Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My vet probably thinks I'm nuts. I had to reschedule an appointment twice within the same day. I hadn't known my sister needed help getting to her chemo today. So I made the appointment for 8am today. Which meant getting out of here no later than 7:30, which would just barely get me there on time. At 7:17 my sister called. "Can you take my dog too?" Oh. My. Gosh. Three dogs? One being her slightly dog aggressive dog? Sure, of course I will. I'm a sucker after all. So I had to run out the door right that instant. She's not exactly on the way to the vet's.

We were only a few minutes late, and the dogs mostly behaved. I even managed to get each one of them individually on the scale. The biggest problem was Huck trying to play with Bella (Amy's dog). Luckily the vet had plenty of time and didn't mind me bringing in an extra dog with no notice.

Huck got his shots, India had her blood drawn, and poor Bella had stitches from her spaying removed and her joint palpated. The joint right above the paw, I guess it would be like our wrist. She had a porcupine quill lodged in the joint and they removed it, but it's not getting better. Poor girl, she is a heavy dog, all dense muscle, and having only 3 legs to walk on is hard for her. Plus you could tell that what the vet was doing hurt really bad.

They must have a porcupine colony near their house. I can't imagine how much they've spent on vet bills for their dogs because of porcupines.

So that was my exciting morning. Now I'm going to go clean out Anchor's area. I wish I could work with him instead, but poop happens. Then off to Spokane for chemo and maybe a stop at the tack store (although the husbands aren't too thrilled with that idea) and then home to finish getting ready for the trip. Crazy day.

Monday, September 28, 2009

There's a wind coming in from the east that's full of smoke and dust. Anchor isn't too fond of wind, but he's not a total basketcase by any means. Just sometimes it makes his work with me a little harder for him. He contains himself well, but not quite as well as usual.

Anchor made a lot of good progress today. No leg work, I decided to concentrate on the halter. I visualized how I put a halter on and thought of the steps I need to take to make that okay for him. I don't know how I'll ever get it over his nose. Not that I'm even anywhere near trying that yet. I rubbed him with the bunched up halter on both sides and then let it out to flop around on his neck and chest while I scratched him. I got as far forward as I could. It kind of flicked him between his jawbones underneath and boy did he not like that! I scratched there with just my hand instead. Same thing on the side of his jaw. The halter rope near his eye made him skittish.

Then I hung the halter in my left hand as I do when about to put on the halter, scratched under his neck, and ran my right hand up over his neck and scratched there. I can't press my body too close to him, so my two hands couldn't meet on the other side, but I think the almost hug that we did do is awesome progress. And he really wasn't nervous about it at all. I was surprised.

The thing that bothered him the most today: brushing. I decided to try brushing him. He's kinda grody. Flaky skin and dirt. He didn't like the weird rhythmic pressure and brushing motion. It only took a few minutes though before I saw signs that he actually liked it. Cool.

Oh, and another thing, he's getting one-sided again. Most of my work has been on his left, because of the halter stuff. I need to fix that.

After working with Anchor I moved Scout in with the old horses. He's such a sweetheart. He's like my puppy, happy to follow. He's been hanging out at the gate wanting something to do. When things settle down around here I think I'll start ponying him.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Feeling better at the moment. The kids didn't take it too hard, but they didn't know my grandma well. They both surprised me by insisting that they want to go to the funeral and John wants to go too. I thought I'd be going alone. It will be good to have company. As long as my son behaves. That kid picked a bad day to have a bad day today. We butted heads most of the day.

I'm keeping myself occupied adding pictures to my Facebook account. They take forever to load! I realized I really didn't have many family pictures on there, but I do have turkey pictures. A little backward...

Well... I don't really have much else to say. No actually, I do! I have a little gripe. Why on earth do people insist on talking over each other? I often wonder why I even bother talking. If people won't put forth the effort to listen why should I put forth the effort to speak? I totally am okay with the talking-over issue if you're having a heated conversation with a friend, both parties passionate, feeding off each other, adding to the story/discussion/debate/whatever. I'm talking about pointless unrelated blather that cuts off whoever is speaking. It's like a slap in the face and people don't even realize they do it. Heck, I probably do it. Sorry to anyone I've done that to. Smack me next time. I'm probably just being too sensitive, but it has been bugging me lately.

