Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Another Rescue Donkey...

I got a call from an old friend, her neighbor just lost her job and can't afford to take care of her new donkey. She just rescued the poor jennet from another neighbor, there's an eye issue and the hooves are in awful shape, she hasn't even had a chance to let the donkey settle in and get comfortable so she can start taking care of problems. I am still hearing this so much these days... it's an awful shame. But at least THIS owner did the right thing and tried to find a new place for the animal instead of waiting until she was in such bad shape she couldn't be saved, and then dumping her, like Melody!

The donkey was delivered by my friend right in the middle of our panel bracket project so I didn't get to spend much time with her, but she seems sweet and easy to approach as described. And she does not like her feet messed with, also as described. Mikey has promised to take a look on Thursday, bless her heart! But her reaction to attempts to get hold of her feet is not surprising to me, and not NEAR as bad as some I have seen, so I think between the two of us Mikey and I can handle fixing her up :)

With permission, here are the pictures my friend took yesterday to send to me:

Here she is with her friend Abraham - she is the small one.

Here are the eyes, see the upper lid, the inside is swollen and protruding:

I don't know which is worse... the hind feet:

or the front feet:

But without even a halter she stood for having her teeth photographed, so she's nice and tame!

As always, I will keep you posted!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Meet Jasmine

Quite honestly I need another horse like I need a hole in the head (Do I hear an echo? Seems I said this about a dog not long ago {sigh})


Yeah, there's a BUT. Actually probably several I can come up with ;)

About a year ago I went over to my friend Jean's to take pictures of her, she was selling off a large portion of her herd and didn't have a camera to take pictures for her ads. I fell in love with a 6-year-old black Tennessee Walker mare, 2 hind socks and a star with a bit of a strip... beautiful brown eyes with the kindest expression, sweet face, just gorgeous! I told myself NO, FORGET IT, and I tried really hard... helped Jean get her ads up and figured that gorgeous girl would soon be gone to a new home.

Well I found out quite by accident last week that Jasmine was one of only 2 equines that didn't sell. And a voice in my head said "She's waiting for you!" I'd been a little worried about over-working Katie with the endurance kick I got started on, and having a "spare" to share the load would be good right? And Jean has been a big help to us over the years so I'd be doing her a favor, right?? And the other option I was looking at was adding a couple of donkeys to my herd, which would be a LOT more money, AND travel to pick them up or MORE money to pay a hauler, so a close horse for a lot less money is good, right??? And, and... I don't have one this color! ;)

Well Jean made the deal irresistible when she told me to take Jasmine home and try her, and if she works, pay whenever, and if she doesn't, just bring her back. I was a bit concerned about adding another horse because when we tried it a few years ago, we had a mare called CC for a MONTH and the herd would NOT accept her... we ended up NOT buying her.

I went riding with Jean Saturday and on the way home, picked up Jasmine. (The spring flowers are GORGEOUS at Estrella and we found a fantastic trail! Got to try and get back down there before it gets hot!!) I watched Katie carefullly as we loaded Jasmine into the trailer with her... her ears went flat back and she gave Jasmine a glare and I said "Katie be nice, if this works Jasmine will be your relief pitcher and you won't have to work so hard!" Well it seemed like she understood me, she stopped the glaring and the ears came up...

When we got home I unloaded Jasmine and tied her to the trailer for a minute while I put Katie in the arena and shut the gate between that and the small paddock. Then I put Jasmine in the small paddock and settled back to enjoy the show - I figured on squealing at the very least... and quite possibly a lot more exciting posturing.

I got NOTHING! No fussing whatsoever!!! In fact the only thing that happened was that Luna immediately started flirting with Jasmine! I guess when you are in season and there are no boys around, a newcomer is good enough even if it's another girl! Mares!! Then Destiny started in doing the same thing! It was almost embarrassing to watch...

Usually I leave a fence betwen a newbie and the herd for at least a week, but with no fussing, and Jasmine obviously pining - walking the fence line and calling to the others when they walked away - I decided to open the gate when I got home from work tonight. I took an "encouragement stick" with me in case I needed to get someone's attention... but I only needed it for the dogs. There was some running as you can see...

But it was all friendly fun and when I fed, they ate out of the same feeder with only a token ear flicker once in a while.

So step 1 is successful!!!

