Sunday, August 30, 2009
The barn, always projects at the barn......in between trying to keep my house clean and my yard in order.......plus ride my own horse, take a lesson here and a lesson there.
we got the entry way of the barn and the outside front painted.......looks great! We got loafing sheds painted.
We got pea gravel delivered and some of it spread on pathways.
We got mats moved and cleaned.
We got more mats brought over from the old barn and put down in paddocks outside of stall areas.
today we got some french drains dug, graveled, pipe put in, more gravel, fabric on top and then replaced the dirt.
We got a drain pit dug and a plastic shield thing to hold the gravel in place........fabric over the top and voila.......done!
We also got three ton of hay delivered and put up.
I hired three young men to come and dig ditches..........so glad to meet them, such nice guys and hard workers. One of them is interested in working on the weekend to clean paddocks.......YES~ they live close to the barn. What they got done in four hours would have taken me about six years.
On Saturday, while I had a mission to accomplish, my volunteers cleaned paddocks, put together grooming boxes, swept the barn, cleaned buckets, groomed horses and gave Beaver a faux bath......then gave some lungeing time to Sully.
Oh and I didn't mention that Margo made us some official PONY UP Rescue signs.......one is installed on the side of the barn (looks great too!)....one for the trailer (not put on because I didn't want to pressure wash it off!) and one roadside type sign............THANK YOU Margo!!!!!!!! much appreciated!
Rio is being adored by his new family. We miss him, but he is living the high life now...like he should be. He is a good boy and went through a lot of torment to find his small slice of heaven with a family who loves him. You go RIO!!!!!!!!!!
We are having a Pony Up garage sale on Sept 12/13........if you have items to donate.....email us........we can pick them up or you can bring them by or we can work out something? The Stiffey family has generously donated their residence for the garage sale......good traffic location.....thank you again Stiffeys......for all you do.
We have 11 new baby chicks as of yesterday.....little balls of fluff......yellow, orange and yellow/black.
I go back to work this week after several weeks off.........I have Monday off and then back to work...so I really am anxious to get the paddock project done.......I will order more gravel......I already had a generous donation of some grid for the paddocks which is designed to hold gravel in place........so I will have a base of large rock put down, then lighter gravel on the top.......keeping my fingers crossed that it works to keep our small paddocks much dryer this year.
Hey it is almost September!
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Saturday morning.......Pony Up North had three new volunteers who joined the Saturday morning work party.......welcome to Kim, Kelsey and Maia! We got many chores done and worked on some other long term projects. The filly's upper paddock was graveled and re-matted in preparation for winter. Other stalls were graveled outside the stall doors and mats pulled up and leveled out. Every horse was groomed, feet picked and loved on.....even Beaver! We moved hay, cleaned water buckets, cleaned feed buckets and picked paddocks.
We had a short volunteer meeting and made some plans for fundraising at a local storefront who has agreed to let us use their real estate. Now who can say NO to a group of cute and enthusiastic teenage girls? Not me, that is for sure~.
Pony Up South took Gossip and Yukon to the SAFE horse show.....a big thanks to Liz, Chelsea and Cat for handling, grooming, hauling and time spent!
Today is Sunday and I had a very nice woman come and donate supplies to us....some feed, grooming supplies, first aid items, fly spray and lots of miscellaneous items. She recently lost her old horse and so she donated his items to us. A big thank you and also condolences on her loss. It was apparent how much she loved him and misses him. She took the time to groom Hammy as she visited and he was a gracious recipient.....he loves to be groomed and fussed over. Too often Hammy is overlooked by visitors because he is not the prettiest horse....he often has a face that is dirty from his mush and he does not have the most beautiful conformation......but he is always grateful for a pat or a soft brush on his fur. Mrs. Morgan ...thank you for your kindness and compassion....it is good to know you.
Please keep my mother in your prayers....she has had some ill health and has not been well this weekend....of course she worries and we worry too.........we want her feeling better and stronger.
I am blessed to have such volunteers and associates who work with me. Sometimes a simple thank you never seems enough for the work and effort put in.......but it is so appreciated.
