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About TSFkristin

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    New Mexico

    I was on HC long long ago as TSFToulouse, or 3SFToulouse, or something along those lines, but I can't recall, so I have reinvented myself! LOL
  1. Sorry to hear of your old girl. I suppose working in the animal care industry has gained me perspective. I hope this will offer comfort to any of those who face this situation. It's hard, and may sound cold, but there's no fault in making realistic decisions. If winter is hard on her, for feeding, comfort, arthritis pain, it's not terrible of you to think in advance of what may be best. Ultimately, we owners and animal-lovers we have the responsibility for knowing when to help end our companions pain when they can no longer take it. When client's asked me, when would they know it was time, I could only tell them- it's your pet, you know it best. When they stop eating, drinking... when they can't move on their own... when they no longer have that spark that makes them them... when they don't want to be part of the family. I've seen owners who, for whatever reason, can't let go and drag out keeping their pet going beyond what is fair. Every case is different, and as long as your mare is happy (sounds like she's enjoying life! :) ) and able to do her daily activities, keep her comfortable and loved. She'll tell you when she'd had enough. Our most recent decision story, if it helps: It's been about a year now since we had to have Poe (a rescued, previously starved... always a hard keeper, troubled little guy) euth'd. Poe was found by someone, starving in a dirt lot, late middle aged. He was brought by that person to a boarding barn (our neighbor), paid a few months feed and board, then the owner disappeared. The barn owner (not a great horseman in the care of his animals) just threw their poor quality home-grown alfalfa at him twice a day. It was the concern of the boarders who donated portions of their feed and hay to Poe and offered to turn him out. Poe did not trust people, he could not be ridden. He was about 14 h, fine bones.. Arab cross maybe?? He had many scars. His back was bowed, and one of his most guarded areas. My sister and I have a goal of a horse rescue in our lives. We offered to take him when we heard that he'd been abandoned. The barn owner decided he would sell this gelding for $800, which was pretty ridiculous for a horse that was essentially rogue. (here in NM, horses are often not treated very well sadly). We could not justify spending money on a unridable horse. A kind older lady who boarded there, knew we offered to take the guy on and she arranged to buy a mare and get Poe as a free add on. She then wrote a bill of donation (sale) to us and Poe came to live next door. Poe did not let you touch him. He would not let you catch him. He was food aggressive. Poe just needed time to learn that people really weren't all bad. He got several months of just being a horse in our paddock with our geldings. He learned food would always come on time. He had a knack for pulling down fences, and he always managed to get odd scrapes and cuts. A year later, our daughters were riding him. We put a very strict weight limit on him (small adults and childern only, light english saddle- that's another story) For 3 years, Poe was part of our family. He was a great little horse! As my sister often commented, if we'd had him when he was younger and not ruined, he'd have made a winning endurance horse. Smooth, forward moving. but he always took more food, more suppliments than the others. We tried Previcox for what the Vet figured was TMJ (he took all day to eat his chow). His left stifle would lock up from time to time and cause him to trip on the hind while walking. Last fall we started discussing his overall quality of life. Winter was always hard on him. What would be best for him, my sister and I discussed back and forth. He answered the question for us, sadly. My sister came home from work one day (they live at her house) and found him down colicing. He'd eaten his breakfast, he'd eaten the day before, no signs of impending issues. He'd been down enough that the hair on his hips was rubbed out. She called me while still walking him to keep him standing. We dosed with on hand banamine (iv) we called the vets, gave them the triage run down. The banamaine helped, but only for a short time, He was back to pawing, pacing. We made the call for the vet to come. And while I stood in the dark cool evening with him, picking his mane and brushing him, Poe told me he was done with the struggles. He had that look, the one animals get- I've seen it many times- when they just don't have the energy to continue. On ultrasound, he had a large blockage. The doc offered surgery, but all I've read and seen is that it only buys them some time. We had little Poe put down while still under sedation. I'm glad he had a good 3 years of life, with 3 little girls who loved him and braided his hair. Sadly, my sister also had to make the decision for her nearly 15 year old doberman, who's spine had fused, pressing his spine and nerves and caused him great pain. He was always happy to see the family, tried to eat everyday, and shuffled around the yard. His spirit was willing, but his body simply could not go anymore. Everyday we looked at him, weighed what was best for him. She let him go this past March. He was a much harder decision, but the right one. <3
  2. Dog Poisoning

