Monday, August 1, 2011

Update brigade

Equine updates:
Pegasus does beautifully when he has a tie-down on, without it he throws his head allllll over and nearly bashes me in the face.  Its rather impressive.  He hasn’t reared up yet, but as his mother is known for it, I’d like to not take my chances.  Little horse has an unnaturally high head carriage as is, so hopefully with the aid of the tie down for now, he will learn to keep it lower and those urges to throw it up and around and all which-a-ways will end.

He responded well with the beautiful new hand-tied rope halter/bridle I ordered (viewed in photos of me on Pegasus).  I love, love, love how it turned out.  The craftsmanship is absolutely beautiful!!  And if snot-face responds to it, that says something because he has forcefully resisted most bits and another hackamore-type bridle I have tried on him.  Not to say he won’t respond, but it takes a ton of encouragement; he digressed in the two week hiatus I took from riding him.  He’s getting back to it though and will be better in no time.

Orion is still lame.  Still swollen.  Still ouchy.  BUT, he is closer to home now!  He now lives with Pegasus and Gracie – a brief 4 minute drive from my house!  Sure beats 20+ minutes!!  I have time again in my life to do things that are non-horse if I so choose. 
Right now Orion is separate from the other two and will probably remain so for awhile while everyone gets used to each other.  They are installing a gate into one fence line to allow him access to grass in the orchard.  Its all grass and not much clover or otherwise, so as long as he doesn’t colic from it, we’ll be good.  Time to get fat and sassy!
I consulted my friend and equine vet and she came out this afternoon to see him.  Digital flexor definitely has some issues and probably other tendon/ligaments also.  We're doing DMSO sweat wraps and bute for the next five days barring and sort of reaction.  The wraps will continue for awhile longer.  I finally feel like we're getting somewhere.  Going to add some sort of shoe with a heel to it to help take more pressure off his tendons.  His splayed-foot posture that has developed is definitely due to the pain he's dealing with.  Super slopey pasterns and splayed feet are his way of compensating.  He did trot on lead line (he's never done this) today when she blocked out his feet and back of fetlocks (numbed them up) to determine where the pain was located.  He liked not feeling the pain!
Real world updates:
Last two weeks I’ve been lucky enough to get out of the damn air-conditioned office and into the field (right in the midst of this wonderful heat, lucky me).  All trips have been in concordance with EPA, US Army Corps of Engineers, and DEP.  Last week’s visits were to Marcellus Shale sites.  Oh. My. Goodness.  If you’re not from the Northeast, I’m not sure how much you may or may not have heard about Marcellus Shale drilling.  There is a documentary that came out a couple years ago – which I have yet to see – that is called Gasland.  It tells of all the mal-effects of hydro-fracking, the favored process for extracting natural gas.  And, as with all documentaries, it sways the viewer into disliking this new industry.  Marcellus may be good for the economy, jobs, etc., but it seems that there isn’t a great amount of long-term knowledge about the effects of Marcellus on the land.  
I love these kids!  Noah, Leana, and Nonee

