Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Summer Is Over

It seems that summer is over with already. The days are cool and the nights are downright chilly.
I have no internet access at home, Ron’s been sick most of the summer – first with acute bronchitis, then the dreaded Swine Flu. He’s finally sorta healthy and went back to work yesterday. We had to cut back on everything that wasn’t considered essential and the home phone and internet was the first to go. No TV either. That leaves the horses for entertainment and they have provided more than enough!
I went out and got myself a flash drive so I have pictures to share but not in any particular order. They're all at the end instead of throughout my entries like I usually do. With only 60 minutes I can only do so much! LOL So story first and pictures later...

Bob has been a very good Bob this year… well, the past couple of months anyway. And Earl is coming along and finding his balance with a rider. I’ve had them both out on the Katy Trail with absolutely fabulous results each time. Several people out walking or biking have seen for themselves that Mustangs are level-headed, friendly and courteous horses to encounter. I think we did more stopping and chatting than riding but we still had a great time. It almost became a weekend pastime until I went and got myself a job to help with the bills. I wish I had pictures to show off of both my boys being such gracious ambassadors, but I’ve been the one with the camera and only have the usual pictures taken from the horse’s point of view – through their ears. Not much point in posting them. The Katy Trail may be a nice ride but it makes for boring pictures. I’ve had Earl out twice and Bob once. My ride with Bob continued into the evening hours and he got a little spooky with me on the way home at things in the ditch on the side of the road. The ditches had just been mowed and lots of white scraps were “floating” around. In the dark they must have come to life and looked like giant, horse eating boulders to Bob. He sure didn’t want to get down in the ditch when traffic came along. He preferred to share the road, headlights and all. In total, I think we rode about 6 miles (and two hours) that evening two or three weeks ago. We rode with Susan and Cowboy and took turns leading along the trail and the streets of town.
That weekend I loaded Earl along with Susan’s Cowboy into the trailer and we headed to the fairgrounds to ride the Katy Trail where we’re supposed to ride it. By the way, the trail runs directly behind our pasture and since there’s no signs saying “No Horses” we kinda sorta sneak on and ride it instead of loading up and driving across town to the fairgrounds. So, back to the weekend and Earl: We aimed to be out on the trail by 8 AM. Johnny and Bailey seem to be escape artists and were outside the fence line of the back pasture when I arrived at 7 AM to get Earl ready. Lucky for us the pasture is “double fenced”. There’s the old, original barb wire fence about 6 feet outside of the new electric rope fencing. The old fence sags and sure wouldn’t ever convince Bob to hang around but it did suffice for Johnny and Bailey. I also discovered that the battery for the fence needed charging at about this time too…
So… we arrived at the trail head at around 9 AM instead of the 8 AM we’d planned on. With stopping and talking to people along the way, we didn’t get too far. We rode out a bit more than 4 miles before turning back and discovering a park off the trail with a lake just before Sedalia. Of course we had to go and check it out, there was a lake for swimming! OOPS, No there wasn’t – it was posted no swimming and was created for anglers only, a bunch who were there to witness any indiscretions on our part, so we rode past on these mowed, manicured and painted paths all over the place. I don’t know who painted them, students probably but there were some very cute paintings in the grass all over the place, and sayings too like “FLY!”. Turtles, butterflies and other assorted objects were painted on to the grass as well. Earl wasn’t sure what to make of all these colorful things on grass that it supposed to be there for eating. He moved along with his head down sniffing and checking the paintings out along the way. We saw “evidence” of other horses but no horses themselves. Susan wanted to have a gallop so we turned back and Earl took the lead for what was supposed to be a nice leisurely gallop back along the path. Cowboy caught up to us and there was a painting in bright white Earl felt he just had to skirt. Cowboy and Susan were almost shoved into the trees bordering the path. Then to my surprise, Earl got a little bit competitive and the race was on! I leaned forward and spoke to him “Go Earl Go!” and damned if he didn’t respond and take off. We won the little race! Now, before you start smiling to yourself picturing a Mustang running like the wind, remember this is Earl we’re talking about here… First, I’ll say that Cowboy isn’t ever going to win any speed awards, not even in a race to the feed tub. That said, Earl is not fast but he was fast enough that day. I was surprised because Ron and I had Jake and Earl on the Katy Trail earlier in the week and went for a little gallop. Earl was more than content to stay about 3 lengths behind Jake, no matter what. If he closed the gap at all, he’d drop into a trot to put more space between Jake and us on his own rather than try to catch Jake. Obviously the trick with Earl is to get him out in front and he’ll do the rest to remain there… if the other horse isn’t too fast that is. The main thing in all this was Earl “found himself” when I asked him to go and his gallop smoothed out and became something balanced and smooth. Maybe he’s not the big ole hillbilly of the bunch after all?

