We Went A-Rodeo-In

To take pictures that is.
That’s where I’ve been all week…instead of posting here on the blog, I’ve been editing rodeo pictures.
After 2 days of shooting, I had 1841 images to process.
First run through has me down to 302 images left.
I have a file of 50 images, so far, that are definite keepers. Here’s a few of them…

Canadian Flag bearer from Sunday's opening ceremonies.

Canadian Flag bearer from Sunday’s opening ceremonies.

Mutton Bustin!! So. Freakin'. Cute! :D

Mutton Bustin!!
So. Freakin’. Cute! πŸ˜€

One of Saturday’s barrel racers…One of my favorite shots of the day!

After the ride...I was torn on whether or not to share this one. It's a powerful image, and yet, it feels like I, as the photographer, am intruding on the rider's pain.

After the ride…I was torn on whether or not to share this one. It’s a powerful image, and yet, it feels like I, as the photographer, am intruding on the rider’s pain.

Saddle Bronc Sunday.

Saddle Bronc Sunday.



One of the many talented Barrel racing Ladies on her run Home...

One of the many talented Barrel racing Ladies on her run Home…

I’m still working on edits from Sunday’s shoot, but, I also finished this:



When it’s a piece for me, it’s called “Dorkite” because Dork is my pet name for my Cookie. Dorkite are those special pieces that I just can’t let go of. This one is from the first trim that she handed our trimmer Michele her foot. It’s a pretty special piece, because before that, no matter how she tried, Cookie couldn’t get a proper balance to hold her foot up long enough for Michele to get a good trim on her. This piece is from a break through trim, after months of me asking for, getting, and helping Cookie figure out how to balance herself of 3 feet all over again. I was pretty damn proud of her, and so too, was Michele. And so, this is my piece.

Set with an emerald, in 14k gold, I was thrilled to finally finish it, and put it on. πŸ™‚

Now onto my next pieces…an order from a father/daughter duo, who want pendants from their paint mare. They’ve given me 4 pieces of hoof to work with, and carte blanche to create any sort of pendant that pops into my head.
I love that kind of freedom in a commission. πŸ™‚

An Evening With The Girls

Yesterday, after Hubby came home from work, we all went out to work with The Girls. It was a beautiful day. Not too hot, not too cool. The flies were fewer, and The Girls were happy for attention. Seemed like another perfect chance to get some time on Sable’s back. Both Hubby and The Kid got up on her…this time, without the saddle.
As always, Hubby went first…

without the saddle dadShe was a little unsure of this whole no saddle thing…her head was up high, and she was tense. Until The Kid started sharing breath with her…then, you can see, she relaxed, closed her eyes, and breathed back to The Kid.
It didn’t help when Astrid, on the other side of the garage, started calling for Sable. OMG. Like little old ladies, who lose each other in their old folks home…calling and calling. Sable, while tense, stayed focused on Hubby. Which is a good thing.
I called Astrid over, and she was so very happy to see her pal hadn’t gone missing!

"Oh!! There you are! I though you guys were lost!"

“Oh!! There you are! I though you guys were lost!”

Then, it was Kiddo’s turn…

without the saddle2Kid said the toughest part was figuring out the right spot to sit. And Sable just gave me great poses… πŸ™‚

without the saddleThat horse is a supermodel, I’m tellin’ you!
I don’t think there is anyone who has met this Girl who hasn’t fallen in love with her. She’s such a big sweetheart. Such a gentle Girl. Beauty to go with a good heart and smart brain.

Once Kid hopped off, she walked Sable back around the garage to our working spot. As I went around (with Astrid on her invisible lead rope beside me) Cookie came from the other part of the pasture…she always goes the other way, when there’s riding happening. It’s just not her thing. lol!

"Oh, hello Mom Lady. I'll come see you now..."

“Oh, hello Mom Lady. I’ll come see you now…”

She had to walk past Hubby to get to me…

"Hello Mom Lady's person...got nummies for me?"

