Hay Run

We hooked up the trailer for another hay run yesterday…

Bringing home the food for nags...

Bringing home the food for nags…

I like to do this early on a Sunday morning.
Get it done early and the day is ahead for whatever else needs doing.
Like napping. 😉

On Friday, Hubby had brought home an apple jack for me.
Not the traditional apple jack (distilled apple juice…nom nom nom!) but the pastry, which is, basically, an apple hand pie rolled in cinnamon and sugar. That was my breakfast, with coffee, while we went up to the Hay Guy’s place.

Once home, I figured with the lovely sunlight, I’d go take a few pictures of the Girls, while Hubby unloaded hay and straw (for chickens)…well, it didn’t take long for someone to figure out I had eaten something that any horse would love!

"Uh. Huh. So, you dare come in here smellng like apples and you have none for me? Really?!?" ~Cookie

“Uh. Huh.
So, you dare to come in here with apples on your breath and you have none for me?
Really?!?”
~Cookie

I tried to tell her it was an apple jack, that there was cinnamon involved, that she doesn’t like cinnamon (she’ll leave her beet pulp pail uneaten if there’s even a hint of cinnamon in it!), and well, quite honestly, she didn’t need any sweets. Seriously, her butt jiggles when she walks…sweet apple pies are not what she needs.

Yeah, her face says it all.
“Uh. Huh. Screw you, hooman…”
😉

Friday’s Hunt Jan. 28th

It’s been an interesting week.
I thought I had lost my feral tomcat Ghost to coyotes, but he reappeared yesterday. A little thinner, a little worse-for-wear, and in need of some of Mama Wolfie’s TLC…but, he came home, and that’s what matters. ❤

The horses have been braving climbing the snow drifts.
Not because they’re trying to walk out of the pasture (which, scarily enough, in a few places they probably could) but because the weather has them restless and bored.
One upside of this weather is they’re not eating as much hay, so a bale is lasting longer.
Downside is with them getting smaller portions, we’re out more often (even at night) to check and be sure there is enough in the feeders. Meh, who needs sleep, right? 😉

Chickens have been enjoying the weather too. Bok bok boking around their yard, chasing Xena who still thinks she’s a chicken even though she’s a cat, and just enjoying some much needed sunshine.
Sadly, we had to cull one henny. 😦
She had prolapsed again…after the first one died from a prolapse, I am no longer a softie about it. 1 treatment. If it happens again, then, we cull. I did have a discussion with the Other Two about calcium amounts…they didn’t realize when feeding that I put as much of the calcium supplement in the food as I did. When the hennys are outside more, it’s easier to offer calcium in a separate feeder, but it’s not as easy in the coop. So, now we’re all on the same page, and everyone seems to be doing well.

Cookie decided that stealing Daphne’s stick was a grand plan…there was even a moment of equine-canine tug of war going on.
Hilarious!!

On to pictures for this week’s prompts for Friday’s Hunt hosted by Teresa at Eden Hills

Starts with D

How about Daphne?

Wild and crazy hound catching snow balls...

Wild and crazy hound catching snow balls…

"I got my stick!!!"

“I got my stick!!!”

Week’s Favorite

Astrid ❤

Climbing the snow drift, completely ignoring me telling her to get off there...

Climbing the snow drift, completely ignoring me telling her to get off there…

I have pictures that I’ll share later on of Ruby climbing that same drift and falling through the top crust…Astrid had to climb it because Ruby did. Toddlers.

Close Up

Helper Palomino just wants to help take pictures.

Helper Palomino just wants to help take pictures.

I was trying to get a sunset shot of her eye. Once again going for calm, ethereal beauty…
That’s so not my world.
LOL!!
Nope, **this** is my world…wide eyed Palomino trying to lick the lens while I’m pushing her muzzle away and laughing.
This image says so much about my world.

Freezer Camp!

Don’t flinch, my loyal vegetarian readers!
I’m not going to show you graphic photos of animals being sent to freezer camp. Not today.
Oh, we’re talking about it, just today, it’s carrots. 🙂

I am not adverse to buying large amounts of produce when I can a. get great quality, and b. get it at a great price.
Before Yule, through the stable my Kid takes lessons at, we had the chance to purchase 20lb bags of carrots.
A quick inquiry to make sure these were good for humans as well as horses (and chickens 😉 ) and then, I asked for 2 bags.

Now, that sounds like a lot of carrots. 40lbs.
But, my Kid doesn’t eat candy. She eats veggies.
It’s not that I tell her she can’t have candy (that would be ridiculous, since I have a crazy sweet tooth!), she just doesn’t like it.
Ahh, but veggies!
I can’t keep her in peas, green beans, carrots, corn…
You get the picture.

