Hah...January is coming and tons of horse people are headed to Arizona...
Me...I'm packing up and heading back to Colorado. :-/. The oilfield is going nuts with the massive drop in oil prices and drilling rigs are falling like timber, all across the country. MH is smart about these things though. He's been through the booms and the busts of the oilfield, all across the world. That's why, when offered a rotational position on a different location, which just happens to be out of state, he took it.
That means my fun in the sun is over. Time to go home, to the cold and the snow, and take care of the home place and all of the animals left behind while MH is doing what he does best.
This wasn't a total surprise. There has long been rumors that the company MH consults for were planning on laying down some units. The crashing oil prices just turned those rumors into reality and the cuts are going to go deeper than anticipated. Maybe that is why I have felt a little unsettled every since I got to AZ. I guess my spidy senses were warning me that change was in the air.
I rather dread the thought of the cold and snow, but I've lived with it before. I'll survive it again. ;-).
I don't plan on just going home and turning horses out though. If the ground is bad, I've got access to several indoor arenas and will just keep riding as much as possible. This year, there is even a winter barrel series, so I'll still be able to keep competing too. Since Shooter is on the injured list again, I will probably get my 3y/o filly up and get her started now too.
The biggest preparation to going home is making sure I have plenty of blankets, that fit, my 4 geldings that have been in AZ with me. Frosty wooled up, but the other 3 have not haired up much at all. Blankets are going to be a necessity. Especially since, ironically enough, it's been quite nice at home, right up til this week. Winter finally showed up in CO. (sigh)
Also ironic, is the fact that I had just been contemplating going home to have my regular farrier reset my horse's shoes, but asked Cindy D. if her farrier might be able to do it. She scheduled me in with him a few days before I got the word from MH that he was heading off to his new job right after Christmas. I almost cancelled the farrier appointment, but I wanted to see Cindy D. before leaving and I figured it wasn't really fair to cancel on this guy since he was good enough to take on non-client horses on short notice. I'm glad I kept the appointment.
Cindy D took time to work her arena, so we could ride and even set up the barrels for me. While her horses were getting done, I saddled up LJ and figured I'd warm him up. I expected this to be an interesting ride on ole LJ. Cindy's neighbor's have moved in quite the menagerie next door. LJ has seen goats and cattle before and while he finds them locking-up-and-staring fascinating...He's never seen an alpaca before and nothing, and I mean NOTHING seems to set off horses quite as much as llamas/alpacas. Of course, LJ was careening his neck and high stepping looking at all of the crazy animals next door, but he did really well. Then the alpaca stood up and started doing his 'Stevie Wonder' head wave thing (Cindy D. has mentioned this on her blog...The alpaca is blind and he does an exact imitation of Stevie Wonder). LJ came around the arena, saw that thing waving it's head and LOCKED UP!! I shortened my reins and sunk a little deeper in my seat cause I was pretty sure this was the part where my little redhead was going to lose his everlovin mind and blow a gasket.
I just let LJ stand there and look as long as he needed. He wasn't doing anything wrong. Just locked into place and staring at that strange, strange creature. I was highly surprised and very pleased that LJ didn't lose it. It took awhile to get his feet moving again and he kept careening his neck and head so he could keep an eye on that 'thing', but what was it really. LOL. I worked him on the barrel pattern some and LJ knew he was supposed to be doing something, but he just couldn't take his eyes off of the strangeness that was next door. A crazy horse running around, huge, white, hairy things that kept barking, a spotted steer, the goats that came and went, cats roaming around amongst the goats and that creepy, looking thing that kept waving it's head back and forth. It was all just too interesting. I don't think he found any of it particularly scary...Just incredibly fascinating. LOL.
Frosty on the other hand?
He was pretty sure it was terrifying. The alpaca had laid back down and Frosty eyeballed it, but since it wasn't actually moving anymore, he decided it probably wasn't a big deal. The goats and the running horse...That was cause for concern though. Frosty couldn't concentrate on the barrel pattern either, but we made a couple of trips though and I did get him rating straight again and made him finish off his 3rd turn, while maintaining the correct lead and that is all he really needs reminded of. Cindy and I were standing at one end of the arena, talking and I felt Frosty lock onto something in her pasture. Here comes her rooster. He's a very friendly rooster and he was coming over to say hi. Now that Frosty did find fascinating. He wasn't inclined to quit the area, he was truly fascinated with the chicken. LOL. I did not trust him not to jump on and paw the rooster though, so Cindy D. choused him away. Frosty has had a lifelong habit of tracking and attempting to stomp dogs...and even on occasion made the cats run, although he has never tried to do so while I was on him, I sure didn't want him to stomp on Cindy's friendly, little rooster. I've been leery of such things since Moon stomped that chihuahua at a rodeo. :-/. It lived...wasn't even injured...But nobody is entirely sure how it got so lucky and *I* would prefer to not ever have feel that bad again, so I'm probably a little over-cautious. LOL.
I've decided that going to Cindy D's place is a pretty darned good place to take horses to get desensitized. If they don't blow up there, chances are...You're pretty safe anywhere else you want to take them. LMAO!!!
I wished I had good news on Shooter's leg, but it is still extremely swollen. I don't know what to think about the sudden flexibility in his fetlock. I have no idea if this could end up being a good thing in the long run or if possible displacement of the front digital flexor means there is now too much give in the fetlock and he won't be able to ever properly pull it up at any gait faster than a walk. I've been keeping him penned and alternating ice and the BOT. The interesting thing is, it's no longer 'sweating' under the BOT boot like it did before. I really have no idea what that means. I want to be patient and keep telling myself, What's a few more months?...But I miss riding my Shooter. It's more disturbing to me now, after I got a chance to actually spend some time on him and was enjoying him so much. It will probably be easier on me once I go home though. It's cold and yucky and I'll be forcing myself to ride the horses that HAVE to be rode.
The one individual who is going to be extremely upset about going home is my white cat. He is The King in AZ. With no other cats around, he gets to come in in the house. He's not allowed in the CO house because he got territorial and started spraying. It was annoying when I had to constantly wash curtains, but when he started in on the furniture...That was that and he became a strictly outdoor cat. He's cool with it in the summer...but he ain't gonna like it in January. And Yes...He has a nice place fixed, where he can go and stay warm, but he still ain't gonna like it.
On the bright side of things, I will get to see my lil Flashy again and I have been missing that fuzzy, lil face. I'll just leave him where he is til spring, like we had previously arranged. He's happy, well taken care of and has lots of room to roam, but at least I can walk over and see him as much as I want.
I am planning on being able to come back to AZ in February for a few weeks, so it's not like I have to face the entire winter. Just a few weeks. :-)