Sunday, February 24, 2013

Jackson Moves Out

Last night the wind picked up and we heard it howl around our bedroom throughout the night, rattling the fence and slapping the trees.  This morning was sunny and bright; so bright that it hurt your eyes. But the wind was icy cold.

Guess who joined the herd yesterday afternoon?

When we got home from our trail ride yesterday, with a very tired Winston and mellow Mufasa, we decided to try moving Jackson out with the herd.  He looks so forlorn in his paddock.  We were hopeful that Winston and Mufasa wouldn't push him around.

They all behaved beautifully.  Mufasa has been here long enough for herd dynamics to be established.  Other than some polite discussions between Mufasa and Jackson about who is at the very bottom of the pecking order, things are mellow yellow. 

Even at feeding time.  Flash has taken over the run in shed.  It's the herd king's palace, apparently.  He eats in there and enjoys the shade.  He doesn't share.

Jackson, Mufasa and the donkeys settle in together at the lunch pole.

Winston tried to gain access to the palace -- and failed.  He ambled down to join the group; making sure they all understood that he ranks above them, just below Flash.

In other news, poor little Kersey is having a rough time.  She's never been the hardiest dog in terms of her joints.  She was tested for hip dysplasia as a puppy and didn't display any symptoms.  However, she pulled a muscle in her hind about a year ago (or more) and it has never completely healed.  She's always a bit gimpy in the morning and if she lands on it funny, she will yelp.  Last night, when I let the dogs in at bedtime Kersey could hardly make it to the bedroom.  She was shaking like a leaf and didn't want anything except her bed.  This morning she couldn't follow Brett and Sedona to go outside.  She tried to get up, sat back down, and looked miserable.  Brett came back and carried her outside, all 80 solid pounds of her.  I gave her a pain pill and her muscle meds.  She was doing much better at lunch time.
Sedona and Kersey, best friends

I love you, Sedona.  Kiss kiss.
I'm going to put her on a two week regiment of the medication for her joints.  Pain meds as needed.  Poor little thing.  If you can call an 80 lb solid lab a little thing.

Thank you all for your kind, supportive comments about my trail ride with Winston yesterday.  Winston is great on the trail, and loves it, when we go out with just Brett and Mufasa or Flash.  He's even pretty good all by himself.  He just doesn't like being in a group of horses he doesn't know.  I think he worries about the herd dynamics and stresses about establishing his place.  So, we will continue to trail ride but we will do it with Brett.  I prefer that anyway.  Brett and I go at the same pace, and we can go as far (or not) as we want with no pressure from a group.  Plus, there are always some ya-hoos in a group riding in a manner that isn't smart or safe or both and that bugs me. 

Also thank you to Shannon and TheresaA for advice on how to work on my corners.  We have poles and we have cones.  I plan to use both.  Unfortunately, we do not have the room to create a bigger arena so I can't practice in a competition size one.  But I can get my corners better and I can work on accuracy at the letters. 


  1. yay for jackson! i hope the others continue to play nice. sure hope your sweet pup does okay. i've got one that pulled her ACL over a year ago and she still gimps and aches. poor thing.

  2. Yeah, how come I don't get any pain pills for carrying that 80# Lab outside? Like a big glass of Cabernet? So what if it was 6 in the morning! Look how exhausted I am.

  3. Yay Jackson! Must be so nice to have him in 'the herd'.
    I've got an old dog on pain meds too. Poor Sedona.

  4. How nice to see your dogs, I don't think I've seen them before. I hope the meds help her get better and stay well.

  5. Poor pup. I hope he does well in the next week. Yay for Jackson!
    I'm with Winston on the trail ride thing. I love trail rides with the people I know and trust. But a group of strangers? That would make me nervous too.

  6. I'll bet Mr. Jackson is much more content being with the other horses...sweet boy. Such a good and kind move. I think most horses prefer to be in a herd and do better that way. As for Kersey, my deepest sympathies to Brett for having (the best heart) to carry her out to the barn. Hopefully the meds will do the trick and he will be rewarded for being such a thoughtful person. You are a very lucky woman Annette.

  7. Hugs and warm weather wishes for Kersey. So glad Jackson can now be out with the rest of the boys!

  8. A nice long and wide scarf, passed through underneath her tummy, will let you ease Kersey's struggles with her rear-end locomotion, without having to lift the whole dog. She'll prefer it too. I've seen professional versions, with a handle, but a scarf does just fine. Rimadyl twice a day, starting in small doses and adapting to need, is a miracle.

  9. I'm with you and Winston on the group trail ride thing - we (I) still haven't recovered from our last one ages ago.

    Happy for Jackson, and Flash cracks me up... the quasi benevolent dictator and his enforcer Winston. Too funny.

    That scarf around the belly suggestion is a good one. My Sweetpea needed that as well in her later years. Is Kersey on Tramadol for the pain?

    It helps to remember that watching them struggle is way more painful for us humans. They forget about it right away being in the moment as the are. :D

  10. Glad the turn out is working out. You have such nice animals - probably because they're looked after so well.
    Good plan re trail riding. To this day I haven't taken Rogo out in a group. Guess I'm a big coward.
    Poor puppy :( Hope that all works out okay.

  11. I'm glad it's working out for Jackson being with the herd. It's no fun being a horse on your own.

    Poor Kersey I feel for her. My dog Murphy has the same problem and has been getting pain pills daily for the past week. He can barely make it up the steps and needs help. Hope she's feeling better with her meds.


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