Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pony Up Horses.......

Saturday....the sun comes out for a while

I slept in a little......until my email, drank some coffee,let the dogs out,started somelaundry......grabbed some canned food for the barn cats and here I go.
Turn the wipers on,turn the radio up.......John "Cougar" Mellancamp......when you could still call him that.....singing.."Hurts So Good". I really like this station...but it is cutting in on my opera time. I like all kinds of music...sometimes get a little stuck on one thing for a while. For a while all I could listen to was David Gray.....then it was Rascal Flats, then Pavarotti.I guess I am fickle on any given day.
To the barn.
Umm.......the peacock greets me. I guess he didn't find his way home....or he thinks he is home.
I let the chickens out.........cats out.....throw hay. Horses want grain....I mix it with hot water. Everyone gets some.
New volunteer shows up.......Welcome Ryan! I talk to him a while and get him started....I let him groom horses while I pick paddocks.
I am in the midst of Yukon's paddock when I notice Max laying down in his......hmmm.
I watch while I clean.....he gets up....looks around.
uh oh......
he lays down again, flat out....groans loudly.
uh oh.
I go and get him up.
He is breathing loud.
I open his paddock and let him into the arena......walk him around.
He lays down again.
Kim arrives and I call to her to get his halter. I ask her to walk him while I call the vet.
I call two vets.....leave messages.
Go back to Max.......he is laying down groaning.
I am trying to think of how the morning went.......he was very anxious to eat....pawing and calling to me.
He must have eaten too fast.
He must have a gas colic.

I give him Banamine and we walk him in the driveway.
Julie, our vet, calls back......can't come......but suggests the banamine and a trailer ride while the banamine kicks in.

We load him up and go for coffee. He poops and paws. He is unhappy there is no food in the trailer. We are in line for coffee and he paws my trailer, making very loud noises and causing people to look. Kim goes back and checks on him. He has pooped again. Good!

We take him up to a nearby arena and walk him a little. A change of scenary is good.......he is a little sweaty......he rolls a little.......we walk him some more.
Thirty minutes later we load him up and take him home. He feels better.

Kim and I extend his paddock. I shovel more gravel for good footing. Kim puts fencing up. Max seems okay.
I work around the farm until four thirty.....then come home for a break .......He was hungry when I left....I gave him some beet pulp hay ........I will check on him again at about 6pm. Keeping fingers crossed.

So the day doesn't go as planned but stuff happens......we will get through it....over it.....around it.

The tractor should be delivered tomorrow and we can finish "tractor" needed projects.

Nice to meet you Ryan and sorry our day got cut short.......thank you for the help!

Of course, thank God for Kim......what a big help with a BIG horse. Thank you.

Pony Up Fortune for Sunday:

Next time you have the opportunity, offer up humility and kindness.

edited to say that at 7:30 Max is hungry and feeling okay....will check on him again tonight. :)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday......more of the same

Slept in a little.....showered, left for the barn.........the sky is a funny color and it is windy. I listen to Michael McDonald sing "I Keep Forgettin".......while I drive and look at the pastures with waving grass, bright colored leaves floating by and the variety of neighborhood horses. The trees are so beautiful right now. I really have to get a picture of this one certain tree.......really breathtaking...

I get to the barn......I don't see a peacock.
Let chickens out...let cats barn door......
there he is.....on the hay.....sigh. He is preening his feathers.........much dryer than yesterday.
My volunteers offer up that it does say "rescue" on the side of the barn.
Yep. It does.
No where in the plan did we intend to accomodate wayward peacocks. Nope.

I fed him.

I cleaned paddocks, cleaned stalls, swept the barn aisle and filled water buckets. Then I ran errands, went to Costco, bought dog beds, ate lunch, took a short nap and went back to my day job for a while......

Got off work, fed horses again, put chickens to bed and the peacock was sitting on the roof of the barn. Not sure where he is going to sleep, but he cannot sleep very well on the roof in this wind.

Tomorrow is volunteer day........we will work on bigger projects as the weather allows.

Sleep tight...don't let bedbugs bite.

Pony Up Fortune for Saturday..........

When your brain fails you, let your heart speak.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thursday and we have a peacock?

I arrive at the barn this evening and meet Kim and Devon......they are cleaning and feeding.
I walk up and I see a peacock with my chickens.....a full grown CBS look a like peacock. I say "where did he come from?"
Kim says "I found him asleep in the entry way of the barn."
He wasn't here this morning. He wasn't here yesterday.
He must, therefore, be a traveling peacock. Just passing through.
I fed the chickens and he ate......well, he ate like a hog...then I threw him some fig newtons......and he ate those too.
We named him Pete the peacock.

It appears that Pete the Peacock does not have a big brain. He went to roost on the top of a fence post, right in the middle of the pasture. I chased him off,hoping he would go roost in a tree......but NOOOOOOOOOOOO...he went right back to the fence post. So then the three of us chased him into the barn, shut the lights out, caught him and then put him on top of the hay for the night. He was there when I left. It is really nasty and windy/rainy out tonight and I just could not see him sleeping out in the open. Of course, what do I know about Peacocks? NADA. The horses thought he was very strange.

It has been a long week. I am tired and going to bed early. I have barn chores in the morning, a load of gravel to meet..... a visit with KCR in the early afternoon and then a short shift at work late in the afternoon.

Horses,horses every where......people calling left and right......take my horse...please. Again, I wish I had a big barn, a trust fund and about twenty acres.....and still with the state of things, I fear it would not be big enough.
The horses we have are the lucky ones. They are safe.

The clock will fall back soon......just part of fall.......I hate it when the time changes.

Halloween on thing you know it is Thanksgiving...and then Christmas and then........JANUARY. Another year.

Pony Up fortune for Friday:

Something that was lost will be found.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Aren't relationships everything?

It really is who you they like you, how they view you and how you view them, like them........who you trust, who embodies the things you value and treasure........who supports your vision. Who can get you somewhere.....who can do something for you.....emotionally, financially, career know the drill.
Relationships.......we all have them or we seek them. Invaluable to the majority of us.....and well, the rest may just be psychopaths.....ummm...I guess politically correct is sociopathic personality disorder.....

The sharing of interests, beliefs and common behaviors is one of the features of community and relationships. Participation with a community of people who are interested in supporting each other in a common goal or effort brings people together.

This is what we hope to achieve when we form an organization to support a specific cause.......

this is what we hope to achieve with Pony Up.....

I am always humbled by the participation of volunteers and vendors who support our cause. The folks who send donations to further our efforts, the volunteers who work in the cold and wet, the folks who buy feed and give it to us.....the vendors who give us materials......the veterinarians who work for free or discount services to us.....these are our relationships, our friends, our heros........we can't do what we do without them. Relationships enable us to provide care for neglected or unwanted horses.

I had someone call today and say that they wanted to volunteer, but they had no idea what they could do..or when they could do it and she was afraid it wouldn't be enough...... I told her that we never had a shortage of manure at the matter what time of matter which day.....there is always manure to move...and even one pile moved is one pile less to be moved by someone like stop by and shovel some manure....anytime!

