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Friday, December 26, 2008

What a difference a year makes.

Here's me and Foxsun riding herd in December of 2007. I knew it would be the last time I rode for a long time; maybe the last time. So I took some pictures.

Foxsun is so mellow to ride. He's totally predictable. I only came close to falling off him once and it was when he was a very green three year old. A flock of birds took off out of a ditch we were traveling next to. He leaped forward and I grabbed the pommel just in the nick of time otherwise I would have been left behind.


We spot some cows in the distance.


After a lot of cow chasing fun we bring them in.


I couldn't put much weight on my destroyed right ankle to get on so that proved a bit difficult. Once in the saddle I was like a duck to water, till we trotted and posting really hurt!

And off into the winter sun we went.


I never dreamed I'd get anymore horses, let alone two wild mustangs! Here is a rare picture of my three horses in the same shot. Little Echos ears can be seen on the left.


Foxsun wants me to go in that building where he knows he gets his old horse grub.


Foxsun and Wildairo had ice on their backs but little hot blooded Echo melted it right off because he was sizzling. He knows that fence behind him is about to make it's move to kill him.


I gave him some carrots. Poor Little lad, he'd grab one and think he heard something behind him and he'd spin away quick to defend himself. He looked pretty ridiculous snorting and carrying on with that carrot poking out of his mouth.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Hang in there.

I hope everyone and their animals experiencing this terrible weather are doing OK. We had only a few inches of snow overnight and then it stopped but I have been watching Channel 6 in Spokane and that area has a few feet of snow and it's going to get worse there as the day goes on it seems. The bad snow seems to start and Davenport and all points east of there.

We have been carrying warm water to the horses. This morning they didn't want any, but last night they all drank gallons of it. I was proud of the mustangs drinking from a big purple tote. I bet they didn't see many purple totes in the wild.

I have to hold Foxsun so Wildairo can drink because it seems our friendly old Morgan is not very friendly to mustang colts, in fact he's darn right mean to Wildairo. Fox chases Wildairo away from the hay no matter how far I spread the piles out. The old boy spun around and started kicking in Wildairo's general direction like a bad mule. Wildairo started to do the same but quickly thought better of it. This is a side of Foxsun we have never seen. He's as sweet as pie with us. He gave me a big wet kiss on my face after he finished drinking. He might have been trying to dry his face off though coming to think of it. He holds his feet up so I can knock out the ice balls under his hooves and is a real gentleman. The mustangs are not getting the snow and ice build up under their feet like he is and I wonder why.

Echo has a spot he keeps clean in his pen. It's his little bed so I always makes sure it's free of rocks for him. I got a load of straw and put in there so he could have a straw mattress and be off the frozen ground. I was concerned he'd be scared of it and it would spoil his little sleeping area. Good news, the next morning he had straw on his back and in his mane. I want to cuddle him so bad.

It's about 18 degrees F here this morning and it feels warm after sub-zero temps and high winds. The other night I though it was warming up outside when I noticed the temp was 6, then I noticed the - in front of it!

Keep safe and warm everyone.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sen. Ken Salazar SOI? NO!

I am very disappointed with PE Obama's possible choice for Sec. of Interior, Colorado Senator Ken Salazar. So far I have read nothing but bad thing's about him as far as the environment and endangered species protection. Very bad things. He is no friend to the horse.

The only good to come out of this is Ken Salazar will be out of the Senate and hopefully a better Senator will be appointed to take his place. Democrats will be happy to get him out of the senate and under Obama's control. Hopefully, if gets the position, he won't be in the Cabinet very long.

Also remember everything concerning the Dept of Interior, including the BLM, will be Ombama's call in the end. It will be President Obama's vision, not Salazar's.

I will be contacting the people below today to tell them how I feel about Ken Salazar;

John Podesta, Transition team
Fax 202-682-1867

And to his liaison Greg Nelson
Fax 202-443-4724

Also the Transition team website:

It seems the perfect candidate for the job, Rep. Raul Grijalva had problems with the vetting process.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Cold weather and a possible hay heist.

Saturday the snow really came down and the wind blew hard. We moved the cows to the pasture with the feeder in it. Instead of leading Foxsun like a horse we drove him like a cow.

Here are the girls and Foxsun coming up from the meadow and crossing the road. Brad is calling them. When Brad opened the gate Foxsun tried to keep the cows from leaving by nipping at them.


William and I were standing in places to stop the cows from getting ideas about over shooting the gate. The girls spotted an old bale of hay and dived on it. Brad moved them on but Foxsun, like a good horse, is not bothered by people flapping their arms about. I was laughing as Brad had to grab his neck to turn him manually in the right direction and give him a shove to catch up with Dandylyons.

