Saturday, February 28, 2009

I didn't do a thing with the horses today. I'm feeling a little guilty about it. But I did get some new horsey artwork! Well, they're hand-me-downs from my mom, but I ain't complaining! They're beautiful. Check em' out.

These first few are done by an artist from the Spokane Tribe named George Flett. I haven't met him, but my mom says he's a very nice man. All I know is I love his work. My favorite is the big one, for the horse of course. The sky is great too, and the man's face. The littler ones are more simplistic but I love the colors and the lines.

This next one was done by a friend of the family in New Mexico. Curtis. I can't remember his last name but I know he's a huge Bob Dylan fan. :) I've loved this one for a long time, and I still can't really believe it's mine now. This is a mesa in New Mexico. I remember him explaining how he did each shade as a separate layer. It takes a long, long time. It amazes me how artists can take something apart and put it back together again so perfectly. It's just beautiful.

The quality of these photos isn't very good and the color is off, but I'm kind of glad, I wouldn't want to encourage people to copy the pics off the internet. Please respect the fact that these are copyrighted images. I'd hate to cause problems and get in trouble for posting them here.

If you had been in my house and known me any amount of time (Della) you would know what an absolutely amazing thing it is that I actually put artwork on the wall, and it's even on special picture hanger hardware that wasn't already there! Previously I just stuck things willy-nilly on pre-existing nails or screws. I'm lazy. I admit it. Well, actually I think it's that I'm not good at arranging things, so it stresses me out, so I don't do it. But now it is done, and it is good. And one went up on a pre-existing nail. Sorry.

Oh, and I know, my bed is a little off center below the pictures. And I think it's going to stay that way. I'm not a perfectionist. Did I ever tell the story of my bed? It's neat. We won it at a raffle at our family reunion. I was so excited. It was made by my mom's uncle. Someday I'd like to buy a whole bedroom set to match it. Haha. Maybe when I win the lottery!

Guess who knocked at my window in the middle of the artwork hanging project? Two very handsome guys. John and Cisco were out and about, playing. John practiced some obstacle course stuff with him and he did just great. He tried real hard to understand what was being asked if he didn't understand, and he did it. John is getting excited about Mustang Days. Very cool. I'm excited that he's excited.

I've gotta get to bed now. We're getting up early to get the feeding done so we can go get 2 tons of rather heavy bales of hay. Joy. I'm glad to have good hay, but I wish they didn't make the bales 4 feet long.

Friday, February 27, 2009

It's been a good couple of days. Yesterday started out rather frustrating though. I woke up to 3-4 inches of snow on top of nasty slick mud. I was supposed to meet someone up near Post Falls and talk about the possible adoption of one of my Trainer's Incentive Program horses (which I'll be picking up in April). But with the snow and a severe wind that came up (we have drifting problems on the highways here) I decided to stay home.

Later in the day it was beautiful and sunny, and the highways were clear, so I drove up to Spokane for the Mustang Club meeting. It was a great drive. I saw lots of deer and a bald eagle. I got a NASTY mocha at the coffee shop in Plummer though. I don't recommend their Mexican Something-or-Other. I was looking forward to a nice spicy mocha. It had an absolutely disgusting flavor added, and I couldn't put my finger on it for a while, then I figured it out. It tasted like willow bark tea, which is medicinal. Not something you'd drink for enjoyment. I know they can make good coffee there, so don't avoid the place completely if you happen to be passing through. Just don't order that.

We talked about Mustang Days a lot at the meeting. More people there this time. It was a lot of fun.

I stayed up at my mom's in Spokane last night. This morning we got up and joined the Arbor Day Foundation. It's just $10 to join and they send you 10 blue spruce trees! I'm planning on planting a wind break this year so I thought that was a great deal. They cost $2 each at the University of Idaho Nursery. I also ordered some hazelnut shrubs, and they're sending me 2 free forsythias and 2 free red maples. I'm not sure what to do with the maples. They're toxic to horses. My mom also ordered a fruit tree to plant at my place, but neither of us can remember what she ordered.

