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Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened.

Ride with your heart and soul ~ your horse can feel it


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Caution!

 **This post contains images and discussion that some people may not be comfortable with, please feel free to click away now**

Monday night when we let the dogs out for final potty Tucker didn't come in right away.  I thought he was maybe eating grass (he's been doing that lately) and when I shone the flashlight on him he still wouldn't come in.  So I threw on snowboots and trudged over to where he was eating grass blood.  
(I warned ya to click away, there will be pictures of the end result of the blood... you have been twice warned)
It was dark and cold, and I was tired so I scooted Tuck back up to the house and mentioned to Pie that if he had to let the dogs out during the night to keep a very close eye on them as there was a good sized patch of blood just across the driveway from the garage.
I got up for work Tuesday morning and because I was running late I didn't have time to investigate, other than snapping a quick pic with my cell phone... which I posted to Facebook with a few words about how we were possibly missing a barn cat.
Fast forward to Pie calling me at work late this afternoon, "You have to come home & let me in, I've locked myself out!!"
(feel free to laugh, I sure did)
I told my BIL and FIL that I had to go home and let Pie in and got my butt home as quickly as I could.  When I pulled into the driveway there was a strange vehicle there, turns out it was the neighbour Pie had flagged down and borrowed a cell from to call for help.  I thought it was pretty nice that he had stayed until I got there.
He & Pie told me they had investigated that bloody spot while they were waiting for me and that all our barn cats are alive and well.  And that it wasn't a neighbour's cat or rabbit... it was a deer.
**pictures forthcoming, including the deer kill... 
you have been thrice warned
 turn away now or do not complain**
Turns out this neighbour we had just met was a hunter and he looked at the tracks... the story unfolds that ONE dang coyote stalked and chased and ultimately killed a full grown deer.  There were tracks showing where it all happened, including where the deer was attacked but managed to get away.  She sought shelter alongside the two little pines beside the driveway, which is where the blood pooled, probably from an abdominal wound.  The little 'feast' Tucker was into last night.
 Honestly I'm so used to seeing deer tracks through the yard, and I know the coyotes have been going through, seeing tracks like this is nothing new.  It was pretty neat to see them through the eyes of someone that could put the story together.
 A tuft of bloody fur from near where the doe was attacked but managed to get away...
 The guys had told me where the remains of the carcass were so of course I had to go investigate.  Like I said the coyotes have been getting really bold around here.  ALL of this went down between 50' and 500' from the house.  This pic looking back at the garage was taken from where they had their supper.  Those pine trees on the left?  That's one of our dogs's potty spots!
 In less than 24 hours this is all that's left.  You can see there are a LOT of tracks around her, we had fresh snowfall* on Saturday and this is the hayfield where no horses/cattle have been turned out.
*the snowfall didn't amount to much, as you can see there are still plenty of spots with grass sticking out

 And these are the tracks looking toward the back of the hayfield/pasture area, that fence on the left is between our property and Neighbour Tom's.  I'm pretty sure they're living in those small hills at the back of his pasture.
 Now a couple of things to clarify...
I'm not mad the coyotes killed a deer.  I'm concerned for the safety of my critters.
The coyotes around this area are getting bolder and bolder.  In part because there are not many guardian dogs out here for the past few years.  There used to be quite a few but some got old, some were killed and some wandered away.  (and yes I know Hera is not up to the job yet, she's just a baby)
Also the coyotes have a lot to eat out here as far as wildlife, and I'm sure they're picking off barn cats, chickens, dogs, etc.  They're also exceptionally healthy looking, so they're obviously not starving.
It wasn't that long ago that they would not have dared hunt that close to the house/barnyard unless they were under duress.  And yes I know, that deer may have been ill/injured and a tempting target... I still don't like how at home the coyotes are feeling.  So we're keeping an extra close eye on the critters.  And hopefully soon I'll have my firearms certificate and can fire off a couple shots to scare them away when they're too close.

