Monday, June 23, 2008

summer solstice, a new star in our constellation, and a very long night

We were very busy on the longest day of the year. We finally met the stellar young miniature donkey Redford, who will be coming to join our family in a few short months. He is a lovely red sorrel with a white star, and very loving and quiet compared to the bold, take-charge Rafer Johnson. (who is also very loving, but Rafer has a more insistent personality, I think)

We have photos, but so many that I haven't had a moment to sort through them. I'll post one as soon as I can.

We were lucky enough to meet several other young donkeys, including one born only 24 hours earlier. All I can say is, never ever go visit donkeys if you don't want your own herd! They are simply adorable and will steal your heart given about 10 seconds. If we had more acres we would have come home owning not only Redford, but three others to boot. What a herd that would be!

Upon return home Rafer Johnson seemed to know we'd been visiting other donkeys, because he turned on the "I am the most loving donkey in the universe and here, let me show you just how many hugs I can give!" He has been all over me and daughter since we got back. I explained to him that Redford is very special and will be a good friend to us all, but that of course Rafer is the first donkey and the one who stole our hearts first.

The longest day turned into quite a long night for us as well. At her evening feed, Salina had a choke episode. We had a very brief and easily resolved choke episode with Cody a year ago, and thus knew what to do in the moment. However, it became obvious that Salina's was not clearing, so we called the vet, who had us monitor for 30 more minutes just to be sure, and then she headed on over.

At one a.m. Sunday morning Salina was sedated in the barn aisle with a tube all the way to the opening of her stomach, which is where the blockage was. It cleared instantly when the tube touched it. Salina was thankfully very calm during the entire ordeal, from beginning to end. Rafer became a little agitated, so I took him back to visit the geldings in the field while Salina was totally "out" and getting the tubing done. As she woke up, I brought him back, and he helped her wake up the rest of the way. Thank goodness for wonderful vets and for miniature donkeys who are as loyal and loving as can be to their human and equine family.

Salina is now having both feed and hay soaked, and I've split her two feed meals into four to reduce the amount going in at one time. I'll probably leave her off the black oil sunflower seeds, but will have to replace those calories with something different. I'll be researching that over the next few days. Her teeth were just checked and were great, so we're assuming this was just one of those bizarre things that happened.

It was a relief to see though that her usual easy demeanor with vet procedures is intact.

Update, for anyone interested in dietary horse stuff: I'll be adding in Max-E-Glo stabilized rice bran meal in place of the black oil sunflower seeds. It will soak well, add the extra fat and calories, and give her lots of good Vit. E and antioxidants. She's gobbling down the soaked hay, and the geldings seem to think it's some kind of treat. They keep grabbing mouthfuls of it as I pass by with her tub.

And Keil Bay is turning into a roping man this week. Every morning he's been taking a lead rope off the hook outside his stall and twirling it in the air while I get breakfasts ready. What a crew!


Grey Horse Matters said...

Welcome back!
Glad to hear that Salina is feeling better with no adverse effects from her choke episode. That is very scary.
Redford is adorable. I'll bet you can't wait until he comes home.
Keil Bay sounds as if he wants to be a roping cowboy. He better watch he doesn't put an eye out, like my mother used to say.
You've certainly been busy these last few days.

Janet Roper said...

Love the post. It's amazing what the new solstice energies bring in, isn't it? Thanks for sharing!

billie said...

Arlene, I'm not entirely sure I'm completely back, but I appreciate the sentiment!

I'm going to see how things roll this week and I may need to turn comments off again. For now I'll enjoy them, though... :)

My understanding about the choke is that if you treat it very quickly it rarely has negative after-effects. We've been lucky so far, with our 2 episodes.

It's going to be such a treat to see Rafer and Redford meet and make friends. I'm also looking forward to seeing how Salina responds.

Keil Bay basically wants to up the ante with his ability to charm me - in hopes that I will give him more breakfast. He had been tossing halters for a number of days and when that didn't get quite the same reaction from me, i.e. charmed laughter and a barrage of compliments on his incredible personality, he merely came up with something better. A friend suggested we learn to work cows, and oddly enough, I have looked up two farms in the past year who do just that with dressage horses. Maybe he's giving me a hint...!

There is so much going on here. I've not written a quarter of it on the blog, and that's why I'm seriously wondering if I should be blogging at all right now.

We'll see. Thanks for coming by so quickly!

billie said...

Janet, thank you. It did not escape my notice that the solstice did indeed bring some powerful energy this year.

There is of course a subtext to this whole post that I simply don't have time to write here, but as usual, Salina is on the far forward edge of knowing and revealing. How fascinating it is to live with her and walk through all the layers of things she presents to me.

the7msn said...

Billie, Redford is so stinkin' cute! I just can't wait for him to join your herd so we can read all about it -- but no pressure. Blogging should not add pressure to anyone's life. (That's another way of saying it's ok if you don't comment on our comments.)

billie said...

Hey, Linda... no pressure from outside - just my own compulsion to respond to comments (b/c I enjoy them and want to respond) that I need to balance.

I am certain I won't be able to resist sharing the entry of Redford into this crew of personalities plus... :)

Hope all is well at 7MSN. I have been loving all the photos.

Anonymous said...

Say, have you tried adding rice bran oil??I buy mine by the case of gallons at I use the rest to cook with-works great for all of us people and horses.

billie said...

Hi, Anon... I have heard of using the oil versus the bran itself, and it seems there are pros and cons to each method, although I suspect the dietary benefits are the same.

I'm starting with the rice bran meal, but if it seems cumbersome, I'll try the oil. :)

Thanks for reminding me of this option - and I'd love to read more about how it's working for your horses if you feel like sharing that here.

Rising Rainbow said...

I can hardly watch the mini donks during foaling season on Marestare because I want to bring them all home. They are so darn cute.

billie said...

MiKael, I would never make a breeder - would never want to sell a single foal!