Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Some more happy Christmas photos for you.  We had a lovely day with presents, laziness, sledding, dinner, a little cleanup, more laziness, and now, well, probably more laziness.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

 We finally got enough snow to make it pretty out.  The dogs loved it.

I tried really hard to get a picture of Bob with his ears up.

No luck there.

Pedro says "Move your ass." (To Bob, not me)

"Hey, lady.  I'm much cuter than that old guy."

The sun seems to love Pedro almost like it loved Tonka.

Baby Blue

Huck, looking kinda cross-eyed.

Scout, dignified as ever (not) and his mama hanging back.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

 Today the sun made an appearance, and I was home to enjoy it.  Pedro, above, is photogenic as always.  Bob, below, was sweet and cuddly.
 I don't take enough photos of Bob.  He doesn't pose for a photo like Pedro does.  He's old and tired.

The dogs went mouse hunting up the hill and came running when I called.

My mama's boy, Blue:

And happy Huckleberry:

 They're a little camera shy when they know what I'm up to.

Pedro is still lame.  He is improving but I wouldn't want to take him for a walk.  Bob doesn't like to leave Pedro and Pedro runs around when I take Bob out, which would probably make him more sore, so I haven't taken either of them out for a walk.

What about the mustangs?  They're there.  I spent a little time with them today, grooming them with my hands and checking to see if they had any itchy spots they wanted scratched.  Scout tested my authority by trying to bite my nose, and Bella would have been happier just to stand around together, without all the touching.  They could both use some more focused work, but for now Scout got smacked and Bella got rubbed all around and then I went to see the donkeys, who I knew were waiting for me and would be happy to see me.

A fellow donkey-lover turned me on to this neat website: http://www.thehorseagilityclub.com/ where you don't have to ride to have fun with your equines.  When I can afford it and Pedro is a little less lame, I'll join and maybe send in a video to be judged.  It'll be fun to have some goals to do on the ground, and it will only help my horsemanship (or should that be donkeyladyship?) and make for a better under saddle relationship. 

I'm off to mop the floors!  Hooray!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

 This past week has been busy.  The kids each had performances in Moscow, and then John and Katia had a community band performance.  Then on Sunday I had an employee party.  On the way there, Liam said from the back seat, "We've been partying since, like, Thursday."  He makes it sound so much more exciting than it really is!

I've been busy-ish this week too.  I spent a lot of time looking for new shoes.  This new job is killing my feet.  I wanted some Keens or maybe Danskos but for some reason our local dealer was almost sold out.  Nothing in my size.  So today I went digging in my old shoes and put on a pair of old Doctor Martens to get me through another day of shoe shopping.  I thought, heck, why not get a new pair of Docs?  I put many a mile on my old Doc boots in the French Quarter back in the day.  Granted, I still got footsore and I was a lot younger...  So I tried on a lot of other shoes first, then went to the men's section to find the Docs.  They have a new style that has super soft soles.  The salesman guy said that means they wear out faster, but he wears them and recommends them.   So far I love them!

Back on the subject of equines, today was donkey pedicure day.  They were both very well behaved and it was a minor trim.  Not much to take off.  I love how slowly hooves grow in winter.  

I'm now pretty sure that Pedro has active laminitis.  All that free time on the pasture wasn't good for him.  He's still pretty ouchy so I'm making some feed changes and going to try giving him Bute to help with the inflammation.  Dang it all.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Today wasn't a work day but I worked my butt off.  And I'm still not done, darn it.  But I'm close to being done enough to quit for the day.

I had to figure a way to get Pedro off the pasture without leaving him living in a mud pit.  Figured it out, but would have to move them to the barn area and horses to the pasture the donkeys had been in.  That sounds WAY easier than it is.  Have to move all their stuff too.  Lots of trips back and forth.  It was also hay moving day and trough filling day, and I got some things put under cover and some things put away for the winter.  Just busy all around.  Definitely wasn't bored.

I got a rabies vaccine reminder in the mail today too.  It made me realize that my work schedule keeps me from taking the dogs into my old work (they're only open 2 days a week), but my new work costs at least twice as much.  I guess I get discounts on things but not on services.  Basically anything the vet has to do is full price.  Crappy.  Might as well take them in to my regular vet.  I haven't seen them in a while *knock on wood*, so it might be fun to go in and visit.

Well, back to work I go.  I still have hoses to drain, chickens to feed, and a stall to muck.  Oh, and dinner to make.  Deer sausage.  I haven't had deer since I was a kid.  It scares me a bit...  Seems like a parasite risk.  I will be cooking it very well!

Monday, December 03, 2012

I came so close to bringing home a new horse today.  It's a very sad situation - a woman is dying of cancer and has 8 horses.  Her friend is trying to help find homes for two of them so the woman's husband isn't left to care for them all while he's grieving. 

I went to look at a gelding and ended up absolutely falling in love with a three year old filly.  I could definitely see her being my next special horse.  Absolutely beautiful appaloosa (supposedly a domestic born mustang but she seemed too refined)  - kind of a silver chestnut with spots all over, and well put together, and sweet and sensible.  I was about to say I'd pick her up tomorrow but then I noticed a bump on her back.  She was flinchy and sensitive when I pressed on it.  The vet thinks it's just scar tissue from an old scrape and won't cause trouble with riding, and I wanted to believe that, but then why would her skin crawl and twitch when I pressed on it?  I hated to say I couldn't take her, but I couldn't.  Bummer.  What kills me is, what if the vet is right?  Or even if she just needs a chiropractor or some body work and she'd be fine?  But it's too much of a gamble, and I already have 3 equines here that I can't take on a trail ride at this point.  Sucks.  If I had extra money lying around I'd take her anyway to do the lady a favor, and treat any problems she might have.  But I don't and I can't.

When I got home Pedro was standing at the gate staring at me, as if to say he's the only equine I'll ever need.  Maybe he's right.  I kind of like the idea of just going hiking with the donkeys, and having them carry me on occasion after Pedro's hooves grow out. And I always have Scout, who does need some riding. 

So, things are the same here...

Friday, November 30, 2012

Had an interesting week on the job!  My first two farm calls - all horses.  One to be euthanized, which I haven't actually been brave enough to witness before.  It went well, for what it was.  I felt bad for the owner.  Then one to be re-bandaged, and one colic who seems to be much improved now.  Some surgeries, x-rays, phone calls, lots of visiting with nice people and their nice critters.  I'm getting the hang of it.  I find coffee in the middle of the day really helps.  I normally would have a mid-day coffee at home, but hadn't had time for it my first week on the job.

Haven't visited with my own critters much, but I'm hoping to find enough breaks in the rain to do some hoof trimming this weekend, at the very least.  Looking forward to some time with my family as well.

I worked just short of 12 hours today after having nightmares last night.  I was tired but wired at the same time, but now I'm gearing down and I think I'll sleep okay.  I am NOT setting my alarm for the morning!  Think I'll let the sun wake me up.  :)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

 Yesterday we took the boys for their first walk down the road.  I knew the neighbor horses would get all stirred up but I wasn't sure how Bob and Pedro would react.  They took it all in stride.  That's my nephew lugging Bob along behind him. 

When we got a ways down the road we stopped to look at some llamas.  I don't know the people who live there, but they sure have a lot of junk.  Some of it is really cool junk though.  The llamas and donkeys were both quite enthralled with each other.  No silliness though, just a lot of staring.

Pedro laid around a lot for the rest of the day yesterday, and he was gimpy today.  I think the walk on gravel wasn't good for his sore front feet.  Poor guy.  I'll keep the walks shorter and softer now that I know it bothers him.  I can't wait for his hooves to grow out normally.

This afternoon I cleaned out the truck.  I've barely been using it now that John has the company car and I can drive my little Echo.  So when I cleaned it out today it still had stuff I'd packed for the camping trip when Tonka had his accident.  In the back was a spoon with horse feed on it from the last time I mixed his grain.  The parking permit for the WSU vet hospital.  It made his death fresh again.  The sense of foreboding before the trip.  The panic, the desperation, the sadness, the horrible feeling in my chest. 

So what better to do that go love on my two fuzzy sweethearts?

Pedro is magnetized to me.  I walk away, he follows.  It's very sweet.
Doesn't he have gorgeous eyes?

Bob loves to be loved, but he also loves to eat.  And he was highly offended that I had insisted he let me look at his teeth.

I'm not an expert, and their teeth are weird which makes it even harder, but if I had to guess I'd say Pedro was in his teens and Bob was in his 20's, not 9 and 19 like the guy said.  That's fine.  I'm just super curious to know how old they really are.  Can't wait for their first vet visit.

