Sunday, May 31, 2009

Another busy day coming

Up early on this Sunday morning, let the dogs out, fed the cats......I am listening to the coffee pot groan it's way through the brew cycle, noisy and yet strangely comforting in this big quiet house. My little sparrow friend has just arrived and is checking out the windows......I wish he or she could find a bird of their own. It must be lonely living with your reflection. Yesterday, he or she brought a small worm to the reflection and cast it to the ground, hoping to lure the bird out of the window. Kind of sad.

I have to go and get Winston today, then come home and work on the fencing arrangements.......we sort of started a remodel when I took the horse trailer through the back it wasn't quite wide enough. Winston has been having daily attention and living at a nice farm, so it will be a let down to come back to my farm. This means I will move Beaver back to his pony stall and Churchie will get his big stall back. Beaver really likes having the big stall and is probably going to be a pill about moving. We have had several people inquire about adopting Beaver.......but they just don't know what they are asking.......he is trouble in a pony suit and must be managed.......he hates children........he hates dogs.........he usually hates the barn cats and he chases the chickens and has intent to kill them.and did I mention he is an escape artist?.......besides that he is a wonderful little pony. He potentially could be a guard pony I guess.

Today we will scrub water tubs out, clean stalls (never ending chore), rake some paddocks, clean up the hay area, sweep out the barn, comb manes/fly spray bodies and fix the fence up by the arena.

Tuesday the tractor comes and will groom the arena, cut some brush back, and move the manure pile. All volunteer work and we so appreciate it.

Saturday, the shoer comes for my horses, Yukon and Rio.....I will probably put shoes on Churchie......he has a club foot in the front and just generally bad angles. Rio has great feet and just needs a trim.

Page and I get roped into outside chores for my mother just about every Sunday morning. Something about a 79 year old lady out there attempting to lift something heavy or dig something or move something from here to there and then maybe move it back because it doesn't look right. Last week it was .........picture this.........she had the lawn mower out attempting to pull start it........Page and I looked at each other and said <"well, I guess we are mowing the lawn, aren't we?" This is a set up by my mother who manages to be outside the minute we arrive, and attempting to do something she knows I wouldn't allow......yes, a set up just for us. LOL. Page has a good heart.

enjoy your day...........take the brakes off your is short.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Stallion arrives at the Jones Farm

The Reeves’ dog Bo......isn't he handsome?

The hotwalker at the Jones Farm.

The stallion is his new stall.

The beautful clean and organized.

Looking out of the jail bars on his stall.

Saturday morning and here is another update of the stallion chronicles..... we got up bright and early, got our chores done and then it was time to load up the stallion for his second trailer ride.

About 9:30am, we took the trailer up to the arena, drove in, opened the trailer.....then I caught the stallion, tried a couple of halters on him that were too big......but I really wanted a leather halter on him for the trailer ride, so I finally found one that would work. I had Page fill the hay bag and hang it. Then it was time to see if the boy would willingly load. I asked him to come forward and then Beaver started screaming......the stallion called back to him...... I had Page go back and lock Beaver in a stall. I asked the stallion to walk around a little then brought him back to the trailer....asked him to step up........he did, then he got in and then turned around and got out. No worries. I asked him again, tapped him on the behind and he got right in.......we shut the door and we were on the road.

Thanks to Bonnie for coming down to help us and sorry for the wasted trip.....I actually got him loaded before Bonnie got there.......but it was nice to have help on the way if I would have needed it.

The stallion hauled nicely, no screaming , no drama.....we drove for about an hour and got to the beautiful Jones Farm around 11am. He unloaded very screaming, no misbehavior and walked right into his stall like a pro. We are very, very proud of him.

Monday, the gelding will be done and his teeth also. I am sure he will be sorry he got in the trailer come Monday afternoon. Tuesday morning he will have a regimen of exercise to prevent swelling in the surgical area. He will be rinsed with cool water and walked. They will take very good care of him.

We drove home, stopped at Stroh’s, got a couple of items , then drove back to the farm, unhooked the horse trailer, checked waters........sighed.....time for a nap? I have chores at home but will go back to the barn for pm feeding around 6pm.

gorgeous day......

He has come very far in just a week.

Friday, May 29, 2009


Wow.....the end of the week already......I must say I would be a fan of a four day work week if I could arrange it. I am enjoying the weather and the fact that the paddocks are dried out and we can start on Mud Management 101. We have road fabric and gravel to place in each paddock to prevent the mud we experienced last winter. I am not looking forward to spreading I hope we will have a tractor available. Jason has offered to come and help us with tractor work, so this might be one of those times......