Rio is doing well four days into his new adoption. He has a huge pasture, his own stall.....keep your fingers crossed for him and Briann!
Enjoy your week!
Friday, August 21, 2009
Probably a change in the weather has caught up with me. I have gravel to shovel and my shoulders already hurt, paddocks to clean and my neck aches.
I have a lesson on my own horse at 10:30 this morning. I am late getting out of the house and rush back to the farm for the second time (I fed at 7am,then returned home to shower,change and do some work related items).
I halter Winston.
He is happy to be haltered, lowers his head, comes right out of his stall and through the barn. Nice big walk. Happy horse. He is always happy...like a big dog. a 17h BIG DOG. sort of like a giant Irish Setter.
He sees the trailer......hmm. His eyes go large.
I walk him to the back of the trailer, open the door and ask him to step up.....He says "NO thank you" and braces himself.
I ask again.
"NOPE, I would rather not."
Maybe you want to ride in the back of the trailer? I shut the divider so he can load into the rear section.
I look at my watch........10:15. Going to be late.
Cmon Winston....step up....come along.
"Maybe just my front feet."
How about an encouraging whack?
"Well jeeze....., okay".........he gets in and then he immediately scrambles back out.
One more time.......
"Okay....I will get in, but I feel completely claustraphobic in the front as of today, right now and I will tuck my butt under me, turn my head towards you and you cannot shut the divider on me because my feet are planted........"
then he busts out past me and the divider.
He is normally not a problem to load or haul. Not sure what got into him. Probably realizes I am grumpy. He has been hauled the last several times with a buddy, so he probably thinks a buddy is in order.
I am now late....it is 10:30am.
Okay......I latch the divider back. I don't have time to coerce him into the front......he is going to haul loose.
Get in Winston, load up.
"NOPE.....I need to go over there........"
Small whack on the behind and a ten meter circle.........
"yeah, I heard you........I am going right now!" and he jumps in.......I shut the door.
He screams for his buddies and you can hear him banging around.
Too bad mister.......we are off.
Check all the doors, slam the tack room door shut.........we are moving.
We get to our destination and I let him out......he is sweaty....he has never hauled loose before. He gets out and I lead him into the barn.
Big eyes, a spring in his step, his tail in the air.......like he has never been here before.
Did I mention that my poor rebuilt shoulders hurt and now I am hanging onto 1400 lbs of Hanoverian ....supercharged?
We have not gotten through the big rolling doors yet because there is paper blowing in the wind from the bulletin board and we simply cannot pass it because it could potentially kill us.
Finally I get him through the doors and he wants right behind me......I say no. He looks right down the aisleway.....then left.....OMG......it is a man with a blower.
He jumps....yeah....I was saying about my shoulder.........
He is a chicken in a Hanoverian suit.
I open the arena gate and lead him in....he looks around and then visibly relaxes....his friend is in the arena....he calls to him. I walk him around the arena....he pees....he looks around and must remember that he comes here once a week.
We saddle and put the surcingle on for lungeing.........I ask my trainer to lunge him ...my shoulders cannot take the bucking bronco routine today. My trainer says he should not play on the lunge line.
AHHHH.........side reins.......yes, side reins.
Side reins mean work.
Side reins must be adjusted if it doesn't seem like work.
Winston has his butt worked off on the lunge line....only a few small bucking bronco scenes.......it is simply too hard and too much work
Time to get on........just a short lesson because he is now tired. Spiral in, spiral out, turn on the forehand, turn on the haunches.....leg yield...halt, trot off, halt, walk....good boy.
Time to get back in the trailer......he is no longer claustraphobic......I shut the divider on him.......we hit the road........
I made the decision several weeks ago that Winston had to get out and get some experience with going places .......new places, new things......
and I will continue if it kills me........(Advil for my shoulders).........linament for him. He is my only sound horse and I will ride him, I will give him experience and we both will eventually like it. ..........Eventually.
He is a very kind horse, but immature......more like a three year old than an eight year old. My problem because I have not done much with him in the last year. I need to change that. I have committed.....or I should be committed.
