Tuesday, June 30, 2009

1 July 09

Pic taken on 5 May - Im sure his dent is getting deeper and more pronounced. Perhaps the swelling of the soft tissue was filling in the dent before and now that the swelling has gone the dent looks very ... dented.

Sprat had xrays last week and they have been sent to a specialist vet in South Auckland. He only has one ventril airway that is undamaged and everything else is squashed. I hope they can do something for him. A friend is taking a horse down there in a few weeks so if there is anything they can do then Sprat and I will hitch a ride down and have him looked at.

He is going really well. He has been helping me with a young horse thats ready to be broken in (actually already has been backed but not very well!!). The young horse is scared of the saddle blanket and the rope, so Sprat has been playing with him in the yards while wearing a sack on his head and neck and tossing it around the place to show him that its nothing to be scared of. At first it took 10 minutes to get the sack even near the young horse, now I can walk straight up to him with it and throw it on. Sprat is a horse-whisperer!!!!

Sprat isnt too keen on the truck though. Its been a bit of a mission getting him to even step on the ramp. My ramp is quite steep though so maybe he would be better with a lower ramp ...

He wasnt even keen to get on there to see his best mate. Its a bit tricky when he cant wear a halter and is really a two-man job. I will have to see if I can get someone to help me.

Anyway, keep your fingers crossed that the vet looks at the xrays and pics and says "oh yeah that will be easy, we do them all the time, just bring him on down and we can fix it overnight and he will be a normal horse"

Saturday, March 28, 2009

oops Its been aaages (29 March 09)

Sprat is now fully weaned. It was suprisingly easy, I put him in the yard with a feed and a buddy. His mother got loaded on a truck and off she went. He looked up and neighed once and then carried on eating. I let him and his buddy out a couple of hours later and they were happy together.
I weaned him a bit early as he had been having trouble feeding anyway, due to his sore snout (a bit hard pushing up on an udder when it hurts every time) and he had a few injuries that I suspect may have come from rough parenting.
He had a few issues with his front leg and it turned out he had a huge haematoma right up in his armpit that had swollen and pinched a nerve. The physio-guy thinks that his mother stood on him while he was sleeping. Poor Sprat was walking on three legs and dragging his crippled leg behind him for a couple of weeks. The physio-guy showed me how to massage it and the lump went down slowly and, as it went down, the nerve regained its feeling and he is now back to 100%.

Sprats sore leg

getting fixed by Baz the physio-guy

Kylee from Hot Spots thermography came out and thermographed my horses. We found that both horses (with Jamie being the worse of the two) had quite uneven loading on their front hooves (which I had suspected due to the cracks up the front of her hooves) I have changed farriers and they are coming right. Kylee also thermographed Sprat. He was such a little star. He stood nice and still and he picked up all four hooves one at a time and held them still for the camera. He seems to be a happy healthy foal. There was a slight lack of circulation around the front of his face, but I expected something to show up . . . I just wasnt sure what!!

Below is a pic of Manks a couple of weeks before going to her new home. I found out that she was bred by Trelawney Stud and was by a very well known racehorse called McGinty. Sprat of course will never run a race (being half QH) but its nice to know that his mother was of good breeding. (more on her at the footnote).

Sprat is now fully lead trained. I can't put a halter on him, due to his injury, so he is trained with a large dog collar and lead. But he loves going for walks and is very well behaved. I thought I better teach him before he got too strong and I couldnt hold him. He loves being brushed and has had his feet trimmed twice now (without incident). He will walk around the yards wearing a saddle blanket and doesnt seem to be worried by anything at all. Not even when I flap it all over his body before putting it on.

I spoke to a vet in Auckland who says that repairing the damage will be tricky but it is possible. She says it should really have been 'set' when it first happened so that it healed in the correct position. Too late now though.

Here are a few more shots before I end this entry. He is such a handsome man!!

On a sadder note, Manks died tragically today at her new home after some idiots let off fireworks and she entangled herself in a fence (after throwing herself through it). Big thanks to Jo for giving her a great last month or so, and for putting her out of her misery so quickly and humanely at the end when she needed it. Im so sorry you had to go through that.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

11 January 09

(his off fore isnt really broken or crooked, he is just standing funny)

Well alot has been going on. Sprat has had his stitches out and has been gelded. He was getting a bit keen on his paddock mates and kept trying to jump on them, and both testes had descended, so I thought I may as well have him sedated and get the stitches out and his testes removed at the same time. He has recovered well. They were about 1/10th the size of his Daddys!!

His face has healed but it will leave an impressive scar. His breathing is a bit raspy and the vet says that his nasal cavity can be drilled out when he is older if its a problem. The only thing is that they drill away the bone and leave a hole that is only covered by skin . . I dont really like the idea of that . ..

He really is turning into a darling little boy and a real showoff! He has lovely movement and a great temperament. He is always the first one to come over for a big cuddle and a scratch. All of the other horses adore him and really look after him.

