Thursday, May 27, 2010

What happens?

What happens to the time? Where does it go? Seems this time of year, we come home to chores, bottle feeding babies, milking, pasteurizing and all of a sudden the night is gone.

I rode my sweet Sera Sue out in the pasture last night. Can I just say how much I love my mare? Love her, love her, love her.

We've been getting rain and it's been pretty muggy/buggy. My "delicate flower", Rosso, is having a hard time. The bugs make him crazy. He runs out to get a bite of grass and runs back into his little lean-to where he thinks he's safe from the bugs... and he runs out... he runs in... he runs out... he runs in.... on and on it goes.

When I lock him out in the pasture he spends more time running around in hysterics than he does eating. He has a fly sheet. It's not enough. He'd like to live in his own biosphere free of bugs.

Sera and Brandon do not have fly sheets... they roll their eyes at Rosso.

You can see them thinking, "More grass for us, you freak, more grass for us!"

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What did I do?

I just got off the phone with J who helps teach me all about tracking with my dog... she has reining horses. She wants me to come over this weekend to go for a trail ride.

Did I tell you she has a giant free roaming pig? (remember this post?)

HER horses are used to the pig. My horses have never seen a pig...

Should be velly velly in-ter-es-tink....

What did I just agree to? Will my blog posts after this weekend be made from a hospital bed?

Stay tuned for the next installment of "Chicken in the Saddle"....

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Near miss...

Took Rosso up to Rex's today for my lesson. He's a good boy... had him tied to the trailer grooming him chatting it up with Meg (from yesterday's schooling show).

Toe was in the tack room of the trailer on his personal Toe saddle pad... he's gotten so good at staying in there until I give him the release command of "ok". I didn't notice he'd jumped out and was quietly sunning himself on the ground in front of the door of the tack room.

UNTIL Rosso started sort of dancing around about something... I looked over and saw Toe laying on the ground with Rosso's hooves just inches from him. I shouted his name sharply in panic, "TOE!" while Rosso was snorting and dancing around.

Toe jumped up, tucked tail and dove under the horse trailer. I guess the sound of my voice conveyed sumthin' really wasn't right. As he dove under the trailer, Rosso stepped on him - and I heard Toe squeal.

Which in turn caused Rosso's dancing around to escalate....

Once things calmed down, Toe emerged from under the trailer and jumped up into the safety of his tack room seemingly no worse for the wear. Rosso's hoof musta just pinched him. Sure gave me a heart attack tho! That coulda been the end of baby dog.

I should have been paying better attention... I was chatting with Meg and Toe's been so great about staying IN the tack room....

Bet it was a really good enforcement for him to STAY in the safety of the tack room from here on out! (which he was very happy to do the rest of the time spent at Rex's...)

I had a good ride. Rosso's front feet were a bit sore... he's barefoot and we think just the wet and dry and wet and dry have caused his soles to be a bit soft. He was very pleasant and we kept it short since he was taking off steps intermittently and because he was being so good about it all. I was very pleased with my boy... oh, we measured him to see how tall he is. Someone asked and I don't know. He sure seems big to me, people remark that he's tall. Well, for the record he's exactly 16.1 and 1/2.

Karen from the ride before mine remarked how pretty Rosso is under saddle... he looks sort of young, gangly and all legs when he's nekkid but when you put a saddle and rider on him, he does look very pretty with a very expressive face. Sera is a pretty cool number who only seems to make faces when she's pissed. Rosso is sort of goofy and makes all sorts of really interesting faces and funny expressions.

I'm still hinky about riding him at home, but think I'll trailer him up to Rex's during the week to ride til I'm feeling more confident. Maybe find a local schooling show to take him to... ask Wendy down the road if I can bring him by to work in her barn/arena and I know Lauralie will let me bring him to her place near Johnson's Corner. We'll get him out and about.... the little debutant.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

CDEC schooling show...

Just got home from the Cheyenne Dressage and Eventing Club schooling show. They do a small cross country event course and dressage tests up to First Level this time of year. It's a great place to get the horses (and yourself) out and thinking about showing.

I went up with our trainer and a couple others to support Meg and Ann who were showing.

Today was a good day - the weather held and it was a beautiful, sunny day. Ann and Meg did fabulously with their mares. There were a lot of kids who rode and they did such a great, great job - it was super fun to watch and I actually sort of enjoyed going to a show sans horse! Relaxing, watching, enjoying, supporting my friends and simply being.

I didn't bring a horse this year. Sera is semi-laid up and Rosso... well, I just didn't feel like dealing with a "first outing" this spring. Did I tell you my motivation is sorely lacking? I hope it comes back soon...

