Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Too far gone Tuesday

The last week has flown by......I am behind in my blogging duties......work, farm, home.........so much to do and generally not enough time.
It is wet and rainy again.....the forecast calls for rain for the next two weeks? YIKES. Where is spring? I removed horse blankets for a few days last week and then put them right back on. Most blankets survived the winter and will be able to be cleaned and used again. Some winters are harder than others on blankets.
Pastures are still muddy/soggy and ugly. A few days of rain or a few days of sun sure makes a difference........but, umm...we want the sun...for a few months at least.

Georgia, my Bull Terrier is completely over her stomach troubles.....almost like new...and still trying to eat whatever comes her way......like a baby putting things right into it's mouth.....and of course with me grabbing whatever it is, prying her jaws open and pulling it out.

The horse shoer was out on Saturday and four of our residents got trims....Beaver, in particular, grows his hooves out quickly and he has to be trimmed frequently. He has a love/hate relationship with the shoer....... but he was pretty good for the shoer...and the shoer was pretty good to him. Next week, the rest of the crew will be done....shoes on Max.....shoes on Lizzie's fronts.

Somehow in the last week, I have tweaked my knee and it is painful. ...advil, hot/cold packs......it is slightly swollen. I am getting old and I think I need Adequan or Legend to help me get along.

Time to buy hay again, the fatsos are eating some good local grass, but the rest are quite uninterested and so they must have the premium, expensive hay that they have come to love.

Please, for your horse's sake.....teach him or her to do something. I see so many horses who are green broke, barely broke, not broken, "need a refresher", "need someone to bring them along", "nine years old and not broke"....."good broodmare".....ugh..We DON'T need another broodmare, we don't need another mediocre registered foal, or unregistered foal......have a plan, give your horse a job, teach him a discipline and then when you cannot keep him or her....at least they have something to fall back on. A horse that knows how to do "nothing" is not readily marketable. If you give your horse away, check to see where they are going, check references, follow up.....if you really don't care.....euthanize him or her....spare them the suffering. There are few homes for pasture ornaments and even fewer "good" homes...I am not saying it can't happen......but the probability is not in your favor. For those of you with your head in the sand.......slaughter is alive and well....south of the border and north of the border...people will take your "free horse and sell it for a few bucks... off to slaughter they go. Google horse slaughter if you want to see the graphic reality of it.....I warn you, it is violent and ugly. If you cannot provide a home for an indefinate period.....don't buy a horse.

Enough of my soap boxing......but is is pretty depressing out there if you are a horse...or if you are a horse rescue. My heart breaks everytime I have to say no.

Enjoy your week...

Pony UP fortune for tomorrow:

You are not alone.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Time for Tuesday

Long weekend, long week.....but on the bright side....the sun was sort of out yesterday, basically out today and looks like tomorrow it might be out for like half the day! I can deal with that......nice to not have any rain for a change.

Last weekend, we worked on a making an old shed new.....for the donkeys. It needed a new roof and a partition, plus a little fencing. Good as new now......no leaks and the donkeys are happy. They have eaten every pine tree in the paddock, but they are happy. Thank you to Rick, Susy and Ryan for helping all day.....you guys are troopers! Rick, we didn't know you were so handy....hmmm....?

We also got some hay donated by Bernie and Mark.....thank you very much! The horses and donkeys are eating it just fine. We appreciate your generosity and so do the horses!

Lizzie has finally calmed down and settled in to the Pony Up small barn. She was very fretful with new friends.....new sounds and a new shelter...but all is well now.

Almost time to take blankets off for the season, but it is still a bit cool at night. Max gets cold easily and so does Ollie......so we are careful to blanket them well into the spring.

It is still raining free horses out there.....I see ads frequently and word of mouth travels to us almost every day. I wish for a bigger budget, more land, a bigger barn.......so we could do more. It is frustrating to be limited, but important that our residents are well provided for while they are here. If we are spread too thin, it is not good for anyone. Hopefully we will have some adoptions this spring........we have some really great horses! Spread the word for us.

I was driving along today and the landscape is still drab, but starting to be dotted with brilliant green.......the metamorphosis has begun and slowly but surely it will turn to a beautiful spring...one day we will open our eyes and everything will be green and blooming. I went for a walk in the woods the other day and I saw nettles pushing up....not that I love nettles, but spring brings them to us too.

I bought new grain feeder tubs last week......rubberized ones, so that certain horses cannot break them off their walls....these are sort of flexible, black rubberized tubs....very nice and so far, so good.

