Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Two Horse Tack: Reflective Halter Review

After a little longer than a year in the elements, the Showman breakaway crown halter has finally given up the ghost: all the hardware rusted (boo, would not buy again) and the latch is finally rusted frozen.

Tesla's halter lives a rough life - exposed 24-7 outside her stall: I love leather, but know it would just get trashed - so I wanted to get something a bit more durable, and I've been looking for an excuse to add a bit of reflective to our gear as well since I tend to be an evening kind of rider....

Enter Two Horse Tack!

The colour choices are lovely - especially the wine (which I had seen in person at a blogger meet-up!)  but I decided to go with DQ understated (hey, reflective is as bling as I'm ever gonna get, LOL)

I sent in custom measurements from a leather halter I had that fit Tess well, and the online guide was a bit vague.

I got Brass hardware, and went for black stitching (after reading online that the stitching could look a bit clumsy)

The base is 1inch matte black and the reflective overlay is shiny.

Perfect Fit right out of the bag!
I like the nice weight to it, and I gotta say, the reflective is VERY reflective!

Glowing even in the afternoon!

The crown also has a reflective strip: nice touch! But it isn't breakaway - so I'll need to watch that the cross-ties are on safety ties. (or do my hemi-tie thing, lol)

Two thumbs up! I definitely will get one for Porsche & the Trail Boss - and I think a pair of reflective reins would be a great safety addition for Tess and I when the days get shorter!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Not Elementary, My Dear Watson

Googling equine diseases online is just as bad as webMD.
So after I pulled myself out of that downward spiral of sialoliths and tooth extractions...

"I'm ready for my close-up, the lighting is magical"

My vet consulted with a surgeon colleague and they didn't see anything abnormal or suspicious in Tesla's teeth/jaw x-ray (Yay!). They did notice her lymph nodes were slightly swollen, and prescribed a round of antibiotics.  In the last few days the tenderness has disappeared (as well as the head-shying) whether it was the antibiotics, or it was resolving on it's own, either way I'm relieved! 

Thanks to everyone for all the well wishes, mystery ailments are the WORST.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Inspired by Fraidy Cat Eventing: Why Tesla?

Emma had a great post the other day - A "Why Charlie?" examination that blossomed into "Whose journey is it anyway?" 

And she got me thinking.....

As I rider I do have ambitions: I want to be a better, more effective rider: I want to have quiet hands and an independent seat, I want to move in harmony with my horse, give soft and effective aids, even if it takes a lifetime. If no-one notes my progress but me, my trainer, and my horses, that's OK by me.  I enjoy the process with the horse, of making my own unicorn and then enjoying it! 

My immediate goals are defined by my horse, but those basics will serve us well for any discipline, now or in the future...and whatever Tesla wants to do, I'm game to try and learn as well. 

Tesla was purchased with the intent of being a trail horse for my Dad, the Trail Boss. I happen to have an eye for athletic types, LOL - but what really sold me on Tess was the fact that on farm she was in a completely chaotic situation and she was cool as a cucumber. We got her home, she filled out and shot up several inches, went to 90 day bootcamp, and it became clear that her sensitive side was more suited to me than the Trail Boss. So we swapped: A Porsche for a Tesla. 

Only recently has it crossed my mind about marketability. If, God forbid, something should happen, I would want my horses to be good solid citizens who would find happy loving homes. Tess would be easy to re-home in a heartbeat, cause she 16.1-16.2ish, black, and has that Wow factor. Porsche is just as sporty and super fun to ride: but her 15.2 hands make her more of a jr. rider's size, and her OTTB makes most Western/Endurance riders run away (even tho' that girl is FEARLESS on trails!) Something I will definitely put more thought on when the next race-car comes around...

Thanks for igniting all the introspection, Emma!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Curiouser and Curiouser

"This is not how I was expecting my photo shoot to go..."

Tess got X-rayed on Wednesday afternoon. 

No swelling, no fever but definitely still tender on the right jaw.

Nothing screamed obvious tooth problem on the x-rays, but Dr. K is gonna consult with her colleagues.

Next most likely on the list would be foreign body waaaay in the back of her throat...

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


When I went out to the Barn Monday night, Tesla seemed a little touchy - especially with her face. Hmmm....odd....

Then when I went to groom her right jaw, she panicked and broke her halter...and was acting totally head shy. 
Not her normal gig.

The no touchy zone - but only slight swelling

I offered her an apple....nope, not unless I took a bite, and then gave it to her in small pieces...

OK, Sherlock: head shy, facial swelling, mincing or refusing to eat her favourite snacks, maybe a tooth issue??

So, I gave her prescribed 500mg of banamine to make her comfortable for the night (since it wasn't life threatening, and gave the vet a call Tuesday morning....

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Game is Afoot....

I came out on Friday and Tess was looking and feeling like her normal self. Zero swelling, zero sensitivity in her throat-latch, and chomping away at her hay. Dr K checked in, and no x-rays were necessary, since she looked great (yay!) and left me with banamine paste - in case Tess needed it.

It's still a bit of a mystery, the blood test came back normal, no elevated WBCs (YAY no Strangles!).

I'm so thankful that this turned out OK - Tesla gave me quite a scare!

While keeping an eye on her, all my tack got a thorough clean/conditioning (stress cleaner, yup), and Tess got a weekend full of pampering with a bath, lots of grooming, and MOAR Masterson Method. I incorporated the poll release into our routine...

and afterwards Tesla was putty in my hands - I can definitely see how this method builds trust and am looking forward to see how her movement under saddle will be improved as well once we can get back to riding :D

Monday, June 19, 2017

Mystery Detective

I got a call from my BM on Thursday that Tesla hadn't touched her lunch (not even her favourite alfalfa flake, what?!) If this girl stops eating something is definitely wrong.

I found her standing head down in her box - she wasn't even swishing her tail to scare the flies and was just miserable and wanted cuddles. There was an itty bitty fresh poop (so I wasn't thinking colic just yet)

Dr K met me up at the barn. She took Tess' temp: 105, and gave her injections of banamine to bring down the fever and relieve pain. Tess didn't have any nasal discharge...so she also thought it might be a lower tooth problem - perhaps she had something foreign caught/abscessed in her mouth/back of her throat.

Tess was still tender on the right throat latch - no touchy! but there wasn't dramatic swelling.

So out came the speculum - and Tess was SO good - Dr K put it on without any sedation (I told Tess it was just a big western bit, hehe). The vet said there were very few horses she would do that with (awwwhhhhhh, proud Momma moment - but also someone was feeling so rotten)

Google "Speculum".....yup.

Dr K dug her arm up to her elbow in Tesla's mouth - but didn't find anything obvious by feel/looking.  She drew some blood for testing, waited for her temp to come back into the normal range, and then scheduled to come back in the morning with the portable x-ray machine to rule out that she hadn't swallowed something if she still looked poorly/had swelling and/or tenderness.

I knew Tess was feeling better when she kept shuffling over to the hay. Banamine, man that stuff works :) and planned to head out first thing in the morning and see how she was...