“Hello Mom Lady’s person…got nummies for me?”

Nope. No nummies for her, so she walked on to me.
She does this thing…she is very respectful of the Human Personal Space. Mostly, I think, because she’s very conscious of her own personal space, and she lets very few humans into her personal space. So, she’ll come to me…and it’s very clear she’s coming *to* me, not just going on by me…and stop just outside the Bubble. Then, she’ll stretch her nose out to greet me, I bend over to exchange breath(and sneak in a kiss on that nose), and when she’s done, she continues on past, right on the Bubble line.
If I turn and face her as she goes, she’ll walk a perfect circle around me, right on the border line of the personal space bubble. It’s really quite amazing.

"*sigh* No nummies...hafta eat grass."

“*sigh* No nummies…hafta eat grass.”

Once we were all back in the working spot, Hubby proceeded to pick out Sable’s hooves for her. It’s a before and after thing. The Kid did it before they rode her, and Hubby did it after. Always a good habit to have.

Looking just a wee bit comfortable, aren't we, Sable?

Looking just a wee bit comfortable, aren’t we, Sable?

She’s sniffing the hoof pick that Hubby just used to clean that foot…I just can’t get over the smile on her face. Something odd about smiling at the scent of your own foot. lol!

Once we were all done with Sable, The Kid gave her a handful of AllSport. It’s a complete feed that we normally have on hand for treats. She gives it to Sable in the grass, because out of hand feeding tends to make Sable a giant pushy pants. Not a good thing for any horse. So Sable has to stand on lead with me until Kid places it down, then she gets led over for it.

These guys…



…were too late to get any. Sable had already snarfed it down. All they got was dust and Bella spit. πŸ˜›

Sharing for a (not so) Wordless Wednesday with Blog Paws, Create With Joy, Crafty Spices, Mama to 5 Blessings, and Image-in-ing.

SHS~August 16th

Today we celebrate 2 years on our Farm. At 9am, August 16th, 2013, we took possession of this place, and the first part of my lifelong Dream came true. πŸ™‚
In this past week, we have come close to putting together something Hubby has wanted for a very, very long time…at least as long as we have been together. The story is in a few of the pictures, so let’s get on with it, shall we?

Prompts this week are Starts with S, Leading Lines, Powerful, Frozen, and Daily Task.

Starts with S

If you’ve followed us here for any length of time, you can guess what around here starts with S...



Sable starts with S…but then, so does…



Sky starts with S! That was our sky this morning…looking a little like rain. We only got a small spittering of rain, nothing much.

Leading Lines

Leading LinesWhole bunch of ’em hanging by my back door…leading linesΒ (lead ropes), lunge lines, even Sable’s bridle and The Kid’s barrel reins…if it’s a rope that has to do with horses, it’s hanging there.


Ahhh, see, now here’s where we get into the part about Hubby…

See that?

See that?

That’s an anvil.
Just like Wile E. Coyote used to have. πŸ˜‰
The two of us weren’t strong enough to get it off the truck…he needed something more powerful. That’s where Daisy came in.

And this?

And this?

That’s a brake drum from a Frieghtliner…given to Hubby by the StableMaster.

Powerful2These two things will form the foundation of Hubby’s home-built forge. He’s got some work to do, to get it set up, but I told him I want to be taking picture of him working steel in the forge before the snow falls. That’s going to be an awesome photo shoot!


FrozenHome made naan bread. Left over from last night’s celebration/get together. It’s going to be frozen and used a personal pizza crusts.

Daily Task

Just one of my daily tasks where The Girls are concerned…

Beet pulp buckets.

Beet pulp buckets.