Thank you to Rebecca, for feeding in the morning a couple of times a week.......a treat to have two days off in the morning. You are doing a fine job and the ponies love you!
Caryn.......you are a lifesaver as always and Brenda too.....my Pony Up girls..what would we do without you?

Ryan got a part time job, as he graduates this spring from college. We are so proud of you and glad to have you as part of the Pony Up crew...again, what would we do without you? Mr. Pony UP maintenance man and chief engineer.

My dog Georgia is recovering from her intestinal blockage.....everything seems pretty normal and she is back to her over active self...and trying to eat everything that is not bigger than herself.

This weekend, we have more chores.....they really never stop.....winter chores, spring chores and summer chores. Paddocks to gravel, manure piles to move, fill dirt to get, posts to put in, siding to put up.....an office to build, sand to put in the arena, a drainage pond to dig, flowers to plant........horses to groom, horses to work......if you have horses you know what I mean.

Tack sale next month.....location to be announced and also April is offically "Adopt a Pony UP Horse" month. Horses will be seen at a couple of different farms....sort of a showcase adoption effort....come see our residents! Details will follow in the blog......thanks to Sarah for putting this together.

Off to do home chores.....then off to bed....long day...and I am TIRED!

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow:

To have a friend, be a friend........you know who I mean.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Typhoon Tuesday

The rain continues, torrents, buckets, cats and dogs.......ad nauseum. I am really sick of it......I know I keep saying that, but surely you feel that way too if you live here. Sure there are signs of spring.....plants emerging from the earth, buds on trees, horses shedding, the days are suddenly LONGER.....but it continues to rain.
I look forward to some sun and some good news.

This last week has been a nightmare and my prayers are with the Japanese people. I cannot fathom the pain and anquish of a Tsunami and an earthquake.....and how frightening it is to have the nuclear disaster looming. I think of Japan's animal population too and what a horrible situation it is for them. I can only say prayers.

The disaster of last week makes you think of emergency plans....for your family, for your animals. I guess we never think it can/will happen to us......but we should all make a plan today.....there are many good places to get ideas. Have a meeting place, have some basic supplies, bottled water.......packaged food.

With all the rain we have had, we have been fortunate.......no flooding and the stalls are dry......each horse has a dry place and of course is blanketed. Lizzie has had a hard time adjusting to not living in the horsey Hilton (Jones Farm) and she has finally decided she can stand in her Noble shelter to keep dry(er)......she gives me anxiety when she stands outside in the pouring rain.

Blue has had his blanket changed about three times in an effort to keep him dryer....he loves to stand outside in the downpour as well as Lizzie. I try to tell myself that they know what they are doing......but don't they have a brain about the size of an orange? We love them anyway..but not everyone of them is the sharpest knife in the drawer...except the ponies.

We will shortly be bringing Yukon home, as his foster family has some different arrangements in mind. We thank them SO MUCH for taking such great care of him for the past two years.....he has probably never had such great care in his whole life.
We think that Yukon is probably too old to be considered for adoption, as he is 25 this year and so we will find a permanent retirement for him....we like the Jones Farm of course......he would have a HUGE pasture with another old guy, a loafing shed and no mud. We are space compromised at the moment ..and so we think he may go directly to the Jones Farm. Yukon is a great horse and he deserves a wonderful retirement.

This weekend we will move horses around..bring Max back to Pony UP, take Lizzie back to the borrowed barn (so I will quit clenching my teeth)......Louie will share a paddock with Max.......Cooper will go with Ollie and all should be good......I hope.

We will need hay again soon and so I will pursue that tomorrow. We have some hay being donated to us by Bernie.......we thank her for thinking of us!

Patti, thank you for your donation today.....we appreciate you thinking of us.

After such a week, I am thankful for:

friends who are really friends.......
volunteers who love our horses.......
family who understands why I love horses.........
a good job.....
a sense of humor.
the humility of others who make me find my own ..

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow:

What you think you know, is maybe not what you know........you know?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Softly Saturday

I am up, oh so early......my Bull Terrier, Georgia is sick.....she vomited several times during the night and is lethargic.....I offer her water and she throws up..so I get up, shower, call the emergency vet clinic, call Susy to feed horses and off I go.
Emergency vet= large estimate for possible intestinal blockage. Negotiations to a potential three thousand dollar bill......and I leave her there...possibly against my better judgement, but she is sick and I know she needs fluids...I am supposed to check in later tonight. Please keep fingers and toes crossed for Georgia.

