Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tuesday 20 January 2009 - A.W.O.L.

Just to keep you all up to speeed, I have been absent for a few days and probably will be for a few more. The evening before last I took a kick to the side of my head while out in the field with the 3 fillies, my fault entirely, it wasnt malicious, I was carrying hay to the roundpen which is in the enclose that they are in and they were fighting over it and getting very excited and bucking and running and one of them caught me on the right side of the head, tearing my earlobe and causing a lot swelling and bruising. I am just laying low and taking it easy in case of concussion and am not spending much time on the computer although my e-mail is on and I will check it periodically.

I will be back (((((Hugs)))))

Lori

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday 16 January 2009 - Wiggle - Part 1

-14F this morning, I think our low was -19F and our high about 5F but we are surviving. Sspent a lot of time outside today because all the latches to the stables were frozen, the buckets were blocks of ice and I needed to do a bit of cleaning up. Adam didn't give the horses water and fortunately I checked and they were all really thirsty. Makes me so mad, I have tried to instill in him time and again that they can go without hay and feed but never without water and especially if they are eating hay. Kooter started colicing nearly straight away but she came out of it quite quickly.

As promised here is Wiggle's story. As you know 11 January is my birthday and on that day in 2004 I was surprised to see the start of the birth of a baby horse, she was three weeks or so early so not expected at all. This first picture she has just stood up for the first time and is probably about an hour or so old, still squished up from being in the womb. She is what is called a Medicine Hat Paint horse, the Indians held great stock in horses with this pattern), which consists of color over the ears like a hat a shield like spot on the chest and patches on the sides. She had the right idea about the milk bar but couldnt get attached and I was worried because the mare didn't have much of a bag if any. My first concern was that the foal needed to get that all important colostrum from its mother's milk within the first 12 hours at least. We had no way to know if she had got anything from the mare or not.

I immediately got hold of the vet and he gave her Momma, Barbie, a hormone injection to try to get her milk to come in, if it did it was very little so by the second day I knew that it was too late for the colostrum which I will always make darn sure that I get for any future foals immediately even if I have to drive across the state.

Now the battle started to try to get this baby to take a milk supplement for horses. I tried a teat on a bottle and she just wasnt interested, she was a real fighter and refused to suck on that thing. Our neighbor helped me try to contain her while we got her to take the milk. No luck. I was in tears and so frustrated and just imagining the worst was going to happen when Larry told me to put it in a bowl or small bucket and dip her muzzle in it and see what happened. It worked like a charm, before we knew it the little darling was sucking that bowl of milk down in a matter of seconds LOL. It would have taken her a lot longer to get that amount from momma that is for sure. That is when I decided to call her Wiggle Monster because she was an impatient little thing right from the get go and swished her little tail with irritation when things werent going fast enough or her way or she was irritated with something you were doing.

When she was two days old about a day after Barbie had the hormone injection I was standing just inside the stable giving Wiggle her milk and the next think I knew Barbie was coming at me with her teeth bared and ears flattened with all of her 1100 lbs behind her. She bit me above the right breast really badly and hit me like a train pinning me up against the wall. If I hadn't had the wall behind me I hate to think what she would have done if I had fallen down. I was totally shocked because this mare had NEVER shown any signs of agression even with her other baby so can only put it down to the hormonal shot. I was in severe pain and black and blue over half of my chest for over 6 weeks, it hurt to breathe.

After that I made sure that I kept her tied up when I was in the stable as I now didnt trust her at all. I left her with her momma because I figured that if she was getting even something from her mother it was better than nothing, but it didnt appear that she was. The vet told me that by the time Wiggle was 6 weeks old we would know if she had received the valuable colostrum which forms the foundation for the foal's immune system for life. We just were unable to afford all the tests etc. needed to test her and know for sure.

In the above picture you can see her when she was about 5 weeks old, her fetlocks and legs are quite swollen and I had had to tailor make a blanket to fit her because we didnt have one her size, the one was too small and the other too big, so I did a few alterations LOL, it looked quite funny but it kept her warm and she didnt seem to mind. I took her mother away at about this time as it was clear that she wasnt helping her baby at all. This of course is when the little darling started getting spoiled rotten by me.

The swelling started worrying me and I took her for a walk out in the field every day when the weather allowed as it was very cold and could see when she was feeling good and when she wasnt, so we started fearing the worst and the vet told us it didn't look good. Larry suggested getting a plasma transfusion for her as a last effort to try to save this baby horse because he knew how heartbroken I was over her dilemma. I was a wreck by then with worry. Our vet wasn't convinced it would work so Larry went onto the internet and found a company who he told our sad story to and asked what it would cost and that our vet didn't think it would work.

