On Monday, I stepped out to do morning chores and I smelled corn. The heat and humidity makes it smell like corn. Of course, we are surrounded by corn. For those that don’t understand what I’m talking about, go get some sweet corn and take a deep whiff. That’s what it smelled like when I stepped out the door. Not a bad smell, just took me by surprise.
The temperatures have been all over the place as of late. I think it’s causing the varmints to not know what to do. Just this morning while I was making my lunch for the day (darn paying job getting in the way of Sanctuary work), I saw a possum “scooting” along up the driveway. At least that’s what Mike called it. I would have called it, hauling butt. I’d never seen a possum move that fast before but he was on a mission. He disappeared before we could “remove” him from the property. Hopefully he stays away but if you see them, that means there’s more than one and they are possibly finding a place to live.
The other day Mike also said that he was asleep in the chair one evening and heard something scratching at the French doors. He couldn’t tell what it was, even when he peered out the doors so went into the kitchen to see if he could spot it from that vantage point. He couldn’t so wandered back in. Want to know what he saw? It was a skunk! A skunk was trying to get in the house. Apparently skunks are very curious animals and will investigate almost anything. It’s not the first time that a skunk has visited Mike out of curiosity. I think Mike must somehow lure them in.
I went out to check the herd but those darn geldings wouldn’t come in when I hollered. Although Jim did wander up while I was standing there. He’s a sucker for grain. It’s a good thing he came up. His eyes are giving him problems. They are all weepy so I put a flymask on him to hopefully cut down on the sun glare. Guess he’s going to need a UV fly mask. If I remember right, he had some major problems last year about this time and I seriously thought he was going blind. Allergies, summer uveitis. It’s hard to say. But for now, I’ll pamper him and see if anything I do helps. He’s 26 years old and deserves to be pampered.
When I got Jim settled in for his evening meal, I heard someone else outside the door. Of course it was Bo and Zeke. Why they wouldn’t come up earlier I don’t know. But I let them in and gave them their grain. None of the other hard keepers came in so I left it at that. Right now, the only hard keeper is Bo. I hate to even say it but I don’t grain the horses once they are on pasture 24x7. Everyone except Bo is fat and sassy and looking rather nice. Bo on the other hand is not keeping weight on. He’s maintaining what he has but he’s not putting on weight. So I’m going to start slow on his grain ration and then increase it. I’ll have to start in on the nightly beet pulp, senior, sweet feed, calf manna concoction that usually seems to help. I think the only way for him to maintain his weight is with grain. I guess I’ll always have to have at least one horse to worry about.
I was thinking about it this earlier this week. This may be the first year that we don’t have to say goodbye to any of the herd. Of course, we haven’t brought any horses in since the summer of 2011 and the oldest is Jim at 26 and he has a few good years left in him. We’ve lost all the others that were old and the rest are young (or what I consider young). So unless we have a pasture accident, we may be able to not go through the stresses and heartbreak of losing someone this year. I’m sure you’re thinking it’s a weird topic to discuss, but I’ve had to say goodbye to at least one a year since I lost my very first horse in 2007. It’s been seven years of watching as they grow old and me having to make that final decision. It’s heart wrenching and devastating. So this year will be an easy year for me.
Although, I would like to repay the favor and help others. I’m not sure how to go about it but I would like to assist those that might be considering having to say goodbye. It’s still a thought in my head that I haven’t fully fleshed out so I’ll keep it there for now. But when fall rolls around this year, I won’t be in such turmoil over saying goodbye.
Of course, my mind is always in turmoil this time of year because of the number of horses that are being dumped at auctions. But I’ll save that for a different post.
I need to do some serious cleaning. Anyone want to come out and help? I need to get some barns cleaned out, blankets washed and repaired, the hay areas cleaned up in preparation for whenever we actually get our hay, get the roof back on the horses’ leanto, fix the barn roof, fix fence, put a new fence line in in the drylot. There’s all kinds of stuff that we need to get done. Are there any takers?