Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sigh...happy at last!

For the last week, since I brought Honey and Heddy home, Joy has been out on pasture, but over the fence from "The Girls". They've squealed and postured, but also whinnied and nickered.

Today, I opened the gate and turned them all in together.

It's like a TB mare retirement reunion. All three are grazing together in their own little herd. Naturally, Joy is the boss mare. She's got the two "youngsters" whipped into shape and they defer to her. This opens up a little over an acre to turn two other horses out.

Joy's euthanasia is temporarily on hold, though it will happen before the cold of winter sets in. She would be so miserable. I just don't think she could make it through winter.

Bullwinkle, VLC's colt, was delivered to his new mom yesterday. He is living in an awesome home, with a great mom to fuss and worry over him. Mary is consulting everyone who will talk to her to "make sure she does everything right". It warms my heart to see someone so concerned about the little dude. Even the barn owner was fretting over the fact that his stool was a little loose. (Cause by the stress of a 4 hour ride in the big scary trailer.)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Wake up! The baby's gone!

Those are the words I woke up to on Sunday morning. Bullwinkle had pushed through the little gate that fronts his stall, and gone out the side door of the barn, which was left open for air.

I trailed him to the back of the property, then alone the back, where there's a three foot gap between our fence and our neighbors. I looked down the property, and there he was, way down by Shyanna and Doodle.

I turned off the fence and went and caught him. Sweet little monkey cam right to me and follow right along with me until we got to where Kaci was penned. Kaci is an ass! He charged the baby, and would have bitten him had the fence not been there.

Mike came out and fed Kaci, which diverted his interest long enough for me to get Bullwinkle out from behind the property, and back to his stall. We spent an hour repairing the gate.

Surprisingly, Heddy, who was right next to Bullwinkle, didn't show much interest. I would have figured since she just recently weaned her own baby, she'd mother up to Bullwinkle. NOPE! She mothered up to Honey.

So far, the only mare than HASN'T charged at Bullwinkle, has been Shyanna. So the TB mares went out to pasture, and Shyanna will spend the next week "babysitting".

Another observation about Joy...She ONLY likes Angel. PERIOD. Not negotiable! I tried turning her out with Honey and Heddy. She squealed and kicked at them. She squealed and kicked at Shyanna and Doodle. I turned Angel out with her, she trotted over, sniffed noses, and then joined Angel grazing.

Funny how the horses pair off. Shyanna and Doodle. Kaci and Jazzy. (Actually, Jazzy could care less as long as she's eating) Honey and Heddy.

Bullwinkle is the sweetest little dude! Mike has fallen in love with him. It's going to be very hard for him to say goodbye to the little guy!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Busting at the seams....

Good Lordy! We are FULL!

I got home last night with Honey, Heddy and Bullwinkle. We are so over-the-top full, I have to use the neighbor's pasture to house every one.

Bullwinkle is here just until next weekend, but for the next week, he's in the barn next to Jazzy. He is trying to mother up with her, and she is have NO part of him.

Honey and Heddy are out at the neighbor's on the front pasture.

Doodle, my sorrel gelding, is out on the back pasture, having given up his stall to Bullwinkle. I turned his "girl" (Shyanna) out with him, but she can go back to the barn tonight.

Joy is still here. I need to touch base with Cathy to find out what happening with her. I may move her over to the pasture with Honey and Heddy. It's big enough for the three girls to spread out and not fuss at each other.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Hades has frozen over...well, not really...

It sure feels like it though....It was 97 degrees when I got home. It's now 68 degrees and raining. The horses are all hanging out in the barn, trying to look pitiful.

I went out to feed and in several places in Shyanna's run, there are huge splashes of dried blood! On the handle for the frost free her grain tub, ALL OVER the down spout for the gutters. It looked like someone have slaughtered a pig! There was blood sprayed all over the side of the barn.

She has dried blood on her lower legs and on her side. I looked her over for about 15 minutes, looking for the gaping wound. I mean, what else would account for all the blood.

There was not a nick on her anywhere. I went into panic mode, thinking perhaps it was Joy. Not a scratch.

I got the halter on Shyanna, who was happily munching her evening grain and none too please at being pulled away. On closer inspection, I determined that she had a bloody nose. Not from a cut or a scratch...a REAL bloody nose, from somewhere higher than I could see or reach with my fingers.

