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October 26, 2012: Weather or Not

Woke up to sunshine – no wind, a beautiful day, though finger-numbing chilly. Now the immediate weather-related challenges begin. For me, this involves organizing daily doings around Mother Nature’s daily doings. Seems like we both have pretty full agendas.

It’s now best to work with the animals and do the bulk of the daily chores in the heat of the day, say between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. And it’s best to do the same when the sun’s out. It’s now setting at 6:30 p.m.

So I’m on a new schedule. I’m doing outside things in the light/heat of the day, and doing inside things when it’s dark. I wish that it was the other way around, but this cannot be. Not until early March.

This morning, the most pressing thing on the agenda was making note of Hrimmi’s respiration, pulse, and temperature. A few days ago we left a message with Dr. Wellington, saying that she seems a bit

lethargic to us, and added that perhaps we ought to have some blood work done. He responded promptly, saying that he’d first like us to get a baseline temperature, pulse, and respiration. Three days, twice a day, he added.

So Pete and I trundled down to the enclosure to get this information after breakfast. (This was after my locating the misplaced thermometer.) It was in the tackroom. Once found, I slipped it into my pocket, so as to warm it up.

There is no calmer or easy going horse than Hrimmi. She stood quietly eating, while Pete and futzed around. And futz we did. Neither of us are veterinary technicians. First we had to get her respiration. Hrimmi has a very thick coat, which has been likened to a pelt, so this was somewhat difficult. It was near impossible to see her flanks move. But finally, we decided that near imperceptible movement was sufficient. Respiration: 12

Locating her pulse was equally difficult. Pete tried using the stethoscope, and got a lot of gut sounds. “Motility, a good sign,” I said. I finally went up to my cabin, and my vet tech book. There wasn’t much hair under the tail, so this seemed like a likely pulse source. I was right. Blip, blip, blip, I could feel it. Pulse: 42. Lastly, temperature, this was easy. Temperature: 100. Pete duly recorded this information in Hrimmi’s journal. And dear Hrimmi resumed eating. She’s an amazingly patient gal, but keep her from her foot and she’ll stomp the ground with her little front hoof.

We repeated this procedure right before dark. I felt good about it all, for it made me feel like a more knowledgeable horse owner. I’m now going to take and record the TPR of all the horses, at the first of each month.

After, I did body work on all the horses. Pete and I then took Signy and Hrimmi for a walk. Later, I rode Raudi and he walked Signy. Then I rode Tinni and he rode Siggi. The trails are now frozen, so immediate access is good. The only drawback is that in places it’s now icy.

Come 5:30 p.m. I retreated into my cabin where I continued with organizing my stuff. I’m now zeroing in on it. In the process, darkness descended. Now indoors, upstairs, I’m getting caught up on daily dispatches.

Next: 321. 10/27/12: Church of Bread