Saturday, July 31, 2010

Horse Health - Swelling on Barrel Near Stiffle

I received this from Steve in New Mexico,...."Attached are picture of my horse, a 10 year old Mare. She has a swollen area on her side. I can cover the swollen area with my hand. I could not see any visible entry wounds. You should be able to see where she has been rubbing the fur off from scratching with her teeth. Have any ideas?"

Steve, I'm not a Vet. I do not hestitate to bring my Vet out when I have a problem that concerns me...that's part of owing the horse a decent life,...Vet care comes with that. However, sometimes we need to be our own Vets, either when Vets are not readily available or to manage problems before they come. And I tell you what,...I never begrudge my Vet the cost of a Farm Call.

The most likely cause, given the gradual angle of swelling is an insect bite, like a tarantula hawk. velvet ant, wasp or the such. If the swelling seems to be more of a protrusion then I would be concerned that is might be a hernia, however I've never seen one in that location. You can palapate the site to see if it seems to be a hernia, which is a "hole" in the muscle where a portion of the intestines protrude. This requires surgery to treat. If the swelling doesn't go down in 24-36 hours then surely get a Vet out there to look at her.

You can hold an ice pack on it to see if the swelling reduces. I'd throw some hay in bucket for her to eat, so she is more inclined to stand still while you do this.

If it is itching her, it is most likely a bug bite. Another possibility is a thorn, cactus needle or mesquite needle may have punctured her. But you said you did not see a puncture site. I've had a horse get a Yucca puncture from rolling around. I treated it just like a cut and had no problems.

You can give her some Tri-Hist. Which is Antihistamine Decongestant Oral Powder you can mix into her grain. You can try this for a day and see if the swelling and or itching goes away.

I have given human Benadryl (diphenhydramine) to horses with bug bites. I calculate the doses using a 200 lb human then back off 20% percent.

Again I feel the need to state I am not a Vet, but due to the distances and time and unavailability of vets, not to mention the expenses, you need to be able to treat your horses as a first responder and be able to manage problems. Make sure her shots are up to date. Tetanus for your horses and for you and your family members as well, is very important.

Hope this helps and let me know how she is doing. Safe Journey partner.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Army Scouts - Al Sieber

Albert Sieber was born in Germany on 29th February, 1844. His family emigrated to the United States and they settled in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Later they moved to Minnesota.

During the American Civil War Sieber joined the Union Army and as a member of the 1st Minnesota Infantry fought at Antietam, Fredericksburg and Gettysburg.
After the war Siebler he went to Nevada where he unsuccessfully searched for silver. He travelled to California and worked as a cowboy in San Bernardino. Sieber also managed the Williamson Valley ranch until joining General George Crook as a scout. By 1872 he was appointed chief of scouts and was placed in charge of 80 Hualapais.

In 1875 Sieber was one of those involved in escorting 1,500 Native Americans from Camp Verde Reservations to San Carlos, Arizona. In 1876 he helped move the Chiricahuas from their reservation in Arizona to San Carlos.

Sieber remained in the army and was chief scout to Major Tullius Tupper in the Sonora campaign. In 1882 Sieber took part in the fighting that took place at Big Dry Wash in Arizona.

In 1883 General George Crook appointed Sieber as chief scout on the Sierra Madre Expedition. On his return he was stationed at San Carlos. In 1887 Sieber was involved in a dispute with the Apache Kid. During the dispute someone (not the Apache Kid) shot Sieber in the leg. The Apache Kid escaped but later surrendered to the authorities.

After Major John Bullis sacked him as chief of scouts at San Carlos in December, 1890, Sieber became a prospector. He continued with this work until he was killed by a falling boulder in Arizona on 19th February, 1907. In the made for television movie “Geronimo”, Al Sieber was played by Robert Duvall. I imagine Al Sieber was much like how Robert Duvall portrayed him.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Using the Bowline Knot

Jedd in Texas sent the folowing comment: "Hey Functional Horseman, enjoy your vids,. can you tell me some more uses for the Bowline knot?"

Well Jedd I use the bowline knot to tie ropes to anchor points to secure hay loads; secure ropes to fixed points such as rocks to make a controlled descent down a steep slope, but since you should not use the bowline or any knot without a quick release for tieing horse, probably the best use of this knot on horses is to make your own lariat using a small bowline as the honda.

