Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Happy New Year

Reflecting back on the year 2015, I think it was not as good as it could have been. For instance, my back is finally giving out as well as a new pain problem- my right hip.

Early in the year, I had traded a horse for another and fell in love. This little pony ( yeah- Percherons to PONIES!! Never Ever thought that would happen to me!!) is a delight. I named her 'Briana'- one of my favorite names. She arrived here a little frightened and not knowing what was going to happen to her. As she settled in more, I got to see a little "horse minded" equine. As the quote goes " She may be little but she be Fierce".  That's Briana in one sentence.

Thanks to being "lame" (in desperate need of a hip replacement) a whole lot more than planned, I've driven her 3 times and each time was grand fun. She and I will be having a good time once the mud either freezes or dries up.
( LOTS of wet conditions here- clouds/ rain but no snow)

Then Abby left me at the end of summer. Any drive I had to keep training horses left me for a while.With each beloved horse I lose, the less I allow my heart to become stolen by another. (of course, not counting Briana)

I Really wanted to travel to some shows this year, but the dealer and manufacturer of Titan trailers screwed that up with not building our new trailer as we'd wanted and just a major lack of communication caused us to be 'trailer free' for quite sometime.

The good things were that now, this farm has it's own "dream team" of working students. Each and everyone is wonderful! After weeding out some of those proverbial 'rotten apples' from the group, things picked up nicely. We had some clinics and a lot of fun this past year. A horse wash, a Halloween Parade and ending with a great Christmas Party.  I love every one of these super gals and appreciate them more than they'll ever understand.

And so it's on to a new year once again...... I hope everyone gets to continue moving forward in whatever they choose- and do it successfully.
Happy New Year !!

Toby:

Briana:








Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Happy Christmas, etc.

It's been a while since I was here- life is tough when it begins to get cold outside. But !  It hasn't been cold outside. So- what's my excuse?  I guess I don't have one - so that will have to do.

Christmas here was quiet - just my husband n' I for gift openings and dinner. It was most certainly pleasant though.

Our annual barn Christmas party was great fun- tons of fun 'like' people, tons of food and tons of gifts too.  A few folks couldn't attend due to their having other things to get accomplished that evening, but we still had a house full.








 Below is our farm "mascot"- in her new Christmas dress.... she was posing to have her picture taken.


The weather has been rotten for December - rain and when it isn't raining, it's heavily clouded over. The ground is so saturated that now, the water just lays on top and isn't sinking in. The past week found us in high humidty and WARM! Temperatures in the mid to upper 60's and even higher on some days. Humidity percentages in the high 80-100% - which is terrible to try to work in. Nothing dries out and even inside the house, it felt damp. I hear that this sort of thing is going to continue til 'next year'. The pastures are nothing but sloppy mud- and each day it gets worse. (ugh) I bet once it becomes January, we'll get some whopper snows and freezing temps. 
< sigh>  Sure wish Mother Nature would make up her mind for this year. Perhaps she already has and we will fry this coming summer. Stay tuned!

Toby, my little American Draft pony colt is now a gelding. He got gelded on the 19th of December and has come thru it all very nicely. He's still a pest with wanting to nip and pull on shirts/ jeans or shoe laces .

We have a new "barn cat"- a kitten actually- and he's something to see. He's a 'tuxedo' marked fella and is named "Felix'' (my hubby's choice.) He's just gotten big enough to be in the barn and outside so long as a human is around. He Loves It ! Soooooo many new smells and wide open spaces- and oh, those funny looking things with feathers. What grand fun. Here he is when he was MUCH smaller- now, he's sleek and shiny and much taller.

We are looking forward to this upcoming year. Possible shows, a LOT of riding ( and driving for me) and more.
I hope your holiday season has been and will continue to be grand!
Happy New Year from all of us !!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

"People"

10/7/15

When I moved to this farm, I thought of beginning a 'working student' program. I wasn't making enough money to support anything and well, just didn't act on it. Being brand new to this area, I had way to many other things to worry about.

Later on, after things (and us) got settled in, I thought of it again. It never got acted on...  One year, I placed an ad on the local Craig's List and see what it brings.

I got many responses from folks wanting to learn to ride, learn how to handle horses and many other things. There were kids around 10 who wanted to come to learn, and older folks wanting to get back into riding.