(and now I've probably driven away my few remaining blog readers)

About those unimpressed cats

Yikes!  I meant to fill y'all in on the unimpressed barn kitties a bit sooner, then time got away from me.  Things have been a tad busy.  And are looking to get busier (hey at least I'll have something to blog about lol)

Anyway, I had shown you how unimpressed the barn kitties were looking.  And really why shouldn't they when Pie & I had the NERVE to bring home THIS:
Meet Hera.  She's our new LGD, a 5 month old Great Pyrenees puppy.  Our awesome small animal vet Doc L (Moose's mom!) had told us about one of her clients having a litter of really nice pups after Echo went missing, we just weren't ready at the time.
Well with how bad the coyotes have been lately, and with planning on getting chickens and at some point those Dexters will be having teeny calves (they're not bred yet, they're still too young) we decided that a livestock guardian isn't really just a 'want' its going to be a need.  Turns out there were four female pups left from that litter. 
I had never seen or heard of Pyr pups other than the white/cream, this whole litter had badger markings! 
The cats aren't too impressed, but they seem to be slowly coming around.  After all who could resist this face?
(not to mention I know the coyotes have been in the pens by the barn and the shelter belt trees between the house & barn! so the cats better learn to appreciate Hera, she'll be protecting them!)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday Stills ~ Trees

The Sunday Stills challenge this week:
 Sara from Punkin’s Patch suggested this weeks challenge……great minds think alike because I was out on a little photo trip and thought the same thing. Trees…….naked in this part of the world yet. I think a four seasons challenge with the same tree would be great too in the future.

I'm a little late getting my photos up today.  I didn't have anything current that I was happy with so on my way home from my photo class I pulled over at a couple trees I like in my area and got some better shots.

I just like the shape of these two trees, in separate but adjoining pastures.  I like the way they stand alone, most trees around here are just little stands of bush:

And these trees... in the summer I really like how they look all leafed out, some fallen others bending and twisting.  Often with some Charlois taking shelter:

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Its like a foreign language

I think I mentioned it awhile ago, but if I haven't... I signed up for a beginner DSLR photography class.  For me things like aperature, noise, filters, lights, etc are like trying to figure out a foreign language.  I'm hoping to learn how to use my camera better and feel more comfortable when I take it out of auto (which I have, but I've always felt a bit like I'm gambling when I do). Its a  Nikon D90, I've had it a couple years and I tend to joke that it's smarter than me lol 
I've been wanting to take a class for awhile but with my somewhat wonky schedule it was tough to find one that I could get to.  Then just before Christmas I stumbled on Matt Ramage's ad on kijiji, the classes were affordable and on Sundays, I could go!
So far we've had one class and I thought I'd share my homework with y'all.  They might not exactly be "pretty" pics, and I paid no attention to composition at all so please forgive that.  Also Matt wanted the pics SOOC* so the only alteration I've made to them is to add my little watermark (which tends to be fairly inconspicuous anyway)  In a nutshell, the assignment was to keep your subject in the foreground sharp while blurring the background as much as possible, by using a low Fstop. 
Hoar frost
Wire knot
Those first two pics were taken with the lens that came with my camera, it's an 18-105mm VR lens.  Matt had recommended a prime 50mm lens as a handy one to have in any kit and said that it would be especially useful for pics like this.  I found one for a not too bad price so I got it, and I was glad I did!  The next three were taken with it and the difference is noticable. 
George's nose
Applejack's eye
Needles

*SOOC Straight Out Of Camera

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Funny ~ Murphy's Horse Laws

Murphy's Horse Laws

There is no such thing as a sterile barn cat.
No one ever notices how you ride until you fall off.
The least useful horse in you barn will eat the most, require shoes every four weeks and need the vet at least once a month.
A horse's misbehavior will be in direct proportion to the number of people who are watching.
Your favorite tack always gets chewed on, and your new blanket gets torn.
Tack you hate will never wear out and blankets you hate cannot be destroyed.
Horses you hate cannot be sold and will out live you.
Clipper blades will become dull when your horse is half clipped.
If you approach within fifty feet of your barn in clean clothes, you will get dirty.
The number of horses you own will increase to the number of stalls in your barn.
Your barn will fall down without baling twine.
Hoof picks always run a way from home.
If you fall off, you will land on the site of your most recent injury.
If you are winning, then quit, because there is only one way to go. Down!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Do it like Bubba



Sweet Home Alabama is a dating show pitting city boys against country boys... and I'll admit one of my fav guys is Bubba.  Dustin (this singer in this video) is a city boy who is making a name for himself on Youtube with songs like the one above and "I'm Country & I Know It"

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Stills ~ Textures

This week's Sunday Stills challenge:
 "Shirley suggested doing textures again…..I think it’s a great idea. If you want to suggest a new challenge or re-do another old one let me know."

