Saturday, February 22, 2020

The lame and infirm

Halla was not better, unfortunately. I took her to WSU and they ruled out any breaks in the coffin bone or navicular bone, but couldn't say for sure what the problem is. They're confident it's in the lower limb, likely a lateral collateral ligament strain. She's been on stall rest for a couple weeks now, with bute and Surpass topical cream on the injury area.

She was so good at WSU! Stoic and well behaved, didn't even flinch when they did the nerve blocks. Then I brought her home, back into the windy and wild outside world, and she was like a kite on a string. Silly mare. She also likes being in a stall. Who would have thought?

I don't know if she's doing any better because I'm not at home. What was supposed to be a 4 1/2 day vacation to the warm desert turned into over a week-long stay because I suddenly had to have my appendix out. That was fun. Admitted late Wednesday, surgery on Thursday, and they should have let me out same day but for some reason I had to stay until Friday. I'm feeling pretty good, overall. Just sore and a little tired. No opioids, which I think is actually kind of nice. I'm not all rummy. Just gabapentin and Tylenol. Crazy. And to think "back in the day" I would have just died...

We went riding at La Posta Quemada Ranch just outside The Colossal Cave, which we also toured. It's fun to be a tourist.

John rode the big beautiful roan draft cross, Toddy, my mom rode an Appaloosa, Henry's horse, Goblet, was a gobbler. She wouldn't stop eating.

My lovely Lola, the buckskin drafty mare, was quite nice. She was more responsive than I'd expect from a dude horse. I was able to stop her to get some space to take some pics, move off to the side in a wash, stop, dismount, mount back up, etc... (I dropped my camera case).

Anywho, I really like Tucson. I could totally be a snowbird. I need to downsize on the animals if I'm going to do that though. :) I don't think my parents would like me crashing their party with 3 big rowdy dogs. :D

The morning of my appendicitis (I think I'd actually been sick for a week but didn't realize it) we went hiking. I thought my stomachache would pass. We went to Sabino canyon and up the Seven Falls trail to find water. I knew we wouldn't make it to the falls, my mom was already wiped out from all the hiking and horseback riding we'd already done. And my guts hurt. We only did about 2 miles.

Cool, clear water in the desert. Beautiful.

The water was cold! But it was close to 80 degrees out so it was nice.

Check out this cool turquoise algae:

I have to say, of all the places I've been in the southwest, this area is pretty nice! Lots of interesting cacti.  Pretty white in terms of people though. Homogenous. If you want a more ethnic trip, this doesn't seem to be the place. I'd head to New Mexico if you want to meet more interesting people not like yourself. Not that I've seen much here, to be honest. Maybe I just haven't been to the right neighborhoods. :)

Today I'm headed to a town called Oracle for a Southwest Indian Art Exposition. That sounds more up my alley!

Thursday, February 06, 2020


Halla is moving much better today. Thank goodness! We had a big snowstorm so I can't get her to the vet yet anyway. I think she's just going to "walk it off." She's on a sort of stall rest. Pasture rest with the donkeys is pretty relaxed. All she has to do is walk to her food and water, and then walk over to stand next to the other horses all day. But the other horses can't chase her. :)

I've beeng givingher Equioxx once a day in with her supplement, but that pill is so small, and I haven't actually watched her eat it the past two days. I should supervise better. I'm pretty sure she has been eating it though. But I realized if she hasn't, a donkey might get it, and it might be too much for them, so I better keep a better eye on it. I need to find out the appropriate dosing for donkeys in case I ever need it.

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

I don't know what order to write in, so I'll just babble.

Buster finally had his recheck and everything is beautiful! You'd never even know he had surgery. So we're cleared to ride except he has this big ugly boo-boo right in the middle of his back. Darn it.

Also, we had a moose here 2 days in a row and the horses had a fit. The first day I had Halla by herself and she ran herself ragged. She's really lame on her left front now. I can't find an obvious injury so I'm wondering if it's in her shoulder. I also maybe see some stiffness in her hips.
I'm always of two minds about how to deal with something like this. Take them in immediately and get an answer, where they'll likely tell me to rest them and put them on anti-inflammatories, or just start the rest and anti-inflammatories for a week and see what happens.

Aarrrgh. What would you do? I have to work today anyway but I might be able to get her in tomorrow.

We've been chipping away at the Ty Evans weekly challenge. So far it's been very elementary, which is very good because Buster and I have had some trouble. But we had a breakthrough and now he can reverse directions on the lead rope/lunge line! Yay! He still doesn't give to pressure laterally very well. That was the assignment for the very first week. He does well in his snaffle bit but not so much in the halter. I'm having fun. I think he is too, most of the time.

