Life on an Arabian breeding farm in Capitan, NM.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Snow, Snow…Snow, Snow…

I used to love winter. There were beautiful coats, boots, sweaters, and hats to don. Snow was a rare, and beautiful occasion that lasted a day or maybe two or three. Of course I was single with only a dog, a cat, and a bird to demand my attention. There was always running water, electricity, and heat. Ah yes, I remember those days, not so today. I don’t know what possessed me to think I could take care of mother, take care of the ranch, and work a full time job, especially in the winter.
I haven’t written anything because nothing special has been going on, and I was too tired or in too much pain to write anything. Well my pain is more or less under control, and I’ve added a few supplements to my meds. Vitamin B complex seemed a good choice to try to bring up my energy level, and I discovered another herb. When we first moved here the vet was over one day, and pointed out a plant that he told Rudy was bad for horses. Of course Rudy remembered everything except which plant it was. Some years later someone one was looking at the property, and he noted a beautiful flowering plant, and called it locoweed. Eventually I looked up locoweed, and discovered a totally different plant. Well some months ago I decided to try to find the plant, and I actually found it. It is Astragalus Castetteri or Castetter’s milk-vitch, which is toxic to livestock. Somehow I stumbled on a web page (that of course I never found again) that gave its medicinal properties. I saw low-blood pressure, allergies, and stopped when I saw Fibromyalgia. Now one thing I cannot stand are herbal teas, and of course it said to make a tea out of the root. Well if I dig up the roots, then I loose the plant. My solution was to smoke it. The Indians smoked a lot of things so why not Milk-vitch? I have no idea if it is really helping or not, but I do have more energy, and less pain. I still have numbness in my hands, and arms, but hey, I’ll take whatever I can get. I haven’t had to take an allergy pill since either. I’ve been taking allergy meds since I was about 8 so maybe it is helping. Maybe it’s the combination of everything I’m taking, but just in time I feel stronger. I can go all day again, and it’s a good thing with winter stepping in, and making a mess of things.
So what’s been happening all this time you ask? Well Marina, and Stormy both now have chains on their gates. Marina discovered that if she wiggles the gate enough she can help herself to all the goodies her little heart desires. Why she hasn’t colicked or foundered I don’t know. My biggest problem is remembering to latch it. Stormy is another matter. His gate is a slanting iron bar that slides into a hole in an iron pole. We had a storm about a week or so ago, and in the morning I discovered Stormy in Ibn’s stall. Thank God Ibn really likes his kids. Ibn had a scrape on his leg, and Stormy is sporting a shaved eyebrow, but that was it. In trying to get Stormy into his own stall, he pushed Ibn, went under his neck while Ibn was eating, and was totally obnoxious. Ibn could have cared less, he was hungry, and was only interested in his goodies. Well I figured it was an accident, and thought nothing more of it, until a few days later, there was Stormy in Ibn’s stall again. That’s when he got a chain on his gate.
Angel went to CA for breeding with Sandy. I hated to see her go, but we can’t breed (lack of finances), and she’s too good a mare not to be passing on her wonderful genes. Sandy needed an outcross mare (Lewisfield line), and I told her years ago she could have Angel back for breeding anytime she wanted. She’ll keep her for probably 4 or 5 years then we will get her back, at least that’s the plan now. We’ll see what happens.
I couldn’t leave Sere in the pasture by herself so Star, and Jazzy joined her in the pasture. Jazzy does so well in pasture I prefer keeping her there if I can. She’s a hot mare with nervous issues (thanks to a well known trainer in CA who shall remain nameless). Lately I also decided to just put a round bale in the pasture hoping they would put on more weight. Both Star, and Jazzy are still a little underweight. Almost everyone else has put on most of the weight they lost during the fires. Now they need work to get them in shape again. Star is ready to start working steadily under saddle. I just have to find time between hauling water, breaking ice, and hauling, and cutting wood so we won’t freeze. I also need days when the ground isn’t mush to start riding her. She will be easy to train. She is so smart she is always getting into trouble. Remember when she let everyone out of their stalls? A job will give her something to do with that great mind of hers. Besides she will love all the attention.

Next I have to start on Stormy. April has been working with him, but she has been sick, and I’m not sure when she will be able to come back. We had a saddle on him once, but I will probably have to start all over with that. First I have to get our water issues under control. I had to redo one of the waterers I did last year. They work but the water level is too low. Since we have had no water since I fixed it, I have no idea of my new idea will raise the water level or not. Hopefully it will, and I can redo the other one the same way.
Wood is an ongoing project. My father got me a small battery operated chain saw, which helps. It would help more if the batteries would last longer than they do. I have three batteries, and I can get about 2 hours work with them. Mind you they are not being used that entire time, that’s simply the amount of time it usually takes for me to fill the gator with wood. Then I get to cut it into pieces that will fit into our stoves. That’s another few hours, and it only lasts for a few days. Next year will be different. Sherry had some land cleared, and I get all the cleaned wood. They’re too green for this year but not for next. A year’s seasoning, and I’ll have a head start on the winter’s wood supply. Yea!
I’ve also joined the 21st century I now have an iPhone. That’s why I suddenly have pictures again. My battery died on my camera, and Ibn sort of stepped on my other phone cracking the camera lens. The phone worked fine all my pictures just had this line across them. Rudy got one for himself, and liked it so well he got me one. I’m still working on liking it. I have to admit it does take great pictures, and since that’s all I have for now that’s what I use.
Katy’s moving her horses (weather permitting) hopefully by the 10th. She’s a very nice lady with a great heart, but things were becoming more, and more difficult, so I asked her to find them another home. There’s no sense in going over what led to my blowup, the fact of the matter is, I think this will end up being a good thing. She’s moving them to her friend’s house, which is two houses down from her. Now maybe she will go see them, and give them the attention they deserve. As it is now once in a while she will go over to them, and say hello when she brings feed. It drives me crazy. I think this will be better for everyone. I will miss the little (and I mean little) bit of money she gives me, but such is life. I think we will both be much happier with her horses elsewhere.
That’s about it. Like I said there’s really not much going on except the same ole’ same ole’. If the weather improves, and I get caught up on my wood, and I can get enough water so that when the water lines do unfreeze there’s water flowing, I just may have time to do something fun, or at least different. Who knows I may even take Star for a ride. Oh, I almost forgot one very important milestone. Ser-Haat, and Ibn got a bit of colic one day (yes both at the same time). Now the last time Ser-Haat had a shot Warren (our vet) gave it to him, and that was when he got his you-know-what cut. Sandy years ago told me that she doesn’t do anything with the boys until they’re about three or four, and now I begin to understand why. They just don’t mature mentally until then. This past year Ser-Haat has grown both physically, and mentally. He’s come a very long way from the scared little colt he was as a baby still I had no clue how he would react to my giving him a shot. I had no reason to fear as he stood there like a champ taking the needle with no fuss at all. It helped that he felt terrible looking at me with those big brown eyes begging me to make the pain go away. April was here thankfully, and she walked him around while I finished feeding, and took care of Ibn while she took care of Ser-Haat. That was a big step for him too. Normally I’m the only one (besides Rudy) who can do anything with him. My little boy is growing up in more ways than one. I can’t wait till I can start working with him again. Who knows maybe I can even get him started under saddle without too much fuss. He’s smart, he’s sweet, and only needs a little self-confidence to make a great riding horse. Too bad I can’t get him registered, as he would make a great show horse. Oh well I guess I can’t have everything. I’m lucky to have all that I do have.