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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Enough already!

Another snow storm greeted me this morning when I opened my eyes. I have had more than enough of this awful weather.


Foxsun seems back to normal so I turned him out with the cows. Wildairo wanted to go with him. I told him he couldn't go out till we've had a 'catching and haltering' refresher course.

Poor Echo's corral is muddy. He does have a dryer spot where he likes to sleep. It'll dry down soon because we have sandy soil here. No clay. I have found four of his baby teeth so far. They were easy to find on top of the frozen ground. I don't think I'll find anymore now the ground is all churned up. The last one I found was pretty big and had a sharp point where it went into the gum. It had a bit of blood on it. I was with him when he was trying to work it out. He kept poking his tongue around his mouth and holding his head down with is mouth open. I bet it poked his gum when it came out. I can't find Wildairo's teeth because his corral is too big.

It was so cold and breezy out there today that I didn't spend much time with the mustangs. The cold is really bothering me this year.

I'm getting Echo used to me moving my arms around while he's standing close. I can reach out my hand towards his neck and he doesn't jump back anymore. He will put his nose on my hand even if I hold my hand behind my back, which puts his shoulder close to my body. This makes me nervous because I'm afraid something will spook him and he'll shy into me. The way we're going about this we have to trust each other not to do anything silly. He is not acting so spooky anymore. He used to be scared of his own tail.

When I get ready to leave him I always say, "Bye Bye Echo" and it's funny because when he hears me say that he tries to make me stay. I think that little mustang knows more words than your average dog. I find being around him very relaxing. Foxsun is demanding and Wildairo acts like he mad at me (which he probably is) and he stays that way till I've sweet talked him for a while. Echo just loves to interact.

When I walk through the corral to let Foxsun out, Wildairo tries to approach me and Foxsun puts his ears flat back till they disappear into his winter coat and he chases Wildairo away from me. Wildairo keeps trying to get back to me and so around and around they go. I don't like to be in the middle of a horse chase.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Foxsun down but not out.

I went out to feed the horses this afternoon and I saw Foxsun sitting down. This is very unusual for him. I have rarely seen him lie down. I got out my camera and took a picture for evidence that he does in fact sit down every now and again.


Once I got closer it became apparent to me he was unwell.


He was groaning and in pain. I got very worried and I tried to get him up by pulling him up under his chin, pushing against his back and even pulling his hooves. I didn't think to take the time to get a halter or rope.

He kept groaning and stretched out his neck and put his chin on the ground. For one awful moment I thought he was going to roll and twist his gut.


I went over and banged on the gate calling him like I was going to let him out, but he looked at me with such a painful look. I threw hay into Wildairo's hay bucket knowing that he always chases Wildairo off when I do that. Just more groaning. I then pushed a carrot into the side of his mouth and he was kind of forced to munch it. But when offered one he wouldn't take it. I called Brad on my cell phone but couldn't reach him. I'd walked over to the corrals so I had to walk home which seemed to take forever because I cannot run any more, (replaced ankle).

Once home I managed to reach Brad who informed me he wouldn't be home for hours and said I should call the vet. I wrote down the number of our Ritzville vet and in case he was gone the Moses Lake vet's number too, and drove back to the corrals to find Foxsun still looking pretty sick. I remember in the past when Foxsun has groaned, refused to move and looked pretty pathetic, but quickly recovered, so I decided to try a few more thing before calling in the cavalry. I went back home and got some Phenylzone Paste. I planned to put his halter on to try to pull him up to see what was wrong with him and if necessary give a squirt of the Phenylzone paste. You see it would take a vet awhile to get out to us because Ritzville is 35 miles away and Moses Lake is 50 miles away. I was so frightened and was trying hard to keep it together.

When I got back to the corrals Foxsun was standing up with his head buried deep into Wildairo's hay bucket. Wildairo was standing in the corner looking like he just got a whooping.

The old boy was standing with his four legs planted under him in a regular fashion and seemed to be in tip top shape for a horse that looked to be at deaths door a few moments before. I swore at him and went to visit Echo.