As for the rest of the bunch, they’re all fat and sassy and doing well. Other than as a treat, we haven’t fed any grain most of the summer with Johnny being the only exception. The pasture is more than enough for them all to thrive and even get a little on the fat side. Namely Bailey who looks like she might be in foal. I certainly hope she’s just a fat little toad cuz my baby doesn’t need to be having a baby at such a young age. Johnny is the only one I’d still like to see some more weight on. He lost so much when he was injured, but he is coming back and looks fit like a race horse now rather than traumatized and skin and bones like he was at the end of July. He always wins any race across the pasture, starting from the back of the pack and flying through the rest of them as though they were standing still. Ron and I always stop whatever we’re doing and watch, stunned at the length of his stride and the speed he possesses. Will he still move like that once a rider is introduced? We can only hope. Earl can move in the pasture too, but under saddle it’s a whole different story!I finally got my burro too, just this past weekend. Her name is Matilda and we are sticking with that as it seems to suit her. She a grey pink, 7 yrs old and expecting in 30 to 60 days. What I’m going to do with a little burro baby in the winter is still a conundrum to sort out. I imagine we’ll be building another little shed and pen just for her use. She’s quite the kicker too. Don’t touch that back end unless you’re reaching from the front or you’ll get nailed. And, she’s an artist at evading being caught. We got her Saturday, couldn’t catch her on Sunday and took more than 2 hours to finally catch her on Monday and there was no talent involved on our part. She finally decided to let herself be caught and just came up to me or we’d still be chasing her. Her feet are a mess, especially her back feet. They’re almost like the elven slippers you see on badly neglected feet, which hers are. But, with her expecting a wee one we don’t want to push anything on her so I’m working on getting her to let me touch that back end and then her feet. Yesterday I was able to scratch her butt (from the front) without her popping it up in the air and letting fly so we are making progress. She will let us pick up a back foot with a rope no problem, but try to touch that foot and look out. She wants no one near her back end at all. I’m not even going to think about trying to trim those back feet myself. I don’t know where to start on feet in such bad shape. I can handle doing her front feet but will leave those back ones for the expert. Hopefully we can get them trimmed before she has her baby, but if not it won’t hurt her I guess. After all she’s was awhile getting to this state, a few more weeks or even months isn’t going to hurt now. It angers me that some people will allow this to happen though. Obviously no effort has made with this little girl other than to breed her and then dump her at an auction where I found her. Other than her feet she’s in good shape I think. I’ve already sent a “HELP” email to Ginny Freeman for instructions on what to do with this little darling. OH! I almost forgot to mention that she likes her ears played with! LOL and I do love those ears!!! I now wish I lived in California so I’d have the wisdom and experience of Dave and Ginny to help me with Matilda. Dave would have me driving her around in a cart in no time at all I’m sure, with perfect feet too! Since I can’t be there Ginny will tell me how to look after her, what to feed her and what to plan for with the upcoming baby event and we’ll be fine. I hope.

Now for pictures: Most were taken Sept 23rd through 25th. Matilda pics are from Oct 5th.

Johnny getting very brave with the mirror on my truck (while I was trying to drive past him!)
Johnny again from the other side:
Fat little Bailey:

Showdown thinks she's one of the boys and they let her
Wandering about

Oh No It's Mr Bill!!! Doesn't he look great?

Earl with his ears up!
Bob being Bob

Jake being Jake

Jake, Showdown and Earl and a little bit of Bob on the far right

Introducing Matilda!

Front feet

Bad back feet

From the side (and rear)

Lookie those ears!!!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Dog Days of August

When it's hot out there the best way to combat the heat is with watermelon. What better way to welcome August than with some fresh watermelon?

Unfortunately only Earl and Bob agree with me. Maybe that's why they're My Boys?
Anyway, thankfully the week from hell is long over with, we escaped the Twilight Zone people and their two Terrible Terriers and have been in the newer digs since Friday, July 31st. I've documented the damage done to the hides of Bill, Bob and Bailey and have the one mare on video while she attacks. Then there's Johnny of course, who will never have sight in his right eye again. I also have a witness to the mare attacking Bill, then Johnny as they were led out of that pasture to the trailer. I'm still debating a civil suit. I'm mad enough to go through with it, but can one really get blood from a stone? There's a slashed tire on my trailer to be replaced, Jake was placed at risk when he mysteriously became untied in the trailer and wandered up the RR tracks. Jake is not the escape artist in the family and there was suspicious movement outside the trailer just before he was loose...
In the meantime we're very happy so far with the newer, larger pasture situation. It was badly overgrown so we had it mowed. Don is in the process of getting rid of all that overgrowth below:

While Don was busy mowing in the background, Bob wanted some attention:

Johnny and Bailey in the freshly mowed front pasture. We have almost 15 acres divided into two areas, a front and a back. We may further divide the back as it's huge for 4 horses and would enable us to rotate grazing.

