Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

By Royal Decree:
From this point forward, Her Highness, Queen Estes
Peasant!  You dare take my picture?!
Will now be fed her full meal
That's right, Peasant Woman, bow down before me.
And not rationed like a commoner!

(Or so she demands.  Not happening, but I am more than thrilled to see that she's got her attitude back.)

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Governor Called...

...and ordered a stay of execution for Queen Estes.

She was much, much worse this morning despite the four a.m. pooping episode.  I called the vet, told him it was time to put her down.  Took just over an hour for him to get up here and she looked even worse by the time he got here.  He tranquilized her, gave her more banamine and we discussed treatment options, none of which were feasible.  Mom and I agreed it wouldn't kill her (pardon the pun) for her to have a "last meal" since the plan was to put her down, we just had to iron out the logistics, so Mom threw her a handful of hay.

At the lodge, we got the numbers for local disposal services, decided to tube her one. last. time.

We bundled up, because it was raining cats and dogs, and headed back over to the pen.  And there stood my horse: eyes bright, ears forward, looking for more food.

She's still not moving much poop and what she is moving is laden with sand, but it looks like she's stepped off of the banana peels she had three of her hooves on.

We loaded her in the trailer and took her for a twenty minute ride hoping to shake some of the poop loose.  She didn't poop in the trailer, but she sure was excited to get back to the lodge and trotted her way back to the pen, announcing *loudly* her return home.

If I didn't know that she'd literally been at death's door two hours ago, I would have never guessed.

I'm more than just cautiously optimistic at this point, I'm full-on optimistic that she'll pull through.

Thank you, everyone, for your thoughts and prayers.

We Have Poop

Hardly enough to write home about, but about fifteen minutes ago Queen Estes managed to poop a very small quantity.  Looks much more normal than the kitty litter yesterday.

Her belly's still grossly distended, but I can hear gut sounds just standing next to her.  The vet said she had large colon distension, which indicates a blockage.  I'm worried that we're moving stuff through her, only to add to the blockage in her large colon.

She'd been down and rolled during my three hour nap; I hope she stretched out and slept a little too.

Her second dose of banamine is wearing off and I didn't have the forethought to ask Compass for the vial so I could give her another dose if she needed it.  Instead, I managed to get half a dose of Bute down her - who knows if it will help her discomfort or not, but it made me feel better to do some sort of pain management.

I'm terribly worried about dehydration - she hasn't had anything to drink since I came up yesterday at 1:00 pm.  I offer it and she looks at me with the most pathetic eyes.  I'd love to give her IV fluids with some electrolytes, but at 4:00 am, none of the vet places are open.  Not that I know how to set an IV in a horse, but I bet that it's awfully similar to doing so in a human, which I can do.

Off to bed for another couple of hours before my next trip to the pen.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Call

Today, I call the dreaded call..."GunDiva, Estes is colicking, better get up here."

We don't panic about much up here.  Not much at all; not even a little bout of colic.  For Bill to make that call, Estes had to be in a bad way.  She was and she is.  This is what her poop looked like, right before she stopped pooping.
Wet kitty litter.  That's what it looks like.

Vet came, tubed her, gave her a ton of metamucil and some drugs.  Compass had already given her banamine.  The vibe I got from the vet was that he didn't think she'd make it through the night (not that he said that).  I don't know.  I was cautiously optimistic earlier today, but as the sun goes down and she's refusing water and not pooping, my spirits are flagging a bit.

Mom's posted about it over on her blog.

I'll post more, when I have more news.  Until then, I'm off to stand vigil over the equine love of my life.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Around the Block with Asset

Yesterday I went up the hill for a quick ride.  I wasn't able to ride last week, so Queen Estes was getting antsy about not working.

Asset, until a year or so ago, was afeered of horses.  I managed to get her to just sit on Estes on Mother's Day last year - since then she's decided that Estes is a pretty good horse.  I'm kinda partial to her as well.

Asset was so excited about going to see the horses that she "helped" me with my boots.  By picking them up and dropping them repeatedly in my lap while I was talking to Nebalee.  I'm sure poor Asset thought I was taking for-ev-ah getting my boots on, but she managed to keep herself in check long enough for me to finish up with Nebalee.

I took Asset over to the pen with me and told her she had to stay outside while I went in and caught Estes.  Jesse hasn't been out in a while either and is getting stir-crazy.  I didn't want to try to keep an eye on a three year-old with two squirrely mares.  For once, Asset stood patiently outside the pen while I took Estes out of the pen.  Asset was so excited, that I just plopped her up on Estes' back and told her to hold onto the mane.

