Wednesday, December 30, 2009

From Grumpy to Goofy!

The other day, I posted about the neck socks that I ordered from Mrs. Cravitz. I LOVE THEM!!! But she sent a "Neck Tube" and I couldn't figure out how to wear it.

Ring a bell?? Anyway, today she finally sent me a picture of how it's SUPPOSED to be worn.

It's supposed to look like this. Meet Mrs. Cravitz. Cute isn't she? She's one hot momma! WOO! (insert whistles and cat calls here....)

Well, I would NEVER have figured it out!!
I tried it like this - I call it the "Partial Ponytail"

And like this - I call it the "Full Ponytail"

Then there's this one, which is fine as long as I don't need to swallow. If I hold my breath, I can smile...for a second... must....breathe....

And then I look like this when I take it off...

I usually just wear it like this. It's easy. Pull it on down to my chin, then back up. It pulls the hair out of my face, covers my ears, I can breathe, smile, talk, the works!

I finally DID get it, after seeing her pictures. Apparently, you're supposed to put a hat on to hold it in place. Umm... hat? I thought it WAS the hat...

Somehow, I think I'm still getting it wrong. So I show up out at the barn looking like this

The horses don't freak out anymore...much.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Waking up...

I was jolted awake this morning at 5:30 am by an obnoxious radio advertisement that was WAY too loud, which I thought was rather rude after sleeping in for 4 straight days. I got in the shower, put on my war paint, did my hair, fed the horses and the dogs, got my lunch and off to work I went.

About 8:00 am, I got a call from a gal at work. We call her "Mother". She is a sweet as can be and tries really hard, but she's dumber than a bucket of rock and is grossly incompetent, and has this lovely habit of "babysitting" the rest of the secretarial staff. She calls endless with stupid little reminders regarding MY job, which I am very capable of doing on my own, thank you very much.

I have adult ADHD that is unmedicated and for all intents and purposes, I'm a raging airhead. I having an exquisite memories, but it's selective. Random trivial information? Ingrained forever! When to schedule my own dental appointment? Umm...when was the last time I went? Are you SURE???

I am ultra-organized at work. I HAVE to be! Cuz I'm such a stinking airhead! So, when Mother calls, first of all it interrupts my train of thought, and second, it annoys me! "Did you do your payroll?" (umm...they are all adults. They can do their OWN time cards!) "You have a letter that's complete." (I am vividly aware of that fact because I got an automated e-mail message!)

Anyway, that started early this morning and continued pretty much all of the morning. Then the girls in the mail room messed something up. So, I got madder and madder and crankier and crankier, and before I knew it, I was e-mailing my friend Candice and venting &*^&*&% words!!!

So tonight, I sat and thought about what REALLY set me off. Aside from being startled awake, having to go back to work when I wanted to stay home, having Mother annoy me, and the mess up in the mailroom, I can't seem to come up with anything.

You've heard the term "Woke up on the wrong side of the bed"? I guess I did this morning. No real reason why! Nothing especially traumatic happened. I've just been grumpy! Even Squirrel got snapped at tonight at feeding time. You should have seen her face - surprised that momma "barked" at her.

So I'll leave you with that. I'm grumpy today. Tomorrow will be a better day.

Monday, December 21, 2009

This ~N~ That

Life around here, for the first time in weeks, is boring, so I won't send you off to Never Never Land to dream of excitement! Instead, I'm going to send you off to other blogs.

The first one is Why Not Nikker. Be warned - there are graphic pictures! But it ends well. They are just "Oh My God How Did That Horse Survive" type pictures!

The second is Fugly Horse of the Day. I've read this before and it's hysterical!

The third is The Adventures of Bo Diggity. Kort just got a hungry grey filly, which is now named "Pebbles", thanks for Candice Bloom. I don't think Kort had pics or the story up yet, but keep checking back, I'm sure we're in for quite a story! Wait a sec! Did I seriously read she's a 2 yr old the size of a weanling? (Not on her blog yet - insider information)

And last but not least, do you have one of these?

It's a soft, fleece neck sock and a reader, Mrs Cravitz, made a bunch for me. This is the "after. Here's the "before". (If you are interested, send me an e-mail and I can put you in touch with her)



You tuck the flaps in and WOOHOO! No more cold neck, cold chest or cold wind blowing down the back of your collar!

