Sunday, December 28, 2008

Morning of tears...

This morning I went out to feed, and found that my little Hood had passed away in the night. Good-bye little guy...you will be missed!



Hood is the dwarf mini I have been babysitting for about a month or so.
I called him 'my' little Hood because I fell in love with this little guy and in my own way, took claim to him...okay, he took claim to me! My Mom has said that I have always liked the underdogs, and I go for the ones that need to be saved (I think she meant guys...but animals fit in well here. ha ha!) Hood was the underdog, but he had heart and he was full of himself! He even started nickering to us and he was quite the chatterbox!

Last night everything was normal. He was eating and drinking good, he was making faces at me and head butting me when we worked on handling his feet, and he enjoyed having his itchy spots on his neck scratched. There was a little spot on his nose that had been infected at one point, and even that was healing nicely. When I found him this morning, it looked like he had layed down and went to sleep. I hope it was as peaceful as it appeared. We as humans worry about that.
Jester, the most recent donk we acquired from a neighbor, and Tripp were the two who helped dry my tears. These two just stood there with their heads against my shoulder.

The necessary calls were made this morning, and I am waiting to hear if they would like him buried on the hillside with the other small critters. He is smaller than the last two dogs we buried.

It is a very sad morning, but at least he passed away where he was loved.
Hood will be missed!

UPDATE: Hood will be buried here. :-)

Karen and Tripp

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It started out ugly, but we got sunshine! Woo Hoo!

WE HAD SUNSHINE AND ARE SOOOOO HAPPY!



Okay, this picture really was not taken today, but we were happy that day too! This is Ajax, one of our BLM burros, and I.

I had to work 1/2 day today and the morning started out really ugly! I left the house and we had a rain/snow mixture going on. I got to work and it was only raining in town...but after about an hour it started snowing and got cold real quick again. You know what that means! Everyone gets in a hurry to beat the slick roads, but they wait until the roads are already slick, and they then visit the ditch. There were several of those this morning...thankfully the ones I knew about were minor. Hopefully the rest were too.

By the time I got home this afternoon, the sun was shining, it was still cold and windy, but I didn't care. I was so excited to see the sun! I spent the rest of the afternoon outside. A few of the horses needed to be dewormed, so I got that done. I got the front feet of Halo, one of our mustangs, trimmed. I need to get the back done too, but she was having a major attitude moment! She was actually kicking at me - on both sides! I watched her face and she didn't look mad and she didn't act like she was in pain. She was just annoyed and thought she would relay that message to me. I tried different ways to get the trimming done and I really thought she would let me trim from the top, but she was on to me! So I decided to put the trimming/filing stuff away, and we would just work on picking up and holding rear feet. It was not much fun for her, but we worked it out. I am hoping that next time we can get the rears done. If not...we will do some more pick up and holding. I would have worked her but there is still a lot of ice on the ground. Just not safe...so I worked with what room I had under the canopy.

I wish I would have got some video of the turkeys on the ice. For some reason they need to follow me (or whoever) around the pen, and they hurry when doing it. Well, they are not real graceful on ice, and it is quite humorous to watch them slide around. I guess I should not laugh. I have to hold on to the panels in order to stay on my feet.

ACK! Just occurred to me that this is the bad thing about the sun shining today. There were several areas that melted and made little puddle pockets on the ice, which means it will be nice and smooth tomorrow. Oh well, I enjoyed the day anyways, and I will just be more careful tomorrow. :-)

I went thru my blog and looked at some of the pictures from the beginning...it was fun to look back on that journey. It reminded me of the neat people I met, of what I learned I could do myself, that I am looking forward to doing it again, and it reminded me of how lucky I am. I still get very emotional about some of the things I experienced, and I wonder if anybody else still gets that way too. There were so many of us who don't show, etc., so it was a pretty big deal for us! I also wonder if those who have been training for a while, and/or show or compete, also feel that way. Hmmmmmm....

