Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The City Husband

11.7.18

I was telling someone of a story concerning my husband and was told that I really needed to write it down. So- here goes.

We met in 2001. He was from the city, and I, a country woman. Total opposites and we both realized that each of our passions were important enough to learn about and accept. We got hitched in 2003, and pretty much have lived 'happily ever after'.

The next thing was buying a farm in Pennsylvania and it was his first time being a country husband. He did really well and I thought it was wonderful that he loved me enough to give this way of life a try. "wow, it is dark at night out here, isn't it?"

He'd hadn't much experience with animals but for the typical city types- dogs,a car or two. Nothing having to do with horses though. I heard comments about how he'd never noticed how many horses there were around his city, and how nice they had looked. Ha- he had no idea...

Life was going along great until I woke up to a rather odd note for me. I read it and couldn't quite understand it.
                                                  "The cat stole my shoe"
  Oooooooooooooookayyyyyy. I didn't think much more about it until later on that day when I found 'the shoe' under the rocking chair. ( at least I think that's the right area- it's been a while you see) When he got home from work, I heard the rest of the story. The shoes were the ones he'd be wearing to work, and at 6 AM, only finding one didn't bode so well with him. We had gotten a new 6-7-month-old kitten/cat whose favorite game was stealing various items. Apparently, the cat had a grand time playing with shoe strings and had dragged the shoe across the living room... thus 'stealing' it.  Shoe was replaced and guess who was a little more careful about those shoes?

Then another time, I don't remember if it was a weekday or a weekend, but he gets up earlier than I do. He does his best to keep things quiet in the house which I adore about him. I'm able to sleep in a little that way. One morning I was awakened to something pounding on the floor. It wasn't in the bedroom and stopped after a few pounds, so I went back to sleep. Later on that morning, I happened to remember to ask him about the noise. Turns out that the now, TWO cats had caught a mouse. Of course, one had stolen it from the cat who'd done all the hard work to catch it. Cats have a terrible way of torturing their prey before finally killing it, and that's just what was happening that morning. ( ugh)  The husband decided he'd pick it up and toss it in the woods or somewhere so there wouldn't be gross mouse stuff on the floor. Ha- it turns out the mouse wasn't quite dead! So, he grabbed the thing most certain to do it in- my kitchen broom!
 ''Smack, Smack, SMACK "  Finally the mouse wasn't moving- no wait, yes it was.  "SMACK, SMACK!!"  He figured it was dead and he figured right. What mouse would survive that anyways? No more mouse and we had a good laugh over it all.

There have been many more husband stories but I am testing the waters here to see how he likes reading them again. ( in public < winks>)
















Monday, October 29, 2018

Chicken Tales

10-29-18

 Yes- they continue...<winks>

 As you remember, my favorite breed of chicken is the Lavender Orpington. They are friendly, lay huge light brown eggs consistently and are a lovely light lavender color. They come across to a non-chicken person as a smokey grey, but when the sunlight hits them 'just right', one can see the lavender shading on them.

I found some Ummm, teenager aged Lavenders for sale and bought 7 of them.  They were kept in one of the stalls in the barn because I was tired of finding my hens destroyed or just gone thanks to fox, mink and other nasty little critters. ( good grief- there's SO much forest n' field around here, I'd think they'd find easier food, but nooooooooooo)  Understanding completely that they too must eat, I didn't want my chickens to become a feast for anything from the woods or fields. And so it goes- and so they grew! Below is "SamIam'' checking out the water leaking from a hose...

I'd let them wander about the barn and outside if they wanted, but they were not that brave. A gal who helped out here, tempted them outside by dropping cracked corn on the asphalt for them. That worked great and it wasn't long before they'd go outside the barn. Not very far though... I would call them and they'd all come 'a runnin'- just not far from the barn. Eventually, they got brave enough to go out around the horse trailer and areas there. They loved eating the grass, looking for bugs and worms like the other hens always have.

