Saturday, October 31, 2009

A day of sadness..

Mike, his sister, and his brother are at their parent's apartment, having "The Talk". They are talking to their mother, her ultimate death, and her wishes for after she's gone.

I am at his sister's house, waiting for their return. I'm sure that this talk, while it needed to happen, has had a profound effect on them. I can't even imagine their pain and sorrow. A loss that will take several months to complete.

Aside from holding my husband and listening to him, there is nothing I can do to ease his pain and loss.

Hug your horses. Hug your parents. Hug your children. Call and tell a friend how you feel.

Life is short.

Friday, October 30, 2009


Hello from Virginia!

It's still late summer here. Over night low was 60 degrees. There are low fluffy clouds and sunshine.

I have woke up and attempted to read Joe's post on TBFriends. I forget that I'm three hours ahead of him and he's not even up yet when I get out of bed.

Do you suppose he'd get upset if I called and asked for his morning post?

My daughter says the horses are fine and that they don't miss me. I'm sure they're fine, but they HAVE to miss me...right?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

And the hits just keep on coming...

Sorry, I have to vent!

I'm leaving on this trip to visit the in-laws this morning. We leave in about two hours. There was a TON of last minute things to do this morning.

Dad's gonna stay here so we washed the sheets and re-made the bed.

There were bills to pay, since they're due while we're gone.

Checks to deposit.

Pack our suitcases, which will probably cost us $20 a piece to put on the plane. (Excess butt!)

Checking everything, last minute, packing, checking again.

And then, I started my period. (Sorry guys, but if you're married, you know...)

I'm afraid to ask, but what next?

Like Joe says, "Be sure to hug your horses."

See you in a week! (Unless I can get on in Virginia and post from there...)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Just the cutest thing EVER!!!

My daughter and husband are both conditioned NOT to throw away apple cores. So Kali had a core for me, which I took out and tossed in Beau's tub.

Initially, he snorted at it and snuck up on it, making sure it wasn't going to bite his nose or anything. When he realized what it was, he took the whole thing in his mouth.

He looked over at me, wallering the apple in his mouth, ears perked, watching me. I said, "Well aren't you just the cutest thing ever?" He perked his ears even more, almost bringing the tips together, and stopped chewing. It's like he said, "Well, yes. As a matter of fact, I am!" Then he continued chewing.

You should have seen it! It was SO CUTE!!

Update on the trip - Mike got word this afternoon. His sister's kids are sick. LOVELY! And, according to her, they have swine flu. Now, I believe they are sick, but she said they had congestion and were coughing up crud. If you have the flu, there is a dry hacking cough, but no congestion. So, she's bought into the hype and they "have swine flu!" Umm... no, they probably have a cold.

So, here's some information, just in case you're curious.

Know the Difference between Cold and H1N1 Flu Symptoms


Fever is rare with a cold.
Fever is usually present with the flu in up to 80% of all flu cases. A temperature of 100F or higher for 3 to 4 days is associated with the flu.

A hacking, productive (mucus-producing) cough is often present with a cold.
A non-productive (non-mucus producing) cough is usually present with the flu (sometimes referred to as dry cough).

Slight body aches and pains can be part of a cold.
Severe aches and pains are common with the flu.

Stuffy Nose
Stuffy nose is commonly present with a cold and typically resolves spontaneously
within a week.
Stuffy nose is not commonly present with the flu.

Chills are uncommon with a cold.
60% of people who have the flu experience chills.

Tiredness is fairly mild with a cold.
Tiredness is moderate to severe with the flu.

Sneezing is commonly present with a cold.
Sneezing is not common with the flu.

Sudden Symptoms
Cold symptoms tend to develop over a few days.
The flu has a rapid onset within 3-6 hours. The flu hits hard and includes sudden symptoms like high fever, aches and pains.

A headache is fairly uncommon with a cold.
A headache is very common with the flu, present in 80% of flu cases.

Sore Throat
Sore throat is commonly present with a cold.
Sore throat is not commonly present with the flu.

Chest Discomfort
Chest discomfort is mild to moderate with a cold.
Chest discomfort is often severe with the flu.

The only way to stop the spread of the epidemic is to spread the awareness.

oh yeah - the only CONCLUSIVE way to verify that you actually have H1N1 (Swine flu) is by having a blood test.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ever sit on a cactus?

Well, not REALLY a cactus, but might as well be.

Mike and I are going out of town (more on that below) and I didn't want my horse sitter (my dad, who's 70 yrs old) to have to pull bales off the stack. The bales are big, heavy three-strand bales, and I didn't want him to have to deal with that. So I climbed the stack and pulled down some bales.

