Life on an Arabian breeding farm in Capitan, NM.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

It has been a long El Nino…..


 
El Nino has stayed a very long time. This is the first dry spell we’ve had all summer. I’m dripping wet by the time I get done feeding, and it’s cool out. Ah yes now I remember that’s what humidity is like, I forgot. Much has happened this summer.
 
I still haven’t gotten the truck completely fixed, but it is running. I just have to be careful or it will stall out on me. We’re hoping that a new oxygen sensor will do the trick, but I haven’t had time to do anything about it. The truck’s only 26 after all, and it is a Ford so things like that should last forever shouldn’t they?
 
I discovered why I haven’t been able to get hold of Chad about the well. A friend told me he’s out of business (divorce). The backflow valve went out, and I had to call Huey. K D (grandson) came out, and got everything all fixed up so we’re good again. Now I have to start getting it fixed up for winter. The numerous little critters the Wild West is known for made a mess of things as usual. Lots of rain means lots of food out there, which means critters got carried away with nookie, and had lots, and lots of babies. Insulation makes for good nesting material. I don’t know how many times I have cleaned out the pump house only to discover that they got in yet again. I’ve gathered as much insulation as I could, and put it in trash bags, which I will then stuff in, and around pipes. This is supposed to be a mega El Nino winter, so I will have to take special care to insulate all the pipelines that are above ground. I don’t want to be replacing broken pipe all winter. I wonder if there is a patron saint for broken pipes?
 
As for the horses, they are all doing fine. Sierra is doing much better on just grass, and only a little sliver of alfalfa. His disposition has calmed down considerably. After the incident of the gate panel I switched him, and Ibn around. The long run gives him more room to burn off energy. It also is helping to wear down his feet since he won’t let me file them down. I haven’t had time to work with him on the necessity of allowing a human to mess with his feet. It was no problem when he was little, but of course he has forgotten all the things I taught him when he was little. Now that he’s a big boy he thinks he doesn’t have to mind his manners.
 
Moving Ibn put him next to Ghost. He came back to me about 3 or 4 hundred pounds under weight. Since Ibn is his best friend it was a good move for both of them. I had Forrie come, and float his teeth. Besides being depressed that was his main problem. He’s just now starting to look like he should, and starting to act like a horse running, and bucking when there’s a bit of coolness in the air. He hated being at the racetrack, and I swear there is something wrong with his back. When he was so skinny you could see his spine clearly, and it just isn’t right. I learned of a woman who does wonders with horses that have back problems. When I can find the money I’m going to see if I can get a consultation. If I know what’s wrong I can fix it. Meanwhile I’m feeding him lots of goodies to get his weight up. He’s still thin, but at least he’s a happy camper.
 
I also added a paint mare, and her baby to our group. No she’s not mine, she belongs to a friend. The dam was a maiden mare, and even though they were there when she foaled, overnight she became an over protective mother. She wouldn’t let anyone near her baby. The baby (I call her Smutty Face) is a beautiful Tovero filly just about the same age as Meerche. They’re only a week apart. Anyway her owner hasn’t been able to get near her since then. I offered to bring her here where they are in a stall, and I can work with her (like I have time to spare). The mare doesn’t really trust easily, and has passed that on to Smutty. I can now touch her without her freaking, but she still walks away. At least that’s better than her bucking, and running away. We also touch noses, and if I’m careful I can touch her chin when I offer her a sliver of alfalfa. She won’t take the calf manna I leave for her, at least not when I’m around her. Her dam (Bunnie) is the old fashioned QH style, all muscle. She was a little underweight (Smutty’s fault), but the calf manna has helped with that. She’s not so ribby now, and her tailbone is not so prominent. She’s still standoffish, but that’s mostly bluff. Once she realizes I’m not going to hurt her she’s fine with me. She was sold at one point, and a year later the people brought her back saying they couldn’t do anything with her. She was skinny as a rail, and even more skittish especially around men. If I had her for a while I could do more with her, but my friend said no. She’s going to sell her as soon as baby is weaned as is. She’s broke to ride in a round pen, which isn’t anything as far as I’m concerned. Good news is that Craig Cameron may use her for a training session at the Cowboy Symposium in October. It will do her wonders. I’m very excited about that.
 
Meerche on the other hand has absolutely no fear of anyone. She’s overly lovey, and insists on skirtches whenever anyone enters her stall. A friend of April’s wants to buy Penny as soon as she’s weaned, which is perfect. Penny will have a good home, and I will have another baby to raise. Meerche is still sweet as they come. She also had a little surprise for us when her foal coat shed out.
On her left back leg she has all kinds of spots, and her mane is coming out very flaxen. It’s not pure white like Ibn’s was when he was little, but that may change. She’s doing well on the lead rope too. I can pick up her feet with no problem, and do just about anything I want with her. Unlike Bunnie, Penny could care less about people getting near her baby. It wouldn’t do any good anyway, as she has a mind of her own, and does pretty much what she pleases. She’s learning not to play with people the way she plays with mom. That was a hard lesson. She doesn’t think of us as being different from her. I tried to explain that our skin isn’t as thick as hers, and we aren’t as strong as she is. A filly on my back is not exactly the way it’s supposed to work. She understands better now, and hasn’t tried it again. Of course I also know how to prevent her from getting in that position in the first place, and if she is behind me I keep her in sight out of the corner of my eye. It’s just a passing phase babies go through. She’s going to be a wonderful mare for April, smart, willing, and just the right size.
 
Enough for tonight, but wait I have more to tell…
 
 

Friday, September 4, 2015

I know it’s been a long time…

 
I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything, unbelievably long. I began this post some time ago (don’t even ask) so I thought I would post it now, then later bring it up to date. Here goes.
 
I have a lot of catching up to do. My last post was written on 01/05, and we didn’t have water. There’s a little pressure hose leading from the transfer pump to a little box that tells the transfer pump to turn on or off (at least I assume that’s what it does).  Well that little hose had a crack in it spewing water all over the place. Hey at least the transfer pump didn’t crack, that would be $1200. I tried to get hold of Harvey’s (Chad Harvey’s Drilling) to no avail. I think the number I have is outdated. I couldn’t figure out how to take it off nor did I have the time to do it even if I could figure it out. You see God decided that we needed a break from the drought, and sent us more snow, and freezing temps. Now I know we need the snow (it’s the only way I’ll get water from my well again), howsoever, enough is enough. My once clean stalls were a sight to behold, and not in a good way. They were one big mucky mess, and so were the horses. It’s not that I forgot what a real winter is like I just forgot how much I don’t like it. I’m a desert rat remember? It was going to take a month of Sundays, and some serious sun to dry things out enough so I could clean them. Well that didn’t happen for a long time.
 