Ending up with FOUR roosters and three hens, it wasn't long before I had to find homes for three of the roosters as that was too many! At any rate, they were all getting along fine having been raised together, so there wasn't a huge rush to sell the three. Luckily I sold one hen and one rooster to a friend.  That left me with 6. Three hens and three roosters.

In the meantime, the little flock of lavender chickens was brave enough to travel on the sides of the barn and met the older hens. The older girls really had not much to do with the young studs wandering about crowing their darned heads off. Basically, they ignored them and went about their chicken lives. When it was time to bring them back inside the safety of the barn they chose to not want to. Heck,so many worms n' bugs outside, comparing the barn w/ just boring old chicken food- well it was a simple choice. We shall be OUTSIDE chickens!
 (at least that's how it came across to me, the chicken herder.) They are around 5-6 months old now and more independent.

One late morning a few days ago, they all came running down the aisle like the devil itself was after them. If you've ever seen chickens run, you'll understand when I type that they remind me of a bunch of little old grey men running as fast as they can, with their hands in their pockets. I stood there chuckling at them all. Convincing 7 semi-adult chickens to now go into their stall for the rest of the day isn't an easy thing. It consists of much arm flapping, walking behind, singing the "chicken song" to keep them all moving forward and towards the open door. Every once in a while, there will be a maverick. She/ He will turn around and quick as a fox run the other way. Towards the front of the barn, or even into an empty stall, hoping the chicken herder didn't notice. Ummmmmm, yeah, I noticed. The rest of them hopped into their stall and hoping that they would remain in there, I herded the maverick back to her/his stall. Most of the time it works really well.

However. When I did a chicken head count, there were just 5. Hmmmmmmm........  Just as I thought I'd better begin trekking about the barn, I heard a distant crow. There were no neighbors with chickens any longer, so I knew where the one maverick had gone. He was wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy across one of the pastures, yep, crowing his fool head off. Ok- so I admit that basically, they are 'eraser brains' but, come on. Why was he so far away from his friends? I guess we'll never know as he sure wasn't talking much.  Crowing, sure, but no good reason as to the ''why'' of his walkabout. 

Ever try to herd one fast rooster any place that he didn't want to go? Oh, it's great fun.  Here n' there, scooting under one fence, into another pasture, then back again. Up n' down the hills, under fencing, over to the big mares and FINALLY towards the barn. Ha- I didn't have to do my walk that day; I'd already done it!

Once 'SamIam' saw the barn, he began walking towards it and down the aisle.
 (whew) Then and I saw that little eraser brain thinking " oh no- I didn't want to come here. I shall turn around and run".   I caught him under the lawn rake I had, picked him up and carried him down the aisle to his "chicken house''.  < sigh>  I hope he was embarrassed at being delivered to the others in such an un-manly fashion, but it didn't seem to phase him much. He hasn't gone exploring much since. Thank goodness!

These are my hens-" Princess, Micah and Tillie's'' butt.  One of their many excursions down the barn aisle.

















Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Evie's Dream

When Evie was just a youngster- around 2 years old, she had her own ideas on how life was going to be for her.  Evie was my filly that was born here in Pennsylvania.  There had been other foals but they had all been born in Maryland.  Evie ( if you like- go back and see the stories about her on this blog) was to be something spectacular and I had high hopes for her. She was born on a cold windy April morning and I missed seeing her born. Her mama, Katie, kept it a secret so learning Evie was finally here was a great way to begin my day!


She was smart, funny and so incredibly brave.  I loved her with every part of me, even when she stepped on my little toe one day. Evie was my hard luck filly though. Something was forever going wrong with her. First, she was so tall at birth, it was hard for her to get up alone. For three days, I helped her by giving her butt a boost up. It worked and soon she was doing it all by herself.