Mg Biologics kicked into gear and not only supplied me with $300 of plasma but airfreighted it to me overnight free of charge because they were determined to show my vet that it does work!!! (He has since started doing this procedure quite often but would never admit it LOL). He wasnt too keen on giving her the transfusion and it was hard to get the needle in and keep it there because she didn't want anything to do with it and he was pretty impatient because he thought it was a waste of time. We eventually got the job done with Mg Biologics telling us that if we needed any more plasma they would be more than happy to supply it. What great people it restored my faith in human nature and I will forever be grateful to them.


She started improving almost immediately and the daily routine was me coming in to the barn to feed, opening her stable door and letting her have the run of the barn while I was feeding everyone. She went up and down the aisleway greeting all the horses one by one and it wasn't long before she decided that she had to sample each horse's bucket of grain before I gave it to them and would chase me down the aisleway with a mean little look on her face and her ears back if I tried to evade her. All this time she was still slurping her milk supplement with great gusto every four hours but was now getting grain and hay as well preparing her to be weaned off of the milk.

The whole time I was in the barn while I was cleaning stalls or feeding she had the run of the barn and would only go out for exercise if I went with her, then she would run flat out, suddenly drop to the ground and roll over back and forward about ten times, then bounce up go flying off and repeat the same thing. She loved to roll from day one and especially if there was a lot of mud. This was all cute when she was small and I could ellude being buzzed and play kicked at as she flew by, but started to get a bit worrisome as she got bigger LOL. She became an expert at climbing the sawdust pile and completely destroying a complete bale of hay and spreading it far and wide then rolling in it.

In the meantime she had learned that if she got stuck in her stall after rolling, when she was up against the wall and couldnt maneouver herself to a position to get back over so she could get up, that I would come and roll her over and up she would pop. Again all very amusing and easy while she was small but this became a game, she would lay on the ground when I came into her stable right up until she was a 2 year old and just lay there and look at me and I had to roll her over before she would get up even though she wasnt stuck. When she reached about 1000 lbs that became impossible so she eventually grew out of that but she would never panick if she got trapped, just waited patiently until I came in to feed and I would get her out of the pickle she had got herself into so I was grateful for that because the one morning I found her under the panels that I had dividing the stalls, half of her in one stable and the back half in her's!!! I had to dismantle the whole set up in order to get the panel moved so she could get up and she just lay there and waited for me to finish the demolition procedure on the stalls LOL.

It was clear though that she had an identity crisis, not knowing if she was the same as me or if I was the same as her and considered me to be her momma but the only thing was she couldnt rough house with me like she could have if she was still with her momma. At three months old I decided to wean her off of the milk .......... to be continued.

Before coming to Indiana 8 years ago my knowledge of horses had been at riding school level and I had made a great friendship with Marion when I started riding again. She owned the riding school that I started riding at and we became firm friends and that is where the photography and horses melded into one too because I was always taking pictures for the boarders at the barn, the riders who came for lessons and the small shows she had most weekend. I charged a small fee for the pictures and it helped sustain my income. I learned a little about feeding as she had 50 horses at the facility and often I would be in charge of giving the grooms the rations for charges (each groom looked exclusively after 3 or 4 horses in the yard) I will get into that more one day I hope. I had never been around a stallion and I had only ever been around one foal, so this was a huge learning curve for me when I arrived here to take care of 12 odd horses (four foals, two stallions and 6 brood mares) and NO experience other than at a riding school.

We survived the day, are hoping for opportunities to get horses out tomorrow and if we do I will have photo opportunities I hope, so may just have some new stuff to show you! Keep warm and safe everyone. ((((Hugs))))

Lori
xx

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thursday 15 January 2009 - Weather Update

Well to say our weather country wide has been absurd is an understatement. I experienced my coldest ever temps today with colder tonight, we woke up to -5F (-19C), our high was 0F (-15C) and our low tonight is going to be -14F (-22C) tonight!!!!!! This is the enevitable ice crystal formations on our front window this morning, no really intricate patterns but these little ice crystals were quite pretty.

