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Journey’s End Ranch Newsletter August 10, 2017

This will be brief because I am still in shock after losing our Mariah this week. She was our first mustang adopted in 2004, at age 11 months. She had been through a lot (see  http://www.jersanctuary.org/horses-and-burros/mariah/  ) – rounded up in a 12 mile helicopter chase at age 5 months, lost her mama in the roundup. Then fed an imbalanced diet with BLM, shipped to three different facilities in a few short months, before begging me to take her home at age 11 months. She ended up with damaged joints & developmental orthopedic disease, but survived and became quite the feisty little mare here. We will have another page dedicated to her soon, as she was the reason I decided to try and save some mustangs . At any rate, she went from her normal active self to being very stiff 3 weeks ago. There was no apparent injury, her feet & legs appeared to be fine, her muscles hurt all over. Hoping she may just have taken a fall, we started her on an anti-inflammatory drug which did not do much to help. A week ago, all the mustangs took off running, as they often do. Instead of being in the lead, she was lagging behind in a limping trot. They all calmed down and I went to give them hay. She then “tied up” and was unable to walk & was in a lot of pain. The next day, she was hobbling about with very stiff muscles. She had the signs of “exertional myopathy” which can have a myriad of causes. http://www.merckvetmanual.com/musculoskeletal-system/myopathies-in-horses/exertional-myopathies-in-horses  

Mariah

At any rate, she did not pull out of it and separating her or confining her were not options as she was high strung, had separation anxiety and needed to remain with her family, her herd. We did separate her along with her best friend, Windy, for 3 days, but all the horses were very unhappy with that and even broke a corral panel trying to reunite. Five days after tying up, she was still miserable, in pain and hobbling. Her eyes were no longer bright, her spirit was broken. The only humane thing was to let her go peacefully. She is buried here. It is a tremendous loss, but I try to find comfort knowing she had 13 good years.

Rain! We had about 2 inches of monsoonal rain in the 3rd week of July & then got 3 inches in one day on July 25.  Three inches is the average total summer rain for this area. We had a river run under the 13 tons of tarped hay & ended up having to move it into the almost empty hay shed. The burro shelter flooded & we had a very nice (and reasonable) backhoe man do some grading last week to prevent that in the future. We also had a few crazy wind storms.

Knickers was stung by a bee (he is very allergic)  for the third time in 3 years and was staggering & full of hives. I managed, once again, to inject him with steroids which helped. Last summer, he was down & in respiratory distress when I found him & gave him an injection. Thank goodness for steroids. Our vet is 20 miles away and is kind enough to let us keep some on hand. We have bees here who swarm any water containers, sometimes by the hundreds.

Knickers. May 2017, about to turn 35

While our vet was here, we also were going to have him sedate and trim Diego‘s front feet a bit, as it requires heavy sedation. Diego was neglected for 20 years, was never trained and can be dangerous. He just does not know better. Well, three of us were unable to catch him, even when he was confined in a small area. He was flying around and came close to running us over, so, we decided his feet must be OK since he is sound, even with pedal osteitis and some coffin bone rotation in one foot. That evening, he was very affectionate with me and wanted petting, but I was not carrying a halter.

Our vet did do a dental on Chico, the aged mini donkey. He needed two extractions and has been on some pain meds and wet pellets for 3 days. He is doing well. Poco has been singing and he and Chico have been playing, despite the heat.

Chico & Poco

 

The older horses are still playing a lot, too.

This summer heat and humidity has been brutal, but maybe the end is in sight. I seem to always be dumping, scrubbing & refilling water tubs.

Thank you for your support.

 

Love,

Cathy & the Gang

 

 

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Journey’s End Ranch July 10, 2017 Newsletter

It’s hot! Our weather has been running 5-10 degrees above normal for weeks. We’ve had afternoons as high as 109 degrees.  Keeping the water tubs clean & refilled is taking more time than feeding chores. Some of the horses ask to be hosed off when they see me with the hose. They all have airy shelters for shade, but usually stand in the sun. The burros take more advantage of the shelters than the horses do.

Rusty enjoying a spraying

Our local ravens raised 3 young this year & two full grown fledglings managed to dive into horse water troughs. Luckily, I found them and the water level had allowed them to barely stand on the bottom.  I put them in the hay shed on top of the hay stack where they were able to dry off and rejoin the family. I have tried leaving floating boards in the tubs, but this year, the boards attracted hundreds of bees which actually seek water at the end of their life of 6 weeks and end up drowning themselves. A bee expert explained this to me. With bees swarming the tubs, the horses are afraid to drink, so the boards had to go. I am just thankful both ravens were OK  and I am sure they learned a lesson. After two incidents of saving the fledglings, the whole family began coming every time I was outside and would squawk at me. I like to think they regard me as their hero. LOL.

