Project X - Mouse

by Kit Young Knotts
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He's Home!

Mouse came home May 19, 2010. In spite of my leaving Suzanne at a service plaza and a blowout on the trailer, we made the round trip in seven hours, all safe and sound.

Mouse wandered around his side of the trailer and nursed most of the trip, hopping off like a veteran. The priceless moment of the day was Mouse meeting Marc.

Because Mouse and Marc are Lipizzans, Mouse will turn white gradually through his life.

Mouse Meets Marc - 5M video | Mouse Meets Marc for iPhone and Mac 5M

We had a grand sendoff from UF, complete with balloons! They went in Minnie and Mouse's stall when we got home. Only The Kid was afraid of them :>)

Front, Dr. Pozor, Mouse, back, Dr. Macpherson, Liane, Minnie, me 

Student Stephanie, Dr. Diaw, Dr. Macpherson,
me, Dr. Pozor, Dr. Meyer 

Dr. Meyer "wrangles" Mouse.

Loading Mouse was not this easy. It took four people picking him up and putting him on backwards.

Our heartfelt thanks to the outstanding team at UF, doctors, nurses and students, for making this day possible.


Mouse is on some medications until further notice and they came home with us in a very cute bag that student Stephanie made. With what he gets and the meds Missy (the mare carrying Monkey) gets, the kitchen counter is a pharmacy. 

Arriving at home - 14M video

Minnie, neighbor Huey Cox,
Mouse, me, Suzanne


A little buck on the way in 

May 20. Hot wire tape (not hot) is the new velcro, at least for us. We used it to make a slight barrier between Minnie and Mouse in the trailer. Today we used it to mark off a little paddock where we can hand walk Minnie and Mouse (required for the next four weeks - ahhggggg!). We also used it to make a harness for Mouse. The first walk of the day was only about 10 minutes as it was hot and Mouse wasn't too happy about the harness. He flipped over twice (a trick he learned before leaving Gainesville) but no harm was done.


First Hand Walk at Home
6M video

For the afternoon walk we added a leash to the handle of the harness, a good thing when Mouse bolted twice and I went grass skiing. Back under control after scaring himself, we let him recover in the paddock and stayed out a total of half an hour. Hopefully he'll start to respect me and the harness before he gets much stronger or I'll need cleats!  

May 20. This waiting an hour to an hour and a half to sneak up on Mouse to give him his meds was getting really old. I needed to devise a way to catch him quickly with little trauma to either of us, so I invented a better Mousetrap! It took a screw eye, a screw eye with a bigger ring and a long cotton lead. I isolate him in the side of the stall closest to The Kid, seine him into the corner, slip the lead through the ring, and reel him in. He's not fighting it much at all and, once contained, doesn't seem to mind what I need to do to him.

Putting Mouse in the Mousetrap
13M video taken May 25

While watching the Mouse cam from the house at P2 this afternoon, I saw Minnie lying in the middle of the stall and Mouse cantering rings around her, at least five. I went to see if something was scaring him -- not. Minnie got up and soon laid down again closer to the wall. Since Mouse couldn't get around her, he started chewing on her ears and mane.


Cheech is obsessed with Mouse, lying for hours outside his stall watching through the cracks. We've been keeping Cheech put away when we walk Mouse, but he was accidentally let out today, leading to their first nose to nose meeting.

May 23. We've settled into a routine and all is well. Minnie and Mouse are walking twice a day for half an hour. Mouse is a star walker, with just an occasional jog. He's also practically moving himself into the Mousetrap for his meds, as long as The Kid is tied where he can't kick the stall walls in jealous fits.

New photos of Mouse are almost impossible. In the stall he's in my face or sound asleep and, outside, we don't have enough people for someone to use the camera.

Marc, though not at all jealous,
deserves some quality time too.

May 26. This was a big day as Mouse and Minnie have been home a week and it was time to recheck Mouse's bloodwork and lungs. If the bloodwork was OK, we could stop the round-the-clock meds (Cheech and I could go home for the first time in a week). Hooray! We're at home and Mouse is doing great. The lungs still need treatment but it's much simpler than what we've been doing.

May 28. Mouse is a born explorer so we are varying his walking areas, giving him new things to look at and mountains to climb.


Mouse tries to elude the Mousetrap - Video 27M

For some reason, Mouse always attacks the gardenia bushes!
Video 22M

These videos and stills by Catherine Hall.

 Marc and Mouse both wait for housekeeping to bring fresh linens and plump the pillows before taking their morning naps. Here they are napping at the same time.

Mouse and Marc Napping
4M video



June 2. Not much to report except that all is well. Mouse has gained 40 pounds since he got home and now weighs (estimated by heart girth) 170 and is 36" at the withers. It's a good thing he's (generally) behaving quite well in hand because he sure outweighs me! He does the cutest little arch of his neck and bounce, a la Marc, when he protests being guided.

June 12. Lots of good news. In his Wednesday measurement, Mouse weighed an estimated 204 pounds.

Friday, his lungs were re-radiographed and they look great! No more treatment needed. His anemia is improving with daily iron supplementation.

Also on Friday, Texas A&M and the University of Florida made concurrent press releases about Mouse. I think they are really well done and you can read them here --

TAMU Press Release | UF Press Release

He is learning to eat feed. We tried him first with a ground feeder and he showed little interest. As soon as we put in a "big boy" bucket, that changed. He alternates between eating the little bits of feed we give him and playing with the bucket. He had his first sponge bath today so introducing the hose is next!

Twice a day hand-walks include a little bouncing around, but not enough to do any harm. Only three more days of walking and we can let Minnie and Mouse loose in a small container, still partly in jail for another four weeks.

  Guess who just LOVES granola bar crumbs? The big boys and girls get the pieces but Mouse gets the crumbs. I confess to making sure there are lots of crumbs by smashing the package before I open it.

Up, down and bouncing
Video 29M

Bathing beauty
Video 13M

First blades of grass
Video 9M

Introduction of the hose
Video 25M

 More stills and
video clips by
Catherine Hall

Appreciating Marc
Video 4M

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