This was the view from our kitchen window, deceptive isn't it? It was -8F (-20C) when I photographed the scene!! I went out to see the horses who are all safely installed inside and couldnt bear to be out for more than 10 minutes. The windchill brought us down to -25F -30F and it was absolutely frigid. The figures in Celcius are estimates and will be within a degree or two of being correct, but the Farenheit ones are the actual temps.
I just had to get this post in for the record and will now try to move on to Wiggle's story which has been pushed back all week LOL. Keep warm everyone who is living this nightmare and be careful, take care of yourselves, it is dangerous to be out in such cold weather. (((Hugs))))
Lori


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tuesday 13 January 2009 - Patrick Swayze


I was going to start my posts about Wiggle and her battle to stay alive and the character she has become, but I visited a fellow blogger's blog MiKael's Mania before I started putting my post together and now am unable to concentrate as this has left me quite emotional.


So today I would ask you all to click on the link to this article about Patrick Swayze and his battle with cancer, his outlook and his Arabian horses.


It is certainly food for thought and I know that they would welcome everyone's prayers and positive energy, makes you realise how fragile life is.
Stay safe and look after yourselves ((((Hugs))))
Lori

Monday, January 12, 2009

Monday 12 January 2009

This is my latest work of art, we have another baby expected in the extended family so I thought I would make a blanket like this for him/her to add to my portfolio. Here is a closeup of the squares and an image of the entire blanket, it measures 35" x 21" with the border. I can do these in any combination of colors they don't have to be exactly like this but with us not knowing the sex of the baby I covered all the bases.


I am going to start my story on Wiggle and if I dont get it posted today I will post it tomorrow. It is quite cool going through all my old pictures, they bring back so many memories.
Have a great day, and thanks again for all the birthday wishes I really appreciate them. (((((Hugs))))
Lori
xx

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sunday 11 January 2009

It was my birthday today (dont ask I am starting to count backwards now) and I want to thank everyone for their birthday wishes via this blog and e-mail. I had a very quiet day which is what I wanted, just to veg out and finish a blanket that I have been working on. I havent taken a picture of the baby blanket yet but will tomorrow and post a pic, I intended to do that today but got sidetracked (surprise surprise, doesn't take much).

Yesterday I posted a picture of Wiggle (DBD Indian Dreamaker), who I also call Wiggle Monster LOL. I am not going to post her story today but remember I told you she threw temper tantrums, well this isnt a temper tantrum, she has always loved to roll and will get down and roll over and over 5, 6 even up to 10 times before jumping up and then bucking and farting across the field (jet propelled). What I want to do is maybe a series on each of my personal horses and also our other horses over the next few weeks. Her story is pretty amusing and of course I have lots of pictures to give you a visual story too. Photogchic asked if Wiggle is what they call a "Medicine Hat" paint and the answer is yes, I will explain more about this as I tell you her story.

I hope you all had a great weekend, we were around freezing again today with snow and more freezing rain but I was curled up inside on my rocking chair LOL (can you picture that!!!)

Havent been feeling great but am starting to come out of it now so I am hoping this will be a good week. ((((((Hugs)))))))

Lori
xx

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Saturday 10 January 2009

Just a short post today, I have had "one of those days" Iknow a lot of you can empathise, hopefully tomorrow will be a better day. I was looking at old photos for a bit and this is one that I took of my little filly born in 2004 at about 6 months old. I hand reared her as her mother didnt come into milk. I call her Wiggle but her registered name is DBD Indian Dreamaker. Her mother was the mare we lost last year while she was foaling. As a result she is a bit of an attitude child and is not sure if I am a horse or she is a human or the other way around and can get a bit boistrous (sp!) around people and has absolutely no patience. She used to throw temper tantrums when I got mad at her when she was growing up if she did somethinglike chase me down the length of the barn to get a mouthful of each horses' feed out of the buckets before I gave it to them LOL. She was spoiled and I have only myself to blame LOL. She would literally throw herself on the ground and roll over and over jump up snort and shake her head and then throw herself down again LOL.

I could kick myself at the end of every day when I havent spent time with her and my other horses doing something constructive but it is just so hard to get motivated.

We had freezing rain and snow today so everything is like an icerink again today.

Talk to you all tomorrow and thanks for your visits, CG do you like Blue?

((((Hugs)))))
Lori
xxx

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Thursday 8 January 2009

I may have posted these pics before somewhere on my blog but this is an idea of some of what we put up with during our winters LOL, from the mud to the snow.

The first is of some of the wild birds with some seed that I put out for them, I have been trying since I came here to get a really good shot of a cardinal, so far this is one of the best, they are very illusive. The other little birds are house sparrows I think.