Johnny's eye has shrunk and is showing no sign of infection after 3 weeks. I think it's safe to say he won't lose it. It's still a whitish color and there's no sight. He's dealing with it pretty well. He has Bailey, Bill and Cowboy, the boarder for company in that front pasture and the four of them get along very well. I've been happy to note that they seem interchangable when it comes to buddying up. Johnny's not getting dependant on anyone in particular, but he does like to have someone beside him. The other day the three geldings were standing over Bailey while she was flat out on the grass having a nap. It looked like they were keeping guard over her. I was wishing I had my camera for that moment

The two pictures above were taken before Bill and Cowboy were let up front with them. I wanted Johnny to get the lay of the land and be comfortable before adding the other two. He already knew Bill and was buddies with him at the farm, but Cowboy is new. There was no need to worry, Bill was welcomed back like an old friend and Cowboy as a new friend since they'd already met often enough over the fence.
The very front part of the back pasture makes for a level riding and flat work area. Showdown was finally saddled and tried out. I didn't have the camera the first time and the second time Ron wasn't there so I didn't have anyone to take pictures. She's not a bad ride, she's definately green and thinks she's God's gift to the world but once we sorted that little misunderstanding out she was pretty good at listening to me. Lots of ground work on the meaning of respect and she should be a nice mare to ride. To quote Michelle, she has ADHD. Lots of work and making her mind her manners will take care of that!
I've been rather sick since Saturday. I think too many antibiotics to take care of the infection from my tooth left me vulnerable. Saturday morning I thought my blood pressure was too high. It wasn't. By Saturday afternoon I was running a fever of 101.5 and two hours later it was up to 102.8. Tylenol and Advil and my bed were all that became important for the next 24 hours. Sunday wasn't much better but the fever was staying under 100. Today I ventured out to check on the horses. All is fine with them and I headed back home. I was only out for one hour but it knocked the wind out of my sails more or less and I'm done in. Rain on and off all day and cool temps are a blessing I wish I could take advantage of. It's beautiful out there this evening and perfect for a ride. Just my luck to feel so crappy and have no strength.
I just realized that I skipped a couple of things... DUH! For some reason I thought I'd already blogged all this. Ok, the short version:
Ron is a big softie after all despite his "big talk". He has applied to adopt Johnny rather than see him go back or have Steve and Dawn adopt him. They don't have the first clue when it comes to horses and the week and a half following Johnny's injury drove that home to us in a big way. The day after the injury their kids were in the pasture, something I was promised would not happen. Those kids dumped a good 25 lbs of grain out for the horses to gorge on. The only good news in that is that there were 8 horses to share it. After that I removed the grain supply. I went to lok at another pature that had come available and we decided another move was for the best. Steve and Dawn turned out to be ummm weird? It was like stepping into the Twilight Zone, dealing with them for the next 10 days or whatever it was before we got moved out. Ironically I still have legal access to their pasture, moreso than they do. If I hadn't gotten sick I was seriously thinking of trying to locate a couple of mean bulls to dump in there for the remaining two weeks of my rental this month. Common sense prevailed along with the belief of "What goes around comes around". We got our horses out of there before anyone was more seriously hurt. Steve is a mean drunk to put it mildly and went at me twice. The first time I wasn't anywhere near him but somehow became the focus of his rage. This was also when we realized that we had to get us and our horses the hell out of there. Ron had just got home and stepped in or I might have been decked. The second time was while I was moving the horses out. I made the huge mistake of saying I'd be back one more time for the panels and water tanks and would need my gate hardware (Steve had helped himself to it to repair his gate). Good thing I had a big guy along to help. He stepped in that time and advised Steve that he'd be making a very big mistake to follow through with his actions. Again Steve backed off. Instead he settled for mouthing off and informed me that neither Ron or I would ever adopt another mustang because he'd called the "Mustang place" and took care of that. Whatever that means... I cannot fathom that the BLM would be taken in by the likes of this guy.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Week From Hell cont...

Before I get into the details there is one thing I want to stand out AND be remembered...
The BLM is good and they really do care about the horses they're charged with managing despite some public criticism to the contrary.

That said, bear with me as I tell this story. It has been the week from hell in more than one way. But we will survive and get over our problems. Johnny/Blue will also survive and get over his "problems", but he'll never be the same.
The week from hell started late last Friday night when Ron got home with an abcess in his upper right jaw. This had been building for a good week and he spent Wednesday night in an ER in Texas before finally getting home Friday. We spent most of the weekend moving horses to the "new digs"and sitting in the ER at the VA hospital in Columbia.
Sunday we get to Dawn and Steves and they announce they got two horses given to them and point to the pasture... "Look what we got"
Two mares. Mother and daughter to be exact. Mom is a pony, Hackney I suspect given her tail carriage and high stepping gaits. That could also be on account of her feet which are about 8 to 10 inches long, curling and broken. I'm already thinking "this ain't gonna work". The daughter, 2 yrs old is 3 times the size of her mama, has paint markings and is pretty cute except you can't get within 10 feet of her. She's never been handled. We now have 9 horses on the 7 acre pasture I just rented. I wasn't aware that I would have to share it...
The freebie mares like this new pasture, and they want it all for themselves I think. I've never watched such shit disturbing in my life! Not only are they a miserable pair but they set out to make every other horse miserable. They hound the others like yappy terriers. I watched Jake, Earl and Showdown take turns at standing their ground and threatening to kick back. The "bullies" go looking for someone else to hound each time. Bailey got picked on. Bill got picked on and Johnny/Blue got picked on. Bob got picked on when he arrived Monday morning. All 4 have been chewed on, mainly their butts with the exception of Bob. They got his neck too. But I get ahead of myself...
Monday morning we head out to meet up with John who has brought Bob home.
To make a long, sad story short, all looks ok. Not well, but ok. These two mares are still hounding our horses, kicking out and trying to boss them around. Jake and Earl would have none of it and stood their ground. Showdown and Bailey are paired off and off by themselves. Bill, and Johnny/Blue are also off by themselves grazing peacefully. I go over to greet them and give out pets and whatnot and... something's not right with Johnny. I get in closer for a better look. Holy Shit what's wrong with his eye?! Johnny's right eye looks like something caught it at the front and moved along to the back and exited through his lower lid leaving a small tear in the lid and God only knows what damage to eye. He doesn't respond to me flicking my hand or fingers at him. I assume he's lost sight in it. I start screaming for Ron, which scared Johnny and he moved away. I grab Bill and Johnny comes back - he's sticking real close to his buddy Bill. Anyway Ron gets a look and then takes Bill so I can catch Johnny.
John's trailer was already attached to his truck so we didn't have to waste any time hooking ours up. We loaded Bill and Johnny and headed for the vet's. I took Bill along because although Johnny is gentled he's high strung and still very reactive. Bill seemed to be a very calming influence so he came along as Johnny's security blanket.
I got my cell phone out. I couldn't reach Gaby or Randy at the Millwaukee office. I called Janet Hickman and she got Karen Malloy's number for me. I called Karen in a panic, what do I do? I assumed that being blind in one eye he would be considered unadoptable and Karen would instruct me to have him put down. To my relief and joy, her concern was to save the eye. Cost didn't seem to matter and she told me right away to have the vet call her for a credit card number, which took another load off me. This horse is in my care, he's really my responsibility. There were no questions from Karen, just concern. Save the eye if possible and have the vet send us the bill. I was crying on the phone with her, I was so relieved that he wouldn't have to be put down.
Anyway, the prognosis is still guarded. I'm applying antibiotic ointment 3 times daily and giving bute twice daily. I think the eye ruptured on the way home from the vet. It had started swelling on the way to the vet, and continued to swell. When we got home there was a lot of fluid draining down his face and lots of goop in the corner of his eye (see pictures). I did as the vet instructed and cleaned it away and applied the ointment, and gave him his first dose of bute. This was Monday.

This is how he looked when we arrived home from the vet's.

Ron went back to work on Tuesday. Antibiotics had his mouth feeling better and he sees a dentist this coming Monday. Johnny/Blue is doing better than expected. No infection and the eye seems to be healing nicely. We got some panels from MFA to set up an "isolation pen" for him. Another big thanks goes to Kevin at MFA. We're all but broke with Ron starting a new job and moving into a new home and new pasture for the horses (no paycheck for 2 weeks is a killer). Kevin extended credit for the 5 panels to make this pen.
Dental woes are contagious. I didn't know that. Bet you didn't either eh?
Tuesday my mouth starting bothering me *sigh* Wednesday I just had to have nachos, nice crunchy nachos.... I think a piece broke off a tooth while I was crunching those nachos? Sometime in the wee hours of Thursday morning I knew I was in big trouble. Tramadol wasn't touching the pain. That clove oil stuff for toothaches wasn't doing a damn thing either. I've been paranoid of dentists for more years than I can remember and I thought I knew every trick in the book for avoiding dentists. Nothing was working. I'd already started swallowing amoxicillin Wed night, but it wasn't kicking in yet. I've got some nice swelling in my lower jaw. I headed out to treat Johhny's eye and when I got back did what my daughter (who works for a dentist) suggested - I took two extra strength Tylenol and three Advil and went to bed. I finally got some sleep - almost 6 hours worth. The Tylenol/Advil combination really helped. As long as I take them at least every 8 hours I can function relatively pain free.

