March 2018 archive

Farm Friday 03.30.2018

Happy Friday! The weather here in North Texas is AMAZEBALLS right now! Temps in the 70s and green grass (and bluebonnets) everywhere. It is truly delightful!

 

I feel like I never post pics of the chickens, so here is a chicken (one of our Blue Andalusians) with a beerhound photobombing.

 

 

Cheesy goat smile.


 

 

Some days you just need a unicorn and a prosecco.

 

 

I had quite a lot of help unloading feed on Monday.

 

If all goes accordingly this weekend will be the final hunt for this season. It’s always a bummer when the season ends, but exciting to get my Saturday mornings back! Now that I have three sound horses (and hopefully they stay that way) I need all the time in the saddle I can get!

What are you up to this weekend?

More kids?!

So this happened last Sunday, I mentioned to Boot City on Saturday that Penelope looked super fat and that it was weird she had a full udder. Well, there was a good reason for that big belly and the full udder.

Baby #1

 

Baby #2

 

We definitely did NOT plan to have any more kids, but evidently nature had other plans.

So now you get to enjoy more baby goat pics because really there are few things cuter than baby goats. One is a boy and one is a girl. I am currently taking name suggestions!

 

 

The cuteness is OVERWHELMING! Mom is our favorite rejected triplet; Penelope. Mother of the infamous Buddy and Marigold who live with and torment some of our best friends who I fox hunt with.

Farm Friday 03.23.2018

FINALLY a week without any vet visits (at least so far)! I’ve ridden Sterling twice this week and he even tried to buck once! Clearly he is feeling better. Still trying to figure out what is causing Coco’s woes, but her rides have been better this week also. There are only two more fox hunts left this season and I haven’t been out in a few weeks so I’m excited to be back out again tomorrow.

Dickens surveying his domain while I tack up a horse for a ride. He’s so stinking cute when he isn’t going off property.

 

My birthday cupcake in Houston last weekend. Of COURSE it has a horse on it! I have no idea why I’m posing so awkwardly. Haha!

 

Coco and Simon in a rare moment of sharing instead of teeth baring and kicking each other.

 

Happy weekend y’all!

Adopt Patches!

Today’s post is a shameless plug for you to adopt Patches! Patches is a less-than-year old chihuahua that I am fostering through the rescue group Urgent Animals of Fort Worth. Patches was not obtained through the Fort Worth shelter where Urgent gets most of their foster dogs, but from a hoarding situation. Last I heard there were THIRTY-SEVEN chihuahuas at this home and at least three of the females that Urgent rescued have had puppies!

 

Patches is the sweetest chihuahua in the world. Our previous chihuahua foster was the most fun chihuahua in the world. Patches would prefer to snuggle than to play, but she does like to play with her puppy friends.

 

 

Seriously. Her snuggling skills are epic. The tan dog in the above pic is our other previous chihuahua foster, Lily. Lily has already been adopted.

 

 

She is also skilled at assisting with the pre-wash cycle for the dishwasher. She is known to get IN the dishwasher to lick dirty plates. Don’t worry, we run the sanitation cycle.

 

 

She definitely gets along well with others. Even if they don’t like her.

 

 

Annie hates snuggling with Patches the most, so of course that is the dog Patches most wants to snuggle with.

 

 

I think you are getting the picture that Patches really likes to snuggle. Keep in mind that these photos are of her snuggling with dogs, because you cannot take photos of her snuggling with humans since she is usually under your chin making selfies nearly impossible.

 

 

She also gets along with cats. She loves all humans (although I don’t think she’s been around kids much, I don’t see this being an issue for her!). She is mostly potty trained. She got spayed recently. And she enjoys sunning. See below.

 

 

If you or someone you know has been dreaming of adopting a chihuahua, Patches is your girl! Fill out the adoption application at this link. Happy adopting!

 

Garth Brooks!

I grew up listening to Garth Brooks. I’ve never been a huge fan, but due to his level of popularity and the fact that my hometown had 3 radio stations and the ones with good reception were country music stations, I know most of his songs by heart. I didn’t want to be on the “bandwagon” of his popularity, but even I can’t deny that his music is great and that he is the quintessential entertainer!

After a decade long hiatus from performing he’s been doing some shows lately and when it was announced that he was opening and closing the Houston Stock Show my girlfriends were determined we were going to go so I lucked into tickets for  the closing performance. It was difficult to get 6 seats together so we had some trouble finding them close together. When it was all said and done our seats were definitely nosebleed, but there really weren’t any GREAT seats and none were terrible.

