Monday, June 29, 2009

Carrying bricks

Sometimes you just have to say it out loud.

This is a non horse type blog tonight. You will see why in a moment. A tribute of sorts to someone I have loved and cherished.

Hmm, you what does that mean? Say it out loud? Those of you that know me are thinking "I know exactly what she means"...but maybe not as much as you think.

I am known to be blunt, to the point, I don't like innuendo...I don't want to guess what is on your mind or to have to charm it out of you. I want you to say it out loud so that I can deal with it or I want to say it out loud and have you deal with it...if we have an issue, I want to know about it and I want to get it over with. However I realize that some folks don't like confrontation (too scary) and with great effort I have learned over the years to keep my load of bricks in my arms until it is safe to drop them. Bricks get heavy and drop them on your feet...they make you sweat...sometimes it is too easy to drop them.

Life gives us lessons and shapes our rough edges. It is a work in progress for me. Sometimes I must clamp my hand firmly over my mouth...take my bricks and set them down. Practice...much practice...there is a time and a place... I say the word finesse over and over again and sometimes out loud.

But tonight what I really mean about sometimes you just have to say it out loud is this...

Say it out loud:

What you are good at
What you fear
Who you are
What you need
Who you want to be
Who you love
How you feel
What you believe in
What your hopes are
What you don't understand

Do you keep these thoughts to yourself, afraid to speak them out loud for fear of what other people might think or because you are afraid that someone might think you are weak?

Saying it out loud will give you strength and help you find will give someone else the ability to know you or to help you. Hear it in your mind, practice it a couple of times...then say it out loud.

I am afraid of...
I need...
I hope to...
I don't understand how to...
Help me...
I am a good person
I am worth it

Few of us want to appear vulnerable, but vulnerability is what makes us human...what helps us to reach out to others, helps us love each other, helps us to take care of each other.

I write this blog this evening on the anniversary of my good friend's death. We had been friends since high school. Blue eyes, blonde hair...sweet family.

She committed suicide two years ago. At the time I had no idea why...I never saw it coming. I was devastated and full of guilt,,how could I not have known...I was looking for answers and getting none...needing resolution and not finding any. I could not solve this, could not change it, could not fix it...Was she afraid of what my response would have been? Was I not listening? Had I been too busy? Was there anything I could have said or done or perhaps done better? I still really don't have all the answers. Two years later and it still cuts me to the bone. We had lunch one day on a beautiful afternoon, then we walked my dog in the park, we laughed until we cried about some old times...two days later she took her words.

She was beautiful inside and out, we all loved her...but she could not, I guess, ask for help or say what was going wrong...and so help never came...what I would give now to have been the person she could have come lessons for me the brick carrier.

Say it out loud so that others can hear you, so that you can hear yourself...You are not alone. Somewhere someone loves you tonight.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday morning guest blog

I promised to make Briann famous and here is her own Sunday morning blog. I am getting ready to travel to get Sully and attend obedience.

Thanks Briann!

Here you go:

Horses, Rescue, and Volunteering

by Briann S.

Horses... I could go on and on about them but I promise to keep it to a limit.

Horses to me are very important, for both life skills and companionship. The horses in my life are like my best friends, they are always there when I need them and I can talk to them, as long as I continue to feed them they will continue to listen! I'm sure most of what I say goes in one ear and out the other but sometimes its nice just to talk, let it out,you know? when I first arrived at Pony Up, Rosemary showed me Rio, I almost IMMEDIATELY fell in love, and when I turned around I suddenly felt something heavy on my shoulder, what do ya know, it was Rio! He rested his head gently on my shoulder, since then we have been BEST FRIENDS!!!

Rescuing...well I don't have much to say on this topic. But I can say that since we got the Arabs my dad, Rosemary and Page have really opened my eyes and taught me about tough love. It's a big part of life, and nine months ago I did not understand how important that is in life. You have to be able to understand when you rescue a horse you have to know what ever decisions you make, whether it's giving a horse away or sending a horse to those green meadows of eternal life, that they will always remember you as their life saver and care giver! Rosemary and Page have taught me so much,they are my inspiration!

Volunteering... Hmm... Well, I think volunteering is something you should want to do not be forced into it or do it because you will benefit from it in some greedy way.I always feel really good when I volunteer to do something, whether it's something as small as helping some one across the road or as big as donating money to a good cause. I love helping at Pony Up, I love the people, the horses, and the environment around me! Volunteering is a wonderful feeling at least I think, and at the end of the day I love to sit back and think how I have helped some one or something that day.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Saturday comes and goes...

We got a lot of work done today.

More boards put on the loafing shed.

Fence repaired with new post,

Roof on loafing shed waterproofed.

New gate installed on Winston's paddock.

Paddocks picked.

Water tanks cleaned and relocated.

Rio got a spa treatment from Briann.

We had a deer come to see us this morning......mommy and her baby........they watched us a while. I tried to get a picture, but could not sneak up on them. ...not ninja enough I guess.

Tomorrow I go and get Sully. I also have dog obedience so I will take the trailer to the Jones Farm, go to obedience and then go back and collect Sully. FUN!

Must eat dinner....more later.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday night

Hey, do I only have eight people reading this?! I endeavor to make it interesting and compelling...are there only eight of you listening?

Oh, well, it could be worse. I could be only writing to the walls so I am glad to write to eight of you if that is what my audience consists of in number. I am going to do something fun...I am asking my young teenage assistant Briann to write something for the blog tomorrow...something about horses and rescue and about it Briann? email it to me and I will make you famous! (with eight people!)

Hamilton looks better today and certainly feels better. I will get pictures tomorrow. Rio has bite marks all over him from Ollie, but you cannot separate them because they both scream and run the fence line. Go figure. Horse brains...small and complicated.

Everyone likes the new hay and it is going fast! There is currently no wasted hay, they eat every bite...that is how it should work, don't you think?

Tomorrow- lots of work. Wash the horse trailer, put up fencing for Sully, move stall mats into the new shed, put some more boards up on the new shed and did I mention that a couple of particular bay geldings chewed the boards? It looks like a pack of wild beavers have been visiting...really. I have to replace a board that is brand new.

