Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Catherine's Doing Great!

Hi everyone. We just got back from the hospital where they took little Catherine off the respirator. She's in some pain and pretty confused about being there--but her mom got to hold and comfort her for the first time since it happened.

She seemed to be doing very well, strong lungs and breathing--so they say she can go home on Thursday.

We're looking forward to the family being reunited at their home and for Catherine to get back to living her life--first steps, words, and all the stuff of being a little baby girl.

Thanks so much for all your kind wishes, thoughts, and prayers through this trial. And, thanks to Sacred Heart Medical Center for saving her life.

Now I need to get back out to the barn and take care of the horse babies needing some time and attention! I haven't thought about them much lately, so Shiloh has been taking up the slack for me. I feel like life kind of stopped and slowed way, way down for the last five days, and I'm just starting to rejoin it again.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Update on Catherine

Just wanted to update everyone on Catherine's progress. We were hoping she'd be off the respirator today, but it looks like it will be tomorrow.

The more we spoke to doctors and nurses involved with the airlift and surgery, the more we realized what a miracle it is she is alive. The bean had gone down the wrong pipe and onto her vocal chords, obstructing the air. During the surgery, they had to be very careful not to drop or break the bean--which would cause it to fall into the lungs. She is so small, the task of bringing the bean up was very delicate and took them a long time.

The team who took care of her on the helicopter had to get oxygen past the bean to keep her alive. About five minutes before landing, the obstruction shifted and totally blocked the air--then it shifted around again and she got a little air. Since time was so critical--it was a miracle that the doctor they needed just happened to be close to the hospital--out on the sidewalk--so they pulled him in immediately for surgery.

I had hoped to ride horses with the other kids yesterday, but it began to rain like crazy--and then snow. It is finally clearing up a little around here, but they spent the day with one of their other sets of grandparents--everyone's pitching in to help. In a few minutes, they'll be back with us, and our neighbors brought over a pan of lasagna and muffins to help out so we don't have to cook.

Everyone has been really helpful and kind--and we're very thankful for all the good wishes!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Unexpected Scare--Welcome Relief

Tonight we had a horrible scare--our grandbaby, Catherine (18 months old), swallowed a bean and it went down her windpipe. She couldn't breathe, and they couldn't get past it to put a tube into her lungs. As a result, she was airlifted here to Spokane to Sacred Heart Hospital.

After about a two hour "laryngoscopic" surgery and us waiting in the hospital, (thinking that the more time they were in the there, the worse the outcome) they were able to get down with a special tool and remove the obstruction.

I can't tell you how relieved we are. It's a miracle--and just shows how quickly life can change when you least expect it.

Tonight we have the other grandkids here with us while Catherine recuperates in the hospital. She's on a respirator and under close observation for the next few days. But there is so much relief and happiness now--watching her siblings--all of us very thankful that we did not lose a precious life tonight.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Farrier Visit

Yesterday it snowed, and it just happened to be the day the farrier came.

I think the weather change affected the horses more than normal because they've been shedding off and then when those temperatures drop, like yesterday--brrrrr...

They were all very hungry and grumpy and had a "hard" eye. I knew I'd have my work cut out for me as I led each one out of their stall to tie in the center aisle. They were pawing and banging, switching tails--not a pretty sight.

I may have made a mistake in choosing Beautiful to be trimmed first, but I thought it would be best to get it out of the way. She's very tuned into the others, plus an attitude that's all her own, and she gave the farrier a stare down like--you come in here with that box and there's going to be trouble.

Because of that, I didn't have any opportunity to get pictures. I was too busy managing her away from the farrier when she'd pull back her hooves and try to bolt out of the stall.

I think this was a product of many things--the day (which for a wild horse probably sent off some warning bells), the other horses, being a mare, and not being handled by any one other than me for so long (lack of exposure).

My farrier spent a lot of extra time with her--touching her all over her body and rubbing her. Eventually, she settled and the head dropped, eye softened, and she gave her feet up.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Extreme Mustang Makeover Updates

Andrea at Mustang Saga keeps posting the results of the Extreme Mustang Over, and it appears a woman, Jackie Sigloh (Oregon) with the Mustang, Kahlua, is in the number one spot. Hopefully, Andrea will have pictures of them. She already has posted many shocking photos--please click on her link and see--it could be that one of them is Jackie and Kahlua. (Caution: please don't try their tricks at home. You couldn't pay me enough to crawl under any of my horse's legs!!) The finals are today--so keep watching!

Here is a link to Jackie's ranch and her beautiful Kiger stallion, McCoy. I could seriously see Beautiful and this stallion producing beautiful foals. There's another,too--the owner/gentler of Princess, Kevin Sink, who is also competing at the makeover and was formerly in the lead--the stallion's name is Dino, and there is a picture of him on Andrea's blog in the middle of the page. Check out the video of Princess at the competition while you're at Princess's blog. (Especially the in-hand when they trot through the cones).

