Saturday, April 28, 2012

Bay Girl. vs. Flymask...

...... flymask wins!!

Poor Bay Girl. I introduced her today to the torturous flymask, something I'm 100% she has never had to deal with before. Now that summer is in full swing (no, really...), the flies have become unbearable, and I wanted to give the poor girl a little bit of relief from the neverending swarm. She is pretty sensitive to bug bites, and has a number of little welts all over her. A good spritz with the flyspray was no cause for concern, but the flymask? Would she let me get it on?

Barely, but we did it. I rubbed her casually all over with the mask, letting her sniff and get accustomed to the idea of the weird meshy thing before attempting to rub it on her face. She didn't seem to mind much, pulling away a little when it touched her forehead, but she soon relaxed into it. When it got onto her forehead, she pulled back, alarmed and unsure of what was about to happen. I couldn't reach out to her while she was scooting around at the end of her lead rope with the flymask half on, so I had to just talk quietly to her and let her think it out. This has worked well for her in the past, and this time was no exception. Bay Girl's consistent response to anything she is unsure about is to skitter around at the end of her rope until she realizes that whatever she is concerned about is not going to eat her, and then she stops and thinks about it. This time was no exception, and after a moment, she stopped and waited for me to help. When she stopped snorting and flailing, I was able to talk gently to her and pull the flymask up onto her ears and attach the velcro. After that, she was fine.

Following her dinner, I was watching her mill around for awhile, and I became a little concerned when she started doing the flehmen response repeatedly (AKA the stinky smile). Since horses tend to do that when they are a bit colicky, I was pretty worried, but decided instead to try taking off her new-smelling flymask and see if that was the problem. Sure enough, she stopped when the flymask came off... maybe it really did just smell weird. She was not amused with the removal of the flymask either (oh god, it's touching my ears!), so we will see how she does tomorrow with the mask.

I was also able to do a better hack job on her mane than the previous hack job that I had done. Poor thing was sporting a horrible bowl cut... I had to do something!

It's not great, but it is better than it was! She's looking rough right now... no topline, saggy mom belly, somewhat empty demeanor. I'm not sure she really enjoys her mom job all that much... it's taking a lot out of her to keep that colt fat and well-fed.

After me walking in repeatedly to check on her after I took off the flymask, I think she was a bit tired of me at the end of the day! On my final check, she moved away a few steps like, "please just let me take a nap! I'm fine!" All was forgiven with a good scratch and a facerub though. Sweet girl.

Donations have now reached up to $468.20!!!!!! That is almost halfway there!!!!! :D

Friday, April 27, 2012

Holy moley!

THANK YOU to everyone who has contributed to the Bay Girl-A-Thon so far!! The ChipIn doesn't show all of the donations... we are actually up to $416!!!!! I never in a million years would have thought that in TWO DAYS we would have accumulated this much money.... I never would have thought we could have accumulated this much at all!!!

Bay Girl says, it is hard to get pictures of me because all I want to do is follow Andrea around all over the place!

Silly sweet mare looks so sleepy. Tomorrow she gets a better haircut (not that horrible hack job she is sporting right now!), and a good grooming for some glamour shots. That is, if I can get her to stop following me around everywhere! The girl who was once uncatchable is now the ultimate Velcro-pony. Not because she is looking for treats, not because she wants to play.... but because she genuinely wants to be close to me and wants her forehead rubbed for as long as possible. She truly is a sweetheart.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bay Girl's Origins....

........ are still completely unknown. Sighhh.

BUT I managed to track down the stallion station that she technically belongs to, FINALLY. After calling repeatedly to every place around here that I could think of, I finally managed to talk for 5 seconds to the owner of the colt and found out which place she was from (I never see him so it was quite a feat!). Once I found that out, I called the main farm, and was told that I had to call ANOTHER number. I called that number... no answer! I called a second number, and finally was able to get through to SOMEONE that had an idea of what was going on. After some sleuthing, we found exactly what we already knew: her approximate age (somewhere between 7-10), and her color, and her brand. And that was it. I talked to the main vet as well, and he said that all the recipient mares come in on a dealer truck, and the dealer didn't keep records of them either. So basically, we still know absolutely nothing about her, except that at some point she was probably in a feedlot. I'm glad she is no longer in the feedlot, but still... being a mishandled uterus isn't much of an upgrade really.