Sometimes I'll just use length of rope with a bowline tied at one end to make a field expedient catch rope then halter. See the video below.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Reader Question on Horse Over Reaching

I received the following question from Raelene in Washington State, from the post 'Horse Training – Overstepping or Overreaching'...."Raelene asks "I have this problem with my 8 year old quarter horse mare about 15'2 hands and short backed, but I use Bell Boots and she still reaches under and causes laceration to her heel. Have and idea's?"

Your horse could have a confirmation problem,...long legs and a short back creating the over reaching problem. You didn't say if your horse was shod or not, but the most common method of dealing with conformation issues that may cause over reaching is to trim or shoe the horse so that he picks up his front feet quicker and sometimes trimming or shoeing the back feet so they come of the ground just a touch later.

Your horseshoer will know what this means, but the basic technique is to shorten the toes of the front feet (so they come off the ground faster) and lower the heels on the rear feet (so they stay on the ground just a touch longer).

I had a long legged, short backed Paint horse who used to over reach sometimes as well, even when he was 7 years old. We shortened his front toes just a little so he had a quicker break over. I began riding him 30 and sometimes 40 miles a week and he quit over reaching for the most part, so I don't know how much the extra riding helped him find his feet and stride or if the trimming helped the most.

Again work with your shoer in this problem and please let me know if you get some resolution to your mare's over reaching. I'd still use the Bell Boots to protect those fron heel bulbs.

Good Luck.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tying Knots - The Bowline

Functional Horsemanship is starting a series on knots that come in handy for Horsemen,…Horsewomen too.

I have previously posted videos on how to tie a horse with a lead line to a tie rail or to a trailer “D” ring. Tying horses should be done with slip knots, if possible. For the videos for tying horses, click the link below:

Tying a Horse to a Tie Rail

Tying a Horse to a Trailer "D" Ring

The knots I will be covering in this series of posts pertain to knots use for a wide range of functions. I’ll start of with the Bowline knot. This knot is used to anchor a rope to something such as a tie down spot on a trailer or bed of a truck; tie off to a rock or tree so you can have a controlled descent down a slope or cliff.

The Bowline and other knots that I will be covering are just good tools to have in your saddlebag of knowledge as a Horseman or Outdoorsman.

Hope you all like these series of posts on knots.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cowboy Humor - the Observations of a Little Cowboy

The little Cowboy attended a horse auction with his father.

He watched as his father moved from horse to horse, running his hands up and down the horse's legs and rump, and chest.

After a few minutes, the little Cowboy asked, "Pa, why are you doing that?"

His father replied, "Because when I'm buying horses, I have to make sure that they are healthy and in good shape before I buy."

The little Cowboy, looking worried, said, "Pa, I think the UPS guy wants to buy Mom ..."

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Reader Reply on Horse Feed

I received a youtube message from DaddyLJ1 who commented on Basic Horse Nutrition_Hay_v3.wmv, click here to see this article,……..."His Comment...This is a very good video- I learned more I this one than in 10 different videos by other so called pro’s”.

My reply to DaddyLJ1: Thanks for your kind words, but in defense of most of the pro trainers out, they concentrate on training horses and/or riders. My intent is to help the majority of horse owners out there, who are one, two or three horse owning recreational riders and who have never been exposed the wealth of information created by others. I didn’t invent anything, someone taught me as well.

I never gave much thought to feeds until about 10-12 years ago, when I started to educate myself in feeds, nutritional values and how they affect horses. Two of my primary references were and continue to be: Clinical Equine Nutrition, by Lon Lewis, and, Feed to Win, which is a compilation of wisdom from a wide range of trainers. Feed to Win is a much easier to read book, but Clinical Equine Nutrition is much, much more than a feed book.

Horses are meant to graze all day long or 16-20 hours or so anyway; eating small amounts of grass all day long. We create potential problems when we put them in stalls or pens and feed them concentrated dry hay, pelleted feed or grains.

There are a wide range of problems, such as founder and colic that are almost always associated with feed problems. I actually knew a old boy who had grain trucked in and dumped in a pile on the ground (outside) and would shovel grain in a wheel barrel then feed this horses out of the wheel barrel. This is a recipe for disaster as the grain can mold quickly and birds poop was all over that grain.

