Saturday, January 30, 2010

Simply Saturday

I have missed a few days of gets complicated sometimes.

Friday I got up early, met the backhoe man and he started on the burial hole in the back wooded part of the property. Mary and I cleaned paddocks and stalls while he worked. I felt anxious and upset and could not really keep my mind occupied. .......and then.....the vet had a change in schedule and could not come that day. Relief.........we feel relief and go on like nothing is really going to happen.......because it is the only way we can get through the day.
I then have to pick my dog up in Tacoma and Mary is kind enough to wait with the backhoe man while he finishes. Mary locks the gates and turns the electric fences back on.
I come back in the afternoon to check in and I see that Beaver has broken out of his paddock and he is back by the "hole".....studying it, standing by it..........the electric fence was on and I have no idea how he blew through it,,but he did.....and I put him back, put up another strand and chastise him.
We are supposed to help another family euthanize their old horse when we euthanize Jake, but on Friday night they call and say they have changed their mind and worked out a plan for something else. We are glad for the old guy and glad to not have to put two horses down in one day...sometimes things work out for the best.
Saturday comes and it is we still plan to get some work done. Ryan, Kim and I clean stalls and paddocks. Matt comes by and then we replace some wood fencing with non climb......move a couple of posts.......I start a fire going with the old wood, some of which is rotted.........we work until noon and then call it a day. The new fences looks fantastic and next week we will continue as funds allow.

Ryan stays and grooms Jake and TarBaby.

I go to the feed store and buy some "broken bags" of bedding, feed, rice bran......almost all feed stores have them and they are if I find something we can use, I buy it....every dollar counts.......and as long as it is dry and clean, who cares if the bag has a hole in it? I buy another roll of fencing, some sunflower seeds and some pasture grass seed too. Then I go home and it is quiet at the barn......all the volunteers are gone. I put some emergency latches on the stall doors because Church has broken his regular latch and sometimes is able to get the latches open. Fixed........I put a lock on the tool room too and a better latch on the barn door from the inside.
The work is simply never done......something breaks, something needs "moving'........something needs an addition...but at least it feels like we have a handle on it......and things are progressing......a simple fix like the fencing looks so much better.

I close the barn up.......give everyone carrots and a pat on the cheek.......turn the lights off, check the electric fence and ..........time to go home.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Woeful Wednesday

No rain this morning,which is a plus because I really start to believe it could be spring......I start the morning with coffee, doing some laundry.......thinking about a million things I need to do in the house.....wash windows....vacuum.......dust the woodwork........just no time.......I empty the trash, empty dishwasher then off to the barn.
It is very foggy this morning, maybe the worst we have had all season. My headlights are dim and I can barely see the road in front of me. I love the fog......the mystery of it, the cool and damp feeling of being in a Sherlock Holmes novel.
The barn is quiet.......the light is just starting to come to the foggy sky and already I feel "late" is funny how you are trained to feel the time when you are on a schedule......the lighter it gets the more I check the time.......the stalls are not too bad in the barn......the loafing sheds........well....they need attention.
The chickens come into the barn and sort through the waiting grain buckets, picking out a few delicacies and hanging out..........the peacock comes too, but he keeps a close eye on me ......I am sure he thinks I might try to pick him up and groom him again....and I just might if I had the time..........but he is safe this morning.... I must hurry and get to work. I wonder if the peacock will be lonely for a mate this spring or if he will leave us or if the chickens will be sufficient? Frankly, I have no idea. I am NOT getting him a mate........I do not want little peacocks running around. NOPE.
Sometime today, I must make veterinary arrangements and backhoe arrangements for Jake. I hate this makes it all too real and it is depressing. I got into this business to save horses and yet, often it comes down to this......I guess it is part of the save after some twisted backhanded fashion.
You wish you could wave your magic wand and make it all go away and you wish everything was a fairytale ending. Keep wishing.
I am tired today....feel a little under the weather. Perhaps stress, perhaps a cold........who knows. I try to ignore a running nose and a not quite right feeling.......I have plenty to time to be sick.
I spend some time tonight with Jake, rubbing his neck and cleaning his stall again. He is getting so affectionate.......and such a character.........he pushes his stall door open and pushes me aside to go and check out the grain bin. He knows the minute the stall door is not latched. I bet he was a character in his prime. ...I wish I could have known him then. I give him extra treats and say goodnight.
I clean Max and Ollie's stalls in the dark with a headlamp........Ollie needs his face rubbed and when I don't do it long enough, he rubs against my back. I let him. I know it is bad manners but I pick and choose the manners. These horses, some of them go through so much.......
Max gives me a "don't you come near my hay" look and I say "nice try Max"........and continue cleaning. The air is cold and I am sweating.....I am ready to go home and relax a bit......forget about my troubles.
So here I sit writing.....listening to the Lab bark at critters in the woods.........I need to go and let her in.

