Sunday, September 25, 2016

Molly the Mouser

  The other day, one of the gals who takes care of evening chores for me stopped at the house before leaving. She had some very amazing news it seemed.

This past February, we hatched out a peep. The mom was only good at hatching her babies but in no way was she going to care for them too."Molly" ended up being raised in the ever popular Cosequin bucket. She is half Lavender Orpington, and half who knows what.This is herself checking out a friend's cell phone:

She isn't a year old yet, and has become the most incredibly friendly barn chicken in a long time. She follows us around, supervising our work, she likes to ride in the wheelbarrow when we are putting hay in stalls for the horses, and loves checking out the manure we have put into the wheelbarrow while cleaning out stalls. All in all, Molly is quite a character.

She is now laying eggs and I think she's finally settled on a small place beside a hay bale for a place to do that. Used to be we would find them in the fresh hay in stalls, in a corner of a stall, and once or twice, in an actual nesting box. 

So- that's Molly. Now, back to the news that the gal brought to show me.....

It turns out that while she'd been mixing up feed for the horses, she heard a scuffling about outside. It was Molly. She'd found a mouse and was doing her best to catch it. She finally did, and killed it. The video from the gal's cell phone showed Molly checking the mouse out,pecking at it a little. Ok- so that's a normal behavior. Then she ate it WHOLE !!!

Yep- swallowed it right down. I was speechless at seeing that, let me tell you. There it all was- on a video. Thank goodness the gal had her phone with her and thought to record it. She hadn't a clue that Molly was going to do that and wanted to show me that Molly had indeed done a good thing.

Well, Molly seems to be fine still and is happily hunting about for spiders, flys and other items of interest to a chicken. Amazing stuff one sees at a horse fam if one is observant enough!

IFFFF I can figure out how to share the little video, I will add it here. 

Three cheers for our "Molly the Mouser ''!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

To 'hang' or not to 'hang' ??

 I bet you're wondering, "what in the heck is she up to now?" 
( and why are some words in a different font here? Hmmmm)

 Yep, that is the question... Should a "horse trainer" hang out a 'shingle' advertising that they can and will train your horse for you, or not......  There seem to be no regulations or licensing to become a so-called "trainer''- anywhere.  Not that I have noticed. Sure there are some horsey schools that turn out people who think they can train, just because they can ride and some are really very very good. Then, there are the others.

Anyways, I have always been impressed with many horse trainers. Those who actually know what they are doing, and understand the equine mind.This is a wonderful thing to me, and when I see someone who understands, I'm in heaven. Now- there's a person I could talk to and know they'd understand. Without that understanding, the door for mental and physical abuse opens wide.

 I never advertised myself AS a horse trainer, but as time went by, plenty of people saw the results of how I taught my own horses. Slowly, but surely, I developed a waiting list of sorts. ( this was LONG before the internet, facebook, twitter and blogs!!!) This list was good for my ego but often folks found another person to deal with their troubled horse.

Horses really do want to have life easy.They want food, ( IE: grasses if they are wild), quiet times, good pals to scratch backs with and enough water to stay happy. When a human is introduced onto that scene, things can go terribly wrong and fast.

Treat them with the understanding that they will need to become fluent in a language completely different. Different body languages, different verbal sounds, just different everything. Imagine being an English speaking person, and then have another person tell you things in a language you have never heard before... That's when trouble starts.

Horses are pretty darned intelligent ( just ask the pony who unlocks his stall door and unlocks only his best pal's stall door) and use it alot more than many folks know. They've survived for millions of years and have gotten so much more intelligent. BUT- they are still horses. Horses that get confused and then frightened because they are trying to understand so hard that they sometimes shut down into a hysterical panic.  When a horse goes there, you may as well re- think your 'training' procedures.

So- all of that written, do you think there should be requirements and/ or licensing for horse trainers ? I think if there were, it would save a lot of pain and confusion in the equine.

Monday, September 5, 2016

SEPTEMBER- yayyyyy

We are holding a Tack Sale/ Swap at our farm!This coming Saturday from 10--4.We have been working on cleaning, washing, and deciding just what we want to offer for sale.

Many thanks to those of you who've helped out with this.... you know who you are.

September is here and it was cooler for two whole days. It seems this week, summer is returning with a vengence. Upper 90's and humid as can be. Yuck. I loved the cooler weather and really do not like the summer h & h.

Fall is good for heading out to ride some trails,getting those extra things done around a farm that summer made to hot to get done. Fall is a lovely time of the year and my Favorite season.Horse show season is slowing down by now, too. I remember when I showed Appaloosas' we'd have finals up almost to Thanksgiving, and then head back to it in mid January. Body clips, shoes got pulled and the show string was let down a little. Still kept them going enough to stay fit but not quite so much"go, go,go".

The same with showing the drafters... Just that those shows didn't really get up n' running til spring and then, thru late Autumn. Now, since I have slowed down considerably, that mad rush to get horses trained or super fit doesn't happen. I kinda like this. Having shown horses from age 11, it has been a LONG time coming. Now I can thoroughly enjoy the 4 horses I have now... and let the younger crowd get up at 3AM to clean a pooh stain off their horse or be on the road by 5AM, sweat their butts off all day and come home ribbonless (or not) and exhausted. Makes for a very very long day- especially when one hauls a ton of kids along w/ their ponies or horses.My patience is not nearly what it used to be by now, and thank goodness I can slow down and enjoy life now.

I can't say how many hot steamy summer days spent in a saddle, waiting for a class to begin. Sweat soaking my nice clean show shirt and running down my breeches, into my boots. It is such a wonderful feeling. For those who've shown , I know you know just what I'm talking about.Trying to look fresh and eager to show one's horse to the judge with sweat soaked leather gloves, soaking wet hair and sweat running into one's eyes. No thanks- 40 some years of it is Plenty for me.

I love showing, don't get me wrong. I compete against myself, so there was ALWAYS room to improve on something. Being a perfectionist who knows not every living being isn't, I tried to get each horse as close to perfect as it could be. It worked well but it took me a heck of a long time to become a world champion... with a mare that I had trained.

Was it all worth it? The backpain, torn tendons,the concussions, crushed toes--- and jumping the jumps when my horse chose not to ?? ( whew- now THAT hurts!)

All in all, I think it was. Showing isn't important to me like it was before. Perhaps Briana and I will get to some driving shows, maybe we'll just go trotting down the road to town.... either way, it's me and my horses. That works!

Oh, I forgot!  Introducing Issac. He is a sweet, well behaved rooster and has been busily making fertile eggs.
Next Spring, the plan is to house all of the Lavenders together and get fertile eggs to hatch. Hoping it works !