Thursday, July 2, 2015

Catching Up on Updates: Pax

Since I have SO MANY updates to go over, given the fact that I haven't really blogged for an entire month, I thought I'd give a breakdown on each horse for the past month, starting with Pax!

When I last left you, it had finally (sort of) stopped raining, and the sun was coming out. I had a very cute, floofy, red little baby horse who liked to play with Monster Dog and be a general nuisance. 

One day early mid-month, I noticed something funny about her goggles. She had sustained a few scrapes and the hair that grew back in was almost black, but I didn't think anything of it. Her muzzle started to shed, and then her goggles. Eyes and nose can definitely be darker areas but I did think the color was a bit.. odd. 

As her face continued to shed out, I realized - she's a liver chestnut! What are the odds. And she'll be a super dark one too!!

She continues to grow and grow. She is 10 weeks old today, and her butt is as tall as my boobs already. She's HUGE! 

She has been trimmed 3 times now, and has been increasingly good about it. She also ties, leads (mostly), picks up her feet, eats all her creep feed, gets groomed, flysprayed, and bathed. She was not a fan of baths to start (who is?), but now when the nozzle is turned her way, she plays with the water, which is seriously adorable. 
Wet Pax is also a pretty good representation of her adult color I think - dark liver with a blaze and three white legs, including that one super high stocking. 

She is a total BEEF.

I decided yesterday that I needed to get some video of her movement, since I've seen her do pretty much nothing but run. Turns out, she is a pretty cute little mover - not super flashy but definitely very cute. 

P will be the first to tell you that she's getting quite tired of her shenanigans though...!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Back to our regularly scheduled program

Or, at least, we hope!

We still have no internet at the new casa, which is why you've not seen much of me lately. I am currently writing on my phone, which irritates me to no end. I hate blogging on phones, I really enjoy sitting down and typing things out on a bigger device. Which is why I've not been here much.

We're 5 minutes outside of town at our new place, but we're kind of in a bowl. We've been through 8 or 9 internet providers now and none of them can help us. We probably have to cave and get crappy satellite internet, or something similar. It sucks!

Everyone is fine and great. I of course have a billion updates but no interest in typing on my phone any longer than I have to, so that will have to wait for a few more days!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

35,000,000,000,000 Gallons of Rainwater

 If you've not been paying attention to the news lately, you'll be interested to hear that Texas, land of the perpetual drought, is absolutely drowning under a staggering amount of rain. This is the wettest May on record, and as of a few days ago was also named the fourth wettest month out of all the months on record. We've had nearly 8" of rain since then (and more in some places), so it is quite possible that this month may end up being THE wettest month on record in Texas ever. 

How much rainfall have we gotten? 35 TRILLION gallons of it. We've had nearly 20" of rain this month in my area. Here's a handy infographic on what exactly all that rain amounts to:

The devastation has been extreme. Entire families have been lost when their houses just lift clean up off the ground in the floodwaters and wash away down the swollen rivers. Farmers are calling this year a total loss. Businesses, homes, entire neighborhoods have been just plain washed away. Dams have broken, rivers are swollen so far beyond capacity that it's not measurable, and people are still  missing. An entire freeway in the DFW Metroplex was shut down for more than 8 HOURS yesterday when torrential flooding trapped motorists and left them stranded with no way out. 

As such - and I'm sure you're not surprised to hear it - working O has been just totally out of the question. We're finishing up the move to the new place tomorrow - which is SUPER fun to do in rainy weather - and after a torrential downpour this morning, the sun has come out and is supposed to stay out for at least a couple of days. Or at least, we can hope....

There's just no way to work O in our pasture right now - it's totally flooded out. However, our entire property is on a hill, and as such things dry out quickly. Or well, they would if our ground wasn't so completely saturated that there's nowhere left for the water to go anymore.

A wild snorlax appears

As of today we have a lovely river complete with waterfall flowing through our property. Does the property value increase now that it is waterfront?

Enormous shed... huge protective trees... and they choose to stand out in the middle of the deluge. Ingrates! 

We still have no internet at the new house (it comes Monday!), so I'll be back to a more regular posting schedule soon, but until then I'll leave you with the quicknotes version of how the beasts are all doing:



The tiny beast is 5 weeks old now and I can't believe it. Where does time go?? She was supposed to be trimmed for the first time last week, but it's just been so muddy and miserable that I haven't done it yet. A baby's first trim takes literally all of 5 minutes, if that... all I need is 5 seconds of sun to dry out a spot to do it. 

She discovered Monster Dog, and Monster Dog discovered her. Moo is about the derpiest and sweetest dog, so she likes to do that floppy play bow in front of Pax, asking if she'd like to come play with her (she does this to cats too - very gentle with all creatures). Pax thinks she's great, but I don't want to encourage the playing much. It will be a lot less cute when Pax weighs 1100lbs and squashes Moo under a striking front foot.