Soaking their beet pulp before feeding. It’s a daily thing, so they can get the ground flax in them. Makes for shiny coats, healthy skin and hooves, and happy horses.
Plus, there’s the bonus of me rubbing my Cookie’s ears while she eats. We both like that. πŸ™‚
A few times I’ve been sick enough that Hubby has taken over the beet pulp feeding and I always tell him “Don’t forget to rub the black one’s ears while she eats!”
She says he doesn’t do it right. Haha!

Sharing with Scavenger Hunt Sunday hosted by Ashley Sisk.

M is for Mowing

We have our 2 year Farm anniversary coming up this weekend.
August 16th makes 2 years for us here at Midnight Calico Farm.
It’s been a bumpy, lumpy, amazingly awesome, quietly heartbreaking, wouldn’t-change-it-for-the-world ride.
And we’re going to celebrate!
We have friends and family coming out for a bonfire/potluck/grand old time. That means we actually had to cut the grass. Now, when we cut the grass, we do it with the tractor and 6 ft mower…

Mower...it's there, in the grass. Really, it is!

Mower…it’s there, in the grass. Really, it is!

Hubby, Daisy(the tractor) and the mower, working on taking that grass down.

Hubby, Daisy(the tractor) and the mower, working on taking that grass down.

It wasn’t as long this time, or I’d be turning and stacking it for hay. I did that last summer, when we had grass to my hip. Dried it and stacked it in a loose hay stack. Let me tell you, it was a life saver for the first 2 weeks we needed hay. We hadn’t bought our trailer yet, our Hay Guy was still busy in the fields, and my Girls were hungry…hell they were bordering on hangry!
So, between the 800lbs or so we put up and the beet pulp I started them on, we made it through until our Hay Guy could get us a load on our (new to us) trailer.

Of course, with Hubby pulling out Daisy and the mower, we have to make sure the Marauding Horde is safe, so Kid and I went on a kitten wrangling spree.

9 kittens shoved into Daphne's kennel.

9 kittens shoved into Daphne’s kennel.

Unfortunately, they’re at the age where when they get scared they don’t always run. Having a little body hunker down when the mower is out is a very bad thing. So 9 little bodies had to go into the kennel, while Mama Cat was calling at the door, worried we were doing something bad to her babies. She was very happy to get them back once the tractor was put away. πŸ™‚

And then, there’s myΒ  riding lawnmowers…

Ooooh, the excitement!! Daddy opened the gate to the front pasture!

Ooooh, the excitement!! Daddy opened the gate to the front pasture!

"Oh boy, Mom! This is awesome!"

“Oh boy, Mom! This is awesome!”

"Nom, nom, nom...can't talk...eating..."

“Nom, nom, nom…can’t talk…eating…”

Now that we have the gate in, and I’ve been working on gate skills with them, by next spring, I do believe our riding lawn mowers will be able to cut the grass for us. After I put up some hay, of course! πŸ˜‰

M is for Mower, both tractor powered and equine.

Sharing with Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe-Thursday.

Cantering Fools

Sometimes, The Girls just want to run…thankfully, I often have my camera in hand to catch the silliness that goes along with the running. πŸ™‚

It all started when my big Mama's Girl wandered over to me...

It all started when my big Mama’s Girl wandered over to me…

I had just put down some diatomaceous earth in the shelter, to help control the flies, she came to check it out, and then, the fun began!

First they ran out of the shelter...and here Cookie is sending very clear signals to get away from her!

First they ran out of the shelter…and here Cookie is sending very clear signals to get away from her!

Then, they turned and galloped straight at us...

Then, they turned and galloped straight at us…



Cookie released her inner Bucking Bronc...

Cookie released her inner Bucking Bronc…

And her inner Race Horse slipped out too!

And her inner Race Horse slipped out too!

Sable makes the best faces, when she's being silly!

Sable makes the best faces, when she’s being silly!

And looks right at the camera when she does! "Look at me Mom! Take my picture!!"

And looks right at the camera when she does! “Look at me Mom! Take my picture!!”

The got around front, trotted up for some snuggles, and then, were off again!

They got around front, trotted up for some snuggles, and then, were off again!

