Sunday, September 28, 2008

Yesterday everyone had to stay in for the day because we went racing last night. After I fed & was getting ready to leave, I noticed Rocky was in Buster & Lucy's pen & Buster was standing in the open gate. My first thought was, Rocky had learned to open a gate with a drop latch. I went over to "encourage" Buster to go back in & run Rocky out. Imagine my surprise when I saw Chili standing in the middle of the pen, actually looking pretty proud of himself. He's always been able to open a drop latch about as quick as I can close it, so if he's in a pen with that type of gate, we have to "fix" it, so he can't do that. The pen he shares with Tula has a chain that fits thru a slot. I assume he has added another skill to his list of "things to do that irritate humans", since he was no longer in that pen............!!! Max the horse has always been able to bounce the chains until he can get them open, but Chili is the first donkey to figure it out.

Tonight I was feeding by myself & got kicked. Almost always, if you get kicked it's your fault......!!!! It's been a long time since I did something stupid enough to pay the price. I was rounding up donkeys for feeding & Gus, as usual was hanging around the feed room door. Chili hadn't gone in his pen yet, & was also hanging around the feed room door, which really ticked Gus off. He thinks of that position as his & his alone. I led Pepper to his pen & was coming back around the side of the feed room. I've done it the same way dozens of times, with Gus there.....BUT.....not with Chili irritating him. BAM.........he got me on the thigh. I just happened to have a crop on my wrist, so we had a little education on looking before kicking, across hill & dale. Of course after I popped him with the crop once, it turned into me chasing him & shrieking like a banchee. I chased him across the wash, & came back to the feed room. When I came out a few minutes later, he was standing behind the big cat claw tree by Max's pen peeking around the trunk. By the time I fed, he had forgiven me. It was my fault I got kicked, but I had to discipline him as the head jenny would under the same circumstances. Someone has to be in charge & I prefer it to be me...........!!!! (G)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

LUCY IS DENSE.......!!!

This morning when John was trying to round up the gang, the easy ones went where they knew they were suppose to. The reluctant ones went when John refreshed their memories. I was in the feed room, fixing their yummy breakfast, when John came in to get the halter & commented on the fact that Lucy is "dense".

I thought about that a moment, & when John came back in I said, "you know years ago, she was a cute, curious, cuddly, fuzzy little baby girl", ready to take on the world. I would imagine she "scare spooked" herself, so she could run, jump & hide behind momma. She probably spent time laying down in the sun, just enjoying life. We don't know what her life has been, except for some very nasty feet, from chronic founder, that have to be trimmed on a regular basis.

She's been here for a few years, & having observed her I would not be surprised if she was a roping donkey when she was young. She does not react to any type of pressure, good or bad. She has not completely shut down, like Cisco II, Shiloh & some of the others were when they came here, but she rarely takes interest in what goes on around her. She is quite sway backed, my theory is........once she would no longer run to be roped, she was probably used as a baby machine year after year to breed more roping donkeys.

She now has a very important job, being a companion for Buster Brown. He can be an emotional basket case, probably from some very harsh treatment in his past. He absolutely worships her & stays right by her side 24/7. I wish neither of them had the issues they do, but I think it's wonderful they have found each other. I don't think dense is the proper word to describe her, she has survived in the only way she knew how.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

CHILI, CHILI, COCO, POP........!!!!

That's my nickname for him, can't tell you what John calls him sometimes, but it isn't Chili Sweetie Pie. ......!!! A while back you might remember me writing about Chili & Rusty, getting a bag of timothy pellets out of the container, after one or the other had destroyed the screen door. John covered the door with a couple of pieces of expanded metal, & while it did keep them out, it didn't look very good & had sharp edges that someone could have gotten snagged on.

We got a security door this week & John put it up one afternoon. Looked great.....!!!! The next morning when I went out to do chores, I hear a rhythmetic metal sound & at first thought John was hammering on something up by the garage. Then I noticed John was rounding up donkeys & was no where near the garage. My brain immediately security door..... donkeys are like cats........ something new in their space has to be checked out. I took off running, well moving quicker than usual & noticed a chubby red roan butt in the carport, lined up so the head & front feet would be right in front of the security door. Well, Chili heard me coming & took off running. You think they don't know right from wrong? The smart sneaky ones do...........!!! He had been using a front hoof as a battering ram & had already bent John's brand new security screen, which John was NOT happy about. The good news is, as far as I know he hasn't tried to "open" it again. I guess he decided it wasn't going to be as easy as it was last time.