Manks is looking great too. I have had the saddle on her and she seemed happy enough. I lunged her for a little while and she was fine. Im not sure if she is broken in or not but I will get on her when somebody else is around, so I guess I will soon find out!! Sprat is three and a half months old now so I will give him another 6-8 weeks on her and then wean him and find Manks a new home. She is such an easy girl to have around and I think would naturally be a good doer, and at only 10yrs old I think she still has alot to offer someone. She seems to be quite worldly and pretty bombproof - so I dont think she has spent all her years in the broodmare paddock. Will keep you posted!

Oh and just because I can . . . here is a clip of Sprat playing fetch with his favourite toy. He doesnt play with his expensive foal-ball, but he loves carrying around pieces of wood! This was last week before the stitches came out.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Week two 21 December 08

I had the equine dentist out the other day and Manks and Samson had their teeth done. Surprisingly Manks' teeth were really good. They hadnt been done for a couple of years apparently but she says that at some stage they were well maintained. Samsons Teeth were a different story. She said they have been overdone with power-tools at some stage and are all smoothed off. The molars dont even meet so he has trouble grinding his food. That could explain his Diarrhoea problem! She did a bit of a fix up by taking his insicors down lower so that the molars could meet. Its been putting a strain on his [temporal mandible?] and he is quite sore in the joint by his temple.

Sprat is healing well and looks like he will hardly have a scar. He has been having oral antibiotics all week to keep infection away and has had no problems. I spoke to the vet on Tuesday as I was very concerned about him having trouble breathing. She said that his face was crushed inwards and it could be restricting the nasal passage and I should just wait and see. Its really heartbreaking listening to him breathing though. The wound has knitted together and the air is no longer coming out of his face, but I worry that he may not be getting enough air through the restricted nasal passage.

The dentist had a look at him and said that there is enough air getting through so that he isnt gasping and that I should wait until the wound heals and the swelling goes down and see how he is then. So its just a waiting game for now.

He is being very friendly and no longer thinks Im the antichrist. When he sees me he comes trotting over for a scratch and a cuddle (actually I think he is looking for food - but I can kid myself that its really me he loves!!)

I filmed him this morning and you can hear his wheezy breathing if you listen carefully . .. .

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Week One 14 December 08

A week later the mare, now christened Manky-Mare, is looking much better. I have been feeding her twice daily with sugarbeet, oaten chaff, and broodmare mix. Added to that is 400gm of hemp a day, yea-sacc probiotic, and 'healthy hooves & hair'. She has been giving everything she has to Sprat for so long that her own system is depleted of everything and her hooves are crumbly and her hair is falling out.

Another couple of weeks and I reckon she will look like a normal horse again!

Unfortunately Sprat isnt looking so great . . . I was at the paddock spraying weeds yesterday, and my partner was mowing. We were watching him run around frolicking and oohing & aahing at his cuteness. Then we went back to what we were doing and 5 minutes later I looked over and his face was stoved in.

By the time the vet got there I had him in the yard and blood was everywhere, it was pulsing out of the hole in the front of his face. It was a stinking hot afternoon and I hadnt eaten all day. The vet sedated Sprat and at around about the same time he passed out . . . so did I!!

The vet peeled the skin back from his face and tried to tie off the severed artery but it was under the shattered bone and she couldnt get to it. I came to just long enough to have a look at poor Sprats broken nose and split cartilage and then I had to go and sit in the shade again. The vet stitched it all back up again and it doesnt look too bad.

The next day alot of blood was still running out of his nostrils and when he breathed he gurgled due to the hole on the front of his face.

By day two the stuff coming out of his nose was pink and watery rather than actual blood but he was still having trouble breathing, and feeding was a bit of an issue for him as he couldnt push up on the udder, though he was very happy to see his feed bin!

Day three and the dripping fluid has stopped and now rather than a gurgling sound when he breathes it just sounds like an air filter. He still isnt feeding well but is loving his two small bins of feed a day. I will get him some weanling mix tomorrow and start him on that.

We still dont know what could have happened. He was in a flat square paddock with nothing in it except his mother. The only thing that could have happened is that he either ran full tilt into a fence post, or his mother kicked him. I dont think she did though, as he isnt scared of her back end now, and she hasnt shown any sign of wanting to kick him at all, she is very patient with him. Even when he uses her as a scratching post!

Sprats Homecoming 8 Dec 08

Last year I bought a QH stallion called Samson. He is awesome to ride and handle but when my hormonal mare got wind of him she turned into psycho-horse. Also I found alot of events up here (in the boondocks) dont allow stallions . . . so I had him gelded. Once I got to know him I regretted not getting a foal from him as he is the cruisiest boy.

I was so excited to see a mare that he had served for sale with her 9wk old pally colt (by my Samson) for sale so I bought them.

As you can see she wasnt in the best condition!!
A friend and I did a 12 hour round trip to go and collect them (thanks heaps Belinda!) - we brought them back to my place, and put them in their very own paddock. There wasnt much grass in there as they hadnt seen any for a while and I didnt want to shock their poor systems too much!