Friday, May 30, 2008

WARNING About A Dumb Law and Zoning Problems

Two months ago we were horrified when we received a certified letter from the county zoning department saying that were in violation of a zoning law. We had to many horses for the size of our property. We had six horses and could only have three. They said we had to get rid of three horses or face fines and possibly go to court over the problem. We were to get rid of part of our family, of our beloved companion animals. We were terrified. We had never expected anything like this and didn't know what to do.

This is a WARNING to all horse owners (actually all pet/companion animal owners) to be aware that it can happen at any time.

When we first moved to our home here in the New Mexico high desert country I went to the trouble of checking with several offices to try to find out what the rules where as far as having dogs, cats, and horses. I had talked about this with the builder that built our home, with the real estate agent that we went through to buy it and they said they were only aware of the fact that we could have horses here. They didn't know of any rules or laws. In fact being able to have horses was one of the things they were really pushing as far as selling property in this area. To be on the safe side I called city animal control, county animal control, the livestock board, and city and county zoning. All these offices were iffy about giving me a straight answer and always came up with "you can have how ever many you can properly take care of".

That was five years ago. During that time I had spoken with county animal control about some mean dogs that ran loose and then about my stupid neighbors that moved of abandoning their dog, and about a horse, (a stallion) that frequently got loose and came to 'visit' my horses and did some minor damage to my fences. Never during those discussions did the animal control officer ever say anything about our having to many horses. The sheriff helped another neighbor and my husband catch the neighbors loose horse at one time. Again the sheriff never said anything about us or any of the other horse owners in our neighborhood having to many horses.

So far I have been able to find only three other families that were told they had to many horses for their property size. I have spoken with two others that say they never received such a letter even though they have more horses than the letter said you could have. I know of at least a dozen other properties that have more than the allowed number of horses, and I do not believe any of them have received that letter.
The four of us that received the letter contacted zoning. One family did something with one of their horses so they would be in compliance. I don't know what. Another family already in the process of buying another home and were given an extension until they can move. Another family hired a lawyer and are taking it to court.

When we talked to zoning we were advised that it was the family that was going to court that they were really after and that if we would apply for a continuance use permit as a boarding stable we would be alright. So we paid the fee and filed the form. Then we were told it would have to go before the zoning board at their next meeting to be approved but that it shouldn't be a problem; that it should go right through. In the mean time I received a call wanting us to send zoning a copy of our property survey and to draw in the pens and shed used by the horses, as well as a letter telling about our horses and why we have so many. We did that. Saying that three horses were ours and one belonged to a friend in Iraq and the two ponies were my sons.

So we waited and the day of the zoning meeting came and we went. I was surprised to find what I guessed to be about 300 people there due to a big disagreement over a purposed housing development in another part of the county. It was crowded, standing room only and very hot. I almost left not thinking that it was that important for me to be there. It was. Finally after over an hour they started in on my permit to have a boarding stable. One man on the zoning board was against it and another seemed to be for it. I had to walk before all those people and tell why we wanted the boarding stable. I was almost petrified to do it but knew I had to. They were trying to take part of my family away from me. I even heard someone say "why doesn't she just get rid of some of them", as if my horses, my pets, my companions were just pieces of trash to be thrown away.
The man that seemed to be for us told how the law stated that we had to have 20,000 square feet per horse which was how much that the law figured it took to feed (graze) a horse. I tried to explain that I don't graze my horses on pasture. I don't have a pasture. I buy hay to feed them. That everyone that has horses in this area buys hay. That this desert land will not support a horse no matter how many square feet you have. The man that was for us explained the law had been passed in the early 1950's and it was based on a law passed in New Hampshire in the early 1930's. A VERY DUMB LAW. Even in the the 1950's it was a dumb law considering the difference between New Mexico and New Hampshire.
It was decided by the board that the matter would be "shelved" for the next two months so they could have a "horse specialist" look at the situation. It was not explained what or who a "horse specialist" was or is. I have called the zoning office for a farther explanation and no one has returned my call.

