Life on an Arabian breeding farm in Capitan, NM.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

I guess they’re right…

You know how they say after you get over the flu to take it easy because you can relapse? Guess what, they’re right! Not only that but they also say that the relapse is worse than the first time around. Wouldn’t you know, they’re right about that too. When my mower parts came in I had to test the mower after I put it all back together to make sure that it was working properly, and while I was out there it sorta started raining. It wasn’t raining hard, it was just sprinkling, and I got a little soaked. It wasn’t cold out so I didn’t think anything of it. Then later when I fed of course it did the same thing. At least I wore warmer clothing, only it didn’t seem to do any good. By the time I finished with everything got everyone fed etc. I was coughing up a storm. Needless to say I’ve been down all week. The worst part is I can’t seem to breath well. I’ve always been short winded (kept me out of sports as a kid, which I did not appreciate), but this is ridicules. I’d have to stop halfway through feeding to catch my breath.  Today I was able to unload, and stack hay, but after all I only had eight bales of alfalfa, and some feed bags so it was no big deal. Still, and all I was exhausted, but I got it done. After I did the hay Father wanted to go to town for lunch (he doesn’t appreciate my simple one person meals), after which I came home, and proceeded to fall asleep for a couple of hours. Hey that’s the most I’ve done all week.
Actually it’s been a good time to be sick (if there is such a thing). All it’s done for the past week is rain. Now we’ve been in a drought situation here in the southwest so naturally we’ve been praying for rain. In our church every Sunday one of the things we pray for specifically is rain, and I am assuming that the same sort of thing goes on in just about every church in NM. Well God took us at our word, and opened the floodgates. Geese Louise He could have let it rain a little bit at a time, but nooo… He lets loose the rain all at once. One Tropical storm is bad enough, but two during monsoon season is a bit much. This is why my husband, and I insist on never living near a river, and never, ever have a house on low ground. I had a friend whose house was a mile away from the Santa Cruz down in Tubac AZ. We had a monsoon season like this. It rained for three days straight, the river changed course, and she had three to four feet of water in her house. That was a bad year. We were stranded for three days while they decided who was going to pay for the road that washed out leaving us (Rio Rico community) isolated. All the roads leading in, and out of Rio Rico were washed away. The bridge going over the Santa Cruz was left standing, but there was no road. The raging water cut out the road behind the bridge, leaving a twenty foot drop about fifteen foot wide. It was really sort of cool watching the power of the river cut away at the road bit by bit. I’ll have to look in my files to see where the newspaper articles are. Anyway this has been that sort of rain here in NM, and CO. We have been inconvenienced, but there are plenty of people in both states that are going through a terrible time. The worst part is that in spite of the fact that the rivers are higher than they have been in a number of years it’s still not enough. The lakes have risen somewhat, but are still no where near what they should be. For the year we are getting closer to normal rainfall but not there yet. We may get there the next few days as it is supposed to rain some more, but that still won’t make up for the past three years. In addition to a good monsoon season we need a good wet winter with a slow snowmelt in the spring. No more flooding (just in case you’re listening Lord).