The stallion is going to go to the Jones Farm tomorrow (small change of plans) and so early tomorrow morning I will hope that he is as willing to get in the trailer as he was previously. He is very food motivated. Actually he has been very well behaved at my place........we are proud of him. I am excited for the opportunity he has. This has come together very nicely due to so many folks........thanks to the Stiffeys, The Jones Farm, Dr. Tooman and the Kitsap Humane Society.

The old gelding is coming along. He was a little depressed. Probably the change, medication and the injury. He is in the best of hands and getting quality care by Chelsea, so I have high hopes he will come along. He is 25....but besides being thin, having bad skin and that nasty cut, he is not bad. No obvious lameness and he has a great disposition. Easy to handle. I love the older guys.

The Stiffey family donated money to us that will be used to do the stallion's teeth. He needs his teeth done prior to introducing a bit and so we thought we should do it with the gelding procedure. Poor guy....but he is strong and he will get through it.

It is a gorgeous sky, birds singing. As I write this a sparrow is tapping and flying against our window to "meet" his reflection. This has been going on for a week. He or she is in love with the reflection in the window! I have had to draw the blinds so that he/she will stop, but he/she just moves to the next window. I had all of the blinds drawn for a while, but it spoils the view. I might have to put a fake bird out there. I don't get it, there must be plenty of other available birds out there.

My own horse, Winston is coming back from a two week trial at a potential new home. Turns out he is not going to make a jumper.....nope, he is a dressage boy. Very showy and pretty. We have missed his antics while he was gone. So again, we will move horses and paddocks around. We are full to the brim. With all the time I spend with the rescues and working a full time job, I have very little time to ride.....such a shame for Winston to sit idle as much as he I either get more time or sell him. Hard decisions...hard choices.

Not to mention the fact that someone stole my saddles back in April. Pryed the lock off of my tack room and got a few power tools, plus my saddles. Talk about custom Schleese made for Churchie and my schooling saddles. Hard to ride without a saddle. I hope they did not get thrown away in the woods or somewhere. Makes me sick to think about it.

Well, I am off to feed, then work.

Enjoy your beautiful day. Do a random act of kindness for someone .......we all could use it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Down to a dull roar

Chelsea got the gelding home and cleaned up (bathed and trimmed).....he had a very bad odor which we originally thought was his skin infection......upon further inspection the poor old guy has a severe laceration on his penis. (ouch!) The old farm was strewn with metal objects, old wire, old fence name it. We think because he was so itchy he was rubbing his belly and came in contact with some barbed wire or a sharp metal object. The vet does not want to stitch it as sutures tend to irritate the sheath, so Chelsea has cleaned it really good and medicated him. Keep your fingers crossed that it heals.....he is a nice old gelding. Bless Chelsea for taking him in and making him comfortable.

The stallion has settled in and quit stalking my geldings, although he still calls to them every once in a while. He ate all his hay and tummy upset from his de-worming and he was quite polite this morning.

We have found a experienced vet who will geld him for 372.50 dollars and we are happy with the price. We have approx 150 dollars towards his gelding procedure and hope to raise the rest this week, so we can go forward with our plan for him.

Beaver was locked in all night and as of this time, he has not escaped again, but there is no telling what a hungry tummy might bring. He gets only timothy hay and when he sees grain being distributed.......well, his evil twin takes over.

Hamilton had to move down a paddock and he was no drama queen, he settled in nicely and did not make a fuss. He is just happy to eat.

Drea Bowen has volunteered her services to us and will come this weekend to work on Hamilton and Rio. Thank you Drea!

We also have Krista Davis who has offered us 5 portrait sittings to raffle off, in order to raise funds for the stallion's gelding procedure. She is a fine photographer and this is a great opportunity to us! Thank you Krista. Please let us know if you are interested?

Monday, May 25, 2009

The stallion comes to Pony Up north.....gelding goes South

Chelsea, Page and I got up early, got our chores done and then got on the road to get the gelding and stallion moved. We were not sure what was in store for us with loading a stallion who had never been loaded before....but off we went anyway. We met up at the old farm and decided to start with "Manny" the stallion first. Got him haltered, made him do a little line work......brought him out, opened the trailer, lined him up.........he was very curious and not at all ill mannered. We let him scope it out, gave him another treat.....(he loves carrots).........then Chelsea asked him to step up and in he went........voila........just like that. I told you he was smart. He stood very nicely for ten minutes while we loaded the old gelding into Chelsea's trailer and he went right in like an old trooper. I asked Chelsea to come to my place to help me unload Manny. We got there and my horses were calling, he was screaming and very excited to see what he could see.......Chelsea walked him up into my outdoor arena and it took a minute to calm him down enough to get his halter off......then it was off to the races and showing his parts off. We removed horses from his fence line so that the fence would indeed stay up. The excitement wore off on the rest of the boys and they ignored him as he pranced the fence line. We got him a water tub, some hay and turned the electric fence on.

