Thursday, October 30, 2008

SURPRISE! Our new family member.....Millie

I would like to introduce our new bouncing baby girl! Her name is Millie and she is a 10 year old Scottish Highland heifer. (This is the picture from the ad we saw her on - it was too dark to get pictures tonite....will do that this weekend)

Millie was purchased as a bottle calf and has lived and been spoiled at the same place for the past 10 years. She has been a pet and loved by her people, and has never even seen other cattle. She used to shack up with several llamas and a couple of horses.

Circumstances required her people to find her and the other critters good homes. We were not the only ones who responded to the ad - but we were chosen. Yay!

We picked her up tonite and let's just say that her size was a little bit bigger than what it looked like in the pictures. There is another picture of a man hand feeding her - so we thought she might have been a large miniature. Ummmmm, no. This girl is HUGE!!! As in at least twice as big as what we thought!

She is very tame, altho not halter broke (do their brains work like horses???) and right now she is hanging out with the donks and Tandee, my older Arab mare.

It was dark when we got her home, and I followed her while she tested the perimeter fence. The outside horses were surprised, snorted and jumped about 10 ft the other direction.....all except Tripp that is! He stayed at the fence and they blew noses together. I was pretty proud! :-) They actually visited for quite a while...wish I knew what they were talking about......

Anyways, that is our big surprise, and I will get better pictures this weekend. Brian is going to be gone all weekend, so it is going to be hard to get a picture with me by her to give a perspective of her real size, but I will try. Dang she is big!

Until later......

Karen and Tripp

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Me and Tripp are going on a diet....but not today. :-)

HUH???? ME?????

And this is why Tripp has to go on a diet.

This is how he looks most of the time! Ha ha! And me....well, I had dropped some poundage, but put some back on when I was out of town. I need to work on getting rid of it. So even tho it is getting cold, we are going to start working a little bit. It is going to be tough because the days are short, and did I mention it is cold? I am a Summer kind of girl, so this weather makes it more of a challenge for me to stay the happy person I usually am. But I try..... :-D

After another day of rain, it was so windy and the skies were just crazy! We ended up with a beautiful rainbow. How can a person not smile at that?

Finally! A picture of all three donks with their head in the treat pan! When I would put the camera down, they would all three eat.....pick the camera up, they would rotate head up/head down.

Jester is getting along quite well, and he knows I am the food girl, so that means I am his friend. He still doesn't like to be touched all over, but he is slowly coming around. I did pick up his front feet the other evening! Yay!

Joker is....well, he is Joker! Here he is sharing space with the chickens. They don't seem to bother him, and when the guineas and turkeys fly over, it does not phase him.

Joker is still very jumpy. I decided that I don't care if I forget he is jumpy. I just move around like I usually do, and he is going to have to realize that it is normal, and nothing bad is going to happen to him. If I move too quickly, he will zoom away, but when I follow him he will give me his face. We can pick up his front feet, but have not messed with the back yet. He still does not like his body messed with. He will tolerate it, but he is on point and looks like he is ready to snap, so I think it is safer to stay clear of anything that can hurt me like those little hooves of his.

We have acquired another very cool pet, but you all will have to wait to see what she is. If all goes according to plan, we should pick her up Thursday evening, which means I will get pictures either that day or Friday, which means I will get them posted asap! You will love her!

Not much else is going on, so I will sign off.
Thanks for checking back with us! It keeps the journey alive!

Until later.....Karen and Tripp

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Now a Joker AND a Jester....

Okay, this little guy has nothing to do with Joker and Jester. :-)
I have this weird obsession with dead things - actually several of my family members do - we like to collect bones, specifically skulls. And I didn't have an armadillo skull.

Here is the cool part, to my knowledge, I have the most northern armadillo! It was found in Mid Missouri, on Hwy 63, north of I-70 a few miles. I saw it on the side of the road and just had to turn around to go get it.

It has cured quite nicely! The bones have not stayed together, but the skull is looking pretty good. The other cool thing is the armor has stayed together too! I found it right before leaving for Texas, so it has just sat on top of that hay bale for a month now. Hee hee!

We have acquired a donkey. We already have two burros we adopted from the BLM, and now we have added a domestic donk to the group. Brian named him Jester to go with his new yearling, Joker.

Jester was living down the road in a pen by himself, and that is because he was running the guys cattle. Jester got put in time out for over a year. I have to tell ya, one day we were driving home and we watched Jester chasing the steers and his tail was ringing round and round while he was braying! It was the funniest darn thing......

Another neighbor mentioned that the guy wanted the donk gone, so while I was out of town, Brian went to talk to him. Come to find out a ranch hand, who has been gone for a year, owned the donk and never came back for him. The cattle guy was more than happy to let Brian pick up Jester.

Here is Brian and Jester.

Brian and Jester with toothy grins!

Jester is a little thin, and I don't know if that is because of his age or lack of nutritional groceries. He had grass and big round hay bales put out for him all the time, so food was there. We will spoil him rotten, and the next time the vet is due out we will have him checked over.

So in the meantime, Jester now has donk buds to hang out with.

Welcome to the zoo Jester!

