Sunday, April 23, 2017

Horse Watching & some murders


This past week has been quiet... Morning chores were done quickly and the same with the evening feed. The weather has been so wonderful, all of the horses got to stay outside continuously. I liked it- and I can only suppose they did too. Much less work for people to do!

Simone, our new-ish kitten, has been able to be out in the barn too. She actually was doing some mousing and caught one this morning.  Woooohoooooo- granted, it was a very young stupid mouse but none the less, she's beginning to do her job. She carried it in the tack room ( ewww) and proceeded to torture it to death. I left as even though I know it is what cats do,I still don't like to be around when they do that. Yuck.
below is Simone. Taken by Pat Showers ( thanks!)

                          Rest in Peace, Issac.
This past week I lost my kind rooster, Issac.
He was attacked by something that got into the house he was sleeping in. Chased him out ( I imagine he flew over the gate) grabbed him and killed him. Just beautiful lavender feathers remained. If that wasn't a big enough loss, the next night, the 'what-ever' came back. This time, it tried to dig under the hen's house on the hill, and succeeded in getting inside. The next morning, I had 4 hens dead and one just gone. It all broke my heart a little once again. So now I have two little bantams, one lavender hen, and three black hens from this year. Once they got over the shock of what happened, they began laying again and I'm getting 5 eggs daily.  Not to bad, I think. These girls will remain in a box stall until I am SURE what ever it was doing the killing is dead also. There's also two young ladies living in my garden tub for now. One lavender pullet and one who knows what from a gal who hatched the eggs.
 I am 90% sure it was a fox- the method of killing, the digging, and the fact that it returned lets me think that's what it was.< sigh> This farm is Awful for things dying . So many horses, and hens...makes a gal want to say 'to hell with it all'.  Sadly enough- all of these chickens have been lost over the years.  :(

Horse watching :   I love doing this when it's quiet n' peaceful out. I've been trying to figure out why Rusty behaves as he does, and I *think* I have some ideas. He is best pals w/ the draft ponies- but he'll charge the two geldings in the other field. Usually this happens when it's time to be fed or if some person is around. This horse really has me stymied big time. When I attempt to talk with him about it , I get a blank stare or totally ignored. So Rusty is keeping his secrets for now.

When Briana arrived here in 2015, she was just 5 years old. A little intimidated by the other horses. Especially the Percherons... she n' Lynn got along alright soon enough.  Now, this week, being turned out with Rose, the tide has changed. Rose used to be the boss mare but now ? Briana is.  I guess she's grown up mentally in the past year. Rose gives way but doesn't seem to mind when Briana "protects" her from Rusty being a PITA. When Lynn got older and her arthritis kicked in, she started walking away from her hay when BoJangles told her to. Then when Evie was still alive, she was Boss Mare of the two. The young and able take over the herd hierarchy, and things change. With Shonee n' Jae, it is a partnership/ friendship. But Jae is the boss when it's feed time...  Go figure. It's all what the horse thinks of him/herself. If they want to be the boss, and willing to argue their way up the proverbial ladder, they will be. Then as horses age, a younger, more bold horse, takes over the position of Boss. It has fascinated me for years and I still love watching them.
                            Evie n' Lynn

Thursday, April 13, 2017


AKA: stories from the past.

  I have been around horse people most of my life, with thanks to my mother. She realized very quickly that her daughter was a horse crazy child, and tried her best to support that craziness. She bought my first pony- who was everything a horsey kid did NOT need- and supplied me with feed/ hay for said pony. My dad constructed a one car sized "barn" for my eventual horse and was there for our very first ride together. Nothing went wrong as my mom had said it would, and I was so proud of my "training"!
  That TB gelding was from some of the top fox hunting lineage in Chester County ( Pennsylvania) and wasn't nearly as highly trained as I thought. There were a few training holes, thanks to a kid with no mentors. After all, we met when I was 13 and hardly wet behind the ears so far as horse knowledge went. We made it thru our life together without doing a lot of damage to each other and life was good.
  I remember teaching him to jump. After all, he was bred for hunting- so why couldn't he jump over things? My friend, Dennis, and I would set up "jumps" from saplings across the logging trails in the woods, then give jumping over them a try. My horse could jump- and he could jump High! ( it wasn't long before I learned about properly constructed jumps) At any rate- in my neighbors' field, he saw no reason to jump over something. Why not just go around it? Easier that way. I thought and thought and came up with giving him a small piece of carrot after each time he jumped over the "jump" in that field. We worked it out this way: I would do my circle and aim his face at the jump. Yay!! Over we'd go. I would then stop him and give him a piece of carrot as a reward. We were doing really well at this jumping stuff in a few weeks.
  Finally, I figured we were good enough to try our hand at shows... The guy who was hauling us arrived early that morning, and my horse decided there was no way he was going into something he could look over.Took me 2 hours to get that big horse into that small quarter horse sized trailer, and off we went. We arrived at the horse show- me in my "elephant ear" jodhpurs, boots shined so they looked plastic, tack sparkly clean and a big gawky looking 4 yr old red horse. He was so clean his coat just glistened. After getting our show number,I realized it was soon 'show time' ! We entered the ring, checking out the 8 jumps positioned along the ring's railing. Simple- jump over those jumps and we'd be done.
   We entered the show ring, did our canter circle and I aimed him towards the first jump. Wooooeeeeee- we cleared it! But then my horse screeched to a stop, and turned his face around, looking at me. "Oh nooooooooooooooo- we have to keep going!" Over the next jump, a screech to a halt and that look and it happened with every jump. Oh lordy- he was expecting his carrot reward. Needless to say, the whole class went that way and I was quite simply mortified. We didn't even get a ribbon that day but wow, did I learn a lot.
  I wanted the earth to open up and let me hide... but I had a horse to care for, even if I wasn't real happy with him.
 On the drive home, some serious pondering was going on in my head. That was when I began learning about horses in a different manner. They wanted to please, and did what they'd been taught... that meant the person doing the teaching really had to do it correctly. At 15, I'd begun learning to hear what the horses in my life were telling me.
 That horse eventually went on to another owner that was so excited to own a horse like mine. He knew the bloodlines and did teach "my" horse how to become a fox hunting horse- a Very good one. Last time I heard anything about those two, "my" horse had been retired and was then helping the mans' grand daughters to ride- and yes, jump.
  Somewhere I have some photos of me n' my first real horse- I suppose I should find them one day.

          God bless the horses who helped me learn.