After all this we lost my beloved Morgan, BlackJack, as you may know as I posted it a few days ago. The person that left Sonny in our care while she was in Iraq has now contacted me saying she does not want the horse and he is now mine to do with as I see fit. Of course I plan to keep him. He has been here so long that he thinks he belongs here and that he is our horse. (I would have cried if she had come and taken him away.) Of course the ponies are my sons but I love them just as if they were mine. In fact I have told him he can't ever have them and he says he doesn't plan to take them. He has enough problems of his own and just wanted a home for two ponies that were homeless when he got them.

Now we wait. We are unsure of what to do next or what will happen. We can't afford to hire a lawyer. And I don't think I could find a home for any of my horses or ponies that I would feel would take care of them to my specifications. We are on a limited budget as we are retired but at this time we can take care of these five horses. These horses aren't hurting anyone. Neither are any of the other horses in our area. I don't know of any horses that I have seen that are underfed, mistreated or abused, which is saying a lot for an area this large. Our neighbors that don't have horses are as appalled by this as those with horses. No one understands why this problem has come up. Did someone complain - and if so who, and why.

If anyone has any suggestions I will be glad to hear them.

Monday, May 26, 2008

New Blog

Found a new blog that I like about horses. http://nuzzlingmuzzles.blogspot.com I really like the name.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Mountains


Would have liked to go to the mountains on this 3 day weekend, but I know they are always packed on the first holiday of the summer. Besides we can't afford the gas, and neither of us is feeling that good to take that long of a drive. So guess we will just hang out here at the house. Pet the dogs, cats, and horses, and watch the car races.
I did give Sonny a bath this morning. The horses were attached yesterday by some sort of horrid bitting, bloodsucking nat (gnat). Each one I killed was full of blood. So I made a stronger fly spray and sprayed them good yesterday and today and got out the fly masks. I had bathed Nita and Star a few weeks ago but hadn't done Sonny yet this spring. He really likes his bath and to be pampered with grooming. Now to teach the ponies, Trave and Stormy that they can like it, too.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sunset


Morning Glory


Horses

I saw this in a magazine recently.

The closeness of a horse is one of the sweetest smells in the world.

The best thing about going to the barn first thing in the morning (or any other time) is that horses don't care how you look.

I'd rather have a horse with a good mind than perfect conformation.

The happiest people I know have horses, dogs, and cats.

I've never liked anyone that didn't like horses, dogs, and cats.


A solitary ride is more beneficial than three months with the best psychiatrist.



Losing a horse can break your heart, but it will have been worth it.

Thanks to who ever said these first.

Many Thanks

Many thanks for all the condolences sent by everyone. It was really appreciated. I didn't realize I had so many internet friends. Thanks again.
We are trying to get on with life as the old saying is but it is still hard to lose your best friend.
We did have a bit of rain last week which helped some but a half inch isn't much. Hubby Lee has been down with emphysema and blood clots and isn't feeling well. He is also trying to quite smoking and it is causing both of us to climb the walls.
Star is doing better. I saw her and Nita together today. Nita was laying down napping and Star was standing over her. That is good to see as it really means they are getting along better. Now that Jack is gone I can see a big shift in the pecking order. Not really a shift as Sonny is still the boss but now the mares aren't fighting for Jack's attention like the used to do. And when I was this I moved Sonny to a different pen so it is just the two mares and they will have to work it out. I refuse to put up with there 'Soap Opera shenanigans'.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Goodby to a Friend

If you are wondering why I changed the photo that always came up in the corner of my blog it is because I couldn't handle seeing my black horse, BlackJack, when I didn't have him any more. Last week we lost him. I have lost lots of pets before but this has been one of the worst. It has almost been more than I could take. At 3pm he was fine, at 6 he was down and by 9 he was gone. The vet said it might have been a heart attack or a stroke. I hope so as I hate to think that he had been sick and I didn't notice. He always seemed like the strongest, healthyest horse we had. It will be a long time, if ever, that I don't start crying every time I think about him.
And poor Star. I don't know if she understands why he is gone or not, but she looked for him for days. She called, and paced and still looks so sad and lonely. I have given her lots of love and attention but she doens't seem to want to see me, or let me pet her. And she didn't want to have anything to do with our other two horses. In fact she would scream and try to attack Nita and Sundance for the first couple of days and I had to keep her in a seperate pen. Now she seems to want to be with them but at the same time she is keeping her distance from them. Hopefully time will let them become better friends.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mom's Day

Wishing all mom's, grandmom's, adopted mom's and grandmom's, aunt's, friends who are mom's, sisters who are mom's, and anyone else that falls into any of the mom catagory a wonderday Mom's Day.