Pony UP fortune for tomorrow:

Follow your heart in matters of the heart and do not mind what seems sensible.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Turn around Tuesday

I tossed and turned all shoulders hurt and I put horse linament on them and heat, then got up several times and did it again. I don't know why.....well, okay, I do know why....I have had both shoulders operated rebuilt and the other just a rotator cuff repair.......and I am OLD. Too much shoveling manure or pounding a hammer will throw me a curve ball and cause me to take Advil. A change in the weather will make me reach for linament and Advil..............and then........just about the time I could really sleep it is time to get up.
I was cranky this morning and I swore at the hose while I drug it had the nerve to hang up on the corner of a rock........yeah, like it could hear me. I fed the cats some wet food, fed the chickens some sunflower seeds with their scratch....gave the rest of my toast to the peacock. I cleaned Jake's stall first because he is always in the stall and his stall is always in need of a cleaning.........he likes to nap in there and I don't want him laying in the wet.
I made more beet pulp, made a mental note to buy some more and why don't I buy it when I should? The weekend......the weekend.......I hate to rush after work and it disrupts my schedule. Yes.....I need stall pellets too.

We need to fix some fencing this weekend and move a little gravel. I have someone who wants to come and pick up compost. I wonder if I should pay them or if they should pay me? HA. Who would pay for horse poop? I WOULD pay to offload it...but I guess I will be glad to GIVE it and they will be glad to TAKE it.

The radio this morning sent me over the edge. I mean I must have changed the channel ten times to find actual music and not the continual morning cutesy crap diatribe that can so easily be found. I listened to classical, then country .....then rock.........then Spanish.......and then I turned it off and played a CD. Johnny old CD that I hadn't listened to for a while.......I still like it...and the CD was not too scratched to be played.

Some things come together or almost together and we keep our fingers crossed. Our boy Yukon most likely has a new home and we will announce it later this week, when all is done.
Sully may have something in the works too......he is being worked regularly and has some folks who love him and are thinking hard about him.......he will come back to Pony Up in mid February, at least for a while. We are very thankful for the time he has had at a lovely facility with kind folks.
Don't get me wrong.........we are still full........we still have one more horse at the farm than we would room for another........and we still have two for adoption..........Vinnie and the filly Breeze. We are anxious for good weather so we can start them both to work. Vinnie is all boy and full of energy. We think that the filly and Vinnie would make for a full day of excitement if they were turned out together........not going to happen but you can imagine!
Beaver escaped the other day and had the upper hand with the filly......he chased her out of her stall, took her hay and then chased her, while turning and kicking with both hinds all the way down the paddock..........she was scared. He is the devil when he wants to be.

My kitty is better......we think he ate part of a houseplant......and so the houseplants are moved and some were given away. I kept the ones I know are safe and anything that was marginal went bye bye.
Our dog has ACL surgery on Thursday....gosh I have a full week.......sometimes I think I should just have a large herd of hamsters.

We have made arrangements for Jake on Friday afternoon. Sad...very, very sad. We have also made arrangements to euthanize another old horse, whose family has lost their job and cannot feed or house him anymore. It is a shame, but a rational decision for someone in their predicament.........their horse will not suffer and they will never have to wonder what kind of ending there was. Both horses will be buried on the property....a final tribute of respect for their lives.

We respect and honor life but ask for dignity and compassion for our equine friends....sometimes that involves humane euthanasia. I was writing some proposals for a grant that we are applying for and one of the questions was "how do you feel about euthanasia?"..........hmm.........I said it was necessary to end suffering.... from chronic illness, chronic pain or dehabilitating disease........and sometimes because there is no place for an old horse to go when it's people can no longer feed him or care for him. We don't choose euthanasia lightly......sometimes it sears your brain, it always breaks your heart and it takes a little part of your soul.....but we still do it and know that it is the right thing to do.

We certainly love Jake....and we love him enough to send him on to something we know is better.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday Silence

Quiet Sunday can see Pete the Peacock peering into Jake's stall to see if any treats are being dispensed........and the eager face of Church waiting for grain.
After all this time, the peacock is, I guess, here to stay. Yesterday I caught him and cut his nasty old tail feathers off, as he is growing new beautiful new feathers and the old ones were bent, broken and gross looking. He was NOT pleased.......he clacked his beak and struggled, but I cut feathers anyway and now he looks so much better.
Lazy day around the farm, I feed, clean and then off for a day of around the house chores. It feels almost like spring and I have the urge to buy plants.......but I shake it off.....too early......and I am thinking February will surprise us with colder weather.
I am just about ready to go back to the barn for the evening feed, but must run into town I forgot something earlier and I could probably go to the feed store again.....oh and I better gas up the truck for the coming week.
Enjoy your week!
Pony UP fortune for tomorrow:
Measure twice, cut once and have a plan to navigate by.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday morning pictures of Jake

Ryan and Jake, below

I wanted you all to see how much better Jake looks in comparison to the original pictures I posted when we first got him home. His weight is much better, his coat is clean and shiny.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday falling.........