Meanwhile, the gator decided to go on the fritz. I need the gator, to haul wood (my stores were seriously depleted) amongst all the other things I use it for. I was hauling water one tank at a time, filling what I could, and putting the rest of the water into my big water tanks. I then filled my little tank taking it around to all the various water buckets, tanks, etc. I needed my gator! As I thought it was simply the battery, which Rudy informed me was the original battery. 10 years or so is a long time for a battery, wouldn’t you say? After a few days I finally got it going much to my relief.
 
What else went wrong let me see. I couldn’t use the front wood stove from which we heat the entire house (plugged chimney). Freezing cold temps, and no heat what fun. Ok we have the wood stove in the computer room, but that heat doesn’t really heat much more than the back room. Still it was better than nothing. Father’s happy he can play on his computer in warmth. Ok no water, no heat, and very little wood. That about summed up the situation. Rudy took his 34-hour break at home. He had to get all the stuff he left at home to put back in his truck. For some reason airlines take exception to tools, chains, mattresses, etc. The snow melted thanks to a nice warming trend (who ever thought that 45 would be considered a warm day). Rudy got on the roof to clean the chimney, and he checked on the pressure hose that cracked. He’s such a good guy.
 
 
I took Bree to the vet, and I was right we were going to loose her. She had a tumor that was pressing against the nerves that control balance, and her vision in one eye. I brought her home with some medicine that would at least make her more comfortable for what time she had left. She’s gotten mighty spoiled. I even got some fat from the butcher that I cooked up for her to keep her weight up. She got lots of pets, and Rudy even had her up on the couch with her head on his lap. His rules are animals are not allowed on the furniture. He’s the one that found her, and he’s the one that hurt most when she was gone. The medicine worked for a while, then she got worse again. I miss her terribly she was such a sweetheart. At least she was happy while we had her, and then too I have Pena.
 
Sierra did well. Thanks to youth he healed quickly, and thanks to Bute he had no pain while I changed his bandage. I weaned him off of the Bute, and had no problem changing his bandage from then on thanks to a feedbag full of alfalfa. I also changed his bandage just before I fed. I’m not dumb!
 
Rudy got the pump fixed with a new hose, and our water problem became a thing of the past. I put more R19 around the pipes going into, and out of the pump house, and the pipes stopped freezing. It helped that we didn’t get below 0 this year. It snowed about once a week, which made it a very long winter. May, and there was still snow on the mountain. It was finally gone by the end of May. I got the gator going, and my wood supply kept up with the snowstorms.
 
April was released by her doctor to go back to work again so she was here for about a month before she started working at the track. George’s daughter came from Wyoming to help out with Patty. It was just too much for George, and he couldn’t work because he couldn’t leave Patty alone. She brought her daughter, and then her daughter’s boyfriend. I thought he was a sweet kid. They got him enrolled at school to get his GED, then they will help him get a job. Before his parents got divorced he lived on a ranch, and loves coming to our ranch. Steph loves it too. I’m teaching them to ride, or perhaps a better word is re-teaching Steph, and Bryce. Brianna has never been on a horse till now. She’s 13, no bigger than a minute, and afraid of horses. Even so she is doing well. It’s fun for me too.
 
 
Penny had her baby, and we got there just in time. As I suspected she delivered early. She was due on the 20th, but had the baby on the 9th around 9:00pm. I had checked her, then a little while later April, Steph, and the kids came back from Patty’s, and stopped to check on Penny. It was a good thing too, because she was going into labor. Bryce came up to the house, and by the time we got there the feet were sticking out. I took position at the baby, and Rudy took the head. I was so happy Rudy was here that night, he was going to leave the next morning. She took a little while to deliver, but finally we had a beautiful chestnut filly. April named her Aul Meerche (Meershe).
 
Meerche is different from our other babies. She’s quiet, and shy. By two weeks the others would be tearing around the paddock running, and bucking like crazy. She runs a little, but in a quiet way. She is by far the sweetest baby we’ve had yet. She’s quick to learn, loves her skirtches, and is spoiled rotten (of course).
 
George got double pneumonia was in the hospital, then two weeks after he got out Patti went in the hospital with the same thing. Because of her other health problems they sent her to Albuquerque. She spent a couple of weeks in the hospital, then went to re-hab. She now has full-blown diabetes on top of everything else. Thank God for Steph. The riding lessons have stopped for now, and I don’t know when she’ll have time to start them again. Bryce took off back to Wyoming, which turned out to be a good thing. He was not the person he put on he was. Poor Brianna has had her first lesson in the perils of love.
 
I can’t remember whose truck died first, but both George’s, and my truck died (thankfully not at the same time). I discovered that St. Eloi (or St Eligius) is the patron saint of mechanics. I’ve been praying to him a lot. We replaced the fuel pump, and it went exactly a mile, and a half before it quit. Rudy came home, and did a full tune up on it. It still wasn’t working right, so George was getting us both water, and feed. Meanwhile Sierra tore down his gate (actually he lifted it up, and took it off it’s hinges), coming out of it with only some scrapes (thank you for that Lord). I moved him, and Ibn, and took him off alfalfa completely. He had gotten so full of himself he was getting unmanageable. Cutting out the alfalfa has done wonders for his demeanor.
 
I have one more thing I can replace on the truck to try to get it running properly (an oxygen sensor). God willing it will do the trick. The truck runs well enough to get water, and hay, but still stalls at the idle when it’s warm. I’ve spent so much time working on the truck I haven’t done much else except mow. El Nino has been kind enough to stick around for the summer so I have been mowing constantly. At one point it was the only vehicle that was running. Rudy got the gator going when he did the tune up on the truck. Seems there is an anti-spark screen on the end of the tail pipe. It was so full of carbon the poor gator couldn’t breathe. Rudy poked a hole in it, and now the gator runs perfectly. Unfortunately, he couldn’t get it off so we can’t replace it.
 
All vehicles are running now (more or less) so the water pump just had to give me problems. It’s not exactly the water pump, but one of the pipes at the pump house. Metal to plastic just doesn’t work well in our extreme temps. I guess this is going to be an annual thing unless I can figure out a way to keep that one section of pip from cracking (yeah right).
 
That’s as far as I got when our lives got so busy I couldn’t even see straight. Well I’m going to try this again. Keep tuned…

 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Christmas day was the last day we had water…


 
Poor Father came home to freezing temps, a cold, and no running water. It’s been more than a week now that we haven’t had running water. Today we got up into the 40’s, and tomorrow it’s supposed to be 51, then Wed temps plummet again. All I need is one day of water for showers (thank God it’s winter), dishes, laundry, and yes I need to fill all my water tanks again. Tomorrow is out because I have to take Rudy to the airport in Roswell, and then see if I can take Bree into the vet. She has gotten weaker, and I’m really afraid we are going to loose her. She can’t hold her head straight, which throws her off balance. She’s also loosing strength. She spent most of the day today in the house. She had been getting stronger, and I was hopeful, then this morning she didn’t eat her breakfast. She is very clingy again also. Down at the barn she kept coming over to me leaning against me, and looking at me with those big brown eyes that can melt even the hardest of hearts. All I can do is caress her. I can’t make her well, I don’t even know what’s wrong with her, but in my heart I feel like we’re loosing her. I bred her for a puppy (Pena) because I didn’t think we would have her for a very long time, but I’m not ready to loose her just yet. I don’t think I’ll ever be ready to loose her she’s such a sweet girl, so loving. At any rate tomorrow is full up.
 
