Wednesday, December 30, 2009

KATIE'S HERE............!!


We picked Katie up today & got home just in time to feed.  John put everyone in their pens, so we could unload her without so much help.  When they see the stock trailer come in they all try to see what we brought home.   She is very sweet & halters & leads, which is great.  We didn't have a pen for her, & our corral panels are loaned out, so my brilliant idea was to put her in with Jenny, who is usually very sweet & docile.  Well, she turned into Miss "I don't want you in my pen" instantly.  Katie didn't seem particularly upset & is agile enough to stay out of Jenny's way.  So Quilla got moved out of the pen that Hanna, Daisy & Frijolita are in & is now eating out with Lucy & Buster.  Jenny got her unfriendly self moved in with the other girls, & now Katie has Jenny's pen all to herself.  We'll keep her in the pen until Saturday & let her out to roam around.  It seems like after they are out for the day, everyone forgets they are new & need to be put in their place. 

She's got some issues, a very thick cresty neck,  pones down her side & a bubble butt.  But other than that, she seems healthy, alert & doesn't seem to have any behavior issues.  I would imagine she has been eating alfalfa hay & more than she needed.  A couple of weeks of eating bermuda should have that neck softening & hopefully getting out & moving around will help with her weight. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2009



I know, I know, our limit is 20..............well Katie girl is coming tomorrow, which will make 23............!!!  The final word was John's although since he's having rotator cuff surgery the 11th of January, & will be out of commission for about 6 weeks, I'm not sure his vote should count.......!!!

Katie is at a feed store in a petting zoo type situation.  She is overweight, with a thick cresty neck, & in a small pen, so she's getting no exercise.  A woman got in touch with me & we went into to town yesterday to see for ourselves her conditions.  She's about 7 years old, & hasn't foundered yet, but judging from the setup it wouldn't be long if she stayed there.  The woman talked to the owner this morning & he is willing to give her the donkey, but the woman isn't in a position to take her.  Soooooooo...............!!!!  (G) 

Right now we have our extra corral panels loaned out.  They were just suppose to be gone for a few days, to move some cows, but they are still gone.  We aren't sure where we will put her just yet.  But we better figure it out by tomorrow........!!!!! 

Saturday, December 26, 2009


This is usually how close to each other Lucy & Buster are.  He never leaves her side, but this morning John couldn't find him.  Lucy was here, following John around & talking to him.  But no Buster.  John got thru rounding everyone up & we were getting ready to go out & beat the bushes looking for him.  I looked across the wash & here comes Tula, Chester & good old Buster plodding along.  Tula is "entertaining" the boys & I guess Buster decided, he could take a little bit of time away from his Lucy girl & go for a little "tomcatting".

John put Tula & Chester in their pens, & I watched Lucy & Buster to see what would happen.  He walked over to Lucy, she turned around & walked away to the other side of the well house.  If you put human behavior traits on them, I would say she wasn't happy with his running around.  It's really funny, because she usually ignores him for the most part.  By the time we brought the hay, they were back together, so I guess all is forgiven.  It does make me wonder, if she was actually upset with him.  As I  observe donkeys, their behavior makes me think they are more aware & complicated animals than we give them credit for sometimes.

It was 16 degrees here this morning, I'm glad Pepper & Sha'ba had their blankets on.  They move much better in the morning if  they are blanketed. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


We actually got a little rain last night, & at 4:30 this morning it tried to snow.  But by the time we got up you could hardly tell it.  It's suppose to be 22 degrees in Benson tonight, which means we will be in the low teens probably.  So Sha'ba & Pepper have their blankies & booties on, Pepper will just have to stay in  whether he likes it or not.  The girls will be staying in, so he'll have company.  

Hanna seemed to be just fine today.  I know that leg has to hurt, but she isn't favoring it at all.  This afternoon she was at the back yard gate, John uses to go out & feed the birds.  I swear she was trying to figure out how to get in the back yard, you could almost see the wheels turning in her head.  

Actually everyone seemed to get along just fine today, with Paladin in his pen.  Of course he wasn't happy, but the rest seemed to be just fine without his nonsense.   I put a halter on him this morning which doesn't seem to bother him at all.  I snapped on a lead, & tried to lead him...................hmmmm we might have to work on that a little bit.  His feet were firmly planted & he wasn't moving.  I tried tickling his ribs & found out he isn't ticklish, unfortunately..........!!!!  But he didn't try to get away, so I guess it was success in a very small way.  Something to work on I guess.  I need to work with Hanna too, she doesn't know anymore than he does.  Actually less, if she sees a halter in your hand, she takes off.  

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

SCARY DAY........!!!


We had something happen today that absolutely scared the "bejeepers" out of both of us.  I was making some fudge & John hits the door yelling, "I need some help".  I had the good sense to set the pan off the fire, & ran out the door asking what was happening.  He said Hanna was hanging from a corral panel.  Good grief ...........we got to her & she was hanging from the top rail of the 5 foot panel with her left rear leg over the top of the rail, & the hoof caught behind the 2nd rail.  Her head & shoulders were laying on the ground.  I dropped down to her head & she was willing to lay, her eyes were quiet.  John said he was going to get the hack saw & pipe cutters to cut the pipe.  I stayed with her & she laid quietly until right before he got back, which was  probably less than 2 minutes although it seemed like forever.  When she started thrashing, I tried to hold down her neck, but she's very strong, even in such a grotesque position.

Once John got back it took him just a few seconds to cut thru the pipe on one end & twist it enough to release the hoof & she slid to the ground & just laid there.  Her hindquarters were up on the panel & John grabbed a hind leg & dragged her enough, so she could get her feet under her & up she jumped.  She was a little gimpy on that hind leg for awhile, but by feeding time, she wasn't even favoring it.

She had a wet slobbery place on her ear, & although we don't know for sure, John's guess is, Paladin got her cornered in the pen, & she climbed the panel & when she went over, her hoof got caught.  Sounds pausible to me, so we rounded him up & in the pen he went.  And we will probably stop trying to have them out together, he'll be in when they are out & visa versa since obviously they aren't always noisy when he's being a bad boy.  The dogs started barking their "something is wrong" bark, which is why John came to see what was going on.

John was suppose to have jury duty today, but they cancelled it.  Afterwards I started wondering if I had been here by myself, or even if John was by himself, how would we have handled it.  I honestly don't know what I would have done, I doubt if I would have thought of a hack saw.  And I'm sure she was calmer having someone with her, so it was really a 2 person operation.  And what if we hadn't been here?  The way her leg & foot were caught, I'm sure it could have broke if she had been there very long, thrashing around. 

It brought to mind how much responsibility it is to take care of these animals.  They rely on us to keep them safe.  I sat in the house afterwards & tried to think of what I would have done if I was here by myself, & still have not come up with a good answer. 

Sunday, December 20, 2009


I know it probably doesn't look like much to most people, but to me it's wonderful.....another golf cart & also a little dump cart........!!! An ad on Craigslist caught my eye, & it turned out to be a gonga deal, the little cart is probably worth what we paid for both of them. It needs new batteries which is why it was so cheap, but even then it was a good deal. One of my other Christmas presents was having our son fix our poo cart. The metal had literally worn out. They don't make that cart anymore, so when Rod asked what I wanted for Christmas, I took into consideration he is a federally certified welder & asked for what I REALLY wanted......!!! Yesterday he & our grandson spent all afternoon thrashing around under an old van in a junk yard to get the steering box out. That's what John wanted for Christmas, a steering box that has less than 500,000 miles on it for the old van. We have found out that once you go over 400,000 miles the steering box starts to deteriorate, for some reason.....!! And they will even put it in, WHAT A DEAL......!!!

