Shirley and I made our annual trek to Las Vegas. Fun and relaxation were had by all. Our only disappointment was that the Donny and Marie show was cancelled and we had been looking forward to it. We did go to Blue Man Group and that was a fun and very loud show. We had good seats, and we enjoyed the show. Weather was a bit chilly on the first couple of days but it made for very comfortable walking. We had some excellent meals, including the Cravings buffet at the Mirage. We visited the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay. It’s an aquarium. We got free tickets through the MLife Players Club rewards game , My Vegas.
I have an album of photos from our trip on Facebook. Here’s the link. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10200307594110975.1073741826.1187642981&type=1&l=44bed9c791
Weather has been the topic of conversation all month. Wet and cold! I don’t know when the fields will be dried out enough to begin spring field work.
Lambing began mid month, and there are still 2 ewes left to lamb.Again this year there are triplets and twins. We had one poor ewe who had toxemia and lost her twins, but Lee was able to save the ewe. It seems like lambing season is never trouble free. I’m not sure how many lambs there are, but I’m guessing 22. Mostly boys! The little guy in the picture was born with the huge black spot on his hip. It will fade with time.
Collin is back on American soil, back from Afghanistan. It’s a huge relief. We’ll see him in July, along with the rest of the family, when we go to OKC for a wedding.
The horses are shedding! They’re itchy and need to be bathed and brushed, but it’s too cold.
I’m enjoying the return of the migratory birds. I’ll bet the birds aren’t all that happy to be back. Kildeer are nesting on the cold ground. Robins are finding worms now but I wonder what they ate while the ground was still frozen. The barn swallows are here, but we don’t have any bugs yet!
I think that all pet owners are pretty fed up with the China Connection as it relates to dog food and treats. When I’m looking for treats for Charlie I spend a ridiculous amount of time reading the labels. I’ve found a couple that I feel are safe to give him, but I could probably make treats for him in the same amount of time I spend reading labels and researching recall lists.
Here are some treat recipes you might like to try. I’m also giving you horse treat recipes, just because I love my minis and they do get treats sometimes as well. They love bran muffins!
3/4 cup hot water or meat broth/stock
1/3 cup margarine
1/2 cup powdered milk
1 egg, beaten
3 cups whole wheat flour
Pour the hot water/broth over the margarine and mix to melt it. Stir in the powdered milk and egg. Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Knead 3 to 4 minutes, adding more flour as needed, to make a very stiff dough. Roll to 1/2 inch thickness and cut out with cookie cutters or cut into rectangles sized for your dog. Place on greased baking sheet and bake at 325 for 50 minutes/ Cool and let dry until hard. Yields about 1/4 pound of treats.
PUMPKIN AND PEANUT BUTTER DOG TREATS
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Whisk together the flour, eggs, pumpkin, peanut butter, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl. Add water as needed to help make the dough workable, but the dough should be dry and stiff. Roll the dough into a 1/2-inch-thick roll. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces.
3. Bake in preheated oven until hard, about 40 minutes.
Makes about 25 treats.
Wafer ice cream cones
1 shredded apple
1 shredded carrot
1/4 cup horse feed (pellets or whatever you feed)
1 1/2 cups bran
Enough molasses to hold it all together.
Stuff the mixture into the cones.
Or, you can stuff it into cored apples. These treats are sized for full size horses. For minis, they only need about 1/4 of a treat. They’ll tell you they want more, but don’t listen.
You can also modify the dog biscuit recipes for horses. Experiment!