Max is doing better although I still haven't let him out & probably won't for awhile. He's walking better & isn't flopping around so much. He's become resigned to being in the pens, at least he isn't yelling so much. He's getting an extra feeding of hay at noon which of course makes him happy, at least until the hay is gone. The first few days, Jack & Rusty the mules stayed pretty close to the pens, & still go to check on him during the day. But they go out & do their thing most of the day. I don't think they knew before they could go anyplace without Max.

Everyone else is doing good. I've changed Chester's antibiotics again. He's now on SMZ's for awhile. He's been on antibiotics about 10 months, & they can build up a resistance to long term antibiotics. So I've been trading off, on Naxcel, Baytril & now SMZ. He still limps, but it's been a long time since he has been 3 legged lame. His last x-rays showed the elbow joint itself is in good shape, so Dr. Taylor doesn't know why he is lame. I know if I stop the antibiotics, within about 2-3 weeks, he gets worse. So I assume there is still infection in his system, if not in the elbow joint, hiding & lurking somewhere else.

Friday, September 19, 2008


There's a candidate I could easily vote for...........!!!

The vet made it out this morning as planned. I showed her the report we got 2 years ago when we took him to Gilbert & between that & examining him, she thinks he's probably having a pretty bad inflammation problem around the old break in his neck. She asked what we want to happen with him. I said we want him to be able to be loose on the property, napping under his favorite tree, & pinning his ears when the donkeys get too close to him. In other words, we want him to be able to be a horse. Right now he is too unstable to be wandering around over hill & dale, so he will have to stay in his pen for awhile, so we can work on getting the inflammation under control. She did some low key chiropractic work on his neck, which he really enjoyed. I was surprised, Max is usually very suspicious & that makes him difficult to work with. But once he figured out she wasn't going to "eat" him, & that what she was doing felt good, he relaxed & enjoyed it.

So we'll try the supplements she has for awhile & hopefully they will make a difference. She said what I've always thought was probably the case, what we buy over the counter & pay good money for, isn't usually as advertised. Since it isn't regulated, they can just about say whatever they want, & get away with it.

Buddy Brat also got his blood test. He was a little gentleman for a change. He's had good training, but doesn't always remember it.......!!! (G) She commented on how good he was, & also commented that we have a couple that are "rude"........!!!! I know who she is talking about, Jenny & Chester. Actually they are both better behaved than they were when she came out before. But they still aren't always cooperative. Jenny still likes to raise the other foot when you are trying to raise one. I think she knows just how irritating that is, I swear she almost smiles as the other foot goes up in the air & stays there for as long as "she chooses"..............Grrrrrrrr!!! If nothing else being around donkeys will teach you patience............!!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Vet couldn't make it today, so she's suppose to be out tomorrow. Max is still in his pen & still disgusted. He's still not sure where his hind feet are, I would be afraid to let him out of the pen the way he is now.
Max has been staying in his pen the last few days, much to his disgust. He is actually a little better, he isn't flopping around so much on both rear legs. The vet is coming out tomorrow morning, so we'll see what she has to say.

While she is here I am going to have her draw blood from Buddy Brat. I ran out of his thyroid medicine a few days ago, & he has already plumped up nicely. The poor little guy has always been what they call an "air fern". He gets a minimum amount of hay each day. Unfortunately when he is out of the "Fat Farm" his head is usually down eating everything he can find. He came with a weight problem 6 years ago, & we have never been able to get him down to normal. He's been on thyroid medicine for years, which keeps him from looking like a 55 gallon drum with legs, but it's an ongoing battle to keep his weight down. Depending on his blood tests, maybe there is something else we can do. I know there is a skinny little donkey in there, trying to get out..............!!!!

Monday, September 15, 2008


Everyone's favorite room.........the FEED room..!!!

This unfortunately is what we live with, in exchange for taking in the ones with chronic health problems. Max has been here about 6 years. He was suppose to have EPM although he was never tested for it. He's done pretty good all these years, moving around being a horse, although he sometimes isn't sure where his right rear leg is. A couple of years ago he had a bad spell & we took him to Gilbert. They x-rayed his neck & found that he had an old broken vertebra at C-7. Whether he ever had EPM we don't know, but the untreated broken neck with accompanying arthritis, makes his hind quarters unstable.