We will lunge Rio again tomorrow and ride him a little, perhaps put some cavalletti poles up...keep your fingers crossed. I will also lunge Winston and I am sure that will be fun and tiresome (for me).

We are asked today to help a gelding at WSU...a bay TB no less. 16H, 6 years old. scheduled for experimentation at the vet one wants that...his caretakers love him and report him to be a sweetheart. The vet school will sell him for 150 dollars...we need help to get him to safety. If you can help financially or if you can take him in...e-mail me? anything will help.

Have a great evening!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

It hardly seems like a week

I have kept myself busy all week, tried not to think about it (except every time I go to the barn) and I have not talked about it (except to Chelsea...once)...I have written my blogs and tried to sound upbeat...but today it is bothering me. Yes, Junah. I had high hopes for him. I guess I have high hopes for every horse we take in...but this one was right up my alley...tall, bay, handsome...TB...everything I look for in a horse. Have you had a look at my horses? All bay, all geldings, all
17H or more...I must be looking for something in some sort of kharmic way...over and over again I chose the bay gelding.

hmmm...kharma...interesting concept.

you know how sometimes you think about one thing and that thing leads you to another?

me too.

Ending a horse's life is a big deal to me and I wrestle with the right and wrong of it. On some levels, I hate to be the decision maker on whether something lives or dies.

But on another level, I feel that "someone' has to do and decide the right and rational thing.

Life effects life. Think about it.

Compassion is our only true recourse...especially if you believe in kharma and probably even if you don't...I am not sure that I believe in kharma...but I like some of the philosophy...(I love the word philosophy)...say it out loud a couple of times!...anyway...If I know that my actions cause or bring pain, and those actions, in return, come full circle back to me and affect my own happiness or well being...wouldn't I then I find myself more careful in both my word/deed/actions? Well, you would hope so...wouldn't you? Wouldn't that help us all?

Anyway, I am sort of rambling and feeling a little melancholy...I like to think of myself as being compassionate and simply passionate about things I love....and I think most people would tell you I was.....particularly with animals. I often get asked why I do horse rescue.....and I always reply I love horses but it is more than that with most of us who do this.....we get something from it that we need.....the ability to nurture, fix, love, help....however you may describe it.

I told someone yesterday that the rescue helps needy horses and needy souls...people's souls...everyone should get something from isn't just the horses...A volunteer feels needed or has the ability to give something to someone or something...or a volunteer is a young person who has the opportunity to learn something new or make new friends...or a volunteer is a lonely older person who feels suddenly needed/wanted/useful...we like to help those people too...and they are helping us in return. Rescue is a huge labor of love...I feel like I have gotten the best present in the world when I see a horse who has come through the wringer, into our hands and comes back to life before our very eyes. It is one of the best feelings in the world to me. I want to pass it on to others.

I love that starfish story...I don't remember all the words...but essentially it goes...there is a man is walking the beach at low tide and there are thousands upon thousands of starfish laying stranded on the beach and the sun is high in the sky...he is walking the beach slowly, picking up a starfish at a time and throwing them back into the sea...a second man walks up and says "what are you doing?"...

the first man replies "throwing these stranded starfish back into the sea"...

the second man says "but there are thousands of them, what difference does it can't save them all"

the first man replies, "It makes a difference to this one" and he throws one more into the sea...

That story is powerful to me, I hope it is to you.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

How did Wednesday get here already? (Edited late pm)

I am only writing for a moment...I am LATE...I went to bed late, I got up LATE and I am just plain late. I got the dogs out for their run, coffee made and now I must jet around like a crazy woman...get to the barn, get to work on time and get some things done!

Contact vet about dental floats.
Call about oyster shell...wonderful draining material, cheaper than rock and FREEEEEEEEE!
Make sure we have a feeder for Thursday pm.
Buy feed today.
Send some thank you notes out.
Make plans for Saturday chores.
buy arena fence posts
call tractor man to come and auger holes for new fence.
paddocks must be picked/dragged
rocks picked from arena
hotwire put up for Beaver
buy another fence post hole digger....honestly, we got one from Lowes last week and what a hunk of junk......I had no idea that one post hole digger could be different from another but picked up about a tablespoon of dirt at a good! I think Page should have her own.

It never ends...constant chores...not complaining and glad to do it or have it done.

We have horses ready for adoption! Sully, Rio, Simon Beaver(?), not Beaver...but really, if he escapes one more time...I might mull it over...all are ready for new parents who will love them, feed them and care for them! The healthy ones must go so that we can help others and we have folks knocking at our door each day, so we either need room, or a bigger farm or possibly to have our heads examined.

Again, we are thankful for our volunteers and the folks who support us in donations...we could not do it without them. Hug your volunteers today...they are special people with big hearts!

I promised a Beaver story.

A year or so ago, I was at my other farm, had a horse with a temperature, so I called the vet on my cell phone. Then I put my cell phone up where I could easily hear it ring. I proceeded with stalls, raking paddocks...some time passed and I wondered why the vet had not called back. Hmmm...maybe I didn't hear the phone? I should check the where did I put it? On the stall wall? No. On top of the food bin? No...where the heck is it? oh, I put it on the top of a wood fence post...but where? I can't find it. I am losing my mind.....I check the truck, I check my pockets...I look in the barn, on EVERY fence post. I must have dropped it? I look up, I see that Beaver has it in his mouth...standing and facing me...chewing it. He is on full alert. I tell him to drop "that phone" and I lunge for him.......he, of course runs...he runs like the wind with my cell phone still in his mouth...I chase him out into the orchard and I get close enough to almost grab it...and he is off again, back to the paddock and loafing shed. I run back up the hill after him. He stops in his paddock, right in front of his stock tank and looks at me...I say "c'mere Beavey...come on, I have a treat...give me that phone! He puts his little pony ears up, gets a really cute look on his face and promptly drops my cell phone into the stock tank...then looks at me. I dive in after it...but of course it is too late. The Treo Palm phone is not waterproof...not pony proof...I shake the phone, I take the back off...but it is too late...a trip to the bottom of the tank is not good for an electronic device.

Beaver stands in one spot, very proud of his accomplishment. I tell him he is going to the fox farm...I tell him the phone is worth more than he is...I then run to the house to call the vet, in case he has called while the chase was on and now that he CANNOT call because my phone does NOT WORK!!!

