Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Poor starving horses... yeah, right!

Angel, aka Spotted Donkey!

Bullwinkle - His daddy is at the ABRA World Show in Tulsa, OK!!

Chili - or at least part of him. He wouldn't leave me alone.

Kaci being his Drama Queen self... making faces at Bullwinkle, who is off camera and not giving a crap! (You can kind of see Jazzy behind Kaci - she did NOT want her picture taken!)




Thursday, July 22, 2010

I know broken hearts mend, but what about shattered hearts???

We lost Boomer today. The big floppy knucklehead that ended up at our house by accident and stayed to steal our hearts.

10 years ago, right after we moved into a new house, we had a problem with the kids leaving the gate open. I was ALWAYS harping on them. MAKE SURE THE GATE IS CLOSED!!!

One day about six months after we moved it, we had a yard sale. People had been in and out all day, and some had been to look at the little boat in the backyard. We were so careful to not let the dogs out.

Later that evening, we were famished, and people were still showing up, so Kali and I ran down to McDonalds. When we got to the stop sign at the entry to the neighborhood, I looked up and there was my dog, Cooter, running down the street. I pulled over, opened my door and yelled for him. He ran right to me, jumped in across my lap and hopped in the back seat of the car. I started down the road again and Kali said, "Um Mom, that's not our dog." I pulled over and looked over my shoulder and there he sat, grinning at me, but obviously NOT my dog. I took him back home anyway.

He was only 45 pounds and had a collar embedded in the skin of his neck which would require surgery, along with his "jewels". Before he died today, he weighed 90 pounds.

We named him Boomer because when he first came to live with us, he could throw it into reverse and whatever was behind him fell over and went "BOOM". We figured out how to "circle" around so he wouldn't do that. Eventually, he scarcely bother to even move out of the way. You could almost hear him say "Go around, idiot! Go around!"

From the very beginning, he was a great dog. Most recently, he played the part of babysitter to my grandson Asher, letting him do whatever he please without protest.

He never did get over the starvation mentality and was forever trolling for crumbs, food left out on the counter within reach, or diving shoulder deep into the garbage can if given half a chance. His toenails were a little long and he'd click on the tile when he walked. But if the gate that protected the cat box was left open, he could tip-toes quiet as a mouse and have himself a snack of "kitty-crunchies".

In the last six months or so, he was showing his age, although we aren't really sure what age that is. He was an adult dog when he found us. He LOOKED old. He ACTED old! He SOUNDED old. But he was still eating good and though he was slow to get up, I didn't think he was ready to go. I'd come to terms with the fact that he probably wouldn't make it to Christmas. But today came as a total surprise. He was ready, even if I wasn't.

I'm not sure what happened. A stroke, perhaps. A mild heart attack? One minute he was laying there sleeping, the next he had lost all control of bodily function. He was telling us it was time. So we let him go.

I am SO going to miss this dog of many names! Boomer, Bumba, BummaDog, DaBoddaBoom.

Rest in Peace, my sweet old man. I love you!!

Bandit's favorite past-time....riding Boomer! He was SO tolerant!

In younger years, when he could actually swim without sinking.

Again, tolerant of yet another rotten puppy, on his futon.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bored Babies WILL Get into Mischief!!

We've had the horses locked off the pasture since Friday because we sprayed another round of clover killer. Bullwinkle got bored. 'nuf said.

Looks innocent...doesn't he.

Jazzy on the left, Lucy in the background.

Friday, July 16, 2010

What is up???

The answer? Not much, except the temperature!

It was a nice reprieve last weekend when highs were in the mid-80s. Back up to 100 degrees now. Even with the breeze, it's like an oven out there.

So what's new...hmmm.

My dryer died this morning. I put the clothes in and turned it on, then headed out to meet the farrier. When I came back in, it was too hot to touch and has turned off. It's been getting really hot on the outside for a while and even though the dryer fix-it guy said it was "OK", we thought he was full of crap and either it would over-heat and die, or it would start a fire. (Yes, it was THAT hot!) Well, luckily for me, it died. So off we went to look for a new set, figuring we'd give the old washer to Josh and Tiffany or sell it. And by old, I mean it's probably 12 years old.

I ended up getting a Whirlpool Duet in Hooker Red. (Well, they call it Cranberry... whatever) It's Hooker Red. Since the set, plus the pedestals, plus the 5 yr plan cost more than the cash we had, we opened a Sears Charge account. 12 months, no interest.