He told me all the recipient mares are up for sale at $1000 each. While that is kind of pricey for a mare with an unknown history, it's basically what I expected him to say. One quick update on Facebook about it, and suddenly I had a huge flood of people telling me to put a donate button up on the blog to see if I could raise up enough money to buy her. With the trimming business exploding, it is certainly doable at this point in my life to have two horses... so why not? Who wants to help me buy Bay Girl? Who wants to see that fancy little 257 on her butt turning down the centerline, cause I know I sure do!

EDIT: I took out the "Donate" button because with that you can't actually see the progress bar go up... we're already over $160!!

As a disclaimer, obviously you never REALLY know what is going to happen in a circumstance like this, so if I get a whole bunch of donations and the whole thing falls through, I will donate every cent of it to a charity of our collective choice. It's a win-win situation either way, no?

She says, pleaaaaase help me get to a good new home!

In other news, Bay Girl's second trim without sedation happened on Monday and I was SO PROUD of her! I don't do her farrier work, so instead I held her while we locked her colt in a stall and did her outside of the stall. She was an angel... AND she stood with both her hinds up in the sling on the hoof stand... considering she used to kick at anyone who came near her hind end at all, this is huge!!!!! What a little angel!!!!

So? Whadda ya say folks?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Dapple City

Post-foaling, Bay Girl's body has gone through a few, erm... undesirable changes. Mostly what this means is that she has lost her beautiful topline! It takes a lot of calories to keep a hungry little beefmaster colt well-fed, and she is a good strong milker. However, she has lost quite a bit of weight, and you'll see the changes in her body in the following pictures...

The last time we saw Bay Girl, before she left to foal out on the other farm:

And here she is post-foaling, with her colt:

Her coat is beautiful, but the rest of her? Ehhhhhhhh. Ah well, now that she is back with us she is already gaining some weight back. Elvis is a little tank and it takes work for her to keep him looking so thick! (Early I incorrectly stated that he is cutting bred... he's actually rope bred, and will grow up to be a rope horse like his original momma.) Of course, she's still beautiful either way. :)

I FINALLY have a lead on where she is from! I have an inquiry in as we speak... hopefully they will get back to me soon with more information on her!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Look who came back!!

SHE'S BACK!!!!!!

My beautiful Bay Girl and her little red colt are back!!

The colt is pretty cute... he's going to be a serious tank when he grows up. His hip is HUUUUUUUUUGE. Not sure yet if he will stay red... I think the mare was grey so we'll see what he ends up being. Might be a liver, might be a grey?

Bay Girl's coat is beautiful, shiny, and full of dapples, but she is a heck of a lot skinnier than she used to be. That gorgeous topline of hers is completely gone, and her withers and ribs stick out. That colt is sucking her dry! Hopefully we can get a bit of weight back on her and turn her back into a more normal looking animal.

There is, for whatever reason, still some confusion about Bay Girl and this colt, so let me try and set it straight for the final time: this is NOT HER COLT. She is a SURROGATE MARE. She carried this colt for another mare. It is NOT HERS. This is the entire reason I've been working with her - she's been a uterus and nothing more to anyone for her entire life that we know of. Hopefully with that all set straight I'll stop getting questions about whether or not I would want to own her baby if I ever ended up with her. This baby is SOMEONE ELSE'S because they were the ones who owned the other mare. Bay Girl is nothing more than a uterus for rent. She and this colt share no genetic material! He's a cutting bred QH, and I dunno what the heck she is, but she's certainly not that!

She is very much so the same sweet mare that she was before, but more alert and very protective of the colt. She bumped herself up several ranks for the sake of the baby - before she was at the bottom of the back, and now she is giving the other mare that she is turned out with (who was highly ranked above her) some serious grief about getting too close to her baby. The colt himself is very inquisitive and curious and cute - I like him. I like her a heck of a lot more, and having him around means I can't exactly just take her out and groom her whenever I want, but there you are. At some point he'll be bigger, and then we can see about getting her back to being handled a bit more.

They named the colt Elvis. Supposedly this was because he was born on the day Elvis died, but I looked it up and Elvis died on August 16th... not March 12th? Not sure about that one! The colt and I also share a birthday. Birthday twins!