At first glance anyone driving past this scene may be shocked but believe it or not on the cold winter days when the sun is out even if there is snow on the ground, the horses will lay down and bask in the sun, mud or no mud. I saw this scene out of the kitchen window and grabbed my camera and snapped it quickly because they don't normally lay down for long periods of time. Poor babies, no grass and just mud LOL.

It is going to be a short one today again, I have been staying away from my camera and the computer a lot in the past month, trying to renew my enthusiasm, winter is not the best time. Thanks for all the comments and Joan I wish!!! I still have a lot of friends in SA and a brother, it is just not financially possible, now if any of you would like to order a crochet beanie(hat) or a poncho or something like that I could maybe do enough crochet over the next 12 months to buy a ticket!!! I will do items to order, color and design wise LOL.

Hope you are all having a good week, we are very cold, in the teens F today for highs. (((((Hugs))))

Lori
xx


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wednesday 7 January 2009

Oooops missed a day already. Sorry but I am back, it will be a shortish post.



One of the new blogs that I found recently and which is sure worth a visit SA Photographs - Joan posted some photos of the monarch butterfly in the southern hemisphere. They are actually very different to the ones here in the northern hemisphere, at least in this part of the USA. So I wanted to show her what ours look like. The only part of their life cycle that I havent photographed in the Pupae stage because I have never been able to find one, this summer I am planning on making some sort of enclosure so that I can see and photograph them as I believe they are very beautiful, green with gold dots around it. I see plenty of the caterpillars but I have no idea where they dissappear to to form the crysallis and I have been hunting for a few years now LOL. The milkweed plant that they feed on makes them unpalatable and poisonous to predators which is their defence mechanism. There are very few insects that will feed on milkweed.


There is a similar butterfly to the USA variety and it is a King butterfly or something I cant remember exactly will have to do a bit of research. They are exactly the same except they have a black line diagonally across their rear wings which the monarch doesnt. I have a photo of one of those somewhere too, will see if I can find it.


Had a cold snowy windy day today and I stayed curled up inside crocheting, andyone care to place an order for a poncho LOL. Cyndie received hers yesterday and seems very pleased with it, my only worry was that it was long enough because she is pretty tall. She is going to have a photo taken while she is wearing it and if it is okay with her I will share it here when she does. I am really finding the crochet theraputic and relaxing.


Hope everyone is having a good week, ours started off lousy weatherwise but I suppose I am going to have to get used to that if I want to live here LOL. ((((((Hugs))))))


Lori
xx

Monday, January 5, 2009

Monday 5 January 2009

This is part of one of the buildings in our town square which line the four sides of the road around the courthouse. I have posted a pic of it before but have been wanting to take more of all the buildings for ages because they are really starting to get shabby at the edges. When I post a few more pics you will see what I mean, loose bricks at the tops etc. They need serious maintenance and just about all the stores on the ground floor are closed and empty. The supermarkets etc. are all spread far and wide over a square mile. This one dates from the late 1800s and the brickwork was also what fascinated me, the designs they made out of the bricks are gorgeous.
(Click on picture to enlarge)
Well not much happening today, I had no help with the horses so did both feeds and only found about this evening just before it got dark, so had 11 horses to bring in and feed and it was already dark. Thank heavens it wasn't too cold, I think we stuck at about freezing and just above all day but it was sunny which is why I put the horses out.
I am going to get a reasonably early night so hope everyone is having a good week so far, thanks for the visits and comments. ((((Hugs)))))
Lori
xx

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sunday 4th January 2009

I hope everyone had a good weekend, we had a misty rainy but rather warm day 40sF but I didnt spend much time outside. The horses couldn't get out today because that bit of a warm up and the rain is just enough for it to get real slippery on the clay and tear what is left of the pature up, so this is a picture of everyone's favorite filly BB (IMA Blue Dudette) when she got out yesterday. She was very happy LOL.

I promised to post a picture of Deb with her poncho that I posted a pic of the other day. I made a beanie cap to go with it but ran out of the multicolored wool so ended it with a fold up in yellow. I reckon it will keep her warm and I think she was pleased with it.

