Friday, November 23, 2007

Cold Snow

It is the day after Thanksgiving. And it is snowing. Ponies are standing out in their pens chowing down on an extra ration of grass hay that I gave them at noon. Not a lot just a little as eating hay is what helps keep them warm. We don't use blankets here. Usually it isn't necessary. But we do have the three-sided shelters in their pens that does help cut the wind and cold. Usually the wind comes from the west, and maybe a bit from the south. Today it is from the east. And cold.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Jack's Name

At first when I named BlackJack I didn't think of the death of President Kennedy (1963) but someone mentioned to me it was the name of the horse that was the 'riderless horse' in his funeral. Several people have said that his name, color and shape remind them of that famous horse. The death of our Present made a lasting impression on me as a 13 year old at the time. Being a horse lover and growing up in the Air Force that horse made a big impresion, too. I do remember watching him on TV during the funeral possession, and behind the casket. There is a photo of him at this site.
He was used as the 'riderless horse' at the funerals of President Hoover (1964) and President Johnson (1973) and for General MacArthur (1964). Blackjack was thought to be a Morgan/Quarter Horse. and lived from 1947-1976. The Army used a lot of Morgan horses until horses were not used in the military anymore.
My BlackJack is, also, a Morgan.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

This is Sonny. He has been fighting a series of abseses in his hoof over the past year or so, and we hadn't ridden him much since we got him. He seems to be over the problem now and we rode him for first time in a long time yesterday. He did great and no sign of a limp today.


Nita, the mare that got caught up in the fence is doing fine. I rode BlackJack on Monday and she and Star got very upset that I took him off the property and down the road for a ways. They ran around in their pens and bucked and jumped like the silly mares that they are. At least it gave them some excersise. I hear of all kinds of ways to teach a horse how to leave the barn area when they are what is called 'barn sour'. But what about the stable mate that doesn't want them to leave? We will work on lots of coming and going in the near future to see if it will calm the mares down. Another words - ride out for a few minutes them come back, doing it over and over to let the mares know that their friend will come back.

New Links

I have added Donna and Simply Marvelous to my blog links. They have great blogs about horses.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Thanks for all the kind comments about the scarey moments. I still shudder when I think about it. Nita is doing fine. She is still sort of stiff in the injured leg but it has only been a week and will take more time. When I cleaned it today she wanted to run round and round on the lead but didn't think she should yet. I think it was Simply Marvoulous that asked the name of my black horse. (I was admiring her black horse and felt so bad that she lost him recently.) That is BlackJack, and he is a Morgan gelding about 14 years old. I didn't like the name he came with and that owner had only had him for a short time with that name and didn't know his previous name. I was having a hard time finding a name for him and a friend said he looked like a BlackJack. So it stuck. He is a great horse. Likes people and a good trail horse.
Nita is short for Bonita Rascal, her registored name. She is a 7 year old quarter horse. We, also, have the black 2 year old mini/shetland who's name is Stormy. Stormy's half brother, my pinto pony, is Traveler, also, known as Trave amd Travey. Traveler is Walker/shetland, and only a yearling.
Not to be forgotten is my first horse, Stardust. She is about 8 and is probably a mustang cross. I do know she came off the Laguna Indian Reservation. She has a brand but have been unable to trace it. Several people have told me it is an Indian brand. A lot of the horses that come off that reservation are crossed with a group of mustangs that are in that area of New Mexico. Actually Star is a pony, at only13 and a half hands. She is a red sorrel, or a chestnut with a star but gets Appolossa spots in the summer on her neck, belly and chest. She looses the spots in the winter. I have had her since she was a yearling.
Last but not least is Sonny. He is about 20 years old. A brown and white paint that looks to be mostly Quarter Horse. He was left with me while his owner moved to another state until he could come back and get him. But he never did. And that was 3 years ago.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Two by Two

Ok, we have six horses. Four are normal size and two are Shetland crosses so they are much smaller. I would really like to put all of them together so they could socialize as I hear that horses like to do, but it seems to be impossible. We will always have to keep the two Shetlands crosses away from the big horses. If they had a super large turnout area we might could put them with the big horses but I know what kind of bullies my big horses are so I won't even consider that. It's the four big horses that create a fuss. You would think that four horses, two mares and two geldings could get along in a pen that is about a half acre in size or a little larger. But NO! Star was my first horse, a small Mustang-type mare, sorrel with a few appy spots on her Then I got BlackJack, a black Morgan gelding. I had them at a stable for almost a year before we moved here, and they were used to each other. After moving here that became close stable mates. Almost like an old married couple. Then we got Sonny, a brown and white paint with quarter horse bloodlines. Sonny did not like Star and Jack and they didn't like him. He had his own pen. Then we got Nita, a bay quarter horse mare. Nita did fine with Sonny, but was madly in love with Jack. Jack liked her but still preferred Star. This seemed to make Star jealous, and caused frequent kicking matches between her and Nita.
Now after three years we can put the four of them together some of the time. But never at feeding time. Then it is two by two. Star and Jack in one pen, Nita and Sonny in another, and the little guys in their pen. It may make life a bit more difficult, but is better than having horses fighting with each other.

