Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Rosie Lunging

Because of our ridiculous weather, the indoor has been snowed/iced-in and I haven’t been able to get down there to do much with Rosie.  With this recent thaw, I’m hopeful the weather is on the turn and heading for more Spring-like weather and we can get into a routine. The snow is almost all melted and the footing wasn’t too bad so I took her out for a quick lunging session. Rosie did really well with all her cues and seems to like to work.

Before the snow, I was able to get her down to the indoor to get her accustomed to it.  She seemed interested and a little up, so we had to stop a few times and let her look around.  It’s hard to get a horse not knowing much about their background.  I have no idea if she’s ever been in an indoor, but she took it in stride--except for a few “Uh-oh, what’s that!” moments, on the whole she did very well. 

But the delays caused by the weather aren't such a problem in the big picture.  I decided when I got Rosie that I would take my time with her and let her get adjusted at her own pace.  So far everything we’ve done with her has been working toward giving her a good experience with us.  Our way of thinking is, it doesn’t matter how long it takes to let her acclimate to her new surroundings as long as she’s happy and she has nothing but good experiences.  So in that department we’re pretty happy with how things are going.  She’s getting the hang of the barn routine and fitting in better than she did in the beginning. Riding will eventually just be another part of that routine.

The one thing she does that puts a smile on my face is that whenever I go out to the fence line she will stop what she’s doing (eating) and walk over to greet me.  So I think she likes it here, although, it could be she’s thinking I might have treats in my pocket…

Quote for Today
 A horse is poetry in motion.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Bored Horses

This is a short post of pictures.  There's not much going on here due to the weather.  One day it's snowing like crazy and the temps are in the single digits or below zero at night and then two days later its in the 50's. Go figure.  The horses are bored with no grass and only hay baskets to eat from.The only excitement in their day is to either mill around aimlessly or push one another off a particularly tasty morsel from the salad bar. 

"Sami" ..."Treats pleasssse"

"Rosie & Blue"

"Sami & Grady"


"Nikki & Ginger"

 Quote for Today

In Winter, Mother Nature dims the lights, sleeps late, hides from the world, and regenerates. Winter is the hangover of seasons. ~Terri Guillemets

Friday, December 29, 2017

Happy New Year

" Happy New Year "

I’d like to thank everyone for their kind and thoughtful comments on our recent loss of Donnie.  We appreciated that you shared your thoughts with us.  The barn seems so sad and empty without Donnie there to greet us in the morning and his kind presence every day is missed by all.  This has been a year of loss at our farm, losing both Mellon and Donnie, who were an integral part of the herd and our lives.  They left us with wonderful memories of their time spent with us.  Along with the sadness there have also been many happy times spent on the farm to be thankful for this past year.  

I'm not one for making New Year's resolutions or goals for the coming year. The one thing I look forward to is spending more time getting to know Rosie and having some nice rides with her. 

That said I’d like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and all the best in 2018!  May you have good health and good rides throughout the year. And most of all lots of fun shared with family and friends, both human and animal. 

Quote for Today
It's never too late to be what you might have been.
George Eliot


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

A Sad Goodbye To An Old Friend

" Donnie "

We had to say goodbye to our sweet boy Donnie last Saturday.  Sometime Friday night or early Saturday morning, Donnie coliced.  When my daughter came in to feed that morning, the front door of the barn was slightly open, and he was not in his stall.  Somehow he'd slipped out under his stall guard. At first she thought maybe he'd just escaped, but then she saw the grooming stall where he'd pawed up some of the rubber pavers and urinated.  Something was very wrong. She went in search of him found him down the hill by the indoor arena in a sheltered area laying flat out on the grass.  He was in bad shape. His face was scraped and he was covered in sweat and mud, thought he mostly lay still and moaned by this point. 

With an ultrasound, the vets located a "surgical lesion" in his small intestine and they decided since it was in his small intestine he had a decent chance of surviving with a simple surgery.  The horse ambulance came and took him to the clinic.  The surgeon found two lipomas, one of which had strangled a large section of his intestine, killing it. We were offered the option of attempting a resection, with the understanding that there would be no guarantees, a long, hard recovery, and a possibility of chronic colic to follow.  Difficult as it was, we chose to let him go.  He was 19-20.

