Monday, September 29, 2008

Just in time!

Wow, that was close. Last week we tore out the floor in a building on the other side of the property. It was actually built as a hay barn for the previous owners' BLM donkeys, but has never been usable as one for me, especially since it is a long way away from the actual horses. Since I bought the squeeze of hay, though, we decided it made sense to tear out the rotting floor in the protected inner room and spread sand from the pond and then put pallets there. We started moving hay bales this morning. At least 2/3 of the stack should fit in there, and the rest will be easy to cover by tarp. Whenever I need more I can ask the guys to bring up 7 or 8 bales and thus keep the hay in good shape all winter. The funny part is that right after we got the room ready it started clouding up. This afternoon it got much cloudier, so we went out and covered the stack with the lovely teal tarp - just as it began to pour! I went and put a halter on Andolu and took him over to the shelter, where I had put some hay and water. Mira hadn't gone in yet, but I figured she would as soon as she got wetter and once she finished her Eq. Sr. Anatolian nibbled a little and then dashed away up the hill. I kind of expected it. :-) He took over Mira's food and so then she, typically, went over to his round pen and began eating his leftover hay. I have to admit I kind of enjoy getting rained on too, so I suppose I can't blame them for not going under the shelter until the sun came out again! LOL

It is still quite cloudy and I am really hoping it rains more tonight, so I think I'll leave Andolu out of the round pen so he can get to the shelter. It's almost been four months anyway, so I doubt the vet would be very upset.

The pond only has about an inch of water left in the bottom after this long summer, so we really can use a good soaking rain!


Friday, September 26, 2008

Progress this week

I am glad to note that that the irritated skin on Andolu's back really liked the olive oil. I applied it twice, and it just soaked it up. He is already looking MUCH better, and now I know what to do if it happens again, so that is a relief.

He still is acting perfectly comfortable and sound lately. The advantage to him having that abscess at the hoof wall right after his episode of laminits is that I can tell exactly how much new hoof wall has grown since then. He currently has grown about 1.5 inches. In counting the time since his attack, I realized that early next month will be four months already! I already told the vet I'd like him to come out the middle of that month and do their teeth and rabies/tetanus shots, so hopefully he will clear Andolu for exercise then. That would be really great. Of course, I would gradually start with leading him on walks at first, and work on getting him somewhat fitter before starting short rides. If they both stay healthy and don't do anything stupid, then things looks promising; although, before I start riding him again, I plan to get some lessons at the trainer's so I can get back in the swing of things myself.

It is so nice to feel fall weather here. We're working on planting the winter veggies now. I am trying to decide where and how much wheat to plant, for one thing. Decisions, decisions. I am determined to do a lot more planting than I've done in the last few years. Well, that's it for this update.


Is your horse a rock star?

This is so cool! I just read this article last night and took the test for both Mira and Andolu. I loved their results:

Mira -
The Goddess is loved by most of the other horses and most people. They are expressive and sensitive and emotional. You will know how they feel. They try very hard to please and will worry and be anxious if you are not happy with them. In the negative they can have scattered energy that is hard to get focused. This personality can be loved on as much as you want.

"This totally describes her. The longer I have her the more I love her because she is fearless about experiences but at the same time super sensitive to me. This is only bad when I'm sick and she gets sick too."

Anatolian -
The Rock Stars are confident and charismatic. They are expressive and strong-minded. They love to show you what they know but are hard to get to focus on the small details of the task. They are found in many competitive arenas, usually at the top of their field.

"I love that it says they are usually at the top of their field (tee hee). I hope he will live up to that that if and when I can ever start riding again! I do know that every time I do anything like work with him he eats it up. He really, really loves work - especially if he can get people laughing.

If you take this test for your horse, please let me know the results! I thought it was very cool.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Arte y Pico Award!

Thanks to OnTheBit for giving me this award! The original blog, linked here per the rules, explains that the title means something similar to "summit of art" or "high art," (my interpretation of what they said). My pictures are all snapshot quality, so I will consider myself flattered. :-)
I had fun deciding who to pass this award on to, and I revisited some blogs I have not been keeping up with lately. So, the winners are:
  • Prophotobylori - She is actually a professional photographer, and her pictures are always excellent.
  • Equus Ink - Lots of videos of her horses, one a TB and one an old Arab mare (like mine).
  • Freelance Instructor - Another blog I need to catch up on and stay caught up on. She is a riding instructor over in the UK, and has all sorts of cool info and pics and videos on her site. Pretty cool.
  • Mikey - Lots of cool pictures of her houses and her ranch. I also couldn't resist giving an award just because of the recent story...
  • Saving Argus - Photos that capture Argus's amazing, really amazing, journey to health and happiness.
Don’t Forget to Pass on the Rules with the Award:

1) You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award, creativity, design, interesting material, and also contributes to the blogger community, no matter of language.

2) Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.

3) Each award-winning, has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the ward itself.

4) Award-winning and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of “Arte y pico” blog , so everyone will know the origin of this award.

