Friday, 30 October 2009 14:35 by Jeanne
Smokie is no better, no worse. She is not in any discomfort. Since she made it very clear she did not want intervention, we'll just wait.
Pray, please pray. She deserves an easy passing if that is what is to be.
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 09:05 by Jeanne
Monday afternoon it was clear that Smokie had a mild stroke. She was listing to one side and unstable. She wasn't in any discomfort so after talking with the vet we decided to see how it all would play out.
She was fine yesterday;a little wobbly but otherwise ok.
Last night was a long one. Smokie walked in and out of her stall all night. Every couple of paces, she'd stop and spin like a quarter horse fifteen or more times at a shot.
She ate nothing, drank nothing. She just paced and spun.
This morning I let her out of the barn. She walked three or four feet, SPIN out of control, walk again, spin again.
I said a prayer asking God, Jesus, Mary, St Stephen and all the angels to intervene. I begged not to have to make the decision for Smokie to leave.
After an hour or so, I came down to the house to eat breakfast. 15 minutes later, Smokie was down. Her breathing was rapid and shallow. Her heart beat extremely irregular. She was unresponsive to touch. Minutes later, she stopped breathing for well over 5 seconds. Suddenly she gasped and returned to the shallow, high breath rate.
I loved on her, called Cheryl, called Pam, called the vet and called our back-hoe guy.
Smokie again stopped breathing. Not just a pause, but, stopped breathing for LONG enough that I was sure she was gone. I took my phone out of my pocket to call the vet to tell im not to come. She gasped and was breathing again.
I ducked into the house to email her sponsor and get carrots. Pam arrived and she, too, thought Smokie was already gone. But, Smokie startled out of her daze with a lurch.
Poor girl, it was about this time she tried to get up. Her hind end wouldn't cooperate.
We watched Doc pull into the drive. I told her, "Docky is here."
As soon as she heard his truck, she lifted her head and looked towards it. He got out and she simply got up and walked away...no circles, no spinning, no fuss, no muss.
I guess my prayers were answered.
Monday, 26 October 2009 11:40 by Jeanne
I'd like to try a new bedding for the ladies. The problem is that the initial switch over will be very expensive.
Here is the deal. We currently use sawdust that is delievered by the dump truck full at $238.50 per load. In the summer each load lasts about a month. In the winter, maybe 3 weeks. We have no place to store it inside so the pile sits behind the main barn. The delivery truck can only get back there (without getting stuck) if it has been dry for at least a week. Right now, the pile itself is causing flooding problems in Flagship's stall. We have our back hoe guy coming to move it further away from the barn. It will be even more exposed to weather and wind.
When the weather is dry, there is absolutely no problem with this saw dust. But, storing it outside during rainy times makes for a lot of extra work. First, wet sawdust is heavy. We move the saw dust by the wheel barrel full. This is NINETY EIGHT wheel barrel loads per week! It takes at least 7 trips per stall. Because it is stored outside, the sawdust is often wet and takes all week to dry in the stalls...the ladies have moist bedding. To make matters worse, we are pushing the wheel barrel through mud. When the saw dust is wet, it is very inefficient and non absorbant. We use TWICE as much as when it is dry.
In the winter, the pile freezes. It takes twice as long to get anywhere as we have to chip away at the frozen stuff.
I'd use straw in a HEARBEAT but until we have a hay shed to store it in, that isn't an option.
Before I left for Florida, the stalls in the small barn needed bedding. I couldn't even get the wheelbarrel through the mud. So, I bought some bagged bedding. In Ms Stalwart's stall, I used straight bagged bedding. Missy had some sawdust left so her's was mixed 3/4 bagged to 1/4 sawdust. Blue's was 1/2 and 1/2. Cruella has a good portion of sawdust so she only got 1 bag of the good stuff. None of these stalls were bedded as thickly as I like. BUT, instead of taking me two hours to bed the stalls, it only took me 20 minutes!
Here is the surprising thing. Ms. Stalwart's stall is STILL very nice! 11 days later! Oh, it needs to be thicker but MY GOODNESS!!! The barn still smells fresh, the stall looks great and my back isn't sore! The others are ok, Blue's needs more work than all of them and Cruella's is getting bare. Besides that, Stalwart's stall is NOTHING to clean! It's quick and easy.
The cost of this bedding is $6 per bag (if you buy 10 or more bags). Each stall could use 10 bags for initial start up. Maybe not that much but the thicker you bed it, the longer it lasts. After that, based on Ms. Stalwart's stall, I can get away with one bag every two weeks per stall. This will actually be less $$$ per month giving me some leeway for, um, less tidy mares.
I'd like to try bagged bedding through the winter. It is SO MUCH LESS WORK. By my calculations, bagged bedding will save me 10-15 hours a week labor!
The biggest issue I have is that even though the supplier, Woodford Spears, says he will deliver this first load free, it will be an $840 initial investment. (we are due to get another load of saw dust so this is $602 more than we would normally spend)...Woodford Spears says we can pay it off on time.
I am asking for help...this change would be very beneficial to the ladies because they will always have DRY bedding. It will help us IMMENSELY as it is so much LESS work. I am guessing it will take 10-15 hours LESS per week in stall management alone! I am almost in tears just thinking about it.
