When I Am An Old Horse Woman

There are several versions of this poem floating around the internet. This is the one I saw first, and this is the one the Sings to my Soul.
Over the weekend, I bought myself a deliciously tacky pink straw hat, and this poem was the very first thing that came to mind. The next was getting the Girls to wear my new hat. ๐Ÿ™‚

WHEN I AM AN OLD HORSE WOMAN

When I am an old horsewoman
I shall wear turquoise and diamonds,
And a straw hat that doesnโ€™t suit me
And I shall spend my social security on
white wine and carrots,
And sit in my alleyway of my barn
And listen to my horses breathe.

I will sneak out in the middle of a summer night
And ride the old bay gelding,
Across the moonstruck meadow
If my old bones will allow
And when people come to call, I will smile and nod
As I walk past the gardens to the barn
and show instead the flowers growing
inside stalls fresh-lined with straw.

I will shovel and sweat and wear hay in my hair
as if it were a jewel
And I will be an embarrassment to all
Who will not yet have found the peace in being free
to have a horse as a best friend
A friend who waits at midnight hour
With muzzle and nicker and patient eyes
For the kind of woman I will be
When I am old.

-By Patty Barnhart
Originally published in The Arabian Horse World magazine in 1992

"Do you mind? We're having a private conversation here!"

“Do you mind? We’re having a private conversation here!”

"And then, when she thought I was snuggling, I spit water down her back!!"

“And then, when she thought I was snuggling, I spit water down her back!!”

"It's a pleasure to meet you! :) "

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Madam! ๐Ÿ™‚ “

"Isn't my new hat lovely?"

“Isn’t my new hat lovely?”

From The Ground

I love my macro lens. Not only can I do super close up shots (check out the “macro” tag on the sidebar for examples ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), I can use it for portraits, and I can use it for longer shots. Things I really don’t want to be too close to. Like sitting on the ground to take pictures of the horses. I want to do it, but I’m little compared to 4 horses, and I don’t move as fast. So sitting on the ground is not all that safe to do. Unless, you have a lens where you can get great shots, and still have some distance between you and your subject. Like my macro lens. It really is my most versatile, and most used, lens. I’m so glad I spent the money on it!

Here’s a few from a shoot I did last week, where I was ground level with the girls…

Astrid

Astrid

Sable

Sable

Ruby

Ruby

Cookie

Cookie

Sharing with Wordless Wednesday at Create With Joy and Crafty Spices. Also sharing with Rurality Blog Hop.

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

I’m back!!!

I love Scavenger Hunt Sunday, and have so missed not doing the posts the past few weeks. Life was hectic, but we’re settling into an even pattern of work needing to be done, and work getting done, so taking pictures and blogging is easier now.

The prompts this week are Eyes, Upside Down, From Behind, Sunshine and Cup…at the end of this post, I’ll announce the winner from our giveaway last week.

On to the pictures!!

Eyes

My Cookie has been crabby lately…we’re around the 8 month mark of her being Home, and the last time she settled in somewhere, it was in the 8-10 month range that I came along and her world changed again. Horses have amazing long-term memories, and sometimes, I wonder if the crankiness she’s experiencing now has to do with that time frame. It’s not unheard of. Friends have a dog who deals with anxiety, and when his time frame for previous re-homings came close, she said he was an absolute wreck. Once he passed the time that he normally was handed back to Rescue, he settled. He still has moments, but nothing like he experienced then.

EyesSo part of dealing with Cookie, her crabbiness, and what I believe is her fear of moving yet again, is going back to the basics of simply spending time with her. Taking pictures, talking to her, rubbing her, and letting her walk off when the attention is too much.

I love this shot, because as much as she was pushing me away, she had her eyes and ears on me the whole time. That eye is soft and attentive, curious about what I’m doing. It was good to see.

Upside Down

MaxCat

MaxCat

My MaxCat gives the very best upside down shots. He loves to roll on his back, meow and purr, calling for belly rubs. ๐Ÿ™‚
This picture was taken by The Kid. Anytime you see a shot that is ยฉ Midnight Calico Farm, you know it’s one of her shots.

From Behind

^^^ Up there I said I’ve been letting Cookie walk off when she needs to…that means I see a lot of this…

Showing me her best side :P

Showing me her best side ๐Ÿ˜›

Lots and lots of from behind shots. Happens when your horse spends most of the time walking away from you.