I got a lot done today taking advantage of the nice weather. I didn’t get enough done but thanks to the freezing temps I have way more to do than there are hours in the day. I did get two of the inside stalls cleaned, and I picked up a load of wood. How I wish I had a descent chain saw. I then filled up the small water tank. The automatic waterers were low, and it’s much easier filling them with the small water tank than hauling water bucket by bucket. Ok so I have to fill the small tank bucket by bucket, but I don’t have to walk anywhere. I was almost finished with Ibn’s waterer when Rudy came back from town. Great timing, he could help me fill the tank again. I still needed to give the pasture horses water. We filled the tank, and then he helped keep the horses at bay while I drove the gator in. The kids see the gator, and they come running. The gator means two things, food, or water, the two things they care most about. I actually don’t mind filling their tank the hard way since it gives me an excuse to spend time with them. They don’t get enough attention being in pasture all the time. While the water is filling the tank I can skirtch, and hug to my hearts content. The oat hay has really made a difference with their weight. Shazam is still a little thin, but he’s on the bottom of the pecking list so there’s really nothing I can do about that. Jazzy also needs a little more on her back end, but everyone else has nice round rumps, and unfortunately, nice big bellies. It’s winter, and I would rather them a little fat than a little thin especially since the weather has turned so cold.
 
I went back up to the house to get rid of the water tank, and cut some of the wood I had collected only it was getting late, and we still had to change Sierra’s bandage. I had given him a little Bute in some goodies to try to make life easier. I realized (a little late) that the reason he was so good at first was probably because I was giving him a shot of Banamine to help with the pain and inflammation. Duh, sometimes I really wonder about myself. The Bute helped, and so did the alfalfa in the feedbag Rudy set up. It was almost feeding time anyway, and there’s nothing like food to take a horses mind off what’s being done to him. He was much better once he realized it didn’t really hurt as much as he thought it would. It’s the anticipation of pain that is making him behave badly. Once he gives in he is real good. I just hope he behaves himself better the next time I have to do it by myself. I have to talk to Becky about him too. There’s a flap of what I think is ligament just hanging that I really think needs to be cut off. Sherry has said as much, and so has Rudy. He’s healing quickly so it will have to be cut off soon, and I can’t do it. Like I said there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. I got everyone fed, and the barn horses watered. Hopefully everyone will have enough water till I get back from Roswell. I won’t be able to fill the big tanks (unless miraculously we get water) until the day after when we’re supposed drop down into the teens again. After that the weather is supposed to improve. Lord I hope so. I need to get back to my routine.
 
We didn’t get much done after that. Rudy had to pack so the chimney didn’t get cleaned, but at least he got my new phone activated. I got the new iphone. It’s supposed to have a great camera, and lots of space. We’ll see how the pics turn out. I’m especially interested in the new video capabilities. Maybe now I can add some short videos to my blog. That would be nice I think. I’ve been really disappointed in the camera on the phone I have. We’ll see how the new phone pics are.
 
Well that’s the plan for the next few days. Hopefully I’ll be able to get my stalls back in order, get my wood stores replenished, get running water again, find out what’s really wrong with Bree, and get Sierra’s booboo attended to. Now let’s see how much if any of that actually comes to fruition.
 
 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Well I guess today was better than yesterday…


 
 
Today was the last day of the year, and hopefully the last of the extreme weather. It has been a few years since I’ve had to deal with these extreme cold temps, and while I haven’t forgotten what it’s like, I have definitely been spoiled the past few years with our mild winters. Why can’t we have just the right amount of snow without going down to nearly 0 degrees? If we have a mild winter then we don’t get the snow we need to survive the summer. If we get snow we also seem to get days in the teens or less, with howling winds that go right through you. It does make for beautiful pics I have to admit. I can’t really complain today was definitely warmer than yesterday. I even saw the sun, it does exist, it does exist!
 
We got up to a whole 19 degrees today, of course tomorrow it’s supposed to snow so I guess it will be at least a week before I can even think about having water again. Before it starts snowing Rudy will go into town to get a load of water for the horses. I’ll fill the tank up at the house, and the pasture horses tank. I got it about half full today poor things, they were down to just ice. They don’t drink that much, but there are seven of them, and every day I take at least an inch or two of ice out. That means a tank will only last about two days, maybe three if I don’t have that much ice, and they don’t drink too much. It’s not as big a tank as I have up at the house, maybe about 200 gallons or so, I don’t remember exactly. I took the float off deciding to keep it off for the winter. If we are going to have this cold of a winter I may as well since I can’t use it if there’s no water. Besides where it’s located it takes forever for the pipes, and hose to unfreeze even after we get water flowing. The whole pasture setup is weird. I don’t know what Rudy was thinking when he put everything in, neither does he. At any rate we have a pasture, and I am very grateful that we put it in before everything else fell apart.
 
 
I had Rudy go pick up hay today since I only had enough alfalfa for today, and Lord knows what the roads are going to be like tomorrow. I got everyone fed, and was just about ready to go up to the house when Rudy called telling me he called Harvey’s, and they would only be open till noon today, and not at all tomorrow or Friday. He also informed me that the electricity was out, and Otero (the electric company) was trying to track down the problem. More fun, I really needed that Lord. I was about ready to come up to the house anyway so I finished what I was doing (hauling water of course), and high tailed it up to the house. I asked dad to make a shopping list so I could do his shopping for him, gave Rudy my shopping list for Harvey’s, and sent him on his way. Without electricity I didn’t want to break ice and put it in the big tank not knowing when the electricity would come on again. It was still too cold to change Sierra’s bandage so I got Dad going with some instant oatmeal since his milk had gone sour while he was gone. Then I got myself something to eat. I’m not picky I had some cold stuffing for breakfast. Hey it has grain, fruit, and protein in it. Sounds great to me. I was going to cut some wood, but Paul Bunion I’m not. I decided to rest a bit before I had to go down to the barn to figure out where I was going to put 16 three-strand bales of alfalfa.
 
I managed to get about half an hour of rest before I realized that the whole of Capitan might be out of power so I called the Mercantile, and Smokey’s (the grocery), and when neither of them answered I knew there was no going to town for groceries or anything else. I can remember when all registers had a hand crank so when the electricity went out you could still carry on business. Well those days are long gone so I called Rudy, and asked him to stop at Wal-Mart to pick up some medicine for Father, along with some milk. Dad would just have to deal with whatever we fixed for dinner. Poor thing he slept most of the day anyway so food didn’t really matter.
 