I sleep in......I am late......I drag my feet leaving the house and then suddenly decide that I must rush and so I drive fast to the barn.
No rain today, it is relatively warm out..........I feed hay in my shirt sleeves and see that everything is drying out, the paddocks are draining and the gravel was well worth the expense.......the stalls aren't bad and so I start on them before I feed grain. Mary comes and helps me clean paddocks around 9:30am. I take everyone's blankets off so that they can have a good roll and get some air on their skin.
The vet is due at around 11......but he is a little late and so I clean the barn aisle, fill some water troughs and check the lower pastures. While I clean, I hear screaming chickens......I run out of the barn to find a hawk latched onto a chicken.......I hit him with the broom and he lets go.....flys off into the woods.......the chickens scramble for the brush. Damn that hawk.....his own personal chicken selection at our farm......
Finally the vet arrives and we take Jake out, so that we can determine his leg issue.
It is easy to see that Jake's hip on one side is dropped down.....I have suspected a hip issue, maybe dislocation,,,,,,,,but it is just a guess and I am hoping I am wrong. But it turns out I am not wrong. Jake has a partial hip dislocation and it is too damaged to ever get better. He could have fallen, done the splits.......or it could be from him trying and trying to get up when he was too weak from starvation. It was done months ago and yet it is getting worse now due to us putting weight on him. The vet explained that the more weight he puts on, the worse his hip will be. The weight will compromise his ability to walk. I am tearful. I am angry. I ask about pain and if we can give him pain meds. I ask a million questions that all have the same answers for Jake. He is in pain, constant pain..........and there is no way to make it stop.........short of taking his life. We will not be selfish.......we will do the right thing and we will take Jake's pain away and send him on to what we believe is something better. Chronic pain is no life. We love Jake enough to let him go.

This horse rescue business, well it seems that sometimes we have to make hard decisions, emotional decisions and decisions that come hard at the end of the day. We are here for the horses, not ourselves. Sometimes the kindest thing comes so hard for us. Our hearts break......our spirit quavers.......we take a deep breath, we cry and we do what is right. We have done that several times in a wears on us.

To the bastard that starved Jake........may you rot in hell on a hot day.

Sounds harsh? I guess ...but too bad. If Jake had been taken care of, none of us would be saying goodbye to him now or making a decision that will end his life. Jake was not sick, as evidenced by his weight gain.......he was simply not fed....and because he was not fed, he was weak and injured his leg/hip........this is the epitome of the problem with "free to good home".......and why references should be checked, why a home check is invaluable, why continued home checks must be done........this home looked good to the casual observer, but became a death camp this fall and winter.

I cannot write anymore tonight.....too emotional.......too angry......frustrated.

Hug your horses.....

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thursday like Friday

I slept late.....later than usual....I looked at the clock at 4am and said to myself......"self, you have another hour to sleep"....but I slept until 5 thirty. Yikes....up and at 'em....feed the cats, feed the dogs, let dogs out, let dogs in.......shower......out the door.......late.
Drive like the wind to the is already showing signs of being light out earlier....YAY!..but it does throw my internal clock off a wee bit.

Jake gives me a throaty neigh when I open the barn doors and is eager for me to feed him FIRST.....of course I do. He has me wrapped around his hoof. Stalls are a bit of a mess and I clean them before I hand out the grain. It is really getting light now and I feel anxious like I might be late for work, so I check the clock and I am okay......
On my way out to the filly and Beaver......hmmm.......I notice something doesn't look quite right about the filly's blanket.......I take a closer look only to find that yes, it is ripped almost in how did that happen? I will now have to remove the blanket and sort through the rest to find one that fits......oh and she doesn't really want it changed........she is off and bucking.
...but she comes back for grain and I get her changed......without a fuss. Time is short and I must go........a million things I want to stay and do......but must happen later....I have my real job to get to.

The vet comes tomorrow to check out Jake and I always have him do a visual check on everyone else so that if anyone asks him....he knows first hand how the Pony Up horses look.
I always like a second opinion on weight and general condition. Most of the time I am told horses are fat........I prefer them a little fat but not obese. I hate to see any sign of ribs....

One of our volunteers from the Running Start has been assigned a fundraising project and she has some good ideas. We are letting her put this together, for the experience and letting her plan it.........she offered some ideas and we like them all......but we are letting her pick and execute it. We get some really good students and we like this program a lot.

Tomorrow I will go and visit Winston at the training barn and see how he is progressing. He ruined his blanket too and so I will have to take another to him. He is behaving and loves the mare next to him......well, of course he does......he is a boy......all boy.

Exciting news that we may have an adoptive home for Yukon and perhaps a new foster home for Sully. Keep your fingers crossed.........this will be an extreme help to me.

I thought of a topic today and I came up with: Strength.......the ways and mean of strength .......what is strength to you? If you could only post a picture of strength what would it be? Would it be physical? Mental? Emotional? what? I thought it would be a great photo essay.........for me< I would start with a picture of my mother....she embodies strength to me.
Virtue, character, courage, steadfastness............what is it to you?

