Rescue Horses

All 4 of the horses here, came through a horse rescue.
Blackbird Ranch and Equine Rehab.

Without the ladies who run it, and the fellow who helps them, my girls would not have made it here. I am forever grateful to them for buying my girls and giving them a chance. Otherwise, they would have been nothing more than meat.

Now, I’m not going to go into the ethics of eating meat, or horse slaughter. None of that. Not today. This post isn’t about that.

This post is about 3 horses who are still needing homes, before the next round of auctions begin. If these 3 find homes before then, that makes room for 3 more to be saved from the meat man. If you go to Blackbird’s site, you can find them under the For Adoption tab.

Just to whet your appetite for the beauties waiting for new home though, here’s a few pictures…all taken by the talented Corrine Nykorak of Painted Horse Photography.

Calista

Calista…12 year old(approx.) paint mare.

Moon...APHA registered 2 year old filly..."Got Hollywood Style"

Moon…APHA registered 2-year-old filly…”Got Hollywood Style”

Jewana...2 year old QH filly. Reg'd name "Cinder Pine Badger"

Jewana…2 year old QH filly. Reg’d name “Cinder Pine Badger”

If any of these ladies interest you, contact Blackbird Ranch through their website. You can also find them on Facebook, where they have more pictures, and more details about each horse.

Lets get these girls a home!

 

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Priorities

Being new to this farmstead means there is a lot of things we want to do…A. Lot. I can’t stress that enough…One of the toughest things to do is prioritize what *needs* doing over what I *want* to do.

Like this:
We *need* more fencing. I *want* a finished chicken coop.
We *need* trees planted. I *want* a milk animal.
We *need* to get the attic dealt with-there are condensation issues, and no access panel. Must be fixed before next winter!
I *want* to re-do the bathroom.
We *need* rotational pastures…we *need* to seed the back 70 acres for pasture…we *need* to get a front gate up…we *need* to build a school bus shack…we *need* to get the walk behind snowblower fixed…we *need* the range hood installed…we *need* to clean the horse shelter…we *need* a barn…

I *want* to build straw bale buildings as guest houses, and a sewing hut…I *want* to have an aquaponics set up (Thanks Paul! Your set up has me dreaming and planning!)…I *want* to get stock ready for the summer Farmer’s Market…

I want to win the lottery… ๐Ÿ˜›
I need to win the lottery… ๐Ÿ˜›

And so on, and so on…there is so much to do, so little time to do it.

So, how do we decide what needs doing first?

First is fencing. Fencing the back 70 acres is #1, prime job to be done. If nothing else, we have to get the posts in. Pulling wire can come later, but as soon as we can get out on the land, we have to get the posts in. Why is this so important? Remember waaay back in this post I mentioned how we had an issue with a neighbour? That particular person leases the land next to us…he used to lease our land from the former owner. I did not buy this land to lease to a farmer, and while I am sympathetic to someone who loses 70 acres of healthy cropland to grow on, I am not willing to give up my land, my goals, to give that person extra crop land. Not when the property was publicly listed, and the person could have purchased it himself.

So, to be sure that our land is *our land* when fenced, I had a survey done…$1600 later, I have markers telling me exactly where my land is. In order to take advantage of that, fencing has to be done first. Also, I want to be sure there are no “mix ups” with that neighbour, and “accidental” seeding of my land happening. Fencing is the way to do that.

After that, comes trees.

I have 6 apple trees, 4 pears, 14 honeyberry bushes, 2 wolfberry bushes, 5 poplars, 60 white cedars, 40 villosa lilacs, and 50 Colorado spruce trees to plant. Yep, that’s a lot of trees. Obviously, trees are the #2 priority.

Oh, and I have 1 cherry tree, that came from the house in the city, to plant too. ๐Ÿ™‚

After that comes the garden. Seed starting happens next weekend. I traditionally start my seeds on Spring Break. Well, that’s next week, and so, it’s time! So many tomatoes to start! Plus the peppers, both sweet ones and hot! With all the snow though, it’s hard to get into the mindset of growing things.

Thankfully, there is a lot of the stuff I can do myself. Like cleaning the horse shelter…plus, once the snow in the pasture melts, the girls won’t insist on being right beside me while I do it.

We are also very blessed with many great friends who have offered to help out with our plans. Thanks to them all…and I hope after this summer, we’re still friends…because I plan to call in every offer I can, to help out. But, I promise to feed everyone really well after each and every work day! ๐Ÿ™‚

Painted Pony Paste

I’ve alluded to this a few times here…and in offline life, I have told more than a couple of stories that included “I thought I was going to be pounded into Painted Pony Paste!” Those stories alway center around time in the pasture with Cookie.

She's so pretty! <3

She’s so pretty! โค

The latest installment in the Painted Pony Paste saga finds us in the pasture, in Feb., just before a new wave of ridiculous cold was coming through. In preparation for the cold, I was attempting to pull up the frozen-to-the-ground straw bales, so I could re-bed the shelter for the horses. Pitch fork and shovel, and finally! Finally, they came loose. Makes horses happy, because oat straw is nummy. Nom, nom, nom, nummy! While Astrid and Ruby argued over who got to eat the chaff that fell out, I took the bales to the shelter, and worked on shredding them. While I shred and fluff, the rule is, no horses in the shelter. There huge, I’m little, in comparison, and I really, really don’t want to die in a 15×15 poop and straw filled shelter.