Poor Paladin is in the dog house again. He just can't help behaving like a jerk, from the girls point of view. Actually most of them have managed to discourage him, except for Frijolita. She is afraid of him, & rather than stand her ground & kick the snot out of him, she runs. Of course that makes it great fun to chase her, which he does with great enjoyment. Sooooo we're back to him being in at night, & during the day he can go out, until he starts acting rude. Yesterday John broke it up & ran Frijolita into her pen. I asked John how that was fair, Paladin acts like an idiot & she gets put in the pen. So today, if he can't behave, he'll go in his pen, if we can catch him. Actually he's pretty good to follow us...........but once he finds out he can't get out of the pen, he might choose not to play the game. He's such a sweet guy, to be such a jerk. Hopefully his hormones are dropping..................can't be too soon for everyone involved.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Pretty Hanna

John is still hauling skunks on a regular basis, one every morning. I have no idea how many he's hauled, nor do we know how many are probably repeat customers. Quite a few neighbors say they are having problems too, so I guess we just have a lot of skunks this year. I am really surprised John hasn't gotten sprayed although he did have one "poot" a little. It took almost a week & scrubbing with different potions to get the smell out of the bronco. Although he's pretty careful to keep the live trap covered with a blanket, they like to chew holes in the blanket if they can. John says when he can see their eyes thru the holes in the blanket, he knows they can see him, & it's time for a new blanket.

The last couple of days Paladin has been allowed out with the girls & we have been keeping an eye on him. He's been pretty good, although if we hear running, grunting, or anything else that sounds like trouble, we go see what's happening. All day yesterday we reacted & they always looked at us like we were nuts. Today we were gone all day & when we got home we saw dust flying. Paladin was chasing Daisy & Frijolita around & around, thru the pens & in general acting like a prepubescent brat. John yelled at him, which got his attention for about 5 seconds, after which it was great fun to really speed up to catch the girls again.

John dragged out the equalizer...........the bb gun. We hadn't tried it yet, although we had threatened him a time or two verbally. John ran out in front of him one time, shook the bb gun at him, & Paladin slammed on the brakes turned left & promptly ran into one of the upright posts on the feed room. He doesn't pay attention to where he's running a lot of the time. About this time, Daisy doubles back to run in front of him, so he could chase her again. Here we are trying to save her & she's egging him on............!!!! He's 2 1/2 & she's 23 or more, so we've been calling her "Cougar" Daisy, the older woman, younger man thing. When he took off after her, John popped his butt with the bb gun. He tucked his tail & kept running. John popped him again & the 3rd time he finally decided to stop & figure out what was going on, which gave me a chance to put Daisy in a pen. Frijolita had taken an opportunity to disappear, she really doesn't like him at all. But Daisy seems to, & she likes to run with Frijolita. I would imagine all Frijolita was trying to do was get away from both of them.

Hanna seems to be having fun running with the herd. She's usually close to Tula, but if John shows up she will follow him anywhere. We still haven't started working with her, although she does have something that will have to be corrected. If you are standing with a group of donkeys, & not paying attention to her, she will nudge you with her nose, & it isn't always gentle. Actually she will do it if you stop petting her too. It's cute...............but probably shouldn't be allowed. So starting tomorrow we will being discouraging such behavior. She's a smart girl, it probably won't take but a few times for her to figure out we don't want her doing that.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

HANNA'S OUT & ABOUT.......!!!

This is Hanna headed out this morning for a day of exploration. She wasn't all that interested in the other donkeys this morning, although this afternoon when John had to go out & find her, she was hanging with Chester & Tula. When John found her, he told her to follow him, & she did, all the way to the pen, & in she went. She seems to be very mellow & should be easy to work with. We're still letting her get use to her new surroundings. Of course if she & the other girls got out today, that means Paladin had to stay in for the day. Boy was he upset this morning when he didn't get to go out, as usual. I worked with him a little bit to get his mind off of how mistreated he was. I put a halter on him & he didn't seem to care at all. That is a milestone, the next big deal will be learning to lead. After that, picking up feet & maybe a little clicker training for fun. Then he will ready to start looking for his new home.

Yesterday Patti & I spent the day visiting with Claire up in Waddel, AZ, close to Phoenix. Started out early in the morning, & had to scrape ice off the windshield. This is NOT why I live in Arizona..........!!!

We had a great time visiting with Claire, her 2 horses & 2 donkeys. She adopted the 2 donkeys from a rescue about a year ago & knew at the time that Ruthie had really bad feet. Since then she has found out just how bad, & although Ruthie has a hard time moving around, she is alert & involved in what goes on around her. Eventually Claire will probably have to make a decision, but right now Ruthie is very loved & Claire will do whatever necessary to keep her comfortable as long as possible.
Ruthie & Claire

Gus is carrying some extra weight, she hasn't been able to get off of him. She knows how to feed the right way, so I would imagine he's like Buddy Brat, everything he eats turns to fat. Poor Buddy has been on a diet ever since he came here & still looks like an over stuffed sausage casing. And Gus looks like he has the same problem. She's going to have his thyroid checked to see if it's working properly. Buddy has been on thyroid meds for years, & I don't know if it's helped him or not. He's still "rotund" or worse.
Claire & Gus
In this picture she is showing us how Gus will lead with her putting her hand under his chin. Of course when she tried it, he wouldn't move. One thing you should never do with a donkey is say, "they will do ........... (fill in the blank)", because chances are they won't, especially if you are showing someone how obedient they are. Never works..........!!!!


This was sent to one of the Donkey Groups I belong to. What a fun time was had by all I guess, it certainly made my day.

Just wanted to share the success of our participation in the Christmas play at our church.
Last Sunday we had been asked to bring Eddie our mammoth jack to church so that "Mary" could ride him to Bethlehem. The kids had prepared a cardboard set complete with the Bethlehem Inn, the stables and manger and off to the side a campfire where the shepherds would be visited by the angel. The plan was that mary would mount the donkey and Joseph would lead the donkey in the front door, down the aisle to the front where they would stop at the Bethlehem Inn. After being told the was "no room" at the inn, they would walk forward to the stables where Mary would dismount and she and Joseph would kneel by the manger. I would be waiting behind the set to lead Eddie around behind the set where we would wait for the end of the play for him to be in the pictures.

Everything was great but here are the minor flaws:
Flaw #1. I think everyone totally underestimated the height of a mammoth donkey. Poor Mary had to practically lay on him to get in the doorway.

Flaw #2. They also underestimated how long a donkey that big is. When he made a turn at the coffee pot, it looked like trying to turn an 18-wheeler into Sonic. He made it but it was sure a tight fit.

Flaw #3. Stopping this big donkey while wearing a "Joseph" costume that is dragging the ground can be a daunting task for an 11 year old boy and can make for some colorful language. Nuff said there.

Flaw# 4. Set design should take into account the size of the donkey you are "hiding" behind the Bethlehem Inn. He looked a bit like "DONKEYZILLA" towering behind the set.

Flaw #5. When they angels come to celebrate the birth of Jesus, they need to be told NOT to flap their gossamer wings directly behind donkeyzilla's butt. He didn't do anything but he tucked his tail and did a lot of ear switching that said he would rather that angel moved on to higher ground.

And last but not least,
When a play is done and you have a miniature cardboard city and a donkey the size of a sky scrapper, it might be wise to forgo the standing ovation and the band bursting into a rousing chorus of "joy to the world". That was a tense moment for sure. I paid Eddie lots of granola treats during the last 5 minutes.

All in all, everyone agreed that he just made the play. He was such a sport. He even let Me use the shop vac on him to clean him up before the big day. In fact the only thing that he really made a face at was the smallest of the three kings who had a shiny crown and sequined vest. He didn't like the looks of all that glitter and kept giving Me a look that said, "he doesn't have to stand by Me, right?"

We all agreed that you could never ask a horse to do all that he did. Lots of pictures were taken and he gave every child a ride after they were done. BTW, not a pile left at the church in or out. He waited til he got back in the trailer like a good boy.
Kim- Texas
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Monday, December 14, 2009


Hmmm.....nothing like being the new kid on the block, especially when you arrive about suppertime.