I love horses....I love the smell, the touch, the is joyous to share and find it in others.

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow:

Share something with a will receive a reward on Friday.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tuesday half my week over?

Cold and damp this coffee in hand and off I go. The radio blares The Rolling Stones "Satisfaction".....a short trip but I turn the heat on and am glad I wore a heavier jacket.

Cats out....wet food given...chicken doors open......barn door open.......check, check...hmmmm......I have ten chickens in the rafters. The mother banty has decided that the barn is much cozier and safer for her and the chicks than the outdoor chicken house.....umm...okay. Well, no, not okay......this means chicken droppings on the barn floor and I don't need anymore daily chores. What to do? They all jump down now that the lights are on and start milling around my feet, begging for food.....I show them the door and the chicken feeder.......they go and take the wet food from the cats. UGH....some feral cats we have, huh?

I throw hay, put grain buckets together and then take the cats to my mother's house.....she insists they come in while it is still dark because of coyotes. She is probably right.

Back to the barn.....paddocks to clean in the dark, stalls to pick, beet pulp to make......look at the clock and I must get to work. Turn the fence on, check gates.....check, check...oops, how about water? Water is I go.

We are getting the Pony Up party in order. Invitations made...posters made......calls go out for silent auction donations. We have stellar group of volunteers to put this together. I am delighted. This is going to be fun and I can hardly wait.

We have a potential foster home for winter.....much needed and a very big help to us.
Sully has a potential adoption as well and we keep our fingers crossed that it can work out. Yukon will be on a half lease program to keep him in shape and in a dry stall/turnout. We will be able to provide an older horse in our community who has been abandoned with a foster placement. He deserves it. I will tell the story older TB who has had a long and difficult life. A story we hear all too often.

Hey on Friday, guess what?

MORE GRAVEL, for the filly's paddock.......she has a lot of mud and it is critical (to us) to get it solved.....nothing that 300 dollars worth of gravel and some tractor work can't cure.

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow:

What you think about becomes you.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday and when it rains it pours

Oneload of the washer, one load of laundry folded........dogs fed, out of the house and I start out of the house. I can hear the rain before I see it....then I feel it as I run to my truck. Throw the wipers on high, turn the defrost on and listen to the oldies station........Robert Palmer's Doctor Doctor......why don't I listen to this station more often?

I get to the barn and it is DARK....but I am brave. I first walk and open the chicken house door, then switch the barn lights on, open the cat's door ...give them a can of wet food.........then it is showtime! Greeted by whinnies and grumblings......FEED US and FEED US NOW! I throw hay.....then fix grain.....cut up apples and throw in some applesauce from some containers I have....then add hot water (courtesy of a new commercial coffee pot.......thanks Stiffeys!) The grain smells good enough that I could eat it. I think about oatmeal.......raisin and cinnamon........I should have had some. I have some lukewarm coffee I brought with me and I am thinking that I should have bought some of that Starbuck's Via.....maybe perfect for the barn?

I clean stalls and a few paddocks in the rain. My hair is soaked and I must go to work. I should have put a hairdryer in the barn. Oh to work anyway.
I will stop and get a latte to warm milk, oatmeal. :)

The day wears on.......I go to lunch with my friend Bob and we have tuna melt sandwiches...and hot about stuff and who we know, what we know and how we know it

I ordered hay yesterday and it is delivered this evening......two tons.....nice heavy bales, green, smells wonderful and I am left with the good feeling of having a full barnful of hay. Maybe the best feeling in the world.....and I didn't have to touch it.

hmmm..........the best feelings in the world........think about it and see what you come up with........

mine are:

clean sheets when you are tired.

finding your lost cat after several hours.

a twenty dollar bill in last winter's jacket pocket

a hot shower when you are freezing cold

a note from a friend on a day when you feel low.

laughing so hard your sides hurt.

I hope your week brings you everything that gives you the best feelings in the world........

Pony Up fortune for Tueday:

Look in the mirror solace and forgiveness......then grant it to others

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday overcast and cool

Slept in until 7:20, let dogs out and fed them, made coffee, folded some laundry, started a load of laundry, emptied the to the barn.
Chickens out and accounted for, cats out, fence off, lights on and into the barn to feed.....
Winston is HUNGRY......he has a new routine......I call it the rocking horse tantrum.....he jumps forward in his stall and throws all his weight onto his front end, while kicking his hinds out slightly, then throws his weight to his hind end and lunges forward again against his door. I yell......he stops and then turns and spins out into his run......then comes in at ninety miles an hour and does it again.
Meanwhile, Yukon is making rhythmic pawing noises to let me know that he is hungry too and I better get cracking. Of course to preserve my sanity.......I feed these two first. Everyone else has better manners. Max is calling from the upper paddock and then begins pawing his gravel. I think he needs more gravel....

It is supposed to rain today. I have a lot to do......we have a sinkhole in the arena. Junah's grave. We need the tractor. It is too dangerous to let anyone out ....I will fence around it today.

Our tractor is almost done! The guy says next week.......YES!!!!!!!!! our own tractor....I almost feel like I won the lottery.

Kim, Cherri and I met yesterday to plan THE cocktail party......we met at Cherri's restaurant and it was fun. I highly recommend going there for lunch or early dinner......we had lasagna and it was THE BEST lasagna I have ever had. No kidding.
The Harbor Kitchen in Gig Harbor, along the waterfront.....quaint tables, fireplace and small deck........large assortment of wine and GREAT desserts.......but you have to try the lasagna. Kim and I made pigs of ourselves. OINK OINK. Go there will not regret it.....same side of the street as Anthony's...about four doors down.

anyway....the cocktail party is in motion. Tickets are 18.00 each, heavy hors d'oeuvres, beer and wine...........silent auction items on music......we are limited to forty to reserve yours.....paypal accepted........we can email you a ticket.

If you have an item to us......we can pick it up and we would love to have it.
There should be something for everyone........come and bid .....find Christmas presents, meet volunteers, meet other horse some Pony Up Pastries for Equines...........private label horse preservatives and YOU can eat them too.......(like we do)
NOVEMBER 22, 2009 at 6 pm

off to finish my day......take my mom to Petco.......fence that hole in the arena, turn some horses out......finish my laundry........mop some floors......wash my truck? maybe.

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow......

What walks like a duck and sounds like a duck is usally a duck.....take a close look

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday and we have clear skies........

Up early......dogs out, coffee's cold. A morning for wearing a jacket with a fleece for sure.

Awful rainy day yesterday and so much to do....not just the farm, but it is my day off so I try to accomplish everything........I fed horses, cleaned stalls, then
I went to the doctor..........took my mom to the Humane Society to look for a new doggie companion, then went back for a cat scan, then to the Title Company to sign papers on real estate, then to the bank to wire money, then back to the title company......then to the market, then back to the farm for afternoon cleaning/feeding.......whew......a long day. I went to bed early.

