Monday, September 11, 2017

Clear Skies and Fall Weather

John and I stole my dad's horse again and went for a nice ride yesterday. We really need to have another rideable horse here. It's so much fun to just take off together and enjoy some quiet time!

Scout was pretty nervous for the first half of the ride. Poor dude just doesn't get enough riding. He was a good boy, just in a hurry and soaked in sweat. He stumbled once and spooked at a log in the middle of his recovery. I admit we made fun of him a bit for that.

We saw some deer and heard two somethings bigger/noisier and darker colored, but didn't get a good look at them. We saw a lot of paper wasp nests too. I hate those things! The bushes are so dry that they're already dropping leaves, so as long as you keep your eyes open and stay out of the thick brush, you can spot them before you run into them.

By the end of the ride Scout was himself again. I didn't want to be done. But boy was my butt sore. I had this thought that maybe riding in an ultra foam padded seat allows too much chafing movement. I never had that problem in my hard/slick seat saddle. Thoughts?

We really, really need to ride more. I got a headache after this ride, as usual, but it went away by morning, so that's good. The best riding weather of the year is here! I love it.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Feline Sex Change

The funniest thing happened at work today.

It isn't uncommon for people to be mistaken about the sex of their cat. They're told when the cat is a kitten that it's a girl, and so they believe it's a girl despite the large testicles that eventually develop. Because who really spends a lot of time staring at their cat's butt? (Despite the fact that all cats show off their butts quite shamelessly.)

So we check them when they come in for a spay or neuter. Because that's an embarrassing mistake for a vet or their staff to make.

Today a very nice cat, we'll call her Mina, came in to be spayed. And when I found that she had a nice big pair of testicles I left a message for her owner letting her know that Mina was definitely a boy and she'd have a refund waiting since a neuter surgery doesn't cost as much.

When she came to pick Mina up, she had her two adorable daughters with her and she told me she hadn't told them the news I'd left on the message because she wanted to record their reactions. This is how it went.

Girls (worried): What about Mina?

Me: Well, it turns out Mina is actually a boy.

Girls: No! (Total Disbelief) She can't be a boy.  ...  No way. ...  How do you know?

Me: Well... she has boy parts.

Younger girl: You mean she has a penis now?

Me: Actually she always did, you just couldn't see it.

And then we had to figure out an awesome new name.

And that's why my husband is now going to tell everyone I work in a clinic where we do feline sex changes.

Smoke & fire

The fire is still burning. It's burned roughly a thousand acres. It's hard to get reliable info but it doesn't look like it has burned any of the trails I ride and it isn't very near my favorite place in the whole world, so that's good. Also, my friend hasn't had to evacuate. It's staying well clear of her place, and I am very thankful for that.

I wish we'd get a good soaking rain all over the states that are on fire. We're losing too much! And it's hard to breathe.

Juniper's baby is a subtle wiggler. No big forceful kicks or poking out into the flank where you can tell there's a leg or a head right there. She's certainly not as communicative as Scout was in the womb. Just bumps and wobbles like distant rolls of silent belly thunder. I wonder if that's because she's not a horse, or because she's just a wee baby yet. Still no signs of imminent foaling. Juniper was a little cranky last night, but I would be too if I had to live in a hot, dusty, fly ridden smoky world.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Fire, birds, weather, no baby

My happy mountain getaway caught on fire yesterday. I don't know the exact location, it's just reports and pictures from locals on Facebook so far, but I'm bummed. It's SO dry right now. I hope they were able to get it put out quickly but it smelled like fire here all night. I haven't seen any official news yet.

On the bird front, it's going to take some time to transfer them to my care. For now I will just be listed as a helper. The ravens are magnificent creatures! I love their voices. They are stressed right now because of all the change in their lives, but I hope they'll come to be more comfortable with me.

The heat and my headaches have been keeping me from riding, and I guess that's OK. I just am not going to make it into a chore that I have to do. We ride when we can. I think the weather is supposed to get more bearable in about a week. Hopefully the smoke will clear some. Then, as long as my headaches will behave we will ride!

Still no sign of a donkey baby. I do see that her belly is bigger on the right side, but if it weren't for that I would think she was just slightly portly. Maybe I felt some baby movement yesterday, but as usual, Juniper was just wiggly enough to make me wonder if it was her fidgeting. No bag at all yet. On one of my donkey groups online, a donkey recently had her foal at 14 months and 1 day gestation. That's just redonkulous. Why do they have to be so variable?

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

A Little Ride

I don't know why it's so hard to talk myself into going for a ride these days. It's the heat, mostly. But we left the house just after 6 in the evening and the temperature was bearable in the woods.

Just breathing that air once we get there is enough reason to go.

Life's little worries and irritations just melt away and I want to run away and never come back. Not really. But kind of.

Anyway, Scout was a trooper until we got closer and closer to a dead animal smell and wisely opted to turn back. He was nervous, which tells me there may have been something out there besides a rotting animal. How little we know with our puny human senses.

The rest of the ride was very relaxing except Scout kept stumbling right at the end. I'm not sure what that was about. I checked his hooves carefully and there didn't seem to be a problem there. Maybe he just wasn't paying attention to his feet.

Saturday, August 05, 2017


After my last post Juniper's bag has gone away. She had some behavior yesterday that had me a little worried that I was depending too much on her bag as a foaling indicator but she's fine and there's no baby. I'm back to wondering if she's pregnant at all. And I really wouldn't mind if she wasn't. But there's the fact that she's never been in heat and the positive pregnancy test. Of course, they look like they're not pregnant right before they foal because the baby moves up toward the exit. All I can do is be observant and be prepared.

My dad got a horse that is just the bomb diggity. Anyone could ride this kind, gentle soul. I think we'll borrow him quite a bit in the near future. Liam, who hasn't ridden in years, since we had Soxy, rode him with no problems.

Before my dad went home we took the horses for a ride in the mountains at sundown. It's too hot to ride during the day. It was fun. I'm glad they can see better than we can!

The next day I injured my neck and back pretty badly just washing my hair. Seems like every time I have a little fun I pay for it thanks to that inattentive driver.

Now it's too hot and too smoky to expect the horses to do much work anyway. Fire season is here and it's pretty bad again this year. The sun and the moon are red and everything is a little eerie.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

It Begins

This morning at "bag check" Juniper actually had a little mammary development. She's thinking about making milk! It was just a little thickening behind her teats and it doesn't mean there will be a baby today by any means, but it's a big, noticeable change. Now I absolutely need to get my fences in order for a little one.

She, don't tell anyone, but there's a crow in my house, learning how to eat cherries on my living room floor. It's just about the cutest thing you ever saw. I love her.