Saturday, October 18, 2008

a shocking turn of events (with a really wonderful outcome)

It became quite apparent this morning that Salina has gone into a full-blown cycle of heat. :0

She went out to the field with the geldings after breakfast and by 2 p.m. had not come back up to the barn. She stuck to Keil Bay like glue and then decided (poor Keil Bay!) that maybe the younger man was the one to pursue. She followed Cody all over the back field all day long. He was quite flabbergasted that the black monster mare suddenly wanted to be with HIM, the lowly bottom of the herd order gelding.

At one point she was sniffing his hindquarters and he turned slowly around at the neck with the funniest expression on his face. What's going ON back there?

It would be hilarious if not for one lonely little donkey stuck inside the barn.

Rafer Johnson and I spent the morning and much of the afternoon listening to NPR while I did chores. He was clearly missing Salina and didn't understand why she wasn't coming when he called. I opened up his lick ball, gave him lots of neck scratches, and we got caught up in "Car Talk."

Rafer's little fetlock, having been unused for 6 weeks, was a bit puffy yesterday. The vet came by to check up on him, and said he felt it would resolve pretty quickly on its own. But Rafer is stall-bound until it improves. I have given him a homeopathic remedy and it is less puffy today, but given the whimsy of the mare, I decided it might be time to make a change.

So I emailed our donkey experts and we have all agreed that it's time for Redford to come cheer up the troops!

Ken and Marty have generously offered to bring Redford tomorrow morning so that Rafer Johnson doesn't have to spend another day wondering what in the world his best friend Salina is up to. He will have Redford right next door to keep him company!

And when he can resume his twice daily turn-outs, he can do so with Redford, at least until Salina passes through this phase. My worries about the suddenly agile and unpredictable mare bumping into a casted donkey are over.

We are so excited - I have been thinking of Redford for the past few days, and now he will be here tomorrow! I think it's just what the doctor ordered for phase two of Rafer's convalescence.

Thank you, Ken and Marty. You are the very best.


the7msn said...

OMG! That is too exciting! I had no idea what I was expecting from the title of your post, but it certainly wasn't Redford's arrival. Can't wait to hear the stories.

Victoria Cummings said...

Well, I'm relieved and excited for Rafer. I hope that he and Redford will become best donkey buddies. Looking forward to the pictures of them.

billie said...

Linda, it was a rather sudden epiphany on my part. It's not exactly what I had planned for, but given the bond Salina has with Rafer, it might be the best thing for Redford to arrive while she is otherwise preoccupied. It will probably lessen the intensity all around.

And Rafer needs his buddy now, so I think it's time.

I kept thinking Salina needed some time off, but boy, I really didn't expect THIS!

Janet Roper said...

Now that is good news!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Silly mare!! Funny how they lose their minds a bit when their hormones rush in, isn't it?
My mare is a little bit different, in that, she flirts and 'winks', but she is truly a tease. I can just see it in her eyes that she's saying, "Betcha want me boys, but you can't have me".

My friend, Val, calls my girl the old spinster, even though she's only 15. She's had one baby, and I think she's like, "Been there done that, not interested." lol!

Anyway, I must know more about Redford! Are Rafer and Redford longtime friends?
I've only been reading your terrific blog for a few months now, so I probably have missed something very important. But I hope you talk about Redford and how he fits into Rafer's life.

How exciting!
So many changes taking place :)


billie said...

It IS, Janet - we're so excited.

Lisa, Redford is the miniature donkey we bought the day he was born, knowing already with little Rafer settling in so well that we wanted TWO of them.

Redford has been with his mom, and then with his donkey herd, growing and learning all about life, and he was supposed to come in early Sept. when he had turned 6 months old and was weaned.

But the Sunday before Redford's arrival, Rafer broke his leg, and the vet advised us to wait before bringing Redford to the farm.

Rafer and Redford's amazing breeders, Ken and Marty, generously allowed Redford to stay with them until Rafer was ready.

Redford is a gorgeous red sorrel with a white star!

You would love visiting Ken and Marty's farm - they have llamas too!

billie said...

Thanks, Victoria. He is here! I have a Pony Club parents' meeting tonight and have been busy all day with the welcoming of the young Redford to our herd, but hopefully can get a new post up soon with some pictures and the story of Redford's arrival.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Oh Billie!
Thank you for explaining. Now I'm even more excited about 'meeting' Redford! And it sounds like he's been given the perfect name. I bet he's gorgeous!

Yes, it does sound like I'd enjoy Ken and Marty's Farm. lol! I do love me some llamas! You know my critter tendencies well! :)


Victoria Cummings said...

Billie - I've been checking your blog for updates - So happy to here that Redford's being welcomed in his new home - Can't wait for the details! You must have your hands full right now, so we'll all be very patient.

billie said...

I got home at 11:30 last night! That meeting went on and on. This morning we have 4 horse dentals, then Kenzie has to go to her dressage lesson. Tomorrow we have hoof trims all around first thing. Hopefully I can get the photos transferred later today.

But all is well. It was the right decision. We had freezing temps last night for the first time and horses in blankets - and thank goodness, Rafer Johnson had a snuggle buddy to share the warmth. :)

Victoria Cummings said...

Billie - Our friend, Callie, has ghosted forward to me and I'm ghosting forward to you - To understand what this means, please stop by and visit me!

AnnL said...

Just stopping in and getting caught up. Soooo glad to hear that Rafer is doing so well AND he has a new buddy! Looking forward to the pics!

Grey Horse Matters said...

These mares and their cycles, what's a poor little donkey to do. I'm so happy to hear Redford will be arriving or has already arrived. I'm sure he and his big brother will be the best of friends. Rafer won't have to worry where his mare is when he needs her.

billie said...

Victoria, thank you - I went over and read all about the ghosting forward - and it is something I totally would love to do - but I am swamped here!

I so appreciate your kind words and I really enjoyed the story you wrote about the original owner of your farm. He sounds like a true guardian.

I hope someone else will pitch in and write in my place - it's a great idea!

billie said...

Thanks, Ann. It's good to see you here again. Photos coming - finally I can take a breather and work on it!

billie said...

Arlene, isn't that the truth? Now that Salina is completely off the soy-based feed and fully on the beet pulps and whole oats, she is finally putting on some needed weight. I wonder if that has triggered the heat cycle this time.

In any case, Redford is here and Rafer is happy to have him!