After that we went to Costco and Home Depot and I came home with 5 fruit trees and 6 blueberries. So that's a total of 35 trees and bushes to plant! I am excited. I'm going to try to talk John into joining Arbor Day as well, and then I'll have 45 total. And several years from now we'll have lots of fruits, berries, and nuts to harvest.

We also bought stuff to start tomatoes and pepper plants inside, but I just looked up our estimated last frost and it's not until mid-June! So it's too early to start anything. Bummer.

Well, I'm sorry I babbled on about growing things rather than horsey things. But I'm really excited. I only planted one tree last year. So I'll make up for it this year. I'm really hoping that between eating raw local honey every day and the new steroid inhaler I got, my allergies will lay off a bit and I'll have energy to keep up with all the work this spring. Cross your fingers for me.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Almost Wordless, but not quite.

Cranky & Dopey (AKA The Yak)

Sweet Boy in the sun

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Inland Empire Mustang Horse Club meets this Thursday in Spokane, at the Perkins at Mission and Argonne, 6pm. It's a great group of people and all are welcome. In fact, we'd be absolutely THRILLED to have some more people show up. So come on down. :)

Today has been an odd day. After the third case of strep in the family I've been disinfecting everything. I hate bleach. But I broke down and bleached a lot of surfaces today, and boiled all the silverware. I hope this is the end of that nasty bug. Luckily with both of the kids we caught it early enough that they weren't even sick, other than a very minor sore throat.

I was just thinking I should ask for suggestions for names for the two horses I'm going to pick up for the Trainer's Incentive Program through the Mustang Hertiage Foundation. I am planning on geldings, not mares. Looking for catchy names, maybe western themed. Something from a western movie or TV show? Of course I won't hold it against their adopters if they change the names, and I'll probably try not to call them by names too often while they're here, but I need some sort of handle to call them by. Suggestions?

I'm off to... Well, to wonder what the heck to do with myself. Probably laundry. The weather is awful.

Monday, February 23, 2009

So, this isn't the best video on earth. Bear in mind that I don't think I'd ever worked her like this in the round pen before, and we'd only been working on it for about 10 minutes, so she's not totally responding like she should. Also ignore the wonderful background clutter, especially the knocked-over porta-potty. Gotta love that. The people who worked on the creek can't get the potty people to come pick it up. You can bet I wasn't thrilled the morning I discovered it had tipped over! I didn't bother standing it back up because we have high winds fairly often and I figured it would just fall back over. Happily, it didn't make a mess. At least I don't think it did. I avert my eyes. I'm in denial.

Anyway, check out how Bella is moving. She seems a little off when going to the right, but fine to the left. The left stifle is the one that was popping. I'm not sure what to make of it, but I think she's sound enough that I can start slowly working on her saddle training. I'm not going to get on right away, don't worry, so I'll have time to notice if the problem pops back up.

After all that ado, here's the video:

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mud Butts:

And Twinkies:

Scout did REALLY well with his trailer loading lesson today. We practiced solo at first, then went and got Tonka so we could practice shutting the divider. I was very impressed with how well he handled being smooshed between dividers. He was nervous and fidgety but not anywhere near explosive. I don't think it would have gone so well without Tonka next to him. Scout did great hopping in, but he still doesn't like to back out. We have to stand there for a while talking about it before he'll step down. Completely understandable. We'll keep working on it, and I think I have a route planned out for his first short trailer trip sometime soon. Pretty exciting! Okay, well, I just realized, it's not his first trailer trip, it's his third, but the first two he was hauled loose with his mama, so this is something special.

I have some more disappointing horse health news. Yesterday I discovered that there is something wrong with Bella's stifle. I don't know if this is what has been making her lame all along, because we couldn't see anything wrong with the stifle before. So this could be new. Or not, I don't know. I know she has been lame and that was one of the possibilities, along with a strained prepubic tendon. So maybe it was never the tendon.

Here's a video. Listen closely for the popping sound. Some of the sounds are her pawing, but you can hear and see the popping joint.

