Good Things for Arrow!!
Last time I wrote Arrow had been moved to a pasture with 4 other geldings. He never really bonded with any of the horses. He spent a lot of his time standing under a tree alone. He had his visit with the vet in July and it was recommended he lose 50 lbs. He was moved to a pen because the geldings were on Alfalfa and Arrow would have continued to gain weight. The pen didn’t work out either. He “played’ pretty hard with his neighbors, fence rails were kicked down quite a bit and after a few weeks Arrow looked like he had been though a battle. He was missing quite a bit of hair. Also, he was sore in his neck at his visit so I felt like the light at the end of my tunnel was getting a little dim.
When I returned from my trip to Minnesota my friend Kristen graciously offered to try Arrow in the pasture with her horses Annie and Nike. I believe it is the only pasture with a mixture. Normally the mares and geldings are kept separated. Both horses wear fly masks so I did worry about a daily removal by Arrow. I also worried that he may bite them like crazy and possibly kick. He has shoes on his back hooves and those kicks are much more severe than a kick by a shoeless horse. What Kristen was offering was a big deal. For the 1st few days he was turned out with them for several hours and things went very well. He got to stay the night after the 3rd day and I am happy to say he has been there ever since!! He is definitely a happy horse! The day after his 1st overnight he actually walked away from me when I tried to take him out to groom him. He called out to Nike and Annie the whole way up to the barn and as we walked further away from the pasture his eye had a worried wrinkle. He also kept turning around to look in their direction. It was obvious to me that he really liked his new friends and unlimited amounts of shade. When I took him back he actually broke into a trot as we got closer to the gate to go back and he ran off to be with his ‘herd’ as soon as I removed his halter. He was greeted with squeals and bucks by Nike and the two of them looked like excited 4 year olds! My heart was full! His move is now permanent and there have been no fly mask tragedies or serious wounds. Arrow’s hair has grown back nicely and all is good.
I also decided to try acupuncture. Dr. Huth has done 3 treatments and he has responded very favorably! Chloe rode him at the trot and he looked the most comfortable I’ve seen him since I brought him home 3 years ago. He has 1 more treatment in a few weeks and then it will be as needed. I’m also considering CBD oil. I’ve heard that it does wonders for horses with arthritis and there are no harmful side effects. I’m in the research process now and have been in contact with a company based in San Diego that already offers it for Dogs but wants to expand to horses if they find a need. They are interested in working with Arrow and want to speak to both of my Vets to get their feedback. I would be fine with him being a test subject and perhaps it would help to keep my costs down. Arrow has definitely been a project! So worth it!!!
I’ve ordered a new therapeutic western saddle pad and a breast plate to help keep his saddle from sliding on his back. I’m also still working on finding someone who can fit his saddle to him. It seems to be harder than an English saddle and most saddle fitters I have asked only do English. I’ve ridden Arrow myself a few times in the past 3 weeks and the rides have gone well. It does seem that 30 minutes is his max. My saddle pad just arrived as I wrote my last sentence so I’m excited to try it out after I show it to Chloe and get the ok.
For those reading this to keep track of the expenses of horse ownership, my expenses since January 1st have been just over $10,000 out of pocket. OUCH!!! I didn’t realize until I just added it up. That includes his board, medical expenses and treatments, new tack, shoes, supplies such as fly masks, fly spray, grooming things, training for Arrow and lessons for me. My lessons are quite a bit more than if I had them on Arrow because I lease a horse and that is $75 each lesson. There is a great advantage to this as I have the opportunity to ride many different horses. This is great to improve my riding skills. The downside is obviously the additional expense and it is harder for me to build a solid relationship with a horse and I think it makes competing a little more challenging. The horse I have been able to get the closest to is Gwendolyn. I feel a lot more confident when I ride her than any other horse including Arrow. I also have to be careful about getting too close to her as she is not my horse. I have attachment issues!!
I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said ‘my horse poops my paycheck’. Arrow is pooping more than I am putting in. Unfortunately at my new job I make in 1 month what I made in 1 week at DFS. If I had done the same figuring as I did before I adopted Lake and had my current job, the reality is I would not have adopted her. It doesn’t pencil out on paper. At the moment I just don’t look at my credit card statements. If my $10,000 would have been spent on clothes for me and treasures for my house I would be overwhelmed but since it has been spent on my MAGICAL pony my attitude is, it will all be fine! Arrow has given me so much he deserves to have the best life I can possibly provide for him. I truly believe there is a reason he is my horse and over time I know I will understand what that is. All I know, is we belong together.
(the pic is of him with his herd Nike and Annie)