Oh My Gosh

Let me tell you about my week, last week!

Since the weather is cooling, the Girls have been getting fuzzy, and I’m constantly adjusting their beet pulp/flax rations. Horses can have delicate digestive systems, so changes have to be made slow and steady…that’s the norm. We all know one or two horses, though, that have iron stomachs and can handle any change, any time.
My Cookie used to be like that.
Not so much anymore. Especially not since she had her colic incident a few months back…be warned, if you go read that, the language is salty. If cursing offends you, well, just trust me when I say Cookie colicking is something to worry about, ‘kay?

Now, I watch her and her tummy as close as I watch Sable.
Sable colics so easily! I am very lucky that, so far (knock on wood, and thanks to all deities I believe in), she hasn’t had an episode I couldn’t handle.

Last week, I noticed Cookie wasn’t quite herself. Not colicking, but she was off. Which sounds silly, but ask any horse owner. We know when our hoofed kids are off, and you watch them, because you never know what could happen.
So, as she layed down in the pasture, I figured it was a good time for a back rub. Well, she sure enjoyed that! After a while (I can’t tell time and rub pony backs at the same time! 😛 ) she decided she’d had enough, got up, walked away and dropped a pile of manure.
I left her alone after that.

Later on though, after she had her beet pulp (which had, for about 2 weeks, included 1 cup of oats. Just plain oats we get from the Farmer down the road from us) she was off again…so I said to Hubby, I was going pull her off the oats (slowly) and increase her flax. Last winter, when I increased her flax, her whole demeanor changed. With age, and the cold, her body clearly needed something more. Spring came, and she stopped finishing her bucket until I reduced the flax. She was telling me that there was too much for what her body needed. Horses are pretty darn amazing creatures, if we just listen to them!

So, I pulled her off the oats, and I saw improvement. But, not 100%. Again, it’s not that she was showing anything more than just being a little off. If I wasn’t here all the time, I probably wouldn’t have noticed anything different. I would have chalked things up to mare-ish mood swings.
Next step was adding probiotics to her diet.
Easiest, and most economical, way to do that is with yogurt. I make a gallon of yogurt a week, give her 1/2 a cup in her beet pulp-because shooting it into her mouth like dewormer was not a good time to be had by either one of us!-and there’s enough for me to enjoy too. 🙂
LOL! Yeah, I started out trying to give it to her like when we deworm them. Hahahaha!! Oh, that was stupid!
1200lbs of cranky assed mare, and then, once I got it in her mouth she changed, and decided that “Hey! That was good! I want more!” and got super pushy trying *get more*.
Into the beet pulp went the next day’s dosage.

Then, just as I was getting that figured out, our Girl Astrid came in for beet pulp with a large amount of burrs in her forelock. Thinking nothing of it while she ate, I worked on getting them out of her hair.
As it turns out, if it’s windy while pulling burrs out, one should always be aware/careful about the job.
Taking a piece of burr to the eye is a painful, unpleasant, nasty bit of business. It will, quite seriously, mess up your day…or, week, in my case.
At first, I thought, since it was dusty too, that a piece of dirt had got me. Nope, as I rubbed to get the dirt out (yes, stupid, stupid, stupid, I know), I realized that was no dirt!

That was Tuesday, and I finally was able to see properly (and without my eye itching) yesterday.
I had to rinse my eye (not fun ever), alternate between ice packs for the swelling and chamomile tea bags to promote healing, and so much Reactine and Excedrin!
It was not fun.
Add to that I felt awfully stupid for having it happen, because people pull burrs from their horses all the time right? No one ever talks about getting the stupid things in their eye…so there, *I’m* talking about it, because damn, it hurts! And, if it hurts a human, imagine what it would feel like to an equine who got a bit in their eye. 😦

Now I’m a week behind in work, and it’s taken this long to update y’all here, plus (and this is the worst of it 😛 ) I spent a whole week without being able to take pictures. Can’t do it, if you can’t see your subject! That’s why this post is so much words…so very many words. Instead of the pictures y’all are used to.
I do have a couple for you though, from pre-burr-to-the-eye times…

This is actually from the first day I noticed she wasn't quite herself...