I recently was asked to look at a stud horse and give the owner an opinion on where that horse was at training wise. Needless to say, the little stud horse was a grade and only green broke ,..."I was told not to take his halter off" type of thing. They owner was feeding him from loose alfalfa on the ground, out in the open, that he had to scoop up with a shovel. Unbelievable. We have got to do better as horse owners.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

National Day of the Cowboy July 24, 2010 - Kick it up a Notch!

The National Day of the Cowboy (NDOC) Organization is offering their 2010 Hatch poster celebrating the Cowboy Day, featuring the original graphic artistry of Florida artist, Jim Harrison. As with all previous artists, Jim donated his design image to the NDOC.  He also signed a limited number of the 2010 posters.  His stellar work was also used for the 2010 Elko Poetry Gathering poster.

Colors of the 2010 poster are an intense shade of purple, highlighted by metallic silver. Jim's art is the first to have two colors within the graphic itself. The theme for 2010 is "Kick it up a Notch!" Past NDOC Hatch artists are Jennifer Ward (06), Teal Blake (07), Zane Mead (08), and Christina Holmes (09).

Hatch Show Print has been making Americana posters since 1879, in their easily recognized style, using hand-carved wood blocks and hand-cranked printing presses. Their posters are collected all over the world. NDOC posters are originals in a highly collectible series exclusively available from the National Day of the Cowboy Organization.

The 2010 poster measures 14" by 22" and is on heavy stock poster paper in our signature vanilla tone.
Posters are $15 each, 2/$29, 3/$42. S&H is $5.25 for one poster, $6.25 for 2-3 posters to the same address. NDOC has a limited number of 2010 posters available which were signed and numbered by the artist, Jim Harrison. Signed posters are $25 each.   

For ordering details, email or click here

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ground Training - More Leading

I was asked by a lady what she could do about her horse not leading well. Apparently her horse doesn't keep pace with her when leading, nor does he (an Arab Gelding) willingly trot off when asked.

This lady, who rides in endurance rides, say's she needs her horse to walk and transition to a trot when asked because it is a requirement for vet check stations during enduruance rides. She says she has also seen alot of endurance horses balk at being troted in hand once they have ridden into a vet check station.

I asked her how much she works on this and she said not much, but she leads the horse from his stall to the tack room a couple times a week and he almost always willingly loads into the trailer.

I told her it's a issue of spending more time on leading her horse. I understand that days will go by between conditioning rides for endurance horses, so between those rides halter your horse and do some ground training. This will always freshen up his mind and change his routine. Right now, everytime he gets pulled from his stall he gets ridden fast and long - he probably ain't looking forward to that, at least all the time.

Don't let any interaction with your horse pass you by without using it for a training session, whether it's just a few minutes or even 20 seconds long. You should be able to walk your horse off under halter, stop immediatley, back upon voice command, walk forward again then transition to a trot. Sometimes you may need a lunge whip to cue your horse - using it with your outside hand and in an underhand grip to reach back and tap (tap not whip) his butt or hocks.

Horses can't be that ground led reflect bad not on the horse but the owner,.....and it is simply a mater of time spent teaching the horse to do what you are asking him to do.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Latest on the BLM Mustang Roundup

Dateline Wednesday 14 July 2010. Twelve Wild Horses have died in a Nevada roundup by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). At least six of them were colts or mares. Some of these Wild Horses dies from dehydration or water intoxication.

Six of them died this past weekend, after being herded by Helicopters on day one of the round up. Two more died Monday morning and two additional Wild Horses were put down due to complications related to “water starvation or intoxication”. Then on Wednesday four more died bringing the total dead Wild Horses from the first roundup at Twelve.

Too little water can cause a horse to colic and die a very painful death. Too much water at one time can cause the horse’s brain to swell – this is called “water intoxication”. When you drive already hungry and dehydrated horses miles and miles in the hot summer months, using a helicopter, you are going to have deaths. Don’t understand why the BLM fancies using these machines to do a cowboy’s work. If the BLM’s intent is to kill these animals anyway, the humane thing to do is to kill them quickly rather than put them through the panic and a tortured death. Basically, running these horses to their deaths.