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow;

Before you know it, it is already here and done.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

One of those days.....Tuesday

I didn't get to bed until late........sick kitty the emergency room with him for several hours and my head did not hit the pillow until sometime after one thirty am.....then up again at 5am and ready for the races. I really was ready to sleep for the day at the time I had to get up....but get up I did.
No rain this morning.....stalls were decently clean......I only had to clean Jake's. Barn cats get a can of wet food and a fill up of kity crispies. The chickens come into the barn to inspect the grain buckets and see if I spilled any sunflower seeds....and yes, I did. They love sunflower seeds....and the peacock, who does not belong to us, loves them too.
I go and let my mom's dogs out, check on my mom for a few minutes and then off to work at my real job.
I always wonder why people pay for those subscriptions to "private radio" hit me this morning as I was getting sick of listening to disc jockeys playing phone games and listening to ads telling me how to file is because they want to listen to music and not listen to ADS......or political discourse or whatever....
anyway, I digress......I turned the tuner until I found something I liked......Etta James singing "At Last".......classic.......I should get an Etta James CD.
I go to the bank at lunch time and my phone I answer my will be just one of several calls I receive today from folks who cannot feed their old horse any longer and what should they do? Can we take them? I get a lump in my throat and find my rational self in a sea of emotion........I try not to sound mean....but I want to say something with meaning.......I say, "unfortunately we have no room at the farm and no finances to take another right now......the most loving thing you might do is to euthanize your horse. I know that sounds harsh...but it is a crisis out there for so many old horse just doesn't really have a good chance." I tell them the story of Jake and how he was "given" to a good home for free.....and how he almost died for it....and then the story gets worse......two of these folks lack the money for euthanization..........and no more money for food. I say I will make some calls, see if I can find some money, talk to some to a man who owns a backhoe.......
It really is a crisis out there.......for horses and horse owners.......the jobless, the hopeless.....
We need to create a euthanasia fund....perhaps several rescues together.....a person should be able to cheaply euthanize their animal.
These are the types of days that get to me.
I need to win the lotto or move to a remote location without phone, cable, internet.

I come home to no rain again,,,,,,,pretty clean stalls and happy, well loved horses........I give some neck scratches as I feed grain........I tell Tarbaby how lucky he is.... I hope for better days for all of us.

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow.

Practice random acts of kindness and things will begin to change.

Monday, January 18, 2010

moreover monday

The weekend got away from me and here it is Monday again.....already.

Last night we had wind.......huge gusts of wind that sounded like a freight train coming through the trees.......trees cracking, limbs flying.......I got up at 3am with a sick kitty........and then of course had to let the dogs out and it was like a war zone out there. We never did lose power but the lights flickered a lot.
After getting up at 3am, I never went back to bed.........simply made the coffee and got going. I threw in a load of wash, put some clothes in the dryer, folded some clothes, put towels away, changed the cat box and sorted some mail. All that and I still left late for the barn. Go figure.

Off to the barn with the radio blasting Martha and the Vandella's "Heat Wave"......older than sister's era....but I still like it.......great least I think it is a sax?
What do I know?

Saturday we got a lot done.....again. I know I always say that and it is always true......we work hard. We got the roof put on the pony barn, got the filly's shed re-graveled and leveled, knocked the manure pile down...........cleaned all paddocks......cleaned the barn.....filled waters......groomed Jake, moved some mats around..........all around a good day.....God bless my volunteers! Later I went to the feed store and loaded up with beet pulp, rice bran, grain, stall pellets and a new water trough. Did I say how glad I was to have the tractor?
Sunday was quiet......just me and the horses....I cleaned and scraped paddocks, put new stall pellets down and scrubbed water tubs. I like my alone time, when it is quiet and not raining.........when I have time to think and reflect.......make lists of what needs to be done and think about how it will be done and how soon.

We need to replace fencing along the driveway, as some posts are leaning......the arena needs replacing..........the footing in the arena needs attention.........all long term projects.......our priority is feeding and housing our residents. Our place is not fancy.........I long to make it look like one of those Thoroughbred farms in Kentucky, but that may never be........and I remember to be satisfied to feed and house the horses we have.......and when I think we are "ghetto' ...I remember that a lot of these horses had nothing great......or were on their way to the slaughter I think a dry stall, a blanket and two good meals a day are a plus......we have worked hard to not have muddy paddocks and I have over 30 tons of gravel to prove it.

Yesterday, I put out grass seed in the bottoms of the paddocks...........the areas that are currently off hopefully we can have some grass this spring and if carefully managed it will last and help filter running water.

We will take Jake to the vet this Friday to have his leg evaluated. Yesterday I took him for a short walk around the farm and it was all he could do to manuever out of the barn. Poor boy.
If there is something we can do........we will do it....if not, well, hard decisions will have to be made. This is for the horses........not for us. Although we are not a sanctuary.....we would be glad to keep Jake if he is comfortable, of pain........but if there is constant pain from a leg is not a good life.......if he cannot get up and down without a struggle, without pain.........we are not doing him any favors....horses must have useable limbs..... Jake cannot climb a small incline to the barn....very painful. No good. I swear it might kill me this time.......I am very fond of Jake, as we all are. He has been well loved at Pony Up........he has never been hungry or cold and has had loving kindness........that is what matters in the end.

