Missing in Action

Oh the last few days have been hectic. As much as I try to post daily, I’ve come to the conclusion that some days when things go all wrong, It’s just not going to happen. I wish I had the man power to post daily or multiple times a day like some of the big bloggers do, but with just me, a 2 month old, a farm full of animals & a husband that doesn’t get home from work until dark, I just don’t. This weekend has been incredibly long.

On thursday afternoon, right about the time Ryan was supposed to be getting home I looked out my kitchen window while doing dishes and saw all the horses walking up the fence from the far back corner of the pasture. The back part of the pasture is down a hill & hidden by trees, so during the day I often don’t see the horses until they come back up to the house to eat. My baby, Yankee, was walking very slowly behind everyone else. When he stopped to sniff the ground and dropped down to roll in the snow, I had a gut feeling that something was very wrong. I kept trying to tell myself that he was just enjoying the new snow we had gotten the night before(the first all winter). When Ryan got home a few minutes later I handed off the baby and grabbed a lead rope & halter to go catch him. When I walked up to him he had just tried to get up from a roll but didn’t even have the strength for that. He was sitting on his butt like a dog does and just shaking. Once I finally got him up he just stood there shaking & trying to sniff, bite & kick at his stomach. For those of you who aren’t horse people, these are all signs of Colic.

Wikipedia defines colic as follows:

Colic in horses is defined as abdominal pain, but it is a clinical sign rather than a diagnosis. The term colic can encompass all forms of gastrointestinal conditions which cause pain as well as other causes of abdominal pain not involving the gastrointestinal tract. The most common forms of colic are gastrointestinal in nature and are most often related to colonic disturbance. There are a variety of different causes of colic, some of which can prove fatal without surgical intervention. Colic surgery is usually an expensive procedure as it is major abdominal surgery, often with intensive aftercare. Among domesticated horses, colic is the leading cause of premature death. The incidence of colic in the general horse population has been estimated between 10 and 11 percent on an annual basis. It is important that any person who owns or works with horses be able to recognize the signs of colic and determine whether or not a veterinarian should be called.

In other words, colic is a stomach ache for the horse. If it gets bad enough, the horses intestines can twist causing a blockage that cannot be fixed without surgery. Colic is a very very serious & often expensive problem. It is also far to often fatal. We had been lucky enough to not have any horses colic on us but our luck ran out on thursday.

Once I got Yankee up & out of the pasture, we just started walking around in circles while Ryan called the vet. Walking helps prevent the horse from rolling which can cause the intestines to twist. The vet told us to go ahead and give a dose of banamine which is a pain reliever for livestock. It can give relief from the colic and sometimes even stop it completely. Within 30 minutes, Yankee was back from being totally zoned out & in huge amounts of pain to being his goofy, trying to eat your sweatshirt self. After calling the vet back we were told to not feed him that night and to give him a small amount of feed in the morning.

Friday morning rolls around and Yankee got a very small amount of hay that he seemed to do alright with. I went ahead and gave him a little more about 1pm. Shortly after, when I checked on him I was dismayed to find him colicing. Again. Another call to the vet, another shot of banamine. Again about half an hour later he’s back to his old self. He wasn’t in any pain at that point so the vet decided to wait until saturday morning to examine him.

Saturday morning, Ryan hauled Yankee to town to go see the vet. He did not see our regular vet, but rather one of the vets Ryan had been working with at work. Mostly because we still aren’t sure our regular vet would even drive out as far as our farm. We live 45 minutes away from the clinic. This other vet is only about 25 minutes away. The problem out here is that while the vets treat everything(our regular vets treat birds to cattle), they don’t really specialize in anything other than cattle. In order to find an “equine vet”, we would have to haul to a clinic in Wichita which is more than an hour & a half away.

The vet examined him & did a fecal exam. Yankee had plenty of gut sounds which is a great thing. In a horse, a silent gut = very bad. His fecal exam showed that he had a bunch of sand in his system which could have caused him to colic. The vet also thought it might be from his diet but couldn’t be sure. Ryan came home with a bunch of questions but not a whole lot of answer or direction.

The problem with Yankee is he is thin, he is always thin. He does much better during the summer but not nearly as well as some horses do. We have tried every different feed, supplement, medication, dewormers, etc. Everything we could think of for the last 3 years. We still don’t have any answers to why he is the way he is. It is very discouraging to not want to take your horse anywhere because people think you are starving your horse when he eats more than 3 other horses combined!