 
Rudy was going to be back in about an hour so I went down to the barn to see what I wanted to do about the hay. Now our barn is big, but I have to keep all the hay separate. I also have only half of it to work with since one side is all stalls. Then I have my feed area, not to mention various and sundry pieces of equipment. The tack room takes up about a quarter of one side of the barn as well. What I’m left with for hay is about a quarter of the barn. I have Ghost’s hay over by the feed, then there’s George’s, and April’s hay. I have all the oat hay next to George’s hay along one wall, which leaves part of one wall where the tack room is. I can put three bales of grass, and twelve bales of alfalfa there. The rest can go in the front stall across from Sierra where I have the rest of the grass. I bring the last bales of alfalfa from the front into the barn, and move the rest of the grass around so I can put four bales of alfalfa there. I just get everything re-arranged, and the barn swept when Rudy comes back. Pretty good timing if I do say so myself.
 
Rudy gets back, and we get all the hay situated. It is so much easier with two people. Rudy still isn’t up to par (much to his dismay), but he can at least get the hay off the truck for me to stack. No I can’t carry them. But that’s what the dolly is for. I can only stack them three high, but that’s good enough. Such was the last day of the year. Hopefully the new year will be better than this last. Seems like I’ve said that every year for the past four or five years. Hey the hard times can’t last forever.
 
 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

It was 17 alright…


 
Well the weatherman said the low for the night would be 17, and he was right. When I got up in the morning it was 17, unfortunately that was also the high. By the time Rudy got up (a short time later) it had dropped to 16. He groaned when he looked outside. Driving to Roswell in freezing fog is no fun, but Father was coming back from his vacation. Oh well such is life.
 
By the time I went out to feed the temp had dropped to 14, what fun. It was beautiful outside. Everything was covered with white, not like snow, but all light, and lacy. The horses were all lacy too. They had frost on their manes, and tails, even their eyelashes sported lacy white frost. Luckily I had put the beet pulp in the tack room so it was only slightly frozen. I tried breaking ice for the horses, but it froze over again quickly. Water is a problem. Without electricity down at the barn I cannot use the water heaters. They don’t drink a lot, but they still need water. There’s not a lot of snow for them to slake their thirst so they have to drink what they can when they can. Unfortunately, I can’t quite seem to make them understand that.
 
 
I get everyone fed, break ice, and take it up to the house to put in the big tank where I have water heaters. George calls, and asks for a ride to Capitan. By now the temp has dropped to 13, and I have to doctor Sierra in this? He of course is being a pill yet again. As soon as I get one side done, he paws the gauze off before I can get the other side done. Finally (after I get quite ticked at him) I manage to get his leg up in the air resting on my knee. I slap both gauze pads (loaded with antibiotic) on at the same time. Quickly I pulled out the wrap, and started to wrap his leg, which he tried to thwart till he realized that I was only wrapping his leg. That he doesn’t mind. Finally I get done. Kids! Thanks to his fighting I’m not really that cold, which is a good thing as the temp has continued to drop.
 
 
I take George to town, come home, and rest a bit before I start working again. Rudy has called several times, first to tell me that Father’s plane has been delayed an hour. He saw about 4 or 5 accidents on the way up including a state trooper who ended up smashing his front end on a barrier after spinning out. Embarrassing! The roads are very icy. He calls again when he is stuck on 70 on his way back home. A pickup has wiped out, and they were waiting for the salters to come before they let anyone else through. He had already been sitting for half an hour. Actually he was very lucky because shortly after he turned off to 380 they just plain gave up, and closed 70. He called when he got to town, Father had to eat, and because the roads were so icy he wanted to get home as quickly as possible so they didn’t eat in Roswell. They were at Smokey’s eating, and would be home soon. Meanwhile I start cutting wood. It is going to be a very cold night, and I need to get more wood. I test the logs I cut the other day, and they aren’t ready to split yet. This cold should help, I hope.
 
Rudy gets home, and immediately I can tell that Father is sick. No he says it’s just his normal cough. Right. I get more wood cut, and split filling the wood boxes, and sit down for a few minutes with Rudy. 4:00 has come too soon and its now 9 degrees out. The poor horses, I know they are built to deal with these cold temps far better than we are, but I can’t help but feel for them. I gave them extra hay, and oats in the goodies I give the seniors. I know they will be fine, but ok so I’m a big softie, what can I say it’s cold out. The sun hasn’t broken through the fog all day leaving little light in the barn. It’s so cold that the soaked supplements I give Jeri freeze before I can feed them to him. I’ll have to bring the beet pulp I normally soak overnight into the house. They’ll freeze before the pellets can absorb the water even if I leave them in the tack room. After I get everyone fed I still have to break the ice, and fill waterers. There are two buckets in the barn, Sierra’s small tank, and the two automatic waterers in the back stalls. Star is the thirstiest horse, and because she has such a small petite head with a short nose she can’t reach the water so I have to fill her tank three times a day. As soon as she sees me with the bucket she runs over to get a drink. She doesn’t seem to understand that I have to put it in the tank first. If we ever get electricity back down at the barn things will be a lot easier. Until then I have to do things the old fashioned way. It makes one wonder how our ancestors managed so long ago without the conveniences we now take for granted. Water is always my first concern, but no matter what I can always get some. I just go down to the village key in my code, and fill my water tank. If they had snow they could always melt enough for cooking, washing etc., but what about the desert people. How did they manage? It makes one appreciate our modern conveniences, and points out just how spoiled we truly are.
 
I finally get done, and head up to the house. I feed the dogs, and chickens, and then myself. I sink into mothers chair heating pad on my back, and plan not to move till it’s time to come to the computer room after Rudy goes to bed. Father comes in, and says, that he’s running a slight temperature, and his cough is going to keep him up all night. I don’t know if he’s insulted more by being sick, or by the fact that I was right. I told him he was sick, but no he knows better than I. I ask him if he took his cold medicine, which he forgot he had, so I get him a cold tablet, and make him some honey tea. That should calm his cough for a little while at least. I also set up his vaporizer with Vicks in it. It’s dry here to begin with, and with his heater, and the fireplace going the air in the house is twice as dry. When you have a dry cough that only makes it worse. Anyway I get him situated in his room, and settle back down. By the time I put Rudy to bed, and sit down to my computer, it’s 5 degrees out. I think that’s cold enough. I start the fire in the computer room since one fire isn’t going to do the trick this night. The computer room is a converted porch I think. There are sliding glass doors leading to it off the TV room. It doesn’t necessarily help to warm the rest of the house by having the wood stove going in there, but it does keep the cold from invading the rest of the house. When we lived in a regular house with heat, and air I would turn the thermostat down to 55 at night in the winter so it works out about the same. Sometimes it’s even a little warmer in the morning, at least in the TV room it is. Now our bedroom is another story. It has lots of windows, and it’s on the north side of the house. That works fine in the summer, but winter not so much. That’s what blankets, and quilts are made for. Finally I settle down and get myself to bed wondering what tomorrow will bring. Hopefully a little warmer day, are you listening Lord?
 