She also sent a Neck Tube. I still haven't figured out how to wear it, so I usually look like this when I go out to feed. (Well, at least my HEAD looks like this)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Can I have some cheese with my whine?

I'm gonna whine for this post. Bear in mind, it ALL self-inflicted, but I don't care.

I exhausted. It's not even 6 o'clock and I'm completely spent! My back is aching. My feet are screaming. No seriously! They are truly making noise! I'm dehydrated. I'm hungry, but I'm too tired to chew.

So... what could I have POSSIBLY done to end up in this state? I picked up horse poop. yeah, that all.

For 5 hours! Now bear in mind, that this poop was mixed with mud, especially after the husband ran over it with the tractor, turning it into a slurry the consistency of wet cement. He tried to scoop up as much as he could with the tractor, then have me fork in the leftovers. This worked pretty good, except for the "leftover" part.

Wet horse poop mixed with mud the consistency of wet cement is HEAVY!

Ok, that's all I have to whine about. I thought I had more, but I guess not.

SO...I turned the "kids" out on pasture while we were working. Millie went out with Jinx, just by virtue of their pen setup. Sweet Miss Millie had been out with the boys, if you'll remember, and she'd gotten in the habit of being bossy.

Also, Jinx is almost two taller and out-weighs Millie by about 400 pounds. AND, Jinx did not take kindly to a snotty 2 (almost 3) yr old pinning her ears and making a run at her. Jinx gave her plenty of warning...wiggling her butt and pinning her ears. Millie darted in, thinking she was going to take some of the hide of Jinx's butt. Millie ened up getting nailed in the chest with both hind legs. I say hind legs, because she was too close to Jinx to really get hurt or for Jinx to connect.

Jinx wasn't overly nasty. She was totally happy to share the large pasture. But was NOT going to tolerate a snot-nosed brat getting all up in her face!

So Millie got educated...TWICE! Apparently she's a slow learner.

When I let Millie back up to the barn, I figured she'd head right to water, or the hay I had set out. NOPE! Stupid me! WHAT was I thinking?? Millie saw that she could zip under the top tape (the others weren't up yet) and ZOOM she was loose. And, you KNOW what a loose horse does to the one that AREN'T loose.

Lucky for me, there was a barrier that prevented her from going out on the road. Also lucky for me, she is a cookie monster! One shake of the bucket with cookies and she threw on the brakes and trotted over. Crisis averted, she followed me back to the barn, stopping every so often to accept a cookie.

Supporting Our Troops

I'm moving this back up to the top. Here's a couple cool videos - made me cry.

Thank Your Military

US Military Tribute

There are a few ways that we here at home can send support to our troops overseas.

The real spirit of Christmas is giving to those and expecting nothing in return. Xerox, Inc. has a web-site ( where you can take seconds to pick out a card and write a message to a member of the armed services. Xerox will print and mail it for you for free! You being a stranger won’t diminish their appreciation for your efforts.

Also, you can check out, and choose a contact on the left side on the screen. You e-mail them and they send their contact information and list of needed items. They will distribute to those who don't get much or any mail and they share everything.

I have a link to both sites in my list of favorites. Thank you for your support!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Do you talk to your horses?

I don't mean "Hi baby! Momma loves you!"

I mean TALK to them! Out loud. About "stuff".

Here's what happened at my barn today.

I let a gal at work wrap me around the axle. I should have just let it go, but I got spun up and it pissed me off. Even though we (Our Division) had a team building party and exchanged gifts, I was still pissy when I got home. So I went out to feed.

When I walked into the barn, the conversation (one sided as it was) went like this, "Hi girls! You will never guess what that moron did today!" I was ranting as I fed, telling the girls about the stupidity of the woman at work, telling what I should have said if I'd been a quick thinker. I was talking to them as if I would a person. No wait...not talking... RANTING! Venting my anger! Actually starting to feel a bit better.

Then I turned around. Mike was standing there, looking at me as if I'd COMPLETELY lost my mind, looking like he might just call the paddy wagon to come pick up the looney ranting in his barn.

