August 10 th


Journey’s End Ranch Newsletter August 10, 2017

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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  ) – 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.  


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.



Cathy & the Gang



Categories : News


  1. jackie carroll says:

    I am here for you whenever you need to talk or message. Love you and my heartfelt sympathies to you xxxx

  2. Kathi Redick says:

    NOT a criticism, just a question. Did you ever try Karo syrup with Mariah for the tying up? I know they use it with HYPP, just wondered if it was ever used for other tying up issues.

    I’m VERY sorry for your loss. :'(


  3. Awwwww Cathy – I am SO very sorry about Mariah. At least she was loved and cared for by you. She is running free in the meadows of Rainbow Bridge. I also lost my beloved Haley girl yesterday – so I am in mourning with you. Poco cheered me up with his beautiful song, though.
    Love, Judy

  4. Cathy Ritlaw says:

    Thank you, Judy. I am so very sorry to hear about Haley. Love you.

  5. Cathy Ritlaw says:

    Thank you, Jackie . <3

  6. Cathy Ritlaw says:

    thank you, actually managing exertional myopathy involves low carb, high fat diet and limiting exercise. all the horses are on the lowest NSC hay available. sugars would be contraindicated.

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