Monday, February 6, 2017

the drama queen + his new play things

There's something important to know about Charlie: his middle name is Overreaction. Like. Major Overreaction.

It's especially important that individuals involved with his care are aware of this facet of Charlie's personality. Stoic he is not.

"the pink haired massage lady touched me right here!!" - charlie, probably
We got our first taste of Charlie's drama queen, "woe is me!" personality when he colicked during his first week or so at home with me. According to Charlie, he was DYING OMG. Much stretching and nose pointing and flinging himself upon the ground as if the end was quite nigh.

However, a little banamine and 20min of handwalking later and the colic was entirely forgotten bc OMG THE F*ING FLIES ARE BITING ME HOLY SHIT THEY ARE KILLING MEEEEE!!!.

"stranger danger!!!! except i kinda like it tho"
Charlie's delicate constitution was again apparent last October when I got that most dreaded of texts from the program director: Charlie came in from the field three-legged lame with heat and swelling around his suspensory. Yuuuuup. The barn mgrs were legitimately convinced Charlie had blown his suspensory (no easy task!) within a month of becoming mine.

big fat eggbutt snaffle as per Stephen Birchall's recommendation. the code word for finding this kind of bit on ebay was "heavy." this is old silver, not stainless steel, and it's as big as my thumb
I didn't blog about it at the time bc... ehh. But we took a 'wait and see' approach by relegating him to stall rest with standing wraps, poultice, icing and bute to get the swelling down over the course of a couple days before re-evaluating to determine whether a vet was needed. And? Lol he was totally back to normal in like, three days.

So, moral of the story is that ... well. Charlie is a typical thin-skinned TB in that he's kinda a little fragile haha. Or at least he considers himself as such! And it can be quite easy to be sent into a panicky tailspin when he suddenly presents as seriously injured or sick.

verdict? it's acceptable. not much of a difference noted. it lives on my dressage bridle but my jump bridle still has the HS KK on it, which he's going well in too.  seems like a good bit to have in the war chest tho - and for $25, why not?
So anyway... Back to this past week. Charlie had Monday off after his busy weekend while I scampered down to DC. Then on Tuesday he got a massage session with a new body worker. He was a little defensive when she would get to his ouchier spots, but she did a nice job of showing him that she wasn't going to hurt him and he had lots of good releases.

No big 'aha' moments from the session - much like Charlie's chiro/acupuncturist, her findings were basically that "he's got some predictable wear and tear but nothing crazy."

raise your hand if you read Sarah's post and immediately knew i'd be picking up one of these badboys too
He got the next day off too (Wednesday, if you're keeping track) while I was back down in DC, then Thursday was his scheduled return to work. So imagine my surprise when, upon entering Charlie's stall and observing him eating his hay, I started wondering whether he had suddenly turned up neurologic on me haha.

can't wait for the phone tripod to arrive too haha! i'm thinking this blue tooth remote will be particularly useful for recording bits and pieces of my dressage lessons
Charlie was weirdly..... twitching in his neck. As in, he would suddenly flinch and jolt every couple of moments. I wondered if maybe the massage had given him strange sensations in his neck... but pulled him out and made him lunge around me a little bit to observe further. Nothing else seemed amiss, so I put him in the cross ties. Where he continued to periodically flinch and twitch.

Pretty quickly we isolated his mouth as the source - and then further refined it to the front of his mouth. Where, upon closer inspection, his lip was evvvver so sliiiightly fat. On just one side. And of course we couldn't possibly touch his lip or open up his mouth for a little looksie - it was far too painful!!

does it still count as a full set if none of it technically matches? charlie's leg protection setup is basically complete now - and let's not forget his bell boots up front too haha
I hopped on to just move him around, but it soon became apparent that the head flicking and twitching was much too distracting and whatever was buggin' him would likely interfere with my ability to... idk, steer and stuff haha. So Charlie got some bute and a stern lecture about how he's getting sent back if he goes all neuro or turns into a head shaker.

And the next day? I figured he'd either be 100% recovered or 100% dead, bc that seems to be the way things work in Charlie world lol. Lucky for all involved, he was recovered haha. And we were able to take a peek inside his mouth to discover the teeensiest tiiiiiniest little scratch. Like maybe Charlie got some rough hay stuck up in there. And just. Could. Not. Deal. lol....

i've wanted one of these cut back LeMieux saddle pads forever but had a hell of a time ordering it (they were seemingly back-ordered indefinitely). finally, at long last, i got it tho!!!
At least he did in fact recover tho haha. And we finally got to ride on Friday, wherein Charlie was as close to "fresh" as he ever gets, considering the massage, time off, and bute haha. He was actually bouncy in his trot - for maybe the first time ever lol. He felt good!!

it actually works better with the saddle's flap shape than i had hoped!
Which was great bc I had another big weekend planned for him - posts coming shortly. And naturally I wanted to test drive some of our newer goodies. The reality is that I actually haven't gotten a ton of new stuff for Charlie. Most of what he uses has been repurposed from Isabel's collection of gear.

