Thankful.

We’ve been dealing with some horrifically awful weather around here.

It was horrifically cold on Thanksgiving and Black Friday and bitter all day on Saturday.

Wednesday I hit Dover and was able to exchange Subi’s Northwind heavyweight detach-a-neck and a exchange it for a new one as the stitch was coming out on one of the surcingles and repairing it would likely void the warranty. So, we picked up a brand new blanket just in time for the unexpected cold front.

And cold it was. Thursday was miserable. But Friday morning was worse temperature wise. Jiminy was frozen until I threw a second medium over his medium and sheet. He’d have been fine had we transitioned into cold. Instead, we’ve had temps in the 50s. And suddenly it was in the teens with wind chills in the single digits.

But worse than temperatures was the sudden frozen mud. With all the rain came insane mud. INSANE. Frozen concrete foot prints. Knee deep footprints. Neither Batt or Jiminy would walk unassisted and Jiminy wouldn’t even walk out of the paddock assisted… Somehow, SUBI was handling all of this better than anyone. I really wonder if he’s feeling good thanks to the Equioxx? Granted, he skipped the paddock completely.

Thanksgiving before dinner I basically melted down to my mom and we considered plans (including sending Jiminy and/or Batt to Tennessee and boarding Subi) and that night fed everyone as best we could out of the paddock (the plan was to use the lower grass field, but Batt said NO). We’ve continued that since. I hate not dividing them, and I can’t control confirm that everyone stay in his own bucket but it’s sort of working for now.

In the mean time, we’re all surviving. Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday sales came and went and I purchased nothing really other than making a down payment on a barn and now I just sit and wait. I am so thankful for my mother for being here every step of the way and basically talking me off a ledge on Thanksgiving and making this journey possible. Of course, had she known 20 some years ago when she agreed to one lesson a week that it would turn into all this, maybe she would have said no. Or bought be a horse. Or leased me a horse. Maybe then I would have burned out or never wanted to get out of a full care situation? Who knows. But we’re in this mess together now!

The rest of my weekend was spent belt making. My own versions of more expensive surcingle belts. I’m taking some to a craft fair this weekend (more accurate, I’m taking them to my aunt who is taking them to a craft fair), but if interested, let me know.

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Just a few of the belts so far… 

 

Yak to cow pony.

It’s that time of year! Well, a couple months late, but…

Jiminy got clipped this weekend!

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Before!

He turned from a mini horse into a yak. His coat was about 4″ thick and he was miserable.

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Mid clip….

He briefly turned into a pony with boots.

Thankful for my clipmasters! Those are the only things that get through his coat.

And a mini who is a saint for clipping!

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Begging for cookies. 

Then he got his brand new sheet on and turned into a cow!

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Cow print!

People always ask WHY I clip my mini.

Multiple reasons.

  1. When I first got him, my farrier suggested it. It is SO hard with the minis in the winter to figure out just how fat they are with their coats… Clipping allows me to actually see just how much he weighs.
  2. Despite his coat, he gets REALLY cold backed and when he’s cold backed, he turns into evil, devil Jiminy. You don’t want to meet Mean Jiminy. With a blanket on, he’s an angel. So, clipping allows Jiminy to wear a blanket and be nice. Sounds strange, but come pony sit and you’ll see the difference. Until you’ve been kicked by Devil Jiminy…
  3. Weight control. I’ll be honest, if has to use some calories to keep himself warm, he has a few extra pounds to spare.
  4. He’s just happier.
  5. He runs warm and can’t handle warm days without being clipped. I should have clipped him 2 months ago but I failed. He can’t handle warm days with his coat.
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Looking good!

Anyway, he’s very proud of himself now. He’s marching around the paddock with extra confidence these days!

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So. Much. Hair. 

 

The tale of the neighborhood pony.

I haven’t written about Jiminy lately.

He’s fine. Neglected in his new purple fly sheet. But fine.

I decided recently that he needs more work. But, with the insane amounts of rain we’ve had, I really don’t wan to lunge him and tear up my grass round pen. Plus it is SO BUGGY and it appears I’m allergic to every. single. bug. out there so I thought I’d start taking him for walk, because, why not? If nothing else, if I ever start driving him, it’ll be good desensitizing.