Peach Crayons

This is the ramble that was sent to me by my friend Laurel-Anne Underhill. I really like it so asked if I could post it. She was nice and agreed.

PEACH CRAYONS & POLITICS

OR

Ramblings of a bored person with a shocking pink
cast on her leg and a severe case of cabin fever.


Recently I read on the internet that one of the presidential candidates stated that one of the other candidates was loosing the support of the white voters. Since I happen to support the latter candidate, I looked down at my hand to see it I was still white. Just to be sure I asked my daughter, who assured me I was peach, as I had always been.
Yes, it was true, I had always taught my children when they were little that the color of their skin was peach. Where do most American children learn their colors? From a box of crayons. And even as pale as I am, I am much closer to the color of a peach crayon than I am to white one. As a matter of fact, there are, to my knowledge, no white people in the U.S. , unless they are ghosts, in which case they are dead and ineligible to vote. I believe Voldemort is white, but he is British so he can’t vote in American elections either, which is a good thing because he would definitely vote republican.
And now this brings me to a discussion I had with my husband recently about a little song I was taught in Sunday school when I was about four. The song tells us that Jesus loves all the little of the children of the world and you sing “Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight,” while touching one of your fingers as you say each color. As an imaginative four year old I pictured a hand with little children coming from each finger. The children were, of course, Christmas red, banana yellow, jet black and ghostly white. (Four year olds are so imaginative; maybe we should hire them to come up with new ideas for movies) Fortunately I asked my mother about this and she explained that although it wasn’t very accurate, many people called Asian people yellow and Native Americans red.
As a four year old I though the song was dumb, now I think it is racist. And what about the little green children, does Jesus not like aliens at all? If there is anyone out there who still goes to church, do they still teach this dumb song to little children?
I have always objected to being called white. In college when they asked for my race on a form I always checked “other” and wrote European American. During the 2000 census we had just moved and I had three little kids and did not get the form turned in. So the nice lady came to the door and went through the form with me, writing my answers for me, like I couldn’t do it myself. When it came to race she started to check white and I told her no, I was not white, I was European American. She said she had to put white. I told her to put down it was under protest from me, that if I had to be a color, I was peach. She put down white. She was peach too.
So what does all this mean? Maybe there are a lot of color blind people in this country. Maybe there is medical hope for them. Too bad they are not REALLY color blind and could just see people as people. Wouldn’t it have been just as good to tell the children in Sunday school that Jesus loved ALL the children all over the world?
And think of the thousands of little children all over this country that sang that silly song every Sunday and, not asking their parents as I did, spent all their spare time looking for Christmas red and banana yellow children. (And if you think this is a stretch of my imagination, there are lots of little children in this country that believe Halloween is so important because it plainly says in the Pledge of Allegiance “and to the republic for witches stand”) And the children that were scared to go out in public because if there were white children out there, they were obviously ghosts.
Thank goodness in the coming election I can vote for anyone I want to, regardless of their color. But I won’t be voting for Voldemort, because he is white.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Race, Color, Culture

