Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Well, until the horses arrive there's not much to mention about what's happening at the ranch other than the antics of the other animals present. I probably have mentioned Sophie too much already, but just had to share a few things she's been up to.
Some of you already know that I've been having some bad back issues here lately, and needless to say moving didn't help that at all. The sciatica has been the worst of it, and my refusal to lie around with an ice pack on my back and leg have only made matters worse. I HAVE been trying the last couple of weeks, though, to sit in bed, ice my back and in order to force myself to sit still I've taken up crocheting. Not sure how sad this will sound, but my newest project is crocheting sweaters for Sophie. She's got short hair and definitely wants let back into the house much faster now that it's gotten colder out. I looked for some jackets for her but they were both ridiculous looking and expensive, especially considering she's a farm dog and will surely tear up any non-utilitarian garment she would be wearing. I know a crocheted sweater probably won't be exactly durable, but it will be cheap and easy to make, washable, and a lot less ridiculous looking than outfits with frills and lace and glitter.
So I'm sitting in bed the other night, watching TV, icing my back and crocheting, and the remote falls on the floor beside the bed. My back is screaming this day and getting up means trying to save my stitch, get out, get the remote, and try to resituate my pillows, blankets, and ice pack. I noticed that Sophie (who lays beside me in bed) saw the remote drop and she's still looking in that direction. So I tell her, mostly as a joke, "Go get it, Sophie. Get the remote!" She looks at me and then looks towards the fallen remote again, so I ask her again to get it for me. What does she do? SHE JUMPS DOWN, GRABS THE REMOTE AND BRINGS IT BACK UP ONTO THE BED TO ME!!! I couldn't believe it! She's really incredibly smart--her main problem is she has the attention span of a fruit fly. At that moment she was slightly sleepy so she was much more focused than she usually is. It was really cool, though. I hope as she gets older I can teach her to do many more fun things.
She does love to play keep-away. She'll pick up a toy and egg me on to run after her. Of course she's a lot faster than I am so she will stop, put down the toy, and the minute that I'm almost about to get she picks it back up and runs off again. She also knows what "Go get your toy" means. We were sitting on the bed last night and I tell her to "get your toy" and she looks around, spots her blue chewy, jumps down, grabs it, and brings it back up on the bed so we can play. She'd be brilliant if she could just stay focused for more than .5 seconds!! LOL.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I did want to mention that in the next few months, in an effort to avoid additional costs, I will have no internet service at home, so I apologize in advance if there is a delay in my response. Work has been incredibly busy as well. I love my job, so no worries, but my love for my work certainly doesn't create any extra time--in fact, I think it may be just the opposite!
That's it for the updates. As far as what's on my mind, it's probably the same as what's on everyone elses--money. I've been thinking hard of what I can do to cut costs or make a little extra on the side. Let's hear it--leave a comment and let everyone know what you're doing to save/make money in these tough times. Here's what I'm doing:
--Stop eating out--even for one person it can add up. Along the same lines, renew your love for Ramen--try differnet flavors, you never know :) Other cheap meals include grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup, chili, burritos, and peanut butter.
--Only drive when you absolutely have to. Look up "hypermiling:" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypermiling
--Watch your consumption with everything! Conservation in every aspect cuts costs.
--Learn what you can live without. Mine is TV. While cable is nice, it's something I can definitely live without.
--Cut out the waste. If something goes bad in the fridge, don't buy any more for at least 6 weeks. If you didn't use it up then don't keep buying it. It sounds simple, but if you think about it, repurchasing spoiled items is something we tend to do a lot of, just because we get comfortable in buying certain things all the time.
I'd love to hear what everyone else has to say!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
This year he was only bred to two mares due to my loss of job and home (and therefore place to keep him and my mares), but they are two truly outstanding mares. The first one is Shameless Traditions, a point-producing daughter of 4-Time World Champion (the ONLY horse to ever win consecutive AQHA world championships from his yearling year to aged) Noble Tradition and out of a Conclusive-bred mare with a fantastic AQHA All-Round Champion bottom line. "Rita" has been verified in foal, due 1/30/09. I absolutely can't wait for this foal and am very pleased that he or she will end up in the hands of a very capable promoter--Kelly Fulton. Eddie and Rita both now reside with Kelly at Fulton's Crossing Ranch in Hermiston, OR. Here is a very pregnant Rita just last week:
The second mare to be bred to Eddie this year was Seza Impressive One, aka "Crazy." This great old mare came to me from Linda Cole near Topeka. She is a ROM producer that has been bred to some outstanding horses during her career as a broodmare, including the great Zips Chocolate Chip. She is older, but in excellent health and despite her name is a very sweet, lovely old mare. She was pasture bred to Eddie during his stay with Vicki Morgan (thanks so much Vicki for taking such amazing care of my special guy), and Crazy has not been vet checked yet, but we are keeping our fingers crossed!! Here is a picture of this grand old gal:
I will make another post soon of the outstanding mares he will be bred to next year. I can't wait! Thanks again Kelly for believing in Eddie and taking him that next step when I was unable to. You're the answer to my prayers for him! :)
Monday, October 13, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Click on the link below to visit my online store:
Thanks for checking it out!!
Friday, October 10, 2008
Since I got Truly so late in the year, the anticipation to be able to cross her with Eddie in the spring made the winter seem even longer than usual. Truly shared a roundbale all winter long with Sunny, a gorgeous 16H palomino mare I had rescued earlier that year. They became good friends and because both had soundness issues, were always kept together, even when we tried to see if Truly could make it out on pasture ok. She just couldn't keep her weight up out there, so we brought her home and she kept the babies company.