Tomorrow we find a vet to geld him. W.I.R.E. (Whidbey Island Horse Rescue) has kindly donated 100 dollars towards his gelding costs......and we THANK them very much! They have been very willing to help us and we can use all the help we can get most days!

I just came home to get some lunch, Chelsea is on the road taking the old boy home, Page went home........then I am back to put up some more insulators for some more hot wire. I am not taking any chances.

I have to say that all in all, Manny was a good boy and I have hope that he will learn fast.

I will post more pictures tonight of Manny in his new spot.

After gelding him, he will go for 30 days of training, where he can learn some manners and perhaps be put under saddle. We shall see...

I am tired.....too much excitement and adrenaline. More later.

I am back. I just spend several hours putting up more hot wire tape along the top of the arena fence. Then I haltered the stallion (I had grain, so he was more than willing).....then decided that I would de-worm him with the rest of the herd. He was easier than the rest. Maybe I should have had an Arab years ago? LOL. .......anyway, we got the de-worming over and he refused to eat the rest of his yummy grain because he was certain I was poisoning him. He walked off and walked the fence, then ate some hay, then walked some more....all the while watching me. He is particularly in love with my gelding Ollie........he sees him and he gets all worked up, screams and prances......whilst Ollie ignores him. Ollie is not impressed by his antics.

Beaver was a pill today. We moved him so that he and the stallion would not share a fence line.....and Beaver did not like it. We moved him to a far paddock and he promptly escaped into Hamilton's paddock by ducking under the fence. Hamilton promptly chased him and then Beaver ducked into Church's paddock where he was greeted by a 17H unfriendly Holsteiner and so he promptly retreated to the bottom of the paddock waiting for me to rescue him.

That darned pony. He is locked in a stall tonight while we regroup on paddock arrangements.......the trouble is........NO horse likes Beaver and Beaver is relatively unafraid of the electric fence. ...he knows he can bolt right through it...if he is fast enough.

Back to work tomorrow......and I hope everyone stays in the paddocks as assigned.

The really good news is that after the stallion has been gelded, he will go to the Jones Farm, who has very generously donated training and board for him. They are so good to us and such good friends. We adore them and we want to live at the Jones Farm ourselves.......a small slice of heaven in Renton.....picture perfect on any day. Really....I love that place....and the Reeves are two of the nicest people you could EVER meet.

Enough for today. I met some really great people this week and I am pleased that we were able to help the Arabians get placed.

After the stallion has had his training, he will be available for adoption. He is small, wirey, very smart and athletic. I bet he would make a great competitive trail horse. Too bad I am six feet tall and he is 14.3H....and also too bad that I am not a competitive trail rider (almost forgot that!)
Enjoy your short work week!

Thanks to Jason and his family for making the efforts for these horses and I was glad to meet all of you.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Updated photos of Reba in her new home with her new boy.....she looks very happy and so does he!

a.m....I am leaving to load the little Arab mare so she can go to her home today. The kind neighbor man will use my trailer and transport her up to Camano Island to Helen, her adoptive owner as of today. Happy ending. Page is going to help out. Again, I must thank Page for all of her help.....she has been a Godsend to me, especially this week. Always willing and ready to give something a try... and she learns fast...she doesn't hold the hammer like a girl anymore!

Hamilton is feeling much better. Still thin but more active and now protective of his food (hard to blame him but we do expect manners) He laid his ears back at Page yesterday and gave her a glare when she got near his hay. He is much more active and also walking better. He has my mother convinced that she needs to give him something every time he calls to her. My mom has been enjoying the good weather by gardening and Hamilton knows right where she is at mostly every moment. She gives him lunch and she says if she is not right on time....he throws a small fit. hmmmm.

more updates later. off to feed and load..

The mare was a little super star.......she is brave and willing. She got right in and ate some hay, looked around, then came out for a minute, then got right back in, we shut the door and Jason hit the road with her. I left the divider open and tied back so that she could have a box stall and not feel so confined. We wish her and her new owner the best of luck. We got very good references on this home and I hear it is a place we would all like to live at. She is a nice little mare. She has never been off the farm before and I know she was scared. But honestly, I wish my own horses loaded as well as she did. Most of the time I would pay someone to load that big Holsteiner of mine.......and pay someone well. Anyway, when they are scared you wish you could explain to them and tell them why ultimately the change will be good. I gave her a last pat on the neck and sent them on their way.

We medicated the gelding again, his skin looks much better today. He saw me coming and made for the back forty....he did not like the SMZ's and so afterwards we gave him plenty of treats. Tomorrow he will leave for Chelsea's. He is a nice boy.....great disposition and also willing to do what you ask if you have patience.