Needless to say she was very interesting to the gang. She hasn't seen a donkey in 2 years, so I think she was rather overwhelmed by all the braying & attention.

When we went to pick her up, she was in a large area & we found out although she will follow people around, she is afraid of ropes. John backed up into a corner, she was willing to walk behind the trailer, which basically trapped her in the corner. But she wasn't willing to "hop" into the trailer. It took about an hour to finally get her in. We did find out she isn't a kicker, which is always good to know.

She's really quite friendly with people, but not sure if she wants to buddy buddy with them. That's OK, we'll give her a few days to figure out her new lifestyle. She's a very pretty girl, I'll get a picture of her soon. Right now she is in with the other jennies, during the day & by herself at night when the girls go out. Paladin is still acting like a stupid little teenager. Jenny is finally walking without limping, but we don't want to put her out with Mr. Busy Body again. So he's hanging around the "girl's" pen yelling & prancing around to show them how wonderful he is. All the girl's are in except Tula, she seems to be able to put him in his place & keep him there.

Since Lucy is in with the girls we have to figure out what to do with Buster. He was running himself crazy trying to "protect" her from Paladin. The 1st couple of days we put Buster in with the girls. But this morning I put him out. So far he seems OK with that, he's just hanging around the pen & lunging at Paladin if he gets close. Pepper is still in with the girls, he was a little slow this morning. I'll have to go check on him, & see if he is ready to go out. He's been a little pokey the last few days. He's eating real good for him, but just seems to be a little off. Hope he's OK, at his age of 35+ he doesn't need any problems.

Friday, December 11, 2009


John came in this morning soon after going out to round up the gang. I hate to hear the door open, because I know it isn't going to be good. He said he needed my help to get a can off Quilla's foot. Whew! could have been worse..............!!!! So out we go, you would think that Quilla would want it off............but NO, NO, NO. Cooperation was not forthcoming, we finally had to tie him up. John got tin snips to try to cut it off, but we were afraid since he wasn't being helpful, a jagged edge might cut him. So I threatened him with death if he moved & John started pulling & prying till he finally got it off. How do they do things like this? And where did he get it? John said probably out of the burn pit. That seems to be a favorite "shopping" place for donkeys. As to the "how" I have no idea, he had to lift his leg high enough to get it in the can & then step down just right to make it stay on.
Pepper showing off his Whinny Warmers to Jenny

I found out about these leggings off one of the Yahoo groups & it sounded like something that might be good for Pepper & Sha'ba. When I ordered the company wrote back & said they were sending some extras, hopefully Pepper wouldn't mind them being pink. I told them he had enough "MOXY" to pull off wearing pink, in fact he has too much moxy for his own good sometimes.

The people that have the warmers have just been great & if you ever thought you might need some leggings get in touch with them. They also have Summer Whinney socks for summer sores & protection from flies. I got a pair to use on Quilla starting next spring, to see if we can keep his leg sores under control. As cooperative as he was this morning with the tin can, I'm really looking forward to the fun & adventure of putting extremely long socks on him.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

For once I had a camera in my hand when someone brayed. When Quilla brays he brays for a long time. I had my camera turned on, so when he started, I switched to video & had time to catch some of it. I love to hear them bray, the louder & longer the better.

It got down to 20 degrees last night. I hadn't put a blanket on Sha'ba & Pepper, it wasn't suppose to get that cold. Pepper was roaming around this morning, so I guess he didn't really need it. They both have good winter coats & I hate to interfere with their natural ability to keep themselves warm.

This morning when Paladin got out he decided it was time to chase Daisy, since Frijolita was in the pen. John heard the commotion & went to see what was going on. By the time he got to where they were, Tula was kicking the snot out of Paladin. John said everytime he'd try an end run on Tula to get to Daisy, Tula would get between them & kick him at the first opportunity. He finally decided that wasn't much fun, & tried to get to Lucy. Needless to say that didn't work very well at all. Buster will not let him anywhere near his Lucy girl & started chasing Paladin everytime he even looked Lucy's way. He's going to think we aren't very friendly around here. This afternoon everything has been nice & quiet, they are down under the trees west of the house. We're still leaving Jenny & Frijolita in during the day, at least for awhile. Maybe if Tula & Buster "educate" him enough he'll start to behave himself & we'll get back to normal.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

TRIM DAY TODAY........!!!

Courtney came out today to trim & Martha came with her to massage Chester. I didn't know if Jenny would be able to stand on her gimpy rear leg to be trimmed, but she did real good. Courtney said to quit the bute & see if she does OK. If she does, then it might be time to let her out to roam around, at least when Paladin is in his pen. We are still keeping him in the pen at night & the girls get out, then they stay in during the day while he is out. It seems to be working out OK, although they whine about it. Pepper has been staying in with Jenny at night & helping her eat her extra hay. He doesn't push to get out, so I guess he likes having his big girl to himself. Martha use to massage Max, so since he wasn't here I asked if she could massage Pepper, even though he has almost no muscles. I don't think he moved an inch while she was working on him & if she stepped away from him, he'd step with her. She got a big kick out of the way he behaved. When he got tired of it, he turned around & walked away. Of course by that time she had been working on him for about 30 minutes...........!!

Gus was a big pill. His feet didn't need any trimming, but he sure wanted to be at the head of the line for attention, even nipped at Courtney because she wasn't paying attention to him exclusively. He got a lot more attention from her than he expected for that little mistake & finally backed off a little...........!!!

Martha was quite impressed with how much Chester's leg has improved, although he has some real tender places up in the shoulder area. He walks with almost no limp at all, most of the time. After she left, John was rounding them up over in Burroland. Once he found them, as far away from the gate as they could possibly get, he yelled at them to "GIT" & they got. He said Chester took off running & bucking & was leading the race at high speed. I bet he was something to watch before he got hurt & wasn't treated.

Before Courtney left to trim some horses north of us, she put a soaking boot on Jenny with collodial silver in it. She almost didn't get it on. Well neither John or I can get it off, so thankfully she left her truck here. She doesn't like to drive the unpaved part of the road, so Sue came down & picked her up. She's got to come back & pick up her truck, so hopefully she'll be able to get the darn thing off. I don't know if there is a technique or if we're just too weak..........probably a little of both. :-(

Monday, December 07, 2009


Flagstaff, Arizona 1899

Well we survived the Open House again this year. Actually it went real well, we had plenty of volunteers both days, & even though we didn't have as many people as last year, everyone seemed to have a good time.

Of course the donkeys had a great time, once they figured out what was going on. Paladin was a little confused at all these people walking around & throwing pellets in his pans. He's still working on learning to take food from your hand, so we put up signs to that effect & put pans all around the edge of his pen, so they could feed him if they wanted to.

Someone fed someone pretty good, we went thru over 50 pounds of timothy pellets in the 2 days. But when it came time for the evening feeding the donkeys acted like they were starving to death. BRATS.............!!!

Sunday I got a phone call in the morning from some friends that haven't been here for 6 years. It didn't seem like that long, but they said that's how long it had been. So they came out & helped too. They'll be here about a month, hopefully we'll have time to do something interesting. Last time they were here, they went on a 4 donkey rescue, I think they went with us to pick up hay & corral panels & all sorts of "interesting" adventures. Hopefully the weather will get a little better. Right now we are not having typical desert weather for this time of year. They left lousy weather in Missouri, & it looks like they brought it with them...........!!!

We got a call last night about a little jenny named Hannah. She has been by herself for the last couple of years. A couple of weeks ago the family got a new puppy that chased her thru a fence while they were at work. Now she won't have anything to do with the people. I think she blames them for not protecting her from danger & now is afraid. Will says she just stands in the corner & won't come out except to eat. I said something to him a week ago about taking her if he wanted us to. The family has decided to let us take her. This puts us 2 donkeys over our self imposed limit. But we might have a home for Hannah & Frijolita with Jacko who left here a couple of years ago, & his friend Tio on 40 acres. That would be a nice little herd, & I'm sure would help Hannah feel safer. We are going to pick her up this week-end & give her some time in our herd to start feeling safe again. So hopefully she won't be here very long.