Horse stuff... Hmm... Nothing much today. I wasn't in a good place for horse work. But I did scratch Anchor's jaw on the other side, and underneath a bit. No progress on the hooves.
Good morning, cold morning. I think today is going to be a great day. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it, but I know I need to do laundry and I'd like to do something fun with the kids. Maybe go to the park. I also haven't ridden my horse in a long time, couple weeks at least, so I might try to fit that in.

It was 32 degrees this morning! Probably colder since I didn't look a the temperature until after sunup. And I slept with my windows open. Now I've got the heat on for a few minutes. I had to give in and do it, my fingers were about to fall off. So there you have it, the heat has been turned on and summer is over.

Yesterday Katia and I had a great time shopping. I didn't find what I needed at the craft store but I did make myself a necklace and buy myself a jacket. Peacoat type thing. Katia hadn't heard of one. I think she thought I said pee coat. It was really funny, how she asked me "What did you just say?" I was feeling bad about spending the money until John told me how much he's going to spend on a Seahawks jersey today. I told him I'm going to go back out and go shopping again!

Hope the Seahawks win today, it's John's first time at a game. He was really excited.

Grandma is still hanging in there. Just sleeping. Her body is shutting down but her heart is strong, so it could be a few days. They'll keep her asleep though. She's having lots and lots of visitors. There's a lot of speculation on whether she can hear them. I used to think people in that state could hear, probably from all the coma movies they made when I was a kid. I don't know what to think now. It makes me want to go give her a hug and tell her I love her, just in case she can hear me, but I can't. I have to wait to go over so my sister can ride with me to the funeral. She can't drive herself.

Well, nevermind all that. I just found out in a kind of offhand way that she died quietly in the middle of the night. It was a good way for her to go, she just slipped softly away. I wish I'd found out in a more normal manner, it was a bit shocking.

I think I'll go spend some time with the horses.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Baby steps. This morning Anchor let me scratch the side of his jaw on his left side, and even underneath it a tiny bit. This is the side we worked on so much the other day when getting the ropes off. That foundation work helped. He actually enjoyed having his jaw scratched, as long as I stayed within certain boundaries. He also liked having his mane scratched just behind his poll, but not on his poll.

The other side didn't go nearly as well, but I have to remember we haven't spent as much time there. He craned his neck away from me if I scratched too far forward. Eventually I went back to scratching where I know he likes it and then moved on to his foot - the same foot we worked on yesterday. It only took a few tries, and he picked it up! Barely, and it was kind of like, "I'm going to see if this is what she wants, but I'm going to run too." But it was a definite try, not just a running away, and he only took a few steps away.

So, while they may be baby steps, they're really great progress. It feels good.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Again, I feel like I didn't accomplish much with Anchor today, but really we did make some progress. I rubbed down one leg and repeatedly asked him to lift a foot, but he never did. He did let me rub all over his hoof. Went out later in the heat and it was just no fun. We didn't get anywhere. Mornings are better.

My grandma is in her last hours. She had another stroke and was seeing things, talking to kids in the room who weren't there. Now her body is shutting down. They're keeping her sedated so she's just sleeping. This is what she wants. She signed a do not resuscitate order. The last big stroke she had, she saw the light and thought she was going to meet Jesus and see my grandpa again, and when they brought her back she felt cheated. Knowing she's ready does help, but it's still awful. She was about the most awesome grandma a kid could have. She'd play with my hair, let us eat whatever we want, take care of us when we were sick. She didn't tolerate snakes kept in her garage, however. :)

My sister is really sick with the chemo. She was crying a lot today, really upset that she has to keep doing this. It must be horrible to have to keep going back and sitting there while they pump you full of poison, knowing how sick you're going to be. It's not the throwing up, it's the pain in her body that's bad. Even hydrocodone isn't doing anything for it.

There's something wrong with my dog. I think she might have cancer too. I need to take her to the vet.

So... I'm all happiness and light today... In fact, if there was something wrong with the truck, I might be able to make a country song out of it. Truly though, I am very thankful for the things that are going right in my life. Very, very thankful.