We visited the stallion for a few minutes......he was very upset to see his mother leave, ran the fence. We really need to get something together for him by tomorrow. Once the gelding leaves, the fence is not going to hold the stallion. We think we can work on a smaller paddock at this old has railroad ties and the fence is higher. We will bring a charger and put a couple of strands of hot wire for extra measure. This will allow us some time to work on a better situation for him. No one wants to euthanize him....except the distant neighbor with the shooting fantasy. Weird......just so weird to me.

I will go later today and fly spray both of those boys.

I got one wall of the pony shelter up at the north farm and I have to work on the roof looks slightly haywire. Hey, I never said I was a roofer...did I? I keep telling Page we are not looking for beauty....only function and I will say that the roof does not leak. I had a contractor at the farm yesterday and he looked at the pony shelter and said "nice"...........hmm...then I told him that I was going to say he built it.....he immediately said he would help us get it straightened up.......LOL! He is going to help us extend the roof on the upper loafing shed too.

It is such a beautiful day and I have so many things to do.....I better get going.

enjoy this gorgeous day and "jingle" for the stallion.......and us.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Saturday ...

You know what I love about Page? She is always willing to help me whenever I ask.....she does sometimes give me "that look" like "how do you think we are going to do that ?"

So this morning as she feeding, I say "we are going to go and bathe the old Arab gelding, medicate his wounds, look the mare over, groom her........oh and then we are going to halter the stallion to see what he knows."

"WE are?" she says.

"Yes, WE are," I say.


So in about an hour we jumped in the truck and left to go see the Arabians.

The gelding has a bacterial skin infection and so a bath was in order, however he wanted no part of the hose or cold water or us after he understood the plan. He danced around a little, screamed a little so I put a stud chain on him (I know, he hardly seems a candidate for a stud chain)......we didn't use the chain as he understood the message.....he stood like a good boy and we got scabs off and a good lather of antibacterial cleanser on him, then rinsed him, sprayed him with some anti-itch spray and he was good to go.

The mare was in good shape skin wise, she got some grain treats and some hand grazing.

Then I went to get the stallion. He did not want to be caught, although he did get close, then he would lay his ears back and snake his head at I sent him off and out of my claimed area. He finally came to me and waited, then allowed me to halter him. I told him that I might be his only chance out of here...I expected the worst. I am not a stallion handler , at least not a stallion who has had very little training and absolutely no discipline, but I had to try in order to see what we were dealing with and so I could tell folks first hand about his behavior..... I asked him to back up and he willingly did, he turned and came forward when asked, he lead next to me and he stopped and came forward again when I asked. I patted him and told him he was a good boy. Then I asked for his left front....he offered to bite me and he got a reprimand. I asked again and he offered to bite again......he got a sharper reprimand followed by some line work......I asked again and he was polite, lifted and held his mouth, no ears back. He got a good pat on the neck and withers, then I asked again.......he lifted his foot and held it up.

Aw.. he is a smart one. I moved to his other side and asked for the right........he lifted it right up for me, no ears, no mouth. Good boy pat, withers scratch..... lesson over. Enough for today.

This horse needs gelded asap. We cannot place him without him being gelded or without a gelding contractin place. We cannot place him with an inexperienced handler. I don't want anyone hurt and I don't want him to end up on the slaughter bus due to him being too much to handle. He will need an adequate stallion pen/turn out with hot wire as he knows that his current fencing is not a challenge if he wants out.

He is smart, he has had work done with him that he remembers......he just has not had anyone to train him or teach him manners. He has had years of surviving on his own with his own rules. He wants to be friendly.......he does not come after you, he comes to you with interest but needs to learn his place and a job.

We would love to have an experienced trainer volunteer to work with this boy for 30 - 60 days in order to give him a fair chance at being placed. He will be gelded first in order to "get his mind right."

We hope to generate enough funds to geld him in the next week.

We hope to hear from folks who may have ideas, suggestions.......we welcome them. Time is running out for this guy.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Stallion remains

We have a place for the old Arabian gelding and as of tonight, a place for the mare to go. We still need a place for the stallion. Ideally we would like for him to be gelded prior to placement. I visited the horses tonight and the stallion whinnied a big hello and came right up to see me. He is studly and he needs some manners.......but he is handsome and has his own charm about him.

We have had a few offers....but he cannot/will not stay in hot tape fencing, he cannot stay with mares and he cannot have an inexperienced handler. We hardly think this means he should be handed a death sentence. There must be someone out there for him.

If we were to adopt one of our own out, we could accomodate the stallion.......but we cannot take on more than we can handle financially or physically. We have two really nice horses ready for new homes.......take a look at our adoptables? Maybe you will fall in love?

Until then, we are looking for options for the stallion. We are open to ideas and suggestions.

Thanks for all of the nice notes was nice to see the horse community working together. The mare has a great home lined up and the old gelding could not be luckier......he gets a chance to feel better and get healthier.