After this weekend we have some new direction with things to try. We will not give up until we find what works. Yankee is my big 1100lb baby. He’s a pain in the butt to ride but he is an incredibly honest horse. He is a great trail horse and will go over, under, through ANYTHING. He has never refused to do something I asked him to do on trail. I will not quit on my boy!

SO this whole fiasco is why I didn’t get any posts up on Friday or Saturday. I have this whole week all planned out & it should be good so I hope you check back daily! Thanks guys!

Yankee back when he was still racing on the track.

My favorite view...

Yankee's favorite gait. If he's not loping, he's not happy.

Quiet moments...

Our last show together before Maverick was born

Super Bowl

I know I don’t normally post on sundays but I just had to take a minute to say GO PATRIOTS! That is all. :-D

Thank God for Rain!

Lets try this again…I THOUGHT this post had been posted last night…but apparently it wasn’t! P.S. Update on the water situation – It’s all fixed now :-)

Today has been the biggest blessing! After having months of the worst drought that this area has seen in years, We finally got rain! We got 4+” inches of rain. 4″ is more rain then we have had TOTAL for the last 12 months. It was awesome to be able to lay in bed and listen to the thunder & the rain on the roof! Our ponds have all filled back up again…they’ve been dry for months now. This will help so much going into the spring.

I have learned living out here to never take things for granted. This morning when I woke up at 4am to feed Maverick, I went to get a glass of water and the water coming out of the sink was brown…like bottom of the pond brown. I went back into the bedroom and tried to tell Ryan. At first he simply responded with a “uh huh” but eventually I got him out of bed to go find out what was wrong. Thank goodness for men right? Apparently the pump house for the well pump was flooded which caused something to go wrong with the pump. So far Ryan’s gotten the pump going again and we have water, it’s just still a little murky. I’m hoping by tomorrow it will be clear again because I have a sink full of dishes to wash!

I wasn’t the only one enjoying the water – our horses were having a blast too! They spent the entire day running around acting like foals. Ryan’s horse wiped out at least once in the mud…and then stood up looking around as if looking to see if anyone saw him fall. He then proceeded to start running around again. Apparently he didn’t get the hint the first time!

I am thanking God for the rain that he has provided. For us in the agriculture business, rain is everything. We may not have crops, but our horses & cattle need hay to survive and with no water, we have no hay! We are still continuing to pray that this spring brings a lot more rain!

I took some video of the ponies playing in the mud(this was all taken from my front door):

First Post Woohoo!

Ah the beloved first post. I suppose in theory the first post of a new blog is supposed to elude to the direction the blog is supposed to take, but who can know for sure where they are going with only post number one? I have plans in my head for where I would like the Kansas Happy Homemaker to go, but only time will tell if they succeed.

The overall goal is for this blog to be one that is updated several times a week with recipes, gardening things, arts & craft projects, or other things going on in my life. I hope it can be somewhat informational and help people realize that being a homemaker, house wife, stay at home mom – whatever you want to call it, is not a bad thing. It’s not a real glamorous job, but it is the funnest job you will ever have.

A little background on myself. I NEVER pictured myself being a homemaker. I had grand plans for my career back in NY where I grew up. Before my husband & I got married in 2009 it took a lot of prayer to decide where to live. After much denial & dislike, I came to the conclusion that God wanted me to move to Kansas where my husband grew up – Kansas, the ONLY place I have EVER said “I NEVER want to live there!” God has a sense of humor, that’s for sure! When I got married, I did not even know how to make pancakes and doing the laundry was a daunting task. I tried working when we first moved to Kansas, but having to commute 45 minutes one way to work(we live in a VERY rural area) ate up more funds than I was bringing in. After several weeks of discussion, we decided that I would become a homemaker for the time being & see how it went. That was two years ago, and after much trial & error not only is housework & laundry not a daunting task…I can COOK as well! It’s all learned skills, ones that many women today do not grow up learning which makes it difficult when they get married.

Our first son was born Dec 14th 2011 and it has been a major learning curve trying to figure out now how to get everything done with an infant around. It can be tough but I absolutely would not have it any other way. He & my husband are the best things that have ever happened to me. I never would have imagined that after searching so hard all over the world for my “dream job” it would have been found on a little farm in the middle of nowhere.

I hope you enjoy this blog & decide to stick around!