O is the most protective auntie ever. She spends pretty much every waking hour watching out for Pax, even when P is off doing her own thing totally ignoring her own child. She LOVES the baby and looks out for her all the time - but lays down the law as she sees fit. When Pax gets too annoying, she'll lay her ears back, push her over, and threateningly pick up a foot. She is very gentle otherwise - she's be a super momma herself. 
I'm desperate to get her back to work. Cowboy Country HDT is in two weeks, but we haven't worked in over a month now - we're just not ready. I was really hoping, but we're just not. I'm going to scrap that one, and shoot for the ADT at the end of June - it's an arena driving trial so there will be no marathon. We'll be ready for that one for sure! Unless there is more freaking rain!


P's had a crappy week. She choked twice, much to my total alarm and surprise, and then got an eye infection. She's been eating the same food for literally over three years, and it is always wetted, so I was floored to see her choke. It was easily resolved - I just stuck a hose in her mouth and washed it down, and she was fine in a few minutes. The only thing I can figure is that I wasn't putting her hay in nets for the first week, since the baby had tried to hang herself in an empty one while she was in the stall. Watching her eat hay, she gulps down enormous mouthfuls of it, shoveling it in as fast as she can. I decided that the nets needed to come back out (also they were trampling ridiculous amounts of very expensive hay into the mud), so I hung them back up and kept P off her grainfoods for several days. She's been back on very sloppy hay pellet soup as of three days ago, and no problems to report.
And her eye! Poor mare. She always tends to get one gloopy swollen eye whenever the bugs are out (which is year round here), so she wears a flymask pretty much 24/7, 365. For whatever reason, when I pulled off the mask a few days ago, her eyelids wwere hugely swollen and giant goobers were oozing out of it. When lavage and eye ointment failed to help it, we put her on an antibiotic and an anti inflammatory, and thankfully the eye is 90% normal again and getting better every day. Also thankful that despite going through this on a somewhat regular basis with her, it is never the actual eye that has problems - just the eyelid. We flush her ducts all the time and it does help some, but the problem comes back regularly. She's just a sensitive mare. 

A rare moment of sun, horses under the tree with their haynets. Pardon the overgrown lawn and garden, there's no way to mow when you have a river running through your property!


Wait, who is Darby??
Yes, there is a new face at our property, a 30+ year old mare named Darby who I have a long history with. Darby came home with me yesterday, because after all we've been through, I couldn't stand to watch the old girl waste away and die, forgotten and unloved as she was her whole life.
I'm sure none of you are surprised to hear that she is also red with a lot of chrome. Because apparently I'm collecting them now...!

Darby is either QH, Paint, or grade, nobody really seems to know for sure. She's also been 30+ years old for at least 3 years now, so nobody is really sure of how old she is either beyond "really really old." She's also a cripple with a deformed leg due to negligence.

When I first met Darby in 2012, she could barely walk she was so badly foundered. She was brought to one of the local barns I frequent with a fancy custom shoeing job, but was still crippled. She apparently had been turned out in a big lush grassy field for who knows how long, and she foundered out there and nobody noticed. At that time she also received a puncture wound to her left hind fetlock that compromised the joint, and nobody noticed that either. As a result, the joint got destroyed, and from the fetlock down on that leg, she is calcified into the crooked position like she is cocking a leg. It doesn't bend any other way anymore, but she gets around on it surprisingly well - it's amazing how well horses can adapt. 

Despite the fancy shoeing job, the owners didn't pay bills on her, and the shoes stays on until they fell off. Her feet were horrible and she could barely walk. The barn asked me to trim her, so I started with her in 2013. I saw her on a somewhat regular-ish schedule, when they paid their bill every few months - but I managed to fix her up pretty well.

She was super sound at the time of that last picture, in December.

That's her crippled leg, and she's not resting it, that's just how it is calcified - and that's the shape the foot takes, and how you have to trim it in order to support the limb. It's funky but it works for her.

This winter, we had a slew of neverending ice storms and mud. The ground would freeze solid into giant ruts, and the compromised horses suffered for it. Darby bruised so badly on both fronts that she could barely get around, and the owners didn't do anything about it. The other horses bullied her off the haypile, and she became too depressed and crippled to eat. About 200lbs fell right off of her. 

I stepped in at this point and started bringing some Thrive for her (with permission). I also futzed with her feet some, with Durasole and Magic Cushion and boots paving the way for me. She blew two giant abscesses, then started to get around better again. But the owners had vanished once again, not paying their bills. There was only so much the boarding barn could do - they have to run a business after all, they're not there to give out charity to pathetic old cripple horses - and they lamented to me many times about how they wished they were in a position to do more.

I made a promise to Darby that if we ended up with our own place sometime in the future, I'd bring her home to die at my place, happy and loved and well-fed. Yesterday, I fulfilled that promise to her, and brought her home.

She's really, really, really old. She's going to die in the not-too-distant future I'm sure, and I will cry for her and send her off to be buried next to Gogo. But she will at least have spent some small measure of her life somewhere that is soft and nice, with good endless food and brushes ever day, and cookies and love. She is about the nicest old bird you could ever have the pleasure to know - she calls to you, comes to you, loves to be brushed and soaks up the attention. After being forgotten over and over and over again, she deserves this.