Do you have any stories you can share about stifle problems? I don't think this is a locking stifle, it doesn't look at all like that. Sadly, it reminds me more of our old Labrador Ben, who had a torn cruciate ligament. I'm hoping it can be brought back to soundness. I've read that some stifle injuries respond well to careful conditioning. I'll have to wait to have it checked, I still have Soxy's bill to pay and India's teeth to clean. But I'm going to call and ask my vet about it, and see if he can look at the video and tell me anything to do about it.

Friday, February 20, 2009

I'm bummed. I had to call in sick for shearing day tomorrow. I was looking forward to it! But it turns out I'll get to help with getting fleeces ready for sale later anyway, and there will be lambs coming around the first of the month, so that is definitely something to look forward to. Little bouncing lambies! There's nothing cuter.

Spring! Oh glorious spring. It is on the way. Everything that can shed is shedding and it's a hairy business. The grass is starting to sprout in some areas.
With spring in the air I'm thinking of chickies. 50 of them, and some turkey poults too. I had been pondering buying another bovine, but considering how much hamburger you get out of a beef, and how much I don't really love hamburger, I think we're going to try the chicken thing. We eat a lot more chicken than we do beef anyway. Plus, chickens we can process ourselves. That will be a busy, messy day.

I was trying to think how I would build a portable area for them, and Electronet fencing is so expensive... I finally stumbled across a video done by Heifer International showing how they used the top of a Costco-type tarp carport on skids. Bingo! We have two of those! Well, not on skids, but the frames and tarp covers. I think we even have some chicken wire. So easy. All we have to do is put them together. Here's the start of our pastured poultry operation:
We won't be selling the meat of course, since that isn't legal. But we will enjoy knowing that our chicken was raised humanely and was able to forage. Not to mention the sense of satisfaction when we have freezer full of meat, the fruit of our labors. Will it be cheaper than storebought chicken? Almost definitely not, but I could be wrong. I'll get back to you on that in a couple months.

Oh, and you know how I mentioned hairy, shedding critters? Well, this one doesn't shed. She mats. So I will, once again, have the spring chore of shaving her. Fun stuff. I'll probably wait another month or more though so she doesn't freeze to death.
Oh, and speaking of Mama Cat, thanks to her I TOTALLY cracked up at this Get Fuzzy comic:
She definitely has that 6th sense. Just ask John.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My horse time the last few days has been limited to feeding and a bit of grooming. Tonka is a mud pie. He even covers his face in mud. Although I have to give it to him, he stayed pretty clean since I brushed him yesterday.

I had a sweet little grooming/bonding session with Bella this morning. She's such a special girl, and she's been on the back burner for a long time thanks to her lameness. So I brushed her real well, scratched and petted and visited with her, and she went from being a little distant to putting her face in my hands for a cuddly moment. I do love that mare.

I'm still sick. I'm pretty sure I have a cold on top of the strep. And the antibiotics are not making my stomach happy. So I am once again going to try to stay down for the day. Doesn't work real well once everyone gets home and starts making messes.

Oh, and wouldn't you know, my ThinLine pad got here last weekend while I was gone, and I don't know when I'll ever get to try it out. Darn sickness. I am impressed with the quick shipment time from the company though. So while I don't know yet whether to recommend the product, I do like the service.

I'm off to try to find something to settle my stomach. Hope you're all having a good day!

Monday, February 16, 2009

I'm home!

I had a great trip, aside from being miserably sick. Lots of time to visit, a toddler to cuddle, a trip to urgent care with a friend to get our throats swabbed. Doesn't get much better than that. Well, umm, hmm...

I still don't know if I spread my disease to everyone else. I hope not. But Della is starting to feel sick and Mike wasn't sure if it was his imagination but his throat was hurting too. The kids weren't complaining yet though.

The drive home was uneventful. I was happy to get back home. "Home" apparently begins at Washtucna. That's where things start to look "right" even though the landscape isn't quite like home yet. Maybe it's the more prevalent farming, or more cattle. Something...