Some people rode by on their horses up on the road, and our horses and Pedro were on high alert.  Pedro didn't stop watching until a few minutes after they were gone.  He thought about calling out to them but decided it was too much effort.  Which is probably good, it might have spooked their horses. 

As I loved on the donkeys I noticed Scout and Bella standing in the nearest corner of their pasture looking jealous.  So I went and loved on them too.  Scout is a lot like Pedro in that he loves to follow me around.  Unless he thinks there might be work involved.  Which of course there wasn't today.  I just have no inclination to ride.  I figure it won't kill him.  Eventually if this keeps up I may have to find him a home where he will be ridden.  Not yet though.  I figure in spring I ought to get the bug again.  I hope.

We had a wonderful holiday weekend.  I'm sorry to see it end.  It's nice to hang out with family with no real goals, just relaxing and getting work done when you feel like it.  I hope you all had a relaxing and enjoyable weekend as well!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Can you help me caption this photo?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

 As I was loading pictures for today's blog I found 
these cuddly pictures of my good dogs.

This morning I slept in and the donkeys were honking their most terrible honks, wanting breakfast.  But then after I walked out the door I wondered if the donkeys had been trying to tattle on the horses.

Because these two errant beasties were in the driveway.
 They were enjoying the green grass, but also quite keyed up and excited.  I slipped through the fence to close Dyno into the small area by the driveway (you can see part of him on the left above) and then I went to the gate at the other side of the barn.

The horses had beat me there and were thinking about heading up the driveway, but they were also really interested in what I was doing.  All I had to do was open the gate and they rushed through, happy to have a "new" place to explore.  Even though it's their usual winter and spring pasture.  The goofballs.  I was careful to stay on the opposite side of the gate, they were that excited.  I didn't want to get run over.
Look at all of Bella's pretty hair.  She was really moving!

Then I finally got to my hungry donkeys to feed them.  I decided to walk through the pasture with them rather than go out the driveway to the hay.  That way I could get in some good hugs and pets on the way there.  That's Pedro in the lead behind me, and if  you look really closely you can see Bob's ear - he's back there behind Pedro.
After I fed I found 3 places where the temporary fence that contained the horses was laying on the ground.  We had a lot of big wind last night.  I wonder if it blew part of the fence down (one of the posts was on the ground too).  I could imagine that Scout might walk out over the fence, and then Bella might panic at being left alone and get out also.  She has been known to jump fences when left alone.

So now they're in the permanent fence, and I might just take down the temporary fence for the year.

Did you notice the sun is shining in my pictures?  It's the one day of good weather we're going to get this week.  I'm loving it!

The turkey is in the oven, and I feel like taking a nap...

Hope you are all having a lovely, relaxing turkey day.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I made it through my first short week at the new job.  Long days, LOTS to learn.  It's kind of exhausting.  Today was better.  Pretty slow.  I'll work my last day at the Spay Neuter Clinic on Friday.  I won't be able to keep that job, and I'm really bummed about it.  I really enjoy working with the people there.  To be honest I'd rather work there...  But I needed to work more than 12 hours a week.  Darn it.  I'm going to miss them.  I think I will still be able to do the equine dentistry job sometimes.  So that's good.

Not much new to report here except I actually got to pet my donkeys today.  The weather has been so bad that even when I feed after dark I don't really want to pet them because they're all wet.  But today wasn't so bad and their coats were silky soft.  I think both Bob and Pedro have put on some weight, which they needed to do.  Now I'll cut back their hay and alfalfa pellets, but I think the grass is still growing so they are probably still getting some calories there.  They are by no means in danger, but I'll have to keep an eye on them.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  So much to be thankful for.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Well, I got the job!  I think I was hired before I even walked in the door.  Good stuff.  :)

Looks like it will be either full time or pretty close to it.  Not really what I was looking for, but heck, might as well jump in with both feet.  Considering I'm sick as a dog I figure it can only get better from here on out.

Speaking of "sick as a dog,"  I wonder how that saying came about.  And "healthy as a horse."  Seems like it ought to be the other way around.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Busy days!  No time for the critters.

Just wanted to post that I may have another job!  Yay!  It would be front office at a vet clinic.  I don't know any details yet about hours and pay.  I hope I don't have to leave my two other jobs.

My brother in law is having back surgery today.  Cross your fingers for him. 

Today I am missing my Tonka in an, "I can't believe how lucky I was to have him," sort of way.
He was such a big friendly goof.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

 Today Pedro tipped the scales in the other direction.

 He made it clear almost immediately that he wasn't going to put up with any nonsense.

Then he clamped onto Scout's throat and wouldn't let go.

All the while he was making horrible donkey noises.
 It kinda scared me.  I turned around to grab something
 to whack Pedro with, but before I had to do that Scout broke free.  
He's missing some hair but there was no blood.

Pedro ran him around the pasture while I considered what to do.

It is slick as heck out there, so I decided to catch Scout and move him back in with his mom.
Which turned out to be a good decision because Bella was thinking about breaking through the fence to 
kick some burro butt.  She doesn't put up with that kind of crap, especially when her colt is involved.

So now I'll just keep them separate for the time being I guess.  I'll try them together again sometime when the ground is more solid.  I really would like for them to live together and chase each other around, just not too much.  And I'm hoping Scout will be smart enough to keep his tender throat out of reach in the future.  I'm sure that with time they'd work it out.

Monday, November 12, 2012

 Well there wasn't really anything going on here today that's worth talking about.  The wind was cutting and it snowed all day, then started raining.  The donkeys hung out inside.  The horses, although they could be inside if they wanted, stood around outside looking miserable and wet. 

So I'll share some more pictures from the weekend.

This seems to be the natural order of the boys. 
 Pedro lets Scout drive him around, so he's in the lead with Scout behind, pushing him on.  Bob won't be driven, but he is a follower, so he brings up the rear.  Pretty interesting actually, and could be useful information in training.  For instance, you might not get as good results trying to urge Bob forward with a whip/training stick as you would trying to lead him into something. And I think Pedro makes a better prospect for any kind of work, because he is more active and willing to move.

You may notice Bella isn't included in the equine playdate.  I'm afraid she might hurt the donkeys. Eventually maybe I'll feel more comfortable trying them together.

Here we have Donkey Dressage (AKA Move Your Ass):

Scout isn't living with the donkeys all the time though, because believe it or not they get fed more than he does.  Not much more, but it is more.  I may change that in the future so I can keep them together and they can all get more exercise together.

 Pedro's sweet eye, on alert:
I noticed he doesn't have very big "hangy things" over the top of his pupils.  (If you enlarge the picture you can probably see the black cilia at the top of his pupil, hanging down from the iris.)  I know there's a technical term for the hangy things...  Aha!  They are called corpora nigra.  I had to look it up.  These things protect the pupil from too much sunlight, and can develop cysts, as Scout has in his right eye, that obstruct the vision.  BUT Pedro's are much smaller than a horse's normal sized corpora nigra.  I wonder if it's because of his large brow ridges and overhanging "eyebrows."  Maybe he doesn't need the extra protection inside his eye.

That's about it for me today.  Cross your fingers for me that the snow on our driveway melts enough for the propane guy to get in here.  I want to be warm!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

My niece came over today and we rode donkeys together in the biting cold.  It was great!  We rode around the round pen a bit, to get a handle on what exactly we had a handle on, and then we decided they were doing well enough to take them out.

They really thought circling around the round pen was fairly pointless.  Both were a lot more interested and happy once we went out and about.

 Bob says, "Can't we just leave already?"

The horses find donkey riding to be a very entertaining spectator sport.

Out and about!  Ariel and Bob are so cute together!

Me and Pedro in the front yard:

Heading back:

They almost seemed eager to get back to the pasture, which made me kind of sad.  I decided to be done.
But then when we took their tack off and led them back toward the gate they really didn't want to go.  They really do like getting out and doing things!  I love it!  Now that I know we'll do okay, I need to start doing lots more of this!  I can't wait to take them hiking in the forest and see how they take to it.  They'll be mountain mounts in no time.

Oh!  And they are SO SMOOTH to ride.  No discomfort whatsoever.  If you have a bad back, you need a donkey!  Also, at one point, out of the blue, John pushed a rattly lawnmower along behind us in the gravel.  If we'd been riding horses they would have spooked.  But Pedro just kind of gave it a bit more attention and thought and kept on going.  I didn't see any reaction out of Bob.  I love them!  So much!