Friday, May 30, 2014

OH BOY....!!!! IT'S HOT.........!!!


Usually we are a little cooler than Tucson, but the last couple of days we're right up there over 100 with them.  It's suppose to get a little hotter each day at least thru the week-end.  Racing tomorrow night will be brutal, by the time you put on the safety equipment you are already dripping wet.  You hope the race in front of you has a good clean short race, so you don't have to "roast" sitting in staging.  Some of the drivers go to staging with their equipment off, even get out of the car and somehow manage to be ready when it's time to go on the track.  I'm just not that coordinated.  What we are willing to do for a few minutes of fun........!!!! LOL

A few days ago we noticed Cisco had rubbed his cheek area underneath the fly mask and below it.  When we picked him up years ago, both sides of his face were a mess, but over the years we've managed to keep his face clean without sores.  It looked like a fly probably got up underneath the fly mask and Cisco did what he could to get rid of it, which means rubbing his face raw and to the bone.  Looks like Boaz isn't the only one that will need a Crusader long mask.  Renee is making a couple for Boaz to cover the side of his mouth, looks like I'll probably use the extra one for Cisco at least until we get him healed.  

Boaz's mouth is doing well, I think I'm getting ahead of the habronema larvae.  Picked out the last big one I could see yesterday and this morning it looked pretty good.  I'm keeping it slathered with Ivermecterin as best I can with the idea, if a fly does land and drop eggs, the Ivermectin will kill them.  

Rosie's belly is doing great, dried up and healing well.  About the only other health problem we're dealing with is stable flies on the legs.  It looks like Penny, Quilla and some of the others will probably be in polo wraps for the duration.  

Saw our first snake a few days ago.  Pretty good sized gopher snake, or whatever people call them these days.  Rather mellow fellow, he was headed for the trees on the north side of the house, but didn't seem to be in a hurry.  Hung around while I went in and got the camera and yard stick, and stayed there when John put the yardstick down by him.  I didn't realize until later I didn't get all of him in the picture, should have backed up a step or two, I guess.

Monday, May 26, 2014


Seems like that's about all I am doing these days.  No open sores on anyone now except for the side of Boaz's mouth.  It's getting better, but until all the larvae are gone it won't heal.  We're aren't there yet, but every day it's improved.  

I have to make sure everyone's polo wraps are up and keeping the flies at bay.  They usually can stay on for 3 or 4 days before having to be rewrapped.  Rolling in the dust bathing areas seems to be hard on them. 

I am having to doctor Rosie's belly.  She has what is called midline ventral dermatitis, at least that's my WAG (wild ass guess).  It's right down the middle of her belly, oozing, nasty, icky wound about a foot long.  I am using Underwood Horse Medicine, which dries the area and gives it a change to scab over.  She also gets wormed, actually everyone that is having big problems with flies and sores gets wormed, just because.  It's suppose to kill any larvae that are on or in the donkey, but I have my doubts.  If that was true, my theory would be you worm them and they would immediately start healing up.  Judging from past experience, healing usually doesn't start until I use Ivermectin on the sores..........BUT.......... I'll do what the experts say, and hope for the best.  

We've got 2 shelters to put up in a couple of the pens that don't have shelters, but it's been so windy lately we haven't been able to get them up.  They are those 10 x 20 portable garages, a frame covered with a tarp.  They probably won't last thru the summer, the sun out here isn't kind to tarps.  John wanted to get shelters built last winter before it got hot, but never got around to it.  So hopefully these will make it thru the hottest part of the summer. 

This morning John took my 2 racing trophies up to the garage with the 45 years of trophies already up there.  He told me when he went out the door, that I now have to win another goal for this year was to win a race and finish the year better than 5th.  I've won 4 main events and am in 3rd for points so far, but of course the season is very young.  At least I got that "winning" thingie out of the way..........LOL   

Friday, May 23, 2014


This is the side of Boaz's mouth and what I am battling.  It's always amazing to me the equine people I talk to that have never even heard of habronema, let alone had to deal with the little "darlings".  Each one of those white spots is a larvae, pretty much dead at this stage from being slathered with Ivermectin.  Once you dig out the ones showing, there are usually others behind them.  There are 3 other places just out of sight, that are pretty much cleaned out and are healing.  But this one being where it is located is a real problem.  

