Monday, December 27, 2010
I am just sick over this. That poor thing.....it did NOT have to be this way....
We woke to our answering machine. It was our friend and fellow equestrian, Dolly, in a panic "I am taking care of D and K's horses while they are out of town. I got here this morning to feed them, and one of them is down. I can't get him up! He won't eat, and he is laying in the snow and shaking!"
We immediately got up, called her back, went out and threw down some hay for our horses and goats. I threw some Banamine, a syringe and some mineral oil in a bag, grabbed the two thick blankets we use for our horses, and we took off.
When we got there, Patty (another neighbor and friend) was there. The poor horse was laying out in the pasture, and he was just shaking. Dolly and Patty had put blankets on him, but he was very, very cold. I immediately put a dose of Banamine in his mouth, and noticed his gums and tongue were a grey-ish color -- not good.
The horse has a history of founder. So was it founder, or was it colic, or something else??? A call was placed to the horse's owner who said they would be home the next day, do not call the Vet!!
After a few minutes, John started trying to get him up. The Banamine had kicked in, so with some pulling and pushing, we got him up. We finally got him into his stall, and started working on him. Another friend and fellow equestrian, Dee, showed up. Patty's husband Greg also came over. Dolly's husband Tom came as soon as he got off work. We had a team of people on this horse. He had absolutely no body heat of his own. We were all rubbing him and brushing him, giving him syring after syring of mineral oil. We found a torpedo heater that we brought to the stall, we found a tarp to close off the stall. we had blankets on him. We listened to his gut and heard some slight gurgling sounds, but not a lot of activity there.
Once we got him warmed up, we started walking him. He did release a little gas, and he did poop a little (not much -- not enough to make us feel better about the situation). We brought out a heated bucket, and he drank a little.
Dolly and Tom wanted to be able to keep a close eye on him, so we took him and his buddy down to their place. They have a very nice indoor faciltiy, with a round pen. We put the two horses in there, and took turns walking the sick one, continued to give him syringe afte syringe of mineral oil. He did keep drinking water, but never really dumped a good load -- just a little bit at a time.
The last update we got late tonight was that he did make a dump, but does not yet seem normal. I am very worried abut this horse. I am afraid he will not make it....I am really scared for this horse. I cannot sleep.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
About two or three days after I broke the mirror, I got a call at work from John...I could tell by his voice something was wrong.....
"Something is wrong with Divna," he says. "She did not eat this morning, and she just laid down, flat out."
I have to back up a bit at this point. We usually leave our barn open -- goats and horses go in and out as they see fit. But in the winter when the temperatures get below 15 degrees F, we put the goats and horse in and close up the barn doors. We put Divna (horse) with Marco (goat) and Zora (horse)with Misho (goat).
Winter arrived early here in Northwest Indiana, and we have been closing the animals up in the barn since early in December. One night last week, we must have forgotten to close one of the stall doors completely -- the stall door that leads into the tack area where we also store the food for the animals. John went out the next morning to find Divna and Marco feasting on the cracked corn we give the chickens.
After a call to the vet, and remembering the cracked corn incident, it was of course determined to be colic. Thank heavens for our friend, neighbor and fellow equestrian, Terri. She is also a Vet Technician and had some Banamine. After a dose of that and some mineral oil, she thankfully got past it.
Then, on Saturday I was out in the barn for the morning feeding. While I was tethering the goats, I heard this very strange sound.....it was sort of a cross between a fishing line being cast and a circular saw starting up. I just could not figure out what it was...then I heard hoofbeats -- lots of loud hoofbeats. I ran out into the pasture to see Divna running with the wire from the fence around her neck, and Zora frantically stepping nearby with it around her front legs!
I couldn't believe my eyes!i! I was a bit panicked....but then realized that I had to get control of this situation, FAST.....
As calmly as I could, I approached Divna speaking quietly and in what I hoped would be a comforting tone. I was able to lift the wire over her head -- with that accomplished, Zora was a bit easier to deal with. I was able to get her to back up as I slipped the wire under her hooves as she stepped up. The danger was not yet over, however. The wire was still laying all out in the pasture, and Divna was frantically running around still very freaked out. I was afraid she was going to run into the wire laying out there and get tangled up again. I was trying to gather up the loose wire before she ended up in it again. Very tense, very scary. But THANK GOD it all worked out. I was very shaken after it was all over.....
Needless to say we went to the Tractor Supply Store and bought some new fencing that day. We repaired the old wire as best we could, and put everyone in the barn until we could get rid of that problem fencing.
Our plans for Sunday was to install the new fencing. As it turns out, that was the day that we had our first real blizzard of the winter season...
