BACH or by the BATHTUB

June 3, 2010

I learned something new about Oscar today. He doesn’t like BACH. I play classical music instead of the TV in the mornings and pulled a Bach CD out. The music was playing on a Harpsichord and Organ (think “Addams Family” TV theme) and Oscar immediately fled. I got into the bathtub and here comes Oscar in to join me. Oscar never goes near a tub full of water even when someone he loves is bathing. Being a rescue dog, we assume he has water issues.
He won’t swim in our pool and avoids bathtub scenarios consistently, despite coaxing, cajoling or calling. So here’s Oscar curled up in a ball on the bathroom rug next to the tub. I’m splashing around. He doesn’t budge. I asked him, “what are you doing in here?” and he leaned his head over the edge of the tub with tail and ears drooping. His body language spoke volumes. “Make it stop”.
He remained in the bathroom until I was done bathing. I guess the fear of having a bath was less than listening to BACH was BAD. So I switched to BEETHOVEN and Oscar’s on board with that. In fact, I think he likes BEETHOVEN just fine.


February 25, 2010

In an increasingly frantic and distracted world we tend to rush through experiences rather than savor the moments. Here I can feel Othello’s racing heart as it has a calming affect on my own.

Allure’s little colt

February 24, 2010

This sweet boy is still nameless. I call him George. He had trouble eating after being born. Two grooms held him at the mare’s nipples while I held her head still. The foals’ gestation is 11 months and they are born with a full set of teeth. Ouch!


February 24, 2010

Our long-limbed boy was the first foal of the new year (new decade). He’s as magnificent as he is cuddly.


February 24, 2010

Here at the Ranch we had our first two foals recently. Both colts. The first baby born on the night of Feb 17th. The mare, ” Elsie ” a recipient (surrogate) was straining and moaning with no results. Then the nose appeared first instead of the feet. Glenn called the veterinarian who was unavailable. The mare was in trouble so Glenn reached into the horse’s birth canal to find and free the feet. The next necessary step was to pull out and deliver the most freakishly long-legged colt ever. It was just like the scene in “City Slickers” where Billy Crystal delivered the calf. I even suggested we name him “Norman”.
Then less than 9 hrs later as the farm was coming to life on Thursday morning our mare Allure delivered her colt, another leggy foal.
Its great fun having babies on the Ranch. Both are very friendly and sweet.
Other grand news—-
Nicole and Sean are expecting their first child in late September. Nicole is feeling tired but otherwise well. She finishes her residency July 1st so she’ll have a laying in time and maternity leave before assuming her new full time job as a pediatrician with Childrens Primary Care Medical Group in San Diego.
Stephanie and Mark announced that the baby they are expecting in July will be another boy. Bo will be an awesome big brother. The name they like at this point is Austin Patrick Stefl.
We are feeling very blessed!

Hibber at the Horse Show

February 20, 2010

Here’s Glenn showing our 2 yr old colt Phalanx at the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show with his Top Ten ribbon. Former Islander/Judge Judy Kibler picked Glenn 4th, another picked him 5th and he squeaked onto the last card at 10th. Phalanx won big money at last year’s show as a yearling colt. As always, I was ready with the carrots when the colt got back to his stall. Glenn ate his treat– a breakfast crepe and was very casual but happy about winning.
Good weather at the show until just after this photo was taken. Then the skies opened and it poured rain.
Next Glenn shows “Glory Be” in her yearling filly class! Go Glenn!

Having a Ball with BO

January 30, 2010

LOOK! he’s multiple-tasking. Bo and I were rolling the exercise ball around the gym. He contentedly munched on a Graham cracker and chewed as we covered the distance between the walls. He is a boy who loves BALLS. I found a white hard rubber baseball sized ball on my morning walk. I gave it to Bo and he carries it everywhere. He bounces it, rolls it, chases and follows it! He even has a secret place where he hides it (under the couch cushion). He is so extraordinary and I am loving our time together this week.

One of the Herd

January 15, 2010

This is Artemisia, my 3 yr old mare in the pasture in front of our house at the Ranch.
Horses are herd animals. Most won’t want to stay and enjoy the beautiful sunshine or munching on sweet green grass if they have to be ALONE. It gets tricky when transferring them from stall to pasture and back again. The horses will crowd the gate looking to the groom with a “pick me” plea. As nice as it is to be outside, most would rather go back into the dungeon like barn than to be the last one left out
in the field. Artemisia is looking for her friends in this 2nd shot. She whinnied and paced at the fence. She practically rejected the carrots I had to give her —so frantic was she to go wherever the other mares went.
Do people feel a similar tug to be with the “herd”?
On many occasions I know I do.


January 7, 2010

I never get tired of seeing our baby horses doing cute things like lying down, wearing a blankey, eating and appreciating a neck rub or back scratch!

Love the Ones You’re With

January 2, 2010

What a difference a year makes. We are settled in at Rancho Palmira. But with visiting trainers, leased barns and (rental) horses in most stalls, the Ranch has a different feel to it. in previous years we would have had 18-25 pregnant mares warming up to go into the Maternity Barn. This year we have two recipients (Elsie & Debbie) plus Echstancia, Allure and Khrush (sale pending) carrying foals. That’s only 5 babies in 2010. And they may be less fortunate than the baby Jesus who was laid in a manger. All of our barns are full to overflowing with other people’s horses. These old gals may have to give birth in our dark, cold and lowly portable stalls out back.
I need far fewer carrots as I make my rounds with brushes and hugs. Our girl horses are out in the Mare Motel. They are a shaggy lot so I’ve got my work cut out for me. Some manes are so knotted that I’ll be giving some horse haircuts soon. I’m locating their blankets as night time temperatures are dipping into the 40’s. I’ll be advocating for them with our very busy grooms. These horses are never top priority.
EVERYBODY had a birthday yesterday on January 1st. All horses turn ONE or a year older. I was singing to them as I greeted who was left among our shrinking herd. Sadly no one wanted to wear a party hat!
We’re not in much of a party mood here lately. Glenn is selling and giving away our horses at an alarming rate. My stallion Farramond was gone without me getting to say good-bye. Lots of babies that I got to cuddle and name last year are trucking out of here.
So far my mare Artimissia is staying. Our grand stallion Star Ghazal has been kicked out of his place of honor in the Training Barn and exiled out back. Nothing much matters but the bottom line, I guess. Prime spots in the main barn go to PAYING customers or Melanie’s horses (long story).
We are still in a battle over evicting our former Ranch managers. Our attorneys fees are astronomical. Its all just terribly sad.
But as we go through this valley there are still some places where care and kindness will matter. There are horses displaced who will need the time and extra TLC I can give them. At least four foals will still be “little miracles” no matter where they end up being born.
AND in perspective:
It is better to have loved and lost these horses than to never have known them at all!
As the old song says, .”If you can’t be with the ones you love . . . love the ones you’re with!”