Who are you, new friends?

Finally getting a good solid sleep in, who knows the last time she had somewhere soft to sleep!

I put her in with the girls for a bit today, and everyone was civil enough. Pax wants to run at Darby and play, and Darby wants nothing to do with her. O wants to keep Pax away from Darby, so she has chased Darby off a few times, which Darby is all too happy to oblige with. My pasture is mostly weeds, not really grass, but I'll have to keep a close eye on that with her history. The other pasture is nothing but rocks and weeds, so she has a place to be drylotted if she can't handle what's in my pasture. It's about what she had access to at the other pasture. She deserves some time to be a happy old grandma horse out in a big soft field though, so even if it is beyond what she can handle, I'm happy to let her have her time out there enjoying herself before she goes over the Rainbow Bridge. She really does deserve it. I'm not here to save her, just to give her a good cushy end to her life.

Here's hoping for some sunshine and dry weather... never though I'd be saying it, but we need it!!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Pax - 4 weeks old!

If you've been paying attention to the news lately, you'll know that Texas appears to be being biblically flooded out. I guess the deities saw that Greg Abbot got voted in as governor, and they decided to drown us and start Texas over again from scratch (not a terrible idea really). Unfortunately, so far our literal 40 days and 40 nights of rain has basically put a huge damper on not only the show season, but the thought of working the horses at all. Not to mention the fact that trying to move while it is raining EVERY SINGLE DAY is just awful. Everything is covered in mud, everything is dirty, and everything is wet. And it sucks.

May's show season was supposed to be thick and full - three shows right in a row. Then it started raining right after Sunrise Ridge, and hasn't stopped since. After Sunrise Ridge, I didn't work O for two weeks, then loaded up and headed right to the Games Day, where she did super well as you know. Then I couldn't do literally anything else, because it started raining even more, and every day. Even during the sporadic breaks in the rain, everything is bogged down in massive mud - there's no decent footing ANYWHERE you go, and even if you did try you'd either ruin the ground or ruin your horse's legs. There has been nothing that anyone can do really (at least not with the move. When the move is complete, I can trailer out again). 

The Carriage Classic at the beginning of the month got cancelled due to the weather. Then the Games Day, slated for the following weekend, also got rescheduled due to the weather. It was supposed to be held today, but once again, it had to be cancelled because of the weather. The last show I was supposed to do was Pine Hill, which is in fact running, but is also this weekend - and this is the weekend my parents came down to help us with the move and setting up things in the new house. Seeing as I literally haven't hooked my horse once in nearly a month - and have only been able to lunge her twice - it's not like we were remotely ready anyway. But, it sucks, there's no way around that.

I have no idea when or if it is ever going to stop raining. Tentatively we are going to the Cowboy Country HDT in mid-June, and hopefully the ADT in late June, but we'll just have to see how the weather holds! When I get my cart over to the new house, I will at least be able to drive up and down the roads, if nothing else. O is acting crazy possessive and protective over the baby though, so it might be kind of a rodeo to start.

In much better news, Pax turned 4 weeks old on Thursday! With my parents coming in and the move going on, I haven't really had much time to sit down and write about it. (Technically I should be up and showering right now, but oh well, I wanted to blog so I'm gonna do it!) I can't believe she is already a month old. She is growing like a weed and is just gorgeous.

When it was warm and sunny for 10 minutes, a million flies and mosquitos came out. Everyone got their flymasks, even Pax:

If that doesn't make you feel all warm and squishy inside, you might be a dead person, because baby horses in baby horse flymasks are adorable.

She also does many 'adult' things now, such as:


Oh yea that's the spot

Picking up her little feet (and she'll get her first trim in a few days!):

Standing 'tied' (meaning, the lead rope has one turn around the fence and she can easily pull free if something happens - but she understands pressure now and she stops if the rope tightens. Don't actually tie your baby horse, their necks are SO fragile at this stage - teach them about pressure first, and then everything goes from there!):

She is too wiggly to stand well for conformation pictures... this is about the best one I managed to get:

She also learned about blankies for the first time (although I did stick one on her as a neonate for a new minutes). The other day I pulled in to feed them breakfast, and Pax was absolutely soaked and shivering hard. P is a feral beast, and doesn't like to go in her shed when it rains, so she makes Pax and O stand out in the rain with her. Pax obviously isn't going to leave her mother, and O isn't going to leave either one of them, so they just stand there and shiver miserable next to P while she, blissfully unaware of the rain, eats or naps.

No, she's not massively roachbacked - just had the MAJOR butt squinches due to the cold rain! I conned them into the shed for some alfalfa.

So, we learned about wearing a baby blanket:

It's kind of like a mini skirt, but it works

As you can see in the pictures, O is always super concerned about her tiny friend, and P kind of doesn't care. O and Pax go off and do their own thing all the time, and P ignores them to eat. 

I did get to lunge O for about 15 minutes the other day, inbetween rainstorms... it wasn't much but it was something!

 And now it's pouring again.... sigh!!