I took Sera there for her first outing several years ago. Oh - man. That day sucked ass. She was on her hind legs most of the day... I couldn't tie her to the trailer because I was afraid she'd pull back and get loose. She was rearing and spooking and jumping sideways every 3 seconds and did I mention rearing? Full on straight up, thought she'd go over backwards sort of rearing. It was awful.

At one point in the day the wind picked up and it began sleeting sideways. Everyone ran for the barn or to their cars/trucks... all the horses on the grounds disappeared into trailers, the arena or into the barn and Sera about flipped her lid thinking she was the last equine left standing (on her hind legs I might add) on planet Earth.

When it came time to ride, she did o.k. warming up outside but once in the arena she had a fit... running - literally running - sideways through her shoulder, backing up rapidly, shaking her head, threatening to rear.... I was kicking her with all I had over and over and over to move her forward and she just about went right through a group of people blocking the exit to the arena... omg.

She was just a mess and when it was all over I was wondering what in the hell was I thinking to ever get a young horse and think I could train it?

I took her up last year with Furry Husband.

She was pleasant as pie.... stood tied to the trailer, all four feet on the ground cuz she NEVER rears or threatens to rear any more. Warming up was a blast...we rode a First Level test and the judge's comments were that I was holding Sera back, she was an amazing horse and would go far.

Oh - if she only knew.... I'm not a professional, I know my trainer could and can make Sera look like a million bucks... but I'm pretty proud of my girl and how far we'd come. I smiled and thanked the judge, content and happy that Sera and I were having such a good time together.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Sleepy Time, Nap Time

Furry Husband and I love sleepy time, nap time... evidently so do the horses. Hey - I think she's got a camera guys....
You better get up....

That's better... now say cheeeeeeese!

You can't tell we're related can you?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Interesting news...

I followed up with that sales pitch Furry Husband and I made to a local large vendor for our lotion.

I didn't want to follow up cuz the woman we pitched it to didn't seem too keen on our product. And she wrinkled her nose because I use a preservative in my lotion. Yes, actual nose wrinkle, like she smelled rotten eggs! (I know that isn't for everyone but still... manners?)

I knew I needed to hear all forms o' rejection and I called.

She was off that day, so I shot her an e-mail. I was going to give her the next day to get back to me and follow up with another call if I hadn't heard from her. (good grief... it's like dating... how long after you get a phone number should you wait to call??)

We got an e-mail from her last night.

I called Furry Husband in..."Are you ready for the scathing rejection honey? Steel yourself!"

I clicked the e-mail open.


Wouldja lookit that.

It was a really positive response.

She and her staff LOVE our lotion and she inquired how we are coming on the UPC codes and how long it would take to develop a line using essential oil vs. fragrance oil.

Interesting. Furry Husband and I were sort of at a loss.... we were both so sure the preservative was a deal breaker.

(yes, yes. I know there are all natural all the time people out there and I don't fault them at all, to each their own in this wiggly world! I, however, am definitely NOT an all natural all the time sort of gal and I don't mind a little science in my life, whether it's in my toothpaste, shampoo, gortex cold weather gear, hair dye, vibram soled hiking boots, cold medicine or hair goo to make the frizz go away.... *ahem * mostly... the frizz is mostly gone)

I guess the thing to take away from this experience is to always follow through with your sales calls even when you think the answer will be no.

And it was cool because this experience helped Furry Husband and I decide a few things.

We are not really after the 100% all natural crowd... they were never our intended audience. If that was who we were after, we would have made many different decisions in our formulation and product presentation.

There are many other market segments and types of people to present our product to.

Our goal was to promote the fun and functionality of goats in a way that was unique and lighthearted while providing a product that was useful.

It confirmed our belief in our product. We really LIKE our product. We have no doubt that it is a good lotion that will moisturize the dry cracks right out of your hands and feet. We made it because we couldn't find anything else that worked as well in this moisture sucking Colorado climate.

Oh, it's not a "done deal" by any means. There are many things to discuss and it's completely uncharted territory.... should be a fun ride even if we don't end up going down that road. We are gonna learn LOTS.

I'll keep ya posted.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

.... 3, 2, 1... BABIES

Colostrum being heat treated in our fancy schmancy thermos that holds heat like a mo'fo. And bubbly for us to celebrate!

Spot had her kids Friday.

I know, I know - I felt bad leading you on with pregnant Spot pictures but I couldn't waste those pictures and the post idea!

She was due May 20... but man oh man... her udder was getting huge, her ligaments were all loosey goosey, the bulge in her tummy dropped... we knew it would happen any time.