The horse of the year was Rachel Alexander......I think it should have been Zenyatta.........what a girl! What a horse.

Well, I am off for popcorn and a movie.........I hope your week goes well.........

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow:

The contest will be close but the dark horse wins.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Finally Friday

RAINNNNNNNNNNNN.........and more rain.......running water turning to creeks. I spent the morning diverting water from going one way to going another. I was soaked to the skin and my boots I think are no longer waterproof.
I came home and took a HOT shower, made some coffee and opened my mail......a rest feels good and I am not so cold anymore.
The power went out last night due to a falling tree. Several transformers blew along the road and it sounded like a war zone around 9pm.
I am thinking it hasn't stopped raining for a good 24 hours and the weather forecast says it will continue to next Wednesday. wonder trees are falling...pulling up by the roots and keeling over........right onto power lines, right onto the road....BOOM.
The good news is that everyone has dry footing in stalls and at least for right now the water is going where it needs to (not in the stalls!) Blankets are holding up and mostly everyone stays in their shelter.......except Vinnie.
The bad news is that I have to go to the feed store in Tacoma and I will have to take a tarp....I knew I should have kept the canopy that came with my truck. I have been sitting here waiting for a possible break in the rain....but no dice....I will just have to go for it.

Tomorrow we finish rebuilding the pony shed and move some gravel to the filly's shed to raise her floor. Later this year we will cement some areas and put in some large drain areas to prevent water from coming in. I thought I had everything done.......but who knew it would rain this much? I am glad our land has a slope to it and we have high ground. I am anxious for spring, as is everyone else I am sure.

The house is quiet, except for the sound of my typing, the rain on the roof and some muted music behind me........Mary Jane's Last Dance (Tom Petty) is playing. I always like that song and I like Tom Petty. He always reminds me of Bob Dillon. It seems funny to be sitting in the house at noon and typing the blog.......usually I am working ,running errands, ...doing something. I don't like to be idle and boy there are always chores or projects to be done, aren't there? But it feels good to be dry and warm.....

Horses are good, the filly has lost her other teeth and looks ridiculous. Jake is hanging in there, eating good and hardly leaves his stall....the stall service is simply too good....TarBaby cannot decide whether to stand in his stall or to go out to the half constructed pony shed and stand.
Beaver is a curly coated sopping wet pony......he will not wear a pony coat and that is final. I spent 125 dollars on him for a nice little pony coat and he ripped it to pieces in about ten minutes. He won't wear a fly mask either. I duct taped the fly mask last year but he still managed to get it off. Ollie and Max take turns in each other's sheds in case there is any chance that someone got grain again.

We got a couple of new water tubs...we had been using muck buckets, but they just cannot take the abuse or cold weather......they break apart and are really not large enough.

We are going through stall pellets like crazy.......wet weather means extra pellets and the pellets are the best for keeping hooves dried out.

My mom is feeling better after her surgery and starting to get back on her feet. We were fortunate for all the help and well wishes sent her way......she says thank you. She too is ready for some better weather so she can get out in her yard and garden.

Well, it is not even starting to STOP raining, so I guess I better just get going.

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow:

Red is your color.

Monday, January 11, 2010

More so Monday

My time got away from me for a while. Lots to worry about and I tend to be a worry wort....
Time to take a breath, relax and try remember that I can't control matter how much I want to.

It has rained and rained........and then rained some more. We have running rivers of water everywhere and the weatherman says it will last until next Wednesday. Oh boy.......I was so hoping it could rain for a while....okay, that was a lie. I do feel a little criminal complaining about the rain. Water is so precious and so vital to where we live.......without it, no green trees, no lush fern valleys or meadows of grass. We really live in a beautiful place. Flying back into SeaTac after a vacation to the tropics and I am always stunned by the beauty of the Puget Sound, the Islands and the green carpet of trees.

This weekend, we tore down the pony shed and then made it BIGGER. After all, the pony is not in it.......TarBaby is and it is not big enough for him. We had two new volunteers who helped us.......we will finish up this coming weekend. We groomed horses, bathed Jake's legs again, moved some fencing around and got the barn cleaned up. Saturdays are always fun......lots of laughs between us and always something comical about the horses. TarBaby demonstrated the "I stick my leg out and under the fence..........then you try to bite me, and while you try to bite me, I will bite you on the head" with Beaver routine.

Jake is enjoying Winston's stall. He is able to lay down in it and take a solid nap. He does have trouble getting up with his bad hip....but it is easier in the stall than outside. He shares a fenceline with Church and TarBaby. Church is being very nice to biting......big surprise.

Winston is living the good life in the training barn. I hope to go and see him on Friday. I bet he is not missing us one little bit.

