Friday, December 17, 2010

Tis The Season For 'Tude

We are now three weeks in to our holiday carriage rides and I can tell you that humans and equine alike are feeling it. Of course, we humans knew what we were in for, but the horses, being their care free, pasture ornament selves did not and are giving us an abundance of attitude.

Well howdy, let me tell you, they are letting us know right here and now that this is not acceptable to either of them. And, of course, the donkey, who's never worked a day in his life is following the lead of the other two and showing just as much attitude.

Let me tell you about the daily routine around the ole ranchette right now. I get up early in the morning, turn on the coffee pot, feed the dogs and cat, head to the barn, mix up a delicious breakfast for the horses and donkey, and head back to the house. Then, gulp down, a quarter cup of coffee, head back to the barn, hang the hay bags and let the three amigo's out.

Ok, all is well and good for awhile. They all hang out munching hay, wandering here and there and just being please...dun, dun, dun.....screech, I'm baaaack!!! No sooner do I head toward the stalls, then they all zoom off to the other end of the pasture, shaking their heads and turning their backs to me. I guess they think, if they can't see me, I can't see them. Oh, so wrong you are pumpkins!

You would think they would have gotten the idea by now, that I'm just there to clean their rooms and that they would come up to me to see what treats I may have in store for them. But, nooooooooo, they are not having any part of that action. "Think we'll turn around and just stay here and stare at you for awhile". Ok, whatever, I don't care, I'm busy.

Once I have the stalls all nice and clean, and their water bowls filled, it's time to gather them up and put them in so whichever horse is going to work can be haltered and led off to the trailer. Shake and rattle a can of feed and all three came up in a heartbeat. Well, the first couple of days, that worked just fine. But now, all bets are off, they're on to my tricks and they want to just mess with me. Remi is the king of head shakes for sure. He'll prance around swinging that head from side to side and just glares at me.

The horse we've leased for the season has started doing the same thing. Oh my word, I hope she forgets about it by the time we take her back to her parents. Donk, on the other hand doesn't quite have the head shake down, so he lowers his head and bucks off into the distance. Maybe that's a good thing, but it's still attitude nonetheless.

The other day I shook that feed can so much, I felt like a bell ringer for the Salvation Army. None of them would come, Remi, just stood there and shook his head, Donk just stared at me, and the other horse took off running like a mare on steroids. Twenty minutes of coaxing, a tight schedule to keep and patience running thin, it was time to pull out the big guns. I grabbed alfalfa cubes, walked slowly up to Remi and let him smell them. Gotcha big boy, I'm am still the Barn Goddess.

That got his attention and he happily followed me back to his stall and was rewarded for his good behavior. Donk, being the Remi buddy he is, followed close behind and into his stall, where he happily enjoyed his carrot oatie. As far as the other horse goes, well that was another 20 minute chase back and forth throughout the pasture, but eventually she was coaxed into her room.

I swear Remi has a Roy Rogers and Trigger watch hidden under his feathers somewhere and secretly signals the others when it's time to start the ole head shake and attitude fest. I will find it, I swear, and when I do, I'm putting it up for sale on Ebay toot sweet.

I would say I would try to get up later to throw them off schedule, but Donk is very punctual with his loud braying at 7:15 every morning. What's a girl to do? Oh well, I guess it keeps me in shape and I do so look forward to January, when we can return to weekend work. Until then, the chase is on, the attitude continues and I am seriously thinking of asking Santa to clone me.

Stay Tuned, Stay Happy and Stay With Us! Merry Christmas

Monday, December 13, 2010

Merry Christmas to all and much "THANK YOUS" !!!

Its just after 2 AM. Remington is munching on alfalfa laced coastal hay. I would know because I just now came up from the final check and hay replacement for the night. Yes the big doofus, his donkey friend and our leased horse for the season get a late night{early AM hay check/replacement}. Somebody needs to take care of me that way and check to see if I need a late night desert. LOL

Really tho, I just wanted to tell all of you who have read here and those who have come to meet him that I wish you the best of all things in the coming year and thank you for all the comments and love for the big guy that helps keep us going.

I'll have some new stories for you soon but for now we are in the big holiday rush for carriage rides, so I just wanted to say much love to all, and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!

Bunny--Trainer mom

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Remi gives good Head Hugs

I tried to take a night off, but it doesn't work around here... Bet you all know about that at this time of year. The good thing is that Melissa has sent some photos. They were a little big, so I cropped them. Hopefully she will not mind. Here are 2 of the photos she has so graciously shared. We are so blessed to have this boy and to be able to share him with others to make this kind of smiles....

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Head Hugs

When Remi was just learning his trade he went through a period of time when he absolutely refused to let you put the bridle on him. Needless to say this could be quite the problem as when he picks up his head he reaches a height over 10 feet.

There were many occasions when someone should have been filming as he would toss me around like a rag doll my feet dangling 3 feet or more off the ground. It must have been quite the sight as I would not give up and he obviously was way bigger and stronger than I would ever be able to conquer.

My solution to the problem was to cut fruit roll-ups into strips and wrap them around his bit. His favorite flavor is strawberry. That cured the first problem getting it on. Now comes taking it off, more fun.... To solve this I began a game with him giving him special head hugs and "scritchin" behind his enormous ears. This has evolved to a regular game with or without the bridle. Anytime I come up to him and say "Head Hug" with my arms out stretched he puts his head down and shoves his face into my chest to get his hug.

I'm telling you this story because the other night when Melissa rode with us I showed her and her family just how sweet he is. He is after all a big attention hound, so after my mandatory head hug he shared with her and some of the children a few extra hugs and kisses. I know photos were taken. Maybe if we are really good this Christmas season they will share them with us.

Melissa, if you're reading this, Thank you for taking a ride with us. I hope this season brings you all the best.

PS. He knocked me flat on my keister that night when we got back to his trailer. He was in such a hurry to get the bridle off and get his head "Scritched" that he shoved too hard and I went down, with him looking down at me like I was just teasing he kept nudging so hard I had trouble getting up. It was that perfect end to a day that started out quite rough... Thanks Remipup

Trainer mom-- Bunny

Friday, December 3, 2010

Remi's Holiday Adventures

Happy Holidays everyone. It's the busiest time of year around the old ranchette so posts will be few. We are in high gear doing our annual holiday light tours and every day holds many extra tasks that leave us weary.

However, we don't want to neglect our faithful followers and as always there is a tail or two to tell (notice, my clever spelling of tail). C'mon it was sort of clever, don't you think? Ok, maybe not :)

Moving right along, the first little tidbit of info I'll share with you is that I have become the major bad mama in Remi's eyes. Oh, it's not every day, it's just when I go down and put his halter on him and lead him away from the hay bag to go to work. Oh my stars and martians, you would have thought I was cutting him off from his food for the rest of his life. "Mama, how could you make me go and work?" Oh get over it, you two bale of hay a day stomach on stilts!

He doesn't make his displeasure known to me at the time, but the next morning when I go down to feed him his breakfast, he immediately turns his back to me and won't talk to me. No letting me kiss him on his nose or pat him on the head. Nada, zip, nothing. I pour his grain in the bucket and think, ah ha, I'll sneak in a head pat. Nope, not gonna happen. Ok, then, be that way, I'm going back in the house for coffee. I'm too groggy for this rejection right now :)

I do know a secret though. Grab a full delicious hay bag and all bets are off. Zoom, he's back to sweet boy mode. Yeah, ya big spoiled doofus, I see how you are. It's all about the food! Who's your mama, huh?

I haven't been down on a ride yet, but trainer mom tells me that Remi still has an outstanding issue with stop signs. You see, he doesn't think that they pertain to him. After all, he's bigger than that odd shaped piece of metal, and why should he have to stop. He can't see red and he doesn't know how to spell. Maybe if they said Whoa, he wouldn't have a problem with them. Or, maybe not. At any rate, trainer mom has to battle him all the time, but eventually he will stop and behave. Well at least momentarily that is.

There is of course, one particular stop sign that she calls "The Dreaded Stop Sign" and for some reason Remington dislikes this sign most of all. I guess it makes sense, I think we all have certain places we don't like either. But Remi really, really doesn't want to stop there and he is giving trainer mom fits. Fortunately she knows how to win the battle, but it sure does make her arms sore from holding 3000 pounds back from the traffic. And it does put a strain on her voice.

Not to worry though, he's a good boy overall and he does pay attention to her. Sure thing, she won't have a voice left after this month is over and Remington will once again return to being his usual pasture ornament self. But in the meantime, it will be stop sign wars for sure.