I have also been reading the blog of some of the competitors for the Northwest Extreme Mustang Makeover. That group of trainers have had their horses for about 2 1/2 to 3 weeks, and I love reading about their progress! I am so impressed that those trainers do not let the weather get in their way! This past summer it got so hot and humid, not to mention too much rain, and I found myself wondering if I would rather do a winter training session. The answer is "No way!" I will take the heat and mud over the ice any day! Now if we just had regular snow, cold weather, etc., I might be able to tough it out. It would be an excuse for me to the get the pink coveralls that I think I need...but I refrain from getting them because they would not stay pink very long. :-)

Guess I have babbled on long enough....

I hope everyone has a great holiday season! Be safe and be happy!

Karen and Tripp

Monday, December 22, 2008

I miss Summer...the days are now getting longer! Yay!

Sunday was the first day of Winter, which means it was the shortest day of the year. The days will get slightly longer now...thank goodness! I am a Sun Goddess and require good old fashioned sunshine.

I was told I need to update my blog, and that is another reason I don't care for Winter. I am not outside as much. It is dark when I leave for work, it is dark when I get home from work, and the weekends are spent playing catch-up. Not very interesting stories in that!

TRIPP: "I miss Summer."



A butterfly to remind me that Spring will arrive in due time...gives us all something to look forward to. :-)



More green...Brian and I also do letterboxing (letterboxing.org or atlasquest.com) and on one of the trails we were walking, we saw this huge dead tree. I am an official tree hugger! Every time we find a neat big tree, I hug it!



A week or so ago my Mom and sister came to town to shop at Sam's Club. I took part of the day off to hang out with them. Of course they wanted to come up to see the mini's...my sister is bound and determined to get some, but right now her husband says 'No!'. I told her she is doing it all wrong...she does it and then you say "LOOK WHAT I GOT!" :-)
This is my sister Kandi hanging out with Hood. He captured her heart too, and she also agreed that he is a little deformed, but not in pain. Good...I worry about that.



Kandi loves my cow! Like us, she expected something a little smaller. Millie loves kisses.



This is one of our rescue dogs. We headed to Orscheln's to buy animal feed and one of the local no kill facilities had some dogs out there. Misty was very shy and would not make eye contact with anyone. I sat there for over an hour with her...I felt so bad for her because she was so scared. She is still afraid of men, but the minute Brian leaves she comes to me for some loving. She was a year old when we got her. She was rescued from a puppy mill and had to be shaved. Mice had burrowed into her hair and skin...
She is about 4 or 5 yrs old now and has decided that being a dog isn't so bad after all.



Thomas, one of our new cats, is just like a kid and is having more fun in the box than with his toys.



As I get done updating this, it is raining lightly and freezing out. The yard is already a sheet of ice...we had a 49 degree day and it made puddles all over the place, then it got to zero. I keep threatening to either wear my motorcycle helmet or my riding helmet out there seeing as I have a hard time standing up.

I am supposed to go to work tomorrow...hope the roads are not bad.

That is all for now.

Hope everyone has a great holiday season and is safe!

Karen and Tripp

Monday, December 8, 2008

Video of Ace and Joker Playing...

The goal was to get Ace's hooves trimmed so we could let both boys out with the big boys and girls, and they would also have more room to run and play. While watching them, notice Millie the cow by the cedar tree shaking her head and pawing the ground. She is really ticked off that the young whipper snappers are being so unruly....

video

Until later...Karen and Tripp

Ace gets his hooves trimmed...

Well, we finally did it! We got Ace's hooves trimmed! Yay! The goal was to get him trimmed - I was going to be happy if I could just get the fronts done, altho the rear hooves really bothered me too. I was so proud of him...we got the fronts AND the rears done! He was more tense with the rear, but still did fantastic! Heck, he did better than some of the ones we have had around here for a while.
We wanted to let him and Joker out with the big boys and girls for the winter but we needed better feet first. They will hang out with the little herd, learn some manners, and have more room to run and play.

