Manmade Mazes and Moxidectin (yum)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Because our *cough* official construction foreman (a.k.a. DH) has been pretty much slammed at work over the past several months, we've had a time of it trying to get the visitor area completed. Since the area is attached to our house, we can't use any of the Epic Farms' funds to hire someone else to do it (a big unethical No-No) so we are stuck doing things a little bit at a time; ergo moving at the speed of snail. This can be quite a challenge for the Type-A personality (and yep, I admit it).
The problem with the piecemeal method is the location of the construction zone: Yours Truly has to walk through it several times a day to get to the horses. This has resulted in a myriad of marital disputes; although I specifically remember mentioning on more than one occasion that my middle name is NOT Grace. Initially it was the thing with string that was giving me a headache. DH put up stakes and ran some nylon cord about 18" above the ground to mark off the visitor area. This meant I had to carefully step over said string both coming and going. Although it was fuchsia and easily visible, I still managed to trip over it after the first few high steppin' days when I shifted my focus to the feed buckets I was carrying and/or the horses (apparently there are time constraints on my multitasking ability :o) I have to admit, that cord held up pretty darn well though. Took me almost a solid week of tripping to actually break it. Of course you just know I got in trouble *sigh*. The support posts weren't so bad; they looked kinda weird sticking straight up toward the sky but I couldn't really miss seeing them, (though we did have some unique challenges there, remember the frogs?). It wasn't so bad, that is, until the concrete was poured to secure them...
The Feeding Time Obstacle Course:
1. Begin by tripping over drain pipe (which has been there forever) because your focus is on the piece of relocated metal roofing ahead; 2. Snag toe of one boot (doesn't matter which) on hose because you are distracted by the pipe and preoccupied with snarling repentable words at it; 3. Take one ginormous awkward step over said piece of metal roofing (while being sure to almost drop the feed buckets); 4. Snag toe of opposite boot on the other end of hose which is hiding in the grass on the other side; 5. Trip over empty concrete bag, then crawl carefully over high wooden brace (because you're too dang old to go under it) without dropping feed buckets, continuing to mutter repentable words while pondering the necessity of having a visitor area in the first place. Repeat course for the next several feedings or until you are ready for some serious therapy. Xanax anyone?
Speaking of challenges, I finally finished playing with the video clips from our latest Worm Paste Party. I posted it a bit further down. For those of you who are not familiar with the deworming process, here is a tutorial from eHow:
1. Choose what type of dewormer you want to use. There are paste wormers available in a large syringe or daily wormers in pellet form to be mixed with your daily feeding schedule.
2. Tie your horse before giving him the paste dewormer. Most horses don't like the taste of the dewormer so he may try to throw his head up in the air.
3. Set the syringe to the correct weight dosage. The numbers are printed on the syringe and are easy to read.
4. Insert the first few inches of the tip of the syringe into the corner of your horse's mouth. It should be pointed towards the back of the horse's mouth.
5. Inject the paste into the horse's mouth and remove the syringe.
6. Hold the horse's head up by pushing up from underneath his jaw. This will allow him to swallow the dewormer without letting it drop out of his mouth.
I found this funky halter for administering worm paste and other medicines to an uncooperative horse (they can't spit it out). While the step-by-step from eHow is handy, generally speaking this rundown from the Horselaughs blog is probably far more accurate:
1. Buy wormer paste.
2. Capture the wild beast -a.k.a- the horse.
3. Firmly grip lead rope in left/right hand (whichever you do not write with).
4. With your other hand insert wormer tube.
5. Pick yourself up off the ground and ask someone to hold your horse while you go to the emergency room to have your dislocated shoulder looked at.
6. Repeat steps 1-5, but duck this time as the back hooves somehow go flying past your head.
7. As your legs get twisted in the rope, try to stand up, only to have your legs pulled out from under you.
8. As soon as you spit out ALL the dirt you just ate, jump up and grab your horse.
9. Ponder why this is not working.
10. Repeat steps 1-5 and 6, but this time go home, change into a shirt that does not have apple- flavored wormer paste all over it and proceed to go to the feed store and buy another tube.
11. When you get back to the barn, see the manager's 10-year-old son walking over to you.
12. Let him take the worming tube from your hand, and watch in disbelief as he worms your horse without getting a single spot of the paste on himself, and there is no dirt on his face, and he's not in the emergency room.
13. Put your horse back in the barn and go home to your nice warm bed.
You probably noticed that there is a considerable amount of harness as well as a crew of three people deworming the horse in that earlier photo (it's not us). I am happy to report that we have been able to *cough* get by with one halter and two people: One to do the deworming, and one to hold the camera...

