Hi! Things have been NUTS at the farm! This is a very brief update, enjoy!
Harriet, our foster from the Fort Worth Animal Care and Control shelter has finished her heartworm treatment! Only a week or so left of the meds and she will be ready to join her new family! If you’d like to adopt Harriet please let me know and I’ll help you make it happen. She is a suspected Corgi mix. She is probably the easiest foster dog we have had so far. She minds well, is potty trained, gets along great with other dogs (large and small) and she LOVES her person!
Harriet also has NO problem relaxing!
Mickey had his surgery last week. The vet removed his broken toe and put a plate in his broken leg. He’s on 24/7 crate rest and has to wear a cone for two weeks. Life is HARD when you are Mickey!
See how hard Mickey’s life is?!
I lost my mind, again, and agreed to foster this “little” family. Mama is a suspected Wolfhound cross and no one knows who the dad to these little dumplings might be! Only time will tell, Jesse is a fantastic mama dog and so far all the puppies do is eat and sleep. I’m confident I will be second guessing my sanity in taking these kids in in a few weeks, but for now I’m smitten by puppy breath and squeaks.
Happy Mama dog with her litter. Doesn’t she look like a Muppet?!
Casey has FINALLY shed out entirely! It only took the poor guy until JULY in TEXAS to get rid of his Montana furry coat. We are going to a show next weekend, for which I’m pretty excited. I haven’t shown in a western saddle in over 10 years so this should be entertaining!
Here he is listening intently to whatever nonsense I’m telling him. Notice his beautiful golden coat!
This has been quite the eventful week, and not the good kind of eventful. On Tuesday morning Simon came in from turnout extremely lame. Thankfully it turned out to just be a pulled shoe. I got Boot City to come to the barn to help me pull it off completely and while he was pulling the shoe Mickey, our 5lb (and fearless) foster dog kept going into the stall to try to eat Simon’s food. I kept shooing him out so Simon wouldn’t get stressed about Mickey in his feed pan WHILE Boot City was pulling on his foot. Then, all of a sudden, we hear a blood curdling screech coming from Sterling’s paddock.
I ran out the barn doors to see Dickens staring at Mickey writhing on the ground. My first thought was that he had a back/spine/neck injury. Few things are worse than a horribly maimed animal that isn’t dead, but needs to be put down. Especially at 6a on a Tuesday morning. I ran over to get him out of the proximity of Sterling, who was still munching on his breakfast and seemed curious about the commotion. Thankfully Mickey’s head, neck and spine seemed fine. He was writhing around, but it seemed to be from pain and not from the lack of ability to control his body. He whimpered and slowly calmed down enough that I was able to identify he had a very smashed left front leg and quite a lot of skin and fur torn off his right front foot.
From what we could ascertain of the situation, Mickey was probably eating Sterling’s food and Sterling took a stop in exactly the wrong spot and stepped on Mickey. Sterling isn’t at all food aggressive and doesn’t seem to mind sharing with the dogs, so I have no reason to believe that it was aggressive or purposeful. Just a tiny dog at the wrong place at the wrong time.
After a tour of North Texas vets we finally got x-rays on Wednesday and determined that he did have some broken bones.
Broken right front foot toe.
Very broken left front leg
I was really hoping this would be an injury that could just be splinted for recovery, but alas it will require surgery. Since Mickey is a foster the rescue group will be utilizing a lower cost option, but it is still expensive. Mickey and I would be GREATLY appreciative of any donations made to his surgery cost. You can click here to make a tax deductible donation to the Urgent Animals of Fort Worth rescue group who are paying for the surgery. This is an amazing rescue group that purely focuses on getting the most urgent dogs and cats out of the Fort Worth shelter. Dogs that have respiratory infections and heartworms are the hardest to get adopted and often the first to get euthanized. Every dog we have fostered has been an Urgent dog. Mickey is also currently undergoing heartworm treatment.
Mickey came back home yesterday with leg splints while he waits for his surgery. All he wants out of life is for me to carry him around 24/7. He’s always liked being held, but even more so now. Sweet little guy.
Back home and ready to pass out. Poor little guy was tired!
Other, happier, news is that Sterling’s leg is looking MUCH better! A couple more weeks of stall rest and he should be back to regular turnout with his buddies and hopefully rideable soon after that.
Very little fluid left and the holes are healing nicely.
This past weekend a group of us affiliated with the fox hunt I ride with went on a trail ride at one of the properties where we hunt. This is newsworthy because the weather was AMAZING! It was forecasted to be in the high 90’s and we got lucky with a very cloudy morning and even a few rain drops.
I took my Mom’s little yellow horse, Casey. His mane has completely grown back and I think he should be called Fabio now.