A special thanks to the neighbor who has helped these horses for the past several months...he is a hero.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Three Arabians in need of immediate help

We have been asked to help with three Arabians who have no where to go. The elderly lady that owns them cannot afford their care and has no funds to euthanize them either (which is her final resort) Neighbors have been feeding them on and off, but the stallion escapes and is in danger of road traffic. He needs a secure facility/fenced area. There is an elderly and ill gelding, a mare and a stallion. Attempts to place them so far have not been successful. We believe it to be in the best interest of the gelding to be kindly and gently euthanized. We would like to help the mare and the stallion. If there is anyone who has the room in their hearts and their barns......please contact us immediately. There is not much time....a distant neighbor has offered to "shoot" them for only 350 dollars each.......I will not comment except to say that no one wants them shot. The horses need to be placed responsibly and so we will ask for references and a site visit. The mare is easy to handle, the stallion will require an experienced handler.....he is not unkind......just has not been worked with. Unfortunately our own rescue slots are all full and we cannot afford to take on another horse or horses at this time unless we find a sponsor for them or raise enough funds to feed and house them until such a time as we can place them into an adoptive home. If you want to commit to a sponsorship for one or the other, please contact us. If you would like to contribute to the euthanasia fund for the gelding, please email us. All funds donated to our rescue are tax deductable. We appreciate any and all ideas to get these horses to safety.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Hamilton improves a little each day. Physically it is hard to see change in a couple of days, but mentally it is easy to see. He calls to us at feeding time and stamps his hoof saying "hurry and get that food to me". He has a little light in his eyes........He continues to be very gentle, good about his fly mask, he moves over nicely when we ask him to so that we can clean around him.

In a few weeks we will give him a pasture buddy, probably Rio as he is kind and gentle.

I was hoping the sun would come out today but it looks like it won't happen..........the weather report says Friday which should make for a nice weekend. A weekend full of chores. The chores don't take a vacation! We still have painting to do, siding to put up, paddocks to clean and we have to move the chicken coop. Chickens are hanging out on my mom's porch and she prefers they go somewhere else. We had put the coop off to the side of her carport when the chicks were little, so that she could keep an eye on them. They are half grown now and we will probably give some of them to a new home as we really don't need 12 more Bantys.

If you didn't get a chance, read TB Friends this morning.......great blog and I love it when the kids write a paragraph or reading a passage from a book that stays with you for a long while. You have to love the honesty, the passion and the sharing of the heart.

Junah has not had his neuro appointment yet, we are all on pins and needles, expecting the worst but hoping for the best. I guess it all works out in the end........someone has bigger plans than we mere mortals.

Page has been a HUGE help this week, as I have been under the weather. She is a trooper that is for sure..........not taking any guff from those Big horses of mine. She has everything under control. THANKS PAGE! And thanks to my mom too for giving the extra feeding to Hamilton.

Didn't someone say it takes a village?!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Pictures of Hamilton Radar Jones 5.16.09

This horse was being ridden.

Not for the faint of heart......this is certainly not the worst I have seen, but none the less it is a graphic representation of a horse who is underweight and in peril.

Hamilton is resting comfortably with a lot of hay in front of him tonight. He is happy and perky despite his condition. He is eating well and eating everything that is given to him. He loves his beetpulp and corn oil complaints. He also loves carrots and has quickly become a beggar. Of course I give him all the carrots he wants.

Hamilton Radar Jones is home

Hamilton Radar Jones is home. I picked him up Saturday. I was told that he "didn't load" and that it would take a long time to get him into the trailer. Nope. He loaded right up.......he actually loaded better than my Holsteiner......better than my TB.......and about as easy as my Hanoverian. No trouble, no balking, a little soft talk and some praise.......and in he went. He hauled nicely although he screamed all the way to anyone who would listen. It was a warm day so I left the jail bars up and windows down.

I promised I would be politically correct. His owners did the right thing by surrendering him and I will give them points for that. He is not in good shape. Per my agreement with the surrender, I cannot go into all details.
I can say this......he is happy today. He ate all night, cleaned up everything he was given and this morning he called out in a strong voice that he was ready for breakfast. He needs dental work, he needs hoof work, he needs weight and he needed a chance......which he now has.

Did I mention he brought friends? LICE...... I told Page that he had lice after she was petting him and she got "that" look on her face.........I said "don't worry, they might hop on you but they won't stay".........she said "good". I love to shock Page with these things...for just a moment anyway.

He also has bilateral stifle issues, which may be due to needing some muscle...we shall see.

oh, yeah........he windsucks too. Oh well, we don't mind, it could be worse.

A beautiful day today and in a little while I will go and scrub Hamilton's legs with some betadine cleanser.