I come back home and today is the day we must take the pregnant mare home. We have grown very attached to her and it is hard on all of us. She loads like a good girl and off we go.......Dolly, Caryn and I. Dolly looks really good and her foot is healed up from a nasty wound....we send her home in good flesh and also halfway shed out (a sure sign that spring is really coming)
On the way back I take Caryn to an Indian food lunch...first time I have eaten Indian food...it was good! Then we go to Strohs and buy some railroad ties and a new bed for Georgia. Back to the farm ........where Ryan and Alex have worked on framing in the new shed and also put up another light fixture on the inside of it. We switch horses and donkeys around in paddocks.....then feed and talk about the day. My truck won't go in four wheel drive.....I almost get the trailer stuck while putting it away....it is really the way my whole day went.
Did I mention it rained like hell most of the day? Maybe I didn't because I didn't want to sound like I was complaining.....but I AM complaining. Enough is enough.
Didn't I say this same thing last year when it was raining clear into July?
I will have to buy hay again for the small barn......and we still really need to move horses around, but today we decided to wait for a NON rainy day.
Max will come back to the Pony Up barn, so we can work him, Lizzie will go back to the borrowed barn, so she can RELAX.......and Cooper will become Ollie's new pasture buddy. The plan sounds good in theory......but we will see how it really works ...
Max will have to share a pasture with Louie....the donkeys will get their own paddock within reach of my mom........she loves those little guys.

Next weekend we have to get gravel again......to gravel some spots in the driveway, regravel the paddock runs and put new gravel down for a base in the new shed. We never have enough gravel...it would seem.

The bear was back.....got into our garbage cans, tipped them over.....dragged stuff out......every garbage can was raided....chicken scratch eaten......we would have suspected Beaver, but alas, he was in his paddock with the gate closed....and even though he can be a Pony Houdini, it didn't appear that he actually was able to lock himself back in.

The mother hen is doing well with her "adopted" chicks...they are eating, drinking and starting to get real feathers already......gosh, they grow fast. She is a very good mother...shows them where to eat and keeps them toast warm. So cute to see them peeking out of her feathers........little legs here and little beaks just barely poking out.

Sunday tomorrow,,,,,,,,the weekend has flown, hasn't it?

Enjoy your day tomorrow,...relax, rest and reflect.

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow:

Remember the feeling........

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tuesday comes and goes

Lizzie came home today......Sarah was so very gracious ...she went and picked her up....put her in her paddock, fed her, watered her and voila......Lizzie is home!
She instantly came into heat and the boys are hypnotized...Winston especially. I had to repair hot wire fencing when I came home because , as I always say........Mares = drama...and boys will be boys. Lizzie looks gorgeous, toned up, shiny.....ready to be adopted by an intermediate rider who is good with a green horse. Lizzie is big bodied and strong. Our plan is to trail ride her, get her some buff muscles and make someone fall in love with her.

Now, for some shameless begging on my part......the horse above is an old mare who deserves much better than sitting in a kill pen waiting on the slaughter bus. How about some final dignity......? Doesn't someone have a loafing shed, a small pasture where she can spend a last summer? Pony Up can help transport her.
Or simply adopt one of our adoptables and she can some and spend the summer with us. We currently have no room at the inn until we get an adoption...maybe a group of you could rotate months? She is old and tired......some good food, a roof over her head....some scratches on her withers. Please consider any options that you might have that could help her. If six of us could take her for a month each.....or ?
Email or post ideas. She could also get a retirement spot at a farm I know...for about 330 a month. Anyone?

The weekend is already full of plans......and we have some new volunteers coming to meet us and our horses. I hope the weather will be hospitable. We have some painting to do, a little fencing and a little building. We need to move the donkeys to a new paddock too. ...it was supposed to happen last week, but the weather got the better of us....and so we stuck to a basic plan of doing our electrical work.

I was freezing all day today, dreaming of Hawaii.......the smell of a sweet ocean breeze, sand on my feet......sun on my body.....all I can say is soon...soon! I need a vacation that is for sure.

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow:

Do not look a gift horse in the mouth, simply take the lead and go.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

C'est la vie Sunday

Oh what a nice day today, a little sun, no rain, so much warmer.....I have spring in my bones again. I got up early, went to the barn, fed everyone, fixed the retaining wall railroad ties (again)...people keep running into them!...then put up some solar lights, let Dolly out into the big paddock. Dolly's leg is healed and there is no reason to restrict her in a small turnout any longer. She was so happy to get out and move around....and roll in the dirt and sniff noses with Church.

