O is for Oats

My Girls do love their oats.

OatsThey’ll tell you they don’t get them as often as they’d like. Piggies that they are, they’d like to have them 3 times a day, every day!

Oats2This 50 lbs sack lasts us almost a year.

My Girls are pasture potatoes…meaning they very rarely do any work, and they don’t need the high energy super burst oats will give them. Think 1200 lb toddlers sugared up…that’s horses on oats!

So why do I buy oats?

They get oats added to their beet pulp slurry when it’s really super cold. Like -40*c cold. Even then, it’s less than 1/2 cup.

Oats3I have found, even though they **LOVE** their beet pulp, if it’s ridiculously cold, a little extra something is needed to make sure they eat it all. Especially if they have to stand in a cold wind to eat it…that’s going to change next winter, as we change our feeding stations over the summer.

The other time they get oats is as a reward after deworming. No one likes the taste of the dewormer, and to ease hurt feelings and unhappy tongues, we shake some oats out on the ground. πŸ™‚

I also like to have oats on hand in case of a break out. We are very lucky, because the Girls are super respectful of the fencing. Ahh, but, things can happen with livestock, where they’ll jump a fence, or go through a fence. They’re prey animals, and you can never know 100% of the time, how they will handle things.
So, in the event we were to have a break out (knock on wood!!) all we have to do is call names and shake the oats bucket. Them Girls come a runnin’!
If they’re at large, well, they can be convinced to have a halter put on and a lead rope snapped on, while they have faces in a bucket of oats. That is well worth the $ spent.

Yesterday, I gave them a bit of oats in their beet pulp, and then, tossed out jolly balls.

"What the heck did she throw at us?!?"

“What the heck did she throw at us?!?”

Blue one is blueberry scented. No one was impressed with that one. Red is peppermint. Ruby was impressed with that one!

"I smell nummies!"

“I smell nummies!”

I was just proud of Cookie for sniffing, big chicken that she is. πŸ™‚

Jolly Balls1She came at them from a few angles to be sure they weren’t going to kill her.

Then Sable got bored with it and wandered back to the fence.

Sable is helping me take pictures...

Sable is helping me take pictures…

Big goober kept fogging up the lens! Haha!
When I pushed her head away so the lens would clear, she stuck her muzzle into my neck and started licking me. Oy, that Girl! πŸ˜›
And then, Daphne decided to get brave and grab the jolly ball from Ruby and run! Silly mutt!

Daphne Jolly Ball

O is for Oats.

Sharing with Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe-Thursday.

Zombie Snow Mares


Astrid Sno-Mare3She’s fallen…

Astrid Sno-Mare2And rolling…

Astrid Sno-MareEek! Zombie snow mare!!

"Oooats....I mean Braaains!!"

“Oooats….I mean Braaains!!”

It was contagious…

Cookie Sno-Mare3Cookie caught it…

Cookie Sno-Mare4She’s getting up…

Cookie Sno-Mare2Zombie snow mare!!

Shakin' off the Zombie virus!

Shakin’ off the Zombie virus! With a little photobomb by Astrid…of course!

Astrid and Ruby's bumTired Girl, after rolling and shaking off the Zombie Snow Mare virus…has to use Ruby’s bum as a pillow.

And, one to show that some of my best shots are not necessarily frame worthy…it was a surprise to find this one in editing.

Look! It's a horse's ass!

Look! It’s a horse’s ass!

^^^That shot just makes me giggle.

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

Scavenger Hunt Tuesday

Prompts this week…Makes Me Happy, Hidden, One, Modern, and Dessert.

Makes Me Happy

That she does, makes me happy. Even when she has brain farts and reacts instead of thinking.

That she does, makes me happy. Even when she has brain farts and reacts instead of thinking.


Sable's face is hidden by the fence and the feed bucket.

Sable’s face is hidden by the fence and the feed bucket.