I was very excited to hear that one of our riders is a blog follower. I hope that she had a good time and enjoyed meeting the big boy in person. So Melissa, here's a shout out to you and I hope you sign up as a follower. We really do enjoy seeing who's reading about the big boy.

The same applies to any of you who like reading about Remipup. We would love to know who's keeping up with his antics.

To all of you from all of us, may you have a blessed and enjoyable holiday season.

Stay Tuned, Stay Happy and Stay With Us!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Remi Fit Explained

Cheryl told me that she told y'all about Remi pups hissy, so I feel compelled to tell you that I found the reason for it. After much examination of the trailer and its contents I found the culprit...

You see the trailer that we designed to hold two large draft horses in two separate stalls has long ago been become almost too small for the big galoot. We had to move the center divider and tie it off to the side in order to make one stall as he is not just tall, but he is extremely long, as would be in proportion to his height. We've have had to order special shafts for his carriage about 14 inches longer than any the Amish have ever made. (Being female owned and trained they couldn't imagine we really needed something that BIG and found a phone to call and verify the measurement.)
The divider, which also holds some of his harness parts still, had come a little loose and a couple of leather straps were able to swing loose. Remi apparently took offense to having his belly tickled by them and that caused the hissy. I found the offending straps on the floor under his bedding. They were suitably stomped, with broken buckles and chrome destroyed.
As I am ordering new harness parts, fixing dents in the trailer, and repairing the fence that he pushed over to eat the tree, I think I am now truly becoming a Jack(Jill) of all trades. All for the love of a horse. But, ya know what? HE'S WORTH IT.

PS. If you have ever wondered what is the difference between a 13 hand tall horse and a 20 hand tall horse this photo may give you some perspective. Yes, 13 hands is small, average would be about 14.2 but this just happened at the blacksmiths and I thought you might like to see.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Busy Busy!

Many apologies for the long delay in writing a new post. Believe it or not, we have been in high gear getting ready for the upcoming holiday season. There's lots to do with getting the advertising out and making all the arrangements, so at the end of the day, the ole fingers and the brain have been extremely weary.

That being said, I will tell you that the last few weeks have been filled with other jobs and Remi action. A couple of weeks ago we went to do a Sweet Sixteen surprise ride. Remi was being such a good boy and despite a few equipment setbacks, we were very successful in arriving on time to pick up the birthday girl at her house and transport her to a secret destination.

She was really amazed at Remington's size and loved every minute of the ride. Of course, he drew a lot of attention on the way there and we had plenty of camera phones popping out of car windows snapping pictures of the big boy. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon and lots of people were out driving around, so traffic was pretty heavy. But, as usual, that didn't faze Remington one bit. He was ever the sweet and perfect boy.

After we dropped off the birthday girl, we made our way back to the trailer. Instead of staying on a very busy street, we took a shortcut through the parking lot of a close by shopping center. We immediately had a car on both sides of us, driving slowly along and taking pictures, shouting "how beautiful" and asking what was the occasion. There were lots of people coming out of the grocery store "oohing" and "aahing" and the shopping carts didn't bother the big boy either. We both were rather enjoying the attention he was getting and it didn't stop there.

We got back to the trailer and up drives a car with a family inside. The woman asked if she could come and meet Remi and I said "sure". She had never been that close to a Clydesdale, much less one as big as Remi. It was nice to share the boy with others and get a smile. And Remi, stood there and enjoyed the attention as well.

He had been such a good boy, from the bath to the job and we were very proud of him. However, as many of you know, Remi has an attitude, and on the way home, it reared it's head. Trainer Mom has told me of a few instances when Remi has thrown a fit inside the trailer. I have never been witness to these fits and after this last one, I don't ever want to be again. We don't know what started it but it wasn't fun whatsoever.

We were almost home and were stopped at a light, when all of a sudden, Remi went to kicking and stomping inside the trailer. He was throwing such a walleyed fit that it was not only rocking the trailer, but the truck as well. And, there was nothing we could do at the time, because we had to wait out the light and had nowhere to pull over.

Once the light turned green, he settled down and was calm the rest of the way home. When we unloaded him from the trailer, he acted as if everything was normal and we just took him down to the barn and gave him some hay. For him, all was well with the world now that he had food and his buddy Donk by his side.

I do have to say that the inside of the trailer now has more dents and dings and I am very thankful that he didn't hurt himself. You gotta know that 3000 pounds of upset in a confined area can turn out very ugly. Fortunately for him and for us, it didn't.

So, no matter how smoothly the day seems to be going, or how well the big guy is behaving, we are always on alert for everything. It took a while for us to calm down, but we eventually did and since there were no injuries, it all ended well. Whew, it was not the thrill ride I wanted, that's for sure.

Big or small, short or tall, you always need to be alert to the possibility of something going haywire. Fortunately Remi's good nature outweighs his hissy fits, so kudo's to the big boy for being good the majority of the time.

Starting the day after Thanksgiving, Remi will once again be pulling a carriage and his HUV (Horse-Drawn Utility Vehicle) through Highland Park for the holiday light tours. If any of you in the area are interested in riding with the big boy, you can get information at

We're not reminding him about it right now though, so mum's the word. We'll keep it a secret until we go to load him on the trailer. That way, he won't have the time to plot and plan :) And don't worry, as long as you're not a horse trailer, you will be just fine :)

Stay Tuned, Stay Happy and Stay with Us!

Thursday, September 2, 2010


I ran across this tonight. I forgot I had it. Just thought you might like to see Remi at home and play with Sara his little mare buddy and Princeton his mentor in life.
PS: it is set to music. lol

Create your own video slideshow at

Monday, August 30, 2010

Lonesome Donk

I know that this blog is usually about Remington and his adventures, but in many ways, those adventures involve other animals and the humans around him. So, once in a while there may be a story or two that will feature the others in his life.

Today has been a rather long day of donkey sitting. No, the donkey isn't sitting, I am. You see, Remi and trainer mom left early this morning to go to the horseshoeing school for a much needed hoofacure and Donk is not happy about it at all.

He's been very lonesome, much like Remi was after the other horses left the property. He has spent the whole day being as busy as a donkey can be, looking here, there and everywhere for his best buddy and being very vocal about it. "Where are you bud, I can't find you anywhere." Is it pulling on your heart strings yet?

So, just like I did with Remi, I have spent many hours going back and forth to the barn, keeping him company, making sure he doesn't escape through some passage way to small for Remi, but just right for him. I've brushed him several times, let him come into the stalls with me while I was cleaning them, and just generally being a donkey buddy.

Oh my word, what have I become? And don't say a donkey or I will not be amused :) Poor little guy has been braying like nobody's business. When I've been with him, he has been so mopey and at times seemingly ticked off at me. After all, I put the halter on Remi and I helped load him up in that big box on wheels that whisked him away. Of course, it's my fault and he's barely talking to me. How dare I aid and abet his departure? My bad!

I keeping telling him Remi will be home soon, but of course you know by now that translates to blah, blah, blah, blah, so I'll spare you the extra details. My heart just goes out to the little guy. Prior to posting, I went back to the barn to check on him and he's just laying in his room sulking. Oh for heavens sake, what do you want me to do? I can't stay down here forever, and you're barely talking to me anyway, so where's the compromise, huh? You know what the answer is, "make Remi appear before him." Um, right now, I can't um, because you see, I don't have him, but I swear to you, he'll be home soon, ok. Badonkadonk, I said ok? Nothing, nada, moping continues, dang it all.

Perhaps this will be good practice for him, because once the holidays are here, Remi will be gone a lot, earning his keep. And, I guess it's good practice for me, because I can clearly see the constant "donkey sitting" coming full force at me. Red Bull, 5 hour energy drink and a good pair of walking shoes, coming right up. Yes siree babalooie, I'm on it.

But, we'll get through it and Donk will have a buddy to keep him company, even if that buddy walks on two legs. I guess I better get to work practicing donkey talk or it's gonna be a long winter.

I just love that little guy and even though he's not talking to me, I think he kinda likes me too. Haw, hee haw, hee haw. How'd I do? Hang on little buddy, I'm coming down to tuck you in.

Stay Tuned, Stay Happy and Stay with us!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Say What?

The dog days of summer continue on at the ole ranchette. Remi and Donk spend most of their time hanging out at the barn under the mist system and fans happily munching hay and being bored.

Both of them are delighted when we come to the barn to do chores. It gives them something to do, like aggravate us and get in our way. If we go to the feed stall to fill a hay bag, we have to shut the gate, or they will both walk right in.