He's really good about letting me dig around with blunt tweezers, unless I get too energetic.  Heard back from Renee at Colorful Equine.  We've got to coordinate what I want, but she's willing to make the masks.  

This morning I looked at Cisco's face right below his fly mask and it looked like a rubbed spot.  Sure enough, for the 1st time in years flies have gotten underneath his mask and obviously had some little hitchhikers. I saw at least 4 larvae right up under his eye even though John's been leaving his mask on 24/7.  I put Ivermectin on the area, so they should be dead by this afternoon and I can dig them out.  If they are alive, they must have teeth, claws or something, because they hang on and are almost impossible to get out.  When we rescued him about 14 years ago, both sides of his face were bloody to the bone from eye to mouth, really nasty.  He's such a gentle guy, but he will rub on you if he itches.  John said he had been rubbing his face on John's leg the last few days.  John didn't realize, Cisco was trying to tell him something.  When he rubs on me, or stands in front of me and hikes his back leg, I know he's got an itchy spot.  

Everyone else seems to be doing pretty good, although the flies are worse than usual.  It's really dry and although the weatherman keeps saying it "might" rain, we don't pay much attention to him.......!!!


Wednesday, May 21, 2014


I think California is headed for New Mexico today.  I don't know how hard the wind is blowing, but it is really nasty, reminds me of Iceland.  The wind blew there constantly, which in the winter was really interesting.  Only place I ever was, that you could have a snowstorm and when you looked out the window, the snow was blowing straight up.  

I'm still fighting the good fight with Boaz's habronema in the corner of his mouth.  One good thing, almost all the ones I'm getting out now are huge, a large as a piece of rice.  So my assumption is, there isn't a lot of re-infestation, although the flies are hanging around.  I'm putting Invermectin on twice a day, so if they do drop some eggs, hopefully the eggs won't survive.  I've e-mailed Renee at Colorful Equine to see if she can make me a couple of long nosed crusader masks for him to wear.  Her usual long masks wouldn't cover where he has sores. 

I have noticed that Quilla's hair was starting to get matted in his arm pits and down his legs.  So has Coquette and BlackJack.  They all have fine fluffy hair and I've always had to watch BJ's arm pits, because if you don't get to them, they will wad up against the skin and can cause sores.  

I decided that Quilla probably needed to be body clipped, so I got out my toys this morning.  To show you how neglected these poor guys get, although I look them over on a daily basis, I obviously don't touch their bodies enough.  Usually as I walk by, if someone looks like they need a scratch, it's on the face or neck.  

Got all the stuff out, John brought the extension cord down from the garage for the clippers, got my animal crackers, tied up my victim and was ready to go.  Decided to brush some of the dirt out of his hair, to hopefully make my clipper blade last a little longer.  One swipe with the brush, I went to a curry comb and boy did the hair start flying, literally, remember the wind discussion in paragraph one?  You certainly didn't want to be downwind.....!!!! LOL  He just needs a good currying.  So I handed John a curry comb, he did one side I did the other.  Even all the mats came out, without a lot of drama.  

We are going to "try" to curry someone every morning, unless things get too crazy.  At least we can do BJ and Coquette and maybe work on those 3 for awhile since they all have a problem with mats.  We'll see how long this idea lasts........!!!

Sunday, May 18, 2014


And I am not alone, heard a lot of grumbling, especially when they saw the banking.  We also can't just come back on the track if we go off.  There is only one spot we can come back on.  I tried it out once, unfortunately................LOL  Wasn't impressed, tried my best not to do it again.   Quite a bit of what might be called "aggressive" driving, from people not passing clean.  There is a bad groove in the track coming out of turn #4, right where your right rear tire needs to be.  I hope they get that fixed, it really sent you bouncing.  If you go high you might run off the track, if you go low you might hit one of the tires they use to mark the inside of the track...............SIGH.......!!!!  I did manage to win my heat race and finished 5th in the main, after the one trip off the track and a lot of bumping and banging.  I didn't learn to drive that way, but I might have to change my style, if the track isn't going to start expecting the drivers to race, not slam into other cars. 