So, 40lbs of carrots.
Yeah, gotta have!
We ate a lot of carroty yumminess…but yesterday, I thought I should put some in the freezer. Especially since we have a bunch of other produce to eat right now. And there’s more winter ahead of us.
Normally, I’d pressure can them, but I’ve been lazy on that front…that’s going to change with summer’s garden, and fall meat animal harvests.

So, prepping for the freezer…
First the chop:

big bowl o carrots

big bowl o carrots

I forgot to mention…these carrots are huge. Not woody, really tasty, but huge. Like, cannot give a whole one to the horses, because, well, I already had to go in Astrid’s mouth to pull out the chunk she tried to swallow because she couldn’t chew it.
Wheee!! Fun!
Said no one ever who has had to shove a hand into a horse’s mouth.

That’s a 14″ diameter stainless steel bowl…I have a bigger one too. It’s 18″ across. I call them my perogy making bowls. One for filling, one for dough.

Next, blanching (submerge in boiling water for 3 minutes, cool in ice water bath to stop cooking):

cooling the carrots in ice water

cooling the carrots in ice water

Oh, tops and tips?
They go in the fridge as horse treats:

6 cup bowl of pony nom nom noms

6 cup bowl of pony nom nom noms

That’ll last about 3 weeks for our mares.
By that I mean, it’ll take me 3 weeks to dole that out. If it was up to them, it wouldn’t last 3 seconds.

Finally, I weighed out the amount I wanted in each bag, and vacuum sealed them for the journey to Freezer Camp:

get in the freezer!

get in the freezer!

7 bags of 600 grams, and 1 900 gram bag.
8 meals in total.
Gotta like that.
🙂

And This Makes 3!

Third week in a row…yay me!
Prompts for this week’s Friday’s Hunt hosted by Teresa at Eden Hills are Starts with C, Week’s Favorite, and Odd Angle.

Starts with C

Can ya guess?
I don’t really need to tell you, do I?

The Cookie!

The Cookie! ❤

Who else could we possibly use for a “starts with C” prompt?
This is another one of those sunset shots…she’s all bright-eyed and alert because Hubby just came out of the house with the beet pulp pails. Beet pulp makes Ms Cookie a happy Girl. 🙂

Week’s Favorite

Oh!
Oh!
How long and low can you go?

long-and-lowI love those long, low, stretched out necks during a trot…it’s a super sexy thing when a well put together horse does that…these 2 look so good when they do! ❤

Odd Angle

Doesn’t get much odder than this:

Well, alrighty then...

Well, alrighty then…

And, in honour of Starts with C, all the pictures have Cookie in them.
🙂

Sunset

I’ve been making an effort to take my camera outside at sunset lately.
Much like I was doing for sunrise shots during the summer, I’m working on pushing the limits of what my camera can do at sunset.
Why?
Because I can. 😉
Before I can consider any sort of upgrade to my camera body, I have to be sure that I have explored every darn thing I can do with this one.
That also means pushing myself outside of my comfort zones.
It’s how we learn and grow, right?
So, one of the limitations of this camera body is light…it’s not so great in low light. But, done right, I can capture something like this:

Sable cleaning up Cookie's left overs.

Sable cleaning up Cookie’s left overs.

Ignore the burrs in her mane, ignore the pail handle across her face, even ignore that gorgeous (naturally occurring) lens flare over her eye…look at the light!!
Oh, the light…
This is what I’m working to capture.
So, if you wonder why you’re seeing more sunset pictures in the next while, this is the reason. 😉

Horses are…

Strange creatures.
They can hurt themselves in the oddest fashion, and some, in the most spectacular ways.

Take, for example, our Bella…

Pre-blizzard nap in the sunshine.

Pre-blizzard nap in the sunshine.

We’ve just come out of blizzard-like conditions…again.
Friday night hay supper was a family affair, the weather was so bad.
As I was pouring out some oats for the Girls, The Kid noticed something up with Bella’s eye.
We think that she’d been standing somewhere that her head wasn’t 100% out of the wind, must have closed her eyes, and 1 eye froze shut.
By the time she had finished her beet pulp and the bashing and crashing about that went with it (no joke, they’ve been absolutely crazed with this weather), her eye had opened…except, it had torn some and she had blood running down her face.
Of course, this happened before the oats, and I hadn’t noticed any problems with her. Kinda hard to, with her big head stuck in a bucket, gobbling food. 😉

And so, there was another injury, in the crazy cold/wind/horrible weather to deal with. A new one at that!
Thankfully, today her eyelid is just fine. A wee bit of scabbing at the bottom, but no swelling, no heat and no problem with the eye itself.

Not much photography happened last week. With blizzard conditions, trying to keep everyone warm and fed, and me falling on my face into a sleepy stupor every time I came back into the house.
This week’s favourite photo comes from New Year’s Day…

Cookie and the tree.

Cookie and the tree.

Oh, Ms Sassy Pants ^^^ up there…
“This is what I’m supposed to do, right Mama?
This is what you’re taking my picture for?”

