I've had one of those weeks. You know, things tend to irritate when normally they don't. Or that it's simply one thing on top of another. Or people on ego trips. Or, or, or....
First off lets say I'm proud of my kids. We've had our ups and downs but I think they have grown into well adjusted, kind people that are honest, well meaning and definitely not rude or bullies. My point? Man have I run into a lot of people that just, well, turning into bullies and that sarcastic way of thinking and talking, that is more than that.
Ran into an article, which I think parents need to read. Sure you might think it's funny, but is it really a good character trait or is it something more?
A good friend of mine posted this article on her Facebook page last night. Honestly, I think it's one of the most well written articles on the topic of western pleasure horses.
My take comes from spending years in the ring as a kid, taking a break to actually enjoy my equines and now with Muff hitting the show ring hard this year, revisiting it as a spectator. We went and watched part of a show a few weekends ago. What I saw astonished me. Such unnatural rhythm in their movement, horrible head bobbing because they were forced to go too slow, over-canted, out of cadence, what we in the dog word call side winding and well, simply horses moving such that it's unnatural. Heads past vertical, behind the bit, rein drape so exaggerated that there is no contact with the horse. Now granted I now those horses are trained to follow the rail, ride in a circle and stop via that horrible spur stop crap, but that's all most can do.
It won't be an overnight change in how we see horses moving in the ring, but I think that it's important to continue to push for the change. Judges will be judges--hell we have them in the dog show ring. We know most of our older judges won't change how they place specific traits. Goodness, remember how long it took to get rid of peanut rollers?
This past weekend was a cleaning one. Mostly the study as it seems to be the place to dump stuff when 1, you are in a hurry, 2, have no clue where that something really belongs, or 3, you're a chicken recovering from an injury.
I also dug into the first aid kits-time to pitch, replace, and take stock of what we used up. We've only had a few minor issues with livestock and dogs this winter. cough, cough
As requested, here's a list of what goes in our kits and some use of those items:
First-in any first aid kit, have your vet's number taped to the inside. Also a small pad of writing paper and pen to take notes. We also keep a laminated sheet with info on temperatures, respirations, heart beats, etc. Just those panic pieces that you can never remember. ICE-in case of emergency numbers in addition to our vet's many numbers.
Now for the list:
Pepto bismol - Liquid - 3-4 tablespoons every 6 hours
Benadryl (allergic reactions/bee stings etc.) - 1-2 mg. per lb. every 8 hours
Aspirin-make sure it's the non buffered, 81 mg(low dose) 5 mg. per lb every 12 hours
Honey - to raise blood sugar
Hydrogen Peroxide to induce vomiting/clean wounds- 1-3 tsp every 5 minutes orally. Make sure to keep in a dark colored bottle.
Bottled water--we have one or two 8 oz bottles that have diluted cholohexidine which is by far a better item to use to clean wounds. Ask your vet for some of the undiluted, though a gallon jug is cheap but will take you years to use up(unless you have horses).
Extra unopened bottles of water for hydration, flushing wounds or cleaning hands
Saline eye wash
Triple Antibiotic ointment-can be used on both wounds or in an emergency in the eye
Hydrocortisone cream--use on wounds on horses to stop granulation
Blue Kote(for the chickens)
Nutri Drench(for the chickens)
Vet Rx(again, for the chickens)
Nutrical(for the dogs)
Non liquid items:
Latex or nitrile gloves(I get a big box and put several pairs in a ziploc bag)
Gauze 1" and 4" rolls
6" brown gauze--mostly used in our equine kits
Non stick 4 x 4 gauze pads
Vetwrap-3M brand is the best as it sticks in any weather condition
Panty Hose (to use as a muzzle) or a cheap slip lead or bandana
Adhesive Tape-athletic works best
Scissors-both normal and a bandage cutting type
Tweezers or Forceps
Hemostats-several different types and sizes
Ice and Heat Packs-the instant type that you squish around to activate
Clean Cloth for washing areas-several including some hand towels
Syringe-small 1 cc up to 60 cc sizes for use in cleaning out wounds or administering meds.
Needles for syringes-#18 works great for attaching to the syringe and forcing the chlorahexidine through to clean wounds.
Stick to use as a splint-we keep a pair of chop sticks in the canine kit
Thermometer (rectal or ear type)--make sure to mark DOG or HORSE on them!
Cotton Balls and QTips
Small bowl-margarine container or something similar
Small flash light
pad of paper
From Your Vet:Antibiotics
(anything he/she feels is safe for you to administer in an emergency)
Now for the stuff we have but isn't in a normal kit, simply because it's stuff we've found works great in a pinch:
Diapers--yes you heard me! Great for emergency bandaging on leg or hoof wounds for horses.
old fashioned Maxi pads-same reason, they work great at absorbing, duh
Hand warmers--when it's cold out they are great for keeping medications from not freezing
Paste Bute-a must for anyone dealing with horses!
Polo wraps-again used for wrapping injuries
High loft quilt batting-great for wrapping leg injuries. Way cheaper than cotton batting you buy at the medical supply stores.