I left the farm with all the horses enjoying the sun. Ollie and Rio were trying to get each others’ fly masks off. Churchie was laying in the damp part of the paddock. Beaver was teasing Yukon over the fenceline. Chickens were working the manure pile over. Did I mention the other Banty is setting on eggs in a secret location? She comes out to eat and then disappears. We really don't need any more chickens.......anyone want some? We have an assortment of 12 banty chicks........half grown....just raise your hand! Chelsea you don't have any about you?:)

enjoy your day!

Friday, May 15, 2009

The weekend is here again

Wow.......the week flew by and there is plenty to do tomorrow. Hamilton Radar Jones will be picked up and transported to the North farm. One of my own horses will be moved in order to accommodate Hamilton. Winston goes to another barn for two weeks. He is not a good companion for a rehab horse.

There is hay to be bought, an extra de-wormer, some supplements and probably some other things after I have a good look at our newest guest! I am told he is thin and in his pictures, he does look thin......although I personally know that the camera adds lbs to horses and in person they can look much worse........they never look better. Sigh. I am told he is friendly. So tomorrow I will go and load him up and bring him home. Another bay horse. It is kind of funny.......I have nothing on the farm but BAY that some sort of kharma for me? I have to admit to always being drawn to a bay horse.....any variation of bay will do....but then add TB to the mix and I am set. I should have called this BAY TB Gelding rescue and rehab. LOL.

We will evaluate him, put him on a feeding program and then give him a few weeks to put some weight on and get his mind in a better place.......then we will evaluate him under saddle.

I am told he trail rides and so I think once he has weight on, he will be easy to place.

I am sad to report that I lost a friend this week. Life is short. You regret things you said or you wish you had said them differently or more kindly. You wish a lot of things.......I don't know how else to say it.........and we probably all regret some things or some aspects of our lives. This is not a dress have one shot. I did a lot of soul searching and then I called another old friend and made apologies for an anger between us. I didn't give up my values but I did give up the anger and remembered to value the good that had been between us.

I will give up the preaching now.......but my point is LIFE IS SHORT>>>>>LOVE HARD and LOVE WELL.

enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Rational love

We will have a neuro evaluation done on Junah this week and then we will make a group decision as to what the rational, responsible thing to do should be. We all have time, love and a lot of emotion involved with him. He is a nice horse and willing to try anything if you ask him.

We all wondered why such a horse could be left at the Enumclaw auction yard, not even run through the auction and just left for the slaughter bus. Left in a ratty halter, feet that would make you cringe, unkempt mane and tail, dull coat........just waiting for the bus. No chance.....until Hana called us. Hana is an angel to horses at the sale doubt about it. She has the biggest heart and the kindest soul.
I want to take a moment and point out that many horses are taken to the Enumclaw auction and left or run through at ridiculous prices.....and they are perfectly healthy, sound, no issues, no problems.........they are just unwanted, unaffordable, or unloved. It is a cruel fate for a large percentage. If you have an old horse and you take them to the auction, you are almost 99 percent sure to be buying them a ticket to the slaughter house. An old horse who has served you well deserves better. The trip that leads to the slaughter house is a road trip to horror.

We are establishing a euthanasia fund to help with humane euthanasia of old, sick or crippled horses for those who cannot afford it. We feel it is the right thing to do.
Euthanasia is the last kind thing you can do for an animal you have loved and it should be affordable and accessible.

We will keep you updated on Junah and what we find out.

Hug your horse today, bury your head and your heart in his or her mane ..........feel the love!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

devastating news

Part of me wishes I had left well enough alone and never made Junah a bigger paddock.

After I took the pictures of him grazing the other day he really played hard in his paddock for the first time. Really hard. He was galloping and starting and stopping really hard. At first I was scared, then I started to laugh and enjoy watching him flex his muscles. What an incredible athlete!

Then I saw him take a bad step behind. No big deal he turned and raced back the other direction.

Then he did it again.

It was almost like he did not place his foot flat, almost knuckled over to the front hoof wall. Then the other side did it. If he was not so muscular and athletic with his front end he would have gone down behind. Then his hind end strides got short. Really, really short. There was nothing that looked painful, he still continued to play and snort and all of the veins in his gorgeous body distended with his efforts, he looked amazing. But gone was the beautiful floating trot and collected canter. In its place was a disjointed scary caricature of his former graceful way of moving.

I haltered him and brought him to the barn.

My mind was reeling.

When we first got him Rosemary had played detective quite successfully and tracked down people that knew the breeder and remembered the horse.

They said he had been kicked back from the track for "hind end weakness". We all assumed that he was just a gawky baby that was still growing.

He was a touch lame at Hana's but nothing more than a bit short behind on one side. He had horrific feet, the ground was frozen, and he had been on concrete at the auction yard for days.

