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Posts Tagged ‘horses’


So. Where were we?

This bi-coastal living sucks. Big time. Over the last year, I have learned well how I am absolutely not cut out for single parenting.

One might think that being home on this side of the country with the girls is easy enough. Not.

It’s like living in a frat house but everything is pink. And glittery.

We’re waiting on the guys to come home to celebrate Christmas. The stocking candy has, however, already been raided. I doubt the guys will get any by the time they are able to make it home.

Seeing as we’re at the end of the year, I’ll try to go back and highlight some of the things we’ve done. I’ve got reviews on the new Vibrams to get to, etc.

Right now, I guess I’ll start with the horses.

We added another horse to our herd, bringing the total now to 7. Haven is another Tennessee Walking Horse, and has a really nice gait. She came to us via a friend of ours over the border.

One thing we learned this season is that we needed a spare. We’ve done a number of trail rides; the four of us girls going to the ones nearby. While I could in a total pinch pull 4 horses in my stock trailer, I don’t much like it. I’ve been shuttling us 2 horses at a time, which really only works for rides that are relatively close. My oldest daughter and I have done a few rides that were further away, since I couldn’t double back due to distance.

On the last ride with all of us, we got all the way there, got my youngest’s mare out, only to discover a bloody foot, courtesy of kicking while loaded. It wasn’t terribly bad, but a fun show was the following day, and we didn’t want to take a chance that she couldn’t be ridden. So, on the return trip to get the other horses, I took her back home and traded her out for another.

Given that we actually made use of a spare horse, it was time to think about getting another spare, in the event Hunny was home and something like this happened. When my friend contacted me with the opportunity to get this horse, we decided to drive up and give her a test ride.

She is one of the youngest horses, and is so far doing well. We are looking forward to better, non-soggy weather to ride once hunting season is over.

 

haven4.1

haven1.1

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My oldest daughter and I were laughing just the other day- when we decided to go all out on horses, we really had planned to get more horses like Magic, so that the herd colors would be diverse, given that we already had two bays and a red. With the additions of both Blaze and Haven, we now have a mostly “brown” herd. 😆 Somehow, we have gotten completely smitten with that color! 😀

 

 

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I think I mentioned it before, but when you live on a farm, there are never-ending things to do, even if you aren’t actually farming. 😉

You may recall that when we moved, we ended up with 5 abandoned horses in our front yard. A few months later, we did the horsey shuffle. It actually was remarkably like the Hokey Pokey, but with horses. At the end of the day, no one had gotten really injured and we all still had our teeth, so that was a win. 😆 And our roster was set.

Around Thanksgiving, our kitty went missing. We later discovered her deceased. 😦 When her brother had to be put down for intestinal cancer, we had gotten Little Dog. As luck would have it, a short-haired border collie became available from a gentleman who used them with his cattle and had gotten a large amount from a breeder/trainer friend of his who decided he was too old and passed on his border collie ‘stock.’ Anyhow. Puppy was the runt of the litter and he felt would be too small to handle the cattle, so he was trying to find her a good home. We got her the next day.

Christmas rolled around, and we were still missing having a cat. I don’t think in the last 20+ years we’ve gone very long without some kind of cat. We like our kittens in pairs. Then chicken math hit, and we got three babies from the same litter. {Actually, I have a whole category on Chicken Math………… :lol:} That’s how we ended up with Los Tres Amigos.

At some point, we had a lovely orange kitty come and visit us for several months. He’s actually been over at our horse trainer‘s house for the last several weeks. I wonder if he got tired of the dogs barking at him. We hope he comes back because we miss him………

Then we got the bantams and I ordered my large fowl and guineas. 😀

Two weeks ago, my newly “adopted” 19 year-old daughter/neighbor came by on her way home from the vet’s office where she worked. Someone had dumped off a litter of 4 kittens to be put down. Well, there was no way she was going to let that happen! So she took them home. Seeing as the little girls were outside, she thought she’d stop and show them the babies.

When she left a while later, she had one kitten with her. 😆 We kept the other 3 3-week-old kitties. So, we’ve been busy bottle feeding, ect. I had no idea that when they are that little, you need to stimulate them to go to the bathroom. 😯

Because the other kitties became solely indoor kitties, we are thinking these will be our barn kitties. I’ve got some great pics in with the other kitties and today in with the chicks. Hilarious!

