Saturday, September 24, 2011

Came to a Conclusion

We finally took "The Girls" for a camping trip last weekend. Went to Tippecanoe State Park here in Indiana. We have been there before, and to be honest, I never really liked it. However, this time the park won me over.
When we were there before, it was one of those freak weather things -- a weekend in October that turned out to be 90 degrees. It was AWFUL! Too blasted hot, too many mosquitos, too many flies (doesn't everyone use the fly control feed thru pellets? Evidently not....). The trails seemed too sandy and tough on the horses. Plus, the horse camp is primitive -- no showers, only pit toilets....and the park "gendarmes" will not allow the equestrian campers to use the nice facilities in the family camping area. So I had a bad experience, and therefore an attitude about the park.
But since then, we developed a "shower" system to use in our horse trailer (see my post from last October), and last weekend the temperatures were mild and perfect for riding. In fact, we had three great rides......really had a chance to explore the trails there, and to my surprise, they are really nice trails. It was great riding.
But, I had an epiphany -- I did realize something........
All this time, I knew John and I were different. But now I have actually put my finger on it, and understand the reality of the situation.
Most horseback riders have a certain look and demeanor about them. They ride past our campsite, looking very much "together." Immaculate tack, riding at a slow, calm, relaxed pace....just really civilized and proper.
Quite the opposite of John and me -- no matter how hard I try, or how much I get prepared, we just always look like a couple of maniacs on our maniac horses.
This is everyone else .....
This is us.......
It finally dawned on me....if the horseback riding world was like the motorcycle riding world, John and I would be the "Hell's Angels." Everyone else is the nice, together, sensible family type motorcyclists, and we are the bad boys of the road.
Pretty strange.....

Friday, September 16, 2011

How Do You Give a Horse the Heimlich Maneuver?

At the evening feeding yesterday, something happened that scared the hell out of me. We are taking The Girls camping this weekend to Tippecanoe State Park. I had everyone closed in the stalls for the feeding because I had to leave the gate open so John could pull the truck in and hook up the trailer. I am in Divna's stall with her and Marco (black goat).
Divna took a big bite of hay, then made this strange noise, stretched her neck out, and started coughing violently. Hay was flying out of her mouth and she kept coughing and straining. I was terrified -- she was choking! I had no idea what to do. Tears started coming out of her eye, so I knew it was serioius.. I started thinking of the Heimlich Maneuver, but had no clue as to how that is done on a horse.
I thought about human anatomy, and how you are supposed to put your arms around the person and press your fist upwards under their sternum. So I tried to judge where her sternjum (or equivalent) may be, made a fist and just pounded. I then rubbed her neck upwards, and pounded again. I did this a few times. She kept coughing up hay.
In a short amount of time (seemed like hours) she started breathing normally and her eye stopped tearing. It looked like she was OK. I went and got her a bucket of water.
She is fine, but it scared me to death......

Sunday, September 11, 2011


After trailering The Girls to Bluhm Park for a ride a ride back in June (yes, June....I am really behind on my posts!) we came home, unloaded The Girls, emptied out the trailer, and went to put it in its parking place. I always get out of the truck and guide John into the parking spot, telling him when to stop when the trailer wheel is at the proper position. On this particular day, I had to stop him before he even got near the parking place.
Ms. Turtle selected a place right in front of the parking spot for the trailer to lay her eggs!!
We left the trailer out in the pasture. Not knowing how long we would have to leave the trailer out, I checked the internet too find the incubation period for turtle eggs. As it turns out, it is quite a long time -- much longer than I would have thought -- most likely 2 months, possibly longer.
Unfortunately, about 2 weeks later while cleaning the pasture, I found that the egg spot had been raided. It was most likely a racoon. The eggs had been dug up and eaten. There were shells littering the area. It was really sad.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

This is Getting Ridiculous!

I just looked back, and my last post was in JUNE!!!! I really miss blogging, and really miss all the blogs I normally used to read! This new schedule of ours has wrecked my "blog-life!" I simply must find a way to get more time on the blogs......
A lot has happened. It has been a lousy summer for riding -- to blasted hot and humid, and WAY too many bugs. But we have managed to get in a few rides, and of course they have each had their own little adventures attached to them. Now let me see if I can remember back over the almost three months since I have updated this site.
One of the neatest things to happen this summer was around the 4th of July weekend. We had absolute monsoon rains. It was like something out of a movie. It was just a deluge for over 24 hours, and everything was flooded. My drive to work was a nightmare in my little car. Fortunately, our home is on a hill, so forutnately and thankfully our house did not flood.
But our property did in some places. So we decided to go check it out with the horses and goats. We were completely surprised by what we found. Check this out...
It was pretty deep, and it just got deeper the farther we went into that particular section of our property.
I was really worried that the goats would freak out and do who-knows-what and cause all kinds of chaos....

.....but as you can see, they handled it well!
It really was a neat experience.