I had hooked one bale and was pulling it forward, when the hook gave way. So I ended up plopping down on my butt on a bale. Now normally, it would have been fine. Sitting down on a bale of hay in jeans, no big whoopie, right? Well this morning, for whatever reason, I decided to just wear sweat pants.

You know those little pokey splinter things that all hay has? They have a tendency to go right through the fabric of sweat pants. Felt like I sat on a cactus. I'm STILL picking them out of my hindend!

As for the trip... We found out a few weeks ago that Mike's mother has terminal lung cancer. Stage 4. She has refused chemotherapy and any treatment other than pain management. She wanted us to come visit while she is still in good health (relatively speaking, of course). I told Mike he should go. We couldn't afford for both of us to go, so I'd stay home. His mother had a problem with that so SHE bought both us tickets. How could I say "No" to that? For whatever reason, she wants to see me too. So we are going to stay with Mike's sister in Chesapeake, VA and visit with his folks, who live in Norfolk. We leave on Wednesday, Oct 28.

I absolutely HATE leaving my babies! I know we all need a break at times, but I worry about them. I honestly don't mind taking care of them and the work involved. It's a huge part of who I am. It's gotten to the point where if the conversation isn't about horses or something horse related, I can't participate. Horses are my life.

I'd really rather stay home, but since Mike wants me to go, I'm going.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Remember when...

August 20 - Remember this sad, pitiful little creature?

October 21 - THIS is how horses are SUPPOSED to look!

Beau was acting a little frisky again today. I was able to snap a couple photos before he "got over it" (Update - I just looked at the pictures again. See the white fence at the very top of the photo, where they have the gate off the hinges and leaning up against the fence? That's where the pretty little paint mare was turned out the other day.)

Does anyone else feel the urge to kiss this sweet little face?

Playin' Hooky!

Mike was snoring like a buzz saw last night, keeping me awake until after 11:00. Bear in mind, I usually turn into a pumpkin around 9:30. So I finally decided that I was wide awake and that fact wasn't going to change anytime soon, so I got up and took a sleep aid.

I was rummy this morning, but I figured I could probably manage. Then Mike called. He got half way to work and realized that he'd forgotten his badge, so he was going to have to turn around and come home. He was almost back and decided "To heck with it" ad called in to say he was staying home today. He called me and said "You should stay home too." WHY NOT??!? So I called in.

When Mike got home, he followed me around while I fed the horses and kept asking "What are we going to do today?" Since we didn't "plan" this, I really didn't know. As I was standing outside while the dogs went potty, it came to me...

We've been talking about getting a load sand to fill the stalls. So that's what we're doing! My dad is going to hook up his little trailer, get the sand, then run it over and drop it off for us (WHAT A GREAT DAD!!)

So in an hour, after the horses are mostly done eating, I'll turn them out on pasture, strip the stalls (a couple of them are kind of yucky already), then I'll put in the clean sand, smooth it then wet it down. We'll sweep the mats and when we're done, the stall will be "perfect", waiting for the dumb girls to poop in there tonight! (sigh)

But I'll feel better.


Last night, I was brushing the little dude before I put on his "borrowed" blanket. He'd laid down during the day and had dried poop on one side. I was giving him a tubby scratch and found a bump (about the size of a Milk Dud - you remember those) about 3 inches forward from his sheath, in the hairless patch down there. It felt like a bite or a sting, and was really itchy, so I scratched it for him. He totally loves being brushed and especially like having his belly scratched. He is such a lovey boy!

When closing the front of the blanket, he puts his head down, sort of bobbing. The other blanket without the front closure, slides back and "hooks" on his withers, binding his chest. I think with this other blanket, he checking to make sure it's not going to bug him. So funny! He's getting a decent winter coat, though the hair on his back isn't completely grown in, and certainly not enough to protect him from rain or snow. His belly, on the other hand, is going to be quite toasty this winter. It has an amazing amount of fuzz!

Update!!!! Isn't the arrow pointing to his belly button?! Finger pointing to the milk-dud?!?

One last note, sometimes we get caught up in our work, chores, and life. We muddle our way through and collapse into bed each night, exhausted, wanting only to sleep and recharge for the next busy day.

You know that friend or loved one that you've been thinking about a lot lately and just haven't gotten around to calling? STOP what you are doing and CALL them! They can be taken from you in the blink of an eye and you won't get a second chance.


Thanks and God Bless!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Perky Lil Dude and SCORE!!!