The other day, they took their positions right outside the gate as I set about refilling their hay bag. I threw the chain over the gate to keep them out and I swear I saw Remi nudge Donk, who then proceeded to push on the gate to try and open it.

When that didn't work, Donk started yanking on the towel that was looped through the gate, while Remi kept a close eye on the situation. "Ok, pushing it didn't work, let's try pulling it".

I stopped what I was doing, walked to the gate and had a little talk with the both of them. Now this has to be a good comedy show for anyone watching, because neither one of them understands anything I'm saying. They're hearing Blah, blah, blah, blah, which translates to keep standing there and annoy the human.

Ok, hay bag is filled, it's time to clean the stalls. Because the hay bag is hung right in front of Donk's gate, it makes it a little difficult to get in and out. Now, you might ask, why don't we hang it somewhere else and the answer is, because the fans and mist system work best in that location.

Trainer Mom was in Remi's stall and I was trying to get into Donk's stall. So, I said "let me in Remipup" and he didn't move. C'mon Remi, let me in. Nothing, no movement at all. So then I said, "Move your big honkin' nose out of my way". Of course that didn't work either. Once again, blah, blah, blah, blah...

Then I hear the voice from the other stall "ya know, you might try using a command he knows instead of get your big honkin' nose out of my way." So, it's me who get's the lesson and it's me who can't use the blah blah blah blah to ignore my mistake. Darn it all anyway. She is right though and I can't expect Remi to do what I tell him to do if he doesn't understand what I'm saying.

Of course there are times when I do give him the commands he knows and he turns on the stubborn and ignores me anyway. And then there's Donk who was never taught any commands, doesn't care if he learns any commands and I'll just bet tells Remi how to more effectively ignore us. But that's another story in itself.

So, I'm back to practicing commands in a more stern voice and we'll see how that goes. I know for sure "move ya big donkey" and "get your big honkin' nose out of my way" really don't work because after all, it's just blah blah blah blah to the boys.

Stay Tuned, Stay Happy and Stay with Us!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Remi's Bodyguard

Remington is one happy and content horse since his little buddy arrived. I don't know if he knows that he has a protector in his pal or not, but I do believe he senses the comfort.

Not that we have lots of predators roaming the area, but there are coyotes, wild pigs and the occasional bobcat that come sniffing around. It's nice to know that Remi has a bodyguard to help keep him safe.

It was pretty cool the other day when a neighbor's dog was out roaming to close to the fence. Donk was happily munching hay with Remi under the shade at the barn, when he went into alert mode. Up went the ears, and he turned around and eyed that dog very closely.

He very slowly stepped out behind Remi and watched till the dog was out of site before turning around to resume eating his snack. Now, Mr. oblivious didn't even know what was going on since he had his nose buried so deep in the hay bag and Donk was a good boy and didn't tell him :)

The two of them are great pals for sure and Donk's new game is to run up to Remi from the other side of the pasture with his ears pinned back and then come to a screeching halt. Remi will turn around and look at him with that look of "what the heck are you doing shorty?" and just ignore him. So, back to the other end of the pasture Donk will go and the play charge will start all over again.

It just cracks me up to watch the two of them. They truly are a Mutt and Jeff duo. It's been so hot lately that the two of them have been hanging close to the barn under the mist system and fans. Donk didn't know what to make of the mist system at first, but has now caught on that this is quite a good thing. Wherever Remi goes, you can be sure that Donk is not far behind.

I think he likes all the "pardon the pun", creature comforts of the ole ranchette. He didn't know what to make of his stall at first, but now loves to go in and roll around in the bedding. He'll lay there for a little while, but get's up and down quite frequently to go stand at Remi's gate, share a little hay and protect his big bud. I wonder what they talk about?

Of course, Remi has to push the little guy around every once in awhile just to exert his dominance over his herd, but he doesn't do it in a mean way. He just wants Donk to know that he has the power to do so. Donk doesn't give a darn, he'll just walk away and wait for his opportunity to get back in and grab a mouthful of hay.

If any of you have horses or livestock of any kind and don't have a donkey, I would highly recommend that you think about getting one. They are really easy keepers and take their job of protecting the herd very seriously. And, they can be very sweet and a lot of fun. I'm certainly glad we have Donk around and Remington is too.

Stay Tuned, Stay Happy and Stay with Us!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Best Buds

It's been a couple of weeks now since Donk joined the family at the ole ranchette. Remi couldn't be happier and he has taken quite well to his new little buddy. And, I must say, the feeling is mutual as far as Donk is concerned because he just loves the big guy.

We couldn't be happier because you know how much we love Remington and want to make sure he stays happy and healthy.

I have to say it's been an absolute blast getting to know Donk. He's already figured out that there's lots of spoiling that goes on around here and he's the first one up to the gate to stare you down and stand smack dab in the way until you give him a good scritchen'.

Remi will ramble up behind him and it takes an act of Congress to get by the two of them. Where ever one goes, the other isn't far behind and they have become quite inseparable. Last weekend Remi was in his stall because it was raining and someone I know (uh me :O) forgot to latch the hook on the gate.

It's not really a big deal because we have a stall guard up to keep Remi from getting out when we don't want him to. However, that doesn't work the other way in trying to keep one very smart Donkey from trying to spring his bud from lockup.

It seems that Donk figured out how to grab a hold of the chain and swing it over the gate. He nudge the gate open and waltzed right on in to visit his buddy's apartment while the humans were occupied elsewhere.

Trainer Mom went down to check on them and called me out there to see a little donkey head peering out from under the stall guard, and a look of "what the heck" coming from Remi's face. It was hysterical. There he was happily munching away while Remi was trying to figure out how to boot this guy out of his diggs.

It took some manipulating to get him out of there too. He is one stubborn animal and when he plants all fours and decides he isn't moving, he doesn't. But being more stubborn than he, did pay off as we got him out of the stall and secured Remi in until the rain passed.

Donk just doesn't like being away from Remi and it appears Remi doesn't like to be that far from Donk. They have become the best of buds and are as happy as can be. Since trainer mom already posted a picture of the pair, I know that you've already seen them side by side. Partners in crime and ever begging mode.

There's plenty of eyeball rubbing going around these days since they both like it. Their heads drop right to the ground when you get a good rub going. It's priceless and they enjoy it a lot.

So, it's happy times at the ole ranchette and we just love seeing them both together exploring the pasture, snooping around for some sort of mischief to get in to.

This past week as I left for work I said see ya later to the both of them as I always do. And from the darkness came a big ole bellow and one ginormous Hee Haw from the barn buddies. It started my day out great. Ya gotta love it.

Stay Tuned, Stay Happy and Stay with us!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Mutt & Jeff

I took this photo for y'all. I will let Cheryl tell you the next story. but suffice it to say they are a Mutt and Jeff team.. I want to get furry extensions for Donks legs.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Remi's Little Buddy

It's been a while since my last post because as usual, it's be chaotic to say the least. Two weeks ago we finally bid so long to Nip and Tuck. They are now living in Virginia, and from all reports are happy and well.

Remi seemed a tad upset even though he still had Tank around to keep him company. But that special arrangement came to a screeching halt when Tank's daddy called and said he needed him to come back.

Oh noooo, now what are we going to do? Remi is not going to like being alone one bit and we certainly didn't need him getting off his feed again. We knew that Tank would be going back one day, but that day came up quicker than we would have liked, so we had to spring into action.

We knew we couldn't get another horse right now, and we certainly didn't want to get a goat. Thanks but um, nope not happening. So we set our sights on getting him a donkey to keep him company.

We found a little guy named Wally who was very sweet and needed a good home. Wally had half an ear after getting into it with the owner's dog, but it didn't seem to bother him in the least. Off we went to go pick Wally up. Uh yeah, easier said than done. After almost an hour in the sweltering heat, he wasn't budging and alas, Wally went back to his pasture and we headed home with an empty trailer.

A touch of panic set in and we hit the ads to see if we could locate another buddy for Remi. Everyone that looked like they may work was already gone by the time we called so we really didn't know what we were going to do at that point.

Tank left on a Saturday and I spent well over 5 hours down at the barn keeping my boy company. He was bellowing something fierce and wandering the property looking for his bud. We knew we couldn't stay down there 24x7 and decided on Sunday we would start the search again.