I got up this morning, early and could hear the rain on the roof. I put my hat on and went to the barn.........glad to have a hat to prevent a sopping wet head of hair. I turned the radio on and listened to Elton John sing "Sacrifice"..........transported back to the times of my youth and what were you doing the last time you heard that song?

off to dinner.......and then bed. I am so boring and predictable lately.............ahhh......yes....predictable.

Thanks for all the good wishes for my mom and especially to the volunteers who have brought her meals........thank you for your large hearts.......

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Still Saturday

Yesterday I slept in and then went to the barn. Of course I got the stink eye from the crew. They were getting used to having room service from Kim at 5thirty am for a couple of days.
So I roll in just after eight and I have committed a crime.

I get them all fed and begin cleaning. My volunteers have cleaned for the last two days and everything goes fast. I fill a few water troughs, check the filly for missing teeth and yep, she has lost another one. I really must take a picture today. I didn't find this one in the water tank or the feed bucket.....darn.

Around 11 I groom Winston and then load him for the trip to the trainers. He is wide eyed and says that he CANNOT load in the front of the trailer. Alright then. I don't want a fight today.
How about the back of the trailer?...slightly more room...........?
Yes, he loads right up and I shut the door on him and off we go in pouring rain for an hour's trip.
We stop for gas and I have a couple of people come over to see him. He is awfully quiet and I hate to disturb him....but I do and I see that he is sweaty and nervous, but standing pawing. Good boy.
Off we go again and boy, with him riding in the back, the trailer sure sways. Maybe I need sway bars?
We get to the trainer and he must wait a while to unload. He is quiet. I can't hear him. ...umm....I better check him again. I do and he is fine. Still sweaty.
Finally we unload him and I suspect he thinks he is in a dream........the the ghetto to a palace....with lots of friends....a huge stall, a window........yeah, a palace. I walk him around a little and he is a good boy.
I tell Beth about his food issues and how he is nervous with initial work and ...blah, blah, blah.......I shut up. I sound like a nervous mother. He will be fine.
I leave his bridle, give him a pat and off I go.

I stop on the way back and grocery shop for my mom, get her a hand held shower. There is not much room in Fred Meyer's today for a truck and trailer....but I find a spot for us.
I leave the lab to guard and go to shop.

I come back and find the lab laying on my Mattes dressage pad.
Hmm.....funny, because it wasn't in the front seat when I left.
I take the said pad and put it back in the rear seat....she gives me a "look".

I go back and cook lunch for my mom, sit with her a while then back to the barn to feed for the evening....put chickens to bed, check barn cats in and oh.....I decide to put Jake into Winstons stall where he has more room, and then I put TarBaby where Jake was.........

everyone seems happy.

more later.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wednesday, I have just a moment

We hear about, we see something about breast cancer every day. It doesn't really hit home until it is your family.....your mom, your sister, your daughter.....or you.

My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer a few days ago and had a dreadful surgery today........mastectomy. She has a rare and aggressive breast cancer which does not fit the usual "lump" scenario....and she had a mammogram which was read as negative. She knew something was wrong and fortunately, finally, someone listened.

My message for know what feels right sometimes.......and you know what feels wrong. Stand up for yourself and speak up or it could cost your life.

Get regular examinations by qualified doctors and ALWAYS get a second opinion.

Mom, we love you. Get well soon.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tuesday again.....and then some

Tuesday morning.....I awaken at 4 thirty and decide I can sleep another twenty minutes and then the next thing I know it is 5 thirty.........YIKES.
Up and let the dogs out, feed the dogs, put a load of laundry in, make the coffee, shower and off to the barn. I am anxious to try the new hot water out. Simple pleasures I swear....4 gallons of hot water and I think I have been given a million dollars.
I drive to the barn listening to Roy Orbison singing "Pretty Woman". He really was so talented. I wonder why I don't listen to him more.......I have a CD somewhere.
I am careless with my CD's......they are always scratched, uncovered.......sitting on the back seat or on the dash, often I give them away and then I wonder why they skip....I wonder how folks keep them organized and in those little folders...too much work.......I have them in the console, in the side pockets on the door and in the back pockets of the , there and .......and have you seen my back seat? I should have never got the extended cab, because it is like a small storage, batteries, brushes,'s, directions......coats...lots of coats, extra shoes,a a raincoat, a mattes pad, boots.......two flashlights.......a tie........a tie? yes....I don't know why and I don't know where from.....well, I think I might have made my husband take it off so I could use it as a kidding.

I get to the barn and turn the lights on, feed the cats.....who still have not come out to wander the farm.......feed the chickens.....check Jake. He seems much happier in a lighter blanket and he utters a low whinny to greet me....waiting at his gate. I am relieved........that he is standing, that he is alert and that he is anxious to eat. He cleaned up all his hay and left a HUGE pile of poop.Wonderful.....poop makes me happy,,,,,,,,hay that is cleaned up makes me day can go in a good direction.

