Oh My Gosh

Let me tell you about my week, last week!

Since the weather is cooling, the Girls have been getting fuzzy, and I’m constantly adjusting their beet pulp/flax rations. Horses can have delicate digestive systems, so changes have to be made slow and steady…that’s the norm. We all know one or two horses, though, that have iron stomachs and can handle any change, any time.
My Cookie used to be like that.
Not so much anymore. Especially not since she had her colic incident a few months back…be warned, if you go read that, the language is salty. If cursing offends you, well, just trust me when I say Cookie colicking is something to worry about, ‘kay?

Now, I watch her and her tummy as close as I watch Sable.
Sable colics so easily! I am very lucky that, so far (knock on wood, and thanks to all deities I believe in), she hasn’t had an episode I couldn’t handle.

Last week, I noticed Cookie wasn’t quite herself. Not colicking, but she was off. Which sounds silly, but ask any horse owner. We know when our hoofed kids are off, and you watch them, because you never know what could happen.
So, as she layed down in the pasture, I figured it was a good time for a back rub. Well, she sure enjoyed that! After a while (I can’t tell time and rub pony backs at the same time!πŸ˜› ) she decided she’d had enough, got up, walked away and dropped a pile of manure.
I left her alone after that.

Later on though, after she had her beet pulp (which had, for about 2 weeks, included 1 cup of oats. Just plain oats we get from the Farmer down the road from us) she was off again…so I said to Hubby, I was going pull her off the oats (slowly) and increase her flax. Last winter, when I increased her flax, her whole demeanor changed. With age, and the cold, her body clearly needed something more. Spring came, and she stopped finishing her bucket until I reduced the flax. She was telling me that there was too much for what her body needed. Horses are pretty darn amazing creatures, if we just listen to them!

So, I pulled her off the oats, and I saw improvement. But, not 100%. Again, it’s not that she was showing anything more than just being a little off. If I wasn’t here all the time, I probably wouldn’t have noticed anything different. I would have chalked things up to mare-ish mood swings.
Next step was adding probiotics to her diet.
Easiest, and most economical, way to do that is with yogurt. I make a gallon of yogurt a week, give her 1/2 a cup in her beet pulp-because shooting it into her mouth like dewormer was not a good time to be had by either one of us!-and there’s enough for me to enjoy too.πŸ™‚
LOL! Yeah, I started out trying to give it to her like when we deworm them. Hahahaha!! Oh, that was stupid!
1200lbs of cranky assed mare, and then, once I got it in her mouth she changed, and decided that “Hey! That was good! I want more!” and got super pushy trying *get more*.
Into the beet pulp went the next day’s dosage.

Then, just as I was getting that figured out, our Girl Astrid came in for beet pulp with a large amount of burrs in her forelock. Thinking nothing of it while she ate, I worked on getting them out of her hair.
As it turns out, if it’s windy while pulling burrs out, one should always be aware/careful about the job.
Taking a piece of burr to the eye is a painful, unpleasant, nasty bit of business. It will, quite seriously, mess up your day…or, week, in my case.
At first, I thought, since it was dusty too, that a piece of dirt had got me. Nope, as I rubbed to get the dirt out (yes, stupid, stupid, stupid, I know), I realized that was no dirt!

That was Tuesday, and I finally was able to see properly (and without my eye itching) yesterday.
I had to rinse my eye (not fun ever), alternate between ice packs for the swelling and chamomile tea bags to promote healing, and so much Reactine and Excedrin!
It was not fun.
Add to that I felt awfully stupid for having it happen, because people pull burrs from their horses all the time right? No one ever talks about getting the stupid things in their eye…so there, *I’m* talking about it, because damn, it hurts! And, if it hurts a human, imagine what it would feel like to an equine who got a bit in their eye.😦

Now I’m a week behind in work, and it’s taken this long to update y’all here, plus (and this is the worst of itπŸ˜› ) I spent a whole week without being able to take pictures. Can’t do it, if you can’t see your subject! That’s why this post is so much words…so very many words. Instead of the pictures y’all are used to.
I do have a couple for you though, from pre-burr-to-the-eye times…

This is actually from the first day I noticed she wasn't quite herself...

