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I’m sorry your back is bothering you. My back can get pretty bad from old injuries, but running takes that way. Riding helps too. I feel bad for anyone that can’t find that release.
 

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...I'd love to do this walk I saw on a TV documentary a few months ago:


That takes in the Dales plus Lake District plus Moors and two coasts... 🤩

Really interesting links to the desert education museum - very cool clip too - thank you! I love their approach of using science plus art plus fun/good-crazy antics. Some of those kids are positively elven... ❤

Good luck with your back. I know I bang on about this, but Pilates fixes my back every time, and if I do enough of it, prevents issues altogether. No pink leotards required, males are allowed to do it too, and all you need is a yoga mat, instructions (lots on YT) and slow to medium music of your choice. It's incredibly good for your backbones to counterbend to the common daily-life bending which is more one-way - and it's amazing how much extra movement you get if you regularly move the backbones in bends, counterbends and sideways flexes and rotations...plus Pilates builds your core, taking pressure off the back. 😎

Just don't do too many "hundreds" too soon! 🥳 It will cause extreme acidosis of your abdominal muscles unless you build that exercise up slowly day by day...
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,544 ·
@SueC, we had talked about trying the Coast-to-Coast, but it would take 3 weeks or more and we wouldn't have that much time. We MIGHT try doing some stages of it - maybe the east side first going west into the Yorkshire Dales, then return in a few years and try the west side, going east into the Lake district. We watched that program and I suspect Wainwright would understand someone with limited time doing a little bit and enjoying that phase rather than trying to "get it done"!

We aren't getting younger. And while we are a LONG way from wealthy, what money we have might as well be spent creating good times instead of "things". Finding someone who can take care of the horses for a couple of weeks might be a challenge. And the whole COVID lockdown/restricted travel thing could put a big crimp in hopes. As an alternative, we might look at extended walks/hikes in some of the southern Utah parks. Bryce Canyon has a very heavily used tourist section but could be a springboard to a lot of interesting country:
Panguitch is one of my favorite towns (1500 people). Tropic is getting a bit touristy, and no where in southern Utah do you get the green of Vermont, but not many head out into the countryside there...
But yeah, we'd prefer to visit England again. If possible. Oh...and I'll look up Pilates. I need SOMETHING!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,545 ·
@gottatrot mentioned a vet bill. A big one. The vet issue is one we're struggling with now. We're worried about Trooper. He's losing weight. Had mild colic a couple of times in the last 6 weeks after 12 years with no issues. Comes from a line of horses almost all of whom get cancer by 20. (He's 22-23, not sure). We talked last night about calling a vet.

5 years ago the vet charged $400 just to look at our driveway in daylight. The last few times the vet has been out, we didn't even get ADVICE on what to do. Just "See a specialist!" Dude, if you aren't a specialist, then why are you charging me $400 just to drive to my house - and more when you step out of the truck?

I'd love a vet's advice but we have a feeling it will now cost $1000+ to be told, "See a specialist!" Assuming one will even come out. 2 of the 4 vets I know of for horses have retired in the last 3 years. And we're close to a city with a population of 1,000,000! We're going to try a change in feed. Maybe bring him out front once a day to get a special feeding of stuff for older horses. We've always fed dry horse pellets but we may start soaking them. His teeth were checked a year ago and barely needed work after a 5 year gap but there are no longer any equine dentists who make house calls. And used truck prices have increase as much as 70% in the last 4 months. New ones are sky high too! We're going to wait to see if prices drop. MAYBE go new because the new trucks are only about $10K higher than a used one with 100K miles.

Oh...and nutrition and vets don't seem to mix well. Many years ago I had a vet tell me Jack needed to be fed some special brand of food she sold because Kirtland brand dog food was just "cheap [expletive]!" Maybe, but Jack is nearing 13 now. He's slowing down. His eyesight isn't as good as it once was. Neither is mine. He's more inclined to go to a quiet room than before. Me too, actually. But he plays chase the ball with Sammy with enormous enthusiasm, spinning around and racing like a puppy. Just...not for as many throws. It is a bit like when the doctor who was at least 100 lbs told me my Keto diet was bad for me. His belly was sagging between his spread apart thighs and he was giving me advice on how to eat?

I could easily pay a vet $1000-$2000 for tests and then be told "See a specialist"....🤬
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,546 ·
Some good news:
Trooper has been on his feet most of the day. He had some hay for Breakfast. Tried soaking the Lakin Lite pellets. Puts the pellets in the bucket, added enough water to reach the top of the pellets, then let it sit in the AZ sun for 30 minutes. That was enough to absorb all the water, making the pellets about twice their normal size. Then dumped the pellets into the feed buckets. Trooper insisted on taking #1 bucket and he didn't move until done!

