tirsdag 15. februar 2011

Short update

There hasn't been much activity here this last week, mostly because I have a test in microbiology coming up tomorrow and also because there's not much to report...
After having recovered well from a thick leg and a bout of colic, Fonti, poor thing, has started coughing.
Febuary just isn't our month!!
On Thursday, after 4-5 days of coughing and also seeming a little down, he got even worse and wouldn't eat properly. So Friday we had another visit from the vet who gave him a shot of antibiotics, and yesterday he got a second dose. He's also getting Synutrim, a powder to mix in his feed. So hopefully he'll be feeling better, yet again, soon.

søndag 6. februar 2011


In 2005/2006 I worked for a Swedish dressage rider based on the outskirts of Stockholm. His best horse at the time was called Wilson, a huge black dressage gelding and one of the kindest horses I've ever met.

Charlie, me and Wilson out walking in Sweden.

Wilson even competed in the World Championships in Aachen in 2006 and in the World Cup finals that same year:

Photo from www.kristianvk.se

Today, Wilson is 20 years old. Last week I got sent a link to a program from Swedish television, featuring none other than Wilson, who is now enjoying his retirement together with an 86 (!) year old man who rides him twice a week. It's in Swedish, but a picture says a thousand words, right?

fredag 4. februar 2011

Good Friday

I think we've been lucky! No more sign of colic, and Fonti's leg is back to normal. Yesterday I spent the day in the stable and brought my books with me so that I could study and at the same time keep an eye on him.

Today I jogged him 30-40 min in the indoor arena, and he seemed fit and ready to work. Since we weren't going to work very hard today, I spent some time concentrating on the basics. We spent most of the time trotting in a long, low form, trying to keep 3-4 m away from the wall, which for me is the easiest way to check that my outside aids are working properly and that on both hands Fonti listens to my left leg (on the left hand, he tends to fall to the inside and vice versa). I also focused on keeping my hands soft, and not lock them as I sometimes do when we don't agree on things. Fonti is a good teacher - when my hands are soft, he keeps his end of the connection soft, and when my hands harden he leans on the bit and pulls back.

All in all we had a good day today, and I'm just so happy that he's healthy and happy again.

torsdag 3. februar 2011

When it rains, it pours...

Fonti's leg is looking better now, but today when I walked him he seemed a little down and had glassy eyes. Later in the evening I got a call that he was not looking good, he was rolling, wandering in his box and off his feed. Since I need about 40 min to get to the stable, someone else walked him for me and the vet was on the way. By the time I got there he was looking better, even wanting to eat a little. The vet said that he probably got a light gas colic from the weather change (it went from below freezing to almost spring-like temeratures in one night).

After having gotten some Buscopan (= Butylscopolamine) to prevent cramps and a painkiller I was to lunge him 10 min to speed the uptake of the drugs (which was a new concept to me). Since Fonti had more than the normal amount of intestinal sounds, he has to fast for the next 24 hours. I found a muzzle for him to wear, but with some effort on his part he still managed to eat his straw, so I had to spend some time clearing his stall of (almost) all the straw.

The look of disbelief - how am I supposed to eat now?

Take it ooooofff!

Now I'm back home from the stable, but wide awake (it's almost 1 a.m. German time), so I guess I can catch up on my studying until I get sleepy...

tirsdag 1. februar 2011

Quote of the Day

Q: "How much time does a horse demand from its owner each day?"

A: "As much time as possible".

From a German television program about (amongst other things) how horse sport differs from other sports.


Sunday Fonti went really well. He was forward without rushing, responsive and supple.

Monday he stood in his stall with a swollen left front leg. Argh!

His whole fetlock joint was swollen I was told over the phone (it was Js turn to train him yesterday), and today the same. Especially between the cannon bone and the suspensory ligament there was a fluid build-up, indicating that the fetlock joint/fetlock joint capsule was involved. Fortunately the leg was not warm and Fonti wasn't lame.

After having walked him 3 x 30 min today,the swelling have gone down some, and I'm hoping that he's just somehow hit himself or something, and that it's not a training-related injury...
Coincidentally a vet was at the stable today, and had time to take a look: Rest and 2-3 days of walking and hopefully it'll sort itself out.

The bigger problem was what to do with 600 kg horse that should be resting but was desperately bored having to stay in his room all day long!

As I was lungeing some other horses I could hear Fonti re-arrangeing his stall in an effort to entertain himself (turns out he had turned his whole straw bed upside down and pushed most of it into a corner....) , interspersed with him banging his legs on the walls, begging for attention like a spoiled child.

So, I decided I needed to find some activities for him outside his box which didn't involve running in the paddock or the indoor arena (in addition to our walks). I had planned to pull his mane for a long time, so that was first on the list. Luckily, Fonti's happy as long as he has company (any attention will do!) so he stood and dozed under the "sun" while I fixed his mane and brushed him thoroughly.

And having done the mane, the only logical thing was to do his tail as well.

A work in progress

Then it was time to scrub his hooves and wash his white socks...

Good thing that the farrier is coming soon...

I'd rather be outside running thank you

So hopefully we'll be back in training in a few days (and Fonti back outside in his paddock)!