This is actually from the first day I noticed she wasn’t quite herself…

The next morning, as the sun came up, I saw this…

Awwww!  She's just plain perfect. <3

Awwww!
She’s just plain perfect. ❤

Hopefully, this week I’ll have camera in hand again. In fact, I have to!
Our meat chickens, the Peepers, are going to Freezer Camp this week, and I want to photograph it. Not to be gruesome, but because I have always believed that knowing what goes into you food hitting your plate is important.
There will be a blog post.
I will put pictures under a “Read More” tag…just so the folks with queasy tummies won’t have it all out there in their faces.
I will, however, encourage you to look at the images. Especially if you eat meat.
I can guarantee the Peepers have had a good life. Lots of food, including wandering about for bugs and such, fresh water several times a day, shelter at night but wandering the chicken yard during the day, and tootling their chicken sounds at me every chance they get. Their life has been good, as it should be for every animal that is raised to become food.
I look forward to sharing this with you, our journey from chicks to chickens in the freezer.
🙂
Happy Food Tastes Better.

Double Double

I missed last week’s Friday’s Hunt hosted by Teresa at Eden Hills.
Since I have resolved to make a valiant effort to do the post every week, I feel I must do a double post this week…starting with last week’s prompts…Starts with D, Week’s Favorite, and Summer or Winter.

Starts with D

How about a dog named Daphne with a jolly ball? A very nearly destroyed jolly ball?

Daphne and the Jolly BallPuppy sure does love beating on that thing!

Week’s Favorite

Taken a week ago, but I didn’t get to editing it until this morning…

Hubby meeting a friend's Gotland pony, named Huck.

Hubby meeting a friend’s Gotland pony, named Huck.

It’s the first in a series of 6, where brave Sir Huck met Hubby, and tried to decide whether or not this new Human in his pasture was a threat or not…it took a bit, but Huck did decide it was alright for Hubby to be there…after all, his trusted Humans brought this new one to meet him, so he must be okay. 🙂

Summer or Winter

Ruby would like everyone to know, she has dropped her winter weight and is now in her fine, sleek summer body…which truth be told, isn’t that much slimmer than her winter one, but we cannot bruise her delicate equine ego, now can we? 😉

Ruby's Summer Weight 2016

“I’m not fat, it’s the angle Mom took my picture.” ~ Ruby

And now, this week’s prompts…
Starts with E, Week’s Favorite and Bounce.

Starts with E

E is for “Egads Woman!! What the hell did you do to your hand?!?”

I haz a boo-boo.

I haz a boo-boo.

I did that Wednesday afternoon…quite by accident!
I was honing the edge on the scythe, took my eyes off the blade for a millisecond, and sliced myself.
So, the math is this…Razor Sharp Steel + Inattention = OMG!!! Owwww!! (plus some other choice words, and a steady stream of blood) I bled on the deck, the scythe, the honing stone, all the way to the bathroom, and under cold water…
I took the above picture today. It looks much better.
I have been treating it just like I treat an injury on Sable…cold hosing and raw honey. 🙂
If it’s good enough for my Bella, it’s good enough for me.

Week’s Favorite

From last night, while we were BBQing…

Awww! They are the cutest kitties ever!

Awww! They are the cutest kitties ever!

Hot, tired, half sisters Xena and GreyCat having a snuggle. So adorable! ❤

Bounce

Okay, I don’t have bouncing animals, like our host 😉 so I really had to think about this one. lol
Finally, I settled on the bounce of the hammer off of red-hot steel.

Forge2 wmI’m still working on editing the forge images, but as I work on them, I’ll share more. I love the slag flying off the steel after the hit!

My Hubby so needs to get his forge built, so I can do night time shoots!

Bubble Wrap Bella

Her name is Sable.
I often call her Bella…because she is beautiful.
Or Bellissima…because she is very beautiful.

Sometimes, I think she got all the beauty, and none of the brains. Most times, I know that’s not true. She’s a smart Girl too, but she definitely does some stupid things.