I could be riding a Quarter Horse.....okay, I don't have one......maybe Sully? No, my legs would be dragging.
We are stuck with each other.
On a good note........Rio went to his new home yesterday.....huge paddock with GRASS. Big stall of his own.......and a girl who loves him.
Wish them luck on their thirty day trial.
Hammy looks almost normal today.......he is actually a big horse now that his weight is good or almost good. He still has a few thin spots. He loves his mush.
Sully is on a diet because he has a gut on him. I must get with the rhythm of feeding a smaller horse.......I feel like I am depriving him when everyone else gets so much.
Beaver had someone come and look at him for adoption......but they never came back?
Enjoy your weekend!
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Up bright and early...horses fed,stalls cleaned, feet picked...feed buckets gathered for cleaning.
Then my angels show up...at our farm angel is spelled V O L U N T E E R...you have to love them. They show up and ask what they can do. So they cleaned up hay remnants, swept barn aisles, scrubbed buckets, filled waters, fixed the water spigot, groomed horses, helped with medicine dispensing, painted loafing sheds and ended with riding Sully (who was stellar by the way!) By 1 p.m. they were finished and then I waited for the farrier.
The filly got her racing shoes off...a small trim. She was very, very good and the farrier loved her. She also got a good grooming from Briann which she found pleasant. She is still so coltish in many ways. She loves to sniff your hair and she will do so for more than five minutes if you let her!
Everyone else got trims, except for Sully whose feet grow slowly...he was good while we checked his angles and gave him a once over.
Then it was time to make some more beet pulp, throw hay, give some treats and the later afternoon grain. I got done a little early and will go back to the barn around 8pm to lock the cats in and give Hamilton some more grain/mush.
We still have much to do to get ready for winter...the paddocks need graveling and geo fabric...some more painting to do, some drains to put in, some hoses to hook up, some plywood nailed in place. Gravel is expensive...we may get some oyster shell and use both. It makes a nice-draining surface which is fairly hard...just a matter of getting it here and moved around. You cannot do it by hand...way too much work. We are also putting a 10' x 10' cement pad outside the barn so that the horses have a place to stand for the farrier or vet or grooming or bathing or cold hosing...seems we are always doing one or the other or several. We will need railroad ties to set in place for the paddocks in order to keep gravel/oyster shell in place.
If it does not rain tomorrow, I will set up the forms for the cement pad and finish painting the loafing shed. We got some free paint from the side of the road...two five gallon containers...it is tan-colored...but really looks pretty good and because it was FREE...we love the color. We probably need to paint the front of the barn as well.
We got our donation boxes in the mail! We are ready to put some out and see how they work for us. We have a trial place for the first one.
I hope you all have a pleasant weekend!
Thanks to the Stiffeys for all the work they do on our behalf...what would we do without you?
Oh and the big mention of the week...CONGRATULATIONS TO BRIANN STIFFEY on adopting Rio! He is lucky to have such a girl as you and I know you will take good care of him. Briann...we love you!
Briann has been riding Rio for the last couple of weeks to make sure it was a good fit and last week she took a lesson from a dressage trainer...off the lunge line :)...Rio was good. He hauls great too. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
I hate to be afraid.
I hate to worry.
I generally am confrontational in order to alleviate those two things.
Confrontation...hmmm...well, it doesn't have to be between two people, sometimes it is between a person and a well known fear...or a perceived scary unknown thing or event.
One of my motto's in life is "you have to hug the monster and get on with it".
What does that mean? It means confronting the thing you fear. Face it head on...get it over with...done...fait accompli.
Why? Because fear paralyzes us. It keeps us from being who we can be. Fear makes us accept mediocrity. Fear fosters complacency, encourages procrastination...it bolsters anger...it teaches us to hate.
Fear really is the worst four letter word.
So how to deal with it?
Get knowledge of what you fear...build skills and then apply those skills. Rehearse in your mind until you have a clear picture and routine of yourself against the fear.
Self talk is powerful. Remember to create postive self affirmations...
write them out, speak them outloud and speak them often. Your mind tells your body how to react. Your mind tells your body what to believe.