 

I have to say that seeing Garth at a rodeo venue was the BEST way to see him! He was definitely in his element and clearly loved being on the stage surrounded by true rodeo fans (although half the stadium was empty until the concert started). He opened with Rodeo and really got the crowd going immediately.

My photographic timing is poor here, but we were also lucky to have Trisha Yearwood join him on stage for a duet and she sang her own American Girl. The only bad part of the concert were the feral people sitting in front of us. They were the ONLY people within eyesight who insisted on standing and dancing during most of the concert, blocking our view and the view of people behind us as well as being obnoxious in general. We asked them to please sit down and they responded with snarky comments. They were drunk and seemed younger than us by a few years and clearly missed learning their manners in social settings.

The concert was amazing and I’m so glad I got to go! I’m not a big concert goer, but this being the second Houston Stock Show concert I’ve attended I def think it is my preferred venue. I love seeing the country performers at an actual country venue.

If you are on Instagram you can see some live video in my Insta stories. @tntibbetts

Farm Friday 03.16.2018

I love my vet, but man am I tired of seeing and talking to him! Sterling is MUCH improved and I should be able to start riding him again early next week. THANK GOODNESS! Next up is to “fix” Coco. I think she is having mare issues, but vet wanted to rule out lameness so we finish that experiment this weekend and I feel pretty strongly will address hormones next. Good times. Thank you Simon and Jaguar for being “normal” as of late. Keep up the good work!

 

I feel like every Farm Friday will feature a photo of Patches sitting on one of our other dogs until she gets adopted. If you like chihuahuas you should totally adopt her. She is the sweetest, funniest little dog EVER!

 

 

Dear Murtagh,
Don’t sunbath in the stall with the horse most likely to try to kill you.
Love,
Your family

 

 

Simon is getting lots of rides right now since he is pretty much the only horse I can ride. He is still cool as a cucumber 95% of the time. LOVE this OTTB!

 

 

Bunny participated in our pursuit to give the vets as much of our money as possible this month. We thought she had a rotten tooth, but turns out it was just a random abscess. She did get her teeth cleaned and a few removed, but the abscess was likely from a spider bite or something like that. It popped on the outside and is oozy now. Super gross.

 

I’m excited for a fun weekend with my girlfriends. I hope your weekend is wonderful and if you are in the great white north that your snow starts melting! Spring starts next week!

Sterling’s Legs

Sterling’s legs have gotten a LOT of attention over the past week! As I posted previously he was crazy lame last Tuesday evening with what we suspected to be cellulitis. The vet came to see him on Wednesday afternoon and confirmed the cellulitis AND that it was caused by a 3″ deep puncture wound. So that “scrape” was actually 3″ deep and had hit the bone. The vet was concerned that there was damage to the bone, but wanted to wait a few days to see if there were symptoms to indicate bone damage. Sterling got put on a regimen of antibiotics twice a day, steroids with a pain killer for four days, then every other day for eight days, cold hosing twice daily, a furazone/DMSO sweat application and leg wrapping if/when the swelling moved from his forearm down to the cannon bone and finally medication IN the puncture wound.

Sterling’s much improved leg.

His lameness improved within 24 hours of treatment and by Sunday evening the swelling was nearly entirely gone. Hallelujah! He HATES the oral antibiotic, but isn’t a complete jerk about letting me give it to him. He also really hates the powder medication on his feed, but after pawing at it, flipping his feed pan over and pouting in the corner for about an hour, he usually finishes it, too. I combine applesauce with his feed when he gets to powder and, in my head, it helps the meds taste better. By Day 4 he wasn’t going to let me stick anything else in the puncture wound, which was fine because the wound scabbed over entirely by Day 5.

My regular vet had been out of town for the cellulitis/puncture fiasco, but had been scheduled to come over this week to look at some soreness Sterling had in his back at the last horse show. After a full lameness evaluation my vet concluded that Sterling has soreness in his hocks that he is compensating for and is causing the back pain. This isn’t terribly uncommon for a horse of Sterling’s age (11) so I wasn’t surprised that we will now be doing hock injections a couple times a year.

Hock injection number 1.

For these injections the horse is sedated to prevent any unnecessary wiggling while being stabbed in the hock. Each hock gets two injections, one on the inside and one on the outside. It is an intra-articular injection which means it goes directly into the joint to reduce inflammation and pain. Most likely the injections will need to continue for the rest of his life at an interval of about every 6 months, but that may depend on his work load. Most people in the sport horse world will tell you that joint injections are a matter of “when” not “if” they need to happen.