He said, "What ELSE do you tell them?" I said, "I tell them what a jerk you are for sneaking up on me!" He just grinned and I ignored him. But I have to say I was more than a little embarrassed at getting caught. Then I thought, what the heck, at least HE didn't have to deal with all the drama.

Monday, December 14, 2009

All Buttoned Up and Snug as a Bug!

OK, so as a follow-up to my last post, I gotta tell ya... I put on blankets tonight.

Cathy A has been looking for a blanket to fit Frankie. I found a barrel racer (read "Collector of the Lastest Fad") who was cleaning her tack room. She has a couple of lightly used blankets that were the right size, so I had my choice: Navy/Hunter Plaid or Hot Pink and Black Zebra Stripes. Um...I chose the boring green and blue one. I figured Frankie would suffer much embarassment if I put the pink thing on him, and it probably would have tweeked Bullwinkle's itty bitty brain to the point of a stroke.

The Big Man was a champ! He stood quietly while I adjust it to fit him. He seemed a little offended by the whole process, but he got over it as soon as I took the halter off.

Bullwinkle didn't care much for the crinkling of the fabric, but he also accepted my "advances". Mary did such an awesome job with the Little Man, I tend to forget he's only going to be two years old in May. He is wearing the blanket bought for Beau. Thank you again, Cathy Davis! If fits him perfectly! It's amazing to me that even though he's so much bigger than Beau, he is still the same length.

Little Miss Millie the Fat Filly was moved to the empty stall in the barn. She's such a bully to the boys, I've been throwing extra feed out so nobody goes hungry. She has become quite the little tub of lard!

So, WHY! am I blanketing??? We have a winter storm rolling through tonight. We're supposed to get 4 - 6 inches of snow, and sometime in the night, it's supposed to turn to freezing rain and ice pellets. This is a PRIME example of one reason to blanket.

In the comment of the previous post, there were some other good reasons. I remember when I got the blanket from Cathy D and had it on Beau for a couple of nights. He wasn't using his energy to keep warm, so he sort of puffed up and gained more weight.

Ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you that I hate blanketing! HATE IT HATE IT HATE IT!!! It's pain in the butt! However, with no shelter, the boys needs SOME kind of protection from the winter nasties.

Have I posted yet just how much I adore Bullwinkle??? He's an old soul, mature beyond his years. I have rarely seen a horse with a mind like his of ANY age, let alone one so young. If ever I am stupid enough to breed one of my mares, OR if I end up with a preggers mare, I'm sending the baby to Mary! In spite of her "New Mom" worry, she did an AMAZING job with Bullwinkle! ALL babies should be so lucky to have such a great start!

P.S. It's snowing.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

To Blanket or Not to Blanket...

What is YOUR position on this. Do you blanket? When?

Horses grow a winter coat and they stand the hair on end, trapping warm air next to the skin. This insulates them against the cold. When you put a blanket on them, it lays the hair down so they can't "puff up" and trap the warm air. This makes them colder in my opinion.

I will blanket a horse like Beau - he had very thin peach fuzz on his back, since it all fell out from the crud he came with, thus little/no protection.

I will blanket a thin horse that I'm trying to get weight back on.

I will blanket a horse that has little or no protection from wind or rain.

I will blanket a horse if the horse has gotten wet from rain, and temperature is supposed to be below freezing over-night.

Aside from that, I don't blanket. My horses have snow on their backs. Big deal! If they have snow on their back, that means that they are well insulated and warm.

Like Jazzy here

My neighbor blankets her horses if temp get below 40 degrees. With their blankets on, they NEVER have snow on their backs. WHY??? Because their body heat escapes through the blankets and melts the snow.

Now...that said, I live in a desert. We get very little precipitation. So far this year, not even an inch. If I lived in Western Washington where they have a TON of rain or in say...Minnesota, where they have harsh winters with more snow, I may change my position. But for now, my horses grow their own jammies and live like horses.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Beau's Story - Finally Told

Beau's story is told!! It aired tonight, but I missed it. However, I found the link. Only problem I had is that they called me a "trainer", which I am DEFINITELY not! Ah well!

The videos have been removed from the KNDU website, but the text is below.

Much Thanks to Hilary Whittier of KNDU News for allowing me to share his story!