Lo and behold a miracle happened and it was truly a blessing. We had just gotten in 139 bales of hay and there was no way Remi could go through all that so Trainer Mom placed an ad to sell some of it. A man from a nearby town came and bought 25 bales and in the course of a conversation, Trainer Mom asked if he knew anyone who had a donkey because Remi needed a bud.

He not only knew someone, but that someone was himself. He had several donkeys that he wanted to find homes for because the herd was getting to big. So we traded him 3 bales of hay, Trainer Mom followed him home and back she came with Remi's new friend.

As she drove the trailer to the front of the barn, Remi was following it closely trying to figure out what the heck was in there. His little buddy let out a Hee without the Haw and Remi jumped backwards and started shaking his head. As Trainer Mom led the little guy out, Remi couldn't quite put his hoof on what this creature was.

The donkey took one look at Remi and rambled off to the other side of the pasture. Well, of course, you know my curious boy, he had to go stick his nose where it didn't belong and learned real soon that his new little bud had back feet that could fly pretty high. "Hmmm, that wasn't fun" he seemed to be thinking.

We watched for awhile and they seemed to be settling in to getting to know each other. By the next day, they were pretty well sticking together. Remi stopped his bellowing and seems to like his little friend. When we go down to feed in the morning now, they are both waiting at the fence and we are greeted with a huge Hee Haw and a sweet nicker.

We started calling the new addition Donk. He seems to be learning his name and he loves to follow you around and will stand in your way until you give him a good scritchin'. He's a great addition to the ranchette and we are very happy and grateful he's here. Remi has someone to keep him company and bust away from the hay bags, but he also has someone who will be by his side and keep him from being lonely.

Here's Donk grabbing some shade from the hot summer sun. He's so cute and sweet. Ya just gotta love him. And I have to say, I think Remi does too.

Stay tuned, Stay happy and Stay with us!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Can't Touch This

For those of us who have a tendency to spoil our animals, we know that it can turn and bite us in the hindquarters big time. Those fur critters sure know where the buttons are and they sure know how to push them. And the big fur kid on the ranchette is no exception.

A few posts back, I wrote about the fire ants that Remington got into and his allergic reaction to them, the ongoing treatments and his ever present resistance to those treatments. Well, the saga continues, because after much research, vet visits, and different methods of trying to cure the situation, it seems he's also developed a problem with biting insects in general. You know, those pesky no seeum's, biting flies and of course don't forget the wasps and mosquito's. Egads, this is Texas, the list is endless.

If a mosquito bites us, we tend to scratch the afflicted area, but since Remi has no fingers, he sets about biting at his legs which causes extra problems with infection. Having massive amounts of hair on his legs only served to exaggerate the problem by incubating the outbreaks. No matter how much medicine we applied, it wasn't getting though all the way. So, in order to get this situation more in control, his feathers had to be shaved off. Yes, I now have a bald legged Clydesdale. Hmmm, sounds like a song may be in there somewhere, (Remi the bald legged Clydesdale) :)

Trainer mom has endured several hours of back breaking hair removal and Remi, well let's just say, isn't cooperating like he should be. Oh, he'll stand there for a little bit, but approach his left back leg where the trouble all began and he starts to swinging it around and getting himself prepped for major cow kicking action. "No, don't touch me, whaa, I don't like it."

He's not being malicious, he's just being a gigantic, spoiled, pain in the rear. And it's not flying to well with poor trainer mom who has been knocked off balance, done several tuck and rolls in the stall and has ended up with major back pains and headaches. It's too bad he doesn't realize at the beginning that the medicine makes it feel better and is very soothing. Nope, the big knucklehead doesn't recall that little tidbit one iota.

The treatment we have going for him now seems to be working pretty well, and we're hopeful it will continue to help him get better. But let me tell you, he is on the "bad boy" list every day because of his big spoiled tude. He has never had a problem with sprays of any type until now. His horsie imagination goes ballistic when he hears that spray and it's close to his legs. Ok, I know what you're thinking, "it probably stings". Well, no it doesn't, because he has a coating of other medication to keep it from stinging.

Flat out he's being a big doofus and it's gotten old. So, how do you cure that problem, well we're still working on that one. But, let me tell you, trainer mom isn't letting him get away with it. She lets him know that his behavior is not acceptable. Of course, he goes into sulky Remi and pouts, but soon forgets why he's pouting and gets over it. That is until the next time and the whole progression of woose boy in a pony suit starts all over again.

Once we see that we'll have several days without rain, we'll begin the massive hunt and destruction of fire ant mounds, treatments for mites and other vicious varmits that are causing problems. Endless battle of the bugs all summer long, oh joy.

In spite of his little hissy spurts, Remi is still a big sweetie. So, I guess I'll keep him ;) So all of you with spoiled fur kids, keep on spoiling them and lovin' on 'em because the joy it brings outweighs many things. Uh, just remember to hide those buttons so they don't always get their way, if you know what I mean.

Stay tuned, Stay happy and Stay with us!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Big Horse, Big Heart

A few weeks back we took Remington on a little road trip to Dallas to visit the children at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital. This hospital treats children with orthopedic conditions, such as scoliosis, clubfoot, hand disorders, hip disorders and limb length differences, as well as certain related neurological disorders and learning disorders, such as dyslexia. We've been there before to do carriage rides, but Remington wasn't with us, so this was his first visit.

All eyes and attention were on him as we backed him off the trailer and led him toward the spot where the children and their families could meet up with the big guy. Of course, Remi had his eye on the luscious green grass and flowers, but alas, wasn't allowed to even nibble a tasty morsel. C'mon Remipup, you can't eat the lawn. Well, yes he could, but we didn't let him.

It was a pretty different experience for him to say the least. One by one, the children came to meet my boy. Some were in walkers with halo's attached to their heads, some were in wheelchairs and some were on crutches. As the first wheelchair rolled up to him, he took a good look to see what this object coming at him was. Trainer mom and I assured him, it was ok, and he, like the good boy he is, put his head down so the young girl in the chair could pet him.

For over an hour and a half, the children and their family members came up to meet him. I had plenty of carrots and peppermints on hand so the kids could see him eat his treats, and they all loved it. There were questions to be answered, pictures to be snapped and throughout it all, he stood there like a big sweetheart and I think he loved the attention. We were so very proud of him for bringing a little joy to everyone that afternoon.

With a little luck, you may be able to see him at the hospital with the kids. He will be on a segment of Inside Edition that will air sometime the week of May 10th. We don't have an exact date, but it could air as early as the weekend of May 8th. We just have to set our DVR to record it every night. If you're interested, check your local listings and try to catch a glimpse of his visit.

We love sharing Remi and we also love making a difference and bringing a little happiness into people's lives. And for a little while that sunny afternoon, we left the ranchette and did just that. What a wonderful experience it was and it certainly won't be the last.

My boy may get into a little mischief now and again, well ok, a lot, but when it comes right down to it, he's a big sweetheart with a big ole heart who loves people, the attention, and of course the extra carrots and peppermints.

Stay tuned, Stay happy and Stay with us!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Lawnmower Go Round

Saturday was mowing day around the ranchette and Remington was one happy boy. From the minute you walk toward the mower and take the cover off, he is right there at the fence, giving his nicker of approval over and over and over. Why, because he knows, there's grass clippings to be had at the end of the chore. And he loves it!

It's one way we've found to keep his attention for more than a nano second. Okey dokey, let's start her up. Varoom, and away we go. I usually start with the big yard on the side of the house, because it's the easiest part to do. Remi and Tank saw me coming toward the back fence and were right there to greet me. C'mon over here and blow us some grass.

Good, I've got your attention and you're staying out of trouble, I'm liking it. I slowly approached the back fence getting ready to blow some nice green clippings their way, when Zoom, off he went thundering across the pasture, with Tank close on his heels. Nuh uh, Remi wasn't having any part of that. He was keeping a safe distance from that big green growling machine that came a little too close to his comfort zone.

He may like the results but he doesn't like the action required to get those morsels his way. So, I continued to the front of the property and looked back to see if my boy was on his way back. Not only was he on his way back, but he was there, nickering for a treat. Both the big kids looked so attentive and serene while I was far enough away with the green monster. Ok, big son, I'll be a little farther away from you this time, let's see if you stay.

Again, I got close to the back fence and Remi's eyes looked like big saucers right before he bolted and ran across the pasture again. I could almost hear him saying "Run for your life, that thing is going to eat us!" It was pretty funny and made my mowing job a lot easier to handle. After all, I had a comedy show to watch, ya know.