That is the type of pony he is...I have a million more stories.

Late Wednesday pm...Pony Up girls rock...Briann and Darlene came out and helped me feed...then we put the roof panels on the new loafing shed and braced the underlying supports. What a big help they were. Now we need to patch some nail holes, put some mats in the stall, attach a feeder...put some paddock fencing up and we are ready for Sully. Oh and we got another wall of plywood up (thanks Jan!) in Beaver's stall.

almost 9 pm and I have more stuff to do here at home.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Monday rolls in

Wowie...what a weather day yesterday! We had thunder, lightning and BUCKETS of rain. I was driving back from Maple Valley and there was a HUGE area of black suspended was like suddenly driving from day into night...then BOOM, the thunder claps came and lightning snaked across the sky. I went straight to the farm and checked on the horses. All seemed fine and of course there were a few who didn't deem it necessary to be in their stall...why? I don't know. Of course if they didn't have a stall, they would be begging to get in somewhere. It is just how it works.

Hamilton is not eating well. No temperature, no obvious symptoms other than suddenly his appetite is not good. He is not cleaning up his hay or his grain. All these weeks he has been a good eater. We are concerned. He is going on probiotic today, senior grain and if he does not eat well this morning, he will see the vet. He cannot afford to lose any precious weight.

I did not get the roof on the new loafing shed yesterday and I guess you know why...r a i n...hopefully I can get it done one day this week in the afternoon.

Our hay man donated a ton of hay to us yesterday...he is always so good to us. For several years now we have bought hay from him, he always treats us right, gives us a good price and sells us good hay. He also donates to our fundraisers. If you want his number...e-mail me (Rosemary). Usually he delivers but yesterday I went and got it, I thought it was the least I could do since he was giving it to us...but, okay...umm...I had to unload it. These bales were not as big as last time, but still hefty. I drove it home while it was NOT raining and backed up to the barn, got out and looked at it for a while. I determined it was NOT going to jump off the truck by itself. Nope. So I crawled to the top of the stack and sat there for a moment. I wondered if someone might stop by....lightning flashed......the sky was still dark and I knew that no one in their right mind was going to come to the barn. I also knew that it was going to rain soon. So I picked one up and dumped it off the truck, followed by another...until I had the entire top layer off. All bales laying scattered in the alleyway. Hmm. Now I just have to stack them. Where the heck are my hay hooks? GONE. Okay, well I just better get cracking. I am wondering if I can call my brother in law...maybe my, not enough time. Back to the work at hand. I decide that I am stacking it in the alley is covered, safe and easy to feed from...yes, the alley way seems a lot better than dragging it to the back and I can get Page to help me move it tomorrow...LOL...great idea! I throw it all off the back of the truck. I am sweating even though it is cool out...I am not even hearing the thunder or seeing the lightning...I don't care...I am tired. Did I tell you I was old? Okay...old and buff.

On the way home yesterday I took the lab (Baylee) to the Cedar River. I walked her along the trail and down right to the river. She waded right in and wanted to swim, but I held her back on her long leash as the current was swift. I let her pick up a few things and wade around, get a drink and go pee pee. Then we ran back up the trail, got into the car and made a bee line for Starbucks as I was really chilled. She went right to sleep on her dog bed but got a treat of whipped cream when we pulled into Starbucks of the reasons we like Starbucks...they always give a treat or some water to my dogs.

gotta get rolling, I am now LATE!!!

Enjoy your day.

Evening update...Hammy is feeling better, ate all his rations him a different weight supplement with probiotic in it...he was hesitant to eat it at first, but by the time I was done feeding, he was eating it down.

I got the rafters put up on the loafing shed. I have to work late tomorrow so I cannot put the metal roof up...but perhaps Wednesday evening.

We need plywood to box the stall portion in.

Hey, I ordered some Pony Up stuff from the CaféPress store. I will let you know how it looks/feels/quality. I ordered the BIG mug for my morning coffee and some note cards to use as thank you letters.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Saturday and we work

We got a lot done today! A new loafing shed was built for Sully in a group effort by my brother-in-law (Rod), Page, Briann and myself. We got it all done except for the roof and I will finish that up tomorrow...if it is not pouring rain. The weather held today and so we did not get wet or even too hot! Just right. Now we need to get the paddock built around it and get the stall mats put in it.......hang a feeder up and voila! we are ready for Sully.

I also got Rio out today with Briann's help and we tacked him up. Then we lunged him...what a good boy to lunge...very obedient...then I put Briann up on him and we walked him around practicing relaxation exercises, halting from her seat and learning gentle aids and gentle hands/quiet legs. Everything went well and we plan to make a schedule for him to come out, get some exercise and see how he continues to bond with Briann. Keep your fingers crossed as they both seem crazy for each other!

I don't think I posted it but I am a foster mommy to a chocolate Labrador retriever named Baylee. I have fostered lots of dogs and I am mostly a terrier fan, but I have never fostered a Lab before. WOW...24 hour fun is what this dog is. She loves the water, especially the hose AND MY KOI POND. The Koi pond seems to be fair game anytime my back is turned. I got her a kiddy pool today and although I am sure it is not as good as the Koi pond, it entertained her for a long while. She laid in it, pawed in it, drank from it and splashed in and out of it. When I get a new dog, I always take it to work in order to assess socialization and to have a little guys at work love her....they walk her every couple of hours, bring her treats, show her off to customers and take her to PetSmart. She has it good I guess? I bought her a new Costco dog bed and it is on the passenger side of my truck so she can travel in comfort. We adore her!

Tomorrow I take my Rottie pup to obedience class. Seven week course. We are..or should I say I am looking forward to it.

Saturday night and we always have Mexican food....I have about forty minutes before dinner, so I better get the dogs fed and out of these "construction" clothes.

A big thank you to the work crew was fun! My brother in law rocks!

As I write this I am always thankful for the folks who help us out, donate their time and means so much to us and the horses who depend on us. We meet great people and lifelong friends.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The un-stallion rides again (Sully)

The UN-stallion had another day of riding around the Jones Farm...look how GOOD he looks! He is definitely ready to have his own person...if you are interested in adopting him, please contact us. Adoption contract and fee will apply.