Quick refresher on who Ace is. Ace, a little thin mustang, was at a horse sale and was bought by a kill buyer. A very good friend of mine saw him go thru and told me about him, and since my husband and I knew we wanted to do mustang rescue at some point, now seemed like a good time to start. The auction house and the buyer were very accommodating and let us save Ace. So here we are. :-) We have since found out he was adopted last year as a yearling, his title is dated August 2008, so he is a 2 yr old now.

When we brought him home, we were not sure how much training he had. We put him in the small round pen and worked him back and forth a little bit, and he would face up with me even tho he was nervous. He was not too keen on the lunge whip rubbing all over him either, but he tolerated it. I already knew I could pick up his front feet without any problems, but thought it would be better to have the halter on him in case he needed a little bit of 'help' dealing with it. I took just a few minutes of rubbing the lead rope and halter on him.

Here is where we started...



And alley-oop! Here is where we ended up! He does not lead like a pro, but he does good enough for now.



When I started, I rested his foot on my knee, but his hooves were so grown out I could not get a good angle, so I finally decided to get the Hoof Jack out. I did not want to start with his hooves between my knees in case he had a panic attack. I did not want him to associate it with something bad...those hooves were just too bad to take a chance on that happening. So I played it safe for him and myself.



I brought it out and he sniffed it a little bit, then decided it was not such a bad thing after all. We used the Hoof Jack the rest of the time.



Here are the front hooves before I got started. I will admit, sometimes I get behind on ours and they get grown out, but I have never worked on hooves like this before. I will eventually get some professional help - I have several questions about his feet and their growth.



Here are the fronts after. They are not perfect, but it is a good start getting that huge sideways flare off there as much as I can. Jill, the one who called me from the sale, noticed the same thing I did. His hooves really are tight until they get down to the flare. So we think he will be fine...



Except for this! This is a weird dent and we don't know if he had an injury at the coronet band or not. This is something we will keep a close eye on. I am hoping he eventually starts growing out a happy hoof again once it gets a little more balanced.



Here are the rears before I got started. He was a little tense on the rears but eventually relaxed and dropped that head. I was so focused on what I was doing that I didn't realize that he almost went to sleep! I stood up and turned to look at him and that head was hanging almost to the ground. He is a good boy!



Rears after the trim.



All in all I am happy with the trim. I am still learning, and will continue learning the rest of my life. I have never worked on weird shaped hooves before, and I really had to keep myself in check. I found myself wanting to get rid of more flare, then go back and take a little more. I spent a lot of time reading case studies, looking at pictures, and reading about what to do and what not to do. I kept reminding myself that I don't have to fix the flare in one trim. That hoof will take care of itself in time. Sooooo....we are going to watch them, take pictures, and hope for the best.

On the sole of his left front foot he has a hard bump on the side. I tried messing with it a little bit but it didn't want to go anywhere. Brian said not to force it, to just leave it for now because maybe it grew there to help alleviate pressure from something else. So we will keep an eye on it too. He is moving around pretty good and seems content.

We let the boys out with the others and they trotted around a lot. Joker was the leader and Ace followed. I have video I will be posting later - don't know that I will get to it tonite.

So, Ace's first trim was a success!

Here are Joker and Ace relaxing after their jaunt up and down the fence line. I do believe that Joker is outgrowing Ace, and Joker is a yearling. That is Flash the pony peeking in from the side. He is a character too.



I just had to throw in a couple other pictures from the day. I had my insulated gloves laying on the ground while I was working with Ace. The turkeys tried to steal them.



Brian is talking 'turkey' with the birds...he does it much better than I do! Because he is a dude? Ha ha!



That is my update for now. I am very pleased with Ace and how he handled everything. I am also sad knowing that someone took the time to love him, work with him, then throw him away. Okay, he wasn't thrown away, but to my way of thinking he was in a way. Can any of you imagine leaving your horse at the sale and not knowing what happened to them? I hope that none of us, you all included, never has to ever be put in a position to make a decision like that. I keep reminding myself that I don't know the details of why they could not keep him. I am also very grateful to be able to help him.

Smiles to you all!

Until later...Karen and Tripp