Nothing much else to report, this weather is crazy. Adam can't feed the horses tomorrow morning so I am going to do that for the first time in a while. The barn is suffering from the cold weather and indability to get dried out like it does every winter but we are trying to keep on top of it. Every chance I get I put all the horses out.
Hope you all had a great weekend. ((((((Hugs))))))) to everyone who needs them, Julie I hope you had a better day today, MiKael I am jealous of your snow, yes I will admit I love the snow, just not the extreme cold and wind and you dont need it to be extreme cold to snow so hopefully we will have at least one good snowfall before the end of winter.
See y'all tomorrow.
Lori
xx

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Saturday 3 January 2009

We have definitely not had photo taking weather recently so I havent got many of the horses, but we put Goldie out to run in the small field today. She is still very twitchy about her head so we have left the rope attached or we wont be able to catch her LOL, I havent spent anywhere near enough time with her but I am taking advantage of the break while Adam is looking after the horses to detach myself from them and when next month I get back into routine it wont feel like such a chore and maybe I can start enjoying my horses again.

As you can see she is just a ball of fluff, that is the only way I have seen her because she was already 4 months old when I got her. I can't wait until she sheds out all that hair and I can see what she looks like properly. Cyndie you asked if her legs were that straight, she does had vry good straight legs according to Larry but again with all the hair on her legs and around her fetlocks etc. it is hard to see LOL. I am not big into what is "correct" in conformation, which is bad with me being a photographer, they are all gorgeous to me and I love them all whether I can see their "faults" according to those that know or they are as ugly as sin.
She sure is a little firecracker though and it wont be too soon for me to start working with her because she is going to be a handful.

Nothing much happening today. Got a print order that I have been putting off for ages (just personal pics not orders) and got that done.
Hope everyone is having a good weekend. (((((Hugs)))))) to all that need them, you are all always in my thoughts. I am going to try to learn to meditate I think, I believe it is very relaxing.
See y'all tomorrow.
Lori
xx


Friday, January 2, 2009

Friday 2 January 2009

Today's pic is the ice formations on our bathroom window a few weeks ago when it was so cold here in the northeast. Click on the pic to see a bigger version. Nature is wonderful, there is never one the same as the other. I haven't had any elaborate ice patterns this year but winter still has a ways to go. We are hovering around the freezing mark, up and down but there is no ice anymore thank heavens and so far it has stayed dry which allows me to put the horses out so they can at least let off some steam.

A few of my blogging buddies have expressed interest in us banding together for support and a swift kick up the butt to get us moving forward when it seems that all that you want to do is cawl under the covers and stay there, as they are going through a similar situation, emotionally and mentally. I think that is a great idea, I am always here if anyone needs to chat, moral support or a shoulder to cry on, it definitely helps to talk to someone, I can thank MiKael for my moves in a positive direction, it has taken a while but I am finally getting there!!!! Don't think it comes easily because it doesnt, but when it starts to come together it is worth it.

I have made some great friends here on bloggosphere and even though we have never physically met we have so much in common and the ones that have stuck have been wonderful, there is nothing really to say why we are drawn to someone without meeting but I am glad that this has happened to me and hopefully one day we will all be able to meet.

It is late and of course I haven't edited any more photos LOL, reliability has not been one of my strong points of late but that is another thing I am working on. ((((((Hugs))))))) to all that need them.

Lori
xx

Thursday, January 1, 2009

1 January 2009

Wishing all of you who still visit my blog and any new visitors a Safe, Happy and Prosperous 2009. My resolution (and I am going to try to keep to it the best I can), is to look forward and stop looking back at what could have been or was. No regrets, what ifs and bad feelings. My life is not going to mend until I let go of all the negative, painful and dissappointment that are holding me hostage and making me miserable.


With my Father's passing in September I got in contact with a member of my extended family (my step-sister Di), reconciled with my daughter (it is baby steps but we are getting there), resumed my relationship with my brother in SA and regained contact with my one friend who has always been there for me, somehow over the years Cyndy and I have gone our seperate ways due to various paths that our lives have taken but we have always ended up meeting up again and taking up from where we left off like nothing had changed. She is still in SA.


I haven't shot much recently and what I have shot I haven't done much editing on but will soon. I have been working on my second crochet poncho project which has left me with a calm feeling, the best I have felt in a long time. That is the picture that I posted today. I wanted to try to use an African theme, the Ndebele people (A tribe in Africa) decorate their homes and do beadwork etc. with their own unique style and I wanted to try and capture some of that. I think I succeeded and can't wait to start on my next project. I have done crochet as long a I remember and have made double bed blankets, toilet roll holders, the wooden hangar covers, baby blankets, you name it and am glad that I have found it again because it relaxes me.
Well that's it for now, I have a picture of Deb wearing the poncho that I made for her in my last post which I will edit for tomorrow's post hopefully. (((((Hugs))))))
Lori
xx