Saturday, February 28, 2015

Ready for Surgery

Friday I will be getting my bad hip bionicized. I am sooooo excited. Some days I think I might cut it open myself because I can't take another day of this shit. I get about two good hours when i first put on my lidocaine patches. After that I go back to feeling like I have some sort of fire clamp around my hip. 

It's been insanity until today. My parents were 62 and 72. They lived full lives and had collected all the things that go along with full lives. Downhill ski gear, cross country ski gear, hunting gear, camping gear, endless tools, horse stuff, farm equipment, gardening supplies, and everything else you could imagine. It was well organized and there wasn't much junk. Because it was so organized I had no idea how long it would take. 

Everyday somebody has been out at the house. If I wasn't out there my dad was. For a week I had a crew wiping the walls, shampooing the carpet, servicing the furnace. I have had an unbelievably supportive crew behind me. However, to get it all done I still had to be out there working. I needed to be done by today. Pre-op appointments are tomrrow so today was the final go. 

It was a day of girl power because the boys had to work their day jobs. Moms friend, my badass trainer, awesome neighbor lady, and best step momma ever were on fire today (sometimes literally). We carried a monstrous wooden couch and burned the fuck out of it. My hip hurt like hell but smashing the shit out of that couch was sooooooo satisfying. I washed the outside of the house (yes I scrubbed that shit with a car wash brush). Loaded the dryer and a dresser. Mopped all the floors. Wiped the windows. All those finishing touches. 

Friday my amazing realtor comes to take photos. This weekend it goes on the market. It makes me smile thinking about a family moving into the house. It is spring and flowers are starting to bloom. The hummingbirds are flocking to the feeder. By summer a family will have horses in the field and a dad will be hiding out with a beer in the man shop. I hope someone loves it at much as we did. 

Pippin week two

When week two started he was still in the covered pen. One thing most horse people learn the hard way is moving too fast is always a bad idea. If she moved too fast by putting him in a bigger area it would end up with her chasing him around which isn't conducive to the whole trusting humans thing. Soooo he spent more time in the smaller pen. He was quickly trotting from gone far end of his pen as soon as she came out of the house. He was getting close to being ready for his own little paddock but baby steps first. 

He wasn't happy being stalled when he was first at the rescue and later had a stall with a run. Most horses need to tolerate being stalled without stress. He was also in a QT pen. When Pippin could sleep in stall like a big boy a lost soul from kill pen would have a place to land.  

He did fairly well the first night but was worried. He didn't like being brought in first and was anxious if all the other horses had their heads down eating. The next night she pulled down a few boards so he could always see his neighbor. 

Now he is sleeping in a stall just like a grown up tame pony. No stress. No drama. Every morning he's hanging his head out he door happily waiting for breakfast with the rest of the ponies. Every week blows us away with his bravery. 

Pippin Week One

Pippin has been at my friends for over 2.5 weeks now so this update is a little old. She put him up front in a covered area. It's a decent sized pen but still small enough you can catch a wily pony. It's also nearest the house so he can get a treat and pat everytime she walks out to the house. 

She often qts horses who come in scared and skittish. Her routine is to get them used to her in the smaller area to make sure they are easy to catch before setton them free. I knew I was only there for a few days so I spent most of day one sitting in the pen with him. I made him follow me around to get treats. He is a really curious guy and by day two he was reaching his nose over the fence begging like an old pro. 

After I left she worked on letting her mess with the halter and take it on and off. He got treats from everyone coming to the barn so he can see all people are good. He was still turned out with a safety halter and catch strap. She took the halter on and off daily until it was no big deal. 

By the end of week one the halter really was no biggie. He even met the farrier and was mugging for treats. I am a little embarrassed that it appears the "wild" horse stood better for the farrier than my tame trained pony. I knew pippin had a a amazing start at the rescue and my friend worked magic but I was shocked at how quickly he was adapting to his new life. I would have been happy with this profess after a month and was giddy it happened after a week. 


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Other Babies

You are probably wondering how the other fur babies are doing. Bre is as pretty and perfect as always. She is going to be 17 this year. I can't believe she's almost 20! I started working with her as a 3yo and still love her to bits. She goes on the occasional trail ride. 

When my parents died I asked my trainer friend to take over horsemomship of Dickie. I stop in for kisses but she's making sure he remembers how to be a respectable citizen. He's been loafing around like a semi retired gentleman since my surgery. Poor guy is back to boot camp and so he will be fit by the time I'm ready to hop back on. It's meant a lot to have her working him because I get detailed updates and I feel like I'm there. 