I've decided that although I was brought up as a forest dweller until I was 10, I am definitely an open-spaces kind of girl now. I love trees, don't get me wrong, but the way they close in on you over there in wetstern Washington is downright confining. As a kid I used to love road trips into Idaho and Montana. Thunderstorms over the plains. Valleys full of antelope with eagles flying above. The sound of crickets on a warm night. The smell of late summer. Bats flying into the barn and scaring my country cousins. :) When I was older I got to enjoy just about every western state. I love them all. I guess I'd be pretty happy anywhere but on that particular stretch of coast. And I could probably be happy even there, but given my 'druthers I'll take wide vistas and even wider skies any old day.

I'm so sick I don't even want to go visit my horse, and I feel kind of guilty. I did stop in to check on Soxy and petted Scout real quick, but other than that I'm pretty worthless. John said Tonka's been following him all over the place like a puppy. I'll have to go spend some quality time with him tomorrow.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I have strep! I finally decided to take a look at my throat last night and it was GROSS. Well, still is. If I were at home on my own computer I might subject you to a nasty picture. I went in to Urgent Care this morning after a nightmarish night, and I'm now on antibiotics. I haven't been this sick in many, many years. Luckily it's bearable if I keep on top of the fever and pain with tylenol and ibuprofen. The nurse and doctor both said it looks like a pretty bad case, so while i may feel better in 24 hours, it could take a little longer. I'm glad we live in the age of antibiotics. And I really hope I don't get everyone else sick! It's all Della's fault for telling me I should come even though I was sick! Just kidding. I hate it when people point fingers about bugs, like you MEANT to get people sick. Luckily they're not shunning me becasue of my disease.

I'm heading home tomorrow and I'll have to call the vet with an update on Soxy. I assume all is well on the home front. John hasn't reported anything extraordinary since that first night.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

So I decided to make the trip. Which may have been a mistake, I'm even sicker today. Hope I'm okay to drive home on Monday. The kids are having a lot of fun though, and other than being sick so am I.

Poor John, the horses gave him a really hard time last night. I don't know the details but Cisco went through the fence again and Tonka and Bella got out too. Cisco was really freaking out, and that freaked John out. When he called me his tone of voice scared me, I thought Soxy had gone downhill. But he tells me she's acting just fine.

Well, that's about it for me. Oh! Happy Valentine's day!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Short update: Soxy isn't feeling well. She seems normal at feeding time, but then that's her favorite time of day. I saw her laying down a lot today. Nose isn't pouring as bad as it was yesterday morning, but it's still running.

I was going to go out of town tomorrow, but suddenly my son and I are feeling sick, and with Soxy acting like this I don't think it's the responsible thing to do. I'll have to wait and see how things look in the morning. I was really hoping to go visiting over the long weekend! There's a cute boy growing up too fast and I'm missing it! He's saying words now. I don't want to miss out on all the cute baby babble. And of course I want to see the rest of his family too. :)

In other horse news, Cisco knows when the fence is off. Which isn't abnormal, the other horses often notice it too. But Cisco takes the opportunity and pushes under the fence and escapes. Luckily he's easy to catch and his objective is just the grass on the other side of the fence, not a visit with the horses down the road. I need to be better about remembering to plug the fence back in when I have to turn it off for some reason.

I guess that's it for me today. If you don't hear from me for a while it probably means I decided it was safe to leave the farm.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I figured out why I like my vet so much. He freaks me out real bad and then he comes out here and makes everything better. And because the making things better part comes last it's what I remember. Like ending on a good note with your horse. He's got me trained. Not that this realization makes me love him any less. He's still a great vet. Just scares me sometimes. Maybe part of the problem is my worried description of symptoms when I talk to him on the phone.

So Soxy most likely has a sinus infection. He can't guarantee it's not a guttural pouch infection or a tumor. And he can't guarantee the antibiotics will cure it. But we're being hopeful. This puts to great use the leftover tetracycline I had from treating Tonka. Oh, and he didn't even think bloodwork was necessary, he said her recovery rate was good, color was good, etc, so he's not worried about her heart/liver/kidneys. Regarding the nasal discharge he said, "We're not out of the woods yet." But I sure feel more hopeful now.

He felt Tonka's jaw and was very happy, said he'd call the problem resolved. Whew.

As he does every time he comes out, he messed with Scout and marveled over the recovery of his eye.

