Would Ya Just Look at That!

I mentioned how I was working with The Cookie and a blanket.
Old Lady (who’s not that old) has been feeling the weather more lately, and sometimes she could benefit from a little extra…just like our Sable.
Unlike our Sable, she has no concept of this “blanket for warmth” thing.

Oh no.
She was certain that thing was going to smother her to complete Death.
Yeah, she can be a little dramatic. 😉

First time out was a complete manure show…
She wouldn’t let me anywhere near her with the blanket.
There was prancing, dancing, some pulling back on the lead rope, a fair bit of panicked rolling eyes.
lol
You woulda thought that blanket was a frickin’ cougar trying to land upon her back…and this was just the intro to it, where all I wanted her to do was sniff the silly thing.

Ah, but time and patience goes a long way with my dear sweet damaged horse. ❤

4th time out, The Kid is holding the lead rope and we made it this far before her brain shut off…

“Ermagerhd!!! I’m being eat…oh, wait, this ain’t so bad.”
~ Cookie

And this…

“Keep makin’ with the apple slices, Woman. If you know what’s good for you…”
~ Cookie

Next time, I’ll work on fully spreading it out on her, and then we’ll discuss doing it up.

Yeah, yeah, I know.
For some folks, this a “one and done” kinda lesson.
Meh.
With the other 3, I agree.
This one? We go at her speed. We may not get there as fast as I might like, but we always get there, and the foundation is solid.
That, to me, is more important.

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Really, Black Horse? Really?!?

Remember the mohawk?

Here’s a pictorial of how that came about, and why I simply maintain it now:

Eating dandelions

There are dandelions in the pasture…she has no qualms about sticking her big fat head out the fence to eat the ones on the other side…maybe they’re yellower? 😉
It’s not like she’s stuck her head out and balanced on the edge of a precipice…its flat land for miles around…what’s the big deal, right?

Nom, nom, nom…dandys!

Oh, but now Mama’s yelling…it’s the old standby-and she’s disappointed if I don’t yell at her…

Get your big fat f***ing head…

Back inside that fence or I’m going to…

Kick your giant f***ing ass all the way to your giant f***ing ears!!!

Oh, the smug satisfaction of Mama yelling at her…she loves every second of it.

That’s my special Girl.

Banana Cookie

Have I mentioned that Cookie thinks I’m trying to poison her every time I offer her a banana?

Yeah, she’s 100% convinced that bananas=death.
Right up there with anything that has cinnamon in it, or bread.
Banana bread is the trifecta of Death to this poor horse.

Being the mean and horrible Horse Mama that I am, found a recipe for banana oatmeal cookies…and I had to make them for her to try.
I mean, **every** horse loves oats, right?!?
So, I figured it would make for a fun photo shoot, offering her these cookies, and see what she thought of them.

Daddy offers her the first one…

She lipped it up then spit it out right away.
He went to offer to the others, so The Kid offered her a piece of one…they were kinda big, and they were hard for the Girls to eat without breaking them up.

“Uh, this smells like it might be okay…”
~Cookie

Look at the eye I’m getting!
Hahahaha!!!
She smelled the banana right away but considering trying it because of the oats.

“Eeeeeewwwwww!!!”

“Yer tryin to kill me Woman!!”
~Cookie

As it turns out, oats cannot overcome the poisonous qualities of bananas.
At least, not for The Cookie.

How You Doin’?

Hey, how was your week?

Ours was…ah, it was a week.
Last Friday, Ms Cookie went off her feed.
Oh, she was still eating hay and drinking just fine, but she refused her beet pulp. That is so out of character for her.
There was no cinnamon, no bananas, no bread (these are all things she’s convinced will poison her) in her bucket. Just her normal soaked beet pulp and ground flax. Same thing she’s been eating for the past 2 1/2 years. Same thing she comes galloping in for…
Friday though, she refused it.
I wasn’t overly worried, because I had put a slice of banana in earlier in the week, and didn’t scrub her bucket afterwards…have I mentioned she likes her bucket spotless? Yeah, gotta scrub her bucket once a week, minimum.