Now for step 2 which is ride her and make sure she gets along with ME! But first I am going to put Hilary on her. My kids have velcro on their butts and they are made of rubber so they bounce instead of break... unlike their "old lady". The trick is going to be finding a time when we are both home at the same time, in the daylight, with enough time to check out what Jasmine will and won't, can and can't, do!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Ranch Help!!!

I got a call from a nice young man a few days ago, he and his wife want to hang out on a ranch and help out, and they found me on the internet... Rose actually came on Thursday morning and helped with the mini visit at Sierra Winds, and then this afternoon both John and Rose came out to the ranch. First they got a tour and met all the critters, and then we got to work. John was great, digging a hole to set the corner post out front so we can finish the west side fence project. The tractor is still out of whack and neither Randy nor I are up to digging that big of a hole! While John and Randy were handling the hole, Rose and I removed the last of the old barb-wire fence and pulled the posts that were out of line, getting ready to move the perimeter fence to the correct fence line. Rose actually ASKED to clean stalls which will make Hilary no end of happy since that is her job, and John was happy to work alongside her. To explain THAT, they have been marred about 5-6 weeks lol.

Then we got Jasmine out and gave her a good grooming. You'll meet Jasmine soon, I need to get pictures, so I won't say any more now. Except that Rose was in heaven, hanging with the equines!

And the nice part for us is, they want to come back and do more work! In fact John got so excited about digging up the old wooden fence posts in their HUGE concrete chunks, he was exclaiming to Rose that he would "get" to break the concrete up with a sledgehammer! All I can say is, thank God that I don't have to do it!!!

And on top of all that, Randy's dad showed up this afternoon and got the tractor running again. So maybe, just maybe, it will still be running next time I actually stay home on a weekend and I can move some dirt! We need to build up Dillon's pen as it's a swamp every time it rains... and we need to get busy on post-holes for the pipe fence that is going up inside our perimeter fence line on the west side in the horse pasture to keep the wire from being destroyed again!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Cancel That Last Post!

This is too funny.... It just happened to be the boss' birthday dinner last night and they still wanted me to come even though I wasn't really working there any more. No sooner did I walk into the restaurant than the boss grabbed my arm and said "Will you come back? WE STILL NEED YOU!!!" Apparently she cleaned off her desk and the pile in the filing box scared her...

But I'm going to try to keep up by using my lunch hour a couple of days a week, and try to keep my Fridays free :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I Got Fired!!!!!

Did that scare you? Well ok I am fudging a little bit... I didn't exactly get "fired".... and it wasn't from my "real" job.

About 3 months ago I started working part-time on Fridays for a gal down the hall who is a private fiduciary, doing filing and other office-type chores to help them catch up and keep up. The extra money was kinda nice but I did miss my Fridays off... F-RIDE-days!!!!

I can't work this Friday so I went in on my lunch hour on Monday and Wednesday to keep up with the filing, and Wednesday they told me that they wouldn't be needing me any more. They have hired a 3rd office person, who will assist both the office manager AND the caseworker.

No worries though... it really wasn't THAT much extra money, and even though it was only part time from 10-3, what with getting ready and driving into town and then always running an errand or two on the way home, it still took up pretty much my WHOLE Friday and I wasn't getting anything else done...

Now I can get busy on some serious ranch chores like finishing the west fence line, starting the south fence line... and FIDDLENECK REMOVAL!!! And, of course, RIDING!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fiddleneck Warning!

This was sent from the Rio Verde Horsemen's Association to a friend of mine who shared it with the AZBCR website, thought I would pass it along...


Clinical Signs: The plant is not very palatable, but will be eaten by animals with no other forage; poisonings typically occur from ingestion of green plant material or material in hay. The toxic components can cause liver failure, referred to as "walking disease" or "sleepy staggers". Signs include weight loss, weakness, sleepiness, yawning, incoordination, yellowish discoloration to mucous membranes (icterus), neurologic problems secondary to liver failure (aimless walking, chewing motions, head pressing). Animals may appear to be normal at first, then become suddenly affected; the syndrome progresses rapidly over a few days to a week.