I make grain with HOT much easier.....and probably so much more inviting. Winston does not throw a huge fit this morning....which is good because he has another thing coming on Friday when he goes to the training barn. I don't think they will allow grain tantrums.

I check the filly's teeth and she still has not lost the buck tooth.....I wiggle it anyway and she opens wide like maybe I can help her...but I say "sorry" not loose enough yet....her other adult tooth is coming in quickly on the opposite side. Poor girl.

We need to build some more manure compost bins.......we need to get rid of some manure.....another small retaining wall...........the chores mount again......of course they do.....I think that is why they call it a working ranch.......there is always work.

I have a long day tomorrow.....up very early and to the hospital with my mom. Volunteers will watch the farm in the morning and afternoon........thank you....I appreciate your help and kindness.

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow:

Do not hesitate to show kindness to a stranger on a day such as this.

Monday, January 4, 2010

more on Monday

Jake is holding his own. A little perkier today. He was too warm in his new blanket and got a little sweaty, so Kim took his blanket off for a few minutes and oh, he was so glad. We replaced it with a lighter weight blanket. He ate good today and was adamant about getting his grain/beetpulp/bran this evening. ....he even opened his own gate and was making his own way towards the grain buckets when he was apprehended. Ummm....Kim says I spoil him.......and so I asked her why he had extra cut up apples in his grain? another carrot later on.......seems like we have a like mind.

Thanks for the notes, the prayers, the jingling......we couldn't do this without you.

So commences my busy week. A lot of catch up tomorrow and then Wednesday, my mom has surgery. Such a worry.

It rained and rained all day, relentlessly......I wore a hat this morning to feed and this evening it was the same deal..........RAIN. Paddocks soaked.........gutters full, .......spring where are you?

Yesterday, while Kim and I were installing the water heater (thank you Berglunds!)......a hawk came down and took one of our chickens....and of course he killed him and ate him. Nothing we could do. Chicken dinner on Sundays at Pony Up...just select your own. Well, I guess the hawk has to make a living too..........I don't blame him...but it is unpleasant business....and there are other farms down the road with BIGGER chickens.......and how about a nice peacock?
Chicken hawks.......not peacock hawks........hmm.

Listened to the radio this was dark, rainy and blustery.........perfect for listening to "The Wreck of the Edmonds Fitzgerald." Ever listen to the words? Ever wish you could write them just like that........I mean if you HAD to write a song about a ship.......wouldn't you want it to be lyrical and rhyming? LOL.

The filly has now lost two teeth and has two more loose and wobbly ones. She is busily chewing everything in sight........and rinses her mouth in the cold water of her tub. She was quite happy to allow me to grab on the loose ones and wiggle them...but they are not loose enough to easily dislodge. I think she would really like them out. Perhaps tomorrow......

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow

It is not who you know on a day like today, but rather who knows you.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Some days it is hard to know what to say. I should be uplifting.....I should be positive......I should be.........should be.....but the blog , no matter what, is real, heartfelt......probably opinionated....... I make no excuses.....I am passionate about what I do.

Somedays it is very emotional around the have a "hovering" horse......hovering between life and death.........push comes to do what you can and you hope for the best. You hate to lose hate for them to suffer. You wonder if you are doing the right thing, the wrong wonder a million times and then again. There is a saying somewhere........."If wishes were horses, beggars would ride"......I could add lines to it I swear.

Thank you all for pulling for Jake. He is well loved by lots of folks. I do not know if he will make it. It is touch and go...the critical time for him. I want him to make it, but I am not sure if he has the will. He is tired and his body is weak. His hind limbs drag and he has trouble lifting them easily........and it is very hard to get up once he lays down....such a struggle. Such a shame....he deserves better. Humans really failed him and yet he still looks to us for a kind hand.

He did get up this morning and then he ate.......then he napped in his stall. We changed his blanket and gave him more hay.......gave him some warm beet pulp.............then some bran. He is still pooping good. His stomach constantly gurgles.........he probably has belly pain. Horses, when starving eat all sorts of junk...........wood, rocks.........anything to soothe the hunger. ...and unfortnately, rocks, wood.........all wreak havoc on the delicate digestive system.

So as of tonight our dear Jake is still hanging in there. Say a prayer for him that he may rest easy.

Update on Sunday morning

Jake is not doing well this morning. He has been laying down intermittently and is unwilling to get up. He does not seem colicky, perhaps just tired....but still concerning. I spent the morning with him, he layed very still and closed his eyes and I thought he would go quietly. I rubbed his ears and asked him if he was going to leave us so soon and told him it was okay. He opened his eyes and groaned, then shut them again. I knelt with him a while and then went back to the barn to call the vet for the seemingly inevitable. Tears and anger.
I came back with the phone and Jake got up. He came back into the barn and nosed his hay and then started picking through it. I put the phone back and hung out a while longer while he commenced eating.
He could be tired........his guts could hurt.......he could have liver damage or a host of other complaints.
I came home to shower and then will go back.
I will make a very hard decision for us if he is laying flat out in the mud again.