Thunderstorms may be on their way so just did another meal same way. It plops into the feed bucket like a load of porridge, but they seem quite happy to eat it. I took a photo of Trooper getting first dibs, although Bandit is face down, chowing down behind him. If Trooper has teeth or swallowing issues, this may be a way to get nutrition into him. You can see his ribs showing and he looks better in the photo than in reality. I'd love to see him put on 50-100 lbs.

We'll never be friends, but I respect him for what he is. When my youngest rode him this month while on leave, it was the first time he'd been ridden in 6 months - and he acted like he'd been ridden every day of those 6 months. He's a good horse. Doesn't like me, but a good horse!
 

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Well, @bsms, the vet situation you are relating sounds very discouraging...specialist indeed. I'd be very careful about throwing too much of my money away on someone like this - I want the money I spend to be of actual use to the animal, or I consider it wasted.

Making it easier for him to eat seems a good way to go - and I think it's a better use of your money than vague prognostications from a veterinarian. Think of the good nursing care you can provide to benefit your animal if you don't have a vet bill that turns out largely useless...

How many carrots, for example, can you buy for the hundreds of dollars your vet charges to come down the driveway? ...and actually, fresh stuff like this, full of beta-carotene etc, can be very helpful for an ailing horse that's lost condition. Also their Vitamin E often gets critically low if they're on dry feed for extended periods, and think how much Vit-E supplementation you can give him instead of having your vet look at your driveway...

If Trooper isn't suffering, you can throw your resources into good nursing instead. If he's got internal cancer, realistically you're not going to have surgery as an option and even if you won Lotto, in horses surgery is no small thing and in an older horse I'd prefer to do palliative care and then let them go when the quality of life stops being good. Does a diagnosis help any? Presumably he's de-wormed so it won't be that, and unless it's something you could realistically do something about, a diagnosis isn't necessarily helpful. Is there anything it could be, that's treatable if you know what it is?

Statistically, two things jump out at me - that cancer is pretty likely in older horses who have cancer in their ancestry as well and are dropping in condition, and that whatever the condition is, good nursing care and careful feeding won't do any harm, and actually will do a lot of good to improve the quality of life for the horse along this road.

My Arab mare dropped off in condition in her last summer, months before she developed abdominal symptoms, mini-colics etc. At the time we were in drought so I thought it was just that, because I wasn't feeding her extra to compensate, because she actually was a bit over for my taste before that summer - at first it was good to see her lose one condition score. But when it became more than that, I started supplementing her quickly; and when that didn't have its usual effect on her, and she didn't pick condition back up (though she also didn't lose much more), I started to wonder.

I had her teeth done again in case, but that wasn't it either; the mare was 32 and it was clear to me that she may well have a terminal illness. Which is how it turned out. I don't have any regrets how we managed her - good nursing to maintain condition as well as we could, and quick action when she became periodically uncomfortable and we realised it wasn't going to just go away. I think there is such a thing as too much medical intervention, both in old people and old (other) animals, and I like the model that favours good palliative care over artificial extension of life, which is mostly only for short periods, with expensive and often traumatic procedures. On the other had, a friend's dog with osteosarcoma had a good-quality life extension of nearly a year through the amputation of the affected limb in that case - and that was worth it to them, and the actual surgery a relief for the animal, because bone cancer is really painful and you can fairly instantly reduce the pain with amputation, in small animals where such a thing doesn't cause huge issues with getting around.

Good luck with Trooper. Maybe it's something more minor; and if not, he probably still has good months ahead and you can make them count. (He may even start to like you. Despite of his traumatic experiences with human males in the past!)
 

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Sorry about Trooper. I agree with @SueC. Before any medical treatment for animal or human, I always try to think about what are they going to do, and is it going to change anything. It seems ridiculous to spend money for a vet that will only tell you they don't know anything.

Our cat was losing weight, and I said "What if he has cancer?" Then we thought about what would we do if an old cat had cancer, and we'd just keep him comfortable, and if it seemed he was getting too thin or not having a good life, we'd put him to sleep. So what would be the point of going to the vet?

