Finally!

Since Cookie has been here, we’ve tried a variety of treats with her, just to see what she likes. Ruby and Sable will eat anything you hand them. Cookie has been far more picky. She wasn’t impressed when she finally got a piece of apple. Nickers (store-bought horse treats) were ignored. She turned her nose up at the flax/apple cookies I made. Candy canes? Pfft, please. No way she’d even look at them. She loves to smell Ruby’s breath after she’s had mints, but has no interest in eating them herself.

We did hit on carrots. She loves carrots! But. I have to hold them for her. LOL! I hold the end of the carrot, while she daintily bites pieces off. While that’s fine as an every now and then treat, I don’t want to overload her on carrots. Besides, when it comes time to work her a little more for training, holding a carrot every time she does as I ask isn’t going to work. Carrot coins are a no-no, because horses can choke on them.

After doing some reading and research, I decided a trip to the feed store was necessary. There we found FrontRunner Pleasure Cubes. They are an alfalfa hay pellet that’s just hay, compressed. Looks like this:

Oh, don't they look yummy?

Oh, don’t they look yummy?

Puppy liked them. She eats the hay anyways, and loves tossing around the stemmier pieces, so I gave her a pellet. I had hay cube every where!! But dang, she had fun with it!

Once Hubby started the tractor, Kid and I went out, with a handful each of pellets, to see who would like them. No surprise, Ruby gobbled hers. Sable thought they were the Best. Ever! Astrid loved them too…and Cookie. Well, thankfully, one of the pellets I had was longer, because she wasn’t sure about taking it. I held it for her like I do carrots, and she nibbled, oh, so carefully, a chunk off. Well. She decided that was the best treat I have ever given her, and carefully, but with determination, took the rest of the pellet.

Yay! I’ve hit on a treat my picky old nag likes, and that we can use in training too. 😀 I pulled out the last few I had in my pocket, and with a quick lesson in how to take treats from a flat hand, she lipped up the last of the pellets. Then followed me, to see if I had more.

Checking to see if I have any more treats.

Checking to see if I have any more treats.

Every time she came close I had to turn and show her, nope, no more treats. 🙂

Ruby did not want to pose with me. At. All. Grump!

Ruby did not want to pose with me. At. All.
Grump!

Are you sure you don't have any more yummies?

Are you sure you don’t have any more yummies?

Really, it was amazing, to see Cookie acting like this. She was acting like a pocket pony, searching and asking for treats. Never pushy, but always there.

Ruby is a lot pushier for treats.

Ruby is a lot pushier for treats.

Ruby is a pushy pants. Which is part of the reason she didn’t want to pose for pictures with me. I reminded her to use her manners, and to not push. She forgets, sometimes, she’s *not* lead mare when I’m in the pasture. She can be lead mare of the hoofed ones, but once I set foot in there, I’m the Boss. Same with The Kid.

Astrid just wanted to know what the camera was.

Astrid just wanted to know what the camera was.

There’s a good reason to have a filter on a lens…easier to clean horse boogers off the filter than the lens itself. 🙂

Finally, a shot of my Helper.

me n heidiHeidi. One of her favorite spots, on my shoulder. She’s my Helper Cat.

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Random Horse Pictures

Girl's looking a bit round! Enjoying that grass alfalfa mix a lot!

Girl’s looking a bit round! Enjoying that grass alfalfa mix a lot!

Sweet Astrid. She tough to get pictures of, because she loves to be close to people. Everything I have is her walking towards me. :)

Sweet Astrid. She tough to get pictures of, because she loves to be close to people. Everything I have is her walking towards me. 

I’ll have to put on my 18-55mm lens and see if I can get some close ups of her while she’s beside me.
Funny story about Astrid…on Monday, Hubby started the tractor to clear snow, and knowing it was going to be another cold night, I figured I should add more straw to the shelter. Well, we have small bales of straw, and, unfortunately, in the deep freeze, they froze to the ground. So, here I am, trying to pull this straw up from the ground by the twine, when the twine snaps, and I’m flat on my back in frozen horse crap. Yay me!!

Astrid walks up, looks down and me and licks my face. LOL! Yup! Horse tongue, while I’m trying to get up. All I could do was lie there and laugh! At the same time, I have Cookie, Sable and Ruby milling about because “the hay lady’s down!” Realistically, I could have been stomped, but it was just so darn funny, me lying in poo, Astrid licking me, and the other 3 in a tizzy. Okay, maybe my sense of humour is a little odd. 😀

Harmony at the feeder.

Harmony at the feeder.