I may be frustrated because I can’t get done what I want to do, but I really feel for the horses. Ok so they are spoiled. Each has a dry spot to stand in so they don’t get soaked, but that’s besides the point. All the runs are sloppy, and some have standing water where there are low spots. I’m going up, and down the fence line trying to find a spot to leave hay for the pasture horses. When it’s raining I take the hay in, and feed them inside the shuffling barn. Everyone seems to have gotten a little thin with that Coastal hay, but Espree, and Sadie are the worst. If tomorrow is as nice as today I think I will put the two of them in the arena. I have water there, and I can feed them extras. I started Espree on Breeders Choice, but I ran out, and forgot that Harvey’s closes at noon on Sat. Then Rudy told me that they are also closed on Monday’s.  Hopefully, with the new store that won’t be the case. I really need that stuff for Jeri if no one else. Jeri has shown real improvement, and I don’t want to have him take a step back. I also need to get Espree, Sadie, and LBM up to weight. They are the worst. Some of the others are down a little in weight, some just need work, big bellies, and no muscle, and then there’s Sere. She looks fantastic.  If I can get the rest to look like her… You can’t sell a horse that looks like crap, so I’d best get to work, and get them in shape.  Of course in order to do that it has to stop raining long enough for me to cut all the weeds, and grass down. I did get the round pen mowed, but it’s so slick with all the rain that if I try to work any one it will be a slip, and slide affair, great for kids, not for horses. Today it only rained a little this morning, and if I’m lucky maybe tomorrow will be dry, then I can get some mowing done. Some is better than none. I also hope that Wal-Mart has gotten in some wood pellets. I need a ton of them, but even a few bags will be better than nothing. It’s a little early for wood pellets, but they have the cheapest in town. I’m not going to pay premium price for something that is going on the ground. It works just as well as dry stall, and is a whole lot cheaper.
I also found a cheaper fly spray. It took a while to come up with something that works here, but I think I’ve got it down. Most of it is just plain lemon Pinesol, and water (half, and half). That’s what the recipe called for ( To that I added my alcohol, and clove mixture, just a little mind you, to convince the mosquitoes that they want to stay clear of the stuff (they don't like the smell of cloves). Add a little bit of eucalyptus oil, shake gently, and spray. It works as well as the fly spray you spend a fortune for that only lasts a day or so. It also makes the barn smell good. Today the flies were horrendous. All that moisture, and then just a little sun was all they needed to come out in force. I’ll make another batch tonight. I bought a big bottle of Pinesol for a whole $3. Much better that the $60 or so for the good stuff. It works, that’s all that matters to me. The horses are happy, so I’m happy, and that’s all that matters. Try it or try one of their other recipes, who knows you may find one you like better.
There has been one causality due to the weather. I found another hummingbird on her back this morning. I got some food in her, and I got her warmed up, but it wasn't enough. She had a heart attack and died after about half an hour. I'm sure the weather has caused other deaths in my hummingbird population, hopefully not too many. They are such brave little creatures they deserve a long life.

