Jimmy Dean – getting a whipping???

Jimmy Dean hasn’t been up to much these past few days. Too hot and humid in this state of Wisconsin… But yesterday, after a few good rounds of improved forward movement in the round pen, Jimmy Dean insisted on an ice cold shower and:  A PUBLIC FLOGGING!! Oh, my, this boy is crazy!

But first Stefanie had to get under the cold hose as well, just to be sure to make our little video as ridiculous as possible. Witness JIMMY DEAN’S PUBLIC FLOGGING and be AMAZED at his collected demeanour! As the whip cracks around his body, he doesn’t even flinch an eye lash. What a guy…

Jimmy Dean – cool as a cucumber (in 100 degree weather)!

It’s sizzling hot in Wisconsin and Jimmy Dean (nicknamed ‘the sausage’), stays cool as a cucumber in 100 degree weather! With a registered name ‘Good Lord I’m Sizzlin’ I guess 100 degrees does not feel all that hot to Jimmy.

This morning – on his way to an early morning cold shower – Jimmy patiently followed me and Yank out of the pasture and across the street to the farm, when a vicious B-52 bomber (also called the Midwestern Horse Fly, a black, gigantic monster with fangs!!!) kept landing on Yankee’s back again and again, determined to take a good chunk out of him! I panicked and started slapping Yankee on the back to try and hit the monster fly, while Yankee kept snapping and nipping his sides and starting to circle a bit, not due to worry about the fly but because I kept slapping the bejeezus out of him to ‘rescue’ him from the biting insect… There was a bit of commotion in the drive way for a while when the three of us danced around the attacker. JIMMY DEAN – cool as a cucumber – stayed a calm onlooker and just went with the flow the entire time! He never once flinched, hopped or showed any other sign of unease. Jimmy, what a guy you are!! (and Yank, you are the man…, of course!)

That’s all for today, folks. Too hot to trot for any of us. Stay cool!

This is what Jimmy Dean thinks of the hot sizzling weather
This is what Jimmy Dean thinks of the hot sizzling weather

Jimmy Dean – mellow as molasses! Day 8

Sunday was a good day for Jimmy Dean. It was not too hot and a few sprinkles helped freshen him up during the workout. Jimmy Dean stayed cool and collected when Yankee dashed to the gate when called and made sure not to overexert himself, traveling at snail pace to the gate, steady like a stream of molasses pouring down on your pancake.

After a brief bodywork session focusing on the front end and some gymnastics (trot/canter) in the roundpen on Saturday, Jimmy seemed more relaxed during his exercise today, stepping out a little more and just being a bit more at ease. He picked up his front legs during the canter a bit instead of just moving them out stiffly without bending as he had done a week ago. He willingly accepted the snaffle bit into his mouth and was calm as can be until we stopped and I came at him a bit in a hurry and caused him to run backwards a few steps, raising his head and flaring hist nostrils. Sudden movements scare him, he’ll have his reasons… I made some more hasty movements towards him (hope noone was watching, ehem), flapping like a bird and twirling the longe line around until he felt at ease.

Plans for this week: stay cool, work early in the morning, come out with ‘The Country Today’ reporter Carole Roche on Friday to meet Jimmy, get Jimmy’s feet trimmed.

Stay tuned and keep sending those encouraging, uplifting, positive thoughts!!!

Jimmy Dean in the Gym! – Day 5

Jimmy is a pro on the longe line! He trots and canters, stops and goes and is just so willing to please. He moves more relaxed if allowed to move out freely at a good lively pace.  Will keep up the boring treadmill rounds in the round pen for a few days until willing and fresh forward movement is established.

Seeming like a very calm fellow, it’s surprising to uncover some fear of objects and movements that Jimmy perceives as threatening (e.g. taking of a leather glove in a quick motion). ‘Sacked out’ Stefanie and then Jimmy with the leather glove. Jimmy got the message, the glove is now boring. Practiced a bit of desensitizing with the whip. Can now ‘whip’ Jimmy gently all over his body, twirl whip lash around his legs and neck and crack the whip right next and in front of him.