So nice to see all four, heads down in the food. To think, only 12 days ago, Astrid joined the herd, and there was chaos. Everyone has adapted very well.

She's such a big sweetheart!

She’s such a big sweetheart! ❤

Sable has been very good about letting us clean the ice balls out of her hooves. This morning, she had snow packs, because we’ve a little break in weather, but nothing that we had to get out asap. So I just let her eat, and took pictures.

My lovely Paints.

My lovely Paints.

These 2, not so much, with the hoof cleaning. Cookie has very little understanding of lifting her feet, so we’re working on it. Ruby knows what I’m asking, but doesn’t have the experience to lift automatically. Again, we’re working on it. It’s things they need to be taught, but, it has to be done with care and patience. Simply because, it’s so important to have a horse be good about picking up their feet.
Astrid is a dream about her feet. She lifts by command, and stands beautifully. It helps that she’s very willing to please, but it’s also a testament to the time and training our friend put into her.

Cutie!

Cutie!

A Little Piece of Gold

Over the weekend, I got my hands on something that I’ve been trying to get for a few months now. Schedules didn’t line up, folks were busy, life happened. And then, just as things looked bleak-because things get lost, misplaced, forgotten about-a message, and a pick up point came through.

With glee we went to the City and made a stop to get this:

scancookie1That’s my Cookie’s registration papers. The back is even signed by the seller, so all I have to do is pay the fees, fill in the buyer area, and send it off. Then, I will get one just like this, only with my name listed as her owner. And, yes, that is a picture of my Girl as a baby…here’s a closer look:

Awwwww!!!

Awwwww!!!

What a little cutie pie!! She’s still adorable now, she’s just bigger. And has more attitude. 🙂

Hey Wolfie, How Much Snow You Got?

Lots. Lots and lots and lots.
Wanna buy some? Come and get it!!

There is a fence under that snow...

There is a fence under that snow…

Yup, that’s my front pasture. We’re going to have to string some snow fencing to keep the girls from going out here, because they could just walk right out. Normally, with horses, that doesn’t happen as long as they have ample food, but, curiosity does get a hold of some. So, just to be safe…

The driveway.

The driveway.

Once the snow finally stopped blowing, we were able to go out and start clearing…undfortunately, it didn’t stop blowing until nearly 3:30 in the afternoon, so it meant clearing snow into the late night.

snow1Hubby on the tractor, clearing the driveway. It’s about 90 feet long, and the snow was just over 3 feet deep.

snow2The moon looked pretty though… 😉

Life Happens…

A friend posted this graphic on Facebook last night…

stay humbleAnd it’s true, right? All the physical stuff in the world, isn’t going to change the end result. What really matters, in the end, are the relationships we’ve built. With ourselves, with family, with friends, with our partners, with our 4 legged friends…relationships. As trite as this is going to sound, love matters. Sometimes, all we have is the love from the relationships we build.

And then life changes…it happens,  we’re caught unaware, and those relationships change. It happened to a very good friend of our Farm over the holidays. A friend that helped us through encouragement and support, get where we are. A friend, who, whether she knows it or not, has challenged me, over and over again, to be a better person, a stronger person. My life, all our lives here, are richer for knowing her, and her family.

I’m not going to go into details of what happened, that’s hers, and hers alone, but her life is changed forever. We are trying to do everything we can, as friends, to support her. So, when, late one night, I got an email asking if we would take her mare-because she had to sell off all her animals-Hubby and I discussed this, and decided, what else could we do? This friend needed our help, and we are in a position to give it. Done.

So, yesterday, we drove down to her place, and with the help of one of her incredible neighbours, got this beautiful little girl loaded, and brought her home.

This girl is Astrid.

This is Astrid.

It was a very emotional time for all of us. My heart broke for our friend, taking this girl from her. I cannot imagine having your life turned upside down, and having to give away your horse. It would rip me in two, to lose my Cookie, and I know, she was dying inside, trying to get Astrid into the trailer. All I could offer were hugs, and the assurance that Astrid will be well-loved here…and, should she ever be in the place to take her Home, we’ll load her up and bring her back, where ever Home is.

Astrid2My girls were less than thrilled…well, other than Sable, who wanted to make friends immediately.

Exchanging breath greetings.

Exchanging breath greetings.

MamaRu watched over every little interaction, because poor Astrid, with her life spun sideways, she keeps doing the mare squeal and back kicks…MamaRu don’t let no one kick her Sable! Not even Cookie. MamaRu runs this herd!

There's the tri-color paint stinkeye...