Yesterday I was trimming some Hawthorn bushes and he was trimming some grass and he got bored and left. At speed. Bad boy! Waaaay back past the house to greener grass near Juniper. So I let him stand tied at the trailer for probably a good hour while I finished my task. Boring!

I had been working regularly with Halla too, until the moose came around. Darn it.

Also, we have baby bunbuns! The first doe had 2 and the second doe only had 1. Not sure if I should blame the small litters on the buck or what. It was his first time. I think I'll give him more opportunities to breed them next time. I decided to take the single kit and put it with the other two, and I felt like a jerk, but I didn't want it to freeze to death. Poor mama is still tending her nest, even though her baby is gone. I tried taking it away but that made it worse.  They are meat rabbits but that doesn't mean I don't want them to be happy.

I better get going! I've got critters to feed!

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The Work

I have a very important question for you equine folks. I'm missing a word. There's horsemanship, some use mulemanship, nobody uses donkeymanship. Equinemanship? There should be a word for the work/play/art/immersion of mind, body, and soul into... equine. I thought of just calling it The Work. Because no matter what, you have to put in the work. The Path? It's not equitation because it's not all ridden. Same with dressage, I think? What would you call it?

Horsemanship doesn't cut it when it's not all horses, and then I have to be a man, which I'm not as against as some women might be. We're all "man" after all. But still. If I can nitpick about the donkey part, I might as well lose the man part. Maybe there's a word for it in another language.

Maybe every person has their Work that they are so consumed by that they can't find a proper word for it, when the rest of the world is going, "Whatevs, it's just training." Or just running, or just drawing, or just numbers...

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

I forgot

Shoot, I completely forgot I had a blog. Took me a minute to remember how to post, after I read a few posts from my favorite blogs I'd forgotten about. Jeez.

Have I been so busy it made me forget? Maybe? Most days I have a few things on my calendar. Today I don't, but I have so much to do. Boring stuff. Housework, workout, go to the parts store for brakes. Eww. The snow is drifting badly, I don't wanna go! Not that my car has any problem in the snow, thank goodness for that.

I have started a weekly challenge through Ty Evans, the mule trainer. It makes me get out for at least 5 minutes a day, even if it's storming. This week we're "catching with quality." I should be doing it with all the equines but I'm just doing it with the donkeys. Juniper needs it more than Buster! She can be a spicy jalapeno.

Recently I got certified for CPR, yesterday I got certified for QPR, which is a suicide intervention much like CPR but obviously not for the same type of emergency. This weekend I'm taking a longer class on Mental Health First Aid. I don't know where this is going, if anywhere, but it doesn't hurt to have this kind of training. Considering EMT training too... We'll see. I can handle blood and gore but maybe not the heartbreaking situational aspects of the emergencies. Self harm. Kids traumatized. You hear stories... I'd rather do wilderness first responder. Seems like the accidents would be "cleaner" in a psychological sense. But probably not always.

Anywhoo. It's winter. Lots of snow piling up. Gross.

Sunday, December 22, 2019


Get it? Donkeyshines, like monkeyshines? Sounds a lot better than saying assplay instead of horseplay. :D

Buster is doing well, and he is SO relieved to be done with his course of antibiotics. So am I. We can't do anything to get his respiratory rate up but we can work on softness, stroll around, and cuddle a lot. He even let me sit next to him and love on him while he was lying down the other night, which actually scared me, I thought he was sick, but he wasn't.

I signed us up for a Ty Evans clinic in Spokane in June. My birthday present. So far just the groundwork portion since the ridden portion is sold out, but I asked to be put on a wait list if someone cancels. If nothing else I can audit the parts we don't participate in, and 4 days of uninterrupted time with my donkey and other mule and donkey people will be wonderful. I am so glad to have my new trailer to camp in! I can't wait.

Juniper went for a little walk with me yesterday. She was feeling just a bit saucy. She seriously doesn't like my stupid dog. But she didn't kick him. Good girl. I'd like to start getting her out more and doing some more serious training. She's old enough now, and big enough too! Maybe not very mentally mature but that's no excuse to let her sit.

I've been busy with holiday prep lately, some extra things on my schedule, and headaches, but I made another tweak to my diet and I think it's helping. And I'm trying a new treatment. We'll see. I'm feeling like more donkeyshines are in order, and that's a good thing!

Monday, December 16, 2019

Recovering Well

Buster is doing well after his surgery. He's sad because he's separated from his friends and he hates the oral meds twice a day. But other than that he's on the mend!