Wednesday, June 13, 2018

'We Gots New Babies!'

For quite a few months, I debated about having more chickens here on the farm but chose not to. Why?  Because now that my soul mate is gone, that leaves me with two horses of my own. I've not been down to TWO horses for I don't know how long! When I first moved to this area, there were six. Granted, one was a pony and the other a foal, but there they were.  At one point, this barn was full, and it quickly became a LOT of work for one person ( Me & occasional helpers).  Happily, I own just the two now- and I am liking it fine. Of course, there are boarders here, but so long as I keep an eye on them ( And I DO)- and care for them, my main concerns are my two beasties. Much less feed to order, same w/ the hay for winter, and keeping track of a few horses is a breeze now.

The weather once is stopped Raininggggggg, got very pleasant, so I began letting horses spend a lot more time outdoors. Like 24/7. I had NO complaints from any of them.  Fly spray, water, breakfast n' dinner- and in between?  Grazin in the grass.  Even those who had been pampered and figured that here, life should be the same loved being out.

 But I digress. Once I am down to just one equine, this farm will be sold and we'll be downsizing. That is the main reason for not getting chickens. Well, that and the fact that they were being killed at a helluva high rate. Spring is horrid for predators stealing into chicken coops at night and having a grand time killing my girls. Each time it happens, I feel so sad for them. Not that they died so much but HOW.  What a horrid, horrid way to die.

 Thanks to my 'window shopping' on the local Craigs' List, I noticed an ad for Orpingtons. Not just the average chicken but LAVENDER Orps!!!  Those are absolutely my most favorite chicken breed. Firstly, I adore the Fat Farm Hen breeds, and Orpingtons are FFHens. They are so friendly and peaceful- even the black crosses I have are sweet and friendly. Lastly, there's a decent market for selling any I might have for sale. The breeder made me a deal I couldn't ignore and 7 "Littles" came home with me.

 First, they were spooked being in a different place with different smells and sounds, but it didn't take long for them to learn that good things came thru that stall door. Two mornings later, I had 7 little gate greeters there to meet me. I brought FOOD for them :). When I had time, I'd sit with them as they had breakfast or dinner. Soon, curiosity got the best of them, and I was surrounded by teenage chicks. There seem to be 3 cockerels ( roosters) and 4 hens- but I am never SURE till crowing begins. Stay tuned on that.

Here are some pics of them, taken yesterday I think...


                                            Apparently, they liked my shoe and snuggled up...
                                           

                                          Some have names- The one below is Princess,
                                    because she acts as though she should be treated as such.
                                           I believe the handsome guy below is a Cockerel...
                                               and his name is "Sam"
                 

                                         Below, one of the other possible roosters sparring
                                           with Sam.
                                                         
                                                              My "Gate Greeters!"
                                     
                                      Then there were four of them snuggled beside my foot...

I love chickens almost as much as my horses. They all have distinct personalitlies, are pretty smart for "eraser brains''. and they give us fresh, delicious eggs to boot. They eat bugs, and scratch the manure piles so I don't have to spread them, and they are good company when I'm at the barn all alone.

Between the new barn kitty girls, the chickens, and the horses, we all make a strange group!

Image result for contentment quotes











Saturday, May 12, 2018

From World Champions to Rescue

Lately, I've been pondering this whole 'horse' thing. On one of the popular social networks, there are comments, sales; anything from horses winning at A rated shows to those horses on their way to be slaughtered. Not much stands in between a horse winning a huge race, then a few years later getting slaughtered. Foreign countries don't seem to care how wonderful the horses' life and what he/she did for the humans who owned it- and apparently, the USA has many who don't care either. I'm more than sure all of you understand the 'slaughter' issue, so I'm not going to get into it. Nor am I going to delve much into the horse rescue part of it all.