My mom DID find a new companion.......a Pug/Chihuahau mix.....okay he is NOT pretty...but he is cute in his own way. He is very shy. Ten months old, kind of a non descript brown. She has named him Bogie, although that might have changed over night. The barn cats who live in her house were not thrilled.......yes, barn cats who have wormed their way into her house by the fire and into sheepskin beds provided by HER. I have not seen a single mouse carcass in weeks.

I had a good conversation with Rance at the Humane Society.......good ideas coming from them to help this winter's horse issues......I am glad to see it and will help support them anyway I can. Rance is a good friend of mine as well as a pillar of the Humane Society and animal community.

Does anybody have room for a Silkie or Yorkie dog? He is at the shelter.......very cute, not tiny, great fur.......BAD teeth. My mom almost selected him but did not want to have to groom a dog. He loves being held, very friendly......his adoption fee is lowered to accomodate his dental needs.......I ALMOST took him myself...but I have plenty of about you Dawn?????????? I can kick in a few dollars for dental. They also had a LOT of pitbulls........I love pitbulls....they had males, females, pups, older dogs.........beautiful blues and blacks and whites. Not a dog for everyone, but if you are a responsible dog person who loves and respects pits with a good facility for them........go get one.

enjoy your Saturday.....I am off to the shower, then off to the barn to begin the day''s festivities. We are going to plan the cocktail party this afternoon with Cherri and Kim..........

more later.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thursday....let's talk about ego

Ego, opinions, dishonesty, controversy, cliques, is all right there in the horse rescue world. Believe me....the stories we could tell. Who has sided with who, who turned who in, who ran off with the money.......who sold horses back to feedlot and who can't keep any volunteers.

Few rescues can do it on their own......however, with that being said......a person or persons decide to become a "rescue". With that decision comes committment and responsibility (those things you hear me preaching about now and then). I decided to become a "rescue", therefore when no volunteers show up, the work falls to me.....and I don't feel badly about it. I made the committment....I ultimately have the responsibility. When I don't fundraise or get any donations, I pay the bills.....that is how it works. I can't get mad and make phone calls demanding that I get some volunteers over to the farm.......I can't call up God and ask for some money to come floating down from the sky. There is NO money to be made in horse I have to manage. I have to know that I can take care of what I have. Do I want volunteers? YES. Do I want to fundraise? YES.
I consider it a gift when I have volunteers.......a HUGE gift.....icing on the cake.....a blessing. I am in awe when a person gives his or her time to spend with my committment and responsibility......when someone takes it on as their own. I am humbled by the dedication and hard work of the volunteers. Honestly.

Some months I spend A LOT of my personal money making sure horses are fed, vetted, dry and safe....other months I have help by other folks who love horses. Either way, I am doing something that will save horses lives....not every life, but some will benefit. I often wish I could do more, but I don't complain about the time and money I put into this....if I did, well, gee.......I guess I just wouldn't do it anymore.

You have to let people have ownership, have a valid opinion, add ideas........cutting people off who do not agree with you doesn't add to your program. People with experience are worth their weight in gold......these are the folks who can take the reins and help the rescue grow in the right direction.

Harsh words kill spirits.
No one wants to be verbally shredded when they say something wrong or make a suggestion....or if they disagree.....
folks want to help, want to be acknowledged........they want to make a difference.

This rescue business is not all about me or is about saving at a time or two at a time. is not who wins the battle but who wins the war. A single soldier is never as mighty as an army and that army is led by a leader who has won the hearts, minds and souls of his/her soldiers....and those soldiers willingly go into battle for the leader. You fight for a common goal.

Pride is concerned with who is right. Humility is concerned with what is right."

—(Ezra Taft Benson)

I now will get off my soapbox.... :)
enjoy your Friday.

Pony Up fortune for Friday......

"when the sun shines for a moment, your luck will be revealed"

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday...halfway home

Rainy Wednesday morning and dark too......I get to the barn, the chickens are not yet ready to come out, the cats stay in the barn and play on the stacked hay.. Stalls have been well used during the night and boy, how am I going to clean all this up in an hour?
So I throw hay, fill grain buckets with water/beet pulp and senior food, rice bran and sunflower seeds.....Winston and Yukon are in a state of agitation because I am not fast enough. They take turns kicking the stall walls while I yell at them to STOP THAT RIGHT NOW! They have selective hearing during times like these....and then they chase each other out and down their paddock runs. Okay, okay...I give is your grain RIGHT please stop?

My hair is now wet and frizzing. These are the times when I think I should have short hair. I sometimes show up for work with hay in my hair. The guys are now programmed to pick the hay out of my hair before I have any interaction with customers. There is no way for me to style my hair, go to the barn and then go to work with "said style" way. My hair is naturally wavy.....naturally obstinate...not straight but not quite curly. I pull it straight in the morning but by the time the rain hits it.....wave city is here.

I start to clean stalls and wonder why Beaver suddenly has to GO in his stall. He normally goes outside in one spot and this morning he has like 100 lbs of manure in one corner. WHY? He doesn't answer ..just demands a little bit of beet pulp with sunflower seeds and bran....and then like, umm.....don't bother him...he is busy.

We got a couple of donations in the mail from a blog reader.....Thank you Jeanette. Your note was sweet and I plan to visit your website tonight.

My brother in law is sick and in the hospital with pneumonia and swine flu.......say a couple of prayers for him would you? He is very sick.

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow:
Look before you leap........practice what you preach.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tuesday... is here.

Unremarkable rain, just light fog and lingering darkness. My headlights cut a path down the dark road to the barn...light reflecting here and there off of road signs while I listen to an old Bob Seger song......"Night Moves". Forgot how much I liked it....then couldn't get it off my mind as I fed and cleaned. One day you are eighteen and the next you are .......umm.......older. Most of the time my mind convinces my body that in fact I am still eighteen and limber and buff......and then my shoulder announces that in fact I am NOT eighteen or thirty or forty......
good golly.

No major tragedies this morning, no major messes......everyone ate well from the night before and they were anxious to have breakfast. I always feed my grain wet and I am always comforted by the chorus of slurping and smacking after I have fed. Must be the nurturing side of me.....I love to feed them.

The small troop of banty babies are so tame....they come right in and around my feet begging for scraps. We were lucky this time in that most of them are hens. THey will be easy to find homes for.....and hopefully I can find the eggs before we get another batch of babies. Those banties are sneaky.

chores.....chores.....they are calling my name. More painting, more graveling......more hogsfuel. Hay to stack.....horses to groom.....all need hair cuts.
Plus we are planning the Pony Up cocktail party with a silent auction....invitation only......better email me quick. It is invitation only because we will have limited spots/seating/etc. Not because we like one person more than another.....basically you will get an invite to attend and the first 35 get to come. First come, first serve. Appetizers, wine, music.......nice people......good auction a quaint restaurant.......Am I painting a picture? GOOD!
If you have something nice to donate.......let us know! Artwork, jewelry, vouchers, training, is always fun!

My condolences to the Montgomery family and their loss of Jackson. He was a great little doggie. I know you are going to miss him.

