Get Better Gas Mileage With Your Trailer!

The Lady and The Man have decided to quit coming up with reasons to delay their journey into Mexico, though not before The Lady took some of the down time to deface MuMu’s and my BIG trailer. (Big to me, my usual is pretty dinky).

She claims you get better mileage with a paint job like this; this is coming from the nut-job herself so take it with a salt block or two.

Check it out:

Iota McHippus on MuMu's trailer

Iota McHippus on MuMu’s trailer

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The MuMu side – those are alpacas checking out the progress

A nice vase of flowers helps you get better gas mileage....

A nice vase of flowers helps you get better gas mileage….

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Always travel with a Garden of Hope!

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On The Road – Sort Of…

See Her Fret and Squirm

It has been hilarious watching The Lady try to figure out how to get me and MuMu down to Mexico. She’s come across so many challenges in that department I almost feel sorry for her. Almost.

But the fact is, the results of her contacting every Tom, Dick and Mario she’s gotten leads for are a ton more fun than simply plopping we equines on a couple of direct runs from The Horse Capitol of the World to the land of burros and burritos.

It’s a Slow Go

Turns out, the biggest bottleneck is at the border. No surprise there, right? Any time a group of bureaucrats can exert their influence and scramble someone’s simple plans they are duty bound to do so. I think they take oaths for that. This is a Truth the world over. Mexican authorities are no different. Matter of fact, I’m prepared to say they are inspired by their cousins north of the border and have a zealousness to their routine unrivaled even by U.S.D.O.T. airport personnel.

Sure, they don’t have all the fancy X, Y and Gamma Ray machines, but they do have amazing teams of people with various iterations of rubber stamps that must be utilized in an unyielding linear fashion. It keeps the employment numbers in Mexico up.

Savvy Wranglin’

mumu-mirian

MuMu ambles behind me as we walk to the barn where we will join our chauffeur. I will miss Seldom Scene Farm truly.

So finding a savvy wrangler who can negotiate the intricacies of such a system toting accompanying equines in customs cleared trailers following a schedule that closely resembles a rocket launch in intricate coordination ain’t easy. And it ain’t cheap. Suffice it to say The Lady has failed miserably in pinpointing the proper outfit to accompany me and MuMu through that process from her vantage point this side of the border. She now hopes to git’er done from the other.

After a half a year of watching her follow dead end after dead end or connecting with folks who want a clean kidney and open access to her checking account in exchange for sliding me and Mu down the cactus highway, she collapsed in a heap and put the call out on my Facebook page for ideas.

Wildcard Awesomeness!

Enter Linda (the mom and event coordinator) and Mary Kitzmiller (natural horsemanship national competitor)! Yesterday we walked onto a trailer headed to Keeneland where we then walked up the ramp and into a box stall  in an 18 wheeler headed to Texas and Rancho Kitzmiller. OK, I made the name up.

We’re going to live there while The Lady gets her act together. Mary’s gonna teach Mu about the garrocha pole and I’m going to catch up on my hulu. “Like” Mary’s Facebook page, she’s gonna need all the likes she can get after she starts learning what I have to teach her.

Waiting for my chauffeur

Waiting for my chauffeur

I call this a real silver lining! I always wanted to have a crack at Mary, I mean kiss her. She may be THE only nationally competing natural horsemanship clinician willing to go public with her work with a mini. The others appear to be wusses. I’m not saying she’s going to work with me, but I do intend to give her some tips. Of my hooves. On her rear! Hahahahahhaa.

Where was I?

Oh yeah, so anyway, I would say the chances of me and Mu ever getting to Mexico are about 50/50. Stay tuned. This little horse on a BIG Trip will be posting again soon.

I’m comin’ to gitcha, Mary! KaPOW!

Iota and Muon McHippus leave Seldom Scene Farm through the courtesy of Equine Express, Inc.

Iota and Muon McHippus leave Seldom Scene Farm through the courtesy of Equine Express, Inc.