The bad news, we have a LOT of this in our yard!!! The good news is, it's 95% up front, and not back by the horses... I still have to get rid of it though, don't want it to spread, and what if a horse or donkey got out and ate it... we had a horse almost die of oleander poisoning years ago and I don't want to experience anything like that ever again!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Farewell Melody - She is Gone

Yesterday through the mini group I got this info from Jaci:

Hi guys, Wanted to give you all an update on Melody... I picked her up from Susan's on Wed. This mare is not going to make this easy. She was easy to halter... easy to lead. We headed towards the trailer and she was moving right along when about 10 feet from the back of the trailer she stopped. Her head was up and she was just quietly looking around. It was like she was saying Good-bye to everyone there. Then as suddenly as she stopped, she hopped right on the trailer. The vet has some personal issues and I really wanted this vet to put her down as she is very calm and good at it. So we are having to wait until Friday, tomorrow, morning. It has been good in some ways since I have been able to watch her a bit. She is urinating all the time... much like we do when we have a bladder infection. That made me feel that yes, this is best for her. The meds controlled the infection for a while but once off of them she is back to it.So all of you that pray, please pray that tomorrow goes well for her and for all of you that send energy and light please do that. I want this to be as easy on her as we can make it. But to be honest I think on some level she knows...Many thanks to all who have helped this sweet girl have a better end.

And this morning:

Hi guys... Just wanted to report that Melody has gone on to a better place. She seemed willing and she went very fast. One thing the vet said was that when they are as thin as her that their heat atrophies and that often times if you can get them back they end up going from a failed heart. That was something I sure hadn't considered. And speaking of thin... the vet ranked her a one or a two on a scale from 1 to 9. It breaks my heart for her but I am thankful that we could do this for her. Oh and I asked her to come back so watch for that icky white pattern on your next year foal crops... lol

*You have to know, to understand this last part, that Jaci always teases everyone about their new foals having "icky white" on their faces when they have stars or blazes... she prefers a dark face and lets everyone know it!

I'm sorry, that's all I can say right now. Let's keep the candles going for Melody...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I Think We Did It

Once we had the vet visit for Melody, and knew that her prognosis was not good, the decision was made to euthanize her... but we wanted to wait a little bit, to give her some time with lots of good food to eat, and lots of love, in the hopes of replacing the terror she must have felt at being dumped with better memories...

She's been nickering at me ever since the second day, when she knows it's time to eat. This morning when she heard the golf cart (which means food), SHE WHINNIED! A good, big, LOUD whinny... she sounded like a "real" horse instead of a shadow... she sounded like a "regular" horse instead of an abandoned horse... she sounded NORMAL! Unfortunately as you will see she doesn't LOOK normal...

Here's one last batch of pictures of Melody before tomorrow...

I don't think she looks a whole lot better although Randy said he can see a difference through her ribs.

Tomorrow is supposed to be "the day", and that makes me even MORE glad to have heard that whinny this morning. I'd like to think it's a signal, letting us know that we have accomplished our goal.

And a big thanks to Jaci, whose son found Melody - she is the one that called me initially. Because I have had the hands-on care of Melody, she rightly thought it would be easier if I didn't have to handle the end... and she has volunteered to take care of things tomorrow. And for that I am endlessly grateful!

I will have one last follow-up once I have heard from Jaci. However that may NOT be the end of Melody's story... several folks I know have asked about following up on her past, once she is safely taken care of, and if they come up with anything, I'll be sure to share!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

AzBCR Fundraiser III

What a fantastic weekend once again... this time it was the annual fundraiser ride for www.azbcr.com. I took off work Friday and went out early to get a good spot and set up camp, and save space for my friends. I'm glad I did, rigs were rolling in all day long...

Camp from the hill

And I had plenty of entertainment, since Hilary "forgot" she was supposed to feed for me and be home this weekend, and promised to feed for her dad... with Randy at a reenactment down south, there was no one home to let the inside dogs out to potty, and I ended up taking TEN dogs camping with me... yes I said TEN! Sherman and Rocket are my "regular" camping buddies so I couldn't hurt their feelings by leaving them home... Darci, Vada, Ty and Justin couldn't be left in the house all weekend without potty breaks... AND we stil have "Angel" and "AJ", Vada's two blonde puppies... AND to top it all off, Riley and Esmerelda! Well, my thinking was hopefully someone would fall in love with a blondie and buy him/her or maybe even both!

I did arrange with Hilary to handle morning feedings, and I took evenings, since she works the afternoon shift till 7:30 anyway and would have to come all the way home and then go BACK to her dad's (10 minutes from work), that just didn't make sense. So it made for a busy, busy weekend...