He also reassured me that Coda is looking good, and if he's happy and comfortable it's not wrong to keep him around for a while. I was worried his diarrhea was bothering him a lot, but he said it's not that big a deal.

So all is well here, for now. I can't help but wonder What next???? I am ready to have a good horse year. It all stared with that darn Scout. Maybe when his birthday rolls around everything will be re-set and we'll have a year of healthy horses. Not likely, with old horses and young horses around. Middle aged horses seem to be the least trouble.

Oh, and I forgot to say how old Soxy is. She'll be 24 in May. I thought she was 25 this year but I looked it up and I was wrong, she's a 1985 model.
Worry worry worry. Just when I thought I wasn't going to have to talk to the vet again for a while. Something is wrong with Soxy. And I have to wonder if vets are trained to tell you the worst case scenario. I understand where he's coming from, I need to know all the possibilities, and my kids ride that horse. Nobody wants her going down with a kid (or anyone) onboard. But it causes me all kinds of stomachache and worry.

She has yellow stuff draining out of one nostril. Lots of it. It's not thick and globby, just a liquid running out. Kinda foamy the second time I looked.

Possibilities: Sinus infection, tooth infection, guttural pouch infection, tumor.

Also a worry: Liver, heart, or kidney problems. I mentioned how easily winded she is and he was pretty concerned.

So he's coming out today. Will do bloodwork and he'll check her over and we'll go from there. (Why did this have to happen when it snowed again and I can't trailer her to the vet?)

I'm tempted to call Soxy's previous owner and give her a heads-up, but I don't want to worry her over nothing. I'll wait until after I have more information.

Then I'm led to another thought. If Soxy has to be put down, should I have Coda put down at the same time? His two joys in life are that mare and food. Other than that he's old and sleepy and stiff with constant painful diarrhea . He did live without Soxy for several months, so maybe he wouldn't be severely depressed, but she's part of his life here at our farm, and with her gone, what will happen to him? Should I shorten his life by several months just to keep him from grieving, or wait and see how he does? Could I, and most especially, the kids, handle losing both of them at once? I don't think so.

I hate making choices like this. But hopefully I won't have to. Hopefully it will be something simple and easily treatable.

Keep us in your thoughts.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I recently had this thought that if I'm going to be bringing home two mustangs to train I ought to get out and work with my herd more often to get into practice. Make it a job, with a certain number of hours a day. Because a lot of days I hide out inside and use the weather as an excuse. So today I went out, moved a bunch of hay to the barn, and played with some horses.

First I just spent some lovey dovey time with Coda. I love that old man. He loves food. But I think he loves me too. I know he loves Soxy. He got all groomed up and I gave him some lunch and some treats.

Then I grabbed a halter and headed out into the pasture where Tonka, Scout, and Soxy are today. Well, actually I stood by the gate and called them. I wasn't wearing mud boots to get through the swamp to catch a horse. So of course my sensitive big poopoohead wasn't the horse I ended up with. Soxy came in (Scout would have but Tonka wouldn't let him) and I took her out. I gave her some treats and then trimmed her hooves. You know how some horses, when you're holding a front foot, will take all the weight off the opposite hind and drop it on you? She does that, only she will fall down if you call her bluff. I guess it's not a bluff. So sometimes you just have to drop the hoof and ask for it back, then keep reminding her to hold her ownself up. She only does it on one hoof, so I think it may be a pain issue. But maybe she's being a naughty old lady. Either way, we just pretend it didn't happen and move on.

(Meanwhile, Coda was having a fit. I took his woman! Nevermind that we were right in plain view... The old boy's going to give himself a heart attack.)

I put Soxy up, and of course Scout was right at the gate demanding that he get to come play. So I took him out, walked him past the scary truck, and "tied" him while I stood next to him. He was antsy but I went ahead and hard tied him anyway (my blocker rings are in the trailer) and went about 50 feet away to get him some treats. He enjoyed them. On the way back to the pasture he ate hay out of the back of the scary truck. That was good.