This is actually from the first day I noticed she wasn’t quite herself…

The next morning, as the sun came up, I saw this…

Awwww!  She's just plain perfect. <3

Awwww!
She’s just plain perfect.❀

Hopefully, this week I’ll have camera in hand again. In fact, I have to!
Our meat chickens, the Peepers, are going to Freezer Camp this week, and I want to photograph it. Not to be gruesome, but because I have always believed that knowing what goes into you food hitting your plate is important.
There will be a blog post.
I will put pictures under a “Read More” tag…just so the folks with queasy tummies won’t have it all out there in their faces.
I will, however, encourage you to look at the images. Especially if you eat meat.
I can guarantee the Peepers have had a good life. Lots of food, including wandering about for bugs and such, fresh water several times a day, shelter at night but wandering the chicken yard during the day, and tootling their chicken sounds at me every chance they get. Their life has been good, as it should be for every animal that is raised to become food.
I look forward to sharing this with you, our journey from chicks to chickens in the freezer.
πŸ™‚
Happy Food Tastes Better.

Cookie Gets a New Crown

Once again, our dear sweet Cookie had to do hard things.
Gotta say…I❀ Almost FarmGirl for that saying!
Don’t know what I’m talking about? Read this post of hers…

I can do hard things.

It’s become a bit of a mantra around here…especially when working with Cookie. Cookie can do hard things. Really, she can. She just needs to be reminded of it, and supported through it.
My special Girl.❀

Onward…

Yesterday, I finally decided that our Ms Cookie needed a new crown on her breakaway halter…Her old one was looking decidedly ragged!

Old crown...ahh, the pink fish leather! Looked so dang good on her too!

Old crown…ahh, the pink fish leather! Looked so dang good on her too!

Yes, I kept it. It’s gross and smelly, saturated with her sweat, some blood (from sticking her fat head out the fence and cutting herself…idiot), mud and shit.
But it’s been a part of her for so long now, I can’t get rid of it.
My heart won’t let me.
I know it’s stupid, but whatever. It’s mine.

The process for changing to the new crown is normally easy.
Lead rope, undo one side, buckle the new crown on, go to the other side, do the same and done!
This time, I wanted her to try on a new halter I got from a friend…a very pretty pink camo one.πŸ™‚
But, when I went to pull the breakaway off, she started to panic.
Poor Dork.
So, the camo one went overtop, and I pulled the breakaway out from underneath. That way, she still had the comforting feel of a halter, but I could fix up the breakaway.
And then, pictures!πŸ™‚

"Uh, Mom?? This isn't right. Not my halter, not right."

“Uh, Mom?? This isn’t right. Not my halter, not right.”

It looks so good on her!
But, not being a breakaway, it’s only for working wear, not everyday wear.

"Kid?? Could ya tell Mom this ain't right?? I'm not okay here."

“Kid?? Could ya tell Mom this ain’t right?? I’m not okay here.”

After a few pictures, and I fixed up the breakaway, I got Hubby to hold the lead, gave Kid the camera, and set about to make things right in Cookie’s world.

My sweet mare...breakaway is back on, nose shoved into me for comfort.

My sweet mare…breakaway is back on, her nose shoved into me for comfort.

When she felt like she was okay again, I got Hubby to walk her out to the others and let her go…just so I could take a few more pictures of her.

This next one I love…

"Oh Cookie! You did so great! You're okay...I promise, you can do hard things!" ~Sable "I'm not okay." ~Cookie "You will be. I promise!" ~Sable

“Oh Cookie! You did so great! You’re okay…I promise, you can do hard things!” ~Sable
“I’m not okay.” ~Cookie
“You will be. I promise!” ~Sable

Aside from the fact that she’s The Kid’s Heart Horse, Sable is worth her weight in gold! She’s always right there to comfort Cookie.
Mama makes her do hard things?
Bella is there, offering her support, because *she* knows how easy peasy this stuff is for a horse to do.

Lo and behold, an hour later, look who was grazing happily, and okay with me taking more pictures of her:

Wearing her new crown...

Wearing her new crown…

Look at that.
My darling can do hard things.
❀

Edited to Add:
Please don’t email me or comment lecturing on the dangers of a horse wearing a halter while turned out to pasture.
I know all about it. I’ve seen the pictures, heard the horror stories, and heard it all before.
However…
This horse, while it was more than challenging to get the halter on her in the first place, needs it to stay on.
This isn’t a case of human laziness, where she’s too hard to catch without a halter on.
This *is* a case of a horse who, without her halter, will run the fence line whinnying for hours. Yes, hours.
This is the case of a horse who will stop eating…yep, you read that right…she’s so busy running the fence she won’t eat.
Last time I took the breakaway off, I left her for a week, figuring she’d work it out in her own head and be fine.
Nope.
She visibly lost weight. Visibly.
I figure about 50 lbs, coulda been more, coulda been less…fact remains, it was obvious she had dropped weight and the only change was the halter was off.
So, I put it back on.
She’s been fine since.
So, please don’t lecture me. I know the risks, but, I also know my horse and what she needs.
Thank you.