Later on, as she grew taller and taller, she suffered from OCD.
( https://www.acvs.org/large-animal/osteochondritis-dissecans-horses)  This caused her a LOT of discomfort in her stifles especially. I am sure later on in her life she'd have developed arthritis in her stifles, but I was never to find out. Evie was 18 hands tall as a three-year-old- all arms n' legs, as they say.  Slowly she learned how to handle her great height and became
so elegant in the way she moved.


When she was a little more than three years old, she made a mistake and upon rolling in some dirt, she rolled over- right into that horrid high tensile fencing. We had plans to replace the next spring. She ripped heavy-duty staples from the posts and cracked three of the posts in getting free. Her left hock in front was a disaster. She was stall bound for almost 3 months and in a protective wrap for another two or so. But- she healed and did such a good job that her scar was barely able to be seen. Evie was perfect whenever a veterinarian or myself had to re-do her bandage. She stood still as she could. 
What an incredible mare she was becoming, if she could only stop having problems!

Sadly we never got to go to a show as one day when she was just 7, she got sick. Taking no chances, I called my equine veterinarian to let her know Evie had a bit of a colic, and that I would let her know if it got bad enough for her to come out. The next morning, Evie was just "off"... not really wanting to eat, and well, just not happy. I called my vet. again, asking her to come out. After checking vital signs, etc, she decided to check Evie rectally. Perhaps something would tell us how to treat her. Evie was tranquilized and checked out. 
I was told that she had an ''Anterior Enteritis''. I wasn't sure what that was and my vet wanted to have us take Eve to a horse hospital. She tubed my mare and there was a good bit of fluid return from Evie. I said that I had to discuss it all with my husband, and would let her know soon.

I did a lot of reading and learning about Evie's problem and found that with big Percheron mares, the chances of survival were not good, even at an equine hospital and proper care. The chances of her developing Laminitis was huge and most likely would have to have a careful diet for the rest of her life. IF she even made it. I couldn't do that to my wonderful mare. I loved her enough to let her go so she could dance in the meadows of heaven.  The next morning, my love was gone.  It was a heartbreaking morning and one I never hope to face again.

Later on that day, I remembered a dream a dear friend of mine told me that Evie had told to her. 
That ''one day, Evie and I would go to horse shows and win all kinds of big fancy ribbons. That Evie's "mom" (me) would put a red harness with diamonds on her. I would then hitch her to a bright red cart with sparkles on it. I'd wear red gloves covered in 'diamonds' and we'd win the biggest ribbon Ever at that show!!!"



Sadly, she never got to have that dream come to fruition, but I still get a chuckle when I think of it and "Herself".








Having Fun !

I found this blog in my travels online and thought I'd share it with you all  :

https://annablakeblog.com/2018/10/05/finding-your-horses-sense-of-humor/

This gal has it to a perfection-  finding your horses' sense of humor.  They all have one, believe it or not.  I don't know how many times I have fallen for my horses' jokes. Now, jokes from a horse sure aren't like our jokes. If you really pay attention, you'll get to witness a few.

Imagine the younger horse playing with cones set up in a ring for driving... I had a Percheron colt who would find fun in pushing mine onto icy patches, then watching me attempt to retrieve them. I swear I could hear him laughing. He was also the one who would pick those cones up with his mouth, and innocently wait until the flighty Thoroughbred mare would wander by.  Wham! Across that fence that cone would fly, usually landing very close to her. Of course, she'd flip out, thinking that it was raining driving cones. I loved seeing that colt's very amused face as he watched her antics.