Slowly but surely, tho, he's amassing his own wardrobe that's not just hand-me-downs. Which is fitting - the big guy should have his own stuff, right?

full set of boots and fun shaped saddle pad!! the picture is slowly coming together!
That is, provided the sensitive creature isn't felled by another wayward speck of rough hay haha. I swear, for all of my teasing Izzy for her "Princess" behavior, she was 100x more hardcore than this giant goofy gelding lol. 

Like I'm absolutely positive that Charlie would feel the pea through twenty mattresses and twenty featherbeds. Nobody but a real princess could be that sensitive!! 

Do you have a delicate hot house flower of a horse too? Or is yours made of tougher stuff? Have you ever been convinced that your horse might actually be acutely dying, only to discover that the reports of his imminent death had been greatly exaggerated? 

42 comments:

  1. Bird is pretty much a trooper. Nothing phases him. Nick... you can tell when any little thing is Not Right if she thinks it should be Made Right but not everything is A Problem to her and things you THINK should be a problem sometimes are not. Like, she had an abscess (surprisingly deep when it blew) in her foot that caused minor, intermittent, not-easily-observed gimping (you could see it when trotting downhill on gravel if and only if you were posting on the left diagonal; horse vetted in and out sound for a 30-miler in this state because the trot outs were on grass and she wasn't under saddle for them) for six weeks until I figured it out. Had to get the hoof knife out and pare away sole looking/smelling for minor imperfections before I found the issue. But if the bridle has any bunched up forelock under it, I am made immediately aware that she is IN NEED OF STRAIGHTENING. So there's that. Not quite princess & the pea, but full of opinions.

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    1. ha that's so funny tho. mares are so picky sometimes. isabel was pretty much fine with anything, tho she was a total baby about her feet

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  2. My guy is every bit as dramatic as Charlie. He had a gas colic in the fall and the vet was legit concerned he had twisted he was being so dramatic.

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    1. oh man... you know it's a bad thing when even the vets are super concerned!

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  3. I feel like dropping $1k for loosely diagnosed heal pain puts Bobby firmly in the delicate flower category omgwtfhorseihateyou. I looooove that pad on Charlie though!!

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  4. Hey, at least you won't miss anything subtle because he will be throwing it in your face!

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    1. ha seriously! i never have to guess if something is bothering him!

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  5. Gem is actually right down the middle. Its one of the things I love about her. She isn't so stoic that she would let me run her into the ground with some injury she is ignoring, but she also doesn't bow anything out of proportion. If she tells me something is wrong, I can 100% believe her. Pete, on the other hand, is Mr. Stoic. He won't let you know anything hurts, ever. It makes it hard to judge if he is really ok or not.

    Charlie looks handsome is his expanding wardrobe.

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    1. Gem sounds more like isabel - i like that reasonable attitude!

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  6. Shockingly Stinker is pretty stoic. I that it is related to his inability to keep still. He is always banging up his legs tho.

    I love love love the saddle pad!

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    1. ugh yea charlie bangs his legs up all the time too. it's exhausting!

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  7. Ooh love that pad! I've been shopping LeMieux pads this weekend too but haven't pulled the trigger yet haha.

    Interestingly enough, of all of mine, only my OTTB has been a bit of a delicate flower. In college, my barn manager called me in a panic about a lameness that she swore up and down had to be a fractured coffin bone because he would NOT use that leg... An emergency vet call later -- abscess 😑 haha. My Iberians are pretty stoic. When Ruby had all her eye stuff last winter we could medicate her loose in her stall.

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    1. i'm tending to believe ottbs are the most physically reactive of all breeds lol. probably bc they are so sheltered for so long?

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  8. Oooh that pad is so classy!! I love it! Dino is basically bothered by nothing in the physical/pain sense. He is Hardcore To The Max. Indestructo-Pony. He Who Cannot Be Irritated. Which greatly makes up for his vast array of Very Strong Opinions about his career path.

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  9. This is Henry 100%. Not even a little stoic.

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  10. William is actually pretty stoic. Unfortunately he has skin made of tissue paper. You look at him wrong and it scrapes off. And there is about a 1 in 4 chance he'll develop cellulitis from the most inconsequential scratch.

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    1. ugh William noooo!! charlie is similar - one mean look and he's guaranteed to swell up!

