Thursday, September 29, 2011

All is Well Update

Ben seems to have recovered from his recent colic episode. Last night I got talking to a new boarder who offered to try some cranial-sacral work on Ben, to see if it will help him NOT have future colic episodes.  She mentioned that at the very least, it could benefit him given the recent growth spurt he's had over the last 8 months. I am so grateful for the offer, and I think it will do him a world of good.

ETA: The Ouchie Leg ended up being an abscess. Go figure.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mild Colic

On Friday morning, Ben colicked. It was mild, and luckily (if there is such a thing) the onset happened while the vet was already en route to our barn for our annual fall visit. So within 30 minutes of detection, Ben was palp'd, sedated, and tubed. He seemed to come out of it fine, and within an hour or so he was his spunky self.

I did mention to the vet that he colicked earlier in the year just before he came stateside- and he said that was was a little concerning- 2 colics in one year is not good, and to definitely keep an eye on him.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ouchie Leg

Hey Lady, are you back there to scratch my butt or not?

Paid a visit to Ben yesterday. When grooming him I noticed his left hind fetlock looked a little large. So I took him out to the arena, and he seemed fine at a walk, but definitely lame at the trot.


Vet comes out on Friday anyway for our fall visit so I guess his timing is perfect.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Vroom Vroom!

I must be in some nostaligic/reflective period right now, because I keep going back to read my old posts on Ben. I'm amazed at how much he's changed in such a short time.

One thing, I noticed in my old posts, were my comments regarding his sensitivity to loud noises. Looking back, this was a big issue for Ben.

And just now it dawned on me, the last time I rode Ben, I believe it was last week or the week before, we rode together in the arena with 2 others while our neighbors took their dirt bikes and raced them up and down their property. There were 2 bikes at least - they were loud, noisy, vibrating and zooming up and down their long driveway - out of sight behind the trees, but very, very loud only about ~30 feet away. Ben definitely noticed as I did feel him tense and speed up once or twice, but he wasn't really reactive or spooky- not like he was during his first few months at the barn. If anything, seemed more concerned with trying to get close to his 2 horsey friends in the arena than with the noise.

It is very interesting how things have changed. I haven't focused on desensitizing Ben to random noises. I think over time, he has gotten used to the neighbor's shenanigans, so in a way, they did all the work for me. Thanks, guys! LOL.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Misconceptions of Standardbreds - 8 Month Check In

I've been meaning to do this for quite some time. Part of my goal with adopting Ben was to disprove the common misconceptions regarding standardbreds as a companion/riding horse. I had forgotten about it, but last night I had the pleasure of talking to a very nice gal who asked me what kind of horses I owned. When I said I had a Standardbred...she said "Oh, are they even rideable? What is THAT like? They can't canter, right?"

So...I thought I'd go back to my original post and the original misconceptions and go through them, now 8 months into my relationship with my very special guy.

  • Standardbreds are only pacers - Ben is naturally gaited, but he can walk, trot, and canter. In fact, his trot is HUGE.
  • Standardbred pacers never trot - see above.
  • Standardbreds can not canter or lope. - See above (and blog profile photo)...doesn't canter, eh?
  • You can't ride a Standardbred - I've ridden Ben about 15 times in the past 8 months. He wears the same saddle as my mare, and just got his own bridle because he's a touch bigger than my other horses.
  • If you ride a Standardbred, all it will do is pace at 40 mph. - Ben only paces when he's presented with something new, or if his tack doesn't fit him properly.
  • Standardbreds are ugly- To each his own...but really?
  • Standardbreds are "cheap" horses - Ben cost me $500 to adopt...but his original yearling sale fees were well into the 5 digit sum, rivaling that of your average warmblood that has some training.
  • All Standardbreds coming off the track will have bad legs. - Ben does have old splints on his front legs, but they are cosmetic only. He is as sound as a whistle.
  • Standardbreds are "hot" - Ben is the quietest horse in the barn. He eats 6 lbs of grain a day, plus beet pulp, hay pellets and his normal hay ration. Does this look like a hot horse to you?
  •  Standardbreds are crazy - Crazy attention hogs! Ben loves when you give him attention, he hates to be ignored.
  • Standardbreds cannot bend - When Ben first started his training, he was very tough to bend to the right. Some suggested he was trained with a head pole, but supple correct training has eliminated that, and now he bends just fine both left to right. He is as normal as any green developing horse.
  • Standardbreds won't give to the bit - Ben loves his bit. He gets foamy and soft and relaxes his jaw. He is still building strength over his hind and back to support this, but he's no different than any other breed of horse learning to do this too.
  • Standardbreds make bad dressage horses - Ben is too young to compete, but next year, I will prove it to ya!

So I guess you can make the call...does this look like an ugly, hot, pacing,non-cantering, cheap horse?