The Marcellus industry has begun to take over West Virginia.  They boast the availability of hundreds and thousands of jobs; quote that they have filled restaurants and motels again; that this industry will provide so much for the state and the country.  But what they don’t talk about is how they swindle farmers out of their land.  How some of them avoid following recommendations by the Corps, EPA, or DEP when they install well-pads and pipelines.  How they are fragmenting the forest and causing sedimentation to injure streams.  What I saw last week was not pretty and it really woke me up.
The people I met who are working for the companies were wonderful.  They recognized their mistakes and were striving to rectify them in the best ways possible.  They were good-ol’-country boys doing what they could to make a living for themselves and their families.  They were genuine and likeable – or perhaps that is the very ploy they use to get what they want.  The jury is out on that for me.
Bottom line, Marcellus Shale is in a gold-rush mentality right now and there just aren’t enough solid regulations about all of it.  I think its too-much too-fast.  Shale-ionaires are out to make their money wham-bam quick before us hillbillies realize what happened.  Time will tell.  My eyes have certainly been opened on the subject and I will be taking a keen interest in it from now on out.
This is one of my favorite places in all the world (taken on Spruce Knob; WV's highest point at 4863 ft.)
 Let me say though, watching those men maneuver those big, yellow machines (because I don’t really know what they’re all called) was FREAKING AWESOME!  Sooo much skill.  I was mesmerized.  DEP, EPA, my partner, and the Corps were busy discussing permitting issues with a stream crossing (through an endangered mussel stream) and I was gaping at the skill at which these men got those machines off the trucks and how they could drive them up one of the STEEPEST, muddiest embankments I’ve ever witnessed.  Holy moly!  And Chevy trucks, too!  Chevy could definitely make a commercial, haha!
Yesterday my field visit involved a good ol’ coal mine and some sliiiiccckk talkin’ fellas who wanted to make it happen.  All the agencies met with the company about a proposed mine site and then we visited the site to see issues with streams and wetlands and to see what they propose to do to rectify the issues.  It was really interesting and not all bad.  Going to be a lot of work, but in the long run, I think it will be good.  One thing though – if you’re going to attempt to persuade a group of state and government agencies to give you a permit and YOU are the one doing a lot of the sweet talking, please dress and talk the part!  Crocs, camo shorts, and a surf-company t-shirt, using “was” instead of “is”, and other common stereotypical mistakes that the culture in this area tends to make = not impressive or professional.  That kind of demeanor may get landowners to allow you onto their property, but it doesn’t do much in the way of impressing your professional audience of your ability to perform your duties… or maybe that’s just me.
Personal updates:
Well, me-time is minimal these days.  My work schedule has me working 9 hours Mondays – Thursdays each week, with one 8 hour Friday and the other one off every two week period.  I chose this for myself, and I like it, but it makes evening down time hard right now.  Since Orion is closer, that should make things better.  But my marathon month of being super busy every weekend is still in full swing.  Once the endurance race is over (this weekend; I'm volunteering) I should have a little more time to sit down and do other things.  My desk and dresser top are cluttered with random items that I chuck there as I come and go.  It wouldn’t take more than an hour (max) to clear all this up, but I just can’t seem to find the time!
I feel as if I haven’t seen enough of Kenai lately, too.  Its really sad.  But with the heat situation as of late, and my busy schedule, its hard to keep him included without being concerned for heat stroke.  His coat has REALLY thinned out, but he just drools and bubbles if he becomes exerted.  So I don’t know.  For now I’m just keeping him inside most of the day.  It will be cool again soon.
I do have three pleasure books to start on though.  One that my boss lent me about the Arctic because he thinks I’ll enjoy it, and two others I ordered from Amazon because I’ve wanted to read them for awhile.  They give me something to look forward to; something to get lost in.
I go to training at the National Conservation Training Center in two weeks.  While I will have classes during the day the evenings I will have off to just veg out in my super sweet room - just me - in the lodge.  I plan on taking yarn to knit and books to read.  Going to be nice to kind of have a getaway.
Nat'l Ski Patrol training started this past weekend!  Flipping SWEET.  I'm super excited for it to continue.  I excel at this kind of thing.  I don't have to think too hard about a lot of it; its stuff I've delved into before because I'm interested in it.  Its all so much fun and I"m learning a ton already.  It'll make snow season seem not-so-bad for once.  
Lately I've been a pessimist about a lot of things; dwelling on the negative and not focusing on the positive.  I'm making a point daily to get out of this habit.  I'm a work in progress; I'm getting there.

**And obviously picture content doesn't match the written content for this post.  These photos are from two weekends ago.  All pictures in this post by this guy.  I beat him over the head with a rock pestered the crap out of him to get them to me in a quick manner.  Thanks for that.

1 comment:

  1. I am following you now, saw your link on Horsebloggers. Orion is gorgeous! :-)