Archive for January 2015
Billy’s much better, and back in his pickup making rounds . . . or at least round. He’s still up to only one a day, instead of the five or six he used to make. He’s doing so well that I have more time to be outside, watching the goings-on around the place.
Today I got out there just as friend-and-boarder Lori B. was giving her horses, Remy and Gambler, a couple of oranges. Now I never knew horses would eat oranges; I would have thought the bitter pith would put them off. But . . . well, just look.
“Oh, boy! She’s got oranges!”
“Look, Remy! I got her!”
“My turn! Let’s see what I can do . . . ”
“Mmmmm . . . nice and messy!”
They’ve had oranges before, and obviously know how to handle them; much like an apple. But it is certainly messier!
It’s been a long time, for me, since I’ve blogged. It’s been a difficult few days. Billy’s knee blew up, so to speak, and he’s needed a lot of care and attention. It’s only in the past couple of days that his pain has begun to abate and I’ve had time to get out and about. He’s better, but not great, and has an appointment tomorrow to go over his last set of X-rays.
It’s been too cold and foggy to enjoy being out, anyway; at least, for all but the toughest of us. Today, though, has been pretty nice. We had a little rain — .05 — last night, and a bit of sun today. The clouds were still hanging in there, and when I got out to walk they were heavy over the mountains.
The dogs were really glad to see me out there. Here, the Border collies are waiting with bated breath for the ball to be thrown, while Peaches wonders what all of the fuss is about.
I stopped to watch Jennifer working with Elvis. He’s shaping up to be a really nice little horse, but that’s because they’re working with him consistently.
He hadn’t been really bitted before, only ridden in a halter. He’s coming right along, though.
Before long, I hope to be back on a horse, myself!
. . . yet again. It sent me looking through my old pictures, just to reassure myself that there was such a thing as spring. Here’s a couple from March of ’07.
Yes, there is a spring; and it’ll be around again. Though it’ll be a while yet . . . sigh.
It’s a cold, (47 at 3 o’clock) dreary day. A good day, in my opinion, for cuddling under a blanket, drinking tea, and reading a good book. Others, though, are more intrepid. These ladies, for example, who rode out this morning.
You may recognize some of them from yesterday’s post. Tall and small, they are dedicated riders — and happy!
It’s been one of those days. Billy, who’s been almost back to normal health, suddenly started having acute pain in his right knee. He’s had gout before, and he was pretty sure he had it again, so he called the doctor and got an emergency appointment. While we were getting him ready, a boarder knocked on the door. The feral pack was back, chasing horses down by the tunnel. Before anyone could get down there to chase them off, they were gone; disappearing into the river bottom. They’re too small to do much harm, but what a nuisance.
Billy got to the doctor, who agreed it was probably gout, and gave him a prescription. I ran to the pharmacy and got it right away. It took a while to kick in, but it did, and he’s been dozing between phone calls. One was from a boarder locked into the bathroom; the deadbolt had stuck. She was freed before Scott could get there, and the deadbolt will be replaced. Then another boarder came to the door. There was a stick stuck under her car, and she couldn’t get it out. Could someone come help? Again, before the crew could do anything, someone got it out for her. And that’s the way it’s gone all day.
Don’t get me wrong — we don’t mind helping out a bit, and it sure keeps life interesting. We wouldn’t trade with anyone. But it just goes to show that many of our calls for attention don’t come from the horses. But it’s really nice to see how people help each other out around here.
It’s especially nice when you see such a happy group going out for a ride!
I found a couple of little visitors on my doorstep this morning. Well, actually three.
They wanted to use the restroom. We have an outside restroom, but it’s pretty cold these gray mornings. Great-grandchild Liliana and friend Makayla assured me they would keep an eye on their four-footed buddy.
They did, too. They left the bathroom just as they found it — no baby goat deposits at all — and left with the little
guy lady following along just like a dog.
The border collies, Xena and Gena, got that herding light in their eyes when they saw him. They are too well trained to do anything, though. And Peaches was just flummoxed. She didn’t move a muscle until they were out of sight.
Later, everyone went for a ride. (Pictures courtesy of friend Jennifer.)
The goat didn’t get to go, but they had a good time anyway!
It’s strange; fog rises off the river even when there’s no river there. Or at least no water. It looks like a ghost river, not the “Killer Kern”.
The burned-out trees add to the eerie effect.
Night before last was a long one. We had two problems. One is an ongoing one; a pack of feral dogs. It’s the same pack I had trouble with out on the trail some months ago. Luckily, they’re small to medium-sized dogs, mostly. But there are five or six of them, all aggressive, and they’ve been joined by a German shepherd. They’ve jumped riders and walkers, with and without dogs, who’ve gotten too close to what they regard as their territory. That started as a spot on the south bank of the river, but is expanding. A couple of weeks ago, they were in a riverside pen, chasing one of the horses. Our dogs keep them away from the house, but they are outnumbered. I worry that they might get overconfident, especially at night.
The other problem was more common; a colicky horse. With almost three hundred boarders, you’re bound to have an occasional colic. This one didn’t seem too bad, and the vet advised waiting and careful watching. The owner came out and walked her horse into the night, but she needed to go to work the next morning. She had to go home and get a night’s sleep.
We had brought the mare over to the sick pen, so we could watch her under the lights. Billy used to pull the duty of getting up to check on sick horses, but he really can’t any more, so it falls to me. I camped out in my recliner, ready to get up and check every hour or so. The night went something like this.
12:00. Mare is up and walking around. Doesn’t seem too bad. Get some sleep.
12:30. Dogs hear pack in river, and go yelling out the doggie door. Get up and call them in.
1:00. Mare is standing in back of pen, shifting from foot to foot. Doesn’t look comfortable, but not in real pain. Get some sleep.
2:00. Mare is lying down, but is up on keel and quiet. Not a big problem. Get some sleep.
2:30. Dogs go shrieking out the door again — or, in Peaches’ case, stand in doggie door barking thunderously. Call them in and lock door.
3:00. Mare is down flat, but quiet. Not as good, but not an emergency yet. Get some sleep.
4:00. Mare still down flat and quiet. Make the mistake of opening the door to peer out. Dogs go roaring outside. Call them in and shut door. Get some sleep.
5:00. Mare is up on keel again. Dogs are asleep.
6:00. Mare is on her feet and walking around. Good sign. Dogs are still asleep.
7:00. Mare is up and scrounging for food. She has made a good-sized pile of manure; very good sign. Biscuits are rather hard and dry, so she was probably a bit dehydrated.
8:00. Dogs are poking their noses into my lap, wanting to know why I’m not up. Mare is fine; owner checking on her. Planning afternoon nap . . .
I got one, too.
I’m not sure if she had a good time on her first big trip. She certainly saw a lot of new things. Like . . . cows.
Sarah took a couple of shots from her back. It looks like her little ears are about to pop right off of her head.
But as long as her buddy Sarah was along, she was willing to put up with all the strange sights, sounds, and smells.
Experiences like this are really good for a young horse. It’s not a good idea to let their first experience away from home be a big show or trail ride. Some will adapt immediately; some will come apart.
Bella’s buddy in the next pen came apart. He paced and called the whole time she was gone. I think it’s love . . . even if he’s twice her size.