Johnny is doing much better than I am. I got more pictures yesterday but they're crappy as I was shooting into the sun so there's not much point posting them. No sign of infection still. The eye is healing nicely, the red haze is now gone and the swelling in the upper and lower lids is disappearing. I don't think he has any hope of regaining any sight in it - it's a milky white globe. It does look to me like he will keep it though and that's the most important thing right now.
What's really amazing is this horse's resilience. He's accomodating nicely to life with one eye. "Nicely" doesn't begin to cover it. He's amazing. He keeps his left side to the outside of the pen so he can easily see the other horses, he already has a way of cocking his head in order to see with the left eye without bringing his head all the way around. Getting the anitbiotic ointment into his eye has become a game to him - he tries to eat my elbow while I try to get the ointment in his eye instead of on his eyelids or his halter, or cheek, or forelock... For a newly-gentled Mustang he is SOOO accepting of this sudden blindness and the treatment that's come with it. It simply blows me away.
His future is still uncertain. Dawn and Steve wanted to adopt him. Now they're not so sure. Monday when this happened they were no longer interested. By Tuesday they were reconsidering and are now waiting to see how he manages when turned back out with the others, which I may try over the weekend. If they don't adopt him he will probably go back to the BLM and become unadoptable. The idea of this wonderful 2 yr old being unadoptable breaks me up. We rent our pasture. Ron's pointed out several times that we do not have the property to keep him, there's now more horses on this pasture than it can support since the two freebies arrived.
Any interested adopters out there?

Showdown & The Week From Hell

Ron's birthday is in August. I decided he needed an early birthday present. Her name is Showdown and that's partly why I felt we needed her. When Ron played music way back when, the name of his band was Showdown. Some things are meant to be right?

Showdown is a 3 yr old Paint mare (not registered) and was bought by Michelle who adopted one of my TIP mares last fall. Michelle bought her as a favor to a co-worker who needed to sell the mare. Only problem is when Michelle adopted Freedom she also bought Rosie from Auntie and Rosie is QUEEN OF THE PASTURE. Rosie sees Showdown as a young upstart and a threat to her kingdom. Result: Cat fights!
Ok, that's being a little dramatic I admit. Michelle does say that her pasture and herd are now much quieter with Showdown absent so I think it's safe to say she was a little (or big) Shit Disturber. Now she reigns over my boys, and yes, they are smitten.

Bob and Bill couldn't care less. Earl and Jake on the other hand are head over heels as is evident in the picture above. They've been so busy strutting their stuff for her! After a couple of days it looked like Earl won her favor. He now has his own little herd consisting of Showdown and Bailey. They're quite the nice looking family unit. Jake has gone back to being his aloof, snotty self. Nothing new there...
Ron, well he's still undecided. Actually he says she's going back to Michelle, we don't need another horse, especially one without any manners or respect for people. Michelle seems to be from the same bleeding heart school that I went to. She knew the horse needed a home so she took her knowing her faults. So did I. Showdown is the victim of a caring owner who apparently didn't know that making a pet of a 1000 lb horse could cause problems down the road. Showdown doesn't mean to be disrespectful or hard-headed, she doesn't know any better. To her credit, she's smart and catches on quickly. She can be ridden, but again she doesn't know anything. It's a get on and go sort of deal. I aim to fix all that; if I get to keep her around long enough that is. I just need a few days of Ron around her and he'll be suckered in just like I have by her looks and personality. Plus she's taken Bailey under her wing when everyone else seems to ignore her. Poor Bailey had gotten so afraid of big horses at "Uncle Rick's" and was desperate for some attention. Showdown has been a blessing in that regard. They look like a mare/foal pair from a distance and no one dares to mess with wee Bailey now that Showdown is in the picture.
It's been the week from hell otherwise. Dawn and Steve had two horses given to them. They arrived on Sunday and all hell broke loose. Two mares; a mother daughter pair. They seemed joined at the hip and intent on making every other 4-legged creature miserable. It's not enough to threaten to kick or bite when another horse comes near, no, they have to hound the others with no let up in tag team fashion. Except for Jake, Earl and Showdown, all my horses have been beat up by them in one way or another. Bill, Bob, Bailey and Johnny/Blue all have "war wounds" from these two mares. The mares, of course, don't have a mark on them. This gets a whole new post because of certain developments... Two posts in one day.
Stay tuned...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

New Digs!