Rain,rain, go away...I hate to complain after all the nice weather we have had, but I really didn't need the rain today.

Hopefully the sun will come out tomorrow and we can work most of the day on a new loafing shed for the UN-stallion. My brother in law is coming to help. Hey...he is a good worker and he does side jobs...he is a gas stove technician/heating/cooling guy. If you need some work me? He also does door installation and some wood work.

I guess you are tired of him being called the he got a new name today. His name is Sully. YAY he has a name...!! How did I come up with that? well, let's see...he was so sullen for a few days...I actully called him so swollen and sullen...then sullen turns into Sully. yes...Sully. It is a good name for a nice little gelding.

Rio is going to work tomorrow...he will be tacked and lunged. We hope he will work like a soldier with a minimum of fuss. He certainly looks good and feels good. We will let you know tomorrow how it goes. Rio is ready for adoption as he does not need anymore rehab.

So now we have:

Don't we come up with great names?

More tomorrow!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

We say goodbye to Junah

Thursday P.M.

A nondescript day that starts much the same as most other days...we feed, we clean, we go to our real jobs.

At 3 pm I leave my office to come home to the farm because it is time to say goodbye to our precious boy Junah. The backhoe came last night and dug the grave.

A quiet time, no fan fare, no hysterics. I feed Junah a full measure of oats and throw him some hay, pat his face...feed the others and fill water tubs. Then I go and sit with Junah in his paddock. I sit on the large hay bale, he eats and comes and visits me every now and then. I observe and study him...wanting to see something that can put a stop to what I know is coming...some miracle of sorts. What I see is a very ataxic Junah. He played hard yesterday along the fence, even had a few bucks and his body is paying for it today. He buckles his legs under himself a couple of times and stumbles. He picks his hinds up and swings them in a circular motion. My miracle is not going to happen. I know we are doing the right thing but wonder why the "right thing" seems so hard?.

I wait and listen to the quiet...Junah crunching hay...birds singing...a crow scolding in the distance. I am not going to cry...I won't...not right now.

The vet comes up the driveway, my heart sinks a little and I swallow hard......time is up...I go to meet him and direct him to the upper paddock. Just the two of us and Junah. Junah is very suspicious of this new person and blows/snorts his displeasure. I snap a lead on him and take him out by the grave. I pat him and tell him he is brave and such a good boy...he gets a tranquilizer and he visibly relaxes. I stroke his nose and ears, give him a kiss, tell him to not be scared...and then the vet administers the final syringe of what will take Junah away from us for good.

It is over in less than a minute.

I sit with him for a long while, then we cover him until the tractor can come. I walk the vet back to the front...say my goodbyes and thank him.

I walk up the back road to the neighbor and ask if he can come now...but he is eating dinner and so we must wait a little bit. I walk back down to the farm and I sit with Junah again. I pull the cover back and away from his head...I am still struck by how beautiful he is, even in death....and then I close his eyes, pet his face and I cry. He was so young and so short changed.

Chelsea and I have loved him probably more than he was ever loved in his short life...and so did Hana, his guardian angel.

No more pain, no more don't have to be scared anymore in peace. I hope you are running like the wind somewhere beautiful.

Rosemary and Chelsea

Special thanks to my vet and the kind neighbor and his wife who brought the tractor down to bury Junah..the wife stood with me and it was comforting......and also thanks to Jerry for digging the grave. Sandy, thank for the tremendous effort on Junah's poor worked miracles on them.Chelsea......thanks for your time, your heart, your love for this boy......I am sorry we couldn't "fix" him....if love had been the cure.....we surely had enough to go around.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wednesday morning Un-stallion report

The un-stallion got ridden outside and around the farm this morning ...see pictures...he looks great and is feeling good! He has come a long way and we are still proud of him for all he has gone through.

Look how handsome!

He is ready to start considering adoption. Now who will consider him? He needs an experienced horse person of his own. He is ready to learn about trails, maybe English disciplines or heck...he might just like western pleasure. Please email us if you are interested in adoption of this gorgeous boy! He is healthy and happy...hooves are in good shape, de-wormed, teeth done...what more could you ask for? He will be coming back to Pony Up north at the end of June and ready for his own adventure.

I cannot believe it is already the 17th of the month. June has absolutely flown by. The projects are coming along and piling up as well. We need to construct a loafing shed for the Un-stallion, so that when it rains he can have shelter.

We are making proposals and cost estimates for enlarging the arena. We need about 81 yards of sand and we need some of the ecological blocks to make a partial retaining wall. It seemed like a little project but suddenly got more complicated...what's moving a little dirt around? Obviously more than we knew.

At any rate we need to get going on it before it is winter again. It really won't be long at this rate.

We also have a patch of fencing to put up for the new pony paddock, some more brush clearing and some re-seeding. We need a Noble or a Behlen shelter for Pony Up we can squeeze in one more!

Anyone who wants to come and volunteer for any projects, simply let me know...bring your hammer...we have nails and we have boards. The Stiffey family is probably tired after all the hours that they put in.

Say a little jingle for Yukon, he is suffering from really sore feet and we are not sure yet if it is a founder or just sore flat feet.

Oh and by the way...hello and welcome to the fold to our newest volunteer, Dawn...she is currently helping out at Pony Up South (Kapowsin)...WELCOME!

more later.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday up and at 'em again

Up early and to the barn, check waters, feed, chat with Page as part of our morning ritual.

I checked the bunnies and sadly one bunny is where to be found. The remaining bunny is active and now has his eyes open, I suspect he will be out of the nest with his mother tomorrow or the day after. Mother probably knows best about how to care for and raise her young. I am merely an interloper in her scheme of things. Hard to keep your hands off a baby cute, so tiny.

Off to work and I call Chelsea on the way in, as we usually are driving to work at the same time for almost the same hour. We talk about Yukon, we talk about Rio and then we talk about Junah for a little while. We both get quiet and then try to talk about something else.

Finally at work, check emails and there is an email from my mom......"are you missing any hay?" Am I missing any hay???? HUH? The rest of the email reads that the neighborhood bald eagle has swooped down and grabbed hay, at least several times this morning. I had no idea that eagles wanted hay and I would like to suggest that he get the less expensive stuff out in the field. I email her back and tell her to take a head count of the chickens and the two barn cats.

