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About purbek

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    Wetlands Europe
  1. How perplexing! I always have clean barrels of fresh water in the pasture, and in the mid summer heat my mare decided to drink from a dirty puddle, too lazy to walk in the heat to the fresh water...they act illogically to us sometimes. I'm wondering if, with it being a new container, whether there are any 'residual' manufacturing smells? I presume it's a type of plastic tank? Is it brand new? Altho' as you said they were drinking from it before when it was lower...was it a new tank put low and then raised after a few days? IF it is a new tank, perhaps that manufactured smell has leached into the water over a few days and tainted the water? You'd only confirm this if you empty it out completely and refill to full - see if they drink the 'fresher' water. Have you tried water in a bucket? If they drink that, then i suspect the problem with the water in the tank as i said above...rather than the tank's position. I know horses can be abit wary of stuff changing positions in their lots, but normally they get over it very quickly when they realise it's not going to kill them! I find it hard to believe it's the position that's stopping them from drinking AT ALL. Surely thirst would over-ride unease of a new position of the tank...and they would have drank from it by now. I like your apple idea :-) worth a try. Do you soak your hay? Mine don't drink a lot at all when they get soaked hay. Yet they will gulp a fair amount from even having a tiny amount (1kg) of dry hay. So your guys must be thirsty if on dry hay...yet still they don't drink. ..puzzling. Have you perhaps changed hoses that fill up the tank if the tank is not brand new? Even new hoses can leach a 'new plastic' smell into water...their sense of smell is so sensitive. I recently changed feed buckets for mine...they broke the other ones...so i got these extra tough recycled rubber and plastic skips that they can literally roll on and they won't break! When i first got them, they really smelt of rubbery plastic to me...so i gave them a good wash-out before using them. Despite that, they still had a smell, but at least i knew they were sanitary for use. The horses, the first few nights didn't lick their bowels clean like usual...which i found interesting, i knew it had to be the smell. After washing them down after feeding several times, the smell has completely worn off, and they now lick their bowels clean. I'm not sure what type of water system you use, if it's a huge tank i understand you won't be re-filling for fresh everyday, so a fresh refill might be in order to just see if that works. Do you switch to a different water supply in the winter? Do you know if your local supplier if it's mains water have changed their cleaning procedures using different chemicals? Any wild animals in your area that could taint the water? Did you use some type of cleaning solution before filling it up?- residues from that (even with a decent rinse) can still leach into the water over a few days. I'm sure you've already thought all this! If the apple floating trick doesn't work..i'd be shocked!
  2. I am so grateful for your help MC at this difficult time for you...i can't believe you found the time to do those lines, and hope they offered perhaps an opportunity to focus on something else, distraction being sometimes a useful remedy. I'll go through your explanation a few times to get it embedded in my brain, i understand the concept about toe-forward being a slow process, and have always used live sole as a guide 'when in doubt' - which admittedly in recent weeks with her feet, i have been many times! The frog shifting due to abnormal stressors/pressures/pulling is something i've recently been reading about - i hadn't fully realised why that happens and haven't read many cases about a wonky frog so that's been good to have you confirm it too and the causes. Well you've given me plenty of homework and great advice, i'm so grateful for the effort you've put in to guide the process of a trim for her feet. The only advice i feel i can offer you is to be kind to yourself right now, there is a corner to turn and give yourself the freedom and anything you need, to do that. If that, for you, means drawing lines, just holler, i have 6 other feet i'll happily donate! :-) Healing thoughts are with you MC xx
  3. Oh MC, i'm so sorry to hear about Missyclare, there are no words to really express in these times as we all feel heavy-hearted to learn of a loss of our soft-nosed friends.. I hope the memories you have of those 29 years with her fill you up with joy, and help ease the hurt. From what you've said, you made an admirable effort to try to get through the colic, the decision to end the episode was right, it's the hardest but kindest decision. I know this is from the perspective of a stranger, and i hope my words are not too presumptive, but i always find the only joy in the passing of a loved one, is to be able to be with them at the very end, for that togetherness, support, love, a true resemblance of partnership. Big hugs to you xx You give people so much help and advice (look at THAT post count!) i feel other's who know you well on here might not see your post in this thread about my mare's dodgy feet, and would like to offer support, yet i understand you don't want to chime any bells and announce it...i hope you have close support. I looked on google for the poem, but i couldn't find it. I found something lovely a poster had put on another forum: "The really difficult thing about horses - as with many of the beloved animals we are fortunate to share our lives with - is that their lifespans are typically so much shorter than ours. A wise friend once noted, when I faced that difficult reality, that despite the difference in our time on earth, the love we share with the animals we cherish cannot be measured by the simple space of time spent together. "It is big enough," she said, "to fill in the whole gap until we see them again." May the love you shared with your horse fill that empty space in your soul, til you see them again at the Bridge."