Saturday though…

Came home from the stable to find her napping in the sunset.

<3

So, I went and snapped a few pictures. Then I rubbed her back and rump. She likes that. 😉
Meanwhile, The Kid had gotten the beet pulp ready and taken it out to hang up for them.
Cookie didn’t even bother getting up.

Okay, now I was beginning to worry.
Time to check pulse, temperature, gum colour…
Everything was normal.
*stumped*

Hubby brought hay to the feeders, and she got up and went to eat hay.
Ooookay…
Huh.
So, I went and got a handful of canning salt and offered it to her.
She licked a bit up off my hand, but for the most part, she wasn’t interested. But, was still eating her hay.
So, after making sure I could hear her tummy working, I left her to eat.

And that’s been my week.
Oh, toss in a nausea inducing migraine for me too.
Brought on by the stress of worrying about my big Dork, no doubt.

By Tuesday, she still hadn’t eaten more than a mouthful from her bucket, so I scrubbed it again, rinsed it with an apple cider vinegar/water solution (which I gave to the chickens 😉 ) and soaked a red solo cup of alfalfa cubes with a 1/2 cup beet pulp, and scaled her flax back to 1/2 cup.

That she ate about half of.
Still not normal, but definite improvement.
And that’s where we’re at, feed wise. More alfalfa cubes than beet pulp, flax at 1/2 cup, and she’s eating more and more of it.
Yesterday, she even picked a fight with Astrid…though, I tell ya, I think some of the problems this week have to do with Astrid throwing her weight around. Cookie is still second in the herd and Astrid doesn’t like it. So, when Cookie shows even the teeniest bit of weakness, Astrid is all over her.
Hubby’s theory is that during some asshat-ery, Cookie tweaked something, and was sore from it. Astrid jumped on it, pushing her around and jockeying for herd position. Cookie, not feeling 100% already, felt the stress of it, and went off her feed.

It does make some sense, since, as she’s eating more and more of her pail, she’s snapping at Astrid’s little pushiness movements.
Like, yesterday, she chased Astrid up the snow drift, biting her the whole way. And, when Astrid tried to come down to retaliate, Cookie bit her fetlock (that’s how tall the drift is!).

Either way, made me worry myself sick about it all.
Never a good time. 😦

Edited to add:
She hasn’t refused all food. She’s been eating her hay like normal, she’s been drinking just fine, and things are coming out the other end as they should be.
It’s her daily pail of beet pulp that she was refusing.
She hasn’t lost weight, and yes, she’s been seen by the vet. 🙂

Napping and ignoring The Kid. ;)

Napping and ignoring The Kid. 😉

"Ugh. Child woke me from my nap!" ~Cookie

“Ugh. Child woke me from my nap!”
~Cookie

Cookie and the Stick

Daphne has her stick.
Well, Daphne has many sticks, but this stick:

"I got my stick!!!"

“I got my stick!!!”

This stick is just right.
It’s long and fun to drag around, and sometimes, she can even hit people with it. Horses too…ask Cookie how she felt about getting that to the back of the front leg. You can just imagine…

The other day, during beet pulp feeding, Daphne decided to swing her stick around. I’m not sure what she was trying to do (I don’t think she knows either) but it ended up part way in the pasture, over Cookie’s bucket.
And so, Ms Cookie thought it was for her…

Grabbing the stick and playing tug of war with Daphne.

Grabbing the stick and playing tug of war with Daphne.

I was laughing so hard at the 2 of them, this was the best I could do for pictures. 😛
Clearly, Daphne won!

In other news…

Check this out!
I had an article published on homestead.org‘s website.
Go check it out, and if you’re on FB, don’t forget to click the “like” button. 🙂
And, feel free to explore too…some pretty interesting, and informational, articles published there.
But, here’s the link to mine:
Adapt, Overcome, Move On

Cookie Gets a New Crown

Once again, our dear sweet Cookie had to do hard things.
Gotta say…I ❤ Almost FarmGirl for that saying!
Don’t know what I’m talking about? Read this post of hers…

I can do hard things.