Most of the cows were already in the corral.


They followed Brad to through the corral and to their pasture. When Wildairo saw Foxsun coming he called out to him and did a little happy dance. He looks about as graceful as your average construction worker in a tutu when he dances.

Meanwhile little Echo was acting like every snowflake was out to get him.

After we got everyone squared away we head off to Moses Lake to do our shopping. William is home for the Christmas break and it's wonderful to have him home. He remembered to bring his dirty laundry, guitar, computer etc, but forgot to bring a coat or any warm clothes. I found him a nice chore coat in The Home Depot of all places! We stocked up one extra feed for all the animals as well as ourselves.

The drive home was a nightmare. Out of habit we took the county road and that was a big mistake. We only saw three other vehicles the entire 50 miles home. Two were emergency vehicles and the other was a pick up that was upside down just outside of Moses Lake. The snow was blowing in places so heavy we had to drive blind. Instead of turning east on another county road like we normally do, we kept going north to meet up with State Highway 28. Somewhere along that county road we drove into a low spot where there were deep drifts a few feet high and a solid blanket of blowing snow. Brad drove straight ahead at the same speed till we were through it. I love my little jeep. It's a jeep Liberty and because it's so short it does very well in the snow and ice in four wheel drive. I use it for chasing cows because it can make tight turns like a little gymkhana pony. Last year I was out doing something down the draw and when I drove back Foxsun cantered alongside the driver side all the way home. I've kind of scratched it up in the sage brush and driving into fences and rocks. It's dirty most of the time but I don't care.

I was very glad to get on to the State highway. They have reflective markers on posts so you can stay on the highway and not drive off across some flat ploughed field never to be seen again.

The weather has been scary. High winds and very low temperatures. It's 0 degree F right now, but the wind has at last stopped. Saturday night the wind howled and it was so cold. Our cat, Max was out in it somewhere and I kept waking up in the night because of the wind and I hoped he was somewhere safe. We gave the horses loads of extra grain and hay. Wildairo had decided he should keep far away from buildings when the wind blows. But he's sensible and soon learned when it's that cold, buildings are OK after all. He's a brave boy. Foxsun was wanting in so we opened the gate and let him in with Wildairo. Wildairo was so happy to have his friend back even though Foxsun bites him. I was feeding them grain out of the same bowl and they were very polite taking their turn. When they were done and walking out of the barn, Foxsun suddenly launched an unprovoked attack with his old teeth on Wildairo's neck. Wildairo didn't over react in that small space but just quietly walked out. I yelled at Foxsun and he slinked off.

Sunday morning, no Maxwell. The thought of that old fat cat lost in a blizzard was hard to think about. He hates the outdoors and his belly is so fat it almost drags on the ground. I have 13 mallards that like to fly about but never have landed anywhere except close to the house. Only 5 are left after the blizzard. I have no idea where the others got too. Later that day Brad went out in search of Maxwell. He saw some little paw prints going into the stone building and that's where he found Max, hiding under some stuff in a little Max cave.

Echo is fluffed up and so very fuzzy. I think it's because he's got pony genes. He's been getting lots of hay and grain and is doing very well. Tonight Brad was putting some water in his tub when I was talking to Wildairo and I could hear Echo snorting at him.

I think we stopped some hay thieves Sunday night. About 9pm we were driving over to a little house of ours along the county road to make sure he heat was still on so things wouldn't freeze. We came across a pick-up backed right up to our barn door. The barn is by a very quiet county road that seldom sees any traffic on a Sunday night especially in awful weather. Brad got out and asked the driver what he was doing and the driver told him he using his cell phone. He drove off and we went on to check the house. Then it occurred to me you don't drive off the road and back up to someones barn door to talk on the phone. From the road you can see the hay in the barn. It's only a few ton for the horses. We checked to make sure everything was OK in the barn. Later on I called the Lincoln County sheriffs office and they were very interested. A few weeks ago one of the deputy's told us people had been stealing from barns in the county. I wish I'd taken down in license number now. We have no hay to spare and would have been really in trouble if they stole that hay. The barn is now locked up.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Echo is a sissy.

Poor little Echo had a mental meltdown.

It all started last Sunday when I woke feeling pain free for a change. It was a real treat to feel like I could do stuff. So what did I do Sunday? I grabbed a shovel and cleaned out Echo's corral. A tractor can't get in that corral so it has to be done manually. I hauled the poop out in a bucket, about 600 small loads, ha ha. It was an act of rebellion or desperation because my ankle surgeon told me never to lift anything heavy. I love to do hard work and I've missed that feeling of going to bed with the knowledge I put in a hard days work. I was very proud of my poo pile and showed it off to Brad and took some pictures. I dumped the poo where Brad can get it with the tractor.

