Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Viva Las Vegas Horse Show April 2011

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Talk about an exciting new show coming up next year. Be prepared!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I belong to and support several local horse clubs around the USA; the Southern California Miniature Horse Club is one of those. They have an exciting new show to unveil this next year.

This is got to be the most fun show I have had the privilege to promote in many years. And yes, as you probably guessed by the title it is in Las Vegas and being sponsored by the Southern California Miniature Horse Club.

Imagine being at a miniature horse show that has a climate controlled arena and stalls under a major hotel. You get done with some of your grooming and/or showing and you need to "freshen up"; what could be easier than to walk over to an elevator, push the button, and arrive at your own room for a shower, lie down for a while, or……get prepared to go see some exciting sights around town or more mini-showtime.

This show is to be scheduled April 22-24th in 2011 and will be held at the South Point Hotel/Casino/Spa. Some of you that are involved with Arabians are well aware of the annual event held by that association. This year, AMHA miniature horses will be shown under the same spot lights.

The last time I looked, I believe there are no less than 6 restaurants within this hotel property, hence you have an immense opportunity for a special dining experience before/during/ after you class times.

For those that want to be adventuresome, there is a shuttle service to get you down town to all the special events that you may want to intertwine with your Miniature Horse showing experience.

Got to http://www.lostspokeranch.com/vegas.html for viewing the brochure and for form downloads. Once the directors meeting is over (Dec. 3-4), we will know if other proposed classes will be added. At that time we will put the class list and entry forms.

If you wish further information, please do not hesitate to write me (Tommy) at ttthompson@theriver.com.

Again, be sure to MARK YOUR CALENDARS for April 22-24th next year.

Out with the old...

Today for some odd reason I decided it was a good day to clean out some of my horse paraphernalia. You know all the stuff that keeping horses requires. Well over eleven years I've accumulated quite a collection!

So, I began with the extra halters/leads box. Found a few missing weanling halters and leads, the pretty decorated halter lead someone sent me for Christmas, a bunch of leads that I can't stand, a bit for a harness I don't own anymore and the missing blanket clips. Why were they there? Who knows.

I then opened the box of brand new lead ropes I'd ordered last month and stored them in the big Tupperware container for easy access. I am making a box for all the usable but I won't use stuff, as I have way to much.

Next box - oh the leather halters I bought and have never used, treat bags, a couple of Mini fly masks - nothing needs to be in here together, so sort sort.

Onward we go to the medicine cabinet. This is one of those places I've avoided cleaning out as it's overflowing with creams, ointments, syringes and meds that all need to be sorted. I start pulling things out and realize I need a better plan, so pull out the gallon ziplock bags and start bagging like with like.

I discovered I have well over 300 3cc syringes, a few hundred extra needles, plus a gallon bag full of 6, 12, 20 and 60 cc syringes. They're all sorted now!

Pull out the bandage box - I have enough to start a triage unit.

Two dozen rolls of vet wrap, assorted tapes, bandages, pads, wraps and sterile dressing, three pair of scissors, seven thermometers and wound wrap to keep me for awhile. Not wanting bad karma I'd like all of that to remain unused - so neatly bagged and re-shelved it's ready. Mind you this is the extra stuff - I have a wound box, that is already packed and ready for use. Someone has been a bit overbuying or not checking what they have...

Also in this jumble I found a few in their package clipper blades, one of the missing clippers, a staple (wound staple) remover, a key to ?, a few unused containers of vaseline, pepto, and baby enemas, two pair of unused leather work gloves, a bag of rubber brands for braiding hair, the bag of kitten nursing equipment (my cats are now 8, so why do I still have this?) and an actual First Aid kit! I know I use to be organized, ugh.

Did I mention I found a bag of gloves the kind that go up to your shoulder as well as a box of surgical gloves? Why I have the shoulder length ones is beyond me as I've never used them. All of this is neatly sorted and put away.

The meds unfortunately are still waiting for me to go through and dispose of properly and I still need to check the fridge to see what meds are in there that are likely expired.

That leaves the 7-10 boxes of blankets, feed buckets to sort, all the halters that need to be washed (I wash them annually), the shelving unit full of grooming stuff, feed supplements, and all the clipper accessories still to go through.

But I'm happy, it's a beginning and will hopefully motivate me to continue as the worst is done. At least I know now I don't need to order syringes again this year, heck I may not need to until 2014 or so!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving and Rescues

I've been waiting to write about this until:

a) I wasn't ready to kill the person responsible,
b) wasn't hating humanity in general and
c) hoping I'd have the remaining Minis here by now.

But today seems like a good day.  It's a long story and I'm not going to go into it to much until after the rest of the horses are safely away from their situation.

I've sold a number of Minis over the years, and like to think I've been pretty picky about where they go and how they're cared for.  But every now and then we get one back that is in need of care of some sort or another.  It goes with the territory and I'd rather be responsible for what I put out there and have people ask for help or return them to me so they can be cared for.