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Best pony every.

So we starting our walks last night with a stroll around the neighborhood (or the development across the street). We didn’t get out of my driveway before we were stopped by a car and a lady in her mid 70s who had to chat about Jiminy (and make sure I still had my big red horse too). Jiminy was a little antsy during the chat, but we worked on personal space and he got the message really quickly. He’s a pretty good egg. Most of the time.

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So much to explore!

We continued our walk. Chatted with a lady and her elderly dog who failed to notice us for about 5 minutes and passed by lots of cars. We mostly stopped and let them pass, working on patients and watched people smile and him. He brought lots of smiles from people.

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Taking it all in

It was also the night before trash day. So we handle large trash cans, and odds and ends at driveways. We sniffed some and took in the sights. He doesn’t spook and mostly just walked up to things and looked. The only thing he didn’t care for was the grates of the street. To be honest, his feet would likely fall through so they’d be an issue anyway, but the most he did was stare at those.

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So much grass and no eating… 

Mostly he took everything like a champ. Include kids doing sprints behind him. They eventually came up and said hi to him (their dad was on their driveway and was the ONE person we ran into who didn’t look impressed), but even their running didn’t bother him. Since they weren’t running up to him, just running in general, I didn’t say anything. Jiminy didn’t care. I’d have moved if it bother him but he was very unfazed by the entire thing.

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Such a good boy

All in all, we were about about 35 minutes and he was tired by the end, but pretty perfect. I’d like to do this a few times a week and eventually take him out for a few mile treks at Fair Hill this fall. He just takes everything in like the good little mini horse he is. Hopefully as more people see him, he’ll continue to bring people smiles.

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Best mane ever

Dog Days of Summer

Warning, this is a media heavy post…

 

We’re in the middle of a heat wave on the east coast and what better way to to cool off than with swimming and baths?

This is mostly true and 4 of my 5 outdoor or indoor/outdoor animals have appreciated my efforts to help keep them cool. The dogs have spent most of their outdoor time in the pool (we joke we have the pool for them).

And on Sunday I braved the scalding sun and 95* temps to give the big kids baths.

Batty was mostly tolerant.

 

I mean, he’d have appreciated the bath MORE had I not washed his face (face washing = no grazing ) but whatever.

He was gross. I need to wash his tail but that’s another days project. FYI the Rambo SPACE ALIEN MASK still has stayed on. BEST. FLY. MASK. EVER.

While Batty was drying off, Marble took a brief dip in the pool (better the pool than my water trough… her pool when the real pool is off limits…)

I’m pretty sure I skipped giving Subi an actual shampoo bath last year…

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Terrible mother that I am. But he was very appreciative. I skipped washing his face because was being perfect and I didn’t want to stress him.

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Kindest old man in all the land

I could tell his stifle was bothering him based on how he was standing. But, he ran around a bit before and after his bath so… Ugh. Going to keep watching and chat with the vet later. Might be time to try something beyond MSM, but he’s so damn picky… one wrong thing and he’s off his feed 100%. But he’s fat and happy and looking good for a muscle-less retiree.

 

Then there’s this little punk ass.

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Don’t let this face fool you…

Don’t let his face fool you.

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So. Much. Anger. Anger Eating is a sport…

Jiminy does NOT like water.

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Focus on the ears.

Jiminy HATES water.

Jiminy thinks water = DEATH.

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So much anger!

Baths are my way of slowly trying to murder him.

We both made it out alive, but post bath? It was necessary to wipe ALL WATER from his body.

I could have kept him grazing until he dried, but I was hot, lazy, hot, annoyed with him, hot, and didn’t feel like getting his grazing muzzle because he’s fat and didn’t need that much more grass (I let him graze until I was dead). So into the paddock he went.

Let the drama ensue.

Unfortunately, Subi had to join in, though thankfully only for a brief canter and twist.

Jiminy is a punk ass child who had a “mild” temper tantrum. Water is deadly dontcha know?

