A Note about Sugarbush Draft Horses

I see it over and over again, and no matter how many times it's said, it's still wrong. "Sugarbush Drafts are just an Appaloosa Draft Cross". Uh.... no. The Sugarbush Draft Horse was a breed created many years ago in Ohio. While the initial cross was made using Percherons to Appaloosas, in the many generations following, the breed has been solidified into a consistent type. Saying these horses are "just" a draft cross makes as much sense as saying that AQHA horses are "just" a Thoroughbred cross, American Cream Drafts are "just" a dilute Belgian, or that Morgans are "just" a grade.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

An update on Lameness

Katy is still lame. Rover is now in the lame category as well. Leah mentioned that the last time she was riding him, he seemed almost but not quite uneven on that foot as well. Thinking back, ya know, I thought he had a rhythm problem, but maybe it was also related.

So the next time the vet comes out to check on Katy, I'm going to have Rover checked as well. I'm probably looking at ultra sounds, x rays, and a full diagnostic on him, but it's best to know, so that I don't try to sell him to someone looking at him for a hard sport, and him not being able to do it.

As for Katy, she's still 3 legged lame when not wrapped. Now, when I wrap her leg, she walks like there's nothing wrong. It is her tendon, the one that runs down the back of her leg and across the back of the pastern. I'm looking at a LONG recovery time for this, and the worst part is that I don't have a clue as to what she did. On the bright side, Dr. G thinks that with a good rehabilitation, nice and slow, she will make a full recovery, and have no future issues with it.

Now, I have to say here that Katy is just lovely. Not sure why, but I never seem to get pictures of her, so today we are photo-less. She's a lovely black Sugarbush Draft mare, 3 years old, with roaning all over. She has a lovely head, a nice moderately long neck, and perfect balance in her conformation. She's so willing to do anything asked of her, and just is a sweet huggy type of horse.

I have Rover and Katy keeping each other company in the barn right now. Both on stall rest, both wrapped, and both getting bute for the swelling. On Katy, I have to wrap both front feet, so that her supporting leg doesn't take too much strain. Interestingly, I switch between cloth wraps for the supporting leg, and a support boot for it. Both are black. The vet wrap I have for the injured leg is black. Katy is black.

2 days ago, I had Katy turned out in a small paddock so she could socialize over the fence, and had no reason to move a lot. She still hopped around a bit, but I have to balance her mental state with her physical injuries. I was in the arena - next to the road - tilling, and some lady driving by stopped and waved at me. I drove over, and she asked if I knew that the horse was hurt, and had I called a vet! She was so sweet and very concerned. I looked, and sure enough, it was almost impossible to tell that Katy was all wrapped up, because her wraps match her hair, and her legs are already big and thick.

I explained to her that the vet had seen her, that she was on his treatment plan, and that she had black leg wraps on. She looked closer, and then said "Oh, I'm SO sorry, I just thought, you know...".

To me, it's kinda nice knowing that someone would be brave enough to stop and ask, rather then just drive by letting a horse be neglected. I thanked her, explained that to her, and told her she's welcome to point out ANY problems she sees to me with my horses. If only more people did that, and then called the animal control if they didn't get a satisfactory answer, the horse world would be a better place.

Granted, living with roads on 3 sides of my property, I get a lot of people looking, and have actually had animal control called on me before. In early spring, someone driving by saw that my pond was empty, and called AC. The officer arrived, and told us that he had a complaint that the horses in the main pasture didn't have any water. We gladly showed him the trough, inadvertently walking him past the hay room in the barn (which faces the driveway) and around the house, behind the shed, to the watering area. There is a hay feeder there, next to the BIG water trough with a float. Now, this area is convenient to me, but it is almost invisible from the road because of the buildings. The animal control officer chuckled, said obviously there was no problem as I had plenty of hay on hand, a place where they were obviously offered hay, and clean free choice water.

I explained to the AC officer that even if there WAS water in the pond, the horses wouldn't use it. My horses firmly believe that the pond is for swimming, it's for grazing in (the pond plants), but it is not water for drinking. Sheesh, it's not like the prissy ponies would lower themselves to pond water! If the tanks aren't kept scrubbed out clean enough for ME to drink from, then chances are good that the horses won't drink from them either.

I think it's kinda nice to live in such a horsey town, and the people here have not become immune to the beauty and majesty of these animals. They still care that the livestock is well cared for, and are willing to go through the trouble to get things checked on.

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