Casey and his Fabio mane. I keep it braided at home so his neck doesn’t get so hot, but took out the braids for trail riding day.
Casey was awesome on our ride. He hasn’t done a ton of trail riding so I’m always happy when we get out and he has a good experience. He’s only 5 so getting good miles in now will pay off a lot on the long run. Trail riding can be unnerving for horses because they see things they don’t normally see out on trails (animals, 4 wheelers, all kinds of things!), riding in a crowd can make them nervous, and having to cross water and ditches can be scary.
A group selfie. You know your horse is good for trail riding when you can take photos and completely drop the reins and he just keeps going.
Since I’m working to sell Casey for my Mom I want him to have good, constructive experiences when we leave home and he got just that last Saturday. He crossed all the ditches, never spooked at anything, didn’t get terribly worried about where the other horses were. We rode in the front some and in the middle some. He’s got a pretty good walking pace, so he’s unlikely to be at the back just because of his speed.
Literally my favorite view. #lifebetweentheears
We are always so grateful when our hunt landowners invite us out for trail rides. It is a great way to explore the properties while not being busy with hounds. This property is still relatively new to us and we have struggled with knowing how to get from point A to point B at times! It has a steep ravine through the center of the property and is quite wooded. We spent some extra time finding ravine crossing spots and pulling down dead tree branches when we had the chance. The nice thing about Casey is that he isn’t crazy tall. This property will be interesting when I start riding Simon because he’s about 5 inches taller than Casey!
Lush green grass in JULY and glorious clouds make for a pretty spectacular view.
Our group stayed pretty slow, which I liked. Galloping in a group seems like it would be great fun, but it always brings out the crazy in one or two horses and someone ends up on the ground and/or scared half to death because their horse is a victim of “groupthink” and freaks out because it wants to win some proverbial race or at least keep up. I’m not one of those riders who enjoys that kind of chaos. Save it for the warmup ring at horse shows where there is always plenty of drama!
Riding in the middle of the group for a bit.
We had a potluck lunch after the ride complete with homemade Shepherd’s Pie and homemade Gazpacho soup.
Things have warmed right up here in Texas! Because of the heat I’ve been motivated to get up early and ride before work. I’m lucky to be somewhat flexible in my arrival time at the office, but other than today have been at my desk before 8:30a every day. It is SO NICE to be done early and to not ride in the heat of the day. Coco is a bit extra spunky in the cooler weather and my rides usually start in the dark, but sunrises on horseback are just unbeatable!
Mickey started his slow-kill heartworm treatment this week. I also gave him a haircut last week. I think he enjoys not getting so much gunk stuck in his hair when he’s busy chasing chickens through the weeds!
This toad is on our porch every single night eating bugs. I like to leave the porch light on so lots and lots of bugs gather and he gets a smorgasbord!
Dickens is the most photogenic dog I’ve ever had. He lives to strike a pose.
I have my fingers, toes, arms, legs and anything else crossed that Sterling’s stifle is FINALLY healing. He still gets hydrotherapy twice per day and I like to do it while he’s eating as bribery. He has a lot of help when he’s eating, as you can see here.
What are you up to this weekend? I hope it is a great one!
I will preface this post by stating that my husband is the handiest human being on the planet and I’m forever grateful for all of the things he does to support my ridiculous horse habit!
You may recall a couple years ago we built some runs off the stalls on the new barn. All of the runs and a paddock have been completed for over a year, but Boot City had some sort of what I referred to as gate-o-phobia; fear of building a gate. We had a need for at least six gates plus a couple of it-would-be-nice-to-have-a-better-gate-here spots so agreed that we would take some time off work around the 4th of July holiday and do some honey do items around the property. Gates were clearly at the TOP of the list!
I don’t know why Boot City had a phobia of building gates, because the finished products are all very lovely and functional gates. If you aren’t a horse person or someone who has an understanding of the need for good gates, this may sound silly to you. Gates are vitally important with livestock. Weak or poorly made gates can break and let animals into spaces where they don’t belong or (much worse) hurt them. A horse that eats too much of certain types of feed can get life-threateningly sick. If you have multiple species of animals there are some feeds that are fine for one animal and dangerous to another animal. Or animals can get out of their enclosure and onto a busy road. I think you see my point.
I wish I had photos of Boot City’s gate designs, but all I have are photos of the actual gates.
The first gate goes to the paddock where Sterling is currently convalescing. We had originally planned to put the gate on the other corner of the stall run next to it, but this created an alley that horses would go in and try to kill each other. One horse in the small alley is much safer. This gate has a unique (to me anyhow) hinge that is connected on the actual post. It’s a pretty slick design and results in a very minimalistic look, which is what Boot City was going for when he chose them. You cannot add this kind of hinge later, it has to be planned for when the fence is built because the pipes are welded onto the metal post and the hinge is essentially a ring dropped on said post. It was originally planned to be for the gate to the stall run, but the plan design change affected that, too. Our next long weekend project is to finish the fence that you can see isn’t doing much other than attempting to convince a horse to not step over it. Thankfully most of my horses are lazy and they haven’t busted out yet.
