This morning, I went to retrieve Gracie from her night outside. Her stall was ready - feed, a hidden apple, water, freshly picked floor - and all we needed to go was walk into the barn from the north fence line.
Big Lanna decided she liked the smell of me this morning, and so she lumbered behind me about 2 feet. When I got to Gracie, Lanna stopped and waited for me to halter Gracie. Then we all turned and headed up to the barn.
About halway there, Gracie grew weary of Lanna walking beside her (behind me) and so Gracie just reached over and bit Lanna's right front knee! Lanna grunted and moved over. Gracie snorted and the processions resumed.
After a week of watching Gracie like a hawk, I would say she is good.
Her stitches were removed by Dr. Brian last Friday and she has healed beautifully! Her eye is already absorbing the fluid from the trama of the surgery and she looks more and more like Handsome and Laddee every day!
Her appetite is good (that's an understatement!) and her personality is good - HAH! She is fiesty and feeling happy to be alive!
She is still shakey and tentative on her feet, but I'm thinking being older and having a touch of dementia and also being 400 lbs in a pasture with a 2,600 lb mare may have something to do with it. She wears her boots when the mud is drying otherwise she grazes and wanders the entire pasture now. That is a big improvement for her.
I'm thinking Gracie is good - or as we promised her, as good as we can help her be!
Earlier this Spring, I ordered some fly masks from Stockman's for Gracie, PONY!, and Appaloosa Mare. They are Cashel brand and they have ear coverage, a slot in between the ears for their forelock to be outside of the mask (much cooler for them), and they come in two styles - "normal" and "long nose".
When I was at Stockman's last week, they told me the masks are in. I ordered one of each style for each horse - a total of six masks. They are $19.99 each.
If anyone is interested in sponsoring a mask for Gracie, or PONY!, or Appaloosa Mare, please email me and I'll purchase the mask for you. There is no sales tax.
Thanks for sponsoring these much needed masks. Their faces and their eyes are prime targets for those pesty flies of summer!
For the last two weeks, I have been combing the Midwest looking for a heated barn that would accept Gracie for the winter. In almost every single instance, the facility required a minimum of a 24 month boarding agreement and would not even consider a 6 month agreement. I was beginning to wonder how we were going to manage Little Gracie this winter without having to sell something big (like the truck!) to pay for her board!
Trish just called and Gracie is set. Trish's horses stay in a facility that has a heated barn. The owners of the facility were approached by Trish to see if they would open a stall to Gracie if Trish paid for her board. They went to our website and read a bit about us and what we do. This was their reply:
"If the feed and hay and bedding is supplied, Gracie can stay here without any charge. We want to help. And in this way, we can help."
So we will send feed with Gracie and her blankets for her days outside and Trish will spend time with our Specialized Farrier while at the U of M and Gracie will spend the winter with Trish. In a heated barn.
I am so relieved. Trish is an excellent horseperson and an excellent caregiver. Her horses are rescue horses and she will take the role of Gracie's Aunt very seriously. I trust this woman completely. I trust Trish with Gracie.
Thank you, Trish, for going out of your way to help this little peanut of a horse. Just think....spending time with you in that mudhole two summers ago has changed the world for both of us! Thanks, Trish!
Tonight will be Gracie's last night in this barn for a while....but I am so relieved to know she will be warm on those bitter nights. Auntie Trish - you're gonna fall in love with her! I'm warning you! That little stubborn girl will worm her way into your heart!! You'll be the one crying in April like I am now in November!!!
Our Little Gracie is in her new winter stall and tucked in for the night. Safely to Trish's barn and bedded in shavings with feed and water and hay in front of her. I'm grateful beyond belief to know that "Auntie Trish" has her in her cares and that Gracie will be warm this winter.
But I've got to tell you - it's quiet in the barn without that little peanut!
Auntie Trish included our little Gracie in a photo shoot yesterday. A photographer living by Trish is starting up his business and asked if he could take photos of Trish's horses to use on his website. Well, in Trish's mind, that means Gracie, too.
I'll get the link and post it - Trish says she was remarkable and almost posed....hah! Gracie is good at what she does, isn't she? And I hear there are pictures of Gracie and her kitten friends, too.
Keep an eye out - I'll put the link out here sometime today.
You've got to go and check out these pictures taken of Trish, Jerry, Nancy (these are the humans) and the horses Jake, Willy, and even Gracie! Great shots! Very relaxed and candid shots of the humans interacting with the horses. And some really cool shots of Jake and Willy playing!
But of course, my favorite is the last one. Of Gracie. Wait until you see!!
Our Sister, Trish, will be arriving Friday night after work with our little Gracie in tow! Oh, how exciting! To be able to spend some time with Trish and to have Gracie's little demanding voice back in the barn again!!
So, this Progress Days on Saturday will be very special - Trish will join us and Gracie will return! I'll have Trish spend Saturday with Gracie and Helen and Hollie and PONY! and Faith getting re-acquainted and settled in.
Little Gracie is home at THE FARM. Trish delivered her against all odds on Saturday and Gracie spent the night in the corral. This morning, she has found her way out into the sunshine and is home. It's like she has never left.
Thank you to Louise and Trish for the cares and love given this little creature. She is sleek and shining and even a bit muscular! Gracie looks wonderful! And I am so grateful that she is home after vacationing in her heated stall!
Auntie Trish will be housing our Little Gracie once again this winter in a heated barn, just like last year! AND, of course, Gracie will receive her daily therapy from Trish and Jerry AND, of course, Gracie will have her cat companions sleeping in her hay AND, of course, Gracie will return sleek and in perfect condition and spoiled rotten!!!
Auntie Trish has been working on many alternatives to find a way to help Gracie sustain another Wisconsin winter. And this past Monday with the cold weather and harsh winds convinced me that we needed to do something for the little girl. I just could not warm Gracie up on Monday. She is just fragile in her elderly years. Tiny and adorable and fragile.
So the details will be worked out soon however, as Auntie Trish said when she called, "Tell Little Gracie to pack her bags!"
Thanks to Auntie Trish for staying true to Gracie. Truly, Gracie's life depended upon it!!
The details are being worked out yet, however the date for Gracie's move to her "warmer winter home" is Sunday, December 16th. Refuge Farms will be delivering her to her heated stall in the heated barn next to Max, her kissy-face horse neighbor, her kittens, and, of course, to her Auntie Trish. This little girl will be pampered, loved, exercised, and return home in the spring in perfect condition.
Many, many thanks to Auntie Trish for making the arrangements! Gracie is one very, very lucky girl!!