Saturday, April 22, 2017

Good Scout

I can't say much - bad headache. But I saddled scout with the thin new saddle blanket and it solved the saddle rolling problem I had last time. He's pretty handsome.

I didn't ride long because he's got a great big splint bone lump on his right front. Darn it.

Today I went to the WSU Vet School Spring Conference and it was fun and informative but I have a pretty nasty migraine now. :(  I got to be one of the first group of vet techs ever to train on the surgical simulator there. I didn't think you could learn much without a real animal to observe, but with all the extra monitors they have you barely need to see the animal and I actually learned a lot. I also got to sit in on some equine stuff.  Wish they had more to offer & I could have chosen equine over small animal, but I was there as a small animal tech and my boss was footing the bill, so I stuck with small animal for the most part.

Oh yeah, yesterday was the one year anniversary of our accident. Meh.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Evening Escape

From my armchair in the living room I have a view of the black walnut trees behind the house, on up to the pasture on the hill. During the springtime I enjoy watching my horses graze there periodically, silhouetted against the sky.

Yesterday as I was eating dinner I was casually interested in watching Duncan act very concerned about something farther up the hill. Juniper wasn't worried, she was just trying to ignore him and graze, so I wasn't going to go look. But he really wanted to get Juniper involved in his worry, and he kept herding her toward the fence and not giving her much option about where to go. This is one strand of electric tape about waist height on me. So she finally got fed up and ducked under.

This is where she found out that the grass isn't really greener on the other side, but it is much longer. She wasn't hard to approach, in fact she seemed happy to have company in unknown territory, but when I reached around to put the halter on she said, "Nope." She's pretty quick on her feet!

And this is where we both learned that donkeys can learn pretty quickly to "hook on" just like horses do, even without a round pen, with the same sort of "round pen" work against the curve of a fence. Donkey caught, friendliness ensued, grazing allowed, then back to where she belonged.

Where I discovered that Duncan was having a very bad hair day:

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Let's pretend

Can we just pretend farrier day never happened? And can we just not talk about how I got the truck stuck in the mud with the trailer attached and it stayed there for like 2 weeks? And just move on? Oh, and let's also forget about the dead mouse in my car's heating system and the other minor repairs it needs. And the disgusting weather, my health issues, and allergy season starting. What else? Everything else. ALL the things that are making me cranky.

Let's move on to sunshine and happiness and dry land. And more hoof handling training for my bad donkey. *Deep breath*

Friday, April 07, 2017

We Have Test Results

Juniper's pregnancy test results are back and they look pretty conclusive.

We're going to have a baby! 

I was surprised at how disappointed I was to get positive results. I'm going to worry about both of them until that baby is solidly established in this world and they're both healthy and well.

The baby daddy was a jack, supposedly a mammoth, who I believe must have been dark brown or black. All of his babies that I saw were dark, but then all of the mamas were dark too. He was gelded after he got loose with all the girls too many times and unfortunately the vet didn't know that donkeys can't be gelded exactly like horses so he died afterward.

All of my foaling knowledge is 9 years old with Scout and mostly forgotten.  So it's time to start studying again. I ordered a couple books last night and I've got a video lined up to watch, another book to read, and I'm sure I'll be thoroughly terrified by the time I'm done with it all. Of course you hear about all the bad outcomes and not so much about the good. Most babies come into the world with no problems at all.

I wonder if I can build a temporary foaling stall right outside my bedroom window. :)

I have other big news too! Juniper lost her first baby tooth!
She's now officially 2 1/2 years old. I've decided her birthday is October 1st. 

A Very Merry Unbirthday to Her!

(She is always too close for a good picture)

Monday, April 03, 2017

Just Stuff

Juniper lost a bunch of hair around her pasterns and the other horses got a bit pink above their heel bulbs, so I treated them all like they have scratches and moved Juniper and Duncan to higher ground. They had some seriously gross mud to go through to get to their barn and water, so now they're on the hill where it's mostly dry.

There was some fancy prancing and a bit of snarkiness over the fence at first.

And now my photos are out of order. Last night everyone got groomed and we all practiced our manners for the farrier, who is coming next weekend (thank goodness).

In the morning I took the worst picture ever of Duncan:
Juniper had just kicked him and he was yawning in a pain response. In all fairness, he started it by biting her and trying to move her. She's the boss of their little herd and she nailed him pretty good. They usually get along really well, but he overstepped his bounds. She didn't feel any remorse at all.

We tried to hike to a grove of huge cedar trees yesterday. It started out pretty nice, just muddy.