This morning, the post office called at 6:15 am to let me know my chickies were here. I was back home around 7 am with all live chickies!!! ♥♥♥

{And you wonder why I’m not writing much…………….  :lol:}

We’re missing guineas, which will come next month.

Don’t laugh or roll your eyes, but here’s what we have right now:

3 dogs

5 horses

6.5 cats

14 bantams

40 large fowl

4 kids

2 completely crazy parents; {one obviously more crazy than the other 😉 }

And a partridge in a pear tree. {No, not really, silly- not yet, anyhow. 😉 } 😆

Because y’all have been so patient with me, here are some pictures. I’ve added a category for Around the Farm stuff, which will probably end up being mostly pictures. You’ve been warned! 😀

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Herman

Herman

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Spawn of Herman?

Spawn of Herman?

Go Navy!

Go Navy!

Creepy quiet those are- didn't bother the horses and the dogs never even barked!

Creepy quiet those are- didn’t bother the horses and the dogs never even barked!

Fog rolls in an hovers over the fields.

Fog rolls in and hovers over the fields.

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How many horses do you see?

How many horses do you see?

From the balcony off the bedroom.

From the balcony off the bedroom.

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Finally enough weight to be ridden!

Finally enough weight to be ridden!

My girl. ♥

My girl. ♥

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So there you have it- a taste of 6 months on the farm! 😀

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Most days start the same {we wake up}. Most days end the same {we go to bed}.

It’s the stuff in between that can take your day from a well-planned, uneventful day, to  total chaos a day filled with unplanned learning opportunities.

Yep.

You know where I’m going with this, don’t you? But, at this point, you are going down the checklist of possibilities; trying to figure out which is most likely.

Kids.

Kittens.

Puppy.

Dogs.

Horses.

Chicks.

What’s your guess?

If you took “Horses for $100, Alex,” you’d be right.

Blech.

So, I was folding my laundry in my room, and getting my day all lined out, all nice and quiet like, and then I heard the herd of elephants stampede.

Those of you who think only cattle can stampede haven’t had more than a single horse………….  😆

One thing to know about horses is that they get wound up when the barometric pressure changes.

Want to know if a storm is coming in? Check your arthritis or find some horses. Either of those will tell you.

We knew there was a storm blowing in, so we weren’t really surprised to find that everyone was sure feeling their oats this morning. {No, don’t worry, we don’t actually feed them that…}

It was cold, and the wind had started to pick up a bit.

Breakfast was, overall, uneventful. Once they eat, we turn them out into the big pasture. Normally, this is a relatively calm event…………..

So, anyhow, I’m upstairs, folding my laundry, mapping out my day. I needed to take Cookie Monster doggy to the vet to get her stitches from her spay taken out. After that, I needed to get back to the painting.

And then Magic went flying by, and I heard the stampede. I couldn’t see anyone but Magic, but I figured they were getting it out of their systems before the precipitation came.

And then I heard the door slam shut and the pounding of feet up the stairs.

The report, as it were, was that Boi had fallen and Angel had run into something. They thought there might be injuries.

“Well, go and check and then let me know,” I said, as I continued folding my laundry. “I am making good time this morning,” I thought, “I’ll be able to get to the vet and back by lunch.”

The door slammed again and an even faster pounding of feet came up the stairs.

“Angel hit her face and is bleeding all over!”

With instructions to go catch her, I flew around, changing my sweats into jeans and grabbing my hoodie. I texted Hunny on the way down, so he would have a head’s up.

WARNING! GRAPHIC PICTURES WITH BLOOD!

I didn’t want you to be caught off-guard.

Where was I?

Oh yes. I was headed into the pasture.

When I got there, this is what I saw:

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You have probably figured out by now that I don’t really panic. I am pretty good at assessing the situation and determining what needs to happen.

As a rule, my kids freak out and think that everything is way worse than what it is.

This, however, falls into the category of “Absolutely Needs To Have Sutures.”