I have talked to the flagman before about his flagging while standing on the track, it's unnerving to have a person standing close enough you could almost touch him out the window.  We were getting lined up and when I came around the front straight away, he was close enough that when I passed him he fluttered the yellow flag over the top of my car......!!!  He told me he likes to add excitement......hope it doesn't get too exciting........!!!! LOL

Still working on Boaz's mouth.  It's looking much better, I dug a couple of big larvae out this morning and he seemed to appreciate getting rid of them.  I'll probably have to fight them all summer, vets will tell you once you have habronema it's almost impossible to get rid of them.  The problem is reinfestation.  Anytime I've had the problem and it was in an area I could cover with a barrier, like fly mask or bandage, I can get rid of them and not have them come back.  Can't do that on the inside edge of his mouth though, so I'll probably have to try to keep invermectin wormer on the area and hope for the best.  

OBTW, the donkeys are as thrilled with the new hay as John is.  I told him to quit feeding it, until the old stuff is gone.  Otherwise they might go on strike and not eat the old stuff......!!! 

Saturday, May 17, 2014


 BOAZ'S KNEE, MAY16, 2014

The hay was delivered yesterday as planned on time...........I love it when people do what they say they are going to do, thanks Chris and Carlos.....!!!  It looks good and the analysis is pretty good.  

John has been complaining about long hay for quite some time.  I guess horse people like the long hay because it doesn't blow away, but if you are weighing hay rather than feeding it by the flake, long compacted hay isn't fun.  At least that's what John says, I do the mush buckets he weighs hay, we tend to stay out of the other one's area.  We haven't stayed married all these years by working together, believe me.......!!!   

When they were unloading the hay off the truck with the squeeze one of the bales decided to take a header.  I guess John was nosy and wanted to see how the new hay was, because he weighed that bale out this morning.  Came in the house, shouting from the roof tops how great that hay is.  What's really great is, it's nice and green and soft too, so we'll see tonight what the "experts" think.  Hopefully the whole load will be like this.  Chris brings good loads, we had a broker one time bringing hay.  Took us 2 years to figure out that the squeezes that were unloaded all the way in the back of the hay barn were not very good.  Probably not by accident, he figured by the time we got to the back of the barn, we would just feed it and go on.  We did the first year, but when the same thing happened the 2nd year, we decided it probably wasn't an accident. 

I think I've figured out what is bothering Boaz.  Sometimes I wish these guys were not so stoic  and were more like horses, when it comes to wounds etc.  Last night I noticed the right side of his mouth looked swollen.  Of course he didn't want it messed with, when I got in there I found 3 large spots of habronema larvae, that have been there long enough, the larvae were easy to see.  UGH........I hate those things, they can do so much damage and are really hard to eradicate.  Especially on the inside of the mouth.  There is no way I can think of to keep flies off.  At first he wasn't cooperative at all.  But once I put some ivermectin on them and started using a cloth to rub them out and picking some of the larger ones out, he seemed to appreciate getting rid of them.  Cleaned a little more this morning, but there are a lot still in there and of course they draw more flies, as we always say, the flies come to visit the kids.  They are responsible for transporting the eggs of the stomach worms that cause the problem.  I left a tube of wormer in his pen, so every time we see him we'll glob some on the sores and I'll work on it once a day to remove the bodies.  Hopefully that will turn the flies away enough not to reinfect.  IT'S GOING TO BE A LONG SUMMER, I have a feeling.......!!!  LOL

Thursday, May 15, 2014


 Paladin, king of the hill....!!!