Here is the offending wire.
That blizzard did not stop us. We got that fencing up. These pictures don't do the snowstorm justice -- it was really coming down.
Here are a couple of photos of the new fencing.
Poor Divna, she really did have a bad week!
Sunday, December 12, 2010
We hosted Thanksgiving again this year. I guess it is becoming a tradition for us to have Thanksgiving now that John's mother is getting older and had her hip replacement. We had John's brother and his wife (Alex and Cindy) and her parents (Chuck and Lois) from Lafayette, and this year my brother and his wife (Terry and Leslie) and my nephew (Nigel) were here from Wisconsin. It was great to have everyone here....Terry, Leslie and Nigel were here from Wednesday to Saturday, and we just had non-stop fun with them. We had a small party on Friday after Thanksgiving, and it was just a really nice way to kick off the Holiday Season 2010. The above photo is all of us on Wednesday evening....that's me, Nigel, Leslie, and Terry's arms....
These are pictures from the get-together with friends on Friday evening.... These 2 nice looking young people from the right in this photo used to help us with hay when they were youngsters growing up in Otis.
You see, we had not yet gotten our supply of hay to get us thru the winter. The time just slipped by, and here it was November again and we did not have our hay loft filled. (The same thing happened to us a couple of years ago, and I swore I would nver let November arrive again without our hay loft being full.)
So, unknown to Terry, Leslie and Nigel, we arranged to have our hay delivery on Friday -- the day after Thanksgiving!! We thought, "well, we have people herre to help, so why not have it delivered when we have extrra folks around?" So that is what we did. Except, we did not tell them about it until after they arrived and had a couple of cocktails. Really sneaky and underhanded, I know. But you gotta do what you gotta do, right??
They were really good about it, and it turned out to be fun. Terry has some major back problems, and just had his 3rd surgery in September, so he was assigned the job of "water boy" -- literally...he brought us all water as we were working. Luckily the weather cooperated -- not too cold, and we actually enjoyed it. And John and I were so grateful to them for helping us with this HUGE task!!
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
For a long tme now, John and I have talked about having our riding friends over for a day of riding, then a cookout/party. We finally planned it for the last weekend of October this year, when the leaves on the Northwest Indiana trees were in full color, and hopefully the weather would be dry.
So we invited all of our riding friends, and as luck would have it, it was a beautiful day -- dry and warm for this time of year, but not too warm.
Though we only had 6 riders and 9 for the after-ride meal and party, it was a really fun day. Everyone pitched in with food, and it was all tasty...so I suppose we could call this the 1st Annual Otis Trail Ride.
We hope to make this an annual event, and have even more riders.
The first Friday of November, we had our first snow!! This is our deck with the patio furniture still in place, and our Halloween pumpkin on one of the chairs!
I planted this tree when we first bought our property out here in Otis about 20 years ago. It was just a stick. It is so beautiful in the snow.
Our barn looks nice in the snow....
This is my attempt at being artistic with the camera. The yellow and green leaves looked so unbelievable with snow clinging to them. This photo does not do it justice.
Hope you are enjoying Fall in your neck of the woods!
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Here are the Allegan County Riders!
John was operating the video camera, so we had to make a separate video for him...
The parks in Michigan require securing the horses with a high line. We never had to do one before, but thankfully Karen knew how....
High tech camper in a primitive campsite!!!!
The last bottle of Giacamo Mori Chianti! Thanks to Tom and Dolly for sharing!
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Here is an overview of our campsite.....
When we first rolled into the campground my thoughts were "Oh my...this is really rustic!" And it was. The campsites have no electric, there is a pump for getting water, and there are only pit toilets. So it is really roughing it, but it was worth it. (John devised a shower system for us which will be explained in a separate post.)
Here is a photo me at the water pump....
There are miles and miles and acres and acres of trails. The camp itself is not real big, but it is right next to some sort of state-owned preserve area with snowmobile trails, and fishing and hunting areas which was available to equestrians. The trails consisted of everything -- woods, meadows, wide sandy trails, narrow muddy trails, switchback trails with trees too close -- challenging and seemingly endless riding....
Here is Dee Dee (left) and Karen (right) on the trail. These pictures do not do the trails justice -- the colors and the beauty of the scenery are much more striking in person.....
The weather was really warm for this time of year (in the 80 degree range!) and the leaves were turning, so it was just beautiful. One trail takes you to a lake, and you can actually ride in the lake just a bit offshore and meet up with the trail instead of just riding thru the woods. We went to the "Water Trail" and let our horses get a drink. We rode the Water Trail for a bit, and it was really refreshing.