At my place he had never been lame. Quite the contrary. He was a beautiful lofty mover and I was so excited to get his feet fixed and get him going under saddle. But he was in a 60ft round pen and had never been able to do anything other than a very collected canter and occasional playful bucks for a few strides.

Now this. I called Dr. Bob DeWard.

I called Rosemary and sent e-mails to the other PUR members.

Then I started putting it all together. The track history, the panicky reaction to us working on his feet was partially due to lack of handling but he had gotten so very kind with everything else and continued to be fearful of giving up his feet. Particularly his hinds.

I felt sick to my stomach.

The next morning I talked to Dr. Bob extensively. We discussed the different things it could be. EPSM, EPM and Wobblers.

With the history of weakness 3 years ago it is unlikely he has EPM. It would have advanced and he would have muscle wasting. He does not. He also would never have been able to collect himself enough to perform the beautiful collected canter he could do in my round pen.

EPSM is also unlikely as his diet is extremely high in starches and he has never showed signs of tying up or muscle tremors.

Wobblers fits. It is a narrowing of the channel that the spinal cord sits in. When a horse aggravates this area when exercising the resulting inflammation causes the spinal cord to be compromised and it most often manifests itself in hind end weakness. The diagnostics are expensive, laying them out under general anesthesia and doing a serious of radiographs with dye to track where the spinal cord is pinched. The resulting diagnosis is not very helpful as there is no known treatment that can make them sound. There is a surgery that can help a bit with some horses, but it does not render them rideable.

Yesterday Junah was reserved when I turned him out. Gone was the scary weakness in his hind end but he was not his usual fluid self. He had short strides and did not do anything more than wander and graze.

This morning he was a bit better and more "normal" in his gaits.

This too fits with Wobblers. As the inflammation fades so do the symptoms.

We are trying to decide what is best for the horse now. It will not be safe to put a human on his back. It will not be safe to have his feet done without laying him out flat to trim him every 2 months. This alone could aggravate his condition.

This is very difficult for me. I watched him follow my husband like a puppy this morning. Andy would stop and pet him and Junah would follow. As a joke my husband walked in a circle. Junah followed with his nose on his shoulder. Watching made a huge lump in my throat and my heart ache.

I have euthanized many animals over the years. You do not have a bleeding heart for geriatric animals and not face this reality on a fairly regular basis. But Junah does not have debilitating arthritis or geriatric disease. He is a young beautiful horse with a scary neurological condition. But he looks perfectly healthy.

It is very hard to consider his fate.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Junah grazing in new paddock

Junah enjoying the grass

New fencing redux

Rosemary and Page were not the only ones re-fencing for PUR horses this week. I must confess my own re-fencing was far less impressive and I had the help of my husband's strong back so I am sure I feel less exhausted than my coworkers!

Pony Up South(I think I see a new farm sign coming) has been housing Junah since we picked him up from his safe home earlier this year. He was saved from the kill pen by Rosemary, but the snow and ice prevented her from picking him up right away. His original caretaker was a wonderful person named Hana who was a brave soul and WALKED him in the snow and ice on the road to her farm and kept him for the first few weeks. She is a brave woman!

Some of the main challenges with Junah are obviously #1 his feet, #2 his lack of handling and #3 his lack of trust in humans. -We have made huge strides with all of these.

His feet are hopefully just one shoeing cycle away from a regular 1/2 set of shoes without the advanced system that he is currently in! This is due to the dedicated work of out farrier Sandy Craig and our vet Dr. Bob DeWard. Look for pics of both and links on our website soon. I have to say both are ridiculously camera shy and getting pics of them may have to wait until the new Hubble telescope is in place in space and we can get them stealthily!

His lack of handling is getting better all the time. He is a gentle soul and wants so desperately to be a pocket pony but just has no frame of reference for the most mundane tasks. Blanketing, fly masks, picking up his feet, all were major hurdles for him. I really want to whap whoever left him in a field to his own devices for years right in the head!

He has a lot of trust in my husband and I now, but truly takes trust one person at a time. The funny thing is he actually is probably best for my long suffering very non-horsey husband who never ever asks him to do anything other than wear a halter and go to turn out or dinner in his stall daily. Watching this gentle giant wait patiently and lower his head while my husband fumbles with the halter is pretty heart warming. I, on the other hand, am the one who asks him to do scary things and this occasionally sets him back in his trust of me.

I will say I am very surprised at what is no big deal for him.......deworming- could not care less, he was given tetanus and West Nile vaccs last week and never flicked an ear, big scary trucks driving right next to him and trailers coming to load compost are completely not an issue. In fact he marches to the fence line to say hi and see what is up. He is an interesting creature for sure!

Back to fencing.......

