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!