I was on my way home Friday night and I called Furry Husband to let him know I was on my way cuz we were headed to a H.S. graduation party.

He told me I should stop and get a pizza....

"But... aren't we going to Hannah's party?"

"No. Nope. Don't think we're gonna make it tonight."

"What? Why? What happened? (pause.... light bulb goes on) OH! Is Spot having her babies?!"
I can be a little obtuse at times...

She had a mucous string... I had a little bit of time to beat it home. I got home (yes, unbaked pizza in the car for later) and rushed out to the goat pen. She'd just had the first one.... a little buck.

I pulled Speck out and got her milked... went inside to check on the thawing colostrum... came back outside and we resumed watching Spot.

A second kid was born... this was a doe. SHEW! I was worried it would be an all buck all the time sort of year but I got my doe kid!

(especially since I bred to outside bucks this year so if I had a doe... I could keep her and use my existing buck)

After our fist bump and blowin' it up... we waited because Spot was getting ready for a third. The third kid was born... another doe!

Spot was licking the 3rd kid off, only a minute or two had passed and Furry Husband shouts..."There's another one!"

Sure enough, a fourth kid was hanging from Spot in a breech presentation.... yowza. A buck - you could see his ... "package" since he was breech. I grabbed his back legs and there he was....


Four kids were all up in there......


Spot and her babies are all doing well!

Sorry - this pix has all manner o' shadows...but I had to get one with Toe so you could see how small they all are. Four... they couldn't get huge... poor Spottie didna have enough room!

Another shot of how tiny they were... they all had crooked legs from bein' jam crammed together. They just need time for their ligaments to stretch and to get a little strength and everything will straighten out....

The two buck kids...

The two doe kids... which we'll keep

All four... how did all four of these fit in there??

Monday, May 17, 2010

Spot is so HUGE

Since all her breeding trouble in the fall and having to get a shot to get her to ovulate, we started calling her Octo-Goat. She kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger...

I brought her out to shave her backside and trim her hooves.... we tried to get pictures of how big she is but it's true. Black hides your figure! None of the pictures really do justice... I suppose it's watching her walk, waddle, wallow and how her head moves back and forth and how she begins to pant... and her little stick legs... she really looks like a watermelon on toothpicks.

I tried posing her daughter, Speck, next to her... you can see what Speck thought of THAT idea... leggo of me!

I'm not THAT big...
yeah, whatever Octo-Goat...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Wine Dinner for Border Collies...

My good friend, The Divine Ms. K, called to tell me about a wine dinner Monday night at a local Ft. Collins restaurant, Enzio's.

The dinner was a fund raiser for Western Border Collie Rescue . We decided to go support a good cause.

AND to spend time with our good friend who now lives in Laramie getting a PhD and we never get to see her anymore...

It was a really fun function... they had a small silent auction full of good, doggie, things.... border collie calendars featuring dogs from the rescue and when we sat down to dinner, each place setting had a little card stapled to a ziplock full of locally made doggie biscuits.

The menu for the dinner....

I was a little bit skeptical... I've never had crawfish (I always saw crawfish at dirty ponds in Omaha NE parks that dirty little boys were catching by using pieces of string and hot dogs - not an appetizing brain picture). I've never had duck.... and sausage isn't usually one of my favorite foods....

Tho' each course was just a few bites and I tried everything. It was all VERY good!

Our dogs enjoyed their treat from the wine dinner sans wine. And Furry Husband found 2 border collies he'd like to adopt from the rescue...
And people think I'M the animal bringer homer. heh.
**(no... we won't be adopting... maybe in the future but not while we have 3 happy dogs at home)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

After the whirl wind...

After Goat Fest and Ass picking on Saturday, I had my regular lesson with my mare, Sera, Sunday morning.

I asked Rex to ride her... I like to be able to SEE our progress and what we've been working on from the ground. It helps me grasp ideas and concept and it helps Rex check in cuz horses don't lie. If I'm compensating or hiding something in my riding.... it's discovered!

I warmed Sera up on long reins... walk, trot, canter... she was fine. Rex got on and Sera looked really good ... until .... the collected canter. She was simply not right.

She didn't seem in pain... she had those soft floppy agreeable ears and her eyes were soft... there was no tail swishing or wrinkled nostril or nasty faces... but it was as if each leg was attached to a different animal. It looked completely bizarre.

Rex said she's never felt anything like it... Sera's walk and trot work remained perfectly fine... really good actually.


We stopped and I called the horse chiropractor/acupuncture DVM I used in the past on Rosso (with good results) and made an appointment. Sera wasn't noticeably off at any other time... no heat or swelling or lameness watching her in her paddock or out in the pasture.