The distance to the fence became farther and farther away from the horses, so they eventually started to stay and see what tasty delights they could snuffle up from their side of the fence. After finishing up the front, I moved to the back yard, where Remi and Tank continued to watch me work. I guess work fascinates them because they can watch the humans do it for hours :)

Of course, when I was close the the fence, they once again skedaddled off to the far side of the pasture. Yee haw, get along little doggies. Can't you almost see me waving my hat in the air like I was on a cattle drive or something?

Mowing done and it's time to rake up the big clippings. Remington saw this and went into beggar pony mode immediately. I'm gathering the really sweet grass he loves and he is snaking that big head of his over the fence, popping his lips and just bellowing up a storm. Of course, for him, I'm going too slow and he's getting antsy. "Will you c'mon already. I'm ready for my snack."

I had to throw separate piles out for him and Tank, because Tank certainly lives up to his nickname by trying to snarfle everything in sight. More raking, more snacks. I'm exhausted, but my sweet boy is happy. What a day. I've mowed and exercised the big guy all at once. That works for me.

A little later he had to get a shave and a haircut. Big prom job and some weddings coming up, so he has to look extra spiffy. On the way back to the barn and much to his delight, my boy got to go into weed eater mode and grab some extra mouthfuls of the grass the lawnmower couldn't reach. He was one big happy boy.

Back to the barn he went, with big green lips and a happy tummy. A kiss on the nose and a carrot to top of the salad greens truly made his day. Gotta love it!

Stay tuned, Stay happy and Stay with us!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Hooficure and Manny Hose

Ok, So it occurs to me that most of you probably don't know the terms. That would be because we coined them.. Hooficure is what it sounds like. He is going to get his feet trimmed and shoes reset.

Manny Hose(pronounced Man e Hose) this is what he must wear during his foot trimming and shoe setting. You see being a Clyde he has tremendous feathers on his lower legs. Shires will also have this, it is a hallmark of these two breeds of horse.

In order for the farrier to work on his feet the feathers must be out of the way. To that end there have been many different ways of trying to do this from duct tape to vet wrap about the only thing that wasn't tried would have been baling wire which fixes most everything else.

The answer finally found is Manny hose. We take woman's panty hose and cut the from about the knee off and do the same with the torso so that what we now have is the widest part of the leg that would fit the thigh. This is put on his leg so that it holds the feathers up and out of the farriers way. VOILA!! Manny hose...

It has worked so well that the blacksmith school now buys the panty hose by the case and a new tradition has begun. When a student works on his first Clyde with "Manny Hose" he must take the top with the waist band and wear it like a hat all day.

In the top photo you see Remington's front feet complete with "Manny Hose". In this photo is a rookie student with his cap. If you will click on the photo it expands, see Remington in the background with his big feathery legs before his hosiery. You might also not the normal size horses next to him that now look like mini's in comparison.

I 'd really like to be a fly on the wall when they try to explain to the IRS why they have cases of panty hose as a business expense. Any way I would like to express my thanks to the Oklahoma State Horseshoeing School for the wonderful treatment they always give us and for dressing Remington soo stylishly...

posted for Remi by trainer mom, Bunny

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Remi's Road Trip

Having a huge horse like Remi around presents many challenges. You already know about the extra repairs we're constantly making around here. We're always searching for extra large everything from halters to harness to fit him. And, when it comes to his feet, finding someone to trim them and shoe him has sometimes been the biggest challenge of all.

It's very difficult to find a farrier who will shoe draft horses. And, when you do, the cost is outrageous and understandably so because of the extra time it takes. If we do find someone in the area who agrees to the task, they will usually only work on Remington once and then disappear into the sunset.

He is a good boy and stands well during the process, but the sheer size of his feet takes almost three times as long as a standard size horse hoof to do. That's a lot of back breaking work and we can certainly understand why we may never see the farrier again.

Understandable or not, he still needs his feet trimmed and thank goodness we still have a way to get the big boy shod at a reasonable price that won't break the bank. It does involve quite a road trip for trainer mom and Remi, but at least it's a solution. And that solution is the Oklahoma State Horseshoeing School where Remi, of course, is always the star of the show.

The trailer is well stocked with a very full hay bag and in the wee hours of the morning, trainer mom loads him up and takes him on his road trip to the shoe store. It's a long drive up and back, but as long as there's hay, there's happiness for Remi.

When they arrive at the school, the students all swarm around Remi with cameras in hand, posing for pictures amidst the "oohs" and "ahs" and "holy cow he's huge" comments. It's quite funny and I have to say, the one time I got to go, I was beaming with pride.

It's an all day event shoeing him and several students take their turn working on him. Tag team farrier service at it's finest. The school absolutely loves Remington and for awhile when we had a regular farrier coming to the ranchette, they missed him terribly. They want horses that will stand well and behave and that's exactly what my boy will do for them.

It's actually quite funny to watch him get his feet trimmed. Because of his feathers, he has to wear manny hose, which he doesn't seem to mind, but don't tell him how pretty he looks in them, or you might just upset his manly self. That just wouldn't be cool, ya know :)

So, Remi will embark on his road trip to get his hoofacure and lots of extra attention in the process. I think if he knew he was going, he might actually be excited. Hmmm, maybe not, but you know what I'm saying, don't ya?

Stay tuned, Stay happy and Stay with us!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Remi Repair Inventory

Well the snow is long gone from the ranchette and a couple of days of sunshine has allowed Remi and the others to romp and frolic in the pasture. While they kick up their heels having tons of fun, trainer mom and myself take stock of what repairs are now needed after days of stall boredom.

Remington has a particularly bad habit of kicking his gate to let us know he's hungry. In one of my first posts I described his morning wake up call to the humans which is not only annoying, but very destructive as well.

He is so darn big and heavy, that it doesn't take much repeated kicking to totally destroy a gate. And given the huge expense, there is no way to keep replacing them, so they have to constantly be repaired. Thank goodness our creative team work can usually make things last a little longer around here, or we would flat out run out of cash in no time. I love that boy, but he does break a lot of stuff.

A couple of years ago, I asked Bunny what she would like for her birthday and she told me she wanted a welder. A welder? You don't know how to weld. "I can darn well learn," she said. I had to agree it wasn't a bad idea. We were constantly calling in someone to weld this and that and it was pretty darn expensive. Hello, I'm here to weld something. Cha-ching, $75 bucks for that hello. I'll draw one or two beads here and there and charge you another huge chunk of change. After enough of that action, I decided that a welder was an excellent idea.

And she learned how to weld pretty darn quickly. Thank goodness for that, because Remi's gate has some nice rebar reinforcements securely in place to prolong it's little life and keep Remi from hurting himself. Needless to say I haven't tried to learn that task, because I'm smart enough to know that it would not be a strong suit. Besides, I'm not crazy about fire and it just wouldn't be very fun. I think I'll just stick to bending nails while I help with the repairs. :)

I am ever so grateful for the invention of duct tape. That, my friends is the universal tool. And, with all the colors it comes in now, the little ranchette is a very colorful place indeed. Let's see, we have camouflage, pink, blue and even the original gray here, there and everywhere. It's amazing how long that stuff can last and the wonderful job it does to help repair broken things left in the big destructo horse's path. When it get's a little weather worn, no problem, just slap some more on the break point and viola, you're done. Now, I can handle that :)

And don't forget the bailing wire. It does much more than hold a bale of hay together. Yes siree, bobalooie, it's amazing what Remi breaks you can fix with that. Even when we get hay bales bound with string, we find something to use that string for as well. If Remi's big head pulls down a light wire, no problem, we've got string to tie it back to the support beams. Everything, and I mean everything has potential for helping us fix that which the big horse doth break.

For those of you in the area, you know about Big Lots and for those that don't know about Big Lots, let me tell you that is one awesome store. You can go in there and find treasures you never know you needed, come out with 10 bags of great things and spend less than 50 bucks. It's a wonderful place to find the multiple rolls of duct tape, nuts, bolts, screws and other repair necessities and with that gigantic bulldozer always breaking this and that, the place is a gold mine of goodies.

My big boy is a sweetie, but he does cause a lot of extra work around here. And for the most part, he's not doing it because he's a mean spirited horse, he does it because his curiosity gets the best of him and his investigations lead to ultimate breakage of many things. We have 3 stall gates now that are welded and duct taped and have most definitely seen better days. But they are still usable and we'll just see how long we can keep them in tact.

I wouldn't trade Remi for anything in this world. And as long as he's happy and healthy, we'll just make sure there is an endless supply of duct tape, bailing wire and other assorted repair products on the premises. After all, he is Remi the destructo pony, but ya gotta love him.

