Punks Kid Rock is the registered name of my American Quarter horse gelding, Rocky. This blog chronicles our adventures together,
as well as stories from my horse past and, occasionally, a tidbit from my non horse life.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A new look for Rocky

The last two weeks have been really busy so I haven't been able to get out to the barn very much- as in, twice, which is why I wrote the Snow White review rather than more Rocky stuff.  C'est la vie.  I've got a great trail ride to tell you guys about, but before that I want to talk about my time at the barn yesterday.

Pretty, new fly sheet!
Rocky got a new fly sheet for my birthday, and he looks so shiny and clean underneath it! (knock on wood) I groomed and tacked him up as usual, then did some flexing exercises and worked on trying to be light, asking him with the lightest touch and then raising the pressure if he resisted.  I tried to be conscious of asking lightly every time I used a new cue, rather than falling into the trap of staying at the last pressure level that worked. Thanks, Mugs!

He responded pretty well, but he'll be better after I have been consistent with him for a few days. I can't blame him for being a little off after not being worked with for about two weeks. 

So after doing that I thought I would take him on the small trail loop to work on leg yielding across the trail, more lightness exercises but in a different environment.  He wasn't thrilled with going out on the trail, instead trying to get me to let him go down the driveway- which ends at a big highway.  I said "no thanks" for today, and then proceeded to ask, then tell him not to eat grass/leaves/ferns while going down the trail.  I ended up popping him in the head with the end of my mecate rein, which got him up and trotting but at least proved that I was serious about the not grazing while working thing. 

A few minutes later, he tossed his head and I saw a flap of skin under his mane come up to reveal a one inch by one inch wound on his neck.  It was right on the top of his neck, hidden under his mane.  I gasped and leaned forward to look at it.  It was about a third of the way down his neck from his ears, and every time he shook his head the flap jiggled.  I finished the loop with him and had my barn manager look at it.
Yeah, it's kinda gross.
See the flap? It's to the left of the raw wound.

You can see daylight! and how deep the wound is.
She gasped, too, but then relaxed after seeing that it wasn't as bad as it initially looks. I could tell that she felt terrible about not having noticed it before I did, but I assured her that I had completely groomed and tacked him up without knowing it was there- I had skipped brushing his mane. She advised me to shave the mane around it, clean it out and see how strongly attached the flap of skin was.

I shaved immediately around the wound, then cleaned up his bridle path as long as I was there.  I stood there looking at his neck, which had a clean bridle path, then a chunk of mane the length of my palm, and then another patch of shaved neck. Awkward.  I decided to shave off all of his mane to the wound, sortof like the show Arabian bridle path.  Rocky looks like an Arab now! (ha....ha...not.) But it does look better than it did. I braided the rest of his mane in a french braid going down his neck so that it would stay out of the wound. I thought it looked pretty, and I did a decent job for my first attempt at that type of horsey hairdo.
Shaved bridle path, braided mane.  This was the day after I originally did the braid though, so it's  messier than it was yesterday.
The flap, on the other hand, was just the wrong amount of attached- enough of a deep attachment (about a thumb width) to make me not want to pull it off, but not enough that it looks like it will reattach. So now we need to wait for it to die and fall off.  In the meantime, I put triple antibiotic ointment on it and put him in a stall so his horse friends won't help him get it full of dirt.  He happily clomped through his stall and out into the run attached to it to sniff the ground and try to get some grass. 

He will live, and his mane will look awkward growing back in, but it was pretty horrifying to suddenly see that flap of skin come up under his mane.  C'est la vie.

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