We decided that we needed the boys closer to home. Several reasons brought this decision about. First was cost. At 52.5 miles round trip, it was rather expensive driving up to the farm every day, especially when that trip was made just to feed while it was raining. And it's rained a lot this year, which brings me to the second reason; MUD
Way too much mud. The boys are on a hill, you'd think the rainwater would run off. It does, but only to an extent. The bottom of their area has been wet since ohh about February. The top of our hill has been waterlogged for weeks now. Parts of the round pen dry up just in time for another deluge to come down. Outside of the round pen never did dry up. Bob and Earl are both suffering from heel cracks. This really bothered me and got me started on my campaign with Ron to move them.
Third reason: Hay. We have to feed it year round in this area because it's not a pasture. It's a wooded hillside. It's been great for strengthening Bill's bad hock. I think it's also helped Bob's stifles because I haven't seen any sign of weakness yet this summer. But there's no grass to really speak of. Not to mention they can't go for a good run across the pasture like most horses can. They fly up that hill, ditching and diving around trees and buck, but it's just not the same. Anyway back to hay... We took to feeding the big round bales our first winter at the farm (2007) as per Auntie's request. Certain family members do not show the respect they should for an expensive piece of farm equipment - the tractor. Auntie decreed not too long ago that no one drives the tractor but Gerry. Ok, Gerry has to put the bales into our horses now. Except Gerry and Auntie aren't there. They're down at the lake. New crop bales sit there in the rain while I run around and buy small squares to feed. Getting my truck up the hill with these small bales is no easy undertaking when it's muddy.
The decision to move the horses became an easy and logical one. I found a 7 acre pasture with a barn and woven wire fencing (no more barb wire to pull manes!) 1.8 miles from our front door to parked in their driveway!
Earl and Jake were moved Tuesday into this 7 acre pasture. They look so small cuz it's a big space for two horses... They love it. I love it. Steve and Dawn, owners of this property love having horses in it. The little dog, Buster loves having horses to follow and chase, although they outrun him pretty quick. These two pictures were taken with the camera zoomed in as much as it would zoom in. Did I tell you it's only 1.8 miles from my door?
I moved Bailey on Thursday. Bill and Johnny/Blue will move in today, as soon as I get in gear and go to pick them up.
And there's another new one in the group, but those pictures are still in my camera so I'll post about that later...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Introducing.... Bailey

"Wanna Be My Friend?"

Bailey and Scooter the mustang (also known as Orian to his adopter). Scooter is the foster colt I had last fall. He was all legs and head then. Now he's quite the big, handsome lad.

I took pictures of Bailey with thoughts of showing off her Paint markings in mind, so excuse the weird angles please. I haven't uploaded the ones of her underneath, where most of the markings are cuz they just look too weird... LOL I did discover today though that she has large white patches on the underside of her belly - one up just behind the girth and one back behind where a back cinch would go along with the all "polka dots" she has scattered everywhere

Above, you can see a sample of the polka dot markings in her throatlatch area and, below shows off the spotting on her jaw, and the dark spots on her nose (she's got one inside her nostril too)

Debating that green thing hanging from her halter:

Bailey learned to lead today, rather well too. Good enough that I led her out to the pasture and turned her loose with brother in-law Rick's horses. Scooter took to her and will hopefully be her protector with Jack. Jack attacked her and chased her quite a bit until I got in there and charged him.
Anyway back to today's lesson - Leading. Saturday night when we bought her we put a rope halter and lead on her. That stayed on overnight to get her used to the pressure created when she stepped on it. Sunday, Rick removed the halter as it was rubbing her face. We will not discuss his methods to do this...
Monday I put the web halter you see in the photos on her and made great progress in touching her. Even got fly spray on her so I thought that was quite enough for one day and left her alone, without putting a lead rope on her at all. Today was her first real lesson in leading and I had some resistance and panic for the first very few minutes. When I moved with her instead of maintaining my position and thereby creating more pressure, she almost instantly looked for the "right answer" to relieve that pressure. Two steps sideways with one step forward brought an instant release. A few more tries and it was two steps forward and one sideways. And lots of face rubbing and "good girl" comments. Next thing I know she's following me to get her face rubbed! Does that qualify as leading? Let's find out... I opened the gate and headed out. The round pen was already her safety zone and she was a little hesitant to venture forth from it. She backed up, felt the pressure and came forward. More face rubs and "good girl" praise had her following me across the yard. She wanted to stop and munch grass a few times and I saw that as a good opportunity to test my control and I didn't let her eat although I did pet her when she stopped and told her how well she was doing. That was all she needed to move forward again. In to the pasture we went and I turned her loose. Hopefully she'll be easy enough to catch? I doubt it and suspect we'll have to catch whoever she buddies up with to catch her and it's looking like Scooter will be her buddy.
And, that's it for today :-)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

More Catching Up

Is THE God of the internet? They think they are. My domain name expired in May and I couldn't renew it at the time as my user ID and password was locked in this computer which was in storage. There's no plugs or internet connections in storage units. It expired on May 17th. To let me use my own name again for this "expired domain" they want a fee of $80 in addition to the usual fee. No way am I paying that so people can click on the blog link! My only regret, and it's a big one is that I may have lost Bob's Wordpress blog as well because it was linked with the website, however Deirdre did that. Wordpress has free hosting just like blogspot but somehow - something I just don't understand - the blog and the website became one so it may be lost. I have most of the posts, but the pictures, videos and comments were not backed up at all. Links to other EMM bloggers are lost along with all the wonderful comments we received from people following that blog. I really regret losing all that.