Basically, it is all a way to make money. Either on the side of shipping a big load of purchased horses to either Mexico or Canada to be killed for their meat, OR to "rescue" those horses in the name of saving a life. How many have seen those posters about how saving one horse might not mean much but to that one horse it's the world ( or something similar)?  I have and it does tear at the heartstrings for those who truly love them. I have owned rescued horses, and have saved a few myself way back when. I stopped when I realized I was putting my hard earned money into someone else's' pocket for the sake of 'saving'. They'll just go buy another horse to take its place. These so-called kill buyers who actually head out weekly to the auctions, buy sad looking horses, ship them to their place, slap a "rescue" addition to their logo and make a killing financially. ( no pun intended) Whatever doesn't sell, is then shipped on to be sold again at some auction or to be killed for meat. They bump up the fees for this n' that- and again, make a bunch on each horse for very little effort. Of course, these horses WILL and do get sick from all sorts of diseases and germs at those auction houses. (and at the "kill buyers'' farms). Expect it- they are going to be dreadfully sick. "Shipping Fever", Strep- Equi, or whatever upper respiratory infection they come in contact with. If I got a 'rescue' in, it was immediately started on antibiotics. Very few got really sick thanks to my doing this.  Then there are those folk who'll "pull" a  horse from a sale, and ask others to help "save" the horse. Big bucks if it's done right.

So do I still do this?  No.  Not wanting to put my personal horses at risk nor having a barn that has germs or whatever on the stall walls, or in the pastures- there's no way another 'auction horse' is coming here. Which brings me to another point- the Quarantine Barns.  These are horse farms or just barns whose owners see another way to make money from this whole business. They tell those who want to rescue horse that 'sure, they'll keep said horse, feed it, care for it when it's sick (at the owners' cost- nothing is free) and hopefully when the horse leaves after 30 days quarantine, it will be literally healthy as a horse! Now, these kinds of well-meaning people charge anywhere from $12.00 - $18.00 a DAY for caring for your horse. That's not a bad deal for keeping a horse in a small pen or stall for a month! You do the math... x 30 days. There are some farms who do a splendid job of horse care and whatever veterinary care needed. Those horses DO become healthy and are much happier when they leave. There are also those who don't feed the quarantined horses enough (usually they arrive thin and needing a lot of love/ good knowledgeable care- after all, many have been thrown away by former owners). They let horses owned by others get injured, wounded, or even more sick than when they first arrived. This kind of thing makes me cringe. Again- they'll tug those heartstrings big time.

From all of that to those who don't get into rescuing horses but choose to actually purchase well trained, well cared for, loved animals for a lot more money - I commend you. The end result is usually a very happy ending. I have chosen to do it that way as opposed to buying someone elses' problems. At my farms, I've owned the horses are able to be horses  ( turnouts, etc)whether they're $30K worth of show horse or a mere "lesson" pony. They all get the same care and love. Their jobs are just a little different. Even though I have dabbled in the rescue routine and have gained a lot of knowledge about how it all goes, here? No more 'rescues' as they always come with some sort of problem. Whether it be a physical one or a mental one- there's always a reason. (I spoke to a woman years ago who was selling her daughter's show pony because she and her husband were getting divorced- now THAT pony would have been a wonderful purchase for someone)  People nowadays lie; tell you anything they think you want to hear to unload an equine they have for sale and it's worse at the sales. So, take what one is told with the proverbial grain of salt, because most times? It's a lie.

I owned a World Champion mare for 27 or so years, (and many Nationally shown horses as well) and know what it takes to create a horse of that caliber- and have had cheaper animals which simply weren't going to be what I wanted. In the long run, it's wiser to save those hard-earned pennies and buy a horse that will truly become a partner or best friend. One who has a history and when you hear it can be confident it's the truth. ( the fact that even those selling a well-priced horse will give you a run around is another post.. :) )  Horses who come with the correct registration papers, and have been cared for properly. Granted, a smart person will learn the " I wanna sell ya this horse'' lingo and be able to read between those lines but generally speaking, the horses are worth what one pays. I'm talking a horse selling for over $5 grand- not the $500.00 horses. There Are those wonderful tales of folks who buy a cheap horse at a sale and it goes right to the top in shows, but those are the things stories are made of.

I guess basically what I've been thinking of is whether it is worth it to take a chance on a horse who hasn't a history but is 'cheap' or a quality horse who is worth every penny paid for it. Personally ? I'll spend the money and create another world champion.