One perfect, beautiful, expressive ear. <3

One perfect, beautiful, expressive ear. ❀


Thank goodness for modern machinery! Last year I shoveled the poo pile by hand...this year, we're using the tractor!

Thank goodness for modern machinery! Last year I shoveled the poo pile by hand…this year, we’re using the tractor!


Hay. It's what's for dessert after having enjoyed beet pulp. :)

Hay. It’s what’s for dessert after having enjoyed beet pulp. πŸ™‚

Sharing with Scavenger Hunt Sunday hosted by Ashley Sisk.

N is for Not Giving Up

It’s our farm motto.

“Never Give Up”

Good thing too, because it’s been one hell of a week.
Not quite ready to post about it. That’ll come in time…suffice it to say, we’re holding hard and fast to the farm motto these days. Some days, it all one can do.

Blue Cookie

N is for Never giving up.

Sharing with Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe-Thursday.

M is for Mares

Since we have a some new followers (*waves* Hi! Welcome, and thanks for joining us!), I thought Alphabe-Thursday’s “M” would be the perfect time to re-introduce the Girls. Who is who, where they came from and how they came to join our family. I’m going to do this in alphabetical order, so no one thinks I favor 1 mare over another. I love them all for their uniqueness.
Grab a cup of coffee, relax, and get ready to meet the Mares of Midnight Calico Farm! πŸ™‚

First up, Astrid.

AstridAstrid is a young Quarter Horse mare, who came to us via a friend. Astrid’s story can be read here.
Based on her teeth, we estimate her age to be in the 4-5 year old range. Over the summer, we noticed her canines were erupting. Which explained some of her grumpiness with the humans. Teeth coming in can hurt!

Astrid is our youngest mare, with some training on her. She’s been ridden, Kid has done lunge work with her, and she’s very good with her feet. πŸ™‚ She’s so good with her feet, that I can tap the back of her knees on the front and say “Foot” and up it comes. She did have a backslide with her last trim, but that was my fault. I short-changed her on working time, so I’ve made an effort to make sure she gets the attention she needs too. Happily, I have seen fabulous results. Astrid is a love bug, and really needs a ton of hands on time.
She’s willing and happy to do as the humans ask, and is very much a pocket pony. Astrid is also the one our barn cat Mip loves! As you’ve seen here. This summer, Hubby’s plan for her is to continue her training. Once we have the round pen built, she’ll be saddled, and we’ll work her up to being ridden again.

Right now, Astrid’s place in the herd is 3rd. She’s trying, really hard, to take over the Lead Mare spot, but, she hasn’t been able to knock Ruby off the top yet. πŸ™‚


Cookie 020915Cookie is a coming 10-year-old APHA mare. She’s been used as a broodie, she has very basic training, and is my special girl. She’s our second in command in the herd.

Cookie is the one I fell in love with at first sight. Before we bought the farm, I was surfing the adoptable page at Blackbird Ranch Foster Care and Rehab. That’s when I first saw her, that’s when I knew she was mine. If we hadn’t bought the farm (haha!) I would have had to get a full-time day job and pay for boarding…I was not letting this girl go!!

She started out life here as Nicki, but it was clear that was not her name. Call her and she’d turn and walk away. Finally, one day, I had enough of trying to catch her, just stopped and said to her “You’re gonna be a tough cookie to crack, aren’t ya?” Well, those ears perked up and she bobbed her head at me! It was the first time I had seen some light in this girl’s eyes. Something I said hit a spot in her. So I went over the sentence again, saying each word a few times, until we got to Cookie. There it was, the head bob again. So said to her, “Is that your name? Cookie?” She replied with a nicker…the first vocalization I had heard from her since coming Home. That was it, I knew, Cookie was her name.

