I am not interested
in picking up
crumbs of compassion
thrown from the table
of someone who
I want the full menu of rights.
~ Desmond Tutu
the glorious mess
that you are.”
~ Elizabeth Gilbert
It’s really just another way of saying “Embrace the Chaos”…which has become my personal motto. 😉
Can I take a minute here and thank everyone who commented on my last post?
Can I just thank you all for the supportive comments, for the understanding, for not telling me I’m an idiot?
I appreciate it.
This whole equine thing, it’s not a “one size fits all” for training and living with them.
Oh, I 100% recognize there are basics, that can be applied to just about any horse. There are also those horses who fall outside of all realm of logic…for whatever reasons they have.
Kinda like dogs. 😉
We have to listen to them, especially when they’re a wee bit damaged already.
Yes, I could have done things differently with her, of course I could have. But, would we be here, 5 days later, halter free and happy?
With me haltering her every day for a little work, then setting her free again?
I don’t know.
We’re here now, and it’s good.
So, thank you.
For sticking with us, for following along on this step of our journey, and for understanding.
That Cookie and I, we’re just going to embrace the glorious mess that we are…
Next up…full on blanketing…
Everyone has an opinion.
Some good. Some…not so much.
I listen to my horse.
The past 2 years, she’s worn a breakaway halter.
I’ve seen the images of horses who get caught up wearing a halter.
I’ve heard all the lectures.
Remember…horse people have opinions.
And, some are happy to beat you over the head with ’em.
Really, it’s no different from a horse wearing a fly mask…
Or a grazing muzzle…
Or a blanket 24/7…
But nobody lectures you or sends you shitty pictures of dead horses when you put those things on your horse.
Just when you leave a (breakaway) halter on.
Makes me a bit prickly…thorny even…when I get the unsolicited “advice”.
Thankfully, Facebook has a block feature.
My block list is a veritable “who’s who” of the local horse world.
Everyone who has decided to take it upon themselves to “educate” me, for my own good, for my horse’s good.
They’re on that block list.
Because inevitably, what began as “I’m concerned” turned into “you’re a lazy idiot” when I explain why she still wore the breakaway.
Which is hilarious.
I am anything but lazy when it comes to these horses.
You know what they say about opinions though…
For the record…
After a few months with the breakaway, the plan was to remove it.
I spent hours and hours and hours going out with a regular halter, practicing catch, love up and release.
It took time, but it was worth it.
I have exactly ZERO issues catching this horse.
And so, one day, I decided to pull off the breakaway too.
I took it off, gave her the “you’re free” command that let’s her know she can go be herself, and walked out of the pasture.
That was just about a year and a half ago…
She followed me to the gate.
She tried to come out the gate with me.
When the gate was closed and I walked to the house, she ran to the back fence.
She whinnied again…and again…and again…
She ran that fence line, back and forth, working up a lather, calling the whole time.
It was ugly. And sad. And it broke my heart to see.
It went on for nearly a week.
Her coat got dull.
She wasn’t eating.
She was constantly pacing the fence line.
She was getting ribby.
I did what any sane person would do in an insane position…
I put the damn breakaway back on her.
And then we worked her way back to her healthy, fat as a tick, self.
Because the second I had that crown of leather over her ears, she relaxed…
I have, in all my life, never, ever heard of a horse acting like this.
There is no precedent to follow, no training to use, no expert to help.
We were flying blind here, and I had to, simply put, listen to my horse.
Now, roughly a year and a half later, we’ve tried again.
After months (nigh onto years) of catch, love up and release.
I think, I hope, I pray to Epona…
This time, I think it has worked.
We started out with her white leather halter going overtop…
Then, I undid the crown of the breakaway and dropped it.
Finally, I pulled the rest of it out and dropped it on the ground…
While wearing her white leather, I groomed her, cleaned her feet out, rubbed her down with bug juice…
And then came the moment of truth:
And this morning?
