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… 

 

How to pill a horse.

Subi started Equioxx this weekend for his joint pain/arthritis and I was a having a horrible time figuring out how to get the damn pill down his throat.

For those of you who have seen Equioxx, the pill is TINY.

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For those of you who have read my saga about Subi, you know he is PICKY and HIGHLY SUSPICIOUS.

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Always suspicious. Always. 

As a result, getting said pill into him was…difficult. In fact, I failed completely on Saturday.

You see, the lists of foods Subi does not approve of is probably longer than the foods of which he approves. I made the fatal mistake of sticking the Equioxx in a German Horse Muffin, but, as it turns out, Subi no longer eats German Horse Muffins. He finds that they are inedible. My husband tried to feed the pill muffin to him and it ended up in the mud. We thought about dumping it in his bucket, but figured that Batty or Jiminy would eat it instead. I’m pretty sure that German Horse Muffins were once poisoned by bute and now they are poisonous themselves… Subi only gets paste bute now… Thankfully I have volunteers in the form of Jiminy, Batty, (and Ranger if the first two let me sneak off the property with muffins) to finish off the poisonous muffins…

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Full of himself. Idiot. 

Defeated but not dead, I headed back out the next morning with peppermints and sticky hands. I decided to sandwich the Equioxx between two peppermints. When I couldn’t get that to work (they wouldn’t stick together, no Subi was involved), I added some Agave Nectar and made the entire thing a sticky mess. This pill would be sacrificed if this didn’t work. Then walked outside, fed him a plain peppermint (I should note, peppermints are our favorite), then stuffed the agave peppermint contraption in his mouth. SUCCESS! He looked at me like I was insane. We accept peppermints. We do not force peppermints into one’s mouth… But, I learned that Agave is acceptable to Subi… Go figure?

But, this mess wasn’t exactly conducive to daily pill giving practice so I set off to the grocery store (after a lesson on Ranger while still unable to breathe) and purchased ingredients for the pumpkin muffins I made last April. Except, I made multiple modifications from that version because it’s all about improvements. The version back in April was loosely based off of DIY Horse Ownership‘s pill hider treat recipe and based on whatever ingredients I had on hand… And this modification was based on those modifications and whatever other modifications I felt like making. So basically, when all was said and done, I more or less made up what I was doing? Because, why not?

And I finally purchased silicone mini muffin pans which made the process SO MUCH EASIER!

In the end, I made just under 7 dozen carrot molasses pumpkin muffins. Some had peppermints, some didn’t.

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So. Many. Pumpkin. Muffins. Subi will sell his soul. 

Subi will MURDER for these muffins. MURDER.

For a picky horse, he LOVES pumpkin. Who knew? Jiminy likes the muffins as well though would have preferred micro mini muffins that would better fit in his mouth. Batty, Mr. I WILL EAT EVERYTHING NO QUESTIONS ASKED (except for bananas and fig newtons) ate his, but without enthusiasm. He, evidently, isn’t the biggest fan of pumpkin. Lol.

Since then, the past 3 mornings he has eaten his pill inside his pumpkin muffin. This morning, Subi nearly took off my hand trying to grab his muffin. Evidently I was moving my hand too slowly…

What tricks do you use to pill a horse?

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Cookies!!!!

 

 

Happy Halloween, throwback style! AKA a little sugar with your gore?

**warning, graphic content**

I don’t think I’ve posted this before…

10 years ago, right around Halloween, I got a call from my barn owner/trainer that Subi was FINE, but had gotten kicked in the shoulder and had a nasty open wound that couldn’t be stitched… Darn hind shoes…

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Instead, he was getting SMZs and they were packing it with granulated sugar at the vet’s direction…

Being a new library graduate student, I had to research the crap out of what my trainer was telling me, but yes, it was a thing. Sugar packing, who knew?

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He was also on stall rest and hating life. But, no swelling because a certain IDIOT walking circles and kept the swelling down. Lol.

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Sugar packing was fine. My trainer attempted to clip is leg and everyone nearly died…. They decided they’d skip that step. I scrubbed and curried sugar and blood off that leg FOREVER. 

And yet, after a couple of weeks, it healed nicely (despite the face that at one point, you could stick your entire hand inside the wound).  It ultimately healed without a scar. Then my idiot horse somehow scratched himself the SAME PLACE (no blood) and THAT scarred…

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2 weeks post kick

If you are interested in reading more about sugar…

Scholarly Articles

Dunford, Cheryl, Rose Cooker, Peter Molan, and Richard White. “The use of honey in wound management” Nursing Standard 15, no. 11 (29 November 2000): 63-68.

This article discusses the history, background, and use of honey in the wound healing process. A more well known treatment (dating back more than 2000 plus years), this article also discusses the advantages and disadvantages of using honey in wound treatment. Furthermore, multiple images are included.

Gordon, H., Middleton, K.; Seal, D.; Sullens, K. “Sugar and wound healing” The Lancet 2, no. 8456 (21 September 1985): 663-665.