So I am asking for help with the intial cost. ANY $$ amount would be greatly appreciated. You can use our paypal account or send money directly to out supplier, Woodford Spears and Sons,INC, PO Box 143, Paris, KY, 40362. 859-987-2440. If you send a check, make sure you indicate in the memo place that this is for Our Mims Retirement Haven. If you call, talk to Steve Spears JR! The elder Mr. Spears is VERY elder and gets confused easily.
Again, anything you can send, be it even $1, saves me work.
Thursday, 22 October 2009 11:15 by Jeanne
I am sitting here with a heart full of love right now. For the last hour or so, I have been re-reading this blog. The memories of days gone by are wonderful and sometimes scary. First off, I am surprised at how many times Smokies Love has been in health trouble over the last few years. Geez, last winter I was sure she was going to die! And there she is today, standing out in the field as healthy as, well, healthy as a horse! In many posts, I asked for your prayers and I am certain it was those prayers that pulled her through. Thank you.
Wednesday, 21 October 2009 17:38 by Jeanne
It was a BEAUTIFUL day today. The temps PERFECT for horse, hoodlum and human. I was delayed getting to the stalls but as I was fixing the buckets of feed a strange thing happened. Instead of mixing food for the current ladies, I mixed the special recipes for Sugar and Spice, Iza Valentine, Jamra, Hero's Hurrah and Irvina! Funny because some of these fine equines have been gone for YEARS! And several never even pastured together. Weird, huh?
Tuesday, 20 October 2009 17:52 by Jeanne
The ladies are celebrating! They are running all over the pasture with wild abandon.
I came home from work at noon time to witness a race! Taba Dance, Timeless Sue, Bel's Starlet and Lotka stood at the pasture gate dozing. All of a sudden their heads flew up and in unison, they turned and bolted across the pasture towards the barn. Sue won by about three lengths with Lotka in second place. Poor Bel is carrying extra weight and was embarassed by her third place. Taba Dance didn't seem to mind coming in fourth. She was "in the money" anyway.
Later, as I was cleaning stalls, the Ladies took turns running here and there. All afternoon the air was full of the sound of galloping hooves. It was quite spectacular!
The only horse not racing today was Cruella, who, alas, is stall-bound with a hoof abcess. Oh, dear Cruella...any slight amount of pain and she falls apart. She isn't eating and REFUSES to leave her stall. The farrier has been notified. I expect to hear from him tomorrow. If he doesn't call, I'll have the vet come again.
Speaking of our WONDER VET, he is in need of prayers. Doc Burns has injured himself AGAIN! Several weeks ago, he rolled his truck on a country road. He felt ok at first but two days after the accident, he couldn't use his left arm! The injury is so severe, he may never get full use again. Please say some prayers. Not only is he a great person but the ladies need him!
Tuesday, 13 October 2009 18:03 by Jeanne
The ladies are starting to get FUZZY...their winter coats growing in and dapples only visable in their hind-quarters.
We have the winter blankets washed and ready! Good thing, too, as it is supposed to get into the THIRTIES at night very soon!
Oh, this time of year drives me crazy...BLANKETS and FLY MASKS!!!!! Darn this Kentucky weather!!!!!
Sunday, 4 October 2009 19:35 by Jeanne
The ladies sleep tonight, under cloudy skies. They are enjoying perfect "horse weather" with temperatures in the 60's.
Tomorrow morning, if the clouds have lifted, I can expect to see the Big Dipper's handle touching the tree tops. I know Smokies Love will be the first to the barn when I call for them. Hana Bride, Flagship, Ms. Stalwart and Missy White Oak will come in next. Cruella will stand anxiously within sight and call for Blue Viking hoping Blue will consider the meal that waits for her and hurry along. Timeless Sue will decide, on the spur of the moment, what she will do. Maybe she will come right away and maybe she won't. She is in charge now and ONLY she will decide how the morning will progress.
The rest will come inside when they feel like it. One thing I know for sure...I'll have to go after Lotka and any of her elderly hoodlums that choose to follow her at the given moment.
Sigh, I hope I am not late for work again. I would LOVE to leave early as we have so many visitors tomorrow.
Friday, 2 October 2009 18:43 by Jeanne
Hana Bride has a new game...
Ms. Royal Flagship can not STAND to have Hana more than ten feet away. Hana LOVES to tease her. The ladies leave the barn and head out to pasture, walking slowly over the rise and out of sight. There, they graze quietly taking in the cool autumn air.
THREE times now, as I am cleaning the stalls, I notice Hana sneaking back to the barn. She appears on the top of the hill, lowers her head and grazes. She'll hurry several steps, stop and graze, hurry towards the barn, stopping until the last fifty feet or so. Then she RUNS and disappears beside the barn only to peak around the corner.
I tell her, "Hana, you KNOW Flagship will be upset when she looks up and notices you are not there."
Hana's eyes twinkle.
Before long, there are horse screams from over the hill and the pounding of hooves as the panicked Flagship looks for Hana.
Hana's eyes twinkle even more.
Flagship practically FLIES to the barn, hollaring and Hana ducks behind the wall, out of sight.
Oh, boy! When Flagship finds Hana she is MAD! For about an hour after playing "hide-n-seek" Flagship treats Hana like a wayward foal, mothering her, pushing her around the pasture and keeping her in line!
Hana's eyes still twinkle.