This time Tonka was right nearby and he said, "Oh, all right..." So he got some treats too, then we... Well, we didn't do much of anything. I groomed him and then took him to the trailer and tied him and then I went and had lunch and when I went back out I didn't like the cold and mud so I put him back. Oh, I did cut his bridle path. Exciting, eh? Actually, it was great. He didn't flip me off with his ears even once. He did give me his cute face quite a bit. So I call that a successful "working" of my horse.

And thisis why I'm not posting many pictures lately.
Scruffy, muddy, disgruntled, blechy.

I am really excited! Today I ordered a new saddle pad! Woo Hoo! I love buying tack. I hope it works like it claims. It does have a 30 day money back guarantee. But the testimonials for it are great. It's a Thinline pad. Check out their site if you or your horse has back soreness issues, or if you're just looking for a good pad to dissipate energy, or your saddle slips, or if you're bored and you're a tack junkie like me. They have hoof pads and leg boots and cinches and some other stuff too, but none of it is cheap.

Mark your calendars!
Mustang Days will be June 27-28 in Spokane Washington.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Deep thoughts... Ramblings... Mostly completely un-horse-related, so feel free to skip if you like...

Linda asked me in a comment the other day, what would be on my bucket list. I'm not even totally sure what a bucket list is supposed to be, but I think it's supposed to be the things you want to do before you die? Not the things you've already done, right? That really got me thinking. Thinking about what I've done, what I'd like to do. I can't think of anything I can say I'm proud to have done well, anything I couldn't have tried harder and done a little bit better. So first and foremost, I want to have things I can say I'm proud that I did well. Is that possible, or do we always feel like we could have done better? And we're told not to be arrogant, to be humble, which makes it harder to say to the world, "I am proud of myself. I did a great job." So that will be a hard one for me. The rest of the list follows. I say "I will" rather than "I want to," or "I'll try" in belief that a positive statement has more power than wishful thinking.
Before I die:

I will be a better parent. I've skated by thinking I can't be perfect and every kid grows up blaming their parents for something (except my husband, he's weird, he had a happy childhood). But lately I've realized I really need to learn more and think more. And I ordered a whole bunch of books. So far I really like Reviving Ophelia, which is about adolescence in girls, and how to help them through that horrible time, and why it's so horrible. It was written when I was going throught all that junk, so it's kind of a walk down memory lane too. I'm getting started on Raising Cain, Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys. Really, I'm still in the introduction. But it looks like it will be good. I also have Girls Will Be Girls, Raising Confident and Corageous Girls, and The Minds of Boys, Saving Our Sons from Falling Behind in School and Life. I ordered one more but I'm not sure what it was or whether it's here yet... Organized mind, I have...

I will be a better horseman. I want to build better relationships with my horses. I want to be patient and persistent and thoughtful and soft. Actually, apply that to human and dog and all other relationships too.

I will go on a pack trip far into the wilderness.

I will apologize.

I will forgive myself.

I will see Carrie and hopefully go on a road trip in her Mustang.
(Thelma and Louise, but just fun and no tragedy.)

I will learn to meditate.

I will strive to be a good person. No pettiness, more flexibility. Slower to react, more deliberate, more thoughtful and loving and forgiving and understanding.

I will make a positive change in the world. I will do this every day. Smile. Be kind. Help.

I will find a larger way to make a positive change in the world.
Life is good, this place is good, I'm happy with my work and life on the outside. It's the internal stuff I'd like to work on. I can't think of near as many things I want to do as things that I'd like to change. Of course change involves doing. But I mean, I can't think of many trips or actions I'd feel that I needed to take if I was about to die. I think it would be more about strengthening relationships and reaffirming love and reaching out to make a positive impact somewhere. Of course, I've never been told I was dying, other than in the sense we're all closer to death every day, so I don't know at all what that's like and wouldn't claim to know how it feels. I'm sure anger and fear and sadness would be a large part of my world.

Okay, so I'm rambling. Oh well, I think this is a good thing to think about. So I won't apologize. :)

It's hard to believe it's already Friday. The days just fly by...

Yesterday was a busy day. My daughter was feeling sick so she stayed home, ruining her perfect attendance. But if you're sick, you're sick. So I didn't go for a ride with my sister when I went to get Coda. I did talk her into calling my vet about her horse's kidney failure and lo and behold, he had all the answers the vets at WSU couldn't (or wouldn't take the time to) explain. My vet is awesome.

