A Tough Cookie

Zeus is not a cookie, nor is it his name, but he is in fact a tough one. I never cease to be amazed at the amount of tolerance this animal has. He just has bad luck in terms of his reaction to fungus, flies, and other mild maladies. Minor for most, but for him a simple fly bite swells to the size of a dime. He has a near perpetual case of scratches. This horse just doesn’t complain much. Many of you have read about and are familiar with him. I just have to brag on him again.

In a recent post I described the large abscess he blew. He never went lame, just didn’t want to put extra weight on it. Fair enough, in my humble opinion. As it has been healing and cleaned, meaning poked at often, and he doesn’t do anything more than give a sniff at my back. I can’t ask for more from him. He is just impressive. More so considering prior to now he’s had a pretty rough life. Here’s to the tough ones, the non complainers, the comeback kids.


I had the farriers out today on schedule, and it was a blend of news. The good is that Zeus’ feet are generally much healthier. I was told the white line and scratches look much better. Excellent.

Recently Zeus has been picky about picking up certain feet. Wasn’t sure why. I assumed it had something to do with the lameness. I found out that he blew a massive abscess. And like him, the only complaint was trying to not put extra weight on it. He is such a good boy, he never even went lame on that foot.

So, new plan of action: Continued biotin, vitamins, and keeping that abscess as clean as possible.

The Catch

With every type of weather on a farm there’s a catch. I know I talk about the weather often, and this post is not exactly about the weather. This is more about White Line Disease. Zeus, affectionately known as Zuzu has white line and scatches that we can’t seem to get gone. He has deep pockets besides his frogs, and despite daily cleanings are forever get packed tight.

So far we have tried tea tree oil, betadine and thrushbuster on the white line, and on the scratches we’ve used fung a way, lotramin, aloe vera, and betadine. I’m open to suggestions. If you have any my readers, for either one, I’m all ears. Also, looking for suggestions for joint supplement treats/wafers.

A Summer That Never Ends

The title was intended to be a Game of Thrones joke, since in the show they often idealize the concept of a summer that never ends. Even the concept of a long summer is directly mentioned. Well, the people of Westeros did not live in the American Southeast. It is hot, humid, and difficult to work in. No duh right? Well as many of our farm friends know, it isn’t easy to get our work done in this heat.

This is just a shout out to the others out there living through this Indian Summer, may your work get done, may you manage as best as you can, may things be easier and less humid for you than it is for me. Unfortunately I’m sun sensitive due to some medication, so perhaps I should be nocturnal instead. If only I could see in the dark.

Also, now take suggestions for killing wharf rats and scaring away crows. Have any suggestions, message me!

Wild Duck Chase

A nightmare started the other day. I get texts at 7 am while out of state asking if my ducks are in their pen. Being that I’m 6 hours away and adoring of my ducks, I start freaking out. They were bought from California so its not like I can replace them easily even if I wanted to.

I’m now calling everyone I can think of to go check on them because the person who has been minding the farm isn’t due until that evening. A neighbor sends a kid and he says he doesn’t see them in the road, which is where I was told they would be. I don’t know if that’s a relief or not.

Finally the neighbor went to check after we heard but didn’t see them on security camera. They were in their pen, and never left. I was getting frantic texts from multiple people about a wild duck with her babies. Mine aren’t even broody so wouldn’t have a line of ducklings. Relief, but really?! I don’t have Mallards or Rouens or any other broody bird.

A Lame Horse

A horse going lame is a difficult thing. Sometimes it is easy to fix, sometimes not so much. Previous posts have revealed how Zeus, while hardy and not a complainer, has many things that happen with him. In summary the poor guy has a near perpetual case of scratches, white line disease, and a sore back.

My secret weapon though, is my chiropractor. Her name is Vicky and she is absolutely incredible. I call her before I call my Vet in many cases. She is a chiropractor, masseuse, saddle fitter, and many other amazing skills. Zeus always looks so much better after she’s been to see him.

To my surprise, yes his hips were out of whack which hurt his back, but also, she had great advice about the white line. I learned from her visit that his liver is out of whack, and she was able to make a recommendation for that too. You see, she was able to see how his liver line looked and while not bad, it was a little out of balance.

She was even able to recommend a new supplement to their diet and a new way to treat the white line. I’ve been treating it with a rotation of thrush buster and betadine. No luck. They even had to cut his hoof back. Part of the problem is it not getting his feet cleaned and treated quite enough. This comes largely from him being less than easy to catch and having approximately 6 acres open to him. Far too much. We need to pen them in, and I’ve been trying to get help for that to happen for awhile now. In any case, the treatment hadn’t worked.

First she had me change the white line treatment to tea tree oil. The new treatment for the scratches will include clotrimazole and aloe vera. Lastly to try and get the white line gone for good, a new supplement for the feed,¬† Biostar¬†. I’ve added horseshoer’s secret to help grow the food out.

To be clear, I’m not being paid for any of this, I’m simply hopeful to help my poor guy. He hasn’t had the easiest life, and I’m trying to make it better. Updates to follow.

The Most Unfortunate Events

The most unfortunate events are the most unfortunate because they are both negative and have poor timing. Michael and I are nerds, this is no secret, and we have DragonCon this weekend. It is the only Con we do and a big event every year.

Now that I’ve set the scene, let me tell you a little more about my boy Zeus. He is a horse who has had approximately 12 homes in as many years as far as I can tell. Despite this, he is a truly good boy. Someone has mishandled him at some point, but he has been willing to learn to trust us again, and he’s always been amazing under saddle. He just didn’t have any clue about why we’d want to pet him, give him treats, or do anything with him that wasn’t tack and ride. This is unfortunate because he is the most problem prone horse. He is, by our guess, half spotted saddle and half rocky mountain horse. He has a small white patch and a beautiful brown almost black color. He is gaited and under saddle very hard to spook. I love him to pieces, though in a different way than I love Holly.

So what do I mean by problem prone? Well, he’s allergic to something in our grass which gives him a near perpetual case of scratches. He has a back end that is often tight so he is a frequent visitor with the chiropractor. He is sensitive to fly bites and often swells from them. He is a mess. Despite this he has the pain tolerance of a tank. So when he comes up lame, it isn’t good. That is what happened yesterday. He’s got some thrush at the moment, as well as the scratches, but I don’t think either is the problem. So his chiropractor we call, and in the mean time he’s penned in the barn, the size of 4 stalls, getting hay and dimethyl sulfoxide plus treatment for scratches, and thrush. The other legs are wrapped, and we are hoping he’s better soon. His theory on all of this? LET ME OUT YOU HEIFERS!