Raven up on hay drying off

Ravens

Many thanks to our artist friends who did recent portraits of our horses.

Sue Steiner did a great one of Knickers which already sold and is donating  50% to us. Susan Monty did four paintings of the older mustangs and a % is always given to us. She offers prints and notecards.

Susan Monty’s portrait of Bayron & Warrior playing-https://www.facebook.com/susanmontyfineart/photos/a.195469093812939.59965.195184377174744/1824703707556128/?type=3&theater

Sue Steiner’s website- https://www.etsy.com/listing/541184097/desert-horse-9-x-12-on-gallery-wrapped

Despite the heat, the horses are still playful. Knickers and Poco are a bit subdued.

Thank you for your support!

Love,

Cathy & The Gang

 

 

 

 

 

Pretending to be stallions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Journey’s End Ranch June 10, 2017 Newsletter

Well, our really good news is that we finally have useable internet speeds after a year of struggling. One Frontier tech decided to replace our “card” up at the utility box 3 miles away. That appears to have been the issue all along. It won’t bring back the computer we lost when the crawling internet crashed the hard drive, but at least I am not wasting 3-4 hours a day sitting here watching the wheels spin anymore.

Knickers is 35 years old today! He is the amazing survivor of 10 years of severe neglect & joined us in January 2012.

Knickers June 8, 2017

The weather has turned hot, most days in the 90s now. Rambeau grows winter wool. Stripey does not. I found someone who shears sheep, but they take them down to almost bare skin & I did not want him getting sunburned. So, once again, I did him with dog clippers.  He does not come out pretty, but the wool is gone & he has a normal hair coat now and is comfortable. Sheep shears run >$200  and I can’t see spending that much for a once a year shearing.

We have a pair of Western kingbirds nesting in one of the cottonwoods. They are very attractive birds.

Western kingbirds

The dove who had raised a baby in her nest in the sheep shelter came back & laid 2 more eggs. She had been sitting on them this week. Sadly, we had horrible wind yesterday & this morning, she & the eggs were gone.

the eggs which were blown away

 

We don’t usually have a fly problem due to the arid conditions here. However, when range cattle are in the area, they bring face flies with them. Poco & Chico had to learn to wear fly masks and 3 of the horses with sensitive eyes are wearing them. too. I remove and wash the masks every night.

Poco

Our old video camera was pretty much shot. I found an old, but unused one that was identical. It is a discontinued model. We already had accessories and I know how to use it, so our board member, Joyce, bought it for us. The first one lasted > 6 years, so we hope this one will have a long life, too.

Poco has been singing a lot.

 

The first day I put a fly mask on Rusty, we had a stampede. Everyone went to look at Rusty, he may have felt threatened or maybe he felt special with the mask on. At any rate, he began chasing the other mustangs for about 15 minutes.

Cheyenne has been here 5 years and we sure are glad her halter finally fell off last year, as she is untouchable. She is 19 now. She loves Scout and is not sociable with the others. After years of being passed from owner to owner and being badly abused at some point, it is good to be able to give her a peaceful, happy home.

Cheyenne June 2017

Rene’, Windy & Mariah, mustang mares

We are using about 500 gallons a day of water to keep all the troughs  clean & filled with fresh water. Some of the horses enjoy being hosed off while I am watering.

Rusty cooling off

 

I have 3 new personal pets. Three years without dogs has been extremely difficult for me. I am now sensitized to many animals but I took a chance on three sweet little rat sisters, raised by a local girl who is in 4H. They live in a big outdoor cage, but I cut a 3 inch hole in my house to run a PVC pipe into a sealed  glass tank in my bedroom. They can come in to cool off and “visit”. I wear a mask when I handle & play with them every day, and, so far, so good. They are like little dogs, very affectionate & interactive. I love them.

 

My 1974 Ford truck broke down last week on my monthly trip to town. I meet my friend there as she does my grocery shopping for me. The starter burned up. I had to get towed home as my mechanic works on it at the ranch & I had $300 worth of food and I had to get home asap. I had to ride in my truck, up on the trailer, as I can’t ride in other vehicles with such severe chemical sensitivities. Every bump we hit was tossing me around and it was like riding a bronc for 17 miles..LOL. Never a dull moment…

Thank you to all our friends and supporters. Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there. Stay cool!

Love, Cathy & the Gang

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