Oh! Speaking of my awesome vet, I talked to him yesterday and Tonka is now off of the antibiotics! Yay! I have to keep checking him for a while though, to make sure it doesn't come back.

Coda is such a cute and sweet boy. It's great to have him back. You should have seen the cuteness of the reunion between him and Soxy. She was excited and breathing heavy while I walked her to him, then as soon as she was in with him she beelined it for his hay. (Rolling eyes) She's a hungry hippo. Coda just stood shyly next to her, so happy to be close to her, but not looking at her. Like a kid with a crush. It was adorable.

I spent a lot of time brushing him yesterday and finding all of his itchy spots. Then when the kids got home my son went out immediately after doing his homework and gave them treats and brushed them. Coda is just soaking up the attention.


I don't know how much more time the old guy has with us. I'm really hoping for one more summer. But watching him yesterday, he has a painful bowel problem. He's had it all the time we've owned him, it's an old horse issue, but I've found ways to get it under control. I'm hoping I can do that again. And once the grass comes up it should get better, if it goes the same way it usually does. Something about hay is irritating to his digestive tract. Alfalfa is better, so I'm going to get him switched to that, slowly. Or maybe just half alfalfa, so Soxy can live with him half the time and they can be happy together. I've already started him on Probios and Pepto in a little beet pulp. If the Pepto doesn't work, or if it looks like he'll need to stay on something for a long time rather than just a few days, I'll get some U Gard. It worked well for him before.

It's rainy today. Yuck. And the mud is getting bad. I hate mud. I made a lot of mud with the truck yesterday, getting the trailer parked and moving hay. And my floors! They are a mess. I have to sweep a lot. The dogs are starting to shed too. Why was I so looking forward to spring? Summer! I can't wait for summer! No, just kidding, every day is a gift, even if it's muddy.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The weather these last couple days has been perfect for horseplay. Yesterday I went to get Soxy and trim her only to have Cisco offer himself to me, so I decided to get brave and trim those hind feet. He was a total gentleman. My cell phone even rang and vibrated against his leg while I was trimming and he didn't even flinch. His right hind was a little different story. He did try, once, to tell me to back off. But I didn't, he did, and we finished up. That leg has a big bump and I see him resting it a lot. He was probably kind of sore. I'm a slow trimmer and he wanted to be done.

Then I rode my big ... well, whatever he is. He's a goof, but lately he's an opinionated goof. I think he's going into his terrible 5's. We had a GREAT ride though. I rode him in a halter for the first time and he was very eager to go see the world. So we did. And I think without the distraction of a bit he was really able to feel my body positioning more. He was much more responsive in his turns. Love it.

And I love this face:

Today I hauled over to my sister's and we had a short but fun ride down the road. Her horse started to tie up so we turned around and went back to get him a drink. When he was feeling better we went just a bit in the other direction and did some splashing in the water. Tonka was feeling especially splashy. I had to insist that he quit, he was getting me all wet. He was a good boy for our second ride in the halter, and this one away from home.

Coda, our sweet almost-31 year old gelding, told us he wants to come home. He's been at my sister's since sometime last fall. Her daughter rode him for about a week and then essentially forgot about him. Today he offered himself at the gate, which I guess he never does. She took out her mule instead and Coda just stayed there mooning at the gate, looking longingly at my trailer. I was going to say maybe I should bring him home, but then I looked at the time and I was about to be late to get my kids off the bus, so I literally ran for the trailer (spooking the mule), loaded up and left. My sister told me that Coda was totally heartbroken and defeated looking when he saw our trailer pulling away. So I'm going to leave the trailer hitched up and go get him tomorrow. I'm excited to have him come home. But of course that means we will definitely be buying more hay.

My horse is an oddball. I knew that, but this is a whole 'nother level of weird. I let him sniff noses with my sister's male mule. Tonka thought that mule was the sexiest thing on four legs. He was thinking thought's of breeding. It was very, very odd, and kind of disturbing, but really mostly just funny.