That mare of mine was so wonderful.  She walked slowly and carefully beside me back to the Lodge.  Asset grinned the whole way.

Asset then helped me groom Estes.  Let me tell you...Estes' front legs have never gotten so much attention before.

I threw on a pad and a bareback pad, as Estes has dropped a bunch of weight recently and her top line looks like crap.  It makes for very uncomfortable riding without padding. (Don't worry, we're addressing it.  Her weight loss happens every year.)

I had promised Asset I'd let her ride around the block with me, so I sent her into the Lodge to get a helmet on and mounted up on Estes.  Estee got so excited that we were going to go out - and I'm sure she thought she was done having to behave with the chillin - that she almost spun out from under me when I mounted.  I got her back under control and told Nebalee to lift Asset up to me.  Estee was dancing in place, obviously wanting to GO, but when she saw Nebalee pick up Asset, she let out a sigh, squared up and contained herself.

You can tell she's not super excited about the prospect of hauling a kid around, but she's getting soft in her old age.

I love my mare.

When we were done playing nice aunt and her horsie, Estee and I went out on the mountain for a quick ride with Bill and Ranger.  And by quick, I mean at one point I heard Bill behind me holler, "I don't really enjoy loping!"  And that would be because Ranger lopes like a porpoise, up and down with very little forward movement.

Last time Estee and I went out, I couldn't move her into a canter, she just kept stretching out that long, beautiful Morgan gait while Bill and Ranger galloped to catch up.  Yesterday, we went from a stand-still to a canter in about a stride and a half.  Guess she really, really wanted to get out of the pen.

Just in case you missed it earlier: I love my mare.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Horse Master 2011

Julie Goodnight, Heidi (Producer/Director), Cheryl (Wardrobe Wrangler), Petra (Cast Member, adopted Crew Member), Sharon (Key Grip), me (Grip), Lucy (Assistant Instructor) and Steve (Videographer)

Last week before High Country Rendezvous, I had the privilege of working with the Horse Master with Julie Goodnight crew again.  It was like a family reunioun to see everyone again.  Last year, Heidi tried to kill us by shooting eight episodes in four days.  Since she failed in her mission to kill us last year, she upped the ante to ten episodes and a DVD in four days this year.

We were completely blessed last year - pretty much everything went perfectly and we finished up early every day.  This year.  Not so much.  We actually cheered when we had a "short" day - only 11.5 hours.  However, we got some great episodes.

This is Christy and Jessie - their episode is about trail obstacles, specifically gate opening/closing, but the biting flies were so bad that they took a dip in the pond to chase off the flies.

Francine and Hero with Julie and Dale Myler - a bitting episode to help Francine with her reining horse.

Heidi, besides being the Director/Producer for Horse Master is also an accomplished equine photographer and owns The Whole Picture.

Joli and her horse Katrina - Katrina had a bit of an issue with canter departure.

Julie and Dually taking a dip in the pond to hide from the flies.  All I could think was, "Ugh, I hate the feeling of wet jeans".  Good thing it was Julie, not me.

Petra and her horse Maximus - the coolest thing about them is that Petra has trained Maximus by herself, using all of Julie's methods.  Maximus was a delight and so wonderfully trained - Petra's done an amazing job with him.

This is Chaco - he and I had a little equine love affair.  Beel Bill called me an equi-slut for cheating on Estes while I was away at Horse Master.  Whatever.  Even Estes would fall in love with this seven year-old BLM mustang.  Thursday was a rough day; we were all exhausted and I had reached the breaking point.  Chaco gave me all sorts of horsey hugs and greatly improved my mood.

Rachel and Rooster - one of the two bitting episodes with Dale Myler.  Rooster's a young 'un, four years old, and Rachel's hoping to run barrels on him in the future.  He just needed some help to relax.

Our daily rain delay.  This did not help shorten our days at all.  We did get pretty good at tearing down and setting up between rain storms.

Tony and Chaco - this episode was supposed to be about a spooky horse, but Chaco was anything but spooky.  So much for a fire-breathing scary mustang.  He did have some basic skills to learn that a dead-broke horse like he is should have.  Being a mustang, he picked it up quickly.

We also taped four episodes of colt-starting, but I was far too enthralled with the process to think to take any pictures.  The colt-starting episodes will be turned into part of Julie's "From the Ground" DVD series (a lot more goes into the DVD than what will be seen on the TV show).  Sadly, I had to leave for RomCon before I got to see help with the final episode - teaching cues.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Goat Trail

I was going to wait to post about the Goat Trail, but Beel managed to get the video uploaded, so I thought I'd share the scariest part of the ride.  Pics will follow when I return.