Everyone is seeing the big mean vet this month to get spring shot and toofies done. Dickie has been his historically a little shit to sedate and the vet reported he was a good boy this time. They were wonderful and took care of him on their own. He's been pissy lately over bridling and they did find some sharp points. Hopefully he'll be much happier now 😊

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Goals Schmoals

After I droned on about how Pippin won't have goals and timelines likes most horses in training. Pippins goals might be simple and lack a time. He still has some goals though. Whether it's my horse or someone else's I want to leave them better equine citizens. Horses live in a world where they are one paycheck form a kill pen. Even the best owners could die tomorrow in a freak accident. The best thing we can do for any horse is make them as well rounded as possible. 

Pippins goals while living at pony treat boot camp are simple
1) he can be haltered easily every day and led in and out. He was being haltered at the rescue but preferred trusted friends. To live at a boarding stable he needs to tolerate multiple people walking up and haltering him.
2) he will let anyone walk up to him and halter him 
3) he will tolerate being in a stall overnight with our stress. 

Those are achievable goals but there is no rush. We want to make sure he can do all of this without too much stress. He's an obedient little guy and we don't want to take advantage of that. It would be great if he was ready to love to a boarding stable by the time I'm ready to ride again but if it takes longer that's just fine. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Plan Pippin

Pippin has come a long way since pony up came to the rescue. When they brought him home he couldn't tolerate human touch. No one could get close enough to put a halter on. He didn't know what a treat was so bribing wasn't an option. But they never gave up. Slowly and steadily progress was made. They hired trainers when needed. He is a different horse today. He can be haltered and ridden. However, he has a long way to go. He can't be haltered by anyone. He needs to know and trust his handlers. To have the best chance at a good happy life he needs to be able to trust more people. 

We have a game plan and goals. However, with this guy there can't be any sort of a timeline. I'm always careful not to let my timeline adversely affect the horse but I do usually say "by June we need to do abc." Things need to happen on pippins time. He's a very kind horse and would put up with stuff even if it scared him. It's important not to take advantage of his kindness. Horses like this need frequent short interactions. Nothing ground breaking. Nothing the big showy "horse whisperers" would do. Just baby steps for as long as it takes. 


Pinky needed a new name. He was named for his pink ball that he no longer has. While it is hitting that I have one horse named after boy parts Pinky needed something more fitting. Dickie is doofy and sometimes a bit of a dick (sorry baby it's true, and part of your charm). We handed namage over to other awesome horse BFF and ba da ba ....... Pippin! Pippin is the adorable sweet side kick from the LOTR stories. It also means "
a highly admired or very admirable person or thing." Pippin is the clumsy side kick in the books which doesn't really fit him (he's a careful gentleman) but he sure looks like a Pippin. And he is already admired by many so that fits. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

My Awesome Friend

I have many awesome friends but today I want to gush about one in particular. Several years ago I met her on a horse message board and pretty much said "You will be my friend. I will ride your horse and boss you around" and for some reason she put up with me. I make friends easily but I am also very happy being alone. Then sometimes I decide I like someone and am going to make them my bff right now whether they like it or not. So she was stuck with me and so was her poor mare. She has a gorgeous Appy Clydesdale cross.

The list of why she's cool goes on and on. She was always game for horsey adventures. If there were awards for getting deals tack shopping she would have tricolor blues all over her wall. She'll answer calls or texts at any hour no matter how ridiculous the problem. And best of all she's always up for happy hour (the kind without booze at Sonic)

I was heartbroken when she moved 3 hours away. Although sometimes I think it is best. We would probably collect fifty lame/starved horses and 30 ducks and everyone would have blinged out blankets. These girls like animals and we love to bling. We haven't met a saddle pad or half chaps that didn't need extra bling. 

When she left me, her awesome husband found a barn to lease. They have a cute house, an all weather outdoor, 8 stalls, Wash Rack, stallion pen, and two quarantine pens. I've watched her grow as a horse woman over the last few years and I'm so proud. I knew she had more knowledge than she realized and it's been cool to see her admit she's pretty dang awesome. 

She's been involved in rescuing horses for years and always wanted to offer more. Now she offers a stopping point for rescues coming out of then kill pen. She's fantastic with the horses who are shy and leery of humans. By the time she is done these horses are mugging for treats just like regular pocket ponies. She's also an expert in getting weight back on the skinnies. 

Of course she is the perfect partner in crime for helping a certain little appy become a successful equine citizen. Right now he needs unabashed spoiling. She can set boundaries if she needs to but her fave is a shy horse who needs constant treats and love. She might be far away but she's stuck with me. Horse rescuing, blinging, you can't keep us apart. 