Today John was going to be working outside all day & wanted to let Paladin out to see if he would behave himself. He did pretty good, although he started chasing Frijolita until she decided she wanted to be in her pen. All the other jennies hold their own with him, although Jenny is still lame. We don't know for sure what happened, but feel sure he was involved. We'll probably keep him in his pen at night, then during the day, we'll keep Frijolita in her pen & let him out, when we can watch him. Buster & Quilla pretty much clean his clock & he decides to go somewhere else.

This morning I put a halter up over his nose. I've been putting halter training off, since I didn't know how sore his tree collision made his nose. He didn't seem to think it was a threat, so next time I'll pull it up farther. He's really easy to work with.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Tomorrow is the Open House, we're as ready as we're going to get. Still have some corral panels to put up for a pen for Buster & Lucy. We were going to put them in with Quilla & Frijolita, but decided it would be better for them to be in a pen of their own. That way there won't be 4 of them competing for attention.

Yesterday Jenny came in 3 legged lame on a hind leg. It seems to be the fetlock, it's not swollen or warm, but she doesn't want it messed with. I would imagine she stepped in a hole or stepped wrong. We kept her in last night, much to her disgust, this morning she wasn't much better, so she stayed in. Tonight she is still in, & Pepper is with her wearing his blanket & boots. It's suppose to be in the teens tonight, which means we will probably be down around 10, we're always colder than they predict.

And Paladin has just about lost his running with the herd privileges. He's been chasing the girls, Frijolita doesn't want him anywhere near her. He might be responsible for Jenny getting hurt, because it seems like there's a lot of running & chasing going on every day. This morning he came in with a bloody nose, don't know if it's from the last time he ran into a tree limb or a new crash. Quilla seems to be able to keep up with him, & gives as good as he gets. But we're afraid someone is going to get hurt worse. So for the time being he will have to stay in the pens, when everyone else is out, which is all the time except when they are eating. I've tried to explain to him that his behavior is not acceptable, but he seems to think he's a party animal. I'll be glad when his testosterone level drops to a manageable level...........!!!! (G)

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Our movie making is over as of this afternoon. We took BlackJack & Frijolita up this morning at 10am & noticed right away that no one else was in the town. They were all down in the wash filming some chase & fight scenes. The one thing I've learned about movie making is............. being given a starting time is only a suggestion, the chances are it will be hours or the next day before they get around to you. They finally got to the street scenes about 2pm.

Frijolita was willing to lead over to the movie site this morning, until she saw all the new & different stuff, people & noises. So John walked her around & showed her everything. After a couple of trips around the town, she settled down. The miner didn't lead her down the street, he just stood by the donkeys & petted them, when they were filming. They were just background for a guy leading 2 horses in with dead bodies hanging across the saddles. Those poor guys were in fact alive, what a way to get into the movies.......!!! Frijolita wasn't too impressed with 3 horses walking back & forth behind her, but she didn't freak, which was a definite possibility.

John had to go to Tucson today, so when it came time to come home, I had 2 donkeys, a big bucket of hay, a pack saddle & a golf cart to get home. I brought Frijolita home first, brought the golf cart back to the movie site, led BlackJack home, walked back loaded up the golf cart & came home........!!! Whew! Like one of the women said, that was doing fun things like sweeping the dirt street, so tennis shoe tracks wouldn't show......or taking down a perfectly good sign on a building to put up another perfectly good sign, "I will never look at a movie again, without thinking how much hard work there is in the background". She also said something about the wrong people getting the Oscars...........!!! (G)

Of course during all of this we had a crisis, the refrigerator in the feed room decided to become a very good freezer, rather than a refrigerator freezer combination. The crisis isn't so much that the refrigerator croaked, it's a 1968 model, so it was overdue. The problem is to find one that is the same size or smaller. I really hate to pay for a new refrigerator, but the chances of finding a used 10 cu ft one probably isn't very good, especially if we want it anytime soon.

We've about ran out of time to get ready for the Open House this week-end. We're down to tomorrow to get ready, so if it doesn't get done tomorrow, I guess it won't get done. Oh! well I guess the sun will rise anyway, so no big deal.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Yesterday John & I took turns all day long babysitting our little stars. By this time they had become pretty resigned to their fate & even Buddy was a lot quieter. They stood in the same position, just in case the camera shot scenes in their vicinity. They actually did do some shooting & in fact shot a rifle over Cisco's back. John said he didn't seem very upset about it.

When it came time to come home, John had 2 donkeys & 1 golf cart to get home. He decided to try "ponying" both of them off the golf cart. He tied them to the back, drove slow & said they followed along like they had done it before. It started getting dark before they got to the big scene, with horses running around & guy's jumping on them right by the donkeys..........sooooo.......they had to go back this morning. And today they also needed another donkey that looked different than those two. So it was BlackJack's turn to be a star.

This morning we took BlackJack over. He was suppose to have a pack saddle on, but the guy that was suppose to show us how to put it on wasn't there, so we just tied BJ to a hitching post, & put the saddle on the boardwalk. He stood there all day long, while they filmed up & down the street. This afternoon we had to bring Buddy & Cisco back over for the final shoot up by the mine. The one horse that was suppose to come running down the hill, when his owner whistled, so the guy could leap on his back & ride off, has probably never seen a donkey before. He wasn't impressed, spun around & took off up a very steep hill. Of course by this time Buddy & Cisco have decided they don't think much of him either & are bouncing around like jumping beans. Perhaps they all should have been formally introduced, rather than just throwing them together & hoping for the best. They finally moved Cisco farther away from the trail, & then shot scenes with the horse at different places along the trail. Of course everytime they turned him loose to answer the whistle he took off like a race horse. They finally called down to the town to have an EMT come up just in case they needed one. One guy was laying beside the trail, he was suppose to be dead. One time the horse actually jumped over the guy...........!!!! A horse won't step on a person if they can help it, but who wants to test that theory?

Destiny, the girl that helps with chores & I brought Cisco & Buddy home when they were finished, while BlackJack & John stayed for street scenes. I was trying to change halters & was just about halfway between the 2 halters when a couple of horses & riders came trotting by. Cisco decided he was going home, & took off. One of the guys on the horses said Cisco was hiding over in the mesquite. I said he's not hiding, he knows that's where the gate is. Sure enough when we got over there he was ready to go in.

The schedule for tomorrow is, BlackJack has to go back for his street scenes & "Oh by the way, do we have a different looking donkey for a miner to lead down the street"? We've about ran out of any that look good & also lead, but we'll try Frijolita, at least she leads.

I hope tomorrow is the last day of movie making for us. That will leave just Friday to get ready for the Open House, Saturday & Sunday. It's been really interesting to watch how they do things, I'll probably never be able to watch a movie again, without trying to figure out how they put it together.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Buddy & Cisco are STARS......!!!

Awhile back John was up at our neighbor's western town called, Gammon's Gulch , & met a woman making arrangements to shoot a film there. When she found out we had donkeys she asked John if he could bring up a couple for background color at the mine area. He told her it shouldn't be a problem. This morning there was a message on our answering machine saying they were ready for the donkeys..............HUH? What happened to things like, "we'll be there Monday..........or we'll let you know when we'll need you." So John called & they needed them in about 15 minutes. We hadn't even really decided who to take & actually had forgotten about it. Buddy & Cisco except for being a little chunky look like the burros the miners had, so we put some halters on them & started walking them over to Jay's. We had no idea if they would even lead, let alone walk thru a gate, & off the property. Neither of them has been off the property in years. NO PROBLEM..........they were ready for adventure I guess, we almost had to trot to keep up with Buddy. They had a bunch of horses, saddled & ready to go we walked past. A lot of horses are afraid of donkeys if they've never seen one before, but these horses didn't even turn an ear.