A nickered greeting when I came out on the deck, she trotted over for her halter to go on for grooming(and a whole lotta loving ❤ ), and a relaxed, calm demeanor when I removed the halter again.
So far, so good.
She is as normal as she’s ever going to be.
That’s just fine with me.
Our musical inspiration for the day and this post:
is not about
~ Sheri Dew
People are drawn to her.
She’s so pretty and many want to touch her…
To tell her so.
There are so few people she’s drawn to.
The odd friend.
I am blessed that she counts me as trustworthy.
I’ve worked hard to prove to her that I am.
I am drawn to her like a moth to the flame.
For that, I carry no shame.
How, oh how, can it be September already?
I feel like I’m going into Fall kicking and screaming.
“I don’t wanna get ready for winter….waaaahhhhhhh!!!!”
And yet, the signs are all there.
The cooler nights.
The geese are coming back.
Combines on the fields.
Horses are getting fuzzy… 😥
I’m not ready for fuzzy horses…last night at beet pulp time, Bella said she isn’t either.
Ah, but we have no choice. Time marches on, and away we go towards the coming winter.
This weekend has been a busy one.
Hubby worked Saturday, came home to take The Kid back to the city for back to school shopping.
Grade 11, this year.
Once more, where is time going?!?
How can I be okay with watching my baby girl handle a 1200lb animal, including jumping, and yet, be so on edge with her handling her Father’s truck??
It’s not that I doubt her skills.
She’s had a good teacher…
It’s the fact the she’s grown up enough to be legally allowed to take the truck out.
Damn that Father Time. 😉
Yesterday, Hubby worked on the winter duck house.
We cobbled together a quick shelter when we realized that putting them in the coop with the meat chickens wasn’t viable.
Now, we need to put together an insulated coop (with a heat lamp) for winter. Still don’t know genders, but that’s okay. In spring we’ll figure it out, and we’ll add whatever gender we need to get baby ducks.
Hubby is building a good-sized coop, because we’re all pretty darn enamored with ducks.
And we all like duck meat.
Seriously, how adorable are these 2?
Rain (front) always has an opinion…I have to admit, I love that.
I love an animal that you can have a conversation with, and I can totally do that with Rain.
Jazzy (back) is much quieter and a little more wary…s/he is warming up slowly, but is still uncertain of this crazy person who keeps trying to pet her/him. LOL!
Today, I had them both nibbling grain out of the feed scoop.
Speaking of feed scoops…
Has learned how to lick the pig grain out of their feed scoop.
Now, nobody panic…the pigs eat a crushed wheat/barley mixture as their primary feed. Nothing that can harm a horse in any way.
In fact, Sable gets anywhere from 1/4-1 full cup of this grain mixture a day in her beet pulp.
Yesterday though, she had the pleasure of eating it from the scoop, once I was done feeding the piggies.
Just a few licks, as a treat. 🙂
I’m so loving this taken-from-below set of images.
The Girls look so different from that angle, and it’s an absolutely fun set. I’ve got a few more I’ll share over the next few days…
With the forest fires, the high winds from the North, and our own smudges for bugs, we’ve had a few fairly smokey days…the haze on the image above is only 1/2 from the smudge fire.
It’s been hard on The Kid, and Cookie has been coughing a bit too.
And then, there’s my MaxCat, who in one frame sums up my feelings for today…
I’d love to crawl back into bed with a good book and a big bowl of bbq chips. Not to be though. As always, there’s work to do. And, I don’t have any chips.
We’ve actually managed to break the chip addiction in the house. Haven’t bought a bag in near onto 3 months.
Whew! That was a hard habit to break!
Onward and upward.
Winter is coming.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
These horses, they are enamored with apples.
When we have a surplus of them (thanks to folks who offer them off their trees in the city) I figure we need to do some sort of photo shoot.
One year we did bobbing for apples.
I lay flat on my back, while my assistant, The Kid, fed everyone apple slices.
Gotta love these ones of Sable: