Saturday, May 20, 2017

Old and New

My niece is getting married today! I'm waiting out a headache with plenty of drugs on board and thinking about boots.

I ordered the same boots I've been wearing these last 10 years because they started making them again hooray! The new ones fit even better. I had to lay them next to each other and take a picture, thinking the new boots would put the old boots to shame.

But I was wrong.

The new boots have no soul yet.

I've walked and ridden so many miles and memories in these boots. The time narcoleptic Danni broke down the camp fence and all the horses took off into the darkness and I almost couldn't get those new, stiff, cold damn boots on to go chasing after them.  The first time Tonka dumped me and my boot almost hung up in the stirrup before it popped off and I cried on the way home from the trainer's, wondering what I'd gotten myself into with that horse. Blue ribbons at Mustang Days. Many, many miles in the mountains. Mostly with my Tonka.

These new boots will slip on and off easier, so I won't get hung up in the stirrup. I'll break them in and there will be more memories made. I wonder what they'll be?

First up, Ariel's wedding!

Thursday, May 18, 2017


Late evening is my favorite time to spend with the horses. Some days, even when the world has been drowned with rain all day, the evening is dry and the sky puts on a show for us.

The rain gave Juniper a nice textured hairstyle.

We went on a pretty fun hike the other day and found a trail connection I didn't know about. Actually maybe it was just a game trail. But it worked. Winston and Blue posed nicely for a picture at a snack break.

 Huckleberry is a free agent and does not pose for pictures. He's getting old. He still jumps over logs but he shouldn't. He hurts himself a little. He has a bad back, poor guy.

 Have you ever felt the fresh new needles of a tamarack (larch) tree? If you haven't, you should. So deliciously soft.

I have a new friend at work. He's a smelly cat. He is so tenderly sweet. He pats gently with his paws and gives kisses. Eww, I know. I am so not a cat person, but this one is special. I'd bring him home if I could but I don't think the dogs would allow it.

My father in law is in the cardiac intensive care unit and hooked up to so much stuff you wouldn't believe it. He doesn't want visitors until some of the tubes come out and he's able to talk. I'm not sure when that will be. They expect him to be in the hospital for 2-3 weeks. I worry. But now that he's conscious I feel a little better about it. He has congestive heart failure and fluid built up too much.

My niece is getting married in 2 days! I need to get off my bum and get to work. Last minute things to do.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017



The grass is growing but the lawn mower is broken.

These guys don't mind helping out though.

What do you suppose this is? It reminds me of a lump I found on Bella's butt cheek years ago that never got worse, but hers was just black and didn't have a flat white patch next to it. Maybe a sarcoid?

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Feral Juniper Comes Around

After Juniper got loose, she got loose again and my son tried to catch her and it didn't go well. She has a stranger danger issue we obviously need to work on, but his attempt to catch her instead of calling me set us way back and she decided she was a feral donkey and halters were dumb. It was taking me an hour to catch her every night in a kinda medium corral. I vaccinated her and that helped cement her idea that the whole human/halter thing is no bueno.
Happy Itchy Juniper

I finally decided to put her in a tiny gentling pen and start from scratch. Worse off than we'd ever been, she acted like everything was scary, but she was also being a brat.
Happy Airplane Ears

We started making progress when I decided to quit trying to be friendly and start giving her some structure - asking her to move until she offered to face up and stand to be haltered. She figured that out fast.

Then I left for 5 days to take care of my mom after her shoulder surgery (she's doing great) and came back to a lonely beastie who was more willing to cooperate.

Now she's my buddy again, in the bigger area but not out to pasture with Duncan yet. I've got to re-introduce her to grass slowly and I think it's helpful to have her needing a friend right now.

I think I saw the baby moving tonight. Not 100% sure because she's pretty wiggly herself, but I think it was baby. Pretty cool.

Duncan thinks I'm awesome because he's itchy and shedding. I think he'd follow me inside if he could. He doesn't fit in with the mustang even though they're pastured together and they get along okay. He'd rather be part of my herd, poor fella. I might camp out with him some night. I think it'd be fun.

In other news: my head hurts, my boss is a stress case and that trickles down big time, we're short handed at work for a couple months, my kid got punched in the face at school today, and did I mention my head hurts? I can't afford the treatment they recommend. :/  I can't really think of anything to get excited about lately... The days just come and go.

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.