Hello beautiful people of the world!

I am just going to jump right in with my thoughts today and right off the bat I can tell you that I would be lying if I said I am not concerned by this current pandemic.  

I am an assistant kindergarten teacher so have been home for a weeks now.  Thankfully, the kids, animals, and housework have been keeping me busy but I am becoming ever increasingly concerned about finances in our future.

I am very aware and grateful that we have it better than some because my husband is still working.  His job is in I.T. and he basically only sits at a computer in his own office during the day. Thankfully we are all well in our household and I will be still be getting paid as a teacher but I do not know for how long that will continue.

Since this blog is to share about my families' experiences on our small farm, I would like to get in to detail with you all about my greatest concern on the farm currently.  His name is Chewy.

Chewy is a 10 year old, black, long haired, mini pony. I am guessing he is a Shetland mix but it is a mystery. I have had him now for about two and a half months. During this time I have learned that he is insulin resistant and he must have been quite neglected before he came to us!

I say this because his hooves are one hundred percent...messed...up. Picture if you will the movie Elf starring Will Farrell.  Well, Chewy's hooves look as if his toes pointed upward just like a Christmas elves slippers would do, and to make matters worse, someone (who did not seem to know what they were doing) tried to trim his hooves down to make them look more normal, in order to sell Chewy. 

But this left him debilitated and in very much pain!

When Chewy came to me, his hooves had to be padded underneath with Styrofoam that was held in place by duct taped wrapped around the hooves because it was so painful for him to walk.  

Every time he put a foot down on the ground was excruciating for him.  His front left was the worst and he would not even put weight on it. It is still the most misshapen of them all. My husband called him Tripod because he would hobble around on three legs.

We quarantined Chewy for the first month in a stall filled with shavings for extra softness and gave him as much TLC as he would allow.  He is a friendly fella but obviously is not used to be handled much.  

All we could really do in the beginning was wait a little while for his hooves to grow a bit and then we had the farrier out to trim and take a look at him.

What a mess!  This poor pony is in such a state. The farrier's visit was when I learned that he has had ongoing laminitis for a long time before coming to me. He is walking now but it is still very carefully.  

He is much happier and loves that he now gets to get out of the stall during the days and be with the horse and goat. He also has a lot of admirers from people who pass by our pasture.
My main concern now is that I have to treat his condition of insulin resistance. (I.R.)
I now have to soak his grass hay in a bucket for one hour before each feeding.  

This process drains the extra sugars and starch from the hay that his body can not process correctly.  I also have to put the wet hay in a hay net for him to pick at in order to eat the hay. If I do not put it in the net, Chewy will suck it in like a hoover vacuum cleaner!  I am pretty sure he had to fight for his right to food before he came to me.

He also has horrible mites and skin issues under all his thick hair, which I spray down two times a day with expensive anti-fungal products.  My next goal is to get Chewy's feet x-rayed to see what kind of damage he may have inside the hooves.

Back to the current Covid-19 pandemic extravaganza!  This is where my worry really lies because not only is it scary enough, but I also feel the need to hang on to my money because we may need it.

I am putting off a vet visit because Chewy is not in a current life threatening condition and I have cared for many in his predicament before, but it just makes me feel bad.  

I do, however, have faith that God will provide the vet care and all the other special medications and things that Chewy needs. In the meantime, his feeding and special care process takes me several hours each day and that is not even adding in the needs of the other horse and animals!

I pray for all to stay well and remain calm in these critical times. Stay home and love on your family. We will have to help each other through these crazy times, and if you don't mind, please say a little prayer for Chewbacca the pony, who lives on a hill in Oregon with a horse and a goat.  I would be ever so grateful.
Until next time, take care!

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Amy Darr

3 Corners Farm

Mosier Oregon, U.S.A.