It’s become a bit of a mantra around here…especially when working with Cookie. Cookie can do hard things. Really, she can. She just needs to be reminded of it, and supported through it.
My special Girl. ❤

Onward…

Yesterday, I finally decided that our Ms Cookie needed a new crown on her breakaway halter…Her old one was looking decidedly ragged!

Old crown...ahh, the pink fish leather! Looked so dang good on her too!

Old crown…ahh, the pink fish leather! Looked so dang good on her too!

Yes, I kept it. It’s gross and smelly, saturated with her sweat, some blood (from sticking her fat head out the fence and cutting herself…idiot), mud and shit.
But it’s been a part of her for so long now, I can’t get rid of it.
My heart won’t let me.
I know it’s stupid, but whatever. It’s mine.

The process for changing to the new crown is normally easy.
Lead rope, undo one side, buckle the new crown on, go to the other side, do the same and done!
This time, I wanted her to try on a new halter I got from a friend…a very pretty pink camo one. 🙂
But, when I went to pull the breakaway off, she started to panic.
Poor Dork.
So, the camo one went overtop, and I pulled the breakaway out from underneath. That way, she still had the comforting feel of a halter, but I could fix up the breakaway.
And then, pictures! 🙂

"Uh, Mom?? This isn't right. Not my halter, not right."

“Uh, Mom?? This isn’t right. Not my halter, not right.”

It looks so good on her!
But, not being a breakaway, it’s only for working wear, not everyday wear.

"Kid?? Could ya tell Mom this ain't right?? I'm not okay here."

“Kid?? Could ya tell Mom this ain’t right?? I’m not okay here.”

After a few pictures, and I fixed up the breakaway, I got Hubby to hold the lead, gave Kid the camera, and set about to make things right in Cookie’s world.

My sweet mare...breakaway is back on, nose shoved into me for comfort.

My sweet mare…breakaway is back on, her nose shoved into me for comfort.

When she felt like she was okay again, I got Hubby to walk her out to the others and let her go…just so I could take a few more pictures of her.

This next one I love…

"Oh Cookie! You did so great! You're okay...I promise, you can do hard things!" ~Sable "I'm not okay." ~Cookie "You will be. I promise!" ~Sable

“Oh Cookie! You did so great! You’re okay…I promise, you can do hard things!” ~Sable
“I’m not okay.” ~Cookie
“You will be. I promise!” ~Sable

Aside from the fact that she’s The Kid’s Heart Horse, Sable is worth her weight in gold! She’s always right there to comfort Cookie.
Mama makes her do hard things?
Bella is there, offering her support, because *she* knows how easy peasy this stuff is for a horse to do.

Lo and behold, an hour later, look who was grazing happily, and okay with me taking more pictures of her:

Wearing her new crown...

Wearing her new crown…

Look at that.
My darling can do hard things.

Edited to Add:
Please don’t email me or comment lecturing on the dangers of a horse wearing a halter while turned out to pasture.
I know all about it. I’ve seen the pictures, heard the horror stories, and heard it all before.
However…
This horse, while it was more than challenging to get the halter on her in the first place, needs it to stay on.
This isn’t a case of human laziness, where she’s too hard to catch without a halter on.
This *is* a case of a horse who, without her halter, will run the fence line whinnying for hours. Yes, hours.
This is the case of a horse who will stop eating…yep, you read that right…she’s so busy running the fence she won’t eat.
Last time I took the breakaway off, I left her for a week, figuring she’d work it out in her own head and be fine.
Nope.
She visibly lost weight. Visibly.
I figure about 50 lbs, coulda been more, coulda been less…fact remains, it was obvious she had dropped weight and the only change was the halter was off.
So, I put it back on.
She’s been fine since.
So, please don’t lecture me. I know the risks, but, I also know my horse and what she needs.
Thank you.