    The problem with most pest poisons is that they taste so good! and antifreeze. Here's a helpful tip from working in small animal clinics: If your dog or cat does ingest something like poison. Syringe Hydrogen Peroxide down their throat. It acts as an emetic and will make them vomit. Of course, still see your vet for further treatment. If they happen to eat a hard (smaller) object, feed bread first, then dose with hydrogen peroxide. The bread often will clump around the object, so as it comes back out hopefully in the vomit, it has less chances of lacerating. I learned this when a client's dog ate a disposable razor blade head... when they called, the doc told them to feed bread and bring her right in. We administered an emetic and minutes later the razor head came up encased in bread. (dog was fine afterwards). Interesting fact: Dogs on phenobarbital (for seizures) seem to have a tendency to eat foreign objects for some odd reason. (Last year we removed over 350 small landscaping rocks from a medium sized phenobarb dog. it was literally STUFFED! It took made a full recovery after surgery and ICU care)
  3. Swollen ****** With No Pain

    Any update? Heidi & CVM, what are causes for swollen ******? trauma? urinary blockage?
  4. Slowing And Keeping Head Down

    We were actually started at a english saddleseat barn, so sometimes the western tack lends us to being a bit "slouchy" My sister showed 5 gaited saddlebreds.-- that was umpteen years ago!! Now we just have our all around critters, but we strive to do better! I myself am working on ALWAYS being soft with my hands, minimal pressure first.
  5. Slowing And Keeping Head Down

    Also, just wanted to say I didn't mean to take over the thread from the OP. I had hoped the pics helped them see the difference with high headed and collected- which is impacted on overall speed and carriage. JackStricker- we'd love to see pics of your gelding!
  6. Slowing And Keeping Head Down

    thanks Smilie and Dawn C! I know these were not PERFECT pictures of not moving in frame, and moving in frame, but they were the closest I could find in my files at the time. I suppose I should clarify the first pic was from a very casual ride, where we riders were probably not showing the best equitation admittedly. Sometimes, we just ride to relax. The second is what I consider a "work out" in a paddock to encourage collection, balance. He is approaching a "cavaletti" (read, branch) so maybe that's why he's hollowed. Or that Loki does have a long saddlebred back, perhaps that lends to the still hollowed look, Smilie? But there is always room for improvement, as we all know :) (this was back in February- he's even stronger now) My sister bought him as a very unfinished 3 y/o who'd been stuck out in pasture with his dam after initial training because he went over backwards coming out a stall and hurt his neck. Admittedly, we were not trainers when my sister acquired him, but we try to learn every time we work out horses. Smilie- no we don't always ride collected in frame. In fact, we tend to mosey leasurely when we do trail ride. If Loki gets over anxious and fights to move forward faster than the pace set, my sister does then work him in frame down the trail for several yards. He will usually reconsider being in a rush and settle back down. Here's how he casually carries himself: Set up for the pic ^_^
  7. Slowing And Keeping Head Down

    I found these for reference: We've learned so much in the last few years, I endeavor to always learn to better my horses' lives. My sister and Loki (saddlebred x arab). same rider, same horse. Some new lessons and better understanding made a huge difference! Few years ago... Loki was always "strung out" as he went, high headed, hollowed back, tripping over his own feet. ( couldnt find an even older one.. when he was really strung out) Couple years later with some dressage lessons under their belts on collecting the frame and riding off the legs/seat. He stopped tripping over himself and all the world and filled out his topline!
  8. Today's Ride, More Firsts For Comet