 

Quilted Jiminy!

A mostly wordless… Friday post to share this amazing quilted Jiminy courtesy of Olivia from DIYHorseownership! I won her Easter contest and picked up an amazing quilted Jiminy complete with ears (that I missed in the box at first thanks to exhaustion and brain-dead-ness thanks to a 3 day work training in Pittsburgh…)

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Quilted Jiminy!

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Non quilted version

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Well behaved version with Ears!

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Non stuffed, less well behaved version with ears

And, to complete this, some fun from my trip to Pittsburgh… How many librarians can you fit in a hotel shuttle? Then answer is way too many when your shuttle driver’s name is Henry and you’ve been staring at large pages of text all day… And it shouldn’t be snowing at the end of April in PA. Just saying.

 

The Great Easter Egg Hunt of 2018 (or not)

I have a lot to recap including a lesson on Ranger and so much to do at work. But instead, why not share some silliness?

Olivia @ DIY Horseownership is holding an Easter Contest — You can enter too on her blog. And, Saturday after a long day when I was losing my mind, I figured it was as good of a time as any to participate. So, I what did I do other than make horse cookies and hold an Easter Egg Hunt for Jiminy?

The plan was to follow her Pill Hider Horse Treats (rules stated you could use any of the homemade horse treat recipes), but I didn’t have any apple sauce and didn’t want to go to the store (keep the part in mind later) so I used canned pumpkin in its place. So, basically, my treats were a hybrid between the Pill Hider Horse Treats and the Pumpkin Horse Treats.

But the recipe was super easy to follow until I realized that I did NOT own a mini muffin pan. And was not planning to buy one. Enter modification number…6? So I used a large muffin pan and made some large muffins and then still had batter. They take an hour to cook and if I did multiple batches, I’d never  be finished and I needed sunlight for my Easter Egg hunt! So, I found muffin cups and started dumping batter in those. So I ended up with less than pretty muffins, but it worked…

Biscuit approves… This kitten is TROUBLE.

Of course, while the muffins were cooking, I realized I was missing a key element of the hunt. The costume. So, I left my husband with a core instruction: Make sure the house doesn’t burn down. And headed off to CVS in search of bunny ears. The struggle was real folks. BUT, success! 3 pairs of bunny ears remained and I purchased the best pair. (I could have picked up apple sauce…)

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I came home, house still standing and waited for the cookies to finish Then, when they were FINALLY finished, I sped up the cooling process (thank you refrigerator) and out we went for a photo shoot, egg hiding session, and THE HUNT!

It was dinner time for the boys so Jiminy was the only HUNT participant. But, they all participated in the taste test and photo shoot. Subi, pickiest of them all, is IN LOVE with the cookies. Probably because they don’t have apple in them. He is NOT a fan of apple sauce… So, the pumpkin in a hit.

MORE COOKIES!!!!

But the star of the show? Jiminy.

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Yes,  Jiminy

We didn’t allow him loose for the hunt as he can escape from the round pen and he was a little distracted by grass…

Nonetheless, he’s utterly adorable…

He was very disappointed when he found the last “egg” and didn’t get to stay and enjoy the green grass… Let’s just say, grass is the last thing he needs 🙂

If your horse were a human…

Driving into work this morning, I was chatting with my husband about Jiminy. Oh, Jiminy, what is there to say about Jiminy. He’s the smart one. He just doesn’t always put his brains to good use. He is WAY to smart for his own good.

Anyway, Erik came to the conclusion that, if Jiminy were a human, he’d be really, really rich. But, that money probably wouldn’t all have been obtained, er, legally.

If Jiminy were a human, he’d be using his intelligence for nothing but mischief and no good. He’d be the super intelligent Wall Street guy running a Ponzi scheme…

Me? Use my brains for trouble? Yep. Probably? No never! Bwahaha!

Batts, who would he be? He lacks brain cells unfortunately and has recently earned the nickname “Battiot.” He’d probably be a high school dropout working at a convenience store spending his entire pay check on junk food while living at homing mooching off of…me? Great, thanks. He’d probably also be the person fishing through trash cans for food too. He also needs a bib to eat. He’d be the one wearing his food.