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  11. Oh man, sounds like Charlie is giving you the full tour on first horse ownership! lol. Now you know why I drink. (kidding). At least you don't have to worry about him hiding an injury and making it worse? :)

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    1. ha seriously tho - he's leaving no stone left unturned!!! but yea i guess i do appreciate that i don't have to guess if he's unhappy

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  12. We call my TB the Princess Pony. The list of things he "doesn't do" is epic in length and pretty legendary in our area. It includes obvious things like rain, mud, hay in hay bags, flies, as well as things like grass-that-was-fenced-off-before, his own shadow, mounting blocks, his feed bucket, the neighbors goats (that he has lived next to for 3 years). His eyes swell when he buries his head in the round bale, and he breakouts in hives if he rolls in the mud.

    Forget chestnut mares I am convinced that these bay/brown TB geldings have more feelings than any other horse out there.

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    1. ha omg - but grass-that-was-fenced-off-before is so scary tho!!!! and agreed that these big bay boys are such sissies!

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  13. So glad I don't have one of these. Maybe it is an Appy thing, they are tougher? App is seriously hardcore, he went from galloping trail rides to full retirement due to severe bone remodeling and lack of joint space within 6 months. He has a high pain tolerance for sure. Mia isn't nearly that tough, but she sure isn't a fragile flower thankfully.
    OMG though, thank you for the wireless shutter remote idea! I don't follow Sarah so was unaware of such amazing ideas. Totally looking into this now!

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    1. apps are definitely made of some tough stuff!! all the apps i have known have been such wonderful sturdy creatures! and you should definitely pick up one of those remotes too ;)

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  14. For all of Murray's dramatic antics, he has a surprisingly high pain tolerance. Unless he's really, really, really sore, he will jump or dressage to the best of his abilities (so not terribly well depending on the day). Perhaps as we get more relaxed and advanced in dressage it will become a better diagnostic tool for his muscle soreness, but it isn't quite yet!

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    1. this is funny to me to read - but based on yours and all the other comments, i'm starting to think that emotional and physical reactiveness may be total opposites haha. charlie is not very emotionally reactive, but physically he's so delicate lol.

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  15. ROFL poor Charlie -- he has a really hard life, you know.

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  16. We've got a thoroughbred on our aisle that does all of the Charlie behaviors and more. He'll pretend to fall asleep in the crossties to the point of almost falling over just so people will put him back in the stall and leave him alone. Thoroughbred antics, I swear! Luckily my mare hasn't pulled any of that... yet

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    1. haha give her time - she's new still ;)

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  17. Um, everyone who lives with me is not allowed to be a delicate flower. I do not have money for delicate flowers, haha!

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    1. ha seriously!! luckily none of charlie's tales of woe have actually cost me anything yet - and we're on to his 'boy who cried wolf' routine well enough that calling the vet hasn't been the go-to reaction at all

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  18. My OTTB Marley is the same way! Omg her saddle pinches slightly, Buck, toss head, be bad, her bridle is not a micklem? Toss head, made ugly faces, and be naughty… body sore? Canter in place or charge forward uncontrollably and get 2 years off and lots of physical therapy (for lack of a better word to use for the vet who helped me get her back in line) thanks Princess and the Pea. Chimi on the other hand is pretty stoic to the point that when I first got him I had a saddle fitter and a vet ask how the hell I had been able to ride him bc his back was such a mess. So now he lives in Back on Track saddle pads and seems to be doing well!

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    1. oh man, it's wild how different they can all be in their expressions! i'm never quite sure whether too stoic or too sensitive should be preferred either haha - mostly sometimes i just wish they would use their words!!

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  19. omg he looks FLY AS F*CK in that saddle pad. what kind of half pad are you using? my ecp shimmable pad and i are breaking up. RIP.

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    1. i have the ECP shimmable pad too - the pad was fine but the shims were trash, they compressed to nothing super quickly.

      this is a prolite half pad, also shimmable. it's not the prettiest thing on the market but the material is supposed to be top notch at distributing pressure.

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  20. Haha- what a special snowflake :). Ellie's a stoic beasty about all things outside of doing work :).

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  21. So, while Tommy isn't mine he is the definition of a delicate flower! Like Charlie, so far nothing ever "serious" but he currently ripped his elbow apart. Rolling. OMG! Love him though! That pad is beautiful. I hope you'll do a review?

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  22. Carlos was a hot house flower much like Charlie. Hoping he doesn't get any shavings in his eyes otherwise you'll need to get him a seeing eye dog.

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  23. Omg. Do Aria and Charlie email each other? She is soooo dramatic about colic and any signs of injury or discomfort. She threw herself against a wall when she colicked on me shortly after I purchased her.
    Ben could be hit by a car and act like he's fine. I'm not sure which I prefer so far. Lol

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