    Thanks Indianshuffler! Personally, I think the ponies are better looking than the humans! LOL After all, in the last few years, I've thought pics of myself were terrible cause I see my rump wider than my ol stocky Toulouse's! So I got a bigger horse to look smaller! I love NM for it's wide range of scenery. The high desert can be beautiful in it's own right, we have the Sandia Mountains less that an hour away, more ranges within several hours drive... Plan on making it one day to ride down in White Sands. Here's the narrow bridge as we came to it. It does span the "clear ditch" (think creek) And the other end, Hannah and Toulouse. I heart this ol' guy!
  9. Unexpected Horsecamping Trip

    Indianshuffler- so glad to hear that you went camping! I find with today's fast paced, always busy life it's too easy to find excuses NOT to do things that we love. "Finally, I have a Saturday to sit at home!" Sometimes we have to make ourselves go out and enjoy life!! Years ago, on a one night camping trip, we all tied horses to the trailers. Toulouse was quite comfortable hanging out there, even laid down for a rest when he wanted. Out here in NM, there's often nothing tall available to tie a high-line to. In the few over overnights we've down out here for endurance rides we've always had to tie to trailer. We did try a night to setting up an mock electric tape corral... yeah they figured it out in the middle of the night and took off. At least they are bucket motivated and returned to the sounds of grain in a bucket LOL!
  10. Today's Ride, More Firsts For Comet

    Thanks guys! Admittedly I'm quite proud of him! He's a great ride, nice and smooth. We did ride most the day on a loose relaxed rein. When he did get antsy, I set him up to work in frame at a jog until he was content to walk again. I'm starting to sleuth out what I can from his past, to see if I can track down his history. Long shot, I know. But I've done as much foot work as I could for my other horses, none of which have yielded anything.
  11. Today's Ride, More Firsts For Comet

    hanging out in the clear ditch. Comet enjoyed splashing his face in the water. I doubt he's been in water before as NM is a dry state. Foreground is our buddy and Utah the trails in the Bosque (forest area along banks of Rio grande) The trail crew: the merry band of riders my sister Liz & Loki, Dan & Utah, my oldest neice Hannah & Toulouse (my retired old man <3) and me & Comet Im so happy that Hannah has been practicing riding so she can take Toulouse out, he enjoys trails! just a fun pic of Loki believing he is a grand-prix jumper, when it's really just a little log! LOL FORGIVE the bad quality, here's a screen shot from a short video of Comet jumping the logs! He enjoyed this!
  12. 4 bridges, 1 underpass, water crossings, log jumping... Comet conquers nerves to do it all! first bridge, over an irrigation ditch Second bridge, spanning Rio Grande third bridge, kind of a squeeze! fourth bridge, another irrigation ditch. crossing by himself made him a little nervous. the dreaded underpass! cars going over head was Comet's least favorite part, coming and going:
  13. Thinking Of Switching Bits, But Which Bit Should I Switch To?

    I have to agree with Smilie. Dakota sounds spoiled and disrespectful. We've all likely made the same mistake at least once during our lives with animals! Since you're on a budget and realize that you need to start from scratch essentially. Check out the book Modern Horseman's Countdown to Broke by Sean Patrick. I found the way it was presented to be very accessible... as I'm one who admittedly gets bored with "arena" work (i.e. better horsemanship basics) easily. Treat him like a young colt you're starting all over again. Good luck!
  14. 6 Months With Comet (Pic Heavy!)

    Pics will come for sure! Oh no, snow! Already! Admittedly, we're dipping down on evening temps and over night, but it's still blazing hot during the day! NM has finally gotten enough general rain this year (in the last 7) to have 90% of the state down graded from EXCEPTIONAL drought to EH Drought. LOL They honestly were worried about the Rio Grand going dry by southern Albuquerque metro area in the past two years!! And most summers the government shuts down all the public and national lands and forests due to wildfire risks. This year, they all stayed open! I guess we all have our environmental battles! LOL good luck to your apple and fruit trees!
  15. "that Old Horse"

    Stick to your guns and hug your old ponies!!!