Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Sound of Inevitability

"You hear that Mr. Anderson? That is the sound of inevitability.
It is the sound of your death. Goodbye, Mr. Anderson."
— Agent Smith to Neo, from the 1999 movie, The Matrix

The time has come to bid you all adios on this platform. Barn Door Tagz has more than served its original purpose and run its course. 

I'll be posting pictures and updates from time to time on Facebook, and I hope you'll keep up with us there. The adventures will continue.

Thank you all, especially those of you who have been with us from the beginning.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Look Who's Turning 2

 O Stop Looking
IPSHR Stonewall Sport Horse
Barn name Daltrey (nee Streaker)
Sugarbush Harley's Classic O x Quagga's Ardent Sun (ApHC)
Born March 9, 2010

 April 2, 2010

 July 11, 2010
I think this might have been the point where I was a goner.

 Definitely a goner.

 In Mr. Fry's garage

 The day he jumped in the trailer when I was loading Jaz.
If you're going, I'm going.

 Rolled oats, grated apples and carrots, corn oil & molasses
baked at 350 until set. The gaps around the edges are
from people sampling – pretty tasty!

 Party hats

 Great excuse to eat pizza, drink beer and wear silly hats.
Nita, Heather, Rachel, Shere

Mmmm cake

Happy birthday, sweet boy.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Spring Break 2012

The weather is glorious. We are grateful for enough rain to bring the Boyz home, at least for a week or so. Heather and Jae brought them Friday afternoon (March 2). Much beer and a little pizza celebrated the occasion. Needless to say, the Boyz have barely raised their heads, and have been sleepy ponies with green lips. Daltrey also gets a whole scoop of feed, Jaz gets 1/2 scoop twice a day. They eat it, but very slowly because they are so stuffed with grass.

Daltrey has a snotty nose and is coughing, but it doesn't seem to be bothering him. I've got the stethoscope and the thermometer at hand in case he takes a turn.

I so love their personalities when they're here. Both are super sweet and affectionate. I walk weekdays from 5-5:30 AM up and down the (300 ft.) driveway. I look forward to having company.

Combination spa and patience lessons Sunday morning.
You can see how windy it is by Jaz's tail.

 My beautiful, beautiful boy gets sweeter by the day.

My darling Jazu.
I can't even tell you how precious he is.

The very light that is so pleasant for us to be in
makes for lousy photos.

I decided to try the vintage western saddle on Jaz for our ride down the road. Oh. My. Gosh. Fits him beautifully. Fits my bum like it was made for me. It's a tad smaller in the seat than my barrel saddle. It would be perfect except the fenders/stirrup leathers still haven't been conditioned into submission. I'll be attacking those more earnestly. I'll also look for new stirrups to replace the metal ones.

Jaz and I had a great ride. We had a few surprises – new dogs, several people on those zero-radius spinning mower thingies, a flapping piece of plastic contractor tape – but we did okay. I sat out a spook that might have unseated me at one time. And I sure wish people would have the common sense and/or common courtesy to slow down instead of blowing past us like they do. I still don't get why other people don't get it.

I'm hoping the grass holds out until next weekend. I'm so enjoying having my horses at home.

I hope you all had as fantastic a weekend as I have had. What's new?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Cabbage Patch Kidz

Just when I thought (again) about possibly shutting down my blog due to a lack of activity, an unwelcome adventure ensued. Although great blog fodder, I could have done without the entire incident.

The weather has been seasonable and pleasant, but temps dropped sharply and the wind picked up Thursday (2/23/2012) afternoon/evening. I got a call from Heather telling me Jaz was off and, oh yeah, there are two other horses in the same paddock – Doodles and Poko – with the same symptoms. Heather said she’d keep an eye on them and keep me posted. Not 5 minutes later, I got the call that they were all showing symptoms of colic.

Jaz has earned his moniker “our delicate grey flower,” so I wasn’t particularly surprised or concerned that he was off, although he has been much hardier since we treated him for strongyles infestation (2009). Doodles has severe ulcers, so no big shock there either. What sent my brain into alert mode was that Poko was also in distress. Poko has a cast iron constitution. In the entire 5 years I owned him, he never cost me a dime at the vet other than annual exams and teeth floating.

My immediate thought was they ate something they shouldn’t have. Poko will eat anything. Jae walked the fence line and, sure enough, found cabbage leaves, of all things. We don’t think it was malicious; probably the kids across the road intending to give them a treat. Regardless of the intent, the damage was done. Heather and Jae used longe whips to get all the horses in that paddock moving. In addition to the three patients, there was Diesel (OTTB), Red (American Cream Draft colt), and my Daltrey. I was still on the other end of the phone line, so I can only go by what I was told, which was that it took more than a little effort to keep those poor boys vertical and moving. They said Jaz was moaning loudly.