Later I make the arrangements for Junah for later in the week and I feel very sad. People are good to us and we have offers of help for that day. A friend is coming with his backhoe and another friend will come to stand with us. The vet will arrange his schedule.

My mom calls later and says a doe is wandering the property.......she says the horses are mesmerized. I bet they are....

Up to Costco to get my new glasses and I get a spinach salad while I am there....of course you have to buy a VAT of it and so I take it back to share with my employees. Really has black olives, pasta, spinach and parmesan cheese with a tangy dressing. I love pasta...but even I can't eat a VAT of it.

The end of the day comes, I drive home, talk to Chelsea again......make plans for our meeting tomorrow afternoon. Feed horses, lock cats in, check to make sure chickens have not been eaten by the eagle........then go and check the bunny.......he is fine, still no sign of the sibling. ...too bad.

tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday morning

Winston playing with feeder



I slept hard last night and got a late start this morning. I had a long day yesterday. Fortunately, Page was on time and got everything done before I got there....I am lucky to have her. That meant that I got to do the good stuff, like hand out carrots and apples.

Yesterday, during the tractor work, a bunny nest was disturbed and one very tiny bunny found. He did not have his eyes open yet. We had him in the barn for a while but decided it would be best to try and reunite him with his mother. So we put him back near the nest spot in some hay and then hoped for the best. I checked on him this morning and he seemed fine, but then I found his litter mate.....dead ..and then a little further and I found another litter mate, very, very cold and still breathing a little. I knew he was too cold and so I picked him up, then called Page....."here, I said....put this bunny in your cleavage"...."he needs body heat"....Page never batted an eye, she put him under her shirt while I searched for any more bunnies. We saw the mother bunny dart off.

I made the decision that we should take the cold bunny to the my mom's house and warm him, perhaps give him a little warm milk with a off we went. We had to pass through Beaver's paddock and he wanted to see what was going on, so he nosed us and then seemed to know that Page had the "bundle" he bit her. Beaver wants in on everything and he gets mad if he is cut off. We got out of there and went to my mom's house....heated a little bit of milk, put a drop of honey in it, put it in the syringe and I took the bunny and fed him a little. Then we put a wet rag into the microwave, heated it, placed it in a ziplock, wrapped it in a dry towel and placed the bunny on top of it (in a plastic bowl)...dramatic results...the bunny visibly improved and his color looked better.

Now, I know that little creatures are incredibly hard to hand feed and returning to mom is always after observing him for about twenty minutes, I decided to put him back into a nest with his sibling rabbit. I trudged back through the pasture and into the woods, found the "hay" nest that we constructed for the other baby, and gently placed the other baby with his sibling. I then tightened the nest around them and deepened the nest, then built up the sides a little.
You always wonder if you are doing the right thing.

I went back to check on them about twenty minutes later......both bunnies were warm to the touch and moving and squeaking a little.

I have done what I could and I will hope for the best.

The horses LOVE the new hay and they have cleaned up every bite....then they beg for more.

Yukon is settled in at Chelsea’s and Junah was settled this morning. Junah is very intrigued by Beaver and Beaver makes threatening faces at him and rushes the fence at him. Junah just stares at him, like "what is that?"

We moved Hammy to the bottom paddock, so that he will have less to crib on....and then maybe burn less calories and just concentrate on eating.

It is overcast this morning, relatively cool...but I expect it will burn off and we will have a beautiful afternoon like yesterday.

I have yard work to do..laundry to do, dogs to walk...groceries to buy...and I still have farm work to get done. Some fence work, paddock cleaning.....and we still need another loafing shed (I love to build those!) It is just time consuming.

The un-stallion will be home and we will need a shed for him to call his own.

Next week we will take Rio up to a local barn and see how he reacts and handles. Keep your fingers crossed! We have a young girl who loves him. He needs a girl of his own.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Junah comes home to Pony Up North

Saturday...we cleaned stalls, filled waters, mounted a couple of gates, blew the barn aisle out and moved horses around to accommodate the brush cutter and Junah's homecoming.

The brushcutter was brought in by Jason (he is our hero) and he spent all day cutting into the dense brush of the woods, so that we can make an extra paddock for the evil Beaver pony. We are so thankful for the hard work and effort! The brushcutter will now allow us to enlarge the arena and make a new paddock for Beaver.

Meanwhile I went and got Junah from Chelsea's, so that we can have him buried at the farm. He deserves that. I also took Yukon to Chelsea so that she can put him on a diet and exercise program, as apparently I am unable to get any weight OFF of him! He traveled without a fuss and when he got to Chelsea's, he simply unloaded and went onto the pasture and started eating...such a low drama boy he is. Then we loaded the very handsome Junah into the trailer, he loaded fairly well after a little coaxing...he has come to love Chelsea and wants to please her, so he is fairly willing to do what she asks him. We shut the divider on him and then hit the road. He was a pill for about 10 miles...kicking and moving, swaying the trailer like crazy and I had a few thoughts of turning around. I don't mind my trailer being kicked but I did worry about him falling or scrambling. Fortunately he settled down and we got home, unloaded him and let him explore the paddock and arena turnout.

I have not spent a lot of time with Junah, even though I was the one who "nodded" and brought him into the fold. After I got him home today, his physical disabilities became very obvious. He cannot lay down. He was sweaty and he really wanted to roll, but he simply cannot lay down. ...he tried and he tried. He squealed his displeasure, he pawed, he got on his knees...but he could not lay down. My heart sunk and tears welled up. I have not had to spend time with him,I spent time with him the day he was picked up, but he went directly to Chelsea's... I have not really fallen in love with him like Chelsea...but I did today. I was hoping for a miracle of sorts. I thought I would drag my feet on the euthanasia. I talk a big show...but my heart is perhaps more fragile than most, even if I am not willing to show it. He is so handsome, such a love...but so physically incapacitated. Hard choices, hard decisions...but I remember responsibility and commitment...I remember rational love. This is a time for rational love...and so I will make the arrangements and we will all be there for him, for his last moments, to send him with love and soft a place where we hope he can be free of the physical trappings of this world...we will see him again...on the other side.