I don’t suture. 🙂

Nope, that is one of those things I feel the need to leave to the professionals because, well, they have the right drugs to go along with the experience. 😆

I was in the pasture and called the vet’s office, once I realized I didn’t have her cell phone number. Somehow, that number didn’t make it into my phone, and I couldn’t send her a picture to her pager.

The vet’s office texted me her number, and I texted her the picture.

Yepper, she’d be out today. She was currently in a barn full of horses, getting ready for the showing season. She would call me within the hour to let me know what time she’d be able to get here this afternoon, after she had finished with the others.

I should have time to head to the doggie vet while she was figuring it out.

I dashed into the house and got the puppy ready to go. Little dog is a riot, and every time we go, she wants to go, too, even to the vet.  It just means more barking when we get there, but she loves to ride in the car, unlike Cookie Monster who is always seriously soaked from her drool in the car.

So. Middle daughter J stayed outside with her horse to help keep her calm. Oldest daughter J went with me to the vet.

On the way home, the vet, K, called to let us know she was on her way. Daughter J texted Hunny, who was going to head home and meet us.

As it turns out, when she got the picture, the owner of the other horses saw it, too, and took pity on us. They had 2 horses sedated already, so they told K that as soon as she got done with them, they could finish the other horses another day, and please, could she go put our horse’s face back together sooner?

Isn’t that awesome?! The horse community is astonishingly welcoming and giving; at least the folks we’ve met.

We love our vets! This is the same vet that came and gelded Boi in the side pasture, so we were familiar with her style under {our} stress.

After some evaluation, she agreed that while Angel needed to be stitched back together, her eye was probably ok. She’d know more once she got to cleaning and working on fixing her back up.

The first step was to sedate Angel. Then she got to work shaving the area.

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After she cleaned, it was time to prepare and numb the area so she could get to suturing it back together.

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Did you do a double-take on this picture? 🙂 Are you now thinking we’re being barbaric with our cruel and unusual punishment of this poor horse?

Actually, there is a method to the madness……… this handle thingy is called a twitch. It’s wrapped up in her upper lip because there is a pressure point that will stimulate the release of endorphins, which helps the horse with pain. You gently rock the twitch, which releases the endorphins so that the stick of the needle won’t hurt as much.

I think that is awesome!

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Just a wee little bit longer, and the anesthetized, clean wound was ready for the stitching.

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Ta da! All done!

That last little bit needed a few staples, which we’ll have taken out in a few weeks unless they work themselves out in the meantime.

Whew. I love our vet(s), but I’d rather not have to see her like this.

I especially appreciate her willingness to explain absolutely everything she’s doing, including the anatomy and the whys of what she’s doing. She talks in terms that are clinical, yet are easy for us to understand. She has always answered the kids’ questions, and chuckles as they tell their stories.

She even took the time to show us the skull fracture; the bone bruise, and explain why we’re watching for what we’re watching for. She doesn’t think that there will be any problems with the healing, but if there are, we know where it will be.

Once she left, I stayed outside, wrapping the electrical lines connected to the poles in neon orange tape so they are more visible. We are going to cut up some pool noodles and give the lines some padding this weekend, but the tape should help in the meantime.

Now it’s evening, and the girls are out feeding. I need to go help with hay, and then I’m going to go put my feet up.

What did you do today? 😀

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Sorry, but I’m pretty sure there’s not. It’s probably a futile effort, but I’m going to try anyhow. You can thank me later. 😀

“What’s this?” you might be wondering.

A summary, that’s what. I am pretty sure that I can’t summarize what all has happened since I last wrote, but I’ll try. You’ll most assuredly get the Cliff’s Notes version, full of stuff that I didn’t forget to include. 😀 Hopefully, you’ll enough of the gist to pass the test at the end.

When I last bored you with my drivel, we had just moved 7 horses in a single day.

Magic, Angel, Halo, Blondie and Doodlebug {formerly known as Elia} all went down the road to our friend’s house. As a trainer, her goals were to make sure we could ride both Angel and Magic. Halo needed to continue gaining weight, and Doodlebug needed to be weaned.