She’s a challenge. I don’t know a lot about her history. I know she’s been used as a broodie, and I know she’s had some rough treatment somewhere. But, I also know that someone, somewhere, really loved her. She has days where we click and she’s my perfect pocket pony. Looks like horse, stick like glue. Does whatever I ask, no fear, no problems.
Other days, well, she comes unglued, and can’t handle much of any hands on stuff. She still doesn’t understand grooming.Β  Like I said in the “L” post, this one needs Mama to carry all the confidence for both of us, because sometimes, out of no where, she loses hers, and needs me to help bolster her courage. She’s my work in progress…when we get where we’re going (wherever that is) we’re going to be amazing together. πŸ™‚

Next up, Ruby.

RubyGirlAhh, our Ruby! Our unicorn in disguise! She’s our lead mare! She’s strong, confident, happy, willing to work with you on her terms, and just the prettiest little girl ever. Well, she’s not little, but she sure is pretty. πŸ™‚ We estimate her age around 5-6 years old. She has her canine teeth in, so we know she’s older than Astrid, but that time frame between 5 and 10 is so tough to pin down when you have little to no background on a horse. Aside from being a Paint, we have no real way of knowing her breed. My best guess, based on her build, is Quarter Horse based paint. She came with no papers, no info of where she’s from, nothing. So, your guess is just as good as mine!

Ruby also came to us through Blackbird Ranch. Hubby fell in love with her, and she’s his Girl, 100%. The Kid and I will do, in a pinch, but she’ll choose him over us any day. She has some training, how much, we don’t know. We know she’s been ridden, we know she can go walk/trot/canter comfortably. That’s about it. So, we go slow and steady with her. Once we get a saddle to fit her, Hubby will be working on her being ridden here.
She’s willing to work, and basks in praise and grooming. Oh, this girl love, Love, LOVES to be groomed. There is good reason why I call her a Brazen Hussy! πŸ˜›

Finally, last, but certainly not least!

Big Sleepy GirlOur Palomino beauty. Our big, sweet, tender-hearted Blonde Girl.

She was our surprise girl. Again, from Blackbird Ranch. We hadn’t planned on 3 horses at once. We had already put a deposit down on Ruby and Cookie, and were going back to finalize payment on them-and get a visit in too. It was shortly after an auction, so the Ladies took us out to meet the new horses. There was Sable. She was attracted to The Kid right away. And Hubby, well he was undone when, as we were leaving, Sable stood on the path, not returning to the herd, and Kim said “She’s waiting for a kiss”…he went back to kiss that nose and that was all she wrote. Sable was ours. With a bit more wrangling of hay and stuff, but yeah. She was ours.

Sable is our Omega. She is the absolute bottom of the herd. She is also our girl who comforts the others when they are out of sorts. When Cookie isn’t right, she sticks to Sable. The odd time, I’ve seen Ruby glued to her side. Unfortunately, the Omega horse is also the one who takes the most shit. It is part of the job. She gets bit and kicked and chased. Because of this, we humans watch out for her quite a bit. Like when it’s beet pulp time. Everyone has their buckets, and we guard Sable while she eats. Otherwise, Ruby will finish hers and push Sable out to gulp down a second portion. As long as we guard Sable, that doesn’t happen. Works out, because everyone eats better then, since they know they can’t push Sable off hers.

Sable is my hands on, test this massage trick or pressure point, girl too. She loves to be stroked and petted and coddled. She’s our biggest girl, and our biggest suck. She is a true pocket pony. She wants to be beside you all the time. She also has no idea how big she really is, so we humans always have to be aware with her. She wants to snuggle, but doesn’t know her own strength.

Sable has some training. She’s been ridden for sure. Kid has been up on her a few times. Since she’s an Omega, she does have confidence issues. She needs her rider to be pretty confident for them to work together successfully. Her and The Kid do pretty good together. Sable works very hard to keep The Kid safe. Even when she’s unsure, she holds her anxiety in, to make sure Kid doesn’t get hurt. As The Kid’s skills increase, they are going to be a fantastic team! She is, definitely, The Kid’s girl. No doubt about it. Sable and The Kid have a bond that every horse woman dreams of having with her mount. It’s that once (maybe twice, if you’re real lucky) bond that happens when you find your Heart Horse. Sable is that horse for The Kid.