There were huge blood boogers in one nostril, but it was dried. No draining or dripping. The only thing I came up with is that it was so hot and so dry, that she just got a bloody nose and the spray (which is all over the barn, thank you very much) was from her snorting and blowing, trying to clear her nose.

I have NEVER had this happen to my horses before, and I've never heard of it happening to anyone else's.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

All's well in Hades!

It is so HOT. 103 degrees yesterday. 107 today. I turn on the sprinklers and all the horses just stand there and graze. It's too hot to even play in the water.


Shyanna, the little paint mare that came to me starving, has regained most of the weight she lost and is ready to go back to work. Her top-line still leaves a lot to be desired, but that will fill in when she starts getting exercise. I can't believe one of her former owners though she was breeding quality. She is crooked legged, and WHOA...what do you know? Her babies were crooked legged also! But she's very patient and sweet. When it cools off, I'll be starting her on the barrel pattern to hopefully give her a skill so she can be marketable.

Doodle (aka Redman) - His neck and shoulders are covered with swollen, itchy bumps, a reaction to insect bites. Poor spray does NOTHING to give him relief. He has stifle weakness, and needs daily exercise. However, he's had a week off due to the heat.

Kaci - This is THE coolest horse. He looks really good as far as body weight and is ready to go back to work.

Angel - She's fat as a tick and ready to pop.

Jazzy - She caught her front left pastern on the hot tape and cut the back and inside of her pastern. She is what I call a "scar maker"..if you don't catch a boo-boo immediately, you're going to have proud flesh. Guess what...we got it. I soaked and abraded the area, and treated it, and this morning, it's all back. it's growing faster than I can treat it. I don't know what else to do. I have a product called Mule Magic, but it's VERY caustic and burns. If I start using it, I won't be able to get near her, she'll know that it burns. Right now, I'm slathering Rain Maker on it to keep is moist and soggy, then after an hour, using warm water and a wash cloth to rub the scabs off. Anyone have any ideas?

JOY - Joy is doing as well as can be expected. He eyes bother her, and her ankle cause her pain. She is on B-L Solution am and pm, but still gimps around.

Honey and Heddy come home next weekend. I am heading to Seattle on Thursday, picking up two horses and delivering them to the Portland area for a friend. On the way back to Seattle on Friday, I'm picking up a colt called Bullwinkle for his new owner, who lives in Boise, ID. He will stay with me in Seattle overnight. Saturday, I'm going to the SAFE benefit show to watch Honey. I'm SO excited to see her in action! After the show, I'll pick up Heddy and the colt and head home. The colt will stay with me to a week, then I'll deliver him to Boise.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

10 O'clock and...GEEZ! It's STILL hot!

It's still 80 degrees out there!

I came home, grabbed the camera, turned on the sprinklers and waited for Joy to begin her funny play time.

She marched smartly to the barn and promptly took a nap. I tried enticing her out. No luck. She stood in the barn for the 75 minutes it took for the two irrigation lines in her pasture to run through, then went out and started grazing.


It's supposed to be around 100 tomorrow. I'll try again.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

All's quiet....

Not much going on around the place lately. We had the "turnout rodeo" over the weekend, with Joy and Kaci posturing and squealing.

I moved everyone back to their runs, with Joy having full access to her pasture. I turned the irrigation on and sat on the porch watching Joy play. She got all snakey necked, put her lips around the nozzle, rolled in the dirt, and obviously enjoyed herself thoroughly. When she decided she'd had enough, I reset the sprinklers.

Joy is maintaining weight good and doesn't seem to be so itchy. Her eyes are still giving her troubles but the ointment seems to give her some relief.

She got a day at the beauty parlor...a vigorous brushing, untangled the knots in her tail. I swear I could hear her moaning with pleasure. She leans into the brushing like a cat.

Friday, August 8, 2008

LIGHTNING!!! THUNDER!!!! Yeah, big deal.

We had a spectacular lightning storm move through around midnight last night, right over the house! HUGE flashes! Intense, loud thunder! I bound out of bed, prepared to be chasing panicked horses all over the neighborhood. Nothing. They stood quietly in the barn, snoozing.