Remember: They've only been with their human for 100 days. Princess was 5 years old when adopted and guess what--she was from Beautiful's herd!! She was rounded up at the same time. For all we know, she could be Beautiful's mother!!! And she does great in these videos--especially since there's an audience, new environment, clapping, etc. There's $7,500 at stake and the future adoption of these Mustangs at the auction which will be held during the weekend. Good luck!!

Here is a pic of my boy, Cowboy, today. Doesn't this look like Nancy Glazier's, Audacious print? I have that hanging in my LR. I'll post a picture beside this one and you tell me.

And what I found at the 4-H Tack sale--besides a brand new Weaver breast collar for $22.00 and a surcingle--these tie rings. We purchased seven and drilled them into the support beams in the barn.

Friday, March 20, 2009

First Day of Spring Pictures

Today is 55 degrees and partially sunny. The horses are feeling great. Here are some pictures I took of Beautiful before I went out to work with her. The other horses got to running and bucking, and she returned the favor. It was fun to watch.

Extreme Mustang Makeover

In the Mustang world, there is nothing bigger than what's happening now in Albany, OR--at the Extreme Mustang Makeover. (Click on this link and there will be a short video example at the top of the page--you'll be AMAZED!! to see what they have done in the past with these horses.)

Contestants picked up buck-wild Mustangs three months ago--in the dead of winter, and have gentled and trained them and now taken them to compete in this contest. It's their time to strut their stuff and show the World what you can do with a wild American Mustang.

There's no limit on what a trainer can do in those three months--any trick to show how athletic, smart, and bullet-proof you've gotten your Mustang, is allowed. The judges will look at all aspects of the horse and human partnership and by the end of the weekend, choose a winner.

Andrea and Lea--Lea and her Mustangs, fellow bloggers, have hit the road to attend the competition and support our friends who have gone there. Tracey, at Mustang Diaries is competing on her horse, Steve Holt!. You can follow the competition on Twitter through the effort of Andrea--and Tracey will be posting her story all through the weekend. She's already posted her first day.

Please stop by their blogs to see what's happening and wish Tracey luck as she competes to show the value of our wild horses. And, I can assure you, the training she has pulled off in three months is nothing short of AMAZING--and would be for any untouched horse to go from A to Z in that short time. In that light, I'd like to congratulate Tracey early for already winning with Steve Holt!.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Issues with Yielding in Front

I went out yesterday, and the night before, to work with Beautiful and try on her new halter. (Fits great, btw, but sorry I forgot my camera).

We have an issue.

When she balks while being led, she is starting to jump up with her front hooves. She's doing it a lot when I ask her to move her front quarters away. It's completely defiant.

So, I've been working her hind quarters asking her to disengage, backing her up and keeping to her side. (When she rears up she bounces around to try to face me.)
She does eventually stop and give in to moving away.

Has anyone else had this issue? None of my horses have been this front forward and full of it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A New Blog & A New Halter

I mentioned in one of my blog posts that I love Canadian Geese and wanted to get some pictures of them. The rapid snow melt plus rain, created a pond-like situation--which drew the geese and Blue Heron. Hopefully, I can get a picture of the heron this week, too. These are the pictures I took this evening--

I'm starting another blog about my upcoming garden project (Spring '09) and it is at this address (wwww.emilydickinsonsgarden.wordpress.com) if you'd like to follow along with my progress--brainstorm ideas for your own gardens or give me helpful hints--please stop by. (I'm starting from absolute scratch--and need all the help anyone's willing to give!)

I'm going to use Emily Dickinson's gardens as inspiration for this venture. My hope is that I will become more intimate with her poetry and her humanity as a result--and create a poetic space here at my own home.

There are two books I'm going to use as my reference--I believe the titles are Emily Dickinson's Gardens and The Gardens of Emily Dickinson--easy to remember! (Check out the comments between Jen and I in the last post for details).

I want this blog--Beautiful Mustang--to remain primarily Beautiful's story as I get her ready for her first outing at Mustang Days in June. So, I'll be taking my gardening and poetry over to the other sight.

I do believe the weather is going to do a major turn around this week and we can finally really dig in and get started with Beautiful's work--introducing her to the whole herd--releasing her--teaching her to trailer load--to lunge--pack a saddle and much more. Oh, and of course, the BLM will be doing their final inspection and sign her over to me in May or June. So, lots of exciting stuff with her coming up soon.

I received a new halter in the mail from Andrea at Mustang Saga today. I'm heading out to the barn in a few minutes to try it on her--pictures tomorrow!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Cleaning Tack & Attending Plays

It's that time of year where we're right on the verge of having too much to do--but until then, have very little to do for the horses except wait out the cold.

Because of that, I'm spending a lot of time practicing piano, attending plays, and conditioning tack. Oh and, of course, watching the kids play their winter sports.

The picture above is the play we attended last night, The Belle of Amherst. It's a one woman play about the life of Emily Dickinson. Much of the information is based upon her letters to Thomas Wentworth Higginson of the Atlantic. You can view the letters and the article that inspired her to write him by clicking on this link.