Tomorrow we're having a birthday party, with really tasty cheesecake. My poor daughter, this isn't her best birthday ever. But I'll do my best to make it better. I'm going to take her shopping at the craft store and the mall, and she's the sort of girl who loves the mall. Maybe we'll have lunch together, just us girls.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

This is kind of what I felt like yesterday after getting home from our trip:
It was a whirlwind of a trip, and for a moment there I thought I'd have the misfortune of seeing a real big whirlwind, a twister, but I didn't. And we got home in one piece. And now I've seen Oklahoma and Arkansas and can add two states to my list of places I've been.

The above photo is from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. I can say I've been there, but I haven't really. We just went into the lobby and checked out the gift shop. They were about to close. Looked like a place worth visiting though.

Anchor had a week of rest, just being fed and sweet-talked from the fence. I wondered if he'd regress at all but I didn't think he would. He didn't.

Today he went from rope-fettered to utterly naked for the first time in 3 years. I untied his broken halter and cut the rope off his neck. He was a very good boy.

And just look at his handsome profile now:
I was so excited to get this done that I had to take a step away and pull myself together.

Two major goals down - touching and unroping.
Next up - haltering, halter breaking, and hoof work.
For more information on National Wild Horse Adoption Day visit
Go to "Events" and click on "Event Calendar" to find an adoption near you.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I didn't have much horse time today, so there's not a lot to report on Anchor. He kind of looked at me while I was petting him. By which I mean he faced forward rather than craning his neck away from me. He was also very keen to step toward me for treats. Nothing really big and new.

I got to spend some nice cuddly time with Tonka, Scout, and Cisco today. They're all such loves. I like to think Anchor watches and thinks maybe people are okay after all.

That was about the extent of my horsey day. Besides shoveling poop, which isn't really all that interesting to write about.

I won't have time for the horses or for writing for the next several days. So I'll see you next week!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

He touched me! All by his ownself. Wow. Cool. The detatched, distant, vacant, evasive horse came up with curiousity and sniffed my elbow and brushed against me with his nose and wasn't afraid of the contact. Big stuff.

He still doesn't like it when I touch him though.

And I got stung for a THIRD time today! What the heck? I almost want to hole up in the house and hide from them.
Yesterday Anchor and I were stalling out, or at least it felt like it. John told me I was crazy, he's only been here four days and he's a totally different horse than the one who came here. It made me feel better.

Small Strongyles:

My friend came over and we were both squatted down in his pen poking through a pile of poop, looking at the worms that had come out. Yeah, I know... What can I say, we have curious minds. Anyway, we were totally ignoring him, and suddenly I noticed he was just a few feet away, looking at us like, "Hey, that must be really cool, what'cha doing?" Just the neatest interested look.

Then John came out and was real jealous that someone besides me had been in there. He felt left out. He asked if he could go pet him. So he did. He must have been in there with him for aout 10 minutes. I was off at the round pen looking at Melissa's horse so I don't know exactly what they were doing, but John came out of there with the biggest grin on his face.

Last night he said to me, "It's a good thing they want to keep him, because otherwise I might be tempted to keep him. I'm really starting to like him."

Tools of today's trade:

So, on to our big progress. I started with the clicker training yesterday. Basically he gets a click and a treat for the littlest things. He wasn't really willing to give me much. I was a little disappointed. Today we played "hide your hiney" (look at me, butt pointed away - he was the spoke and I was the wheel). Then I did some clicking and treating for approaching me when I said "come here." One. Step. At. A. Time. We were making progress though, he understood the game and would come as close as he felt safe doing. I was hot and tired and I had a headache so I leaned against the wall, facing away, hipshot with a leg cocked, and pretended to doze like a horse. Lo and behold, before long he wasn't far from from my elbow, looking at me expectantly. I gave him a couple sideways glances and a big grin, and we stood for a while. I extended my hand with a treat in it and he sniffed me for the first time. Unfortunately I smelled like OFF and citronella, in an effort to scare off the yellowjackets that stung me twice today! He didn't seem put out though.

I suddenly realized the puppy had been in the house unsupervised this whole time and decided to leave. I sauntered around the pen slowly, stopped for a second at the trough, acting like a sleepy horse instead of a person with a purpose, and he followed me! I think he might want a friend! It was a really great moment.

