Friday, December 28, 2012

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

Our adventure on Christmas Eve really shook J and I up.

There we were all stressed about getting to town and the grocery store before it got (more) crowded so we could hurry back home to finish wrapping when we'd come upon our neighbor, on the other side of our road/fence line, trapped underneath his Rhino.

The neighbor, without a shirt, only in sweats and slippers, had jumped into his rig to go check the mail at the end of his road which is down 10 acres on the other side of his property.  I'm sure he thought he'd only be gone for a few minutes.

While backing up he'd turned too quickly and the rig had gone over.  His leg had been pinned and seriously broken.  It will require surgery in the upcoming week.

While we'd been cozy in our home wrapping packages and looking at the rain/snow mix outside, he'd been out in the weather, trapped and unable to move.  We only came upon him as we drove down our road to the store.  J happened to look out across the fence line to the neighbor's house and see the rig turned over.  That was over two hours after he'd flipped it.

The day took on a different color after our experience.  Getting to the store and beating it back to finish wrapping wasn't important after fire/aid arrived and we left the scene.  And because we'd had a good dose of reality, the rest of the day and every day since have been like a golden miracle we are grateful to have.

Both of us have noted that we initially had some trouble sleeping afterwards.  We've discussed the event often as it still pings around in our heads.  But one thing that stands out since that day is, don't sweat the small stuff. 

And we don't.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Santa Was Listening

Look what I got for Christmas...

The Buffalo Purse I wrote about a few Posts back - Santa was listening!!  :)

Hope you and yours have a Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve - A Change In Perspective

Christmas Eve and a change in perspective...It wasn't supposed to be a Post I'd write today.

I got up early today, trying to be calm and unstressed because I put off wrapping a single present and here it was, Christmas Eve.  I found myself very focused on every move I made.  No time to waste movements today!

I wrapped until early afternoon but still wasn't finished.  Yet I had to stop.  I told my husband that we must go to town NOW, to the grocery store before it got crazier than it probably already was (it was).

As we headed down our private road J suddenly stopped the car, jumped out and started running.  I was immediately irritated as in, "What the HECK are you doing?!!!  We NEED TO GET TO THE GROCERY STORE NOW".

And then I heard the screams....

Our neighbor across the fence line was screaming out to us in agony.  He had flipped his Rhino and was trapped underneath.  He was soaking wet and in shock.  Home alone, he had been there for hours in the 38 degree rain.

I grabbed my phone and ran after my husband.  The neighbor's foot was trapped under his rig.  My husband, a big guy, was able to lift the rig up and free the leg but we didn't have the manpower to push the rig upright.

As I ran to the scene I pulled off my cozy fleece jacket and we got it on the neighbor.  Unfortunately, as I did so the neighbor's dog thought I was being aggressive and bit me in the rear.

Fire arrived and with my husband's help they got the rig upright.  Medics took it from there and with my jacket still on him we returned to the house to get me another one. 

Finally we were off to the grocery store but suddenly it wasn't a big deal.  We found ourselves deflated and going with the flow for the rest of the day.  A day which turned out to be lovely.

The neighbor's family brought my jacket back tonight with mighty thanks for our coming upon their son, who has a broken leg.

Evening and dinner were spent with C and the Christmas tree in the "new" living room, listening to music, talking and relaxing.  Our event today sure turned our entire day around...not that I'd like to have that happen again soon!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Prince - Our Christmas Gift

Prince on November 3rd, the day after I brought him home: 

 Beaten up by his former owner's (fat and sleek) horses
Muddy and neglected

In a daze from lack of food
Prince on November 8th:
Starting to feel safe and mentally coming around

Always hungry

Always eating
Prince (and Bob) on December 18th:
Still always eating
Haunches and spine are now filled in.  Bites are healed.
Alert, happy and relaxed
I'll soon be preparing to ride Prince, starting with ground work.  When I swing my leg over his back you will be the first to know.  In the meantime this year my family and I are all grateful to have Prince in our family. 
Last spring we sadly said goodbye to The Goldens.  It's nice to see one out there once more...
Prince - Our Christmas Gift!


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Waiting Out Winter

When I reflect on the most asked question I've received from readers/family and friends in 2012 it has to be, "How is Bob?"

I will forever remember 2012 as the year of I can't ride/I can ride/I can't ride...Bob. 

I'm aware that this has been a source of frustration to many of my friends who, bless their hearts, have missed my companionship on horseback.  But there is nobody who has felt worse about the on-again/off-again reports than the woman who is writing this Post.

I'm not going to go back into the history of 2012 and the journey Bob and I have been through together.  It's all here in my Posts. 

