Saturday, July 12, 2014

Bob is doing better

Today he is walking just about normal.  The abscess is still open and draining.  Hopefully we've seen the worst of it!  As usual, I was probably freaking out over nothing.  :)  I've been enjoying my time with him, even when he's being sassy.  I gave him the run of the place again today, and when I went to get him he came hurrying toward me.  I was thinking, "Oh, how sweet," but it turned out he was hurrying past me to get back to the good grazing in the shade.  He didn't want to be put away yet!  I let him get away with it.  He was easy to catch later.  I gave him a piece of watermelon.  He thought it was disgusting.  He'll stick with carrots, thank you very much.

Friday, July 11, 2014


Good old Bob has a bad hoof abscess. Poor thing could barely walk yesterday. I am hoping it heals quickly now that it has drained & been soaked, cleaned , and bandaged, but I'm also pretty worried. His hind end is pretty arthritic and now this. Poor guy. It makes me realize that all the times I've said, "It's probably just an abscess," to someone else, I was really not being very empathetic (although I was just trying to be reassuring). Some abscesses are not *just* abscesses, and it's scary when you don't know how it's going to turn out. Hopefully all my worries will be for naught.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Still Here

I am still around, sitting with my leg up.  It's getting better very, very slowly.  I can't stand still or sit still with my feet on the floor.  Which would be why I haven't been blogging.  That and my life is VERY boring, with all this sitting around. 

I can walk, as long as I don't do it too much.  Occasionally I wander out and say hello to the beasties.

Jasper is still sweet and adorable.

 Pedro is less than impressed with the over the saddle pack panniers I just bought.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Forgot pictures

Still Alive

I'm still here, just not taking the time to blog.  Hurts my leg when I sit upright in a chair for too long.  I guess I ought to tell my story real quick though.

While we were out camping I discovered Jasper high-lines very nicely.  I saddled him up and he seemed more proud, less worried about everything around him.  Ready to be a big boy with a job.  We went for a long walk, John and I took turns riding Scout and leading Jasper.  All was well.

When we got back to camp I thought, "What the hell, he is a riding mule, I'm just being a big chicken," and I asked John to hold his head while I mounted up.  Jasper's head shot up and looked at me, all panicky.  He obviously wanted to get outta dodge, so I rubbed his neck, said some reassuring words, and went to dismount.  I got hung up on the horn and he started bucking, dragged me sideways like a ragdoll for a couple feet, I hit the ground, he landed on an launched off my leg with a hind foot, and broke away from both me and John, bucking.  So.

I've had my leg checked twice now - x-ray and ultrasound.  Not broken, no sign of blood clots.  So far no need to drain the multiple hematomas, but it is starting to seem infected, so I started antibiotics yesterday.  The ultrasound sucked.  I'm still hurting from it, not that I wasn't already hurting like hell.  And I find I really don't like pain pills.

So, I'm sure you're all wondering what I'm going to do about this.  Me too.  I'm leaning toward selling him as a pack mule.  I know this is partially my fault, and it doesn't feel 100% right to walk away, but I can't see myself throwing a leg over him again.  I could do all the desensitizing and ground work he needs, but I don't think I'd hop in that saddle again.  I don't want to get hurt again, and I don't want to ruin him.  He is a wonderful boy, very loving and willing, not a thing wrong with him other than he's scared to have me in the saddle, and he's just a little skittish in general.  I made a mistake buying him in the first place, thinking he wouldn't be any worse than Tonka.  He may not be, but we don't have the history to make it work, and now with this wreck behind us, I'm not going to be able to ride him again. 

No, I don't think it's saddle fit or placement or chiropractic problems.  This is the same saddle tree he was happy with at his previous home.  I can find no sign of pain in his back.  I think it's a mental/visual thing, a problem with switching eyes and a lack of trust.  He needs a lot of desensitization and a re-start with someone a lot braver than me.  Or he needs to be a wonderful pack mule.  On one hand it feels like failure, and on the other hand it feels like practicality.  No animal is worth breaking your neck over.  And it could have easily been my neck, not my leg.

So...  Don't expect to be hearing from me for a while.  I can't ride, I can barely sit up in a chair, and I'm a bit heartsick over this whole thing. 

Monday, June 09, 2014

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

I Lost my Ass on Lost Creek


That title sounds like it could be the name of a sad, sad country song.  But my dog didn't leave me.

Jasper is quite interested in the view here.

I brought Blue along, after some thought.  I wasn't sure how Jasper would do with a dog darting around, but Blue is pretty good about listening to commands as long as he's not running with Huck.  "Get on trail," and "Get ahead," are the two I most commonly use, along with, "Leave it!"  He disappeared to the side of the trail a couple times (he dreams of catching chipmunks but they're too fast), which isn't really okay, but he never spooked Jasper.

Happy Blue

Wet Blue

Well behaved Blue

VERY happy Blue (he'd found a jawbone)

Goodbye Blue

It was around here, and without any forewarning, that Jasper bolted sideways and broke away from me (after giving me a little rope burn).  Yesterday I was really worried about this happening, and pictured what I'd do if I lost him in this huge forest area.  I'd thought about putting a bell on him just in case, but I worried that would spook him more.  Yesterday went fine, and today he waited until I was relaxed and we were on our way back to give me a heart attack.  Whatever he spooked at was near a pond we'd already visited.

Luckily he stopped about 20 feet from me.  GOOD BOY!  He just stood and stared at whatever he was staring at, and I walked carefully up (telling Blue to "Get back" because like any good cowdog he was ready to jump in and "help" me chase that mule far, far away), and I gently took hold of his lead rope.  After reassuring him that he was okay, and telling him what a good boy he is, I got a good grip on it with both hands, wrapping the rope slightly around my off hip for leverage.  Sure enough, he bolted again when we got back to the same spot, but I had a good grip on him and I told him to knock it off.  We went on our way. 

Jasper says, "Wow, did you see that?"

"Almost lost my cool there."
(We're gonna die!
We're gonna die!
I'm going to throw up, and then I'm gonna die!
Mommy, tell it to stop!
Almost lost my cool there.)

Name that movie.  My very favorite scene. I'd watch the whole movie again just for that.

Then he shook it off and we moved on.

Hello again, Blue

I think sometimes he doesn't love me pointing my phone at him.

But he did love the view of the big meadow.

When I got home from running errands tonight (a rather disturbing experience - grocery shopping can make you lose your faith in humanity) a gorgeous storm was hanging around the edges of my world.  It's raining with lightning and thunder right now, and I think I'll head outside and enjoy it (and check on the critters).