It looks to be that the BLM is at least placing some water tanks and troughs near the herds, but then the BLM picks back up using helicopters to herd these animals, more will be lost in an inhumane manner.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Great Old Pictures

Because of a number if reasons, maybe foremost my heritage, I love to look at old photographs of the West. I thought I would share these photos as they are classic examples of the old West, late 1800's time period, and also represent icons of that era: The Custer debacle which hastened the defeat of the plains Indian Nations, as well as influenced Indian policy for some time afterward; A view of a Lakota (Sioux) Indian encampment; a photograph of U.S. Army Calvary Scouts; and, a photograph that has come to represent of the American Cowboy.

Commanche - Sole Survivor of the Custer Massacre

Lakota Encampment

Captain Taylor and Army Scouts

The American Cowboy

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Conditioning a Horse for a Fly Mask

I received a question via the comment feature on the article on "Horse Health Care - Doctoring Eye Injuries".

Anonymous said "Dear Functional Horseman. I really like your videos. Please keep doing them. I have been treating my horse for an eye infection and am now able to get medicine into his eyes, however he will not let me put a fly mask on him.. He gets spooky and runs away when I got to slip the mask on him. Any suggestions for me??"

Horses need to be broke to wear a fly mask as you may be treating his eyes and need to protect them from dirt and sand sticking to the medicine in or near his eyes.

I would start all over with him. Stand 10-15 feet away and work the velcro on the mask a few times and see if that spooks or concerns the horse. After a short while he'll become used to the noise and recognize the fact and nothing is hurting him. Move alittle closer and continue to do this. Don't overload him. As you get near him let him smell the mask, would be good if the mask was used on another horse so it smells like a horse and not like new nylon.

Once you can stand next to him and work the velcro, rub him gently all over with the mask. Hold it up to his face and take it away, do this with an increasing time when holding it to his jaw bone or face.

You can hold the fly mask as you rub the horse's nose and once he is through jerking his head away, if he even does this, then you can drap it across his face. Take if off and do it again a few times.

I think then you can slip the mask over his ears, outside ear first and let him wear it drapped over his face and unsecured until he is totally comfortable with the mask.

The trick will now be that when you take it off and make that velcro ripping noise, he may spook again, but will soon release everything is alright.

The horse I demonstrate with in the video is a green broke Mustang, who has never had a mask on before. He is totally calm about the whole small deal probably because he hears the velcro sound all the time and is almost bomb proof whandling his head and ears...he got there by being handled each and every day. Your horse will be like this too within a few times of sacking him out gradually on the fly mask. Good luck and safe journey.

Monday, July 12, 2010

More on the Mustang Issue

Functional Horsemanship received the following comment on the post concerning Mustangs,...."Anonymous said....The Ranchers get to use federal land for free or very cheap. The government is killing Mustangs just so the ranchers can get rich. We need to make it fairer for the Mustangs. - Cowgirl in Illionis"

See I told you this was an emotional issue. I seem to be squarely in the middle between the ranchers, who are friends of mine in many cases, and the Mustang lovers whose hearts are in the right place.

Here are some more facts:

The Ranchers do not get to use government grazing lands for free. They win a bid on them conducted publicly and openly and sometimes pay a great deal of money, per animal (cow), where in some cases I don't see how they can break even. The BLM controlled grazing units that I patrolled would cost the winning bidders anywhere from $7 to $17 per animal unit month. That is $7 to $17 per cow or cow-calf combo per month of use. Transportation costs to truck the cattle in; sending cowboys to check on them; and, extra feed in rough times all add up. It is not lucrative by any means. It's rough scrabble existence.

On the other side of the coin, it is Federal land and the BLM, or the US Forest Service in some cases, need to be good stewards and ensure fair worth for use is gained. And make no mistake about it, the Federal Government owns much too much land in the West and the current administration is trying to seize more,...and they can too, through use of imminent domain. I know some ranchers, only a generation of two removed from government confiscation of a historical homestead, and they have a bone to pick with the government.

Ranchers are good stewards of the land,..they have to be or otherwise they lose cattle, lose land and go under. Very few of them destroy the lands as the environmentalists would have people believe.