The above pictures were the last ones I took the whole weekend, because just after they were taken, Divna decided the lake was so refreshing she just had to lay down! That's right -- Divna laid down in the water, with me on her and the camera strapped to the saddle horn! Unfortunately we do not have a photo of that event, but I can tell you it was an experience! I was soaked up to my armpits, but finished the rest of the ride. Surprisingly, the camera survived
Dee Dee's birthday was Saturday, and we had a cake and gifts for her. She rode the Michigan Shore-to-Shore event this summer, which is no small accomplishment. We are grateful to her for introducing us to Allegan County, and we will definitely go back for more fantastic riding!
Monday, October 4, 2010
It was John's idea, but with me being a former Dental Assistant, I think it is very appropriate. We tied the valve stem in place with dental floss -- mint flavor at that!! Got us all the way home with no more loss of air. Take that, McGuyver/McGruber!!!
We did not know, though, that we had to worry about the donkeys.
Friday, October 1, 2010
The trails are really pretty, and thanks to Dolly we did not get lost. Tom had a cool phone witha GPS gizmo that actually mapped out our course. Our horses behaved, and even walked with the quarter horses. We were all so calm and slow, that I actually fell asleep on the ride! I woke to Tom yelling at me to be careful, as I was about to strangle myself on a low hanging grapvine.
Back at camp we had a great lunch and a lot of fun just talking and laughing. It was a great trail ride. John and I took another ride later that afternoon and also ran into some people we know from riding at the Dunes and our saddle club.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
- Our Firewood was confiscated upon our arrival at the park
- When we arrived at our campsite and got out of the truck, I noticed one of our horse trailer tires was really low on air
- The pork steaks we cooked for dinner ended up in the camp fire
- Woke up to find we had a flat tire on the horse trailer -- not the tire that was low, but a different tire
- We forgot the coffee pot
- It was really windy, and temperatures in the 50's
- We bought a Coleman stove for this trip -- could not figure out how to adjust the flame, so it was an absolute inferno that burned everything we tried to cook!
- I fell asleep on the trail ride
- Batteries went out on both flashlights
- Divna got loose in the middle of the night
- Divna got loose in the very early morning
- There were some mules on the trail, and Divna freaked out
- Repaired the low tire McGuyver/McGruber style
Monday, September 20, 2010
On Saturday, John and I tackled our semi-annual task of clearing the abandoned railroad line. We usually go down this trail each spring and fall to remove any fallen trees, and cut back encroaching growth. We haven't ridden the railroad line much this summer, so we knew it was in need of grooming.
Here is the group -- I am usually not in front like this!!
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
So with Serbian folk music blasting, a couple of beers and some rakija, we started on our project. Our tack really needed cleaning -- but to me it is a badge of honor to have tack that is dusty and has remnants of mud. It proves you actually ride your horses!
Then, Marco's face appears in Zora's stall, also hoping for a Vanilla Wafer.... Of course we gave them some.
Eventually the horses figured out what was going on, that treats were being handed out, so they decided they should be in on it, too....
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Thursday, August 5, 2010
I have referred to the Dunes as the State Park and the National Lakeshore in my blog....it is a bit confusing. We do have an Indiana Dunes State Park and the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. I am pretty sure the riding trails are part of the National Lakeshore. You would think I would know by now....not that it is terribly important, but I should be accurate.
Anyway, we did make it out there for a ride. Talked with some nice people who were saddling up at the same time as us, and hit the trails. We have had a lot of rain lately, so there was a bit of mud. But I am proud to report that Zora only hesitated for a minute or so at the bridge which has the giant mudpit at the end of it. In the past we have been on that bridge for 10 minutes trying to get her to cross. This time, she was much more brave. Good for her!
The deerflies were just horrible. I spent most of my time looking at the back of Divna's head and ears and leaning over to squish deerflies. I even left some of the dead ones in her mane hoping that other deerflies would see them and not want to risk the same fate.
It didn't work. The Indiana Dunes deerflies must be of the same mentality as the WWII Kamikazi pilots, or our modern day Suicide Bombers. In spite of seeing carcases of their comrades, they would land on Divna and try to bite anyway. I killed as many of them as I could.
Since I didn't take my camera, and I hate to post without pictures. Here are a couple that I took back in June.
Here is my Divna drinking water....to me she is so beautiful!
Here is John and I -- I was holding the camera and trying to get us both in the picture. John's face looks enormous here....
This was taken after a ride, so you have excuse our grubby appearance.
Talk to everyone soon, in the meantime, Keep Riding!!
P.S. John has a new post at http://www.theotisrules.blogspot.com/ . Check it out - his writing is pretty entertaining!