Horse Pictures

Yesterday, the girls were happy to spend some time in front of the camera. It was cold, so I only have a few shots to share. 🙂 Plus, once I was having touch time with Nikki, I wasn’t able to take pictures.

Having a moment together...

Having a moment together…

Hubby’s enjoying the wonder of Equine Therapy.

Heidi gets in on the action...

Heidi gets in on the action…

Ever the patient mare, Sable accepts Heidi’s rubbing on her. She also takes puppy kisses really well too. Daphne likes to lick her nostrils clean. I expect Heidi to make the leap to Sable’s back soon…I hope I can catch that on camera, and I hope Heidi doesn’t get hurt!

So Ladylike...pose while peeing...

So Ladylike…pose while peeing…

That’s my Nikki. She’s such a lady!

The Kid and her Heart Horse.

The Kid and her Heart Horse.

There is an incredible bond between these two. Sable hasn’t been here a full week yet, but she knows who her person is, and that’s The Kid. They stood like this, with Sable’s head drooping and finally resting on Kid’s shoulder, for just about a 1/2 hour.

Girls in the sunset.

Girls in the sunset.

Edited to add:
I just realized, I haven’t talked much about Ruby…well, I’ll have to fix that and do a post just about her. I’ll see what I can do about some pictures of the sweetie pie too. 😉

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Excuse the Silence

We’re readying for winter.
Trying to find a 2nd vehicle.
Chasing The Kid in her extra curricular activities.
And getting the horses settled in.

I just started putting hay down for the horses, though they showed no interest until early this morning. The feeders are close to the shelter, so they come into the shelter when the wind is bitter and eat, then wander off in the day time to paw the snow and eat the grass underneath. The grass in the back of the pasture was up to my underarms-and I’m no short stack!-before the snow hit. Beautiful full leaf grass that the girls have been loving.

Yesterday, The Kid and I gave sliced apples as treat…yikes! It’s like Pony Crack, I tell ya! We’ll have to be careful about apples as treats…the big palomino girl, Sable-who is head over heels in love with The Kid-has decided she’s lead mare, and anyone who wants treats has to get past her.

My girl, Nikki, has had rough treatment in her life before the Rescue. Sadly, it shows, and we’re trying to work past it. Sometimes she comes easily, others, not. Most times, I have to go to her, hood down, gloves off, so she can scent me easily, and then we can get together for some loving. It’s interesting, she’ll let me close with gloves on, but when I touch her, I can feel her leaning away. Yet, if I take one glove off, the hand I’m touching her with, she leans into the touch. She has a good heart, my girl does. There is not a mean bone in this mare’s body. When she doesn’t want to be touched, she just turns and walks away. No buck, no bolt, no bite, no kick, just turns and walks away. Maybe I’m anthropomorphizing here, but I think she knows we (I) won’t hurt her, she’s just not quite ready to let us (me) in yet. It’s okay, I have time to wait for her to be ready, and I keep telling her that. Her ears flick towards me constantly, so I know she’s listening.

Back to the apples…Sable and Ruby happily gobbled theirs up, but Nikki was getting in her own way. She wanted and she wanted to come get a piece, but was so unsure. Finally, she got brave and ambled over…she sniffed the apple, lipped it, and let me scratch her forelock. And then…*sigh* Sable decided to assert her mareness, and snapped at Nikki’s neck to drive her off. Frustrated, I hollered at Sable to “quit being such a bitch!”… and my Nikki turned and ran.

So I’ve spent the last couple hours feeling pretty damn bad about it. I let my frustration get the better of me, and I have to show more patience with this horse. I should have gone to her, to ensure she had a better chance of getting a taste of the apple.  Next time, I will. I’m learning. She’s learning. We’re in this together, for the long haul.

How Horses Saved My Child’s Life…

And why I had to do the same for horses…

Grade 5 was Hell for my Girlie. She was bullied by 3 girls, 1 used to be her best friend. She missed time at school, she made herself sick, she wanted to die. Yes, my Girlie was moving rapidly towards becoming a bullying statistic.
We, her parents, did all the things we had to do, much of what we did fell on deaf ears, and those that did hear were as powerless as we were to stop it.

So, we put her in riding lessons. And Girlie blossomed. She changed. She found meaning in her life again. I credit 2 horses with saving her…Henry, that 13-year-old TB gelding. Her first love, her forever love. And Holly. A beautiful, loving paint mare at the same stable.

Horses saved my Girl’s life. There is no doubt about it.

And so, once we started this journey into farming, and country life, we have always said we will save the lives of horses. As many as we can. Today, our 3 girls came home. They came to us through Blackbird Ranch and Equine Rehab, a wonderful Mom and Daughter team, who work with volunteers to save these horses from the meat buyer at auction, and give them new lives in new homes.

Meet Nikki, Ruby, and Sable:

Okay, it's their bums. ;)

Okay, it’s their bums. 😉

This is Nikki. I loved her from the very second I saw her...I knew this was going to be my girl.

This is Nikki. I loved her from the very second I saw her…I knew this was going to be my girl.

This Sable. She was a surprise...we had gone to visit Nikki and Ruby, and this girl stole Hubby's heart. She is a big sweetheart.