Sonny got his feet trimmed and his former owner had told me that he can get gimpy if trimmed a little short, and having just gone through a similar ordeal with Jazzy (though she wasn't trimmed real short), the farrier left him a little long. He still gimps across the gravel, but once on the sand, he was fine. Seth said that he though Sonny had pretty good feet for being over on the West side of the state. That doesn't surprise me because he'd been very well cared for. That much is readily obvious.

We got the oil changed in the truck and the car. Newsworthy...I know.

We sprayed another clover kill treatment on the pasture. We want it DEAD!!! So the poor starving Thoroughbreds are locked off the pasture and are none too happy about it. Kaci and Lucy stand at the gates and send a grouch my way every time I step outside.

Bullwinkle is lame in the right front. Not sure what that is about. I figure when I raised the roll-up door (which is in his stall) he lost his little pea brain and perhaps stepped on himself or tweaked his ankle. I'll be watching him to make sure he gets over it quickly.

The puppy tried to shred my carpet. Actually, not the carpet, but the pad underneath. And he succeeded. See below. Mike wanted to kill him, but you know, it's all talk. He didn't even spank him. So that sent us out looking. Mike wants hardwood, which will be lovely, expensive, and make the front room echo horribly! But that's what he wanted. At least he took me along to pick it out. I chose a rich light brown chocolate Hickory, hand-shaved and distressed. Cost to BUY = >$5,000. So we'll be living with shredded carpet for a while longer.

My friend Mindy (Shyanna's mom) is FINALLY moving back from Idaho! She should be back in two weeks. YEA!!! The only bad side..."squatters" have been living in the house that she's moving into for two years. They're an older couple, supposedly on disability, and are "friends" with the father of one of Mindy's other friends. (Yeah, I know! Like she needs any other friend than me!!) This couple lived in the house for two weeks with no utilities - if that tells you anything. So Mindy isn't sure what the condition of the house inside is like. The outside needs a TON of work, but water, weed killer, a lawn mower and some sweat with fix it up no problem. She just doesn't want to spend days on end cleaning up a nightmare!! Don't blame her there.

Well, that's about all I can come up with. As boring as this post sounds, it seems like I'm always busy and running my tail off, and getting nothing done. I know I do, but when I sit down to write about it, it just all seems so mundate.

Have a GREAT weekend and go out and love on your ponies!!

p.s. - I wish someone would come up with a car freshener that smelled like horse.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Puss Footed

That is was my farrier calls Jazzy - puss footed. It means that she had thin tender soles and she gimps around like she's had nails driven through the bottom of her feet.

Friday morning, Jazzy could barely walk. He had to trim her on the mats because she was so sore, she wouldn't lift her foot while standing on the gravel.

The farrier thought that she looked like she was foundered or had something very serious going on.

He put shoes on her, we gave her some bute, and he told me "No guarantee this will help."

Today, she and Bullwinkle were running and bucking on the pasture.

I have two reactions. The first one is OH THANK GOD she's such a baby and there isn't something crazy going on. I don't think I could handle losing two in such a short amount of time.


The answer to the second reaction is "YES". Yes she is that big of a baby. Really.

Stupid horse.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

As the Barn Turns...

I've gotten so many messages of condolence and comfort regarding losing Jinx. THANK YOU!!

But life goes on and with as many horses as I have, sitting around and moping isn't an option. (Although I did go to bed and lay there Thursday evening starting around 6 pm)

Thankfully, I have the horses to keep my mind busy.

The farrier came this morning and worked on three horses. First was Jazzy. She's been pretty gimpy since her trim three weeks ago. This morning she could hardly walk. I was afraid that she was going through a founder episode like Angel, but the farrier said "No. I'm afraid it might be something else." He put shoes on her front feet and she was INSTANTLY 200% better! I'm sure she has some inflammation that is keeping her from moving sound, but it was enough of an improvement to make the farrier say "Wow!" So we have come to a final decision... the mare will ALWAYS have shoes in front. PERIOD!

Second was Texas Chili. He was long footed and sporting a seriously crappy shoe job. Seth (the farrier) said "I could talk you through it over the phone and have it turn out better than this! It's a wonder he can even stand, let alone walk." Chili was initially nervous about Lucy leaving the barn, but when he finally settled down, he was a perfect gentleman! Even at his worst, he wasn't that bad!

Third was Lucy. She played hard to get at first, but gave up easily and stood quietly. Her shoe job wasn't much better, but she looked 100 times better when he was done.

Sonny had been on the list to get trimmed, but Jazzy needing immediate attention ate up all the time Seth had slotted me for. So he'll be back next Friday morning, bright and early, to take care of Sonny.

