Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Exercises in futility

Mother and friends spent a lot of time wandering around in the field, looking for my evil grazing muzzle. I either dug a hole and buried it, or talked the neighbor's dogs into taking it home with them... I can't remember which. I am certainly not going to let Mother know!

Mother is not pleased with me. She is downright irritable, in fact. She was irritated about my successful banishment of the hated muzzle, and her inability to see where I stashed it. She was angry because I wouldn't pose nicely for the camera when she actually had someone to help her, so she could get pictures of me "doing something besides standing there stuffing his face with grass, or standing there in the crossties"... so I just stand around in the field attached to a human?!?

That makes no sense, and I am quite sensible.

How could she be angry with me? I am perfection at all times. D'uh.

She has also been unhappy with me due to the copious quantities of burrs I've been filling my mane, forelock and tail with. She is talking about just roaching my mane, and being done with it. Does this look to you like something that needs removal?

Please, tell her I need it. (I don't really, but it is part of my gloriousness and I like it.)

She says without it, I would just look like this, on both sides... um, I still want to keep it. Please, Mother?

She did kiss me quite a few times on my nose today, but still NO COOKIES. 

I present my schnozzle for kisses, and should receive a cookie in return, but no cookies! I don't understand. What has happened to my world?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

My cell

My cell. 

 See the crappy hay in the tiny bag with the tiny holes? Yeah, that is my food source. 

Where did it all go wrong? What have I done to deserve this?

I shouldn't complain. I've been able to go out for a few hours each the last few nights, although I have to wear the hated muzzle. But it is better than endless nights in the cell.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Lord of the Dance

It has been 178 million days since my internment. During the day, in the light, it's not so bad. I can look down at the house, watch the dogs play in the yard, watch the Aunts pick veggies in the garden...

Every evening at duskish, at turnout time, the madness overtakes me...
Madness! (step, step, turn)   Madness! (step, step, turn) 
  Madness! (step, step, turn)   Madness! (step, step, turn)
Madness! (step, step, turn)   Madness! (step, step, turn) 
   Madness! (step, step, turn)   Madness! (step, step, turn) 
Madness! (step, step, turn)   Madness! (step, step, turn) 
   Madness! (step, step, turn)   Madness! (step, step, turn) 
Madness! (step, step, turn)   Madness! (step, step, turn) 
   Madness! (step, step, turn)   Madness! (step, step, turn) 

Oh, sorry, I was distracted there for a moment.

Even though they leave a red mare in with me each night, it is turnout time. I know it is turnout time, I should go out because it is turnout time.

If Mother puts me in the crossties on the porch, and then I go back in, it's OK. I don't mind standing on the porch at all. It's nice out there. Or, eventually, I settle down and eat my hay from my net, and take comfort in the mare staying in with me. But I will go mad if I do not go out! Mad I tell you!

Mother says tomorrow I will get to go out for a while with the horrible muzzle. I guess it is better than staying in my cell. (Step, step, turn.)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I am or I am not

Mother says "I are, or not I are"... actually, she is saying, "IR or not IR?", but it sounds like poor grammar to me.

 Me, in my confinement.

Current lifestyle update:

Still no Mrs. Pastures cookies. Mother said she will get me something I am allowed to have as a treat. Well, get a move on!

She continues giving me something twice a day from a tube, like a dewormer or Probios tube.  It doesn't taste like any dewormer I know, but it also doesn't taste like banana, which I swear is what she keeps saying.  She says it will only need to be once a day soon. That's good. It doesn't taste bad, but it doesn't really taste good either.

She did add something to my supplements, a powder. I usually refuse to eat powders, but this was magically delicious.  Mother seemed really happy, because she said the powder will help me with my laminitis problem. WIN-WIN!!

I still am stuck in my stall. My "turnout" is the few times a day Mother puts me in the barn porch crossties while she cleans my stall, then brushes me, etc. Snort. Some "turnout".

I will say, it has been nice getting really good brushings several times a day. But I'd rather go out and eat grass. You know, my stall window already faces out on the barn porch, so the view doesn't change much.

