Friday, June 29, 2012
Thursday, June 28, 2012
It does make me think more about establishing and implementing an emergency evacuation plan if Mother Nature decided to wreak havoc in our area (besides the drought we seem to be experiencing). With 17 horses, 3 dogs, and 3 barn cats, I’m not sure how we would get everyone out if officials told us we only had minutes to evacuate. Luckily we have two trailers and trucks that could haul horses in a pinch but not everyone would fit.
I thank my lucky stars that we don’t deal with hurricanes, much flooding (at least not in our area although we are in a low area but nowhere near a river), fire (although it is possible but difficult when surrounded by beans and corn), or earthquakes. We typically only deal with drought, blizzards, freezing temperatures, and tornados, which are hard to plan and prepare for. But it is better to be prepared. I’m guessing that my Type A kicks in when disasters are discussed or the thought of disaster is in the air (even if it’s only on the news).
My second fear, after the disasters are averted, is what will happen to the animals afterwards. I’ve already seen ads stating people are dumping horses because of the drought in Colorado and that the horses coming from there are thin. We are going into a drought and I’m trying to figure out how to make the pastures last longer (and am finding it difficult to come up with a plan). I’m thankful that we did spray and fertilize. I can’t imagine what we would be dealing with otherwise. Unfortunately, it’s only the end of June and we are running out of pasture (or at least it seems that way). I did feel three little sprinkles (and followed a little rain cloud on my way to the paying job). But we are in desperate need of rain if we want the pastures to hold out until the end of August. Although, I don’t want to complain about not having rain when there are fires blazing and lives in danger.
I wish there was more we could do for the people experiencing such devastation. The only thing I know how to do is pray for their safety and well-being.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
I'm frustrated, angry, and disappointed. Awhile ago I was contacted about taking in two older warriors. With my health at the time and my current state of health now, I knew that I couldn't take on any more. I know I lamented over not being able to take them and was afraid for them. Just the other day I saw that at least one of the warriors the owner is keeping (at least until this fall), while the other is being offered for sale.
I always keep an eye on the classifieds to see what prices are like and what types of horses are being offered for sale. I realize I can't save them all (and at this point save any of them). But at least I'm staying abreast of prices and horses for sale. I refuse to stick my head in the sand and ignore the facts.
A few weeks ago, I saw an ad for an older mare that deserved a good retirement. She wasn't far from us and I contemplated contacting the owners even knowing that it would be beyond difficult for us to bring her in. But she tugged at the heartstrings. When I went back to find the ad, it had been pulled. I kept my fingers crossed that she'd found a good retirement home.
Much to my dismay, she didn't.
Instead, the person that contacted me to take those two warriors was the one who took this horse. It's not a permanent home. She'll be used up and then tossed aside like so many others. It angers me right down to my core. Why are you dumping these other horses and yet going and picking up more. They dont' fit your program?!? Then fix the issue with the horse instead of dumping them. It's called an education. If you don't know how do to something, you learn. And for horses, you have someone some in. Sure it'll cost money, but then you're fixing the problem, not causing more problems.
I expect that this poor horse will work one season at this location and then be swiftly dumped this fall because who wants to feed an old horse over the winter. I remember seeing something very similar last year. A horse was given away for free and was picked up by this same person. Within less than six months, the horse disappeared. Makes me wonder if the old owners know what happened. I'm sure they were given a song and dance about how the horse will have a permenent home. My bet is that the poor horse will be tossed around and at some point dumped into the auction circuit and then the slaughter pipeline.
Anger doesn't begin to describe my hatred right now.
A horse is a luxury. A horse is expensive. A horse lives for a long time. Where is the long-term commitment that they deserve?
I'm sorry. I could vent more and get really angry but instead I'll just go. These are the types of people that make me appreciate my horses more.
Monday, June 25, 2012
Bo and Zeke - Best of Friends
Where Bo goes, Zeke follows.
Rain and King. I need to keep a close eye on Rain now that the temps are into the 90s. His system was compromised at one point and I think he's prone to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Maverick, Chaos, King, Rain, and Dude. Maverick used to have the most gorgeous mane but the cockleburs from last year ruined it. Hopefully this year, his mane will grow back. For now, it's all over the place.
Last night while out doing chores in the late evening, I realized Queen and Thor might not make another year with us. That thought has me completely and utterly devastated. Add to that my pure exhaustion, I simply can’t take much more. It was all I could do to hold back the tears. It’s a struggle to get Queen to eat her beet pulp, which is the one thing that will pack on the pounds. After this coming weekend, I need to reset some fences and put Queen in a different spot for a few weeks to see if that helps any.