I surely figure that on some days, on some level, I am crazy. Crazy to ask for this heartache...crazy to take on such a task.

I will make the arrangements for this coming week. I will steel my emotions to the outside world and I will say that it must be done, no more wishy washy thoughts...we have had a work up...and then I will stand with him,I will thank the vet, I will thank the grave digger... then I will go and grieve by myself. I will cry for a long while and wish I could change what was and then know that I couldn't. Junah, we hardly got to know you before we said goodbye.

hug your horse today.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The sweet smell of fresh hay

Thursday pm.....finally home after a long day......I got some nice Eastern Washington hay today. The hay truck came to me at my place of work in Federal Way. A petite lady was driving the semi and got out to meet me. I was looking for the beefy hay guy to get out of the cab and join us. Nope...there wasn't one. Me and her. hmmmm...I am looking at the hay. Three string bales...huge. I got up on the truck bed and tried to move one...sort of like moving a huge block of cement. Me and her...hmmm...she hardly weighs as much as a bale of that hay. My dad's voice is playing in my head....."you aren't six feet tall for nothin'"...yes...It is looking like I am going to move this hay twice. To her credit, she helped with each bale...both of us sweating like an ice cube in the sun. We got it loaded on my truck, I tied it down and I hit the road for the farm. YES...I unloaded it again..maybe I should say I "dumped" it, kicked it out of the truck and left it. It is not going to rain tonight, right? Page loves to move hay and I know she will want to help first thing in the morning. LOL.

I forgot to mention that the hay is very nice...I gave some to the crew tonight and they loved it! It was a great price and I give it a thumbs up!

Update on the UN-stallion:

He is feeling better after running a slight temperature yesterday. He resumed eating and was very happy to visit other horses over the fence. is back to work. He is on medication (antibiotics) for ten a precaution.

More pictures of him tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wednesday comes calling

Up at 4:30am, to the barn and then to an early work meeting... ...makes for a dull PonyUp girl.

Then back to the farm at 3pm for some horse dental work. Ollie, my own horse got his teeth floated today. He is getting older and unfortunately, so are his teeth. Anyway, the Dr. got them in sort of good shape and then I had to wait for the tranquilizer to wear off. So I had some time on my hands... ...hmmm... ...what to do? Got my new "used" saddle out and tried it on all of them, except of course Hammy...he is way too thin to think of putting a saddle on. So I put it on Rio and it is a good fit, put it on Yukon and he is too fat for it...yes, he really needs a diet...put it on Ollie...a little too tight in the shoulders and far too much tranquilizer to hold his neck upright. LOL oh and I forgot to try it on Winston, so I march up to his paddock and as I am marching, I say...oh, well, I should just lunge him...back to the barn, I get his bridle, the lunge line and oh, I better have a saddle pad and a saddle.


Winston is eager to be bridled...happy in fact. He puts his head down and takes the bit, I tie the reins up into the throat latch and attach the lunge line. He happily walks along beside me to the arena.

Did I mention that I didn't bring my helmet?

Did I mention that Winston is very happy that I bridled him?

Okay, we are in the arena, I take the lunge line in hand and ask him to walk out.

He does.

Why didn't I do this earlier?

Have I even mentioned that Winston is a lot like a hyperactive kid when he is first worked?

I ask for "trrrrroottttt"...

slight miscommunication.

I get a mach 1 canter.

Why didn't I bring my helmet?

I say..."t...rottt"..."easy now"...he is moving like greased lightning and is now in a state of euphoria and adds several bucks and kick outs to his mach 1 canter. His nostrils are flared, you can hear him breathing...gosh, he is really fast...

I think to myself for a moment that he looks like a racehorse gone bad.

He can no longer hear me and the cloud of dust between us obstructs my view.

I should have given this more thought.

I should have a bigger arena for such a fast moving BIG horse.

I probably was too tired to do this

I should have taken him to the trainer for a while.

did I mention he is 17hands and big as a full grown moose? Is my helmet anywhere close?


I give him a yank and tell him to quit being a jackass. He slows slightly...looks at me, rears, comes down, bucks hard and proceeds at mach 2 canter...he is squealing now...every time he bucks, he squeals and then kicks out.

I tell myself that I am cutting his grain down...tonight. ...maybe I am not going to give him any more grain at all...ever. NEVER.

Did I tell you that Winston is a Hanoverian?

Okay...enough, already. I get him down to a walk. He is dripping in sweat along with me...I tell him it is his own fault. I make him switch directions. He is tired now. He walks out, I ask him to trot...he trots nicely,...dare I ask for the

C A N T E R?

I do.

He canters beautifully, obediently...I ask for trot...he trots...I ask for walk...he walks...finally halt...very obedient.


we are done...

I tell myself that he needs to be lunged every day for the rest of his life if I am going to ride him again. I know that after three days of work, he is a solid citizen,but he needs regular work or you get this hyperactive thing...

Okay, to be fair, he is half TB...the half that encompasses his brain and speed controls.

I walk him back to his paddock, he is still really happy and he gets a bath...which feels good on this hot day. I give him fresh cold water in his tub and then turn him loose...he immediately goes and rolls in the dirt...then comes back for some loves...he is a very personable horse, loves grooming...gotta love him.

Update on the un-stallion. We had the vet out to see him today as he was depressed and not eating well. The vet cleaned his surgery site, gave him some antibiotics and then we put him out on some pasture with some other horses on his near fence line.
Hopefully this will make him feel better. The vet says it is not unusual to have older stallions have this....loss of hormones, change of scenery......he has been through a lot. Keep your fingers crossed and jingle for the boy.

have a good evening!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sunday morning

I think Yukon needs a diet.

Next photo...Hamilton looks better, but has a long way to go.

Rio on this fine Sunday morning.

A head shot of Hamilton.

Hamilton's hooves after his pedicure.