I have never held color, race, culture, or religion against anyone as long as they didn’t try to convert me to their religion or try to say that they were better than me due to their color, race, culture or religion.
I am not racially prejudiced, or I try not to be. Who can say for sure? There is always some one that we dislike. But I will be the first to admit that I have been friends with a large number of people who were of different races, colors, cultures, and believed differently than I did.
I have had a varying and varied amount of different jobs. I have lived in 11 different states ( I am considering a three month stay as having lived there), 12 different towns, and been in at least 34 of our wonderful 50 states. This means that I have known lots of people and experienced lots of different cultures. Yes, it is true you can lean about many different cultures here in our wonderful country and never set foot out of it. And all of those cultures that have come from other countries are influenced greatly by the state and town that they are in. Consider the difference in a white/Caucasian person raised in New York City to one like myself raised mostly in New Mexico. Or the Mexican raised in New Mexico to the Spanish or Latino person raised in New York City. That is until that person in New York moves to Albuquerque and then raises their children who will have a different outlook on life than their parents did but with ideas that came from New York as well.
Every time a person moves to a different state or town they are leaning new things, new ways of living, of new cultures, new outlooks on life and they, in turn, teach new things to their children, friends, and even casual acquaintances.
So since this country is so mixed up in their cultures, and religions, and outlooks on life why is it so hard for us to except new ideas? Or new people? Or even the thought of having a dark skinned person, or a white-haired older man, or a woman as a president?
Why has our political race for president brought out more racist, bigoted, prejudiced, chauvinistic, intolerant, narrow-minded people than I knew existed?
As I said before I have had lots of friends and many different jobs. I have worked with, and been friends with people who were white or Caucasian, people who where of African decent and where every shade of color - from one woman who was as white as I am but who had a full sister that was almost a true shade of black. I have known people who were from or where descended from Russians, Vietnamese, Laosions, Navajo, Sioux, Zuni, Pueblo, German, English, Australian, Philippino, Hawaiian, Mexican, Latino, Spanish, Canadian, Japanese. Those are the ones I can think of quickly. I am sure there are others as well as lots of Americans like my self. And I liked every one of them.
On the other hand – I have known almost the same list of nationalities that where people that I didn’t like.
It isn’t the color, or the race, or what country they are from that makes a person likable or a friend.

A Long Time

Oh, it's going to be a long time until November and the election. I am already getting those terribly unwanted phone calls wanting me to do a political survey, or wanting me to donate to a certain party, or some that even are telling me who I should vote for. As if they think they really have the right to do that! This is the United States and I have the RIGHT to vote for who ever I want to.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Another Day

We had two nice days, Saturday and Sunday. At least for us it was. But for the 50 some families that lost homes in the fires it wasn't. I feel for them. And hope some idiot doesn't start a fire around our neck of the woods. Or is it - our corner of the desert.
We painted the hay shed, storage shed, and 2 of the horse shelters. At least they look a little bit better, and the plywood and siding we used for them should weather a little bit better.
Our pinto pony, Traveler thought about adding some spots to his coat, but the mini, Stormy, stayed away from the paint as if he didn't want to add any white to his solid black coat.
Gave Tuffee, our Border Collie, a bath last night after she decided to roll in horse poop, and she was so clean and cute until she went out today and ran in the sand and got it all over her again.
And for some unknow reason everytime the cats go out they roll in the sand and then want to come right back in with sand all over them. Can't figure out the cat reasoning behind this. I thought cats were supposed to be so clean? I have had cats for over 30 years and these are the worse I have ever had about getting dirty.

So-------------

So I can't spell, and spell check didn't catch it.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Disaters

I know I do complain a lot about all of our wind and sand, and maybe I shouldn't. I see what is happening in the rest of the United States and the world and sometimes feel ashamed of complaining about my minor problems.
My thoughts, sympathy, and well wishes are with all those who have lost loved ones, and homes in the horrors of war, floods, fires, tornados, and other disasters.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Flooding

My thought are with those who are the opposite of us. Those that are seeing to much rain and are flooding out. I sure wish the Weather God would get it together and see if we can get decent weather where ever we live.

Continuing Windy Story

So the fire in the Manzano Mountains wasn't completely out, just "contained", and with the wild wind storms we had yesterday, it exploded again and is forcing people out of their homes. When will this nightmare weather ever end. Colorado had snow again but all we can get is the wind off of their snowstorm.
It was so bad here yesterday that we couldn't even see over to the neighbors for the blowing sand. Which means all our little sand dunes in the yard are rearranging themselves again. There is no way I will be able to have a garden or flowers this year from the looks of things. It is really depressing. I have to leave the horses outside as you just can't bring them in the house. What a mess that would be. But I sure do hate to see them just standing out in the wind. Sometimes they go in their shelters but most of the time they don't. I put the fly masks on today. Don't know if it will really help keep the sand out of their faces, and eyes, but it can't hurt. Hubby and I have bought big work goggles and oversized sunglasses that go over regular glasses to help keep sand out of your eyes when we have to go out, which is only to feed and water.
I am watching as the wind tears of bits and pieces of by lovely, purple iris blossoms and scatters them. I have brought in several armloads of them and given a lot to neighbors. The iris did well but the wind has been the death of them.