Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Thwarted Again

I had plans to take a trail ride yesterday before today's rainstorm moved in, but before the horses could finish eating their breakfast, a huge earth mover / backhoe showed up next door.  The horses ran circles in their stalls, tails up over their backs, necks arched, heads in the air, snorting.  I wasn't sure if it would be better or worse for them if I cut them loose.  When I brought some dump trucks into my paddock to pour sand, Gabbrielle injured her leg on the metal railings in her stall.

Earlier I had been examining Gabbrielle's shoulder because she's been limping due to yet another self-imposed injury, and she let me manipulate the leg, swing it back and forth, circle it vertically and horizontally, and she tolerated a deep tissue massage.  I was beginning to think there was nothing wrong with her shoulder, and that she was limping from another hoof abscess.  The conditions are ripe for one.  The problem is that if I go to the trouble and expense of applying a poultice, no amount of duct tape will keep it on with all the mud we have.  I decided to try soaking the hoof in a warm Epsom Salt bath, but Gabbrielle was having none of it.

Each time I set her hoof in the tub, she'd rear up and pull back.  She wasn't scared.  She was just being a stinker about it.  I'd pick up her hoof and slowly move it toward the tub, and she'd pretend like she was eating, but she'd have her head tilted over the food barrel so that she could keep a close eye on where I was putting her hoof.  Then the second it touched the water, she'd rear up and pull back.  I had other things I had to do, so I set up some barriers around her food barrel so that the only way she could eat was if she put her hoof in or right up against the Epsom Salt tub.  Then I went in the house.

Now with the tractor next door, I could see that Gabbrielle kicked around all those barriers I had set up, so I had to go down and get them out of her stall before she hurt herself again and broke everything.  Once the horses began to get used to the tractor, I stepped outside to head for the barn to let them out of their stalls, only to find the real estate agent playing fetch with a loose Husky right up against my fence.  The dog could easily run into my yard, get under the gate, and chase my horses around.  I opted not to let the horses out of their stalls, because if they began running around in excitement over the tractor, the dog might go after them.  I ended up having to leave the horses locked in their stalls until mid-afternoon.

What was making me nuts was that the guy kept driving the tractor up the driveway next to my paddock, and I'd think he's done only to have him turn around and come right back down the driveway.  I think he was just having fun drag racing the thing up and down there, because I saw no point in his behavior.  His job was to remove weeds and he cleared the driveway first thing in the morning.  He had one of these tractors with tiny front tires that allowed him to maneuver tight corners quickly, so he was racing all over the place. The neighbors set up their property like a fortress, and they have this maze of fences, narrow alleyways, and padlocked gates leading to all these different fenced off sections of land.  If the tractor driver wasn't so hyper and had just worked slowly in one place for a while, I might have been able to go for my trail ride, but his driving habit made the horses feel like they were being charged repeatedly by this large machine.

Of course, the horse I rode would probably settle down once we got away from the tractor, but I was worried that the other horses that were left behind would get even more agitated losing one of their herd members for protection.  The tractor finally left just before sunset, and then all the nosy neighbors had to come running out of their houses to check out the work that was done on the place next door, so it was still buzzing with activity.

The funny thing about this is that the lady who owns the house came to check on it last month, and she hired one immigrant worker to clear all the weeds.  We're talking weeds on every square inch of five acres of land, and he was supposed to pull each one up by the roots.  The poor guy spent all day there doing back breaking work and only put a tiny dent in the problem.  So, it didn't surprise me when he returned with a bulldozer.

I was doing a pretty good job of not getting too annoyed about losing my one day before the storm to ride a horse, and then I received a letter in the mail from the neighbor who owns the house next door, and she informed me that her husband is coming out next week to do more yard and home improvements.  Argh!  We'll finally be drying out from these storms by the time he arrives, and then I probably won't be able to ride because of his activities.

I thought I was finally going to get some peace and quiet when they moved out at the beginning of summer, but then the home shoppers started doing drive bys and coming into my backyard to examine their backyard since they had their backyard under lock and key, the real estate agents had open houses every weekend and the home shoppers kept parking where they blocked the gate I needed to ride my horse through to get to the trails, followed by more moving vans, and now I get to deal with heavy machinery and construction.  And once someone actually buys the house, I'll have to deal with more moving vans followed by more construction, because nobody can just buy a house and leave it be.  Everyone has to change it to fit their needs.  Then, of course, I'll probably have to deal with more barking dogs, possibly other loud farm animals, most likely loud engines from their vehicles, and the new neighbor's bad habits.  The one thing I really liked about the previous neighbors who lived in that house was that they drove smart cars, which are very quiet.  Now that we have a lot of diesel trucks and motorcycles showing up next door to view the place, we're realizing that the noise and vibration comes right through the wall into our house.

I wish I had a million dollars to buy this house and put an end to my neighbor troubles once and for all.  Perhaps some day when both my husband and I are retired, we can live in the boonies away from civilization, but we have to live around other people right now because that's where the jobs are.

Anyway, my motto of the year has become, "Don't put off horseback riding you can do today, because there's no guarantee you can do it tomorrow."

I wound up spending six hours wrapping gifts.  At least that's out of the way, though I would have preferred to be stuck indoors wrapping gifts on a rainy day like today.


Venom said...

Hey Nuz, you might want to buy a soaking boot for just such occasions as these.
With the boot, you doctor the foot however you need and tighten it on - no amount of shaking or pawing will dislodge a properly applied boot. You can soak for as long as you need, or leave a plaster on all night (as for doctoring an absess perhaps). Good investment for someone with any # of horses. JMHO.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Venom - That's a bitter subject with me. I have a soaking boot, but it's too small for all of my horses and I didn't find out until after I threw the receipt away. I was told it was "one size fits all", but it was actually for a miniature pony. Also, Gabbrielle is terrified of having anything with water in it attached to her hoof. At least with the tub, she had an escape route. With her penchant for injuring herself, I don't want to put her on the defensive by attaching a soaking boot to her hoof.

gowestferalwoman said...

A rural (read: cheap but effective!) trick is to make a poultice of epsom salts with a squirt of betadine, smear it on the bottom of the hoof, wrap it in a wet diaper (generic is okay lol), then Duct tape the ##$% out of it... in an organized way of course ;p !

fernvalley01 said...

The poultice feral is talking about is a similar to the one I uses, mine is glycerin and epsom salts, in a diaper as well then duct tape a garbage bag over the whole works(in an organised way of course lol)
Hope you find some peace in your world soon. You would think your horses wouldn't react to anything anymore with all the fuss around you

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Yeah, I have all the ingredients and materials to apply poultices and I've done so many times in the past, but I know from experience that A) there's no point in putting one together in mud and B) there are certain things that will result in a bigger vet bill if I attach them to Gabbrielle's hoof. I've already lost half a syringe of Betadine because no matter how long I hold her head up in the air and try to force her to swallow, she still spits out her medicine. She's just a pill as a patient.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Not Betadine! Geez! Banamine. Now I can just see all these people having a heart attack thinking I'm so dumb that I'm force feeding Betadine to my horse.

achieve1dream said...

If it makes you feel any better from what I've read abscesses pop at pretty much the same rate treated our untreated so if she won't let you soak it, it's not the end of the world. The more they will move on it the better though. I hope it pops soon!!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

achieve1dream - I heard that somewhere too. I guess I'll find out soon, assuming she does have an abscess. She is moving a little better this morning.