If you look close, you can see, Cookie still has a mouthful!

There go my siIly Girls!

There go my siIly Girls!

Sharing for Wordless Wednesday with Crafty Spices, Create with Joy, Blog Paws and Mama to 5 Blessings.
edited to add…also linked up with Imagine-in-ing.

L is for Leaping Kitties

9 kittens.
Just about 12 weeks old.
The crazy playing.
The leaping.
The jumping.
The hiding in the grass…

Screaming Mimi

Screaming Mimi

Screaming Mimi again

Screaming Mimi again

Felix, ready to take on Trouble and Mimi

Felix, ready to take on Trouble and Mimi

He leaps into action!!

He leaps into action!!

Playing sneaky boy

Playing sneaky boy

As always, one of the horses…

Not a leap, but a bit of a buck, trying to get a biting bug off her bum.

Not a leap, but a bit of a buck, trying to get a biting bug off her bum.

L is for Leaping Kitties.

Sharing with Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe-Thursday.

SHS~August 8th

Busy week this past week. I’m working hard to keep up with the greens growing in the garden. No complaints!! I love pulling 2-3 lbs of greens out a day. I’m still hoping to get some spinach into the freezer, but I keep eating it. πŸ˜‰

I had a new toy to play with this past week too. And, after enjoying it, smearing a little WIPE on it, last night I paid for it. I’m now the happy owner of a Nikon D90. Yes, it’s an older camera, but, it does a damn fine job.
Have to keep in mind, I’ve been working with a D3200 for the past 4ish years. I did aΒ  lot of comparison research, before I was ready to commit to spending the money, and I was given some time to work with it and see what it can do. Yeah, I’m happy with the upgrade. It may not be a huge leap of an upgrade, but, for the price (I was given a really, really good deal on it) and for the extra skills I’ll gain using it, it was so worth it for me.
Plus, The Kid will get a chance to play with the Red Monster…I’m not ready to give it to her outright, but yeah, she can have fun with it. πŸ™‚
All but one of this weeks photos were shot with the D90…

Prompts this week are Dots, Bokeh, A Game, Repetitive, My Everyday.


dotsWe own Paint horses…they have dots. But, my Cookie has on her nose, 1 almost perfect big black dot. πŸ™‚ See where the arrow is pointing? This is one of my favorite places on her body. I ❀ this dot! It is where, after a breath exchange with her, I place kisses on that nose.
And, it’s a funny dot, because in the midst of her pink skinned nose(which gets a sunscreen/zinc oxide mixture to protect from sunburn), the skin under that dot is black. So funny. So odd. That my Cookie’s dot.


I’m not gonna lie…I don’t understand bokeh.
I’ve read about, I’ve looked at examples of it, I’ve had it explained to me, and just when I think I get it…nope. Comprehension just scoots out of my head. The technique seems simple enough, but for some reason, I just cannot wrap my brain around being able to do it. It’s like a big ol’ block sitting there, preventing me from actually being able to do it. Instead, I’ll just share a picture of The Paints…

See? Pretty painted horses. :)

See? Pretty painted horses. πŸ™‚

A Game

Jolly ball!!

"It's trying to kill me!!"

“It’s trying to kill me!!”

Being chased by the Jolly Ball...

Being chased by the Jolly Ball…

"Kick it so it dies!!"

“Kick it so it dies!!”

"Um...what'm I s'posed to do with dis?!?"

“Um…what’m I s’posed to do with dis?!?”

Jolly balls are so much fun!


If you follow us on FB, or are friends with me personally, some of these pictures might seem repetitive. Often I’ll throw up one or two of them on my personal page, before I have a chance to write a blog post. I do try to make sure there’s new images in a post, so that y’all don’t get bored with repetitive photos. πŸ˜‰

Strawberry Paint

Strawberry Paint

This is my only D3200 shot in the post…it’s an old one. One I’m sure I shared before, but I came across it last week while looking for a different image. I love this…it’s from a time when she was still unsure of trying things I offered her. Now? That berry would be long gone, not just nibbled!