The wonderful thing about Jimmy: he can be convinced that something is not scary in only a few minutes. I really like this guy.

Look forward to seeing a video of Jimmy here this weekend!

Thanks and hugs to Lori, Tami, Jackie, Chris and Joanne for all the good input and helpfulness!

Jimmy Dean’s Vet Visit: Day 4

Today was a big day. Dr. Howard Ketover (Irongate Equine Clinic) came out to Cedar Hills to evaluate Jimmy and float his teeth. Jimmy was a real trooper! He cantered and trotted as requested in both directions in the round pen, displaying his somewhat disconnected way of moving. Dr. Ketover observed a fixation of the patella and a slight dragging of the left hind foot. The patella problem will most likely be resolved by getting Jimmy into good physical shape and strengthening his musculature. The slight dragging of the hind foot is so far unexplained, possibly slight discomfort in the hock, but should not cause any problems at this point.

Now to the ‘nitty gritty’: the bucking after being saddled. Jimmy’s sweet disposition and willing and cooperative demeanor can make one forget that there was this little problem. Jimmy followed us on a patch of grass by the hitching post, where Dr. Ketover proceeded to tighten a hay bale twine around his girth. Rambazamba! Jimmy did not think this was a good idea, got a somewhat panicked look and crow hopped backwards a few strides. When we repeated the exercise to get it on camera, Jimmy did not repeat the reaction. Time to try a real life saddle. I placed my saddle on his back, slowly tightened the girth and waited for a reaction. Nothing happened, Jimmy seemed relaxed and unworried while we chatted for a few minutes. I then tightened his girth about 1/2 inch more and – holy Zamboni – Jimmy had a similar reaction that lasted only about 3 seconds, but clearly showed that there was an issue here. After thorough palpation Dr. Ketover ruled out pain in the topline. Pain memory or trauma are more likely at this point as reason for this behavior.

Dr. K feeling for sharp points in Jimmy's mouth
Dr. K feeling for sharp points in Jimmy's mouth

Now the teeth: Jimmy took his sedation needle with gentlemanlike indifference. Dr. Ketover found two wolf teeth and a few points that had caused small lacerations his gums. Jimmy endured his float in a dream like state and after he had regained his full senses, enjoyed a good snack of ADM More Glow, Staystrong and apple sauce.

The ‘Verdict’:

  • Jimmy needs exercise and gymnasticizing to strengthen his musculature in the hind end and to help remedy the fixation of the patella. If exercise does not have the desired result, alternative paths can be taken.
  • Stefanie needs to explore what exactly sets Jimmy off. For this purpose Stef and Jimmy will play a lot in the round pen with the help of an older English saddle, generously provided by Jackie.
  • After some weeks of these activities, Jimmy can be reevaluated.

Stay tuned for the next episode: “Jimmy in the Gym”.

Visit Jimmy Dean pics on Photobucket

Just another horse: Jimmy Dean! – Day 1

Jimmy Dean is just another bay QH gelding. He is 6 years old, his original AQHA name is something really hard to remember, has no particular markings, is an easy keeper with good feet and a sweet disposition. Jimmy has only one problem: he tends to buck when saddled.  His owners were so kind to surrender him to St. Francis horse rescue.  I am fostering Jimmy for a few months to see if we cannot figure out what exactly is the matter with him. This blog will keep track of the activities and solutions attempted to uncover the mystery that is Jimmy Dean’s bucking problem.

Day 1

After having spent a nice night on the pasture with his new buddy Yankee, eating juicy grass and drinking from the creek, Jimmy took a nice cold shower, ate a supplement snack and trotted/cantered in the round pen. He moves a bit odd, almost as if his hind end wants to go faster than the front end. Jimmy is very obedient and wants to please. There is never a lack of ‘moms’ at our barn and so he was showered with love. Not hard to do with such a little charmer. Did some light palpation and found heat in his upper left shoulder. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

Jimmy is a sweetheart...
Jimmy is a sweetheart...