On to the resident horses. Well, just Tonka. I took him back to the vet since his eye was still cloudy. They said it looked some better but switched him to eyedrops instead of ointment and we go back in a week to sedate him and stain the eye again. Good news was yesterday's visit was only $6 (unheard of!) but next week will probably be another big bill. Dang that horse! I wish he'd quit coming up with new ways to hurt himself. I always say he's worth it, but I wonder exactly what his price tag would look like if I added all this stuff up. Nobody but me would probably pay that price. But that's okay, because he's not for sale. :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I've got my clicker in my pocket and I'm going to try that on Anchor today. I want to try to get his interest, not just his compliance.

While I do that, I thought I'd post some excellent reading material on mustang gentling. The home page is www.kbrhorse.net. The gentling section is called, My Wild Horse is Home, What Now? There are lots of different approaches there. There is so much more info in the training section, on all types of horses, not just mustangs. That site is an excellent resource.

Do you have any sites that you like to visit when looking for a little push in the right direction?

Monday, September 14, 2009

We made some more progress today. Petted with both hands at once, like I mentioned. But ooh, when my shoulder brushed him too that was too much! Touched the side of his jaw, but just for a split second, and spent a lot of time trying to show him that touching his ropes didn't mean instant death. He still doesn't like it but we're getting there slowly. Rubbed down to his knee with my hand and down to his hock with the fake hand. I can rub back to the middle of his butt with my hand, but only very carefully, he's thinking about running at that point.

I don't know if I pointed this out, but I don't have a hold of him when I'm doing this. He has to choose to stand there. He doesn't like it, but he does stand for it until I ask too much, then he takes off and we start over. We had a good dance tonight, with my right hand on his withers feeling for him to get ready to run, and my left hand scratching around the ropes. I'd go too far, feel his withers tense and his body start to lean, and my left hand would retreat back to his neck or shoulder and he'd stand there nicely and we'd do it again and again. Sometimes I overdid it or the wind would come up and he'd be out of there. Then we'd have to find a comfortable spot to start over. I think the wind today set us back a bit. He was more flighty than usual.

I think the most important tools here are the small pen (28x28) and the stick we started with, to reach him safely. And of course goodwill, time, observation and other things that aren't objects. I kind of like the squareness of the pen. All of my mustangs have found comfort in the corners, and it hasn't become a kicking hazard. With Anchor I have to ask him to stand in the middle of a wall rather than a corner, because he might shoot out of there backwards, forward, or sideways away from me, so he needs room to move. He's not turning away from me to leave anymore, which is really nice because that was swinging his butt right into me and I had to move fast to get out of the way. Not that he would kick, he's really not apt to do that, but he might have knocked me down.

I got a rough guesstimate of his height based on how tall he is compared to me (he's just taller than the end of my nose with boots on). According to that very accurate system :) he's 16.1 hands. I bet once he's trimmed he'll be 16 hands. That's not something you see every day in a mustang.

I feel like my long-winded talk about little things must be boring, but it's so not boring to me. So I guess I write this more for my own enjoyment. Maybe someone will find it useful. :)
It just keeps getting better and better with Anchor. I found some good itchy spots on his chest and neck and had him stretching out his lips in bliss. Then I got to scratch with both hands! On both sides. That's a big deal, a lot of pressure, with two hands and my body pointed directly at him. I also got to rub under his barrel a lot, and on his upper legs. He doesn't like me touching his rope at the juncture of neck and jaw. I think he's afraid I'm going to take hold of it. He also doesn't trust me enough to take a treat from my hand, but he'll eat them off the ground if I toss them to him and I'm not standing too close. He likes packer pellets and apples, but he LOVES grass. You should have seen his eyes bug out. He did take that from my hand, but bolted away like he was sure it was a trick. I can't wait for the day when he stops thinking I'm going to trick him. I promise him over and over that I won't. Wish he could speak English. But eventually he'll get my meaning anyway, if I prove it to him enough.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Left side - Much touchier!
His one-sidedness switched sides today,
wasn't sure if I mentioned that.Now I have an appointment with some nail polish remover. :)
We have Touch!

I don't think it matters how many times I do it, the first touch with a mustang will always bring tears to my eyes.