  4. Fabulous drawing lines Missyclare - many thanks! I fully understand the trim...especially the bars - which eluded me what they were doing, where they were going - if they were causing issues ...etc. You have a keen eye on you don't you?! :-) - That 'worm' is an area which i have noticed on and off sometime has 'flakes' lifting up there. I trim them off and it remains smooth and then a couple of months later they reappear. I was not sure if it was sole shedding or bar lifting. Due to it being sensitive there i never have done any investigative shelling off of layers, other than to smooth anything that became ragged. Will try to get a better solar today. Huge thanks for the drawing! :-)
  5. Thanks for the video links Smilie, they're slightly different to the ones i've seen - i agree, mapping is invaluable. When i have done it on my mare i know from it her toe is way long, including frog - everything is shifted forward - since mapping i have brought back toe length upto the white line. Some say do it up to the sole and then rocker the sole....i will admit to being a bit 'shy' to do that at first. Since bringing back her toe is when her heel/back quarters exploded outwards and the WLD disease took hold, then the heel balance, mainly on her right - due to WL damage, really went out of whack - whether bringing toe back and the WLD occurring are linked or just coincidental i don't really know - but do wonder.
  6. Sorry Nick, i obviously didn't understand fully what you were suggesting initially - i understand what you mean now you've clarified :-) I totally agree, having them being used to being with a herd or alone is a huge advantage in many ways and is why i'm wanting to train this into them, especially before backing them. It's makes them safer for all to be versatile in all environments. I've come across too many horses with too many boundaries and it's ultimately not safe for anyone. Of course, being fight flight creatures stress is what instinctively they are bound by (as are most mammals with adrenal glands, including us!) and it's for THAT very reason that i don't want to expose them to UNDUE stress, by adding another stressor on top of an already existing one (like being separate and then with-holding food - which i NOW know ISNT what you meant anyway!) when it's not necessary. We cannot avoid stress in our lives or their lives and i don't try as they learn through stress, and like you say, knowing we have their backs, and learning the stress isn't really so 'stressful', is the strongest lesson to learn, so i see stress as a good thing for the horse, especially, to experience and be trained 'off' of it, to ultimately learn what is a true stress and what isn't. We come from the same place of understanding yet use a different language to express it :-) Thanks so much for the tips and input from everyone, i'm excited to instigate this into their training, on most things they are very easy to train, yet this aspect, they give me a challenge, and i must admit, i do like a challenge!