6 Days…

When I realized it had been 6 days since my last post, I started singing “6 Days on the Road”…the Sawyer Brown version, just because it’s fun. 😉

Let me catch you up on what’s been going on around here…

Mostly it’s been yard work…still cutting and putting up small bales of hay. I’m getting a cute little pile in the garage. Like I’ve said before, it’s not much, but sometimes, all you need is a little bit of hay to keep an equine face busy while you work with them on other things…or you just need a little hay for them to pick at while the grass grows in spring. That’s what this is for.
It’s handy to have small amounts for those times.

This past weekend it was finally dry enough to get our septic system fully repaired. Thank goodness. That was a hefty, but extremely necessary, repair. And, this should last us many many years…especially since we have a fence around the end unit to protect it so that it can’t be hit with a tractor…which is what happened to the one we had fixed *before* we bought the place. The damage was long-standing and near the frost line, so, realistically, we’re lucky we got 2 1/2 years out of it before needing to have the repairs done.

I’ve been working on edit 3 photos sessions that I need to get done.
1. The demos we watched at Cloverdale Forge.
I’ve shared a few from the set, but I still have 20 or so more to finish up.
2. Jousting. From the same day, we went from the Forge over to the Medieval festival and I have 40 or so images from the jousting to finish.
3. A portrait session I did with a friend from the Stable…this one I want to get done so bad, because the images are **gorgeous** and I can’t wait for her to see them…I gave her this as a teaser shot, but really need to sit down and get the rest done…
KB1 bw wm
And then there are the pictures of the animals here!
For example, I have the following series…animals playing in water…

Daphne goes all in savage when playing in the hose!

Daphne goes all in savage when playing in the hose!

Did you know piggies like to play in the stream fro the hose?

Did you know piggies like to play in the stream from the hose?

Nigella has a drink from the hose.

Nigella has a drink from the hose.

Washing her face a bit.

Washing her face a bit.

Rinsing out her mouth...

Rinsing out her mouth…

Just enjoying the cold water on a hot day. :)

Just enjoying the cold water on a hot day. 🙂

And Ruby…

"The Hell, Dad!! Don't spray me!!"

“The Hell, Dad!! Don’t spray me!!”

Oh, I told y’all about piggies and bags?
Here’s Nigella having a munching good time:

"My bag."

“My bag.”

"Whut? Pigs like toys. This my toy."

“Whut? Pigs like toys. This my toy.”

I missed when the 3 of them each grabbed a piece and started shaking their heads side to side like dogs…oh, it was funny! lol

Another picture of Ruby. Just because she’s pretty. 🙂

Ruby Portrait
Finally, one of Sable and Ruby racing.

<3

Later this week, I’ll share some shots The Kid took of Astrid while I was scratching her back. Astrid really gets into the scratches and back rubs, let me tell you!
I’m also hoping to be able to share some Lawn Pony shots with y’all. When we take Cookie on another excursion into the yard, I’m going to get The Kid to photograph it..
Y’see, Ms Cookie had her very first experience coming out into the yard a couple weeks ago. It was really hard for her. Gates are terrifying, and she was sure she was going to have to go somewhere. She didn’t know where, but she was sure she was leaving. *sigh* Poor damaged horse. lol
When she finally got to go back into the pasture, she darn near lost her shit. Actually, she tried to run me over to get through the gate, which led to a lesson in manners and how to *politely* return to the pasture.
Finally, she figured it out, listen to Mama and you’ll get back there sooner. Act like an ass, and you’re stuck outside the pasture…where something might get her and eat her or take her away. 😉

When she finally did walk back in politely, she waited ’til the gate was closed, spun and went straight backwards until the end of the lead rope. There she half reared and honked like a goose.
I promptly died laughing at her.
She just thought I should know that yard was scary and she could have died. If I really cared about her I wouldn’t make her do that ever again, because “coulda died Mama, I could HAVE DIED!”

Recovering Lawn Pony, back in her pasture...AKA The Drama Queen.

Recovering Lawn Pony, back in her pasture…AKA The Drama Queen.