Here's the poo pile and the poo maker himself.


Brad strung up some electric tape to keep the boys from knocking the fence down completely.


My ankle has felt better than ever since the heavy lifting. Maybe something needed to be shoved into place.

Back to poor little Echo's nervous breakdown: He must have put his nose through the boards and got a jolt from the electric tape because he pretty much has come unglued. He's scared to death of the fence and he stands with his legs splayed out expecting it to jump on him any moment. Any noise, real or imagined, and he spins around to look behind him at the fence or he jumps to the side. To make matters worse he's also fearful of the poo pile. I stand with him and try to get him to eat carrots and relax but most of the time he's besides himself with fear. I'm so glad it's not me he's scared of and is careful not to leap in my direction when he imagines the fence is making it's big move to kill him. The little lad needs Valium or something. I said to Brad, "He's going to be a lot of fun to ride". We had a good laugh over that. I can see us now, Echo and me high stepping out in front, blazing the trail, with Wildairo and Brad bringing up the rear, both wearing foam domes!

Just before we had our first snow of the year today I took some pictures of some little violas that are still blooming in December.


It rained then it snowed. Foxsun was under the cottonwoods with the cows. He cantered over when I called him and ate some hay.


In the background are the corrals where the mustangs live and the shop. I have to rethink where to put the horses. I was hoping Echo would be halter broke by now so I could lead him over to the horse barn and corrals where he could spend the winter with Foxsun.

Maybe I could have Brad and William move out some more of the shop equipment so that part of the shop could be doubled in size for both Wildairo and Echo. The two mustangs could be wintered together in that big corral. I'm concerned that they might challenge the rock wall. When Foxsun and Wildairo were together in there they didn't even attempt it, and we do have the much hated electric tape in front of it, just in case. I just worry because Echo is so untouchable and I could never catch him if he escaped, but he needs to be with another horse so he can relax.

Does anyone have any experience with two mustangs escaping? Do they go far? When I first moved Wildairo to his new corral, I left the gate open at night so he could run down the ally to get back to old pen. Sure enough, every night, when I went to check him, he was in his old pen where he felt safe. So I think he would come back. Echo would probably have a heart attack from fear within the first few minuets of escaping. I bet when he was with his wild herd he started a lot of stampedes. I can just see it now; a herd of sweaty panting mustangs glaring at a little dark horse who's saying, "well it could have been a cougar".

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A broken fence and hay ramblings.

I was feeding the mustangs the other day and I had a bit of a surprise. I was about to leave when I happened to notice the fence between the two mustangs was broken. The corrals had stood up to cows and fighting bulls for about 35 years. But these mustangs have really worked them over. I hate keeping horses in corrals because they get so bored and pick up bad habits. They have chewed up the boards despite the fact we have tried a few different products to stop them. Now one of the boards was broken. I think Wildairo was rubbing his bum on it and it was already weak from all their chewing and it gave way. I got a rock and hammered in the huge nails back in the give it a temporary fix. The boys had their heads buried in their hay buckets so they were good for awhile. Brad fixed thing's better when he came home with some more hammering. He noticed the posts were pushed out and about to go (because of Wildairo throwing himself at them) so he strung up some of that white electric tape.

When I got home I fed the chickens and the ducks, filled the cows water trough and fed Foxsun. That's when I got another surprise, a worse one. I put Foxsun's feed in his bucket and went in the house when he started eating it. When I looked out of the front window I saw him standing very oddly. He had his back to his uneaten dinner, which scared me, and he had his neck stretched out like he was sniffing. He walked slowly around like that. A couple of times he lifted his front hoof like it hurt. I started to get really worried. I almost reached for my phone to call the vet and I remembered the other times I over reacted and he'd been fine. Foxsun shows every little discomfort and has even groaned in the past when he hasn't felt good. So I took some deep breaths and watched him. I could just hear myself telling the vet, "Come quick! Foxsun's walking about sniffing instead of eating his dinner".

I went out there and stroked his head. He went back to his dinner but he didn't seem right to me. But I remembered an old man telling me years ago that if they have their head down eating they're alright. He had a drink after his meal and walked back to the cows, stopping to eat grass along the ditch bank. I saw him put his years back and move a couple of cows out of the way. He didn't act like he had a belly ache and wasn't standing like he had laminitis but when he was walking in to get his dinner he did cough once.