So, on with the updating stuff. Bill, the QH we got in February has turned into a dream gift horse. His hock is "damaged" but he seems to do just fine with what we ask of him. We take him out for trail rides, or up and down the road just like we do with the other horses and this doesn't bother him one little bit. I wonder if being on the hill with the boys and working that hock just that little bit more to move around on said hill has been benificial to him? I assume it has been because he hasn't taken an off step since he recovered from being ridden by his previous owner. We've had him shod all around since he's made it plain that he wants to belong and be one of "the boys". This horse went from uncatchable when we got him - he had to be herded into the barn yard, then into the barn and into a stall to get a halter on him - to being a total pain in the butt for attention. The picture below is a prime example. Ron was trying to break in my rasp and fooling with feet on Jake and Bob when Bill kept butting in looking for his share of the attention. Ron gave him his wish. How many horses will let you rasp on their feet when they have the choice of simply walking away?

Bill is such a sweetheart, anyone can ride him, and he's very well trained. Our problem is convincing him that he doesn't have to work off his hocks anymore (to avoid stress to that injured hock), but he doesn't listen and does everything with all the training he's ever had. Memorial Day I finally asked for a lope and got a VERY enthusiastic response in the form of a little "Yippee" buck before he settled down into a beautiful rocking chair lope. He went on his first real trail ride on June 26th with Bob, and John R's Paint horse, Hoot. It was Bob's first ride back since last Sept (except for the antics when he throws people) and I admit to being awfully nervous. I credit Bill's calm, steady influence with Bob's admirable behaviour.
Holly presented us with a filly at about 10 PM on Friday, April 3rd. We didn't get the Paint we were hoping for and Ron didn't get the horse colt he wanted, but we did get a cheeky, independant little girl who looks like she'd been playing with Mommy's makeup. She has white rings around each eye. Looks like a little racoon sorta thing. She's 1 day old in the picture. Her biggest thrill in life is hanging out with "Uncle Jack". Than Holly comes running to kick the living daylights out of Jack. Poor Jack, he learned fast that this baby is bad news for him! At 3 months she's been named Sam by the kids and still gets her thrills from getting "Uncle Jack" into trouble. Rick, Ron's brother now owns Holly, baby Sam and Jack. His wife, Shawna was upset at the thought of Jack leaving to come home for training/riding time and Holly leaving to be rebred or just come home. Brenda also is still in love with Jack so he's theirs now. Ron gave the filly to Rick and I sold Holly to him.

By two months baby Sam is starting to show her true colors. She's going to end up a grey or maybe a rose grey, but for now she's a strawberry roan. She's a big girl and still bad or should I say good at getting Uncle Jack in trouble?

We have another new one - a yearling Paint filly, as yet unregistered. We went tot he Warrensburg horse auction Saturday night. It was our way of doing something for the 4th of July. We went looking for a saddle for Rick. Well, we missed the tack part of the auction, but since we were there we decided to sit down and watch the horse portion for a bit. The first horse through brought $675, which the seller wasn't willing to accept so the Auctioneer conned the byer into parting with $750. This had me thinking that the horse market has picked up give the horse in question, a mare, wasn't registered or anything special. Just a sorrel mare who rides and neck reins. Nope, that wasn't the case. Those first buyers paid way too much if going by the other prices is any indication. Mike Jullian, the auction barn owner has a habit of bidding pretty much any horse in at $300; I assume in an attempt to get bidding going and bring more money in. I also think that most bidders are aware of this and no one really jumps in to outbid him. That's when the Auctioneer drops the price. Not a decent way of doing business that's for sure and I wonder does Mike Jullian realize what a crook he comes across as? We never did get a number but that didn't stop Ron from bidding. He had a nice small Paint mare bought for $200. The seller said no sale. He bid on another one that went for $110 (his bid to up that price went unseen by the Auctioneer) and that one was a no sale as well. Then this yearling filly comes into the ring with no halter and no papers. Bidding was slow to start and finally started at $35 I think. I have a very hard time understanding auctioneers. I went out the truck to get my smokes when Ron jumped into the bidding. As I was returning to I heard sold for $85 and then the word "Ron". Oh, I guess we just bought a horse.... Then he had the gall to tell me her bought her for me! LOL Good story Ron. After the auction I went back to see her while Ron paid and arranged transportation with the seller, who, it turns out is an old buddy of Ron's. They used to play music together. I get back there and get looking at this little girl and I have to admit, she's one nice filly. The name Bailey came to me so that's what we're calling her. She's never been handled... sound familiar? LOL A mustang without a brand. Being young, she's curious and once I went and got a halter, she allowed Ron to slip it on within 15 minutes. Gettingher to lead was a whole nother story though. She was finally shooed into the trailer and we took her to Rick's and put her in his round pen. Gave her Sunday to settle in and I went to work with her yesterday (Monday). Stoopid me forgot my camera! Rick took the halter off her, it was rubbing her face.... To her credit, in less than one hour I had her haltered and fly sprayed. She got hot but didn't break a sweat. Smart little girl. She's not following right behind me like I'm her new bestest friend yet but she was staying close by so I could easily walk over and rub her face or body. I was also able to remove the numbered sticker from her butt. Once she's leading and easy to catch she'll go to friend Sue B's for us to get lessons in halter showing these QH types.