  7. I agree, the practice beforehand instils in them that it's not a true threat to be left alone - that's primarily what i want the horses to understand. Like your gelding - when you take him away - he's fine because he's not alone, he's with you. Yet when you go off with your other horse, he has a fit...as he is the one left totally alone. Mine are so similar - but mainly the mare - the gelding is actually a lot better to be left totally alone than she is...although i know she has experienced it in her past so i don't think it's going to take much to remind her she will be alone sometimes, yet i obviously can't teach her within an electric fenced environment! I have sturdy tie-up points - it's the best option i have currently....thanks for the input Greenhaven :-)
  8. Hi Smilie, Yes, the leading them out together is no longer a problem, this incident happened a few months back. I had the younger gelding safely tied and like i said in my OP, he was good, patient, was not straining at the rope, yet standing there head high and alert to what was going on (due to me leading them out separately as being such a new situation for them at the time). Due to most of the pasture being electric fenced, when i totally have them out of eyesight of one another i know if i use the electric fenced areas, like you say, there's the chance of a wreak occurring. I have a part of the drylot more secure and a large shelter to even close one horse into, so i could take the other horse off for a few hours, knowing that the other horse that's left there, really can't break out. Until i get more areas fenced solid, i can't risk putting them into these electric fenced areas apart, even though they are (normally!) very respectful of them. We have hunters shooting close by in the forest, trucks in the valley roads beeping, helicopters going over low, thunder, lightning, nothing fazes them with regards to being spooked by unexpected noises and running through the fencing. I have a feeling the gelding would actually be fine, as since being young he's had so many changes in environment so he's very much a go with the flow youngster, but the mare being older, never being asked much of being a broodmare, wants her herd. She's a wise mare, and certainly not stupid silly when she freaks out. She sees me as the leader now - and i have never backed down to her initial testing of that position. She has become more softer in character since not having to be the leader anymore. She wasn't into people when i first got her, she would observe them, never go up to them, didn't really like being touched. Now she's very much into people, more curious. She revels in the training i've done with her - she's very keen to please and has a great memory. It's been such a journey with her and it's still obviously continuing. I wish i had every day to do some training. The handling i do daily i see also as training...reaffirms what they've already learnt.. It is paying off. Even the gelding, first 4 months of life with handling him, and then going away for weaning ended up being 14 months without handling, returning to me very green, but he remembered the handling once i picked up where i left off. Them being apart from one another is the one biggest 'behavioural' issues i've yet to come across with them. I know different methods can either escalate an issue or subdue it and control it, so all advice is welcome! I do like your suggestion of just stalling one and working with the other - that introduces the concept and 'breaks' the joined at the hip bond, and the more i do it the more they get to realise it's a situation/environment without threat.
  9. Hi Nick, Bear in mind this one incident happened a few months ago - which was after a handful of months of handling - i didn't try this fresh from them arriving in the lorry without feeling confident it was worth trying. Today, 6 months on, is a different story - They are not dangerous to lead (and never have been) - they have rope halters, i can lead them both anywhere on my own, cars pass, loud noises happen, they don't freak out. I don't need to turn them out one at a time, i can take them both and they are fabulous and very patient being lead. I HAD to do it separate then because i was not confident they would behave being led together a few months back when they were greener. I was making the decision to make the situation LESS dangerous for myself and the horses to lead them separately...at the time, because *if* something happened it's easier to handle one horse than two in those hair-raising moments :-) It was coincidental to this leading them out one by one training that i THEN discovered they were so 'herd bound'. I'm sorry if my original post wasn't clear about the horses and the incident. Even though the situation for them both was different and caused them to be stressed, they didn't kick at me freak out, she didn't even gallop into me, she swerved to get out of MY way after breaking out. She even stayed in the field and stood there while i was on the other side of the gate, only when she realised i was going too and she would be alone, did she bust out. I have no real NEED to separate them currently as they're not backed and so it's not like i have a desperate situation of really needing to separate them to take one off to a show or anything - then i can understand your method of doing it would be like a quick-fix scenario. I can see the validity of it, in other situations. As i want to step-up their training that will include them being separate, so i have the chance to put in preliminary training for that, and my idea was to separate them, with them still being able to see one another but not get to one another for a few hours, and gradually over the course of a couple of weeks introduce more and more distance and longer hours apart, so they see it as no big deal I'd like to understand your method better - you are basically saying you would just separate them and let them deal with it...i get that aspect. Sometimes just 'doing it' is all that needs to be done :-) I'm not sure i understand why you would remove food also? They are separate and that is what needs to be achieved - i can imagine food removal as adding unnecessary stress to an already stressful situation for them...no? Like i said, i'm willing to learn various methods and ask questions to genuinely understand those methods. I wish i was in England - it's a lot drier there despite what the british have to say about their weather lol
