The Iron Paint Goes Down

Be forewarned…profanity ahead…don’t say I didn’t warn you, ‘kay?

I call my Girl many things…she’s Cookie, she’s a Miserable Cow, she’s my Dork, my sweet chicken livered Dolly, my Heart Horse…she’s also my Iron Paint. By that I mean, she has never been sick, hooves aside, she’s always healthy, and I can count the number of injuries (not bug related) I’ve had to treat on her on exactly 1 finger…
She is as low maintenance, health wise, that a horse can be.

Early yesterday morning I went out with the camera to take some shots of her lying (and rolling) in the grass. I get great shots in the morning light of the Girls, and figured this was another chance to showcase my Sweetie’s beauty.

Iron Paint1
Iron Paint2
Iron Paint3
Iron Paint4
Iron Paint5
Iron Paint6
The whole time I took these, I was sure I was photographing a happy (aside from bugs) horse. Turns out, I was wrong. Very wrong.

I had to go back up to the house to get Daphne out of the cats food, and went in to grab a coffee. When I looked out the front window, I saw not only was Cookie down again, in a different spot, but she was rolling again. Odd.
Out I went to check on her…and then, I saw the droopy donkey ears, the tense looking belly, the all-over sheen of sweat and oh my…the Elvis lip.
Shit…oh motherfucking shit.
My heart hit the ground, because I knew…I just fucking knew, what I was dealing with. And, it scared me to the ends of the Earth.
That one thing that new mothers and horse owners fear at all times…

Colic

Fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck…

First stop, call the vet, because a. it’s Cookie, and um, I don’t know how to get her through and b. rolling. Oh, Goddess, rolling.
Rolling is bad.
Really, really, really bad.
It twists guts, which can lead to death.
Vet was busy, but would be on his way ASAP, and, in the meantime, I did what I do with Sable. I deal with this with Sable far more often than I like, but, at least I know what to do with her. So, transfer those skills to the Madam…

Lead rope on her was a bust…she turned into a psycho horse. Rearing, bucking, cantering around me in circles, trying to run over me…okay, lead rope off, because stressing her more wasn’t going to work. And down she goes…into her back I went, knee braced into her withers, talking the whole time…and I start the back rub that always helps Sable. At this point, I’m not hearing her guts working…this is so fucking bad…but I’m hoping it’s because my stethoscope is shit (note to self, spend the $$$ on a good stethoscope!), not because there really is no gut sounds…

When I say gut sounds, I mean, at any given time, you should be able to hear a horse’s digestive system working. Much like we have growly tummies when we’re hungry, that’s what a good working gut sounds like. It’s not because they’re hungry, it’s because their digestive system is working on the food they ate.

No sounds means things are not working…now, it could be a gas bubble holding things up. If that was the case, what I was doing could help stimulate things enough to shift it and move things along. Or, worse…so much fucking worse, it could be an impaction.
A blockage.
The thought scared me, because that’s a guaranteed vet visit and not a guaranteed recovery.

But I wasn’t going to dwell on that thought, because, like I kept telling her…she was going to be okay. Mama said so, and when Mama says you’re going to be okay, you’re just going to be okay. No choice.
We spent the next couple hours with her getting up, turning around, and laying back down…I rubbed her back (palms along her spine, my whole weight bearing down on her), and pushing the pressure point in her mouth. The pain was easing, I knew, because her nostrils weren’t flaring as bad, ears were not as droopy…but she was still hurting.
The vet made it out, she was still down, he listened to her stomach and found he could hear her gut working.
Thank Goddess!!!
Stupid shit stethoscope.
He gave her a shot of banamine, and with discussion and a stern admonition to call him ASAP if anything changed for the worse, he went onto his next call.