Don't let your fear win, don't give in/don't give up...for if you give in, what is the result? More fear...intensified...again and again.
Speak of your fear. You will be surprised at folks responses...you will be surprised at how others can help you...how you can laugh about it.....minimize it...ball it up and let it go.
What is your fear? What holds you back? What would it take for you to forge ahead and break out of being average?
Life is short...giddy up.
“You must do the thing that you fear until the fear of that thing becomes no more.”
Monday, August 10, 2009
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Okay, Winston is not a rescue horse, but he does make a cute face, doesn't he? His lips are coated with his gruel. I always feed grain wet and then add beet pulp. He eats his down like a pig and then it is begging time. If there are any volunteers there, he is sure to get something...a peppermint, a carrot, some sunflower seeds...something, anything will do. He never gives up. If he can reach your shirt, you are in trouble!
Sunday morning and it is drizzling but humid......we clean water troughs, pick manure and then install a new lock on the tack door. Later we will work on the pony paddock, maybe pick a few rocks and clean out the chicken pen.
It is almost time to name the filly...
two more names are added as of last night..
Roulette (I used to have a mare named this...how did anyone else come up with it?)
Better buy some more chances...if there is a name you like...go for it!
We will be having a garage sale in late August to benefit our residents. Combination of general items and tack! Held in Port Orchard. If you have some items you would like to donate, we would love to have it!
Saturday, August 8, 2009
No volunteers today...Page is still on vacation and the Stiffey family is at an event.
It was strangely quiet outside and dark skies, chickens crowing and I was just getting into a routine, sipping a little coffee and cleaning paddocks...and THEN all hell broke loose. Down from the sky came Mr. Bald Eagle, straight across the top of my head and then a low swoop for a chicken. Chickens screaming and running for cover...then the filly goes wild...bucking, screaming and running laps in her paddock. Each buck is punctuated with a squeal and then off to the races again around the paddock. I was merely trying to straighten stall mats...but ended up ducking under the fence for safety. I waved my arms and yelled at Mr. Bald Eagle to get lost..."leave my chickens alone!" He perched himself on the top of the barn and looked around...I know he was looking for the chickens. All chickens had made for the barn or the brush and not a one was to be seen or heard at this point.
I then progressed to stall cleaning. Hammy insists on using his stall for a toilet. So I am scraping down the stall and what do I see? A rat. A baby rat. He came out from behind the wall. Now how can we have a rat? We have two barn cats. TWO BARN CATS. Two barn cats who routinely catch birds I might add. These cats have their own room which I lock them in at night because we have coyotes. I am figuring that perhaps I need something slightly more feral. I was told these cats WERE feral...I got them from the feral cat program...but they are feral like I am a rocket scientist. The male spends most of his time on my mom's lap inside her house...he has a snipped ear, just like a feral cat, but I am beginning to think I was tricked..or at least someone was. Butchie (the male cat) weighs 21 lbs with a head like a grapefruit. The female (Felice) will climb in anyone's car and loves to be held. I am thinking I need a big old, down on his luck, tom cat who wants to work for a living. I detest using poison and especially around the horses. If anyone is looking to place a working barn cat...let me know?
I had folks come and look at Winston today. Let's just say his longing routine was not stellar. He bucked and he rushed and he spooked. He bucked so hard that he threw the reins up and over his head. I had to stop and reset them. I explained that he was not generally this bad. They looked at me like I was lying. Dust was flying...he was sweaty...I lunged him both directions and then got on him. He was rational but a little quick. I trotted and leg yielded and he was obedient. He spooked at the neighbor dog...twice. Not sure why the neighbor dog had to appear out of the brush just at this time, but he did, then he ambled off...and then he came back again. He stopped and curiously looked at us and of course Winston gave him the huge snorty saucer eyed look...I suppose there could have been a chance the dog was going to attack us by jumping the four foot arena fence or he really could have been a wolf (according to Winston)...but he looked like an old, grizzled black Labrador to me. I then showed the people Winston's trailer loading skills and fortunately he did not make me look bad this time. I am not sure the people are coming back. I told them he was a little hot sometimes.
