Sunday, July 13, 2014

Fantastic fig, and dental detective work

I love our new house in Texas. Among the many things I love are the pecan tree in front and the fig tree in back. The pecan was in great shape, but I had my doubts about the fig. Lubbock has been suffering from a drought for a couple years, and this house had been empty for a year; the fig was looking pretty pathetic. I took this picture in early May when we had all the truly dead branches trimmed down. The tree trimmer assured us that it would bounce back.

I've been setting the hose at the base of the fig and letting it drip a few hours at a time several days a week. Look what happened in ten weeks! We've even got a bunch of fruit ripening. I never would have predicted such a quick recovery.

I've suspected a burgeoning mouth issue with Dakota for a couple weeks now. He's been giving me some subtle signals that something isn't right -- a little bit of head tossing on the lunge and under saddle. I've been using a loose-ring French link snaffle with him, and the first thing I suspected was that it was half an inch too wide for him (not thickness but width between the rings) and pinching. So I ordered an eggbutt French link snaffle a half-inch narrower. It seemed to fit him very well, and in any case he has been willingly opening his mouth for the bit when bridling, so I thought I might have fixed the problem. But he still had some uncharacteristic head tossing even with the new bit. I thought maybe it was just him getting used to a different feel, but I was planning to get a vet out just in case. Today I was planning on a quick ride, but when I got Dakota in place to attach the cross ties, as I reached for the halter to hold it steady for the cross tie, Dakota threw his head up and to the right. He absolutely didn't want me near his mouth. I took a closer look, and I think it's swollen on the left side. Poor man. I bagged the idea of riding and will get the vet out tomorrow. Dakota had his teeth floated in November, so I'd be surprised if he needs another float, but we'll see.

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