Horse Slave

I swear that Nita is enjoying playing the part of an invalid to much. I really think she went to sleep today while I was running cold water over her hurt leg. She even closed her eyes. But her leg is much better. She barely limps at all, and most of swelling is gone. Still keeping her and Star apart so no one gets hurt again. I am not thrilled with playing nursemade to an equine.
I really think that horse vets should teach classes on equine first aide and all things a person needs to know about how to take care of an injured or sick horse. Like how to wrap a leg, how to get a pill down an equine throat, or how to give powered meds that are so fine they want to blow away when a horse breaths on them. What to do for colds, horse flu, or diarrhea, and the proper feed for all those 'easy keepers', and those you can't seem to get any weight on. (If you have ponies and quarter horses like I do, you might find you have fat ponies, while the quarter horses ribs are showing even thorugh you feel like you don't do anything but feed one horse, and you feel like you are starving the ponies and they are still fat.)
And another thing - how did horse people wrap legs before 'vet wrap' was invented. I think I own stock in the company. I use it on the dogs as well as the horses, and a couple of times on my self. And it really works great when you need to wrap the willow tree thats dripping sap where it is missing a chunk of bark because hubby backed into it.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Nita, the mare that got caught in the fence.

Scary Moments

I have heard it said that 'a horse is an accident waiting to happen', and it would seem to be very true. Last Saturday, November 3, 2007 started out like any other Saturday. Lee watched the Nascar race and then we both watched the PBR or the bull riding event. About 10 PM I went out to do the late evening feed for the horses as I do every evening. I had taken about 3 steps out the front door when I heard horses screaming, squealing, and raising a heck of a commotion in a very dark corner of the pens. I had the gate open between the two turn out pens so that our 4 horses could have more room to roam around in and socialize as horses like to do. Of course that is the time that my 2 mares, Star and Nita decided to have another disagreement. Why these two mares can't get along with each other better I will never understand.
All the noise of horses fussing, and then the banging of the gate in that corner was very scary. I opened the door again and yelled at Lee that I could use some help grabbed a flashlight and headed out. Of course the flashlight decided that night that the battery wanted to die. Lee came out and we got Sonny, our paint gelding out of that pen and over to the other pen. We were able to see the other gelding, BlackJack and my mare, Star but couldn't see the other mare, Nita. I was trying to keep Star and Jack from going back into the far corner where Lee was trying to get Nita out of when he started yelling for a rope and the wire cutters.
Horrible thought lept through my heart and head. Wire Cutters????? Wire cutters meant she was tangled in the fence, which probably meant wire cuts, and possibly broken legs. I ran, and at my age with my medical problems I don't run good to the hay shed for the wirecutters we use to open hay bales with and a halter. By the time I was half way back I had to slow to a walk and was having trouble breathing. Lots of trouble breathing. I finally made it to the dark corner where Nita and Lee were and by the light of his small flashlight could make out the mares head and slipped the end of the lead rope around her neck. I could barely see Lee supporting her left hind leg stretched out at an odd angle behind her. All those horror thoughts came racing back as I handed him the wire cutters. While I held her head and spoke soft words that I hoped would help sooth her I heard him clipping wires. Then I felt her put her leg on the ground. Lee played his little light over her leg reveling a long gash in her lower leg. My heart was in my throat as I glanced at it while working the halter onto Nita's head. I was already making plans for calling the vet.
As she was able to walk we made our way slowly up to the hay shed where there was a decent light and into a small pen. The additional light showed the gash wasn't as bad we had at first thought. And we decided to wrap it with gaze, cottonwrap and vet wrap for the night. Thankfully all the fuss hadn't affected her appetite and with her feed I added some Bute I had left over from the last time she and Star had had one of their kicking matches.
With all the horses fed, and Nita's leg bandaged Lee and I were able to start calming down and went to take a look at the fence. Apparently the mares and wondered into the corner and began fussing with each other and in the process of kicking at each other Nita had stuck her foot through the fence and the wire had wrapped around her leg. In pulling to get loose she had broke one of the wooden 4X4's that we had used as a fence post. We were glad it had broke. We thought that if it hadn't broke, Nita might have broke her leg.
On Sunday morning we unwrapped her leg to see that the gash was maybe more of a scrap and decided the vet could wait till Monday instead of paying weekend rates. We ran cold water over it, dried it and re-wrapped. On Monday the vet said we were doing the right thing, but advised us to give her antibiotics as well as the Bute. By Tuesday she seemed much better.
All of this makes me wonder how horses ever survive in the wild, where there is on one to get them out of the messes they can get into and give them the care they need when they do get into problems.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Desert

This is out on the desert near where I sometimes ride. On this day I walking my Border Collie Tuffee. You can see the Sandia Mountains in the distance. Albuquerque is hiden between us and the mountains down along the Rio Grande valley.


After I had my surgery last summer I never got back in the 'groove' of riding much. This week I decided I had too. That has always been my life's goal. To have and ride horses. So three times I saddled up BlackJack and we rode around the turnout pens and the round pen. Jack has always disliked being riden in arena type settings. He preferrs going out on the trails. But it had been a long while since we had done that. The first time I tried riding out onto our road he acted as if he had never done it, and it took a bit of persuation to get him to even set foot onto the road. Mind you it is the same kind of dirt that our drive way is made up of. So we spent that day riding the dive, and just going a few yards down the road. The next day he did a lot better when I took him out the back side of our property and down the ATV wide path that we keep cut there that is about 300 yards long, and connects with the next road over behind us. He seemed to think that was great. Next time out we will go on over to the arroyo and ride it if he is still doing OK with leaving our property.
The worst problem is that just this week some big rigs started hauling dirt from one construction site to another and go by our house about once each half hour. So far they don't go fast but I really don't want to be riding out there when they go by. Not sure how Jack would react on such a narrow road to such a big truck. He ignores when when he is in his home space on our property.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Thanks to Donna for her comment and for her blog at . Donna has a great blog with lots of 'horse talk'. Which us horse lovers always need. She, also, has some great photos. Take a look at her blog when you get a chance.