 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

We had water for one day….


 
Christmas day started out not too bad just a little breezy. A low was dropping down so as the day progressed so did the wind. As expected I came in around noon, and spent the rest of the day indoors cooking. Ok that’s not so bad. We had a nice Christmas dinner, and I even managed to cook a, shall we call it a fruit pie. I had a can of apple pie filling only it wasn’t quite enough fruit so I went to the freezer, and added whatever frozen fruit I could find. Hey, Rudy had two pieces so it must have been good even if a little different. By evening Albuquerque was getting snow, and even though it was a little late we had a white Christmas, ok a lot late. We woke up to more snow than we had all of last year, like 6 – 8” of the white stuff, and completely frozen pipes. I keep gallons of water in the utility room just for such occasions, and a good thing too. I have learned a few things through the years like if the temps go below 20 we have no water, and it will take at least three days of warm temps before we have water. The nights have been down into the teens, and the days in the 30’s or 40’s. Sunday we got water long enough to get showers, and three loads of laundry done. I was getting really scarce on the bare necessities if you know what I mean. I have at least two weeks of clothing for just that reason. The water cut out on the last load, my jeans of course.
 
Now we really need the snow, but man is it a pain in the you know whatsie. Cleaning the stalls is not in the cards, breaking ice every morning, and hauling water is. Doctoring Sierra has become a real pain too. He is tired of being doctored, and with every day it is getting harder, and harder. He is doing everything in his power to avoid my touching his booboo. The fact that we don’t have water doesn’t help either. I have to heat the water in the microwave, which means it’s not quite as warm as it should be. Too bad so sad, I manage to get the job done in spite of Sierra’s insistence to the otherwise. What happened to my sweet boy? I’m also trying to desensitize him to being touched wherever I want instead of wherever he wants. Now when he was a baby I did all the baby things including picking up his feet, and touching him all over his body. Now he’s all grown up (or so he thinks), and he gets to decide where he gets touched. I don’t think so. I can pick up his front feet, and even clean them, but get near his back end, and it’s a different story. I think he’s going to be in that stall a very long time. That boy has a definite stubborn streak in him. I will win of course, but I have an idea it’s going to be a long time coming.
 
The cold is wearing me out as well. I need to clean the inside stalls, but even feeding is exhausting. I have managed to get chicken wire on part of the pasture fencing. I have about half of what I need done. It’s the only way I can seem to keep most of the hay I’m feeding to the pasture horses actually in the pasture once the winds start. When the winds howl (and I mean howl), the hay flies out through the fencing faster than the horses can eat it. With the chicken wire most of it stays in. Grass is the worst, alfalfa not so much because it is heavier. I now have some oat hay (thanks to a friend) as well, which the pasture horses seem to like better than grass. I may switch to oat for them instead of grass. It’s only $10 a bale which comes to about $5 less than what I’m paying for grass without the extra I’m paying for gas to go all the way over to the Downs. I had stopped buying the oat hay because they would eat the heads, and leave the rest. Now all of a sudden the pasture horses like the oat better than grass. Go figure, you never know why horses do what they do. The horses in the barn stalls still don’t like the oat, but that’s ok, at least I’m saving some money on the pasture horses.
 
My stalls are a total mess again. Now that the snow has all melted (for the moment) I have nothing but muck. That will change real soon since we are supposed to get snow again. We got water late this afternoon long enough for Rudy to get a shower, and wash dishes. It’s supposed to get down to 17 tonight, and only up to 28 tomorrow. Whoopie-ding-dang. I turned off the water at the pump house (can’t afford to loose my transfer pump again), and it will probably be another week or so of no water. I have to try to get the inside stalls cleaned too. Everything will freeze again, so I can forget trying to clean the paddock areas. I’m so glad I was able to keep the stalls up as much as I did or it would be an even bigger mess.
 
I love winter with lots of snow, and crisp cold air. I love snow clouds creating phenomenal sunsets, and beautiful ever-changing skies. I love the smell of wood burning in the cold mornings, and late afternoons, but it is a mess when you have horses. You can’t clean the stalls properly. There are puddles of frozen urine, and piles of frozen poop. The horses are a mess too especially once things start to melt. Sadie is an ugly patchwork of white, and muck. Why is it they never show that part of life in the movies. Everything is always so pretty, and clean. Hollywood, it’s fantasy all right. Heaven forbid if they show life as it really is, fun, and sad, hard, and sweet, messy, and beautiful all at once. Movies are fun, but life is so much more. Give me life every time with all it’s ups, and downs, good times, and not so good times. I love it all.
 
 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Life is so tough or so Sierra thinks...


 
Sierra is settling down to his new circumstances, but that doesn’t mean he’s happy about it. Every morning he lets me know it too. Star’s not very happy about it either. I haven’t let the girls out since Sierra hurt himself. Normally after I feed everyone, I clean up the barn a bit before I let the girls out. With Sierra up front, and his leg the way it is I don’t need him to try to get at the girls, and do more damage to himself. It’s bad enough that Marina goes to the corner to let him know that she is not pleased that a boy is that close to her. If he were gelded she might not be quite so upset about it, but a stallion! Even Ibn knows better than to get close to her unless she’s in season. Quite frankly he’s scared to death of her. Sierra on the other hand is young, and foolish the way all young studs are. After feeding one day I was in the barn cleaning, and Star was carrying on to the point I was beginning to wonder if something was wrong. I went around to her stall to see what was wrong. There was nothing wrong except for the fact that she was still in her stall, and not running loose. She was quite upset with me, and was letting me know that she wanted out. Oh well such is life you can’t always have things the way you want them. Now if only they could figure that out.
 
Sierra is doing quite well. He’s very good about letting me clean his leg, and change his dressing. As a reward I give him a good brushing, and extra lovings. I don’t know how long I will keep him up front though. It’s a lot easier changing his dressings where he’s at. On the other hand I don’t want to let the girls out with him up front. It’s going to be quite a while before I can stop doctoring him so maybe I’ll put him back in his own stall sooner rather than later. The girls will be much happier.
 
The first day of winter has come, and gone. Thankfully now the days will start getting longer even if the weather is getting colder. Up till this past week we enjoyed wonderful weather, then we had two straight days of ferocious wind, and now bitter cold. I can’t really complain when people in the north, and east are facing blizzards. Ok so I’m spoiled, I can’t help it if I’ve lived in the southwest all my life. I am getting better I can deal with temps below 70 now. I lived in northwest MO for a year, but I was foolish, and young then. Now I’m old, and decrypted, and feeling a little sorry for myself, praying for a Christmas miracle, when I should simply be thankful for all we do have. Hey I can still cut wood, and split it. I can spend hours cleaning stalls, unload hay, and feed. I can still ride (or at least I think I can), maybe not all day like I used to, but I can ride for a few hours at least. I have fresh eggs I can eat every day instead of store bought ones, and I have the most amazing sunsets, and mountain views one could ever ask for. Life is hard right now but I have to believe that somehow, someway things will get better, and we will survive.
 