Monday, September 9, 2013



Yes, you guessed it the mower parts finally came in, and they’re the right parts (yes!). After I feed tomorrow I’ll take off the other blades, sharpen them, put everything back together, and try to get some mowing done. I say try because that tropical storm that has been drowning Az is coming our way starting tomorrow. I swear we can’t get a break no matter what. Well that isn’t quite true. Something nice happened the other day. Sherry called about a sign she saw at the post office (the one in Alto) offering free cut wood. I called, and Sunday went over to Sonterra with the pickup. Larry (the owner) had already cut down about a hundred trees, and has about another hundred to go. Between the beetles, and the fire he’s going to be left with one Ponderosa pine, one Pinion, and some Juniper on his land. He is lucky though the fire stopped short of his house. Three other people down the road lost their house. He is a very nice man who moved to Alto with his wife once they retired. He helped my father, and I load the wood into the back of the pickup, and said I could come over any time to get more wood. He showed me how to get to his woodpile in back just in case I go over there, and they’re not home. Like I said he’s a very nice man. Now I have to get the shim for my sledgehammer so I can use it. I have a lot of wood to split. By the time I split the big logs I will have doubled my log pile with one truckload of wood. He has another five truckloads in back. It’s the one good thing that has happened this week. I got plenty of wood, and made a new friend, they even used to breed paints.
I thought I possibly had Stormy sold, but after I sent her some conformation stills, she said that he wasn’t what she was looking for. It doesn’t help that he is the least photogenic horse that we have. Then too I can take action photos, but stills? Even just looking at him standing there he doesn’t look like much of anything. It isn’t until he starts moving that you can see what he’s all about. Once I get the place cleaned up, and everything mowed, I’m going to start working him, and Star. They both need to be worked to get them in shape so someone will want to buy them. Stormy will be a great endurance horse no matter that he doesn’t look like much. Oh well, things will work out somehow,
besides April wants to be the first one on his back. If I sold him now she would miss out on that, and so would he. I would also like to see just what he can do in these hills. He’s small, compact, and more than willing to please. Ibn loves going out into the forest, and I’m hoping that Stormy will too. Star is more of a little princess, and I think she would be perfect for a little girl. We’ll see, I’ll just have to trust that the right person will find us, and will give both of them a forever home. After all that’s the point in breeding isn’t it?
The hummingbirds are leaving, and the elk are coming. The bulk of my hummingbirds have begun their journey south. I still have a little over half a dozen left but that’s all. They will stay bulking up just a little longer for the journey then they will be gone too. The other night I thought I heard an elk call, and tonight I heard a young bull call out. It must be his first season, the cry was so thin it reminded of a teenage boy when his voice changes. The hummingbird’s leave, and the elk come back, that’s what September brings. Soon the elk will be thick, and if I’m lucky I might even get a picture or two. When I’ve seen them before I’ve never had a camera, or it was too difficult to get whoever I was riding still enough to bring out the camera get it open etc so I could take a picture. My little iphone should make it easier to take pictures on the trail. I’m bound, and determined to get back in the saddle. September’s a wonderful month for riding. It’s not too hot, and it’s not too cold. Hopefully it won’t be too wet this winter so I can ride more. Once Joe gets his mare here you watch April will be here more often, so the three of us can go riding in the hills. It’s been a long time since I’ve ridden with anyone. It will be fun, and it will force me to ride instead of working on the property. Luckily there generally isn’t as much to do come winter, I hope (are you listening Lord), especially if I can get enough wood stacked to last the whole winter. Great, the news just said we will have a flood watch come tomorrow with more rain expected than they first reported. Don’t they know I have a lot to do? I can’t mow if it’s raining cats, and dogs for the next three days. I just can’t seem to win for loosing these days. Oh well such is life, I will get done what I can, and figure the rest out later.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Tomorrow is the Day…