Some days you have to look hard for the good and to find a reason why it is all worth it.

Sunday morning

My sleep in morning...Sunday. The house is quiet, coffee is brewing, the dogs have been out. I will take a few minutes to blog and then off to the races.
Yesterday we got all paddocks cleaned, stalls cleaned and hay picked up.
We met a new friend......nice to meet you Erin! Erin gave us some pointers on paddock maintenance, rain run off and the conservation district. Thank you for that!
Kim and I went down to see Sully and he is doing great with Lauren and Sandy. He rides in the big arena like a little trooper, behaves himself and well, he is still a little lazy but better lazy than too hyper. Thank you Lauren, Sandy and Mindy .......what a help you are! We hope Sully will find a home soon....Sandy.
On the way back home we stopped at Home Depot and got a gate opener/closer, as well as the fittings for the water heater and a new hose. Tonight we should have hot water and a security gate.
My own horse, Winston goes to training this week with my friend Beth. I am sure Winston has no idea. I was trying to explain his stall behavior around feeding time and I think I made him out to be a monster. Well,the behavior is not nice....that is for sure....but maybe he is not a monster. He is always hungry and adamant that you feed RIGHT NOW. He needs better coaching and some work. Yep, here comes the work Winston....Beth is calling your name!

Darlene and I gave Jake a bath on his backside and down his legs. He had some diarrhea and so we scrubbed him clean. We also combed his mane and gently massaged his hair loose around his hips and belly....he is looking better....we all agreed on that. He ate good yesterday and wanted his grain plus more. He is afraid of Winston and I can't blame him for that.......Winston is right next to him and so Jake has a first class view of the tantrums prior to meal time. He probably has never seen anything like that in his life.

The filly is losing her baby teeth. She looks like a first big gap in the front and then she has one buck tooth that is going to come out. We found the lost tooth in the water tank. We discussed putting it under her hay pile for the Equine Tooth fairy.......but in the end we kept it as a keep sake....I hope I can find the other one when it comes out. She is getting very tall and lovely......this spring she will make a nice project for someone......but the girl has a temper... The fence was off yesterday and so she was leaning on it, twanging it with her mouth and generally thinking about walking through we found the problem and then turned it back on........voila.........shock..........she was MAD. She got shocked, turned and kicked, shook her head, turned and kicked some more.........ran off, came back and kicked at Beaver and the fence. I guess the kick at Beaver was in case he had anything to do with the nasty shock.

Well, chores are calling my I am off to the barn.

Pony Up fortune for today..........

Your quiet will be shattered by a loud interruption.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Years Day

I slept in.....for a while anyway. I got up at 6 and let the dogs out......then went back to sleep with a hot pack on my shoulder. It was pouring rain and by the time I really got up and going there was wind too.
I didn't listen to the radio this morning. I ate toast as I drove. I don't eat much bread and toast is a treat for me......I had it with home made peach jelly.......someone made it for us for Christmas.
I put a hat on and get to work. I survey the farm and think it will take me forever to get chores done. Mud........manure.......discarded hay....a rainy, soggy mess. So I just get to it. I throw hay and then clean Jake's stall. He smells bad still. I mean he smells worse than any horse I have ever smelled. I even lift his blanket up to see if I can understand why he smells so bad. I see nothing.
Then I clean Winston's paddock, then Vinnie's and then Ollie and Max. I am sweaty. They are unappreciative and grope me for treats. The wind is howling and lifting the corners of the metal roofing, making loud noises.
I go back to prepare the "hot" meal of grain. Winston has turned into a monster about grain. He kicks the wall, he bites the wall and lunges against his door and then kicks the wall some more. He scares Jake. I yell at him to stop....but he continues and so YES< I cave in, in order to get some peace and quiet.......I give him his grain first. I am thinking of locking him out of his stall.
I give Jake his grain slop and he begins to eat it with gusto. He did not clean up all of his hay from last night, but then I gave him a lot......maybe he doesn't need to eat as much as I am giving him now....I am not sure. I try to keep hay in front of him 24 hours a day. Usually by the time I get back to the barn, he has eaten most of it....I think I am feeding him four flakes in the morning and three at whatever volunteers feed him when they check on him....we only carefully control his grain/beetpulp/bran intake.......hay is whatever he can put away. Plus he can have apples, carrots, horse cookies as wanted.
Everyone else gets grain and then I go back to work on paddocks. TarBaby's stall needs stripping.......Beaver's is clean and picked clean of all hay.......the filly has a relatively clean stall.
The rain continues to pour and the water drips off of my hat brim.

I have no big plans today.......clean the house a little......take a nap......some time for myself.

2009 is gone and we have said goodbye to Junah, Simon, Hammie and Bunny. It hurts to think of loving and losing them but we know they are not suffering any longer, nor did they have to make a trip on the slaughter bus. RIP and know you were loved for a little while.

Enjoy your weekend......stay dry.

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow:

Your heart knows the truth.