Dog pee pads or whelping pads-good clean items to lay down on the floor when dealing with wrapping or cleaning out wounds
Mustard--a plain jar of mustard. If you don't have quik stop handy, works to stop bleeding. Next best thing is cornstarch
An old laundry detergent container-mark for sharps and dirty bandages
I know I've got more odds and ends but really this is the basics and the must haves for anyone dealing with livestock or pets. It's really important for you to be prepared, because you just never know when something will happen. Feel free to copy this--we keep the full list plus the emergency numbers and basic health information in a laminated sleeve in the kit. We can then do an inventory, check expiration dates and restock. Also, when traveling, we include an ICE(in case of emergency) form with all the animal's information as well as a permission to treat form.
As I have been a bad blogger of late, seems that I've failed to mention the new addition(s) to the chaos around the farm. As my brother is rebuilding his barn this winter and my dad hasn't gotten the new fence put up, so his horses are wintering at our place. That adds two more clydedales and a stock horse to the mix. Not to confuse you much more, but the stock horse is Laredo who is the dam of the obnoxious Phoenix, who was formerly known as the pony.
So why is she no longer known as the pony? Because we have a real pony now!
As it happened, I had been following a facebook post about a pony for sale north of us(okay about 90 mins north). Super cute arab/welsh cross. Of course she's a bay and has all kinds of chrome. All summer people were interested, going to see her, etc. The weekend of the Saddle Up Youth shows at IEC/KCC, we were also headed up to Waverly for the fall exotic swap. Just that Friday, the post reappeared and this pony was still available. I sort of convinced dear hubby to haul the trailer up to Waverly then swing over to see this pony. That in and of it self involved a busy weekend, blown tire and hanging out on the interstate waiting for the spare.
What we saw was an 8 yr old working with this cute little 4 yr old mare, a 92 yr old man ride her and that was that. Loaded her in the trailer and brought her home. Muff renamed her...wait for it....Carnivorous Ladybug. Something about hearing that over a set of load speakers made her giggle. Oh well.
Ms Ladybug is one of those gems in the rough. About 12.2 hands, not too fine, just enough arab in her to make her smart looking. We've ridden her several times, sold to us as very green broke. We are looking into a harness and small governess cart for the spring. And even hubby has been smitten by her, or is that bitten? She likes to make you aware of her presences, especially if you are ignoring her. Called "bug bites", she grabs your sleeve or hood and jiggles it to get your attention. She's sweet, little attitude, nosy, smart and well, just the perfect little bug of a pony. And of course hubby says he bought ME a pony. Well, he bought US a pony as we are all just in love with her.
Heck, most days I can't remember what I did the day before. This being the last day of the great year of 2014, I know I can't remember it all!
January-holy cow it was COLD! First show of the year in MN and the Muff and I traveled with several dogs to the St Paul shows. Polar Vortex my tushy. Hell froze over! 2015-we are skipping that show and staying where it's warm, ie, at home.
A litter of winter puppies? Again, what the hell was I thinking? Pete had 4 wonderful puppies that almost came c-section but leave it to Pete to do things in her own sweet way.
February-more cold. And I think a dog show? Oh yes, Des Moines take 2(well one for us as we skipped January, see puppy note above). Betty was goofy, Kevin was sassy, and I'll leave it at that. Muff some how came home one day with a new coonhound puppy--she's smitten.
March-chicks, Hill's Barn Yard days, I think one day of a dog show and winter clean up! Snow melted, heat returned to Iowa.
April-Travel to the national for a week and had a blast with friends. Mal finished his beginner novice, passed his CGC and of course, made everyone fall in love with him. Kevin passed his CGC, Eddie got two of his BN legs and the yell of "dum dum come" could be heard across the event center. Totally embarrassed on my birthday as well as the start of dog obedience for 4-H. And more warmth!
May-Mal finished his grand with a nice BOB win. Then we again, just hung out at home and watched puppies grow up.
June-omg, now that month I totally remember! Dog classes, horse clinics, no baby clydesdale, fair fun and the STORM. Lost power, flooded basement, minimal property damage, helping neighbors and wishing for a much quieter July.
July-which was by all accounts, quiet. Time to reflect, sit back by the bonfire with friends. Oh Muff finally made it through Driver's Ed and now to wait till October when she can get her real license.
August-dog show, THE dog show, state fair, back to school.
September-THE dog show ended. And....I can't remember what else happened in September?
October-THE horse show, bringing the lovely Carnivorous Lady Bug home and I even pulled out the halloween decorations this year!
November-hum, simply getting ready for winter. Playing with Lady Bug(who we are all in love with, including David)
December-we lost Lace to the Rainbow Bridge, one cold snap, one dog show where Moose and Mal both got their new rally titles-RA and RN. Rutro aka Monroe, got one point but at least she kept her feet on the floor and had a smidge of focus. Great Christmas with family and friends. Oh and Muff...still hasn't gotten her license.
I know there's a lot more from 2014, I just can't remember it all. I think it's simply because we do so much, and enjoy it in the moment that it is.
To everyone out there---enjoy what 2014 gave you and be thankful for what 2015 has to offer!
The family and chaos crew of four legged, web footed, hairy and feathered beasts would like to wish you and your family a very Blessed Christmas and a Peaceful New Year!
We are looking forward to more grand adventures in 2015!
Watch out world, here we come!
Cindy, David, Meredith, Alec, and the collies, coonhounds, cardigans, one big ol' german shepherd, the geese, ducks, chickens, clydesdales, paints, quarter horses and one pretty little pony. Oh and the employee.