I will pick up where we last left, with my new shoer coming to start the process of reconfiguring Bob's feet, shod in the past so long that they were a cause of his tripping/stumbling/falling.  And me anxiously awaiting his visit so that I could return to riding Bob.

My (new) shoer arrived and all went well.  But he was concerned about how long Bob's feet were.  He termed them "extremely long".  When I told him I hoped to start riding Bob lightly after this first visit he advised me to wait. 

He told me that it will take at least three trims before Bob's feet are where we can ride without issues.  That means the end of March; i.e., Spring. there I went again, thinking I was going to start riding Bob only to determine that isn't going to happen right away.

On the bright side, I'm not much of a cold weather rider these days since I need to invest in some winter riding gear. 

So I will wait out winter and look forward to riding Bob in the warmer spring weather!  In the meantime, I have Prince to think about (more on him in my next Post).

Monday, December 17, 2012

Horse People/House People

I've been missing.  Why?


I'm horse people.

I have never been house people.

While my girlfriends talk about what accent color to paint a wall, I'm thinking about what kind of saddle pad will look best on my horse.

Yes, I am Horse People, not House People.  Yet...

Right before Thanksgiving our daughter who has been living with us since she graduated from college raised an issue.  It was about the wallpaper in our house.

When we moved here seven (can it be that long?) years ago we KNEW we were moving into an outdated house.  But being Horse People, I looked OUTSIDE the windows.  Of course I knew the wallpaper was ugly but the rolling pastures outside the windows made up for it.

This year C put her foot down and challenged me about the wallpaper, specifically in our living room - looking pretty bad these days since Tuna started using it for a scratching post.

C said she'd give me her time and labor if I'd work beside her.  The goal?  Get it done before the holidays; (i.e., her annual Holiday Party).

I took her up on the challenge and early on the day after Thanksgiving:

This may look like paint but it is beige wallpaper, which asks the question why in the world didn't they just PAINT the walls beige instead of covering them?  The wallpaper extends inside the window frames of all five living room windows.  In this picture C is about to start the project - the steamer she used is on the table to the right (and was a great tool).

As she starts to remove the paper I start my part of the task.  My job was to pick up and bag all of the pieces she pulled down (ugh)!

This wall was fun (for me).  I got to rip the first layer and she removed the rest.  Unfortunately, my height was a bit of an issue...
Day Two sent us to the store to purchase paint.  That was kinda fun, getting to pick a color.  Once home C started the painting.  She did trim and I rolled.  We were quite the team.

On Day Three Husband arrived home from the cabin and helped us with spackling/patching.  But then...

My work crew disappeared, off to their 'real' weekly jobs, leaving me alone with a half finished room and loads of displaced stuff all over the house as well as a confused Tuna who couldn't figure out what happened to her scratching post.

What did I do the first morning after they returned to work?

Went into my Horse People mode, having a quiet morning cup of coffee and watching the horses (thru the fog) outside the living room window!  But truly, the week flew by and although I attempted to paint I found my part time job and horse care didn't leave me much time.
The following weekend dawned with All Hands on Deck and...
On week three we finished in time to get our tree and enjoy the room a few days before C's Holiday Party.
I will always remember the family that all pitched in and pulled together as one unit to bring out this room's beauty.
And although I may be Horse People, I'm thinking that maybe there just might be a little House People in me after all because I'm already thinking about the wallpaper in the family room.
Yet I revert back to Horse People quickly and easily.  My next post...some of you have been update on Bob and Prince.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

For the Love of A...

When I first saw it I froze.
It spoke out to me...
It WAS me!
Unlike any other, I wanted it badly...
Until I saw the price tag.
Too much for my budget...
And so I passed.
But each time I came back into the store...
For the last two years...
It has waited.
Calling out to me as soon as I come in the door...
And like a magnet I go directly to it.
I pick it up and hold it...
Always exclaiming to anybody nearby how much I love it.
And always checking the price tag...
Sadly, still too much for me.
I gently put it down.
Stroking it I tell it that maybe...
Someone will buy it for me.
Or I will come on my own and take it home.
Where it will be safe...
And loved.
I love you Buffalo Purse!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

You Are What You Eat

Two weeks tomorrow and Prince and Bob are the very best of buddies.  They eat and drink together (out of the same side of the feeder or stock tank). 

My husband says in the (very) early mornings when he goes to feed, he finds them standing together inside the loafing shed, side by side, brother's in arms.  Judging from their droppings, they apparently spend the night inside the shed where they are safe, dry and warm.

Prince is still 'coming back'.  I swear every time I check on that horse he's eating - and that's good.  Prince is making up for a lot of lost time because as good as the pictures look he's still undernourished and needs more weight.