One by one, the Working Students got weeded out. Some arrived in skin tight jeans, face full of makeup (well- we All know how long makeup lasts in a horse barn) and skinny little tops. Some didn't want to do the 'grunt' work that we all need to know and understand. Some thought washing water buckets was gross.... and so it went. One by one, and two by two came and subsequently left. They just were not serious enough for me to bother teaching and explaining.

Of course, by now, I'm getting older and a lot more achy- and yes, grumpier. There was much less patience for what I called the "stand around" students. They arrived, got tired of actually having to work hard- and then not coddled when riding. Very quickly I would assess whether they were really into horses or not. Those who stuck in there learned a LOT of things they'd never learn merely taking lessons some where.  Those people learned to speak to a horse who didn't know English, how to be patient and kind no matter if one's horse was in the process of being so nasty. They learned how to deal with fractious animals, horses in pain, and the heartbreak of losing a dear friend.

So I began limiting ages... one had to be 16 and have a car. One had to have horses galloping around inside their hearts to remain here as a Working Student. Lots of fun and laughter went into learning about horses and working around them. The older people were much more dedicated, having gotten that nonsense out when younger. Some younger people were "old souls"- and they stayed. Being flexible with people going to school or to work helped.

Those who have made it thru are becoming educated horse people- not "just" horse lovers. It makes me smile at how supportive these few people are! The barn isn't just somewhere one's favorite horse is- but a family also. Today, there are paying students here, a wonderful bunch of gals who come to help out, and yes, to learn as working students. By the time some of them actually are lucky enough to own their own equine, they'll be prepared for most anything.

We are laid back and enjoy joking around- but when it comes to someone dealing with a tragedy, we are all there for them. We have a few clinics a year, and I try to make them interesting. There are some days that it'd be so wonderful to be able to 'sleep in' past 7:30 and lately ?  I can- thanks to these wonderful women who come to help and learn.

In closing, I love them all dearly, and appreciate ever so much their help, happiness, and being dedicated enough to put up with me

So, here's to our crew!  Julia, Kristen, Jessica, Pat, Amanda and those students who come weekly, to those who board here, and lease horses.....

 Thank you.











Friday, September 18, 2015

Good Bye, sweet Abby.

9.18.15

It is with a heavy heart I write this.... Last month, my dear mare, Wolf River Fashion, died. August 16th, 2015.  I have no clue HOW she did it but she got tangled and down in a fence in her pasture. She'd been living in that pasture on and off for 12 years and knew where all of the fences/ boundaries were.

It all began about 8 PM on that Sunday evening. My neighbor called to let me know that one of the horses was down and caught in a fence. Glenn & I rushed up to find it was Abby. She was down with her front legs bent at the knees and totally underneath. Her back legs were under her body as well. It was as though she had just 'dropped'. No legs were tangled but she couldn't get up or free. Glenn and our neighbor cut the fence and Abby was free. Still she didn't get up, but she did try. Glenn was pulling on a lead ( I had rushed to the barn to get a halter and to call the gal that had been making payments to buy her) trying to help Abby get re- balanced so to have a front leg to use in getting up... She did get away from the fence, rolled over, and I dashed to the barn again to call the veterinarian. Letting her rest was what we were doing- then ask Abby to get up.

As I came back up the hill, and walked over to where Abby was, I was asking how she was doing.  Glenn looked at me and said "I think she just died".  I lost it- double checked to be sure my mare surely was not breathing,and still couldn't believe it.

So she is gone... Some days I forget she's buried up on the hill with the others and expect to hear her rattling her feed tub for a snack. The gal who loved her so was devastated, and got to the barn as fast as she could. We both cried- along with everyone else.

Abby is buried up on the hill, beside Evie. It is still hard to believe, but it is so. I hope we all heal from this enough to soon put the memories in a small part of our hearts to never forget her.

Rest in Peace, dear Abby...

"Wolf River Fashion"
 2002 - 2015








Monday, August 3, 2015

IT'S HERE!!!!!

Yes, it most certainly IS- our smaller horse trailer is HERE !!! < happy Dance> It was in Linglestown, at the dealers and needed to have things added STILL. But now ?  It is here.  Let the show training begin- we're all set.



Saturday, July 18, 2015

It seems I am WaY behind !

7.18.15

Yep- I sure am- Way behind on this blog and news from the farm. Let's seeeee.... what's been going on since June.