Some ranchers believe that when the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971 was enacted and the Mustang herds became federally protected, sectioning off former grazing units for the Mustangs, the ranchers believe these wild horses belonged to them and were in effect confiscated by the federal government without due compensation. Well, that ain't necessarily right,.....those Mustangs belong to God, partner,.... .....nobody else.

With the Mustang lovers, you most often get people, like the letter writer from Illinois, who know nothing of the issues, and are often very misguided, thinking the land will support ten times what it really can. In some places a section (640 acres) is necessary for one horse to have feed. In their quest to provide a place for the Mustangs, even at the expense of long time ranching families, these people would end up providing a terrible life and death from starvation or colic. When there are too many Mustangs for the existing water to support, some of the Mustangs will die of dehydration. Horses dying of thirst will eat mud and that will colic them, dying a very painful death.

Much better to manage the herds, like they do in Oklahoma, through genetic testing, culling the herds, gelding most of the stallions based on genetic testing to reduce in breeding. Of course, that means many of the culled horses would have to be put down - however this would be much less torturous than starving or dying from a gut full of mud. Over grown Mustangs herds also have a negative impact on the other wildlife,...deer, antelope, etc.

The US Government must manage these herds through humane methods,...running mares and foals into the ground by helicopter ain't it. This may be the last I write on the subject, and nobody will be pleased with the other side of the issue, and I find myself in the middle.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Colic Case - One Week Later

One week after our big Quarterhorse Charlie coliced, he seems to be doing great. His manure is much less water like and he is back to dropping big piles. I have had him on Sand Clear for six days now, and will continue until his manure is completely normal. The Vet advised me that I could pretty much keep him on sand clear year round, but would want to look at changes in his manure and his body condition.

Funny thing is that when he put him back into the corral with the other geldings, one of the geldings kept pushing him with his nose as if saying "keep moving, don't lay down". The picture above is Charlie several days after getting through this bout of colic and laying down for a rest.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Competing for the Same Grass - Cattle and Mustangs

Very little puts people at odds with each other out West than to have discussions about Wild Horses (Mustangs) and Burros. Ranchers hate them for the grass they consume, putting cattle operations and their livelihood at risk. Animal lovers, unrealistically sometimes, want the U.S. Government to go to great lengths to preserve each and every animal. This issue is closing in on us as between now and October, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) plans to roundup and remove over 6,000 more wild horses and burros from six Western states.

I have friends who are ranchers. I want to see them thrive and maintain the western lifestyle that is often just hard work to just even get a month to month existence. However I’m not willing to support the cruel, and sometimes unnecessary death of Mustangs that are a national treasure. In fact I have had some very heated and emotional arguments with some ranchers wanting the vast majority of Mustangs put down to preserve or even expand grazing units for cattle.

Animals lovers on the other hand, thinking that horses should die of old age and not slaughter, are responsible for the closure of horse slaughter plants here in the U.S. which caused horses to be shipped horses to Mexico, by inhumane transport measures, for the un-regulated slaughter in Mexico to support the horse meat demand in Europe. Don’t have a problem with people eating horse meat. Do have a problem with the inhumane killing of any animals, particularly horses. Imagine a frantic horse being run into a chute, then stabbed in the neck-withers area until it is paralyzed, then hauled up by it’s back legs with chains and having his neck cut so he can bleed out.

There needs to be some give in both sides. Proponents of the Mustangs (and I count myself among them) must understand that ranchers’ concerns of: over grazing by herds of Mustangs destroying cattle land; and the inbreeding within these herds leading to unhealthy and diseased animals. Animal lovers should reflect on if they want horses humanely killed in the country under regulated conditions for transport and basic care; or do they want horses taken to Mexico in terrible conditions and killed in a very inhumane manner.

Open land in the West is diminishing. Everyone has got to be good stewards of not only the lands but also the wildlife so we can preserve these for generations to come. When people let emotions boil over on this issue, they often push people to the other side of argument.

Again, I am a Wild Horse supporter. I have contributed money to this cause and own a Mustang (or he owns me) that is just a people loving great little horse. I also have several friends that cowboy for the BLM - good hands and good people all.

Here is some information from The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, whose heart is in the right place, even those some of their facts may be a little off:

In 1971, an unprecedented public outcry moved Congress to unanimously pass the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act, granting federal protection to America ’s wild horses and burros as “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West […] that […] contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people.”