Same cat, a year or so later, was losing hair. After trying to figure out what he might be allergic to, I thought he might also have a thyroid problem. So I brought him to the vet, since either of those things might be easily treatable. He's still thin, but the bloodwork didn't show any problems, and the allergy shot didn't really help much with the hair loss. The vet said some cats are just thin, and it's true that he's been thin since we got him, regardless of what food I give him. No signs of cancer, so going to the vet the first time I was worried would have been unnecessary stress for the cat and a waste of money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,549 ·
I've been trying to figure out what is allowed here with disposing of a horse's body. Burial on property is no longer viable - requires a permit to ensure...well, whatever it is they need to ensure, but I'm pretty sure the county would look for ways to say no. Not likely to happen on a couple of acres!

One place in Tucson mentions rendering, but then they say they no longer render. So...what will they do? I know SOME of the local dumps are certified for it, but I doubt my trash service covers it and not seeing much else. Cremation actually sounds plausible to me. Costs cited are $750-1500, so not cheap. We COULD bury the ashes on our property. But the place that does it is in Phoenix. So the transport costs would probably be prohibitive.

I assume the other horses in Pima County eventually die. What happens to THEM? Do they evaporate? Don't know many local horse owners. I know one used to bury them on her property but that was before the law changed. Trooper seems to be doing better but I need to figure this thing out BEFORE a horse dies.
 

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There are services which picks up animals (livestock) and takes them to the dump. My friend has such a business. Not sure how much she charges, but $300-400 seems about right. Might be more now that everything has gone up. I've buried my horses, but laws may also have changed here. I'll have to check them out. If so, I'll call one of the pick up services if I need to. Might be pricey, but just another ownership related cost, unfortunately.
 

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Oh no! Arizona is the worst state in America to live in!

"Natural beauty is abundant in the Grand Canyon State, but so is ozone, particularly in heavily populated Maricopa County — the home to Phoenix, and to some of the worst air quality in the nation, according to the American Lung Association. Arizona is stingy when it comes to public health funding, and it has a shortage of doctors and mental health providers. Even though there is no evidence of election fraud in Arizona — and not for lack of trying to find it — state lawmakers passed new restrictions on mail voting this year.

2021 Life, Health and Inclusion score: 91 out of 375 points (Top States Grade: F) / Strength: Arizona scored poorly in all metrics / Weaknesses: Air quality, public health funding, crime, inclusiveness
"


Please get the word out! NO ONE COME HERE! TERRIBLE PLACE! STAY AWAY! Of course, in spite of the worst air quality in America, I can usually see 50+ miles. But that merely makes it easy to see all the scorpions (most larger than Dobermans) and rattlesnakes (roughly the size of anacondas). We probably aren't as deadly as Australia, but yeah...stay away!

BTW: The second worst state to live in? Texas. Third? Tie between Nevada and Missouri. 5th? Tennessee. 6th is Georgia. But Arizona is the worst of the worst! We're Number One!
 

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I believe Arizona may be the worst state air-quality wise. Because when it's not burning from wildfires it's burning from controlled burns. I live up in the White Mountains and it was smokey all spring and early summer. I wheezed, I coughed, I had tons of snot. I took my inhalers all the time (I have asthma) and only now that it's monsoon season and it's actually raining can I breath and not take inhalers constantly.

I swear, no matter where the fire is, all the smoke comes up here! The smoke from the big fires outside of Phoenix all came up here, then all the fires burning up here produced smoke as well. You will think the air is fine and leave your windows open overnight and then in the morning all the smoke has settled into the low spots and it's in your house and you are breathing it. At one point there were so many fires going I had no idea where the smoke was coming from anymore. It was anyone's guess because there were fires all over the place!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,554 ·
Smoke from fires is a temporary problem. Two years of severe drought during one of the driest decades in recorded history set up us for bad fires. But...

I'm pretty sure the air in Phoenix is better than it used to be. Used to drive thru Phoenix to go from Tucson to Logan Utah all the time in the late 70s. Phoenix would get an inversion and the air would be like a brown fog there. It certainly has pollen issues, largely due to the large number of plants whose pollen is strange to people not raised in the desert. But...from a ridgeline near my house, I can look past Tucson (30 miles away) and see Picacho Peak (60 miles away). Cutting down the big mesquite next to my house has helped me. It pumped out incredible amounts of pollen in the spring. We cut 2/3 of it down before the pollen season started and I've had less breathing issues this year than I have in ages.

Happily, we're having a wet monsoon this year. We've had soaking rains - not flash thunderstorms, but soaking rain - almost daily here. I sprayed for weeds two days ago believing the weather forecast (dry). We DID get 12 hours of dry before a long rain, and that should be enough for the stuff to be absorbed by the plants. The saguaros in my yard may split from taking in so much water. That may help with the fire situation because we did have more fires near us this year than we've ever seen before.