For example…we had some winter blowing snow this past weekend. Hard snow drifts that horses can walk on formed. Sunday saw us out trying to clear away some of those drifts-at least, the ones in the pasture.
Before Hubby could get the drift beside the trough done, this happened…

Uh, Sable?  Whatcha doin'?

Uh, Sable?
Whatcha doin’?

Yup, that’s her with her front hooves in the trough. Now, to be fair, the drift has her butt up nearly 2 feet higher, so stepping *into* the trough was easy peasy for her.

Sable?

Sable?

Uh, Hello!?!

Uh, Hello!?!

I know she’s listening to me ask her what the h*** she thinks she’s doing. Her ears are towards me…she’s just too busy shoveling food in to care what I’m saying.

Bubble Wrap Bella4

Great…now we have Grey helping.

And, to make things more fun, we need a cat in there too! Because why not, right?

*sigh* Some people's horses.

*sigh* Some people’s horses.

Yeah, she’s The Kid’s horse…so, The Kid came and helped Sable get out of her predicament. Though Sable didn’t see what the problem was.
Well, the problem was, of course, should one of The Paints decide to come up behind her in a fit of a “Get the H*** out of my way!!” moment, she cannot move out of there fast enough without hurting herself. Frankly, this is a broken leg waiting to happen.

So, The Kid backed her up to the edge of the trough, and then asked for her hoof. Once she gave The Kid her hoof, Kid lifted her hoof and leg up high enough that with a very gentle twist, she was able to get the hoof out and onto the snow. Then we just kept asking Sable to back up and she heaved herself out of the trough. As always, my big fear was that she’d slip and go down. Thankfully, it went flawlessly, and The Kid got her big goofy blonde out of harm’s way.

Which meant Hubby could finish cleaning the drift out and there was no more chance for Sable to step back into the trough.

As a reward, Sable got a couple apple treats and the jolly ball to play with and run from.

❤ Bella ❤

U is for Unusual

Have I ever mentioned how odd our dog, Daphne, is? How she has a love for unusual toys?
No?
Well, here’s some photos to prove it…The Kid was pulling out the corn stalks from the garden, and Daphne kept stealing them out of the compost. I guess in her daffy doggie mind they were sticks…tasty sticks, because what dog doesn’t like corn?
It led to full-scale Kid/Puppy playful warfare, as Daphne kept stealing, Kid started chasing her with them, and then there was the beatings…yep, The Kid beat the dog with corn stalks.

There was no harm done to anyone, or anything in the taking of these photos…okay, well the corn stalks didn’t fare too well. 😉

"My corn stick!"

“My corn stick!”

"Gimme!"

“Gimme!”

"I. Want. My. Corn. STICK!!"

“I. Want. My. Corn. STICK!!”

"CORN STICK!!"

“CORN STICK!!”

"Ha! Ima get it now!"

“Ha! Ima get it now!”

"Mine! Mine! Mine!"

“Mine! Mine! Mine!”

"Grrrrr!! Die, corn stick, DIE!"

“Grrrrr!! Die, corn stick, DIE!”

U is for Unusual…my unusual dog, and her unusual toys.

Sharing with Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe-Thursday.

N is for Not Giving Up

It’s our farm motto.

“Never Give Up”

Good thing too, because it’s been one hell of a week.
Not quite ready to post about it. That’ll come in time…suffice it to say, we’re holding hard and fast to the farm motto these days. Some days, it all one can do.

Blue Cookie

N is for Never giving up.

Sharing with Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe-Thursday.

Astrid Got a BooBoo

"I scraped my forehead, and Mom made me stand still whiel she washed the booboo and then she put this pink icky stuff on to help it heal and keep the flies off. Then she gave me nummies and told me I'm her Good Little Girl."

“I scraped my forehead, and Mom made me stand still while she washed the boo boo. I stood nice, even though I wanted to go play, because Mom rubs my back to help me relax (I really like that!), and she said I wouldn’t have to stand too long…then she put this pink icky stuff on to help it heal and keep the flies off. Then she gave me nummies and told me I’m her Good Little Girl.”