Hay day is coming a little earlier than we expected.  Rescue isn't all we do, we also will haul animals, not necessarily donkeys, our list is extensive in different species up to and including geese and a 400 pound hog........!!! We also help with hay if someone needs it.  Lately hay has been quite an item, the last few years the price has just kept climbing unfortunately and there are a lot of reasons that good people can get caught in situations not of their making that gets them behind.  So we try to help if we can. 

I called Chris, the broker earlier this week, to get us in the pipeline.  We have enough hay to make it to June, but since we never know what the next phone call will be, thought we probably should go ahead and get some.  Since we are now getting one trailer load, instead of two at a time, we have to get paired up with someone in the area that also wants a trailer load, to make it worthwhile to bring the squeeze.  Just so happens she needs to drop a load in St. David and has it ready to go tomorrow, so she is thrilled to be able to put a double load together.  

She was telling me the price hasn't dropped at all and that hay was quite expensive, I braced myself for the bad news.   But was pleasantly surprised that it will only be about $5 a ton higher.  

I've now got 3 fly traps out, haven't noticed a reduction of flies on their noses, but there sure is a lot of flies in the traps, that aren't bothering the donkeys or reproducing.  I know there is a place in the world for flies, I just have a hard time figuring out what it is..........!!!  To feed lizards and praying mantis I guess.  A lot of time when we pick up poo, there will be a lizard sitting on the poo and not willing to give up his grocery shopping.  We've had them ride the poo on the rake all the way to the muck bucket before they finally give up and jump off.  

No new skin issues, but now we're getting mats in the armpit area, especially on BlackJack and Coquette.  They both have long fine hair (Poitou blood probably) and once they start sweating it really mats.  I usually just use scissors, my clippers are way too big to do armpits.   I've thought about looking for a smaller set of clippers, but for now scissors do OK, even if the donkeys look rather moth eaten when I'm done.  I don't waste a lot of effort doing a good job, just get the hair off and out of the way........!!! LOL  I actually body clipped Coquette last year right after she came here.  Her hair was matted everywhere and a mess, so I'll have to watch her this year to make sure she doesn't get out of control. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

PEPPER'S THE MAN........!!!!


Well, at least he thinks he is.  Cheyenne is 32 inches tall, she is the littlest mini we have.  This morning she was "entertaining" and seemed to think Pepper might be the answer to her prayers......!!!   John said she clacked, peed, backed up in his face and he was more than willing.  Unfortunately at 32 inches she's a little short, although with his crippled up legs, short might be good.  But not that short.  John said he ended up with one leg over her back, trying to figure out how to move the other one and finally gave up, much to her disgust.  If Pepper had good legs this place would probably get an x-rating........!!!!   LOL  

So far, so good on the skin problems, seem to be keeping ahead of them, well except for Boaz and Cisco's "boy parts".  My theory for what it's worth is, the problem starts with allergies in the spring.  This year I started with the Benedryl early with Cisco.  He's not a real good subject because he hates flies so bad, if one lands on his sheath, he will drop and scoot, which of course makes sores, which draws flies, etc.  Boaz is a little more stoic about flies, but they both ended up warm, swollen and I assume itchy, because they both ended up with "wounded" boy parts from scooting.  So a quick slathering of Thuja zinc oxide in the morning and they are good to go.  

I've got 4 in polo wraps so far, although Rosie actually has a brown gauze on one leg, because her baldness goes above the knee.  I tried putting a man's sock on her yesterday, but sometime during the day she laid down and bloodied her knee thru the sock, which thrilled the flies no end.  They couldn't get to the sore, but they sure loved the outside of the sock at the spot.  So I just wrapped the whole leg in gauze with a bandage over the knee, so it can hopefully heal.  These bare knees and legs are a real challenge, and it's a long term problem, actually a lifetime problem for them.  Needless to say, they are pretty much unadoptable.