I've been told and read that a horse never 'lies'. HA! I have had a few who did. My Percheron mare, Lynna, would Big time. If she didn't care for my choice in hay for her, she'd push and shove it into a big pile underneath her feed tub. Then I'd hear her soft nickers to me that Lynn didn't get her hay that morning. I knew darn well I'd given her hay. ''No, I hadn't- I have none at all"... from Lynn.  Finally, after trying to ignore her pleas of starvation, I'd give her some. There was the original hay pile that she didn't think was quite good enough, stuffed up under her feed tub! The same hay and she'd happily be eating it. < sigh >

There was an old Appaloosa mare here who wouldn't go out if she thought it was too hot or cold out. I always let her out loose in the barn area so she could graze in peace. She'd walk to the aisle doorway, look both ways, testing the weather and if it wasn't to her liking, she would turn around and head back to her stall. This dear soul would whinny loudly when she was done eating also.  She and her old friend, Chance, would be down at the gate nearest the house at dinner time- no matter what. She would sometimes whinny loudly for us to know it was time for dinner at the barn.  There were times when those two were early- around 1 or two in the afternoon. She'd be calling and calling until I came out of the door. Well, she'd try to convince me it really was late afternoon and time for a little something to eat.  Chance would stand there all but chuckling...

There have been horses in my life that were hat thieves... especially the ponies. Shoelace un-tiers  ( haha- is that even a word??). There have been some who liked to get a hold of belt loops on jeans and move their humans. Some loved to unbuckle Farriers' leather aprons oh so innocently...

So you see, horses can have a wonderful sense of humor, so long as their people don't put them down for having one. For ages, I've enjoyed watching horses play jokes and remember getting a soaking from an equine mouth holding a hose that was supposed to be filling up a water tub outside or to check outside at night and find that someone with very mobile lips has turned the lights on in the barn AGAIN. Pay attention to your horse or the horses around you-you will find they are quite funny.

 Don't try to fool them by putting on a happy face when you're in an awful mood too. They know sometimes before you'll get in the barn and word spreads so fast. Life with the equine mind can be wonderfully interesting!












Monday, August 20, 2018

Trying to hire help

8.20.18

I have had to hire and sadly, fire people in the past. Running a horse farm is hard work and sometimes it is just nice to have a day off. Thus my wanting to hire someone to come to the farm and make life easier so I can have a day off. Most of the time, horse people don't have days off. Most times they have no insurance coverage, and they have to work when it is miserably cold, hot as Hades; when it is snowing with a blowing cold wind. They deal with all kinds of weather and all kinds of horse- and yes, all kinds of people. So many folks are not suited to working in a barn; not suited to handling 1200 - 2000 pound equines of all temperaments and personalities.  Haha- believe me- I have met all of them at one time or another.

Here in central Pennsylvania, there's not many who have enough true horse experience to work in a barn full of horses. They're either totally uneducated, scared, or angry at a horse trying to be bossy. Or- they know it all.

There ARE some wonderful people who are worth paying though- but sadly in this area, there are few. I have had to accept someone who tells me they "have horse experience" but haven't a clue about a lame horse, a lost shoe, or how to deal with a horse that's feeling silly upon going out to pasture. Soooooooooooo, I train/ teach them and some have gone on to bigger barns and making more money. This I love because I know they'll make me proud in doing a great job. Even with some, I attempt to teach about ailments, what to do in emergencies, or even to show up when expected. Many times they don't work out... Thus the 'firing'. There are some that decide that this kind of work isn't for them, and they just never return.  Eventually, it's easier to just do it myself and not have to deal with people.

I've hired folks that say they 'rode as a teenager' and I find myself thinking
 " ooooookay- that means you really haven't a clue, but know how to show that horse who's boss"  If they're interested in coming to meet me and the horses, most times, they're not really going to.  I am sure those of you who have had to hire the 30-somethings to work at a job find the same thing is true. Sure, they want to make the money but aren't going to actually work to earn it. Then the teenagers who apply for a beginner level horse oriented job- suited to their knowledge- and the first thing asked is "how much will I make?".  Ummmmmmmmmmm, it is very bad manners to even mention money until one has the job. In fact, that kind I'll leave behind.

Finding that my recent weekend helper wasn't as responsible as I thought, it was time to move on and hire another person. This little part-time job was super simple. Let 5 horses in for the evening (or turn them out for the night- depending on weather), make sure they all have their feed, proper hay, and full buckets of water for the night.  Easy, right? Apparently not. I advertised and got only a few responses with a resume`. Again- why can't people learn how to fill out one properly? Misspellings, bad language skills... sheesh.  Their ages ranged from 21 - 35 years old!  These weren't children, but adults. A couple of them asked about the money first when it was clearly posted in my ad... some had very limited horse experience, some, none what so ever. <sitting here shaking my head, all over again>

Why answer an ad, make an appointment and don't bother showing up? That I don't understand. It shows how immature, unresponsible and rude some of the 30-something crowd is once again. Hard to believe- but I see why they don't have a job!

Perhaps it is just this area. Perhaps it's how people have been raised, or have become... I don't know.

What I do know is that, once again, I'll just do those weekend evenings myself. That way I won't have to risk a horse being in trouble if I'm not there being a 'babysitter' to my "employee". Some how, paying them to be babysat by me kind of defeats the purpose...














Monday, July 30, 2018

Memories

7.30.18

Another tale is about working at a Steeplechase farm in Maryland a mighty long time ago. This farm was owned by some rather "well to do" people. It was gorgeous - designed similarly to some English yards from a good while back... The stalls were in a large square with open sides for riding out, and with a lovely courtyard in the center. The stalls were huge for huge horses needed to be able to lay down and sleep in comfort.  There was grass in the center for horses being cooled out and to graze a little. This design really helped keep the cold winter winds out and afforded the horses' fresh air all of the time. Painted in the farm's race colors, it was ultra classy and made me feel like I was working "across the pond".

There was also a smaller enclosed barn with 3 stalls in it for those horses needing peace & quiet or had been injured. '' the Layup Barn". That's where I worked. There was so much to learn and I was in heaven doing it. Hard work, EARLY hours and some horses that even though they had been injured were still racing fit and full of themselves. My day ended around noon. Long, hard hours, but anything concerning horses wasn't "hard" to me.

In this layup barn, there was an older guy named Dave. He was from England and had trained horses to run on the flat and also the "chasers" as they were called back "when he was a kid". Dave must have been over 60 years old when I met him. It was tough to tell because he never complained about aches and pains and his face showed his years. He was quite the character and I became a friend of his. At least I hoped I was. Dave would tell me stories of long ago back in England of his horse he'd entered in the Grand National Steeplechase. He'd never say exactly what year but long before I'd been born. His horse made it over Beecher's Brook only to be knocked into a rail, or was it over a jump and was hurt. Ohhhhhhhh, he was so wonderful in telling about it! He especially loved hearing that my dad had been Irish- and would add in some Irish stories too.

Dave used to play Broadway show tunes early (5 AM) in the morning. I knew if he had arrived or not, thanks to those records. Every morning it was a different Broadway play! I'd drive home whistling tunes each morning. He'd sing to the horses as he took care of them. They relaxed in listening until he sang the tune from ''Oklahoma!''   I was cracking up at the reactions from those horses.

One morning, I was wrapping one of my favorite mare's legs and heard Dave singing in a stall. All of a sudden, I heard someone whistling the same tune- but from outside the barn. Hmmmmm. I finished wrapping my horses' leg and saw it was one of the older Irish grooms from the main barn. Apparently, he knew that tune also. I don't remember what the tune was but it became a pair of guys trying to outdo each other, whistling! I loved it and in no way was even going to join in. This was around 5 in the morning. It had been a foggy night, and now slowly the sun was trying to burn that fog away. The small barn was almost magickal that morning. Finally, they'd both run out of 'whistle' and decided to teach me how to jig. I cannot remember what the Irishman's' name was but he was my teacher. Dave whistled and sang some Irish tune, while I was taught the steps. We were laughing so hard at my mistakes I could barely keep up!

So there you have it- try learning an Irish Jig at 5 in the morning. I surely don't remember much about the steps, but I do remember how that little barn glowed in love that day.