Tomorrow (or today) is Christmas. It will be cold, and I will try to get some work done, (have to get some more wood cut to ward off all that wonderful winter weather), but mostly I will spend my time indoors. Rudy wants cookies, and we have a Christmas dinner to prepare meager though it may be. It will be a lovely day, as all Christmas days should be. Maybe there will even be some carrots for the kids, and God willing hot water for showers (no water this morning frozen pipes you know). Yes tomorrow will be a wondrous day, and we will survive, and things will get better. I don’t know how or when but things will get better.
 
Merry, Merry Christmas!
 
 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Who says there’s nothing to write about…


 
Just when you think life might be getting a little boring life says no way Jose. I should have known that things were going to get dicey when George said he couldn’t come over for the water pump. Our pump is doing double duty these days. While I was feeding April called to see if George was here, and of course he wasn’t, he had already left to go get water. I told him the other day that he was leaking transmission fluid big time. He said his seal was bad, and all he had to do was to put in some stop leak. I had my reservations as to how that would help when the leak was so bad, but hey what do I know.  Well evidently it didn’t work, and that was why he was late getting back to the house. He had to take April back to her apt, which is why she was freaking. At any rate, the long, and the short of it was his transmission was toast so I told him to use out truck. They were totally out of water, and he had to get April back to town. I’m not sure how we’re going to work this out, but we’ll figure it out later.
 
That was the beginning of my day. The day continued for a while as planned. I got the front stalls cleaned, let the girls out to munch on our local grasses (I’m so mean they much prefer alfalfa poor things), and started on the back stalls. I’m afraid I will have difficulty cleaning the back stalls from now till spring when things warm up again. I’ve already got horse popsicles instead of horse apples. The barn faces north/south, and in the winter it’s almost impossible to keep the back stalls clean. That’s why they are always in the worst shape. I didn’t get all four of them completely clean, but two, and a half ain’t bad. Anyway I had to hurry so I only got the first stall done.
 
 
Before Father left for CA I had to get the rest of our feed for two weeks from the Mercantile. I also wanted to take Sherry some eggs. When hens first start laying, they really get into it. I gave Sherry five dozen, and I still had a dozen plus in the refrigerator. I’m getting 4 – 6 eggs a day. They add up fast, and I always share with Sherry. The timing was perfect since her Father is coming for his Christmas visit. Off I go to Sherry’s. As luck would have it she had only been home for about five minutes, and her neighbor was coming over in about 15 minutes to take her somewhere (don’t ask me where, I claim the “O” thing). I got to see her new rescue pup, and heard her story. You see there was this little 2-year-old Beagle with a problem (Sherry’s a worse sucker than Rudy or I). The poor little thing had seizures so bad that either she had surgery, and Sherry adopted her, or they had to put her down. Well we all know the end to that story, of course Sherry would take her. She had the surgery, and came out blind, and paralyzed. Sherry thought oh my God, what have I done to this poor creature. She’s telling me this as the puppy was racing around the back yard even jumping over one of her other Beagles. Obviously she came out of it just fine, it just took a while for her to heal.
 
So I leave Sherry to her neighbors, and off I go to the Mercantile. I look at the clock, and I’m right on time. I get what I need from the Mercantile, and head for home. I unload the feed, and get to the house, to find Father frothing at the bit (or he would be if he were a horse). He put all his stuff in the car (couldn’t wait for Rudy to help), while I updated his medical history, and filled his pillboxes. I didn’t get his hair cut so he’ll just have to get it cut in CA. It’s 2:30, and off he, and Rudy go (Rudy’s driving of course).
 
It’s been a rush of a morning so I take my pills, and sit in front of the TV to relax, big mistake. At 4:00 I go down to put the girls away, and feed everyone. One of the worst parts of winter is the days are so short. Marina, and Sadie are waiting at the barn door as usual, and for a change Lizzie is waiting by her stall. Star I have to go get. She’s by the stallions on the south side. Her stall naturally is on the north side, so round I go to get her, and put her in her stall. Hopefully one of these days she’ll figure it out. I get everyone their hay, but when I get to Sierra (aka LBM), I see a lot of blood caked on his foot. The only thing I can figure is he got his leg caught between the paddock gate, and the post. I can’t see how bad it is, but I know it isn’t good.  I go into high gear to get everyone fed, get a halter on him, and move him from his stall in back to the front stall where he is more isolated, and confined. Then I run up to the house in the gator. When I floor it the gator goes quite fast, in fact it was a little too fast when l turned to go into the garage. I picked up needles, and syringes back at the barn. At the least I need to get him a shot of Banamine.  I get hot water, a clean bucket, gauze, and whatever else I think I might need, and race back to the barn. He’s a little anxious after all he has been in that stall since he was weaned. Now not only is he in a strange place, but he can’t see his buds. He could see Marina if she didn’t have her nose buried in her hay. He keeps looking for her feeling very insecure in this strange place.
 
I get him tied, and give him about 6 – 7 ml of Banamine. He’s such a good boy he behaves magnificently. I put some Betadine solution in the bucket of water (which is now just the right temperature), and proceed to wash his leg. He has more of a chunk taken out of the outside of his leg, while the inside has a deep cut down the cannon bone to his ankle. There are actually two cuts, one worse than the other. Since the only light I have is from the gator headlights, I can’t really tell if he has cut into a tendon, but I can see that it goes down to the bone. There’s really not a lot of meat on that part of the leg so it doesn’t take much to go down to bone.
 
What I really want to know is why these things happen when no one is around to help out. Rudy was in Roswell, April in Ruidoso, and even Becky was out of town. Once I see how bad it is, I stop to call first Becky (who didn’t answer) then Sherry. I leave messages on both of Becky’s numbers explaining what I can see in my limited light then call Sherry to see what I need to do until I hear back from Becky. The only thing she told me to do that I hadn’t done was to wrap the leg to protect it from debris. That’s when I got another call. Thinking it was Becky I let Sherry go, and answer to discover it is actually Rudy wanting me to call Robert (my brother), and let him know that Father is going to be late. The plane (which was supposed to have left already) hadn’t arrived yet. I tell him about Sierra, and promise to call Robert in-between.
 
