Welcome to JKs Rough String Ranch

Welcome to the Rough String, and thanks for stoppin' by!! Grab a hot cup of coffee and sit a spell!
10/22/18 You will see a name change on the blog. Lots of things have changed in my life in the past few years, and I feel compelled to share my story.

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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Colt's Diagnosis

And the diagnosis is...

"Left front fetlock medial collateral ligament injury"

Colt, Bella Jo, Cindy Sue and I had a very nice trip to Idaho and back for the visit to Idaho Equine Hospital. Thank goodness Cindy Sue woke me up in the early morning and I couldn't get back to sleep because I'd forgotten that there is a 1 hour time difference...I'm sure glad that thought popped into my brain as I lay tossing and turning!!!

The roads were clear except for a lil' bit of frost over the pass just west of home. I was glad when the sun finally started coming up though. It's open range with cattle and wild horses running. It's always a caution when you drive that stretch of road.

We arrived a lil' bit late...after missing the exit and having to go 5 miles farther down I-84 to the next exit to get back. It's always a challenge for me to drive in that much traffic too. I hadn't been there for 2 years. But we made it without incident.

This is their arena for excercise and also lunging
horses during lameness exams.
Directly left of the indoor arena is an outdoor round pen.

To enter the facility, you have to pull up to the automatic
gate, tell them who you are, and they open the gate for you.
The building to the left are offices, exam rooms, and
surgery rooms. The building to the right contains
some of their indoor stalls.

After parking and unloading your horse,
you are greeted by usually three people (the Dr.,
an assistant, and a student who is putting in
an internship) and the preliminary evaluation takes place
right there in the parking lot as with this horse.

These are the outside stalls. Colt is waiting for
me in the first stall on the left.
The buildings behind are part of the
Idaho Center which is a huge multi use facility
including equine events.

I packed my camera in with me, but didn't get a chance to take any photos of Colt during his exam. I needed to keep my brain focused on the Dr.

I wrapped Colt's front legs with stable bandages for the trip to give him support, and I always use shavings in my trailer. When I unwrapped his legs the left one looked much better than the day before! I haven't been able to wrap his legs because he was ripping the bandages off in a matter of minutes. But, the left fetlock was still slightly larger than the right, especially on the inside.

His preliminary trot around the parking lot didn't show much lameness, just a lil' bit of a shorter stride on the left. Dr. Knox did a flex test on the left front and he trotted off sound then too. We took him to the arena and the assistant lunged him both ways. Colt again wasn't showing any significant signs of lameness.

We took him inside for radiographs. Out of the 4 angles done, only the view from straight on showed the slight disfigurement on the inside (in just about the spot where the pastern bone meets up with the fetlock. It showed a tiny spot which Dr. Knox said was probably bone. Most likely Colt got it when the hoof and pastern went one way and the fetlock the other...I would suspect either a hole in the pasture or maybe ice, but most likely a hole. It's just one of those things that happens. He loves to play with that Brego horse.

The injury doesn't warrant removal of the bone because of it's size being so small, and Dr. Knox considered the injury to be moderate; a little more serious than a slight sprain. When the Dr. held the hoof, pastern, fetlock, and cannon bone in a straight line and pressed with a twisting motion, there definitely a reaction of soreness from Colt.

The good news is that everything I had done for Colt was correct, and there wasn't anything else to be done except for the bad news...wait for time to heal it...six weeks to be exact. Six weeks of stall/confined run rest and in hand exercise. I can expand Colt's run as the weeks go by, but we don't want him running, stopping, and twisting to re-injure himself.

Colt got to take a break after his exam. He got a lil'
bit of alfalfa and water. But, he was ready to go
home, because he whinny'd at me when he saw
me coming to get him!

Colt had seen Dr. Knox as a 2 year old when he over extended his left front knee and got a tiny, very tiny bone spur. Dr. Knox was very pleased with his recuperation; there was absolutely no swelling or soreness.