What a good, good boy.
He doesn't really like it yet, but he stood for it, and I was proud of him. He was really nervous when I got to the front of his shoulder, top of his leg, or too far up his neck. I think it's more a fear of me blocking his escape route than a fear of those places being touched. He didn't mind so much when I rubbed back on his ribs.

Yeah, I know, check out the nails! Of course we had to have this breakthrough after I'd been playing with my niece's nail polish!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

This morning was an early morning for me. I had to have all my feeding done, finish getting ready to go, and get out of here by 7:30 to meet for the trail ride at Liberty Lake at 10. Rode until 2:30 and then drove home. Long day! And it wasn't even over yet.

But first, the ride:

It was great. As I was walking out the door I was thinking, "Why am I doing this again? It's going to be 90 degrees and the yellowjackets are angry this time of year." Happily, nobody was stung, and it was really cool in the trees up high on the mountain. We sure had to climb to get up there, but it was worth it. I think coming back down was harder. Tonka thinks going up is harder. He was soaked with sweat. We've hardly ridden at all lately and he's out of shape.

It was good to see everyone again. I hadn't ever gotten to ride with Cathy before, and her daughter came along too. On her three year old filly! What a darn good horse that is, to be packing kids down the trail with no worries whatsoever at such a young age. Another new rider was Bea. I just love her German accent. Her mustang is fairly green but did really well.

It's interesting, on a ride, the different styles. Some like speed, some don't. Some are on green horses and take it slow, and some are on barely containable older horses. I'm always in the turtle group. Partially because I'm not much into speed, but also because I really appreciate it when people are patient with me and my horse, and so I want to be there for anyone who might be having trouble. Horses need another horse with them, and some people don't pay much attention to that and will run off. Others have their own training issues and can't worry about the green horse behind them. So Tonka and I often play steady eddie, which isn't always to his liking. Of course none of the horses play steady eddie as well as Pepper does. He did a good job slowing Tonka down today.

Speaking of slowing down, I have a bad hip. Yep, at my age. It hurts like crazy sometimes. It was really, really hurting on the downhill portion of the trip today, to the point where it was distracting me from the job at hand (which was mainly to keep from losing an eye on one of the many low hanging branches). So I started breathing into the pain - slow, deep breaths. It was neat to notice how that seemed to affect Tonka. He became less agitated about the horses who had disappeared in front of us and settled into his job of getting down the mountain.

I guess I'm a bit long-winded tonight...

On to Mr. Anchor. He is a neat horse. And he is definitely a horse. Case in point:

This was really no big deal:

This? This was a REALLY. BIG. DEAL.
I was so proud of him when he stood still for me to pet his right side with The Creepy Hand of Death.

Seriously, it's kinda creepy:

Especially with that red at the bottom of the glove. My daughter freaked when I touched her with it. "What is in that thing?!?" "Just paper towels and a rag, dear." "Oh good, that's better than a severed hand."

But I don't think it's so much the "hand" that bothers Anchor, as the touch. He accepted it really well on his good side, not much different from just the bamboo. Touching on the right was soooo hard though.

He's doing great so far.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Well, we went and picked up the big, skinny, rawboned fella I mentioned before. Except he's not skinny anymore. And he doesn't seem near as big. But he was surrounded by young'uns at the adoption. He is good sized, don't get me wrong. But maybe not bigger than Tonka. We'll see when I get to the point where I can measure him.His name is Anchor.

No, I am not keeping him.

(Check it out, he must have really wiggled when he was branded)

I'm already wondering if I'm going to be kicking myself for talking his owners into giving him another chance, instead of just taking him as my own.
His owner really loves him though, so it's all good.
Today after hauling him home (he was very quiet in the trailer) I just worked on getting near him with the stick, and then rubbing him with it. I think I went out a total of 3 times. Maybe it was four. This isn't new progress for him, but hopefully we'll be navigating into the uncharted realm of actual skin-to-skin touch soon.

Tonka and I are going on a fun trail ride with the Mustang Club tomorrow. Can't wait. I've been dying to get out and ride somewhere for a while now.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Kara had a vet experience a lot like the one I had last weekend, which reminded me that I haven't told y'all about it. I'm going to cheat and recycle my very long comment that I left on her blog by posting it here too.

It's funny how many people think they are experts on mustangs, and how the ones who think they are usually aren't...