Donnie has been with us since he was about four. Even as a young horse, he was always a gentleman. But more than that, Donnie seemed to genuinely love everyone around him. He was everyone’s best friend--horse, dog, and human alike.  Donnie was the first one to nicker a friendly good morning to you each day.  He watched out for all his horse buddies, worried about them when they were upset, and tried to help whenever one of them was sick or in trouble.  Donnie did develop some issues and couldn’t be ridden, but he had lots of fun playing clicker games, longeing, and tangling burrs in his tail which would take hours of grooming to remove ;-)  He was the sort of horse that was eager to learn and tried hard to please. He was pleasant to work around, with perfect manners and a friendly disposition.  He was always up for a good scratch or an ear rub, and if you weren't paying attention he'd give you a (friendly) nip on the behind! It was impossible not to love Donnie.  His nature made him the sweetest, kindest and gentlest horse we’ve ever known.  Donnie loved affection and if you hugged his neck he would hug you back, wrapping his neck around you and squeezing.  Donegal will be missed by all of us, especially Sami, his best buddy.

Donnie had a good life with us and enjoyed his time with his friends, but it’s still never easy to say goodbye to such a special horse.  We are going to miss him being with us everyday. The barn seems especially empty without him, and quiet without his friendly nicker in the morning.

 A Slideshow of Donnie
"Wild Horses" by Ray La Montagne


Saturday, November 18, 2017

Rosie’s First Week

Rosie taking a look around
Rosie arrived Thursday, (Nov.9th) and we let her take some time settling in.  Since this will be her forever home we want her to be comfortable with her surroundings and have a good experience with everything in the beginning.
Rosie & Sami

Friday we rotated one of the boys in with her at a time to let them get acquainted one on one.  Donnie was in love as usual with any mare.  We don’t call him Don Juan for nothing!  Unfortunately, she was in heat and he kept mounting her, which she didn’t seem to mind. But enough was enough after a while and we put Sami in with her.  They seemed to get along the best. Sami is very calm and not annoying so all was quiet between them.  Grady was next and it looked as if she didn’t really like him from the start and they sort of kicked out at each other for a while.  In all fairness to Grady she kinda started it.  Maybe it was too much action in one day for her.  So Blue didn’t get his turn because we brought them all in for the night.

Last Saturday Rosie went to her paddock and we introduced Blue to her.  That went very well for a while and they seemed to get along just fine.  Blue  got a little studly at times and acted like he might be stallion material (which he definitely is not)! When it looked as though she had had enough of him we switched her little buddy Sami in and all was peaceful.

For the remainder of the week, since she was still in heat, we put her and Sami in the small paddock.  Everyone could see each other across the driveway and get used to the idea of a new horse.  It seemed to work out well and the boys started to lose interest eventually. 

Today, Saturday, we decided it was time to put them all together to get acquainted up close and personal.  Sami and Rosie went out first and we let her explore her new surroundings for a while.  Then we turned Blue out and he didn’t seem too interested in anything but his hay basket.  Next in was Donnie then Grady. Donnie was very interested in making friends.  Grady…not so much, the hay basket was calling his name.  Once Blue noticed that Donnie and Sami were hanging around her by the run-in shed he decided to claim her for his own.  He chased Donnie and Sami off and he tried to herd her around, which she took exception to, and threw a few warning kicks in his direction.  After the initial meet and greet Rosie decided she might like to explore some other fields and had quite a conga line following her around.  She is curious and very sensible and calm. 
Adventuring out of the catch pen for greener pastures

Donnie, Sami & Rosie

The herd figuring out what to do next

Rosie checking out more things with her followers

This was Blue's basic position with her all day...what a pest

There was one time they all broke into a canter as a herd in the second field.  Rosie missed the exit ramp over the culvert and wound up in the corner.  The rest of the herd thundered through the culvert only to realize she was no longer with them.  This led to an impressive U-Turn by the herd as they went back to stalk reunite with her. 

So for the most part they’ve been grazing and Rosie has been exploring her new surroundings.  Blue has been right up her butt the whole day and I’m sure it’s getting on her nerves by now.  No girl likes to have a personal stalker!  But all in all the whole day went very well and in time they will all get used to one another. 