You're Invited! from Jen on Vimeo.
As with most videos, you probably want to let it hiccup all the way through one time first. Oh, and don't worry, it's not actually 9 minutes long...I have no idea how I managed to do that - Enjoy! :o)

I'm adding a P.S. here... Laura Goldman is a para-equestrian (disabled rider) who has earned a spot to compete at the World Equestrian Games. Laura has an amazing strength of will; she suffers from Muscular Dystrophy, but doesn't let that stand in her way! Unfortunately at around $5,000, the cost of the competition is far beyond her reach and she cannot afford to attend the games. Sheri Israel at Dressage Mom has been trying to help her find a sponsor, but has had no luck so far. If you would like to help this remarkable woman, please visit the U.S. Para Equestrian Association and make a donation in her name (e.g. "for Laura Goldman" where it says Add Special Instructions). Having personally suffered from a debilitating muscle disease (Dermatomyositis - currently in remission), I would love to see Laura have the chance to compete...You GO girl!


  1. Your obstacle course shot reminded me of one of those comic strips that shows the path the little boy takes to get from point a to point b. It cracked me up (not that I'm laughing at you) I'm just easily amused. Loving that video but I was waiting for the dirty faces and stuff.

  2. Ann: The obstacle course will be much funnier after the fact (right now it's on the verge of grounds for divorce *laugh*). I'd have to say that the best dirty one was "way back when" in our pre-party days; one of the horses spit out the glob of worm paste and it landed right on top DD's head. That was hysterical...mostly because it wasn't my head :oD

  3. I am the worming master. I have a knack for getting even the most difficult horses de-wormed.
    Mostly after I worm the difficult ones I want to make the experience more pleasurable so I get a big syringe and a lot of applesauce/yogurt and go around giving treats. They line up next time for the dewormer.

  4. Wow, you should bring in army boys to tackle your obstacle course with feed buckets...yikes, i'm glad it isn't me, I'd have broken several bones already (okay, okay, I'm clumsy, alright? lol!).
    The worming party was hilarious! I'm glad you have some that enjoy it, the mess is never fun.
    Have a great week! I'm missing my etsy convo buddy, I hope your school is doing well, and i'm praying for you and the farm every day :)

  5. Both my horses worm, and take other medicines by mouth, while "naked" - no halters or leads. I just put my hand on the horse's nose and voila! Now, of course this state wasn't achieved overnight - training was required. Dawn used to be a hellion to worm, but we faced up to that problem and solved it when she was injured and had to have medicines by mouth several times a day for a long time - it sure beat being flung around the stall!

  6. Wow that is quite an obstacle course. I think I would have to move something to the side for right now. Or make little bridges. I would have been flat on my face many times if I had to do that. Great info on the worming.

  7. I had to laugh at the obstacle course too! I can imagine how frustrating that is but your description was hilarious!

    The video was fun - they sure like that stuff! It's not that easy giving liquid stuff to cats!

  8. Sydney: I'd hate to see what would happen to me if I ever made a statement like that *grin*. I'm betting it wouldn't be pretty ;o)
    Meghann: In all honesty nobody was more surprised than me that I didn't seriously hurt myself (sure did do a powerful lot of tripping though). I'm hoping once the dust settles around here I can get back to business with Etsy (I'm sorry for my absence!)
    Kate: You are quite right and we didn't get this way overnight either. Of course the molasses is very helpful (and then there are the 3T's: Training, Time and Tenacity :o)
    Marg: It was, thankfully it is now gone (as of yesterday afternoon)...several days running was more than enough for me!
    BeadedTail: Thank you (way funnier now that it's not there any more, you know?) We've had some pretty good worm paste rodeos in the past, but thankfully those days are long gone :o) I'll bet it is pretty tricky dosing a cat - maybe you could mix it with tuna fish?

  9. Oh, but challenges helps to build character--right? Of course, that doesn't specify what kind of character, and in my own case...

  10. FishHawk: AHAHAHA...You know somewhere in all of my medical misadventures it dawned on me that I should have most definitely maxed out on character - am I soup yet? ;o)

  11. The obstacle course cracked me up! I totally understand since I've had my fair share of "under construction" obstacles.

    Ahhh, yes the worming process....made more difficult when you're only 5 feet tall as I am. Don't know how many times I've been knocked off my little plastic milk carton! LOL

  12. Carol: Always nice to know I'm not the only one living in a "combat" zone *grin*.
    I highly recommend the molasses method - works great! We tried the applesauce, but it was a no go for us. Never tried yogurt, but Sydney said she's had great success with both of those so you may want to give them a try (and actually since she said she is the Master, I'm guessing that makes me Grasshopper, so you might want to just use her method ;o)

  13. The obstacle course looks kinda like fun...if you're a rabbit.
    I thought "worm paste" was going to be some delectable glop that you made in the food processor, you know...with worms and all. Well I learned something today!

Your comments really brighten my day!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...