Friday, June 24, 2011

June 24th, 2011

Dunny and Chino came to Hytyme in 2008. Both were over twenty years old. Chino, a big bay Quarter Horse gelding was originally named Scar. He has a scar on his forehead, thus the name. We couldn't really live with that name. Scar reminded us of Scarface, which made us think of Al Pacino. Eventually, out of that name came Chino. He is our venerable lesson horse these days.

Dunny, an apricot-colored red dun Quarter Horse, came with some of the most unique facial marks on any horse. He came from the era where Quarter Horses were bred to have small feet. At over 16 hands, his hooves were the size of an Arab's.

Dunny paid the price for those small hooves all of his life. From the time he arrived at the rescue, Jim, volunteers, farriers, and vets attempted to make his life comfortable. If viewed from the front, Dunny's chest looked very small, like his muscles had atrophied. He seemed to go back and forth from periods of arthritic pain to pasture soundness. Jim bought various boots, and different massage therapies were tried. All seemed to work for a little while, and then he would have another bad spell.

During this time, Dunny was a great sport, and he was a good friend to the volunteers, especially Scott. He was also a good friend to the draft mares and babies. Every so often, Dunny would take off with the rest of the herd and run around the pasture. He could graze and play with his friends.

Dunny enjoyed spending time with people, too. A couple of weeks ago, Joey and Becca visited with Dunny and tried to give him some horse massage that they learned at a workshop. Dunny seemed very receptive to the attention. However, he also seemed like he was in some pain. Each step was slow and tenuous.

Today, Jim was digging holes, burying concrete, and noticed Dunny standing nearby. Jim watched Dunny closely. He seemed like he was in great pain, even when he was laying down. Jim decided that it was time and made that most difficult decision. All the recent treatments helped for a little while, but then would stop working. Dunny wasn't getting better. No living creature should be in pain. It was time for Dunny to be pain-free, too.

In the evening, Dr. David Asmar came to Hytyme, and he put Dunny to sleep. Dunny is buried in the big pasture, near his favorite spot, one where he spent much of his life at Hytyme.

Says Jim, "It's a strange thing.  After Dunny was gone and laying in peace, Hobbit and Snickers, both geldings, came up to him and licked his face all over.  Not just a little.  They were there for about ten minutes, saying goodbye.  Then they walked away and never came back.  It's hard for me to write about this, but thought you all would like to know."

Even after Dunny was gone, he didn't want to go without making his mark. While Jim was tending to Dunny's body, the horses in the big field escaped through the open gate and went into the first barn, where they all happily ate Juliet and Tempest's beet pulp and alfalfa mash. Jim had to use that mash to lure them into the arena, and then back into their pasture. Then he made some more mash for the old girls.

Jim went into his house to inform all the regular volunteers about Dunny's passing. Sherry remarked that the water pressure seemed low. Jim went back outside to see if there was a leak somewhere. Outside of the first barn, Jim noticed a small swamp growing. The young horses had pulled out the faucet, so Jim turned off the water, and had to fix what they'd done.

Says Jim, "I think Dunny just wanted to make his last day memorable." And, "If you ever start an equine rescue, make sure to keep calm whenever you can. There is always something that can set you off. You have to deeply love what you do, and have passion for helping these big, majestic creatures. Makes days like today not so bad."

Goodbye, Dunny. You will be missed.

June 23rd, 2011

In 2006, Jim and Sherry housed two formerly slaughter-bound horses from the Yakima Feedlot, rescued by way of the now-defunct Columbia Basin Equine Rescue. Floppy and Matisse recouperated at Hytyme in its early days, and then Jim and Sherry delivered both horses to new owners as they drove across the country. Matisse, a beautiful paint went to Eileen in Long Island, New York. Floppy, a sweet older Quarter Horse gentleman, went to Christine outside of Chicago.

Here are some pictures of Floppy and Matisse as they recovered from their time at the feedlot, and as they embarked on their incredible journey to their new homes across the country.

For the last five years, Floppy lived a perfect life with Christine, and was sleek, shiny, and happy--even for an old horse with a rough past. She loved him very, very much. His presence enriched her life, and she was very happy to have rescued him from what surely would have been a terrible fate.

We learned recently that Floppy was put to sleep after a colic episode. Our hearts go out to Christine. As Jim says, Floppy was one cool dude. He always took everything in stride and blended in to whatever was happening--like a 3,000 mile road trip, for one. Floppy probably made a lot of people happy in his long life. That's just the way he was.

Thank you, Christine, for giving Floppy the best years of his life.

June 17th, 2011

Good news!! According to Dr. David Asmar at Eagle Fern Equine Hospital, the EHV-1 outbreak lockdown is now over! Those of you who have been refraining from visiting the rescue for the health and safety of all horses involved can now return. Still, it's best to be cautious when transporting horses during the tail end of this virus. Here's a link from the Oregon State Veterinarian that explains the disease and its course in the area over the last few weeks:
State Veterinarian: EHV-1 Outbreak Winding Down, Normal Equine Activities Can Resume

As promised, here are the pictures of Alex riding Peanut Butter Boy. Way to go, guys!
Katie and Kassi have been out every day this week, working hard as usual. Kassi is making excellent progress with the horses she works with. Michelle the carrot lady has been out frequently, too.