Image result for grand national race - did a rider cheat in any race?

https://www.pandora.com/station/play/4028742212397618055 















One More Memory

7.30/18

I was chatting with a pal of mine and we began exchanging memories of places we had worked or people we had met throughout our lives with horses. We sat, miles apart, laughing at each other's stories, so I thought I'd share some of mine here with you.

There was a guy I had known as a horseman just about all of my life. When I was in my 20's, he wanted to send his new gelding to me to work with. Of course, I said yes. Sundance arrived at my very small horse farm within the week.
 (3 acres) He was a very handsome horse and apparently well trained too. I asked his owner just what he wanted me to accomplish with his horse.
 "Just win me a blue ribbon, Kris. That's All I have ever wanted- a Blue Ribbon".

All spring, Sundance and I worked together. He was so easy to teach! It wasn't long before we could all but 'dance' together under western tack. I loved that big ol' gelding. Soon, it was time for show entries to be mailed in. I entered Sundance in a few classes and my favorite Appaloosa mare in different ones.

Show day arrived and we did, too- at showgrounds. Both horses were spotless, tack well oiled and the silver sparkled in the sun. My mare was first- and she wonderfully behaved. We placed 1st and got the ever-popular blue ribbon. It wasn't long until it was Sundance's turn in the ring.

We jogged into the ring second and got a look from the judge. I usually try to enter the ring first to have the judges attention on us only. Sundance was perfect too! He remembered to drop his neck just enough and to keep all of his gaits smooth. He'd respond immediately to soft signals from me. I was in heaven one more time at this particular show. We lined up and waited for the judge to make his choices.....................  they began placing from the bottom, and working their way up to first. As the group got smaller and smaller, we were still standing there. Then it was between me and another guy who had done a Great job. We won!  I was so pleased, and let Sundance know it as we rode over to get our blue ribbon. Sundance must have understood that he'd done something splendid as he bent his neck way down, shaking his head in joy.

By the time we had gotten back to our trailer, there was Sundances' owner. Oh my gosh- he had tears streaming down his wrinkly cheeks! He grabbed Sundance and cried into his mane for pure happiness.  I got thanked over and over again, with a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. It was a grand day, and Sundance lived the rest of his life in luxury provided by his owner who finally had his Blue Ribbon.







Saturday, July 28, 2018

People!

7.28.18

There've been so many times in my life that I just wanted to stop dealing with people. Due to my chosen livelihood, I have dealt with many different kinds of people who know horses, * think* they know horses, haven't a clue, and then the most dangerous kind: the people who love horses, those who know enough to get someone in bad trouble and then drop everything, running away in total fear.  Haha- I'd rather have my fingers chewed off than to deal with that type for a lifetime.

A bit of history for those who don't know me well... I started learning from the neighbors' horses. A shy little girl who wanted to ride like the wind, but wasn't brave enough to ask daily to ride one of their horses... that was me at 9. (haha-yeah- believe it or not!). I would be horse-watching any time I could... hurry thru homework to go see 'the horses'. I learned so much from those 3 backyard horses! I learned that they easily communicated via body language, sending images, or pain- either verbally or silently. They spoke to each other all the time, and as I sat watching, I learned that language too. Eventually, my parents bought me my own pony and bought exactly the wrong 'first pony' for their daughter.
Again, I learned. The signals when said pony was going to buck me off, running home, gleefully. Yep- I'd find him standing there waiting for me...and I learned.