Saturday, April 28, 2018

Horse Tails

4.28.18

''Dixie & the Piper''

I owned a glorious black Percheron mare named Lullaby Dixie a few years ago. I bought her at the Great Circus Parade held in Milwaukee, WI. She was "short" so far as Percheron mares went at 17.1 hands tall, but her personality made up for it. She was a SHOW MARE for certain. It took us a while to get together on what was expected in a show ring, but eventually, Dixie discovered how to relax. It was good. She & I took home so many blue ribbons  ( first place) at shows and we had such a great time competing!

When I lived in Maryland, my husband and I had been offering our  Vis-a-Vis carriage for weddings. Oh, it was a beauty, even if it was used when we bought it. Below is Lynn, but the same carriage.

So, when I moved here to central Pa, it just made sense to offer the carriage and a horse for all kinds of fun things. We did weddings, Fall Festivals, proposals, town tours, parades and a ton more. I loved it.  

There was one wedding though that I wished I'd never booked... It was for one of the Dupont family of Delaware and was held in Maryland. I chose to use Dixie because she Loved being in what she thought was a parade. She'd prance along, thinking she was top dawg. This time, we had an escort of two police cars ( thus- the 'parade') to help keep us from being hit by idiots in cars or trucks. It worked well, and we ALL could enjoy the day.  I drove and Dixie danced all of the way to where we were to pick up the Bride. We were to pick her up, along with her mother, I believe, and drive them to their wedding. Wait, and then drop the Bride & Groom off to their wedding reception.  Easy enough for me and it was more money towards the winter hay fund.


All three of us- the now "ex", Dixie and me- waited patiently and quietly for the Bride to get finished dressing, etc. There was a screeching sound behind us, which scared the bee-jeesus out of all of us!  Dixie's head shot up, ears pointing backward, I turned around on the box seat, and the Ex looked up too.  What in the heck was being killed !?!?!

Then I saw what it was. It was a fellow in kilts holding a bagpipe. Oh wow, what a noise it was when it was being tuned up! Well, let me tell you- neither Dixie nor myself expected that. I had no clue if Dixie had ever been exposed to bagpipes but I know she hadn't during our time together. The Piper came walking down the grass over some rocks and continued playing. My mare was about to explode in being calm. I  think her head was up in the air a good 12', trying to figure out that noise. After getting her under control, we asked the Piper to walk in front of her so she could see and hear what it was. He was very nice and did so. Nope- that made matters worse. Dixie wanted to just leave the whole area with or without that Bride. Luckily, no one inside the little cabin noticed what was happening outside that little cabin. The Piper stopped playing and Dixie calmed down, and it wasn't long before we were on our way- FAR away from the horrid screeching man carrying funny looking sticks.

We danced our way down the lane to where the wedding was, dropped off the Bride and her mom, waited for the ceremony to be over, and picked up the newlyweds. We then drove along the bottom of a Huge field, sans Piper. It was a wonderful wedding drive. Plenty of time to relax and prepare for their reception.

Upon arrival to the house, there was most asurededly a lot of noise. It seems the Brides' mom had hired a Marriachi band to welcome the newlyweds to the reception. So much noise- I thought for sure after that dreaded Piper, that Dixie was going to lose it. She did not.  My amazing black mare bounced her way down the circular drive to the big house, stopped and stood quietly. Ha- that band marched around us as the couple got out, and I, for one,
 was glad we never did see that bagpiper again.














SPRING!!!!!

4.28.18

Finally, it has arrived. After April showers AND Snow. After mud on top of mud, on top of more rain- Spring has blessed our farm with singing birds, grass growing, flowers blooming and tee-shirt weather.  YAY!!!

For the past 2 weeks, I've been sick as can be. A very nasty cold found me and moved in. Sometimes I believe it's here to stay. Coughing like mad, stuffy nose and head; generally ugly stuff. My ear is STILL stopped up and if it's not open by Monday, a call to my GP will happen. The last time this happened, I ended up w/ bronchitis and an infection in my ear.  Today I am a little better though, thank goodness.

