Life on an Arabian breeding farm in Capitan, NM.

Friday, February 1, 2013

So what have I been up to????

Obviously I have been very busy. My father took a nasty fall causing a huge hematoma above his left eye (the size of a baseball). Luckily that was all the damage he sustained, there was no internal bleeding. Of course besides the ER we had lots of doctor’s appointments that we had to go to the upshot of which was they took him off all his blood thinners (except aspirin), and reduced his BP meds considerably. I had been trying to get them to do that for some time as his BP kept bottoming out. My greatest fear was that he would fall, and end up with a severe injury we were very lucky he only got a bump on the head. His cardiologist finally decided that the risk of his killing himself in a fall was greater than the risk of a stroke. Duh! He’s feeling much better now, but we may have to increase his BP med as his BP is now going too high. He just can’t win for loosing.
Amidst all this high drama we had two cold fronts come visit us. The first came before Dad’s incident, and temperatures went into the single digits. Everything froze, and not only was I cutting wood every day to keep the house warm, but I was hauling water for us, and the horses. Now I had asked Chuck (pump man) if the insulating I had done at the pump house was sufficient, but of course it wasn’t. When we finally got water again I noticed that the new jet pump was leaking. I turned everything off, and called him. That was on Friday. Naturally he was out of town (a job in Santa Fe that turned out to be more expensive than whatever they made on the job). He was supposed to be back the next day, but when I still hadn’t heard from him on Monday I called again. They were just leaving Santa Fe. When they finally got here he told me the bad news, the jet pump froze, and cracked. Just what I needed another bill I couldn’t pay. He replaced the pump, and told me what else I needed to do to keep the pump from cracking again. We had water for a day when the next cold front came through. This time it only got down to the low teens, but we still froze. The good news was that the pump didn’t freeze. Once it warmed up we got water at the house, then later at the barn. That’s when I discovered we had a leak at the water main to the barn. The pipe didn’t crack only separated, but I still had to dig it up, cut pipe for new fittings, and pray. I put foam insulation underground where the pipe is only buried about 6”, and up to the turn off valve. Lastly we got water to the pasture. The next cold wave we only lost water inside the barn (not to the automatic waterers), and pasture. Yesterday we finally got water in the pasture. I had the tank full so I didn’t have to haul water. Thank you Lord for that.
To keep myself occupied while I was filling water tanks I decided to work with Sierra on picking up his feet. His front feet are terrible, as he doesn’t wear his toes down like everyone else. My sweet little baby turned into a stubborn not so little boy. He didn’t remember that he used to let me pick up his feet, and kept walking away from me so he got tied. At first that was no big deal till he couldn’t get away from me when I went to pick up his feet. He only sat back twice, and then he gave in, and stood still sort of in-between trying to bite me for which he was rewarded with an elbow. This is not anything I have ever done before, and certainly not with a young stallion. Getting hurt is not an option, nor is letting him get the upper hand. Again I’m going on instinct, and half the time I was scared I wouldn’t move fast enough when I needed to. He’s not that big yet, but he could still do a lot of damage. Then the weather got bad, and  I had to stop. He was still fighting me, but we were making progress. Now that the fierce winds have stopped I’ll start working on him again. I can’t work him in the round pen until I can get his feet filed down, and I need to start him in the round pen. After all there are lessons to be learned.
Everyone is finally up to weight (thank you Lord), so hopefully my feed bill will go down some. Now they need exercise something terrible. Sierra, and Ser-Haat need lessons, Star needs me to get on her back, and Stormy needs to get working with the saddle so I can start him in the spring. How many hours are there in a day again?
Katy finally took her horses closer to where she lives giving me two open stalls. I didn’t realize it, but her horses put a lot of stress on my horses. Immediately Espree, and Lizzie calmed down, and finally Espree started filling out. Jazzy who has been in the pasture jabbed herself again (in the same spot), and then a few days later (during the cold snap) she was trembling, and favoring her back leg. I couldn’t see any swelling or any sign of any injury, but just to be safe I took her into the barn. It would give me the opportunity to put a few more pounds on her, and work her in the round pen once the weather turned warm. In actuality I think she faked it just so she could get out of the pasture into a nice warm (ok not so warm) stall, and not only get more attentions, but goodies too. Next morning she was perfectly fine. She has that (whatever it is) stuff on her back legs again. I just can’t figure out how to get rid of it, and now her dam has it too only not as bad. It occurred to me that the only thing that has changed in their diet is I stopped doing the vinegar, and oil in their goodies. It just got too expensive. Well I started both of them on it again, and we’ll see what happens. It can’t hurt, and it may help.
What else has been going on lets see. Pena (boxer) has that (again whatever it is) sore on her inner leg. It’s in the same spot as last year. At least I know what to do about that. I tried adding bitter orange to the Tinactin, and she made a face, but she still licked it off. I try to put it on twice a day when I can watch her for a little bit to let it absorb into her skin before she licks it all off. Last night she wouldn’t sit still until I let her crawl into my lap. Ok so I’m a whoose. It was worth it to keep her from licking it off. Then it seems it got too cold for Cheerio (Patagonian parrot). I try to keep the house warm, but I can only do so much with a wood stove. One morning he was all fluffed out, and just didn’t look right. He wasn’t eating, and had gotten very week. I was afraid he wasn’t going to make it he looked so bad. I got out the heat lamp, and bought some vitamins for him. Even if I could afford it, there isn’t an Avarian vet anywhere near here, and there is little they can do anyway except give you antibiotics for them. I’ve been through a couple of illnesses with my birds. He wasn’t wheezing so I hoped that the heat would be enough. Well he’s much better. He’s eating properly, and getting around in his cage, but he’s still sleeping most of the time with his head under his wing. I have a sheet around his cage to keep any cool air out, and hopefully keep the warm air in. This is the first year this has happened so I don’t know if I’m just not keeping the house as warm as last year or what. God willing he will get back to normal soon.
I think that’s about everything that has gone on here at the ranch. The weather is beautiful today which is good since I have to go out and get hay today. I’ll just be happy when I can get back into a somewhat normal routine, whatever that is!