Oh, and since I've been in, all my horrible drooling has gone away. It's the one bright spot.

Mother says perhaps I'll get my insulin tested to make sure I'm IR when the vet can time it right, but until then, I've got to follow all these weird rules. Even if that isn't the problem, I won't be allowed on the grass for days still. I sure hope I am not IR... although then what caused my feet to hurt is anyone's guess.

But if I'm not IR, I could have Mrs. Pastures cookies again!!!!

They're here!

I must preempt my post with  a quick plea to the maker of SWAT, a fine product which has been great for me, since I  do not do well with fly masks and  really don't like flies. My one request, however: Could you please make a more ... uh... masculine color? Mother feels the pink stuff is easier to see, and better sticking than the clear. But I would really prefer another color. And someone tell Mother to stop using the "raspberry purple" halter! I always thought it was pink, anyway, and now that it is sun faded... this is ridiculous!!

Now, back to my originally planned post in its entirety...

It had been going so well. Sure there were the few biting green flies, and the occasional stable fly, and the little gnats that Mother's Swat has kept from even being a problem this year. But it was inevitable that THEY would come. The enormous, evil, beastly, black horse-eating flies. Mother saw the first one at our barn this morning. She says other barns have had them for a while, so I shouldn't complain too much.

Now, I must say, I hate these guys. When I first experienced them here in Ohio, I went stark raving mad anytime one landed on me. I have grown more accustomed to them in the next few years, and am now better able to cope.

Tips for evading the horrible bite of the enormous, evil, beastly, black horse-eating flies:

1. Run up to other horses in the herd, really, really close. Often the fly will select another, less mobile target.

2. If unable to dislodge through a friend, run, leap and buck to rid yourself. I've tried this one a lot, but it is not as effective as Tip 1. Also, be careful not to buck so high that you flip yourself over. I have never done this, but I get awfully close. Exercise caution with this technique on downhill slopes in particular.

3. If a human is handling you during an attack, do not perform Tip 2. This one was hard for me to learn. You should indicate to the human, quickly, where the fly is on your person. If they are not prompt, I say put Tip 2 into effect. Mother responds very promptly, so this has not been an issue for me.*

4. Mother's fly spray seems to keep them from actually starting to bite for a few seconds longer than without spray, giving you precious time to try to follow one of the other tips to rid yourself. So, Tip 4 is allow fly spray be applied to your person.

Really, the flies aren't bad here at Aunt Marilyn's mountain hideaway. The muck pile is far, far away, since they clean with the tiny green truckie/tractor thing and dump the manure on the back edge of the property. I was just hoping that those really awful flies had lost our address altogether. Ah, well.

*Your Question: What will the human do once you inform them of the fly's whereabouts?
Answer: They will swat at it, and then look about frantically and stomp. Sometimes there are decidedly fearful exclamations of glee or triumph. Sometimes they swat at the air. Do not be alarmed by their seemingly random flailings or the fact that they are hitting you or making scary noises, and ignore the murderous glint in their manic eyes... they are actually trying to hit the fly! It took me a long time to catch on to this.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Imperfect Storm

Well, in good news, my feet aren't feeling so bad now.

Mother poked me with some things, twice in my big neck vein (with something that sounded like banana but sure didn't look like a banana), and, well, a temperature check. I do feel a lot better, although frankly I don't think the temperature check helped at all.

I have been stuck in the stall forever now, with no grass, and she hasn't given me a Mrs. Pastures in days. I don't really understand what is going on, but I really want to go outside, especially now that I feel back to normal.

Mother and the Aunts are trying to figure out why my feet hurt. They are speculating that I have developed IR; I'd never heard of it, but I have heard a lot about it in the last days, let me tell you. Mother was always harping about my weight and how important it was for me to be not so plump, but I just thought she was overly judgmental. Now I realize why...