Stay tuned, Stay happy and Stay with us!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Remington

Well it looks like an extra treat is in store for the big boy. You see today is his birthday and there are some carrots and apples with his name on them. I am ever so grateful to have this boy around for another year and trainer mom is too.

He's brought so much joy, excitement and extreme pride to the both of us. He's also brought a lot of extra repairs, trials and tribulations as well, but I guess that's all part of raising a rather large youngster, who through the years kept growing to his current record winning height.

It's hard to believe that he was just 18 months old when he came to live at the ranchette and begin his new life here. As I look back to when I first saw this tall and gawky horse, I remember that it was love at first sight. As we drove up close to the round pen where he was, I recall the words "Oh will you just look at him" come out of my mouth.

I couldn't get out of the truck fast enough to get a close up and personal look at the horse who was destined to steal my heart. He wasn't the match for Princeton that we were looking for and he looked so pitiful with blood on his face caused by a halter that was to small. But he was beautiful and I wanted to take him home right then and there. Bunny wasn't so sure, but felt bad for him because of his poor face.

She told me we would take him home, fix him up and sell him. I nodded my head but was silently saying "yeah, sure we will" to myself. I knew that he wasn't going anywhere and for once in my life, I was right. I knew from the get go that this boy was special. There was an instant bond when he stepped on the side of my shoe trying to load into the trailer. Yep, even from the start, I had a problem steering clear of those huge hooves.

Throughout these past years, the bond with Remington has continued to deepen and grow. I feel so blessed to have this magnificent creature in my life and I always look forward to being around him. His humorous antics can always bring a smile on the darkest of days. I know that Bunny has grown to love this gigantic puppy and has done so much to get him to where he is today.

He's brought smiles to so many others and the joy he brings to those who come in contact with him is very priceless. It makes me proud to have this beautiful creature so close by and close to my heart.

So, happy birthday my sweet Remipup. May you enjoy many more years of fun and frolic and may we enjoy many more years of having you with us. I love you big boy!

Stay tuned, Stay happy and Stay with us!

Spring Surprise

Ah springtime, when the birds are chirping, the trees are budding and the flowers are blooming. Wonderful spring like temperatures make it so very nice to be outside tending to the lawn and other chores left undone through the winter. Ah yes, spring, isn't it wonderful?

Wait just a doggone minute, what is this I see outside on this first full day of spring? I'll tell you what it is...snow and lots of it. What the heck? All the weather forecasts called for a light dusting. Um, let me clue you guys in...wrong!!

Let me tell you when I went to let the dogs out this morning, my sleepy eyes burst wide open with astonishment. Almost 6" of snow is not what I expected to see. Good thing we've learned not to put the winter gear away until the temperature goes to a steady 75 degrees or more.

Remi as usual greeted me with his rather loud bellow which translated means, "I want my breakfast NOW!" Tank followed suit with his request and the little ones put their two cents in as well. Not quite the chirping birds, but you get the picture, right?

Ok, one cup of coffee in me to help brave the cold, sub zero weather boots on my feet and enough warm clothing to get the job done. I was up to my ankles in snow on the way to the barn and when I got there, I saw a huge snow drift in front of Remi's gate and more snow inside. Uh oh, that's not good. His hay bag was covered in snow and was a challenge to get untied.

Remi, of course was focused on the task at hand and didn't make getting the hay bag untied any easier. He decided it was fun to keep nudging me with his ginormous head and although I usually find it very cute, it did somewhat lack appeal today. Frozen hands trying to untie a frozen hay bag string and an 80lb head pushing at you is not so fun.

The wind is blowing the snow around so much that I had to close his other window. That is not a good thing because Remi likes to look out his windows and there tends to be a little more stall mischief when they are closed. And, quite truthfully, we don't like them to be closed either, because we can't monitor the big guy as well from the house.

He didn't seem to mind the small layer of snow in his stall, especially as I filled his feed bucket with breakfast. When I brought his hay bag to him, he nickered at me softly which gets me every time. Ah, my boy is so thankful for his breakfast. I am happy to oblige big guy.

I made sure to stuff extra hay in his bag. I'm not crazy, I know how much that boy eats and when the weather is like this and he's stuck in the stall, he has to have more to keep him occupied and warm. Otherwise, you all know what will happen, don't you? The Remipup will start thinking about what fun he can have in the stall and then all bets are off. This type of situation brings the decisions as to what tools and materials we will need to fix the aftermath of his self induced amusement.

So it's not quite the sweet glory of the first of spring, but my boy is happy and very involved in his hay fest. Here's hoping spring weather will actually arrive tomorrow and all will be well.

Stay tuned, Stay Happy and Stay with us!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Remi And His Carrots

Anyone who has ever had to give an animal medicine knows that it isn't always easy to get them to cooperate and do what's good for them. If we have to give the dogs a pill, it is usually disguised by wrapping it in a piece of cheese, which usually works, but doesn't always.

With the horses, you can cut out the center of a piece of carrot and stuff the pill in it and then cover it up with the piece you cut out. Easy task there, because they are so busy eating the carrot that they don't realize that there is something inside. Trainer mom came up with that idea and that's how she got Princeton to take his pills every day, which worked beautifully.

Sometimes, the treatment doesn't come in the form of a pill, but rather a shot and for the last week and a half, we have had to give Remington a shot of two different antibiotics to treat a small infection in one of his hind legs. It was pretty scary the first time, but my boy is so good that it was almost effortless.

The trick to get him to cooperate was indeed carrots. Yee haw, they are a wonderful distraction and such a tasty treat. Thank goodness Bunny isn't afraid to give the big boy the shot. If it were left up to me, I don't think I could have done it and would have run up a humongous vet bill getting him to come out and give them.

Because of Remington's size the syringe and needle were huge. I mean, I would have turned and run for the hills if I saw something like that coming at me. But it didn't seem to faze my boy one bit. As we started our trek to the barn on the day of the first shot, we were both a little nervous about it. I was armed and ready with a pocket full of carrots to help ease the situation in case a battle ensued.

My job was to hold his lead rope and distract him with the tasty delight while Bunny gave him the shot. So in the stall she went and with a big carrot chunk in hand the task began. Into his mouth went the first one, followed very quickly by the second chunk. It was done and he didn't even seem to know it happened. Whew, that was a big relief and I'm so glad his motto is "it's all about the food".

Of course, Remi knew good and well that there were more carrots in my pocket. I saved a couple for Bunny to give him since she was the one who did the deed. He started snaking his head out and popping his lips and was absolutely hysterical. Pop pop pop, c'mon gimme some more of that good stuff please. It was truly beggar pony in action.

The following day's of shots were a lot easier, but let me tell you, that boy had the routine down pat. The minute we got to the barn, his big nose came over the gate and his lips started popping like crazy. He was sticking his big head out so far that I started calling him snake face. As soon as I took the lead rope, he started lipping and slobering all over my hand. Yuk, a wet hand on a cold evening is not a fun thing. But, it's Remi slobber so I can deal with it.

Remi now thinks that every time he's in his stall and you come up to him, that there is a carrot somewhere close by and he's very busy trying to investigate my hands to see if I'm hiding one. I have to tell you, it really makes my day. It is so cute and entertaining when he does this sort of thing that it just makes a person smile.

The shots are all over now and we both hope they worked. Tonight when we put the horses up and give them their supper, there will be a carrot treat for Remi just because he's been such a good boy. None of the other horses like carrots and have spit them out on the ground, so Remi get's the treasure all by himself.

Bunny did buy some carrot flavored oaties which the other horses seem to enjoy, but not Remi. He thinks they are a sorry excuse for a carrot treat and immediately turns it into a projectile and shoots it across the gate to the ground below. He'd rather have the real thing and the real thing is what he get's.

Needless to say Remi is well loved and he gives the love right back. So, if carrots make him happy, then we are happy to give ole snake face the treat he enjoys.

Stay tuned, Stay Happy and Stay with us!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Mud feet - Not for the faint of heart

Just thought I would add to Cheryl's post. For those of you who have never seen what a Clydesdale's feathers look like when they have been in the mud. I took a photo after 2 hours of breaking the mud balls with a channel locks and scrubbing down the legs I couldn't do more. Each leg has about 20 lbs of mud that has mixed with hay to form something like adobe bricks. I will have to periodically break them apart just so he can walk. He is such a good boy about this that we bought him a special treat. His absolute favorite which is too rich to feed regularly but now he has his own fresh bale of the very best fresh Clover Alfalfa that gets sprinkled through his regular hay, kinda like sprinkles on an ice cream. He smells that in his hay bag and immediately starts to burrow his big nose to the center to find the mother lode.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A New Record?