We get to go back in six weeks for a check up. Hopefully at that time Dr. Knox will give us the go ahead to start Colt back into training...starting slowly of course to build up strength in the leg.

The drive home was beautiful. The pups enjoyed
a romp in the melting snow along the highway.

The part I enjoy about the trip is that there's
only 15 miles of actual "traffic" that I have
to drive through. The rest of the drive
is open, beautiful space.

I think I could live out here too!
I saw lots of newborn calves, but could never
find a spot to pull over. There's
lots and lots of big ranches in this
part of the state.

This is coming into one of my favorite lil' towns
in Eastern Oregon, Jordan Valley. Home
of the "Big Loop Rodeo!"

Colt and I thank all of our readers that have been leaving us such uplifting, supportive comments and sending all those healing thoughts. We're on the road to recovery and you all sure helped keep our spirits up. Thank You!!!


Sunday Stills ~ Textures

"Textures" is this week's Sunday Stills photo challenge. Every time Ed announces the new challenge, I immediately start looking around in my world for subjects. I think that's why I like Sunday Stills so much...it opens my eyes and mind to the world around me.

My two submissions for this week are, in my opinion, opposites. I hope you enjoy...

This photo has two textures; one is the frost along
the top line of the rail and the second is the
pealing bark of the lodge pine pole.

Softness...to the touch and to the eye.

You can see more "textures" photos from the Sunday Stills photo challenge by going here in the comments. Enjoy your Sunday!


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Struggling Out of the Slump

I couldn't quite identify it...but things just haven't quite been "on" with me. I wasn't off my feed, but I just was feeling down...and downer by the day. I haven't been sleeping well at night; all I could think about was all of the really neat things Colt and I were going to do this year. That lead to lots of tossing and turning.

Then, I had a visitor today...and we don't get many visitors. Not unexpected, but a scheduled visit of my supervisor with my Ag Report job. She didn't make it over here like she usually does before Christmas, at which time she always gives me a gorgeous Poinsettia. She lives in Central Oregon and it's a 3 1/2 hour drive one way. But, the weather cooperated today, and she made it out...and gave me a beautiful bouquet of daffodils!

How could these bright, cheery flowers not
bring a smile to your face?? They liven up
the whole dining/living room area!

So, we took care of the business at hand and then chatted over a cup of coffee. After she left, I went out to the barn to doctor Colt's leg. I decided while hosing it with cold water that I was going to go into the house and call Idaho Equine and make an appointment. I was expecting it to heal quicker (it's been 2 weeks) and I needed to know where he stood. Was he going to be off all summer? We have so many events lined up...my slump must have started about two weeks ago...and it's been getting lower every day.

Our appointment is Friday at 10 AM. I've got the trailer hooked up and everything loaded. The lunch box is packed and we'll be off in the morn around 6:45. Cindy Sue 'n Bella Jo get to copilot. I guess they can take turns!

Colt's giving me the evil eye..."It's 'bout time
ya hauled me over to my friend Dr. Knox!"

I'm feeling better already!

My good footing in the round pen has gone to crap. Over the weekend, we got enough snow so that when it melted the pen turned to mud, and in the mornings it's cold enough so that it's frozen hard.

But, I did make good progress with Brego. We were back to the saddle and ready to ground drive. I turned him back out to pasture. It shouldn't take much to get him going again.

Brego hasn't missed any meals...look at that
lil' porker belly! He's gnawing on the bit; that's
why his mouth is slightly open. The line is
attached to the halter not the bit.

Catnip has that cute cockeyed muzzle.
"Come on mom...get outta that slump!"

Stetson asks "Whatcha in a slump for? You
gots all us kids...what could make you happier?!?"

OK...I'm really starting to feel a whole lot better!!!

But, I couldn't even find anything to point my camera at for the past week! This morning the sun was really nice and I took it with me to feed. I learned something...don't zoom in too close...

ya wap off ears when ya do!
Dang...and I liked the lighting in this photo too.