Maybe he still has the Pigeon fever in his system. His barrel is very round (like a barrel) but his top line is more boney than it should be. He's only 22 and has looked really good until this summer. The vet I had out here to float his teeth and look him over didn't seem to be too concerned. I think I'll bring him in and put him with Echo, (he beats up Wildairo), and give him some of the really good alfalfa hay. I think he bites Wildairo because Wildairo walks up to people and other horses with his ears flat back. They weren't deep bites, just the kind that takes hair off.

We put up three kinds of hay this year. The hay from the meadow is orchard grass, with a tiny bit of alfalfa in some of it. This Spring Brad seeded alfalfa in the draw, with a cover crop of peas and oats. The horses don't care for it much because the pea vines are a bit tough, but the cows love it. Echo had some once and very carefully sorted all the pea pods out to one side. Unlike Wildairo who always cleans his plate. I bet his mum told him about starving foals in Africa. The second cutting in the draw was just pure leafy fine stemmed alfalfa. The good stuff. I give a little to the mustangs every day and they seem to have more energy and act less hungry. The problem is there's not much of it because Brad had to put it up when the conditions weren't good. So, according to 'the all knowing' Brad, not much of it is suitable for horses. If it's put up without a dew on it, the leaves shatter and fall off. If it's too wet it goes moldy. Cows can eat pretty much any kind of moldy hay it seems. I hope there's enough of the pure alfalfa to last the horses through the winter because they really seem to do well with a bit added in their orchard grass hay.

We can get three or maybe four cuttings of hay a year here. We have to irrigate it. We lease out most of our crop land to another farmer so Brad can have the time to work at his business. We just have 30 acres we put up for own cattle. We did sell a bit this year and I was shocked at what you can get for hay now. I think we sold ours for $200/ton. I can remember when we farmed the whole place ourselves we were doing good to get $70 to $80/ton. I think rained on feeder hay was about $50 to $60/ton.

It seems the hay prices are high because it's in short supply. Other commodities were higher and farmers took out their hay stands to put in other crops like wheat. For example last year wheat was up around $15 a bushel and now it's down to about $4.50 a bushel. When a crop sells for a high price lots of farmers will plant it and that will bring down the price of that crop. I think with hay prices so high and wheat lower more farmers will seed back into hay and that will bring the price down.

We move our cows and Foxsun around to different places on the ranch. Right now they are in the hay meadow which is about 15 acres and they seem it be getting enough to eat there for now, although Foxsun gets extra. In the summer they were on the bluff and have a fenced off route they can take back to the corrals and the other pasture, so they hundreds of acres to graze. Once they run of pasture they will go over to the pasture with the feeder and be fed hay for the rest of the winter. Foxsun stays with them as long as he is doing OK. I will put him back over at the horse barn and pasture when the cows are at the feeder.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

More good news. I hope.

I would like to pass this message on:

Dear Friends of Cloud and the Wild Horses;

We have an opportunity to make a difference for America’s wild horses still in the wild and in holding facilities, but we have to act right away.

Congressman Grijalva of Arizona, a supporter of wild horses and a critic of BLM, is being considered for the job of Secretary of the Interior. As most of you know, the Bureau of Land Management falls under the supervision of the Secretary of the Interior. Congressman Grijalva has championed the wild horse issues as Chairman of the Subcommittee for National Parks, National Forest and Public Lands. He will work to restore protections for our wild horses. According to some sources, he is a leading contender for the job.

To voice your support, go to Let the transition team for our new administration know that you support the consideration of Congressman Grijalva for Secretary of the Interior.

Please pass this message on to all you know. Thanks a million!!!

Happy Trails,
Ginger Kathrens
Volunteer Executive Director
The Cloud Foundation

I have been reading that Democrat Congressman Grijalva is a real progressive and sounds like he's be a wonderful welcome change after 8 years of wild horse terrorism by the Bush administration.

Here's a picture of President Elect Obama with Rep. Grijalva.


I beg you to contact the transition team at

Sunday, November 30, 2008

My new hat and Bobby guards her bone.

I wore my new hat when I went to feed the horses. It's got long bobbles that hang down each side. Echo was very interested in it and he carefully sniffed the bobbles. Here's a picture of him looking at me in my new hat.


Bobby has a big rawhide bone that she's been busy guarding from the other pets. She keeps it under the table in her self proclaimed dog den. This is what it's looked like for weeks in the same place under the table. The blurry thing in the foreground is her wagging stumpy tail.


