Another Day At The Farm

Puff has a nap.  Waiting for me to finish cleaning the barn is boring.

Puff has a nap. Waiting for me to finish cleaning the barn is boring.

The mighty black panther stalks the yard.

The mighty black panther stalks the yard.

It's a hole, it's a hole it's a hole oh boy oh boy it's a hole...

It’s a hole, it’s a hole it’s a hole oh boy oh boy it’s a hole…

Where to next?

Where to next?


It's a hole.

It’s a hole.

IT'S A HOLE.

IT’S A HOLE.

OMYGOD MOST INTERESTING HOLE EVER.

OMYGOD MOST INTERESTING HOLE EVER.

It's a cave!

It’s a cave!

Nope, just another hole.

Nope, just another hole.

Grazing without a shower for a change.  (Yes, the dark on the ground is divots of dirt from the wet ground being chewed up.)  Look at that shiny copper penny coat.

Grazing without a shower for a change. (Yes, the dark on the ground is divots of dirt from the wet ground being chewed up.) Look at that shiny copper penny coat.

Lucky's new haircut.  Shows off his neck.

Lucky’s new haircut. Shows off his neck.

Guess who had a walk around in a circle with a saddle on his back? Yep, Tice, that’s who. He appears to need a 48 girth, which is mostly what I wanted to know. He behaved quite well putting it on (a Crosby PDN with a foam riser and fleece pad), actually, and walking a quick circuit outside with just a chain lead and halter, but decided to try fussing in the cross ties. Backing up until we decided to stand seems to work, though. Lucky may get some exercise later–Mr. R’s son, who’s been helping clean the barn when I’m not here (Mr. R started doing it while Dad was in the hospital) has a half-day and might be able to come and try riding. For all the stuff he’s shoveled, he’s earned it. If they can’t come today, I may just tool around a bit. The ground’s still soft so nothing exciting. Any time the rain wants to give it up would be fine with me.

It Must Be National Be Nice To Owners Week

And I missed the memo. First nanny goat, who normally is more or less indifferent to me provided the food keeps coming, wanted me to stand scritching between her horns all night. Today after dinner at the barn last check instead of scarfing the new hay I put in, Tice wanted me to stand there and scratch his face and play with him and generally pay him attention. This resulted in only two attempts to bite which I don’t think were mean-spirited. Lucky, meanwhile, stuffed his face. He’ll regret it when, weather permitting, he has to work tomorrow.

Meanwhile, this is what Tucker looks like when Mom and Dad go out (when I go out, she doesn’t care.):

Sad Corgi is sad.

Sad Corgi is sad.

If they loved me, they would take me with them, and leave these other dogs here.  I'm not a dog.  I'm a people.

If they loved me, they would take me with them, and leave these other dogs here. I’m not a dog. I’m a people.

Back to reading “Seabiscuit.” I should be using my time more productively, but oh, well.

Ugh. Shedding Season.

I think I have more hair on me than they have left on them. Also, Lucky got a haircut. He’s too embarrassed for pictures. But I cut about eight inches of matted mane off, and I mean all the way to the roots off. He’s going to thank me when it’s hot out. They both start SmartBugOff today, have a super killer new fly spray, and Dad’s putting out the fly predators and fly strips. The bugs will be defeated, but at this rate they’ll finish shedding just in time to grow in their winter coats

What is this green stuff which grows on the ground?!?

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Yes, it’s going to be a fuzzy, fuzzy week as all the fluff comes off, but yes, there is GROUND!  With GRASS!  And yes, we may finally have fed Tice enough that he is not skinny.  (He still is a bottomless pit, though.  U-gard and SmartCalm Ultra have not taken the edge off an appetite that makes Cookie Monster look abstemious.)

Also, Lucky and Tice wish to congratulate their mutual “cousin” CALIFORNIA CHROME on his dominating victory in the Kentucky Derby.  (Tice is related via A.P. Indy, sire of Pulpit and Tice, while both Lucky and Chrome have Olympia in their fifth generations, in Chrome’s case through Lucky Pulpit’s dam.  Though Lucky, being triple linebred, shows a lot more of that sprinter style.)

Didn’t We Used to Winter In Florida (or Cali?)

Or so Lucky and Tice say.  It’s cold and the snow that melted has turned to ice, and now the wind is back.  There’s not much to do beyond stand under the sheds and eat until it’s time to go back in, where Lucky again stands and eats and Tice eats and fusses.