I'll report back ASAP. Thanks for all your cares and concerns for my Coltster.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sunrise to Sunset

The days quickly go by, and I never seem to get enough done.

Colt is slowly but steadly improving. He's still on stall rest and getting therapy. Brego is coming along. But the Eastern Oregon winds have picked up, and it's just been darn cold for training horses without an indoor facility.

So, I bundle up with the insulated bibs and spend a good part of the day at the barn. I'm so thankful that my round pen has good footing right now, and I'm able to make some small progress at least.

That seems to be the only part of
the day that we get any sunshine. The rest of
the day is usually cloudy and dark.

Ellie and Annabelle are enjoying some of the
bad hay we threw out into the waste pile...
go figure...
But, look closely past the wheel line to the left.
Neither the dogs nor I noticed this stealthy visitor.
I realized he was there when I downloaded
my photos from the morning...a coyote.

OK...to answer a few reader's question from this week's Macro Monday, "what is it" that I photographed in the first picture...to tell you the truth, I haven't a clue. But, it's some sort of moss...

It's very green and grows quite well
on the rock cliff where the sun doesn't shine too much.
To see the macro photo, go down two posts and
there you'll see it.

This is sunset at our place. The hill to the west behind our house prevents us from seeing the actual sunset, but we get awesome views looking to the east as the sun descends behind the hills to the west...I know...back asswards...

Shadows on the hillside...

Hat Butte in the glow of the setting sun. The dark
clouds behind the butte really emphasize the
light contrast.

It's Thursday!!! The weekend is just around the corner!


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Monday, January 18, 2010

Macro Monday~1/18/10

I've been climbing around the rock cliff again...this is about as good of a time as any to do that, because the rattle snakes are going to be coming out if the weather warms up much more...eeeek!

You can see more "macro" photography by visiting here.

Enjoy your week!


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday Stills ~ Moods & Emotions

Taken straight from the horse's mouth (Mr. Ed that is)... "This challenge is for you to get a shot that enables a response in the person who views your pic, not one that is your personal emotion."

OK...this has been the most difficult challenge so far. I tested my photos on My Man, and it was a failure...not his fault!

Hopefully they will spark some sort of mood or emotion in you.

So, I'm submitting these for this week's Sunday Stills challenge.

You can visit more Sunday Stills "Moods & Emotions" photo challenge participants by going here in the comments section.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

My Barn Prisioners

The photo speaks volumes about how Colt's feelin'.

The lil' stinker has ripped off every stable bandage I've put on him...so, I gave up on the wrapping. He's still getting the Numotizine and cold therapy. I didn't bute him, but have him on MSM at the moment. Living where we do, I put him on what was readily available to us.

Thanks to all of you for your comments, concerns, healing thoughts, and input on caring for his injury. It's GREATLY appreciated!

He's sportin' a pretty pink leg...guess we could
say he's "Tough Enough to Wear Pink!"

Of course he's board to death...as he chews on my boot.

But, I finally got the nerve to trot him in the round pen. The reason I say that is because I was afraid he hadn't improved...and didn't want to know...silly huh?

He had to stay on the lead though because he's ready to go rippin' 'n tearin'...and he'd rip 'n tear his leg worse than it already is. Anyhow, he's not bobbin' his head at all at the trot, but I can still tell there's some soreness. The swelling has gone down a lot, but he's definitely not ready to be off stall rest or therapy.

Sorry Colt~~


Brego's coming along nicely. He's always been real goosey when you haven't worked him in a while. We're just doing round pen 101, basic ground exercises, picking up the feet with the rope, and brushing. Even the brushing tickles him. But, we're on day three now and he's coming along nicely. At this rate, I hope to have him saddled again next week.

All the ice and snow is long gone...see my round pen
in the background?!?
The footing is perfect!

I know he'd rather be out in the pasture, but
stalling him really helps him mentally get
into the groove of training again.