There’s nothing more to do till I hear from Becky so I go back up to the house, I have to, my phone is down to 15% on the battery. I plug in my phone to charge while I talk to Sherry. We talk some more about Sierra, and other things. Eventually Tom (Becky’s husband) calls me. He says Becky is in Carona with her mother who is in ill health, and he wasn’t sure when she’d be back. I in turn tell him everything I’ve done, ask him about antibiotics telling him I have Penicillin. He tells me to give him 30 cc’s. I remind him that we have Arabians, and Sierra is only about 750 – 800 lbs, so he revises it to 20 cc’s which personally I think is still too high. He says I’ve done everything I can do, and asks if I would take some pics in the morning (when there’s good light), and send them to Becky’s cell. He also tells me that sutures on the cannon bone never work. There’s just not enough meat to secure them, and they just end up tearing through the skin. Ok I can see his point, so I thank him, and promise to send pics in the morning when I change his dressing.
 
Next morning Sierra lets me know he is not at all pleased with this new set up. He’s prancing around like a little idiot showing no signs of lameness. The only good thing (in his mind) is he now gets to be fed first instead of last. That calms him down a bit, but not much. I get everyone fed then go to change his dressing. He’s being a real brat, and won’t stand still. I’m just starting to loosen the bandage with warm water when Rudy comes down to help, and look at the damage. There’s no swelling, which is a good thing, and not too much dried blood. Rudy holds him while I get the bandage off. Now I can see how bad it really is. I can also see that sutures are totally out of the question, in fact it looks a lot like Jeri’s booboo when he tore up his ankle after we got back home after the fire. That means at least 2 – 3 months of doctoring before it is completely healed. I take pics, and proceed to pack the wounds with triple antibiotic. I have non-stick gauze, and this really cool stretch gauze wrap from Father’s many booboo’s which works much better than vet wrap. I try giving him a shot of penicillin, but he is not cooperative, and neither are my hands. I get about 10 cc’s in before my hands give out. At least it’s better than nothing.
 
I send the pics to both Becky, and Sherry. They both say the same thing, there’s no way anything can be stitched up (which I already figured out). I also tell Becky I have some powder antibiotic left over from when I had to give Espree some antibiotics. She says that will work just fine. She has some tabs, but wont have any powder till Wed. I can crush the tabs so I’ll pick some up on Monday. Meanwhile I’ll use what I have, and the Banamine for pain, and swelling. I send Rudy into town to pick up more gauze pads, wrap, and triple antibiotic. I’m going to need a lot of it before all this is done with. I’ll keep Sierra in the front stall for a couple of days then put him back in his old stall. As bad as it is in the long run this will be very good for Sierra. He needs to be taught to behave himself in strange settings, and being doctored will teach him a little patience. He’s a good boy, but he has not been exposed to a lot of different situations. While it’s never a good thing doctoring a young horse always pays off in the long run.
 
Like I said just when you think things are getting boring something happens to disrupt your blissful peace. To quote a very dear friend "Ain’t life wonderful"?
 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wind, wind, go away…


 
The last few days were miserable with wind. The day before yesterday in fact (while the wind was howling) I spent most of the day with either a hot or cold compress on my eye. I guess I start wearing my safety sunglasses more. My eyes are still a little raw, but not bad. Yesterday I was a good girl, and wore my glasses all the time I was working outside, well at least until I started cutting wood.  Rudy, and I got Sere moved back to the pasture, and Star into Espree’s old stall. He was a little skeptical with three horses running around, but I told him it wouldn’t be a problem, and it wasn’t. Once in her stall Star carried on like a little idiot (she misses her buds) until feeding time. Tomorrow we’ll see how she does with the rest of the girls. I’m sure there will be lots of screaming, as the boys will be clamoring to see the new girl. It’s bad enough that Lizzie is in (again), and I’m sure that Star will come in shortly after she gets to visit the boys whenever she wants.
 
I know some people will probably have apoplexy over my just letting the girls run loose when I have three stallions in stalls. Rudy was even skeptical, but it is working out well. It takes about a week for the newness to wear off, but once it does the girls are fine. The one issue I have is that Lizzie seems to be constantly coming in season, and since Jeri thinks he’s still a 3 year old he’s lost a little weight running back, and forth all the time. One advantage I can see is that if I can train while horses are out, and about doing their thing, whoever I’m training will learn that above all else they need to pay attention to the person on their back. We’ll see how it works out, especially when I start working more with LBM. One thing he needs to learn about is behaving himself when there are mares around. Ibn used to be real good about it. We could take him to a show, and never worry about other horses either stallions or mares. He knew there was a time, and a place for nookie, and the rest of the time (especially when someone was on his back) there were rules to obey. Nowadays I’m not so sure. The last time I took him down Laughing Horse he bellowed at every horse along the way. I have yet to work with LBM on just about anything, including stallion manners beyond going back, and forth to the round pen. That’s one of the disadvantages of not having Rudy around all the time. He is the trainer after all, and I just don’t have the time to do all the things I need to do.
 
Meanwhile I didn’t get anything done at all today, not even wood. While I was feeding I hurt so bad I couldn’t even clean stalls. It wasn’t that windy, just cold. I came in took a nerve pill, and a muscle relaxer, and that was all she wrote. There are days when my body simply refuses to do what I tell it to do, and today was one of those. I did manage to let Star out with the rest of the girls before I bailed. I opened the stall gate, and out she trotted happy as a clam. She went to see her buds, and barely paid any attention at all to the boys. Of course she’s not in season so that helps big time. I assume things were quiet, but since I slept all day I really have no clue other than when I went to put everyone back in their respective stalls things were quiet. Even though she wasn’t Johnny on the spot ready to go back to her stall (this was her first day after all), she came right to me when I called. She’s such a good girl. I give it about a week, and then just like the others when she hears the gator she will start moseying back to her stall. Lets face it local grasses are great, but alfalfa is better.
 
Yes I’m back to feeding alfalfa at night, and grass in the morning. There’s no more Alfalfa mix for a while. Why is it that it’s mostly mares that are picky about their feed? The boys seem to inhale it no matter what it is, in fact sometimes it seems as though Ibn prefers grass. I’ve thrown him a flake each (when I can get small grass flakes), and he will go after the grass first then the alfalfa. Other times he wants the candy first, but whatever I give him (save for oat hay) he eats it all. At any rate this morning for the most part the girls turned their noses up at the grass until they realized that that’s all they were getting. Of course tonight as soon as I threw them their alfalfa they barely came up for air, not even for their goodies (those that got goodies that is), and trust me Marina always screams for her goodies.
 
So that’s it for today, no real excitement, which is a good thing. Hopefully tomorrow will be better, and I can actually get some work done. It better be since I will have twice the poop to deal with (after all what goes in must come out, and a lot goes in). I also have to cut wood tomorrow or we won’t have anything to keep us warm. Luckily it’s not supposed to rain or snow tomorrow, at least I hope not. You know those weather people there’s always one reason or another for the weather not turning out to be quite what they said it would be.
 
Later…
 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Back at the ranch…

 
I finished my last post oh say a week ago, and of course my computer went on the blink. Rudy, and I have spent the last week trying to get it up and running again. You know viruses, and the like taking their toll. Well it probably still has issues, but it’s working, (ok where’s some wood to knock on), I hope. Having Rudy home has been wonderful not only because I happen to love having my husband around, but because it really helps having some help. Does that sound weird? My house is still a total wreck, but the ranch is definitely looking better.
 