We had other folks email who want to come and volunteer.....we are always glad to accept help from others. Thank you for making a difference.

Sully is being an equine good citizen at the training far so good. maybe he will meet his special someone while he is in training? anything is possible...lots of good things have come his way in the last year. Lucky should be his name.

There is an old TB gelding who has been abandoned by his owner at a local boarding stable. He is 23/24 years old, not rideable....he needs a home....he is black and well behaved....not ready to leave this world yet. We wish we had room......but we do not. Please pass the word to anyone who could give him a couple of years. He has literally been cooped up with no turn out for years. Very sad.

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow:

Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.......what you accept, accept freely.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday......The kidney stone chronicles continue

I stayed home today. Woke up twice in the night, nausea ...sweating.....and that " pain".........felt really awful this I had the flu. I am taking Flomax...yes, the drug for men which helps them "go".........I asked if it was going to make me grow a beard or anything and the dr. said NO. He didn't laugh.
I have a kidney stone in my ureter tube. Replay of the last several times. Give it a week.....if it doesn't pass...........SURGERY. UGH. I have had THAT surgery three times and have had lithotripsy once. You cannot have lithotripsy once the stone leaves the kidney.
Simply GROSS.
Two years ago I put the surgery off and developed hydronephrosis.....NOT GOOD. Kidney blocked off and no where to send fluid. Quick surgery....and a stent. Don't really don't want to know. The stent is a midevil torture system meant to last two weeks.

Enough of that.

I still fed horses this morning. I was getting my coat on and my husband said...YOU are NOT going to feed this morning? I replied that perhaps he was? Nuf said. I left the house, fed and watered , then drug my sorry carcass home.

I had a volunteer work all day at the farm........Cherri........she is a carpenter and spent all day fixing loafing sheds. She didn't even critique my building skills......and listen...she should have! Cherri we are so glad to have you.....WELCOME!

Kim was there this afternoon and walked Max, as he had stocked up legs...not sure why....perhaps because we made his paddock smaller and he is not walking as much. Kim linamented his legs too.

What a great crew we have.

Saturday we plan the Pony Up Cocktail party.....the week before Thanksgiving, by invitation only.....I might know someone who can get you in!
Black tie ...cocktail dress attire.....should be fun.

I am off to take more medicine.

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow:

Good things come in small packages........look for it soon.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday morning and we have a little sun

Horses fed, chickens fed, paddocks rain and a balmy 60 degrees. I took horse blankets off for a couple of hours. The filly was glad and wanted scratchies over her back and withers....then we progressed to the ears. She loves her ears scratched and rubbed.

I have a kidney stone. Ugh. How do I know? I have had kidney stones about 22 will know it when you have it. I really don't have time for this.
I will drink lots of water and hold out as long as I can. Wish me luck. Mild pain killers are my friend.

Still lots to do today. It is sure to start raining again and I need to get hay put up.
We have hogsfuel to spread on some pathways too....seems like we never have enough time. We insist on dry places to stand and dry places to get in out of the weather for our horses. All stalls are matted, everyone has walls to provide wind breaks and eventually everyone will have a graveled paddock run. We have blocked off access to pasture areas and seeded them with pasture grass. Hopefully when spring comes we will have some grazing areas where we can rotate horses. We really need about ten more acres and a HUGE barn...but I am glad for what we have and grateful.

enjoy your day.

A note to Natalie out there in cyberspace:
I don't know where you are or if you remember me, but I have kept my promise to you for twelve years and kept your "puppy" safe. Tomorrow she will be euthanized. Bad hips and severe arthritis. She has had a good life with us and I hope you never lost a moment of sleep worrying. Thank you for giving her a better life while yours was in turmoil. I pray you are safe.

PonyUp fortune cookie for tomorrow:

When you feel sorrow, it is because you feel love.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Saturday...I was supposed to sleep in

Well......I didn't sleep well last night, even though I was tired....the physical labor did not quiet my mind. My brain was churning with a chore list and figuring out logistics of the chores and how the end result should looks and then worrying about how I was going to get it all done. So I got up around 2am and made a list, then suborganized the list......then took an advil and went back to bed. I still tossed and turned. Usually the list thing comforts my busy mind....
so anyway, here I am now drinking coffee, listening to pooring rain and YES it is pouring.
I am wondering how much heavier the gravel will be today? Now that it is soaked.
I have post holes to dig too....a little bit of fencing to put up....probably some ditches to dig too......I have some donations to pick up and I also have a lesson on Winston. I am figuring at this point the lesson may just be the end of me.....physically.

The light is just starting to appear above our fir wind. There is some mist in the trees and it looks like a scene out of a movie...mysterious and lonely.
It is supposed to rain all day. Great. My chickens stayed in the barn yesterday and refused to go outside.....partially because of the weather and probably partially because of the "predator" who lurks in the woods. I chased them out but they came in through the stall, so I gave up. I feel bad for them when it rains. Still.....they could hang out in their houses.....not the barn. I call them "working" chickens because they eat bugs, spread manure and keep the manure pile turning. Strange how a bunch of chickens can do so much work.

I am sitting here and considering that after washing my hair, there will really be no reason to dry it. I am just going to get wet again....right?

I am going to have to quit reading Craigslist. Honestly, the farm and garden section is depressing. I think we will see a lot of these horses at auction next month.....due to people's economic woes. There were so many ads for folks who said they could no longer afford to feed their horses......heartbreaking. Can't I win the lotto? Could someone leave me 30 acres with a large barn and a huge trust for horses?
If it is this bad now, January and February will be quite dismal.

We need to work on our horse food bank. Any volunteers? email ideas.......I am open to all.

be safe out there.
enjoy your wet Saturday.............oh and I am going to dry my hair. :)

added Saturday evening;

Kim and I worked all day with the gravel and put up fencing for a small paddock......we were wet and cold. Thank you Kim for your HARD work, good ideas and are an angel!

The grey filly I wrote about in an earlier blog has a new home! She was picked up today and will have a full belly by the time you read this! YAY!!!!!!!!! Somebody who read this blog....... THANK YOU> THANK YOU>

We visited Stroh's today and picked up our donation box money........Strohs had added extra money in the box for some items they sold. Thank you Carla! I bought a bridle and some grass seed for the paddocks.

Needless to say I am tired ...........again. We shoveled a lot of gravel today and I dug some ditches early this morning while it was pouring rain. All horses are dry......we are down to just doing two more paddocks. I will be glad to be done and so will Kim. SO will everybody! I have never been so sopping wet in my life. What a miserable day.

Off to a hot bath......

PonyUp fortune cookie:

Allow compassion to be your constant companion and for this you will never lack friends.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday.........gravel and rain....rain and gravel

Let me just say.......I AM TIRED.

I had three dumptrucks full of gravel delivered. I have been shoveling gravel all afternoon. My back hurts, my neck hurts too. I am OLD. but I am in shape and have big biceps. Impressive? Hardly. No one notices you for big biceps. My biceps don't hurt either.