The blizzard conditions later caused one of us to want to turn back. And secretly, I didn't mind too much. We'll go when it's nicer.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Foiled Again / Bigfoot

I kid you not, we got almost to our destination - 2 1/2 hours or more in the car - and the road was closed.
No apologies, no explanation. I think it must be an alien landing site. After all, what alien wouldn't be attracted to a place called The Aquarius Campground and Purple Beach?

Speaking of which, you may have heard that there was a Bigfoot sighting in Potlatch, Idaho. It was only about 5 miles or less from my house. I personally don't believe a Sasquatch would be out in the middle of open farmland like that. It was probably a naked, hairy man who had one too may beers.

I want to believe that Sasquatch exists. That there is a branch of man-like people that we didn't totally eradicate somewhere in history like we did with the others. But I don't think that they're stupid, if they've hidden this long, and I doubt they're this close to civilization. If they were, they wouldn't have been able to hide so long. If they do exist, I hope we don't find them. I am hopeful, but very skeptical.

Do you believe in Bigfoot?

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Mission Impossible

John's birthday is coming up so we're going to fun places of his choosing this weekend. All this time we've lived here and never been to Palouse Falls. It is jaw-dropping amazing. The falls themselves are pretty cool but the rock formations are what struck me. Unfortunately you have to either have a Discover Pass or pay $10, and we didn't have anything but our credit cards. Talk about ill-prepared. We drove to where we could call out and try to pay over the phone - no good. So we drove back to Washtucna and asked if we could get cash back on a purchase at the store there. Nope. So. No awesome hiking at the falls. We're going to go back on a Monday when it's hopefully not crawling with people.

Next up: The Aquarius Campground and Purple Beach. :)

Friday, March 24, 2017

Blood & Other Fluids

I finally got blood from my little turnip!
I took it to the lab for a pregnancy test, but it won't be done for a couple weeks. Remember, she's only 2 years old so we really don't want her to be bred, but she was exposed to a jack. I think she probably is pregnant, but we'll see.

She even forgave me and let me love on her and take her for a walk the day after I traumatized her with a needle. It was late, so we just went up the driveway and back. I need reflective donkey apparel.

Winston had a lovely day at work with me on Wednesday. He had a big squishy bed with two soft blankies, his own space heater, lots of treats and attention, and only had to have an exam, a blood draw, and pee in a cup. He wanted to go back the next day. Actually he gets to go back again today because we have to re-do the urinalysis. He had some crystals and his PH was off. Maybe the urine sat too long. Of course I'm worrying and hoping he doesn't have stones. His blood work looks totally normal.

He's the best. He's just been a little lazy, kind of "down" lately so I wanted to make sure nothing was wrong. Here he's waiting while my sister and her horse play in a water crossing:

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

I Rode!

I had one glorious headache-free day and I wanted to sit in my Synergist saddle. So I rode!

It wasn't as simple as that, of course. I wasn't feeling well and Scout was like a kid on crack, so I was only going to ride for a couple minutes after a few minutes of ground work. My sister was here though, and she hopped on and got his brain engaged. Then I had a nicer ride.

I was a little dizzy but not too bad.  And I really like my saddle. :) Now I need a horse that I can just sit on like a bump on a pickle and go down the trail. But I'm not willing to give up my Duncan, so I'm kinda stuck with what I've got.  I guess I'll keep stealing Scout from John when I can.

We also went to the spring health clinic and had blood drawn for Coggins tests on Scout and Duncan, and tried to draw blood on Juniper but we were unsuccessful. So I guess she won't be hiking in Washington since we can't get a health certificate on her. Also can't get a pregnancy test without blood but I think she is pregnant. Still no signs of heat.

Yesterday I took Juniper for a walk down to the highway at rush hour and she got to see a kid on a bike too. She's so brave! I just love her. Then we spent a lot of quiet time in the stall just being together. It was good. We need to rebuild trust after the fiasco at the vet. Going for walks is good, but quiet time is better.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Way Too Much Fun

I just love these two.

I wanted to practice loading Duncan first, then Juniper. But Juniper is an over-achiever and she knew the answer so she loaded right up. (I think her middle name may be Hermione. She's just like Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter books, always raising her hand and ready with the right answer.)

Then she was confused when I asked her to unload.

She didn't want to share. 

Duncan was happy outside.

Eventually we got things straightened out.

Next weekend we're going to the vet to get blood drawn for Coggins tests and health certificates, and I won't have help, so they'll need to stand tied and behave. So we practiced that.

I groomed them and showed her a saddle pad just for fun. She didn't trust it.

Then I left her tied while I loaded Duncan, and loaded her and tied her and shut the door and scratched their butts for a while. All good.

And then we went for a nice relaxing walk and a snack. What a lovely day. And they're so fluffy and cute together!