The husband is at an auction today, and I'm having some 'down time'. Enjoyed the morning in the barn with my horses and getting chores accomplished. Sure wish I felt better because there are so many things that need to be done around here. Perhaps next week...

 I love this time of the year. Still cool enough to not be bothered with sweat running in one's eyes and down one's back, but no snow.  ;)  In the plans are to get the flower gardens re-discovered under the leaves, spread out the wildflower seeds I bought and get my baby trees planted where I won't mow over them! This is all around keeping track of horses too. Plus keeping up with the mowing of weeds,etc.  I'll try to remember to snap some pics as it all gets done.

Sadly, I decided to not attend the antique carriage auction this spring. It's today and I just don't have the energy. So- I Will attend the one held in the Fall. Such gorgeous carriages and appointments for sale. Vendors offering lots of various items for sale - plus the always yummy food at the restaurant there.  Simply bad timing on being sick, darn it all.

Wow, BoJangles is not heading towards bad diseases as I thought. He began shedding out that awful winter coat and is all but finished. I like it!  He may be older but he's, well, healthy as a horse. Briana has been shedding like mad too- her summer coat is coming in and the shaggy winter stuff is wanting to come off.  There are small black mud angels where she has rolled. Bo leaves giant white mud angels when he rolls. I love seeing them.

What a joy it is to not have a barn full of horses!  Granted the money is wonderful, but back when I did have a barn full, two or three of those horses were bringing in no money. The amount of horses now is great. Easy to care for, easier on the pastures, and easier on the checkbook too. Ever since Lynna was put down, it's been tough but life is getting better by now.

It seems I've got a bit more grass to get mowed, so I better get moving, don't ya think? Have a wonderful weekend!











Sunday, March 25, 2018

Horse Tails

3.25.18

Once upon a time, there was a small grey pony...

Sadly I didn't get to meet "Suzi" until she was in her late teens. Of course, the dealer at the sale told me that the pony was only '12'. I learned long ago to take whatever I was told about a horse with the proverbial grain of salt.  Once again, it was a smart thing to do.

Suzi had no name when we first met. A friend n' I had gone to a PA auction sale known for it's sickly, thin or abused horses. We were thinking of going home, when there was one more horse to sell. Into the ring comes ( begrudgingly, mind you) a small flea-bitten grey pony. She was small- not at all what I had wanted to use for riding lessons.

At any rate, my hand went up enough that she was mine. I called my husband, telling him to bring the truck/trailer - that I'd bought a draft horse. When he arrived, boy was he surprised! Just a small pony with a 'standy- up' kind of forelock and a mighty grumpy face. She arrived at our barn and made it thru her quarantine, showing she was healthy enough.

The students & I discussed a name for her, and they all decided on SUZI. "Suzi" she became. Then a few months later, one of them said that brushing her during shedding season was like dealing with a 'summer storm'. That became her official name... in case she went to shows or needed a full name.

Suzi proceeded to bite just about everyone in the barn at one time or another. Even the husband then got nailed. Thank goodness it was late winter and we all wore heavy clothing. Very quickly I decided that I would be doing most of the handling of Suzi as I didn't want anyone injured by a very fast moving pony face. It turned out that Suzi was a driving pony who also had been ridden. She had two speeds-  FAST or stop. I don't know how many kids fell off her during lessons, but there were many. Eventually, she taught them to pay close attention to what she was doing, or get dumped.  The first time one of them didn't fall off, she Jumped off, landing on her feet ,throwing her arms in the air like an Olympic star would have.  Suzi stood there staring at her in amazement.

All of the kids loved this rotten little grey pony- I guess maybe they could see the good in her. That fact that she'd been abused before she moved here made them be more understanding of her. One time, I allowed a little girl head out to "catch" Suzi for her lesson. She came walking back to the barn, rubbing her arm, telling me that Suzi said " NO RIDING today!!!" I asked her if she'd been hurt ( re- the arm) and she denied it totally. "Oh no, Miss Kris, I just bumped it- Suzi never tried to bite".... Yeah, right. There were not many people I'd allow to do that, and the little gal was one. After that, it was me.