I met the DVM just yesterday... she watched her walk... again no obvious, big sign o' lameness, but Sera was hesitant to cross over with her right hind when asked to move her butt over. Further examination revealed she was quite sore in her muscles and had sustained an S-I injury.

The vet said this time of year it happens a lot... it's wet and slick and it just takes one bad slip to pull a muscle. She discussed ultrasounding the pelvic ligaments to see if it was worse but she felt from the sudden onset (remember Sera was the best she'd ever been on Wednesday in my clinic and then off in my lesson on Sunday) there were no BIG obvious signs of lameness, and the pain level was consistent with a muscle injury, that it was most likely a muscle tear.

6-8 weeks rest.

I can ride her walk/trot... she can be turned out as long as she is calm and not running around like a wild jungle animal. Canter is out because of the weight they need to put on the one hind leg... small figures and collection are out... all the stuff we've been working on! Sigh.

Like I said... I can still ride her ... it's not a serious injury that will put her out of commission... I'm worried about her but it seems as if things will mend and ultimately she will be fine. I have the cross over exercise to do to monitor her progress - once she begins to step under herself and cross over behind, she is starting to heal and feel better.

In the meantime, I have Rosso and I can work through my brain bugs with him now that he is pain free and holding all adjustments. May be a blessing in disguise?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Life is Good

Thanks to DebH for sending me an award! Life is really good... and I love DebH!

1. What would your prefect day consist of?
Being home and outdoors with my ani-mules... sleeping in to at least 6...NOT being awakened to kitties walking on, jumping up and down on or poking my overly full bladder...a nice long walk with Furry Husband...sunshine....mid-70 degree wind...a book....a hammock....a cold beer....potroast and mashed potatoes for dinner
2. How would you describe yourself if you were an item of clothing?
Your most comfortable pants. The pants you change into when you get home.... the pants you relax in. I'm all about comfort.
3. What hobbies are you currently working on?
Oh Geez. Really?
My Mom-In-Law quilt that she's already completed her 1/2 and I'm so far behind it's embarrassing. She's finished an additional 3 quilts waiting for me to finish my HALF of a quilt. I need to get to it cuz she is in her 80's and who knows how long any of us has?
Goat cheese... dog tracking... getting my dawg started on huntin' birds... horse hair braiding because I would LOVE to make my horse owning friends bracelets out of their horses tails... goat milk lotion... tricks...
Sadly, I'm so ADD this list could go on forever.
4. Walking in the woods in wellies or bare foot on the beach?
WOODS. I am a Colorado mountain girl... love the mountains and having them near. I'm not drawn to the ocean tho it's a nice place to visit!

5. Have you ever hugged or sang to a tree?
No but I may have licked a leaf....

6. Growing your own veggies or nipping to the supermarket?
I have a weird thing about growing my veggies and I know it's totally irrational and weird and bizarre. Admitting you have a problem is the first step. I'm going to try again this summer!! Really ... I am. Tho' I mostly get my veggies from the store...

7. Have you found anyone exciting in your family tree?
There is nothing in my twisted family tree I care to explore and I avoid even LOOKING at that gnarly, funky ass tree.
8. Slap up meal in a posh restaurant or fish ‘n’ chips from the wrapper?
I really, really like a fine dining experience now and again. However, we are 99% fish n chips from the wrapper sort o' people.
9. Which element do you most resonate with, Earth, Air, Fire or water?
Earth. Love the Earth and the dirt and the plants and the growin' things... something about agriculture really speaks to me.
10. Do you believe in fairy’s?
Yes. I know there are fairy's. I've seen them. They come out in CO on Halloween.
Step on up

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bullocks Orioles are here!

The news exaggerated again... oh, we got snow.... just not the 10" they try to scare ya with. Maybe the snow brought the orioles? We were the refuge in the storm?

I put humming bird feeders out last week and noticed an oriole yesterday... we put out some oranges last night .... and voila! Bullocks Orioles

How many orioles do you count in this picture? There are 6! We had a dozen flying about!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Goat Fest

I'm ignoring the fact that it is 36 degrees and snowing outside. We are supposed to get 10" of the white stuff tonight. Let's take a little journey back to Saturday and live in denial....

Goat Fest was fast and furious this year. Spur o' the moment actually. So spur o' the moment, I wasn't able to offer fresh delicious goat cheese or goat yogurt or buy a nice selection of fabulous goat cheeses for everyone to eat.

Saturday, after helping Panzee pick her Ass (see Longhope Donkey Rescue post), our friends from Longmont called to see if they could come over for baby goats! They were 20 min. away... We turned off the 'lectric fence and let everyone frolic in the pasture.