Photo credit Debi Plekan
I’ve recently read an article that mentioned the American Quarter Horse Association‘s Full Circle Program. I’m not sure how it works, but I think it’s supposed to help track previously owned horses, thus possibly preventing the throwing away of unwanted horses. It’s a great idea and I would love to read that other breed associations are also providing this service. One very compelling reason for me to stop breeding and selling miniature horses was that I hated losing control over their welfare. No matter how carefully prospective buyers are screened, stuff happens. Every person who bought a horse from me was told that I would appreciate the right of first refusal if they ever needed to sell the horse. I even put it into sales contracts, but it’s not enforceable. I can remember 2 buyers who actually did let me know that they were selling their minis, and although I wasn’t in a position to buy them back, I was able to help find good homes for them. Every horse that was sold from this farm was registered, but I can guarantee that if I look for them via the registry’s stud books, I won’t be able to find most of them. I often wonder about the babies that were born here, and what kind of lives they’ve had. Why don’t people keep them registered? Isn’t it their birthright? Don’t they deserve to have the chain of ownership recorded? I believe they do deserve to have their registration, papers, and heritage stay with them forever. I can’t single handedly make that happen, so I just don’t contribute any more.
About 10 years ago Lee and I decided that it was time to downsize our miniature horse activities. We stopped breeding and showing them, and sold most of our best horses. The ones we kept were minis who had special needs. It’s hard to imagine anyone else giving the kind of care we give to these needy ones. Of course that’s an arrogant way of thinking and I know that really there are many people in this world who would do a good job with them. What I ended up with was a small group of miniature horses with health problems, so I knew that I would be dealing with lots of nursing care and special diets with supplements,and extra vet and farrier visits. I also knew that my little herd would dwindle. In the 10 years since we dispersed the main herd, we’ve euthanised 3 of the chronically ill minis, and now this week makes it 4.
Cody was born here. At the age of 17 he dies here. He had a chronic, we think genetic, condition involving his trachea. His dam had the same problem. He also had chronic bouts of laminitis, although not since last winter. Recently I became aware that he was having other, very serious problems.As he got worse I struggled with making the decision to euthanise him. This week I realized we couldn’t make him better, he continued to go downhill,and I couldn’t bear to think he might be suffering. Although we don’t know exactly what was going on with him (we didn’t do a necropsy) we do know that he had something bad. At the end his blood pressure was sky high, his abdomen was bloated and full of fluid, he was dripping in sweat in the mornings in the last few days. The vet guesses heart or liver, maybe both. The last thing I did before the vet got here was to take Cody in the grass so he could graze for the first time in years. Grass is a no-no for laminitic horses. He loved it. He never lost his appetite.
He was my little trick pony who answered questions with a nod or a shake of his head, and gave kisses whenever he was asked for them. He loved kids and they loved him.
Thanks so much Dr. Anne Clary for your compassionate care of my minis for all these years.
Please enjoy this slideshow of pictures of Cody, from his birth, through his show career, to his most recent pictures at the age of 17. Cody was loved by many and he will be missed so much, especially by me.
Another season rolls in. Here in Wisconsin the leaves are turning, the air is sometimes crisp, sometimes warm. On the warm days the yellow jackets, hornets, and box elder bugs come alive and they’re everywhere. We’ve already had a killing frost, so our growing season is over. Lee is out on the combine harvesting soybeans. Grain prices are up because of the poor crops in much of the country and world. Hog and lamb prices have gone down. I just heard today that there is going to be a pork shortage worldwide. We’ll see.
Collin left for his deployment and called last week to say that he’s settled in. My goal is to send him a box from home every month. His birthday is in October, so that box will celebrate his birthday, with a little Halloween/Autumn thrown in.
Some of the other grands have relocated. A couple have transplanted to new cities, and one to a new apartment. It seems there’s fallout, a domino effect when families go through traumatic times.
For me, I’m learning that I need to live my own life and not worry so much about the others. I can only do so much, and the older I get, the more draining it becomes.
We’ve had some very windy days lately and on one of those days a large tree limb came down in Cody’s pen. I didn’t think he had been hit by the branch at first but later I realized that he did get either hit or grazed on his head. His left eye was very swollen and the eyeball was hemorrhaged. Fortunately the swelling went down and I could see that the blood in his eye was reabsorbing. By the 4th day he was nearly as good as new. Poor guy.
The kittens continue to grow. The little female calico went to her new home and is doing very well. They named her Luna. I still have the 3 males. I’ve been advertising them on Freecycle, but the only takers were no-shows. They’re so entertaining and I waste so much time just watching them play. I love baby animals 🙂