Sharing with Wordless Wednesday at Crafty Spices, Create With Joy, and Blog Paws.

Back Again!

Well now, I did it again, didn’t I?
🙂
It’s been a hectic time, since I posted last…

~ I went off coffee for 7 days. Yup, 100% off all caffeine. I have pictures to show you why.
~ Our Blonde Girl had a colic day. Not a good time for anyone. More coming about that in a bit.
~ I cut 75% of the waist-high (and growing) grass. I really want to get a farm gate built across our driveway, so I can let the Girls out to graze. Instead of having to use a lawnmower for grass control. We’d have that done already, if it wasn’t for the rain. Every weekend. It’s getting a bit ridiculous. But, we’ll get it done, as soon as we can.

First up, some pictures to share…for Mother’s Day, The Kid bought me a geranium plant. Her school has a greenhouse (I know!!) that sells plants to students and is self-sustaining. How freakin’ cool is that?!?

Anyways, this plant has decided to flower. It was really neat watching it progress, and we all know, there’s a photo shoot in everything. 🙂

This is how the flowering started...

This is how the flowering started…

I thought this was fascinating...

I thought this was fascinating…

Geranium3

Of course, this called for a few macro shots…this is the best one.

This is how it looked when all the flowers opened.

This is how it looked when all the flowers opened.

Now it’s sitting in my kitchen window, new leaves are forming, and in the very center, it looks like another flower stem is coming too.

Next up, Sable.

Kid has been working on ground work with her. Lunging, reminding her of personal space, walking on the halter…all basics that need to be worked, reworked, and reinforced from time to time. It’s good for The Kid, and good for Sable. Consistency is always key, to keeping a well-trained horse well-trained.

Walking a circle on the lunge line.

Walking a circle on the lunge line.

Sable’s biggest problem with working on the lunge line is she’s a pocket pony. She wants to always be beside her human. That’s fine, when she’s given permission to be there, but, not fine, when she’s supposed to stay outside the human personal space. It’s a challenge, sometimes, to remind her of personal space, but it’s 100% necessary. She’s roughly 1200lbs, she has to respect human personal space. I know this is sounding kinda cold and mean, but it’s not. We love her dearly, but, if we say “Back out of my space” it has to be done. We are the leaders, and she has to trust and respect us enough to follow us, no matter what. That’s part of what makes a well-trained horse well-trained.

In this picture, she’s doing very well…she has her ear towards The Kid, and her eye is on her too, watching for cues. The lunge line isn’t tight, but it’s not dragging either.

I also like to include desensitizing in any working session. Mostly because with Cookie, there is a lot of desensitizing that needs doing, but, I also like to do it with all 4 of the Girls. Here’s an example of desensitizing with Sable…

Oh, you want me to wear your hat?

Oh, you want me to wear your hat?

I can’t do this with Cookie.

1. Hats are scary.
2. Hats might kill her and eat her.
3. Hats are scary.
However, seeing Sable (and Astrid) wearing them, Cookie is now willing to sniff my hat. Helps that it smells like me, but there isn’t the instant “Oh shit!! Run!!” reaction all the time now. I have even managed to oil Cookie’s hooves while wearing my hat.

So, even when it looks like the desensitizing is only being done on one horse, trust me, the other 3 are watching and learning that what I’m doing isn’t scary. Cameras used to be terrifying to paints. Now, they both come to see it, and pose. It all comes in time, with patience. 🙂

Now, for the colic episode…

The day after ^^^^ that session, Kid worked with Sable again. She groomed, tacked, fly sprayed, and with the final girth tightening(always do it in stages, never tight all at once. It’s hard on the horse.), Sable’s mood went downhill fast. She groaned and grumbled, and wouldn’t stand still. She pawed with her front hoof, and danced. All stuff that’s out of character for her. I thought, perhaps she was grumpy due to weather, and didn’t want to work. I was wrong. I told Kid to walk her for a bit, and see how she was. Kid walked her about 30 feet away and Sable went down. She just folded her legs and laid right down, saddle and all.

