Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Keeping up with the Jones'-bloggers (trying, anyway)

Seems like everyone out there in the blog world posts such great photos, and mine are seriously inferior. We had a lot of company this weekend, and I took some great photos, but then I dropped the camera on the concrete floor of our tack room (!!!) and now it will not do anything....So I have to take the little memory card someplace to print out the pictures or transfer to a disk.....I am so angry with myself!!

We had visitors last weekend, so there was no riding. I hope to be able to ride this weekend coming up.

But in the meantime, here are two photos that I think are pretty good. Except I must confess I did not take either of them. John took them both -- on the left is his beautiful mare, Zora. On the right is the goofball goat, Misho...........................

Monday, April 20, 2009

Bumblefooted Chicken Update

The chicken with Bumblefoot is doing fine, though not as well as I had hoped. As it turns out, I did get John to help me with the "surgery" but that did not net the results I expected. I soaked her foot, sterilized everything, made the incision, but could not get anything to come out of the foot except blood -- lots of it. John was upset that the chicken was bleeding so much, but having been a dental assistant for about a dozen years I expected it. I applied pressure, and soon it clotted and stopped. We had to bandage the foot (after applying anti-bacterial ointment and an antibiotic ointment) and keep her in the barn. Chicken society is very strange -- had she been put back with the other hens with that bandage on her foot, they would have pecked and pecked at it until they tore the bandage off. Chickens are wierd like that -- anything different on one of them gets pecked to pieces. So she stayed in the barn for about 3 days. I think she liked it in there by herself. The others had been pecking at her missing toe, so I think she was happy for the break. We did not want to keep her away from the others for too long a time, because as I said, they have a strange society -- if she was gone too long we were afraid they would see her as a "foreigner" and attack her. We re-introduced her to the brood one evening when they were all in the coop and in their "zoned-out" state that they get into every evening after it gets dark and before they fall asleep.
So she is back with the others, and while her foot is still a little swollen, she is walking on it and doesn't seem to be doing too badly. I wish I could have helped her more, but at least I tried. I'm keeping an eye on her.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Animal Maintenance

We did not get a chance to ride this past weekend -- bummer....wanted to, but there was just too much other stuff getting in the way. But we did manage to trim the goats' hooves and take care of an ailing chicken.
Trimming the goats' hooves is quite the chore. They really wear you out! We generally tether them to the stall door, John holds them, and I do the trimming. Sounds simple, right?? Well, not quite -- they jump and kick and generally act up. Especially Marco (the black goat). He is the smaller of the two, but definitely the worst behaved of the two. I am always telling him, "Marco, you are an ass!!" John just usually kicks him in the rear and says, "I'll kill ya!!!" (Of course he wouldn't really kill him -- but then you never know.....if we get a few of our Serb friends over he could just end up on the spit over the campfire!!) I realized that my trimmers need to be sharpened, but we finally got the job done. I think we need a chute to put them in for this task.

One of the chickens has been having a problem with her foot. I am not sure why, but she lost a toe recently. Then her foot started getting swollen, and she could not walk on it. I started soaking it in Epsom salts and Betadine (my cure for everything). I checked on the internet and found it could be what they call "Bumblefoot." The article said that you need to lance the spot and clean it out, put a bandage on it, etc., etc. I am having trouble getting John on board to help me do this. He wants me to keep trying the soaking -- I don't think that is going to take care of it. If I don't notice an improvement in a few days, then we are going to have to go the surgical route. Not looking forward to that, but you gotta do what you gotta do. I can't just leave her with this problem. Boy, it just never ends. I feel like a veterinary student sometimes!!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Riding Underwater in the Indiana Dunes

It was quite the ride yesterday at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. John and I went to meet some friends and ride the trails at the Dunes State Park. They got there before us, and since we had to saddle up, they went on ahead and we planned to meet them on the trail. We weren't very far into the dunes when it became apparent that the recent weather had made the trails wet and muddy. But then we came upon what appeared to be a small lake...the trail just disappeared into the water. We could see where the trail picked up on the other side. Our Girls, being the great trail horses they are, forged ahead through the water. I just love the fact that they can handle anything the trail throws at them. And yesterday the dunes really provided something different. We were riding through the water and it got deeper, and deeper! I had my camera with me, and took some of these photos when we were almost out of it. In one of the photos Zora's tail is actually floating on the water! It was an amazing experience, and one that was repeated four times on this ride -- yes, we came across four places where the trail was just swallowed up by flooding. Crossing one flooded section, I looked down and could not see my feet -- they were completely underwater! I am just kicking myself for not getting photos or video of that stretch of "trail." At the next flooded spot, I took this video. Unfortunately the video does not show the most flooded area we went through, but you can get an idea of what it was like. We never did cross paths with our friends -- they avoided the flooded areas, which is probably the most intelligent thing to do. But then John and I have never been accused of being intelligent!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Spring Cleaning with an Audience

Last weekend we finally did something we have been putting off all winter -- a thorough cleaning of our tack! We usually do this in the dead of winter. We bring the saddles, etc., in the house and give them a really good going-over in the basement with saddle soap and mink oil. But this year, somehow Spring sprang up on us before we got to that particular chore. So we ended up being able to tackle the job out in the barn, which is a heck of a lot more interesting.

Of course we had Serbian folk music blasting away, and had some beverages to make it festive. We had ridden through some muddy trails the last couple of rides, so this was a much needed cleaning. The results were great. Here's some photos of John at work, and of our critter audience. All four of them (2 horses, 2 goats) hung around the entire time -- they know that if John and I are in the barn and the Serbian music is playing that they will get treats. And of course, they did...