And that's it for now....

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Long Time, No Blog

Life's been crazy and there's been no time to blog. Oh yea, I didn't have my computer to blog either and that really does affect things! We moved. We thought we bought a little dream farm (10 acres) for us and our boys to live happily ever after. We gave up the rental house and I stayed with a friend while Ron continued trucking until we could take possession of the farm. This was supposed to take a week or two max. 2 freaking months later (almost to the day) we found out the farm had been in foreclosure and was about to be auctioned off. The guy selling it to us - James Gegory Smith - was going to take our money and run. I assume. What else was he gonna do with it? He messed with us, keeping us hanging on and hoping for 2 months after we gave up the rented house. The whole nightmare took place over 3 months.

So... the computer was in storage along with just about everything else we owned. My website is now down and I'm "negotiating" with GoDaddy to get it back up. I missed the renewal date to hold on to my domain name. Who made a law that says I have to purchase it from them anyway when I'm paying someone else to host it and manage it? I don't understand any of this stuff. All I can say ther is hopefully it will be back up again soon. Ditto for the Wordpress blog. It's somehow linked with the website so when the website disappeared so did my blog. Sounds like a good excuse to switch over to Blogspot on a permanent basis eh?

Ok, in a nustshell that's where I've been.

In the meantime I somehow managed to garner two followers! Thank you so much! I sure don't deserve it given the posts here but I'll make an effort now to get better at posting!
Bob update: Yea, the lil shit's back and doing well. I finally got the nerve to get on him last week and he was awesome. We went for a short trail ride and he behaved admirably. In fact he behaved so well that he earned a compliment from Ron. We went on another trail ride the following week (July 2nd) with the club I created last year for the American Mustang and Burro Association (AMBA). More on that in a bit, I gotta upload a picture of Bob first right?

If you look closely you'll notice that Bob now sports a real tail... almost. Yuppers it's growing! It's now down to his hocks and he can use it to nail the odd fly if said fly is in just the right place. If said fly is not in just the right place Bob still does the lil buck thing to let me know I have to reach back and be his personal fly swatter.

Oh, you might also notice that my hair is shorter.... MUCH shorter and MUCH greyer. Ron was complaining about my "shedding" back in March so stupid me handed him my good scissors and let him go to town on my head. It'll grow back right? I also gave up trying to hide the grey since it was becoming so much more predominate, probably thanks to Bob and Ron... Anyway, I do love having it short and so easy to care for during these hot summer months. I'll let it start to grow back come winter and see where I end up with it.

I brought 4 foster horses home at the end of March from an adoption event in Humansville MO.

Frankie on the left and Johnny on the right. Both 2 yr olds.
Frankie is from Beatty's Butte, OR. Adopted by John S.

Johnny is from Jackies Butte, OR.

Johnny is still available for adoption if anyone is interested.

Chigger is from Jackson Mountains, NV, part of the herd at Palamino Valley when so many died.

Another 2 yr old, he's nothing short of a pocket pony, and adopted by Sue B who says he's named because he's just like a chigger - you don't feel a bite (he doesn't bite) but they're "damn annoying" (that he is!).
Chigger is already a lesson horse in Sue's kid program. He's used with kids on the ground to learn about grooming and horse handling. Only 3 months from being wild and he's already stolen way too many hearts.

Last but not least is Josey. Born in a facilty and adopted by John R, Josey is a yearling and doing very well with his adopter.
And that's it for now. There's lots more to blog about, but I've got to get off the computer and do other things....
Next I'll do an update on Holly, my QH mare. She had a filly in April. That's all I'm saying for now... hehehe