I decided to take the challenge a step further and give myself a theme.  I pondered a few... nature?  Fabrics? Metals?  Then it hit me, it should be what's closest to my heart.  So here you go, Textures (ranchette style)


1) Odin's ear.  I LOVE how fuzzy his ears are, and how the inner hairs are so much lighter

2) the weave of a feed bag
3) the rough texture of a (slightly gnawed on) fence rail
4) the fuzzy softness of a No Bow, laying over a stall wall waiting to be used
5) a "crazy" cow nose

Which one was YOUR favourite??

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Checking in with the boys

Its been a couple months since I've given you an update on the colts (other than Odin's "boo boo")  So Thursday I made sure to snap some pics while we were down at the barn.
They're both a bit butt high right now, but I'm pretty pleased with how they're coming along.  This summer the plan is to do some ground work with them and if all goes well to pony them out some.
I had just tied Odin here, so he's not really set up
And a butt shot, again not set up.  He's much more finer built than Tavi is, but once he's working some he should build up decent muscle.
I really like this shot of Pie & Tavi (I should print it for the photo album)  Tavi is gonna be a monster!  Pie is about 6'.  Keep in mind both colts won't be 2 until end of June/beginning of July.
(oh and that halter is 'raspberry' not pink) ;)
The first thing that comes to mind when I see this pic is "I like big butts and I cannot lie..." lol
The second thing that comes to mind with this pic is that it looks like Tavi & Pie are sharing secrets, so I like this shot a lot too. :)
 Being turned out with the big boys and having the run of the pasture seem to be paying off for Tavi.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Funny ~ Elephant

One day an elephant was down at the river having a drink when he noticed a turtle sunning on a nearby log. 
He walked over to the turtle and kicked it clear across the river!
A giraffe, who had witnessed the scene, asked "What on earth did you do that for?"
The elephant answered "That turtle took a nip out of my trunk 34 years ago."
"Wow, what a memory!" said the giraffe.
The elephant replied, "Yep, turtle recall."

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Doggie play day

Tuesday afternoon it was super nice outside so Pete & I spent some time outside just letting the dogs romp around.
Despite these pics looking snowy, its not really.  These were taken in the back yard, where the snow is deepest.  Those trees in the background, that tall grass at their base is normally covered (yep I'm still singing the no snow blues lol)
We've had a big milestone here for Walter.  He finally learned that he CAN go down the deck stairs on his own!  Which means no more nudging him off the top step ;)



Wednesday, February 15, 2012

(almost) Wordless Wednesday ~ Unimpressed

The barn kitties are not very impressed... 
I'll let y'all know why in a few days.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday Stills ~ From the heart

This week's Sunday Stills challenge: "I was walking through Wally World the other day and noticed all the Valentines stuff they had out on display…….everything from flowers to marshmallow (my favourite) hearts. So in honour of Valentines Day lets get creative and take some pictures from the heart. It can be anything from candy and flowers to a home cooked meal or a child out having fun."

Well Pie & I don't have childern, at least not human ones.  But I caught our two 'little boys' napping together on the couch, curled up almost into a heart shape:

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Update ~ Odin's leg

I'm really impressed with how Odin's leg is healing.  It seems like when you have a wound in the winter it heals better/quicker than in the summer (with proper care of course)  Add in that he's a youngster so his cells are already more active and its almost like you can watch it heal!  In the winter there's also no flies, I wonder if that contributes to faster healing?
He is still a bit of a drama queen about bandage changes, but at least it can be done without 'happy juice' now.  You know the stereotype about men being huge babies and acting like they're dieing if they get so much as a cold?  Yeah, that's Odin and his leg. Its actually kinda humorous.  He'll turn his head and stare at Scott, then turn it and stare at his leg, back to Scott. 

Here's the pic from this past Wednesday, before cleaning.  That crusty stuff is the wound cream not pus:
Feb 8/12

Here's a pic from today.:
(sorry the quality isn't as good, it was hard to get the camera to focus because its SO cold)
Feb 11/12

And to compare, here is the original pic.  Taken the day of the first bandage change two days after the vet was out:
Feb 2/12

Friday, February 10, 2012

This 'lion' is a ham!