Perky Lil Dude

You've all seen it... I know you have. The horse comes prancing up to the fence, tail flagged, neck arched, and ears perked forward so hard you wonder if he might get a cramp.

He prances up to the fence, lifts his nose and blows, no, trumpets across the field.

You know what I'm talking about, right? I wish I'd had a camera and caught at least ONE picture of Beau doing just that! His prance was more of a high-kneed hobble, but I was dumbstruck, just the same!

I looked to see what he was reacting to and across the pasture and across the street, the neighbors (sort of) had turned out their pretty little Paint mare. She was doing the four footed deer hop thing, tail straight up in the air, and she looks quite beautiful. Beau was smitten. He ignored his feed in favor of watching her little horsie ballet.

Watching Beau, acting like a love-struck teenager, was worth everything we've gone through so far! I just stood in the gravel and cried!


My neighbor, who is at best described as "quirky" and at worst, well, something else entirely, bought a very nice Weaver leather breast collar for her boyfriend. Either he didn't like it or couldn't/wouldn't use it, so she gave it to me. It was EXACTLY what Mike has been wanting for his horse! (Not that he really rides enough to warrant a breast collar, but he's been WANTING it!)

So he said "You know, this still has the tag on it. I could take it back and get a store credit and get Beau some feed. What do you need?"

Well gee...what do I say to that? I just stood there and started crying. When he asked what was wrong, I said, "You've wanted a breast collar like this forever. Now you've had one given to you and you want to take it back?"

He said, "Beau needs food more than I need this. I can get one at a later date."

So I gave him a hug and a kiss, and grabbed a pen and wrote out a list.

I'm just so blessed!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

News about legal action - it's not good.

My husband and I have been trying for weeks to make contact with the Sheriff's Deputy who responded to the initial complaints about Beau. It's been my feeling that that he has been ignoring us, hoping we'd go away.

But persistence finally paid off and we made contact. We asked him to come see Beau, see his improvement, and decide that Beau's condition was totally preventable and pursue charges.

He said that he would review his notes on the case, speak with the Prosecuting Attorney, then call us back.

He called Friday afternoon. He will close the complaint. There will be no charges.

*take a deep breath and stay with me here...*

(1) When the officer responded to the first complaint, he wrote in his notes that he would give the asshole owner three "re-checks" to do something about Beau - either prove that he was being fed and improving, find him another home, or put him down. The 2nd check was on August 17. Beau came to my house on August 20.

(2) While the officer was concerned about Beau's health and condition, my "evidence" that it was all completely preventable and he has regained weight, has worked against me. "See? He's all better! Good job!"

(3) The Prosecuting Attorney has a lot of cases, and most of them are worst that Beau's, it costs a lot of money to prosecute, the horse didn't die and is "better", so they are going to concentrate on THOSE cases.

So what's next? I'm formulating a plan that involves pictures, naming names, and the media.

HAPPY SATURDAY! Random ramblings and such...

This morning I noticed that Beau is still, somehow, pulling tail hairs into his butt when he poops. My daughter had recently found a tail bag in her pig pen, er, room, so I braided the whole tail and put it in the bag. Then I gave Beau a good brushing.

The scurf/schmag yucky stuff is mostly gone on his back, with the exception of a place about the size of my foot, higher up on his neck. I used the rubber nubby thingy (yes, that's really what it's called) to loosen the flakes and brush it out.

You know how horses do reciprocal grooming on each other? Beau was grooming the heck out of the stall wall!

It's warmed up a lot from last weekends' cold snap. Only 50 overnight, though we are due for rain again this afternoon. Well, 60% chance, so maybe it'll pass us by.

Have you ever had a horse that doesn't put on a winter coat? I've got 8 horses here at the house. All but one has on their winter jammies. Little Squirrelly Girl has some guard hairs, but she is definitely NOT fuzzed up enough for winter. She is way behind the others. I didn't notice this as a problem last year. Anyway... just curious.

Yesterday, I put the babies out in the arena and move Jinx and Jazzy to the barn. I noticed that Bullwinkle has loose stool, so I decided to switch Jazzy and Bullwinkle. So I took Jazzy out to the arena, figuring I'd take her in, catch Bullwinkle, and be done, right?? WRONG!

Jazzy, for whatever reason, DOES NOT like Bullwinkle! They sniffed noses over the gate, then Jazzy pinned her ears and charge through the gate at Bullwinkle. It really surprised me. She has shown crankiness toward other horses, but not like that! Anyway, I ended up getting Bullwinkle out, leaving Jazzy and Millie in the arena.

