Zach you rock!
I have been over on facebook alot and have let this site go neglected. My apologies. I am going to crank it up again and start posting more about what’s happening at the farm. I promise to do better and hope you will come back to check on my updates.
Terry Kevlin sent some pictures of her horse PIP. She has boarded him here at Avalon Farms for a number of years and has enjoyed many hours in the saddle with him riding our trails.
Dolly & Hendrix are still at the Trainer’s place. Dolly is finishing up and working on trailer loading. She’ll be coming home soon. Hendrix has one more month and he has started trail riding and learning to move out. He has accepted the rider so now he just needs to learn his gates. I got a nice running walk the other day…very smooth. Hilda’s assistant, Therasa has been getting it with more consistancy than me but at least I got him going enough to feel it.
Fall has arrived at the farm. The leaves are beautiful. I got our last cutting of hay a few weeks ago and the woodpile is full. Ready for whatever mother nature has in store.
Hendrix did very well and he was gelded today. A break in the weather before the real winter cold was the perfect time to do it. Dr Thomas and his assistant came out at 11am. I didn’t feed Hendrix beforehand…just hay. I had a few hours so I played with him for a while, haltered him and brushed him. Two cars and two new people were a bit of pressure on him and after trying the shot to no avail, I agreed to let him twitch him. He stood quietly while the vet put it on his nose and handed it off to me to hold. He stood stock still while the first shot went in his vein. I tried to line him up with the fresh shavings I put down for the occasion. There’s still a muddy mess in all 3 pens. We waited for the medicine to take effect. He started to wobble. Dr Thomas gave him the second shot. He went down right next to the dry shavings…damn.
The procedure took longer than normal as one testicle hadn’t dropped. When he felt for it he said it was at the tip of his fingers. It was stressful as the vet grunted and groaned straining to reach it. Success! He got all of it and we both inspected them laying on the ground. A horse that still has part of a testicle left inside will still behave like an intact stallion. The term is called “proud cut.” Hendrix was now a gelding no question. I told the vet to toss them into the woods and I said a thank you to the universe for their time in the world and for the future horses they will not help produce. Hendrix lay still with a towel covering his eyes.
While he was knocked out the vet assistant gave him his vaccinations and Dr Thomas drew blood for a coggins test. I worked on cleaning out all his feet and putting a medication on them for thrush. It’s a fungus that grows in moisture and with the heavy rain and mud, it was just a precaution. I didn’t see any on him. Other than needing a trim his feet looked good. The vet looked at his teeth and agreed he’s almost 2 years old. He still has baby teeth.
About 20 minutes later he started to breath quick breaths and made a few sounds. That exhale sound they make when they are relaxing, exhaling air through their lips. He was waking up. We chatted and waited. Dr Thomas told me about the day he went to a woman’s farm that raised arabians. He gelded 16 colts in one day. He said the trick was he didn’t start the next one until the last one was on its feet. It was good to see Hendrix get back up on his feet.
As the vet drove off I took off the halter and lead and sat down on his round bale to keep an eye on him. He was still unsteady. I told him if he & I stay healthy we will ride together until I’m 80. Then we will both retire from riding I guess.
After waiting a few hours for the medicine to wear off, I fed him and left him to settle for the night. Our next goal is to prepare him for the trailer ride back across the creek next month to join the rest of the horses at Avalon.