Poko was drenched in sweat and appeared to be in the most critical state, followed by Jaz, then Doodles. It makes sense since that is the order of dominance, meaning Poko probably ate most of the “treat.” Due to a rash of routine equine emergencies (inevitable when you have 30 head), Heather found herself out of drugs after dosing Poko. He and Doodles began to calm down and show signs of lessening discomfort, but they were still unable to keep Jaz on his feet. Heather wisely decided to call Dr. G, and I got dressed and gathered my stuff to join them.

God bless our vet. He’s such a good guy. It was after hours and he suggested we might avoid a farm call by having me go by the clinic (which is on the way to the farm) and pick up a hidden cache of Banamine. We were to inject Jaz, watch him awhile, check vitals, etc., and decide from there whether we needed Dr. G to come and tube him.

I barely recognized my horse. Had I not known it was him, I would have sworn it was a mare in labor. He had no top line, that’s how bloated he was. He was down in his stall and we had to force him up. About 45 minutes after the injection, Dr. G called just as Jaz released an enormous fart, some loose poo and a sigh. He remained up and even began nosing his bedding. We felt confident he’d be okay, although Heather and I sat around in the barn a bit longer just to be sure. I was having a beer at home when all this started, so had tossed a couple in my truck, which we enjoyed as we kept our vigil. She and Jae checked him hourly through the night.

Reports Friday were that Poko and Doodles are fine. Jaz is eating, but not with much gusto. I’m hopeful he’ll be okay for our pony party on Sunday. Heather’s going to try and track down the well-meaning party so we don’t have a repeat of this adventure. Horses + cruciferous vegetables es no bueno.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Winter Doldrums

It has rained just enough to make the arena and pasture at the farm not safe to ride. The temps have been seasonable, but not conducive to short sleeves like we're always bragging about. I haven't ridden in a month and may not get to next weekend either because of an SCA event Friday-Sunday at Iron Ridge. I will likely stop by but I am unsure if my help will be needed or what.

The Boyz had their feet trimmed this weekend, so at least I know Jaz is ready on the next occasion to ride.

Meanwhile, our flooring project has turned into one thing after another, which projects of this magnitude often do. More time, more money, more work. The floors look great, and we're really pleased, but it will take longer than we had anticipated just so we can afford stuff as it comes up. Mr. Fry has been a saint.

They're calling for sleet and snow tonight, but it won't stay around long. Temps up in the 40s tomorrow and the 50s after that.

I truly hope y'all are getting in more pony time that I am. Blehh.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Doesn't Everyone?

Texans aren't happy with lawn jockeys, yard gnomes or flamingos.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Real Life Intervenes

As you know, we here in Texas have been praying for rain to help assuage 2+ years of drought conditions. Our lake (Lake Ray Roberts) is almost 4.5 ft. low. We were very excited when Mother Nature complied last week to the tune of 4" of rain. Our land drains well, so we accepted every drop without qualms.

Only downside is that parts of Heather's place, including the arena, tend to hold water for a good while, so no riding this weekend. I did, however, spend about an hour with the Boyz today. It was a de-mudding and carrot eating session, but I'll take what I can get.

The rain meant that the greater part of the weekend could be devoted to Mr. Fry's and my rather ambitious project: ripping the carpet out of all 4 bedrooms and replacing it with drop-and-lock laminate flooring. Words cannot describe how disgusting that 12-year old carpet is. Animals in the house — 'nuff said. We are taking our time, using the opportunity to paint the rooms when there's no need to mask or use drop cloths. And we're doing it "nice and friendly," as we say around here, so we don't cripple ourselves.
Once we got all our questions answered and it all made sense to us, we found it's really not so bad. Heck, I'm even out there using the big power saw. I still have all my fingers, too.
We started with our son's old bedroom. We are very pleased with the results.

I am also using this opportunity to clean out closets and get rid of excess accumulated stuff. I've been wanting to do this for years. That much trash makes Mr. Fry twitchy, for some reason. I am much less sentimental about keeping stuff than he is.

What are y'all up to?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Blown Away

After a damp, foggy, gray beginning, the day turned out to be warm and gorgeous. It was sunny, not a cloud in the sky, and a high temp of 73°F. And then the wind picked up. No, I mean really picked up. There were gusts up to about 45 mph. It wasn't cold, but I feel like I got free micro-dermabrasion.

There were six of us riding today. You may remember that Chris, Rachel's husband, had a bad fall about a month ago and he's still feeling the effects of that, so he and Heather sat it out while the rest of us headed out into the big pasture.