Frankie and Carol arrived and set up and Carol promptly fell in love with AJ... but when she handed him to Frankie, he did a "happy piddle" :( which did not go over that well... she kept coming back though and also kept saying how much she liked "that brown one" (Justin) so I told her his story, and said I wouldn't mind finding him a home either, after all we DID sell him last year, but he came back when the ancient one couldn't handle a puppy...

Saturday we rode from camp through the desert to Lake Pleasant, fantastic ride! I took both Sherman and Rocket with me and left the "little ones" safely in the trailer.

Getting ready to go

My friend Jenn says she caught me "multi-tasking" - heading downhill, with TWO dogs, and taking pictures

A rear view of us heading toward the lake.

A Sherman earcam of the green desert

A Katie earcam of the lake - well, kinda, it seems she turned her head before I could get the picture taken {sigh}

Lunch at the lake - Sherman and Rocket tried real hard to share several lunches!

One gal got bareback and took her horse for a swim

Corey on Crash... what a nice young man! We've started calling him The Heartbreak Kid... I'm so glad I don't have girls HIS age!

After the ride we sat around a bit...
One of the highlights of my weekend was visiting with my darlin' grand-donkey, Madeline!

And then we had dinner and the raffle prizes... and I won the one thing I REALLY wanted!

It's a hand-painted leather pillow... isn't it gorgeous!?!

Frankie and Carol had plans for a gymkhana Sunday so left after dinner... and Carol took Justin home! I am hoping that will work out, he is a sweet boy and since I am responsible for him being born he will have a home here no matter what, but a {GOOD} home somewhere else would be better! Had people interested in Angel and AJ too but no one committed darn it. Guess we will be running another ad in the paper... Sydney still has one (male) Yorkie pup left as well.

Sunday I woke up feeling drained from allergies... and somehow heard myself volunteering to watch a couple of little kids so their dad could go riding. Well they were in the pen with the puppies, so no trouble right? Except before he even got in the saddle, the little girl was already saying "Where's my daddy?" So we took carrots and went visiting, first my grand-donkey Madeline and her mule brothers Gus and Earl, then a host of others... managed to keep the kids busy until dad got back and now I know why God has seen fit to make sure that {at least so far} all MY grandchildren have FOUR LEGS AND A TAIL!

Kaylin and Jordan - all day it was "I want in" and "I want out" - the pups were a big draw but unfortunately the attention span was kinda short! And that's Taylor, Mel's granddaughter, who fell in love with Angel... again unfortunately, parents said "no puppy" darn it!

Joe's kids wore my pups out... I LOVE how Ty is using Darci as a pillow!

All in all it was a great weekend though!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

26+ Years of Waiting is Over!

I remember it well... It was December 1983, Andria had just turned a year old in October and it would be her first "real" Christmas (since she was only 2 months old for her first one and slept through most of it!) I was Christmas shopping at the Gemco at 43rd and Thunderbird (any Phoenix old-timers remember that?) while Andria was home with dad and I ran into a woman with a tiny, tiny Yorkie puppy. I ooohed and awwwwwed and she said her husband and children had just gotten it for her for Christmas... and a dream was born. Someday, I vowed, I would have a tiny Yorkie of my own! It would be a girl and yes, I picked out a name too...

Remember last summer when my friend Sydney asked me to be "partners" with her on a Yorkie? I had gotten all excited and told her my story, only to find out it was a MALE Yorkie she was talking about... Oh well. Riley was adorable too and the way my "pack" was going it seems I am destined to have mostly boy dogs anyway... and really I don't mind, I do LOVE Tank, and Zacchaeus,

and Sherman,

and Rocket,

and Ty...

And of course Riley, who looks so pitiful because he's just been told he's going to have a BATH!

Tonight we went to pick Sydney up for bible study and I got there early, as requested, because she wanted me to look at something for her... she is disabled so we try to help out when we can. I walked in the door and she handed me a puppy and said "here's the dog you have been waiting for for 26 years". I was flabbergasted... I was in shock... and Sydney had a HUGE grin on her face. Now quite honestly I need another dog like I need a hole in the head... we still have 2 out of 4 chihuahua pups not sold, AND one came back from last year's litter... but she was so proud to be able to do this for me, and the puppy - OMG unbelievably adorable - well how could I say no?

Meet Esmerelda:

She's quite fierce, playing tug with my sock while I'm typing...

OUCH that's my TOE in there little girl!!!

Playing outside with Vada and Ty...

Then I called her to get a cute face pictures and ZOOM she runs to me so fast (Ty too - think there's a bit of jealousy there???) it's SO HARD to get good pictures of her...