I call her Bella…short for bellissima, which means “most beautiful” in Italian…because of her beautiful face and her beautiful Spirit. ❀

M is for the Mares of Midnight Calico Farm.

Sharing with Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe-Thursday.

Canadian Flag

I mentioned a while back that The Kid was entering a contest at school to win a flag and pole. She had to find flags flying in our RM and send in pictures of them for entry. Here’s a few of the best ones. πŸ™‚

"I'm a cute flag pole, right Mom?"

“I’m a cute flag pole, right Mom?”

"Can I eat this?"

“Can I eat this?”

"Huh. I don't know what to do with this."

“Huh. I don’t know what to do with this.”

"It won't kill me, will it?!?"

“It won’t kill me, will it?!?”

From the local RCMP detachment...

From the local RCMP detachment…

Sharing with Crafty Spices, Create With Joy, Blog Paws, Be There 2Day, and Mama to 5 Blessings for Wordless Wednesday.

SHS~February 9th

Since it’s Monday morning, I’m just going to go right into the prompts with out chit-chat, ‘kay? Lil’ tired here this morning…

Prompts for this week are On My Table, Pink, Old School, Walk, and Accessory.

On My Table

on my tableA very important project that was on my table last week. It’s now done, and off my table. Just needs to be delivered. πŸ™‚


A soon-to-be 14 year old Daughter, me, and 4 mares. Yup, lots of pink in this house. Including new pink buckets (they were on sale for a super price at Peavey Mart last week!)

New pink bucket.

New pink bucket.

Pink buckets and fence hangers for feeding the Nags their beet pulp mixture.

Pink buckets and fence hangers for feeding the Nags their beet pulp mixture.

Old School

We don’t water the Girls old school…with buckets. Nope, we have one of them new fangled heated automatic waterers. Thank gawd!!

Life saver!

Life saver!

Doesn’t look like much, but this, as far as I’m concerned, is a necessity when you have livestock. It just is. There have been a few times this winter it has frozen up, and that induces panic, let me tell you!
You have to haul buckets of water out old school style…because every one is dying of thirst and must have water now. Not just now, but right now, and o.m.g., Mom’s using a beet pulp bucket so I might have to push my equine sister out and get what she has in there and oh! it’s only water, so I’ll spit that out on Mom…wait, I can get my hoof in this bucket, maybe I’ll wash them up while Mom is here, then she can bring more water. Wait, why am I slipping? Hey, how come I have ice on the bottom of my hoof? Maybe I should wash it again…dang it Astrid, get out of there, quit drinking my hoof washing water…wait, now *I’m* thirsty and there’s no water left, because she drank it…my foots dirty, I’m thirsty, Mom’s busy making noise…MOOOOOMMMM!!!

Yeah, that’s my life when the waterer freezes…*sigh*

Looks a little grungy, but that's because my Nags always make tea. I swear, I wash this thing at least once a week, usually twice.

Looks a little grungy, but that’s because my Nags always make tea. I swear, I wash this thing at least once a week, usually twice.


While I clean the shelter, Hubby uses the tractor to scrape all the frozen poop away from the feeders. This typically induces panic, because he’s stealing all the Girl’s good stuff. Never mind that before he got there, I forked up all the non-soiled hay and moved it to the trough. Oh no. We’re starving the Girls <she said with her tongue planted very firmly in her cheek> and they have no choice but to eat the bits of soiled hay left on the ground…and even worse, Hubby keeps making them move out of it. When he drives off with a bucket load of mess, they just walk right back in and keep eating.


“Quick!! Eat it all before he gets back!!”