Tomorrow is the 6th, that’s the day that my mower parts are supposed to arrive, now let’s see if they do. I have to go into town to get the hay I was supposed to get today, which I will do while Father is at the senior center for lunch. I was supposed to do all that today, but you know how it goes. We didn’t get back from Ruidoso until 4:00, not only was I too tired, but it was too late anyway. I did go to the Dollar store (after I fed), and got what I needed there. At least there will be one less stop tomorrow. If the parts come in I might even be able to get started mowing tomorrow, or at the least first thing Sat morning. It’s supposed to stay dry (with maybe only a few showers over the weekend) till mid week next week. Of course that’s what they said about Monday, and a downpour right at dusk, almost ended the life of a little hummingbird.
Amongst my hummingbirds, I have about half a dozen or so juveniles (I think). Just after sunset we had a huge downpour that lasted say fifteen minutes or so. I was on the phone and once it stopped I went outside to sit on the porch to watch my hummingbirds while I talked. For some strange reason I looked down, and there on the porch floor directly beneath the feeders, was a tiny little hummingbird all fluffed out, and hunkered down. Needless to say I got off the phone real fast, went over to her, and when I went to pick her up she barely moved. I cupped her in my hands, and tried to warm her up with my breath. She moved her wings a little, but was too cold to do much more than sit there. There was no way she could get warm enough to spend the night outside, as the rain dropped the temperature quite a bit. I do have some bird cages, but they are all down at the barn (of course), so I took a large wire waste paper basket, put a feeder inside on some pine shavings, and gently set her on the feeder edge. She was able to grab onto the feeder, but her wings were still spread out. Since the cats go everywhere I put her in the shower, and closed the door. When I went to check on her later in the night she had climbed up to the top of the basket, which had a lid on it (I do think once in a while). I figured she would be better off for a warm nights rest so I left her there till morning. When I woke up first off I checked in on her, took her outside, and removed the top. She climbed to the top, grabbed on to the edge, and off she flew to the safety of the trees. If I hadn’t seen her she would have stayed there on the porch, and gotten thoroughly soaked for another deluge followed the first about twenty minutes later, then too I would never have been able to hold such a tiny little creature.
I love my hummingbirds, they are truly amazing creatures.  They delight me with their antics chasing each other from their favorite feeder. The adults pretty much leave the youngsters alone knowing (I only guess) that they need to put on as much weight as possible for the long trek ahead of them. Other adults are fair game, but not the little ones. Then too there are groups that are quite willing to share a feeder, while others battle it out. It won’t be too long before they are gone, as the nights are becoming quite cool. They have a long journey before them, and are almost constantly eating. They have to double their weight before they trek across the gulf. It still amazes me that such a tiny little bird can make such a journey. We could learn a lot from hummingbirds.
April is supposed to come over on Sat I’ll find out then what Joe thought of the Appy his brother wants to give him. I don’t know whatever happened to the TB mare he was looking at, but I suspect they decided to try racing her. I’ll find out when they get here. It should take about three days for me to get all the mowing done after which I can start working on the horses again. I need to groom, clean some feet, take a rasp to a few, and start working others. If April is here for a while maybe she can do feet. Sere has been on the OCD pellets for a week now, and I want to clean, and trim her feet (one front hoof is definitely shorter than the other again), and maybe put her in the round pen to see if there is any improvement at all. I know that a week isn’t a lot of time, but if I work her lightly once a week, I can better gauge her progress (or lack thereof). I think I want to move LBM, and Stormy as well. LBM needs to wear down his feet, and he needs more exercise. I need to work on Stormy, and LBM’s stall is closer to the round pen. Also I can give Stormy more attention. I need to desensitize him all over again with a spray bottle since he’s decided that this year he doesn’t want to get sprayed with fly spray. I think he, and Ser-Haat are conspiring against me. LBM will still be next to Ibn, and being next to Sere will let him know that all mares are to be treated with respect (not just Lizzie) if you plan to live long. I can’t quite put him in with a bunch of mares say in pasture (which would be more natural), but if I can expose him to more than just one mare, he should learn some horse etiquette. He’s still little (short too), but he is also a teen, and given the chance can produce. Ibn was about 18 months old when he got his pony babysitter pregnant LBM is three. Sere is tall, and a dominant mare so I don’t think he will try anything with her. He’s still very impressionable. I’ll try switching the two of them, and watch LBM like a hawk before I leave him alone next to Sere. I haven’t been watching her cycles (after all we’re not breeding) so I don’t know how often she is cycling just now. Even if he were to try, he’s just too short, and there will be a fence between them (I’m not totally daft).
That’s the plan, which is of course subject to change, at least four or five times. I don’t know why I even bother to plan things. Nothing ever happens the way I plan it, but I do try. I also need the energy to do all this. I have an idea that once I get all the mowing done, my body is going to say, “ok that’s it we’re done here”, and then I’ll probably sleep for three days. Right now I’ll settle for one night beginning now!

Monday, September 2, 2013

And they grow, and grow…

Monday morning I woke up about 1:00, 1:30 freezing cold, and in excruciating pain. I closed the window, upped the heat on my heating pads, took some Ibuprophen, and went back to bed. I woke up again around 5:00 feeling no better. I spent most of the day on the easy chair in a thermal shirt (not my normal cut up T-shirt) covered with a blankie, and the heating pad much higher than normal. I did call to find out about the parts for the mower. No parts. Finally about 3:00 in the afternoon when I realized that yes I had a fever, it finally dawned on me. April gave me the flu. I think dead meat best describes my feelings for her that afternoon. Three days I was totally miserable, three days. In spite of my fevered condition I continued to call about my mower parts. Ok maybe I wasn’t up to putting the mower back together, sharpening the blades, and doing the once around the property, but I could get the parts, if they would come in.

