Sunday, March 9, 2014

Seeing Double

It's that time of year again... spring blossoms, longer days, warmer weather... but for those of us who have pets with fur it's shedding season!  I honestly think Starbuck must lose about a pound of fur every time I brush her.  Also, her coat yellows in the sun but comes in pretty dark so in spring she always seems to have spots, especially where she rubs herself to scratch those itchy fly bites. Either spots or the mange, I haven't quite decided which. So yesterday I took advantage of an especially warm day to give her a bath and take some photos, then noticed something funny when I looked at the photos later, especially with this one.

To start with, cover just her head and neck. Then cover the rest of her and just look at the head and neck - she looks like a completely different horse! Of course, the "not quite dry yet" streak doesn't help things, but she really is several different colors right now. I'm looking forward to that sleek summer coat and hope that with the flysheet we'll be able to keep her all purty this summer.

In other news, she's been behaving quite well, we've had a couple of really nice classes this week. I think switching between the two bits and the hackamore is having the desired effect and keeping her guessing - she hasn't been pulling as much. I'm also trying to use the reins differently - less steady contact and more leg to get her to lighten up. I don't think she's quite ready to go back to always using the hackamore, but at least I'm no longer worried that we might have to use something even stronger.

I also noticed something kind of strange with her hooves - she was shod last Thursday and in admiring her lovely new shoes I see that she has a kind of crack coming up from her heel and running parallel to the coronet. According to a quick Google search, this type of hoof crack is typically caused by an old abscess growing out, which makes sense for the hind foot (the white one) but is surprising to me for the front foot. Maybe an abscess and not generic "back pain" could be the cause for her intermittent lameness several months ago - at any rate I've asked my farrier to weigh in and give me his opinion to see what the problem is.

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