When Brad got home he took the horses their grain and reported back that Fox was standing with his head over the gate and shouting for his old horse dinner. He must have had a belly ache. Meanwhile I'm still trying to recover from my huge fright.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Echo is more than a one trick pony.

Echo has been very nice with me lately. He seems to have accepted me as a friend. How do young mustangs show friendship? Well it’s not by letting their friends put a halter on them or picking up their hooves. No, young mustangs like to play with their friends. He’s made some playful moves towards me. Here’s an example; when I’m walking around his corral looking for his baby teeth, he waits till I’m in the corner where his hay is, then comes over and stands in front of me to stop me from moving forward. He blows his nose air on me, rubs my hair with his nose and gently plays with my jacket. He did this several times. I could see him waiting till I was close to that corner, then he’d make his move to cut me off and to hold me there. He was by no means being aggressive or pushy. I’d foil his ambush plans and stop in another corner and hold my hand high in the air and say, “Echo! Step up”. He briskly walks over and put his nose up on my hand and rubs it firmly up my hand once. If I hold it there and repeat “Step up”, he does it again. All the time I thought I was loosing ground with him this winter and it wasn’t true. Not only does he remember the trick I taught him last fall but he’s doing it with great confidence now.

He lets me rub my forehead on his face and even give him kisses. But he will only let me touch one part of his face with my hand and that’s the part where the carrots go in!
Last fall when I went to touch his cheek, he whirled away from me like I was going to give him an electric shock. I decided because we were all kissy face now, I’d try to touch his cheek again. This time he didn’t whirl away or even step back much. The little stinker nipped my hand in a playful manner. He didn’t use his teeth, just his lips. I know enough not to do that again till I have some control over his head.

William is home for the three day weekend. It’s so lovely to have him here. I thought I wasn’t going to see him till Spring break but he’s come home twice since Christmas. I asked Will and Brad to come over to the corrals so Echo could get used to more people around while we do our routine. Echo was leery of two other people watching and kept looking at them instead of me. We did manage to do our little trick but I don’t think they were all that impressed because Brad shouted out, “when are you going to put a halter on him”? I explained soon as the weather warms up I’ll have the little lad in a halter. I just thought that (almost) anyone can make a horse do stuff when they have him on the end of a rope, but it takes a bit more patience and trust to get a ungentled mustang to do thing’s with a voice command and a hand signal. Anyway, I’m having more fun than I’ve had for years. I’ve had a horrible flare up of my Sarcoidosis and have been feeling much pain and weakness. I've had to really force myself to do anything, yet after a few minutes of being with the mustangs I feel so much better.

I asked Brad to go over give Wildairo his muffin. Safeway was out of the bran muffins, so this week it was a big berry one for him instead. I peeked over there and saw Brad eating most of it. He claimed he only had a little taste. Good job I have more muffins for both of them.

After we spent time with the Mustangs we went for a little drive and I took some photos.

Here’s an old house a few miles to the south of our place. Two big crows were sitting on the roof but they flew off when we stopped.


Here are Foxsun's friends who live on some leased ground south of our place. When Foxsun is up on the bluff he doesn't spent too much time visiting over the fence with these guys because he can't let the cattle out of his sight. It's been a few years since I said hello to these guys. We were on a county road and our place is behind them.


They are very friendly. One of them is a cute little mule.




Monday, February 9, 2009

Tooth fairy visits the Aubergine Bay Mustang

These little works of art are in fact Echo's baby teeth.


I searched around his corral for them today. Echo thought it great fun and helped me look.

They are so tiny.


Here's the inside part of the tooth. It's kind of hollow like a cap.


The tooth fairy will be leaving Echo some apples tonight.

This is how you look inside a wild horses mouth. You just use the power of the mighty carrot.


Echo is such a small horse (or big pony). I am so looking forward to halter breaking him this spring. I'm planning how to do it so there will be less stress for Echo and me. He really likes and trusts me, so once I get my hands on him I think it will be a breeze. I'm really fond of the little guy. I can't wait to have fun with him. I'm also looking forward to finding out exactly how many hands he is.