Quote for Today

The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit, and fire.  ~Sharon Ralls Lemon

Saturday, November 11, 2017

And So...

 Well, I finally rode last Saturday.  In fact, I rode two horses.  My daughter and I took the ferry across Long Island Sound to visit an old friend of ours on Long Island, N.Y.  We’ve known her for over thirty years. She has a sale barn that she has owned and sold horses successfully from for decades. My daughter used to work for her in her teen years, helping to train the horses that came in, and over the years we've also found quite a few of our future herd members in her stable. Recently, I contacted her to see if she had anything that might suit my criteria: calm, not spooky, trained in the basics, solid at the mounting block, etc..

     It just so happened she had gotten a horse in off a lease that was perfect for me. A handsome warmblood/paint, he was a kind, well-trained, and quiet gentleman.  So I decided to go down and give him a look.  Our friend has an uncanny ability to match horse and rider with great success.  I saddled him and took a ride around the arena. This wonderful horse was everything she said he would be.  The only problem I had with him was that he was just a little bigger than I wanted.  Even though I used to ride a 17.2hh Dutch Warmblood for years, then a 16.2hh paint, I felt that at this time in my life I would be more comfortable with a smaller horse.  So sorry to say I had to pass on him, although I’m sure he would have been a good addition to our herd.

     There was another horse I had seen on her website that I liked, though I wasn't sure she'd be a good match.  An 11 year old chestnut quarter horse mare out of the Zippo Pine Bar line named Good Bar Rosita.  As long as we'd made the trip, we decided to tack her up and take a look. I took her to the mounting block where she stood like a statue, something I was impressed with after all of Dusty’s antics.  Once I easily mounted up and rode her around for a while I knew she was the one I wanted.  Comfortable, quiet, and listening to cues like a pro.  I fell in love with her.  She is smart, willing, and very sweet.  I decided to talk it over with my daughter on the way home instead of committing then and there as I wanted to get her opinion on Rosie before making the deal. My daughter is an experienced trainer with a good eye for conformation and great sense of a horse's general demeanor.  She thought she was a good match for me and that we fit well together.  I decided to go for it.

     Rosie arrived here at the farm Thursday.  She unloaded and walked to her new stall without a fuss and after taking a look around started chowing down on her hay.  After letting her settle in for a bit we took her out to the small paddock to let her graze for a while.  She could see the boys across the driveway over the fence.  After some requisite snorting and cantering she settled down for some grazing and a nice roll.  The boys were very interested in this new horse.  They are a quiet, well-behaved herd and mostly nickered a little and looked at her.  When they got bored they all left for the back fields and Rosie got a little silly, calling for them and running a bit.  We took her in and then got the boys in too since it was close to dark by then.  That was the first day and it seemed to go pretty well for all.

Quote for Today
A lovely horse is always an experience.... It is an emotional experience of the kind that is spoiled by words.  ~Beryl Markham

Here are some pictures of Rosie and her admirers:

"What do ya think Donnie?"  " Nice mover!"

Grady..." I'll just admire from afar"

Sami..." She looks nice right Donnie"

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

It's A November Post

It’s hard to believe November is here and we are getting ready for the winter months ahead of us.  I think it’s also about time I gave a short update on what’s been happening here.  Don’t get excited there isn’t much to report.  Blue is doing much better with his hoof issue so I’m happy about that.  He was spotted cantering in the pasture the other day and so I will try and get him started in some limited work this weekend.  We will start with some walking and see how he does in the indoor.  The footing is much better there than in the outside arenas.  I’ll post how he does next week.

Yesterday was Halloween and instead of getting treats I seem to have been tricked…royally! I had just let the dogs in when we all heard this huge crash.  They started barking and I ran to the window to see what was going on.  A huge tree from my neighbor’s yard had toppled into my side yard and taken out the fence.  I’m relieved that the dogs weren’t still out because they play over there and they would have been squashed.  It was so odd because there was no wind or rain.  I guess it just couldn’t take the stress after the storms we had for the two days previous.  Mega amounts of rain and wind howling most of the day and all night must have undermined the roots. 

Here are some pictures:
The Tree
The "Inspectors"

" The Clean-Up Crew"

"There's enough sticks to go around, no need to carry one between you!"
All that hard work deserves a rest!