When I got my first "real horse", he taught me so much more. Questions when he hadn't understood what the heck I was trying to get him to do. Confusion when he'd try but would fail- sure as a 14 yr old kid, there were times I'd lose my temper and think  "well that's it you dumb horse. You're being sold!"   I'd feel terrible at calling him names and kept trying to figure out how to speak "horse'' so he understood. We both hung in there, though, learning together. He, a 3 yr old part Thoroughbred and me, a kid with no experience in training. I Really began moving forward was when I was 21 and had my first Appaloosa. I'd taken some college courses concerning equine anatomy and understood the movements, muscular structure and more. That certainly helped in teaching young horses and knowing more about them. Eventually, my Appys and I began winning at smaller local shows. I soaked up everything about horses I could from anyone- gleaning and listening. Back then, there was nothing available to a poor country kid when it came to "horse schools", ( IE- colleges) let alone my being able to afford to attend. I read everything I could, learning all the while. Some folks wanted me to see if I could "fix" their horses problems and that was the beginning of big-time learning. Each troubled horse had its own set of problems and I treasured each one. Trial and error created one very wise 25-year-old woman. Every horse I taught became so much happier and worthy of my small fees. Their owners were pleased and that pleased me.  Fast forward 30 years and by now, I've taken on plenty of mentally messed up horses to the point where I can understand them before they can realize I do. Now, it's a breeze to deal with a mentally healthy horse, if not a little boring. I took my soul mate ( my Percheron mare)  to a World Championship, showed many Appaloosa horses at the National level, so whatever I am doing works!  I no longer ride, thanks to way to many times of being dumped in the dirt, hefting 50-pound hay bales, carrying two 5 gallon water buckets, being slammed to a stop on a young reining horse, and all of the hard work that comes from running barns alone.  I sure do drive though and Love It.

Ok- back to the people part.  :) For the time I have lived here in Pennsyl-tuckie, ( as a dear friend used to call it) I have taken in boarders. Quite a few of them over the years. Some were here for the long run, others just here for a few months, and some who figured they were supposed to be somewhere else at the moment in their lives. Some that were asked to leave because I wasn't going to deal with their ideas or what they did with/to their horses. Taught a few lessons, trained some driving horses and showed/competed my own personal horses. Over the years, I have found my patience level is no longer high enough for the little guys- the young folks who have no clue about horses but love them.  Haha, let the 30-somethings keep yelling " HEELS DOWN!!!" and teach those little ones. Slowly I cut back on teaching kids, stopped taking in outside horses to train to drive, and am now thoroughly enjoying my horses. Boarders come n' go- and what I have learned over the years is that they expect to be able to be around ALL of the time, or want to come n' go as they please. Or not at all... (all hours of the day or night) They want to be catered to- expecting someone to plan things for them to do. I offered mini-clinics here at my barn, and other fun things... Our farm is private- not a big 'open to the public' farm, and some of the people have created situations where I haven't liked going to the barn in the past. Don't get me wrong- I LOVE being in my barn, but when those negative vibes are around, no thanks. Then there are those who get upset if the world doesn't revolve around them... and will leave a well-run barn because one thing bothered them. Sheeesh- why not come to whoever the barn manager is at the time and ask/talk it out? I find that a severe lack of communication happens in a barn sometimes. Unless the barn manager or owner is a biotch on wheels, things will get sorted out, or not. Everyone has their own ideas on how a barn should run, but, (for those who are now boarding, or are thinking of it, OR if you are considering taking a friends' horse to care for) keep those lines of chatting open. There are many times a barn owner or manager has so much on his/her mind, they don't think to ask...Plus, that person in charge didn't just decide to get hired to care for other's animals the week before you moved in- so most likely, they can help with any problems you might be having. B e sure to communicate with those in charge and life will be great again.

So, here I am. Getting "older", ready to slow down a little more but still love horse folks who come here. Either to visit or come to help out, or to simply bounce ideas off my brain. I enjoy it a lot, even if this body has made me slow down from leaping those proverbial tall buildings on a horse.

If you are boarding here, don't be afraid to sit me down to listen to you. Problems can be sorted out in an adult manner - and hopefully remedied. For all of you out there who are boarding at a place you don't like, try talking it over with someone. Someone 'horsey' so they understand where you're coming from, but always remember to give that barn manager the benefit of your thoughts too. I know they appreciate hearing from you. I know I would.