Gate #2 is next to Gate #1. Boot City was NOT happy about using this hinge as he thinks they don’t look as good as the one connected directly on the pole, however they do allow for more adjust-ability in how the gate hangs. I think it looks just fine. Sometimes I forget how artsy Boot City is and he cares quite a lot about aesthetics. The bottom of the fences and the gates is about 18″ off the ground, high enough that a horse that lays down and sticks a leg through the fence shouldn’t pin the horse’s leg and cause it to panic. Safety first folks!
Both Gates #1 and #2 were built from oil field pipe and sucker rod. Very basic, but nice clean lines.
The third gate he built is between us and our neighbor. We had long abhorred the gate that was in place and the posts had COMPLETELY rotted out so we decided to just go a head and rebuild a portion of the fence and build a new gate. This gate would be practice for the one that he will build to go at the end of our driveway to keep out the riff raff (and keep IN the damn dogs).
This gate is the inspiration for the design of the gate he will build at the end of the road. We won’t use the exact same type metal frame and unfortunately our driveway entrance isn’t wide enough to do the same type of anchor post with hinge, but you get the idea. I love how it is modern yet fully functional and uses very basic materials. This one was designed by Bercy Chen Studio LP in Austin and the photo is by Mike Osborne.
This is the gate in progress. The frame is 4×2 steel tubing and the inside is a 6 gauge horse panel. He trimmed the panel to fit inside the frame and then welded it exactly in the middle of the 4″ tube. This gate will be very sturdy and look lovely!
Beerhounds help build gates, dontcha know?!
The fence hasn’t been finished so I don’t have a photo of the full setup, but here is the completed gate right before Boot City installed it on the hinge. I definitely felt a sigh of relief that the horribly shoddy gate, that was also about 2 feet longer than it should have been to be stable, is gone. You know what they say about good fences, they make good neighbors.
The finished product!
The gate is installed and once this fence project is complete Boot City will embark on building the driveway gate. It will essentially be the same design, but use 6×2 steel tubing rather than 4×2. It’ll also be somewhat longer so may require some type of stabilization in the center area. I’M SO EXCITED TO BE ABLE TO LET ALL THE GOATS, HORSES, AND DOGS RUN FREE AROUND THE HOUSE AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This poor horse! I feel SO bad for him! Thankfully he hasn’t seemed to be in much or really any pain, but my gosh this thing is taking FOREVER to heal! This is what his stifle looked like a little over a week ago. Much worse than before we drained it the first time.
The fluid started accumulating inside of the top of his hind leg AND around his stifle. I don’t know that this photo does it justice. It was SO fat!
Last Monday the vet came over again to drain it, again.
If you zoom in on this photo you can see the fluid flying through the air as it drains out. So. Gross.
As it was the first time, the fluid was an amber color mixed with some blood. The vet cut two large holes and really got into the fluid buildup to break the capsule where it was accumulating. This time some chunks came out in addition to the fluid, which the vet said were the walls of the capsule where the fluid was collecting. Part of the reason for cutting two holes was to tie a piece of rubber tube through the holes so they won’t close up so quickly and allow the accumulating fluid to build up, yet again.
After the second draining with the rubber tube in place.
It has been a week since the second draining and yesterday Sterling was lame on that leg again. I felt like the holes were sore and ready to have the tube removed, so that is just what I did. Took out the rubber tube, cold hosed it for 20 minutes, gave him some banamine and put some DMSO on the swelling. Within a few hours of doing that he was running around in his paddock so I presume the banamine helped! The fluid coming out now is much more opaque and seems like pus, but it isn’t stinky and worrisome.
For now we will cold hose twice a day, DMSO on the swelling and he’s getting an antibiotic just in case there is some infection. This poor horse! Add him to your prayer list that this heals up and he can get back to his normally scheduled life. He is SO sick of being kept up while his buddies go out to graze at night.
At least he has this guy to keep him company. I’ve been making Simon stay in with him because he doesn’t seem to care if he doesn’t get turnout. You know, like most 3yo thoroughbreds who are off the track, he just wants to laze around in his sandy stall run.
They really do like each other, I promise, they were just cranky yesterday. I presume Sterling was grumpy because his leg hurts and he is SO sick of being hurt!
Boot City and I both took some time off work this week to get some stuff done around the farm. Usually when we do this we get distracted and hardly accomplish anything on our to do list, but we did really well this time! Lots of gates built, arena sand delivered and some purging of Boot City’s metal collection.
Little Mickey is quite the snuggler. He has no idea that he only weighs about 5lb. He acts like he is a 70lb pack leader! So funny!
Casey is spoiled and gets 24/7 turnout, mostly because he is so well behaved and not a fat kid. He often has chicken buddies while he grazes during the day and the other horses are in their stalls.
Simon. Just because he is a lovebug and so cute.
It has become somewhat of a tradition for one of my hunt friends to host a gymkhana the weekend before the 4th of July. We were blessed with moderately cooler temps this year and had much fun!
I got a truck load of sand for my “arena” and the dogs and horses took full advantage of the sand pile. There was much dog wrastling and horses rolling!
It is never easy to see them go, but its time for these boys to move on. Boot City took them to the goat sale this morning. I always tell myself that they end up in a home similar to ours and get good lives.
I grew up riding western. I had a brief foray into rodeo events. I won my first belt buckle when I was 9 in pole bending at the Bill Pauley Memorial Rodeo. I won All Around for my age division at the same rodeo. I had a few nice, but safe, rodeo event horses before I was 12. Casey ran some barrels (not to be confused with the current Casey!). Chant Town was an OTTB or OTQH and he was a master of pole bending. Both horses were VERY old when I had them and went on to teach other kids the ropes in rodeo events.
My Dad was a cutter most of my life. I know he did some team roping and snaffle bit futurities, but all I remember him doing was cutting and helping friends and family move cattle whenever needed.
Dad cutting in Idaho on Athena Beau. Probably in the late 80’s or early 90’s.
As I got older my interest in rodeo waned and I got into showing Quarter Horses. I did mostly all around events including showmanship at halter, hunter under saddle, hunt seat equitation, western horsemanship, western pleasure and trail with a couple horses my parents had raised. When Jaguar was born he was first my 4-H project, but when we took him to a couple Quarter Horse shows when he was 2 some trainers made comments to my parents that he had the looks of a reiner. Dad was always ambivalent about the “horse show” events and more or less thought they were a waste of time. ESPECIALLY the English events. Therefore he was never particularly supportive of horse showing. Until I got bitten by the reining bug. Reining is an event that is derived from working cattle. You ride in figure eights going slow and fast, do sliding stops, and spins. Basically you are showing off how “broke” your horse is to do the maneuvers necessary to work cattle. The next step is working cow horse then cutting.
Jaguar becomes a reiner!
Jaguar was an awesome reining horse. He is extremely athletic and would stop SO hard. He could be frustrating in that he would stop hardest in bad ground (ground not good for sliding) and then not make much effort in really good ground. He could easily do 20 foot long slides. I showed him in reining from the time I was 15 until I was about 20. He developed a large bump on one of his knees that made spins in that direction uncomfortable. I also was finishing college so didn’t really have time to show. Dad let me go all over the western U.S. to show in reining events. I had a BLAST! The culmination was showing the AQHYA World Championship show. We didn’t do all that well, but it was really fun.
After college and into adulthood living in Texas all I really wanted to do was jump. I got Jaguar back when he was 13 and I was in my late 20’s. In my head he was ready to retire so he hung out in the pasture until I met the fox hunt and he entered his third career (his second was doing all around stuff with my Mom in Montana). All the horses I’ve bought myself have been English horses for jumping and/or fox hunting.
Last fall my Mom let me borrow her horse, Casey (again) to use for fox hunting since Jaguar is no longer sound for riding. He was the perfect fit for a fill in. He was a great sport and did everything I asked of him, but he just is not an English horse. I much prefer riding him western. Mom wants to sell him now so I am legging him up to make some western videos and market him to the western crowd. He is a super easy and fun ride.
My parents got me a custom made reining saddle made by Earl Twist when I was 17 and it is the most beautiful and comfortable saddle on the planet. Riding Casey brings back fantastic memories and then I find myself thinking I should get back into reining….. just what I need is another horse hobby! Especially after all the time, effort, energy and MONEY I’ve invested over the past 10 years to get into the hunter/jumper game. I’m sure Boot City would be ecstatic. Nonetheless, I’m definitely going to enjoy the time I have left with Casey and getting to dip my toes back into the western world for a little while.
Lovely day on Casey the QH.
My plan is to get back into reining later on in life when perhaps jumping isn’t safe or if I get burned out or I have the resources to do both. I didn’t keep a lot of my western tack other than my reining saddle and a handful of bridles. My parents had also gotten me a fancy show saddle made by Broken Horn in California that my Mom now uses to show her mare Foxy. It kind of entertains me because that saddle has a silver horn cap with my initials on it.
He looks so cute in his western duds! He still hasn’t fully shed out and it is HOT here so I keep his mane braided and off his neck.
I’m blessed to have and have had some really lovely horses!