From over 2 million in the 1800s, America ’s wild horse population has dwindled to fewer than 33,000. There are now more wild horses in government holding pens than remain in the wild, with many of the remaining herds managed at population levels that do not guarantee their long-term survival. Still, the round-ups continue. Yes true, but the West is much more populated than it was in the 1800’s. The demand for beef has grown.

Over the past forty years, federal law enacted by the people on behalf of their wild horses has been ignored. Largely ignored I would say. No strategic plan to keep viable herds of wild horses on public lands was ever developed. This is true.

The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign is dedicated to preserving the American wild horse in viable free-roaming herds for generations to come, as part of our national heritage. Its grassroots efforts are supported by a coalition of over forty organizations. I wholly support viable solutions to keep more of the animals living and ranging free in decent areas that provide forage and water.

The AWHPC Coalition is calling on Congress to suspend the government wild horse roundups in all but verifiable emergency situations while the entire BLM wild horse program undergoes objective and scientific review. I support this.

The AWHPC Coalition is also calling for implementation of in-the-wild management, which would keep wild horses on the range and save taxpayers millions annually by avoiding the mass removal and stockpiling wild horses in government holding facilities. I support this if it is done fairly.

The BLM uses helicopters for roundups, and while that may be a cost effective manner to push Mustangs to holding areas or corrals, it is often a brutal method causing stress and panic in the herds, separating foals from mares, and slow agonizing deaths from injuries. This should change. Pay some Cowboys a working wage to do this the old way.

The AWHPC states that beginning in August, the BLM intends to use helicopters to roundup and remove 480 wild horses living in the Confusion Mountains in Utah . The agency claims a 474,000-acre complex can sustain only 195 horses, even as it authorizes the equivalent of 3,300 cattle to graze the same public lands area! This just ain’t right. Cattle eat feed that horses won’t. In desert environments 200 horses for 500,000 acres would be close to being right.

The AWHPC further states that the BLM has the clear authority, under 43 C.F.R. 4710.5(a), to close livestock grazing on areas of public lands "if necessary to provide habitat for wild horses or burros, to implement herd management actions, or to protect wild horses or burros, to implement herd management actions, or to protect wild horses or burros from disease, harassment or injury." The AWHPC is advocating the sustainment of Mustangs at the expense of grazing lands for Ranching families. Although the Federal Government, in it’s infinite wisdom, sometimes re-designates areas from grazing leases to wilderness areas which take away available grazing units for ranchers, I do not see the BLM closing livestock areas to provide for the Mustangs. Clearly every side is affected with any decision.

The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign website

Monday, July 5, 2010

Colic Case - Timeline and Care

If you've been around horses long enough you will eventually have a colic case on your hands. It's simply, in my view, that we put them in confined spaces and feed them dry food in dense amounts when they are built, by God, to roam and eat living grass all day long.

Anyway, coming on the heels of my friends losing a horse, I was particularly spun up to find one of my horses not eating and pacing the ground, head down, in small circles trying to lay down. I immediately got a halter on him and started walking him while calling the wife to load a shot of Fluxomine (Banamine). This was at 08:30 on Day one. The horse, Charlie, could not stand still, was in racking pain and kept trying to lay down on me. I don't let them lay down as they can go down hard and end up twisting a gut, which is almost always fatal. We got 12cc of Banamine in him (IM) at 8:55 am and our Vet was on her way.

At 10:15 am our Vet had arrived, given a shot of Torbugesic, tubed the horse with water and mineral oil and gave him a mineral oil, water and detergent enema. The Vet palpated the horse's back end and said she thought she could feel a twist of the beginning of twist. She was not optimistic. She did however installed a catether in a neck vein for us to give medications. Pictures of the neck cath shown below:

Torb helped him with the pain for just a little bit. Wanting to spread out the Torb as much as we could, we finally gave him another Torb shot at 1:20 pm. This shot of Torb lasted even less time. At 3:45 pm we gave him 12 cc's more of Banamine in the neck vein catether but he got no pain relief. He kept him from going down for an hour by walking, but when you walk them, especially in the heat, you can dehydrate them faster.

We flushed the IV line with 20 cc's of water before and after each use of medications.

