Here and There and Lots of Bright Colours

The last couple of weeks have been kind of busy. I went to both the Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association (OCTRA) AGM and awards banquet in Cobourg this past weekend, and the Endurance Canada annual general meeting in Ottawa the weekend before.

Rose, who makes biothane tack, let me know last week that the bridle and breast collar sets that Anastasija and Veronica had ordered were ready and she’d bring them to the meeting. When Rose arrived, jingling under armloads of tack, the two of them practically expired from excitement and then spent the remainder of the meeting fondling their new horse gear.

The Awards Banquet was lots of fun, as always. There was a great “parade of champions” skit, with the most beautiful little horses “ridden” by some of the juniors. I sure hope someone got pictures of them. Ruth (who is a very accomplished artist) designed and built them. Obviously putting in many hours of work.

Dressy scored another haul of ribbons and trophies. She got her 500 mile plaque, and the top Standardbred trophy (her 4th time!), and a Ride n Tie ribbon. I even scored a bit of loot myself this year…. my 2000 worker credits bar, and a nice polo shirt with the OCTRA logo.

Stephanie cried when her horse won the top Quarter Horse trophy (she loves her little mare!). Sue nearly fainted when she won the Prince Calib trophy (for outstanding volunteer contribution to OCTRA). Hailey won a reserve champion ribbon for Ride n Tie, along with her mom. Rose told me that Hailey had her bag packed to go to the awards a week in advance. I guess she was really looking forward to that ribbon! Solstice must’ve needed the horse trailer to get all her loot home. That kid beat the pants off everyone. And Dianne, who (along with Ruth) organized the entire awards presentation looked a little punch drunk but happy and relieved by the end of it.

Yesterday I think we were all too exhausted to play dress-up with the horses. But today, Veronica arrived with her new tack set. And since Ella is doing just fine after her little episode with the nail in her foot, we thought it was time to get her all tricked out in her fancy new gear. Veronica had been riding in my Australian saddle. But it didn’t fit Ella properly, so we tried out the Barefoot London on her today. Here she is in her new red and yellow colours (the Spanish flag colours for Spanish Lady… her registered name) and the Barefoot saddle. Click on the pics to see it all in colourful glory.

After Ella’s modelling session, we got Ares dressed in his new black and red gear. Ana admired him extravagantly and he preened for her. He does love to be told he’s a wonderful, and exceedingly handsome fellow.

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I even rode Diego. We waded through the snow in the round pen for a while and then worked on a bit of sidepassing (he was confused but very cooperative and did manage to give me a couple of steps). But the wind was cold, and I’d been outside for way too long (adjusting all that spiffy new tack). So I wimped out after a few minutes.

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Sometimes I just call him "Shaggy"
Sometimes I just call him “Shaggy”

Lest anyone think that Diego was left out and hasn’t gotten any new clothes, here he is in his new purple blanket…

It's really more purple-y in real life
It’s really more purple-y in real life

And one last little photo update. Princess Babycat seems to rarely sleep. But she does eventually collapse. Taz the dog is just as tolerant of her as is Taz the cat.

Princess Babycat and Taz the Dog
Princess Babycat and Taz the Dog

Update on Ella’s Foot

Ella has shown no signs of infection. No fever, no swelling, nothing yucky coming out of the puncture. She has been eating fine, and appears to be perfectly sound.

She has, however, been very very depressed. And her neck has gotten very sore from all the antibiotic injections. She has some heat and swelling on both sides. I was getting kind of worried about seeing her hanging her head in dejection, and I called the vet this evening. He was very happy to hear about the foot, and says that the depression is likely just from a sore neck. He told me to stop with the antibiotics. He thinks she’ll be fine.

Big relief!!!!

We will keep wrapping the foot for while. It’s staying nice and clean with all the layers… animalintex, vetwrap, duct tape, and an old style Easy Boot.

I am going to have to go over the entire paddock with the big magnet about ten more times though before I start to relax about this whole roofing nail thing….

A Nail Through the Foot

Yesterday, when Veronica was here, she cleaned Ella’s feet as usual. This time though, she found something very frightening. A nail. Straight up through the frog of Ella’s left front foot. It was a roofing nail, one inch long. The barn roof was replaced in November, and although the crew was actually quite careful (they laid tarps out all around the barn to catch debris, tried not to drop anything, and cleaned up well afterwards), apparently one got away from them.

When the nail was removed, it bled fresh, bright red blood. So it couldn’t have been in there for a terribly long time. The nail itself was bright and shiny with no rust and was very clean coming out. All good signs. We scrubbed the foot out thoroughly, poulticed it with Animalintex, and put vetwrap, duct tape, and an old EasyBoot on it. The vet gave her shots of penicillin, gentimicin, and a tetanus booster (she had one in the early summer too, but he wanted to be safe).

The vet is hopeful that the nail missed any critical structures, since in went in through the thickest part of the frog, just off the centerline. But we will not know that positively for about five days. She’s on daily shots of penicillin and gentimicin twice a day (both antibiotics) for the full five days.

Ella is pretty unhappy that she’s locked up in a stall, but we need to be sure the foot stays scrupulously clean. Just keeping our fingers crossed now. If it goes bad, it will be a few days before it happens. So we wait and watch.