The Little Spotted Guy's Story

In the summer of 2013 this little face showed up in a kill pen in northern Washington. He came in with a group of Appaloosas and Welsh Ponies. He was about 3, a cryptorchid stallion, and completely unhandled. This face reminded someone of a certain appaloosa we all know and love who came through the very same KP. Pony Up Rescue for Equines decided to be his angel and take him home.

He came in with a mare who was suspected to be his mother. In a short time he found himself away from the only world he had known. He was shy and not halter broke. The rescue attempted to use round pen work to connect with him When they didn't make enough progress they brought in someone to help halter him. They found he didn't have a mean bone is his body. He didn't try to kick or bite even in fear. Slowly they made progress. He tolerated a farrier and attention from people he trusted. He discovered treats. Just when the rescue made enough progress to send him for the complicated surgery needed to remove an undescended testicle ........peek a boo, the other ball came out to play. 

Two testicles meant an easier procedure so he was sent to training. He became a gelding and was started under saddle. He came back braver but still incredibly shy. The rescue continued to handle him and show him that people are good and trustworthy. Because he is so shy the appropriate home hasn't materialized. 

My mom died at about the same time my friend had an opening at her farm. My recently had to put down a kill pen rescue who was in too much pain. About that time there were also two older starved horses left in the kill pen. If my friend could make room for Pippin (new name) then the rescue would be able to pick up the oldies. My mom loved to rescue. One of her favourites was a little appy mare. So in the blink of an eye this little spotted king made his way to my friend's house. He had an amazing start from Pony Up. Now he gets the chance to to find his niche. He can take as long as he needs. More to come on my amazeballs friend and what they have been up to. 

* all these photos are from the kill pen before he came home with PU

Three Weeks

As of Monday (tomorrow) morning my parents will have been gone for three weeks. I was cleaning out the house this weekend and it was surreal to think just three weeks ago Mom and Chuck were still there. It's been a crazy three weeks. I requested an extended leave at work and getting the house cleaned has been a full time job. I really want to get it on the market before my hip surgery. Its a lovely property and not much needs to be done but people acquire a lot of stuff in 70+ years of life. I am so blessed to have a wonderful family. My dad and step mom have made sure at least one of them could meet me out there daily. Sometimes people lose out when their parents divorced. I lucked out and ended up with not one but TWO amazing sets of parents. Both of my step parents have been my best friends. My girlfriend is taking all next week off to tackle the barn and service planning. My BFF is amazing and makes the trek out to help too. And one of my barn BFFs spent her only day off packing dishes.

 The place is gorgeous. There is a big barn with half set up for horses and the other side is a man haven shop. Lots of room for tools and shelves for camping supplies. The other side had three big stalls and a tack room. The stalls all open up to the pasture and it is currently cross fenced so horses can go in their own paddocks at night. There is a lovely flat pasture in the back and miles of trails just across the private street. We've had many wonderful experiences there. 

I just keep putting one foot in front of the other and check things off my list. One of the things that keeps me going is imagining opening up these boxes in my new house that mom bought me. Some of the trunks she had already packed up and I like to think about her watching me open them. I think Chuck would like me using his tools even if sometime I almost lose a limb. If anyone needs some xc jumps built I have more than enough power tools to get it done. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Pics I meant to be in that last post ;)

This is my parents poodle Bailey. He's been slowly adjusting. 

Dickie is already working on his summer coat. 

Bre is still sexy and happy. 

Treats please

The bro. He's dark bay with spots in the winter. 

Good Things and Bad Things

Hi everyone. I will probably be scarce on blogging for a few months. My mom and step dad died last Monday so I'm busy prepping a house with five acres and big barn to sell. There isn't much time for ponies and you wouldn't want to hear about what I'm doing all day.  

Dickie is doing well but he decided to poke his knee and my friends have been out giving him abx and cleaning the wound. It's not bad but I get nervous with cuts over joints. He's sound and still full of piss and vinegar. 

Bre is as pretty as ever. She made it through the whole winter without a blanket. She has started to shed like crazy. I went out for some pony therapy beauty parlor time on Friday. I can't wait for her shiny summer coat. 

In happy news I've decided to foster Dickies brother once probate closes. He needs me and emotionally I need a project like this. Dickie is to the point where he isn't a project. He's a horse I can get on and go to shows but I always crave a greenie. Isn't he cute? He has the same tb father as Dickie. They are the same age. His mom looked appy but we are thinking there might be some welsh in her. The farm that dumped him in the kill pen had a welsh stud. He moves much flashier (like a welsh) than Dickie and is smaller. He's not a pony but under 15h. He's the same color as Dickie in the winter but last summer had those pretty dapples. My friend who lives near the rescue is my partner in crime for this project. She will take him for a few months and get him used to being led in and out. Then once probate closes he will come here and get some under saddle training from me.