Our banty hen and her new chick "Spot"

I didn't sleep well last night. There is a particular horse on Craigslist that is headed no where good this morning and there is nothing we can do about it. Not enough room, not enough funds..........we have our limits and our limits have been stretched. It is gut wrenching sometimes. I tell myself over and over that I will not look at Craigslist ads...........but I am a Craigslist junkie I admit. I can only hope and pray that the little guy gets a kind buyer at the sale this morning and does not meet up with the kb's (kill buyers who take horses, ponies, donkeys, all shapes and sizes.........trained, untrained, old, young..........they don't see living creatures who feel, they only see dollar signs)

Not a good way to start my morning. Makes me grumpy. I make coffee, put the dogs out, feed the cats.........then I can't find a single coffee cup.......oh and why is that? Because I have probably left them all up at the barn. I go to the barn with coffee and then set it down and leave it. I should tie them to my coat or something.

Overcast and much cooler today. Easier to get the chores done........but I will still need coffee. I wonder if there are any cups in the garage???

Did I mention that I lost the lens out of my glasses yesterday? well, I did. I am blind as a bat. I normally wear contacts but in the morning, I just put glasses on. Long story short........I had contacts in, glasses in my pocket.........came in the house.......took glasses out of pocket.....missing a lens. Now how did that happen? I was watering plants. I retraced my luck. My husband says I am probably going to start a forest fire..........I have one spare pair of glasses......but of course they are repaired with duct tape......the gray kind.....and yes, it looks tacky......but hey, it was an emergency repair. I hate glasses and I have come to hate my contacts after all these years. I can spell L A S I K....I think.

gotta get going, find a cup and get to the barn........more later.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The un-stallion gets training

Here is a picture of our boy, saddled and bridled........looking pretty handsome isn't he? A far cry from the wild stallion of a few weeks ago.

He had his feet trimmed and it was reported that he stood very well and biting or fussing. Very, very smart he is and I might add that he looks rather stunning in his photo shoot. (thanks to Carrie Reeves for the photo!)

He has been round penned and will probably have a rider on him come Monday or Tuesday......we are all very excited! More pictures Carrie!

We moved stall mats this morning. We have stall mats outside the loafing sheds so that we don't have muddy areas and sometimes they get moved around despite our best efforts. After you have manhandled stall mats for fifteen minutes, you feel like you had a full work out. I think this is why I have such big biceps.....years of moving stall mats.......bucking hay and wrestling horses. No kidding, I have biceps to die for.

The horseshoer came at 1:30 and everyone got their feet trimmed. Hamilton's feet look much better but it will be several shoeing cycles before they are normal. He has typical thoroughbred feet.........flat soles, thin walls. He was good for the shoer. I put a hot wire on his fence boards and he simply moved to a new spot and was also seen windsucking on a wood post...... I thought they were too high but apparently not. Hamilton was brushed out and had his mane combed too. He loves the attention.

I am always thankful for the folks who do things for us and we have a whole host of them. Such a blessing to know such good people. I am moved by the people who have nothing but they still have something to give......a fencepost, apples from their trees.....homemade cookies or some boards or towels. We are appreciative of all we get...

Briann was out today and helped with stalls, grooming and measuring the arena. In case I forget, it is 59 x we have a little enlarging to do but not as much as I thought.

My condolences to Bob and Margaret H. on the loss of their son. Our hearts go out to you. It was so nice visiting you today, if there might be anything we could do, please let us know.

Just another reminder that life is fragile and hard......hug often.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Friday brings cooler weather

Yesterday (Thursday) so so hot. I know, I know......this is Washington and we don't know hot....but remember it is all relative. I have lived in Washington all my life, so "hot" to me is what we had yesterday. Truthfully......I would rather be cold than hot.......and yet, I hate to complain because we had such crummy weather for so long earlier this year. Anyway, today is delightfully cool. Chores were easier, there was no sweat running down my brow and Hamilton sweated a lot less.

Hamilton is sweating copious amounts, leaving salt trails on his coat. He has plenty of water and a mineral/salt brick available, plus shade and yet he still wants to stand outside and windsuck on the rail of the fence. I hate cribbing collars, I think I said so before.......but we are experiencing 24/7 windsucking with Hamilton. He needs to give himself a break. We will work on that tomorrow.....maybe a hot wire across the rails of the fence and removal of his grain feeder.

The new chick is coming along well......his mother is protective of him and keeps him in the cat room during the day. Yes, I said the "cat" room. She takes jr from the coop and directs him right into the cat room and up and into the cat bed. If the cats dare to come in, she will fly at them and they heed her warning. She is a very small chicken with a very small chick and so each night I put her and him back into the coop. He is no more than a handful of black fluff.

Did you ever watch The Electric Horseman with Jane Fonda and Robert Redford? The horse rising star and the cowboy Sunny. I love that movie. I am not really a Jane Fonda fan, but I did love the movie, Robert Redford and of course the horse. Good plot......great ending. You should watch it sometime.

The Mariners are playing Minnesota.......0 to 0 so far. I hate baseball.....but I cannot escape it as I type this and so yes, I know the score and will probably be able to give you the final score and tell you who batted what and who put who out....... I am relatively sure the game is on every TV in this house. Funny, huh?

Tomorrow we weed eat at the barn, rake up hay, throw out garbage and the shoer comes for the whole crew again. We will also pick rocks from the arena, clean water troughs and pick paddocks. Never ending chores........never ending responsibility........but we love to do it. The fact that Hamilton nickers, fusses and whinnies at me makes it all worth while even on the worst of days.

There is a local schooling show tomorrow and I think I will go and watch........ it is Pony Club sponsored. We love Pony Club and what it teaches.

enjoy your evening!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Our hearts break

The first horse we officially took in as a group........Junah. Big, beautiful, underweight and neglected boy standing forlornly in the Enumclaw auction yard. His owners did not even bother to run him through the auction (they know who they are)......instead they left him to get on the slaughter bus.

He was breezed at the track and he was "going to be SOME FAST race horse" according to a previous trainer...........and then the jockey said "he felt weak behind"..."not right"..."wobbly"......and he was sent home to rest. Thrown out in the pasture, his feet not done, his mane not combed........nobody had time. Then he was given away to another trainer and this person saw the weakness too.....and sent him to the auction sale....."just send him along with the next truck."

We went and got him on a chilly, icy day......a little snow remained. He was weary of us. I approached him and looked him over. He was a little lame, but no wonder with those really ba feed. He was wearing a ratty halter and an old blanket. He looked me over and was not sure he would let me touch him, so I ignored him.......turned my back and then he came to me, nuzzled my hands and invited me to touch him. I put a lead on him and led him out to the trailer, where Chelsea and I loaded him. Not too much trouble, just a little nervous....and understandably so.