For a kinder, gentler, from behind shot, here’s our Sable, being pampered by The Kid:

Pretty girl, getting the tangles brushed out of her tail.

Pretty girl, getting the tangles brushed out of her tail.

Usually, I hold the lead rope for The Kid, but I really wanted a shot of her brushing Sable’s tail. Sable ties quite well, and we practice that with her, but I also love to just stand and hold her while she’s being loved on.

Sunshine

We’ve had a lot of sunshine this past week. We’ve loved it. The Girls have loved it. One of the best shots of the week was Sable, enjoying the sunshine and happily coming to check out the camera.

Sunshine2

Cup

This one stumped me. I know I could have taken pictures of a coffee cup, or the new cup Hubby bought me, but I wanted something that had the animals in it. When this shot happened, it was at the end of a long, hot afternoon with the Girls. Cookie had been crabby, Astrid had been pushy, Ruby have been our love pony, and Sable had accidentallyย  stepped on The Kid’s foot. Kid was crying and having a hard time walking, so I got her to the fence, sat her down and pulled over the water pan. She had wiggled her toes and moved them around to show me her foot wasn’t broken, but it was too painful to walk on. A cold water soak was needed. Water pan was perfect. She soaked for a good 45 minutes, all the while Sable stood with her head hung low, the saddest ever look on her face.

Long story short, after Kid’s foot was feeling better, she *had* to go back to Sable, halter her, and get her to do that perfect back up that she had been asking for. After 3 back steps, she asked for a stop and praised the heck out of Sable. Remember I said horses have amazing long-term memories? They do, but they are also sequential thinkers. The last memory is the one that lasts. So, if Sable’s last memory of being asked to back up is one of hurt and anger because she stepped on her person, she won’t want to back up, because it was a negative experience. Make the last memory to be one where she is praised for doing what she’s asked and she is more willing to do what’s asked next time.

Here’s an interesting article about horse memory.

After The Kid pulled her foot out of the water pan, Sable’s foot went into it, because I noticed a small cut at her coronet. I wanted to soak the spot to clean it, so we could see what we were dealing with and then treat it.

Finally, we were all done with the water pan, and 3 out of 4 horses wanted to have a drink from it.

And so, our foot flavored water was enjoyed by the three in a horse sized cup.

And so, our foot flavored water was enjoyed by the three in a horse sized cup.

See, it took a while, but I got us to the prompt…the water pan was a large-sized horse cup. ๐Ÿ™‚

Shared with Scavenger Hunt Sunday hosted by Ashley Sisk.

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ย Now for what you’ve all be waiting for! Our draw for the winner of the choice of a set of 4 greeting cards, featuring scenes from the farm, or an 8×10 print of one of the images.

Those who answered the questions had their names put into a hat-my spanky new pink straw hat!-and The Kid pulled one random name out…our winner is:

Toosh!!

Toosh!!

I’ll be emailing you shortly, so you can make your decision on what your prize will be and to arrange delivery!

Congratulations!

Blonde Girl

With The Kid being on summer holidays, Sable is getting pampered and loved on nearly every day. Blonde Girl loves it. ๐Ÿ™‚
Here she is after one of those sessions…she’d had a bath, had her mane pulled, tail brushed out, bridle path clipped, feathers trimmed, a good hoof cleaning and oiling, and a wipe down with bug spray.

"Whatchoo doing over there Mum? You s'posed to be snuggling me."

“Whatchoo doing over there Mum? You s’posed to be snuggling me.”

Every time we work with this sweetheart, I think about how lucky we are she chose our family. And she did! She chose Hubby and The Kid. Happily, she loves my company too. โค
One the funniest things she does, is when she’s having her hooves worked on-be it cleaning, oiling, or trimming-she puts her muzzle right in my cleavage and breathes. Obviously it’s because my scent is strong there, and it helps her relax, but it’s so freakin’ funny to have this big horse head right in between your boobs, y’know? LOL!

It’s all good though…the only time I make her move her head from there is when she starts to drool. I don’t want horse drool down my shirt!

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Don’t forget to get your entry in for the chance to win a set of Midnight Calico Farm greeting cards, or an 8×10 print. Enter here!
Contest ends tonight at midnight (cst). Winner will be announced on Sunday.

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Shared with Friendship Friday at Create With Joy, and From The Farm Bloghop.

Wordless Wednesday-“I was NOT in the Shelter and you can’t prove I was!!” Edition

"I was not in that shelter"

“I was not in that shelter”

Yeah, Cookie, I’m pretty sure you were…

"Prove it!"