You can see here where the injection was done. The hair is wet and there is some blood.

After the injections my vet recommended that Sterling stay in his stall for the day and he can resume work again after about three days. Considering the puncture wound/cellulitis issue combined with the hock injections I’m probably going to wait to ride him until next week.

The aftermath of injections.

Another one of the joys of having a grey/white horse is that after something like injections you can see the blood, even though there was hardly any. His poor hind legs look like he participated in some weird ritual leaving him with four small blood spots on the same part of each hind leg. He’s so done with me fussing with his legs that I didn’t want to fight with him to wash them off.

Nice legs!

Now that his cellulitis swelling is completely gone and he’s one dose away from finishing his oral antibiotics I’ll get him cleaned up soon. He’s not the best horse patient (that would be Coco), but he isn’t horrible (Jaguar is HORRIBLE to do his teeth. HORRIBLE). I’m looking forward to riding him next week. Daylight Savings PLUS a sound horse make me happy. 🙂

I’ll have an update on Coco’s vet visit later, too. She didn’t want to be left out of all the fun.

 

Farm Friday 03.09.2018

What a week! Lots of emotions and stress! Sterling seems to be improving, thankfully. Coco is having some issues that appear to be related to either ulcers or ovaries. Hopefully we will know more when the vet comes (again) next week.

On a happier note here are some fun photos from the farm this week.

This photo is terrible and ridiculous, but SO funny. Boot City put the baking sheet on the open dishwasher door and Chivas CAMPED out and licked that thing for at least 30 minutes. She growled and snarled at any dog that got close to her! She’s pretty funny in her old age!

 

Meet Maggie, our newest foster dog! Maggie is from the Fort Worth shelter and is a 4yo Beagle. She has heartworms and is pleasantly plump so will be undergoing treatment and a diet. She will be available to adopt in about 60 days!

 

Murtagh lives in my tack room, but gets be out when we are at home (we worry about him getting eaten by predators with all that white fur) and boy does he LOVE his barn cat besties!

 

Lily, our foster chihuahua, was adopted last Sunday (YAY) so Patches likes to bother Annie now. Annie growls at her a lot, but it doesn’t dissuade Patches from laying on her and trying to lick Annie’s ears.

 

I’ll be spending my weekend cold hosing, sweating and cleaning Sterling’s leg and hopefully riding Simon since he’s the only rideable horse I have right now! How about you?

Cellulitis?

Last Thursday Sterling came in from turnout with a pretty good gash on his left front forearm. It was a couple inches wide and deeper than a scrape. I cold hosed it for a few minutes. Scrubbed the crud off and lathered it with Corona cream. The next morning I did basically the same thing, but instead of Corona cream I put Furazone on it in favor of something with more antibacterial properties. I didn’t really wash it again, but kept it gooped with Furazone and checked it at feeding time. All seemed well. It had a good scab on it and looked to be healing well.

Until yesterday. Boot City had put the horses up from turnout and fed them and hadn’t noticed anything terribly awry. I went out after dinner to put blankets (or coats, as Boot City likes to call them) on the horses because it was going to get down to the 30’s overnight. When I went to put Sterling’s blanket on he very awkwardly and slowly evaded me and went into his stall run. I just stood there staring at him, terrified that it was something neurologically wrong. He pooped in his run (horse people are ALWAYS happy to see horses poop, no matter the situation) and slowly limped back into his stall. I looked more closely at his cut and sure enough his entire forearm down to his knee was swollen.

I immediately called my vet (yay, at 9p, the cheapest time to call the vet) and thankfully we determined that it was probably cellulitis and didn’t absolutely require that he see the vet RIGHT NOW. I had medicines on hand that we could start dosing him with and could cold hose and put topical meds on his leg.

Mind you, my plan for this particular evening had been to talk to Boot City about showing at Pin Oak for the first time. Well, Sterling nipped that right in the bud. Now I just hope he’s sound and can go to the Southwest Classic show in Fort Worth at the end of May. My regular vet is out of town, but a different vet from the same clinic is going to look at him this afternoon. Sterling and I would both appreciate positive thoughts, prayers, good mojo, whatever you want to send our way that might encourage healing and future soundness!