Monday, October 20, 2008

From fit and slick to fat and fuzzy!

For three months I fed and watered Tripp every single day, except for the night we were packing to head to TX. Brian took care of things that night while I could get things together. The weather was warm and all the horses were shiny and looking good. Then I was gone for three weeks......

TRIPP IS FAT AND FUZZY NOW! I had a reverse feeling that trainers from the other Challenges had. Some of them got fuzzy horses that they got to watch shed off and glow.
I left a shiny fit horse and came back to a very fuzzy fat horse! I think Tripp did the same thing I did for three weeks......we were couch potatoes! I didn't make time to exercise after my long days, and he was just being a horse while I was gone. I think we both put on a little bit of poundage!

Tripp didn't come running up to me to give me a big hug like I was hoping. Ha ha! He just stared at me a little bit like he wasn't sure who he was looking at.

It didn't take us long to reacquaint, and it didn't take some of the others long either. Everyone was lovey dovey......

Halo, the gray mustang mare, is usually top dog. She decided to be like us....lovers instead of fighters.

After proving to myself what I can do, Halo is going to be one of my projects. She has worn the saddle and was doing real well in the round pen, then I got busy. Never did get on her. I learned a lot and have a better plan now, so I really don't think it will take that long to get her going. Halo and Wendigo were our first adopted mustangs. I have been on Wendigo...but same story. Got busy and didn't go any further with it. Things will change....

And don't think it didn't take me long to assess the new battle wounds! Look at that rump! Tripp and somebody had a 'chat' while I was gone. No worries....that too shall heal, and he really does seem to get along with most everyone. Can't ask for more than that!

It really does feel good to be home...and Tripp has nickered at me several times since being reunited.

Life is good.....

Karen and Tripp

Back from Baton Rouge, LA....

No sooner did I get home from the EMM, I turned around and headed to Baton Rouge, LA for 3 weeks for work. It is called 'storm duty' and I love it! Not only are they 7 day work weeks, they are long days. Lots of overtime to be had, and we are so busy, the 12 hr days just fly by. It also exposes us to a different part of the insurance claims world that we normally don't get to see. This time was not near as bad as the hurricanes 3 years ago.

While I am gone on storm duty, I try to drive around a little bit to get my bearings, and to try to find a park to walk. I don't know what it is about this place, but I can never get my North's and South's straight.....couldn't last time I was there, and couldn't this time either. None of it feels right. I also don't normally stay away from bad traffic, but where we are was just nuts! Every block is full of something, our hotel was one of the worst for hearing the highway noise AlL NIGHT LONG, and I was ready for the country!

I got the map out and noticed that the river was not to far from the hotel, so I headed that direction. I found an old Ferry Crossing......and horses used it a long time ago.

There was a walkway and benches set up along the levee, and you could barely hear the highway noise. To me, it was heaven! The river was across from the city of Baton Rouge, and when the sun set behind me, it really would light up some of the buildings.

I stayed out here late one evening because I love lights - I was amazed at how much barge traffic was going on after dark. Yes, I stayed at the river's edge after dark - not the smartest thing to do, but I felt pretty comfortable. If I would have got bad vibes I would have left. Easy to say now, eh? :-)

I was taking pictures the first day there, and a little girl was following me around from a distance. I could hear her Grandma yelling at her to "Leave that girl alone!" and I just smiled to myself. I introduced myself, and she let me know her name was Karla. Karla wanted to take pictures too, so she got Gran's cell phone and was now a die hard photog! I got this shot of our shadows as we were both taking pictures of the city across the river.....

Sundays we went to the office later than the rest of the week, so a Saturday night 3 of us girls went down to New Orleans. It had been 20 plus years since I was there. The only difference is instead of Hurricane Huts, there were Daquiri Huts all over the place. Other than that, it all felt the same. There is always something interesting to see on Bourbon St., and this one cracked me up the most! 'She' was working the crowd, letting people take pictures with 'her' etc. We saw her all over the place and she was having fun! And talk about a nice strut when she walked! Wowee!

I got home a couple of days ago.....and it feels good to be here again. I got to reacquaint myself with Tripp, and that will be in the next entry. :-)

Until later.....Karen and Tripp

Friday, October 3, 2008


Hello! Brian has been working with his new yearling, Joker, quite a bit. Joker is still a little shy, then after a few minutes he will relax a little bit. Tonite when I was talking to Brian, who was in the barn lot, Joker came up to him and let Brian rub his nose. Brian said that is the first time Joker has come up to him for attention. Very cool! Here is Joker.

Tandee, my 27 yr old Arab mare missed Tripp while he was gone...and I think it looks like he missed her too.

Tripp meets the rest of the group. Brian says that it has been very interesting watching the herd dynamics change. DARN! I am missing it! Thankfully they are getting along well!

I still have two weeks before I get to go home. I spent 3 months feeding Tripp and spending time with him...I was out there every single day before and after work...I really miss him. That little mustang has captured a piece of my heart and I am grateful to have him in my life. He is going to help teach me new things so I can teach other mustangs new things...he just doesn't know it yet. :-)

It is late and I need to get some sleep. Another early day tomorrow.

Until later....Karen and Tripp