Ah...the benefits of living near a baseball stadium that lights off fireworks after their home games!

Another little storm woke me this morning, this one was followed by enough rain to make the windshields muddy. After a few cups of coffee, I turned out the horses next door.

The property is fenced into three pastures, the front one is a little over an acre, then middle one is maybe two acres, and the back pasture is a little over an acre, with automatic waterers.

I turned the sorrel gelding, Doodle, up front with the girls, Shyanna, Angel and Joy. The gate between the front and middle pastures was open so they had lots of space. Jazzy and Kaci were turned out together in back.

At some point, Joy got separated from the other three in her pasture. She doesn't see very well to begin with, and if she doesn't stick with them, she'd be "lost". They'd moved over to the front pasture, out of sight.

KACI TO THE RESCUE! He answered her call and she trotted gleefully over to the fence that separated them, happy to have been "found". For the next 6 HOURS, they postured and squealed over the fence at each other.

When it was time to come back to the barn, I led Jazzy and allowed Kaci to follow, after all, she IS his favorite. Joy was rather upset that I'd taken her "boy" away, and was trotting and calling for him. Though she could see him, she couldn't touch noses and squeal.

Once back in the barn, she quieted and stood puffing and sweating.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

From "Silly Old Mare" to "Poor Old Girl"

Poor Joy...She has good days, then bad days. Today is a bad day for her.

Her front left ankle is so swollen and puffy. She is limping heavily on it. She either did it yesterday evening or it's from her "play time" in the sprinklers. She got 2 cc of bute this evening. I hate giving it to her because it's SO HARD on her stomach and digestive tract, but she definitely needed it tonight.

Her right eye now has something going on with it. The lower lid is swollen and "fallen away" from the orb of her eye. Sort of swollen and hanging out. I had some ointment which I put on despite her protestations. (Is that even a word??) I then tried to put on a fly mask and her reaction was "Oh HELL no!" She was NOT having it.

She is still eating good, finished her hay in short order and hobbled out to the pasture to join her buddy Angel, who lives in the pen next to her.

I did take new photos. You can see Angel behind her in one of the photos.

Another thing I noticed...for the first time, I saw Joy pee. Now normally, I wouldn't even mention it, but her urine looked thick, like syrup, and very milky. (Maybe that's normal...) To me, it looked like she was having difficulty peeing. She was all hunched up with the weirdest body posture I've ever seen. The volume wasn't what I'd expected either. Poor old girl...

Monday, August 4, 2008

Silly Old Mare!

It was sweltering by the time I got home tonight.! OK, so it was only 90, but after a week in the mid- to low-80s, it felt HOT!

So I turned on the sprinklers in the pasture, specifically, in Joy's run, because there are a couple spots that are dry.

The silly old mare stood in the sprinklers, shaking her head, letting it shoot the stream down the side of her belly, looking very pleased with herself and totally enjoying it. Then she walked up to the dry lot and rolled in the dirt. She came up looking like a mud ball!

Then she trotted over to the sprinkler again to wash it all off. She was lipping at the stream of water and got most of the dirt off and went and rolled again. It was a little harder for her to get up the second time.

Then she went out and grazed across the fence from her buddy Angel.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

I can't do it....

I just can't!

I got so attached to Joy! I spend the last couple months working with her and handling her, trying so hard to help her.

Cathy offered to have someone else come and pick up Joy and take her to be euthed, so I would be spared the heartbreak. I probably COULD if I had to, but I jumped on the offer to let someone else who wasn't emotionally attached be with her in her final moments.

I feel like I let Joy down. I feel like I let Cathy down. In my arrogance, I thought I could bring this mare to my home, feed her, give her supplements, and she'd be all fixed up and ready to go back to Cathy by the end of August. NO PROBLEM.

There is SO MUCH still wrong with this poor used up and tossed away mare, that I don't have to knowledge nor resources to fix. I am humbled by this experience and though I'm saddened, I'm ready for the next project. I couldn't help this one, maybe I can help another one.

So, sometime this week, Shawna Byington of SOSEquines is going to come pick Joy up and take her to be put to sleep.

As soon as Shawna calls me, Joy will get a special treat of apples and carrots. A final goodbye.