Pick another somewhat uncommon breed, like say an Icelandic. I bet their owners don't get a talking to from their vets about how much the vet knows about the breed and how inferior they are. It's irritating.

Just last weekend I had Tonka at the vet's, but it wasn't my usual vet. She asked why he was freezebranded, I said "He's a mustang." Of course I was thinking, didn't you read his chart? But I'm sure she hadn't. Anyway, she went on to say he didn't look like a mustang, because mustangs are small, ugly and put together all wrong, with big heads and short necks. Which in a way was a kind of compliment to Tonka, but still irritated me. None of my mustangs are ugly! I'm sure there are some out there but I've met a good many beautiful mustangs. And what does it matter how they look?

I'm never quite sure how to respond. I don't think there's any point in arguing, most people hang on to their wrong opinions pretty tightly, and I don't like to argue anyway, so I usually just keep my mouth shut. I think maybe next time I'll say, "You're welcome to come meet the rest of my mustangs. They're all pretty well put together." Even if they disagree, maybe it would make them realize they're insulting my horses...

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Tonka is not an inside horse. The clouds and rain didn't last so I had to stall him. I made him a nice big double stall, 24x16, super clean and not too bright for his dilated eye. He didn't appreciate it. I had left the sliding door partially open with a panel to keep him in, so he wouldn't be totally isolated and to provide airflow, but I ended up having to shut it. He was chewing on and pawing at the panel. The dork. He was a bundle of nervous movement every time I went out there.

I even built him a little corral for the evening time when it was in shade but the rest of the world was still bright. He didn't appreciate that much either. He was happy to have a nice soft place to take a pee though.

Tonight I didn't put the atropine in his eye, and I'm hoping to not have to lock him up tomorrow. I don't know how long it takes for the effects to wear off. I only did half as many doses as she recommended to get it fully dilated, so I'm hoping it'll wear off quickly. Anyone else know? Maybe the vet will be open tomorrow and I can ask them.

He's back out with his cronies, with his light colored nighttime fly mask on. He's going to be so happy when this is over with.

We're going to go look at that gelding tomorrow. Wish me good judgement!
Tonka's eye looks phenomenally better today. And it's cloudy and raining, which is great because that means I don't have to lock him up. I kept him right next to the house all day yesterday and last night, and he kept calling for his buddies through the night. So I turned him out this morning. I'll just have to make the hike out to where he's at to do the ointment. It'll be good exercise.

The big bay gelding I wanted so bad 3 years ago IS the one that is offered for just a dollar on Craigslist. I've emailed them and gotten some info, but I can't wait to talk to them. Nobody home right now, so I left a message.

I don't know what would be the point of getting this horse. He's now an 8 year old untrained horse and who knows if he's learned some bad habits. Besides the fact that I have no use for another horse. But this horse, he made me sick to my stomach, I wanted him that bad. He deserves a good chance at becoming a good horse. I'm going to at least go look at him, unless they tell me something that really makes it sound like a bad idea.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

"I have a carrot in my pocket AND I'm happy to see you."

That's what I've been telling Tonka the last three times I went out to put ointment in his eyes today.

Yep, another problem with my darling boy.

It doesn't look near as sad in the pictures as it does in real life. Poor guy.

But it really probably isn't a big deal. The vet sedated him and dug around in his third eyelid but couldn't find the seed she suspected was in there causing the ulceration right where the cornea meets the sclera at the front of his eye. It's still producing a lot of gunk, which had her suspicious that it might still be in there. I hope not. If so we'll have to sedate him and go through it all again. We're treating it now, hoping it will get better. 5x daily with one ointment, 2x daily with another, tapering off a bit after a couple days. And he has to stay in the shade. Which had me working to get the horse shed turned into one big stall so he won't go totally crazy. None of our pastures have big shade trees. I'll let him out at night. He'll also wear a fly mask 24 hrs a day.

Got a lot of bad health news about relatives today. Nothing life threatening, but scary.

I could have sworn I had something else interesting to share with you...

Oh yeah! I think the horse I really really wanted when I adopted Tonka may be available for free! Yeah, you heard that right, Tonka was my second choice.

This tall, skinny, rawboned fella here was my first choice:
But I was outbid, and I ended up with my Perfect Horse.