I went to clean Beaver's stall and he pushed past me as only the naughtiest of ponies will do....whereby he LEPT onto the hay bales that were stacked on the other side of his gate... and then he jumps up on the hay and quickly makes his way onto the second layer.......giving me much anxiety about how he was going to get down. He did this same thing yesterday but only climbed onto the first layer....so ummm.....here he is on the second layer, with hay bales moving.......I am worried about a leg going in between bales.........yesterday I smacked him....today, well, I don't want a castrophe on my hands, so I talk sweetly to him and offer him some grain........whereby he JUMPS off the stack...runs the length of the barn and busts out the door........LOOSE. Oh, but then he stops to eat the bowl of chicken scratch........I grab a halter and go to him as he is inhaling the last of the scratch.....he backs away, ears forward, body upright........he is ready to jet away from me. I need better bribery.....I go back and get grain.....shake it in the bucket......he reaches for it, I nab him.....and he tries to make a break for it, so I lean all my weight backwards..........and he leans his backwards too......I slide across the entry mat like a water skier. There is NO stopping a pony who has his mind made up. I run when I hit the dirt....and then YANK his head toward me....okay, I have him under control for the moment and I open the barn door and lead him back......he runs for the hay again.......I divert him and get him into his stall, slam the gate.....and then I call him a little bastard pony. I tell him that Sarah took the wrong pony....he should be working his fat little butt off instead of Wally..I tell him that no one will ever adopt him. He rolls his upper lip back and bares his teeth at me. I bare my teeth at him.......then he puts his little ears forward and reaches my arm and licks it. ...it works.....I take back everything I said.

I slipped chicks under my hen early last week and took her eggs from her. She couldn't quite get the hang of setting on the eggs....she would routinely take two hours off, the eggs got cold and then she would go back and sit on them for 22 hours...no good. Anyway, the chick thing works well and she is being an excellent mother, she hasn't left them once......coos to them, sits on them to keep them warm......they love her and listen to her. It is so cute to see them peeking out of her wings and breast feathers. Today she showed them the finer aspects of the manure pile, she scratched and then called them to see the delicate grubs she found.......seven chicks of her own....all purebred, and even a couple just like her.

Saturday, Ryan and I got the wiring down to the new shed, a light with a photo cell installed, then patched holes in the metal roof (we used previously used metal roofing)...we are so green, aren't we?! Part of the wiring involved digging a long trench, laying conduit and rewiring existing receptacles......the new light is great!.......Next, we have to side the shed, put a gravel base down, and then mat it.
Rebecca cleaned and kept the rooster at bay...I am teaching her to pick him up, so he can be put away when he becomes annoying. He hates most volunteers......I have offered to put him in the stew pot.....but my mother won't hear of it.

Lizzie is coming home Tuesday and I guess she will live in the new shed until I can make some sort of plan on who really goes where. Sarah has offered to go and get Lizzie for us........thank you so much.....you have no idea how much time this saves me! You are a blessing....do you want Beaver????

Hay delivered today.....it was supposed to come Tuesday, but it is here early...he must have called me twenty times and finally got me,,,,,,,,then he came and put the hay into the loft. Nice fresh smelling hay...I hope they love it. I fed it to them for dinner so I guess we will see in the morning.

Anyway, more chores to do tonight....
Enjoy your week

Pony UP fortune for tomorrow.

Nagging doesn't help.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sunlit Morning on Saturday

Up early and treated to SUN through the trees.......no rain, and a few scattered clouds. Yesterday ended with pouring rain and I really thought it would continue throughout the day today........anyway.....I am enjoying the sun and lightness this morning for as long as I can.

A hello to Paul M. of Pittsburgh, PA.........and thank you for thinking of us! Can we send you a picture of one of the inmates? They love to pose for thank you cards and give funny faces for treats...you can have your choice!

Yesterday, Mary, Shelli and I cleaned paddocks, stripped stalls and scrubbed water buckets.....plus the donkeys and the pregnant mare got groomed, which they both loved. Then I took the rest of the day to take my mom furniture shopping and then to lunch at the Olive Garden, followed by going to the feed store, bank and a quick stop at Pier One Imports........a fun day! ....then home to feed the inmates again, where I was greeted by Susy......Susy finished the feeding, put the chickens to bed and fed the ponies down the street, while I headed to the "borrowed" barn, fed them dinner, tucked them in and then headed home to cook dinner. A long day....I was ready for bed by ten.

I don't quite have my whole day figured out for today.......we are working on the shed, the lighting for the new shed and the driveway gate, moving the donkeys to a new paddock, maybe taking Dolly home.....maybe not.....and I have to find time this weekend to go and get Lizzie......wish I had three more days. I am hoping Dolly is adopted today by some folks who have been admiring her....and the same with Lizzie.....it would be great to not have to move them again.