Normally, I put the wheelbarrow across the entryway, with the bale in it, to block equine entry. That day, however, I just put the bales on the ground. I thought it would be enough to deter nosy horses from bothering me. Oh, how wrong I was!

I had one side covered in fresh bedding, and was working on the next when I saw a large shadow cover the door. Thinking it was Sable-who just wants to be beside people all the time. She’s a total love pony!-I tossed a handful of straw behind me, and kept fluffing. I hear hoof beats behind me, turn around, and see Cookie coming in. Stepping right over the straw bale, and walking in…

Great. I’m about to die…pounded into so much paste, by the prettiest painted pony ever. I’m thinking “Well, at least I will die with the horse I love!”

That’s when she stunned me. Totally and completely.

Understand, that Cookie does not like the shelter. Well, no, that not quite right. She doesn’t like being cornered, or in a situation where she can’t control her path to freedom. She has issues, let me tell you. That’s why hay around the feeder is her bedding:My LoveShe rarely goes in the shelter, and when she does, she’s last one in, with her head poking out.

So, when she walked into the shelter, I was a fair bit surprised. What she did next, gobsmacked me. She walked over to the side where I had just put down a fluffy layer of straw…and lied down. Yup, lied right down, in the straw, and looked at me like I was interrupting her nap. Well, considering the weather was getting worse by the minute, I had to keep adding the straw. I just talked softly to her the whole time-starting with “who are you, and what have you done with my horse?”-while tossing straw.

All she did was grunt at me, and lay flat out…after a few minutes, the big goober started to snore. Huh. Seems that wasn’t my day to become Painted Pony Paste. Instead, it was a day for my girl to openly show her trust in me. A good day, indeed!

Spring!!!

You wouldn’t know it by the weather outside, but today is the first day of Spring! This is what I stepped outside to this morning:

What do you see?

What do you see?

Can you see anything there? LOL! That’s how foggy it was this morning. It’s bad when you lose the black and white horse in the fog!

Spooky prints...

Spooky prints…

However, fog often means hoar-frost, and that means picture-taking time! The Spooky prints were on the deck railing this morning. Little goofball is spending a lot of time up by the house. Meowing and purring. If I didn’t know better, I’d say he’s in heat…but he’s acting like he’s in female heat, not male! He’s definitely male!

Finally, frost showing on Sable!

Finally, frost showing on Sable!

Frost is really hard to see on her, and it doesn’t show up well in photos, but at least you can see it on her ear here, and a bit in her mane.

Branch in the pasture...

Branch in the pasture…

Decided to go for a bit of a walk in the pasture. The girls were at the feeders, so I figured wandering around taking pictures wouldn’t bother them.

Hoof prints...

Hoof prints…

Found some lovely hoof prints out there. Not sure who’s footprint is who’s yet. Pretty sure the main image is Cookie’s, because she has very long fronts right now. Now, I know she needs her hooves done, so don’t go yelling at me. We’re still working on encouraging her to lift for us. I really do not want to have to sedate her to have her hooves done. It’s been done in her past, and not with good results.

My Watcher...

My Watcher…

Speaking of Cookie…every where I go in the farm-yard, when I look up, I see this. She watches me. All. The. Time. Doesn’t matter where I go, what I’m doing, she know where I am, at all times. And those ears are always pricked forward. If I call her, she’ll come trotting over. ๐Ÿ™‚

Look at that tail!

Look at that tail!

Her tail is black, with a hint of red(from fading)…here she looks like it’s white!

Frosty foot.

Frosty foot.

I was trying to get a good shot of her frosted feathers, but she moved her foot just as I clicked. I still love this image. I don’t know why. Nothing special about it, but it just makes me smile.

Ms Astrid

Ms Astrid

She frosted up beautifully too. It’s the darker color. You can see the frost cling to them so much nicer…and it shows in pictures beautifully.

Frosty ears!

Frosty ears!

Finally, one of our Ruby…I call her our Unicorn in disguise. The white of her mane is translucent, like I think a Unicorn’s mane would be. Of course, she’d be a grumpy Unicorn, who wants to stab people with its horn, but a Unicorn nonetheless.

Ruby

Ruby

Sleeping Beauties

After yesterday’s post, the weather was lovely, so I headed out with the camera to see what the Girls were up to. As I approached the pasture, this was my first sight…

Fiona and Ruby

Fiona and Ruby

As usual, Ruby loves to doze in front of the waterer. It’s her goal in life to control all the food and water. None of the other horses are willing to disturb her when she dozes here. I try to keep an eye on the situation during the day. If I see her there, and someone is waiting for a drink, I’ll go out and make her move. If everyone else is off doing their own thing, I let Ruby think she has all the power. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Once I was in the pasture, I found this scene...