When we got up to where they were shooting, the first thing they noticed was the nylon halters rather than rope halters. Rather than go back home, I asked one of the horse wranglers if they had any small rope halters. He disappeared into one of the big trailers & came back with 2 that looked like they had seen a LOT of use. I took them back & started brushing on Cisco. Last night we got a few drops of rain, & all the donkeys made sure they got at least one good roll in the mud. One of the people said to leave him dirty, it was suppose to be a dirty mining town & all the people were dirty too.

They actually did a couple of shots with the guys in the background pretty quick. But after that we stood around all day long. We couldn't leave in case they shot a scene that took in the area where the donkeys were suppose to be tied. Cisco just stood where we put him, like a good little donkey should. Buddy, got bored real quick. He started pawing the ground, & trying to get loose. I had forgotten that he can untie a rope, so it wasn't long before someone yelled, "donkey loose", & Buddy is headed up a little canyon. I caught him, tied him up again, & it wasn't long before the cry "donkey loose" went out again. Thanks goodness he didn't head for where they were filming. John & I even have a job name, donkey wranglers. They were getting ready to "kill" a guy with dynamite, which was going to cause a lot of noise. So this guy is running around yelling, "donkey wranglers, where's the donkey wranglers" Took us a second or two to figure out, that was us.........!!! They wanted to make sure the donkeys were out of range & wanted us to know there was going to be noise that might spook them.

The weather today was very cold & windy, & it was really miserable. We hadn't planned on staying all day, & really weren't dressed as warm as we should have been. After standing around all day they decided they will need us again in the morning about 8:30. At least we were used today, all those horses spent the day, saddled & standing by their trailers, for nothing. I don't think I'm cut out for the movie business. All that waiting around, for a few seconds of work would drive me crazy in a hurry. But it is interesting to see how they do things.

They are going to be filming about 20 days & want a donkey wearing a pack saddle for a street scene in the town later. We have a pack saddle John bought from a guy years ago. We never did figure out how to use it, one of the horse guys said he will help us. He's the same one that loaned us the halters, guess he's taking us to raise.........!!! We think we'll probably take BlackJack. He's the only one we know for sure that has been packed, except for Rusty the mule, but they don't want a mule.

When they finally released us for the day, we headed home. During the day we had taken turns coming over to the house, & in the melee the golf cart ended up over there with us. We had no idea if the donkeys would lead if we were in the golf cart or not. John decided he would lead Buddy & not try it. I got in the golf cart, told Cisco to come with me, & he came up along the side & away we went.

I'd like to hope it is going to be warmer tomorrow, but according to the weatherman, probably not. We really should be getting ready for the Open House this week-end, rather than playing in the movies, but we didn't want the boys to miss their chance to be stars............!!!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Paladin is still being a good boy. Occasionally there are some squabbles, with dust flying & everyone running. But it's not always him, although he's usually close to the center of the dust flying. But as long as he isn't being overly aggressive & the others don't mind him being close to them, he's doing OK.

Today we had a couple of women come out to visit. They were willing to be my guinea pigs to see how Paladin would react to other people. Just about a month ago, he was running wild & had very little human contact. He's made a lot of progress, but mostly with John & I. He let them pet his face a little & managed to eat some pellets from their hands without biting them. He dropped some pellets, but managed to get most of them. For the Open House we will put up signs warning of his short comings with being fed by hand, & will have pans in the pen so people can put pellets in there if they want. My next project with him will be putting a halter on him. I don't think it will be a big problem, but I sure wish I knew more about all this training stuff than I do.

This morning when John was rounding everyone up, he was putting Jenny & Pepper in their pens. Actually Pepper's pen is inside Jenny's, so they were both in her pen. John was trying to entice Pepper, he doesn't always move with purpose & Jenny started to go into his pen just about the time Pepper headed that direction. When he got close to her he decided to check her out. He started to put his nose on her side & she turned around to bite him. John just happened to be standing between them, so guess who got bit? Poor Jenny got chastised, Pepper got a cheap thrill & John found out being in the middle of one of Pepper's little trysts isn't much fun. You gotta love the old buzzard..............!!!!! Well I guess Jenny doesn't.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Paladin's nose was pretty clear yesterday morning so we let him out. John needed to grease & oil change the van, so he would be outside to listen for any misbehaving. We also had the bb gun ready in case we needed to get his attention & couldn't get close to him. I know, that's probably not the best way to reprimand him, but he's young, strong, fast & has a lot of winter hair on his butt.......... We old, weak, slow & know that yelling from a distance doesn't get his attention, especially when he is focused.

He went out, ran across Buster & Lucy, which of course set Buster off as protector & he started attacking, which we let him do. Paladin decided there were more interesting places to go & headed for the rest of the gang. We watched them for awhile & he for the most part was behaving or at least pulling back when someone kicked at him.

We went about our business, & John said he saw dust flying a couple of times, but nothing that needed intervention.

So we decided to let him out overnight. When I went out this morning I asked John how everyone was doing. He said everyone was fine, except Paladin had bloody scratches on his nose, where he had been in the brush. Maybe running into that trim limb, reset his hormonal clock.........!!! (G)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


He's been in his pen since Sunday, recuperating from his tree limb encounter. His nose was still oozing blood up until this morning. But he is alert, eating, drinking & acting normal. I would imagine some of the membranes in his face were torn or crushed. Probably when he would snort or bray, (which he's been doing a lot of, to let us know we forgot to open the gate) they would open up again. This evening he seemed OK. We'll probably let him out tomorrow, if his nose stops oozing & it's up to him if he gets to stay out or not. If he starts acting rude, he'll go back in the pen, & we'll have to set up a schedule where he & the girls won't be out at the same time. Kathy at Longhopes Donkey Shelter agreed that it's probably hormonal & sometimes it takes months for them to settle down.

Found out today he likes celery. Celery is a good treat for those that are insulin resistant if they like it. He's actually the first one we've had that would eat it. I tried him on 3 or 4 pieces & he seemed to think it was good stuff. He also got brushed for the 1st time today. That went real good, he stood real still, until I tried to brush over his hip. I think I saw a rear foot kick up towards me at his shoulder. But it was so quick, I almost missed it. He got chastised & we went back to brushing. This time he behaved himself. Good thing, as quick as he kicked I know I couldn't move fast enough to get out of the way.

Tonight when I went over to feed the chickens for some reason Gus went with me. I kept telling him there wasn't anything over there for him. I fed the chickens, & headed back over the wash. I heard all this racket from the chicken area, looked back & Gus is trying to dismantle the chicken wire in the guinea pen. His pushing it in with his nose. I yelled at him, he turned his head towards me, turned back, put his nose on the wire & turned his body so he could see me. This time he wasn't pushing on it, I guess he was telling me he could if he wanted to. But he was choosing NOT to do so. Brat.............!!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Actually things have slowed down a little bit as far as Jenny & the boys are concerned. Everyone is busy feeding themselves on anything that looks edible. I would imagine this time of year their bodies tell them to store up whatever they can. Years ago someone was telling us we need to make sure we have no brush under the mesquites, because if there was a fire it could get out of control. Believe me, our ground is cleared of anything that they can eat. Fire danger is a real low priority around here.

John just came in & said Paladin had Frijolita down in the pens was on top of her & biting her neck. John had got him out of the pen, & closed Frijolita & Daisy in the pen. I went out & Frijolita was really scared & standing with one hind leg off the ground. She has stringhalt & seems to get lame easily even without being mauled by another donkey. Since it was in the pens I thought it might have started over leftover hay. But while we were in the pen, we heard commotion down below the house. He was running Tula, with Quilla, Jenny, & Chester trailing. Around & around they went with Chester occasionally getting close enough to Paladin to give him a quick bite. Tula kicked him in the chest 3 or 4 times hard enough to slow him up, but he came right back. Tula came around the big mesquite tree by the courtyard, she ducked, he didn't. It set him back on his haunches long enough for her to get away & he followed Jenny into a pen.

