Saturday, June 23, 2012

Another Beans story

Thank you everyone. I love all my horses & all horses are special but some are more special and Beans was one of the more special ones.

Beans nearly died when he was born. He was about 6 weeks late but was still dysmature. The vet said that him being so late was "nature's way of trying to get him fully baked." But he was not quite fully baked. He came out & just laid there. I tried to count his heart rate but it was so fast that I could not discern individual beats. I went up to the house to call my vet & when I got back to the barn, Dave had picked him up & was walking/dragging him around the stall. He said that he felt the colt was quitting on life & he had to try something. It worked & he was more alert now. Vet came, did his thing & we then picked him up, held him in place at the mare & he did nurse. Then we laid him back down since he was too weak to put himself down.
I spent that night, picking him up every hour, holding him steady, letting him stand a while, then laying him back down. Dave went to bed. The next morning, when Dave got up, he asked "how's ol' Beanyard this morning?" He was disappointed that this was not a bay filly, so he was partially being snide. But later that afternoon, I found Dave sitting in the stall, w/Beans' head in his lap, and he announced that we probably should not sell this one.
I spent that day picking Beans up each hour so he could nurse. He was getting stronger each time. That evening, I went out & he was up on his own & nursing! He even laid himself back down. I watched him into the early night to be sure but he was ok then.
It was interesting to note that for the first 4 days, he had no face expression--none. He was just blank. Then on the 5th day, I walk out to be greeted by COLT on HIND LEGS, waving his front legs at me. On one hand, I was ecstatic that he now had personality and life; but on the other hand I had to let him know that behaviour towards humans was not acceptable.
Now I started his foal training--wearing a halter, leading, giving to pressure, picking up feet, no rearing, no biting, no kicking--all the normal foal training. He was smart & learned fast.
Yeah, he has always been special.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

SSM Cloud Fire, better known as Beans. 1988-2012

Yesterday, June 20, I had to have Beans put down. He was born with me holding him and he died with me holding him.
Although he was 7/8th Lippitt, he lacked breed type, but was a handsome horse with excellent legs and grand feet that the farrier loved. He had personality that endeared him to everyone who met him. One of my favorite Bean stories is this--Back in the mid 1990's, I would let the horses in the back lot out each morning to run to the barn into their stalls for breakfast. One day, Snubbers and Beans did not show up so I went looking for them. They were by the clothesline and Snubbers was eating the nice spring grass. Beans, however, had been busy pulling laundry off the clothes line. He had 3 of my t-shirts on the ground & was working on a fourth one, happily chewing  holes into it.
He was a good riding horse and we had some good rides. He liked to get behind a person and then sneakily try to pull off a pants pocket. He loved to chew on lead ropes, so I had his own special lead rope that he could chew on while getting his feet trimmed. I never had to actually hold him; I just haltered him & handed him his lead rope to chew & visited with the farrier while he trimmed Beans. He loved to have his face rubbed after taking off his fly mask each night. He was never a fast eater; he preferred to nibble and graze. He also never gulped water, but slowly sipped it. In the arena, he could sull up and refuse to move his feet in any direction but he moved out well on the trail. At feeding time, he would stick his tongue way out the side of his mouth and wrap it around his lower jaw, and drool too.
So many neat Bean things over the years and now all that is left are some photos and my memories. Right now, those are not filling the hole in my heart.
Good-bye Beans, I really miss you.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

New Paint

This is the workshop/storage loft/tack room building, freshly painted. This building was here when we bought this place and was built in 1977.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Dirt Roads and My Car

Last week, I come out to my car to get a box and I see that there is a flat tire--and it is not just flat on one side, as the old joke goes, but flat all the way around. Well, nuts, I say (not really, I said a bit more then that!) but at least I am not going to work that day so there is no rush and my handyman is here to change it for me. I stopped changing tires decades ago when the power tools used made it too hard to get the nuts off. Even Jose had to stand on the tire wrench to get the nuts loosened. Of course the spare is a little low on air (yeah, I know that is supposed to be checked periodically, but, hey, out of sight--out of mind) with less then 10 lbs in it. However, living out here, one must be prepared and so there is an air compressor living in the generator house(the generator and its house is a whole 'nother story). Jose found the nail in the tire and by good grace it is in the tread and not in the sidewall, so it is fixable. I also must commend my car for having the tire go flat at home and not out in the middle of nowhere, which pretty much is everything between town and home.

I've been looking at the maintenance light on my dashboard for a while, knowing that the service place sets that light to come on at 3,000 miles for an oil change which is not at all necessary. I was letting some more miles accumulate before taking the car in for its routine service. I jokingly told a friend that maybe the flat tire was nature's way of telling me to get the car in for service. Snork!, little did I know...

Driving to the service place Saturday afternoon, I'm thinking, piece of cake, I have coupons for the oil change & the tire repair, so this should only cost me the $5 oil disposal charge. Hmmm, maybe. We did not change the air filter and cabin filter last time, and living on dirt roads, these items need frequent replacement. So, I might be stuck for that and they are not cheap. Oh well, what must be done, must be done.

I turn my car over the the nice people at the service place and sit down with a snack and a book, which I have not yet started, by an author I like, so I'll have lots to read if need be. In a while, the manager comes back in carrying an air filter and a cabin filter and both are really really dirty, so I knew they must be mine (I had the dirtiest car at the place!). Yep, he always shows me that they do need changing. Then he hands me some really nasty looking brake fluid. I am thinking that I don't recall changing out the brake fluid and the manager does not recall that we have done that for this car since I started going here. We did the radiator and transmission not super long ago, but apparently not the brake fluid. Oh well, if it must be done...

I settle back with my book and some time passes when the manager walks in again with *that* look on his face and he is looking at me. This is so not a good sign. Really. He tells me that my top engine mount is broken and needs to be replaced. I'm thinking, ok, a bracket and a couple of bolts, right? WRONG. This is a complex, heavy, important piece of equipment that dampens the shock and vibration the engine undergoes. And, with dirt roads, this engine undergoes a lot. Without this piece, there is more stress on the other mounts and it also puts more stress on the belts and hoses, which will then be more likely to break, probably in the middle of nowhere. sigh....

Napa Parts first brings the wrong part, and has to go back and get the right part, which also is $40 more expensive. Did I mention--sigh....

Finally, nearly 3 hours later, and over $400 on my credit card, I do get out of there alive. I now have new oil, new cabin filter, new air filter, new brake fluid with a flushed-out brake system, and a brand new upper motor mount. And I still have the dirtiest car there. And it is all the fault of the dirt roads.

I wouldn't trade living out here with my dirt roads for life in the flats even though it would save me money on car maintenance!