I am still in Toronto. As of this morning I have been away from Farcical Farm for three weeks, which feels almost like a lifetime. The course I have been taking at UofT has been very valuable on a professional level, but I am anxious to get home on a personal level. Just another few days. Tonka will be the sole equine greeting party when I arrive, since Pepper and Scooby went home yesterday. David mentioned something about Scooby having a swollen tendon sheath, but I do not know the details yet. Tonka apparently called after them for a whole five minutes after they left, then got back to the important task of eating. My important task of getting him back in condition will start on Sunday morning. I’ll be getting myself back in condition at the same time — these past two months of finishing my thesis (I handed it in last week) somehow shrunk my pants. Mysterious!
Sunday, July 26, 2009
David is back at Farcical Farm now, hanging out with the gang and harvesting food from the garden in the midsummer heat. He is happy to report that Tonka is doing just fine after his few days of hot feet and careful movement. Can you hear my sigh of relief? I have one more week of brain-bending course work to finish in the unseasonably cool and wet Toronto, but I am itching to get back to the ranch. Especially so that I can eat these things out of the garden instead of just being taunted with pictures. We don't have anything on Daun, but it's still kind of nice to know that we might be able to sustain ourselves for a couple of weeks if push came to shove.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
I'm currently in Toronto, visiting with my family and taking a software development course at UofT while I am still technically a student. David is currently in Ottawa visiting with his family, and Melissa is taking care of business at Farcical Farm. It has not been going smoothly for her. First, a dump truck got hit by a train (no one hurt) at the bottom of our hill, closing the road for hours. Then Tonka started to get foot sore for no apparent reason and his hooves were feeling warm. Then there was a giant thunderstorm that scared Titan and caused him to go on a runabout. Then there was another big car accident on the road and Melissa couldn't get home so she had to have the neighbors break into the house. Then Tonka was even more foot sore and his hooves were downright hot. Then Titan decided that if he could go runabout during a storm he could go runabout any old time. We've only been gone for five days.
The news about Tonka is, of course, worrying. I noticed his hooves were a little warm to the touch the day before we left and asked Melissa to keep him off the pasture in our absence, just as a precaution. Now she has cut his teeny tiny portion of beet pulp entirely, and is rationing his hay as well. The last time we had an episode like this was when the neighbors fed him a whole bag of carrots, but I'm quite sure that's not the case this time around. There are some fallen cherries in the horse paddock, so he could be gobbling those. I'm partially inclined to think that it has something to do with him actually *moving* again, considering that he has stood faithfully by Raven's immobile side for the past month. I will keep you all updated as the news comes in.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Your kind and thoughtful words about Raven are very much appreciated. I can now look back through the comments without choking up, so I guess that I am making progress. My mantra throughout has been "it was a hard thing to do, but it was the only thing to do" with emphasis on the first part. But last week Raven could barely walk and she was in danger of falling over every time she tried to kick at a fly. We had her on three grams of bute a day and it was barely taking the edge off her pain. For the past month she had been resistant to moving anywhere away from the central feeder in the paddock, even for toiletries after having been a very clean mare. When Christina came on Wednesday to trim Tonka she was rendered speechless by Raven's condition, and that was the reaction I needed to finally make the call I had been dreading.
Raven was not with us for a long time, but she had a big impact on my head and my heart and my horsemanship. I will never regret the decision to bring her home. Any horse that comes to Farcical Farm will have a safe haven for life, and I'm just sorry that she had to take me up on the offer so soon.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
As much as it sucks not to see Raven out the window, it is so much better to see these three amigos (or stooges) than to see Tonka all alone. LPepper (gray) is a 24-year-old Arab/TB and Scooby (chestnut) is a 21-year-old Appy/QH. At the tender age of 20 Tonka is the youngster in this group.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
One of the reasons that I have been so quiet lately is Raven. For the past two months she has been fighting a losing battle with DSLD, and last week it became clear that she could struggle no longer. Kerstin euthanized her on Saturday morning, and she died peacefully eating an apple out of my hand. I got one one last kiss between her double whorls before her knees buckled.
Raven got to know Kerstin well during her treatment for that stupid (fucking) puncture wound, so she was completely relaxed for the final injections. Such a good girlie, as I told her many times. There is a big black hole out in the paddock now, but some friends have loaned us their two horses for a while to keep Tonka company. I have to admit that I find their presence comforting too.
The first picture was taken on September 11th 2008, two months before the stupid (fucking) puncture wound. Raven was at her healthiest and we were getting ready for some galloping along the dikes. The second picture was taken on April 2nd 2008, a week after she arrived at Farcical Farm. Back then she was skinny and scared, rarely looking directly at me and never approaching of her own free will. The last picture was taken on May 3rd 2009, at the beginning of what turned out to be the end. I am not a spiritual person, but as of July 4th 2009 I like to think that she on the moors and beneath the stars in her king's wild company.