There are lots of "rescues" who have suddenly needed to be rescued themselves. Montana Large Animal Sanctuary literally had hundreds of animals that they just walked away from.....animals who in the end had not been properly cared for, not fed properly, no hoof care, left with water tubs frozen... other rescue groups within Montana have stepped up and are trying to place animals....llamas, horses, ponies, donkeys, bison, cows......people blindly sent their animals to this place called a sanctuary, hoping for a safe retirement place for their old horse or donkey.....and look what has happened. Please remember that anyone can look like anything from their website.......please do a site visit prior to donating your animal and then please follow up...also get references. There are over sixty horses who are waiting on someone to take them home.....lames horses, blind horses, horses who had behavioral problems, old horses....it is a crying shame to be left like this. Here is a link to some articles about the whole sordid mess:



These folks are helping to place donkeys and horses:
Do not be confused by the similarity of the organization names.

If there is anyway you can help, or adopt.....the organizations who are helping these animals are listed....make a call, send an email, adopt an animal. These animals did not commit any crimes.

Thank you to our many supporters and friends....we appreciate your help and friendship........we couldn't do it without you.

Friday, March 4, 2011

FFFFFFFFriday already?

The cold and wet continues......snow, rain, wind.....broken branches littering my yard. It is March and I am definitely ready for spring. I keep saying that like a mantra gone bad. It is funny how the sun can instantly lift your spirits....I was driving home yesterday at lunch and the sky was dark...then broke loose with an onslaught of hail which lasted for about five minutes........then just as suddenly over and the most beautiful blue sky appeared.........makes you remember that dark and menacing skies can morph to something beautiful in an instant. Nature..gotta love it.

Lizzie is done with her basic training and is ready to come home. We have two families interested in adopting her, so we will wait and see who raises their hand first....both are approved. That doesn't mean YOU cannot still raise YOUR hand!Lizzie was reported to be an angel for all of her training. We really cannot say enough good things about this mare. She is easy to load, good for her feet, bathes, clips, hauls nicely, learns quickly...no fuss. She even takes fly spray unlike some, umm.......geldings I know. Honestly, Ollie, who is from the track, will have you believe that he has NEVER been bathed or sprayed with fly spray...EVER....he is twenty years old and you would think he would be used to it by now. Anyway, I digress......Lizzie is healthy, friendly and a good sized mare........a great companion for someone.

Cooper is a prima donna. He does not like to leave his 12 x 24 stall......it is simply too wet and he prefers to stay inside and not let his huge feet touch the mud.
He has a nice big paddock, but it doesn't offer a full view of the other geldings and so he stays inside. He likes a pile of pellets to pee in, he needs his feed bucket fastened to the wall (or else he dumps it and hauls it around the stall).....He is wearing a blanket and obviously used to it. Maybe he has been someone's pampered boy at some time.....we will never know for sure.

I was called about six times this week for horses needing places to go. It breaks my heart to say no, but we are full until we have a completed adoption. I could raise my hand and have fifty horses, but financially we do not have the budget or the space or the man power. My volunteers work hard during the week to take care of what we have. We also have to remember that we provide feed for the pony down the street and for Yukon, who is in foster care. Yukon is too old now to be adopted..he is 25 and should have a semi retired life as he deserves. He is well cared for where he is, blanketed, huge pasture and two other horses for company. He still has get up and go....Liz still rides him every now and then. He is such a good and gentle boy....I am glad he has a good retirement. Anyway, we go through a lot of feed and make sure each horse gets just what they need every day......beet pulp, rice bran, timothy pellets, Strategy grain, good quality hay, ........most of our horses are on the bigger side and they eat a lot. So until we win the lotto, we have to take care of what we have, adopt out to quality homes when we can and take a horse in when we can....

The donkeys will be moved this weekend to their new paddock. They will be closer to my mom and she will have better access to them. They are putting some weight on, their hooves are now in much better shape, they are friendly and little beggars too. They hear the driveway gate squeak and they start braying because they know that someone is coming who could offer treats or scratches.

The pregnant mare is HUGE. She is not supposed to be due until June, but she is already as big as a house and an eating machine. She is shedding like mad......and we brush loose hair off of her daily.......it just keeps coming....so it must be spring, right? The mare is not fond of us touching her big belly, but touch it we do...and we love to feel "junior" kick....sometimes you can see the really big kicks. He is active, that is for sure.

Well, off to the races so to speak.....enjoy your weekend and think of us in the cold tomorrow.......we are doing a wiring project on the new shed, as well as matting the floors. I hope it isn't freezing outside...but more than likely, it will be raining, I am sure.

Pony Up fortune for today:

Do not fan the fire........