Truly was bred in the spring and then my divorce occured, and with it an opportunity to move down to Texas. I couldn't bring everyone with me, so I advertized to lease out a few, and Sheri Hagen (World Champion producer) contacted me asking to lease Truly and Mercedes, I jumped at the chance. I knew Truly and Mercedes would get everything they wanted while at Sheri's and they did. She foaled them out and then decided that she wanted to ease her workload to do other things, she asked if it was ok to send the girls and their foals to some trusted people not too far from her. Trusting her judgement I agreed.
I met Sandra Layton and her mother under stressful circumstances. Mercedes is always a bottom-rung mare in a herd, but for some reason she knows she can pick on Truly and takes advantage of it, something that Sandra was not aware of (neither was I--I had never known Mercedes to not get along with any horse). Merc ran Truly through the side of their barn their first night there (and in her defense, that night they had two tornados touch down very close by) and Truly cut up her good leg badly. Even though Sandra treated the wound Truly got a full body infection. Sandra called me and I went down to Joplin, thinking the worst. When I got there I found a very sick, but very strong horse so I switched her antibiotics, took off her shoes and thankfully the next day she completely turned around. We were so relieved, and Truly was a trooper through the whole ordeal.
All summer long Truly enjoyed being a momma (she loved her filly so much) and got to share a pasture with her 33 year old friend--a gelding that the Laytons have had since he was 10. Unfortunately he had a stroke last week and had to be euthanized.
She got the very best of care, the best pasture and the best shelter. I tried to make plans to keep her safe as the Laytons don't breed horses, so there really wasn't any use for her there. My friend Darlene kindly offered to be a back-up home for Truly, so we could keep her "in the family" and I could know she was safe until I could get a place where I could keep her (this was before I found my place). The Laytons were so kind to keep her up so well during her stay.
I was going through pictures of when I first got her and it really hit me how much worse that leg had gotten since then. I called Sandra and she said they had put Mercedes in with Truly because Merc was being picked on in the other pasture, and somehow Truly got hurt again--they couldn't say it was Mercedes but they did seperate them and let Truly be by herself. Whatever had happened, Truly's tail wasn't working anymore. Her walking was more labored and she had became sunken in on her back end. It wasn't good news.
The day I made the call to Sandra I already knew what the answer was, but felt I needed to have the talk. After speaking to her about Truly there was no doubt what the right thing was to do.
I drove down yesterday, the second time driving down there worrying over Truly, but this time I knew what the outcome would be. I arrived a bit early and as soon as I saw Truly I was even more certain that I was there for the right reasons. Her body was already shutting down. She had acres of pasture to herself, all the hay she could eat and she was getting grained twice a day, but her topline was pulled down some and even the hollows above her eyes were caved in like a 30 year old horse, not the 13 year old mare that she was.
I tried to spend some time with her but she was in so much pain her personality had changed. She didn't enjoy being scratched. She looked away when I walked up to her. She would grind her teeth as I brushed her. She was in so much pain. So I left her alone to do what she wished. She hobbled out to the best spot in the pasture and ate the most tender blades of grass she could find. I watched her from afar, to give her peace and to admire her. Even in her condition she was still so beautiful. I took the picture above, not to remember such a sad day, but to remember what a beautiful mare she was.
The vet said "it's your mare's turn," trying to make the words sound as sympathetic as possible. I grabbed a halter and put it on Truly--she was back in her barn by now. I gave her a hug and turned her to walk out the door. She stopped and looked beside her at the mini--her next door buddy, as if she knew what was going on and wanted to say goodbye. I let her take her time walking to the spot in her pasture, next to where her old buddy was buried, and gave her a few last pats. Sandra's mom held her for me and an audience of horses gathered at the fenceline. Sandra moved over by me, seeming to sense how weak my legs felt. The vet put in the catheter and adminstered the shot and Truly fell gracefully back, Sandra's mom easing her head to the ground. I was so thankful that she went so peacefully. Truly took her last breathe, closed her eyes and all the horses around the farm let out a whinny. I guess they knew she was special, too.
Sunny passed away earlier this year, along with my old gray mare Larry (Paula and Ringo's dam). I'd like to think all of them are together now, without any pain, along with Truly's old appy gelding friend. Below is a picture of Sunny, Larry, and Truly all eating (what they did best :) It makes it easy to imagine they are all together again in a better place....
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
When we went out to the farm she did so well--she stayed on our property, close to Charlie and while I was unloading a lot of things she explored but always wanted to come inside with me. I think she's going to have a lot of fun with the horses!
We CAN fix our market. But it's up to all of US to do it.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
(by a point-producing son of Superior Halter horse Kootenai Wildfire out of Coosas First, by a 2001 APHA Leading Sire of APHA Champions out of a daughter of Coosa)
I am heartbroken and angry to say the least. The last time I saw Paula (when she was in my care), she looked like this:
She is recovering quickly just on hay alone, so it's clear the only thing that caused her to be in this condition is a lack of feed. I just can't make any sense of it. Larry deserved so much better and I fear that Paula may have long-term cconsequenses from her condition.
The only thing I can do now is look toward the future--try to get Paula healthy again and enjoy her, show her, and have some fun with her. Thank goodness she'll be home with me again soon.