Pretty Girls.

Pretty Girls.

These 2 are best friends ever. This photo is a perfect example of an equine greeting. ❀

Hello stupid horse!

Hello stupid horse!

Dumb bag decided that my using a flash to take her picture in the shelter was terrifying. She lit out of there like her ass was on fire!
Later on, it dawned on me that the D90 makes a different noise when taking a picture than the Red Monster does. And yes, something so simple can affect a horse…a new, different sound, when we’re used to one specific sound when Mama points that thing at us.

Oh, sleepy Ruby!

Oh, sleepy Ruby!

Silly, sleepy Ruby. The camera didn’t bother her so much, but she did decide that the essential oil bottle was scary as all get out, and she was going to plaster herself to the back of the shelter.
Normally, she’s just about on top of me for a good hard sniff of the Peace and Calming.

Astrid pre-spa treatment.

Astrid pre-spa treatment.

With the Paints acting like dumb asses, I decided to give Astrid a good grooming. Brushed all over, rubbed to a shine with a rag, then coated in WIPE, her mane and tail brushed out, and her mane braided.

Such a gorgeous Girl!

Such a gorgeous Girl!

She loved every second of being pampered. πŸ™‚

My Everyday

My new everyday pals…I can’t go anywhere without them. And Mimi gives me a *look* when I try to!

"You going some where Food Lady? Some where without me?!? Yeah, I didn't think so!"

“You going some where Food Lady? Some where without me?!?
Yeah, I didn’t think so!”

"Hullo Food Lady. I waiting patiently for you."

“Hullo Food Lady. I waiting patiently for you.”

A pile of kittens who got tired of waiting for the Food Lady to stop working with horses.

A pile of kittens who got tired of waiting for the Food Lady to stop working with horses.

Oh, the joys of my everyday life! πŸ™‚

Sharing with Scavenger Hunt Sunday hosted by Ashley Sisk.

Riding Sable

It’s been a while since The Kid has had a chance to get up on her Girl. She takes weekly lessons, so she rides regularly, just not her own horse. We’re working on that. πŸ˜‰

Yesterday was a gorgeous day…a perfect day for a ride.

Started out with Hubby getting up there first. Just because it’s been so long, he didn’t want to chance Sable possibly throwing The Kid.
Truthfully, I trust that horse.
She’ll kill herself before she’ll hurt The Kid. I wasn’t worried. Well, any more than I usually worry when she gets up on a 1200lb animal. I’m a Mama, worrying is what I do. But, I know our Sable, I know our Kid’s skills, and I trust them both. Here’s some pictures from yesterday…

Kid's pulling down the stirrups...with Sable watching.

Kid’s pulling down the stirrups…with Sable watching.

“You sure I can do this, Mom?”

She’s listening to him, but that face is asking me if she can trust what he’s telling her. πŸ™‚

A little comfort from The Kid...

A little comfort from The Kid…

It’s what we do with our Girls…breathe into their nostrils when there’s uncertainty.
It works.
Breath exchange is both a greeting and a way horses comfort each other. Sable was a bit nervous, so Kid breathed with her, and I watched that whole body relax.
Next up, some walking around…

Stopping for a picture...and a wee bit of comforting from her Kid.

Stopping for a picture…and a wee bit of comforting from her Kid.

Going for more of a walk...

Going for more of a walk…

All in all, Sable did really well for Hubby. So, it was Kid’s turn…

Up she went...

Up she went…

No. Lead. Rope!!

No. Lead. Rope!!

I’m so happy for this! No lead rope! Oh, we were close by, just in case, but both were relaxed together. Kid’s confidence in her own skills help bolster Sable’s confidence in herself.

Walking with Dad beside...

Walking with Dad beside…



Strolling along...

