What a year so far

Well, I had hoped 2010 might be a little bit quieter than 2009 but so far that is not the case. It seems like there is some new excitement every day.

My cousin, Sonny, who helped me so much with my fence has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. He has been having some confusion and memory problems for a few months but lately he has gone downhill fast. The tumor is not in an area that can be operated on but he has no pain and feels great otherwise. This is a big shock for all of us but Sonny is not worried and we have to all follow his lead.

Between helping my cousins and the freezing weather I have not had much time to ride. My cousins and I have central heat but the wood stoves sure help cut down on the heating bills. My brother, Morry, cut a bunch of wood and I took it to my neighbors to get it split.

I have been burning some damp wood and the creosote build up from the slow burning caused a chimney fire. I had heard about this and luckily I had a fire chimney fire suppressant handy but it still took a few years off my life. Since then I have split all my wood and burned a chimney sweep log.

In preparing for the hard freeze last week I managed to lock myself in my well house. I had my phone and all my coats on and my neighbor came and rescued me. I now have a string from the outside latch to inside so this won’t happen again.

Later the same morning I went to start my car and all the buzzers started going off and the doors kept locking and unlocking. A call to my mechanic, brother determined that my car was not possessed but it needed a new battery. I was able to get this taken care of before the really cold weather hit.

I am sure some people think we are sissies here in south Texas but to us 12 degrees is major COLD! For 3 days I did almost nothing but break ice, carry out bran mashes, check blankets, check heat lamps and throw extra hay.

Usually I don’t like to blanket the horses unless it is raining and cold but when the front blew in with 30 mile an hour winds and the temp dropped rapidly everyone was excited about having a blanket. I always feed extra hay when it is cold but with severe cold I also like to give warm bran mashes. This ensures everyone gets plenty of water and the horses love the extra attention.

All the animals stayed up close to the house and my baby chicks had to huddle under a heat lamp since their mean mother weaned them 2 days earlier. I begged her to stay with them through the cold wave but she had had enough of motherhood.

So the first few weeks of this year have been a blur. I am so blessed to have such great friends and neighbors. Whatever the rest of the year brings, I am excited and ready. Madalyn

My neighbor with "Chewy" - goats make everything fun

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About Madalyn Ward, DVM

This blog provides information based on my unique take on horse health and well being. The articles are based on experience of treating and working with horses for over 40 years. In most cases the articles are focused on an holistic approach to health and management. When conventional medicine offers good research or therapy, I share this information as well. Madalyn Ward, DVM

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