The article cites ozone as their cause for concern. Heat is a major factor in producing ozone and Arizona has plenty of heat! A website says "Though ozone pollution has declined since the Clean Air Act of 1970, several states have year-round “ozone seasons,” when levels must be closely monitored. These states include Florida, Nevada, Hawaii, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, and most of California, as well as southern Texas and Louisiana." The Clean Air Act of 1970 was, IMHO, one of the greatest pieces of legislation passed. I remember the paper mills pumping out pollution in the southeast in the 60s. The incredible smog of LA & Phoenix in the mid-70s. But outside of the major cities, "Nevada, Hawaii, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, and most of California" have some great air!


If that is bad air, I'll take it with a smile! And that is part of why I laughed at the article. Lots of other people want to take it too!

People are free to choose, and Arizona has been growing MUCH faster than I'd like - and has been my entire life! Arizona, Texas and Nevada are in the top 10 for growth, and supposedly in the bottom 10 for a place to live. The three worst states to live in are also in the top 10 for people moving here. I see a disconnect.

But...like I said, I'm HAPPY if people stay away! All those folks in California and New York who keep coming here and paying big bucks for homes? I'd be THRILLED if they would move back! I'd dearly love it if a million or more folks living in Arizona decided to move to California. If CNBC can convince people to stay away from Arizona? That's fantastic!:ROFLMAO:
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,556 · (Edited)
Big storm last night. The weather advisories in the middle of the night estimated 2 inches of rain. Heaviest rainfall we've experienced here at our house since August 2005. That was shortly after we moved in and we were shocked at how much rain came...but 11PM until 2AM probably matched it. To put it in perspective, last year we got 1.5 inches of rain over the entire summer. The stuff I did the last couple of weeks helped. My berm wasn't washed away although it needs to be beefed up in a few spots. But the horses had a miserable night, as did our Border Collie. Jack hates it when the Sky Dogs growl at him...and bark! More rain is forecast for the next couple of days.

UPDATE: We have a nearly straight sided bucket I use as a rain gauge. The top opening is SLIGHTLY larger than the bottom...but it is close. It has 4.25 inches in it. Probably had over 3.5 inches of rain last night. Maybe closer to 4.
 

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That is a lot of rain! When we were in Arizona several years ago it rained heavily, and we noticed how the soils and topography did not absorb rain well compared to OR, so the water became a problem very quickly.

It rains wherever we travel, because we bring it with us. It rained when we were in Western Australia too. They said it hadn't rained in that area for a very long time. Everything where we live is based on lots of rain. The heavy vegetation and soils take in a lot, and the roads are all built on angles to drain water down to appropriate areas. Everything is built with the thought of heavy rain in mind, so roads are not in low areas. If they ever were put into a low area, they are soon rebuilt after they fail.

When we were on the east coast, a hurricane was brewing, and we were amazed that highways and even freeways were closed after a small amount of rain. We were laughing because some of these roads were built just inches above a water way! As if the water would never rise. But my point is that I understand rain is a much bigger problem in drier areas where everything is not designed around it. Around here people laugh at us because we have so little snow that nothing is designed to deal with it. So if we have an inch of snow, everything shuts down and the roads are impassable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,558 · (Edited)
My straight side bucket had 5 inches in it this morning. Started raining at 8 pm and it is still going. Supposed to end mid-afternoon, and by that time I think we'll have had 5-6 inches of rain in 36 hours. Our hay comes from California so no worries there. But we have a small leak in the roof. Went up in the rain to try to fix what I think is causing the problem. Here is how it looks:

The current horse shelter is behind the tree on the right. They are miserable in mud. The berm I put in is holding but I may need a roof repair guy to come out and work on my roof. Flat roofs are not designed to get this much water. We had some work done 6 months ago but the amount of rain we've had this last month is unlike anything we've seen in our 16 years here.

Not really complaining. We NEEDED the rain. But...we need a few DRY days somewhere. Neither our home nor our landscaping (nor our horse corral and shelters) are designed with 4 weeks of daily rain! And after a month of it, to get what would be a normal rainfall for an entire summer in 36 hours.... :cautious:

UPDATE: Rain quit 3 hours early. Probably topped out at 5 inches. MORE than enough for 36 hours in Arizona!
 

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That is crazy! I’ve never seen that much rain.
 
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