The actress who played Dickinson was Ellen Crawford from the television show, ER. She was WONDERFUL! I'm a big Dickinson fan--so it was a special treat for me. I'd wanted to attend for the last couple of weeks, but things kept coming up. Last night I asked my husband yet again, so he called and found out it was the final performance. We had two hours to get tickets (if we were lucky enough to still get them, which we were) and get down there. I really appreciate having a husband who is so happy to take me to a play like this one.

Today Shiloh and I went to a Moms Daughters and Horses tack cleaning party put on by our friend Katie. She supplied all the cleaning and conditioning items--door prizes and snacks. It was only a $5.00 donation to clean a saddle and bridle!

Katie did a great job, as usual--and Shiloh and I are ready for the AQHA open schooling show next Saturday!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Outdoor Arena Idea

Mt. Spokane a few days ago.

Possibly Mountain Bluebirds returning home.

Canadian Geese on a fly by to the farm fields which have become ponds.

Same Picture with a white out.

Today I had coffee with Lea at Lea and Her Mustangs and we exchanged books. The one she gave me is Hope Rising by Kim Meeder. I'm looking forward to reading it. We also had a nice talk about our horses. She reminded me that in May, Beautiful will be signed over to me by the BLM. That's an exciting prospect. And, the family that we have coming in town is considering amending their trip from June to May--so I will be able to participate in Mustang Days! Very exciting.

My mom and dad came to town today and took me to lunch, too--VERY FUN DAY!!

As for Beautiful, she was full of it last weekend. She gave me a little grief on the end of her lead rope. At some point she didn't want to lead anymore and just balked. When I circled her around she crow hopped and struck the ground with her front feet--warning me. So, it made my day with her a little longer and a little harder. And, I realized how out of shape I've gotten this winter. It's HARD to keep up with her. I'm lucky she's as nice as she is and she comes around quick--or she'd win by tiring me out.
She's really good about being groomed and, like everyone else, I was out there trying to keep up with her shedding--hair all over the clothes, in the mouth, eyes, etc. I worked on the chunks of mud that had cemented themselves onto her coat, and she was real patient with it.

We have an Arctic Blast blowing through--it brought 4 or 5 inches of snow so far--2 inches from the all time snowiest winter record! But when this blows by, they're predicting we will see our first signs of SPRING!!! I'm excited! That will change everything around here--we can start our fencing and landscaping projects--start riding the horses out on the trails--set the roundpen back up--maybe even build an outdoor arena this year.

Though, I was surprised that lumber prices have not gone down. My husband and I went out to price them last night--we've heard so much about how lumber has dropped---but it wasn't the case. If anything, it has gone up. So, I'm trying to come up with an outdoor arena design that is economical--and I think I have an idea.

Basically, treated 4x4x8 posts set in the ground--8 feet apart--100'x200' arena--a brown nylon hot wire on the inside where a bottom board would be--one treated 2x6 rail running above that with a hot smoothe wire running on the inside--and all of this charged by our extra solar charger we have lying around. I figured it would be about $20.00 for an 8' section. Which would bring the grand total to $1,000.

I'll try to sketch and scan it so you can get an idea of what I'm thinking--but basically, one single board running the entire perimeter--with a 2" brown hot tape running underneath where another board could, eventually, be. I think it would work, and if I had to put them out in it, the hotwire would keep them from breaking through the boards trying to get grass.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Angie at Free Rein Art and Design tagged me today with the instructions to take the 6th photo from my 6th folder on my computer and post and blog about it.

I thought this was a fun idea--So, I happily and maybe nervously, too, went to my 6th folder and found the 6th picture. I was thrilled to find that this picture resided in that place:

Now, let me tell you who these two beautiful ladies are. The one on the left is my youngest sister, Rebekah--and the one on the right is my cousin, Jamie.

Rebekah--or Becka--was born when I was seventeen years old. In fact, I had just moved to a new town and new school when she was born, so some of the local gossips figured Rebekah was actually my daughter!!

I would have been proud and happy to claim Rebekah as my daughter--if it were true, but alas, she really is my little sister. And, probably better for her since her real mother, my mom, made a much better mother than I ever could have at the age of seventeen!!

Now, I was there at her first ultra-sound in California--before we moved. And, I was there for my forty year old mom to lean on when we'd walk through the mall shopping for school clothes and she struggled to support the extra baby weight on her small frame. But all the kudos for Rebekah--carrying her in utero, birthing her (ouch!) and raising her, go smack dab to my mom, Barbara, at The Serenity Gate.

I just got all the fun stuff--and my life was blessed by the addition of this little sister who is all grown up now and a beautiful woman--as you can see in the picture.

Now, Jamie, to the right is my little cousin from San Diego--who is very close in age to Rebekah and so they became fast friends as children. They dreamed of growing up and moving to Seattle together. However, that dream was replaced with living in Lewiston together.

Jamie is now in the Nursing program at LCSC and all grown up and gorgeous, too.

Now, I'm going to tag six more people who were not previously tagged by Angie:

Mom (Barbara at the Serenity Gate)
Pony Girl at Pony Girl Rides Again
Andrea at Mustang Saga
Tileena at Behind the Lens
Joanne at Whole Latte Life
Cheryl at Desert Horses

Hope it's as fun for you as it was for me. Thanks, Angie!