Point proven. Ignore the commentary… I didn’t realize a video was being taken… 

Subi. Oh Subi. What to say about him. Described as a drama queen and a diva by various equine professionals. He’s past his prime. He’s picky BEYOND picky. He’s part child, part civilized royalty. He’s sort of a washed up aging C list celebrity. I mean, he did race in a stakes race back in the day. He just hasn’t accepted the washed up part?

Something about him…

Who would your horse be?

Catching up (and partial Ranger Recap)

I’ve been dealing with lots of migraines of the last week or 2. LOTS. To the point that I barely made it to work half of last week and barely made it to my lesson on Thursday and barely remember my lesson. There was also a Nor’easter and then melting and some classes I had to teach and stupid horses and a farrier appointment. And rather than do a photo dump and a separate Ranger Recap, I’m just sort of going to…I don’t know, try and remember last week?

I really don’t remember most of my lesson. In between migraine from hell and the death migraine? One of those migraines had me crying the pain was so bad… It was not a good week…

Anyway, our lesson consisted of a whole lot of bending lines and turns and no media. For some reason, my trainer realized that I was directionally challenged (migraine side effect) and actually walked our bending lines and roll backs for us–without it, I wouldn’t have made it. That said, without images, graphs, and charts, I really cannot say more. But, from what I remember, it was a surprisingly good lesson. The first time through was typically about learning the lines/space, the second time through was perfecting it. We worked on asking for the lead, but using our space and not leading/crowding the jumps in the air. Honestly, after the first time, everything was easy.

 

Friday, my farrier came out. In sprite of the mud, we managed to get everyone trimmed. Batty MIGHT be working on a abscess (he was on and off gimpy leading up to Friday and then completely comfortable on Friday), but with the mud, it wasn’t close enough to do anything about. So, we’re just watching it but he’s comfy again so… Who knows… But if he does go lame on his left front, I’ll know why…

Meanwhile, my Subi’s starting to struggle a bit. Last winter he did something to his right stifle and that was sort of my call to retire him completely. His arthritis has been acting up more anyway and this winter it’s gotten a bit worse. He’s 21 and has been mostly sound until last winter. He’s had issues with getting his feet done stemming back before I bought him (long story simplified to bad farrier but barn farrier threw a rasp at his head when he reacted to a when stung by a horse fly. He was done with drugs for years until 2009 when I started working with my current farrier. We were able to get him from drugs to 4 shoes without anything in 1 visit — took forever but it was just fear. To him being a relatively easy horse in a year. 2 years later the horse with the worst feet was barefoot and sound and simple to do). Now, he’s a bit of a challenge to do behind because it hurts. He’s achy on the left hind and then acts up a bit, but the right hind really hurts. He grinds his teeth and it just hurts. He tries to take his leg back and doesn’t try to be bad, but lets us know it hurts. I forgot to give him bute beforehand (and he’s figured out the bute stud muffin trick so I need a new way to poison him). Poor guy.

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Wearing his brother’s clothing because… it’s what I had laying around… 

And then there is this guy. James Tiberius Harper Horsie. Aka Jiminy. Tiny Terror. According to the farrier, his weight is fine (I trust the farrier more than the vet in this instance. My vet tends not to complain when he’s a little fatter…). He’s a problem though. He wants to be part of the action. Any action. In your face. Pay attention to me.

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One of these things do not belong… 

When he’s not destroying property, at least he likes to be groomed?

We call this look the Albert Einstein

Now he just needs it to warm up so he can have a job. Maybe we’ll take on long lining this summer. If I could leave Subi alone, I’d pony Jiminy off Batt. But, alas, his main job is baby-babysitter… And property destroyer. And little pain in the ass. And being utterly cute.

Supplements (BlogHop from DIY Horse Ownership)

 

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Olivia from DIY Horse Ownership is doing a Blog Hop on supplements so I thought I’d participate.