This is a new one on me, usually the males aren't so aggressive with the jennies. Right now he is in the pens, with a bloody nose, bloody mouth & 2 banged up eyes. I'll have to ask around & see if anyone else has seen this problem. I still don't know if it was hormonal or aggression, he's been so mellow, I would tend to think it's hormonal, but why so aggressive? Certainly not much of a gentleman.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Boy I sure hope Paladin is shooting blanks. Our local hussy, Jenny has all the boys in a tizzy right now. Paladin & Quilla have been doing a lot of sparring & chasing each other, actually I think Paladin is doing all the chasing, but Quilla comes right back. Paladin seems to know what he's doing & is really good at it, so I hope we don't get a little surprise package in about a year.....!!! (G)

Last night when we were rounding up for feeding, Paladin followed Jenny down to her pen. Pepper was already there waiting to go into his pen. When he saw Jenny his old ears perked up, & he started wooing her, which she actually seemed to think was quite romantic. Unfortunately Paladin wasn't impressed at all. He started making jack sounds & was ready to squash Pepper like a bug. I picked up a stick & got Paladin out of the pen in a hurry. So until we got around to putting Pepper in his pen, he had Jenny's undivided attention, which he spent turning on the charm in his best Lounge Lizard routine. Nothing like an old fool I guess.

I guess John is going to have to start getting up & eating his breakfast in the dark. This morning when the light went on in the kitchen, Gus started braying & kept it up as he tried to figure out how to dismantle the courtyard gate. That poor gate has been mauled repeatedly over the years, & we know from past experience that Gus can pretty much destroy anything he wants to. I'm curious to see how John handles this little problem.

John left a packing blanket out by the garage & found it in 2 pieces this morning. Actually he found one piece & the other piece was being used as a tug of war toy by Pepsi & Justin. John threw one piece in their pen, but I'm betting they won't play with it now. They seem to play with things they know aren't theirs rather than the toys we provide...........!!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Paladin went out Sunday as planned & it really went well. He walked out, roamed around for quite awhile before he started running, bucking & acting silly. Once he found the other donkeys everyone had to check him out. He was very good, even let Pepper act stupid & not try to take his head off. Of course our big worry was when it was time for him to go back in the pen to be fed. John just got behind him & he headed in the right direction. It would have gone with a hitch except Buster was standing by the feed room & when Paladin came around the corner, Buster had to make ugly faces & lunge at him. Paladin was a good boy & didn't try to fight. As soon as we corralled Buster, Paladin went right in. He's been doing just fine on going in until this morning & even then it wasn't a running crisis. I think he was testing to see if we really meant that he absolutely had to go into the pen. A couple of wrong turns & he decided to go along with the process, thank goodness. So far his play buddy seems to be Justin. Since Justin is only about 34 inches tall he's at a disadvantage, but they seem to have worked out that little problem when they are running & play fighting.

John came in yesterday morning & said he was trying something to see if it would work. We had decided to put Frijolita in with Daisy & Quilla temporarily, so Gus could go into her pen to eat. But when Daisy saw Frijolita in HER pen, she wouldn't go in it. She's such a funny little thing, she & Frijolita run together most of the time. So Daisy headed down the pens & went in with Chester. So far it's working out just fine, they seem to get along better than she & Quilla did. And Frijolita doesn't care where she is at, as long as there's food there. So this might be a long term fix on who eats with who.

Yesterday we picked up Gus to bring him back to the sanctuary. When we first got there he put his head across Leo the horse's back & looked at me like he knew what was happening. They had become real good friends the people said too good in fact. Gus likes to chew on Leo's mane & tail & I guess Leo didn't care. His tail was a little short even if you were wanting to show off his butt. A lot of times if someone wants to make the butt look bigger they will cut the tail short. Maybe Gus thinks he's a barber, who knows.

He loaded pretty good, but by the time we got home the sweat was just pouring off him. The floor of the trailer looked like it had been flooded with a hose, poor old guy.
As soon as he was unloaded everyone came to see him. This is Quilla having his turn. This morning we let him out & he immediately started hanging with Rusty & Jack the mules just like when he was here before, with Max the horse missing though. Paladin for awhile this morning tried to hang out with him, but Gus basically ignored him. It's really funny that he seems to have no interest in donkeys at all. Hopefully a good home as a companion for another horse will show up. Although that mane & tail thing might make it a little difficult.

John's latest skunk this morning was NOT happy to go for a ride in the Bronco. The cage was covered by the blanket, so he didn't do a complete spray, but it was enough that you could tell who John had been hanging out with. (G) It probably wouldn't have been so bad, but when John carried the cage covered with the blanket I think it was up against his leg.............soooo..........I've been washing this afternoon. There sure are a lot of skunks this year, one of our neighbor's a mile or so away is having trouble with ringtail cats. I would imagine territorial wise those 2 species don't cross paths if they can help it. If the ringtails don't kill chickens I'd rather have them, but I bet they would if given the chance.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Well today we're going to let Paladin out for the first time. It's gotten chilly enough we haven't been putting fly masks on, but for this "adventure" we'll keep everyone on just the 10 acres for the day. I don't anticipate any problems, but he is young & strong, & most of the others are "mature" & not so strong........!!!! Hopefully he won't remember old buzzard bait Pepper, challenging thru the corral panels. I'm sure Pepper doesn't remember it, sometimes he can't remember why the gate is open................!!!! (G)

I noticed last night that Daisy had a scruffed up knee. Where she lived before the ground was nice & soft. I think when she lays down the rocks & gravel are roughing up her knees. Pepper had that problem for awhile, & a friend made him some knee socks. So I doctored her knee & put the knee socks on both of her knees. She is such a funny little thing, anytime you do something with her, you can immmediately tell if she's never done it before. First she took a very cautious step. Then she raised up her leg & turned her head sideways, I assuming to look at what the heck that was on her knee. By this morning it was no big deal. I'll keep putting them on for awhile even if the sores heal, so she can lay down comfortably.

John was commenting this morning on how good she & Quilla are looking. Granted by any standards they are both still overweight. They don't look so much like overstuffed pillows, but they still have a long way to go. The pergolide has really made a difference with Daisy, she's much more alert & even though it getting into winter & everyone is putting on their winter coats, her hair is no where near as long & overgrown as it was last spring. Quilla does not have Cushings & I don't think he is Insulin Resistant. His weight is coming off like you would expect if he was taking in less calories, which I'm sure he is. Everyone gets rationed around here, especially the ones that really need it.

Gus will be coming back tomorrow afternoon. All the pens are full, so we will try to feed him with Lucy & Buster outside the pens. As I recall he eats fast, so this might not work, we'll just have to see.

We're suppose to be getting ready for the Open House, December 5 & 6th but I'm afraid we're going to run out of time before we run out of things to do. Oh! well the people come to see the donkeys, hopefully not to see spit & polish.

John is still hauling skunks, I think the count is up to 8 or 9, although he thinks one of them has been caught 3 times. It's the mismarked one. The last time he took it farther away by a couple of miles, & so far he hasn't hauled one that looks like it, so hopefully it went somewhere else. He thought he saw some dig marks inside the chicken house, which is what he's trying to keep from happening. Once they get inside the house, they'll go after the chickens.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Yesterday we had to go to Tucson for the day. In the winter it's difficult for us to get home in time to feed before dark. Although we were only a little late time wise it was getting dark. The gang KNOW they are suppose to be fed before dark. So when we drove in there were 19 judgemental animals standing there looking at us like we aren't smart enough to know it's past feeding time. The only reason there weren't 20 is Paladin is still in his pen. Under those circumstances they were anxious to get in their pens, which meant round up was real easy.