Astrid

Sable was getting some work done on her feet.
There was bug juice being applied to every horse that wanted it.
Astrid stayed after her bug juice application and napped while Sable had her feet done…

Astrid BugJuiceNever far from her best friend, always happy to be near her people.
Such a sweetheart.
❀

Edited to Add:
Shared with The Cat on My Head for the Sunday Selfies Blog Hop, with our thanks to Astrid there for inviting our Astrid to join in the fun!!πŸ™‚

Right Place at the Right Time

My camera is almost always in hand on the Farm.
If not in hand, close to hand, so that I can capture things that just happen…Spontaneity in photography is a lot of what this blog is about.πŸ˜‰
Of course, I do miss capturing some things, some times, but still…I catch all the good stuff I can.

Like yesterday…
I went out to take a picture of Anthony Piggie in her blankets:

"What? I like a blanket while I nap in the sunshine..."

“What? I like a blanket while I nap in the sunshine…”

She looks like she needs a good stretch, a scratch and a coffee. LOL!
Kinda how I feel in the mornings…but this was mid-afternoon for her.πŸ˜‰

To capture that shot, I had to go into the Henny Yard for the right angle. While I was there I checked the waterers and found the hens were needing. I lined them up, turned on the hose, and while I was waiting for things to fill, I did the daily egg hunt. I noticed one henny was still in her nest, but had just stood into the laying stance.
I went for my camera just in time to capture the egg being layed…

Here it comes!

Here it comes!

Egg2

Egg3

And it's out!

And it’s out!

Egg5

And, that’s where eggs come from.
Pretty cool capture, if you ask me.πŸ™‚

Scratching Astrid’s Back

Earlier this week, I was telling y’all about Astrid enjoying back scratches.
Little Red **really** likes having her back scratched.
After she finishes her beet pulp, she’ll sidle up to the fence and wait for me…I climb up, and use both hands to scratch…and then, she tries to groom me. lol
Well, since mutual grooming with horses tends to include teeth, I have to (gently) discourage it. We don’t allow teeth to be used on humans period, and, because mutual grooming is a huge thing for horses, I don’t want to have to discipline her for something that is really important in a horse herd.

Normally, during a scratching, I’ll redirect her to the closest horse…unless it’s Cookie. Cookie rarely grooms anyone and only on her terms. She’s a bit of a crab about it.πŸ˜‰

The day The Kid was taking pictures, the others weren’t near by, so Astrid substituted the fence…

"Oooh! Good scratch Mom. Keep scratching!!"

“Oooh! Good scratch Mom. Keep scratching!!”

"Yeah, that's the spot....right there!!"

“Yeah, that’s the spot….right there!!”

Of course, chewing a wood fence is not something I want to encourage, so I had to redirect her again…poor noodle!

"Not the fence, Astrid." "But Mooooommmmm!!!"

“Not the fence, Astrid.”
“But Mooooommmmm!!!”

When all the itches were scratched, she wandered away to munch happily…

"Feels so good..."

“Feels so good…”

πŸ™‚

Earlier this week, I went out to take some pre-dawn shots of Ruby and Sable lying in the grass. The one of Ruby made the local news/weather forecast as one of the weather pictures of the day. That was pretty darn exciting!

Paints in the morning sunlight.

Paints in the morning sunlight.

Sable enjoys the warmth of the rising sun...

Sable enjoys the warmth of the rising sun…

Still working on my other edits…once those are done, I can get into my shots from this past weekend. Rodeo shots. My one and only rodeo for the year. *sigh* Sometimes being responsible and not running off to photograph all the things just plain sucks. lol

6 Days…

When I realized it had been 6 days since my last post, I started singing “6 Days on the Road”…the Sawyer Brown version, just because it’s fun.πŸ˜‰

Let me catch you up on what’s been going on around here…

Mostly it’s been yard work…still cutting and putting up small bales of hay. I’m getting a cute little pile in the garage. Like I’ve said before, it’s not much, but sometimes, all you need is a little bit of hay to keep an equine face busy while you work with them on other things…or you just need a little hay for them to pick at while the grass grows in spring. That’s what this is for.
It’s handy to have small amounts for those times.