I think I can safely say that Remington should have a new record bestowed on him as the world's tallest living mud ball. He is covered from nose to hooves in splotches of mud that could just about cover the entire county.

We've had so much rain that the ranchette has never had a chance to dry up. To top that off, here came a foot of snow that may look pretty, but great googly moogly, it eventually melts and creates an even bigger and deeper mud pit.

Normally, we keep the horses in their stalls when there is this much mud so they won't have their shoes pulled off or slip and slide and hurt themselves. But with so many wet days, we just couldn't keep them inside, so mudfest 2010 began.

Remi has huge mud balls on his feathers. Trying to get them off of him is difficult to say the least. I swear they are attached as if someone welded them on. And when they do dry, it's like you have to become a sculptor to remove them without damaging his feathers. Some of them are as big as 4" long and 2" wide. Poor trainer mom spent a lot of time bending over with a pair of channel locks to see if she could get them off and let me tell you, they weren't budging easily.

Tank, the white Percheron is no longer white and looks like a Dalmatian, and the little paint pair now have a whole new color pattern. What a mess. It's been to chilly to even think about bathing any of them, so for now we have the horses of different colors and are just dealing with it.

My precious mud ball and I did have a few moments of fun though. When I opened his gate to put him up for the day, he came up and pushed it closed with his nose. Nuh uh, I'm not going in. So, I opened it back up and said, c'mon Remipup, time for supper so go in your room. I swear I could see a grin on his face as he pushed the gate closed again. I'm snickering big time at his cuteness and once again opened the gate. Down went his head and right as his nose came close to the metal poised and ready to shove, I said REMIPUP, get in your room. Up went the head and he looked at me like I was grounding him for the night.

So in the stall he went with mud balls clacking on his hooves to a rather snappy beat and he circled around and stood right by his feed bucket. Ok, I'm in and you said supper, so where is it? Geeze, gimme a minute Mr. bossy :) So off I went to get his supper and hay bag and all was well with the world of Remi.

I am thrilled to see him in a playful mood again. It's been a while since we've had our fun times and it does my heart good to see him have a happy day. That's the Remipup I love. I did try to get some video of Remi romping in the snow to share with you all. With camera pointed and ready to capture the action, trainer mom opened the gate so he could come out and play. Needless to say, he sauntered out and was absolutely bored with it. WHAT? So alas, I have no Remi fun snow moments to share. Betcha if I didn't have the camera, he would have been kicking his heels up big time. Oh well, maybe next time.

There's more rain and snow predicted so mudfest 2010 will continue for awhile. I guess we'll have to do some thinking on how we can remove the mounds of mud from feet and fur when the sun and warmer weather returns to the ranchette. Any one have a chisel they want to donate to the cause?

Stay tuned, Stay Happy and Stay with us!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Remi-Tude Part 3

Howdy faithful followers. I'm sorry it's been so long between posts. As much as you enjoy reading about Remi's adventures, I enjoy sharing them with you. I feel like I have been suffering blog posting withdrawal. My job has been keeping me so busy that I don't get home until after dark and my time with Remington has been limited. That also leads to very little antics to witness and write about, even though trainer mom keeps me posted.

For those of you wondering about the new horse, well let's just say it didn't happen and we were left with an empty trailer and a very lonesome Remi still not eating. But, take heart, with hope and faith, all things are possible, and human kindness is still around us.

When some friends of ours heard that Remington was not eating and was not doing well, they offered to let us take one of their horses to keep him company until we could secure another horse. And, this horse has a story of his own. It seems that he was abandoned and our friends were contacted and kind enough to take him in and care for him.

Knowing that we needed to do something quick to lift Remington's spirits, Bunny and I took our friends up on their generous offer and off she went to bring him back to the ranchette. He is a sweet, lovable and very huge white Percheron whom we have affectionately nicknamed Tank because of his massive size. I mean he is about as round as he is tall.

We both had high hopes that Remington would take to him quickly, and let's just say that process is taking time. Oh sure, Remi bellowed with joy and nickered when Bunny led Tank down to the stall. It was dark thirty, so the boys couldn't interact right away. But as soon as Tank was in his stall, Remi went to eating his hay like he hadn't been fed in days. Ok, there's a good sign, but wait, the plot thickens and Remi-Tude is about to show itself once again.

It seems that Remi is practicing his right of passage as the new herd leader. He's making it very apparent that the pasture is his, the hay is his and the people who live here are his. Hey now, that's not nice ya big lugnut. You know how to share, remember?

Tank follows him around to get to know him, and Remi will pin his ears back and shake his head back and forth with big Tude and then walk away. A few times, he would take a nip or two at Tank, who just basically took it, until one nip too many turned into, I'm not taking it anymore and I'm gonna bite you back! Well howdy, whatcha gonna do about that one big boy, huh? He's trying to be friends and you're being a big jerk. What the heck is wrong with you?

Remi is back to not talking to either one of us and we keep hoping that with a little more time, he'll come to accept his new pasture buddy. He won't come up to me right now and he won't let me hug on his neck or kiss his nose. Guess he's mad at me for not seeing him much in the last two weeks. I don't have any idea how long this snit fit is going to last, but somewhere lurking inside Mr. Tude is my sweet boy and neither one of us is giving up on bringing him back from the dark place where he seems to be at the moment. I know he's in there, I have the faith.

He's not being mean really, he's just letting the new kid know that it's his rules applying now. Much like Princeton did to him when he first came to live here.

We don't know how long Tank will be here. If the dadgum rain will ever quit long enough for Bunny to put a harness on him and drive him, as well as see if he'll lift his feet for shoeing, then maybe we'll know more. He's really a very sweet boy who's come to realize that neck scritchin' is wonderful and humans can be nice to be around. We both like him alot although his curiosity can make him quite the pest sometimes.

In the meantime, we'll keep trying to get Remi back to his normal sweet self. I don't know how long an animal can mourn and we're both taking into consideration that his herd has left him and he doesn't understand why. We'll both continue to coax him up to us for a hug and a nose kiss and exercise the patience necessary to help him through this. I suppose we just need to let instinct and horse nature take it's course and see if he'll accept Tank into his herd of one all by himself. Let's hope so.

Stay tuned, Stay happy and Stay with us.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

AKA - Conan the Destroyer

First let me thank all of you who have expressed their condolences. It means more than you know. I have often told people that Princeton owned me, not I him. Now I know just how true that statement really is. I am truly lost, but for Remi's sake I have put that away til I can help him thru his loneliness. He spends a great deal of his days just standing in the middle of the common area that he and Prince shared nickering for his buddy.

Now before you get all weepy. Know that this weekend I will be picking up his new best friend, and I expect them to bond almost immediately. You see the horse we picked is the same breed as Princeton (English Shire) and in many ways is very similar; same color, markings, size, and if the breeding runs true a very similar temperament. Maybe a little less grumpy, as Princeton did get a little curmudgeonly at times. Here is a head shot of his new pal Woody.

As for the Conan reference... One learns quickly round here to identify sounds. I can tell the sound of the feed room being broken into blindfolded. Same goes for the never ending sounds of breaking wood as in fences etc. However the other day while cleaning the big lugs bedroom I heard sounds that not only could I not identify, but they are getting very loud and then I hear the sound of breaking wood and the pounding of big feet. As I rounded the back corner of the barn at a run I was almost run over by a big gray and white blur running in the opposite direction with something blue attached to its back feet.

I knew immediately what it was, but I couldn't believe it. You see, we built our own barn. Its not pretty, but we built it with the knowledge that it would house draft horses, so it is sturdy. However, before we built there, the previous owners had a large A frame swing in the back. We didn't have the equipment to unearth the posts so we converted it to a shavings bin by adding a roof and 4x8 plywood sides. To finish the job we took a commercial tarp, the kind used on semi trucks to cover their load, and put that over the entire shavings bin to further protect the shavings from rain. Now if you have never seen one of these close up let me tell you they weigh 200 lbs, maybe more. By the way, did I mention that we nailed it to the sides and the roof.