She's convinced herself that given the chance the cats will make off with it. So she goes on cat patrol when she remembers 'the bone'.

The weather has been milder and so our four cats are frequently in and out. Here's the back door with Andy waiting his turn to go out.


Meanwhile at the kitchen door; Max wants in and Muffin wants out.


When the cats are on maneuvers Bobby has to be on her toes to protect her bone, so she gives the cats a jab in the ribs with her nose to keep them moving. She doesn't jab them very hard because they keep walking along with their arrogant tails in the air.

When Bobby is outside the doors have to be locked because she puts her paw on the door knob, pulls it down and lets herself back in. I'd have no problem with it but she doesn't close the door behind her so in the summer the house fills up with flies and in the winter she lets all the cold air in.


I just shouted out to her that the cats were eating her stinky old bone. "Hey Bobby, Andy's eating your bone...and he likes it".

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Dog and Pony show.

Sunday I wanted to see how the horses would respond to Bobby. I asked her to jump up on this table thing and to my surprise she did. Wildairo wasn't bothered by having a dog on a table. Nothing seems to bother him except Stranger Danger. He politely introduced himself.




New best friends? Bobby and Wildairo ate baby carrots together. Bobby will eat anything to prevent another pet from eating it. When I'm cooking in the kitchen I will give her a bit of raw onion or mushroom and ask her to please give it to Andy, our cat. She will gobble it down rather than let Andy eat it. As if he would!

Next I took Bobby to meet Echo inside his pen for the first time. Echo was his usual shy self. He came up to me to eat carrots with Bobby but he was very careful not to step on her.


Echo is a secret apple eater. He will not eat them out of my hand but the cut up apples I've been dropping in his bucket have been disappearing.

Friday, November 21, 2008

I impressed Echo.

This is the face of a Wild Horse when he discovers humans have magical powers.


Tuesday turned magical for Echo. It was a lovely day, sunny, warm (for November) with no wind at all. I'd just been giving Echo a few carrots and telling him his mum, dad, brothers, sisters, all the cousins were all going to be safe from harm now. Then our cat, Andy showed up. Echo couldn't take his eyes off him. So, I called Andy who meowed and joined us in the corral. I bent down and scratched his head which really impressed Echo who stood enchanted and transfixed. I could tell he wanted to meet Andy but was too shy to approach, so I moved away and left Andy alone in the middle of the pen. Echo approached him very carefully, it made me think of Beautiful Girl and her cat, but Andy walked slowly out of the corral. Echo followed but Andy didn't get to be a 13 year old farm cat by taking chances.

Once he was the other side of the fence, Andy flopped down in the sun and Echo peeked at him through the boards. I called Andy and Andy Meowed back. That made Echo turn and look at me in wonder. Suddenly Echo walked up to me and started kissing my face. Very gently he rubbed his top lip over my nose and made it wiggle then he carefully ran his nose all through my hair and very gently touched my clothes. He put his nostril over my nose to feel my breath and it was like he was meeting me for the first time, again. I got out my cell phone out and took the above picture. At one point he started to take my sleeve in his mouth and I said, "No no Sweetie", and he stopped.

Echo didn't know that Andy and I were old friends. He must think I have powers over all creatures and they all come to me when I call and answer me when I talk. It was just a simple encounter but the whole thing made he just love that little horse all the more. He's so sweet and gentle and he's got away of looking me right in the eyes that's incredible.

I'm so glad Mrs Pickens is going to be looking after the captured mustangs. I knew she would be able to do right by them. It costs about 30 million a year for the BLM to keep them in corrals and 30 million can buy a lot of western acres.

I wonder if they will form bands with bossy geldings as the leaders? Wildairo really missed out there. He thought he was pretty bossy till old Foxsun beat him up.

I also wonder if it'll ever be possible to adopt a wild horse again? What will happen to events like the Extreme Mustang makeover? What will the BLM workers at the wild horse corrals do once the pens are empty?

I hope they manage the uncaptured horses better and not keep rounding them up just to rid the west of them. I think thing's will be better now because the public has let it be known (again) they won't tolerate mass murder for these wonderful animals.

If I ruled the world I make it a law that if your going to graze your cattle on public lands, then you have to respect the wild horses. Horses rule!

Edited to add the following:

Please look at the blog I have added to my list, 'American Herds'. (Top of page). There is an interesting video there about the BLM. I'm glad someone else feels like I do as far as trusting the BLM. Please watch it. Don't drink the BLM Koolaide.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Arlene smacks down the Fugly woman blogger.

Hold on to your hats because I'm mad and I'm about to vent.