I lost some more hens, and the worst loss was Rooster Cogburn ( RC to his pals). He died and we found him in the chicken coop that morning. I don't know if it was the intense heat/ humidity, or stress from almost being fox dinner, or what. The end result was I had to bury my favorite rooster. Yes, he was a PITA towards people but it was ''his job" to protect his flock. I miss him. I miss him crowing most of the day, seeing him strut around, and him looking at himself in the tack room windows.

It turned out that I was able to buy another Lavender roo- he's just 14 weeks old and is gorgeous. I named him Pete " Pick up Pete". Then we now have two more young ladies who are Speckled Sussex and two "Silkies" in pure white. Pete and the girls are in a stall together and are good pals. The peeps that a friend had hatched out for me ( Thank you Kristen!!) hatched and there are 3 of them They are Mottled Bantam Cochins and are Adorable. They are living in the tack room in one of those long plastic tubs that has been adapted for chicks. They've been growing in feathers and I *think* we have two pullets and one little bitty rooster. I HOPE that we are correct in our guesses.

Some good news, however! I started a working student program about7-8 years ago and it's doing really well. About a week ago, I got a call from a gal who wanted to come out and do an interview. I said alright but it didn't really sink in as to WHO that gal was. Turns out, she was a reporter with a local TV news group. Well I was floored when I realized WE were going to be on television.

  She arrived, interviewed myself and one of the working students, took some video of some of the horses, and farm,and we had a good time. About a week later, she emailed me and told me when our "bit" was going to air- and here's the result!!

http://abc27.com/2015/07/16/woodfinn-farm/  ( might have to cut/paste the link)

Briana is looking great- I have yet to hitch her because, well, I haven't got a good excuse. I want to but need some more help than just me. Leah, our ASB ( American Saddlebred) mare has really blossomed! She is 75% stronger than when she first came here, she's Happy as well. I love to see her leaping and bucking and playing simply because she feels better.It is gratifying to me.

With all of the new chickens, I realized I needed another small coop to add to the one already here. I asked and searched classifieds when I found the Perfect size- and it was reasonably priced too. Yesterday, Glenn & I drove to Maryland to pick it up. Oddly enough it was a short distance from where I grew up, so I knew almost exactly where it was.  All went fine until we were an hour from the farm. We were speeding along up the 4 lane highway when we felt a small bump as though we had run over something in the road. Then a couple of seconds later a bigger thump and Glenn said "Crap, we lost it!!!"  Danged tie down strap had snapped, and my pretty little brand new coop flipped out over the tail gate, crashing to the pavement. ( I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO glad no one hit it, and it didn't hit anything but road. Wow)  Luckily for us, two cars pulled over to help out. I don't know what their names were but boy oh boy, they were SO welcomed. We got it all loaded up, and my pretty little coop was in shambles. There's some serious work to be done to fix it back to perfect again. Whew- again, a little coop can be replaced, but an injured human can not. We got home with no more troubles, and all in all ( aside from having to load the coop TWICE) it was a nice day. We had a good time, basically ; and it was fun to spend the day with my husband.

We are working on getting set to show a couple of horses in late September! Shonee & Rusty ( our other rescue) are the ones I'm thinking of using. I have already warned the three gals who want to show that they MUST do the "homework" and be ready... Or they won't be showing.  So the riding has begun. Stay tuned on how this turns out. Below is a short video of one of the gals riding Shonee. Those two are relatively new to each other. The second ride went Much better.

video

Still no trailer!!  It has gotten as far as the dealers lot in a near by town, but it needed so much extra work needed, we left it there until it is Finished!  I will never again say much of anything good about the service from Titan Trailers! Their product is great- but to wait More than a year for one to be made, when one is told  " 12 weeks" ?  Ha- nope.

















Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Depressing Day

6.3.15

What a sad week it's been so far and it is just Wednesday.
Firstly, we have had some hen eggs in the incubator & were trying to hatch out some lavender Orpington peeps. Oh, I kept the temperature correct, as well as the humidity- turned those 10 eggs carefully 2-3 times a day and waited.  And waited.....  And Waited.  Finally, day 21 happened. No hatchlings. We are now over day 21 and are on day 24. Still not a sign of anything but brown eggs w/ Xs & O's on them.  So this evening, I will most likely throw the eggs away, and chalk it up to being a bad "mama'' to those eggs. <sigh>

Earlier this week, a good friend of mine was anxiously waiting to go to her doctor to find out whether her baby to be was a girl or a little boy. She was 17 weeks, I believe. Turns out there was no heartbeat-the baby had died for some unknown reason. All of us here at WoodFinn are so sad for her & her family. There's nothing anyone could say to make it better... So they are now forced to deal with the emotions and heartbreaking knowledge. I hope they both can get thru this and become even stronger as time passes.