I'll supply more info when I get it. Anyone need a horse? Because I really don't.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Sleepin' like a baby.Dawg tired.
It's a ruff life.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

These picures are for Lea, who got stung yesterday.

This one is out front:

This one is out back:
That's just 24 hours worth of yellowjackets! I love my yellowjacket traps! They work better than the reusable ones I've used in other years. But then, we have WAY more yellowjackets this year. I put out 3 more traps last night, and I might get one more today, to catch the ones swarming around my round pen gate. I know it sounds sick and wrong, but I love to see these things die Die DIE!

The boy dogs are going to the vet today. Huck needs his second set of shots and Angus may have a bladder infection or something. Or maybe it's just age and he needs a diaper for his little dribbles. I sure hope that's not it.

I am feeling totally un-sick or I would have cancelled my vet appointment so as not to expose them. I think I was sick, but it was mostly a lethargy and headache, plus trouble breathing at times, but I have trouble breathing anyway. So I don't know if it was swine flu, but I hope it was. Sounds like it was likely what my daughter had, so hopefully the whole family has been exposed and will be immune from here on out. I'd like to be able to see my sister again and help her out.

She had her second big chemo this past Tuesday and has been doing okay. She said she's not going to complain, because if this is what it takes to live, she's going to be thankful for it. She also got more info on the schedule of things. Turns out she may be able to have her mastectomy before they roll into the new year of insurance. They have a $10,000 deductible, so it would be nice to let that be paid out more gradually with the radiation therapy rather than all at once for the surgery.

She is being tested for the cancer gene. If it comes up positive, she'll have to have her ovaries removed as well. Also, if it's positive, I'll have to be tested, and possibly just have everything removed as a preventive measure if I'm also positive. Good thing I didn't plan on having or nursing more babies... And I've always wanted a breast reduction, although not quite this kind... I better get on with getting some health insurance.

Speaking of which, Damomma's post made me want to look at what I should be working on in myself. So today my goal is to make all the phone calls and appointments I've been putting off, and pay my bills. You could say I'll be working on my secretarial skills.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

I find myself with things to blog about at times, but the urge to blog hasn't been strong lately. I sit down and I think, why bother? I go through phases like that sometimes. Other times, I want to share every little silly thing. Do you find yourself on a blogging rollercoaster at times too?

Anyway, today I finally felt like going to do something with the horses. Recently the extent of my horse interest has been to put fly masks on in the morning and take them off at night. And I didn't even really want to do that. Part of being sick, I guess.

I got out the boys and took them to the round pen. I didn't take pictures, but my dad got a picture of a similar situation not long ago:

Tonka and Cisco I tied, and Scout was the first to work. I figured I'd do some basic round pen work. He was doing great with just about everything but he just could not get it that he needed to turn in toward me when turning to head to my right (his right eye). Once I got some kinda-sorta good responses I took him for a walk to cool off.

We went down by the creek and I thought I'd reward him by letting him graze. He stuck his nose in stinging nettle! Poor guy, he was rubbing his nose all over the ground, then he got down and rolled, then he got up and was kinda frantic. I had to get real firm to get his attention and keep him from walking through me. But then he calmed down.

At some point during all this I was leading him on his right side and he was kinda drifting into my space, so I "chopped" my hand toward his eye/ear and clicked to ask him for movement. He was oblivious until my hand actually tapped his head and then he responded immediately.

Something about the way he jumped to comply, as if he hadn't known what I wanted before I touched him, tells me that he's not seeing out of that eye. Or at least not seeing as well as we had hoped. I can't wait to take him back to the opthalmologist someday and find out if it looks like he healed or if the retina is still detatched. He sure does well for a sight-impaired horse. He really had us convinced his sight was pretty good. But I knew that when I really started working with him I'd get a better idea of how it healed.

It was so hot and the yellowjackets and flies were so bad by the time I got back that I just put them all back out to pasture. I might get started earlier tomorrow and hopefully have time to ride Tonka and work with Scout before it gets hot. I'd like to try ponying Scout.

Speaking of early tomorrow, we have an electrician coming out to talk about moving our electrical line off of the old barn. Step one to getting it torn down. And we might just be able to put the line underground and run water lines to the horses at the same time. To not have to drain hoses this winter! I will be in heaven! I hope we can afford it.