Most people by now have heard of the infamous woman who writes the much read ‘Fugly Horse’ Blog.

I, for one, have had enough of her whining, complaining and picking on the people who are trying to do the right thing. She looks at photos of girls jumping their horses and picks apart their form till something else distracts her snarling viciousness. October 31st 2008 she decided the Sorraia Horse was too ugly and needed to be exterminated. She posted a picture of these horses in their native country to prove how, according to her, ugly they were. It doesn’t seem to bother her horse is not human breed. I quote the following from Oklahoma State University’s Horse Breed descriptions;

The Sorraia horse has no history as a domestic breed, but is the last remnant of the indigenous wild horse of southern Iberia. It stands around 14 hh. Captured animals have been broken to ride and used for herding the fighting bulls and other livestock. This small horse was the primary ancestor of the famous horses of Andalusia and Lusitania and, both directly and indirectly, ancestor to many horses throughout Europe and the Americas. The Sorraia is found portrayed faithfully in prehistoric cave art, displaying the classic Iberian convex profile, also found in the old-time North African Barb. The Portuguese scientist Ruy D' Andrade, who had discovered them in 1920 in the lowlands of the Portuguese River Sorraia, named these horses "Sorraia".


“The Sorraia is nearly extinct. A few herds are maintained in half a dozen places in Spain and a few places in Germany”.

But the Fugly woman says they have bad shoulders, long backs, short croups and ugly heads and there for don’t deserve to live yet alone be preserved.

Fugly, as she likes to be known, does not approve of the BLM Mustangs being saved by their billionaire benefactors because she would have preferred to have seen them shot one by one in the head. They don’t come any wickeder than Fugly.

Concerning the wonderful thing the Pickens family is doing for the BLM's wild horses, she wrote in her blog today the following;

‘I personally think euthanasia was a good plan (far preferable to handing them out willy-nilly to people who wind up posting stuff on Horsetopia like "we got this BLM mare and now we can't catch her, what do we do?") and my only question is, when is the government going to extend that kindness to all of the tame horses that wind up on double-deckers bound for Canada and Mexico?’

Not making any sense are you woman? The government doesn’t own the ‘tame’ horses, just the BLM horses you dimwit.

She goes rambling on:

‘Really, all this is about is more inability to deal with death. If 30,000 mustangs starve to death on the range in the winter, hey, that's ok because that's nature. Putting them to sleep which takes seconds and doesn't involve suffering, oooooooh nooooooooo, that's eeeeevil’.

What utter ignorant rubbish she writes.

Fugly you ignorant woman; living is about life and killing is to be avoided. (She kind of reminds me of the German SS in WW2). No, the wild horses are not starving. Also the BLM gelds the stallions in their corrals. Do some research before you started writing rubbish to entertain the hundreds if not thousands of people who read your blog.

Fugly at one time may have had some good intentions but now like a vicious out of control dog, attacks everything in sight, good or bad.

Fugly publicly attacks people on a daily basis, but I don’t care if she tries to make a mockery of me and what I believe in because I know I’m a good person and a much better person that she will ever be. So bring it on Fugly, embarrass yourself some more.

I know there are some mustang adopters out there who also believe that killing the wild horses is a kind thing to do. Typical 'I've got mine, screw you', type of thinking. I've read your blogs and I have nothing but contempt for you. You buy into the Republican/cattleman's greed driven rhetoric. Our horses are vermin to them. Thank goodness the Democrats are going to be back in charge and there are good Republicans like Mr. and Mrs. Pickens out there.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Latest wild horse (good) news.

I found this tonight. I'm so tired I'm not sure I'm reading it right! WOW!!!!!
Please follow the link to the Washington Post story.

Source: Washington Post
The unwanted horses seemed destined for death. The wheels had been set in motion to put down about 2,000 healthy mustangs, those in a federally maintained herd of wild horses and burros that no one wanted to adopt.

The Bureau of Land Management knew that euthanasia was a legal alternative, but officials were proceeding slowly, afraid of an intense public outcry. The wild horses had become too expensive to maintain, and cattlemen argued that turning them loose would be a drain on the already scarce grazing lands of the West.

Then yesterday, at a public hearing in Reno, Nev., to discuss the issue, a solution arrived on a white horse, so to speak.

Madeleine Pickens, wife of billionaire T. Boone Pickens, made known her intentions to adopt not just the doomed wild horses but most or all of the 30,000 horses and burros kept in federal holding pens. Lifelong animal lovers, the Pickenses just a few years ago led the fight to close the last horse slaughterhouse in the United States.

Read more:

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A lazy mid november Sunday.