During the next couple hours, things were more of the same…she managed to get herself cast against a straw bale, where the Kid and I had to roll her by hand…oh, and stupid fucking idiot at one point lay too close to the white fence, rolled, and got a back leg caught in the fence. I thought she was going to break her leg…the last thing I ever want to have to do is shoot my horse because she broke her leg. Holy shit did I yell at her when she managed to untangle herself and get up. Stupid, stupid horse.
Thankfully, all she has is a scrape on her inner thigh from the fence. Idiot. She has no idea how lucky she is…

Finally, the Kid and I got her settled down over by the shelter. She layed down again, but without trying to roll. So, we let her. She was exhausted, and it wasn’t long before she was flat-out, asleep. In a moment of sheer stupidity (because I can’t get out of her way fast enough if she goes to roll or get up), I sat down next to her, and rubbed her ears. All I could think was “I know one day you’re going to break my heart. Today. Is. Not. That. Day.”
I laid on her side, listening, hoping I could hear those magical, beautiful sounds, and I swear, the first growly sounds I heard, I burst into tears…and then…the tail lifted and out came this teeny tiny tootling.
Oh. My. God(dess).
Nothing has ever smelled so horrible, and yet so wonderful!

By this time, Ruby and Astrid had gone past us, into the shelter. My Girl decided enough of this outside shit, she was getting up and going inside! She heaved herself up, and walked straight into that shelter, with a tail swish that just dared me to try to stop her. She pushed in between Ruby and Astrid and stood there…at one point she tried to go down, but Ruby bit her. There’s not enough room for her to lie down, with anyone else in there, and Ruby was not leaving. The message was clear…”Stand or get out!”

That’s when I looked at the Kid and said “I need a coffee…let’s go have coffee.”

From there we went to checks every half hour, updating everyone who needed it as we went. By 3ish, I was cautiously optimistic that she was through the worst of it. By the time Hubby got home after 5, she was out in the pasture with everyone else, nibbling and being herself…a tired, far more cranky version of herself, but herself.
And finally, the jackpot…that beautiful tail came up and out came the manure…
While I sat on the deck, with my coffee, covered in mud and shit and blood from slapping horseflies off her, thanking every single Deity I believe in for not taking her from me.

Such a beautiful picture...if I can ignore the fact that she's colicking.

Such a beautiful picture…if I can ignore the fact that she’s colicking.

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A Little Bit of Catching Up…

In the time since we last saw each other much has happened here on the Farm.

We got chickens…yup, 20 ex-battery hens. One of the local farming FB groups had an ad for these girls, cheap, at a year old. So, since I’ve been wanting chickens for eggs, I figured we could take a chance on some older girls who needed a soft landing.
June 4th, my Henny Pennys came home.
They’ll stay with us for a year or so. Next spring I’ll get replacement chicks and then these ladies will go to the soup pot.
While that may seem cruel, to soup pot them, their life between now and then is radically different from what they knew in the barns. There is a much higher quality of life for them here…a yard, grass, bugs to eat, space to roam…they’ll have it made here, until soup time. Because, not all animals that come to live here are pets.
It is a part of Farm life.
Here’s some pictures of them…

Ihop, the day she came home.

Ihop, the day she came home.

We named her Ihop because she had a bit of a limp when she came home. Whether that came from being squished under her crate mates in travel, or it happened before we got her, I don’t know. But, she was happy to come out of the crate, and just soak up her surroundings.

Ihop June 23rd, 2016

Ihop
June 23rd, 2016

This was Ihop yesterday. It’s become harder to take her picture, because she follows me around the chicken yard…and because her limp is almost gone, so it’s harder to distinguish her from the others. Hubby says I should band her leg, so we can keep track of her. She’s the only one I might consider keeping as a pet, come next spring. 😉

The hennys are fascinated with my crocs too. They’ll follow me around to peck at them, and if I stand still for a minute or two, I’ll have 5 or 6 hens checking out my shoes.

Chicken Croc
Chicken Croc2
Fascinating things to chickens, apparently. I told Hubby it’s a good thing I’m not afraid of birds, or them chasing me to peck my shoes might freak me out. lol!

