Monday, August 18, 2014

Horse Shopping

No. not for me.  I most definitely don't need another horse, but after much agonizing, Riding Buddy has decided it's time to look for a new trail partner.  Her horse, Hawkeye, has gotten pretty arthritic in the last year or two and after adding up all the years she realized that his age is higher than she thought, more like twenty than 16.  He is having more and more trouble, especially on steep or uneven ground and that's nearly all we ever ride on.  It is especially a problem because he is becoming very trippy, not wanting to bend his knees and they have had a few nasty near-misses where he has almost fallen down with her.  It's the exact same reason that I retired my old mare, Suki, a few years ago.  Her other horse is 26 and has already been retired for some time.  They will both always have a loving home with RB.  Neither will ever end up one of those poor lost souls listed on Craigslist or run through an auction.  You know the ones.....

"Older horse for sale cheap or free, only marginally crippled, but past his due date through no fault of his own.  A good home a must of course even though we're perfectly willing to ditch him after 20 years of good service with any stranger willing to take him off our hands so we don't have to deal with him in his old age."

Anyway, time for some younger blood in the barn.  Despite all the many unwanted horses floating around in the world, it is not at all easy to find a good one.  Horse shopping is tough.  There are usually a lot of good reasons for those horses to be unwanted after all.  Don't get me started down that rant though.

The search has just begun and, so far, this is the first candidate....

A lovely 5 year old Morgan mare bred and raised at a friend's farm just a few miles from here.  She is quite green still, but has 10-12 trail rides under her belt.  She has good, tough feet, which is major given all the foot trouble RB has battled in the past few years.  A smidge back at the knee, but nothing too serious, it's very common for the breed and in the "draftier" breeds in general.  She might have sore knees when she's 20, but who among us doesn't?  Her one real downfall is that she has never been off of her very isolated farm.  She has a decent brain, but very little exposure to the world.  Much training is needed.

Her parents were standing just a few feet away.  Mom is on the right and the handsome, studly hunk on the left is her father. 
I have to admit, I've always had a particularly soft spot for Morgans.  My very bestest horse ever was a half Morgan and so was Suki.  As a teenager, I worked on a Morgan horse farm in Vermont, I had some really great rides on those horses..... 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Hold Tight to Small Beauties

I was really saddened this week by the death of Robin Williams.  I don't even watch tv or movies anymore, but he was one of the few actors I really enjoyed.

Depression is such a terrible, invidious thing, so poorly understood.  No one really knows what goes on in the minds and bodies of others.  What I know about it is that it is so often a truly physical thing.  An illness that is as real and tangible as diabetes or cancer, yet we so often dismiss it as imaginary.

It's all in your head.
Snap out of it.
Think positive!  

It is not all in the head, it's a physical thing that can knock you flat faster then the flu.  People can't just snap out of it anymore than they can 'snap out' of having cancer.  Telling someone to just 'think positive!' Is the same as saying, "you're a failure, it's all your fault if you can't make yourself be happy.  It's all your fault if you can't cure your own cancer".

There are no easy answers.


A day later, two little Amish girls were kidnapped right off their own farm.  The girls ran out to help a "customer" who had just pulled up to their roadside stand and they grabbed the girls and took off.  The world is so full of evil.

I just heard though, that they got away, escaped and have been returned home, unharmed.  The world is full of evil, but also happy endings every now and then.

Hold tight to the happy endings and small beauties.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Donkey Days of August

"There's really only one thing to do during the heat of a late summer day..."

"....Relax... your favorite spot, preferably near a handy wall for support...

and have a nice nap."

"Sometimes you just have to ignore the bothersome paparazzi....

and rest your weary head."

"That way, we'll have the energy to demand a long overdue outing and to pick up the slack when Ma goofs up and gets her days all muddled again....Ma was supposed to do this, but you all know how she is...."

Happy Birthday Norma!
(At least you can always count on US to get it right!)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Farm Help

We made a small amount of second cutting hay this afternoon. 

Farm Buddy badly needs the hay, but the other goal was to test out the baler after it failed so badly a few weeks ago. 

It needs more work.

It took nearly 4 hours to bale 42 bales as the twine keeps getting jammed up in one of the knotters.  Very frustrating, especially given the amount of repair work that has gone into this machine in the past year.

Fortunately, my trusty helper came out to lend a hand and moral support.  You can always count on a Border Collie...

We had unloading help as well...

This little lamb is getting extra goodies recently as she is not growing as well as her big brothers who keep pushing her away from the milk bar.  She is one of the set of triplets born this Spring.  The bottle-fed lamb (Lamby-Loo) has gotten so big that he is now, not only expecting his bottle, but stealing all his sister's milk as well.  We've never had problems with triplets in the past, but this ewe is not able to keep up with the demand of three babies.  You can really see the size difference between her and the lamb directly behind her.  That little bruiser is Flora, she certainly isn't missing any meals.

"Don't worry foolish humans, we'll have this unloaded lickety-split!"

"See, what's the big deal?  Haying is easy." *burp*

And when the "help" gets a little too unruly, its a Border Collie to the rescue again!