I apologize if my writing is off. I’ve been under the weather and my head is a bit fuzzy.
Last week we enjoyed a chilly Halloween. I came home from work to feed the boys. It was a clear day, for once it was dry, but it was low 30s. The horses greeted me, coats fully fluffed; yet they were not cold. They were not shivering; a testament to the true wonder that is the natural horse coat. Even the twenty years old boys were perfectly happy.
To celebrate I gave them all a doughnut, a couple of mint candies, and an apple with breakfast.
On the weekend Zac and I had some Halloween fun and “dressed up” for a fun block party in town. We haven’t dressed up for Halloween since we met so it was nice to have fun and do something different. Zac LOVES Halloween so I think we may need to keep it a tradition.
With the Halloween festivities over it was time to get back to routine. Last Thursday I woke up to attend a fitness class at my gym for 9:15 but when I arrived I peered into the room and saw the class just ending. When I looked again at the schedule I realized I had been mistaken and class was 8:15. My options? Fly to the other location and be late for 9:30 Combat or suck it up and try spinning.
A few years ago I was addicted to the gym. I was there 5-6 days per week often for several hours. Still at my fittest I was always daunted by spinning. I reluctantly signed up and went into the spinning room. The instructor helped get me set up and in no time we were going for it. It was tough and I was thoroughly pooped but it was not as scary as it had once seemed. I definitely look forward to going back.
When I got home I fed the boys. After they finished their individual “grain” I spread the beet pulp and alfalfa on a bed of hay in the wagon behind the ATV. It was an overcast day but comfortable. I drove the ATV to the top of the hill so Bardi and I could hang out with the three amigos as they happily ate from the wagon. It must have been 2 hours before Zeno Bay pooped, and another 45 minutes for Blade.
I was collecting poop for a seminar later in the day hosted by the Cornell Cooperative Extension. They hosted a wonderful vet from River Valley Veterinary Services who came in to speak with us about parasites and battling parasite resistance. We learned about the various parasites and the best known practice for dealing with each in a variety of species. During the seminar we had a chance to run our own fecal floats.
It takes a special person, a horse-person, to think of this as fun and exciting. Just imagine it, 30+ of us sitting in a nice classroom, some people coming in looking for the absentee ballot area and all of us had poop. Chicken poop. Alpaca poop. Sheep, goat, and horse poop. Lots of poop!
We learned a lot from the presentation but it is safe to say we were all excited about the hands on “lab.” Everyone lit up with an eagerness to see and learn using their own beloved animals as subjects. Besides the knowledge and packets of information we went home with a new deeper appreciation and feeling of involvement.
To begin we took a small “core” sample of poop using the green filter. Using a zinc sugar solution we mashed it around, filled the vial, and waited 10 minutes. Once this was complete we examined the sample on a slide under a microscope.
I brought Zeno Bay’s specifically because we suspect him to be loaded with strongyles just by the way he looks (large belly). We were right about strongyles but since it was not quantitative there’s no sure way of knowing how loaded he is.
I also brought Blade’s poop of course. In past fecal examinations the vets have told me they found nothing so I suspect him to be a low shedder. It was difficult to find much but I did see some eggs. In the slide you will see some small dark circles. There are a few located at 3 Oclock and a cluster of 3 just below the black pointer.
I had a blast last week at this seminar. I have previously mentioned to Zac that I’d like to set up a small lab in our basement so I can run my own fecal floats. He’s not so keen on the idea. Now that I’ve actually performed one I feel like I am on the right path to making it a reality.
If you found yourself lost (What’s a low shedder? What are strongyles?) I apologize. My head is too fuzzy to be ultra educational but I will be following up soon with more information on that. Please make sure to follow the blog and follow my page on Faceboook to make sure you don’t miss a beat!