I'm going to switch out Honey with Jazzy either today or tomorrow. Honey is a kind, yet stern herdmate. She won't take crap off the babies, but she won't be excessively nasty to them either. My main concern about that is there is a 2 yr old, recently gelding colt coming, and he's going to be out in the arena with Millie and Honey through the winter.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hey Stupid! Wet blankets make horses cold!!

Ok, just so we all know, I'm an idiot!

It was supposed to be mid-40s today, so I took Beau's night-time blanket off and hung it on the gate. Just like I did for the last two days.

I knew we might get a little rain. Meh! No biggie. He can get out of the rain.

I thought about coming home at lunch (about the time it started to look like rain) and putting the blanket back on. But then I thought, "Nah! He'll be fine. He's got a light blanket on and he can get out of the rain. I'll put it on when I get home."

I get home and DUH!! Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!

The night-time blanket was still on the gate. IN THE RAIN!! And the underside was wet.

So, then I thought, "NOW WHAT!" Hmm... I dug around in the blanket trunk and pulled out my two good blankets. I knew they were bigger, but could it be possible that one would be small enough to fit him. I got some hay twine and wrapped it around him, front to back, to measure him. He measured out at 75 inches. WHAT?? No way. There is NO WAY he is that big. I remeasured. Yup! 75 inches. Well, the smaller of the two blankets was a size 76. That translates to 76 inches right?? Cool!

So I put the blanket on and adjust the straps to as small as they would go. It fits good enough to get him through until the wet blanket dries out in the garage. I'm thinking that a size 72 might be perfect if ever I can round up the money to buy him his own.

In the mean time, until I can buy him a new blanket of his own, I borrowed my cousin's old sewing machine. I'm going to add velcro straps to the front of the small blankets so I can better adjust the chest closure. The one that goes on over his head, will be cut and stitched.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

HEY! Look what I found!!

As promised...poop.

As thought, Beau can't really chew the cubes, so it won't be his primary source of nutrition. BUT, I think he can manage it good enough to help with the whole digestion thing.

Here are new pics with Beau's new jammies. He still swims in the blanket, but he's nice and toasty! As you can see, the naughty boy pee'd in this stall. Let's hope he doesn't make this a habit!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Hmmm...let's try that again.

UPDATE - Sunday morning - I'm really glad that I took the time to find blankets that would "fit" Beau. It was 26 degrees this morning, and though it's warming up pretty fast, even the girls were shivering.

AND...the babies unplugged the heated water tub and unburied the cord. Guess Mike and I will get to rework that setup and try to figure out how to "baby proof" it.

Granny mare's blanket fits Beau SO much better! Initially, he wasn't much interested in having the blanket go on over his head, but in the end, he tolerated it. It's a little big in the chest, but the butt flaps wrap around and cover really nicely. That will be his "day blankie", and a red one, that's a bit bigger, will go on over the day blankie at night, then come off in the morning.

Poor guy got snapped by the static when I took it off. All in all, he was very patient with all the fussing, blankets on, blankets off, fitting the straps, etc.

Beau is little. Only 14 hands. I think he'd still "swim" in a size 68! The main problem, is that he has no chest to speak of. The canvas green one was fine in length from tail to withers, but the front closure could have fit a Clydesdale! It's like all they do is shorten the length of the body, but not from the withers forward.

Anyway, I think I've got the whole blanket thing figured out. It's supposed to be 24 degrees tonight, and 18 degrees Sunday night. Monday is supposed to be warmer, only in the low 40s. But I don't want the little buddy to be cold. He does have some winter fuzz started, but he doesn't have the fat layer yet.

We got the winter water tubs out and set up. We're ready for a hard freeze! I also got two stalls clean. Before we shower, Mike and I are going to clean the automatic waterers. Miss Millie pooped in the one that Honey uses, so she's drinking (gratefully, I might add) from a bucket in her stall until we can get to it.

Millie - some days I just love her. And some days, I just don't have the energy to dig the hole. *sigh*

Beau's Jammies

The farrier was out today to trim a couple of the horses. Honey has a crack in the middle of her front hoof that goes almost from the coronet band to the toe and is all the way through the hoof wall. She'll be wearing front shoes for the next year to keep it from splitting.

I had him take a peek at Beau. The shoes are on solid, which is good news, and there was some frog growth, also good news. It's not time to reset the shoes yet, though. There IS a minute amount of thicker, healthy growth at the coronet band, which is GREAT news. We'll continue to monitor his feet every 4 weeks or so, unless he throws a shoe.

While we were working on the horses, I noticed that Beau was shivering. It's about 35 degrees outside with a breeze out of the north. Since the open side of the barn faces north, Beau doesn't really have a way to get away from it. So I dug out a blanket that fit my daughter's old granny arab mare and put it on him.