Now, about Sonny. He'd been a stinker earlier in the week, not wanting to be caught. I had to run him around the arena for 30 minutes before he gave up and behaved himself. This morning, I went out early to put a halter on him, preparing for the worst. Little stinker stood there and let me halter him like the old pro that he really is. Apparently, he wasn't in much mood to go for a run this morning!

I had turned Shyanna out with Sonny yesterday on pasture. I didn't think that Sonny should go to being alone at his former home, to being with a couple different girls, then when his pasture buddy died, being alone again. And Shyanna is fat enough that I can feed them pretty much the same. Shyanna is normally really bossy and grouchy with other horses and during the initial introduction, I figured nothing had changed. By evening feeding, after the initial pinning of ears, they were both eating out of the same hay pile. So Shyanna has a "new home" and Sonny has ANOTHER new woman. It works!

This afternoon, I'm going to add Bullwinkle to the mix for a little "Whoopass". Let me explain - Thursday, about the time that we were done euthanizing Jinx and I was getting ready to head out, Bullwinkle did something I've never seen him do. He pushed at the tapes that cut one run into two, between him and Angel, until he was on the other side, in with her. Silly dork! So I took the tapes down and let them both out on pasture, intending to catch Angel once they settled down.

While out on pasture, Angel did the whole ear pinned and charge at BW. He swung his butt, right about the time she turned away. I actually saw the light go on in BW head. He'd gotten the idea to kick at her and she'd be submissive. It worked, because Angel was totally bluffed. BW actually did kick at her, then followed her into the run, as if to try it again.

I ran him off, put the tapes back up, and plugged in the fence - the charge for which is failing, because I should have gotten zapped, but didn't. He has left the tapes alone, but needs to be disciplined by another horse. And Shyanna is just the horse to take care of it. She won't put up with crap from ANYONE!! So the next time the little dork gets too big for his britches, they will be hanging out for an hour or so.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

There are so few words...

I left the dogs in the house this morning, expecting Kali to come home from her friend's house, get ready for work and let the dogs out. Nope..she went straight to work. I hadn't given it much thought, then I got a text from Mike. Did I go home at lunch and let the dogs out? Ok, so two separate texts telling me that no one was home. I finished my task quickly and talk to my boss, who told me "Go." It's cool how he understands.

I was too late. I'd waited too long. I didn't know, how could I? I still feel the guilt. Something (and two texts) told me to go home. I put it off.

When I pulled in, Jinx (the Missouri Foxtrotter we ought last summer) was laying flat out on her side and her normally brilliant white coat was coated with mud. I called the vet, changed my clothes, grabbed a halter and put it on her.

The vet arrived 20 minutes later and gave her two doses of drugs, while I walked Jinx and tried to keep her from going down. She was already in shock. The massive drugs barely made her comfortable. The vet did a rectal exam and immediately found a twist. "That's not good. Not good at all. I doubt she'd survive the trip to WSU."

I handed the vet the leadrope while I hitched the trailer. A few minutes later, Jinx was gone, pain free at last, running across the Rainbow Bridge to join Honey, Joy, Heddy, Beau, and Dobbs. I'm hoping they'll wait for me there. It'll be awhile before I join them. I have more work to do.

Rest In Peace Jinx - I will miss you.

I'm posting Part 2 of Chili's story because it was already written...

Texas Chili – Part 2

Chili’s feet - The Fund has decided to keep him barefoot, assuming that his feet aren’t so brittle that they crack, split, chip and fall apart. After all, I have sand and grass – no rock. If he can handle it, barefoot he goes!

Chili’s Coat Conditiion - The hair looks dry and brittle, burnt and sun bleached. That tells me that perhaps he’s packing a parasite load. Not to worry – he was given ivermectin paste the day he got here (and he was a doll about it) and the Panacur Powerpak is ordered and on the way! While hay and deworming will help, The Fund is of the opinion that Chili is probably also playing “catch up” in the vitamin and mineral supplement department. The ordering of vitamins and minerals will take place this evening. The Fund has chosen Necessity, which will run about $34/mo. This won’t be a long term, just a short term “boost” to get him as healthy as possible.

His “nerve damage”(you can see that he holds his head funny in the picture above. Low and tipped to the left) - While race track records don’t confirm a wreck on the track, there could have easily been a wreck on the polo field, or an episode on setting back while tied. The vet has been called to come make an assessment. It’s possible that Chili may benefit from Chiropractor services – I know I always feel better after a visit. In the meantime, the vet will give his vaccinations, float his teeth (which he desperately needs), and give her opinion on the nerve thing. If she thinks he will benefit from chiro visits, they will follow.