Here's his cute little feet.


He's so muddy and has a knot in his mane. It drives me crazy that I can't groom him yet. He was sniffing Bobby through the fence here. He's so impressed when I call Bobby and she comes. He thinks I have magical powers over all animals. Bless his little heart.


He was rubbing his nose on my hand and playing with my jacket. His color is Aubergine Bay. Pronounced O-BER-JEAN. (Eggplant). A very rare and exotic color. Ha ha, I just made that up to see if I could get a new horse color fad started. Really though, Echo's coat is really purple in the sun light, and I think it's awesome


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wildairo see's something new and Echo learns a lesson.

I had a dream last night. It was a wonderful dream. In my dream it was like the old days, I was painfree, strong and full of energy. I went into Echo's corral with a lasso and roped him. He put up a tiny struggle but then let me pull him to me. He stood still and I stroked his neck. It was wonderful. I couldn't stop smiling and he relaxed and enjoyed being touched.

When Echo wore a halter and lead rope for those first few days, he put up a tiny resistance when I pulled him over to me, then just came when I gave a little tug and called him.

I noticed it was 50 degrees outside when I went out to visit the horses. I turned Foxsun out again. Wildairo wanted to go out as well. I think I better wait till Brad's around before I let him out.

Foxsun got a nice rub down. I cannot feel any of the dreaded Pigeon fever swellings on him and he's put on some weight over winter.
Poor Foxsun never did grow much of a forelock or mane.


Once Foxsun was gone I showed my hiking poles to Wildairo who thought they were pretty neat.




He had a little nibble to see if they tasted good.

I tried bashing away at the frozen ground to make a little ditch to drain away a puddle in Echo's corral. I got some of the water to drain away. Even though the ice has melted the ground is still frozen and keeping it trapped.

Echo has stopped imagining that monsters are coming over the bluff to eat him but he is acting very nervous towards me. I was a bit bothered that he had taken a step backwards. I haven't done much with him because of the ice everywhere and I didn't want him to slip and fall. But today I thought now was my chance while the ice has melted. I walked behind him and before he could turn to face me, I flipped the plastic bag of carrots in his direction and he quickly moved forward then spun to face me, snorting and tossing his head. I held my hand up and told him to "step up". To my amazement he did. He walked right up to me and touched my hand. I gave him a baby carrot for being so good. I did it several more times while I was stepping backwards and making him touch his nose on my hand. Just like I taught him to do last fall. The way he does it is so sweet. It's like he's grateful that we can do something together.

All the little lad wants is leadership. He's a follower and that's the reason he gets so scared being alone in his corral.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Echo goes mental (again) and Wildairo learns a lesson.

When Wildairo has this look on his face I tell him to 'knock it off' and he gets no treats. This is also the look that Foxsun attempts to cure by giving him a kick.


One day I hope Wildairo realizes that looking at people this way gets him no favors.

I told him to 'just knock it off' and turned and walked away from him. He came to his senses and acted nice, which made me talk to him nice, which made him soften up even more. Then that got him some kisses. Not too many though because his nose smelled like pee. Once he was really nice I gave him a bran muffin and some carrots. When I left he attacked the gate with his teeth and feet trying to get more attention. Same old lovable Wildairo.

Mean while Echo had gone completely mental. The day before he was so sweet. He sniffed me and played with my hangie down hat bobbles. But he did get a bit frightened when he flipped one of the bobbles up with his nose and thought it was going for him. What a difference a day makes with him. He wouldn't take his eyes off the bluff. He was on high alert for danger and stayed that way for an hour. Hearing Echo's warning snort, Wildairo had a quick look and thought the whole danger thing was a waste of time. Wildairo knows the real danger is from strangers who try to chop your hooves off.


Echo was badly wanting to have a good old fashion stampede. He would grab a carrot from me when I called his name. I notice he knows his name and has forgot he was #7915.
Yesterday and today he was in a even worse state.

It was the same when he got paranoid about the fence. It took him days to calm down. I'm cutting back his oats!