If you’re shipping a horse you may want to look up Equine Express. They may not be able to guarantee a flat screen tv in every one of their vans or trailers, but they do serve enough hay to make it worthwhile without taking too much of yours, if you catch my drift.

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Stuck

In preparation for my BIG Trip across the US-Mexican border I have had to succumb to a lot of dumb procedures.

Idyllic ‘Containment’

For one thing, I have had to live in a ‘clean’ pasture with MuMu for months at Seldom Scene Farm

Um....yeah.....it DOES take 3 vets to get me carefully subdued.

Um….yeah…..it DOES take 3 vets to get me carefully subdued.

in Woodford County, KY.. What’s that mean? It means we had to be on a farm with no reported outbreaks of anything, which I suppose in and of itself isn’t such a terrible thing, but has seriously cut into my social life. I haven’t been able to attend ANY of the local county fairs or drive into Cincinnati for some blues.

Stab, Jab and Blab

Then, to make matters worse, Dr. Woody Friend (real name) of the prestigious Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, KY, stopped by with a bevy of beautiful interns to jab me with his needles in the name of ridiculous regulations. Coggins, rabies, botulism, influenza this and that and I don’t know what-all. Let it be known: I. Do. NOT. Like. Needles! Never have. Never will.

This is a known fact to Dr. Friend, so he nose and tail twitched me to jab me with some Happy Juice before starting in with all of the above. His BIG Finish? A freaking Identification slab installed in my neck! That’s right, like any good Great Dane, I am now microchipped – #965 000 000 321442.

Do You Want Chips With That?

Additionally, The Lady has been going about adding all sorts of things to my shipping halter. The microchip tag, a tag with her email on it and a lucky charm made by Lu. She had them put my name on a brass plate on the halter, but she only now noticed they spelled it wrong — **snort!**. “Iota McHippis” instead of the right way. Oh well, if they google search it they should land on this page.

Fancy KY style halter - with a typo!! Figures.

Fancy KY style halter – with a typo!! Figures.

Finding the right people to shepherd me and the Mu-ster across the southern half of this country into the central part of the one below it has proved to be a crazy challenge for her. I’ll talk about that next post!

My Good Luck charm designed by Ludovica of Rodrigo and the Rose in Italy no less!

My Good Luck charm designed by Ludovica of Rodrigo and the Rose in Italy no less!

Traumatic Rodeo Averted

PS: The photo of them twitching and jabbing me got pretty controversial on my Facebook page. I heard from people with nicely behaved, much larger cold blood draft type horses who admonished the facilitators as being unprofessional and heavy handed. In fact, we littles can get pretty airs above the ground when it comes to shots so what you’re seeing is Dr. Friend and Company administering the Happy Juice to keep me calm so the whole thing wasn’t one big traumatic rodeo.

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My BIG Trip!

Life Happens

A couple years ago The Lady and I thought we might be able to put a trip together and visit equine rescues around the US and distribute money raised in various ways. Life stepped in and that turned out not to have happened.

Instead, if you follow me on Facebook then you probably know something about this, we’re moving to Mexico. I’ve fielded a ton of questions about WHY we’re going and I am happy to give you the mini version now.

I am Mexico bound!

I am Mexico bound!

Fail

Basically the failing economy nixed The Man’s job and after a year a fruitless searching for another job the old dude realized Life was offering him an opportunity in a golden hay net, if you will, so he opted for early retirement. Because The Lady has assembled an imaginative career for herself through the years making art and doing design and web work. Her work is completely portable!

San Miguel de Allende

MuMu and me with Hoss who is not, but is a goofy dog we love in Kentucky.

MuMu and me with Hoss who is not, but is a goofy dog we love in Kentucky.

So they ran their numbers and decided all would be well for us all if we went somewhere where the cost of living is lower.  They considered Thailand, Panama and Costa Rica first before The Man found an absolutely perfect city in the high plains of Mexico’s interior where artists are welcomed and building preservationists were well respected.

They found a tiny ranch on the side of a hill 6 miles north of San Miguel de Allende and after a whole year getting things situated for our move, we are heading down in a week. We all have mixed feelings. We have loved it in Kentucky and, of course, I was born here. But adventure beckons!