I want to point out here that at some point the owner/trainer was told that Chili was a good euthanasia candidate. It is assumed that this was because of something that happened that perhaps caused the nerve damage. This “something” was after Chili went to his polo career or even thereafter. The owner/trainer, while agreeing to help support Chili, was concerned about the health of the horse and wondered how the heck he got to Washington. He didn’t want to throw good money after bad on a horse that should be euthanized. More information will follow after the vet visit and The Fund has time to have conversations with the owner/trainer. I have not been in contact with him.

Chili is VERY meek. When I hung his grain bucket last night, he waited until I walked away before even putting his nose anywhere near the bucket. He will walk away, hoping you’ll give up, and when you don’t he’ll stop and wait while you approach. He will drop his nose politely into the halter and either stand or follow, which ever you prefer. Another reason to give him his own secure space. No bullying. No bossiness. Just a goofy girl next door for him to talk to, and the Drama Queen, two runs over, to stick his tongue out at.

After the other night, Chili is DEFINITELY NOT a euthanasia candidate!!! He can sit and spin with the best of them and showed no soundness then nor since his little fit throwing.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Barn Dynamics

There was some swapping going on last night, moving horses to new quarters, which is always good for a ruckus! Then the fun of watching the new dynamics begins.

Chili did not care much for being separated from Lucy…AT ALL! Even though that separation is a fence and 10 feet. He showed me some incredible moves and it took him about 10 minutes to settle down.

Kaci was not happy about his new neighbor and told Lucy so over the fence. Jinx got a girlie and giggly (squealing) at Sonny, who was the doting suitor. By morning, they were sharing hay.

So this morning, this is what is going on: Chili loves and pines (not unlike Kaci) for Lucy... who could care less and is in love with Kaci… who could care less and is in love with Jazzy who could care less and is in love with Sonny… who is in the arena and in love with Jinx… who could care less but will share her hay. Shyanna is in the barn glaring at Chili saying (and I quote) "Leave me alone. This is MY hay!" Bullwinkle is wondering what all the fuss is about. And Angel (My darling) just wants a cookie… you got a cookie?

Nine horses at the place. 3 are boarders. 6 are my own. AND… I got one in training. Mike has NO CLUE how many horses there are!

Texas Chili – Part 1

How cool is that name??

He’s pretty brown gelding, about 12 years old. He had a successful career on the race track, then another career on the polo field.

Somehow, and we aren’t sure when, Texas Chili ended up starving in Washington, on the Yakama Indian Reservation. A woman saw him and convinced his owner to either sell or give Chili to her. Months later, this woman could no longer care for Chili and signed him over to Avalon Mist Equine Rescue in Yakima, WA.

Avalon Mist somehow determined that Chili’s knees (they called him “Tex” but I like “Chili” better…) “were shot from being on rocks”, though we don’t really know what that means. Avalon Mist also determined that Chili has “nerve damage from a wreck on the track, though race records don’t support that determination. At this point, we aren’t sure if Avalon Mist is making assumptions or whether a vet was involved. No vet records came with the horse.

Avalon Mist acquired Chili, presumably to adopt him out with an adoption fee, which makes sense really. But a horse with nerve damage and bad knees isn’t very likely to go anywhere, so they contact The Exceller Fund (The Fund). Chili is a grandson of Exceller, and after obtaining a commitment of funding, The Fund became the horse’s owner and wanted him placed in a more permanent retirement home. Based on a recommendation, The Fund contacted me.

Whoever gave me this recommendation, THANK YOU!

On Saturday, July 3, I drove to Yakima and picked up Texas Chili. Upon arrival, I noticed a few things.

First was his feet. They are horrendous. While he is wearing shoes, he is platter footed and there are monstrous waffles in the walls that are caused by long term poor nutrition. Luckily, his heels aren’t horrible underslung, so he should be fine with regular farrier care.

The second thing I noticed was that he is pretty good shape weight-wise. Another 100 – 150 pounds, and he’ll look fat and sassy! But his coat condition is poor. The hair looks dry and brittle, burnt and sun bleached.

The next thing I noticed is that he holds his head low and nose tipped to the left.

Lastly, he is meek.

More in a couple days. Or tomorrow. We’ll see…

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Doing the Pony Shuffle

When new horses come in, I try to find the best fit for them. Who do they like living next to? Can they be turned out together? Is there a horse in the next run that they don’t like? What are their nutritional needs?

Sonny and Lucy were initially turned in together. But Sonny is an easy keeper and very “healthy”, if a little soft from not being ridden in two years. And Lucy is a typical TB and a relatively hard keeper. Personality wise, they were great together, eating from one pile of hay before moving to the other. But nutritionally, they weren’t compatible. So I decided to move Sonny to the barn. He decided that he wasn't interested in whatever it was that I wanted to do with him, so he wouldn't "be caught". So he spent 30 minutes working, which is fine. Once he decided he was done working, he was easily caught and walked quietly with me to the barn. Silly boy!