The last 2 or 3 days he's really been having a hard time. Not only is the right rear very unstable, so is the left. He's still perky, hungry, all those horsey things, but is in danger of falling at all times. Max is a big horse, 17 hands & probably 1100-1200 pounds, so if he fell & couldn't get up it would be a hard situation to handle. I have a call into the vet to come out & see what she thinks. Our primary objective is their comfort & ability to behave like a donkey or in Max's case a horse. Hopefully this is just a bad spell that will get better over the next few days.

Pepper praying to the gate gods @ the replacement gate..........!!!

Everyone else is doing good. Pepper is the only one having to stay in now, everyone else is getting to go out at least during the day. Pepper really is upset. Yesterday he destroyed the gate, there's certainly nothing wrong with his determination. John had double latched it, but Pepper managed to tear out the chain link enough to get his scrawny little body out & away to eat beans.........!!!! Chain link isn't a good material for equine, but we've never had anyone challenge the gate before. Pepper knows inequality when he sees it, & is determined to "fix" it...........!!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

This is Rocky "helping" me by taking off with one of my gloves........!!!

We will be going stock car racing tonight, so everyone gets to stay in their pens today, much to their disgust. They let us know their thoughts when we were cleaning pens this morning. Not too long after we got through cleaning, John came in to tell me he had forgotten to double clip the gate into the fat farm. Might as well leave the gate wide open, Justin can open it with little effort. So we gathered up halters & started looking for them. Buddy Brat was easy, he was right outside the pen, vaccuming up beans. Silly boy...........!!! BlackJack also couldn't wait to start eating beans, so he was quickly dragged back to confinement.

That left Cisco & the 4 minis.......... Found them all down below the house along with Rocky. I haltered Cisco & & we headed for the pen. By the time I headed back into the fray, John had gotten the minis to head for the pen. The problem was Rocky was "trying" to help or participate, we aren't sure which. Either way, he was more of a hinderance than a help. They actually were fairly easy to get in the pen, although Pepsi, figured out what was going on & tried to escape. Now they are all yelling & screaming about this mistreatment. They will be happy to get fed early this afternoon though.

John checked Burroland yesterday after all the wind & rain of the day before. He said there aren't any beans left in the trees, but there are a lot on the ground. The donkeys won't eat them after they have laid on the ground for awhile, at least they never have. So we will wait a few days & check again. If the beans on the ground have started discoloring & looking icky, maybe they can start going over there again. They really love their "wild country".

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Doesn't look like the donkeys will get access to their beloved Burroland anytime soon. John went over today to check on the bean situation & reported back, there are plenty of them over there. Need more range cattle roaming around I guess.

I guess Ike the hurricane of the day is messing with our weather, even though we're inland by hundreds of miles. After yesterday's afternoon deluge & wash run, we got probably an inch or more last night & mostly cloudy today.

I think John finally figured out where the little calf got in awhile back. There is a small wash that runs under the fence & with the rain, erosion has washed out the dirt. John was looking for fly masks & noticed there was probably enough clearance to clear the back of a mini donkey under the fence. So he added another t- post & ran some more fence across the wash to make sure the little "monkeys" hopefully don't figure it out. He also found Rocky's 2 missing fly masks & Jenny's mask that I put on her this morning & we didn't even know was missing. Unfortunately there is still a missing fly mask out there. It's been missing for weeks. You would think as much as we tromp over these 10 acres we would have accidently ran across it, but so far it has eluded us.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Even as I write the wash that runs across the property is running bank to bank. So much for the monsoon season being over. Unfortunately there are more than a few donkeys on the other side, & it's about time to start evening chores. The rain & wind knocked down enough mesquite beans that they probably won't even think about hay for awhile.

This morning John was out looking for a wayward fly mask, & said he didn't see many mesquite beans, (that was before the wind & rain) so we decided to let everyone out today. He's going to walk over on Burroland tomorrow & see how the bean situation is over there. If the cows have done a good job of cleaning them up, then we'll let the donkeys start going over there again.
It was Rocky's mask he was looking for............!!!

This morning when we let them out I heard the dogs running & barking. Justin & Pepsi, the 2 little mini geldings were running like little bitty race horses. They were even braying while they were running, which doesn't look like it would be easy to do. I guess they were really happy to be FREE........!!!! Pretty soon Lynn joined in the race or at least tried to. I guess Cheyenne was too lady like to run around like a maniac, she didn't participate in the fun. Too bad I didn't have the camera.

