Friday, May 20, 2011

Wild Weather In The Wild West

I doubt that anyone knows what is going on with this strange weather pattern. Yesterday high winds and cold temperatures arrived here in Ruidoso, but northern New Mexico got snow. A lot of snow.
I managed to work in the garden for a few hours in high winds, but I was so terribly ill I eventually gave up and went to bed very early.

The payment of $450 for the month of May, that is the minimum amount that will keep Robert Huckins out of jail, arrived yesterday. The toll of trying to get the single wide and barn renovated is really wearing in me and I don't know what the answer is.
In 2010 I spent almost $9,000 trying to get into a home and I am no further forward, the only thing I seem to have managed to do is become emotionally drained and so very ill.

Harold Camping and his group are causing quite a stir world-wide and I sit bewildered at how many people can so easily drain their lifesaving and relinquish their homes. What heartbreak this is going to bring. They have no idea what hardships they will face when they try to recover from such a loss in this deep a recession. No idea whatsoever.

This seems like one disaster after another and the horse industry seems to be taking a beating unto itself, now with a EHV-1 outbreak.
At the Lazy J everything was under lock-down preventing horses from going in or out of the facility. As I sat inside Jan's home discussing this shocking disease I couldn't help but wonder what it was like to have a home, somewhere to cook, a safe haven when life starts beating you. I feel so lost and confused.
Events have been canceled though I have no idea what preventative measure Ruidoso Downs has taken.

A outbreak of equine herpes in at least six Western U.S. states has forced the cancellation of scores of horse events, just as the prime season for riding shows, sales and rodeos is getting under way.

Cutting-horse competitions scheduled for this coming weekend in nine states have been canceled; Washington State and Colorado State universities have quarantined their veterinary teaching hospitals; and two equestrian reining and jumping clinics in Colorado have been called off.

Utah state veterinarian Bruce King said Tuesday that he is recommending "that all events involving horses, mules and burros be canceled in Utah."

"People in the horse world are freaked," said one industry insider who spoke on condition of anonymity. "If horse sales don't come off and other shows lose an entire season, it will have a huge economic impact and could destroy some people financially."

Equine herpes virus (EHV-1) is a highly contagious disease that is spread through nasal secretions by nose-to-nose contact when horses nuzzle each other, according to Colorado State University's college of veterinary medicine. It is potentially fatal to horses.

Horses cannot infect humans, but people can transmit the virus between animals through contaminated tack and clothing.

Symptoms of the virus include hind-leg weakness, decreased coordination, nasal discharge and fever. Severely infected horses that can no longer stand are euthanized.

While not requiring its members and affiliates to cancel all shows, the National Cutting Horse Association struck a cautionary tone after veterinarians traced the outbreak to the organization's national championships in Ogden, Utah, earlier this month.

"We do strongly urge all show producers to consider the possible horse health risks of conducting an event this weekend," the Fort Worth, Texas-based association said on its website.

While the numbers of infected or exposed horses is unclear, in Colorado two horses that attended the Utah event were confirmed to have the virus, and six others are displaying clinical signs of the disease, the Colorado Department of Agriculture said in a news release.

The two infected horses were euthanized.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture said 10 horses in the state were found to have the virus, and all of them attended the Utah event. One horse was euthanized after displaying severe neurological symptoms, officials said.

Other suspected cases have been reported in Arizona, Idaho, Utah, and Washington.

"Anytime you have a contagious disease that can cause death in valuable horses, it's a serious issue for breeders," Carl Heckendorf, a Colorado state veterinarian, told Reuters.

Heckendorf said some animals respond to anti-viral drugs but some do not. It is recommended that riders and handlers thoroughly wash clothing and gear after coming in contact with horses. He also urged that horses exposed to large equine gatherings be kept isolated and under observation afterward for a period of time.

Abby Yigzaw, spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said the agency is compiling a database of infected animals to aid state health officials as they combat the outbreak.

Ideals are like stars: you will not succeed in touching them with your hands, but like the seafaring man on the desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them you reach your destiny. ~ Carl Schurz