I'm a little cross at the Mustangs even though I know I should be more patient with them.

Wildairo gets big knots in his beautiful mane that I have to untangle on a regular basis. After I get the knots out his mane is very curly still and gets knotted easy again.


I'll have to brush it more often until it straightens out. I expect my horses to stand still when I groom them without being haltered. But Sunday he was horrible to me. He even put his ears back and tried to bit my camera phone when I attempted to take his picture of his angry face. He slinked off in a temper and I shouted at him to knock it off which brought him to his senses a bit. This is the way he was with the other horses in the BLM corrals, so it's not new behaviour for him. I got him to stand still but the knots were so bad I had to toss a little hay down to keep him entertained while I worked on them.


I think he was in a bad mood because it was Sunday and he got fed later than usual. He only attempted to bite the camera and the hair brush, which is kind of funny when I think about it.

The other day I had Brad go through the 'step up' routine with Echo and to my amazement Echo tried his best to cooperate with Brad, but Brad kept forgetting to tell him 'Come here' or 'good boy' and I had to keep prodding him in the back and whispering the right words he should saying to Echo and that made him start dropping the carrots. I forgot he can't do two things at once. I was so pleased Echo wasn't scared of Brad.

Today, when Echo and I were standing next to each other, I forgot myself and tried to touch his cheek. He whirled away so fast I was almost sucked into the vortex he created. He snorted and stared at me, so I turned my back on him in mock disgust. I stood for ages ignoring him and when I turned back he was still staring at me and hadn't moved an inch. I put my hand up told him 'step up' and he was grateful to get back to normal and walked right up and touched my hand with his nose. It was kind of like we high fived after we scared the poop out of each other.

Here's what I see from my front window. Foxsun in the meadow waiting for his senior horse dinner.


I try to put his dinner out when he can canter over and leave the cows behind so he can eat in peace. If the cows see him eat they want some and he has to put his ears back at them to scare them off. Even though cows don't communicate in that way, he has taught them what it means. Dandylyons is not allowed to eat his special dinner so she watches his back keeping the other cows away from his stash by her mere presence.


Here are the old fools having a cuddle in the meadow.


Here's Brad fixing the domestic pump at the little house. I helped him pull it using the tractor. Sometimes little frogs commit suicide by throwing themselves into electrical workings, which stops water being pumped up or something. This time it was something different that broke the pump. I don't know what because when Brad tells me my eyes glaze over. I only remember the bit about the frogs because it's sad.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

63 degrees here today.

It looked windy and cold outside but Foxsun and the cows weren't acting like it was cold. When I went out I was pleasantly surprised because it was 63 degrees and not very windy. Things are greening up as the grass in the pasture is starting to grow again.

I went and kept the mustangs company. Echo really enjoys me being there. He snuck up behind me and stood so close I almost bumped into his shoulder. He does that, walks up to me and stands as close as he can without touching me. He still has the 'no touch' rule in place. Now I can walk into the corral and without saying anything, hold my hand up high and he walks quickly up and bumps my hand like he's been taught to. He's adorable. If I can ever ride again he's the horse I'd love to ride.

I found this today in the Huffington Post, it's by Deanne Stillman who wrote, 'Mustang: The Saga of the Wild Horse in the American West'.

"Please get in touch with President-elect Obama, as well as your representatives and senators, and let them know that a) the extermination of our great partner - the wild horse - is not how you would like your tax dollars to be spent; b) Congress should take a hard look at exactly why so many wild horses have been rounded up in recent years, and c) getting rid of the wild horse is un-American.

Incidentally, Obama was a backer of the anti-slaughter legislation that Congress passed a couple of years ago, shutting down the country's three remaining, and foreign-owned, horse rendering plants. This legislation was passed by a huge margin, thanks to a massive grass-roots campaign kicked into high gear after the previous official death sentence for wild horses was enacted - a rollback in the law that protects them orchestrated by former Montana Senator Conrad Burns. The original law, the Free-Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act, was signed In 1971 by Richard Nixon, who, in a bizarre footnote to history, quoted Thoreau in an impassioned defense of the wild horse at the signing ceremony. The Burns rollback paved the way for the current disaster".

To read more you can find it here;

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Peace in the meadow and a project in the corrals.

It's rainy and misty and the sagebrush is giving off a lovely smell in the damp air.

Dandylyons was standing away from the other cows looking over at the horse pasture hoping to catch sight of her horse husband.


So we brought him back to her.


Dandylyons smiles


Foxsun gets busy eating and all is well in the meadow.


Meanwhile back at the mustang corrals; I introduce Wildairo to the woodworking equipment.


