Good news first: there were lots of fun things happening this weekend. Friday after work I went and rode, although kept it short because it was so hot. After that I went to happy hour with some horse friends and had some queso and fajitas and a lovely blue margarita. Fridays are the best.
Saturday was a rare day off with the SO, so we got up and watched the Tour de France time trials, then loaded up the dogs and went off to Bull Creek for some hiking. It was quite a climb up the steepest part of the hill but totally worth it for the view.
Afterward we went and hung out on a dog-friendly patio and had a late lunch, then home to shower and chill for a few hours. Then we got re-dressed and headed to my favorite part of the downtown Austin area, South Congress. There’s so many cool restaurants and shops on this street, I can entertain myself all day. Plus the city view is awesome.
We ate, we drank, we had some really amazing desserts at Snack Bar, and we were home by 11pm. Total win.
Sunday morning I got up early for a lesson, AND my friend came out to take pictures/video! So I finally have lots of new media to share. I’m going to break that off into a seperate post though because there was SO MUCH, it’d be a whole ‘nother novel if I tried to fit in all in here.
Now, on to the not-so-good part of the weekend, and why I’m slowly going nuts. There is a pretty contagious virus going around central Texas called Vesicular Stomatitis. It effects mostly cows and horses but also sheep, goats, etc. The virus itself in most cases isn’t a huge deal… the animal usually gets lesions and blisters on the lips, gums, tongue and basically feels like crap for about a week, then it passes and they’re fine. The reason it’s a real problem is that when it shows up in cattle it looks a lot like Foot and Mouth. Obviously this is really bad if you’re trying to sell or ship cattle, hence why the Texas Animal Health Commission monitors cases very closely. If you have an animal show up with it, the property is quarantined for 21 days AFTER the last infected horse is healed. When you figure theres a 2-8 day incubation period, it can be spread by flies/mosquitoes as well as nose to nose contact, then a 7-10 infection period… that can potentially be a pretty good amount of time in quarantine. For all of these reasons, obviously I’d really like to keep it out of our barn.
Enter: me becoming a complete horse hypochondriac. Henry lives in a constant cloud of Pyranha. I check him every single day for any signs of lesions. Yes, even the inside of his mouth. He’s thrilled about it. It goes a lot like this…
Get Henry out of his stall. Inspect every centimeter of his mouth, inside and out. Freak out at his lip coloring (the rim of his lips are naturally speckly). Decide that’s normal. Freak out at the thing on his gum. Oh, that’s chewed up cookie. Stand there and stare at him for a minute, trying to decide if he’s lethargic or just completely bored with me being a crazy person. OH MY GOD THERE’S A FLY ON HIM, KILL IT KIIILLLL IIIITTTTT!!!
Repeat every day.
Luckily my barn is being as proactive about it as possible. The grooms check every horse before they take it out of the stall, they’re spraying all the barns twice a day with super duty insecticide, we have flyers posted up around the barn, etc. But I can’t help but feel like we’re kind of all screwed since it’s spread so easily by flies and mosquitoes, and in a wet Texas summer there’s just no possible way to keep them all out. We’ll see what happens. In the mean time, if you need me I’ll have my face in my horse’s mouth. Happy freakin’ Monday!