While it would be great Johnny Knoxville humor to have access to a 9,000 volt fence... it's not so kid friendly. (Human or goat)
Sammy is our big ol' protector dog. He's friendly... and he keeps a close watch over our little place. Such a good boy.

Pretty little Bequia.... she's 11 this year. It was just yesterday we brought her home from the Denver Dumb Friends League. I don't want her to age...

Toe still loves his goats. Someone needs to tell him he's a sportin' dawg, not a herdin' dawg!

Nuthin' says spring like green grass, a wee lass in Heidi braids and baby goats...

Baby goats are quite obliging for photo ops.... cute little buggers!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day Funny....

Furry Husband and I treated my Ma and Sis to the Denver Botanic Garden yesterday. Wow. It was a beautiful day and everything at the botanic gardens is just spectacular. Blooms galore... fragrant flowers and blossoms everywhere you looked. Beautiful.

I'm sure they have staff to scurry out and pluck anything that is wilty or dead before anyone can see it. Much like those people at professional tennis matches who run out and swiftly remove any errant tennis balls.

As we drove home, we called Furry Husband's Ma to wish her a happy Mother's Day.

She and I were happily chatting and she was telling me she was going to rent the Sex and the City movie because she doesn't remember the full frontal male nudity scene.

She was renting the movie for that sole purpose. To see the full frontal male nudity.

I thought once she shared that little gem... I mean this is an 80+ fairly proper little lady.... and she's telling me she wants to see the full on male goods in a movie riddled with sex and innuendos and foul language.

I figured I could share a joke. I told her about our neighbors getting donkeys and now we had an endless stream of jokes like Furry Husband is scratching Panzee's Ass... or we were checking out Panzee's Ass.... or maybe we both could kiss Panzee's Ass.

I saw Furry Husband's eyebrows raise in alarm out of my peripheral vision as I prattled on...

Silence from my Ma-In-Law.

No response.

I thought maybe our cell phone cut out. Nope, Furry Husband's Ma was still there and her eventual reply was, " Shanster. long pause... Have you been drinking?"

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Last Saturday, I left the house at 7am with one of our favorite neighbors for a drive to Bennet, CO about 2 hrs away. What is in Bennet? Longhopes Donkey Rescue!

Our neighbor, Panzee, has wanted a donkey for forever. I wasn't a donkey hater ... they've never really registered on my radar... and I don't know much about them.

Until now.
They are SO cute! They have 10,000 years more domestication than horses... they are very mellow. They are used to poverty conditions - which means no grain mashes or rich alfalfa for these little dudes, they are long lived and not very reactive. They need good hoof care.

This donkey, Buster, reminded me of my old gelding... he is older and shaggy and a bit grumpy but he became donkey buttah in my hands after some serious tail scritchin....

Buster, Buster, Buster... lookit those lips... shaggy, floppy, long eared Buster. I was VERY tempted to adopt a donkey after our visit to Longhopes. We really don't need another hay burner tho' I may sponser Buster.
I was really impressed with the rescue - it was so clean and well run and the woman helping us was professional, knowledgeable and those donkeys.... oh, such cute, cute long eared critters. Panzee adopted two - they were delivered to her house yesterday. I'll be able to get my donkey fix just four doors down....

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Red horse update

Yikes - how can a week go by without a post??

We'll start with the red horses to begin to catch y'all up.

Sera was due for a tooth floating. I normally do her teeth in the spring and my vet didn't have ppwk showing I'd had her teeth done last year. Weird... ?

I took her down the road to the vet and her teef were awful! She doesn't have any physical deformities or anything... but there were lots o' hooks and points and ulcers in her cheeks from the sharp teeth.

Poor Sera...

I thought about it and I think that was around the time my sister wanted to move my Dad and he was declining rapidly and it was huge stress to me so I must've forgotten to get my girl in for her dental work. Whoops. They are done now.

I took Sera home and loaded up Rosso.

His cataract grew maybe 1 millimeter and it seems to be getting more dense. There are changes to the cataract and we would really, really prefer to see nothing new. There is still sight and he seems very unaffected by it all... he isn't spooky, he isn't painful... he doesn't seem to care at all.

The prognosis is guarded but optimistic - he will keep his eye.

Fingers crossed.

I have a hard time watching when the needle is that close to his eye but I got some pix for all y'all. When it's all over, he has tears of blood... gross.

ooooo - i'm feelin awful sleepy.... full o' tranquilizers so he doesn't jerk his head during injections
dun dun duuuuunnnnn - the cataract

Steroid injections...

Injections create that pocket o' steroid fluid in his eye tissue, hopefully stopping the cataract so he can keep his eye.