Saturday, August 1, 2009 overcast morning!

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 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 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 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 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 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.

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