If anyone ever tries to tell you horses are just big dumb animals…laugh at them! No way. They all have very distinct personalities and it’s awesome to watch them. Actually, Hubby and I were discussing whether or not they have a sense of humor. I think they do, just based on some of their actions, but that could also be me anthropomorphizing them. πŸ˜‰


She has snow as toe nail polish, does that count?

She has snow as toe nail polish, does that count?

Ugh, and ice balls. Pick them out, they walk off, and ball right back up again. *sigh* I tried Pam (the cooking spray) on their soles…doesn’t work. I tried coconut oil mixed with canola oil…doesn’t work. Even when they have an up to date trim on…doesn’t work. The snow just jams up in there, and because their hooves are warm, melts and forms ice balls. I carry a hoof pick every where. Hey! That’s my accessory…a hoof pick!

accessory2Cookie’s accessory is her frosty halter. Pretty face jewelry! πŸ™‚

Sharing with Scavenger Hunt Sunday hosted by Ashley Sisk.

L is for Lessons Learned and Love

I’m running so far behind on blog posts. Haha! It happens, but I’m working on catching up. πŸ™‚

Today, it’s going to be the Alphabe-Thursday post. Today, we’re doing “L” and L is for lessons learned and love. Why you ask? Well, there’s a bit of a story that goes with this week’s post, so bear with me.

It all starts with this one:

I like big buttsIt so often starts with this one.
Y’see, we had an incident a few weeks back. It was the very beginning of January. It had been cold, and we hadn’t had as much time together as we both like. She gets standoffish the more time she spends within the herd and away from humans. It’s a normal thing, and all things considered, I don’t begrudge her the time it takes for us to re-connect. Once we hit our stride together, it’s like “BAM!!” we’re there.

Anyways, this one and I, we were working on some hands on stuff together, and she hit her point of “I need to walk away now, Mom.” Now, I know, and understand, in my human brain, that she has that point. Over the summer, that point was stretched and stretched and stretched…so far that a few times, I tired before she did. It was awesome. Now though, it’s reduced in size. Bigger than it was last year at this time, but not as big as summertime.

That said, sometimes, I miss her cues. She very clearly tells me, in her equine way, she’s had enough. When she does, I normally wrap up what we’re doing and end the session on a positive note. It’s not that she runs the show, it’s that I see her cues, and realize, she’s reaching the end of what she can handle, so it’s time to wrap it up and let her go. There is never going to be anything positive come out of holding her beyond what she can handle. That is just how it is.

This time, with this incident, I missed her cue. I held her past what she could handle. I screwed up.

She struck out with a fore hoof. Opposite side from where I was standing. She didn’t aim for me, she struck straight out, well away from me. She also knew she was in shit the second she did it. Off she went, knowing full well, shit like that means Mama’s going to make you move your feet.

Move them feet, BabyGirl!

Move them feet, BabyGirl!

And move ’em she did…and I kept her moving until she was ready to turn in and join up. Normally, this takes a few minutes, as she works out in that brain of hers what she needs to do to get back into the Lead Mare’s good graces. This took seconds. Mere seconds. So yeah, we figured it out, worked it out, and left the whole thing on a fairly decent note.

But that wasn’t the incident…

While she was moving her feet, the other 3 joined in. This always happens, because the ones not being disciplined think it’s a game. A game they want to play too. So it becomes Krazy Kantering Nags. All good, no biggie, because typically, the playing ones drop off fairly quick.

On one of the passes, Astrid and Sable went blowing past me, one on either side…as Sable went past, she aimed a double barrel kick at Astrid. Astrid, however, was on the other side of me. Kid tells me that Bella’s hooves missed my head by about 6 inches. I know I felt the snap of her reaching full extension on her hind legs, felt the wind as those giant hooves went by. I know if I had been 1 step closer to her, she would have taken the top of my head off. Literally.
While playing. With no idea she darn near took out the Human who runs the herd.