This is Sable. She was a surprise…we had gone to visit Nikki and Ruby, and this girl stole Hubby’s heart. She is a big sweetheart.

This is Ruby. :)

This is Ruby. 🙂

The Girls in their new home...their forever home.

The Girls in their new home…their forever home.

These 3 horses, who could have so easily been sold to the meat buyer, will now live out their lives here, on Midnight Calico Farm. Where all they have to do is be horses, be loved and go on some trail rides, every now and then. 😉

Random Farm Pictures

Also known as pictures of the animals…because that’s the main subject here at Midnight Calico Farm. Animals. With winter trying to make its mark-and it will, soon!-the building has come to a sputtering halt. Except for today…we have the survey company out, marking the borders of our land, so that come spring-or the very second we can pound in some fence posts-we can start fencing. We have a smallish pasture(about 8ish acres) right now, but I want to fence the rest of the land to create rotating pastures. 1 more for the horses, and the rest for the meat animals. Until then, here’s some current resident pictures…

Fiona...adjusting well to free life in the garage.

Fiona…adjusting well to free life in the garage.

Max, the King of all he sees. :)

Max, the King of all he sees. 🙂

Heidi-Cat. My 1/2 cat, 1/2 daemon.

Heidi-Cat.
My 1/2 cat, 1/2 daemon.

I know that there is more than just a cat inside this body. Of that I have no doubt. Heidi-Cat and I have an agreement, though. She can stay, so long as she causes no trouble, and does no harm to any of the official farm residents. In exchange, she has access to hunting, warmth, and treats. Plus, love and affection from The Kid, and of course the rest of us. 🙂 If she breaks the agreement, I will Banish her.

Spooky

Spooky

Showing a touch of his winter coat here…here’s another shot of it:

White?

White?

Yep, our “black” kitten has white hairs growing in…this only started when he started growing his winter coat. I’m curious to see what happens come spring. Will he shed out the white, or keep it? Only time will tell.

Daphne

Daphne

It was snowing, she played, and rolled, and dashed and tried catching snow flakes…then settled down with her stick, to chew and wait for Heidi-Cat to come play with her. She loves Heidi-Cat.

Daphne

We have, yet another, new addition here on Midnight Calico Farm. This one I went and searched out. She is a German Shepherd cross puppy. She is 10 1/2 weeks now. We found her on the Manitoba German Shepherd Rescue website. I have had a deep love of GSDs for many, many years. Our last dog, who crossed the Rainbow Bridge this past March, was a pure blood German line GSD. OldWoman was 14 when we had to let her go and it was a very emotional decision for me to look at new dogs. OldWoman was my Heart Dog, and no dog could ever replace her. It wasn’t until I could wrap my heart around the fact that having a new canine friend *wasn’t* replacing her that I was ready to accept another dog into my life.

Then we met Daphne…this little tank of a pup was wiggley and lovable and snuggly…and damn, I fell in love. 3 weeks later, she came home to the Farm.

Daphne and the chewy...

Daphne and the chewy…

Her Mom is pure GSD, and well, no one knows what her Dad is…I’m leaning towards a mutt mix of border collie and bernese mountain dog.

Tired puppy after a long walk.

Tired puppy after a long walk.

Awww! Cute puppy lips. :)

Awww! Cute puppy lips. 🙂

Toes.

Toes.

A Red Poppy To Remember

poppy4

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below

poppy1

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

poppy3

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

poppy2

Hay Delivery

The backbone of any farm operation, small, medium, or large, is hay. If you have 4 hoofed animals, you need to have hay. And, if you don’t have the land to cut and bale it yourself, then you have to buy it. Thankfully, the person I bought from could deliver it too! Sunday was delivery day…

Woohoo! The hay truck just puuled up!

Woohoo! The hay truck just pulled up!

That’s 25 medium square bales, weighing in at an average of 800 lbs each. Yes, I bought 20,000 lbs of hay!

Unloading. Trying to get it off the truck asap...then it can be stacke where needed without making the guy wait.

Unloading. Trying to get it off the truck asap…then it can be stacked where needed without making the guy wait.

Hay2

Stacking...doesn't look like much when it's stacked!

Stacking…doesn’t look like much when it’s stacked!

Like I said above, it’s 20,000 lbs. We have 2 horse coming that will be eating this, at roughly 50 lbs a day, so we have enough for about 400 days. Now that 50 lbs a day is a guesstimate, based on body weight…the rough formula is 2% of body weight per day in roughage (hay or grass). The girls-whom I will have pictures of, and full story about in a later blog post-are paints, and my guess is they are about 1100 pounds +/- a few pounds. So 2% of 1100 = 22 lbs*2 horses, gives us 44 lbs a day. And, there is always some waste! Like it or not, when an animal eats without hands waste happens. 🙂

Of course, this is all ball park. The girls may need more, or less. We’ll keep an eye on them, and make sure they are holding weight well, and healthy, if not, we’ll add extras with extra hay. Always better to have more hay than you need, than less. I would hate to run out mid-March, when there is nothing left available, and be just that close to pasture growing…this way, we have enough to last the 6-7 months before the pastures is green and ready.