We now have a total of 16 horses on the property.  Besides our 11 we have Penny who is definitely pregnant (I hope), Patty’s three who are now fat & sassy, and Ghost a TB racehorse. Ghost belongs to Jerry a friend of April’s, who is also disabled. Once on top of the world Jerry was crushed between a horse, and a stall wall. Jerry had another horse at the racetrack, but he was stolen. Ghost a 5-year-old gelding was raced when he was out of shape, and tore the lining of his stomach. Don’t ask me, I’m just repeating what I was told. Needless to say Jerry got him for a song, but was left with no place to keep him when he thought someone at the track was trying to poison him. I have no connection to the racing world no do I particularly want one. I won’t even go into what racing is like here, or at least what little I know of what it’s like. At any rate Jerry asked if he could bring Ghost here, and of course I said yes. He told me about his problems (every horse has his own idiosyncrasies), and warned me about his being a bad boy. A horse is a horse, I don’t care what breed they are. If you feed them right, and treat them right they are wonderful trusting creatures , unlike a lot of two legged creatures I know.

 
April, and George brought Ghost over about 10:30 at night. Evidently you can’t just take a horse from the stables at the racetrack, and load them in your trailer to go wherever. Seems it takes an act of Congress to remove your horse from the premises. When they got here poor Ghost was so hyped just getting him out of the trailer was a feat in itself. I had them put him in the round pen. He would be close to the other horses, but by himself allowing him to settle before putting him in a stall next to other horses. It took a week for him to stop pacing. I had to get all the hot feed out of him first. Once he settled down I had to find a place for him. I moved Stormy out to the pasture, put Ser-Haat between the two stallions, and put Ghost in Ser-Haat’s stall. He really needs a long run like the stallions have, but Ser-Haat is doing so well between the two boys I hate to take him out, and put him back where he was.
 
After a few weeks Jerry came out with his ex to show her Ghost, and was shocked at the change in him. He’s really a very sweet boy, so sweet I would love to take him out, and start riding him, but I can’t really do that. First off he still has two more years of racing he can do, and I can’t re-train him until he’s finished racing. The main reason though is I don’t have a bridle, and bit that will fit him. I’m not sure I even have a girth long enough for him, he’s 16 hands after all. Then there’s the matter of getting on him. I don’t have a step, and there’s no way I can stretch my legs up that high, 30 years ago maybe, but now I have to stretch just to get on Ibn, and he’s only 15 hands.
 
I had a little difficulty keeping weight on him at first. Then when I was in Albuquerque with Rudy he really lost weight. It took me a while to get him eating again, and lots of supplements. You have to understand there were a lot of changes for him not the least of which was a new diet. He’s happy, and healthy now though he does get a bit bored. I started taking him out to the round pen then Rudy went in the hospital, etc., etc. Once I get caught up again (I sound like a broken record), I’ll start working horses. The weather has been wonderful (save for today), and if it continues I hope to start riding again. I have my mowing mostly caught up (thanks to Rudy fixing the mower), and all but two stalls cleaned out. I was working on Espree’s stall when Sere sprained her ankle. Poor thing was walking like a ballerina on her right back foot. A little bit of Bute (which I just found out they aren’t going to make anymore), some liniment, and she was right as rain the next morning. I have kept her in the end stall giving her ankle some extra time to heal. Hopefully Rudy can help me put her back in pasture, and take Star out tomorrow. I have been letting Sadie, Lizzie, and Marina loose around the barn area, and I want to add Star to that list. It was real fun at first with the stallions going crazy, Marina trying to keep the mares away from the stallions, and Lizzie, and Sadie teasing the heck out of the stallions. Now they’ve finally settled down, and there’s only occasional screaming. The main purpose of this exercise is to save some money on feed. As a bonus, the girls get some exercise (ok not a lot, but it’s better than none after all), the boys get lots of exercise, and there’s a whole lot less to clean up in the stalls. I want to bring Star out so once I get all caught up on the stalls I can start training her. When I first let her out I know it’s going to be crazy again until everyone gets used to it, but she will settle down just like the others did.
 
As I mentioned earlier, Rudy has been getting water for me (and fixing the truck, and a number of other things), allowing me to spend a couple of extra hours a day working on the stalls. I want to get it to the point where all I have is a daily amount to pick up, leaving me time to train, and do other things without getting behind on the stalls. I’m bound, and determined to get horses trained so I can possibly sell them. That is why we bred them after all. I also need to start cutting more wood. December is supposed to be warmer than normal, but it’s still cool enough so I need to keep the fire going at night (today of course being the exception). The wind has been howling all day, and we got a smattering of snow last night dropping the temps, and forcing us to keep the home fires burning. I don’t mind the cold, but this wind is for the birds. Rudy just got all the missing shingles repaired on the roof, and I’m sure there will be more missing shingles after this storm. I do so love having Rudy home all the time. If I can just get these last two stalls finished…
 
Last but not least I have to give an update on my lovely chickens, they are after all members of our household. I was beginning to wonder if they would ever start laying, then it turned cold. Now Rudy set up a red heat lamp in the hen house so the girls wouldn’t get too cold during the winter. While I’m sure they would survive just fine without it, with it the hens lay eggs year round. I had the heat lamp on for about a week and finally they started laying. Their eggs are varying shades of green, and blue, with some having more of a tanish hue. I love having fresh eggs again. I still have to finish their run (more so since I took Patty, and George’s last hen). When I took care of their animals the time before last I almost took their last three hens, then this last time two hens were dead so I took the last one home. She’s past her laying years, but I couldn’t leave her to die also. I should have taken the three but they are much bigger than my hens, and I don’t have enough room for my girls as it is. Oh well such is life, Big Mama will at least be able to enjoy her senior years.
 
I’m sure I’ve left out all kinds of things that have happened, but at least I’ve sort of caught up on ranch business. I don’t have the time or the energy to do all the things I want to do (or need to do), but I am making progress. I’m getting manure down around the barn area for the coming spring. The eight barn stalls are looking good, after which I will have to start on the stallion stalls. I got teeth floated, Ser-Haat is looking great getting all kinds of exercise being in-between the two stallions. I’m getting Espree used to being handled by cleaning her stall on a daily basis. Everyone is looking good for that matter. Being on a grass/alfalfa mix this summer fattened everyone up for the winter. Letting Sadie, and Lizzie out has helped with their feet (though they’re still long) along with getting them some much needed exercise. I still have a ton of things to do, but I don’t sweat it. I do what I can, when I can, and leave the rest for tomorrow, of which there is an endless supply. One of these days things will get better, until then I work hard, and enjoy every minute I have with all that God has given me, and refuse to sweat the rest. That’s God’s problem not mine.