This morning ,our farm's vet came out to float a gelding's teeth, give him his vaccines, and do a sheath cleaning. Rusty was a very good boy with it all. He got a clean bill of health and is now happily eating grass outside. Soon, we'll let him be outside with Leah and hope they become good friends.

< sigh>  Then I had her do a pregnancy check on Briana, our new American Draft pony mare. She'd been bred before she came to our farm and everyone was looking forward to a foal next year.  Well, it turns out Briana did not "settle"- get pregnant. I wanted to cry, I felt so bad.....   No foal for us next spring.

So, we have no peeps, no foal, and feel terrible for our friend who is not pregnant any longer as well.

I guess this is how life goes sometimes......
  hope Something good happens around here.

Below is a photo of Rusty the first day he'd arrived... He got an upper respiratory infection and was quarantined for a month to make Sure no one else got sick- and now, Everyone is healthy & content.



Monday, April 20, 2015

Two Newbies

4.20.15
Things have been poppin' around here!
First Spring has happened on our farm. Things are getting green, daffodils have bloomed and the Forsythia too. The grass is trying to grow also- life is blooming all over.

Now onto the "Newbies"... I was contacted by a gal who had an American Draft filly that she needed to sell. Her husband had told her - Three ONLY. So this little mare & another needed to find good homes. I had been " Considering" letting someone else own Cherry. ( whom I adored but didn't feel like I could trust her100%)  We worked out a deal where we'd trade ponies. The really cool thing is that "my" pony was bred to another American Draft Pony! I had to wait a month or so to be Sure she didn't recycle into heat again- proving most likely she'd settled and was in foal... but it turned out fine. She has yet to come back into heat,and she was delivered here on April 16th. Cherry got a ride to the gal's farm and all is well.Here she is: '' WF Briana'' on her first day outside.






And THEN, there are some women doing wonderful things at the New Holland auction sale- they're buying horses that are slated to be shipped out of the country to be slaughtered.  Thank goodness, the buyers let them know if they see a horse that is a really nice one- TOO NICE to end up on someone's dinner plate in Europe.....

These gals go, get photos, and let folks know online as much as they know about each horse needing to be 'rescued'.  Now, as much as I love horses, I am against many so-called "rescues". Very few are legit and those that are not, take good meaning people's money in the name of saving a horses' life. I had known these gals for a few months, watching how they did online in finding these un-wanted horses homes.  They seemed to know what they were doing and were very fair towards others.

End result of all of this?  Meet Leah!  She is a 15 yr old American Saddlebred mare. She's been an Amish buggy horse for quite a while and has the fear/negative actions to prove it. She had a halter on that was Way to small and she has halter rubs, she is thin, needs a good hoof trim, and a bath but all of those will happen eventually. Right now, she needs to gain strength, and settle in- plus gain weight.
 As usual, God has seen fit to send me another 'far away' horse in Leah.  She is going to be great fun to get to know and I am sure we shall be good friends one of these days.

Introducing Maleah's Journey : ( Leah)




I hope both of these horses become splendid members of our barn and I Know they'll get all of the good care and love they can handle.
Be sure to check back and watch how they turn out as time passes.










Friday, April 3, 2015

Welcome Springtime!

4.3.15

Old Man Winter has been working hard to remain, but I *think* Spring might be winning. March was wicked bad with snow, threats of snow and Cold temperatures here. Wind ?  Oh, my- wind....  I think March was confused because she 'went out like a lion' instead of that ever popular "lamb".

So far, April has been nice. Some cold, some rain ( like today) and lots of sunshine. THAT feels so wonderful, after such a bitter cold winter.

Breeze (our little abused Hackney mare) has returned to the farm after spending some time w/ friends.  There are lots of kids and horse knowledgeable folks there- so Breeze got to learn that not ALL humans are going to hurt her- there are some who simply love her...

Last night, a student was  here- and we handled Breeze a little, to help her see that we all are kind here. Even Stephen, who is TALL and is a guy. We asked him to walk up to her, and let her see he wouldn't hurt/ scare her either. Breeze did really well and was so brave. Stephens' wife shared this photo with us- Abby & Steve talking over the fence.