  10. Maybe you could get an all black flysheet and use fabric paint to paint on white zebra stripes? Oh i found some!: https://www.google.ie/search?q=zebra+stripe+fly+sheet&client=firefox-a&hs=wjY&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&channel=nts&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=qMR8VN-2Bq6Q7Abk6oDgDg&ved=0CD0QsAQ&biw=1024&bih=644 Hope the link works...? Google image zebra fly sheet
  11. Hi guys, I have an alpha mare, who was always a broodmare for her first 10 yrs of life, and now i have her and her last foal - who's now 2.5, a gelding. He was weaned from her, he hasn't stayed with her the whole time since foaling - he was with other horses and she was at a different farm for his first year and a bit...only together in the winter. I got them back and they get on okay together - of course she's the boss of him but isn't too vicious about it. As they are both green, unbacked, i have been doing lots of ground work, handling, general manners etc since they've been back with me, for these past 10 months. I did a lot with him the first 4 months of his life before her left here, halter trained, leading, hoof care, just to give him a start - he was a fast learner, very easy to train and handle. When away from me they both didn't get any handling and were mostly left to pasture. I wasn't aware of this - it's a long story and not relevent to this post. But what is relevant is they came back very green and seemed like 2 very annoyed horses having to be touched by humans! I have been doing a lot of work in the drylot, work on one horse, not full-on lunging or anything, but just manners, movements etc and the other horse will stand on their own in the background snoozing. Sometimes i work on them both at the same time...this has helped them both listen to me and helps me move them both when they are totally free in the field etc. The one problem i know i have is that they are both 'herd bound' if that's the right expression. I know this as when i first got them back, due to lack of handling for a year - they had become very headstrong and unpredictable - so for me to take them to the pasture, i have to headcollar and lead them to it - it's not adjoined to the drylot/shelter area. Also it involves taking them down 20 metres of a track which cars (rarely) use so i had to be extra careful in the beginning. Most of the time there was another person here to turn them out with me. One morning i decided to try taking one down to pasture one at a time - and chose the mare first. As soon as they were out of sight of each other she was calling loudly to him - and he was replying, it was continuous! Lovely voices they have :-) The mare was very agitated, head high, dancing about.....but i kept it firm and i put her in the field and closed the 2 lines of electric fencing gate i have (it wasnt on at this point) - i told her to stand and tried to calm her, and she stood there whinnying but stood there....so i turned to get the other - and looked back at her just as she took a full charge at the electric fence gate! She charged it, snapped it, pulled up some of the stakes and galloped back to the other horse - although she couldn't get into him as he was in a closed area - so hung about outside, eating grass, looking very proud of herself. I had left her headcollar on luckily for this as i expected something *could* happen and i might need to re-attach to them quickly, she stood there fine grazing and allowed me to clip on the lead rein, so i lead her back in. When i ran to catch up to her after she broke out (i had no idea if she was going to abscond completely!) i could see the young gelding - he was as good as gold, not going stupid like she was, yet was heightened with head up and very alert. This happened around 5 months ago and i've not repeated the experience, i've just been taking one horse away from the other to work on them and keeping the other horse back....but still in view of one another and still in the same area. I want to up-grade training this winter and i want to approach this issue with them conservatively. I have a few ideas to try, and i know you guys don't know my set-up - but i do have the ability to have them completely out of view of one another - or set them up in different areas, with view of one another. The one caveat is that all my fencing is electric. This is an old farm i am doing up and the fencing was just bushes here for cattle which isn't solid enough for horses so i have to use electric until permanent fencing is in place. They respect the electric fence (usually!!) but the above incident makes me think the mare is more likely to flip out that the young gelding. If you could share your experience with dealing with herd bound situations it'll give me something to think more on how to best approach the situation. I want them to feel confident without the other. The mare has ALWAYS been the herd leader - in her old home she was there since foal and then became broodmare - and always had her own herd. They were away for a year and in that time, the mare was on her own completely for around 6 months, i wasn't aware of this as i had been told they would both be in the company of other horses. I wonder if that time she was left on her own, for the first time in her life without other horses, she's now 11-12, somehow she thinks when i split them up she's going to be alone again forever. When i first got her before she foaled him, she arrived here fine and seemed okay on her own here, a little upset the first week but soon settled. Foaling went fine, she's a very adaptable mare...can be headstrong until she learns the behaviour is not appropriate, she DOES listen and i've never had to resort to being ultra firm with her. Somehow, separation NOW, seems to really bother HER more than him. I'd love to hear of your experience with a similar situation - or what you think could work in this situation. I wish i could add to the 'herd' to help break up this tight partnership they've formed, but my other half is putting his foot down! Thanks in advance for any suggestions :-)