First, I was pissed. I yelled at Sable. I yelled at Astrid. When Sable came back around I said some not very nice things to her. Tone says a lot to horses. She knew she was in shit with Mama and she had no idea why. Her head dropped. She stopped and stood. She nickered, and I walked away from her. I went around to where Hubby was with the tractor, leaned against the tractor when he stopped, and shook. I just shook. It is the only time I have ever been afraid in my pasture. I tried really hard to swallow the tears, because I was afraid, but I really needed to get things done(shelter cleaning) and get out of there.

Later on, once back in the house, I went for a shower…cleaning that shelter out is stinky work! I stood under that hot water and cried. It hit home for me, how close I came, to serious injury, and possibly death. All because of the Girls playing.

So, this past month has been some what of a learning experience for me. I’m normally a pretty confident woman, and while I’m not “horse trainer” smart with the Girls, I am pretty darn confident with them. I’m not afraid to ask for feet (ahem*paints*ahem), to push boundaries, to support them when I push for things they’re not used to, to assert my position as lead mare.
The incident, however, left me shaken. My confidence took a serious hit, and I have been working hard to rebuild it. It’s been tough, I’ll tell you. Not with Sable. Sable is such an open, easy-going, loving Girl, that I still feel safe with her. She’s my big goober. My “I need a mane to cry into” girl. So her and I, we’re back on solid ground. We’re good. No worries with my Bella.

Oh, but my Cookie. There’s a different story. My Cookie needs her human to carry the confidence for both of us, and when I’m unsure, it throws her all sorts of off. When she’s off, I’m a little off, and then it becomes a whole big ugly mess, where we feed off of each other’s “not rightness”.


What’s a girl to do? Go back to the beginning, Wolfie. Ski pants, and parka, warm gloves and coffee, lawn chair and a book. Sit in the pasture, and wait. Let her come to you. Let her snuffle and snort, and lay beside you. Through some cold and miserable days, we’ve worked to regain where we were. *I’ve* worked to regain my confidence…and her trust. I’ve rubbed her neck, her back, her tummy. I whispered nonsense to her, told her how much I love her, and how we’re going to get through this. I’ve assured her, this is only a blip in our road together, our Journey has years together. My lacking will not mean another move for her. I will get us back to where we need to be. For us.

And then…on a day when The Kid and I went out to take pictures, this…oh this. So amazing, so beautiful. This boosted my confidence, and in turn, hers. All from her simple curiosity…

Cookie Camera color adjustWhen I leaned my forehead on hers, and kissed her pretty face, she sighed.

We’re getting there. Soon, we’ll be back here…

Hello Darlin'Where those ears, that face, and that body language says “Okay, Mama. I’m ready to do whatever you ask me to do.”

L is for lessons learned and love…because I love her and nothing can ever change that.

Sharing with Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe-Thursday.

Cookie Close Up

I got a little bit behind this week. I’m still working on the Scavenger Hunt images…I’m hoping to have them done and up before the linky closes. If not, well, I’ll still share, just a bit later. πŸ˜‰

I’m working on editing some pictures for The Kid. Her school is having a contest where you share images of the Canadian flag flying anywhere in the RM. The prize is a flag and pole. Sweet! We’ve been wanting to get a flag pole put in since we bought here. Like a few other things, it got put on the back burner over the summer. It’s not a necessity, so it had to wait. Fingers crossed, for The Kid to win!

This week’s Macro Monday shots are of Cookie…again. Can’t help it. I love this Girl’s coloring, and her markings.

How can you not love this face?!?

How can you not love this face?!?

Love those short, fuzzy hairs...and the colors. She just makes me smile. :)

Love those short, fuzzy hairs…and the colors. She just makes me smile. πŸ™‚

And then, this is what I get when she’s helping me take pictures…

Yup. That's right up my Girl's nose...at least she doesn't have any boogers up there. :P

Yup. That’s right up my Girl’s nose…at least she doesn’t have any boogers up there. πŸ˜›

Sharing with Macro Monday 2 and I ❀ Macro.