I swapped Sonny with Chili. Nutritionally speaking, Lucy and Chili are compatible, both needing the same care. And for the most part, they are compatible personality wise, getting along. But Lucy is the boss and a little pushy. And Chili needs a little more TLC than Lucy. So I will need to change their situation.

Here’s the plan. Jinx and Sonny will be turned in together in the arena. It’s a large area for them to get exercise, and they are compatible nutritionally and personality. They are both BIG well-fleshed horses with similar needs, and both are very easy going and accepting of other horses. Unless something happens where they just absolutely hate each other (which I don’t foresee), they will live together in the arena.

Angel will move back to her pen next to Bullwinkle. Her access to pasture is very limited and I can lead her out to pasture if needed. She’ll be next to Jazzy, who will also be limited on pasture time.

Lucy will move to Jinx’s run/pasture next to Kaci. Kaci is a Drama Queen and Ladies Man, so I’m sure it’ll be minutes before there is love in the air. Lucy will have her own private pasture.

Chili will go into the far run/pasture. The feed area is against the outside wall, so there will be no pressure from Lucy next door, and he’ll be able to eat in peace. He will also have his own private pasture.

In other news….

Sonny and Jazzy are an "item". They've been playing kissy-face through the rail fence, and she's in heat….AGAIN!!!! She's a brazen hussy anyway, so all he'd have had to do it look at her. This changes the barn dynamics, because Jazzy is Kaci's woman (according to Kaci). I can actually see Kaci standing there pouting while Jazzy tries to cuddle with Sonny. I would pen Jazzy and Sonny together in the arena, but Kaci's little pea brain would explode and no one in the neighborhood would be able to sleep.

Sonny figured out the routine pretty quickly. I like the fact that when I turned him loose in his run, there was no drama. He greeted Bullwinkle and Jazzy with curiosity and respect, no squealing or striking. He's pretty cool with whatever is going on and has already started nickering like a starved neglected darling at feeding time…just one more voice in the chorus.

Chili update tomorrow – If I can get to it…

Saturday, July 3, 2010

New Faces!!

Meet Sonny! He's a 12 yr old, 15.3 hh QH gelding. Registered name: Sansational Lee by Docs Peppy Count out of Cagey Imperial Page. Sonny's owner is going through some major life changes and wanted to find a good home for Sonny. She's been looking and looking, listed him as a Rescue assisted adoption. Tried everything. Then, I heard about Sonny. We e-mailed back and forth and made arrangements. Sonny is sound for trail riding and perhap pleasure showing. Barrel racing and team penning are out, but that's ok. I don't mind. Sonny had golden eyes, instead of brown. He's really pretty cool looking, don't you think?

Cathy decided that it was time, come hell or high water, for Frankie to go to Big Boy School. She also decided that it was time to give up and stop throwing good money trying to "fix" a horse. I'm talking about Lucy. (FROM THE COMMENTS) - Lucy is not ex-CBER. She was rescued from the July 2008 Enumclaw sale (well, from the kill pen afterward) by a client of Signature West Farms in Spanaway. Lucy has had some pro training but she is blind on the left side and while she CAN ride quietly (I have seen it!) she is spooky about mounting. She is still available for adoption but I know her chances aren't good and I'm cool with boarding her the rest of her life if needed. However, if anyone does NEED a companion horse, she does get along great with everybody, loves babies, and to the best of my knowledge would work fine as a recipient mare. She has definitely been used as a broodmare (why, we will never know...). Tattoo is illegible but we think we see an X, so she is 18.

So Cathy asked if she could swap Frankie for Lucy, since board is so much cheaper here. (Actually, EVERYTHING is cheaper here than in Western Washington.)

Avalon Mist acquired a grandson of Exceller named Texas Chili (Is that a cool name or WHAT???) Anyway, it was determined that permanent retirement was the only path for this guy, so they contact the Exceller Fund, who helps decendents of Exceller. Would the Fund be willing to take over caring for this horse. The answer was "Absolutely! Let us find a retirement home for him." And they got a referral from Cathy. We have a wee bit of room, so we said "Yes. We'll take him." Click here if you'd like to donate to Chili's care.

Below are Lucy and Chili. They were immediate friends, no drama, nothing. It was actually very anti-climactic when you compare Kaci's greetings! The sprinkler are on, so of course, why not stand under them!! Lucy on the right, Chili on the left.

And here's a picture of Bullwinkle, just because I love him!