Sunday, February 19, 2017

A Newww Car!

(You're supposed to say the title in Bob Baker's Price is Right voice.)

I bought a car! Not a new car, but it looks pretty new, and it has low miles for its age. It's a 2010 Toyota Matrix all wheel drive. I absolutely love it! Except the color. But it's growing on me. And the gas mileage isn't great. But it has a back cargo area that's perfect for muddy dogs. And the all wheel drive works just like a Subaru. I've wanted that every winter for a long time, but I really prefer Toyotas. They don't make these any more and apparently they're pretty hard to get. I was just in the right place at the right time.

My new AdventureMobile!

I actually wanted to buy one of these years ago when they were still making them, but I couldn't afford it at the time.

I hope it lives as long as my little Echo did. :)

We drove out to one of my favorite hiking/riding spots to try it out and take the above pics. Of course we didn't hike. I'm too darn sick and there's too much snow. But it was pretty out there. The footbridge was completely piled with snow.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Why Bother With Horses?

On one of my walks with Juniper I found myself wondering why we bother with horses at all if donkeys are this easy? She's so smart and steady, and once she's learned something well, she's learned it. It's just too easy.

Don't get me wrong, I know why we ride horses. We like it hotter, faster, more animated. And you can make a horse do stuff. You can't make a donkey do something the donkey doesn't feel is in her best interest.

It's also fascinating the huge difference between her temperament and Pedro and Bob's. I do think she's not a mammoth, based on her size and color. She is a lot more animated and sprightly, more forward and curious. I had heard mammoths were slower. In this case it seems to be true. Of course there is the age difference as well.
The brand inspector came and did her lifetime brand card. I am glad to have that done, although I'd rather it was when she was sleek and fatter. But by law you have to do it within 10 days of purchase, and we'd already fudged that a bit (with the brand inspector's permission).

I think I need to either start supplementing with alfalfa or buy a higher protein pellet for her. Maybe just until the grass comes on. She's just not gaining enough muscle. 

Also, I learned about a company called Biotracking that does pregnancy testing off of a blood test. Easy-peasy and cheap at just $25. If I lived anywhere else I'd have to FedEx the sample, but they're based right here in Moscow, so I'll just draw it, spin it down at work, and run it in. They won't run the test until Wednesday, but I'll share the results as soon as I get them, of course. :)

I am so sick right now! Lost my voice and everything! Yuck! I'm even missing work and I hate that. BUT my head meds are working! I haven't had a headache in a week (until I coughed so much I gave myself one), I haven't been dizzy, and even the numbness in my arm and leg are better. I even thought about riding last weekend. I am so stoked. I can't even believe it.

AND... drumroll please... I was able to drive up my driveway for the first time since Christmas! The ice is almost gone!

So yeah, things are looking good.

Saturday, February 11, 2017


The snow is melting! We had a nice little half mile walk this afternoon.

Just look at that sky!
She was nice and speedy for the first half of our walk, but when we got back onto familiar ground she got a little bit poky.

I wasn't sure how she'd do with water, but it wasn't an issue at all! Just a moment of thought first.

This one was harder for her because she knew she could go around if I let her. She didn't fight, just thought it through.

 We went up the road to my neighbor's, looked at their excited horses, then came home. I trimmed a bit on her hooves and we took another short walk in the dusk. I just love her.

She's more sensible than a horse but quicker than a mammoth donkey. I think she'll be a perfect trail companion. She's already much more confident and no trouble at all to manage. She just comes along with me. I'm sure we'll have challenges at times but today was an excellent day. :)

Here's my driveway today: 
It's thawed a huge amount in the last week. We decided to help it along with the pickaxe. We might be able to drive on it again soon if it stays as warm as it has been. That would be so nice!

I'm still trying to figure out what my new normal is with these medications. The neurologist added an anti-seizure med when my migraines came back with a vengeance. I took my last dose of the steroid today. A little nervous about what tomorrow with bring with nothing I can take for pain. We shall see.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Fun with Juniper

When I turned Juniper out with Duncan today they got along just fine. He moved her off her food, she sassed him a bit but got out of the way. End of discussion.