“Prove it!”

That looks like you, sandwiched between Ruby and Astrid…

"Damn. You caught me."

“Damn. You caught me.”

Yup, not only did I catch you in there, I went in and rubbed you down with a rag full of Wipe. Haha!!

Sharing with Wordless Wednesday at Create With Joy, Crafty Spices and Blog Paws.

Also, don’t forget to enter to win a set of Midnight Calico Farm greeting cards, or an 8×10 print from our farm! Enter here. ๐Ÿ™‚

Midnight Calico Farm

Here we are. It’s Monday.
Are y’all excited?
It’s logo reveal day!

I’ve been pondering this since we bought the farm, and working it out in my head for months. Finally, I figured out how it was to look on paper.

With out further fuss, here it is, the Midnight Calico Farm logo:

midnight calico2.1

Horses, because they were our first large animal. Bison, because they are what we are working towards having. And the Moon, just because.

Coming soon, the opportunity to purchase t-shirts, hoodies, and other assorted items emblazoned with our logo. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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On to the next fun part.
I said on Friday, that to go with the logo reveal, we’d be doing a giveaway, and we are. Here’s your chance to get one of the new Farm products, and all you have to do is leave a comment that answers the following questions…all answers are here on the blog, so it’s not too hard.

1. Name the Rescue the original 3 horses came from.

2. Tell me the names of the original 3 horses…and a bonus point for those who can tell me which one had her name changed and what it was changed to.

3. Name 2 species of wildlife we’ve seen on the farm since moving here.

Oh, and if you answer these right, what do you win? Let me tell you!
You will have the choice of either a set of 4 cards, featuring images from the farm, or you can choose 1 8×10 print from the same set of images.

Wanna see the pictures?

MCF GiveawayYou have until midnight (cst) Friday to get your entry in.
One random person will be drawn, and you’ll get your choice of the 4 card set, or 1 8×10 print.

Good Luck!!

Lungeing Astrid

We watch the weather, Kid and I. Once we know what’s going on weather wise, we decide which horse we are going to work with. When it’s Sable she chooses, most times I can go do other things with other equines. Some days I choose Cookie, others Astrid, and I even choose our cantankerous Ruby to work with. ๐Ÿ˜‰
Ruby is a sweetheart when she wants to be, but she’s young and she’s lead mare, so working with her on manners is important, as well as time, and energy, consuming.

Yesterday was Astrid’s day. She was haltered, groomed, hooves picked out, wiped down with fly spray, and then The Kid lunged her.

Getting ready to start...Astrid is just waiting for her cue, so she knows what to do.

Getting ready to start…Astrid is just waiting for her cue, so she knows what to do.

Starting a walking circle.

Starting a walking circle.

Kissing for a trot.

Kissing for a trot.

Beautiful! SHe made some smooth transitions from walk to trot.

Beautiful! She made some smooth transitions from walk to trot.

Her trot to walk transitions, however, need work. When asked to transition back to walk, Astrid stops. She needs to drop to a walk, and only stop when asked for a “whoa.” It’ll come. She’s young, and she’s still learning. By the end she had a perfect downward transition, so that ended the lunge session. Not before she went the other way though…

This direction was a little tougher for her.

This direction was a little tougher for her.

Horses have good sides and bad sides. Think of it like this…humans are right-handed, left-handed or ambidextrous. Same with horses. Some go right beautifully. Some go left beautifully. Others go both ways. Here is an article that explains the hows and whys of lungeing very well.

To help Astrid start in this direction, while Kid stood in the center, I walked Astrid a few feet…once she understood she needed to walk-and eventually get up to a trot-that direction, she was good. Away she went. Kid got some perfect walk/trot transitions from her, and we called it a day.

Another round of grooming, some coconut oil rubbed into the base of her tail (poor girl has itchies there. It’s dry skin, I’ve had the vet out to be sure), hoof cleaning, and another swipe with Wipe, and off Little A went, to re-join the others.

Done for the day. :)

Done for the day. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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This is our 99th post…

Tune in Monday for post #100.

Post #100 will be the reveal of the Midnight Calico Farm logo. Squeeee!! I’m super excited to show y’all.
To coincide with that, we’ll also be having a giveaway.

Don’t forget to stop in Monday!

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Sharing with Farm Girl Friday, Friendship Friday, From the Farm Bloghop, Crafty Spices Follow Who? Hop, and Camera Critters.