Here's the write-up.
PASCO, Wash;-- Our station has received a stack of emails from people across the state encouraging us to tell Karen Vermillion's story about a horse named Beau, and how Beau lost a hard fought battle that so many horses around the country have been fighting for years.

Beau was a gelding in his mid 20's who was suffering from malnourishment and overgrown, split hooves.

"She said he was skinny and what showed up was a bone rack," Karen said while reflecting on the first day he was brought to her ranch by a friend she met through a barrel racing club. "He was a walking bone rack with horrible feet."

Karen has rehabbed skinny horses many times before. She has two horses currently on her ranch that she brought back to health. Beau's condition was much worse. He was emaciated and his story is one of serious neglect.

"I honestly did not expect him to survive the weekend he was so thin," Karen said.

However, he did make it through that first weekend, and thirteen more afterwards. During that time gained strength thanks to constant feeding and care. After several weeks he gained enough strength to show his true character, a character Karen says was buried under deep hunger and pain.

"Every little victory for Beau resulted in an explosion of comments," she explained while smiling at the memory. "At one point he was feeling really well and he did this feeble half hearted little buck out in the pasture. It was a huge milestone when he got down for the first time because it meant he was strong enough to get back up."

Captain Steve Keane of the Benton County Sheriff's Office says they see plenty of cases like Beau's; horse after horse showing skin and bones and in need of help.

"We run into a lot of complaints about people not taking care of their animals, horses included," Keane said. "A lot of times we hear about them in the winter, especially when it gets cold and they have to purchase extra feed." Keane said.

The Benton County Sheriff's Department issued a warning to the previous owner of Beau. According to the case file officers were sent to Beau's past home in Kennewick two times to enforce the need for Beau to be sent to a better home. They were then sent three more times afterwards to ensure that the horse was truthfully given away to a more appropriate home with better conditions.

The prior owner could not be reached for comments.

After 13 weeks of constant care at Karen's ranch, it was not enough to erase years of neglect. Karen says Beau was in too much pain caused by split hooves and years without proper food. She had to put him down in mid November, but hopes others will learn from his story and call police if they see a neglected horse.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Beau's Story - Continued

I interview with Hilary (the Reporter) this afternoon. I think it went well. Mike thought it went well. That means I probably look like a complete idiot, BUT at least the story will be told.

She said that she received several e-mails from followers of this blog. Way to go guys! That is AWESOME!!!

She asked me what I wanted to see as a result of airing Beau's story. I'm not sure exactly what I said but it was along the lines of educating viewers and if just one horse is saved from a similar fate as a result of watching the news, then that's enough!

The story probably won't air this week. She has to give Mr. Graves the opportunity to tell HIS side of the story. We'll see how that goes.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Beau's story WILL get told!

I was FINALLY able to find someone interested in telling Beau's story - the good, the bad, and the ugly. I sent her a summary write-up this morning and a few pictures. This evening, I forwarded the former owner's information and the Sheriff's name and the case number. After all, she has to tell both side of the story.

I am meeting with her on Sunday for an interview. I seriously doubt that I'll appear on camera, but perhaps one of my current rescues (Honey or Squirrel) will be a TV STAR!!!

This is going to be a multifaceted story - an expose if you will. Beau's story will will focus on beau and the neglect that he suffered. It will get neglected horses on people's minds and perhaps they will take action to prevent further suffering of a horse local to them. It will also educate them on the fact that old doesn't equal skinny. Now if we can just get that across to local law enforcement!

Another facet of this story will be the sound, sane saleable horses that end up in the killpen - either due to owner ignorance or economic reasons. That in turn will educate the public on the fact that horses really ARE still going to slaughter. Hopefully, that part of the story will drum up some much needed donations for SOS Equines here in town - who rescue exclusively from the killpen.

Then there's the plight of the racehorses. Fugly is on board to do an interview - when the reporter gets around to talking to her. We don't have a TB racetrack here in town so that is sort of "out there", but the goal here is to educate!

When the stories air, hopefully I'll be smart enough to figure out how to post it here on the blog. If not, I can always post a link to the stories.

In the meantime, if you'd like to contact the reporter and show your support for her interest and what this means for neglected horses, even ONE, her e-mail is:

Be sure to put "Beau's Story" as the subject. Stay tuned...