Future Fun

My new pasture is 6000' up in the sky. It's got cacti whatever those are.

My new pasture is 6000′ up in the sky. It’s got cacti whatever those are.

Already a school principle who shepherds elementary school kids is keen to let me pass out books and let the kids keep them after they read them to me. The kindergarten down the hill from our new place is expecting me to visit and do something similar. I can just walk there from home!

The Lady is planning to write and illustrate a book in Español featuring me on the topic of animal kindness that we’ll be talking more about as the project unfolds. This all harkens back to her experiences years ago as a Peace Corps volunteer, and I have always wanted to make an impact in this world beyond my Facebook snark and random KaPOWs, lol. I. Am. Amped!

I think I will have purpose in Mexico and this makes my heart happy.

MuMu and I load up in a week and start our long journey south. I’ll keep you updated.

MuMu and I have been waiting at Seldom Scene Farm in Woodford County, KY.

MuMu and I have been waiting at Seldom Scene Farm in Woodford County, KY.

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Auction!

As many of you have heard, I am moving to Mexico with my family. The Lady spells about the reasons in her blog post here. I’m cool with it, because I’m going with my Big Brother.

Here we are:

Iota McHippus with his big brother Muon McHippus

Iota McHippus with his big brother Muon McHippus

Well I’m selling some of my OWN things to help raise money for professionals to transport us all the down there.

I’m auctioning them on my Facebook Page in a Special Photo Album.

Some of them need to have multiple pictures so I’m posting those here.

The Thumbelina Painting:

iota-auction-thumbelina

16″ x 20″ x 1.5″ Original Painting of Mini horse “Thumbelina” – value $500.

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detail

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Edge


Pink Pony Painting!

Pink Pony Painting
16″ x 20″ x 1.5″
Value $500

Acrylic Painting on Canvas, ready to hang. Features beautiful pink pony

The Narrative says:
“Where day dreams and sleep dreams come together, interesting possibilities get up on their feet and start looking for us!” “We come upon each other and suddenly our realms intertwine and dreams become actual.”TO BID:

Comment on the Facebook Photo here a price higher than the other comments.

pink-pony-painting-01

16″ x 20″ x 1.5″

pink-pony-painting-02 pink-pony-painting-03 pink-pony-painting-04 pink-pony-painting-05

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What Coho Told Whitney

As you may have heard, we’re moving to Mexico. But The Lady and The Man couldn’t afford to take all three horses. It was time for them to find CoHo a new home. Amazingly, through the magic of the awesomeness of The Lady’s friends on Facebook several wonderful horsewomen stepped up to offer their lives to his.

Also, an animal communicator, Whitney Taylor of Doolittle Communications, offered a free session to make sure the selection process was in keeping with CoHo’s own dreams. This session took place last night.

Below are The Lady’s notes:

  • He was keen to learn about the top two selections for his future home but decided that the one The Lady had selected was going to be the one he would like to go to first choice as well, not because the others were not right, but because he could tell this was a really good fit.
Change is difficult - but oh, so much easier when love is involved.

Change is difficult – but oh, so much easier when love is involved.

  • He said that anyone who is a friend of The Lady is a friend of his.
  • He said “Mary, I like that name.”
  • He didn’t want to go so far (Mexico). May have reconsidered if a boat had been involved.
  • He has really enjoyed his time here with us. He hopes it’s going to be similar where he’s going.
  • He’s delighted there is a mini where he’s headed.
  • He feels a strong forever tie to us despite the circumstances..
  • He originally thought he might like to stay closer to right here with his move because he very much likes it here and loves the climate. he didn’t want to go north or south. When he learned that where Mary’s place is was 6 hours to the east in a lateral move he was fine with it. He was keen to find out if it would be ‘as green’ there. They told him it would be.
  • He wants to participate in a horse show or two. Not to ‘win’ because he believes winning is in the participation. He has an extremely enlightened view on that activity as ‘competition’.
  • We will miss this dude.