The American draft ponies are being changed around it seems. As much as I try, I can not get past not being able to trust Cherry 100%.It would be a horrid thing if she blew up while in a show ring, hurting herself, or maybe others- or even Me. I won't take that chance... Used to be I'd ride or drive any equine and have no fear of being injured, but as I have gotten "older"- that is in my mind when climbing into a horse-powered vehicle now. So, the plan is, is that I am trading Cherry ( whom will be sorely missed !) with a gal in New York. She has an "almost" 4-year-old mare.  She is to be registered and I can name her! AND- the bestest part is that she was bred to the gals' black Am.Draft Pony Stallion!!!  We are all hoping that she 'settles' and is foal when she arrives here.
A little teeny black pony foal for us next February- so exciting.  Below is a photo we have of her in New York. She's shorter than Rose & Cherry but maybe will grow a little more? At any rate- she's trained to drive ( VERY green) and ride too (Very green!).


I think all of us at the barn are eager to meet this little one...and her baby.

Rose- the other draft pony- has been getting some work on a longe line ( right- I see no reason in the world to pay $$$$ for a "round pen" when all a horse of mine needs to learn can be done on a 30' line).  She is being much better than last Fall... still has her own grumpy opinions but at least she's not charging me! I plan to get her driving soon.

A boarder lost an old friend a few weeks ago... Her AQHA gelding had injured his back in the ring a week before and walked crooked. There was some damage to his pelvis/ spine. The thing that made it clear he was ready to 'move on' was that his left eye was becoming infected again- a possible tumor behind it had created an abscess which we cared for and got him past. But now, there was another forming. My friend & vet. discussed it and it was decided that her horse be put down. He's buried up on the hill near 'All The Best'. 

Other than that- the full sized Heavy horses are doing great, as are the other horses of WoodFinn. Lessons are picking up again which makes me happy. It is fun to see folks learning the RIGHT way to ride and treat a horse. 

The hens are laying like possessed poultry- and we have Lots of Fresh Eggs! This month, RC, Daisy n' Lilly will be put in a stall so we will hopefully get fertile eggs to hatch!  Will post pix, if we get some.












Thursday, February 19, 2015

"Winter" Blech

Christmas was great fun - and then we slept through New Years' Eve to awaken to a brand new year . Ahhhhhhhhhhhh- a brand new year- where we can create more good things happening here, where we can 'start anew'- Right ?

Nope- Just the year's date has changed... Pretty much the same as 2014.....

January was cold- we got a little snow. Just small increments of it, thank goodness. Then it got COLD. We now had ice under the little snows. That makes walking upright a little tricky. So far the snow/ice is winning.

Then good ol' February arrives. Bitter cold days and nights- well lets say, more than bitter. Winds from various areas constantly blew, making wind chills in the minus temperatures.

Today, we hit a whopping 7 degrees with a big wind, taking the "feels like" right into the minus 4 area. Snow flurries as well. Very little sunshine- but when it IS shining, oh wow, it feels Wonderful. This weekend is going to be brutal; 'oh joy'.

Our hens have totally stopped laying- I don't blame them. Who wants to sit still when it is So cold, waiting to pop an egg out? RC is being rather docile except for the time he decided that a little 4 yr old was NOT allowed to slide down our manure pile, on snow. She wasn't very happy about that what so ever. Now, she's forever watching out for RC, and is pleased when he's in the chicken house.  Earlier this winter, some decided that perhaps it was wise to molt. Duhhh- we had the most horrid looking, featherless chickens for miles around. Luckily, they were all re-feathered by late November. Whew- I could just see them needing little crocheted chicken coats to keep warm. Speaking of those , a friend created one for us and I really need to fit it on one of the girls, and get some pictures!

The horses are coming thru winter really well. No one has been colicky or feeling badly at all. Thank God, they've been fine. Of course when it is this cold out, I hit high speed at keeping them all drinking and eating well. They have all been going out during the daytime as it's been to blasted cold at night. Makes more work for those who help out in the morning, but I know the horses appreciate coming in for dinner and remaining there till the next morning.

So, from now til April, I will be impatiently waiting for warmer days.... and sunshine.
My husbands' gelding is already shedding like crazy- let's hope he knows that it's going to be warm sooner than we think !!


Stay warm out there !