Huge thanks to the gravel truck driver. It is my regular driver and he is always so nice. He spread some of the gravel on the driveway that was left over....he didn't have to. He also backed into my arena and all the way into the back paddock....not an easy feat...bless his heart...and he got us a discount on the gravel. We love him.
Morrison Gravel is always good to us. I have known Kenny Morrison since high school.....great family.

The horses all got their feet trimmed today the rain or in their stalls. Everyone was good. Some were a little spun up because of the dump truck coming up and down the driveway....but stood still and were obedient for the shoer. Beaver stood for the shoer without a halter......the shoer had him convinced he had a halter on and so he stood mesmerized. It also helped that the next door neighbor stopped by...not a horse kind of guy.......but Beaver was very interested in his jacket and zippers. Poor Paul.

I just put horse linament on my back. It works great. Absorbine gel....I highly recommend it.

Glass of wine. Dinner.......BED.
Will I sleep? You bet I will.

Tomorrow is volunteer day. Guess what is on the list?


I shouldn't have revealed it......they won't show up. Umm.....did I say I would have hot coffee, donuts and music?

Seriously, they are probably sick of my opera music that is blaring on Saturday morning. Pavarotti.....beautiful. Teenage girls just cannot appreciate it. Maybe after they have listened to it for weeks, they will come to like it..?
okay....okay, I doubt it too.

anyway, one more paddock almost done, mostly functional and another one will get done tomorrow (if it kills me)

The filly still has her blanket on....this is a positive.....she was not fond of it right off the bat. No rips or tears. Winston is doing his best to grab and rip Church's blanket over the fence. Yukon is just trying to get along.
Beaver, of course, wears no blanket........he refuses. Ollie loves his blanket and never rips or tears at it.

Okay enough from me today........I have to eat dinner.

PonyUp fortune for tomorrow:

Master your fear and consider your friend's point of view.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thursday......rain, rain go away

...and don't come back another day.
I knew it was coming. I have been preparing. Good roofs leaked....all horses had blankets that fit.......but........but...............
we need more GRAVEL.
So tomorrow I will order up three more loads of fractured rock and I will spread it by hand and then hope the tractor comes to save me.
The graveled paddocks worked well and they drain well....but we have two more to do.
The pony paddock will get hogsfuel. Little pony feet do not disturb the ground so much and so the hogsfuel will work well for Beaver's area.
We sent Sully off for thirty days of training at a reputable western barn. I already miss him. This will be good socialization for him and maybe give him a work ethic too. The guy is a little lazy...
We have had a chicken hawk hanging around and he got two of the half grown chicks. I scared him off once but he returned. Now that he knows we have "free" hawk meals he will surely be back.
We also had a bear at the farm today........I didn't see him but he left tracks. Curiously the rooster has all of his tail feathers missing too. Do bears eat chickens? I am really not sure.
It has been a long week. I am tired and ready to sleep in tomorrow if only for a half of an hour. Lots of things to do tomorrow. The shoer comes, I pick up hay, I go for a lesson on Winston, I shovel gravel, I clean paddocks and probably shovel some more gravel.

We were asked to take a TB filly who has been abandoned.....sadly we have NO room to adequately house her. She is a gorgeous gray filly, four years old......left on 15 acres for several months. Needs her feet trimmed and will need regular groceries now that the pasture is gone.. Email me if you are interested and I will point you in the right direction. It breaks my heart to say no but we only have so much room. Summer is dryer and we can make emergency "room"...but winter is hard to house every horse responsibly.....dry stall and somewhat dry turn out. We know our limits....believe me.

Here is my PonyUp fortune cookie for tomorrow:

Look for the sign, then follow your intuition.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Update regarding Hammy

I wrote about Hammy last week and how we chose to euthanize him to prevent any more pain or misery.

I didn't tell you that we had a necropsy done on his jaw.

I got the results back today.

Hammy had a sarcoma (tumor) of the soft tissue encompassing his mandibular joint and the facial nerve was involved. His jaw was not broken but rather forced out of place by the tumor. It was hard news to hear. now I really know that we made the right decision and felt like we should have made it sooner. We just didn't know. The prior xrays did not show the sarcoma as it was in soft tissue. Poor Hammy. To have suffered all this time.
I am comforted to know that someone did not break his jaw. It was suspected. People do mean things to horses sometimes. Horses suffer accidents in trailers and starting gates. Horses suffer accidents in stalls and paddocks.

We always wish we could just wave a magic wand....say a prayer......wish it away...but sometimes the "bad" is just there and we have to deal with it and go on.
Honestly I hate that part. I hate being the logic and sense......but you really take the good with the bad in rescue. Not for the slight of heart, not for the must have a big heart and a rational mind.

Hammy, we only knew you a short time, but loved you as one of our in peace big guy...we will see you again.

Early Tuesday morning

I figured I had better get this done early or I won't have time later.
Full day ahead.

I am expecting rain like everyone I loaded up on stall pellets yesterday. I love stall pellets. They make cleaning so much easier. I don't know why I didn't think of them years ago. I don't know why I didn't invent A LOT of things. Sometimes when you think about how simple "new" ideas are.......gee.
Probably all of us are the mothers of invention at some point in our lives or several points at least.

So I have come to the conclusion that fall is really here. Kim and I blanketed all of the horses last night. We had blankets that fit everyone. I really don't know where I got all these blankets. Well......I probably spent a lot of money buying them and I can hear myself asking Carla....."did you save me some big ones? got any 87's?"......Carla at Stroh's is the best........she keeps big blankets in stock, mid weight, heavy weight....economic, and stylish! We always get what we want.
Other than that, I think I have several that Chelsea gave me. I know I have enough for almost every horse to have three to choose from.

Anyway I will see how the filly fared in her blanket this morning. She was not too sure she liked it. But she looks stunning in her light blue with black trim blanket!

Yesterday I saw a stunning quilt. I do not sew or pretend to sew.....but I admire the work of those who do. WOW. This quilt was heavy and was like a million pictures of horses. Art really. It must take forever to do this. I really should learn how, but then that would require me sitting still and I do not sit still very well. I never did.......ask my mother.

Please enjoy your day and do something for someone else.
Perhaps a random act of for someone's some flowers and hand them to someone sad. Give a dog a milkbone. Let someone ahead in line. Buy an extra lunch and give it to a homeless person. Vist an older person with a small treat of ice cream.
Buy Beaver some carrots........okay that is a joke! But you get my drift...
You will feel great afterward......DO IT!

I better get going.
I would rather get back into bed and sleep for an hour. Just an hour.
Nope. No time.
Stalls need cleaning and of course I have starving horses WAITING. You know they are.
I will be scolded.

Then off to work. No heat in our office.......broken. I will dress warmly in fleece and a jacket. I may look like I am working I won't care....because yesterday I was cold all day.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAMES>>>belated as it is!

Happy Birthday James, happy birthday dear James!

Your employees at SAFEBOAT INTERNATIONAL have honored your special day by sponsoring Beaver.....the one, the only Pony Up Mascot!

thank you to your wonderful and thoughtful folks at SAFEBOATS INTERNATIONAL!