So he and Echo can repair the fences they have eaten through like a couple of woodpeckers!


Thursday, November 6, 2008

It's getting chilly here.

It's rainy and cold. Last night, as it started to get dark, I went to feed the mustangs and it suddenly got very cold. My hands almost froze as I biked home and I noticed the puddles had ice forming on them. I thought we were in for a very cold night but it started to warm up again and during the night it rained.

Our house is at the base of a bluff and we get some sudden cold snaps as cold air moves downward. During hot summer evenings while I stroll outside around the garden, I sometimes walk through rivers of cold air that flow down off the bluff.


We own about 800 acres here and there are several different micro climates. We used to live in a smaller house further away from the bluff and I could grow plants like grapes and tomatoes so much better there. I even tried to grow some plants in my old garden at that little house this year, but I forgot to water them so they all died. That is another bad thing about this area, we only get about 10" of rain a year. The only thing's that grow well here (without irrigation) are sagebrush, native grasses and noxious weeds. Where there are springs along the bluff, trees and shrubs like cottonwoods, chokecherry and golden current will grow. About a mile of Crab Creek goes through our place and we have about 16 white willows that grow along it. The trick is keeping cattle away from them till the trees can grow big enough that they can defend themselves.

Here's Muffin sitting on the chicks old box.


Here's Dandylyons resting.


I saw her looking at something intently today. I looked to see what caught her gaze and it was Foxsun, her horse husband faraway in his horse pasture. I shall have to reunite them soon because she doesn't look happy without him.

I re-potted some plants today. I like to take cuttings from my plants and start new ones. My mother in-law gave me some of her cuttings. One cutting came from a plant that used to grow in this house when she lived here about 35 years ago! I'm running out of room for new plants but I just love to see plants growing indoors. Andy doesn't care about the plants but he was concerned I'd make him get out of his chair.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Echo demonstrates his 'advanced carrot eating' skills.

I asked Brad to take some photos of Echo doing his 'step up'. I was very pleased that Echo completely ignored Brad standing there with us.

I call him, "Echo, come here!" He walks up to me and stands in front of me.


I raise my hand and say "Step up". He steps closer and touches my hand and I tell him, 'good boy'.


After he's stepped up and touched my hand a few times I give him a baby carrot.


He doesn't get a 'good boy', let alone a carrot, if he doesn't step right up and touch my hand. He has got really good at it and really enjoys responding. On Halloween I lifted my jacket above my head and made ghostly sounds to see what he'd do. He stood back and stared at me for awhile and decided the best thing to do was to walk briskly up to me. I was very surprised. I think he trusts me.


I hold the plastic grocery bag in my left hand with the carrots in it. The bag doesn't bother him in the least anymore.


He actually let me pet him under his chin yesterday and I really enjoyed it.

We bought a 40 gal rubber tank to put his hay in. He was very brave and walked right up to it. He doesn't seem so nervous anymore. He's a really good little horse.




Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fall on an Eastern Washington farm.

The Mustangs love the sound that my cell phone makes when I press the keys. I was trying to take a quick picture of Echo but he wanted to press his nose up against my cell phone to hear the funny little sounds it makes.


Here's his cute little legs.


He's just a little sweetie. Although I can only touch his nose, he is so eager to come when I ask him to and step up right up to me. I've never been around many horses that eager. His hooves aren't strong like Wildairo's. They keep breaking off. When he arrived here I noticed his hooves had very big chunks missing from them and now I see why. I haven't met very many mustangs, but I have a feeling he might not be a typical Beaty's Butte Mustang because of his hooves, size and hotness. (I'm not just talking about those cute little legs either). lol

I noticed our cat, Andy follows the sun around the house. Here he is taking advantage of some east facing windows in the morning. Oh to be a cat!


Every year the Sugar Maple I planted turns beautiful colors. But not this year. It's a grayish color. Instead the English Oak I planted 12 years ago is looking very pretty. Usually the leaves turn brown and hang on most of the winter.


Not as pretty as some trees for autumn foliage but he's giving it a jolly good try this year.

We sold the calves on Sunday. The first time mother cows cried for a couple of days. The older cows were glad to see them gone because they know they always come back as newborns in the Spring.

Here they are doing some grazing to drown their sorrows.


The cow to the left is the one who was the most upset. They are looking pretty good because, except for Dandylyons (not in the picture) who turns 18 in March, the cows are pretty young. Our old skinny cows have all finally gone to the big open range in the sky. Primrose died last in March just as she turned 20 years old. She died like she lived, guarding her place at the feeder.