One time, a student's mom had come to see her daughter, and Suzi was loose, grazing in the yard. She walked by talking to Suzi in a kind, friendly voice. Ha- I mentioned to her that she may want to come to the barn instead, and she did.  But-  on their way out of the barn area, Mom decided that Suzi was a sweet looking little pony and needed a pat. She got maybe 20' away from that pony when Suzi flattened her ears and took a few threatening steps toward Mom. Her daughter told her " See, Mom?  NEVER be nice to that pony!"   We all had a chuckle over that.

We took her to small horse shows, and she put up with being decorated for Halloween, and bathed and groomed, and led All over the neighborhood to visit. Many many children learned how to ride on Our Suzi. They all adored her to some extent and Suzi learned that being loved and fussed over was a good thing. Much better than being worked to the point of exhaustion and then being hit.

My mother was helping with a local theatre group one Spring- they were going to perform " The Wizard of Oz" and I jokingly told her on one visit, that they needed a grey/ white pony to be the Horse of a Different Color.  She took me seriously, and a few days later, she asked if I could please bring Suzi to the theater. ( I should learn better to never make a joke about something that could be taken seriously) Anyways, we went a few evenings later and led Suzi in thru a handicapped entrance,  Talk about one fascinated little horse! She wasn't scared, more like amazed. She was a little frightened when the munchkins and all began singing "Ding-Dong, the Witch is Dead". So I got a recording of the song and played it Loudly near her stall. By the time we went back for rehearsals, nothing phased Suzi. Not climbing up 14 concrete steps to a loading ramp behind the theater, not going thru people sized doorways or standing quietly as the first acts of the play happened. Not once did she do a poop until the very last time. Then it was a small one- she acted a little embarrassed about that at least. When it came time for Suzi to go on stage, she knew it. We hitched her up to her small green cart (Remember? Oz is the Emerald City), her little hooves beating out a little tattoo on the wood floors. Finally, it was time!  "Dorothy" arrived, got into the cart and Suzi was Ready to be a star once more. We walked out on stage, and there was an "oooooooooooooo" from the audience- remarks from kids like " MOMMY!!!  A PONY!!!"  We delivered Dorothy to Oz for 2 weeks and it was over. Suzi amazed me totally- a shy small abused pony, Our Suzi was a Star.

When we all moved to Pennsylvania, Suzi continued helping kids learn to ride, but she was getting much older. Our equine dentist in Maryland said she was closer to 28 the first time she had her teeth filed, so I just added a year every January. She had a small fan club up here and had become quite mellow by now. Not so much of the grumpy, angry pony from before... she enjoyed being fussed over.

 We enjoyed fussing over her too.  One day, she wasn't feeling very good and when a pony becomes 48 years old at least, I paid close attention to her.I had our vet come out to help our Suzi but whatever we tried, it just wasn't helping her anymore. Sadly a few winters ago, our Suzi was laid to rest peacefully. I never was sure about just how old she was but I knew she had a good long life with all of us. And oh my, was our Suzi a most beloved little grey pony.


Suzi was dressed up a LOT- and is expressing her opinion about it below...


Winter's hair is so itchy when it's coming off!


Travel Safe, our dear Suzi... you are still loved and thought of
















Saturday, March 24, 2018

3.24.18

"I am the voice in the wind and the pouring rain
I am the voice of your hunger and pain
I am the voice that always is calling you
I am the voice, I will remain
I am the voice in the fields when the summer's gone
The dance of the leaves when the autumn winds blow
Ne'er do I sleep throughout all the cold winter long
I am the force that in springtime will grow"







''Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal''.



