preferable to me!I know that heavy build or bone isn't always "preferred" in endurance but it's important as far as durability in my book.  Right now, Otto's frame is lighter than I would like to see for a horse his size, which I believe , ( hope)is more likely due to poor  nutrition and lack of turnout in his prior situation. I really want him to develop as much heavy bone as his genetic makeup  is capable of. His sire and Dam both had substantial enough (not as much as I would like to see) bone for their respective breeds, so I have to believe he stands a good chance of developing the same. Keeping him a stallion just a bit longer should help that.

  • I wouldn't be able to coordinate the brand inspector in time so that I could have him freeze branded at the same time, while he is sedated (lessens the trauma of branding)
  • I also want to have him micro chipped and I have NOT ordered a kit yet so I wouldn't have time to get one before Saturday anyways, which means I would have bring him back into the vet clinic anyways to have it inserted and entered into the database. 
**Future post about Microchipping might be in order.  I have been doing some research on that and have learned some interesting things...

Pros of doing it now

  • Rearing issue MIGHT go away..(but then again, maybe not , if my suspicions are right that its not about being a stud at all and he just  needs more work to resolve a behavior issue regardless of the jewels being intact)
  • Mouthiness goes away
  • Studdy behavior become less ingrained

I think the cons mostly outweigh the pros at this point. He is not studdy enough that he is dangerous to me , himself or the other horses. He is more than manageable .  If he does get too abusive to Cassidy,  I can always try putting Brego or JB in his pasture with him.  They will are much more inclined to put him in his place than  Cassidy would ever think to be.

On the rearing thing, I was thinking back because  Brego was a talented rearer as a youngster and his older brother Roman fixed the issue with a well timed shoulder check into Brego just as he was going up. We happened to be standing out there when it happened. Brego was being his annoying self and trying to get his older brother to play . Brego was quick to go up as his preferred way of showing his dominance, Roman shouldered into Brego at just the very right moment. Brego went down like a ton of bricks. I don't think we ever saw him rear again.

So while we don't have Roman anymore, we do have Brego , who, as he has matured is very much like a clone of Roman. Maybe ... just maybe we have the solution to the problem for Otto after all!

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