At 4:50 pm, we turned him back into the geldings corral with his buddies. He rolled, farted, got up then appeared fairly normal, and starting to forage around the ground for loose hay.

At 8:05 pm he produced his first manure with some oil, and what we figured was from the enema. At 8:45 pm, after consulting with the Vet, we have gave Charlie a bran mash and a couple handfuls of grass hay. He passed more manure at 10:00 pm and by Day Two at 6:00 am he had passed three more small piles.

At 9:00 am on Day Two he passed a large pile of manure with lots of oil in it, which we figured was from the stomach tubed oil, and we started to relax. He has been gradually getting more and more hay through Day Two and into Day Three. He is also on a seven day cycle of Sand Clear.

Things could have turned out bad for Charlie and us. God's will, Immediate Vet care by a great Vet, Charlie's will and luck had alot do with him staying alive.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Pest Management and Fly Sprays

A local friend told me one his horses was getting eaten up by flies and when he used a fly spray on the horse, the horse would break out into black bumps and irratate the skin into a sore. He asked me what else he could do.

I told him that proper pest management was a large part of the solution. Keeping his stalls and corrals clean of manure. If he dumps the manure in a central point, then he could possible spray for pests on the manure pile a couple times a week. Using fly traps such as the sticky fly tape or fly trap bottles is also a good idea; another solution may be possibly using "fly predators" which I have not yet tried, but will in the short future - these are little horse friendly bugs that eat flies.

As far as fly spray is concerned I too have a horse who has an allergic reaction to fly sprays with permethrins. I have tried various strength solutions of vinegar and water and have found out they don't work and it's hard to take the smell.

I have settled on a commercial product called "Marigold Spray" which works pretty well and smells decent. I use a permethrin based Pyranha on my other horses and that works well. Hope the Marigold Spray works for his horse.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Army Scouts - Custer's Scouts at the Little Big Horn

Last week was the 134th Anniversary of Custer’s Last Stand. I thought I would write about some of the Army Scouts, both Anglo and Indian, that supported Custer’s campaign

The Battle of the Little Bighorn, known as Custer's Last Stand and by Native Americans as the Battle of Greasy Grass Creek, was an armed engagement between combined forces of Lakota and Northern Cheyenne against the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army. It occurred on June 25 and June 26, 1876, near the Little Bighorn River in eastern Montana Territory, near what is now Crow Agency, Montana. As most people know it was an overwhelming defeat for Custer, however it marked the end of the Native American Plains Nations, primarily the Sioux and Cheyenne ’s freedom of movement and life as they knew it.

Custer, as well as all other Army Commander’s employed Army Scouts, both Native Americans and Anglos to help scout, guide the columns, interpret and generally provide their expertise to facilitate movement and planning. Although Custer had an Army Officer as Chief of Scouts, effective control of the Scouts was under Mitch Bouyer and there was another Anglo with the Scouts named Lonesome Charlie Reynolds. Custer’s 7th Cavalry was reported to have 35 Native American Scouts from the Crow, Arikara (aka Ree) and Dakota tribes. Most notably among these Scouts were White Mans Runs Him, Hairy Moccasin, Goes Ahead and Curley.

Another well known Indian Scout was a mixed blood Hunkpapa Sioux - Arikara named Bloody Knife (shown to the left). After Custer split his command, Bloody Knife as well as two Crow Scouts, Half Yellow Face and White Swan, went with Major Reno. Bloody Knife was reportedly killed while on Horseback standing next to Major Reno.

What these Scouts are famous for was locating the giant concentration of Sioux and Cheyenne in the encampment on the Little Big Horn River, and telling Custer that because of the size encampment and number of horses (indicating warriors), Custer should not attack the camp. Custer decided to attack the camp without waiting for the approaching supporting columns of General Alfred Terry and Col John Gibbon’s 7th Infantry and 2nd Cavalry, General George Crook’s column of 3rd Cavalry and some 2nd Cavalry companies as well as elements of the 4th and 9th Infantry. When informed of this decision, the Crow Scouts knew they faced their death that morning. They changed from their mixed Anglo-Indian garb to Native American dress, not in order to pass as Indians, but to go to the afterlife as Warriors and not Army Scouts.

Indispensable to Army operations, Army Scouts continued to serve through the Indian Wars and well into the future.