We have been working with a young team of oxen for three years. Two days ago one of the pair named Red laid down in an indentation of dusty earth to dust himself of gnats and couldn't get up. He bloated up, the bloat putting pressure on his lungs almost suffocating. When we discovered him he was almost dead. We plunged a knife into his rumen to alleviate the bloat and gas pressure on the lungs. After a bit we managed to get him situated by dragging him around and got him on his feet. We then treated his maladies the best we could under the instruction of our veterinarian. We are still not sure he will live and are uncertain as to his future and participation in the 2016 crossing. Dale Jeffrey
We hauled the horses to the river today, two teams of drafts and a half dozen saddle horses. It was a great day for a swim. We hitched the teams of Belgiums to fore-carts we had hauled down earlier, driving these chariot like vehicles down the banks into current. We had about a dozen people participating, our core crew for the upcoming crossing.
We had another good practice in the water tonight. Rich and Wyatt Wootan joined us with their well seasoned saddle horses. After a few rounds in the water horseback they hitched up Curly and YoMamma to a fore cart and made a few passes in the river. Most of the regular crew were present with their horses doing pretty well. Tommy, one of the big Belgium draft horses went on a toot acting up quite a bit. Riley Traudt rode in and settled him down saving the day.
Today was also a sad one fore we lost the ailing ox named Red after a two week battle with gastrointestinal problems. We will miss red very much, he was just coming five years of age next year. So long Red, we hope you will have better grazing on the other side.
We will bury his body on the Medicine Wheel Ranch tomorrow.