    We will miss this dude.

    He wants to show what he can do. He wants to show himself off!

  •  He understands why he needs to be off the rich pasture when he has to be whereupon he side mentioned that io is dumb and doesn’t get it, lol. He was joking apparently. So funny I forgot to laugh.
  • He said ever since witnessing Mu throwing The Lady that day he’s decided “Humans don’t fly very well…” again, he was joking.
  • He said as regards fears and plastic, that plastic doesn’t much occur in nature and that bumping into some randomly here or there shouldn’t stop or even slow down his training.
  •  Plastic smells. Something about a lime or lime color.
  • He can’t wait for us to see Mary’s updates about his progress.
  • He has a high opinion of himself not the unhealthy kind.
  • He would love to be shown in an all-breeds show as the representative of excellence in the Tennessee Walking horse type.
  • Iota should stop farting so much and make ’em laugh. Seriously, Shut Up!
  •  Finally, Whitney said that if Mary wasn’t going to work out, nor the other top notch applicant, SHE herself would take him in because he is so sweet.  don’t think she says that very often.
  •  He will miss us a lot.
  • And we will miss him a lot too.
  • He will always consider us as Family no matter where we all are.

So there it is. Coho is totally on board with what’s happening. In fact, he’s psyched. We ALL believe Mary will be able to get him to where he can accomplish his dreams.

We sure will miss him, but we sure can’t wait to hear about his adventures! He said the same to us.

Ok, I’m crying.

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CoHo – Tennessee Walking Horse

CoHo is a 12 year old Tennessee Walking horse who is looking for a new home. We thought we would be able to keep him forever, but life has changed and now we find that we have to move to Mexico and can’t take every horse with us.

  • 14’3 hands tall
  • gelding
  • unregistered (as far as we know) Tennessee Walking horse type
That's CoHo with his pet pal, Iota McHippus

That’s CoHo with his pet pal, Iota McHippus

CoHo is the ‘brother’ of Iota McHippus.

The Backstory

Yes, he can wear star shades and have fun with a pedestal!

Yes, he can wear star shades and have fun with a pedestal!

He came to use about 6 years ago. My husband was looking for a horse to learn horsemanship on and found this guy posted on a flyer in the local grocery store. He reminded him of a horse he had known growing up and decided to get him right away. Shortly after this, while continuing his riding lessons at a riding center, he took a bad fall and his horsemanship days pretty much ended forever. At least the riding parts.

Coho then sort of became a pasture pal to my own horse (a young colt, the now grown up paint in the photo above,  I was starting myself – a complete newbie – I didn’t say we were the smartest people, did I?) as well as a mini (Iota) I found later. Coho didn’t get as much attention from me as I would have liked because I was busy with the other guys, my work and he was still the hubby’s horse, also he had some habits he had come with that were often over my level of ability.

For example, he would straighten out during a session with me in our field at the end of a 16′ or 22′ foot long rope and run back to the barn or to the end of the field. Our guess is someone may have tried this with him in his past and when he didn’t get it right might have wailed on him. I don’t know. I do know he would overreact and I have since learned to use only the slightest, precisely timed cues to keep him tracking in a circle. I had work to do with my own two horses and turned my training attention to them.

He’s a Bit Behind in his Schooling

So Coho hasn’t has as much education as he should have by now. He also has an unexplained phobia of plastic that makes noise. While we work with it and he gets to a nice stable relaxed point with it today, tomorrow we’re almost always all the way back to square one. I mean this is after the gentle total body rubdown with a grocery bag, a walk across a big blue tarp and back again, a fluttering scrap at the end of a carrot stick. Is this trust? An issue with eyesight? We just have never been able to figure out a definitive answer, and I’ve asked every trainer, vet or otherwise horsey person we’ve ever had on sight or where I’ve taken him.

Under saddle...

Under saddle…

Needs a Better, More Confident Rider?