Here is James with Beaver!

Sunday........Yukon comes home to Pony Up North

I tried to sleep in. I had a cat in my face around 7am, followed by a lively Jack Russell who wanted to go outside.......RIGHT NOW!
Followed by a Lab who wanted out of her kennel.
Okay....okay......I am getting up.

Out the door around 8am and to the barn. It is cold out...I have worn a down jacket...and it lasts about ten minutes when the first bead of sweat hits me. Off comes the jacket and it is me in a Tee shirt. Okay I had jeans on too. Funny, because I was thinking that this was the first time all summer long that I had worn a coat of any kind. Fall is here, there is no denying it.

Kim came around 10 and she groomed Sully. About ten fifteen we loaded him up in the trailer and I might add that he loaded like a superstar. We took him to a local riding arena. He unloaded and we took him inside.......let him loose in the arena and he looked around and called some. He was unfazed and mostly walked around. As other horses arrived he got a little more excited and called and was curious. Ultimately there were a few other horses in the arena having lessons so we loaded him up and took him home. Still, it was a positive road trip. Glad to have Kim along as she is an experienced hand and Sully likes and trusts her.

Yukon was tried out by a woman today at the same arena as Sully was taken to. Yukon looks great, his feet look good also.....what a nice boy. He was as good as gold under saddle. We brought him to Pony Up North afterward and he will stay for a week or so. We have a couple of prospects for him over this way and we want to make sure it is a good fit. He is a kind horse. Thank you to our volunteer Devon Coultas who rode and showed Yukon under saddle today. Devon is a great rider and was very helpful.

Thank you to Kim for all the time spent today and the waiting around. You are a glad to have you.

We had another volunteer come by today and we were so glad to meet her.......she wants to help with our construction projects and boy can we use the help! Glad to meet you Sharri!

Lauren is another volunteer who comes on Sunday evening and does a great job. She already knows the routine and the horses love her.

Another work week comes our way and more Pony Up projects to finish. Did I mention gravel and boards? Mud control? Manure management?

Oh...I forgot....thanks to Mr. Storm for coming and taking (yes, TAKING) some of the manure pile today! What a blessing....come and get more anytime you want!

Have a great week, keep your pets warm and safe.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Saturday and fall sets in

I tossed and turned last night, got up several times and finally slept soundly at around 5am. It was sort of gray when I finally got up around 7:15am......I got some coffee, let the dogs out, fed the cats and got on the computer for a while to check emails.
I left for the barn and worked by myself until Kim came. Bless her heart....thermos of coffee with Irish Creamer and some for me! We drank some coffee and talked for a while, then got to work.
The Stiffey family showed up a little later and joined us in the work party. We painted loafing sheds and put some more boards up for wind protection. I settled some mats in front of stalls while Darlene cleaned the main barn...and what a job! So organized. I simply told them to do what they wanted and she and Kim moved stuff and reorganized other areas.
I built a ramp to the filly's platform area, so that we can have a drainage ditch with no one walking through we have to fence an area off which will help prevent mud.
We worked until 1:30 and we were hungry so we went to eat Mexican food.......we were a sight....I had paint in my hair and on my eyelashes......Sharon had paint on her coat and Brianne was just plain dirty! Oh well, no one stared at us too hard and the food was MUY EXCELLENTE!

Tomorrow we have someone trying out Yukon and so Chelsea and Dawn will come to Pony Up north, at least for a little while. Kim will ride Sully too. We take them to a local arena that is enclosed. Hopefully the weather will hold.

I guess we don't talk too much about Pony UP and things to come or why or how or when. A little background for you.

Pony Up was my baby. I formed it in order to fund raise for other rescues that I was involved with. I had privately rescued horses for years on my own funds. This year I became disenchanted with the prospect of being involved with other rescues and decided to go public with my own. I asked Chelsea to join me as I valued her own commitment to rescue and rehab.

Did we have any money? Just our own.
Did we have a facility? Just our own.
Did we have any ideas? Plenty.
Did we have any horses? we always have horses..... :)

So how is Pony Up run day to day? By Chelsea and Rosemary ...on their properties and on their budgets. We have taken in some donations of cash and we have been donated some grain, hay and other items here and there. We are blessed by having volunteers who donate their time and efforts...
We don't post for emergency money because it comes from our pockets.....we will use Pony Up money when we have it, but most often it comes from us. We will not take in horses that we are not willing to "personally" commit to....we cannot and do not wait for "donation" money to take care of horses. Horses have care 24/7.....horses always have food and horses will always have medical care. Chelsea and I treat each horse like it is our own.

We definitely need help fundraising. Both of us work full time jobs and take care of more than five horses each. I have six horses at my farm ...oh and a pony too. Chelsea has six also. That is a lot of work each morning and evening.......again, thanks volunteers!
We endeavor to build a bigger Pony Up community around us. We have big dreams....a horse food bank for winter....a fund for veterinary care for older folks.....
Improvements to our farms are done by our own dollars. My own farm has needed a lot of upgrades this year in order to house Pony Up horses and my own. I still need improvements to my arena but that will be next year. We have had a lot of medical expenses with Junah and Hammy......very necessary and not regretted.

This winter will surely bring horses who need help. In order to help, we must be prepared. So we need to fundraise and solicit donations. Chelsea's property needs a loafing shed, some gravel and a small amount of fencing. I still need gravel...and perhaps another loafing shed and some outdoor lighting. We need to put up hay and establish a veterinary fund. We can and do make a difference.

We have three horses ready for adoption.........spread the word! Maybe you want to foster? Maybe you want to commit to "working" a horse? Sully could use some regular work, Yukon could use regular work......the filly could use regular handling and hacking.........all are very adoptable and healthy.....adoption fees help us to help others.

If you have ideas for fundraising ...let us know...if you want to join the volunteer meetings, email us......

help us help horses.

simple. heartfelt.

thank you.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday morning sorrow

I slept in a little. Drug my feet. Dreaded my day.
I went up to the barn and fed Hammy first, then fed the rest. I took blankets off of everyone and then went to Hammy. I took his blanket off, then groomed him......gently brushed his face, combed out his tail and rubbed his ears for a while. I wish he could talk.
I let him finish his breakfast and I went to hook up the trailer.
I came back and haltered Hammy and led him out to the trailer. He is very quiet. I walked him around the yard a couple of times. It is sunny out and birds are singing....I wonder how the birds can continue to sing. I ask Hammy to load up and he is obedient, as always. He loads right up and stands, waits for me to shut the divider. I shut the doors and hop in the truck. The tears come and I can't hold them back. I put the truck into gear and pull out of the driveway. Hammy screams from the trailer. I roll my window up and suck my breath in and try to get a grip on my emotions.
I pull up to the vet's place and I unload Hammy.......again quiet and obedient. I rub his ears and pat him.
Julie comes out and we take him over to a grassy area and I cry some more. Julie tells me we are doing the right thing. We talk for a while about good horses and where they go and who has loved them.

and then we let him go.