I realized the brand inspector is coming Monday morning and my driveway is impassable. If I want my brand inspection I'm going to have to walk her up to the road. So today we went for walks for the first time. She did so well!

 When we went to the very top of the driveway Scout and Bella started tearing around down below, so Juniper decided she wanted to bolt forward. Luckily it happened on a spot that wasn't icy. I set myself and didn't let her go, then we walked away and back, away and back, until she got her mind back. Then we slowly made our way down the slick part.

Following along nicely at the bottom:

Here she is running to me from the pasture. What a great feeling to have her be so happy to see me. :)

And exploring some more.

She was really jealous about me petting Duncan and kept trying to butt in and make me scratch her. Naughty baby.

And this is from a couple days ago. John and I hiking to our cars to head to work. 

My little slip-on cleats aren't quite as great as his crampons, but they do the job.

I am SO ready for spring! I can't wait to he able to park at my own house!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Mostly medical whinings

Juniper is doing great, super sweet, and learning a little bit about picking up feet and not biting people when they don't love her enough.

Duncan had his hooves trimmed, half by me and half by my husband, who I was teaching about trimming for the first time. Duncan was nervous and it was a lot of information for John to absorb at once. John said, "Let's hire a farrier." :) Which I would if he could get up and down my driveway. We won't be able to use the driveway until Summer, I swear. Too much ice.

I am in so much pain right now! Did you know that if you overuse ibuprofen you will have withdrawals coming off it? I sure didn't. I thought I was trying to stay on top of the inflammation in my neck but I shouldn't have been taking so much ibuprofen. It may be causing some of my problems. So now I'm cut off. I'm doing a short course of prednisone. I guess it's supposed to get me through the withdrawal period. The neurologist also has me starting an anti-depressant to boost my serotonin levels, which may help my brain heal. It could take another year or more, but he hopes it won't. The truth is, they don't really know why the brain does what it does. Or doesn't.

I also learned that I do have a herniation at the base of my brain, not related to the accident. It's probably been there most or all of of my life. It's called a Chiari malformation and mine isn't severe but it does explain some problems that I've been having for a long time. Nothing to do about it. There is a surgical option where they remove part of your skull to make room for your too-big brain, but I'm not into that at all. That would be more for people with a much more severe case.

It's interesting what I don't remember from my visit with the neurologist yesterday. I took John with me and he keeps telling me stuff I don't remember the doctor saying. I guess I'll have to ask the doctor to go over it all again when I go back in 6 weeks.

He did say he had no reason to think I won't ride again, but I didn't tell him I land on my head sometimes. I'll save that conversation for next time. Weighing risks versus rewards, I'm thinking I might be a hiker rather than a rider now. But time will tell. I can't see myself without horses to care for. So they can at least pack my picnic.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Good Little Donkey

I don't have any pictures because I've only been able to play with Juniper in the dark. She is so sweet. She's kinda itchy and she has a couple spots of rain rot, so giving her a good scratch makes her very happy. She's clingy. I feel bad leaving her behind. I could probably take her to work with me but she wouldn't fit in my back seat. :(

Last night I rubbed her all over and practiced picking up feet. She was very cooperative. I'm not asking much yet, I didn't try to keep her feet at all.

She's so skinny! You can't tell in her pictures because her coat is at least 2 inches long. She would be scored as "poor" on the donkey condition scoring chart. I'll deworm her on my next day off. And again later. Then hopefully she'll just keep on growing and gaining weight. She just gets free choice grass hay now, and I think that will be enough to help her gain weight once she gets rid of all her little parasite friends. She's started eating her vitamins and minerals as well.

I know straw is a popular feed for donkeys because they need more fiber and less sugar, but I just can't imagine a donkey eating it. Bob and Pedro wouldn't have. They were pickier than any horse I've ever met. I'll probably buy some and give it a try at some point.