Life on an Arabian breeding farm in Capitan, NM.

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.

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