I got back in my truck and cryed all the way home.
I went back and dug some dirt and shoveled some gravel to take my mind someplace else.
A new volunteer (Mary) came to the barn and we both cried for a while.....then talked as we cleaned paddocks and filled water buckets. Thanks Mary for your shoulder...

Early afternoon and I came home for lunch, I will wash my face and hands, then go to the feed store and run some other errands.

Thank you to everyone who helped care for Hammy in the last several months. He had a good summer with us.

Hamilton Radar Jones RIP 10.09.09

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thursday pm

My work week is over and my weekend begins.
As usual we still have a lot of work to do........more gravel, more railroad ties, hogfuel put down on paths, some painting on the barns, paddocks cleaned and the arena fencing fixed.
Sigh. It really never is another full time job, but thankfully we have volunteers which makes the work easier. I still wait for the day when I can say ....."all I have to do is feed and muck stalls today". Anyway, I can never thank the volunteers enough......they make a huge difference in the lives of our residents.

Chelsea and I will swap horses on Sunday. The filly will go to Pony Up South and Yukon will come back to Pony Up North. We have volunteers who are experienced riders who can put Yukon to work. He is an older guy, totally rideable but needs an experienced rider who can sit his trot and hold his canter to mach 1. He is an old event horse and he has a GO button! are up first and are next!

There was much ado about the Enumclaw auction this week. Lines were quickly established on both sides of the fence as to whether this was rescue or just emotional blackmail. My personal opinion was that yes, these horses (all of them) deserved a better end. Do I think paying the markup to Ron, the Enumclaw auction guy was right? No. He made a killing off of people's emotions. Were all of these horses "bad" horses who shouldn't be saved? Of course not. Some are victims of the economy, some are poor athletes, some are lame, some are old, some are untrained......some are mere babies...some are the victims of ignorant people who made bad choices. Unfortunately this scene will play over and over this fall and month there may not be so much press and many horses will get on the slaughter bus and no one will know and few will care. Do I think buying a horse at an auction is wrong? No...but I think you need to do your homework.......know what you want, what works for you, what you can handle and how much you can afford. Don't let your heart overrule your pocketbook. Don't make a sacrifice that you can't pay for later. Can you afford training for a young horse if you lack the skill to do it yourself? Do you know a reputable trainer? Can you provide maintenance care on an older horse? Can you handle a "brat?" Do you have adequate facilities? IS YOUR JOB STABLE? Are you prepared to deal with rehabbing a lameness issue with an OTTB?

Do I think every auction horse is drugged? No. Any horse you look at, for sale or at auction could be drugged. Do I think every horse at the auction house is a trained killer? No.....but behavior issues can be present in almost any any time and especially with beginner owners and especially after a neglected horse is fed and feels better...or the horse becomes spoiled because you feel sorry for him and therefore you don't require good manners. MISTAKE!

Are OTTB's horses for everyone? NO. Definitely NO.......and yet I have seen folks buy an OTTB, who have NO BUSINESS taking one, and they are so committed to taking care of this horse, this treasure that they have found, that they make it work, they overcome the odds and they give the horse what it needs and take the time to learn as they go.........they pay to learn, they pay for training....and yes, BULLY for them! But is that YOU? Only you can say what your level of committment is and how you will see it through. Think about it. This is not a Black Beauty is real life, cause and effect.......all in your capable or uncapable hands.

Did these auction horses get saved? YES. Rescued? well, sure they did. There is an issue with the amount of money that Ron made and for really doing nothing but holding them for ransom. I hate that part. The rally should have been on auction night or the weeks before when horses were listed on Craigslist for 50 dollars and 100 dollars. Trust me when I say that horses listed for 50 dollars are at risk....heck...horses listed at 250 dollars on CL are at risk. ....maybe even horses listed at 500 dollars. You can easily find the desperation ads.....and the ones who say they are taking the horse to auction.

I cannot attend the auction. Far too emotional for me....far too difficult to make a decision as to who to take home. I cannot trust myself. I am drawn to the old horses, the lame horses, the stallions that no one wants or the skinny horses.....oh and the babies too. Who is more important? I cannot choose.

I will not/cannot bash those who took these latest horses in.........but I hope they will not be overwhelmed financially or emotionally and I hope the horses will have good long term homes in better conditions.

As a kid, my family got horses from the mom bought a QTR horse stallion. Yes, a STALLION. Brought him home, got him gelded and we rode him for years. Best little trail horse we ever had. She was lucky, of course....had a vet friend there with her to help her choose.

When we take in a neglected horse, we cannot know what it's temperment will be like after we rehab it.......we hope for the best. We don't expect it to "be grateful" for what we have done. We expect it to be a horse. We expect it to have horse behavior. We expect that if it has been abused, it might be over might have bad might be easily frightened. If it has not been handled much, we expect it needs to learn how to be handled, how to stand, how to carry a rider, how to trailer. We expect to teach it. We expect to be able to have it become an equine good citizen....and if it doesn't, if it can't....if it is too far gone, we take the responsibility.

Enough of my rant.
Thank you to anyone who takes a horse in that needs help. Please see it through.

Hammy will be layed to rest tomorrow morning. I appreciate your kind thoughts and prayers to see him through. He is a very good boy who deserved a better life than he had prior to us. God speed Hammy........

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday brings Sun

I got up early, made coffee, let dogs out, started some laundry going, pulled a coat on and headed to the barn. It was still sort of dark, that inbetween color that if you had just awoken it would be hard to tell if it was dawn or dusk. I drove along the road to the barn, sort of anxious, sort of not.........worried about what I might find with Hammy.
I pulled into the drive and counted heads as I pulled up to the Hammy in sight. Good that I didn't see him outside laying down.........but I still swallowed hard in the fact that he wasn't looking for me.
I let chickens out, I let barn cats out.......turned the lights on, turned the charger off......entered the barn.
I heard Hammy's low and anxious whinny........he was hungry. I walked down and turned more lights on, getting a good look at him. He was alert and bright eyed, and again telling me that he was hungry. Of course he was........he hadn't eaten any hay. I ran my hand across his muzzle and felt his jaw.......mandibular joint swollen and hot. Poor Hammy.
Winston grabbed at my jacket, letting me know that I had better get busy with serving the morning grub.
I put Hammy's together first............senior grain, rice bran, a little oats, some sunflower seeds, beet pulp and then added some heated some water in it.........then I stirred it with my hand and took it to him. He whinnied in delight and impatience........he pawed and kicked his wall. I poured it in his grain bin and he immediately went to work on it.
His stall was gross, so I got a fork and started cleaning it while I listened to him slurp and windsuck..........windsuck and slurp. His windsucking was a little off his normal bite/slurp/inhale........he was not doing it as hard.....because his jaw hurt him. I feel a little miserable. I feel a little guilty.
I moved on to the filly's paddock and then Church's stall........then Ollie' everyone fed and cleaned. I go back to Hammy and remove his blanket as it is warming up and I think it will stay nice all day.....too nice to be blanketed.
I go home to take a shower and run some errands, but come back in the early afternoon to do some chores around the barn.
Hammy still has not touched his hay....he is standing in his stall where he has peed about 15 gallons. He cannot be coaxed outside.
I get to work on his paddock..........I put down geo fabric and then haul about ten wheelbarrow loads of gravel to place on top of it. Ten wheelbarrow loads about do me in..........but I spread it and then box it in with timbers so it will stay in place.
Hammy comes out of his stall and stands in the gravel, staring at me.
I go over and pet his ears and he stands like a dog.......puts his face into my chest and holds it there.
I rub his head and wipe his eyes off.......he sighs.
I think he knows.
I feel old and sad...and helpless.