You guessed it now.... Remi has pulled the tarp off the structure. Along with the tarp came some of the plywood, and all this apparently got caught on him and the flatbed trailer that had been parked next to the bin. He heard me coming and decided to escape the scene of the crime, but the tarp had gotten caught on his back shoe and came with him like a huge blue and yellow cape. I swear we could have entered him in the Derby for as fast as he came around the barn, mud flying twenty feet in the air behind his huge feet, nostrils flaring and a look on his face that told you that he just knew that a flying saucer had just landed right on him... To the best of my knowledge he has not been around to the back of the barn since. I have, however, seen him looking around the corner at the big blue pile of debris that he left in his wake. Remi may be lonely, but some things will never change. If you can build it, he can break it!!

I just had to take pictures. Here is what is left of our shavings bin. Click on the photos to see them. Anybody needs to see me next week I will be sitting on top of the roof of a shaving bin recovering it. You can bring your own hammer or I will lend you one. LOL

Trainer Mom, Bunny

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Remi's New Buddy

When trainer mom and I put our mind to something, we shift into high gear and get it done! And so it has been with the quest to find a new buddy for Remington to help heal the huge hole in his heart. And you know what, we did it! But, I'll save that bit of news for a little later in the post. And no fair scrolling down to the end to see the news :)

For the most part, Remi has been standoffish and not allowing any hugs or kisses. Bunny tried to brush him the other day and all he wanted to do was pull away and head to the center of the pasture where he has been standing and looking around for Prince. Persistence does pay off though because between the both of us, we keep trying and a couple of times, there has been a breakthrough.

Last weekend while we were at the barn cleaning his room, he wandered up for a brief moment to see what was going on. He toyed with the hay pile in front of the stall a bit and then began his pacing up and down the aisle. I went up to him and asked for a kiss and lo and behold he put his nose down and I got my kiss. Just one and he pulled his head back up. Hey, I'll take it because it's progress.

I walked down to the feed stall and started making up a hay bag for him and in no time at all, there was the big guy at the gate watching me work. Hmmm, he's here, he's interested and I have alfalfa cubes close by. So, with a handful of treats, I walked toward him and beggar pony emerged. Another step in the right direction because he is thinking about food and he's begging for treats. Ok, I'll take that too. Baby steps you know. A broken heart takes a long time to heal.

We moved Remi into Princeton's stall so he could be closer to the house and have two side windows to look out and see the dogs and us when we are in the yard. He seems to like his new digs and in the mornings when I leave for work, I get to see him and say see ya later Remipup. In fact, the last couple of mornings have been so special, because he has been laying down in the stall and all I see is his ears. When I tell him so long and I love him, the ears go up like a submarine periscope. I can't see his head, but the ears do perk up and it's been a great way to start the day.

Yesterday, Bunny was preparing the stall for our new arrival. Remi was in his stall and he didn't know she was there at first. She popped her head up over the top slat and he nickered at her. How cool is that? She talked to him and kept him company for awhile and in that short time, Remi seemed to forget his sadness. We are both trying to spend more time with him, but we can't be there for the amount of time he needs, so we're going to leave that up to the new kid.

Ok, so now that you've been patient, I'll tell you a little about the new kid coming our way who we hope and pray will be that special buddy that Remington so desperately needs. His name is Woodhouse (Woody for short) and he is a six year old English Shire gelding. He's black with four white stockings and a white blaze and is absolutely gorgeous. He has a docile personality and our gut instincts say this is the one.

Woody is currently in Tennessee but will hopefully be with us on the ranchette by the end of the month. He's 17.2 hh and has a high enough back that he should be able to be hooked with Remi for training and for that little extra bonding that is so desperately needed.

So, there's the scoop. And, until Woody gets here, the two of us will continue to keep the big boy as happy as we can and spend more time with him. I won't go as far to say that we will don a horse costume, but we will do what we can to ease his heartache in the meantime.

We'll take some pictures and share them with you as soon as he joins the family. We're excited and hopeful that he will help heal Remi's broken heart and ours.

Stay tuned, Stay happy and Stay with us!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Lonesome Remi

To every thing there is a season and a purpose and on Tuesday January 5th, 2010, Remington's beloved buddy and constant companion Princeton, passed away, leaving us all with a very huge hole in our hearts.

Bunny lost the horse with whom she started her company and who helped her work through the sadness she felt after loosing her mother. She has lost her best friend who always gave her a soft nicker and always let her know how much he loved her. In the last couple of years she has spared no expense, or time caring for his every need and making his quality of life rich and comfortable.

Princeton was my first encounter with draft horses and I loved him right from the very beginning as if he were my own. He was gentle and kind and everyone loved him. He was a beautiful horse who at times seemed like he understood every word you said to him and I learned a lot from him.

We are very lost and sad right now, but it is Remington who is the most lost and lonesome. Prince and Remi were buddies. When Remi first came to the ranchette, Prince let Remi know right from the beginning that he was the boss and he had better pay attention. But he also took Remington under his wing and showed him what horse etiquette was all about.

When Sara went to her new home, Remi was lonesome for her, but he had Princeton to pal around with and keep him company. They had a special bond and he misses him terribly. He has been looking around to see where Prince might be and bellowing loudly in the hopes that his buddy will hear him and come to his side. The little horses never developed a bond with him and Prince, so they are of no comfort to him.

Our challenge now is to find a suitable companion for him so that his broken heart can mend and he will once again have someone in the pasture to keep him company. This morning I stayed with him while he ate his breakfast. He's not as interested in his food or his hay right now and we are both keeping a close eye on him to make sure he eats. He is not talking to Bunny or me very much right now and any attempt to kiss his nose or hug him is met with resistance and that's just not Remi.

Remi is lonesome and lost and we are doing everything we can to help ease those feelings, but ultimately we have to find him a new friend and we are hot on the trail. Trust me, we are giving it top priority.

Princeton was 38 years old and was loved very much. We will remember the good times, and there were many good times. We will remember his gentleness and his grace and all the love he gave to us as well. He had a good life and lived longer than a lot of horses or other animals do, and for that we are both thankful for the time we could share.

As for Remington, we know that our visits to the barn can not replace the missing piece of his heart, but we will find someone who will. We want our Remi back to being his usual happy self and for now, he's not there. I'll keep you posted.

Rest in Peace Sweet Prince

Stay tuned, Stay Happy and Stay With Us!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy 2010 to everyone from the ole ranchette! It's a cold and frosty day around here and my trip to the barn to serve breakfast has left me with some pretty chilly fingers. The horses were more than ready to chow down on their feed and hay and I was more than ready to get 'r done and get back to the warmth of the house :)

Remington began his usual wake up call of kicking the gate several times, which prompted Tuck to start doing the same. Good grief, you would think that they hadn't been fed in days. Give it a rest boys. This musical talent of alternate gate clanging is not something I relish, especially on my day off. But since they're persistent, I will usually put the kibosh on the concert by giving in and feeding them a little early. Hmmm, me thinks I am the one who is trained :O

The past year certainly was filled with all sorts of interesting and life changing events, from finding a new job to Remi's world record whirlwind. There was good and bad, happy and sad, but we found the strength to work through whatever life threw at us.

Sadly, we lost our little pet chicken Drumstick, who by all counts was the queen of the barn. Who knew that a little chicken could have so much personality and take hold of our hearts so quickly. She is sorely missed.

We said so long to our mare Sara, who happily found a new and loving home and was able to retire from the carriage business. That was what we truly wanted for her and it finally happened.

Princeton the Shire is up there in years, and trainer Mom has worked tirelessly and endlessly to ensure he has a good quality of life. We treasure each and every day we get to hear his soft nickers.

Remi's story went worldwide and we have been able to share his adventures with so many wonderful people. You are all truly appreciated and I sincerely hope you have enjoyed the stories and that they help bring you a smile.

We said goodbye to Doc the Percheron who now has a new home with a loving new owner. And we said hello to Nip and Tuck, who are quite challenging and full of themselves. Ah yes, there's abundant energy in those two. Remi isn't quite sure he likes it either, because they interrupt his lazy time.

Keiko the Akita finally got over her little run in with the black and white fur creature that helped earn her the nickname Stinkerbell for awhile. Bailey (Doodlebug) maintained his 24x7 energy level and I swear sometimes acts like a miniature version of his big brother. And Gabe, the kitty, had quite a full year of long and refreshing cat naps after his many night hunts for meeces.

I don't know what this new year will bring, but my hopes are that it be wonderful and blessed for all of us. Take time to enjoy and celebrate your life. If you see someone without a smile, share one of yours with them. Look to your inner courage and strength to make it through whatever life brings and the good things will come, I know they will.

Happy New Year and may all good things come your way in 2010 and for years to come.

Stay tuned, stay happy and stay with us!