Hubby is pretty interesting to the hennys too!

Hubby is pretty interesting to the hennys too!

Random henny enjoying the grass and weeds.

Random henny enjoying the grass and weeds.

Looking much better after 3 weeks. :)

Looking much better after 3 weeks. 🙂

Piggies have been growing well too…Farm friends came out to see them, and I learned that I have 3 females. Who knew?? Not me! I was going by what I was told when I picked them up, that I had 2 boys and 2 girls. I never did have a chance to see what sex the one was that we lost to heat exhaustion…it was swarmed by the Marauding Hoarde and disappeared in pretty short order.
Now, the girls like to dig and root and lie around in the mid day sun having a siesta…

Sleepy piggies...

Sleepy piggies…

When they’re sleeping like that, and I want pictures, I have to sneak up on them, and shoot fast. They all know who the Food Lady is and don’t stay sleeping long when they hear me coming. Might be some sorta yummy I’m bringing them, y’know. 😉

The past 3 weeks have also seen us doing a whole lot of porch sitting. After the work is done, of course.
With porch sitting, come the felines. They are all for me sitting and having coffee outside with them. They also like to knock my cup down so they can have some. *sigh*
But, this also brings photo ops.

Ghost

Ghost~Oh those eyes!!

This is clowder sire Ghost…or Ghostie Toastie as I like to call him.
He’s been relaxing more and more on the deck…it’s where the food is, so he wants to be near by. But, he also sits and listens to me talk to him. I’ve managed to touch him a few times, but that scares the cat pants off him. Poor guy. I’m sure he’s baffled by the friendliness the others show the humans.
We’ve been working on getting everyone fixed, and I’d love to get my hands on him and get him done. I know once all the girls are spayed, he’s likely to move on though. We’ll see if I can get him into the trap…he’s such a sweet boy with all the kittens, I’d hate to lose him…not to mention, he’s one hell of a hunter. He’s taken on geese and won. That’s no small feat! So yeah, rodents for him are easy peasy hunting. 😉 A hunter like that is a valuable Farm asset…one I’m hoping to keep.

Felix

Felix~he got Daddy’s eye colour!

Of course in a round of feline photography, there is a picture of Felix. He’s so photogenic, I have to take his picture. My handsome boy. ❤

Trouble

Trouble

Oh how this boy has lived up to his name this Spring!
He’s been trying to learn from Daddy Ghost how to hunt geese…let me tell you, when a cat doesn’t have the experience to do it, they come home with holes in their bodies.
*sigh*
That means wound care, a trip to the vet (unless he’s in the area, then he stops in) and days of raw honey treatments.
4 holes in this guy so far this spring…hopefully he’s learned by now!
Everything has healed up just fine though, and he’s darn near 100%.

GreyCat

GreyCat

Look at that smile! She was lying there watching Daphne play with her ball. GreyCat loves Daphne…not in the same hissing and smacking way Max loves her, but in the “roll on her, rub on her, lick her face” kinda way.

MaxCat <3

MaxCat ❤ My big sweet grumble puss.

And Daphne?

Wet Puppy

Wet Puppy

Daphne likes to play in the water…so much so that she’s still swimming in the troughs, chasing the hose, and flopping down in every stink puddle she can find.
I know there’s German shepherd in there, but there’s also some insane water dog breed inside that body too. Give that dog a ChuckIt! ball and a pool and you have the happiest dog on the planet.

Finally, a couple of shots of the Girls…

Astrid, looking so beautiful in the morning sun.

Astrid, looking so beautiful in the morning sun.

Sable decided to wash Astrid...

Sable decided to wash Astrid…

Cookie chewing the mud out of her feathers.

Cookie chewing the mud out of her feathers.