In related news, Tice’s very own SmartPaks have arrived.  Yes, I drank the SmartPak Kool-Aid.  Or at least decided if I’m going to give them something it’s easier just to order it than keep going to the store.  He’ll be getting SmartCalm Ultra, to deal with Mr Fussy McFussypants, and U-Gard, as his piggishness and fussy behavior may be equally related to stomach issues as “stuck in the barn and unable to go past a walk when out.”  Today UPS left a big box at the side door and inside was the drawer full of his first month’s supply.

Christmas Is Coming: A Carol

Christmas is coming.

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The goats are getting fat.

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(So are the cats.)

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Take a guess which Corgi chewed a hole in my hat.

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(It was Tucker.)

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If you ever had a Thoroughbred no other breed will do.

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If you haven’t got a Thoroughbred then God bless you!

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MERRY CHRISTMAS! from the Home For Wayward Geldings, and all the other critters.

Old School Versus New School Horsemanship

Old School Versus New School Horsemanship.

Gunpowder Joins the In Crowd

Just in time for the first snowfall of the year and the first really cold temperatures, someone up there decided that the dog to cat ratio in my house is out of balance. Not to mention this whole equilibrium between males and females in the pet world could’t possibly be right. Their Royal Pickypantses have decided that We do not like Friskies canned food right now. We are even being picky about Fancy Feast. So the other morning I said “Fine, if you don’t like it, the cat next door will.” Cat next door is actually more backyard cat, as she likes to hide in my garage and hunt at my feeders. She technically belongs next door, and I know from speaking to them they found a dead kitten earlier this year and assumed she’d lost any she had. I put out the can, and left for my dance lesson. When I got back a few hours later, I saw her sneaking out along the far wall of the garage, and went to the back of my car to watch where she went.

Then I heard the meow behind me.

Oh hi.

Oh hi.

Apparently in yard cat’s world, one half-grown adolescent male kitten is a fair trade for 2/3 a can of Friskies mixed grill. He took only a little coaxing for petting, then once I picked him up he stuck his nose in my elbow and purred really loud. Now, this was my Friday (which is not everyone else’s Friday, because my workplace is 24/7/365 so we all have different weeks) and I was leaving in the morning for my parents’ to pick up the dogs, who’d been visiting while I was at Teslacon. So I did what any reasonable person would do: turned my mud room into a hastily-arranged kitty quarantine center and put him in. He was great until the dogs arrived, and then the surprise of having three boisterous canines come barging through the door sent him scaling up my cross-country ski bag. He had, however, also somehow killed a vole for me. How it got in the mud room, I’m not sure, but scratch one rodent. With more time, I set up the smaller but warmer hall bathroom as quarantine #2 until I could get him into the vet, where he was found to be perfectly healthy and about six months old. Apparently this explains the scratching noises in the garage the last few months. I thought it was more birds.

So far, Maggie is finding him interesting, especially as when he’s not surprised by them, he’s rather placid about dogs. Tucker and Puff like cats who ignore them. Sundae is still more upset about PUPPY!!!! than another cat, PC seems grudgingly accepting. Only Marcus is cranky, and he limits it to growling and marveling at how much food a cat who only weighs six pounds can put away. Gunpowder’s amazed at the magic food bowls that always seem to get refilled.

Why Gunpowder? It was November 5th.

Goings and Comings and Goings-On

Thanks for the well-wishes, prayers and jingles for Dad. He’s doing much better, though suggestions for good-tasting recipes that are low-sodium, low-fat, and don’t involve citrus would be nice. We’re also lucky to have great neighbors–Mr. R. and his son have been helping with barn-cleaning, and even installed overhead lights right in the stalls (yay, now I can see the mess in detail!), while Mr. R and Mr. L, one of the hunters who uses the front forty, worked on repairing the barn lean-to’s roof. The horses were heartbroken, heartbroken I say, at having to stand in their stalls eating hay all afternoon.