We took him to Chelsea's and looked him over again. His feet were, I think, the worst we have ever seen. The one front was completely split and the sides moved a cloven hoof. He was not emaciated but he was thin and his coat was dull, his mane dried out and bleached. He had a wound on his front ankle with a large flap of skin hanging. He was a mess.

He would stay at Chelsea's for the next several months. A big baby.......he just didn't know a lot of things but he was a quick learner. Chelsea put him on supplements, de-wormed him, had his feet attended to and loved on him. He had to stay in confined quarters due to his hooves... and when she let him out the first time a few weeks ago, we saw it.......the weakness. He fell down and scrambled back up, but slowed way down.....quit cantering...was a little shaken.

He has had problems with holding his hind legs up or out and has had to be tranquilized for the shoer.......he doesn't always seem to know where his hind legs are. He frequently stretches one hind leg over and over again. Something is not right. We have the vet out to do an exam and he confirms what we already know in our hearts.... Junah has a neurological disorder. It makes for a dangerous situation for him and for handlers.

We talk about it, kick it around........and our hearts break. A decision is made to euthanize Junah, for his own sake and for those around him. He is a big horse and coltish.....his hind legs are unmanageable without tranquilizer and a couple of patient, willing people to handle him.

He is stunningly handsome. It is hard to imagine doing the unthinkable......but we go back to responsibility, commitment and rational love. We swear to be do the right thing for the right reasons. Sometimes love hurts us at the very core. Sometimes I hate the hurt that love brings.

We will all be there with him. He will be buried on the farm.

He can go where we hope all horses go........a big green field with other horses, sunny skies and freedom to run.

Chelsea will post later. She is pretty devastated.......she has been the primary caregiver of this boy and has spent hour after hour taking care of him. He has had the good life in her hands at her farm.

Goodbye for now.....
I sleep a peaceful sleep...
you have been my love, my life...
for me, please do not weep.
You will see me in the brilliance of a far away cloud...
or a feather floating on the wind.
It's just goodbye for now.

Hug your horse tonight....

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tuesday is almost over

The gelding who was a stallion is resting comfortably.......he was getting some ground lessons today and learning to stand tied. He never pulled back, but was definitely agitated and showed his displeasure by pawing, snorting and if looks could kill.......well, you know what I mean.

I cannot thank the Stiffey family enough for all of their they brought their tractor and drug/tilled my arena, they cleared rocks and roots....and the arena looks awesome!

They also brought some oats and beet pulp to us, then groomed the crew of geldings, then cleaned and filled water buckets. I am thinking of how lucky we were to find them!

My resident banty hen hatched one egg and she has a stunning little black chick with a yellow spot on his head. This one is for you Chelsea! Oh and we named him Spot....nothing else seemed to fit. The hen had three other eggs left, but we checked them out and they were not fertile...........too bad as she is a good mother. Last year she was only able to hatch one egg as well and it wasn't even hers!

It was so warm today, I hope you got out to enjoy it...such a nice change from the rather ugly weather we were experiencing.

I think Hamilton looks better today. I de-wormed him again and increased his corn oil. His teeth need to be addressed and we will try to arrange funds for that shortly. Hamilton has turned into a love bug with me.

Rio loves Briann Stiffey, who patiently combed his tail today and made him shine like a copper penny. He was quiet and willing for the whole beauty process. Maybe a match made in heaven......we will have to see says I. I want to take Rio to a barn and see how his mind does when it is a busy place and then see how he does riding amongst other horses, being cross tied and being hauled. Keep your fingers crossed.

We always want the match to be just right between horse and owner. It should be an even playing field with two willing partners who understand each other. Sounds like a romantic notion, doesn't it? LOL........but really, think about know each others strengths and weak spots.....and you don't take advantage, but make it work for you like a team sport. You appreciate the skill and take care of each other. It is that commitment and responsibility thing that I preach about.

I will try to get updated pictures tomorrow. I promise no bloody ones tomorrow!

have a nice evening!

Monday, June 1, 2009

The "stallion": is now a GELDING (Warning...Graphic photos!)

The actual castration ............

The final product...

teeth being done after castration...

Warning! Graphic photos......not for the faint of heart!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am happy to announce that the gelding procedure took place this morning without complication or incident. Teeth were done and tetnus/flu shots!

I am sure he is wondering what exactly happened to him and how he got to where he is...when just last week, he was king of his domain.

Poor boy!

He is in great hands and resting comfortably, he will be hand walked later and get a gentle hosing with cold water of the "injured" area.

Carrie took pictures for us and I will post them later this evening. Send good thoughts his way.....I wish I could tell him that in two weeks he will feel much better about most things.

The little sparrow was at my window this morning and I discovered he/she only has one leg....maybe that is what makes it hard to find a mate if you are a sparrow. I am not sure what to do for him/her......he/she is bringing something each time he/she comes to the window....bugs, small worms......dried grass.

We got a lot done yesterday and my construction friend should finish the upper loafing shed this week.

I picked Winston up and he is not sure my hay is to his liking.....I explained to him that perhaps the Taj Majal had better food, but this was the only food he was now likely to be getting, so he had better eat it up. They took great care of him and he looks gorgeous. I have missed him and am glad to have him back home.

some folks have asked why I posted pictures of the "nads"........ummmmmm, is part of the procedure, which I promised to share with you......and it is reality.........comes with farm life, animals, responsibility, committment.........the whole 9 yards of owning a horse. Not everything comes wrapped in a My Pretty Pony package in the horse ownership realm..

I promise to keep the blog clear of unsuitable topics for younger teenagers, I promise not to swear in print but I also promise to show reality......that might be the graphic starvation cases or any type of surgery we encounter.....or hoof name it, it can be ugly.

I had my old dog euthanized late this afternoon, he was 16. A sweet old Bull Terrier. We called him "The Man Dog".........but his real name was Amos Moses......we sometimes called him Mouse Man due to his timid nature. 16 years......a long life but not nearly long enough for those who loved him. RIP old man.......we will see you again.

I will update tomorrow on the stallion's gelding's progress......

sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite!