Sunday, March 27, 2016


Well, Casper is expanding his world.  Just got a call from the nearest neighbor that he was "visiting".  John went out and sure enough, he was enjoying her grass.  There isn't a blade on this side of the fence, the donkeys have made sure of that.  

John loaded up with cookies and headed out.  He said when he got over there, Casper was more than happy to follow him back, and in fact showed John where he got thru the fence.  John said actually it was no problem, there are plenty of opportunities in the wash for a little guy to go thru.  So John has something to do this afternoon, try to outsmart Casper.......!!!  (My money is on Casper)  I'm sure this won't be his first escape, no matter how many places John fixes......!!!  

Had a tour this morning and another one later this afternoon.  The guys that were out here this morning have been out before.  They brought apples, carrots and bags of animal crackers.  Needless to say, the donkeys were thrilled to see them........and Casper too.  He's really figured this tour  process out, and starts squealing when we move onto the next pen.  They want to come out and do some grooming, which the gang will appreciate almost as much as the goodies. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

SO FAR, HE'S A LITTLE GENTLEMAN...............!!

Little Casper, has not attacked anyone, has not tried to intimidate anyone, hasn't kicked at anyone.........I can't figure out why he was a 3 time loser at the recent auctions.  Supposedly it was for cause, cause he didn't play well with other equine.  He doesn't seem to have a problem with donkeys, he follows them around or is in the general area of where they are.  We'll give him sometime to get the testosterone out of his system, before I see if Stacy can have him at her place for a few days to see if horses stir him up.  

He's obviously been tricked to be caught, unless he is in the redneck squeeze he's not the least bit interested in being cooperative.  John is working with touching him and can now scratch his neck or butt.   This has been one of "those" weeks, something going on every day, but tomorrow except for a couple of tours we'll at least be home.  John says he will put Casper in the squeeze to get a halter on him and then use a curry comb on him to get some of the hair off.  He is shedding like crazy and that should feel pretty good, might even be worth having to have a halter on for a little while, who knows.  

Since he's going out except at feeding time, we put him back in the pen that he took the gate off the hinges a few days ago.  Figured he couldn't get too bored if he was eating.  He thought we had lost our mind when John tried to get him into that pen.  He kept going to the other pen.  I went out to help and he finally figured out what we wanted him to do, with a little pointing and tongue clicking.  Donkeys learn real quick that pointing means they are suppose to go "that" way.   It only took one time of taking both of us, now he goes in without a problem, and in fact about half the time he's already in the pen, waiting for a carrot.  

Last night John let everyone out at bedtime and about half of them usually wait on the path to the house for another animal cracker.  John said they were nicely lined up, so he was just going down the line sticking crackers in eager mouths.  Right in the middle of the herd was a little white mule, waiting for his cracker.  He's a smart little guy, that's for sure.   And seems more than willing to go along with what ever is happening.  We have 2 tours tomorrow and they will probably be later, so the donkeys will be out of their pens.  It will be interesting to see if he comes around when the donkeys are mugging the people for attention.  We don't do pellets or crackers when the donkeys are loose on the property, but they do enjoy all the attention and petting.  

Everyone is doing good, we've started putting a fly mask on Lynn, because of her watery eyes, but everyone else are OK.  Even though it's been pretty warm, and in fact the mesquite are leafing out, which is the start of spring according to the oldtimers, the flies haven't been a problem yet, thankfully.  

Daisy has been picky lately about eating her mush.  She has a problem with choking, which is why I soak her pellets, but she choked the other day on hay.  Some of my older donkeys get Nutrena Senior dry, which means it doesn't have so much molasses in it, that it's sticky.  Since she choked on hay, John decided to run her hay thru the leaf shredder, like Cisco's, Penny's and Cheyenne's.  I thought might as well try feeding Daisy dry Senior mixed in with her timothy pellet and beet pulp to see if she'd be more interested in her mush, it's a smaller pellet.  It's been a long time since she finished her mush and hay, but the last few days she's polished her plate.  I guess the mush tastes better with lumps in it........!!

Monday, March 21, 2016

CASPER IS OUT.............!!!

We let the little guy out this morning.  I had thought I'd brush him a little bit before hand, but we had a tour this morning and I didn't want to cheat him out of "out" time........!!!  I'm hoping being out will wear him out enough, or make him hungry enough to be cooperative this afternoon, when it's time to go back in the pen.  Hopefully he'll still be within the confines of our outer fence.  Doug shut Burroland, so he can get use to the 10 acres first.  Also it will be less area for us to chase him, IF, he decides he'd rather run and play than go in his pen for supper........!!!

 I think he is daring me to try to come close enough to catch him.  I have a feeling he doesn't get caught unless he is in a small contained area.  

Yesterday, John took the playhouse in 7 large boxes into our grandson's house in Tucson to assemble for the great grandsons, Hunter and Kyler.  Tony that usually comes out here to work on shelters on Sundays, said he would help.  With J.R. our grandson and his friend Cory that made 4 "engineers" to put it together, hopefully in one day.  I had read on the internet that some people had taken 3 days, but I didn't tell the guys that, figured that was more information than they needed going into the project.  

They figured they had about 36 man hours invested by 5:30, when the last nut and bolt was tightened down.  The 2 four year olds were suppose to help, but once the bottom part was useable, John said they sat at the windows trying to give away free do-nuts.  Pretend is great, who would have thought of do-nuts....!!  

Someone put a picture of the great styrofoam explosion, when our son wrecked his car at the races Saturday night on the internet.  

A video would have been more spectacular, but if you use your imagination, imagine all these little white pieces in the air at the same time, including the big ones.  That isn't our son's car, this is the one that became a flying projectile. 

Sunday, March 20, 2016


I don't know if he is classified as a member of the family or not, but he's been in the well house since last fall.  We all are careful when opening the door and REALLY careful if we have to go in the well house.  It's actually probably a female, they are usually larger and thicker than the males.  Oh! well at least we don't have to worry about mice chewing the wiring in the well house anymore........LOL

The headline reflects the continuing saga of a restful Saturday at the Hiestand's.  Once the tours were over, the next thing was to feed early so John and I could get to the track to watch our son's first race of the season, in his modified.

Doug and John went out to round up the donkeys and I got on the computer to catch up for the day.  About the time I thought the guys would have the donkeys in their pens, John came in and said he needed my help to get Casper in his pen.............WHAT?  Casper is suppose to be IN his pen..........what happened? 

It seems that having access to 6 pens wasn't enough, he put his head under one of the gates and lifted it off the hinges and took off.  Took off is pretty descriptive of what I saw when I got outside.  So much to look at, and people interfering with the adventure.

Tula and Boaz were still out and he wanted to follow them.  Boaz doesn't like him, so there was a certain amount of running involved.  Of course Saddik, the dog thought the running was great fun, and chose to participate.  We put him in the dog pen with Nicki and the next thing we know he's out running around again.  One of our next purchases will be electric fencing to run around the top of the dog pen.  We'll only need to use it when Saddik needs to be confined during donkey round-up.  As it is, we lost the use of Doug for the round-up, because he had to take Saddik into his RV.

Actually John did a sneaky and we got Casper in Gi-Gi and Rosie's pen, much to their disgust since they were already in it.  So we got a halter on him, back into his original pen, John set up as a stud pen.  He was still in it this morning, which was a good thing.........LOL

The modified races were............interesting.........!!!  On the 4th lap a car spun, Rod moved up the track a little to avoid the spinning car and introduced himself to a car that saw what was going on and was in the process of passing Rod on the outside.  He slammed into the right corner of Rod's car and went up over the right front wheel.  He became a flying squirrel and crashed into the styrofoam barriers at the entry onto the track.  Rod said it looked like a snow storm, with all that styrofoam crushed into little pieces flying in the air.  I know it was pretty wild looking from the grandstands, hope someone got a action shot.  Rod's car was done for the night.

It took them 3 or 4 restarts to get thru lap 6.  Usually the modifieds go out, run their race, with little or no drama.  Last night wasn't one of those nights unfortunately.  My Hornet class will run the 9th of April, I hope we do better than they did.............!!  LOL

Saturday, March 19, 2016

WHAT A DAY.........SO FAR.......!!!


We knew we were going to have 3 tours today and a possible 4th.  The 4th one cancelled, so we were down to 3.  The 1st one was suppose to be at 11:30.  About 11:00 a van drove in with kids in it, which I thought was 1pm.  But if nothing else we're flexible.  And it was only about half as many kids as we were expecting.  Kids always have a great time, and of course the donkeys enjoy all the petting and getting pellets.  They hadn't been gone 5 minutes and here come a nice young couple for a tour, at about 11:30..........hmmmm......!!!  Not sure what's going on, but we're up to the test.  

It was rather funny, Doug was introducing Saddik the dog and the guy said, "that means friend in Arabic".......!!!  He's in the Army and had been to the middle east.  He is Army, of course John is Air Force and Doug's was raised in a Marine family, so there was a lot of guy talk going on.  Nice people.  

I came back in the house to continue trying to make some apple muffins for John.  It's a new recipe for non-gluten muffins, using coconut and almond flour, not to mention agave syrup for sweetness.  I got all the stuff at the store yesterday and was anxious to see if they are edible.  Some of the gluten free food is pretty good.  Some of it isn't.  I had just added the wet and dry stuff together and a big van drove in.  It was too early for the 3pm tour, so handed John a batch of brochures and sent him out the door till I got the muffins in the oven.  

Imagine my surprise when I went out and it was another group of kids.  I guess one group was from Benson and the other group was from Safford.  I had assumed they were coming together.  We had let the donkeys out for the next tour, which is a camera club.  They like the donkeys to be out in the brush for taking pictures.  I really don't like having the donkeys out with kids.  None of them kick or spook or anything like that. never know, it's just easier to have the donkeys in their pens.  

It actually went really good.  Well, except for Gus, who has decided that he needs to have all the attention and the rest of the donkeys need to stay away from all the people.  I told him he's going to end up staying in his pen whenever anyone comes, but he doesn't seem to think it's a problem.  LOL 

Talk about a fast learner, Casper the newbie to this tour process, greeted the 3nd group with a hearty mule bray complete with grunts at the end, as he lined up at the edge of the pen, ready for treats.  You think they aren't smart animals?  

Speaking of Casper, he seems to be healing nicely.  We are going to watch our son race his modified tonight and John will be gone tomorrow.  Monday we will be home and will let Casper out for the day.  Hopefully he will behave himself and not try to be a "mean little kid" with the donkeys.  So far he hasn't shown any interest in them at all.  I'd like to find someone that has mares and geldings that would let him visit for a few days to see how he acts.  Dr. Debra said it takes at least 30 days to get the testosterone out of their system, so I've got time to look for someone.  

Monday, March 14, 2016


Lynn and Linda came out this morning to volunteer their time with the donkeys, and Lynn geared up his chain saw, to cut off limbs hanging low enough to have people run into them, when they are concentrating on seeing the donkeys.  

I asked Linda if she would bathe Casper.  He's been doing real good since his "surgery", but it seemed like a good idea to bathe him and get some of the surgical crud off him.  

I doubt if he's ever had a bath, he was rather wiggley.  But he's small enough even being wiggley, that it wasn't a big deal.   And he never once threatened to kick.  He's a very mannerly little guy.  Well except for the towel to dry off with.  Linda said he wasn't interested in having a towel thrown across his body, so we just let him air dry. 

 Linda and Casper, bathing......I think Linda might have got about as wet as he did

This is what he looked like after he was dried off and put back in his pen.  The first thing the little monster did was roll in the dirt.  But as he dried off the dirt fell off and he was nice and white again.  

We had decided to put him into Reba and Rusty's old pen.  It's in line with 5 other pens, so we can open all the inside gates and he can have the run of all 6 pens.  When we put him in there, he immediately started checking everything out and running from one end to the other.  The vet wanted him to get some exercise, and he will in there.

Lynn put the extra corral panel in Casper's pen, so we could squeeze him to put a halter on him, rather than trick him with a treat and grabbing him, which seems to be how it's been done in the past.  In the future, we will use the squeeze to put a halter on inside his pen and no treats.  Eventually he'll decide it isn't worth the effort to go into the squeeze and will stand to be haltered, at least that's the plan.......LOL


John and BlackJack had an adventure today also.  Jay from Gammon's Gulch the movie site just down the road from us, called last night.  They were shooting a western movie today up there and Jay told them they needed a donkey for a street scene.  So John and BJ went up this morning for their big break into the movies.  John said as usual it's a lot of standing around and waiting, but I guess that's the way movies are made. 

 It was a street scene, I guess there is a body in this wagon, that goes up the street to the sheriff's office.  On the way they pass, an old miner (John) putting a blanket on his donkey (BlackJack).  John said they shot it over and over from different angles, at least 5 times.

After Lynn and Linda left I went up to be nosy, of course.  Everyone was on lunch break when I got there, except the wrangler with the wagon.  John is in the background with BlackJack doing something.  There is grass around the tree BJ is tied to, so he was having a great time eating grass, something he doesn't usually have access to.  John said everyone thought BJ was really neat, they took lots of pictures and he got a lot of extra attention, which he loves. John told Jay's wife Joanne that BJ loves pizza, so she brought him some leftover pizza.

Sometimes we get a video of the movies, sometimes we don't, most of the time their part is so quick, you would have to know what you were looking for just to see it.  It's amazing all the time and effort that can go into just a minute of screen time, just imagine what it takes to put a 2 hour movie together.   The name of the movie at this time is Aurora, which could change, but it's suppose to take place in Aurora, Texas, so it might stay the same. 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

HE'S VERY SWEET.......!!


A little scarred up and little rough around the edges, but all in all he is curious, wants to interact with people, especially if they have cookies.

I took the halter off when we put him in his pen.  It's a small pen, so I figured it couldn't be much of a problem to get it back on.  So far I haven't put it back on and haven't made a big deal about it.  You can tell by his behavior he expects "pay" for any and all cooperation.  That's OK, we're working on being able to touch him without paying.  John found out this morning he likes butt scratches, surprising considering what happened to him yesterday.  

Doug and John were getting the hay this morning, so I thought I'd just see if Casper was up to clicker training.  Got my clicker, my "belt that ate a rodent" pouch complete with senior feed and a target.  Went in the pen, held up the target and he went to it, touched, click and he turned to me for payment.  Thought it might be an accident, did it about 10 more times, moving the target around and he did great.  I finally threw it on the ground and he went to touch it twice and come back to me for payment.  Either this little guy has done clicker training before or he is one smart little cookie. 

He has some light grey spots on his head and a dark spot in his tail.  I told John this morning maybe we should have named him Smudge, but John said he likes Casper, so Casper it is.......!!

Friday, March 11, 2016


Poor little guy, we picked him up yesterday afternoon.  Lynn and Linda went with us for the adventure and everything went very well.

 He's not very big, but he leads well  Thanks for the picture Linda

He's got quite a few scars, maybe from his lack of manners with other animals, most of which probably were bigger than he is.

This is Buddy checking out the new guy.  He stayed in the trailer overnight, John had to have him in Tucson at 8AM and he couldn't eat anyway.  Seemed like the best way to handle the situation.  All the donkeys came by to visit, more than once and he did the typical mule thing.  Mules, at least the ones we've had pace, and pace and pace, if in a confined area.  I don't know if he paced all night, but every time we saw him before dark, he was pacing. 

This morning our phone was out, so I haven't heard from John yet on how it went.  I hate gelding with a passion, even though I know it has to be done.  It is such a barbaric type of surgery and on a 15 year old, it's not quite as easy, as it would be on a weanling.  The young ones don't even seem to know something happened.  Hopefully everything went well and he'll heal quickly.

UPDATE:  John just called and said everything went well, he some errands in Tucson and left Casper at the vet clinic to wake up, before heading home.  He said the vet commented on how sweet Casper is, and also how beat up he is.  I would imagine he has been in with larger animals all his life and thought he could take them on.  Hopefully he can have some down time here for a few weeks or months and we can find him a great permanent home.  Who knows how many homes he's been thru.  He does seem to have excellent manners with people and he is pretty cute.  We'll see how he gets along with the donkeys, he didn't seem to see them as lovers or fighters, so hopefully that's a good thing.  He wasn't impressed when they bray and just visited thru the sides of the trailer, with no posturing.   Anyone want a cute little mule...........????  LOL

Thursday, March 03, 2016


Yesterday, we took Boaz and Lynn to their dental appointment.  Dr. Debra comes to our area once a month and does appointments at the local horse sale barn.  When we got there she was working with a horse and 2 women were there.  There was also a cute little white something or other in a pen.  At 1st I thought it was a foal, then a mini horse.  Come to find out it was a mini-mule named Snowball.  He is about 15 years old and we don't know his life story.  But he's been thru the Mike's auction 3 times in recent history, because he doesn't play well with other animals.  He was very studdy acting and also hard to catch.  The woman said once he is caught you can work with him, lift his feet and lead him.  The last trip thru the auction he sold for $385 (told you he was cute) and this woman lost the bid, but told the bidder if it didn't work out to call her.  After 2 weeks, she got the call, picked him up and found out his behavior left a lot to be desired.  She brought him in for Dr. Debra to examine to see if he had been gelded properly.  SURPRISE......!!! he's never been gelded.......!!  I guess no one cared enough to help him be social and no one ever bothered to check to see if he had been gelded, they just passed him around, poor little guy.  

I tried to stay out of the fray, but John went over to "visit" and decided he needs to be gelded and socialized............SIGH....!!  The woman was more than happy to give him to us, BUT first considering his history with other animals, we have to build a stud pen, for the little guy.  That means something he can't put his head under a corral panel, lift it up and take off.  So John has some supplies to buy and get installed on Pancho's pen.  We never have an empty pen for very long it seems.  Today John called Adobe Vet Clinic and they can't geld him until the 11th.  

Rather than pick him up, put him in the pen, drag him out of the pen a few days later to haul him to the vet, we made arrangements with the people to pick him up the 10th and we will leave him in the stock trailer overnight, he has to be in Tucson at the vet clinic at 8AM, then bring him home and start getting acquainted. 

Poor little guy, I hope this gives him a chance at having a less stressful life.  Being a mule is going to make it a little different.  Mules have their own rules and relationships are usually on their terms, not yours, especially if they have been abused or passed around.  

Didn't have my camera, so no pictures yet.  In the interest of him starting a new life, we thought a new name might be a start.  Snowball doesn't do anything for me, but I've always wanted to name a white donkey Casper, after the friendly ghost.  Maybe the name Casper will be a good change for him. 

Lynn got her snaggle tooth pulled and Boaz got his overly long wolf teeth ground down.   They both needed other stuff done too, but those were the biggies.  This morning Lynn was diving into her hay and more than happy to take treats with her lips, something she hasn't been doing for the last month, while we waited for our appointment.  Boaz never had problems eating, but I'm sure he feels a lot better with those wolf teeth being shorter and a couple of nasty hooks gone.  

Wednesday, March 02, 2016


OH......MY........!!!  THAT'S A BIG BUS

     Talk about panic, when we saw that bus coming in the driveway.  Hay trucks make it thru, but they aren't quite a spiffy as a fancy tour bus.  Lynn and Linda came out to help with crowd control  Lynn had a small chain saw in their truck, so he basically cut a path for the bus.  In fact he made such an impression on one of the women, she had to take his picture with his chain saw.......LOL
     Once the bus made it around the driveway, I went on the bus to explain where they were and what we do.  I'm sure it's fun to get on a bus and head out for the unknown, but once you get there, it's probably nice to know what's going on.  
     The bus was full, so I think all 53 women were there, I didn't count them.....!!  They were a great bunch of visitors from Mesa doing an overnight to Cochise County.  They had been to Bisbee to the Copper Queen Mine Tour, Kartchner Caverns for a tour, then here, and were on their way to a wine tour in Willcox from here.  They asked a lot of good questions I tried to answer, then I got out of the way and turned them loose.  Needless to say after having to stay in their pens all day, the donkeys were absolutely thrilled to see LOTS of people with cups of pellets.





All in all I think it went very well, everyone seemed to have a good time, no big crisis that I know about and Jose the bus driver can take his bus home intact.  Thank goodness we have 3 bathrooms in the house, they were a big hit too........!!! LOL