In the ‘goings’ category: I had the horrible shock of losing my big fat fluffy kitty, Jet, two weeks ago. front

Dr. W., the vet down here, said that large breeds and their crosses, which Jet clearly was, often have heart defects. Everyone at the vet’s was very nice. They’d already seen a lot of me–Jet and Marcus had just been in for their shots with Maggie in for her heartworm check, grown-up shots, and she was coming back for her spay, while Tucker had unexpected trips to the emergency room and was due in the next day to have staples removed. (Lesson learned: No matter how tough Corgis think they are, they cannot take three pit bulls but are far too dumb to back down. Though apparently an elderly cataract-afflicted skinny hard-of-hearing shepherd mix can leap into the fray and trot out without a scratch on him. I think there is some sort of reason other dogs respect Puff.) I had Jet privately cremated, so I could take him back to my parents’ house to bury him next to his littermate.

Some of you may be saying, “Wait…Maggie?”

That Maggie.

That Maggie.

Maggie was originally bought by my neighbor as a tinypuppy for his granddaughter. Pretty much since she was old enough to run, she has spent every moment she could get away in my yard. Case in point: I was digging up weeds in the garden and POW, Corgi to the back of the legs. I think at the point when they brought her over and put her on the line by the doghouse in my yard (the granddaughter tends to lose interest in puppies, and unfortunately my neighbor was in hospice care and his daughter simply couldn’t manage all the animals-speaking of which, now he’s passed, does anyone want a kid wether or a Saanen-cross nanny? I’m trying to sell them for her as she needs to downsize his animals), which lasted about as long as it took for me to flea-dip her, Maggie was thinking “I KNEW IT! I knew there was a mistake and I was delivered to the wrong house and I was supposed to be here all along!”

Tucker does not recall asking for a Mini-Me.  (No, they're not related. I know Maggie's breeder and he doesn't know where Tucker, whom I got from the county shelter, came from.)

Tucker does not recall asking for a Mini-Me. (No, they’re not related. I know Maggie’s breeder and he doesn’t know where Tucker, whom I got from the county shelter, came from.)

It didn’t take long for the situation to be permanent. That meant grown-up shots, spay, and a surgery to fix her umbilical hernia (the latter two much to her breeder’s relief. He was a friend of my neighbor’s and while he sold them Maggie, he wasn’t really thrilled with her being left to potentially breed.)

He’s also the person who kindly helped me get my fair goat home, and as you can see, Maggie and Tucker know their ancestral duty:

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As for the Home For Wayward Geldings?

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I’m debating whether or not they’re going to need turnout sheets for winter. They’re already growing in their fuzzy coats (Lucky always looks filthy once he grows in the fuzz, as if it has magic dirt-retention properties) and I generally don’t blanket as I don’t clip, but I always end up pondering.

Quick Notes

Not really much time/mood for a long post, and not a lot of photos as mom and I have been busy. Dad (as featured elsewhere in the blog) is in the hospital and is going to have heart surgery on a faulty valve tomorrow, so I am taking care of animals while Mom stays at the hospital until they’re done tomorrow. The dogs are confused, while the horses are surprisingly well-behaved. Hopefully they’re happy that I trucked a 10 cubic foot load of muck out as Mom couldn’t clean the barn for a couple days while they were sorting out where Dad would go for surgery.

Along for the ride Tuesday evening (my boss, the understanding Chef S., arranged a shift swap for me so I could start my “weekend” early) was Toby, aka Steamgoat. He’s currently spending the days staked out working on eating all the wood sorrel everywhere and spending the night in the Brenderup (we realized: covered, he can’t get out, warm, nothing can get in, easy to put in a haybag and buckets…Dad suggested using the little plastic mounting block so he could climb through the access door, too. It works!)

And the first night, walking him out there, we stopped in the barn to get hay. Mom held Toby while I fussed with the hay and horses, and we learned something: someone, somewhere, in a track barn in California or New Mexico, had a goat around, because fussy, attentive, typical TB Tice didn’t even look twice. “Yeah, that’s a goat. Where is my overnight hay? Faster, human slaves!” And no one in any of the barns Lucky occupied in Florida, Delaware, or New York had anything close, because Lucky was FASCINATED. He stared, he had to sniff noses, he was vastly more interested in Toby than in more hay. Probably because he still had some and he even deliberately crunched it by the stall bars so Tice (who is the equine vacuum cleaner and never has a scrap left after dinner) could hear.

No riding this week, and tomorrow I once again have to haul the canines and caprine back so I can get to work by 6pm. I swear, I need a bumper sticker that says “Yes, it’s a goat.” It would save people a lot of strange looks.

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