Saturday, December 26, 2009

Fun with customer support

Well, darn. I have some new footage of Willow lungeing that I wanted to post here, but when I try to transfer the footage to my computer it comes out black and white and terribly pixelated. It sort of looks like Willow is having an acid trip.

I went to the Sony customer support site and got hooked up with a customer support rep (Natalie) via chat. I typed up my problem in full detail, including the model number of my camcorder, the OS of my computer, and the version of the video capture software I was using. Natalie proceeded to ask me, one by one, all the questions I had just answered in my problem description. I started to wonder if she was a robot, but she misspelled words every so often, so I guess not. She kept trying to get me to connect the camcorder to the computer with a standard A/V cord, and I kept telling her my laptop doesn't have the standard A/V jacks. She sent me a link to a picture of standard A/V jacks, and I confirmed, No, my computer doesn't have those. I don't think she ever was convinced. She also seemed vaguely irritated with me throughout.

I think the problem is with the cord, so I'm going to see if I can order a new one of those.

Willow was good today! We worked on a figure eight with lots of transitions between trot and canter. All the lungeing in the past few weeks has agreed with her.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Much improved!

The ulcer treatment seems to have done the trick. No more stomping, no more cranky antics in the cross ties. I've also taken to keeping the girth as loose as possible for as long as possible, and I think Willow appreciates that as well. She never used to care about girth tightening, but I think she has gotten more sensitive in the past year. All in all, she's a much happier horse than she's been for several weeks.

Willow's aloe vera supplement arrived this evening, so I started her on that. It's called Excel, and it's made by a vet in this neck of the woods. It contains aloe vera juice, slippery elm bark, and vitamin C. For anyone who's interested, in addition to the Excel, Willow's other supplements are: Grand Vite, Mare Magic, and ProBios. The barn I'm at has a forage-only feed option that I have Willow on; it consists of alfalfa, rice bran, and grass hay. The horses are fed four times a day, and I think that is so helpful in keeping them from developing any stall vices. I love my barn!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tummy trouble?

Well, if it's not one thing, it's another. About three weeks ago, Willow started this funny stomping thing in the walk. She'd stomp with her front left, without breaking stride, just as if a fly was biting her fetlock. She'd do it a few times at the start of the ride, and then once she'd trotted and cantered a bit, she'd get back to normal in the walk. She showed not one iota of lameness.

I didn't think too much of it at first, but when it kept cropping up over the course of a week, I decided to switch to lungeing for awhile. Concurrently, Willow started acting very cold-backed in the cross ties, which is not normal for her. Cold-backed to the point of actually freaking out and pulling back in the cross ties on a few different occasions. (I started dropping the cross ties as I was tacking up, so she could freak out safely.) She'd flip out, I'd settle her down, and then she was fine.

Last weekend it occurred to me: did Willow have an ulcer? It might explain both the random stomping and the girthiness. I gave her a course of ulcer treatment, and I do think she's better. The stomping has disappeared, and while she's still acting a little grumpy in the cross ties, the freakouts have stopped. (I'm also going to switch to a girth with elastic to see if she likes that better.) I'm going to get back on her tomorrow and see how she goes. I ordered a digestive supplement that's mainly aloe vera, too. Several people at my barn swear by it.

We also had a horrible cold snap last week, with highs in the twenties and lows in the lower teens. It lasted five days. Crazy weather for this part of the country. Willow had frosty whiskers when I finished lungeing on those cold evenings.