Batts:

Batts is my supplement horse. He’ll eat anything (except bananas and fig newtons) so he’s not a good test case regarding taste. He lives by the philosophy of eat first, think later.

Which is why it’s really strange that there are items he won’t eat.

Like fig newtons.

Go figure?

I don’t understand this horse entirely…

Digestive:

Dispersible-Powder_5lb Probios Powder 2 scoops daily (~ $.22/day). I started him on this after his New Bolton stay for colic since I’m just paranoid. New Bolton basically told me probiotics don’t do much, but, it’s cheap and doesn’t hurt and makes me feel like I’m at least doing SOMETHING vs NOTHING so why not, right?

 

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Joint:

 

 

I just feed MSM. Right now he gets the Vitaflex MSM @ $.17/day. He’s a little sticky sometimes and this seems to help him be less creeky and more comfortable. When he gets more ouchy/stiff, we go back to the loading dose @$.34/day but most of the time we do well with the maintenance dose.

 

Electrolytes:

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So, Batts is my chronic impaction colicer. He gets EVERY. SINGLE. MEAL. SOAKED. More than soaked, he gets them soupy. Thankfully he’ll more  or less eat anything. He gets a single 3 quart scoop of cubes, 2 take out quart soup containers of plain dried beet pulp dumped in a 5 gallon bucket, and water added so the whole thing is filled 2/3 – 3/4 of the way (lately it’s 2/3 since he’s started protesting the 3/4). To that we add 1-2 quarts of grain for flavoring (right now he gets strategy healthy edge which I can up if he needs to when in higher work but this summer he doesn’t need it — winter he gets too fat and usually needs a diet…). He doesn’t do well on ration balancers and usually looks terrible coat and condition-wise. This seems to work for us… Then he gets electrolytes. LOTS of electrolytes. I buy a MASSIVE 20lbs container of Orange Stress Dex (smells like tang) and he gets 2 scoops AM and PM spring and fall and had been getting 1 scoop AM and PM the rest of the year. But, after he coliced in December, my vet advised he stay on the massive dose all year. But, I go through 3-4 of the 20lbs containers a year. It’s INSANE. So, since he does drink a lot in the summer, I’m experimenting with 1 2/3 of a scoop AM/PM just to limit my use. Yes, our electrolyte usage is insane, but it’s under vet directions. Stress Dex is the cheapest I can find and he eats it so… I have no idea the cost per day nor do I wish to ever calculate it. I usually buy from Dover @ $44.99 per container (tax free) from the local Dover store. If I buy from my feed store, it’s a few dollars more with tax (I buy most everything else from them so I don’t mind skipping them on the Stress Dex purchases).

Flax Seed:

I started feeding whole flax a few winters ago. It improved his coat and hoof quality. I feed a 1.5 cups/daily. A 50lbs bag runs ~ $29.95 from the one further feed store ($45 from the close local feed store) and lasts 2 months since Subi will no longer eat it. Every time I take him off of it, he gets abscesses. Now when he gets abscesses, he’s rarely lame from them so…?

Jiminy:

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He’s easy.

Metabolic:

1 scoop of Quiessence just because I’m paranoid. I don’t know if it does anything, but I’m afraid to stop. He’s in decent weight, but just in case… Gets soaked beet pulp with 8 alfalfa cube PM only and a handful of grain.

He also gets 1/2 scoop electrolytes.

img_3376-1Subi:

He’s terrible about eating poison aka supplements. He gets 1 1/2 cups Buckeye Ultimate Finish fat (~1lbs 2x/day) with his grain and beet pulp in the morning or grain and soaked alfalfa cubes in the evening. He gets chopped hay AM as well (he will ONLY eat the tractor supply brand chopped hay… we are that picky…). He gets way too much grain (combo of Equine Senior and Omalene 200 RT which is currently willing to eat now, but I’m sure it’ll change when he decides that’s no longer edible).  You haven’t met picky until you’ve met Subi. When feed reps actually suggest mixing feeds (which they do NOT do), you know your horse is picky… Nothing medically wrong with him either. I’d love to add at least one supplement (MSM), but I’d risk him going on a hunger strike so it’s just not happening.