Friday, January 15, 2010

Brego's Back in Training~Again...

Brego is one of my "top of the list" projects for 2010. Way back in 2007 I got this guy in for training. This is the short version of his story...

This lil' guy was orphaned when he was gathered off of the range in 2003. It’s estimated that he was born in July or August of 2003. So when they gathered the Kiger herd in September that year and he was orphaned, he was too young to be adopted. He was bottle fed and cared for until he was old enough to be adopted out. He was very gentle at that time.

His first adopter didn’t do anything with him…he wasn’t abused, just neglected. He was not handled and his “wild ways” came back to him. He was left a stallion too. Then in the spring of 2007, she sold him to a friend of hers. The new owners sent him to me for training. Before he came to me he was gelded. But, he was not gentle. So, I had to start from scratch.

The first 30 days we worked on catching, leading, grooming, picking up hooves and trimming, and loading into the trailer. At that time, the new owner decided that Brego was too much horse for their tiny children who had never had a horse before. They had me continue his training for the next 60 days while we worked on finding a buyer for him.

In those 60 days, I got him saddled, ground driving and riding. But, we were unsuccessful in finding a buyer for him. The owner was running out of options as they didn't even have a place to keep him. Their plan was to ship him off to Portland to a boarding stable where his sister boarded her horses. I just knew that arrangement wasn't going to be good for Brego. He still had some fear issues, so I bought him to ensure that he goes to a good home. They weren’t bad people; they just didn’t understand the commitment it takes for horse ownership, and they really needed an older, well seasoned horse for their first horse.

With the lousy horse market, I didn't even try selling him last year...and didn't even work him. So here we are today...

Brego in his winter woolies, caked in mud, with
lovely rat's nests in his mane.
He's definitely gotten to be a horse
for the past year and a half.

"Who me? Those aren't rat's nests...they're
mane ornaments! Every REAL horse wears them!"

"And you want me to do what?
But I'm retired!
I'm NOT?!?"

"OH, I guess she means business..."

"I'll try my best...but you're gonna have
to start from the beginning...again...(nicker & snicker)!"

The goal is to get him back under saddle and find him a home!


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Not a Good Way to Start Off the Year

Ahhhh Colt...whatcha been up to?

"Nothin' at all since the last time we moved cows
for the Rose's way back in November.
I've just been a horse...eatin', playin'...
ya should be able to see that by my grown out bridle
path and whither cut. I like bein' on vacation!"

"I kinda like the ungroomed look myself! But mom, maybe
ya should look at my left front leg...I
think I gots an owie."

Oh, Colt...you were fine day before yesterday...what did you do to yourself?!?

I saw this late last night when it was too late
to doctor. He's strained or pulled something in
his lower left inside just above the fetlock.
There's enough swelling to make it quite
obvious and there's heat on the inside
of the leg.

Colt's definitely lame. My round pen is just dry enough to start working in again and yesterday was my last day for ag reports (I sent in my last overnight package to Portland). My plan was to start legging Colt up to get him ready for the season...but, it seems that that whole plan is on hold. When I put Colt in the round pen to see how lame he was...it wasn't very promising.

So today he got the cold water therapy and an ice pack. My Man picked up some Numotizine poultice at the vet office, and I'll apply that this evening when he gets home from work.

Does anyone want to share their opinion whether they think Colt should get some Bute or not?I'm leaning toward the "not" because he's in too small of an area to damage himself any worse, and I read somewhere that sometimes it's best to let the cold therapy do the work.

Colt's on stall rest for now (12x12 stall w/ 12x12 run)
If he doesn't improve in a week or so, I'll
have to haul him to Idaho Equine
to have radiographs done.

"I didn't mean to do it Mom..."

Well, this also means there are no excuses for me not to get that Kiger back under saddle and down the road...anyone looking for a range bred Kiger?

Please send some healing thoughts to Colt...we appreciate it~~