Last night, we drove home a different way and I saw Queen down. Queen doesn’t simply lie down (although she started to lie down more when Flower was injured). I was worried Queen was colicing again. I think instead it was the flies. For some reason the flies absolutely love her. They torment her like no other horse. Maybe if she had a long tail it would help but I don’t think so. I ended up digging out a brand new fly sheet, some old fly leg wraps, and a mask. Mike and I got everything situated on her so that it fit but pulled it off since the flies weren’t bad. I had to go out this morning and get her covered up. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that everything stays on and that she can get some relief from the flies. The flies are vicious this year. Even with a steady wind, the flies seem to stick around and bite hard. If I can’t get the weight back on her, we’ll be looking at putting her down in the fall. She’s already thinner than I like.
We haven’t had enough rain lately so the pastures are starting to burn up. Queen needs grass to gain weight. If I can get her interested in beet pulp again, she may have a fighting chance to at least put some weight back on. But I’m worried. I know she’s at least 34 years old and I can’t keep her going forever, but she holds a special place in my heart and right now with all that’s going on, I need her more than ever before.
Thor too is going downhill rapidly. I didn’t realize it until last night. I’m starting him on beet pulp too. He definitely enjoys his grain and beet pulp so hopefully I get him to pack on a few extra pounds. It could be that the hay we have for him isn’t any good any more. We have two more bales from last fall and then we’ll have to go in search of different rounds. (sigh….more money). But maybe with better hay and beet pulp, Thor will pick up the weight again. It just seems like he’s been handed an unfair hand in life. While rummaging around to find the flysheet for Queen, I ran across Bob’s old flysheet. It’s all stretched out and no good but I thought I would throw it on Thor just to see if it would work. It doesn’t but something is better than nothing. It’s not like he can do too much more to it. I’d rather that we use the fly sheet up until there’s absolutely no use before I simply toss it away. Bob stretched it out when he wore it and I expect that Thor will tear it to shreds but I don’t care. If it keeps them comfortable, that’s all that matters.
We are supposed to be in the 90s this week. I need to get out and shave Babe. She still hasn’t lost her spring coat. We tried shaving Babe last year but ended up giving her a bath beforehand in 100% humidity. That was a mistake. She never dried out and what little we were able to shave off made her look silly. So hopefully this week we will be able to get out there and get her more comfortable. I can’t handle the heat right now so I have to wait until the sun practically sets before going out to do chores. So I’m pretty limited on what I can get done in the short hour of daylight I have left before I crash and burn from exhaustion.
I also realized this morning that I missed Mayhem’s birthday. She had her two year old birthday yesterday! I need to get her separated from Rabbit. She’s back to picking up some bad habits from Rabbit and I don’t want that. I’m just trying to figure out where everyone should go.
With all this heat and absolutely no rain, the pastures are drying up faster than I’ve ever seen. I’m thankful that we got out into the pasture this spring to spray and fertilize. But with no rain, there won’t be anything left come mid-July. Except for a few days here and there, I pull the big herd off the pasture every night so they aren’t on 24x7 (much to their dismay). The big herd is so good. They typically come up when I holler or, like last night, were up for a drink and I was able to lock them in the drylot. They weren’t too thrilled but I don’t think they held a grudge. I was too sick over the weekend to even check on them so when I saw them last night, it seemed like they were all happy to see me. Maybe I’m reading too much into; but I do know I miss seeing them.
I’m not sure what this week will bring. We have to get ready for the Irene rodeo this coming weekend. If the temps don’t wipe me out, I’ll try to post more. But as it stands, we aren’t doing too much (even though there’s a ton of stuff that needs to be done). I’m trying to take it easy, which means the horses pretty much get a break from me other than a pat on the back, some flyspray, and a handful of grain.
Sunday, June 17, 2012
I couldn't resist throwing in a few relaxing pictures from our quick getaway out to the Black Hills. I secretly called it my mini-honeymoon since we didn't get one when we first got married. Now that the weather is hot (at least for me anyway), looking at waterfalls is relaxing and cooling. Hope you enjoy.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Jim decided that he wasn’t going to play nice after the farrier visit. He ended up staying out in the pasture alone because he refused to come back in to the drylot. I guess that’s what I get for catching him when he was the only one up by the barn in the afternoon.
We also had the farrier work on Maverick. He’s got a crack I’m worried about. Unfortunately, he didn’t behave himself. I really need to work with him because I have a feeling that crack is going to persist until I can get a shoes on his front feet. The way things stand right now, shoes aren’t an option because Maverick won’t stand still. He amuses himself when standing tied and because he thought he was standing tied during the trim, he used me as his amusement. Maverick likes to put his nose on stuff and then rub it back and forth. He decided that my arm would be that “stuff”. Noses are supposed to be soft and velvety but after about 30 times of going back and forth on my arm, Maverick’s nose didn’t feel so soft and velvety!
