Monday, September 7, 2015

This and That

Good grief...
This smoke is CRAZY.
(And finally clearing up now that we've gotten some rain and colder weather!!)
I am thankful that we aren't "on fire", and this smoke is from somewhere else, but good grief is it gross here. 
Our air quality has been anywhere from poor to hazardous.  We have had several days when the air quality was worse than it was the day Mt. St. Helen's blew.  And that's kind of hard to wrap my mind around...but at the same time, my irritated mucus membranes agree!
My home town was threatened by fire this last week and some of the neighboring communities took a lot of fire damage.  Unfortunately some of those fires are still burning and the winds' now kicked up.  Hoping and praying for minimal losses and some rain!
This summer has been miserable when it comes to the weather and all weather related things!!

Mindy and Wyatt have made three trips to Deer Park for barrel races this summer, and Kase I have drove over to visit.  It's an hour one way, so that's not bad considering she lives about 7 hours away!
For some reason, we missed ALL of her barrel runs, in part because she kept drawing early in races that start at 9am or 10am....
And Kase likes to sleep in in the mornings!  (0:
Then there was the oddball stuff like, I'm outta gas...
I needed to grab her some adult beverages and I didn't allot time for lines, slow people, and traffic back ups on country roads...
That part of summer was awesome.
The boys play really well together and Kase learns something new every time he is with Wyatt!!

 Chix in Wyatt's hat, Kid's hoping he doesn't have to wear it too!
Kase finally killed my old computer and now I HAVE to use this new one.  It feels nice to type on, but I can't stand the way the pictures are on it and I cannot search them easily nor can I crop them. 
Looks like I'm going to have to try and find some software or something to make it more user friendly.  It's really set up for web surfing and social media.
It's got a touch screen option and I've had it almost a year and just haven't been able to get "comfortable" with it, I guess you'd say.  Chad says it's because it's a Window's based operating system, rather than a Dell based system...
Shoulda kept to what I was comfortable with!!
Live and learn...again...
Fiona looks great!
Mindy and I got a menu plan together for her and so far so good.
1 lbs alfalfa pellets
1 lbs Renew Gold
20z Cool Calories
2 tbs Magnesium
1 Probiotic
Everyone is getting alfalfa hay in the evenings...
Mostly because Fiona won't eat her hay if she is separated from the others.
Well, she will eat it, but it takes forever and she walks around in circles, watches to see what everyone else is doing, nickers, and just messes around.  And if the others do dare to leave, she paces and calls until they come back.
So EVERYONE gets alfalfa.

Chix sniffing Wyatt's head, one of her favorite smells!!
I ordered my alfalfa/grass small squares the first of July.
It's now the beginning of the first full week of September and I still haven't gotten it.
I called Glenn the first of August and he said he hadn't forgotten me or my hay.  I was on the list.
So I'll call him either this week or next and check in again.
He hauls it from South Idaho, and it's really nice...but waiting is starting to get ridiculous and not all the reasonably priced hay is gone locally...  And one of the reason's I use Glenn is because his price includes delivery and stacking.

Kase and Gracie enjoying the sunshine!
Stresses me out, and causes me to get hay from the feed store, or the hay broker down the road...
Feed stores bales run about $13 per bale at around 80-100lbs per bale. 
Gets expensive fast... Glenn's $10 a bale in my barn for nearly the same weight range.
So I'll wait, and hope I don't have to wait too much longer.
I've got five bales of unopened hay and then I've gotta decide where to go to get some more hold over hay.
Beep-Beep, aka Little Nikki, aka Nik-Nik is warming back up to Kase again.
But she still hasn't forgotten that he squirted her between the eyes with a spray bottle.
He really does love her and has set on her a few times.
She's not broke and really doesn't know what to think of him being up there when we want her to walk...

Maybe he's gonna be a vet!!   
So I've got some work to do with her.  Which will be interesting.  I did a little work with her and the fly spray and realized that her feet are "stuck".  She'd rather rear, which she isn't good at, then move away from her rear.  She doesn't really understand my using pressure to get her to move.
So I've gotta find a spot and build us a small round pen to work her in.
The nice thing is that she doesn't need a lot of room to work in.
I have also come to realize while I mess around with her, that I make a lot of eye contact with Horse Girl and Fiona and trying to do it with her, is hard.  Awkward actually.
I thought about it earlier and thought, well what did I do when working with the Hee-Haws?
Then I realized that I haven't done doodly squat with them since I've owned them...
(I've had them 8 years!!)
We halter broke them.
Kinda taught them to lead.
Petted them.
Fed them.
Brushed them.
Wormed them.
Vaccinated them.
And have taught them NOTHING.
Hard to believe...
So I haven't a single test subject. 
Dang it!!