Oh, and I did a quick trailer loading with Scout today. He loaded up well and was hesitant about backing out. When he stepped down he thought he was going to fall off the edge of the world. Then I put him back and called it a day.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

I've been tagged by Jessie!

The Bucket List

Place an X by all the things you've done and remove the X from the ones you have not.

Things you have done during your lifetime.
( ) Gone on a blind date
( X ) Skipped school
( ) watched someone die
(X ) Been to Canada
(X) Been to Mexico
(X ) Been to Florida
(X) Been to Hawaii
(X) Been on a plane
(X) Been lost
( ) Gone to Washington , DC
(X) Swam in the ocean
(X) Cried yourself to sleep
(X) Played cops and robbers
(X) Recently colored with crayon
(X) Sang Karaoke
(X)Paid for a meal with coins only
( ) Been to the top of the St. Louis Arch
(X) Done something you told yourself you wouldn't
() Made prank phone calls
(X) Been down Bourbon St. in New Orleans Many times. My friend lived on Bourbon.
() Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose & elsewhere
(X) Caught a snowflake on your tongue
(X) Danced in the rain
(X) Written a letter to Santa Claus
(X) Been kissed under the mistletoe
(X) Watched the sunrise with someone
(X) Blown bubbles
(X) gone ice-skating
(X)Gone to the movies
( ) Been deep sea fishing
( ) Driven across the United States alone
( ) Been in a hot air balloon
( ) Been sky diving
( ) Gone snowmobiling
( )Lived in more than one country
(X) Laid outside at night and admired the stars while listening to the crickets
(X) Seen a falling star and made a wish
(X) Enjoyed the beauty of Ole Faithful Geyser
( ) Seen the Statue of Liberty
( ) Gone to the top of Seattle Space Needle
(X)Been on a cruise Does a lunch cruise in Seattle count?
(X)Traveled by train Only BART and the El and a little train at an amusement park.
(X) Traveled by motorcycle
(X) Been horse back riding
(X) Ridden on a San Francisco Trolley
(X) Been to Disneyland or Disney World
(X) Been to the top of an active volcano and seen hot lava
( ) Been in a rain forest
(X) Seen whales in the ocean
( ) Been to Niagara Falls
( ) Ridden on an elephant No, but I rode a camel.
( ) Swam with dolphins No, but I kayaked with them last summer.

If you'd like to do the list, consider yourself tagged! And leave a comment here so I can go read your list.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Today is my Ding-ding Dingaling's birthday. That's not really her name, but due to some strange circumstances, and the fact that the name fit, we call her that a lot. The strange circumstances: my son called her Ding-ding when he was learning to talk. I don't know why. India (full name India Anna Jones - long story) is nine years old today. She's been grey around the muzzle since we got her when she was a year old, and she keeps getting grayer, so she looks older than she is. She's a butterfly-brain when she's outside, she just runs and barks and runs and tries to fly after birds. Inside she's the most cuddly dog you've ever met. Full body snuggling is what she's all about.

What do you do for a dog's birthday anyway? I never do anything. I can't seem to make myself buy a new leash set, it's just too frivolous when I have an ugly old leash that works just fine. I didn't think ahead to get any big meaty bones or anything, although I did buy them their expensive (and to-die-for tasty) joint supplement today. I'll probably just throw her a couple extra chicken jerky strips and call it good. Actually, what I'm really considering her gift is the teeth cleaning she'll get sometime later this month. Her teeth are pretty bad and we can't put it off any longer.

Speaking of which, I paid off Tonka's vet bill today! Yay! I just hope he doesn't add to it. The abscess spot still has a hard lump approximately the size of a lima bean. I don't know if that's just scar tissue, because there is supposed to be some, or if it means there is still some infection hiding in there. I need to call my vet and see if I should take him off the antibiotics now or not. He's been on the Tetracycline now for a month, which is what my vet said to do, but then he sold me 6 bottles of meds, and I've only gone through a little over two of them. Confusing.

Did anyone pay attention to what the groundhog did today? I'll have to look it up. But I already know spring is just around the corner. My horses told me. They're starting to shed. Just a few hairs so far, but it's still a sight for winter-weary eyes.