Well off to do some domestic chores while the house is quiet.
I will try to get some pictures of Hammy tonight. His weight looks better. He is eating Senior Equine like it is going out of style and he has gotten a little cranky about you serving it quickly...he even trots out to his tub, shakes his head and puts his ears back. Cute huh? Well, normally I might not think so, but this poor guy has been through the wringer and so I tolerate it...
Enjoy the weekend!
Good luck Briann on your event!!!!!
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
No help at the barn this week in the morning...Page is gone on vacation!
I had hay delivered at 11am, two tons of timothy...really good looking stuff. Winston taste tested just about every bale as it came by his stall. The hay men stopped and patted him every chance they got. "What a handsome horse!" they exclaimed..."and he is so sweet"...I simply nodded my head. Yes, he is a good boy and like a giant dog in many ways...but he has his moments...he definitely has his moments. I spared them the details...knowing they were not horse people...I just nodded and laughed.
I have Winston for sale. Very reluctantly. I love all my boys and I realize that I can't be everything, everytime, everywhere. Winston needs to be ridden more...needs to be someone's baby. I took him up to a nearby barn today and lunged him. He was brave. There were sprinklers going, papers flapping in the breeze and horses calling. He bucked some...he called back to horses that called to him...but he did as I asked. He loaded great...hauled great...he really is a nice horse. I have someone coming to look at him on Saturday. I feel sad. Someone will get a nice horse if I don't change my mind by then. I forgot how much work is involved trailering, tacking up, lunging, reloading the trailer...long day...but I feel strangely relaxed now. Funny...
Hamilton ate well today, I think he looks a lot better. We discontinued his Dex today and I am keeping my fingers crossed as to whether or not his appetite will diminish again. We still don't have a fast and firm diagnosis of his issue. He felt well enough today to "steal" a bale of hay off the newly stacked hay. When I came back with Winston, he was silently munching on a full bale in his stall. I guess I should have had they hay men stack it a little further out. It really won't hurt him to eat all the hay he can stuff down...so no harm, no foul...I am glad he feels hungry.
I bought donation boxes off of eBay this morning and we are looking for businesses to place them at. We want a particular business to "sponsor" a horse by giving us a donation box space. We will link the business to our website and give them updates on a monthly basis on "their" horse. Horses available are the filly, Rio, Yukon, Sully and Hamilton. Let us know if you have a location idea or know of a business who might be interested?
Tomorrow a trip to go and pick up feed. Hamilton needs Senior Feed and so does the filly...(gee, we need a name for her!) In the afternoon , we will take Rio and go to the local arena and work him a little. Briann will help me!
I cried for a long time after reading the Enumclaw auction report. So many good, gentle horses went to the kill buyers. Horses who were trail trained, family horses, ex show horses, one was a halter champion...what an awful end to their lives. Faithful, loyal family horses who are no longer wanted and so they end up on the slaughter bus. Horses who are scared and shaking as they enter the sales ring...they know what is coming. 75 dollars buys the meat on their bones and seals their fate. I will never understand it. I cannot attend the auction...ever...not until I win the lotto and buy a ranch with 200 acres and still have money to spare. I wish...I can only wish.
Pony Up's goal is to be able to help feed hungry horses this winter. We want an Equine Food Bank. We want to help folks keep beloved horses. Our goal is to have 25 ton of hay put away to help those who have hungry horses/ponies/mules/llamas.
Help us to help others. Donate and mark your donation for "food bank."
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Five dollars buys a chance to NAME THE FILLY!
Go to website, make a paypal donation (tax deductible by the way!) and put in the comment section...filly name=XXXXXX.
You may buy as many chances as you want...the more you buy the higher your name chances. You may also support one of the names that have already been put in the bucket (listed below)
Name will be drawn from the bucket in two weeks!
Here are some pictures I took after her bath today. Okay, my pictures aren't the greatest...I will take more tomorrow with clearer head shots...she is very pretty, tall and so well behaved!