Well I survived, but the parts never came in. By Thursday I had become a wee bit impatient. I called Randy again, and asked if he could maybe find out where the package was by the tracking number. You can do that with UPS you know. He said he’d call me back. This time he actually did only to tell me that the parts were backordered, and they had no clue when they’d be able to ship them. Great! He said he had someone else he could call, and would call me back. Since he never called me back I stopped by on my way to Capitan. Yes he found the parts, and they told him they had them in stock. The kicker is they won’t get here until Sep 6th. Another week, and it will be a jungle out there. Ok so maybe it’s already a jungle, but by then I’m sure that everything will be seeding which is what I was trying to avoid. It will also be a hassle even if I do sharpen the blades because the mower will bend everything down and it will be difficult for the blades to even get to the stems to cut them. This is all reminiscent of when we first moved in. What a mess it was trying to get this place cleaned up. Oh well, at least the parts are on their way, I should be grateful for that. I don’t think I will be ordering parts from Randy anytime soon. He’s local, and a good guy so I want to give him the business, but I don’t think my little bit of business is going hurt him any. If anything it will only hurt me since the other places to get parts are in Ruidoso. Just once Lord do you think things could get a little bit easier? Not!
That’s what’s up with the mower. As for the kids I haven’t been riding (can’t get to the round pen) so they are not getting the workouts they need, and neither am I. Jazzy is absolutely fat, and Star, and Sadie have nice big hay bellies. Most everyone else is picking up weight nicely. We have always done better with half, and half (except for Jazzy), and in spite of the expense of getting alfalfa I guess I’m going to have to keep with that program. The Breeder’s Choice I’m now giving Jeri has really helped him a lot. He is putting on some “serious weight” (April’s words). Actually everyone is looking real good. LBM is thin, but that’s just because he’s a teenager, and just like people teenage boys eat you out of house, and home, and never seem to gain a pound (how I wish it were the same for me). The OCD pellets I got for Sere came in (before the mower parts I might add) so I’m excited to see if they actually help her. I’m loath to start giving her pain medication for her navicular cist so I am praying big time that this does the trick. It would be so wonderful if I could let her out, and see her run, and play, and not go lame in five minutes time. She is so beautiful to watch. She’s big, elegant, and has exquisite movement. She’s broke to ride, and if I could get her to the point of riding her, what fun we’d have. We’ll just have to wait, and see.
On a side note I was talking to Sherry (Krisite’s owner) about my mower, and when I asked how things were going at her place she told me of her woe’s with one of wee little one’s. After being trimmed one of her mini’s came up lame. After a few days she was assured that it wasn’t founder (she’s foundered before), and she decided that it was in fact the trimming, and that our super hard ground was just too much for the poor little mini so she tried padding her two front feet. Well by the end of the day the pads were all compacted, and of no use at all. Next she decided she was going to try little booties. Well this was just too much for me not to see so I had her send me pics. She’s adorable in her little booties. Sherry
said she would put them on during the day, and then take them off at night so her little feet could properly dry out. No sense in letting her develop thrush or God only knows what. It does no good to cure one thing only the have the cure cause another problem. I haven’t heard back to see how she’s doing, but I’m sure that she’s doing fine.
Now I have to decide whether to go down to the barn for some grooming, and stall cleaning or stay up at the house, and tackle this computer room. I have three projects going, and quite frankly I can’t find my desk. The only reason I can type is the keyboard, and mouse are on a pull out tray. My desk is piled with music, pictures, negatives, mail, and misc. other stuff. Then there is this thick layer of dust everywhere. You know how it is you have so much to do that you don’t seem to get anything accomplished. Well that’s about the state of affairs here. Of course that’s always the state of affairs here so I have no idea what I’m talking about.  Isn’t life good!