There’s a cut in the middle of my CD Good Woman Blues called “Paul’s Practice session” It’s short…just a clip and the audio quality is poor. It’s me singing one of my songs called “a new kind of lover”and a piano player by the name of Paul. He was my keyboard player when I started my first band. He was a sweetheart and he could play not only my songs but just about every show tune you could think of. He could sing them too…really really well. I miss him. It was the only tape I could find of him when we put the album together. He died at home (a female friend took him into her home when his family disowned him for being gay and for having aids.) You can hide your sexuality but it’s hard to hide lesions when they’re on your face. Back then everyone said it was “the gay disease.” He lost his lover to the disease so I’m glad he had somewhere to go so he didn’t have to die alone. I guess we all die alone really but Paul had friends who loved him like family and helped with what could be helped. Not much…he so wanted a cure to be found. Me too. I went to way too many funerals. I lost way too many friends in the prime of their lives. Read what Sir Elton John wrote in Huffpost for world aids day here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elton-john/aids-prevention_b_1121946.html?ref=yahoo&ir=Yahoo
When I was a kid, growing up around Boston, this is what the police looked like. There were lots of protests going on against Viet Nam. I skipped school one day in high school and went with some friends to sit in at the JFK center in Boston. I watched the police release german Shepard police dogs on protesters as hundreds of us locked arms seated “indian style” on the concrete. People trying to go to work dressed in suits and dresses stepped over us to get in their offices. It was scary…terrifying at times…but even being a witness to that, I still had a respect for the police. I said to myself, “They were just doing their job.” Maybe things got out of hand a bit but we were taking a chance of being arrested and we knew it. The thing was I didn’t feel like I was the ENEMY. It was very conflicting times and I felt like my generation was as odds with “the establishment,” including my own Dad and I, but we weren’t at war with each other. “We,” America,was at war…though undeclared…and I wanted it to stop. So did all of my friends. I still felt in my day to day life, if I ever got into trouble, I could do what my parents had always said. “Go find a police officer…someone in uniform…they will help you.”
In my 20′s I was out of work and I saw an ad for a job a police officer. I didn’t hate them…actually I thought they looked pretty snappy in their uniform and some of them even rode horses. I could see myself doing that. And back then it was one of the few jobs where a woman could wear pants instead of a skirt. Being a baby lesbian at the time, I took things like this into consideration. The “cool” factor was important. Anyway, I applied for the job and went through the background check, the physical testing, mental evaluation and interview process. I passed all of it. Found out I could bench press almost 300lbs with my legs. Of course, I never told them I was gay. I was told there would be an opening at the police academy soon. As I waited, still unemployed and needing a job, I met my future bosses. They were not cops…they owned Treasure Coast TV. Before I was called back to begin my police training I was offered a job an “account executive” selling ads for a brand new 24 hour news channel called CNN. There was a huge poster on the wall in their office of Ted Turner, dressed in cowboy boots. It said, “I was cable when cable wasn’t cool.” The money was very good compared to a police salary although most of it was in commissions so I knew I’d have to bust my butt to pay my bills. I took it. I’ll never know if I would have made a good cop but I believe if I had become one and I saw the job change into what it is today, I would have left the profession.
I don’t know what changed police work. I think the so called “war on drugs” started it. I think the “war on terror” completed the process. Look at these 2 photos and tell me things haven’t changed.
There’s an excellent piece on Randi Rhodes site and alternet about the militarization of our police. I urge you to read it. This isn’t a right vs left issue. We all are paying for this. When I walk into an airport and see cops with M16′s (or whatever it is they use nowadays) I feel sad because it doesn’t feel like my country any more. We never had that here in the US before 9/11. When I went to Denver to cover the Democratic convention on my blog and I saw a black armored vehicle going down the street with a dozen police dressed in riot gear it felt like I was somewhere in a war zone.
Soldiers and police men and women are 2 different things. One is trained to hunt and kill. The other is trained (or was) to serve and protect. I don’t think police need military grade equipment and weaponry to do their job. I don’t think they should be using homeland security grants to pay for it. I don’t think you can hand all this to somebody not expect them to turn into a “soldier.”
I still will walk up to any mounted police officer I see on the street and ask if it’s ok for me to pet their horse. I will admire their fine saddlery and riding boots. I still respect that they put their lives on the line for us every day. However, we still have the Posse Comitatus Act. If the military can’t be the local police but they hand the local police everything they have at their disposal than what’s the difference? I wonder if in my lifetime I’ll ever see a “neighborhood policeman again.” You know who I mean…the guy walking the beat, carrying his stick and his hand gun…keeping the peace. On TV we called him “Andy” but around Boston he was always some Irish guy with a big smile.