ROFLMAO!!! Poor guy looks like someone put a gunnysack on cat! He looked embarrassed, but at least it will help keep him warm. He has weight, but FAT insulation. I have another blanket that might fit better, but it doesn't have a front opening - it would have to go on over his head.

Friday, October 9, 2009

How 'bout a little roughage?

I had to work today so I sent the hubby off on errands to buy feed. For whatever reason, some fool has been buying up all the timothy grass pellets at the feed store.

I mean, come on! I've got a special needs case here!

So Mike bought the last bag of pellets, and smart guy that he is, he knew it wouldn't be enough to get Beau through until next weekend. He noticed that they had timothy grass CUBES, so he called and asked if that would work.

I thought to myself "Self...would it work? Would he be able to eat them without choking? He could probably "waller and swaller", but he wouldn't be able to "eat" them like the other horses would. But, perhaps, maybe, it would give him some roughage."

So I told Mike to get a bag and we'd try Beau on it and see how it goes. He gobbled the cubes up without choking. So the "going in" part is ok. We'll see about the "coming out" part later.

I'm thinking that while he can eat the cubes, he won't be able to eat them exclusively. I think that it would be good for roughage, and perhaps change, but he'll still have to eat the pellets for his main source of nutrition.

If you're ever in Pasco, PLEASE! Stop by and see him. He is the cutest, sweetest little dude EVER! I just adore this little guy!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Poor Lil Dude!

I came home tonight and turn the horses out on pasture. Beau followed and when the girls took off at a run, he tried to keep up. Unfortuneately, he tripped and slid in the grass on both front knees. He's got grass stains on both knees and his nose. He seemed to be more embarassed than hurt, but I felt bad for him, falling like that in front of all the girls.

They pretty much ignored him and went straight to eating. Poor guy!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Feet, back, and stuff

I came home tonight and check my blog, then trotted over to the Fugly Blog. Imagine my surprise when I saw a picture of Beau and a shout out from Cathy. For those of you who have never gotten the chance to meet her, she is just as cool in person!!!



Close up of the front feet. You can see how mis-shapen that front left is.

Look at this back! Getting closer to "normal". If I could exercise him, it would fill in a LOT faster. BUT - the foot...

Here's a closeup of the "schmag" on his back. The M-T-G loosens it and brings it to the surface, leaving little mudballs. You'll notice there are no more bald spots..

OMG!!! Look at that face! How could anyone not feed that adorable little face!!

The Butt Crack of Dawn...

Occasionally, when Mike lets the dogs out in the morning, they see or hear something and take off in hot pursuit. Since it's 4:30, he doesn't yell at them to come back. Sometimes, they come back right away. Sometimes, we have to go looking.

This morning, we had to go looking.

Mike walked while I drove, and naturally, once we decided they were lost forever, we returned home to find them on the porch. BAD DOGS!!!

Beau - I'm still trying to figure out what is going on with the flaky crud on his back. It just keeps coming, and I want it resolved before it gets cold.

I brushed him out last night and noticed that the hair was mostly grown back, but the dirty flakey crud is still there.

I put two products on him last night. One was the M-T-G. I know that will lift all the gunk out and leave little mudballs on his back. But it doesn't seem to be having a long term effect.

I also put some T-Zone Wound Cream on him. This is the first time I've used it, so we'll see if that does any good.

Honey has a spot just like it under her mane that I've been fighting for almost 2 years. I've tried fungicide, dandruff shampoo, you name it.

I thought that perhaps Gold Bond Medicated cream might work. Maybe Preparation H? Heck at this point, I'd be willing to use axle grease if it'd help. I've been feeding him flax oil on his senior feed to try to get a handle on it from the inside out.

Any thoughts? It's dry, flakey, itchy.

While brushing Beau out last night, I noticed that he's almost totally filled in across his back. His whither still stick up, but his spine is almost completely covered. The Hole at the top of his pelvis is filling in also, and while he's still hasn't recovered across his butt, he doesn't have that "starved" look.

He will get a regular paste dewormer when the rest of the kids come due in a couple weeks.

Someone at work that I was talking to yesterday said that she had a Morgan gelding get laminitis and to give him comfort, she used that pink styrofoam sheet stuff, cut out pieces a little bigger than his feet, then duct taped it on.

The foam compresses over a week or so, but as inactive as Beau is, I think it might help his comfort level. So maybe this weekend, Beau will get new pink "high heels".

I'll try to get some good picture tonight.