The above quote is from an old Irish headstone... and yes, I still miss her. The grief comes in waves by now. I will be fine for a little while, and wham!  The fact that I'll never ever see her again hits. That never again, will I hear those soft nickers for me only. Never have to laugh at some of those antics belonging to only my mare .So many memories, good and very few bad. It all seems as though life has done a total change, but it's the same. I go thru the motions: smile, laugh, but it is an act. Inside I am still falling apart from losing a best friend of 26 years. Longer than anyone in my life but family. We went thru divorces, incredible sadnesses, pain, and so many wonderful things. Moving from one place to another, from one pasture to another... from one barn to another. Much the same yet totally different. We always had each other to share those good times and those awful ones. She knew all my secrets, and I knew hers, although there weren't many.

 I know one day the memories will be able to be talked about, just not right now. The tears of sadness are just behind these eyes, waiting for a reason to fall. People tell me that she's "up there'' watching over me and that it will " be alright". It is a week or two shy of two months since I made that awful choice, and it is as fresh as that afternoon. It's worse than losing my mom & dad so long ago, I think, sometimes.


So now what? 

I have been thinking that a memory stone would be nice... Just need to decide on kind/ size, etc... but not yet. When it rains or snows, I still want to cover her grave to keep her warm and dry. Yep- that's what horsewomen think when they have loved, truly loved a horse. We are not insane- merely overcome by the grief that losing a precious animal sends. Of course, we are good at hiding it from all others but those close to us. But on the inside? Broken... 

Even though one knows this sort of loss IS coming, I don't think we are ever prepared. Who would have thought a one-ton horse would get stuck in a stall so terribly that there was simply no way to help her get up again?  I did. In fact, I thought that she would get down one time, not being able to rise again and it would be up to me.  Up to me to choose life or death for a friend for so very many years.

So- to all those who have loved and lost, remember I've been one of the thousands for a very long time. However, This loss has all but done me in, as I knew it would.

I'll be fine, I've got myself, I'll heal in time
I cry but I'll make it through
And I know that the sun will shine again
Though I think of you now and then..

I'll be fine, I've got myself, I'll heal in time
And even though our story's at the end
I will think of you now and then...







Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Welcome Spring

3.21.18

HA- we are in the midst of a big snow storm! I was SO ready for Spring weather too.  Sick of winter, sick of mud and now? Sick of snow- which in turn will become mud. The ground had just gotten solid enough to drive Briana. Not any moreeeeeeeeeee.

Not much has been happening here, thanks to cold weather, then 70 degree days, and then rain.
 (which in turn brings more mud-did I mention that?)  Slowly I have been cleaning tack, wiping down harnesses, and thinking of Springtime.

Briana n' I got two whole days of a mud-free ring, and now? It's covered in snow... I do believe we'll go driving in it tomorrow if it ever stops snowing.

Since Lynn got put down, life has been hard to handle. Tears all the time out of nowhere, I expect to see her in the pasture or around the barn. But I have to continuously tell myself that I'll not ever see her again. That is the most difficult part.  A dear friend of mine created a picture of her that I'll cherish forever. It's gorgeous and has really caught Lynn's expression. I feel as though a huge piece of me was buried with my wonderful horse. We were together for 26 yrs and other than family, that's the longest I have been around anyone. We went thru some awful times and then some wonderful times together. It will be hard to let it all go but I'm working on it.

The hens are doing great! I'm scared to let them stay out all day without someone being around as it is chicken stealing time for Fox. They have new families now and need to feed them as well as themselves. Now, I don't begrudge them hunting, but not at my farm. There's plenty of other critters to have as snacks and meals- so leave my girls Alone. They're beginning to leave me 2-3 eggs daily and it's great.

 There's a fun item that happens every evening by now. When my husband gets ready to take his bath/ shower each evening, it seems the biggest house cat likes to also. My hubby starts the shower running, and once he's almost ready to get in, Dexter jumps in! He'll stand there for a few seconds, and is gone.  Hahahaaaaaaaa- he doesn't want to be Soaked, but just damp. He might do that 3-4 times during a shower. Now, the younger one wants to try it too but he's not willing to get wet. Never in my life have I been around a cat such as this. I've known them to like playing in the water, but never IN a running shower.     Sheeesh.

Hope your first day of Spring has gone better than mine!







Sunday, February 25, 2018

Come on Spring!