This article chronicles the treatment of foot abscesses using a sucrose sugar paste and includes both scientific text as well as images. Furthermore, the article also address the use of sugar in wound treatment throughout history, referring to Egyptian use of honey as well as explaining how sugar works in the healing process.

Mathews, Karol A. and Allen G. Binnington. “Wound management using sugar” Copendium 24, no. 1 (January 2002): 41-50.

This article discusses wound management in dogs and other small animals using sugar. Written by a pair of veterinarians, the article chronicles a research study on sugar impact in the healing process of large wounds in dogs, includes multiple images, and address the healing properties unique to sugar.

Seal, David V., Roderick J. Hay, and Keith R. Middleton. Skin and wound infection: investigation and treatment in practice. London: Informa Health Care, 2000.

This book addresses infection and wounds and discusses different treatments and practices related to wound care. Though not entirely devoted to the use of sugar, this book does devote an entire chapter to sugar paste and wound healing.

Eat Already, Horse!!

I’ve posted about this subject before I’m sure, but once again, Subi has decided that eating is optional. This time however, it’s not not both meals, but simply breakfast.

Huh.

Really. Really. Frustrating.

Now, he does get different combinations for breakfast vs dinner. Breakfast he usually gets beet pulp and grain (omolene, soaked senior) and dinner he gets soaked cubes (timothy alfalfa as he’d NEVER eat plain alfalfa or plain timothy) and beet pulp plus grain (omolene, soaked senior, and fat). He takes a good 3 hours to eat the cube/grain mix so that is NOT an option in the morning. Sorry. I feed at 6:20 and he has until 7:40 to eat. He usually walks away by 7 on a good day now. 6:45 on most days. He’s just NOT interested. Dinner? He’s interested. Breakfast? No. He’s hungry for dinner because he doesn’t eat breakfast…

I’ve tried a partial grain reset (omolene plus beet pulp). I’ve tried a full grain reset (just omolene. I’ve tried mixing omolenes (200 plus 500). I’ve tried cutting his chopped hay (he had been getting a bucket of chopped hay in the morning). I’ve tried adding a flake of hay next to his grain so he doesn’t bother to wonder off to the hay when he decides he’d rather eat hay vs grain.

The only thing I haven’t bothered with is a small version of his dinner. Some soaked cubes (1/2 scoop) mixed with his morning ration of omolenes (I’m adding in the 500 as it’s higher fat so maybe that’ll help keep weight… Might be worth a try. He does better on weekends when I can give him 3 hours with breakfast. I’m just not willing to get up 2 hours earlier to make that happen during the week.

At this point, I don’t care WHAT he eats, just THAT he eats. He now gets his MSM in his dinner vs breakfast. No other supplements. I can’t risk him not eating.

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He still looks good weight wise and he’s eating a crazy amount of hay. He just is being finicky about grain. Stupid horse. Vet doesn’t care what he eats either. The best grain in the world is no good if he won’t eat. I’m tempted to buy a massive vat of molasses and add that too. I just worry about not eating heading into winter. Granted it’s been super hot and he’s had his winter coat… Maybe that’s played a role? Who knows…

I’m open to suggestions. He’s been like this his entire life. The older he gets, the pickier… Vet warned me that some TBs are like this and I have one… I’ve met people who have heard stories of picky thoroughbreds but haven’t met one. I have one. Lucky me. Yay.

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I’m NOT the biggest Purina fan AT ALL. But, this horse is BEYOND picky. Subi will not eat: Buckeye senior (both their seniors), will NOT eat nutrena senior, nutrena safe choice, will not eat nutrena proforce fuel, not eat purina ultium, strategy, etc. picks at TC Senior (he’s always sort of eaten it, but wastes half of it so we’re at a 50% waste rate and can never keep his weight with it), Purina Senior and Senior Active (“new” formula — at Active until they adjusted the formula. He ate regular senior for a while a few times), several others that I don’t feel like listing… Too tired. He currently gets Blue Seal Sentinel Senior now mixed with his dinner. Won’t eat it solo now, but it makes a good mash. His favorite feed has been Progressive Senior Sweet, but the local Progressive Dealer stopped dealing and I decided after 3 or 4 trips (directly from the garage of a vet who served as the next closest distributor in the area–he put feed aside for me, I left him a check and loaded my feed in my car), I wasn’t driving 70 miles to buy this feed for Subi. It’s a shame because the close Progressive dealer served ALL my feed stores. I boycotted them for about a year… They claimed Subi would eat the Buckeye and it was the same. Nope. Wouldn’t eat it. They guaranteed it. Promised me. Not that they refunded my money when he wouldn’t touch it. Batty enjoyed that bag of feed.

Happy 12 Years Subliminal!

12 years ago, Subi joined my family.

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He’s been part of the family longer than my husband.

He was a spunky, spry 9 year old with plenty of opinions, a massive stride and more scope than I could I need.