They also said how horses with chronic pain are more likely to develop IR, and maybe I  have been straining my bad leg with my red mare herd duties of late... Plus, I admit I am carrying a bit more weight than is strictly required. Oh, and I do have a very handsome, arched neck. Mother says things that were an advantage to my ancestors living in the badlands of North Dakota aren't so good here in constant-food-supply domestic life.

Well, whatever. I feel better, honest. So why can't I go out now with my herd on the grass? Where are my Mrs. Pastures?

Friday, July 16, 2010

I have other legs, you know

I am usually a very stoic sort. I've had three surgeries, after all, and Mother calls me a "tough old bird". She sounds admiring when she says it, but it doesn't really sound as dignified and appealing as I know I am.

While I am tough, I have a confession:

My feet hurt. They're not hot, and my blood isn't racing in them, but they seem to hurt. I don't like to walk on them. My legs feel stiff and heavy.

Lying down feels better, but if I stay down wolves will get me. So I am napping a little longer, but not too long.

Mother seems concerned, which is good. She says I am not showing the typical signs of laminitis, like heat, pulse and stance, but some of the early signs are there. My diet has not changed. There are no noxious plants in my field (as if I would eat them!). She has been talking to the vets. She gave me some of the yummy powder. She said I will see one of them tomorrow, unless I have more trouble tonight.

Maybe they'll sedate me? I really like sedation!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Long Distance Dedication

Mother often reads Brays of Our Lives, written by Fenway Bartholomule. When Fenway was having trouble with his leg, his resourceful FarmWife decided to raise funds for his veterinary needs by offering custom poetry. Mother requested a poem for me, which I think turned out quite nicely. 
Mother is still off crying somewhere.
If you would like commissioned poetry of your own, or just wish to admire more of FarmWife's efforts,  you can find her and Fenway's poetry here.
I am Boyfriend, I am Loved
by Fenway Bartholomule

Some friends are loved for ribbons won
Or miles travelled, running.
Some horses earn a lifetime’s keep
By donning tack and jumping.
Still others carry little tots 
With legs and hands a-thumping. 
I do not win, I cannot breed, my bloodlines end with me
Yet I am loved—Oh how I’m loved! I’m loved for being me.

I am Boyfriend, I am loved
For every heartfelt reason. 
I do not race a record mile, 
Nor travel in show season.
I’m loved for me—for who I am!
For what I give to her.
My human loves me just for me,
As I love her for her.

My leg is shot, I shan’t grow sound, 
I’ll never stand to labor,
Yet every day my human comes
And thanks me for my favor.
The favor of my company,
The wisdom I impart.
I play, I teach, I learn, I seek—
And love with all my heart.

I’m beautiful, I’m clever too,
I’m physically quite grand,
I’m sweet and smart and brave,  it’s true, 
but please do understand:
I am not loved for how I look, for with what strength I surge—
My mother loves me just for me, as I love her for her. 
Now I need to commission a poem about how much I love Mrs. Pastures... YUMM!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Keeping up appearances

I work very hard to maintain my image.

I am a leader. It is important to have the respect of your subordinates. I try to fulfill my duties with decorum and grace.

Most of the time.

Mother just had to go and dig up this old picture. 

She thinks it is funny. Hey, running a herd takes work. It can't always be pretty.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Not quite fair?

One of my main responsibilities is my red mare herd. I make sure there are no predators that will eat them, make sure they go where they are supposed to, and occasionally take care of other things they request of me. You've heard me speak of my favorite mare, Jeanie, and the one who I spend the most time with, Belle. The third red mare (well, actually, she's a little more towards orange) is Callie. She and Bert are both Jeanie's offspring.

Callie is a standoffish sort with all but Jeanie, most of the time. Every once in a while, though, she likes me.

I don't understand why things work as they do. When I lived in North Dakota and was a stallion, I never had any mares. Now, I have mares, but... sigh.

I do my best, though.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Tech Support

Mother and I are at an impasse. It's about sharing.

I keep trying to enable cookies on the computer, but even though I keep clicking the little button, no cookies come out.

And Mother gets upset that I keep messing with the settings.

So where are my cookies?!? I just wanted cookies...
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