Saturday, January 28, 2006

Lions, Tigers, Ligers...

This isn't horse-related, but I thought it was worth posting anyway. I came across this photo of a Liger (male lion X female tiger) and it is HUGE.

His name is Hurcules-- and he's over 10 ft long, and he's gorgeous.

There is info and photos at this rumors site http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/l/ligers.htm

Wild cats are one of my favorite animals, along with horses and dolphins. This is really off topic, but the other day I saw a show on dolphin research, and dolphins were being taught to distinguish between It's really sad that there are so few left in the world, and more and more of their habitat is being taken over.

This is amazing-- the T.I.G.E.R.S. institute offers a 2-year apprenticeship where you can learn to train big cats! Wow-- what an amazing opportunity! Too bad I don't have the time right now. It sounds like horse training, but a little more intense (A horse may trample you, but at least it won't eat you):

Do you want to learn to work with some of the most amazing animals? Do you
want to get up-close and personal with a variety of animals on a dialy basis? Do
you want to know what it takes to train animals for movies and television? Then
look no further, join the T.I.G.E.R.S. apprenticeship program today.
The Apprentice Program is a 2 year minimum live in program at the T.I.G.E.R.S.
ZOOLOGICAL PARK grounds in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and abroad.
This is a full time, 365 days a year task. It takes all of your time, with no vacations
and no free time off except in the evenings, a few times a year for the first
year or two. There are always animals that need your help, care, feeding and
cleaning at all times of the day and night. Animal training is more of a life
style than a job. Trained (not tame) animals need to be with you personally for
thousands of hours in order for you to establish a working relationship with
them. It takes many years of dedicated work to become a trainer.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Name a (Carousel) Horse

For a donation of $500-5,000, you can name one of the 100-year-old Carousel Horses in San Francisco's Zeum. Besides horses with horsehair tails, the carousel also has hand-carved giraffes, rams, camels, and chariots.

If I could name one.... I'd probably name it after one of my horses (Quin)... either that, or name it after my website (call it Ultimate Horse? lol). What would you name yours?

You can see the Zeum Carosel's animals for naming at

Sunday, January 01, 2006

A Nail in the Hoof

When you find an old nail in a horse pasture, you probably cringe at the thought of the damage it could do. I've always feared a nail in the hoof, but until the other day, had never witnessed it happening.
Mo-- our tall, fleabitten Arabian mare-- had just been turned out and was tossing her head as she galloped across the pasture. She was running, and then suddenly she stopped and came up drastically lame. She was almost hopping on three legs. My sister got a halter on her and lifted her hoof, and saw a slightly twisted nail protruding from the tip of Mo's frog. I was up the hill from where the pasture was when I heard her yelling for me. I grabbed pliers and ran down to take a look.

I took Mo's leg and saw that the nail was deep into her hoof-- because of her galloping, it had been driven in. It wasn't a small nail as I had expected- it was an older, thick 16-penny nail and it looked nasty. I dreaded that some vital spot had been injured, or that she'd come down with a terrible infection at having this dirty thing driven so far into her. It looked very painful and I was worried I'd hurt her

I kept her hoof in the air so the nail wouldn't go in further. I hadn't ever delt with a situation like this before, so I didn't know if I should clip the nail off first, or just pull the whole thing out, or how the horse would react. I decided just to go for it and yank it out with the pliers. I braced myself incase Mo struggled, but she seemed to be very glad that someone had noticed her injury and was helping. I gripped the nail and she flinched, but she didn't move as I quickly yanked it out. It was like pulling a nail from soft wood. Instantly a thick, bright crimson flood washed over her hoof, and onto the sleeve of my arm. It slowed within a few seconds and stopped. I cleaned her hoof out (my sister brought the materials while I held it up), washed the surface, then placed her hoof over a diaper and padded the sole with duct tape.

Diapers make wonderful hoof bandages, and I've used them in the past for abcesses. I walked her up the road to her stall, and she made a remarkable improvement. The first few steps were shaky, but as she walked she seemed to get better right away and only showed a trace of a limp.We called the vet to get some Penicillin, and they recommended that she also have a tetanus shot.Because the tetanus was given in the neck-- and because such a large dose of Penicillin was perscribed-- I had to give the penicillin in the rump. I always give shots in the neck, because for me it's easier, but I wiped the muscle in her hindquarters down with alcohol and got ready to administer the 25ccs of penicillin. She is always a little nervous at having shots; she doesn't act bad, but she sometimes flinches or jumps when she's poked. When I placed the needle in, I unfortunately hit a vein and the blood slowly dripped out of the end of the needle. Poor Mo had to endure another jab to the rear before I got the needle placed well and gave her the penicillin.
After a few days of Penicillin and hoof bandaging, she was mostly healed, and now it's been over a week and there is no sign of lameness and she's all better.
An injury like that, however, can lead to infection, but since we caught it right away and treated it, Mo was fine.