He has been in my sand round pen to facilitate his hoof healing for months now. The sand and special "clog" shoes allow him to not have a lot of pressure on his hoof walls and keeps them from splitting again until they grow out. His healthy hoof wall growth is well past the 1/2 way point. The downside to this is he is a young 17hh TB who needs to unwind those legs for his mental health. A 60 foot round pen is not enough room, nor is there any grass other than my husband and I hand grazing him. I do not have any of what I would call TB safe fencing on my place. Field fence and New Zealand wire has been very safe for my herd, but I think Junah needs a more visible barrier for the first time he unwinds.

Yes, I am a chicken at heart. Rosemary says I just need to turn him loose and close my eyes, he is not dumb and he will stop behind the same fences that safely hold my 16hh horses. I just cannot do it.

I did have a brainstorm this weekend though! I have been replacing the old rotten post and rail fence around the barn with horse mesh and hotwire....very safe but it would allow him access to the barn, tractor implements etc.......not good. Saturday I was looking out there feeling sorry for him and it dawned on me. With my husbands help we tore apart the round pen and attached the panels to the horse mesh posts making an area the size of a small arena, and best yet there is GRASS for him to graze on.

I did what Rosemary said and turned him loose and closed my eyes. No sound of thundering hooves.......hmmmm I peeked through my fingers and there he was happily, quietly munching on grass. What a good boy! Then he took my breath away. He arched his neck and broke into the most lovely floating trot and then into a smooth collected canter.......

This is a special horse!

Sunday, May 10, 2009 fencing!

4:45 Sunday pm.........I am taking a breather! We got thirty posts augered in and the fencing restrung.......metal posts pulled up (by hand) and the new wood fence is almost complete. We have some short sections in the pony pen to do and we need to expand the arena by about 15 feet. Our current arena is outdoor and is a little too small for big horses to work in. We will plan on new footing also. We are looking at some of the footing that is commercially available and so far Dover seems to have some that will work for us.

The horses were superstars today........three went into the arena, and the other two moved over to the far paddocks. No one was naughty. The three in the arena played well together, groomed each other and then napped in the sun.

We had two really great offers from private individuals who will work with our is a bodyworker and the other an up and coming trainer in his own right! We are excited.

We also have a vet who has offered to do teeth so that his working students can get some practice! More on that when we take them to him. I must say that we are very fortunate to have some professional folks helping us either at no charge or for low cost. We always ask permission prior to providing links to their we have asked and we will list those that want to be recognized! We are very grateful.

The guy with the tractor today was so nice........he gave us a discount and he was very patient when we changed our minds on where particular posts went...we moved one twice. He moved the manure pile too. We highly recommend him.....very reasonable rates and good work too!

enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

Saturday, May 9, 2009


We were contacted by the IRS and our 501c3 status is approved. We should recieve the letter this coming week!

This weekend we are re-fencing the paddocks. We purchased wooden posts today and have a tractor coming tomorrow to auger the fence post holes. We have thirty to start with and more coming in the future. No more metal fence posts.........too dangerous, especially with big horses who like to stand on their hind legs and play.

It was a gorgeous day today ........Page and I cleaned paddocks this morning and swept the barn out. I cut Ollies mane and combed out his very long tail. He looks more like the old show horse that he is rather than a wild mustang off the range. No matter...he is the most handsome horse I have ever had.

We have big plans to paint the exterior of the barn and the inside too.....we have a very small barn for right now...but it works......we use every inch of it. We have a microwave and a table and a drug dispensary area. We think we can do without the table and maybe put a bench in where we can easily put our boots on and maybe use it to rest between chores!

Mud dried a little today and next week we will begin the de-mud process with the paddocks. Gravel, road fabric and mud.

We must also re-roof Beaver's shed. It really looks like non professionals did it and well, truthfully.......non professionals did. ...Page and I. I mean.......It IS functional, it doesn't leak but it does look odd. Did I mention that Page hammers nails like a girl? LOL.

Church (the Holsteiner) let himself out of his stall the other night......there was really nothing for him to get into, but he turned everything over and nosed his way through the trash, left us several piles of poop. He met Page when she came to feed in the morning but obediently went into his stall when she asked.

So much to do on the weekends, we must write a list and prioritize it and reprioritize it as the week progresses. Things change that is for sure.

In the next week, we will bring Junah to the north farm and take Rio to the south farm. Junah needs to use the arena to stretch his Thoroughbred legs........keep your fingers crossed that he keeps his shoes on!

We had a good week of volunteers who want to help.......we have an offer of training for Junah and another offer of grooming and ground work for Rio.

We really love Rio. Such a great horse in so many ways.......he has blossomed at our facility....he is friendly, calls to us and loves to be groomed now.

We have an offer from a local vet to treat our fosters at a great price for dental floats and health checks. More on that later ........we love to give credit where credit is due!

Have a great something meaningful for yourself or someone else!