Buster usually doesn't have much to do with the other geldings, he hangs out with his Lucy girl. But the other night he & Buddy were wrestling for quite awhile. At first I thought they were fighting, with donkey play sometimes it's hard to tell. Buddy loves to play, but I've never seen Buster play very much. They were running & rearing & biting & running some more. I finally decided to go out & break it up, as Buster seemed to be the aggressor..........not that Buddy can't take care of himself as he has shown many times in the past. But just as I started out to be head jenny, Buddy got behind Buster & started chasing him, so I guess he wasn't trying to get away too much. By feeding time they had gone off their separate ways, & Buster was back to hanging out with Lucy.

We seem to have a strange little triangle developing. I've been watching them for a few days to see what's going on. Usually we have a girl herd, consisting of Tula as ring leader, Jenny, Daisy & Frijolita. Since Quilla came a few months ago, he has hung out on the fringe of the girls. He doesn't seem to care much for any of the other geldings. And of course you know the saga of Daisy & Quilla & their squabbles, if you follow the blog. Recently the herd has consisted of Daisy, Frijolita & Quilla, no Tula. I'm surprised that Quilla & Daisy are actually hanging out together, I guess Frijolita is the buffer. Although the other donkeys all see Tula as their leader, I'm not sure she always enjoys her status. Many times it it's time to go into her pen & they are trying to follow her, she will peal off at the gate, because she doesn't want them in her pen. Who knows maybe Daisy & Quilla will become an item..................!!!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Yesterday morning when everyone came in for breakfast, Chester came in 3 legged lame on his bad leg. He wasn't just lame, he was carrying that leg, without it touching the ground, which is really scary. It was also having spasms, which happens with a break sometimes. There was no swelling or heat anywhere which is good. He got a shot of banamine & stayed in the pen all day & night. This morning he was walking as well as he ever does, with a slight hitch. I have no idea what happened, but he seems to be doing just fine today. These animals would turn my hair gray if it wasn't already........!!!! (G)

This afternoon a truck drove in the driveway & it was Gus' family. Gus went to his new home early this year to be a companion for a horse. Gus is the only donkey we've ever had that preferred horses over donkeys. The man is having very serious health problems & is having to give up both Gus & the horse. New owners sign a contract to return the donkey to the sanctuary if they can no longer take care of it. So Gus will be coming back early next week. I hope we can find him another good home with a horse. He liked hanging out with Max the horse, & of course Max is no longer here. I don't remember him being very impressed with either of the mules, so he may not be too thrilled to be coming back.

Paladin is going thru a "I don't have to" stage I guess. I think I might have been confusing him with trying to do clicker training. Even though that was the only time he got treats if someone was in his pen, I think he is looking for treats, if we come close to him. So no more clicker training until he's tamer. He was just getting the hang of it too.

I'm still having problems with my computer, so if I'm gone for awhile, don't be surprised.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Cisco my little immune system problem has done real good this summer. He usually starts in the spring with developing sores on his sheath & on his face if the flies get on his eyes before we put his fly mask on. It seems to only take one warm afternoon, to start the process of intense itching & him scratching until he's bloody.

For the first time this summer we managed to outwit the flies with fly masks & thunja zinc oxide on his sheath every day. Recently, we had a cold snap & then it got up in the 90's again. There are more flies now than we've seen all summer. I was a little slow in gearing up with covering his sheath & it only took one day for him to get it raw & bloody............. Sigh! It's much easier to keep ahead of it, than it is to get it healed.

I found out more than I wanted to know about gelding & the way it use to be, when the people with the "scary" little boy came out to visit. The man was raised with working teams of horses & mules, they bred, raised, & trained them. I always thought gelding was barbaric, & have heard of cowboys, roping, hog tying them, getting out the old pocketknife, & going to work without any drugs. This man said they made a tool out of 2 long pieced of metal hinged on one end. Once they got the victim tied & exposed the testicle, they used this "clamp" to "tie" off the cord. He said they then smashed the cord to destroy it before they cut it. All without anesthetic.......!!!! It's still a barbaric operation, but at least now most of them are done under anesthetic. I'm sure on a lot of ranches they are still done the old way though. You'd think men would be more sympathetic wouldn't you.....??? (G)

Thursday, November 05, 2009


Finally found something to spook the boy. A couple came out this afternoon to visit with the donkeys & brought their 5 year old grandson. Judging from Paladin's reaction, he's never seen a child before. He took one look, spun around & headed the other direction. Wasn't the least bit interested in seeing that little person.

He now stands still for us to touch him on both sides. In fact after we touch & scratch for a little while, & back off he walks towards us wanting more, which is a good sign. Yesterday I started with clicker training. So far, he isn't the fastest learner I've ever had, but at least he doesn't run from the clicker, which I've had them do. It's hard to train them when they don't wait around for their treat. I've only worked with him for about 10 minutes total, & he's pointing his nose at the target, but hasn't touched it yet.

This morning Tula was outside his pen acting like a hussy. I might need to ask someone just how long he should be kept away from the jennies. Thirty days might not be long enough.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

I should have had the camera handy this morning. We had 2 women come out to visit with the donkeys. Yesterday they had been peeling apples to dehydrate & brought the peelings & cores for the donkeys. Of course everyone was thrilled except for BlackJack & Lucy, who both treat apples like a horrible acid we are trying to ram down their throat. BlackJack was raised with a little boy, & much prefers junk food, french fries are a particular favorite. He's not really into healthy snacking. Lucy just gives you a sad look if you try to feed her apple.

When we got to Tula I told them that she doesn't like people & wouldn't take anything from them. Not only did she take an apple core she came back & took another one. That is the 3rd time in about 6 years she has taken treats from someone other than us. It's always been a woman, although I think she really prefers John over me. Maybe we should use apples with her. She really seemed to enjoy them.

We got in about 2am from the races last night & it was 31 degrees, so I went out to put Sha'ba & Pepper's blankets on them. Although it wasn't real cold, they both stood very still for me to put the blanket on, so I am sure they appreciate the blankets. Pepper is even resigned to staying the pens at night, & doesn't try to crash the gate to get out.

When Courtney was here last time she left a soaking boot for me to use on Jenny & Quilla. Mine is a huge thing, takes about 1/2 a gallon of liquid to cover Jenny's foot. This one is smaller & made of very "firm" material. I tried to put it on Jenny this morning, & for once in her life she was actually cooperative. BUT, Courtney is going to have to show me hands on how to get it on her foot, I didn't even come close. I think I can wrap her foot in a disposable diaper & it will soak up water, so I won't have to pour so much into my boot.

Tomorrow is suppose to be worming day. I never definitely plan anything around here, because if I do something else comes up. I'm looking for a microscope, so in the future I can do fecal samples & maybe not have to worm as much. Worm immunity to wormers is becoming a big problem, & in the southwest we usually don't have as much problems with worms as other parts of the country, that have pasture. So if I can test & not have to worm as much, that would be a good thing.

I tried to talk Paladin into letting me put his fly mask on this morning, without having to use the chute. He actually was interested, smelled the mask, let me get right up to putting it over his ears, & decided he didn't want to participate. That's OK, he did take apple from the women, so he's doing OK.