After the farrier left, I figured I would move the ponies around so I could let them out on the lawn for the day. I should have held off. I was already too tired to mess with the fences but did it anyway. I was worried the thunderstorm would ruin my plans. Nope, not the thunderstorm, the darn ponies. I went to put them in a different pen while I moved fences around. Skippy managed to push the corral panel out enough for both he and Tommy to escape. It’s the same pen they escaped over the weekend. I should have known better. Luckily they stayed in the half way fenced in area until we went to put them back in the pen. Then Tommy decided he was going to blow through the electric. It wasn’t on and I think he knew it. The electric fence is going on tonight! It’s a good thing Skippy is so much easier to handle. I was able to grab Skippy and Tommy followed us into the barn. Mike and I fixed the pen and I decided the ponies would have to stay in the “timeout pen” all day today until I could fix the fence and get the electric fencer hooked up.
By the time I finished with chores, it was dark and I was beyond exhausted. I simply don’t have the energy or the stamina to get everything done like I used to. I’m hoping I’ll be back to my normal self in a short period of time so that I can tackle some of the bigger projects still on my list. But until then…
We’ll just see how tonight goes.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
I realized today that I haven’t posted much this month and it’s already the middle of June! Unfortunately, not much is going on at Borderlands. Work is running me ragged. By the time I get home, I’m simply too tired to do much. Now that the big herd is out on pasture, my chores are cut down drastically.
I’m hoping to get the ponies out on grass this week. They’ve been out enough to graze all day and come in during the night. It’s just a matter of finding the time and energy to move the temporary electric fence around. I doubt it’ll happen this week. Every night this week, Mike and I have something going on (sometimes horse related, and sometimes not).
Mike surprised me with a mini-honeymoon over the weekend so we weren’t around to get anything done. It was relaxing to get away from the place even for just a day or two. Although we did get a phone call from Mom Saturday asking if I had intended on leaving the ponies out on the lawn. Umm, no. Apparently Skippy decided he didn’t want to be in that pen anymore and pushed the panel out. Luckily they behaved and followed Mom into the barn with no fuss.
When I went to check on the herd after getting home, the big herd was nearby. I didn’t have the energy to wander through the drylot and out to the pasture, so I just stood and watched them from the mares’ pasture. Bo saw me first and made his way over to see me. Of course Zeke is attached to Bo so he came over too. Then King decided that he needed to see what was going on. Because Dude is the jealous type, he decided that it was his turn to get the attention and Chaos followed out of curiosity. Maverick tried to get some attention too. I know the rest of the herd would have been willing to come up and say hello too had Dude not been in the way. It was such a nice Welcome Home greeting from the herd; makes me love them that much more. I definitely am spoiled.
Last night we had drill team practice. Unfortunately, I’m grounded from riding for a little while. I sure do miss it but I think Zeke is enjoying his “vacation.” I really want to get Bo into drill team too. Maybe this fall I’ll be able to work with those two to get them back into shape.
I’m not sure how much more I’ll post this week. I’m so far behind with the paying job that there’s not much time to do much after a long day at work. I’ll be glad when life slows down a little so I can play catch-up. I’m hoping if I can get caught up in one area, that I can focus my attention on another area and get that caught up too. We have so much to do this summer and it’s already the middle of June. I’m nowhere near getting anything accomplished this summer. If I can find a few minutes, I may try to post a few pictures from our trip this past weekend.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Last night the farrier was out to trim Tommy, Skippy, King., and Rain. I didn't get the chance to pull King before the farrier showed up so I had to scurry out and catch King. What do you know, he's at the far corner of the pasture passed the little creek. I have been too tired to walk down and check on the little creek to see if it's dried up or still a muddy mess. I think it's dry based on the clean hooves that ran through it.
It took less than five minutes of hollering for the boys before they decided to come and see what I was up to. I'll definitely say it is a little unnerving to have ten horses galloping up a hill right at you. At one point, I thought Dude was going to run me over. But my boys know better and swerved at the last minute. I swear they like playing chicken with me. Problem is, I don't budge. I am Boss Mare. If you want something, you'll have to go around me. If I want something, you'll have to move.
Because King is so fat, he stopped loping up the hill half way and just trotted passed me. I wasn't sure if I would be able to catch him but he was pretty good. His only concern was someone coming up behind him and biting him in the butt (that darn Maverick).
By the time the farrier was done with King, half the herd was back out into the pasture. So we missed out on trimming Zeke but we'll catch him next week along with Maverick. We need to schedule an appointment with the chute and the farrier to get Thor trimmed up.
After the farrier left and I had some time out of the sun, I headed back out to do chores. I figured I would have a hard time getting the big herd to come back in after having them come up earlier in the evening. Zeke and Maverick were already and up and Dude was on his way. I was able to coax everyone back in even without grain or hay. I really do have the best gelding herd in the world. No treats, no grain, no incentive other than a pat on the nose and a "hello and good evening" to each one.
I had just enough daylight after going back out to do chores to worm everyone too. I'm so far behind. I should have done it months ago but it took until last night. So now we are at least caught up on that aspect. Everyone was really good except for Bo. Bo really worked me over trying to worm him. Whoever had him before really mentally screwed him up. He's not headshy until you go to messing with his mouth. Bridling him is an effort and giving him wormer is a workout. I can give him a hug and a kiss on the nose and he's perfectly fine. I guess it's another thing I'll have to work on. The others that I thought would give me problems didn't. We'll see what happens the next time though.
I've also realized that I have the craziest filly in the world. I've been letting Queen, Rabbit, and Mayhem graze by the red shed. Wouldn't you know, that darn Mayhem would rather eat hay from the round bales or the hay I toss for evening meals rather than the grass. Here she has all the grass she could possibly eat and she'd rather eat hay. I'm planning on putting those three out on pasture this weekend so I wont' have to throw any more hay to them. I'm still working the ponies up to it but I have to be brave and actually leave the ponies out on the lawn for a day with electric on before I feel comfortable. I need to do that during a weekend so I can keep an eye on them.
It's supposed to be a scorcher this weekend. Hopefully Rain is smart enough to get in out of the sun for a little while. I still worry about him. We had him trimmed last night and the sweat was starting to pour off of him and it wasn't that bad. He will always be more senstive to heat. I expect he had heat stroke at one point. Now that we are in summer with temps in the 80s, he'll be "on leave" and not be ridden until the temps drop down to the 70s for the highs. I am thinking of ordering him a flysheet to see if the sunlight would reflect off the white sheet rather than be soaked into his black coat. I'm willing to try anything to keep him comfortable. My only hope is that no one demolishes the sheet. The other night we threw a blanket on Queen because she was wet and cold. She managed to demolish that good blanket. I'm not sure it's even repairable. I've discovered I can't have anything nice. I'm going to have to go through the different tubs and take an inventory to see what blankets and sheets we have left and who needs what. Always money going out and always no money coming in. I guess that's what happens when you take care of horses!
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Monday, June 4, 2012
I had Rabbit and Mayhem in with the ponies yesterday but they decided to take the fence down and eat closer to the red shed. I had to fix the fence and decided to let them eat where they were instead of fight them. Turns out, Mayhme put herself back in the pen when she was done eating and Rabbit checked out the hay shed and grass by the hay barn before snoozing on the concrete by the blind pen. I really want to get Rabbit on grass to help with her heaves. Every year they flare up and even the AntiHist doesn't seem to do much now.
Queen coliced again last night. I pulled her out to eat grass last night and saw her down. I thought maybe she just rolled (although she very rarely does). Mike walked by not long after that and said she was down again. So she once again coliced. I'm starting to think it's the hay. We pushed a bale in on Friday and she coliced on Sunday. She'd only had about two mouthfuls of grass so it wasn't the grass. I have to go back through the Facebook posts. Someone suggested something to try or look into and I'm drawing a blank. I'm willing to try anything. But I need to face the facts that she is 34 years old and wont' live forever. She's lost a lot of weight. My only way to get the weight back is to start graining her twice a day, which is the plan. But if she doesn't pick up the weight by this fall, we will have to consider the alternatives.
She could have been colicy earlier this weekend but Mike and I snuck away for a mini vacation for the weekend. I had such high hopes that everything would be fine when we returned. I guess not. Teach me to try and sneak away for a break from all the stresses as of late.
Speaking of stresses, I can't seem to catch up. Work has me buried and by the time I finally get home, I'm too exhausted to do much with the horses. There's so much I need to do with them and yet, I can't seem to find the energy to do more than pull the big herd in from the pasture and throw hay to the others. I'll be so happy when I don't have to throw hay and just pull horses in from the pastures for the night. I'm sure to get spoiled when that time comes.
The boys are getting used to coming up for the evening. I am getting rather spoiled about it. All I have to do is yell out to the herd and someone comes up. Of course, I try to give each of them a little treat for coming up so I don't have to convince them all to come up. I'm not sure if they missed me while I was gone this past weekend. It sure seemed like it but maybe I'm reading too much into it. I know I sure missed the "kids".
I probably won't post much more this week. The paying job has me so busy I am not sure if I'm coming or going these days. What little time I do have, I want to spend with the "kids," so if I don't post much here or on Facebook, it's not that we aren't around, it's just that I'm trying to get things accomplished and it's just the boring day-to-day activities going on.