As many of you know, I've been slowly reducing my herd this past year, as I'm in the midst of a divorce (amicable but still stressful), and I'll likely be moving in a few years, so figured I'd start downsizing now, instead of a mad rush later.  I have a friend or someone I thought was a friend, we'll call her "This Person", that has bought a number of Minis from me over the years.

This Person is going through some financial/personal difficulties, and was moving her horses here (long story that I won't get into), but before I met her to get the first four, she told me the horses were 'thin' and in need of a trim.  So, I assumed I'd get some thin horses with long toes.  I've dealt with that.  Heck Tomas (bless my farrier's heart for the wonderful work he does), has had to deal with two foundered mares we took back in May and some of my Minis that view the farrier as an evil being.  When I went to meet This Person, and she opened her trailer, I about died.  The smell was overwhelming (four Minis with thrush), along with seeing dull eyed, skinny horses on a body scale of 1-10, they were in the 1-3 range.

Fortunately my friend and fellow Mini breeder/lover, Holly Bradshaw, was with me, so we quickly loaded the four into my trailer and then had a bitch-session on the ride home about the many levels of hell This Person should descend to.  Believe me we were quite creative!

We took photos of the horses when we got home and two days later when they had there first trim. 

The one that shocked me the most was Celena. People that have been out to the ranch over the years, likely remember Celena (Las Doradas Celena) she is a 30.5" Mini that always tipped the scale at 350 lbs - yes a chunk - with a 4" layer of fat on her belly.  We've had wonderful foals from her over the years, and I still have one daughter (Val) here.  She's always been one of my special mares as she's a half sibling to ET (my original Mini) as well as being related to so many of our herd.

When she went to live with This Person, I assumed it was to a good home.  Someone that has 30+ years of experience with horses and other Minis.  An animal lover (I'm thinking horder at this point), but seemed to genuinely care for her horses. Little did I know this person, either doesn't or can't take care of a Mini or even provide the most basic care as feeding and hoof trimming.

This is Celena in 2004 (I mistakenly tagged it as 2007 that was her weight date sorry) and the photo below it is from Thursday, November 18, 2010.  She was literally unrecognizable to me and my daughter.  She weighed 350 lbs +/- in 2007 at UC Davis.

This is Lily from This Person. Leggs her half sibling is in the same condition and they're almost twins in color.

Lily a yearling that was supposedly trimmed in June 2010, so six months of growth?  I think not.  She was trimmed two days later, but is on a few months recovery as she has no frog in her hooves and is learning to walk again. I'm surprised the poor things have survived.  They're as thin as Celena above, but have a thicker winter coat so the bones are not as evident.

Lily post trimming.

. Bre the last one of this group.  She has some nasty wounds on her hips, is very overgrown hoof but is in better condition, if you can say that then the other three.  She's thin to skinny, not a bag of bones.  Holly was good enough to remove the matted manure from her mane and gave all the horses a thorough check.  We're glad they didn't have lice.

I've taken horses in over the years and have dealt with neglect, but generally it's over-indulgence and founder from over-feeding.  I've had a few thin to skinny horses before, but never in 11 years have I had any in this deplorable of condition.  And we have eleven more coming.  To say it frightens me is to put it mildly.  I can't envision a time I'd ever let my horses get to this point and told This Person that.

Why she didn't call or ask for help, I will never understand. Especially when I see her and she's not missing meals and has regular manicures. I guess you sometimes never really know what is going on with some people.

So, I've been hating humanity that can do this to these Minis, but today is Thanksgiving, and I have to be thankful these four are getting care.  I have to be thankful that my Minis that I stress over not getting every perfect bit of care I want to give them are at least fat, shiny, trimmed and healthy.  Yes I have some rasta-manes, but they're shiny-eyed, shiny coated and happy. I'm Thankful that these four - Celena, Bre and the two yearlings at least are getting proper care after continued neglect for at least the past year. I'm also thankful for the offers of help we've received already.

The care will happen regardless. I have corners I can cut in my own life (always leave some bump room - lol), but what I'd really love is any help with pet homes.  It won't be for 2-3 months, but the yearlings are pet quality, as there legs will never be 100% straight, and they both have mild underbites (gelding their dad when he gets here!). They're both very sweet, docile and I think will shed out to be pretty buckskins. But, I won't waste the money to register them - as I really want PET homes with no breeding going on.

The horses This Person bought from me are still in my name with the registry, and the remaining horses will have to be evaluated.  I will be contacting the breeders she purchased them from if I can get that information too.I'm not going to share details on the person responsible, as my goal is to get the Minis (11 more) out of her care. I've basically given her a deadline and if she doesn't comply, then the authorities will be called.