Friday, October 30, 2009


• EASY TO LOCATE. She's either off on the horse or out in the barn.
• UPHOLDS THE DOUBLE STANDARD. Smooches with the most bewhiskered beast, but recoils when you need a shave.
• OWNS ONE VACUUM CLEANER and operates it exclusively in the barn.
• A SOCIAL BUTTERFLY, providing the party is given by another horsey wife. Falls asleep in her soup at all other functions.
• ECONOMY MINDED. Won't waste your money on permanents, facials, or manicures.
• A CULINARY PERFECTIONIST. Checks every section of hay for mold but doesn't blink when she petrifies your dinner in the microwave.
• OCCASIONALLY AMOROUS, but never leaves lipstick on your collar, at worst, slight trace of chapstick.
• EASY TO OUTFIT. No need for embarrassing visits to uncomfortable little boutiques. You can find all she wears at your local tackstore.
• FEATURES A SELECTIVE SENSE OF SMELL. Bitterly complains about your sticky-sweet cigar smoke while remaining totally oblivious to the almost visible aroma of her barn boots drying next to the heater.
• UNMISTAKABLE IN A BATHING SUIT. She's the one whose tan starts at the nose, ends at the neck, and picks up again at the wrists
• A DEDICATED CLUB WOMAN, as long as the words "horse" or "riding" appear in its name.
• HAS YOUR LEISURE AT HEART. Eliminates grass cutting by turning every square inch of lawn into pasture which, in turn, converts itself into mud.
• A MASTER AT MULTIPLICATION. She starts with one horse, adds a companion, and if it's a mare, she breeds it.
• KEEPS AN EAGLE EYE ON THE BUDGET. Easily justifies spending six hundred dollars, but croaks when you blow ten on a tie.
• AN ENGAGING CONVERSATIONALIST. Can rattle on endlessly about training.
• SOCIALLY AWARE. Knows that formal occasions call for clean boots.
• A MOVING FORCE IN THE FAMILY. House by house, she'll get you to move closer to horse country (and farther away from your job.)
• EASY TO PLEASE. A new wheelbarrow, custom boots, or even a folding hoof pick will win her heart forever.
• SENTIMENTAL FOOL. Displays a minimum of six 8x10 color photos of the horse in the house and carries a crumpled snapshot of you (taken before you were married) somewhere in the bottom of her purse.
• SHOWS HER AFFECTION IN UNUSUAL WAYS. If she pats you on the neck and says "you're a good boy," believe it or not, she loves you!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Well it made it to 20 degrees last night.........!!! Everyone was up around the hay barn when John went out this morning. You can tell the warmest places on the property, by watching the donkeys. Had to break ice on the water buckets. I keep thinking about one of those underground waterers, that is suppose to not freeze. I don't know if the donkeys would use it or not, but I always worry in the winter about them drinking enough.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Suppose to be as low as 24 degrees tonight. John put the heater in the feed room for the dogs & brought in some firewood for us. We probably won't need it tonight, but if it's cold & dreary tomorrow our passive solar house will start cooling off pretty quick.

Sha'ba & Pepper have their blankies & leg wraps on. Sha'ba chased me into his pen when I was carrying in his blanket. I don't know if he was in a hurry to get it on or what.

John hauled off another skunk this morning, so that's 2 & counting. He didn't set the trap tonight, we have to go to Tucson in the morning & he won't have time to chauffeur one off to a new area.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I guess they are looking for a place to winter. a few nights ago I noticed we had 2 long haired "cats" on the back porch eating dry cat food. One of them chased the other one away. I started to open the door & noticed the one left was rather oddly shaped for a cat, but had the right body shape for a SKUNK......!!! It also had no color on it's body at all, no spots & no stripes, solid black. The tail has stripes on the underneath part, the part that stands up in the air to arm the BIG GUNS.....!!!! John checked & there is no solid black skunks, they all have some white on their bodies. So it must be a mutation of some kind.

We figured since there was one out here, there might be some over in the chicken pen. John set a trap last night & sure enough, caught a little spotted skunk. Hauled him to a new place, I guess John felt bad about dumping 17 or 18 in the same place earlier in the summer. So for the foreseeable future he will be setting the trap in the chicken pen every night. We don't care if they are in the back yard, although Hobo the outdoor cat, probably isn't thrilled. But they seem to have some sort of agreement, the skunk comes in & eats what it wants, & then John puts out more feed for Hobo.

Paladin is really doing good. I noticed last night at feeding time that the halter was rubbing on his cheeks, so we needed to get it off. Although he is bombproof, he's still not into that touchy feely thing. We decided to try one of the corral panel squeezes. We've used it on Tula many times, & he is certainly not as squirrley as she is. So John dragged a corral panel into his pen, & started setting it up. Paladin just stood there & watched the process. When John got it hooked up & opened it up, Paladin went in like that was what he was suppose to do. Which leads me to believe he has been in a chute or something like that. He was a little scared once John closed it up, but certainly not panicked. I started rubbing his neck, which he allowed, but wasn't thrilled about. Then I started trying to get the halter unlatched. I'm not a fan of nylon halters & this one certainly didn't change my mind. I had to work & work to get it loose, & he really stood like a little soldier. Finally got it off & put some thunja zinc oxide on the sores, poor little guy. Destiny showed up to help feed & got to pet him before we let him out of the squeeze. When we opened it, he walked out, like it was no big deal. But as of this morning he's still not touchy feely......!!! (G) His surgery area is still swollen, but it doesn't seem to be bothering him, & it's getting cold enough in the next few days, that any flies that are trying to hang on, should freeze out. The high tomorrow in Tucson is only suppose to be 57 degrees...............brrrr! Tonight is suppose to be in the low 30's in Tucson & we're usually cooler, so I will put Pepper & Sha'ba's blankies on them. John said Sha'ba was all hunched up this morning like he was cold. The only problem is Pepper has to stay in the pens if he has his blanket on, which to him is absolutely horrible. He thinks of himself as a free spirit.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Thanks Sandra for the picture

He seems to be doing just fine. He has some swelling, not bad it doesn't seem to bother him. very much. This morning our resident "hussy" Jenny was trying to entice him thru the corral panels. He seemed to think it would be a good idea, & we had a hard time getting her to leave the area & go in her pen to eat. Jenny always welcomes the new boys, & they usually think she's pretty cute. Quilla was very smitten when he came, & even now he is usually with the girls more than the other geldings. He seems to like all the girls, well except for Daisy, they still don't like each other, although their tolerance level has improved.

We've been letting him into the other pens, to give him a chance to move around & get use to the place. Rusty & BlackJack really get upset about him being able to go into Jack's pen. His pen is usually prime real estate, for cleaning up hay. They both know it & they guard the gates to make sure they are in first, when Jack goes out. I thought BlackJack was going to tear the gate off the hinges, when he figured out he wasn't getting in.

Courtney sent me some information today on different types of slow feeders. This is a great way to feed equine that have a problem with weight, or might be insulin resistant. Equines aren't meant to eat 2 or 3 times a day, they are grazers or browsers & should eat constantly, but tiny amounts. Except for my 3 oldest guys, this should work. They say even "piggies" can be fed this way, because they lose the "mealtime" crazies.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Family Portrait, Paladin, Lupe & their baby
Thanks Sandra for the picture
This morning he took treats from John's long as John was outside the pen. That's OK, I am really pleased with how well he's taking all this life style change. The donkeys surrounded his pen this morning, gawking at the new kid on the block. He seemed to think that was OK too. I haven't seen him panic yet. Even when we drive the golf cart & hay trailer thru the middle of his pen. He just goes over in a far corner, stands & watches what's going on.

He's eating & drinking this morning too, so hopefully the worst is over. I can't help but think having two large cuts on a rather tender part of your body, plus all the pulling, tugging & everything else that goes on with a gelding, doesn't feel very good.

He's been trying to reach some of the mesquite trees outside his pen. I would imagine a large part of his diet has been mesquite, & he's probably missing what he's use to.

I'm back to doctoring Quilla & Jenny again. I used the honey to get his legs & her spot under control, & am now using thunja zinc oxide on him & Equ-aide on her. Now that's it's cooling off I hope his legs will get better. His owner said his legs always cleared up in winter.

Everyone else seem to be doing good right now, even old buzzard bait, Pepper is walking around pretty good for him. He was trying to romance Jenny the mammoth the other day. I have to give the old boy credit, he still has a strong interest in life. He's always ready to go out of his pen, & has a routine of places to go & things to do, that keeps his day busy. I hope he has a good winter.