Strolling along…

Back to where Kid will dismount.

Back to where Kid will dismount.

They did great, my two Girls.

Sharing for Wordless Wednesday at Create With Joy, Blog Paws, Mama to 5 Blessings, and Crafty Spices.
Also sharing with Farmgirl Friday.

SHS~August 2nd

Holy Moly!!
It’s August already…where has the time gone?
Summer is half over already, and we haven’t gotten half our to-do list done. Looks like we’d better get our butts in gear…and the weather best start cooperating too. πŸ˜‰

Prompts for this week are Low Angle, Home Made, Light, Waiting, and A Chore.

I took some photos off farm this week. Every week, The Kid goes to a riding stable for her lesson, and this week, I brought my camera along. I used to take a lot of pictures there (and I do mean A. LOT!), but since we moved to the farm, when Kid has her lesson, it’s our chance to get grocery shopping done. 95% of the time we get back to the stable to catch her ride, so I don’t miss out on that. Which is great, because her riding skills have improved greatly. But I do miss out on taking pictures.

First two are shots from home…

Low Angle

I was sitting on the ground, just outside the fence, to catch this lovely low angle shot of Sable…

Peeking SableThankfully, this was far away from the water, because otherwise, she would have spit water aaallll over me. That’s just how she is.

Home Made

For this, you get a decent shot of Cookie’s home-made leather crown on her breakaway halter…

And, a lovely shot of the Miss herself.

And, a lovely shot of the Miss herself.

It came with a simple tan one, but I decided she needed something a wee bit fancier. Pink leather, with an all over fish print on it. Not fish scales, but fish drawings. It’s cheesy, it’s tacky, it’s awesome. πŸ™‚


Ahhh, now we get into the shots I took off farm. These are taken in the barn, where the light is not exactly perfect for photos. To be fair, it’s not set up for photographers, but for what’s best for the horses.That’s how it should be, right? That means I have to adapt my skills to make a good shot work. I can do that. πŸ™‚

Sometimes, that means popping off a flash...

Sometimes, that means popping off a flash…

Poor Surprise! I really did surprise him with the flash…as you can see! Caught him with a mouth full of grain. I made up for it with an ear scratch though.

I try not to use the flash very often, because I never know if a horse will take exception to it. I’m only a visitor, and the last thing I want to do is upset any equines.

This fellow, however, didn’t mind it at all…

What a cutie!

What a cutie!

After this shot I figured, let’s try a long shutter speed and see what we get. I’ve been wanting to play with daytime long exposure shots. Perfect chance! Most didn’t turn out. But luckily, there was one…

The New Horse2I really like the way this one turned out!
I dropped the iso to 400 (typically, in the barn, I use 1600 or higher, depending on if the lights are on or if there’s more natural light) and set the shutter for 5 seconds. Likely, the shot would have been better if I had used a tripod, but for a hand-held shot, this turned out pretty damn awesome, if you ask me.
And yes, that’s a coffee cup in the person’s hand. Horses love coffee y’know…he was having a real good sniff of that cup, until my bringing the camera up caught his attention.

A Chore

A chore that is done every day at the barn is the bringing in of the horses from the pastures. I like to call it The Running of the Horses. I also like to photograph it.

Running of the Horses1
Running of the Horses2I will admit, this is far more impressive in the winter. As the big door opens, the steam from the heat of the barn meeting the cold outside air adds an amazing element.


Once all the horses are in, I have to wait for The Kid to finish up her after-ride work, so we can go home and I can process the pictures I took. Sometimes I give the images a quick review while I’m waiting…I really should invest in a good laptop. Then I could sit in the barn’s lobby and process right away. No waiting to get home. πŸ™‚

The Running of the Horses

Inverted colors, to make for The Running of the Ghost Horses.

Inverted colours, to make for The Running of the Ghost Horses.

Sharing with Scavenger Hunt Sunday hosted by Ashley Sisk.