Good morning!  Welcome one and all to being in the midst of a global pandemic.  

Truly, I woke up this morning in a bit of shock.  I ended up very ill during last weeks events of pandemonium across the internet, but I did keep up with what was happening on the news. I called in sick to work (school) a few days last week and just when I thought I was on the mend, our 11 year old daughter, Megan, started having fevers and coughing. I took her to our local clinic on Friday where she tested negative for flu.  We were told to self quarantine like everyone else but were unable to be tested for Covid-19 due to the lack of test kits.  Only those in hospital and gravely ill with medical risks would be tested. we are. All of us in our family are doing ok.  We have enough toilet paper for the week. (Goodness)! Trevor and Blake (our teenagers) are both fine and dandy to enjoy some on-line gaming currently, and Megan is finishing up some of her on-line schooling, so not much is different in her young life.

I, however, am trying not to panic due to the fact that since I work in public school, like so many others now, I am unable to work for my paycheck! Travis is still currently going in to his job because he has only himself in an office. I am grateful for his income still. 

I have a rescue pony right now that I would love to take to the vet due to reoccurring laminitus/pain issues. I have decided to spare asking others for donations, knowing many are floating in the same boat as us. Instead, I have decided to change his diet again and try that. We currently feed our senior mare, Willow, an alfalfa and grass mixed hay because the alfalfa has added protein content for help with keeping a senior horse's weight up, but it is probably too rich for a mini pony like Chewy who already has diet issues. 

My goal is to get some grass hay and soak it before putting it in a hay net for Chewy each night and morning.  That way if he goes out with the horse and goat during the day and happens to get a little extra forage from grazing grass, it won't be so detrimental to him. Right now we have snow on the ground (crazy right), so eating lush green grass is not so much of a problem, but I will have to be watching for this with Chewy.

In case you may not know this about equines, there is a disease that some get called Insulin Resistance (I.R.). This means a horse's body can not process sugar much like a diabetic human. Sugar intake for horses comes in the form of green grass, apples, carrots, sweet feeds such as grains, and also in some hay.  In order to limit it from Chewy's diet, I will need to soak his hay rations in water to drain off some of the extra starch and sugars, and then feed it to him.  I tried this with Willow in the beginning when she came to me very painful for the same I.R. complications, but she snubbed the soaked hay. Chewy, though, eats anything and everything so I am hopeful that he will accept this. 

When this overabundance of sugar occurs, it manifests in the form of laminitis or founder, both of which cause inflammation of the hooves and cause the coffin bone to separate from the hoof wall.  This is very dangerous for the horse and can even cause a horse to be euthanized.  My pony suffered this long before he came to us but I hope to get him on a good path of having a comfortable quality of life to live out his years with us.  Our mare, Willow, also has the same condition from her past and I must monitor her diet carefully as well. 

Anyway, I think I got a little off topic here but I wanted to share with the world a little about what our tiny part of the world is like right now in light of the global issues.

We are happy, we have our needs met, and we are well. I refuse to be fearful and instead focus my energies on my family and farm.  In that way, not much for us is different!

Please count your blessings and I'm sure you will find many.  Be kind to all. Hug and cherish your loved ones, both people and animals alike, and may you stay well.

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Until next time,
Amy Darr
3 Corners Farm
Mosier Oregon, U.S.A.