Monday, September 08, 2008


Of course I'm glad he's coming home, but it will also be great to have an extra pair of hands for chores.......!!!! Seems like life revolves around them, unfortunately.

Actually everything has gone rather smoothly, it only takes me a couple of days to get everyone organized. John lets them get away with too much, & they take advantage of him. I can't help it if the gate "accidently" hits someone that has their feet planted so I can't get the gate open. Sometimes it hits them more than once or twice. Rocky was real bad about standing in the way the first couple of days. This morning the gate just barely touched him & he side stepped. Gus was bound & determined the first couple of days, that he was going everywhere I went & going into every pen with me was really interesting. I started carrying a quirt, using it if necessary & he decided it wasn't quite as much fun....... (G)

Pepper is still very upset about not being able to go out of the pens. But he is eating his hay & feed much better now that he isn't filling up on mesquite beans, & his feet feel cooler. I keep explaining to him that it is for his own good, as he tries to run me down at the gate.

Tula has been interesting to watch since she's been staying in with Chili 24/7. Usually if you are in the pen with her, she will go to the farthest corner & watch you with both eyes. If you move she moves. I noticed the last few days, she was getting rather casual & not reacting so strongly, to me being in close proximity. This morning she was eating hay & I walked up on the other side of the bunk. She didn't react at all, although she knew I was there. I just ignored her, but am going to watch this new situation & see if she is in fact mellowing a little. Maybe Chili told her she was being silly. I'm not sure she would listen to him anyway, this morning he had the audacity to try to stick his nose in her bunk. Don't think he'll be doing that least until the hoofprints fade from his body parts........!!!! She wasn't kidding..............!!! His body is very well padded, so she didn't really hurt him, but he knows not to do that again........!!!

Friday, September 05, 2008

John left yesterday for his high school reunion in Indiana. So far everything is going smoothly, although it does take three times as long for one person to do what 2 people usually do, I think.

Last night Pepper was really walking like he was uncomfortable when I brought him in. I felt his feet & they felt warmer than usual, so I stood him in ice water for awhile. He didn't seem to mind, so I assume it felt good. If Pepper doesn't like something his cooperative level goes WAY down. I explained to him that he won't be able to go out anymore until the mesquite beans are gone. We've been taking a chance because he gets so stove up from arthritis if he doesn't get out to move around. There is plenty of room in the pens, but he doesn't move around like he does when he's out & on the trail of mesquite beans.

To say, he wasn't happy today is an understatement. He went from gate to gate, yelled at me when he could & in general let me know that I had forgotten what I needed to do.

I'm also keeping Tula in with Chili while John is gone. I thought she would probably really have a fit about staying in. But she really has accepted being in the pens much better than I expected. Her running buddy Chester is more upset than she is. He hangs around the pens, especially at night. When I came out this morning, he was laying by the gate, hoping she could come out I guess. Of course later on he & Rocky were play fighting & he was trying to kick Rocky's head off, so I guess she isn't the only thing he thinks about. I was really surprised at him double barrel kicking as high as he was. Right now he is walking real good, but he was putting all his weight on his front legs, when he was kicking. Rocky seemed to think it was jolly good fun. He's been in with a mare for 3 years, & seems to be enjoying being able to do "guy" stuff.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Things are pretty low key around here right now. Today John decided everyone should be able to go out for a couple of hours. Of course as soon as their head clears the gate, down it goes, looking for beans to vaccum. I've tasted mesquite beans, & believe me, they don't do a thing for me..........!!!! Must be a species thing............!!!!!

I haven't gotten the results of the blood tests Pepper had last week, I'll pick them up tomorrow. When I called this morning I was told his thyroid numbers were high. Just what the poor old guy needs, another ailment he's already got Cushings & Insulin Resistance. Going into winter if there is anything we can do to get some weight on him, it would be nice. I have his blanket & boots ready because I'm sure he's going to need them.

Chester's walking pretty good although still limping. Right now he's getting Baytril for awhile.

John leaves Thursday for Indiana to attend his high school reunion, & visit family. So I'll be chief cook & bottle washer for about 5 days. Should be fun, lets just say I'm not planning anything else except chores for those 5 days........!!!!