So far names that have been put in the bucket are:
Saturday, August 1, 2009
I got a lot done this week at the barn. I fenced in the new paddock with it's very own loafing shed...all done with tall posts so the behemoths that we keep will not be tempted to jump, lean, nudge or bulldoze through the fences. It means that everyone now has a shelter/stall and a good sized paddock.
While I was moving the fencing around Beaver escaped. He takes full opportunity of knowing the fence is off and then makes a run either under or straight through the fence. Then of course he runs laps around the paddock while I run after him. This time he went over the old rotten logs in the neighboring paddock and got himself stung by wasps! He just cannot leave anything alone. I finally caught him and he seems none the worse with the wasp stings. I put him back and turned the fence on...so then he decided to fight through the fence with Sully...the old "I bite you and you scream, then you kick at me and I scream" game.
Our new filly is in heat and so there is the occasional scream between her and Winston. Winston has really no idea why the screaming is going on...he is just trying to get any food that is on her side of the fence and she comes up and screams at him. He eventually gets mad and charges the fence, then runs off. He is very jealous of the attention she gets...and so far, everyone wants to see her, pet her and oooh and ah over her. We don't have a name yet folks?! Don't make me name her...you will have to live with it.
I need to tell you about a young boy I have had the pleasure of meeting a few times. He has made a big impression on me and really, it probably takes a lot to impress me.
This is the Stiffey's little boy...we call him Bubba. He helped out at the barn the other evening and he is so polite. If you ask him to do something, his immediate response is "yes, I can do that" and then he goes right to it. He helped my mom with wheeling her trash can, helped us mend a fence line and ran for tools when we needed them. I am going to try to keep "yes, I can do that" in my own answer bag. There are so many disrespectful kids out there, I love to meet one who has been raised with manners and a positive attitude. Bubba.........YOU are a great kid! Thanks for all your help.
I took Hamilton the the vet last week. It was the morning of the 103 degree day and I hated to trailer him, but his jaw was very sore and he was not eating. I was distressed, worried and so I put him in the trailer and went to Maple Valley. We got xrays (I will find the money somewhere if I have to take another job) and we "tapped" the giant lump with a needle for a biopsy. Xrays don't show anything conclusive unfortunately. The vet gave him some new medicine (dex and antibiotics).The vet is perplexed and has never seen anything like what Hammy has.
I left Hammy at the Jones farm that day/night as it was way too hot to put him in the trailer for the trip home and I did not want to stress him. I gave him a bath at the Jones farm. The Jones farm treated him like royalty over night...fed him every couple of hours, gave him his meds, hosed him...in a great big stall next to some very fine Thoroughbreds. I picked him up early the next morning and brought him home. Hammy is a very kind horse, very willing and very stoic with the kind of pain he has had. I have mixed feelings about what to do for him at this point. He cannot stay on steroids forever. I hope the biopsy will show us something.
We have a mission at PonyUp and that is to rehab and rehome sport horses. Obviously sometimes we bend the rules because our hearts rule our heads. This was the situation with Hammy. Hammy will never be more than a light riding horse (maybe) or maybe just a pasture ornament if his jaw issues can be fixed...he also has bad stifles, poor leg conformation...we would not have picked him for rehoming as a sport horse. but I was the one who went and looked and well...once I looked, I could not leave him. Horses make eye contact with me and it's almost always over. I do not regret bringing him home. This rescue business is a labor of love...heartbreaking at times, expensive and time consuming. I look sometimes at Hammy's stall and it is a mess from the gruel he has to eat. He gets it all over himself and all over the walls, the floor and did I mention he likes to pee in his stall (even without bedding?)...I would like to kick him outside and have him eat out there, pee out there...but gosh, he is happy in the stall and seems generally happy until his jaw pain becomes severe. I am trying to manage the best I can and do the right thing for him...my brain is fighting my heart on this one. My brain knows that chronic pain is no life for a horse...horses spend almost all of their time foraging when they are awake...how can a horse with a bad, painful jaw exist like that? My brain says they can't. My heart says...pain medication, gruel...DMSO...
Sometimes we have to let go. Hard decisions. We will wait for the biopsy.
off to the barn to see our volunteers and our horses that we love!
Stay cool today.