 Dr. Erin grooming the Percheron mare Midnight
 Keeley (grey) and her daughter Ishka
 From left: McKenna grooming Poko
(camped out because I just stretched his hips),
Ash, and Jazu
 You can come next year, Rico.
If you look a-wayyy out in front of us, 
you can see Nita in the red shirt on Keeley
and Sarah on Ishka.
After we were done riding and I had treated Jaz's sarcoid (Xxterra) and hand grazed him, this happened. I had Daltrey tied to the chute, about to pick his feet, when a big gust of wind picked up a blanket draped over the other side at the same time a wall of sand blew over us and a mean trash can threatened to eat him. I saw the panic attack coming a split second before it happened and was able to jump out of the way as he pulled back, bringing the chute with him for about a foot or so, and tipping my loaded tack cart. I'm glad the halter did what it was supposed to do, and no one was hurt. A few cookies and I was able to lead him back over to where we were and convince him nothing would eat him.

Another excellent day with my barn buddies and our noble steeds. I hope your pony time this weekend was as enjoyable.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Walk on the Wild Side

Well, on the wild side of the pasture at Iron Ridge, anyway.

Jaz has been bored, bored, bored with riding in the arena. How do I know? When I tack him up, he dances, tosses his head, most notably when I tighten the girth. When they were home and we went down the road, I didn't get that. He's also been pulling toward the arena gate, petering out after a few steps, or just stopping at random. Of course, I make him mind and do what I ask, but to tell you the truth, I'm a little bored with it, too.

Small pony party today, so we headed out into the main pasture at the farm. Heather moved the geldings into the arena and moved the rest of the herd into the pen where the geldings normally are. This is wise, because the boss mare is not known for her sense of humor when there are mares involved. Sara and Rachel were riding mares.
 My favorite view.
That's Heather on Poko following Rachel and Moon ...
... joined by Sara on Ishka (in the middle).

I had a great time, and I think the horses did, too, in spite of the crazy wind. There are still plenty of holes out there caused by the drought, but there were no mishaps. And get this: Jaz walked through water! That's a first for Mr. Prissy Feet. I think the only reason he did it is because Moon and Poko did. And he watched his feet with every step.

Sara graciously took these pix of Daltrey and me.
I look better in this one, but the one below is the
better shot of the horse.

I wanted you to get a good idea of his size.
I am about 5'3".
He will be 2 years old in March.
Isn't he stunning?
Well, as stunning as an awkward youngster can be LOL!

How's it going in your neck of the woods? I hope y'all are staying warm and able to get in some time on your ponies.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

First Ride of 2012

Packed house, so to speak, today at Iron Ridge. In attendance were Heather (of course), Jae (who didn't ride), Kris and Dr. Erin, who brought young ladies Steph and McKenna, Rachel and Sarah. Rachel's hubby Chris couldn't join us because he took a nasty spill — his first real one — from the green Sugarbush mare, Sweetie (O Sweet Surprise) yesterday. We send healing vibes his way.
 LOVE my new tack cart. One trip to and from the truck.
There's a weather front headed in (RAIN!) and all the horses were a little "whack." Most of them just didn't want to work. Even Jaz was kind of a stinker, pulling toward the gate, petering out after a few strides, etc. Kris's Voodoo was downright scary, and she wisely decided to get off and longe him. Diesel, the OTB gelding, hopped and Steph came off. Scared her, but she's okay. McKenna rode Jaz's brother Boo, who was being as much of a toot as Jaz, Heather, who had been riding Poko, got on Boo to make him mind, and McKenna rode Poko, who behaved admirably with the newbie. He's come such a long way.

Hope the forecast does not disappoint. Last I heard, there was an 80% chance of rain Monday-Tuesday. Rain makes the grass grow and that means I can bring the Boyz back to visit sooner.

Though the weather outside is crappy,
The rain still makes me happy.
So even if it's a pain,
Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain.

Monday, January 2, 2012

An Abrupt Departure

We had planned for the Boyz to be home until this coming weekend, but 'twas not to be. I had been feeding them (a complete pelleted feed) at least twice a day and offering them timothy alfalfa, and they've been eating every bit of it for two days. Prior to that, they ate the feed but only picked at the alfalfa. They had the place pretty well eaten down, and to keep them here any longer would do more damage to the fragile land. It's not only a question of the land sustaining them (grazing), it's that the sparse ground can't take the pounding from their hooves, them rolling, etc. So we made a quick decision to take them back to Iron Ridge today, as it's the last day of staycation for both of us.

Wag your anti-anthropomorphism finger all day long, but Jaz knew and he did not want to get in that trailer. Contrast that to him walking right in when we were at the farm bound for here. Breaks my heart.
They are so obviously happy or content or relaxed here – whatever term you deem appropriate to describe such equine behavior.
Every horse I've ever brought here has reacted positively to the small herd/large open space, relaxed atmosphere.

Please don't read into these statements that my horses – or any horses – are not well cared for at the farm, because they are. It's just a completely different environment. I liken it to the department in which I used to work with 25 people in low-walled call center type cubicles. Now I work in an area where there are only 7 of us in the office full time and we're spread out in larger, high-walled cubicles. Words can hardly describe how much happier I am.

We're going to work on the land as best we can this year in the hope that the horses can come back to visit more often. Dear God, please send rain – lots of it.
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