Anyway, I'll post photos as they improve and look forward to getting the rest some proper care in the coming weeks.

Wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving and please count your blessings and be thankful.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Confessions of a Miniature Horse breeder

As I've written about over this last year, 2009 was my 'non-breeding' year.

I didn't breed ANY horses. Not one. Zero, nada, zip!

Apparently that didn't sit well with my herd, so taking on the responsibility themselves, I've had quite the foaling year in 2010, six foals - five colts, one filly.  Pretty good in a very embarrassing fashion.

I have this illusion, that I maintain and hold to dearly, of being a responsible breeder. I'm selective on which mares and stallions I do cross.  I only breed a few every year (4-10 out of the 40+ we have here).

I do what I assume all of us do, and put thought into my breeding program and plan crosses and future crosses!

  • I look at pedigrees the parents, grandparents, siblings. Who's produced what in which cross and how did it turn out? 
  • Conformation is judged - he needs a better x and she has a better y.
  • Movement - good, lazy, moves out, trot's in preference...  
  • Personalities - she's a bit of a biotch, he's a pocket pet, etc.  
  • How have any other foals matured?  Do I like it, if not why not? If I do what do I like and why?
  • Color usually falls last in my equation as I don't breed appys/pinto's intentionally - healthy is my color of choice! 

Well sadly I must admit the stallions and mares have done quite a good job deciding this on their own without my laughable expertise. I'd like to think it's the overall quality of the horses that has helped (hey I want some credit!!!), so that any of them can be crossed and produce a pleasing Mini.  But I'd like a say in who, what, when!!!

I especially do not like the surprise, no one knew you were pregnant mares, which seems to be ET's long lasting legacy to me. Her and two out of three daughters have done this so far.  Hiding their pregnancy and then smugly coming down off the hill with a very healthy foal!

2009 admittedly was not my best year (personally speaking) and was why I didn't breed.  But our boys and the creative use of fencing mishaps and opportunities resulted in this extended foaling season and to my embarrassment a LOOOONNNGGG 'Who's Your Daddy?' year!

To recap:

  • February's opening surprise #1 Etoile blessing us with Kiega.  Sired by Ringo in a creative use of the round pen.
  • March LeeLee had Bruiser, Ringo fence jump
  • May, Chiclet blessed us with Rose, Rohan's contribution.  You ever see a stallion jump a fence and beeline for a mare?  That was Rohan.  He knew which one to get to and he's faster than we are!
  • June, Baybee had Chaos.  Suspected sire Frenchie, second only to Ringo in creative fence breeding and escape tactics
  • Then all summer we've watched Libbe, Remy and Maria.  Libbe has had a bag since May, the cheater and still no foal.
  • September, Cookie following in her dam, ET's, hoof steps surprised us with Bambam.  Suspect Frenchie.  DNA/PQ pending.
  • November 8th, Remy finally exploded and brought forth her adorable, yet to be named son, a pretty bay. A solid bay foal out of a solid bay mare.  Suspected sire?  We had thought Frenchie, but highly improbably with his dilute color to sire a bay.  Ringo? possible but unlikely. So this one will be parent qualified by elimination.

So for not 'breeding' I'm pleased with all the foals. Only one filly, but they're all healthy and really nice!   Maria still looks round, but no bag to speak of, so we go she is/she isn't/she is/she isn't and keep watching her.  I've never had foals this late in the year on purpose!

2010 we had ZERO fence jumps, so unless Ringo had some midnight love through a fence.  All foals should be sired exactly by whom the mares were bred to and born in a 3-4 week period - like I like it!  Short, sweet, sleepless month.

I just hope foaling season is over.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Rainy November morning

So we fell back today - I woke up earlier than usual add to that Daylight Savings time and I was up at o'dark-thirty, not a time I like to acknowledge ever.

The skies were clear at eleven last night and apparently became a mass of rain filled clouds that let loose. Everything had a nice soaking.  Add to that it's a tad cold, not windy at least.

I do love rain, it's good for the pastures and I love watching it and listenting to it.  But not working in it! Wet hay, wet me, wet dogs.  So the horses are all fed, I'm dry enjoying a cup of coffee with a splash of Frangelico (love that stuff at this time of year) and the dogs are drying in the laundry room.  It's amazing how many of our towels and blankets have been converted to dog 'stuff'.  I think I do more 'dog' laundry than I do for me!

Finally caught Leelee and Bruiser and have them back up front.  When that boy will accept weaning ... he's going to get weaned one day I swear it!  Likely with Bambam in a few months.  He's definitely the worst foal I've had in coming up twelve years with Minis.  He does not like to leave his mom.   Definitely the opposite of independent.

I was watching Bambam while feeding and he looks so much like a big horse in proportion - the legginess and short back, long neck.  I did notice he had a faint whitish strip (probably a few hairs wide) on the inside of his left nostril.  This should make his DNA/PQ more interesting.  I'm sure he'll be a B size.  Healthy and nice I can live with the height.  Not to complain about the B's but I want THAT look on a 30" Mini consistently!