Sydney had bred her "stud" to a friend's female several times, and got pick of the litter instead of a cash stud fee... and finally found a pup she liked out of the third litter. She is hoping that if the little female gets just a tad bit bigger than Riley, we can eventually breed the two of them. I'm telling you now, though, that my plan would definitely include sending her to Sydney for whelping! After the chihuahua births we had in November, I'm not sure I could handle Yorkies! Personally I am liking the donkey foals, they are a lot easier on me!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Old Pueblo Endurance Ride

Melody bumped my weekend story so here it is...

This weekend past was the Old Pueblo Endurance Ride down near Sonoita, put on by AERC. Because this was a 3-day ride, I opted to do 3 12-mile "fun" rides instead of putting Katie through another 25... it was a good plan and I stuck with it even though Friday's 12-mile ride seemed awful short and I was really thinking hard about changing to a 25 on Saturday... however 3 days in a row, the 12s were GOOD for Katie (and for me) and if I'd gone 25 on Saturday, I'd have missed a GLORIOUSLY fun 12-mile ride...

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Friday, I made a quick trip down to the starting gate to see the 50-milers take off...
Then it was back to camp to get our 25-ers ready.

Lynn mounting up

Ellen on Feathers, Lynn on Patch and Sabrina on Jersey, heading out to do 25 miles on Friday

My friend Brenda has had to retire her endurance horse, a 27-year-old Arab mare named Sholah (pronounced SHOW-LAY) - yes Sholah did the 25 at Wickenburg last year and vetted in JUST FINE! The only horse available to her right now is her mom's QH Cinnamon, so 25s are out for now. That was another reason I opted for 3 12s. Friday's ride was nice but a little slow, to accommodate Cinnamon, and also because my Katie just does NOT like to be FIRST, and Brenda's mom, Shirley, was having trouble getting her new gaited mare, Gypsy, to move out while barn mate Cinnamon was behind... we had a lovely ride though! And when we got back and untacked, we were in time to watch Sabrina and Lynn return from the 25 - they both did GREAT!

Sabrina and Jersey vetting in after Friday's ride.

Now a quick trot for the vet check...

Sherman and Rocket got new jackets for the trip, matching but each in their own color...

Maybe this will explain the need for the jackets in the previous picture ;)

On Saturday Brenda gave Cinnamon the day off and "crewed" for Sabrina and Shirley on the 25...
Sabrina and Savannah getting ready to go on Saturday - I SWEAR this horse poses for the camera!!

Lynn was giving Patch a rest so did the 12 with me and some other friends... most of whom wanted to go a little slower, but they said we didn't need to stick with them and we wanted to MOVE OUT. Well Patch, like Katie, doesn't like to be first, so we were having a bit of a problem with the MOVING OUT part... so we put Elvis (yes his name is really Elvis! although I must confess I just learned this, he usually goes by his middle name of Lynn - however with two Lynns it gets confusing!), on his horse John, out in front of us, and then OH BOY did we FLY!!!!! It was one of the best rides I have had in a LONG time!!!

Katie, with (Elvis) Lynn B on John and Lynn D on Patch

Another friend, Vikki, had tried her first 25-miler in Prescott - Man Against Horse - last year, but 12 seconds into the ride, got bucked off and landed on her head... so instead of a 25-mile endurance ride, she got a helicopter ride to Phoenix! Thankfully she was ok, just a concussion, and she has been riding ever since but Saturday was the first time she tried endurance again. She rode her new Haflinger pony, Canyon, who had also never done this before, AND THEY CAME IN FOURTH!!!! We were all SO PROUD of them!!!

Sunday turned out to be just me and Brenda on Cinnamon, Katie had no choice but to be first and she did much better than Friday, but it took us as long to do the 12 mile as it took Sabrina and Jersey to do the 25! Shirley and Lynn were both feeling under the weather so took a break, but Sabrina came in top ten YAHOO!!!

The weather was threatening so we got rolling before the rain started in camp, but we got hit by several showers on the way home. And I arrived home to find I was lucky to get in the gate, and stop right there... not getting stuck in my own yard AGAIN! Apparently it rained ALL DAY here...

Lucky Pup is the first weekend in April and I am going to try another 25 since it's a 1-day ride... If we stick close to Sabrina and don't take another wrong turn like we did at Wickenburg, we should be able to finish just fine!