Friday Funny ~ Rattlesnakes

Felix was playing golf with our town's fire chief when he hit a ball into the rough.

As Felix headed for the brush to find his ball, the chief warned him, "Be careful, the rattlesnakes are out."
The chief explained that calls had been coming in all week requesting assistance with removing the snakes.

"You've got to be kidding," Felix replied in astonishment.  "People actually call the fire department to help them with rattlesnakes?  What do you say to them?"

"Well," said the chief, "the first thing I ask is, 'Is it on fire?'"

Monday, February 6, 2012

Decadently Delicious

This pic got enough comments that I thought I should elaborate on it.  Its one of my favourite 'adult beverages' and is known around here as a Paralyzer.

To make one take 1/2 ounce Kahlua 1/2 ounce vodka, pour into glass over ice.  Add about 2/3 cola and 1/3 cream (we use a cream mixed with milk)  Add a straw, stir and enjoy!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday Stills ~ Liquids

This week's Sunday Stills challenge:  
For this next weeks challenge get some shots of liquids……any kind. You can get lake water or coffee, I don’t care just NO ARCHIVES!!!

I took both my photos at work this week.  The first is a shot of our fountain, the second is pure deliciousness.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Quick Update

We changed Odin's bandage today.  The good news is that the wound is looking really good.  The bad news is he's a little spitfire and was not a good patient.  "Double barrel kick directed at my head" kinda bad patient (and no he didn't connect)
Pie & I want to be able to do this ourselves but when it got that bad I called my friend Scott.  Thankfully he was able to pop over and with the aid of some 'happy juice' he & Pie got the job done, Odin was still a bit PO'd at me although he's over that now.
Scott's agreed to come over for the next few bandage changes, basically until Odin realizes this isn't such a big deal after all.  (thank you Scott!)

Now I'm not sure if y'all noticed, but I managed to post every single day in January!  Don't expect that to keep up though lol  I've got a few irons in the fire now and I'm not sure what my 'free time' is going to look like for the next little while.  One of the things I'm really excited about is to get riding again now that my back is finally feeling somewhat better :)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Friday Funny ~ Cab ride

A British passenger in a taxi in Dublin leaned over to ask the driver a question and tapped him on the shoulder.  The driver screamed, lost control of the cab, nearly hit a bus, drove up over the curb, and stopped just inches from the edge of the bridge over the Liffey River.
For a few moments everything was silent in the cab, and then the still shaking driver said, "I'm sorry, but you scared the devil out of me."
The frightened Brit apologized to the driver and said he didn't realize a mere tap on the shoulder could frighten an Irishman so much.
The driver replied, "Will the saints in Heaven forgive me -- it's entirely my fault.  Today is my first day driving a cab.  I've been driving a hearse for the last 25 years."

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Odin's leg

**this post contains graphic pics**
The vet was out Tuesday.  Unfortunately that is my one 'day shift' at work so I wasn't around but Pie was here to assist.  He did pretty good for being a non horsey hubbie.
Today was the first bandage change and my first really good look at what we're dealing with, it was quite a mess before the vet cleaned it up.
We will never know for sure how he did it, but the working consensus is that he got his leg caught in the feeder or was in the feeder and one of the other horses took after him and he banged it/scraped/gouged it getting out of the way.
Fortunately he managed to miss anything important such as tendons or tendon sheaths.  But it is bad, and it will be a long time healing.  Right now the estimate is 3-4 months of bandage changing, probably 10-12 months until it's fully healed.  Seeing as he's a colt and still growing that should help minimize how bad the scar will be when he's an adult and he should have no physical problems with that leg.
So here y'all go, as of today this is what its looking like:
his legs aren't really that bad conformationally, 
this is just a bad pic and he was being pissy

full view of the worst of it
his little tail was in the way enough 
to need to be knotted out of the way

close up, steam rising because it had just been cleaned
yep, that's bone you see
this is what has me worried the most

I'm very grateful to have a friend that lives nearby that came to help me with this initial bandage change.  I'll confess I'm not very good at wrapping legs.  Scott lives just down the road and breeds/trains/shows horses, and thankfully he's had a lot of experience with stuff like this.