I'll be racing this Saturday night.  This last week-end they had autocross racing for buggies and trucks.  They went in with lots of new clay and big equipment and made jumps and mud holes and all sorts of obstacles to make the races exciting.  All that will be taken out, but the track says the Hornet track is larger and now has banking.  John is going to Tucson today and I asked him to go by the track and "spy", so I might get an idea of what the changes are before I go out try to figure out where the track is.........!!!! LOL

Thursday, May 08, 2014


Today was grooming day for about half the donkeys and Rusty the mule.  Janice said she had never groomed donkeys before, but she seemed to have a good time and of course the donkeys thought it was great.  I think Quilla wins the prize for the most hair brushed off.  The ground in his pen almost looked like it was covered with snow.  Rusty the mule, is shedding quite a bit too.  Must have something to do with being white, since both of them are mostly white.  She said she would be back, I'm sure the donkeys are hoping she makes it...........!!!! 

I've been trying to get Daisy's annual  body clipping done for the last week, but it hadn't happened.  I figured if Janice could brush I should be able to clip, so I got out my toys, dragged Daisy out of her pen, to the feed room, and went to work.  

This is before I started.  Because of her Cushings disease she does not shed at all.  If I didn't clip her, she would go thru the hot summer with all this hair.  




I know one of the 1st things you are suppose to do when clipping is make sure your victim is clean.  Most donkeys, I would say all of ours do NOT like water to touch their bodies, so I just grit my teeth and clip whatever is there.  When I got done I came in and ordered a new set of blades...........!!! LOL  I brushed some of the rocks, gravel and dirt out, but there was still quite a bit.  Now I will have 2 sets of blades, once I get the old ones sharpened again.  I had them sharpened last year, but they don't stay sharp long if you don't take care of them.  

Poor Daisy, by the time I got done, all her buddies like Tula and Frijolita had disappeared.  First she had to scratch and bite all over her body.  I guess getting the hair off made it easier to scratch itchy places.  Then she started yelling to find her friends.  The problem is, when the donkeys yell to find the others, the missing ones never answer them, same with the mules.  Jack the mule use to yell for Rusty and I don't think Rusty ever answered him.  Now if Rusty loses Reba he yells for her, same deal. 

Tuesday, May 06, 2014


Some of you know my Mother has lived with us for a couple of years.  She has become frail and bedridden, and I finally decided to put her into Palliative care thru Hospice.  So far so good, the nurse has been out, today Roda who is an aide came and bathed and washed Mother's hair.  I think besides the lack of eating, hygiene has been my biggest worry.  I was pretty sure someone that knew what they are doing could wash hair and bathe her without any drama.  I always had to divide it up, bathe one day, hair the next...........maybe.  Roda got both done and Mother thinks she's a nice lady.  YIPPEE!  Hopefully this "love fest" will continue for the long term.  

We had lots of wind today, which is always great fun.  The donkeys hate it almost as much as we do.  This morning old Pepper was banging his gate wanting out.  I kept yelling at him to stop it.  I finally decided to haul his feeder out of the shelter hoping he'd finish eating.  Well, surprise, surprise he had finished his mush and was well aware that the next thing was to go OUT......!!! 

I've recently cut his mush down a little.  He's put on some weight, you can't feel his ribs as easy and he really looks good for an old guy.  But with his hip and knee he doesn't need to be carrying any extra weight, so he's on a diet.  Guess I haven't figured out how long it takes him to eat these days and he let me know it.  He's only been down on his right side twice in the last 6 months or so.  One afternoon I went out to the feed room, while John was doing round-up.  I looked out the window and saw a grey leg waving around in the big wash. I yelled at John and sure enough, there was Pepper, flopping around digging holes in the wash with his legs and head.  I could tell he weighs more, when we flopped him over with the ropes, I didn't know if I was going to make it or not..............!!! The other time John got him over by himself, but I'm pretty sure if he gets down with John not here, I'll have to call a neighbor.  

Boaz is still acting a little off.  I thought he was back to normal, but he's still not wanting to be touched and when we put the hay and feed out, he stands in the corner looking out over the land, like that's the most important thing going on.  He waits until we're on the golf cart headed out the gate before he starts to eat.  

