Alpaca Care DVD sales are going well but I am extra - especially excited to be mailing one to Finland tomorrow! I am feeling very international now because it had never really occurred to me that we might have International sales. So, of course I had to poke around on this person's web site which is:Unique Alpacas And I found, much to my intense jealousy, that this person not only breeds alpacas, but also Icelandic Horses. If you click on the little alpaca piece of the puzzle on her main page, you will have a choice to translate the page to English. The owner speaks very good English.
Prior to this twist of fate, the only thing I really knew about Finland was Nokia phones are made there, Matti (can't spell the last name) the amazing ski jumper is from there and my 14 year old daughter is desperately in love with a Finnish rock star named Ville. See photo below
But now I felt that those 3 things didn't really constitute a proper understanding of Finland so I did a little quick research and found this map:
and this photo by a Finnish photographer named Elina Brotherus:
Is that some scenery or what! Here is the site where I found this haunting photo and contact information for the photographer:
Virtual Finland Gallery
I may try to buy a copy of this photo if I can figure out how. The above site is in English by the way. It doesn't load quickly but it was worth the wait.
So now I feel a little less dumb about Finland and, if you are Finnish or Swedish, I hope you will visit Unique Alpacas and Icelandic Horses. If they were smart enough to buy our Alpaca Care DVD, they must be planning to take very good care of their alpacas.
Meanwhile, back on the farm.... Some of my friends have expressed the worry that I may be missing having animals to care for but, never fear! I have been doing horse veterinary care every day for 2 weeks now and I still have a few weeks to go. Sweetie (the devil horse) has a suspensory ligament injury so I have had a crash course in how to use DMSO (do NOT get this liquid on your hands when you are applying it because you will immediately taste it in your mouth - creepy!- but that's how quickly it is absorbed), also how to do polo wraps to help support the ligaments, why polo wraps never stay on in the mud and muck unless they are covered with vet wrap, why the vet wrap will probably make the polo wraps too tight, and why you should probably just bite the bullet and buy sports boots for your horse.
My vet wants Sweetie to have polo wraps on for 1 month. Since I didn't own a pair, she couldn't show me how to put them on and the advice I have had about polo wraps from all the other boarders at my neighbor's horse farm where Sweetie lives is:
1. Try to get them even and don't wrap too tightly but not too loose either.
2. Start wrapping in the middle of the leg and then go down and back up after you have wrapped under the hock.
3. Go clockwise on the right leg and counter-clockwise on the left leg.
4. You CAN'T wrap them too tight.
5. If you wrap them too tight, you will make things way worse and bow the tendon and the horse might never recover.
6. It's better not to wrap at all if you don't know how to do it.
After getting all this advice from 6 different people, I eventually got terrified and panicked and begged the most experienced horse person I know to tell me exactly how to do this thing. She said,
Start in the middle, pull tightly around the front of the leg but don't pull at all around the back of the leg.
If you wrapped around the hock at the correct angle, there will be a sideways V shape at the bottom front of the leg.
The fastening should end up on the outside side of the leg.
You should be crouched sideways to the leg when you wrap.
She also said that, if you have to cover it with vet wrap to keep it on, unroll the entire strip of vet wrap you are going to use and then roll it up more loosely before putting it on. This is to avoid making the vet wrap too tight because you are trying to unroll it and wrap it at the same time. Good advice for any veterinary use.
But, her final advice was, to just get sports boots for the horse because they are safer. They are impossible to wrap too tightly.
So now my horse has yet another high priced accessory item but I am less scared of making her lame forever. Another part of this daily treatment is "hand grazing" her every day. This basically means that she never has to get ridden, but I have to walk her around in a flat spot to let her graze for 45 minutes or so every day. My neighbor pointed out that, if there was any one of the 25 horses there that was smart enough to fake an injury so she could be hand grazed and never work, it would be Sweetie. That thought's occurred to me also but I haven't caught her limping on the wrong leg yet. Here she is grazing happily. Injured horse or big, lazy faker? You decide.
There's not much to do during this daily chore besides look at little plants, rocks and other things on the ground. Here is a strange feather that I noticed on one of these nature gazing opportunities.
Since the weather's been in the 50s and 60s for the last two weeks, a lot of my friends have been out riding every day and the horses that are not getting ridden are lining up to watch like they are hoping to get chosen. Or maybe they are just hoping to get a few treats and a nice grooming.
My favorite in this pasture is Star. Star reminds me of the horse you see in those famous Native American Prints but she is really a "Hungarian Sportlo" whatever that is.
After her hand grazing, Sweetie has to go back to the small pen by herself, which makes her cranky. She wants to be with her friends but the vet has other plans. 1 month in solitary so she can't canter, trot or fight with others. Check out the hurt, boo boo look on her face when I put her back in her pen.
She's not totally alone though. She can see her friends through the fences and she has a steady stream of barn cats that come to drink out of her water:
So, as usual, I am feeling lucky to have a life with such beautiful animals and scenery in it but my knees are a little sore from all the crouching to wrap, unwrap and re-wrap horse legs. Do they make sports boots for people?
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