I caught Comet too.  I'm not sure anything's wrong, but she seemed to be favoring her front leg a bit, I couldn't see anything wrong, not exceptionally warm, but with all the new grass growing from the rain, I do worry about founder.  So, she's up with Charm and Woody on a grass diet.  Not happy in the least, but she's there.

All my horses view anything but being out on the hill as torture.  Half acre paddocks are squeeze shoots in their opinions.  Silhouette is the only horse I have that doesn't mind being confined, well her and Little.  They both could live quite happily with very little other horse contact.  So yes, the princess is back up front too.

Noomi had a fun experience today, she found out when you're head is as big as the dog that just fit through a hole in the fence, you get stuck.  When Fence's Attack!  She was having a fit, and of course I'm two pastures away trying to get to her.  She finally unstuck herself and ran for the deck.  Poor baby, she really doesn't know how big she is, as she sees the Mini Aussies slip through holes she can't fit in and stands there with a puzzled expression.  Today she gave it a shot and found out it was NOT a good idea.

Now if it would get cold enough to kill the flies.  They've been horrid this past month, worse than all summer.  I know there is a reason for their existence, but it escapes me now.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Farrier vist

Tomas was out bright and early, fortunately I'd had coffee!

He gave me good news on Woody and Charm, both are progressing along well.  Charm's still growing alot of toe, but her hooves are finally starting to look normal.  Woody is progressing too.  Still has signs of founder, but standing in a more comfortable position and his hoof looks much improved.  Tomas suggested more exercise so we're turning them out into one of the larger paddocks - uphill. Hopefully this will help with keeping their blood circulating.

He also trimmed the foals (Bruiser and Rose), what a PiA Bruiser was today.  This weaning is making him excessively unhappy.  I've never had a foal react so badly.  He was sweaty, and pissy and just angry.  I finally relented.  He may be over six months, but he's not ready to be away from mom yet.  I guess he'll get weaned with Bambam.

We did separate Chiclet too, much to Rose's displeasure, she's in an adjacent pen, but Chiclet is getting to thin.  I really hate weaning a variety of aged foals. It's so much easier when they go as a group!  Chiclet doesn't seem to mind, she usually looks forward to her babies going 'bye-bye'.  She's now on free choice hay to get her weight back up.

Other than that the trimming was a breeze.  The rest of the gang it's so old hat they just cooperate.

Noomi was out loose with the Minis for the first time.  She was great and was tasted by Rose and April.  Apparently white dogs have a different flavor!  She took it all in stride and is doing wonderfully here, well except when she's in the house.  Apparently our chairs taste much better than her toys, so we're losing the front of one if we don't watch her carefully.

Work continues on re-arranging the front paddocks.  What seems so easy on paper is alot of work!  Hopefully once it's done it will be more user-friendly for feeding/water and storing boys and any sick horses.

My dream to wipe out all our fencing and start over.  Where is that lotto money?

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The Noominator

Noomi, our Great Pyrenees puppy,  is settling in well.

Yesterday was her first day off the leash, she's still viewing coming as optional, but we're getting her use to the routine.  She of course found her way into the boy's pasture and the lovely mud hole.  She came out looking like she was wearing go-go boots.  White dog and mud black legs.  It was funny and she thoroughly enjoyed it.

She's interacting with the dogs with no problems, and has met a number of the Minis and isn't aggressive at all.  She could care less about the cats, too.

Now the chicken, well Peep and her are working that out - supervised visits of course!

Our last chicken, Peep, survived the fox decimation of our flock last year, is naturally leery of canines.  She lost her tail to the fox, but survived otherwise and spends a good deal of time on the deck with the dogs in safety.  So, she naturally views, Noomi as a potential threat.

Noomi having never met a chicken before see her as a great toy or ?  Therefore we're working with them so Noomi will 'know' Peep is part of the family and Peep won't constantly be in a state of OMG!!!

The llamas are still keeping a careful eye on her, but have stopped their eerie vocalizing they did the first two days.

As far as puppies go though, she's great.  Very smart and picks up the routine easily here.

Saw this video on YouTube and thought it was cute -

Other news, we weaned Bruiser today, to his trauma.  Chaos left yesterday to his new home, were he's settling in beautifully.  Rose is left, but I've yet to figure out where to lodge Chiclet, as she's dropped the most weight with a foal, and needs extra feed.

Unfortunately we're in mid-redesign of our paddocks, so it's where she's at with Rose; out with the mares on the hill; or in with the two foundered ones (Woody and Charm).

Hopefully we'll have the fences/paddocks redone in the next couple of weeks and she can put on weight over the winter.

A thin horse here is almost unheard of here!