Looks like we're going to have to get a load of hay in June.  We've been helping some others with hay, so it isn't going to last as long as we thought it would.  I will probably call the same broker we used last time.  She has her own squeeze and doesn't mind coming out here, which is a plus.  John wasn't thrilled with a lot of the bales, some of the hay was really, really long.  The donkeys don't seem to mind it, but it's not easy to pull apart to weigh, so John would prefer shorter hay.  The problem with buying a large amount of hay is it's a large amount of hay.  If there is something wrong with it, like mold of course you can negotiate with the broker.  But I don't think being too long would be a biggie.  And it wasn't all of the bales, maybe 1 out of 5.  John swears when they find out it's for donkeys, they bring hay that horse owners don't want.  I'm not that cynical.....................yet.......!!!

Sunday, May 04, 2014


I took this picture in 2007 on our back porch.  It's 2 male Western Diamondbacks, fighting for the hand of a sweet young thing, hanging out under a chair, watching the action.  You might also notice a young roadrunner watching.  I guess he was trying to figure out if either of them was small enough for him to take on.  NO, he wasn't much larger than a white winged dove, which I've seen rattlesnakes eat.  

We very rarely see snakes anymore.  Too many hoofed feet roaming around and some of the donkeys are snake murderers.  Actually Shiloh was my snake killer, before he went to his forever home, we use to find them with their heads either smashed or missing, he definitely knew which end to stomp. 

Yesterday was a summer day, it just felt different than the warm days recently.  Probably won't be too long until we have our first 100 degree day.  Not looking forward to it.  

I broke down and put out a fly trap yesterday morning.  It's already got a layer of little dead bodies on top of the water almost 1/2 inch deep.  Yesterday I noticed the flies were just horrible on faces below the fly masks, they are going for mouths since they can't get eyes I guess.  I've asked quite a few people and they said they have more flies than usual too.  Probably a result of our "non" winter, winter, I don't think we had 6 fires in the wood stove total.  I didn't even wear sweats like I usually do.  We will probably pay for a mild winter, with a HOT summer with lots of flies...........not sure it's a good trade.  

Courtney and Martha came out last week, to do feet and massage on Gigi again.  This time John tied Gigi up rather than having her in the squeeze.  We thought we'd try it and if that didn't work I have happy drugs.......!!!  LOL  She did really well, she would let Martha know if she wasn't comfortable with where Martha was going.  Ribs on one side were just fine, "don't touch the other side".  She did learn to relax and enjoy it, which was the general idea.  Old buzzard Pepper even got a little massage.  He enjoyed it so much he started drooling.........!!!  

Boaz is usually Mr. Cooperative, but for some reason he had a bee in his bonnet and kicked at Courtney.  Came close enough to her head that it was time for an "attitude adjustment" for the boy.  So he got a Scotch hobble education on his hind legs.  He had been acting weird for him for a couple of days, then he did that.  That was Thursday and this morning is the first time he's acted like Boaz.  Friday when I changed the bandage on his knee he didn't even beg for animal crackers.  But this morning he was more like his old self.  Still have no idea what the problem is or was.  I'm still doctoring whatever his skin problem is.  He doesn't act like it bothers him, so I don't think that's it.  Friday evening when John did round up, Boaz refused to go in his pen.  He'd circle around and go past or head off somewhere.  I finally got a whip and encouraged him to cooperate and he went in.  OBTW, his knee is almost healed, actually to me it looks healed, but if I take the bandage off and the gnats are attracted, I assume it isn't.  

Rosie got trimmed again and did really well.  She's got some crooked front feet, that hopefully with regular trimming will straighten up.  Doesn't seem to bother her, she can move pretty quick if she wants to. 

John just informed me it's time to start looking for hay again.  Sigh!  I hate this search, there is no such thing as a perfect hay broker or perfect hay.  My big problem is to find someone that has a squeeze to load the hay into the hay barn, that is willing to come out here.  There is a local guy that has a squeeze he uses for the local feed stores, but he won't come out here.  

Raced last night, let's just say, I'm glad that night is over and hope it is the worst night I have this year.......!!!! LOL