I am having such fun watching and caring for Prince and Bob.  It's such a joy to have two horses at home again, especially two who are as close as these guys.  I feel as if our world which was turned upside down last December, is once again complete.  But...

There's a problem.

Prince was attacked by his former owner's stallion, which she let into the pasture with Prince and allowed to beat the "you-know-what" out of the poor horse.  (Nice person, huh?) 

The bites along his spine (not pictured here) are growing back hair (it's a miracle he wasn't paralyzed).  But this ugly bite on his left side, right where the saddle will ride, has been a challenge.  Every day I clean and medicate the bite.  Prince is a good patient and although we are making progress and the sore is becoming smaller, the progress has been slower than I expected. 

It's started to worry me.  I wondered if I should call the Vet.  No, I told myself - it's healing, it's just so s-l-o-w in healing.  I wondered if I should change my meds.  No, I tell myself - the meds are working but the bite was severe and it's going to take time. 

I trust my intuition.  It's going well but not going as well as it should.  And tonight I found out why when I finished doctoring Prince and placed him back in with Bob.

As I was closing the door to the hay stall I happened to turn around to see Bob turning from Prince's left side and licking/raising his nose and lips to the ceiling.  I went into the stall and sure enough the medication on Prince's wound was gone.  What was left was a very wet, licked area.

Now I know why the wound is taking so long to heal.  Bob is playing Doctor.  And unfortunately I must take immediate action to resolve the issue.  Tomorrow I will separate Bob and Prince until Prince's wound is closed up and no longer requires medication. 

Bob is NOT going to be a happy camper. But I guess nobody ever told him that you are what you eat...

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Prince - After 7 Days

In the last seven days Prince has truly changed from a Pauper to a Prince.  What a difference one week makes.  I just had to share!

November 3rd:
November 9th:



Thursday, November 8, 2012

An Update on Bob and Prince

First for Bob, who has been kinda out of the picture since we brought Prince home:

Bob is back to pasture life and doing well.  I'm getting better each time at giving him his Adequan shots.  I'm thinking those that told me to "just do it" vs grabbing some skin first are right.  We had a good Rodeo a few days ago on my shot #2 when I grabbed some skin first and tried to give him the shot.  Apparently Bob remembered my shot #1.

I ended up settling Bob down and then just sticking it in (and feeling bad about that betrayal of trust).  He jumped but not half as much as when I prepped him first.  It was finished in a few seconds and he had a juicy piece of apple in his mouth.  Then a good, long, relaxing grooming session and those blubbering sighs that I love told me all was well and he didn't hold a grudge.

As I recall the issues I've had with Bob's stumbling and shaking knees, I realize that they accelerated the longer I owned him.  I now believe that as time went by and Bob's toes continued to be trimmed longer and heals went lower that the stumbling and shaking increased.  I blame myself for not recognizing this earlier.

Bob's appointment with our new shoer is in early December.  Although I've been advised he can now be ridden, I'm going to wait until that date before I ride.  Currently his toes are still long and I can hear him overstep when he runs in the pasture.  I expect we'd be dealing with more stumbling which concerns me about compromising his legs.  I've spent considerable resources on bringing Bob back and I don't want to take any chances of jeopardizing the work we've done.

Prince is turning out to be just that, A Prince.  I admit to not being well versed at dealing with a horse in this condition.  I initially gave him access to some Senior Feed and the consequence was very loose poops.  I backed off of all food but grass hay and grazing, along with plenty of fresh/clean water and after a few days his digestive system straightened out.  I then wormed him with a "general wormer" which was recommended by my feed store for a horse in this condition.  All is well now.

We've had Prince for six days and believe we can already see him starting to fill out.  The dull look in his eye that matched his demeanor is now replaced with a bright eye and inquisitive personality.  (He has the most gorgeous golden eyes!)

Last night our (new) shoer trimmed up his feet and put on shoes.  Prince was quiet and cooperative, willingly picking up each foot.  Our shoer recommended that we feed him some alfalfa pellets to increase his weight and give him additional nutrients.  I will stop by the feed store and discuss with them after I finish this Post. 

My feed store has become a good resource for Prince.  He has a new comfy blanket for the winter chill that starts tonight.  I usually don't blanket my horses but considering that he's underweight I know I need to.  However, the bite on his side where the stallion bit him is nasty.  I've been cleaning it and putting Neosporin on it (something I've used in the past) and it's looking better but still raw.  I think open air is important for it so I'm concerned about putting the blanket over it.  That being said, with temps dropping into the 20's tonight, the blanket must go on.