Hope this plays... His butt itches ALL the time...  LOL!!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

My Circus...My Monkeys! (0:

We put the donkeys in with the horses today. (Two weeks ago...took me that long to get this finished and up!!)
It was semi interesting and kind of exciting...
Forgive me yammering!
Some how I managed not to cuss!
Truly a remarkable feet these days...
But then again  I do call my horse a turd bucket.
WTH is a turd bucket?

I'm not 100% sure, but Fiona was being a brat!  (0:

Here is the drama as seen through my iPhone 5S.
Also known as Super Steve.


The last time I introduced a small new horse to the Hee-Haws they went at her like two cats after a mouse.  (They did charge Remi, but she spun and snaked her head and they just veered off...)
It was a yearling filly and as I think back I can't remember how long they had been gelded at the time, and maybe that had something to do with it, but it was NOT pretty.
The filly ran and ended up coming by me, finally, and I'd had time to grab the hose (it was the only thing around at the time) and when she went by with them in hot pursuit, I made contact and left a few welts on the two of them.
Pursuit over, separation started.
After she grew a couple more hands and was no longer new and had gained some confidence their second meeting was less eventful....

I decided to have them live side by side with Beep-Beep, aka Little Nikki, aka Nik-Nik and the other girls for a month before they were turned out together.

As you can see from the video, they were too busy running from and with Fi to really care about the mini.
Fiona thinks she owns them and got a bit protective of them, but that seems to be slowing down...and it also helps that Beep-Beep, aka Little Nikki, aka Nik-Nik doesn't like them.

So now we have a happy little family of 5 again.  We've have 6, but Remi's still in Washington working.  (0:

And those cute little boogers are back to harassing all the good citizens with their shenanigans!  

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Fourth Week Skinny Horse Picture

I can definitely see progress!!
Whew!  I'm so relieved.

I tried and tried to get her to stand square, but she's a big brat.
And so she's not square, but much improved non the less!!

Her top-line could still use some more work, but so glad the her lizard back's going away!!

And of course the before....

And this one....
The full side view!

She of course also looks so much better because she's gotten her summer coat on!
But her hind end even looks better!

So glad that feeding her up is working!  (0:
Sent off some of these pictures to the vets office and they "bounced" back, so I've gotta call them tomorrow and see where to send them so I can get feed back from Dr. Peters.

And a few more pictures just because I took them!!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Spa De' Nikki

'Er something like that!!
Took the tractor out and scraped a giant low spot out in front of the stall that Fiona uses for eating her grain.
I'm not going to sugar coat it.
I don't have the time to tie her out and soak her feet in a mud puddle like Jake suggested a couple of times a day for an hour or so...
I work 32 hours a week and have a toddler, and a husband who works 65-70 hours a week...
Not enough time in the day for it.
And goodness, it's been so damn hot...that it's all I can do to get her fed (and everyone else too) and the rest of the chores done before Kase and I have heat strokes!
Then lets not forget the all crap that has to be done in the house!

Oh, poor Nikki!


So this I feel works.
I've made it a tad bit deeper and wider since I took these.
I'm doing me darnedest to get her entire foot soaked twice a day while she eats her grain.
It does prevent her from cleaning up after herself, but she is robust enough now that I'm not too stressed out about it...
Well mostly that's what I'm telling myself.

Fiona doesn't mind the water for the most part.
But she did decide to try and skinny up against the rail where she was eating, and thus I widened it.
She drinks from it after every meal, not really sure why.
It is "fresh" every time she's in it.
So maybe it's tasty!

Due to this nasty hot weather, my hay guy's fields only produced 1/4 of their usual crop, so instead of getting 15 ton from him at $160 a ton, I got 4 at $200.  )0:

I had enough money saved up for my usual with some to spare, but Fiona's "new" feed bill kinda put a dent in it.

Now I'm getting 10 ton of alfalfa grass mix (hoping it's a better mix than last years...which had some alfalfa in one flake every third bale..)  From my old hay guy at $210 a ton.  The long and the short of it is my hay bill went up $600 and for less hay than last year.

What do you do??  /0:

So due to my $$ horse money crunch, I'm passing on the soaking boots for now and hoping this will do the trick.

And if it doesn't...
Then I'll get the boots as a last ditch effort.
I'm pretty hopeful that this will do the trick though!