Coal has been doing well on his diet of beet pulp and alfalfa mash. He is gaining weight, as is Juliet, another one of our senior citizens with few teeth left who eats the same diet. Every day, when Coal sees his mush arrive at feeding time, he trots up to the fence, making his classic Coal noises the whole time.

The concrete moving project has still been going well.

The view from the arena sure is different! Before, for those of you not familiar with the arena as it was, there were two mounds of concete, overgrown with weeds, that blocked the view of the big field. Looks pretty neat!

And, in most important news, it didn't rain today!!!

June 15th, 2011

These are some pictures from out on the range on June 13th. As you can see, it was a really nice day!
Olivia and the scratching post (a brush from a car wash!)
Smarty and Boss
As you can see, it was a perfectly pleasant day when these photos were taken. By Wednesday, the rain had returned (although it was 60 degrees!). There was a torrent of rain on Wednesday, June 15th. This is certainly a good year for green grass...

June 10th, 2011

One of our very favorite things at Hytyme is learning how our adopted horses' new lives turn out. Here is a picture of our dear Delilah, who is now a beloved companion in her new home:

Well, things are about to pick up at the barn--school is almost out! Kassi, Becca, and Joey in particular will be extremely happy to be closer to the barn and spend more time with the horses. Kassi will be spending the summer nearby, so if you are interested in riding lessons, shoot her an email:

In really exciting news, Alex has started riding Peanut Butter Boy! Photos and videos to come! Michelle the carrot lady has been out very regularly, bringing her awesome gifts of carrots and senior feed. All the horses really, really like her (and all the Hytyme people, too!). Michelle has been able to pet some of our most difficult cases, like Yuma.

The weather has been really, really great. The horses are back out into the big field. With so many fewer horses, Jim is able to rotate pastures. It's been great to be able to rest the grass periodically. The horses are all looking sleek and shiny in their summer coats!

Jim spotted a visitor in the pasture--a coyote in the big field!

Jim was also able to start burying some of the concrete in the big field. Some day soon, the mountains of concrete removed to build the arena will be gone! Here are some pictures of this project:
A nice woman named De Ann donated some feeders to us. Her husband made the three feeders twenty years ago, and they are in great shape. De Ann has a really beautiful place, and she owns some Arabians. She used to endurance ride.
Thanks!! And also thanks to Scott for donating some 2 X 6's! We'll use them for the front barn stalls. What nice donations!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

May 30th, 2011

Well, this was one soggy Memorial Day Weekend. The Columbia River is flooding, and the barns faced yet another series of muddy, wet days. Jim was joking that his feet have become webbed and have molded into the shape of rubber boots...luckily, this weekend is shaping up to be better, weather-wise.

Over the weekend, Katie, Sam, Becca, Michelle, Kim and Brooke all came out and worked. There were some herd dynamic issues afoot, so Marquis is now in with Yuma and the younger horses. The big field has been closed off again to the majority of the herd. Everyone is in the smaller winter pasture for a few weeks to let the grass regenerate itself. The only horses out on all the acreage are Sue, Granny, Dallas, Dreamer, Boss, and Olivia.

Here are some recent pictures of the herd life at Hytyme:
Buddy on the prowl
Shannon grazing
Vanilla Bean wakes up
Dallas (looking a whole lot better than she did all winter)
Boss and Olivia resting together
Chino, one of our trusty lesson horses

 And, another series. Here, Appa and Jaqueline try out their new scratching posts:
Jim found that if the brushes were angled slightly, the horses were more comfortable with them.

May 26th, 2011

Because of the ongoing EHV-1 outbreak in Clackamas County, there haven't been too many volunteers out at Hytyme. We hope that everyones' horses are happy and healthy--and that this disease runs its course soon! Horse events are being cancelled all over the western states as a result. Check out this innovative horse show in Utah!

We're still in lockdown mode, so if you are a volunteer that has other horses at home, you probably shouldn't come out to visit Hytyme until there's an all-clear on the EHV outbreak around these parts.

This weekend brought the usual suspects to the barns. Kim and Brooke were out on Saturday. Michelle was feeding carrots. Kassi was working with the horses. Jodene was out to see Abby and work with her as well. Becca and Joey were here on Friday and Saturday to see Buddy and Hope.

Alex and Mike were here as well, and they worked with Peanut Butter Boy and Spendy. Here are some pictures. Peanut Butter Boy is up first:

And now for Spendy's turn:

Kassi had a good idea to turn the front pen into an obstacle course, so Jim started working on putting that together. The plans are being made. It's off to a good start:
Adam donated some street sweeper brushes to the rescue. Jim had a good idea that they'd be perfect scratching posts, so the horses will stop leaning and scratching on the fences.
Some of the horses felt a little bit wary of them at first, but once they figure them out, they'll probably be very excited to put them to good use.