Score on all of the above points, more or less. I say more or less, because Magic and Angel both have attitudes, and there have been days where we couldn’t even ride because they were too squirrely. {And yes, I DO know it’s mostly us and not them ………….. :lol:} Combined with an uncontrolled full-out gallop back to the paddock resulting in throwing off my oldest daughter and having her arm stepped on, we can 100% say that a drug drop makes us really stressed out which in turn stresses out the horse and can be a less-than-ideal situation. Ya. Really.

Anyhow.

Horses have been trained, and we’re taking it one day at a time. I am not giving up.

I have, however, learned that show horses and rescue horse, like other rescue animals, come with their own sets of learned behaviors that may or may not be conducive to trail riding.  You might have figured out by now that we’re a particularly stubborn kind of folk, that, while listening to thoughts, opinions, and recommendations of others, may or may not take said advice. We’ll take it all under advisement, but at the end of the day, we’re going to do what we’re going to do.

Clearly, there is a learning curve, but if we’re in for a penny; we’re in for a pound. And there are *lots* of pennies involved here.

Since moving day, all the horses have had the farrier come and do their feet. Boi, for the first time, and Flicka in who knows how many years- both did well, all things being equal. And the day the farrier came, Boi had gotten gelded.

Yep. He did. Right out in the side pasture, our awesome vet laid him down, took off his parts, and off we went on our merry way. Because she didn’t suture, there was no concern about ripping his sutures open to lift his legs for the farrier. We also trotted him the following days as told, to keep him draining.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, and all the girls came home. Boi was thrilled to see his love and mother of his children, Halo, and didn’t waste any time mounting her since she was in heat.

Much to his disappointment {after numerous times trying}, as you can imagine, he was unable to complete his business. He hasn’t tried again since that we’ve seen, but he’s been in a pretty foul mood until we separated him out from the girls and started spending a lot of time with him again.

Where do we go from here? I’m not sure.

We are planning on riding again today, since we haven’t put in a whole lot of time since the runaway episode over a week ago. We’re giving them time to adjust. I’m hoping getting back into riding consistently will get Angel to stop cribbing and air/wind sucking. Honestly, she is not bored and is not lonely and is not stabled; we’ll get it figured out.

Halo has taken to getting picky with what she eats. I guess since she’s not starving anymore, she figures she can let her particular palete run wild.

In the meantime, not a lot of painting has gotten done. We’ve had a visit from my parents who had to laugh at the chaos that is 5 horses, 3 dogs and 3 kittens and 4 children.

While the girls were being trained, not only were we heading over to feed twice a day, but most days we were there for training as well. Add to this that during this time, we still had heating contractors in and out on a weekly basis, it’s not an understatement to say it was chaotic.

I have to say, it was *awesome* having the ability to be present for 98% of the training and see what was happening. Depositing a horse off for training and then picking them up at the end of a month is not the kind of training that settles well with me. Clearly, I am too much of a control freak. 😀

Those few weeks, we were feeding 15 horses twice a day. It was all-consuming. We were not home a whole lot. Since you already know that I’m a hermit an introvert, you can imagine what kind of state I ended up in. And I got sick, which is probably no surprise.

Out of everything, I have gotten to the point where I realize the deep-seated need for running and getting back into more of a normal routine. I probably won’t be doing my 8 miles a day for a while, because painting still looms, but I have to find the balance, because my body is revolting against me. My pain level has been consistently higher lately, which tells me I need to get off my rear and get back at it. No matter how much a person tries to not to think about it, chronic illness simply will not be ignored.

In the midst of this, Hunny has managed to get most of the office put together, which I’m hoping means a return to more active writing. Goodness knows, I’ve needed it.

The underlying, recurring theme as I bang my head with the horse stuff is this: “All I wanted were chickens…………..”

So. Let’s recap, shall we?

Horses got moved out. Boi got gelded. Girls got moved back home. Magic and Angel have been giving attitude. Painting has been slow going. Office has been mostly put back together. Unpacking still looms. Despite the horsey issues, no one has gotten seriously hurt {praise God!} and we continue on our merry way of sticking to our plan, which may be sheer folly.

Because you got the edited version, the following test will completely consist of identifying each horse by name. {No cheating by looking at the caption! :lol:}

Horse #1

parked out

Boi

Boi

Flicka

Flicka

Halo and Elia

Halo and Elia

Who’s first? 😀

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