And then I can "fix" the area in front of my stall!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Third Week Skinny Horse Pictures

I've learned a lot from the comments offered up about Fiona's weight gain and I really appreciate them all!
I had no idea that it takes on average 4 weeks for my horse to start to bloom while being fed up.  I really thought it'd be obvious after the first week, two at the most.  Which is why I decided to take pictures along the way.
I also thought Dr. Peters was being generous by telling me to watch her for that long, because I try to fight being a knee jerk reaction-er while dealing with my horse's health.  And really NEED to have time lines clear "start and stop" places.
Now I know it's just the "norm", I' not sure if I feel like an uneducated dork, or just someone luck enough to never have to have been educated on such thing.
It appears as though I really never do stop learning!
Hurray for me!!
I looked back through Mindy and I"s texts and can't find our conversation about using a probiotic or Brewers Yeast, but I know we talked about it.  
So I can't really pin point why I didn't add one to her meal plan.
I will be adding one to her diet once we start our maintenance phase though. 
It makes good sense and isn't a really expensive or difficult thing to add.
I NEVER want to go through this again!!  It's been expensive and stressful.
And it's July and I haven't even thought about riding her.
She looked so bad, it would have been abusive to stress her out with any kind of physical activity.
Or so I felt!

The above pictures were taken on June 30th.  Rounding out our third week of "work".
I'll be taking some pictures of her next Tuesday and sending them to Dr. Peters so that he can evaluate her via e-mail at the end of her 4th week and get yet another game plan together...
So that I can consult my sister and anyone else who wants to offer up anything and continue to move forward!  (0:
And once I speak with him again, even though I am quite sure it's like Kelly commented, I'll probably never know why she got so far down, I'm going to ask what he thinks made this all transpire...
Just in case! 
I am happy to report, that although all the handling that she has been getting is graining 2x's a day and fly repellent application, she hasn't gotten "naughty" about being caught up for feeding...  You know the way some horses do when they start anticipating goodies. 
She really is such a nice mare.
I love her!  (0:

Kase's pony continues to be a gem as well...
She's gotten "mad" at him a few times, but it's funny...not really aggressive, explosive, or ridiculous...
Just some head bobbing, and a couple of foot stomps.  Kind of like she'd do if her baby was being naughty.
I'm trying to get him to stop some of the things she doesn't approve of, but he's not quite 2, so it's a slow process.  
I'm working on keeping her nice and respectful despite the kid handling her and trying to get her to "play" with him.
So far so good.
It's easy to forget she's a horse some days because of her size...and the fact it's so easy to handle her!  (0:
She had her feet trimmed by Jake on Thursday.
He said, "hey this horse has a crooked foot!"
I said, "so, she's a pony and 11.  Probably been like that her whole life.  Trim it accordingly!"
Then we both laughed, because he knows of the people that I got her from and we had just discussed that it's a crap shoot with them on whether you get hustled or not.
He agrees that I didn't get hustled.  He also offered to be helpful in anyway he could the next time I go looking for a horse for my "Little Feller".
I'd thought about calling Jake when we started looking, but decided to go it alone, because he may have been busy... Nice to know that I have him to rely on next time if I need it!!

Of course this ridiculous heat and dry spell had affected the girls' feet.
Jake got Horse Girl and Little Nikki AKA Beep-Beep trimmed but told me to get to soaking Fiona's feet as they were too hard and dry for him to feel comfortable re-shoeing her.  He said that they split like mad and will abscess at the drop of a hat when this dry and hard. 
He gave me instructions and two weeks to get them better.
I'd be stressed out about the time in between her shoeing appointments if it weren't for the fact that I'm not riding her...  And as Jake pointed out, she really didn't have all that much hoof growth and it was his "expert opinion" that another two weeks wouldn't hurt her.
So now I will be soaking her feet while she eats her grain.
Anybody have any easy-ish, economical re-hydration of the hoof suggestions?  (0:

Have a Happy and Safe 4th everyone!!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

After Two Weeks of Feeding Her Up

This is Fiona on June 23, 2015.

And the before...

It's not great, but I'm pretty sure I see improvement where her spine ties into her hips.


And the before....

More improvement...  To me.

And just some various shots of her and Horse Girl acting like their brains vacated their heads while Chad target shoots with the BB Gun.
In some she looks better, in others she looks worse...

In all of them though, she is agile, alert, and enjoying herself, despite the ridiculous amount of biting gnats that we are experiencing right now.

And they finally convinced Kase's mini horse/pony to run from the sound too...
But it took a while, she is her own "person".