Once I was in the pasture, I found this scene…

Blonde Girl dozing by the shelter, with Astrid and Cookie lying together. Astrid was snoring.

Pretty girl. <3

Pretty girl. โค

If Astrid’s muzzle looks really close to Cookie’s back, it’s because it was. There was just about a hand worth of space between them…Snuggling with each other, without touching.

Even closer.

Even closer.

Once Cookie lay flat-out, they were hairs apart. This is wonderful to me. It made my heart sing, because seeing this, I knew, Astrid was 100% accepted as part of the herd. It’s been a bit of a rough go for Little A (herd dynamics, especially among an all mare group, can be difficult, to put it nicely), getting to this level of acceptance, but she made it. I knew, once the Paints accepted her, she’d be fine. ๐Ÿ™‚

Oops. Woke them up a bit...

Oops. Woke them up a bit…

Both gave me the “Why are you bothering us?!?” look. I told them it was bribery pictures. For when they act like they hate each other again, I’m going to tell them “I have proof that y’all like each other!” They put their heads back down and ignored me.

After that, I left them alone, to continue their naps. Since they were comfortable together, Snotty Ruby had to come along and make them both get up. Earned Ruby a bite on the ass from Cookie, who was not impressed with being woken.

Cookie and Fiona

Cookie and Fiona

Oh well, had to come get a drink anyways.

Ms. Fifadoodles

Ms. Fifadoodles

She’s grown into a beautiful girl. She’s also not as timid as she used to be. Here she just sat and let me take her picture…different story if I try to pick her up. Not having any of that, but pictures, and the odd pet now and then are fine.

Around the Farm

Pictures! Oh how I love sharing pictures with y’all. ๐Ÿ™‚
This is what passes for wall art in our house:

Sable Bridle170314That was The Kid’s birthday present…a bridle for her horse. It’s a Connemara from Greenhawk-one of the most evil places on Earth!-with a loose ring snaffle. She bought it on Saturday, and then yesterday it stormed like mad, so it stayed hung on the wall. Hopefully, the weather will turn nice enough that she can try it on Blonde Girl and see if it fits. Kid bought the WarmBlood size, since Blonde Girl is also known as Big Head. She has a very big head! LOL!

I call this one "Who's yo Daddy?"

I call this one “Who’s yo Daddy?”

We know Daphne’s mom is a GSD. We met her, when we met Daphne, but no one is sure what her dad is. We had hoped, as she grew, she’d show signs of what he might have been, but we’re no closer to figuring it out. She’s on the smaller side for a shepherd, which is a difference from our last girl, OldWoman, who was huge for a shepherd! She topped out, in her prime, at 110 lbs. Practically unheard of, for a purebred GSD. Especially a female. For those of you who are new to my ramblings, here’s what my OldWoman looked like:

OldWomanShe crossed the Rainbow Bridge March23/13 at 14 years old. She was the best dog ever. She coughed on cue to get Fisherman’s Friend cough candies, she would try to sit in my lap anytime she felt sucky…or if we were in the vehicle, or if I was sitting in the grass outside. She was my mama-suck dog, my looks-like-dog-sticks-like-glue dog, my Heart Dog. Her body may not have made it here, but her Spirit runs free over the fields ofย  Midnight Calico Farm.

Smiling girl.

Smiling girl.

My Daphne is no replacement for OldWoman, and really, we shouldn’t try to replace them, just love another set of paws, ears, eyes, and smiles. My Daphne is special in her own way. From chasing and herding the barn cats, to chasing the red dot of the laser pointer. She’s a special little weirdo!

Speaking of weirdos…Blonde Girl has this thing for washing her front hooves in the waterer. I don’t know why. She won’t tell me, but she loves to do it in front of me…and when I yell at her for it, this is the face I get:

Pffttthhhrrbbtt!! I'll wash my feet here if I want to!

Pffttthhhrrbbtt!! I’ll wash my feet here if I want to!

Smart ass.

Notice the drip of water from her lip. :)

Notice the drip of water from her lip.ย 

In order for anyone else to have a drink(because, of course, Sable had poo on her feet when she washed them…it’s probably *why* she washed them. Brat!), I had to chop down the snow pack around the waterer, open it up and clean it. I’m just glad we had above 0*C temps for that! Sticking your hands into water in -40*C weather is nuts. I did not enjoy that job. At. All.

Astrid, peeking between the Paints.

Astrid, peeking between the Paints.

Yes, that’s Ruby’s big round belly there. She doesn’t seem to be getting any bigger…she’s grumpier than normal, but I’m chalking that up to the weather bouncing around all over the place. We’re going from above 0*C to -28*C in 24 hour spans. That’s hard on anyone, and I can’t blame her for being a grump. ๐Ÿ˜‰ So, yeah, I do believe our Ruby is just a fatty. Hahahaha!! Aww, we love her anyways, and this spring, once we get a round pen built, we’ll work it off her, and get her back into shape.

Finally, what’s a farm blog post without a barn cat? Here’s Spooky, our special little cat weirdo…

Spooky100314