This past weekend it was finally dry enough to get our septic system fully repaired. Thank goodness. That was a hefty, but extremely necessary, repair. And, this should last us many many years…especially since we have a fence around the end unit to protect it so that it can’t be hit with a tractor…which is what happened to the one we had fixed *before* we bought the place. The damage was long-standing and near the frost line, so, realistically, we’re lucky we got 2 1/2 years out of it before needing to have the repairs done.

I’ve been working on edit 3 photos sessions that I need to get done.
1. The demos we watched at Cloverdale Forge.
I’ve shared a few from the set, but I still have 20 or so more to finish up.
2. Jousting. From the same day, we went from the Forge over to the Medieval festival and I have 40 or so images from the jousting to finish.
3. A portrait session I did with a friend from the Stable…this one I want to get done so bad, because the images are **gorgeous** and I can’t wait for her to see them…I gave her this as a teaser shot, but really need to sit down and get the rest done…
KB1 bw wm
And then there are the pictures of the animals here!
For example, I have the following series…animals playing in water…

Daphne goes all in savage when playing in the hose!

Daphne goes all in savage when playing in the hose!

Did you know piggies like to play in the stream fro the hose?

Did you know piggies like to play in the stream from the hose?

Nigella has a drink from the hose.

Nigella has a drink from the hose.

Washing her face a bit.

Washing her face a bit.

Rinsing out her mouth...

Rinsing out her mouth…

Just enjoying the cold water on a hot day. :)

Just enjoying the cold water on a hot day.πŸ™‚

And Ruby…

"The Hell, Dad!! Don't spray me!!"

“The Hell, Dad!! Don’t spray me!!”

Oh, I told y’all about piggies and bags?
Here’s Nigella having a munching good time:

"My bag."

“My bag.”

"Whut? Pigs like toys. This my toy."

“Whut? Pigs like toys. This my toy.”

I missed when the 3 of them each grabbed a piece and started shaking their heads side to side like dogs…oh, it was funny! lol

Another picture of Ruby. Just because she’s pretty.πŸ™‚

Ruby Portrait
Finally, one of Sable and Ruby racing.

<3

❀

Later this week, I’ll share some shots The Kid took of Astrid while I was scratching her back. Astrid really gets into the scratches and back rubs, let me tell you!
I’m also hoping to be able to share some Lawn Pony shots with y’all. When we take Cookie on another excursion into the yard, I’m going to get The Kid to photograph it..
Y’see, Ms Cookie had her very first experience coming out into the yard a couple weeks ago. It was really hard for her. Gates are terrifying, and she was sure she was going to have to go somewhere. She didn’t know where, but she was sure she was leaving. *sigh* Poor damaged horse. lol
When she finally got to go back into the pasture, she darn near lost her shit. Actually, she tried to run me over to get through the gate, which led to a lesson in manners and how to *politely* return to the pasture.
Finally, she figured it out, listen to Mama and you’ll get back there sooner. Act like an ass, and you’re stuck outside the pasture…where something might get her and eat her or take her away.πŸ˜‰

When she finally did walk back in politely, she waited ’til the gate was closed, spun and went straight backwards until the end of the lead rope. There she half reared and honked like a goose.
I promptly died laughing at her.
She just thought I should know that yard was scary and she could have died. If I really cared about her I wouldn’t make her do that ever again, because “coulda died Mama, I could HAVE DIED!”

Recovering Lawn Pony, back in her pasture...AKA The Drama Queen.

Recovering Lawn Pony, back in her pasture…AKA The Drama Queen.

Pasture Dragon

Sometimes, we find strange things in our pasture.
Sometimes, it’s garbage, or metal, or old barbed wire buried in horrible places.
Sometimes, it’s fun things, like toys from previous owners kids.
Like this…

I call it a Pasture Dragon...I don't actually know what it is.

I call it a Pasture Dragon…I don’t actually know what it is.

When Hubby found it, I said “Pictures!” and he proceeded to put it on Sable’s bum.

Nestled perfectly on her bum...

Nestled perfectly on her bum…

It’s like the Pasture Dragon is flying!
Wheeeeeee!!!

Sable, however, was unimpressed:

Really, Mother?!? Really???

Really, Mother?!? Really???

I thought it was cute.
LOL!!
The Pasture Dragon might have to make a few appearances in other places too…πŸ˜‰