Oh, and one last shot before I wrap this up…
This guy…

HeronCame waltzing down my driveway, looking like he owned the place.
I snapped this shot, not knowing what kind of bird it was. Hubby tells me it’s a heron.
Alright then.
🙂

Friday’s…Nope…Saturday’s Hunt

So it’s been a while since I’ve managed to get a post up for Friday’s Hunt hosted by Teresa at Eden Hills.
It’s been a busy time here at the Farm, and um, well, I’ve been a bit lazy about blogging…which I’m sure y’all have noticed. 😛
But, I’m hoping Teresa will continue on after this round of the alphabet to another one, and I’ll try to keep up. No promises…but, I’ll try.

This week’s prompts are Starts with W, Week’s Favorite, and Rough.

I can do this all in one image…

It was a rough start to the week (starts with w) when I shared this image, and it was stolen (from my personal FB page!)by a yoga blogger who used it as the header on her blog…it is also my favorite image this week, because it’s taken me 2 years to catch her in this position…

Cookie doing her morning yoga stretches. <3

Cookie doing her morning yoga stretches. ❤

There was a bunch of emailing, a lot of swearing, a few tears, but in the end, it worked out, and her blog was shut down.
That wasn’t my end goal, I just wanted her to remove my picture, but it’s what was done.

Some other pictures from the week:

"Mom, my tummy is upset" ~Sable

“Mom, my tummy is upset”
~Sable

We came home last Saturday to find Sable had an upset tummy. 😦
Normally that means her and I go for a looooong walk. Until she poops. Then, 99.9% of the time, she’s fine.
Can you tell I know her pattern?
Thank goodness!
This time, she didn’t want to walk, she wanted to lie down.
Y’know, I don’t care what anyone says, when 1400lbs(ish) wants to lay down, no human is stopping them. She wasn’t trying to roll, she was just clearly exhausted. So, I let her lay…and gave her a back rub.

About 10 minutes in, Astrid came and stood beside us. As much as I wanted to shoo her off (um, hello woman in the middle of a horsie sandwich…all I could think was “please don’t spook and kill me!” and “C’mon Bella, please poop!”) she just seemed to want to be close to her pal. At one point, she rested her chin on my back, while I was massaging Sable.
Finally, the tail came up, the fart and the poop came out.
Almost immediately, she was ready to get up, and wandered off.
Yes, this is normal for her. 🙂

Later on, after her tummy was better, grazing with Astrid.

Later on, after her tummy was better, grazing with Astrid.

And then, after my last post, giving Ruby a hard time about her, um, lack of grace, the next morning, I caught this…

"Screw you Mama. I **am** graceful and beautiful." ~Ruby

“Screw you Mama. I **am** graceful and beautiful.”
~Ruby

Of course she’s (not always) graceful and (always) beautiful…she’s our Unicorn in Disguise. 🙂

At the same time, my Girl showed me her cute and cuddly side…if cute and cuddly was the equivalent of “Piss off! I’m sleeping here!”

Oooooh!! The mare stare!

Oooooh!! The mare stare!

Finally, my two sweethearts…never far from each other, and when one is flat, the other stands guard.

Best friends

❤ Best friends ❤

Not-So-Graceful Ruby

Most time when we look at horses, we think of these amazingly beautiful, graceful beings…like this:

Trotting RubyFlying across the ground, looking like some magical creature out of a Dream.

Well, when you live with horses for a while, you begin to see that’s not always true. Like this…

Aww, see, when she's lying down she's all pretty and magical looking...

Aww, see, when she’s lying down she’s all pretty and magical looking…

But then...

But then…

That face!! Hahaha!!

That face!!
Hahaha!!

Uh, what happened to my pretty, graceful horse?!?

Uh, what happened to my pretty, graceful horse?!?

Oops! Slipped! (it's okay, she didn't hurt herself. I checked. ;) )

Oops! Slipped!
(it’s okay, she didn’t hurt herself. I checked. 😉 )

"I meant to do that, y'know." ~Ruby

“I meant to do that, y’know.”
~Ruby