Dang horses sure do keep us humble! And I welcome any advice on treating cellulitis, however I DO NOT want to hear any of your horror stories. Thank you in advance. 😉

The L O N G ‘ish Saga of the Tack Trunk

WAY back in December I ordered a custom tack trunk. My first one ever. I was beyond excited. The retailer (Centerline Style, I’m not going to tag them because their customer service was horrible at the end and I don’t want to send them any business) was having a 20% off sale which included custom tack trunks and it was a deal I just could not refuse.

I emailed the store (which turns out was the owner) with my myriad questions before I placed my order. All my questions were answered quickly and succinctly so I felt “safe” in ordering the trunk. To make a very long story somewhat short, the great customer service lasted for a few weeks and then the customer service fell off the planet. I last received a response to my question about a delivery date in mid-January and it wasn’t an answer, it was a “here is a $40 store credit to thank you for your patience”, which frankly made no sense to me. I placed my order on December 17. The website stated a 6-8 week turnaround, which would have my trunk arriving somewhere between January 26 and February 9.

I had a show the first weekend in February and was REALLY hoping I would have it by then, which would have been towards the 6 week end of the timeframe. The days leading up to the show I emailed, called, online chatted and contacted the retailer online to no avail. No one answered the phone ever. No one returned my call. No one responded to my email. Needless to say I was getting angry and a bit worried.

The week after the show I called the trunk’s manufacturer. They were AMAZING! Turns out they hadn’t even gotten my order until January 2, so the 6-8 week window got pushed out two more weeks. Thanks Centerline Style. They gave me the current status of the trunk’s build and finish time and told me to expect it to be ready to ship in a week and a half. That timeframe had the trunk arriving  sometime between February 16 and 23. I had another show the last weekend and February and was super excited to have my trunk. Finally.

The week of the show arrived and I contacted Centerline again. Still no response. No one answered the phone. No one responded to my email. I was starting to get REALLY angry. I contacted the manufacturer again and got some really good and really awful news. My trunk had been done since February 14, but the retailer wasn’t responding to communication from the manufacturer so they couldn’t ship my trunk. Now I was furious. I left a 1 star Google review, contacted the Better Business Bureau, and lastly contacted my credit card that I had used to buy the trunk. You’ll never guess how this ends……….. within 24 hours of contacting my credit card I received this email from Centerline,

“I just wanted to let you know that your tack trunk finally shipped yesterday! Don’t hesitate to ask if you need anything at all, we can’t wait for it to arrive!

To be clear, the trunk actually shipped the day after I got this email. I don’t think the retailer was trying to pull a fast one on me, but I do think they are understaffed and have bitten off far more than they can chew. Retail in 2018 is tough. The Dovers and the SmartPaks of the world do a pretty good job of answering their phone and email in a timely manner, especially when you order something that costs more than $1,000. I’m sure many people have horror stories of the big equestrian retailers and I’m not here to start an argument, but to go over a month not responding to a customer’s requests for information on any order is unacceptable.

In happier news, here are my “unboxing” photos from when my trunk finally arrived last week. In March. 10 1/2 weeks after I ordered it. Boot City is highly entertained by online unboxing photos and videos, so these photos are dedicated to him.

The delivery vehicle. For some reason he didn’t want to drive up my driveway. Some people have no sense of adventure.

 

I had to finagle in out of the bed of the pickup to be careful to not drop it! It wasn’t crazy heavy, but it wasn’t light. That is Punky the goat in the background. She was very helpful.

 

My first glimpse….. of Styrofoam……..but I have to admit that it was very well packaged.

 

I had to lay the box on its side to slide the trunk out. I put cardboard under it to be sure to not scratch it at all.

 

Ta da!!!!!!!!!!! It is a beauty! But, of course, Centerline messed up the order. You see, my initials are “TNT”. The coolest initials you could possibly have, so I wanted it on my trunk as “TNT”. The way it is on the trunk now is the “correct” way, but not how I ordered it. I’m not going to send it back, because Lord knows how long it would take for them to fix that. But I will be bringing it to their attention…..(them being Centerline, I know the manufacturer just did what they were told)

 

Last, but not least, the inside. Murtagh approves, but I don’t think there will be room for him in there once it is filled with all my horsey goodies!

 

My advice is to shop at Centerline Style with extreme caution. Kelly at Hunky Hanoverian also had issues with customer service at Centerline and if you read their Google reviews, all of them in the past couple months are pretty terrible. I’m excited to have my trunk and am grateful for the discount, but I’m pretty sure the time I spent trying to wrangle my dang order cost more than I saved. We live and we learn!

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