  12. Lovely corral Smilie! I have a slight slope too - which helps with drainage when the rains do come. I like your feeders - they remind me of tyres and have given me an idea to use massive tractor tyres as floor feeders. They're rubber all over, no sharp bits, and really heavy, i can't see how a horse can get caught in one, so might try that alongside small holed nets. My nets currently are about an 1.5X1.5 inch hole - and to be honest they can pull massive chunks of hay through those holes, stretching the holes - so i'm going to go smaller. If i can get the feeding down to much less work and them less stressed about food being limited because it's not currently ad lib and all the associated problems that can go with that - it gives me more time to do more 'hands on work' with them - soaking takes time, weighing it takes time, i would guess the feedings alone chalk up 1.5hrs of my day - i know, it's ridiculous! With horses, i'm always learning it's all about methods, primarily that suit them and also suit us - to make life practical for all! The temps you get are wild! Gosh....i suppose once it's cold, it's cold whether that be -10 or -30....you are so brave. I suppose it is something you get used to and acclimatised to. Much like here with the volume of rain and high humidity, but cool temps. I never thought i would get used to it - but i do...i work outside in all weathers now. Although i don't think i'll EVER get used to being attacked by midges for 5 months of the year!! Horseflies also are a nuisance - black horse suffers more than the roan, a German lady did an experiment with her black horse after studies showed that zebras don't get bothered by horseflies due to the stripes, it affects the vision of the horsefly and so they avoid them. The lady painted her black horse with chalked white lines so it looked like a zebra and her horse was relieved of bites! LOL! So my mare is going to be getting the zebra look next summer if the horseflies turn out to be as bad as this year! Hahahaaa...:-)
  13. PS - all future hoof shots shall be black hoof on white background and white hoof on black background - black hooves on black matting background does not make it easy to see the shape well! If the FL heel shot is too dark to work with Missyclare, i can take another one tomorrow that's clearer with more natural light.
  14. Thanks Missyclare - i totally understand the principles of the heel trim on her you've suggested...and especially the bars - which have been confusing me the best way to tackle them. Solar shots of the RF and the LF and solar LF are at the bottom of page 1- i posted them up before my reply above...they've slipped by you :-) Having some guidance on where to start the bevel at the toes would be very useful as i've been more conservative than i should have been, looking back, and i know NOW if i had been more aggressive with the toes in the beginning then the hoof would have developed it's proper shape sooner. On both fronts she has callous at the toe - which of course i've totally left alone - i've always left her sole alone - i did wonder if there was some kind of lamellar wedge there at the fronts - and maybe should be rockering that in front of the callous. That's why i'm here as i've been looking at the toes these past few weeks and know i need to be more aggressive so wanted more experienced eyes to offer some advice before i took the plunge. When her bars were going weird and the sole bulging by them, then i really knew i needed some other eyes on these hooves! Thanks so much :-)
  15. I've been through your explanation thoroughly Missyclare and now understand much better what you're saying and will go to hoof tomorrow and see how to apply it. Regarding bevel - i had understood it to play a role in preventing chips and flare - yet very little is explained when one shouldn't bevel so i have been applying the technique all around the hoof. I will definitely focus more on creating a very flat, square to the ground heel landing surface on the hooves without bevel. With her front hooves her heel walls are always a lot tougher to rasp than the rest of the hoof wall. So you are advising to rasp the heels down quite a bit then? I would need to at this point to get a true balance happening - so i understand your drawing and recommendations. It would certainly bring her frog into play more, and i think it's ready as evident by the left heel being compromised - the frog developed much more than the high right heel, same with the heel bulbs too. (I actually see this on both front feet) By really studying the pictures i can see how my right hand rasping the right heel is always weaker therefore it ends up higher, yet i don't notice such a difference with hoof in hand and using the straight edge of the rasp to check levels...it's really strange - it's something i'm finding really surprising to see in the pics and am glad i've studied the pics more so i really watch the balance more with hoof in hand. To create that very flat heel as you draw i would also need to rasp down the bulging sole that sits inbetween the bars and heel/back quarter wall, and trim the bars down more too. Am i understanding correctly? Thanks so much for your time with helping me on this :-)