I need to drive back into town and get some pellets for bedding, then come back and meet a new volunteer late afternoon.
I drive and I think.
I think about why horses touch your heart and how sometimes they break your heart or how you might just be responsible for breaking your own heart.
I try to think about why and when and how........and my emotional mind says put it logical mind says do it tomorrow.
Never an easy way.
You can't shut your eyes and wish it away.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Cool Saturday morning

I was laying in bed thinking I had another was still sort of dark out there....then I grabbed my glasses and looked at the clock just to make sure. YIKES~ it was 7:55am. Up and out of bed, pulled my clothes on and a jacket, grabbed some coffee and out the door.

There were already volunteers at the barn.........Maia, Kelsey and Meghan. So we began the morning feeding. It goes fast with four people. Two flakes of hay for every horse except Beaver and Sully......then it is time for grain. All horses are impatient and whinnying, stomping and making faces at each other.

I noticed that when Hamilton came into his stall he was not feeling well. He was shivering and holding his head to the side. I had Maia heat some water while I blanketed him....then I put another blanket on him. I really had not started blanketed everyone just yet because it has not been THAT cold out....but I guess Hammy must have layed down outside and then had some trouble getting up. The cold ground will suck the heat right out of them. Hammy has bad stifles which make it harder for him to get up and down.
Maia brought the hot water and I made his grain breakfast with it. He ate all of it but would not touch the hay. He had also not eaten last night's hay. Hmmm. I kept an eye on him as we cleaned paddocks and replaced some fence posts. He appeared to be slightly colicky after about 45 minutes, so I gave him some banamine and turned him out in the arena. He walked around, did not roll but did kick out a few times. We kept an eye on him and continued our work. The sun came out for a while, so I took one blanket off of him and he napped in the sun for a while.
The volunteers left and I continued on with a few things around the barn and kept my eye on Hammy.
He drank a little water, then nosed his food bucket........then nibbled at some hay while standing in his stall. He also pooped. I checked his gumline color.......he is a little pale. He is not in distress. His heartbeat is not elevated. He is not kicking at his tummy........but he does not feel well. I am sure his jaw is giving him pain. He may have bumped it while he was laying looks slighty swollen.
Decisions.......decisions.......what is best for Hammy? This is left up to me, his caretaker to make good decisions on his behalf. It is hard. It is emotional. You wish someone else would make the call...but you know that you must do the right thing for the horse.
I do not live at the property although I go there before work and after work. My elderly mother lives there and she keeps a fairly good eye on them, but cannot see the back of the barn area. This leaves a large gap of time for the horses to be left alone. This means that if Hammy cannot get up by himself, he could lay there for 8 hours. This is not a good scenario. I must also say, that even if I were there, he is a big horse and it would be hard for me to help him up. I cannot bear the thought of him laying on cold ground again. I don't want a tragedy. I don't want hysteria. I don't want struggling.
I know what the right thing is.
I will have Hammy humanely euthanized this week so he will not suffer an unkind winter with difficulty rising and with jaw pain that we cannot remedy.
I will think that we gave him a good summer, lots of food, lots of love and then showed him one final act of kindness.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Rain, of course.......

It was inevitable...I know.
Washington gray weather.........the reason I have been working on projects all rainproof paddocks and loafing sheds so that all of our residents have a nice winter home.
So far so good leaks today....but lots of catch up work to do tomorrow.
Yes, some more drainage ditches and a little gravel here and there. I even put a rain sheet on one gelding today as he has a fine coat and it was chilly.
I did get some gates replaced and a couple of heavier gate posts put in. I will make the pony paddock larger tomorrow and clean the gravel paddocks really well. So far the gravel is MAH-VEL-OUS!

Tough times continue in this economy. I get tired of hearing it as I am sure everyone else does......can't we just get it over with? Wave a magic wand or something? Surely my heart will break in a million pieces this winter with unwanted horses, horses who cannot be afforded any longer, abandoned horses, horses given away for free to homes who are not experienced enough to care for them.......and horses who will be starved to death. Yes, it will happen, it does every year. Horses who cannot be seen or heard who will silently suffer and finally die. I want to point out that it is YOUR duty to call your local Humane Society or Animal Control if you see a starving animal (horse, dog, goat, cow) and lodge a complaint. Often YOU may be an animals only must be persistant and you must check back with authorities. Be polite and to the point. I often have folks call me and ask me to call animal control. Why? They don't want to be involved I guess....but if you see it YOU need to call...a second hand complaint by someone who hasn't seen the animal is not helpful. Wouldn't you call if it was a child? An animal is just as helpless, maybe more can't run away, can't call for help, can't cry.......they depend on us. Sometimes people need help......or sometimes they need direction........animal control can help.
We are a small rescue and we are asked on a weekly basis to take horses. We are full and we have to say no. We hate to say no. We wish we could win the lotto, buy a big barn with a lot of property, have hired hands and take in more horses.........but the reality is that we are limited. Limited by dollars, by land, buildings and time. We have a waiting list....we have horses who are ready for adoption but we are committed to finding the right home, not just passing them along. We never want them to be "rescued" again.
We ask our community to help this winter. Have an extra stall? Consider fostering or consider taking in one of the needy horses from Craigslist or from the Enumclaw auction. There are many horses on Craigslist looking for homes from free to 100 dollars and ALL of those horses are at risk unless their current owners do their homework. Enumclaw auction horses........well, where do I start?.....just go see the low prices, the no sale horses, ...the horses who are just left there for the slaughter bus or the horses who were intentionally bought by the slaughter man. Old horses who are unwanted and deserve a better ending, young horses who have not had a chance at life, victims of careless breeding farms who didn't have a plan.........damaged horses who need a better chance........ponies that children outgrew.......racehorses too slow for the track but not guilty of any other crime.
There are many nice horses going to slaughter......have a heart...take a chance, change a life.......maybe change yours?
Need help choosing? Contact us. Can't go to the auction yourself? We will find someone for you.

Enough of my soap box speech for tonight. I could go on and on.

My wish is that there will be horses this winter who end up in better hands.

Tomorrow, lots of errands, lots of farm work, some computer work too. I meet another new volunteer tomorrow who wants to come and meet our crew.

Turn the page, close the book on old wounds and discord..........move on, move past and do something meaningful. Life is short....make your mark!