Monday, August 31, 2009


Prairie Village Threshing Jamboree 2009

I'm finally starting to destress after our yearly "parking of the cars" at the Prairie Village Threshing Jamboree. I can't remember how many years we've been parking cars but I know I've gone through a number of different horses.

This year I brought Rain and Chaos. Chaos had been there two years ago as a two year old but this would be the first time out that he would be ridden. I forgot that Rain had been out there but it had been a few years.

Friday I had to run ot the vet. I'll blog about that later. I finally arrived about 10am with King, Chaos, and Rain in tow. Dad was on Rain and I was on Chaos. I was nervous! I wanted to stay close to the trailer because King is herd bound and I was afraid of what he would do if we were too far out of sight. So we stayed close to the trailers which meant we were close to the railroad tracks. 10am is the first train. Off of Chaos I went! I wasn't about to see how Chaos reacted to a train while on his back. We were a few hundred yards away but he did really well. The little putput engine that went by afterwards spooked him more. But all in all he did well. Rain on the other hand was a bit naughty and got upset more than Chaos.

So every half hour or so while we stood there parking cars, I would have to bail off Chaos when the train went by. My nerves were shot! Rain continued to be naughyt and give dad a workout. Not good for a guy with vertigo.

Chaos was a bit uncomfortable with a fourwheeler and was curious about a bicycle. Otherwise, he was a total champ! Although after two hours mine and his nerves were shot. So about noon we called it a day. I think Dad and Rain's nerves were shot by then too. So we decided to head to camp and let the other rides take over.

Saddle Club Member Directing Traffic Sataurday

We knew Saturday would be pretty busy but never had any clue it would be THAT busy. We got to Prairie Village about 8ish and got out to the parking lot. I'm glad we got there when we did. By 9:30am the Highway 34 that goes past Prairie Village was backed up.

The longer we stood there, the longer the line got. We tried parking cars as fast as we could. The top parking lot was completely full by 10am. Dad and I had to keep moving with Rain and Chaos. Unfortunately Rain kept getting worse and worse for dad. So we switched. Dad hopped on Chaos and I got on Rain.

Rain is definately not a good car parking type of horse. I was pretty much a warm body and that was it. We tried to stay in the south parking lot (aka the stubble field) but after while that parking filled up. THAT's when we ran into trouble. Once the south parking fills up, there's no where else to park them.

I had to get Rain out of the parking area about noon. His and my nerves were shot. Rain wouldn't stand still and I was afraid he was going to back up into a car and do some damage. So dad, Chaos, Rain, and I headed back to the camp. There was nothing we could do to help people find parking spots anyway.

When we got back to the trailer, I noticed even *I* was blocked in. There was no way for me to even think of sneaking out.

View of the drivers patiently waiting to get in to Prairie Village (view looking west)
So we sat around for a few hours, had lunch, and chit chatted. I did end up going in to Prairie Village to play with the niece and nephews. I had a blast. By the time they wanted to go home it was about 4pm. The parking lot was STILL completely full! So full I'm positive there was triple parking everywhere.
Dad went with everyone else so that he could play with the grandkids some more. I was waiting for Mike so we could go to the tractor pull that started at 5pm. I think everyone else was planning on attending the tractor pull too.
Mike showed up about 6pm but we had to go find him food. So by the time we got back to the tractor pull the parking lot was still full but we were able to squeeze Mike in right in front of the truck. I was still pretty well blocked in. I could have manuvered the trailer around if I really wanted to get out but I figured there was no point in making multiple trips.

View of the drivers patiently waiting to get in to Prairie Village (view looking west)

Mike and I sat at the tractor pull until 10pm when I started to worry about the horses. Rain and Chaos are black, my knots aren't all that great, I'm sure they are getting hungry. So at 10pm I headed out to the trailer to put them in. I figured I'd go back to the tractor pull knowing that the boys were safe in the trailer.
I had to load them with only the moon and my cell phone for light. Chaos loaded like a champ. But when I shut the door I realized that they would start making a ton of noise and there were people even camping out near the horse camp.
So I called Mike and asked if he would come and move the Explorer so I could get the horses home. The trailer that parked next to me that had blocked me in was STILL there sans truck even though he told people he was going to be there just for the day. HA
At 11pm I finally got the horses settled in for the night at mom and dads and headed off to bed. I was completely exhausted. I'd never seen that many people at Prairie Village before.
Sunday rolled around and dad and I decided to switch horses. He would ride Chaos and I would ride Rain. It was a battle to get Chaos in the trailer. For some odd reason he wouldn't have anything to do with that trailer. It took a good 10 minutes working him to convince him he wanted to go in the trailer. I was irritated by that point.
We finally pulled in, parked, and unloaded the horses about 8:30am. I parked right next to the trailer with the implements (the one that had me blocked in the night before).
As we were slowly puttering around getting everything ready, two saddle club members come rushing up to me with two horses (not theirs). They told me someone had gone down, B, and was hurt bad and asked if I could help with the horses. I took the one horse and H took the other. We unsaddled the horses and threw the tack in the trailer. The saddle club member's girlfriend, K, had asked for their truck. I didn't know how to unhook a gooseneck so H took care of that for me. I drove the truck down to the accident scene.
When I was handed the horse I was told B had had gone down. He was unconcious but breathing. When I drove the truck up, he was still unconcious. The ambulance was there along with the sheriff. I wanted to stay out of the way as long as possible. I watched them examine B and prepare him for the gurney. I still can't get over how limp he was. He's a big guy but was totally limp.
I hopped out so I could let K know her truck was there. She wouldn't let me drive her to the hospital. Too stubborn! Although I'm sure I would have done the same thing... need "alone time" to settle you're thoughts.
Everyone is still trying to figure out what exactly happened. No one really knows. So that wreck set the mood for the rest of the day. People kept asking us if we knew anything. Luckily someone at the hospital is a relative to B so they called to let us know in the afternoon that he was awake and asking about his horses. :-) A true horse person! He has bleeding on the brain so he's still not out of the woods but at least he's awake.
I think everyone in our saddle club was pretty quiet for the rest of the day. I know I was spooked to get back on Rain. He was flightly the entire day. I was a nervous wreck since Dad was on Chaos the entire time. I had to give up riding Rain after a few hours. Dad stayed on Chaos until we all decided to call it a day.
I still can't believe how well Chaos did. I will have to try and find a different horse to use for parking cars next year, so I don't have to take Rain.
I think the wreck yesterday has me pretty spooked. I think we should ALL be wearing helmets. They may not be a fashion statement but I'm wondering if B had been wearing a helmet if his condition would be different. We'll never really know. But it does make me want to keep my feet on the ground instead of keeping my butt in the saddle.

Pictures courtesy of Cory Heidelberger and his blog post: Prairie Village Threshing Jamboree: Full!

Thursday, August 27, 2009


I think I found two horses I had known just a few years ago. I actually don't know the one but the other impressed me immensly. I inquired about them and am not so patiently waiting to hear back. If they are the two mares I know about, we'll see what happens.

Which brings me to a topic I have been thinking about lately. I know we all follow certain paths and cross paths with may people and animals. Sometimes those people/animals stay in our lives forever and other times it's only a fleeting moment.

I also realize that circumstances lead you to change your path and the people/animals that surround you. My question is, for those people changing paths, do you remember those you left behind?

I have Brego, Maverick, and Queen standing in a pasture. They all came from my neighbor. Does my neighbor think about them any more? I realize that they can see them from the road right now but what happens when they move. Will they remember them?

Of these two mares I found, does their previous owner think about them all the time? Does the previous owner worry about their wellbeing?

And that goes for all the horses standing at Borderlands. Some horses I have bought for my personal use. Others I have obtained because they no longer wanted them. For those that were no longer wanted, do the previous owners ever thinkg about them? Or will I be the only one to remember them, worry about them, and remember them when they are gone?

I know that circumstances make it so that you can't always keep your horse. But did those people do research to be assured that their horse when to a good home... a good permanent home? And did they make sure that if it wasn't permanent that they would take them back if it didn't work out? Maybe it's just my mothering instincts kicking in for the horses.

I also see that most people don't keep their horses for more than about five to seven years. If I go through all my correspondance, I could probably tell you on each horse, how long the previous owner had them. Well, maybe not but some I can.

Good ol' Zeke the previous owner only had for a year.
Maverick the previous owner had for two-three years
Brego is the same
Queen is the same
Sam the previous owner had for two years
Bob the previous owner had for six months
King the previous owner had for two to three years
Dude i think the previous owner had for three to four years
Chaos the previous owner bred him and gave him up after only one year
Rain I can't remember but previous owner bought him from someone else who ran him. So I know he's had at least three owners
Tommy the previous owner had for maybe three years? not realy sure
Skippy, same thing
Blondie (RIP) the previous owner had for two to three years
Ace (RIP) trader had him for only a few days but had at least 10 homes before we got him at the age of 16
TenMan (RIP) not really sure but I know that he wasn't cared for in his final years

So that leaves Babe, who's owner kept her as long as possible and did the right thing by finding her a good home. Although I have to admit putting an ad out for a free horse isn't the greatest way to assure her of a good home. But I know Babe had a good, steady home for 26 years before I got her.
And Dictator (RIP). The previous owner, my uncle, had him for eight years. He bought Dic from the original owner who had him for eight years. It's very rare to find a horse with only one or two owners.

I know there are a couple differen't forums to locate previously owned horses but how many people are using them? Ok, so I'll stop rambling. I guess it was just something that's been on my mind. For all the horses that are out there, is there anyone that still worries about where they are at?

....short pause to check email... the two mares in question ARE the two I was thinking of. I'm waiting for another response. Poor things. I wonder how many homes they've had in their 20+ years.

Meet Zeke

Meet Zeke! He's the newest addition to Borderlands. Not a rescue although he was starved at one point. Still need to work out the details to bring him home. A little sureal right now. He reminds me so much of my beloved Ace. Sure do miss that guy!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lack of Motivation

It seems I can't get back into the swing of things. I really thought I'd hit it hard when we got back from vacation. As it is, I can barely muster up enough energy to do daily chores. And to top it off, my brain is getting sluggish so I can't even think of anything to blog about! How sad is that.

I'm starting to get a little perplexed as far as where to put everyone. I realized last night, the pony pasture is done.I need to pull them out so that I can take down the corral panels. I need the corral panels for the girls, who I plan to bring home this weekend.

But that leaves the question of where to put the ponies. And since this weekend is Prairie Village, do I pull them out and leave them while I stay in Madison or do I make a mad dash home every night to care for them. I'm opting on the second option so I can feed Bob.

Speaking of Bob. I'm not sure if it's having been gone for a full week or if he lost weight while we were gone but he's starting to look tough. I'm starting to get sick over what I'm going to have to decide soon.

I'm not sure when I'll be bringing the girls home. I was thinking of bringing them home on Friday but I don't have the corral panels set up or the ponies moved. It might depend on what the vet says for King. I want to bring him home too but if the vet says calm, quiet environment, I'm leaving him at mom and dad's. The problem is, Chaos plays with King and if King isnt' there, Chaos will pick on Bob. I really need to get a few more pastures set up so I can move horses around in the fall when their attention is turned more towards being bored instead of lush grass.

I'm planning on taking Rain and Chaos to Prairie Village. I was thinking of taking Sam but with King in the trailer, there's no room. I really need to find a good deal on a slant load trailer. I did find out but it's too far away and I'm not ready to get another loan.

I'm not sure what we'll work on tonight. I hope that we'll be motivated tonight to get some stuff done. I think maybe we'll start on the other mare pasture or I'll figure out how to lock the ponies in their pen and do a big switch a-roo. I need to get them out of there so that they can actually eat grass.

It'll be nice to be able to get in to the trees and clean it up a bit more. I've never messed with the trees behind the new garage and pony pen. It's always been so cluttered. But now that the ponies have eaten everything down to dry grass we can get in and do some chainsawing. I love the smell of cut trees. There's so many dead trees on our place.

Hopefully we'll be productive tonight. Otherwise it'll find me sitting in front of the tv wishing I could muster the energy to head outdoors. I need to post some pics too. Maybe then I'll feel more creative and give you all something more to talk about other than my lack of motivation. :-)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Recharged and Relaxed

I can officially say we are back -- relaxed, recovered, rejuvinated, recharged, and almost ready to face every challenge head on.

We returned from vacation last Thursday evening and I immediately checked on all the "kids". Everyone was fine and we could have stayed for another day but I couldn't stand being away for another day.

It's taken me a few days to get back into the swing of things. I'm still not 100% active in getting everything done. The poor boys are still on "self-serve" as far as my normal routine goes. I didn't even get a chance to grain Bob and Sam last night since we had to run back into town. I think the temporary pony pasture is almost completely gone.

It gets dark so fast these days I can't seem to get everything done. I guess that's the nature of the beast. I better learn how to do chores in the dark again!

This weekend is Prairie Village so I'll be in Madison for three days. Again, no productivity at Borderlands. I've got an appointment with the vet at 9am Friday to have them look at King. He's been lame now for two full months. Something needs to be done since he obviously isn't going to heal on his own like I'd hoped. Goodbye money, hello debt.

I just wanted to do a quick post to say that we are back, have been for a few days, and are relaxed but slow to get moving again. I may not blog much this week and weekend what with trying to get back into the groove of things and then being gone for three days straight for the Jamboree. I have lots of stories to blog about but want to make sure I have pictures otherwise this blog gets so boring! Until then!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Craigs List

I think after my blogging hiatus I'm going to come back and start listing all the super cheap horses that are at risk. I'm sure no one reads this blog but I figure if someone does a search, maybe they'll see it. I have to do something.

I know Brandy from Nebraska (don't remember her last name) does the same thing for all of the US. I'd like to stick closer to home and hit the surrounding states. I guess we'll see how it goes. But I'm seeing a huge influx of cheap horses and that worries me.

Oh how I wish I had more land and money. Oh how I wish I had the training ability in me. So many ideas running through my head. Now if I could just figure out all the paperwork for 501 c3.

Getting To Do List Done

Last night we hauled the mares to Madison. One less item on my "To Do" list. I'm still worried about getting everything done before we go. I'm also worried about the horses while we are gone. But I guess that's just part of having animals.

Last night didn't go exactly as planned. We were going to drop the mares off and bring the "new" farm truck home. We had a few snags and ended up leaving the farm truck atmom and dad's. It'll be nice to have a farm truck to use and not worry about breaking the Explorer.

Tonight we have to pull the corral panels that were keeping the mares in. I'm planning on using the corral panels on the west side of the temporary pony pasture. I just hope I have enough panels to go from the new garage to the fence line. I guess I'll see tonight. I still have a bit of fencing to do afterwards in the pony pasture too. But once I get the panels up I'll feel a bit more relieved.

I'm glad I took tomorrow off to get everything else done. After tomorrow I'll be taking a blog hiatus until we get back. But until then, I need to get some pics added.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What About Bob?

I was such a bad mom last night. I ran Bob into the barn to let him eat his grain, which is his normal routine. When I added beet pulp to his grain I backed off on the grain but he seems to be losing weight again. So I decided to increase his grain ration again to what I'd been giving him.

So last night after everyone had fly spray, grained, and tucked in for the night, Bob still wasn't done. He milks it for all it's worth. I decided that I would go in, get a shower, and come back out. I even left the barn lights on so that I would remember that he's in there. I'm always worried that I'll forget.

Well..... I sort of .... forgot Bob. What kind of a mom am I?!?!?!?!? I forgot Bob! I didn't realize it until this morning when I was getting ready to go outside. I'd left Bob in the barn ALL NIGHT!

So I rushed out and low and behold, Mike was a sweetheart and let Bob out of the barn at 1:30am! Ooops. Bob had been in the barn from 8pm to 1:30am. Sorry Bob.

Mike told me I was slipping.

I guess it's not the first time that I'd forgotten a horse in the barn overnight. But I leave the light on now so that I'll remember. Problem was, I was so tired last night I didn't even look outside. I need to start putting some type of timer on my cell phone so that it goes off after so long. Then I'll remember that I'm supposed to let the horses out of the barn.

Poor Bob! Mike said he was more than willing to get out of the barn. He thought of waking me up but figured Bob would be ready to get out by then. And he was. No one was up from the pasture this morning. I'm guessing Bob must have told them the story... Poor Bob!

Stressing Time

I'm starting to get a bit stressed. I'm not sure that I'll be able to get everything done before we are supposed to head out. Unfortunately I've been so tired after work I haven't had much ambition to get anything done.

Last night I had a coworker stop out so that they could learn the ropes for taking care of the dogs. If it wasnt' for them I wouldn't get to go.

I'm planning on hauling the mares to Madison so that we can get them settled in to a routine before everyone leaves. With the mares gone, I can pull the panels down and use them for the pony pasture. I'll feel more comfortable having panels up instead of just electric. I plan on putting them in the trees behind their night pen. I haven't yet figured out how they'll get in to their pen since their pasture will be behind the building. Depending on the number of panels I have left over I may use panels or I'm going to have to pull down a section of the wall, which won't be a big deal since it's already starting to break down anyway.

Once the ponies are secure in their pen tonight I'm pulling down their temporary pen so we can get to the panels. Not sure if we'll have time to get to the panels tonight or if that will be tomorrow night's project.

I would like to get the round bale set up in Maverick's pen tonight but I'm also guessing that will be tomorrow's project. I want to get Maverick settled with the round bale and see how he does. I'm sure he's going to gorge himself on the roundbale at first but I'd prefer to be there in case something happens.

I'd like to put up a temporary fence in the drylot to keep the horses from pushing on the fence. Since we don't have the outer permimiter fence secure, if the horses break the drylot fence I'm going to have horses scattered all over the county.

Hopefully the weather will be cool and partly cloudy. I'm afraid if it gets too hot Bob will spend all his time in the leanto. I don't want him to overheat. If it stays cool then maybe the flies won't be so bad. I don't have anyone taking care of the horses (just keeping an eye on them to make sure they don't escape). I don't want anyone handling them since there are so many and no one has really messed with them except for me in the last few months. It's just safer that way.

I know I'll enjoy my vacation but I'll worry the entire time about the animals. I guess that's what moms do.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

King is Still Lame

Another quick farrier day last night. King was due for another trim. Just before the last shoeing King came up a bit off. I figured that he needed new shoes. The farrier came out, put new shoes and tried pads on him. He was still lame afterwards.

King has been on and off lame for the past month. I've given him a month or two off of riding and still nothing. He is always monkeying around with Chaos so I'm sure he's aggrevated whatever it is that he hurt.

I had the farrier come out last night and pull his shoes/pads and give him a trim. I trotted King around and he was still off. I wanted the shoes off before we head out on our vacation. I'd rather he didn't rip off a shoe while we were gone. And he was due for a trim since he was getting long again.

I'm afraid I need to make an appointment with the vet and get a few x-rays and see if the vet can find out what's wrong. The farrier says isn't nothing to do with the feet. So I guess we'll look at his shoulder and see if the vet can find anything out. I'm not sure when we'll go but I'm going to see if I can't get him in next week right after we get back from vacation. He's been lame now for the past two months. I need to know if what's wrong with King is going to leave him permanently lame or if he'll ever be rideable again. I'm also thinking of leaving him at mom and dad's for a month to see if no monkey business will help.

If it's a temporary lameness than I won't look so hard for a horse. But if he's permantently lame than I need to find a different horse for dad. Chaos needs a few more rides/experience before I feel conformatble. I know dad wants to ride Rain but after the last ride, I am putting Rain up for the rest of the year. That leaves me Maverick who is not ready for riding with a group yet. Ok, so it's more me not being ready than him.

But I need to find a horse that works and I'm struggling to find one. Everyone is culling their horses now. So what do I do? Take on yet another horse that is unrideable and free or dirt cheap and needs to be rescued from certain death or find one that is rideable and spend big bucks on him? I'm regretting not purchasing a horse I saw this past spring. He would have been a good fit but I didn't think I had the money at the time.

I guess I'm just a bit frustrated. Here I have 12 horses but only four of them are currentely rideable at this moment. Rain is one of the four but that's questionable right now. He still seems pretty out of it. So that leaves me:

Chaos - who is doing fantastic but needs more experience
Maveric - who I think is doing better than I give him credit but I've never ridden him outside his small drylot
Sam - who is totally out of shape for any ride

Maybe while I'm on vacation I'll find the next horse of my dreams. :-)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Quick Note

Just a quick post to say everything is going ok here. Super busy with trail rides, threshing bees, and getting ready for a vacation.

Rain is recoverng slowly. I'll post more about poor Rain. I think it's going to take awhile for him to recover from his heat stroke. I think it's time to put up his bridle for this riding season or at least for long trail rides. I don't want him to over do it. I'm still mad that I went against my better judgement and continued to keep him on the ride. I'll regret it for a long time.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

General Ramblings

Last night I became a vegetable or a victim of the couch. Either way, I didn't do anything with the horses except bare minimum chores. I felt pretty guilty but couldn't seem to get motiviated enough to do anything.

I'm hoping tonight I can come home and ride Maverick if it's not raining. I also want to hit the scratches hard tonight. Last night was the first time I haven't applied the goop to Rain's legs. This morning I think you could tell it was bothering him. I felt so bad.

I do have to say this morning was a treat for me. I heard a bang and figured it was Maverick beating on the fence. So I went over to feed him right away instead of letting the ponies out.

When I walked over to toss the hay over, I saw most of the herd curled up sleeping in the drylot. It was too cute. After I let the ponies out, I had to crawl over the fence to get the electric fencer. The big herd has been pushing on the fence so I've had to pull the fencer off the ponies' pen to put in the drylot at night.

When I walked into the lot everyone was standing except Brego and Chaos. They were stretched out together sleeping. I think I woke Chaos up. I quietly walked past the two sleeping beauties to the others to say good morning. Everyone was so calm. It was simply relaxing.

Brego did wake up and curled back up. That must have woke Chaos up. He curled back up and sat there for a few minutes. Then he decided to get up. You could tell he was trying to decide if he was going to go back to sleep. I think if I hadn't been there he would have gone back to sleep. But he got up and stood there with a dazed look on his face.

Brego decided he'd better get up next. But they looked so peaceful all stretched out snoozing. And they looked so cute all curled up. The cutest was Sam standing over the two sleeping beauties. I really think he's a very protective horse. I wish some day he'll relax enough to stretch out and get a good nap in.

We also had an eerie but beautiful morning sunrise. The sky was golden. I wish I would have had my camera and had time to take pictures. It was very different. But watching the horses this morning really calmed my nerves and made me appreciate the little things.

So tonight hopefully I can ride Maverick and trot him around the pen to help me gain confidence. I need to do Scratches Patrol on Rain, Chaos, Dude, and King. I'm hoping the creams will really help Rain otherwise I'm not sure I can take him on the ride. I figure if I slather the goop on in the morning and then clean it good in the evening he should be ok. I should probably get some bute just to make him feel better.

The day after I did Scratches Patrol on everyone, they all seemed much calmer. I feel really guilty for not noticing sooner.

I need to run to Tractor Supply tomorrow and pick up more fly spray. The flies are getting mean. They are those pesky August Blood Sucker Flies that come around every year. I do so hate them! I think I'll pick up some of that Fung-A-Way just in case I can't get to applying the goop for scratches on everyone I could at least spray this other stuff on them to maybe help.

Oh there's always something to be done at Borderlands!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Making Friends

Tommy and Brego

We Trotted!

Yet another night of scratches duty. None of the horses came up early for evening feedings. I think they were avoiding me! I didn't get a chance to soak anyone's legs to remove the scratches. I'm hoping the cream is at least soothing their scratches. I know they all seem a bit more relaxed afterwards.

I'm hoping tonight that I can soak at least Rain's scratches. He needs to get cured quick. He doesn't seem to be bothered lately by the scratches so hopefully he'll be rideable this weekend. I'm a bit leary of this upcoming ride. There's a bunch of water crossings, ditches, and terrain that I'm concerned about. Me riding my dependable Rain, I wouldn't think twice about it. But dad is riding flighty Rain (although I know what Rain will do before he does it) and Chaos who hasn't really had much exposure to tough terrain. Least to say I'm sure I'll be frazzled, frustrated, and exhausted.

On the bright side, with having the boys down in the boggy pasture, it gave me time to ride Maverick. I tried a different bit on him. I'd been using a full cheek snaffle on him. But I didn't get the impression he liked it or that it fit very well. I used the exact same setup for Chaos and it's fine on him.

So last night I decided to try out a couple different bits. I first tried the wonder bit. It's a wonder I even keep that thing around. It's too small. It's about 1/4 too small. So I switched over to a regular snaffle bit. There's no difference between the full cheek snaffle and this regular snaffle that I can tell but I got a better response.

But maybe it was the reins, his mood, my mood, the weather, who knows. So a few passes around the drylot and the big herd decides to finally come up. I figured they could stand around and wait for me and Maverick to finish. Poo poo to them!

I decided that I was tired of walking. I've tried to get Maverick into a trot before but it was always a no go. So I decided that I wasn't going to let up until I got at least two or three steps of a trot. Low and behold, Maverick went into a trot half way across the dry lot. It was AWESOME! So I kept trotting around the lot a couple of times. We went both directions.

Unfortunately the saddle I am using is all leather. So my butt kept sliding all over the place. I don't have the greatest balance so poor Maverick got to deal with my bouncing all over the place. But he was pretty willing to go into the trot. I'm excited! I'm beyond excited. I can finally do something more than a slow crawl around the drylot.

Don't get me wrong, going slow is good for both of us to figure each other out. But finally getting into a trot was amazing. I have more control and can get him to go in the direction I want while trotting WAY better than while walking. I think trotting makes him think a bit more about where he's putting his feet and which direction he's going. I know that's the case with Rain when I get him out and going down the road.

So hopefully I can get on and do a bit more trotting. I'd like to see if he has a couple different speeds of trot. I need to pull out the arena exercise book and see what types of exercises I can come up with. I know I should be happy with just walking and getting him to respond to my cues but trotting was so much fun. I think the more I ride him and the more trotting we do, the more confidence I'll have on him. Maybe sooner than later I'll atually ride him outside his small dry lot and in the bigger drylot!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Scratches are my Enemy

I spent two and a half hours putting the latest remedy on Rain, King, Dude, and Chaos to try and cure those scratches. I know it's going to be a long drawn out process. I think I may call the vet and see which remedy would work the best. I don't know that the oinment I'm putting on them is really helping or if I need to cure it from the inside out first.

Two and a half hours! I'll never be able to get everyone cured of scratches before winter sets in. I didn't even look at Sam or Bob. Brego is the only one in the main herd that doesn't have them for a fact.

I also had to put aloe vera on Dude and King. Their noses are starting to scab over. I'm not sure whatthe deal is. It's very frustrating.

And after spending 2 1/2 hours putting the goop on I put everyone out into the drylot. They tore down my temporary fence. So now I have to figure out a more permanent fence. I swear if I don't do something soon they are going to bust the big drylot fence down and I'll have to catch all the horses throughout the entire county.

The horses did come up later after I let them back out into the pasture. And what did I notice, that most of the goop was already gone. I'm not sure if it soaked in or if they somehow rubbed it off.

I need to start picking at the scabs. Rain's scratches scabs are on pretty good. It's going to take more than five minutes of soaking. I need to bring a timer out or something.

Chaos has them bad on his two back legs. I didn't soak his legs figuring he'd knock my head off. But when I put the cream on, the scab started coming off. So I guess I need to put some type of wet wrap on his back legs if he won't let me soak them (and I'm guessing he won't allow it.)

Dude has scratches on all four legs but they don't seem to bother him too much. His nose is giving him more problems. I tried aloe vera and sunscreen last night but was getting fed up. So I put nitrofurizon on instead. It's a bit more messy but I think it might have helped a bit more. Dude doesn't like his face messed with so it's always an effort in futility.

I did have King caught once and he escaped. So I had to convince him to come back to the barn for some pampering. He stood like a gentleman for all the treatments (scratches and all four legs and aloe on the nose). He's also due for new shoes. I think I'm going to have my farrier just pull the shoes and be done with it. I did see King trot around the drylot and he didn't seem like he was off. So maybe it IS the scratches that are bothering him and the goop helped relieve some of the pain. We'll try it again tonight and see what happens.

I also applied some nitrofurizone on Queen's bum. She's got pink skin around her tail and I couldn't tell if she was getting burned somehow or if it was her being "messy" so I decided I would apply some cream on her as well.

The problem is, I spend all my time putting goop on I am not getting a chance to ride Maverick or Chaos. I still need to get Maverick adjusted to grass and out into the big lot. Otherwise, I may see if I can't buy a round bale and plunk it in his drylot and let him have that while we are away.

The pony pasture where I was planning on keeping the ponies isn't coming back like I'd hoped. I need to get in and mow it down and see if it'll hold them. If not I need to do some quick thinking and quick fencing. I'll have to tear down the mare pen while they are at mom and dad's and install them near the garage so they have a run-in to get away from the mosquitoes. I need to take a closer look at everything for the ponies to see what I can and cannot do while we're gone.

I so desperately need a vacation but I'm not sure I feel comfortable leaving all my animals. And to top it off, after spending that much time with the horses applying this latest remedy, I started to break out. I am not sure what I'm allergic to but it's all over my face, neck, and chest. So our entire Borderlands is quite a sight with our white and yellow creams smeared over everything.

I'm not sure how tonight will go. I'm hoping to head out right away and put a ride in on Maverick. Then I'll start working on putting my scratches remedy to the test. I need to figure out some type of wet wrap to put on everyone. Maybe then I can pull everyone into the barn, apply the wet wrap for 15 minutes and then go around and start applying the cream. It might not take as long if I do it that way instead of pulling each horse in individually and messing with him for awhile. 15 minutes to soak while I spend 15 minutes picking off someone else's scabs and applying the cream. Hhmmm... sounds like a plan I'm going to have to try. Now to come up with a plan for a wet wrap.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Nothing Says Love Like the Smell of Desitin

Having never had a baby, I was very surprised at the smell of Desitin. The first time I took the cap off the tube it knocked my socks off. I’m sure you’re asking why in the world would I need or use Desitin. Rain has been out of commission for the past two weeks.

At first I thought he had stepped in a hole out in the pasture and was off on his left rear. I figured giving him a week off would help him recover. But then I saw him racing around the pasture and his right rear was giving him pain.

So I took a closer look and sure enough, he has scratches. I sort of knew in the back of my head but was trying to ignore it. I know, not something I should have done. They’ve been down in the bottom of the pasture and it’s water logged. The little creek that runs into the CRP is usually dry by now but it’s completely full. So the horses have been exposed to wet pasture for months. I figured what I saw wasn’t scratches but mud. I wish that were the case.

So I took a closer look and sure enough, everyone with white legs has a mild case of scratches except Rain. If it’s not mild, it’s not bad enough yet to pain them when they walk, although I’m starting to wonder if that might not be King’s problem too. I know he has scratches but I don’t know how bad. He’s gotten really naughty. I can’t even come close to him lately.

Saturday afternoon I did some research to find out some home remedies for scratches. I found two different remedies. I’m trying the first one and will see how it goes. We ran into Walmart and Tractor Supply to pick up all the ingredients for the different remedies.

Saturday night I pulled Rain out and scrubbed the scabs the best I could, and made my concoction of Desitin, Triple Antibiotic, and Hydrocortisone in a 1:1:1 ratio. Rain was such a gentleman. He wasn’t too fond of me trying to scrub off the scabs but he was pretty good about letting me put on the goop. He was a bit ouchie at first but after the initial goop on each leg he stood like a perfect boy that he is.

I was hoping to put the goop on twice a day but that didn’t happen on Sunday. I did pull Rain out earlier in the day and soaked his legs to try and get the actual scabs off. It didn’t really help. But at least he let me soak his back legs without ANY fuss. He’s such a good boy. After soaking and drying his legs, I again applied the Desitin, Triple Antibiotic, and Hydrocortisone concoction on his legs. The scratches are terrible on his back legs. His back legs are white. I did notice that he may be getting scratches on his front legs, but they are black. I don’t want to risk it so I put just a little on his two front black legs. We’ll see if it’s just mud or if it’s actually scratches. I’m afraid it’s scratches.

This morning, when I went out to do chores, the herd was up so I caught Rain and applied the goop concoction. I’m hoping to try the other concoction tonight. Rain was such a good boy. I didn’t have time to soak or scrub the scabs so I just applied the concoction and let him go. I hope that it’s helping. He seems to be pretty willing to let me mess around with his legs. I think if I keep it up, at least they won’t be cracked and we can use him on the upcoming trail ride this weekend.

The other concoction I want to try tonight is a mixture of nitrofurizon, OMDS (or some abbreviation I can’t remember right now), and Safe-Guard Wormer. We’ll see how it goes. I’m hoping I can trade back and forth between the two to get him healed up faster. The sooner the better as far as I’m concerned.

I need to start doing the same thing with King. I think he’s got scratches pretty bad too. Rain is just my “delicate flower” so he’s more prone to feeling pain. I think he has a low tolerance for pain. King on the other hand I think has a higher tolerance. But if it’s scratches that are causing him to be lame in his right front, I’d be happy to get that fixed.

And with all the hubbub about scratches, Dude has come down with some odd ailment also. I’m not sure if it’s similar to the scratches or if it’s just a sever sunburn. Either way I need to get it fixed. So Sunday afternoon, I haltered him up and put sunscreen on him. Not an easy feat for me since Dude does NOT like his face handled. To make matters worse, Dude HATES having his nose messed with. Any odd smell and he totally blows up. I had a heck of a time getting the sunscreen on but I did it.

The sunscreen made his nose a bit more moist. So in the evening on Sunday I decided to apply aloe vera cream. Big mistake. Again Dude totally blew up but even worse. I knocked over the jar and lost 1/3 of it on the floor. I was so irritated with getting swung around the stall that I used the stuff on the floor. I know, it’s not right but that stuff is too expensive. Every time I put the aloe on his nose, he would blow his nose and get the stuff all over me. Luckily it’s a thick cream so I didn’t get too much on me. He has sores up into his nose so I wanted the aloe on them. Of course, he’s sensitive to the smell so he had problems with having aloe on them. It was a three ring circus by the time I finally got him lathered.
This morning Dude was up with the rest of the herd. When I got done with Rain, I pulled Dude into the barn. Since we were going into daylight I figured I’d put the sunscreen on instead. The sunscreen is a bit thinner so I could apply it farther down his nose (hopefully). I only got about half his nose. Anywhere where there was a scab he wouldn’t let me touch it with the sunscreen. I’m sure it burns something terrible. So I decided that I was able to get most of his nose with the sunscreen I would switch to the aloe vera and try to get those scabs softened up. He wasn’t fond of the idea but he did behave a bit better for me this morning. There was less fighting and cussing on both ends. I’m not sure if Dude realized that the creams I was putting on made him feel better or not, probably not. Now if I could just catch King long enough to start treating him for scratches and a sunburned nose.

So my list of skin irritant horses goes as:
Rain – Scratches
Dude – Scratches and sunburned nose
King – Scratches and sunburned nose
Queen – Raw bum (not sure if it’s the sun or what’s going on) Nitrofuritzon to the rescue!

I need to check on Sam and make sure he doesn’t have scratches too. I have a vague feeling that he has skin issues underneath all those feathers. I also need to keep a close eye on Chaos and make sure he doesn’t get scratches either on his back white legs.

I’m headed to Tractor Supply on Friday to pick up more fly spray. The mean, biting flies are here to stay (you know it’s August when the flies come out). I also want to try this Fung-A-Way and see if it helps with the scratches on those horses that won’t stand or give me problems (King, Dude).

I also put my order in to Country Supply for wormer. I should have enough wormer for the next six months if I did it right. I know I’m way behind. Sam needs another dose and so does Skippy. I think I need to find some type of aloe for Skippy too. He has such a bad reaction to bug bites. He and Dude break out in huge hives when they get bitten. Wish there was something more I could do.

I think all my spare riding time is going to be spent instead doctoring horses. And we leave on vacation in two weeks so I need to start hustling to get stuff done before we go! There’s always something. Hopefully tonight’s doctoring goes smoothly and I don’t get my head knocked off.