Saturday, October 24, 2020

Addendum to the Keil “Bronco” Bay update

 Yesterday was acupuncture treatment. Today was Billie almost loses her mind while Keil goes on the rodeo circuit right here on November Hill.

They turned out after breakfast tubs this morning, and when I went out at noon to give Keil’s Prascend and bring him in, they were all lolly-gagging around in the back pasture. I went through the arena and opened its back gate so Rafer Johnson could rejoin the herd - he’d climbed through to the arena. When I walked into the back pasture, Keil cantered from a standstill up the hill to me.

Wow, I said, look at you! I gave his med and a peppermint and was thinking maybe he could just stay out another hour with his buddies. The pony cantered up just in case I had extra peppermints. I turned to walk back through the arena, and before I could even get to the gate, Keil Bay, Little Man, and Cody GALLOPED in past me and proceeded to do their galloping/bucking/rearing routine. This is pretty much the norm for them - it’s never been an everyday occurrence, but they enjoy playing in the arena when I let them. But really? While Keil is still recovering from EPM? The day after he had a swollen hock? 

They were galloping so hard the donkeys went around to the barn shelter, safely out of the way. I got a few flakes of hay and took them to the back field, through the main gate, hoping once they saw the hay they’d settle down and head back out. But no, they went on for 15 solid minutes.

I could hardly watch - I kept calling out soothing commands - waaallkkkk, and slowwwww - to no avail. When I did look, Keil was totally steady on his feet, but still, this performance scared the heck out of me.

I was afraid to intervene, as they have their patterns and were in “herd mind” - I was worried if I went in and tried to stop any of them, it would create a logjam or cause one to veer in the way of the others. 

Finally, they slowed down and once they did, I opened the arena gate that leads into the dirt paddock by the barn (which I didn’t dare do until they slowed, because they also tend to use the dirt paddock like a race track when in this mode). Keil went to his stall door and I let him through to his stall and the barn aisle. 

I’m not even kidding - he went to his hay, leaned his butt against the barn wall, and wasn’t even breathing hard. 

I messaged his acupuncture vet and said “if this is what acupuncture does, sign me up now!” I could also have used a valium! 

Friday, October 23, 2020

Update, the third, on the Big Handsome Bay

 Keil Bay seems to have come through the worst of the EPM protozoa die-off and is moving much more solidly this week. We’ve had several episodes where he’s made a break for the back pasture, at least once at a full/fast trot, and in general he’s back to wanting to be on a normal turn-out routine. 

He’s still eating well, drinking normally, and generally hoovering up all the meds he’s getting each day. He has 2.5 weeks left on Marquis, and we’ll see if he needs to go longer on it when we’re closer to the 30-day mark. He remains on Bute as an anti-inflammatory. He’s also getting two alternating homeopathic remedies for PPID, was tapered to a full dose of the adaptogen tincture APF, and as the die-off has died down, we’re tapering him onto Prascend. He’s up to .5 mg and after two more days of that, we’ll move him up to .75 mg.

Today he had his second acupuncture treatment and he loved it even more this time. He has a slightly swollen hock today, and we decided to start him on monthly HA injections to help with overall joint health, and believe it or not, he loved getting the injection! It’s arterial, so no big deal, but he leaned into the vet tech as she gave it and did his googly eyes at her. What a horse - he followed the vet, the tech, and I through the barn and I think would have gone all the way to the vet truck if I’d let him. 

So he’s through the worst of the EPM, we’re working on the PPID, and he’s got several new therapies on board to make life better as he goes on into his 31st year. I’m happy to be on this side of the EPM stuff, but obviously we’re still treating, still monitoring, still making sure things are moving in the right direction.

I’m grateful for good vet care and for all the treatment options at our disposal. 

Thursday, October 22, 2020

What’s Coming Up In The Garden, 62: southern bayberry (aka wax myrtle)

 Yesterday my super farm helper put in 23 of the 25 southern bayberries I ordered last spring. We’ve put them in in front of our front pasture fencing, where they will not only offer a native plant benefit to pollinators, birds, and other wildlife, they’ll also provide privacy screening for us as they grow. 

These bushes are evergreen, deer resistant, hardy once established, and they can grow up to 8 feet per year, which means you get your privacy very quickly. They can be pruned or let go to create a very thick hedgerow effect, and you can let them grow to the ground for a full shrub effect, or limb them up to get more of a single trunk/tree effect. 

Right now, I’m just thrilled they are in the ground, watered, and waiting for mulch. Up near the gate, we will put them in behind the fence instead of in front, to give a layered effect and keep the gateway from the road tidy and distinct. 

I love the idea of a dense thicket effect and spaced them such that they will definitely grow to meet in the middle unless we intervene. One more thing checked off the list!

We also finally had the barn electric box updated, a line run to the barnyard/camper, and new outlets installed in the barn aisle. I have more projects for the electrician in the barn and the house, but this was a full day of work, and got done what we needed for now. Check, and onward. 

More info on the bayberries:

Morella cerifera

Morella cerifera (L.) Small

Wax Myrtle , Southern Wax Myrtle, Southern Bayberry, Eastern Bayberry, Bayberry, Candleberry, Tallow Shrub

Myricaceae (Bayberry Family)

Synonym(s): Cerothamnus ceriferusCerothamnus pumilusMorella ceriferavar. pumilaMyrica ceriferaMyrica cerifera var. pumilaMyrica pusilla

USDA Symbol: moce2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), HI (I), PR (N)

A wispy, 6-12 ft., multi-trunked, evergreen shrub, southern bayberry or wax myrtle can reach 20 ft. in height. The light olive-green foliage has a spicy fragrance. Pale blue berries occur on female plants in the winter. Handsome gray bark is almost white on some plants. 

Native from New Jersey west to eastern Oklahoma and east Texas, south through Mexico to Central America as well as through much of the Caribbean, this popular evergreen ornamental is used for screens, hedges, landscaping, wetland gardens, habitat restoration, and as a source of honey. Essentially a shrub, it serves as an excellent screen plant, with both standard and dwarf varieties available. Because there are separate male and female plants, if you want berries you must have male plants close enough to the berry-producing female plants for pollination to occur. The leaves are aromatic, with an appealing, piquant fragrance when crushed. Colonists separated the fruits waxy covering in boiling water to make fragrant-burning candles, a custom still followed in some countries.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

A few farm photos

 My husband took this one the other morning and I love the foggy landscape, the redbud leaves now yellow, and a certain Bear Corgi showing off his home.

This is one large cluster of asters in the pollinator bed. There are two other large clusters as well, and I can tell you that if you want to support bees, whether honey bees, native bees or all of the above, this is a must-have for autumn forage. It’s covered on these sunny fall days.

Here’s one of our girls foraging, with already full pollen baskets!

I also noticed and took a photo today (but it isn’t loading on my ipad via icloud and I don’t have phone with me at the moment) of my climbing asters newly planted this summer. They kept getting nibbled back by bunnies until we fenced them off, and then they leafed out nicely. They now have buds soon to open! I’ll take a photo of the blooms when they open up. I’m happy they’re finally kicking off to a good start.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Clementina Pumpkin

 Every day I get photos like this in our fam chat and all I can think is - Clem needs her own calendar. :)