Sitting here in our carport/nursery, my fingers are stiff from the cold. The propane heater is going, trying desperately to supply enough heat to keep the babies warm and us from freezing. The snow blew sideways and the wind screamed and howled all through the night. It sounded like the whole building was going to come apart. But all through it, the horses munched quietly, being much more warm and toasty than if they were outside. Unfortunately with all the rains and snow, the stalls are still leaching water in. But we have been able to keep the horses reasonably dry, and have cut off the little coughs that have come at us randomly and often through this winter.
The people haven't been so lucky. Both the boys and Matt missed time off their usual activities, as they all came down with the local 6 week chest issues. The three of them took turns being completely incapacitated. I am sure sleeping out in the cold didn't help Matt, but he cowboyed up and "got er done".
It's quiet now, most of Honey Bandit's "drama" has subsided, yet he is still a special needs horse and a "full time boy". PTL for that one. I am extremely grateful that we are where we are in his journey, as he has come so far, surviving the almost insurmountable issues he has faced along the way. Yet he still needs almost constant monitoring. We don't leave him alone for more than a couple hours, as he still is getting cast. The dangers of that were reiterated clearly yesterday when we went to visit a friend and her burro.
A friend of ours, that we assisted in acquiring a wild baby burro called us as she was wiped out, and very worried about "Mason". Mason is fighting hard to "get back to normal", after being cast under a fence for part or all of a cold night. He slid under a fence and was stuck there, on his side in the cold. He received some serious head trauma as he banged his head on the fence while trying to get up. He had injuries to his side and over three weeks later, he cannot stand up. His neurological damage is starting to reverse, and he has some of the best care around. I was approached about maybe bringing him here so he could spend more time upright in his sling. But for now, they are doing such an awesome job and he has such a large and supportive group of people that love him, I definitely think he is in the perfect place. We are on standby if we are needed, but that is one lucky little burro. Talk about people coming together. It is beautiful to see. So they are doing well, but it shows how much damage can happen in such short time if these animals get stuck.
It looks like he will have a full recovery, but it is taking a lot of time and work. I was talking to a lady a while back, and she was surprised that we still were sleeping with Honey Bandit. I explained to her about him getting "cast" all the time, and that the results can be catastrophic, if not deadly. We are hopeful and reasonably confident that he will keep improving, but whatever he needs, he will get it. However, I have been saying lots of prayers that the weather warms up. We are having to spend a fortune on propane as this winter has been rather nasty. Hopefully in the spring we will be able to finish this "nursery" so it won't be so cold. In a way it is kind of like camping, but there are times when it is just plain "too cold". It feels like you are burning up dollar bills. But again, I have to be thankful he is here to keep warm. It's kind of like being between a rock and a hard place. When you have to keep them warm, they don't get a winter coat, and if they don't get a winter coat, you have to keep them warm. DaBubbles has already shed out, as he had a normal "winter coat".
The two of them and Patches are absolutely the cutest things ever. Dabubbles looks like he is getting smaller, as he runs around under Honey Bandit's belly and barely even reaches it now. It is going to be so much nicer when it warms up and they can get out and play more. I guess one good thing about Honey Bandit not having quite the "normal" level of energy for a colt his age, is that it doesn't bother him to hang out in his warm and cozy stall and munch away the winter. He is loving life. He also will eat a treat now. Before, he didn't even try new things, but he loves his peppermints, and the horsey candy that his auntie Virginia and "Ma" Patch sent him. Big kisses to ya'll.
We really appreciate your support as we want to keep him warm and cozy until spring finally decides to stay for awhile. Please remember, we can't do this without you, and together, we can and have done wonderful things, like pulling HB through! As many pregnant mares as there are in the holding pens, it probably won't be long before we have another little one to care for. It's time to get Honey Bandit his vaccinations, (according to the vet). That is a little bit scary, but will probably not be any big deal for him. He is growing up! I want to make sure he gets those right away. Take care and God bless. We look forward to seeing ya'll when this silly weather goes away. So stay dry and think of us out here when ya'll are in your warm beds. (I know - most of you would love to be here and be able to give him a big kiss from your bed - I know I do) Hugs from Honey Bandit and the gang!
Chilly Pepper - Miracle Mustang
30027 State Highway 44 East
Shingletown, CA 96088
530 474 5197 530 339-1458