The first time I rode him I was terrified. The girl leasing him had just gone off to college and Subi was terrifying. He was fast. She was always falling after the jumps (how, I don’t know). That summer involved a trip to the ER and crutches. I had been riding Atlantis for a good part of the summer. He was a Scott Stewart hand me down who had soundness issues, but carted me around and was the first horse to give me confidence. From him it was on to Dream Boy who was my trainer’s horse and was young and green. He was wonderful but I never felt comfortable or trusted him. Anyway, I was grooming him and had him half tacked when I got a call telling me to ride Subi instead. Nothing like suddenly falling in love with a horse you don’t trust like being told to ride the crazy TB…

Yet instead of being crazy, I had to use more leg than ever before. I fell in love with Subi immediately. I never clicked with a horse like that.

I had to ask to ride him again (vs Dream Boy) and immediately fell off when he did a 3 in a 5 as I failed to realize just how long his stride was… Oops.

Anyway, we had a number of good years though never showed too much ($$). He’d have been better at shows had we been able to get out consistently but as I was entirely self funded, that didn’t happen. Nonetheless, he was the right horse for me then. Now? Not so much (the horse he was then).

Through the years we had our issues and injuries (including a massive kick the shoulder that healed thanks to sugar packs) and farrier issues. But, thanks to my current farrier of the last.. 9 years? He is now barefoot and easy (enough) to trim. Arthritis is now making trims a little harder. But his farrier fears are long gone.

Anyway, as we creak into the latter years of Subi’s life, (and suffer through issues like refusal to eat–another day’s post), I’m just happy to have Subi with me. Here’s to 12 years and to as many more as we can have!

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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?

 

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.

How to deworm a difficult horse

Subi and I are on different pages when it comes to medication.

Or food.

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I’ll be watching you… 

But let’s talk medication. He just KNOWS when I have poison.

But, over the years, I’ve become more successful because, sneaky doesn’t work.

But, let’s talk talk specifically about dewormer, because, we HATE dewormer.

I could really use the dental contraption to help with deworming, just saying…

In the past, when Subi was a young, spry, individual, deworming involved a chain, blind fold, a prayer, and quick reflexes. If I could friend someone brave and suicidal, a person willing to hold up a leg helped too. Basically, the goal was to get as much of the dewormer down his throat before rearing ensued. Sometimes holding a leg up helped, sometimes it was a suicide mission. Sometimes the blindfold helped, other times, ha!

Now, that we’re mature at 20, we’ve ditched the blindfold, the chain (we ditched that last year), and the leg holding (ditched when no brave idiots were “available) and found a new method–the sneak attack. OH CRAP. We’re not 20 anymore, WE’RE 21 and I JUST REALIZED IT! SHIT.

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We don’t like dewormer. Dewormer is EVIL.

So, on Tuesday night, armed with dewormer and a terrible virus, I headed out post dinner to dewormer the 3 beast after dinner. The kids were separated. Batty and Jiminy together and Subi alone. I thought this would help. He wouldn’t know. I had 2 eager volunteers in the piggy clan–they just subscribe by the philosophy of eat first, think later–and deworming went off without a hitch (Jiminy is a wierdo and enjoys his dewormer a little too much).

Unfortunately, despite being NO WHERE NEAR the scene of the CRIME, Subi just KNEW what was happening (15 points Subi). My easy to catch senior who loves me more than life itself decided to play hard to get and, in the dark, frozen drylot, I wandered after him for 15 minutes while he remained just out of my reach. Damn horse. I love you too. I swear, he could smell the dewormer a mile a way.  I though the darkness would be my friend. Thwarted again (5 more points Subi).

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I don’t want to know the score if Subi had friends helping or some daylight…

Finally, armed with 2 stud muffins and 5 peppermints, we reached an agreement and on his head went the halter (5 points Subi, 5 points Sarah). And there we stood while he chewed his treats while I stealthily uncapped the dewormer. Finally, after all the treats were chewed, I stepped back so that my shoulder was behind his head (I must NEVER be in front of his head of the mission FAILS and I wear the tube of dewormer). Quickly BUT QUIETLY I pushed the dewormer into the corner of his mouth and before he could react, pushed his head up as high as possible and held it there (15 points Sarah).

For the next 10 minutes, there we stood. Me holding a heavy chestnut head in one hand while rubbing his throat with the other hand, begging him to swallow while Subi stood grinding his teeth, angry that he had been foiled once again (10 points Sarah). Finally, I left go, removed the halter, and watched as my ANGRY CHESTNUT  unsuccessfully tried to cough out to AWFUL POISON he inadvertently swallowed (5 points Sarah). Entire tube consumed! No dewormer on Sarah! (50 points Sarah)

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Thankfully, he forgives (though I reuse old media)

Final Score:

Sarah: 85
Subi: 25

Total gameplay: 33 minutes

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Practicing our angry face…

During this time, my husband never though to send out a search party… Nice of him, right?