Yikes!!!

Out of character, and no good! If she rolled, she’d destroy the saddle, and hurt herself. I had Astrid haltered and tied, because I was grooming and fly spraying her, so I just unclipped Little Girl’s halter, sent her off and ran over to The Kid and Sable. I pushed and rocked Big Girl, while Kid undid the girth and got the saddle off. Sable made no move to get up. Just heaved a huge sigh. So, we pushed and yelled, and smacked her over and over to get her up. I’m sure anyone driving by would have thought we were beating her. Nope, just had to get her up. Again, 1200lbs. We needed her to trust, and respect us, enough to do as we said…and that was “Get the eff up!!”

Finally, she heaved herself up, and stood with her head low, cranky llama ears showing.

Oh oh.

That means upset tummy. So, bridle off, halter on, Kid starts moving her, and I’m hitting pressure points. In her mouth, the BL25 and BL27 on her back/rump. When I hit the one in her mouth, she let some gas out…Great sign! Not a big fart, but a small one. It’s great because then, I know, it’s not impaction colic <—-that means a blockage, and oh that’s bad!

So, with a fart, I know, we’re dealing with flatulent, or spasmodic colic. Once the fart happened, I got The Kid to walk her continuous, while I went and called the vet. While I had him on the line, explaining the situation, Sable pooped.

Yay!!

See, owning horses is so glamorous, we celebrate farts and poop. LOL! Really, we do. 😉

The vet advised to continue walking, and monitor. If she showed no sign of improvement, call him back and he’ll head out. I love this vet team…he says “If I don’t hear from you, I know your mare is fine.”

And it’s true…she was. We walked her for the half hour, I hit the pressure points repeatedly. By the time the half hour was up, Sable knew exactly what I was doing in her mouth, and she would raise her top lip for my thumb to go in, and step into the pressure. Finally, we got the longest, loudest, stinkiest fart out of her. Yegawds, it was nasty, but the most amazing thing I had heard, and smelled, all day. Shortly after, she dropped another, much larger, pile of manure. Then, it was like a switch had flipped and she was fine. We walked her around the pasture to where the other 3 had gone, I rubbed her back, her legs, and her tummy a bit, and when she dozed off under my hands, we knew, she was going to be just fine. Kid popped her halter off, and we just let her doze, breathing a huge sigh of relief.

Any idea how badly I wanted to go in and have a pot of coffee?!? LOL!
Wasn’t an option…and now, I’ll show you why. First, the inspirational image..

Princess Cookie 20%This was taken Boxing Day, just over a month after they came Home. Heck, Ruby still has burrs in her forelock!

^^^That picture was transformed into this…

cookie tattoo

Fresh, just finished.

And why I couldn’t have caffeine for a week. This was done on the 11th, so I had to quit caffeine a week prior…I bleed and swell like mad, making the work go so much slower. Frustrating for me, because it’s more painful, and frustrating for the artist because she can’t work as long on me.

In case anyone is interested, the artist we (Hubby and I) choose to work on us, is the amazing, wonderful and insanely talented, Ivy Gowen, of Metamorphosis.

This picture is from earlier this morning…

Starting the ugly phase of healing..I'm so, so happy with it. Squee! I can't wait 'til it's healed!

Starting the ugly phase of healing..I’m so, so happy with it. Squee! I can’t wait ’til it’s healed!

Finally, to end this post, I have a fun picture for you…

When your back is itchy, roll and roll and roll and roll.

When your back is itchy, roll and roll and roll and roll. 🙂

The great thing, when I look at this, is I see the cracks in her hooves are growing out. When she came home, they were right up to the coronet, and now, they are not. Tells me, I’m doing something right, with this big goof’s care. Having a super patient, and awesome, hoof trimmer helps. A. Lot!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The plan now, is to get back into posting as much as possible. I apologize for the long times in between. Life happens, and sometimes, all we can do is deal. Well, I’m going to be more diligent in sharing our life with all y’all.

Besides, this is post # 97, and at #100, the farm logo will be revealed. With a giveaway, so stay tuned!!
😀