Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I forgot to add that I would not have a job in this ideal world, which is non-ideal.

Murphy’s Law of Horses

Any trouble a horse can get into, a horse will get into.

My new job has me in Vancouver on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. This requires me to leave Farcical Farm by 07:00 at the latest, and I don't get home until 20:00. The long days don't trouble me, but they do mean that our 1/3 acre horse paddock only gets thoroughly mucked on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. I do pick out the shelter during morning and evening feedings when it’s wet, but all other manure that falls while I am at the office is left to its own devices.

Have I ever mentioned that I am anal about keeping the paddock clean? In my ideal world* I could do it twice a day every day, so my psyche finds this once every other day shtick a little hard to take. As such, I often muck the paddock in the morning on days when I am home and then leave the huge wheelbarrow in a corner until the evening so that I can do a second round. Normally I pop the manure fork over the fence so that the horses cannot stomp on it, but I didn't do that today. 

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I could see from the tracks in the gravel that Fizz had at least one hissy fit about this predicament before simply deciding to wait for rescue.  She was totally calm by the time I arrived, and adeptly adapting her stride to accommodate this strange fifth leg.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Good, The Bad and The Handsome

The good: In some ways Tonka is doing really well.  His feet are rock solid, his teeth are good, and his winter coat is remarkably plush.  His weight is good (he could maybe lose 50lbs), his attitude is cheerful and his eyes are full of sparkle.

The bad: Despite all of The Good, I’m forced to admit that Tonka is becoming an old horse.  He’ll only be 23 in March, but it seems like a hard life is catching up with him.  First of all, he is stiff.  Kerstin had me try a month of 1 gram of bute per day, and that helped a little.  One scoop of Recovery per day didn’t help at all.  There is some risk of metabolic catastrophe for anything I add to his diet, so I haven’t tried other options.  To be honest, I don’t feel like I need to try anything else at this stage.  He appears perfectly happy, but he’s slow to get moving and less likely to kick up his heels than he used to be.  Sometimes he still goes for a lovely big trot around the pasture, though, or comes galloping back into the paddock.  A pasture-sound pasture pet suits us just fine, so it’s not a big deal.   Second of all, we continue to battle the itchy sheath.  Kerstin came up with the theory that it might be a severe contact allergy to something I often have on my hands (perfume? dish soap?) and I switched latex gloves for all netherworld interactions about 4 months ago.  It seems to help a little.  I read something on the Internetz about geldings getting yeast infections, so I treated him with Monostat 7 for an entire month.  It seemed to help a little.  I got a huge tub of hydrocortisone cream.  Sometimes it helps a little.  The guy has a seriously itchy sheath, and there’s not much I can do about it.  Third of all, there are funny little lumps and bumps popping up all over his body.  This is only to be expected with a grey, but my deepest fear is that he’s riddled with internal melanomas.  The ever-practical Kerstin is kind enough to tell me that it’s quite likely.  If true, he doesn’t seem much bothered in the here and now and that’s what is most important.

The handsome: This photo comes courtesy of our friend Natalie, and features our friend Mike’s daughter Martina.  Fizz is about to muscle Tonka out of the way, but he managed to get his treat.