There’s the tri-color paint stinkeye…

Yeah, our Ruby has a very Calico attitude. If you have Calico cats, you know exactly what I’m talking about. They’re lovely dovey, but only on their terms…and woe be to those who cross them!

My Cookie, however, is pissed at me. Very much so. I expect she’ll adjust, so long as the feeders stay full. Food is her issue, and well, she’s a bit of a jealous bitch(we’re a lot alike, me and that horse!).

Uh, Mom? WTF? What's with the new horse?

Uh, Mom? WTF? What’s with the new horse?

This morning, there was a small bout of asshattery at the feeders, but nothing more than what there was when the 3 were here. Thankfully Astrid is respectful of fences, and man, oh man, she’s loving the wide open space to run!! The 3 girls canter off, and she’s about 2 lengths behind, trying to join the herd. She’ll get there. 🙂

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

After all that, time for a little bit of seriousness…

I am, and this is one of my failings, a judgmental person. I know I am. I have judged the folks who dropped my Girls at auction six ways from Sunday. They make me angry, they make me sad. I would punch them all in the throat, given the chance. Especially since I’ve had the time to get to know my horses, and I know there are incredible hearts inside those huge bodies.

That said, this past month has been a lesson for me, in not judging people, because, like the title of the post…life happens. I don’t know how, or why, Ruby, Cookie, and Sable ended up where they did. Especially Sable, who is a giant love pony. But, she did, and, as much as I want to be cruel to the person who got rid of her, I now wonder, what happened? What life change forced the person to take her to auction? Was there a death in the family? Divorce? Job loss? It could have been anything, really. Some traumatic life event that means who ever loved her before us-and she was clearly loved-put her in the ring. Thankfully, at the right time, because the rescue got her, and then we did.

So, as I sit here typing this, I wonder what may have happened to Astrid, if we hadn’t been able to take her. I can say, we would have helped our friend network through the horse community to find someone who could take her, and do everything we could to ensure she didn’t go back where she came from (Astrid came from the same rescue my girls did, who grabbed her from the auction ring…another horse that only 2 were bidding on: the rescue and the meat man). But in the end, if all resources are exhausted, and no one can or will help, would she have gone back? It’s a real possibility.

And so, my judgmental self says:
“Don’t throw stones, Wolfie, because you don’t know the whole story. Save the stones, rocks, boulders, for the ones who send their horses to auction, clearly neglected and unloved. Those are the bastards that deserve it…everyone else? Well, Life Happens”

 

Sleeping Cookie

There are theorys about how comfortable a horse has to be in their surroundings in order to sleep. Some believe that horses will sleep anywhere, any time. Some believe that it takes a level of comfort and trust for a horse to sleep.

Whatever the truth is, we know, that horses have to sleep, and for a lot of the time they sleep standing up. However, horses also need the deep sleep that comes with lying down. Granted, they can lie for moments at a time, to get that sleep, but still, they need that time. Since they are prey animals, this happens more often when they do feel safe and comfortable.

That makes the following pictures even more special to me…

I stepped out to this scene

I stepped out to this scene

That’s Ruby, dozing…but then, I saw the big form on the ground…

looking a little closer...

looking a little closer…

Her head is down, and she’s completely relaxed…she can hear me walking over the snow, but stayed relaxed anyway.

Yup, my Cookie was laying down for her afternoon nap

Yup, my Cookie was laying down for her afternoon nap.

Enjoying sunning herself in the warm winter sunshine.

<3

It’s a wonderful thing to see her so comfortable in her surroundings that she doesn’t hesitate to lay down, nor does she panic and get up when she hears me coming.

 

 

Snowy Day on the Farm

We have had a few blizzard warnings this winter…today we’re under another one. It was so bad out here, that Hubby had to turn around and come home, instead of going into work today. The highway-once he got there!-simply disappeared. 😦

Here’s the view from my front window:

out front, to the east...my pasture is there, somewhere!!

out front, to the east…my pasture is there, somewhere!!

Here’s the view out back:

Good thing for the big tree!

Good thing for the big tree!

Beyond that tree is my field…my field goes for another 1/2 mile past that tree!! Um, yeah, it’s out there somewhere!

Tonight we’re looking at the snow stopping, but the wind coming up. So tomorrow, we’ll spend the day digging out. Then we have to take Daphne in to the vet for a cast check. It’s been 2 weeks since she broke her paw, and she seems to be doing well. Other than her trying to chew the cast, which results in The Cone of Shame. I’ll have to get pictures of that to show y’all, because oh my gosh, it’s funny!

Stay warm, friends!