This is partially why I don’t feel safe riding him. A more accomplished rider with a round pen would have no problems! Why do I think so? He’s a very willing horse! He’s nice! He’s brave when it comes to other things. He will smack a plastic barrel, knocking it down for days if you ask him to. He’ll get up on a pedestal and ask for treats too. If the broom is near his stall door he’ll hork it around, or anything else that comes within reach. Not out of spite or boredom, but to get your attention. He’s funny and I think he has a very good sense of humor. When we throw a party in the barn he’s at his door the whole time trying to interact with whoever will interact with him!

He’s a Nice Boy

When he came to us his eye was hard and resentful. He’d charge you for his food, and give you the ol’ stink eye for just about anything you did. Boy has he changed. His eye is soft, his manner is relaxed – he even lays down in his stall and the pasture from time to time – something he NEVER did in the beginning. I think he trusts life more now. Oh sure, he’ll press you every now and then to see if the rules are still in effect (he might try an ear pin, tight nostril thing to speed up the food delivery  out in the barn yard, for example) but that’s a horse for you, I just tell him no way and those ears prick back forward and I swear he gets an innocent look on that long blazed face.

Honestly, we could have lived with all of this for as long as it took me to get him finished if circumstances hadn’t changed and are now causing us to move to Mexico. Our resources simply won’t allow us to take three horses. We have known since the hubby finally accepted he wasn’t going to ride this horse that we should re-home him. Then the economy went south and the market became flooded with tons of beautifully finished riding horses. So who would want our problem child?

But here’s the thing, I don’t think he is a problem child. I think he’s a horse who would be THE perfect companion for a bolder rider than me; someone who has a round pen and can help him past his old ways.

  • He loads GREAT!
  • He saddles well.
  • His ground manners are solidly good.
  • He’s an easy keeper.
  • Has great hooves!
  • He’ll wear his muzzle when he has to.
  • He leads beautifully.
  • He’s pretty.
  • He’s strong.
  • For someone out there he is THE perfect companion. I know it.
  • He’s quite curious and enjoyed the clinics I’ve brought him to.
  • He’s calm with the vet.
  • He’s good with the equine dentist.

He does believe himself to be the top horse in any grouping we’ve ever had here. He’s one of the ones who thinks that’s oh, so very important. That might never change or you might have a mini mare who will give him what-for once and for all.

I think he would make a most excellent therapy horse because of his issues. But I also think in the right hands he would make an awesome trail horse. His hooves are rock hard the good way and he’s as ‘healthy as a horse’. I mean it. I’ve never seen him sick or off a day in his 7 years with us. He tends to pace, so you would have to help him through that if you were to finish him as a riding horse. Some people don’t mind it.

He wears a hat well:

Details

Serious inquiries only. Please read this whole description and view the video(s). He’s not for just anyone. If we can’t find him a good home we will take whatever steps are necessary and compassionate to ensure he does not end up on a slaughter truck nor at a half-way home leading to a slaughter truck. No horse deserves the terror this country allows in that unholy process.

His vetting (vaccinations, coggins) are all up to date, as are his feet. And so too, his teeth.

This isn’t about making money – but slaughter shoppers will find no easy mark here. We may give him free to the right home and how we’ll determine the right home is through the same process any good equine rescue organization does. We will use the same forms they use at the Kentucky Equine Humane Center here in Nicholasville, KY. We will ask for references. The right person will understand why.

This heartbreaking decision for us could be a real fun opportunity for the right new people.

Please Share

Please like and share and comment your thoughts on who should see this page below. Feel free to contact me if you think he’s the right horse for you. How we would love to partner him with people who will appreciate him for his strengths.

Save Your Criticisms

I’ve already had some text-lashings from folks who think we may not be doing right by this horse. People who think we should have done better. People who think we should have found a way to get him more finished before now. The worst at this is me against me. I don’t think you can add a thing to my guilt and sadness over this. So don’t bother venting against me. I’ve already heard it internally.

But I do hope our failure as stewards will provide an excellent opportunity for someone who always a handsome project horse, therapy colleague or pasture pal. I have to trust that this person is out there and my network of equine compassionates will help me find him or her.

Posted in Awesome Friends | 6 Comments