I've decided to take a picture of Prince around the first of each month so that we can chart his way to being the strong, beautiful horse he once was.  He is exactly what I was looking for!  His quiet mind, good manners and friendly ways with both horses and humans are wonderful.  His background both as a lesson horse and on trails will be a real plus when the day comes to ride him.

That's gonna be a great day!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Peace in the Pasture

It has been decided.  His name shall be Prince.

In a little over 24 hours he has brought joy to us.

There is peace in the pasture.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A New Friend for Bob

It's been almost 24 hours since I brought Bob's new friend home.  Last night in pouring rain I left him tucked in the foaling stall with a good dinner and access to the paddock.  When I came into the house and got settled down I did something I don't usually do - I broke into tears over what I'd just experienced. 

The other horses living with my new horse had been fat and sleek as seals.  Yet my horse was a bag of bones with bloody bites on his side.  "The Stallion attacked him".

Obviously my new horse hadn't been given the attention that the other horses had and I can only figure out that being the x-boyfriends, he must have fallen out of favor.  How could someone hold a grudge against a horse?!!!  I cried for what this once beautiful horse had endured.  Then I dried my eyes, wrote yesterday's Post (and felt much better).

This morning was a new day.  I opened the barn door, a bit worried over what I might find.  I was happy to see the new guy pacing in the stall and ready for breakfast.  I fed, brushed him and went to check on Bob.

As for Bob, I just have to grin.  After being alone for 8 months, he is beside himself that he has a new friend.  The look of amazement on his face when the new guy stepped out of the trailer last night was both priceless and sad.  I'm so glad that he now has a friend.

I returned to the house to let the "boys" eat.  The first order of business was to call my shoer to have him come out and address the new guy's feet.  Then it was to name this new horse.  I refuse to use his former name.  His new life started last night and with it comes a new name.

I will need the blessing of my family but I'm thinking of naming him Prince.  Why Prince?  Because he comes across as Noble and went overnight from a Pauper to a Prince.

Meet (the still to be confirmed by my family) Prince:


As I write this both horses graze across a fence in separate pastures.  I will put them together in a few hours but still separate them at feeding time so that Prince can get the grain and supplements he will need for his road back to full recovery.

Welcome Home!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Just Watch!

Like my friends have urged me...

The questions to ask.

I wrote them up...

Re-reading and re-writing them before I left the house.

I did my homework well...

And read each of the questions comfortably as I stood there.

But I was appalled...

Observing out loud at what I was seeing.
And I low balled...

They said they didn't realize that the price had been listed that high.
(They WROTE the advertisement)

I left...

To immediately return.
Tonight there is an older, sweet, noble, wise, calm, gentle, truly been there/done that...

Undernourished to the point of starving...

Beaten up with open sores...

Registered AQHA Palomino Gelding....

Safe in our barn.

There are those who will think I am crazy.

I don't care...

I know what I was looking for and I found it.
And I will tell them...
Just watch!

Word Verification - Ugh!!!

Ugh!  So many good Posts coming out of my Follower's Blog but for the last two days I haven't been able to leave comments on Blogs where word verification is turned on.  Each time I enter the letters (and I've confirmed numerous times that they are correct), I get an error saying they are incorrect.

Very frustrating.  :(

I've emailed about the issue but am not sure what type of response I'll get back (if any).

Anybody else out there having/had this issue?

My word verification is turned off.  You might want to also consider doing the same.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Home Sweet Home

After being boarded at the barn for six days on stall rest as a result of having knees injections, I brought Bob home today.

It was a real treat to board Bob at the barn.  The accommodations at Back Forte, where I've ridden or boarded for so many years are wonderful.  Above is a picture of Champ, who we boarded at the barn for many years.  He's the one who motivated me learn to ride 'correctly' and start my 50+ Blog years ago. 

But as much as I enjoyed having Bob at the barn and hanging with my old pals, I soon realized that I missed having my horse with me at home.  I found I didn't like having to drive up to the barn each day vs wanting to haul up or drop by to visit.  This is quite a revelation because I had always planned on boarding in the future.  Now I'm thinking differently.

As for Bob, he was fed up with stall life and becoming a real pain.  When I got him home he was out of sorts, calling out to the friends he left behind.

Yet, as I knew would happen, he settled down after a few hours and as I write this he's dozing in the sun.  Bob will wear bell boots to prevent overstepping and pulling off his front shoes/pads until I'm advised otherwise. 

The paddock will be his home for the next four days. 

After that Bob's free to return to the pastures where he can stand on his hill watching the buffalo and cattle below.

Home Sweet Home.  It's good to have my horse home!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Note to Those on the East Coast

Sending my prayers and thoughts to you on the East Coast and hoping you, your families and animals are safe from the upcoming storm.  Please check in when you can.