Saturday, March 17, 2012

Holy Hives Batman!


At some point, I traded in my stead-fast, 13 years living wild and free without a single vet-call, hardy quarter horse, and got myself an overbred imported warmblood (I say that without malice and perhaps a whole lot of envy for their talents, just let's face it, some of them were bred to live in a sterile environment and travel in bubbles).

I was just going to soak his hoof. That's it. No biggie. I had SOOO much spare time before meeting An for our first trail ride together at H's (on a borrowed horse for both of us). Heck, I had soooo much free time before hand I could hand graze Moon and wash his tail! (You know...if I did things like wash my horse's tail and IF there was grass not so water sogged it was more like seaweed....).

Regardless, I had tons of time.

So someone explain to me why I pretty much showed up LATE to H's?

Oh, I know why.

Because someone has stolen my quarter horse.
Relax, not seriously stolen. More like that old fable about some critter going into nursey's and swaping babies. Leprechauns or something...(oh IS the day of the Irish...).

Right, you're wondering where my horse went. So am I. But we'll get there...

W let me know that the farrier hoof tested him yesterday and he wasn't sore on his left hind. At all. But he WAS sore on his right fore, exactly where the bruises I'd previously mentioned were. Let's face facts, he's probably sore in 19 places, all compounded and heavily taxed for good measure.

So you see, I spent 30 minutes trying to stuff his hooves into his Moon boots. So we could go on a Moon-walk (haha, get it? yes, lame. but I'm desperate here). And see if bruising was part of his soreness.
I was sweating by the time I finished. People in the barn informed me that they were probably too small. I love quality advice. : )

I finally jammed them on him. Threw his bridle on for the first time in two weeks (actually, slightly more!) and dragged him out to the arena.
Two little girls (6 and 8?) were having a lesson on a single pony. I hopped aboard Moon to try him out.
"WOOOOWWWW!" one little girl exclaimed, pointing at us.

I was certain he'd just piaffed across the arena and I'd missed it. I mean, she was in AWW.

"What?" Coach W asked.

"She's riding WITHOUT a saddle! She's amazing!" the little girl replied.

I don't know if any of you have ever won at Grand Prix Dressage, but I can assure you, I now know EXACTLY how it must feel when they hand you that 1st place ribbon. No joke. I seriously felt like an Olympian. I had an overwhelming desire to spur off into a beautiful gallop and lap her in the ring, body sitting motionless atop my sleek and shiny 17hh imported warmblood's back.

You know, except I was on a chunky QH who's been out of work for 2 weeks and is hopping lame. Oh, and I was in the same rubber riding boots I've owned since 11th grade and was meekly riding a walk all the while staring down at his face.

None of that mattered to this girl. I was AMAZING. I'd take it.

I smiled at her, giving Moon a pat. "If you listen to what W tells you and practice hard, it won't be long till you're riding like this too!"

She stared, clearly astonished that she was soooo close to being an Olympian too.

: )

I think she made my day.

So we went around. I asked for a trot and he was hopping. I turned him the other way, still hopping. I asked a little longer since the hopping wasn't as bad as before. And he smoothed out to ALMOST normal. I tried not to ride him too long, but I was happy with what I felt. He seems to be improving. Or seemed....comfounding factor I'll get to...

When I hopped off, I wasn't surprise to see Moon was sweating. The arena was HOT (I mean, I was warm in a t-shirt) and he's out of shape. Inside the barn where it was cooler I gave him another good grooming.

W wandered over and felt along Moon's neck.

"What's this lump?" she asked.

Alarm bells.

I ran my hand over it. Weird....Check the opposite side and suddenly a bright light flashes on beside those alarm bells.



Everywhere the BF had applied the Hoof and Hide balm yesterday was now an allergic swelling. About 1.5 to 2 cm (little less then a 1/2 inch) raised. EXACTLY where the Fiske's was.

Smack head on barn door. (not really, but I sure felt like it).

His neck and chest. Huge lumps. Plus some hives along his neck.

I borrowed horse soap and some hot water (and a bucket, because you know, why would someone with a horse own a bucket?) and gave Moon a bath. Rubbed ALL of that liniment off, rinsed scrubber and bucket, refilled and did it again. Then washed off the soap JUST in case he'd have an allergic reaction to that too.

He LOVED when I rubbed the sisal side on his hives, bottom lip twitching. Oh it must itch. Since YESTERDAY since it was now 19 hours after we had applied it to him.

So 18 hours of itching. No wonder I thought he was stiff and resistant in the ring. He was ITCHY! Oh, and who knows if he was less sore or just too itchy to give a horses-hide about it.

I checked back on him 3 hours later and it was no worse, maybe a bit better. W will check him before bed and I assume he's not going to pass away from this (not that it doesn't stop me from worrying about midnight anaphylactic shock or anything).

It of course, smokes me in the face that he COULD have gone into some sort of terrible respiratory distress last night BECAUSE of the Fiske's. And I COULD have lost him. And now there's ZERO way I want to apply ANYTHING topical to him. Test patches ONLY.

The BF of course, proclaims him to be my horse. We'll recall that I have an allergy to leather and periodic bouts of unexplained head-to-toe hives. Which last made their appearance just prior to a large presentation to visiting collegues from across the country. No biggie.

So why WOULDN'T I expect my horse to ALSO break out in hives when a product DESIGNED to treat hives and allergies is applied to his skin? I mean, it's not like I bought a QUARTER Horse!


In other news, I DID make it out to H's in time to meet An for a trail ride. I rode Merlyn who hadn't been on the trails much this season and she was a doll all things considered. A bit pushy to start but by the end we seemed to have worked out who was leading and who was packing. An was a good riding partner and I look forward to riding with her again. I even managed to coerce her into doing the running and jumping bit of the relay at the next fun-show ; )

H toured me afterwards through my new space and I'm SOOO excited to start moving in! I wish W's was dry enough I could drive my car to the barn and mess with my tack trunk. H even set aside a beautiful collection of "blue things" for me, and I'm now clambering to get my trailer prepped! We gotta stick the boys in it and go for a ride! I mean, she met us with drinks and cute toddler in hand. I mean, how long till I can get HER to point and "Wow" like I'm an Olympian??! ; )

Speaking of which, my pa is going to help me do a bit of welding on the trailer next weekend for my birthday (yippee!) and getting it ready to go. Hopefully Moon keeps getting better and we can get back to where we were in our plans.

You know, just without any more "Import" moments : P


  1. Oh my goodness! When it rains, it pours with Moon! I really hope he clears up soon!

    But very cool on riding WITHOUT the saddle :) Hopefully you inspired the next generation of horse lovers!

  2. Great story. Hope Moon is on the upswing now! :)

  3. Sounds like you have what I have...the highest maintenance low maintenance horse! At least that's what Husband calls Dee all the time. Poor Moon, those are some ugly hives!

    I love your bareback story!