From big ol’ ‘Fraidy Cat to Sassy Pants who knows exactly how I want to her to act/pose for pictures.
I ❤ this mare. 🙂

Horses…they are amazing creatures.
Whether they’re showing us the different ways they can hurt themselves, or they’re playing and looking fabulous, or they’re showing their mischievous sides…

Oh, the size difference between Sable and Astrid...just pure luck I caught them lined up like this.

Oh, the size difference between Sable and Astrid…just pure luck I caught them lined up like this.

Amazing creatures.
Can’t imagine my life with out them.
🙂

Today’s post is being shared with Friday’s Hunt hosted by Teresa at Eden Hills, where the prompts are Starts with B, Week’s Favorite and Creature.

The Winter Blues

January can be a tough time.
We’ve just come out of the hustle and bustle of Yule, Orthodox Christmas has come and gone, we’ve eaten and drank ourselves into a stupor, and now we’re facing the long cold journey until the warm spring winds start to blow.
We all start to get a little stir crazy.
Humans and animals alike…

Especially the horses.
It’s cold, and all they want to do is eat…and then they get bored and want to play. Oh, but then, they’re tired and a nap sounds good. When the sun is out, a nice nap while the sun warms your coat is delightful. Enough to even lay out flat for a bit…ah, but the reality of the cold snow on the ground seeps in and they go back to napping on their feet.

If you happen to have kids, think of it this way…
Y’know how in winter they get snappish because they don’t get out to *do* stuff for long periods of time? Just look at your toddler with cabin fever and the crying starts, right? Fighting for no reason, throwing tantrums, and having hissy fits, just because they can.
That’s how the horses are in January.
And, well, my toddlers average 1200lbs and can smoosh me without even thinking.

Horses are very in tune with their circadian rhythms. Their bodies tell them the light is coming back, and to get ready for the coming spring. They are excitable for the new growth and the longer days.
However, the early dark (albeit later than in December…they’re not eating their beet pulp in the dark at 4:30pm) and the cold temperatures send a different message.

Which leads me back to…1200lb toddlers who are sleep deprived, cabin fevered, grumpy assed brats.
Oh yeah, we humans?
Feeling the same damn way.
*sigh*

So, what’s a Farm girl to do?
Ha!
She drops a bunch of high energy, super fun music on her phone, suits up in her winter gear, grabs a grooming kit and heads out to brush and maul the ponies. 😛
That’s when the fun starts…
Everyone wants to be groomed.
1 woman, 1 grooming kit, 4 horses…lol

I keep telling people to come out for a visit, I’ll give you a brush and you can brush a horse until your hands fall off (that’s right about when the Girls will decide they’re ready to go eat again.) Few have taken me up on the offer though…I muddle through. With music. Which inevitably leads to some crazy cantering games.
Which is good, because then the Girls stretch their legs, have a little fun, buck and kick and play. And I take pictures. From outside the fence. That was a lesson learned a couple of years ago. When the music gets them going and they’re going to run and play, then its time to step outside the gate and photograph them ripping it up.
Trust me, it’s much safer that way. 🙂

This first shot is from last week’s grooming/music/run like a fool session…

Go Cookie, go!

Go Cookie, go!

The next few shots are from yesterday…with all the snow and the bright sun, over exposure happens.
Sometimes, I like to go with it, and enhance that in editing.
Photography isn’t just capturing an amazing image, it’s art too… 🙂

Miss Lazy Pants when I first came outside...

Miss Lazy Pants when I first came outside…

Sable, blasting through the snow drifts...

Sable, blasting through the snow drifts…

Ruby and Astrid...

Ruby and Astrid…

My walking stomachs had Bif Naked’s “I love myself today” as their soundtrack…

Today, if weather allows for it, I’ll throw out the jolly ball for them.
Jolly balls always make for fun times and great photos.
Stay warm, my friends, and stay happy.
We’ve turned the corner, and we’re in the straight away on our way to Spring…we can do this.
And if you local folks need a little music/equine therapy to get you through, you just let me know. 😉
I can hook you up…

If at First You Don’t Succeed…

Try, try again.
😉
So, I’m trying again make it all the way through the alphabet on the Friday’s Hunt hosted by Teresa at Eden Hills.
I’m aiming to make it all the way through this time…lol
We’ll see what happens.

This weeks prompts are Starts with A, Week’s Favorite, and Beginning.

Starts with A

Easy peasy.
Astrid starts with A

Such a pretty girl!

Such a pretty girl!

I love how she glows in the sun. Her coat is such a beautiful colour.

Week’s Favorite

Who else?

<3

That mohawk…*sigh*
I hated it at first, because she looked wonderful with a long mane, but oh man, this look has grown on me. She looks badass with a mohawk.

Beginning

A new beginning to my photography year…this is my first shot of 2017:

yule-pony-wm
And cheers to a year of many more images to share. 🙂