5) To show these rules.

Have fun visiting those blogs and enjoy!


Friday, September 19, 2008

Suggestions welcome - irritated skin

Ever since I got Andolu he has had slightly thinner hair on his back. His hair is never really thick anywhere, but his back skin seemed extra sensitive (maybe genetics, maybe from the NOT fitting Western saddle that left white spots on his withers) and lately it has gotten a lot more irritated. The vet said I could use Neutrogena T/Gel shampoo (leave in for 15 minutes once a week), but NONE of the stores carry it here. I can order it from Amazon, but I was wondering if anyone has any other suggestions. His skin got worse with all the hosing to keep him cool this summer. The rest of his coat is a little dry, but his back is sort of peeling a bit. I just decided to start rubbing some olive oil on his back at the night feeding to soothe it. Oil can be really good for skin and hair. Any other ideas will be gratefully considered!

Also, did you all read about Keller? If you haven't yet, go read it right now! What a wonderful thing to happen at the last second for this poor old blind Appy mare. I have a soft spot now for blind horses since Mira's eye injury and I just loved reading the "happy new beginning" for this old sweetheart!


Sunday, September 14, 2008


Nothin' much to say. Things actually went smoothly this last week, even yesterday (usually Saturdays are the days I get the really, really hard doctor dictating)... It's nice getting to relax!

Here are the horses hanging out this afternoon.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Never Forget

Again on this day our country remembers the heroes who showed such courage on that day in the towers, the planes, and the streets.

We remember all the people who never got to say goodbye.

We will always remember.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I just got in from feeding the pigs... er, horses. It was dark - I could barely see when I came back in, but I know the way so I don't mind. I stayed out longer than usual after they were both fed, and just looked at things and listened. I love nighttime. You can feel winter coming now, just barely, and everything is so calm at this time. Of course, the perfect background noise is the sound of frogs chirping and horses chewing happily. :-D

Anyway, I'm not good with words, so I'll just say it reminded me of all those sayings about "velvet sky," and "gentle twilight," and "still of the evening." I've always had a hard time slowing down, relaxing, letting go, etc. etc., which I think is one reason I love being out after dark, with no flashlight. The quiet and dark force me to relax and I even breathe slower.

Now, my sister on the other hand can relax whenever, in almost any situation. Lucky her!


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Training Experiments

As you might have noticed, I really enjoy training animals! One reason that having Andolu on stall rest is such a drag for me is that I was just starting to be able to really work with him - and he loved it, too. However, I have figured out various little things I can work on that do not required him to move a lot or get excited. The verbal and/or hand signal backup command is now installed on him. My main challenge with that now is to keep mixing things up so that he never knows whether food or another reward or just praise is waiting when he does it. Meanwhile, I am now working on getting him to move his hindquarters away from me with a hand signal. Eventually I think I should be able to stand in front of him (facing his head) and ask him to sidepass to right or left and have him do it smoothly and quickly and straight. That would be such a kick! I also want to train a come sideways towards me cue, also - so that if I give the cue, he will move his front or rear or both towards me as I stand facing his ribs. Anyway, it's a lot of fun and is helping me with the waiting. I can hardly wait until I can finally ride again! I got to ride in a carriage behind some adorable flaxen chestnut Belgians this weekend and even riding in a carriage I got that "horse high." It's weird, but I can get a high that lasts for days from something as simple as riding in a carriage or sitting on a horse for a few minutes. At least I have lots of company!

The farrier was here last week doing Andolu's feet again. He said that The Dude looks great in his movement and his feet look really good. He said he thought I'd be able to ride him again really soon. Of course, he tried not to contradict the vet's "four months" order, but I could tell the farrier was really happy with Anatolian's progress in this six weeks. And I was happy with how the farrier did change some things about the trim this time as I requested. :-D

So, we'll see how soon that "10 day truck" comes by again... Tee hee. For now I'll just enjoy things. My last brother now has chickenpox, so hopefully in a week or so we will all be done with that stupid disease!


A lion introduces his lionesses to his best friends

Oh my goodness! This is the most amazing footage!


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Update to Alfalfa Patch

See the first post here.

It looks like we haven't figured out alfalfa yet. Last time we tried planting in the spring, this time in the summer. Both times we used the appropriate innoculant and watered faithfully - both times the plants sprouted and stalled and died. Bummerific. What IS the correct time for this area? Oh well! This is what the "alfalfa patch" looks like now - we finally got a good crop of weeds before deciding not to water it anymore. I do have about a dozen black bean plants that are producing pretty well, for my personal project, so at least one garden thing worked for me this year. Now that fall is almost here, I am going to get ready and try to plant carrots, peas, potatoes, peas, wheat, oh, and peas! Ahem. We call fresh peas "garden candy" around here and we can never get enough. Young peas are soo sweet!

Anyway, I don't think alfalfa would do well planted in the fall or winter, so for now I am going to focus on growing people food and ideas for helping the native grasses over the winter.