2.25.18
    This morning was for grooming filthy horses x 3. Luckily, I can just about take Sunday mornings off, but today, I couldn't stand knowing my horses were crud-balls.
    So- trudging up the hill to the barn, I thought I'd begin from the 'top' and work down. Many thank yous to Julia Suter who puts up w/ me as I deal with losing Lynn. It's been a bad week for that, and I am still feeling lost. She was my 'go-to' horse, and now she's gone. No more sitting in her stall, discussing things, no more wonderful hugs from her, no more anything. I am a big void at this point. There are few tears left and they'll still flow a little. Now it feels as though a big piece of my heart is missing, but I know it is my mind that's never going to be able to fill the 'hole' in again.
The last time this happened was when I'd lost Dixie. Carlene filled that giant void so well. She Needed me to get to the barn and help her get better. Now? Nothing but a dear little black pony and my sweet BoJangles. They're really doing fine- thank the lords. < sigh> I guess I am alone in dealing with it all. There are so many other horse folks who've lost horses so very near and dear to their hearts/ minds as I have in the not so distant past. But to lose the closest friend I've had - wow. The nasty rainy weather has created mud like I've not dealt with in a while- at least not for so long. This doesn't help much either. I think having something that needs special care would help, but do I really want to get into that again? I don't know... this is just so hard.
     BoJangles finally dried off enough for me to scrape his mud off today. Yesterday, he was wet and sticky. Talk about a giant guy who adores attention! Whew. He constantly reminds me of why I adore the Percheron breed so much. All of the draft breeds. Even the little stinker, Briana. She is a constant in being a goofball. Bo got brushed and is shedding winter coat like it's going out of style. It's rewarding to groom this time of the year. The mud comes off w/ the hair- yay! It wasn't long til I found the huge white dude under it all. His eye ( injury from a good while ago) was weepy and sore, so I cleaned it up and added some medicine. He's so kind about this. I'd already clipped his head up some and he looks oh so handsome for one so old. 
     My little squirrely girly was next. I swear she hasn't a patient bone in her body. I had the A-5 clippers and hadn't even started them but she was acting like she'd not EVER seen them before. Now- I know she has as she was clipped last Fall. Ha- short memory in this short horse. So I began all over again, and could tell the instant she realized what was going on. Duh. It wasn't long before her head and neck relaxed and she was enjoying it all. Hahaha- I like clipping ponies! No 5-gallon buckets needed to reach their bridle paths. She looked so much prettier and loved getting a handful of hay for being a good girl. Curried the mud from her legs n' tummy and combed out her tail, mane n' forelock. Such a pretty pony! Til tomorrow I guess- unless a miracle happens and someone dries out this farm.
     It was Eli's turn. He's SO scared of people. He bullies Briana like mad but people? Ha- noooooooooooo way. My mission for this Spring is to get him dragging tires, etc. There's not a cart small enough to hitch but I have been looking at the pony-sized shafts on the one. I wonder......................... Got out the little clippers and Oh My! Eli didn't see them as a really good idea at all; little Appy eyes bugging out, head bobbing as he always thinks someone is going to twitch his little nose. Again- so so scared. Patience won out, and he saw very fast that it was just a haircut and not a leg being removed after all. I adore his fuzzy, frizzy forelock! Omgosh, it almost stands up straight, it's so fuzzy. He lost his mohawk bridle path and some of those long jaw hairs so he looks more presentable. Eli had rolled yesterday and hadn't gotten TOOOO horrid but still- he got a good brushing. Tonight, hooves will need to be cleaned- my back hurt too much for bending over this AM. 
    Julia groomed her two geldings too after I was done. Everyone is looking much nicer- but for one mare. Her Mom needs to spend time getting her neatened up some. I'd run out of energy- hahaaa. 
I sure wish the wet soggy ground would stop. The fields look like a series of deep holes left by hooves- big n' small. Since we had two whole days of sunshine, they are greening up ever so slightly. It is depressing to have to wallow about in ankle deep muck and to deal with mud and standing water. I imagine the ground is so saturated, there's no where for it to soak into. 
Again- I am impatiently waiting for Spring!