As I was saying after three years of drought the monsoons have finally returned. The El Nino pattern isn’t as strong as first predicted, but that may be a good thing. With everything so dry smaller doses of rain is probably a good thing. The thought is that it will still be strong enough to last through the winter. That’s what we really need, it’s the snowmelt that feeds the underground rivers (like the one feeding my well). We were just getting a trace of rain here, and there, then a quarter inch, then a half, then the big one came, and we got 3 1/2 “ in one night. Since then it’s been smaller showers at night, like now in fact. That suits me just fine as I have too much work to do during the day.
I said I would try to catch up on all that’s been happening this summer, so here goes. Periodically the truck breaks down, and George has to rescue me, but somehow it always seems to be on a water run. George says I have a hay truck, not a water truck, and Rudy needs to buy me a water truck (like we can afford to buy any kind of truck). So far there hasn’t been anything major (knock on wood), and it just keeps on going, like the energizer bunny. I have to say I was quite pleased the other day when I had to rescue George. He ran out of gas, and I was quite pleased with myself, George not so much.
Don’t know if I mentioned it or not, but April had surgery back a while. She had dozens of polyps removed from her esophagus, and stomach. It has been a slow recovery, and she hasn’t been able to do a lot of the things around the ranch most notably hooves. Recently she’s been able to do a little more, and we’re beginning to catch up. In the meantime I tried to do what I could, but that is little more than rasp. Because it’s been so dry everyone has overgrown soles causing all kinds of problems. I’ve gone through tons of hoof dressing, and have managed to clean out some of the worst cases. All this rain is making the biggest difference. I can clean out a lot more, of course I don’t have time to get them done the way they need to be done, but that’s besides the point. Next I’ll be treating feet for thrush. You’d think there could be a happy medium where it’s not too dry, and not too wet. Nooo, it’s got to be one or the other.
I’ve had to move a lot of horses around for one reason or another. I may be getting another horse in (a paying boarder no less) so I needed to free up a stall. Jetta has been doing very well even though they still haven’t gotten their teeth floated yet. That won’t be for another couple of weeks, so we put her out in the pasture with the other mares. Now Jetta is 15.3 or there abouts. There was no question who the new lead mare was. Sere always lords it over everyone, but she didn’t do anything more than follow Jetta around as she explored her new surroundings. Needless to say Jetta gets her hay first, and of course Sadie is still on the bottom of the pecking list, but I save the best for last. I’m sure Jetta will put on more weight eating a little of everyone else’s hay once she’s finished hers, but that’s ok, I compensate for piggies, and she needs the groceries.
I took Jazzy out of the pasture so I could start working her. She has developed quite a hay belly. Then I discovered I can’t work her until I get her off her heels, and more on her toes. Like Sadie (her dam) she grows tons of toe, and even though she was in pasture she didn’t wear them down. Too dry is my guess. April has managed to trim a little toe, but she needs a lot more trimming. Seemingly she has also forgotten a lot of things. She’s jumping at everything, and wouldn’t even come into the inside stall to eat. She’s getting a lot of re-education these days. She used to be great about shots, and medicine, but when she got sick a while back she forgot all about oral meds. She did ok with her shots, but wouldn’t take her antibiotic no matter how sweet it was. I had to get a powder for Espree (she’s terrified of needles) so I got it for Jazzy too. Don’t know what it was, but I had three horses sick one right after the other. It started with LBM, though I didn’t know he had it until later. I went out to feed him one morning, and he hadn’t finished his dinner. I took his temp, and sure enough he had a fever. It was only 103, but that’s still high. I gave him penicillin shots (which he took like a champ I might add), and we (April and I) discovered he had evidently scratched himself when he got overexcited when Sere got loose, and stuck her butt right up to his nose. She was in season, which was actually a good thing since she stopped long enough for me to catch her. Anyway between dried blood, and lots of dry skin he ended up in a lot of pain. April, and I washed him twice a day for three or four days before he was back to normal, and then Espree got sick. Whatever it was the only symptoms were high fever (Espree’s was 105), and loss of appetite. When Jazzy got it too I was afraid it was going to run through the whole herd, but she was the last. They got Banamine for three days (to bring down the fever), and antibiotics for seven days. Thankfully April was here to help. It took two of us to give them their meds, although by the time we were finished they were taking the syringe in the mouth pretty well. I still had to back them into a corner, but Jazzy was real good towards the end, and so was Espree.
We got new chickens again, this is the third batch I think. The last batch we believe was killed by our resident bobcat. This time I think we got all hens so I will probably get a few more next spring. I have to have my rooster you know. I've figured out how to reinforce the big run, only it's going to take a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. I already have the main hen house reinforced (the doors this time). I dare fox, bobcat, or coyote to break in (no I didn't really mean that, knock on wood). I also got a little bunny I'm raising in the exercise room. Isn't that where all bunnies are raised? April raised the first one the dogs found in the barn, so I got to raise the second one. Hopefully mother bunny gets the hint that the barn is not a good place to have babies. The dogs will find them every time.
I haven't had time to ride this summer at all, I'm just too busy cleaning stalls, fixing cars, trucks, mowers, and whatever else decides to break down. Then there are the constant water runs. I have managed to get some of the horses work outs. I still have to chase Ser-Haat to get his halter on, but once it's on he does real well. He walks through the barn like a gentleman, and works well in the round pen. He's one beautiful horse. If I can ever get him trained he will be fantastic, I just have to find the time to do it. LBM has had lessons too. He took shots like a champ, but forgot all about fly spray. He has learned that when you get tied no matter what you do you can't get away. He got his front feet cleaned, but the back are a problem. Hey I got him to let me pick them up even if it was only for a second or two. What kills me is that as a baby I picked up his feet regularly. How quickly they forget.
That catches you up to August, or at least as much as I can remember about it. Now it’s September (don’t know how that happened), and my next post will tell you a little about how August went.