Friday’s Hunt Feb. 19th

What a lovely week of weather we’ve had!
It’s hard to believe it’s February. Yesterday we hit an amazing +6*c.
Sooooo nice!

The horses have been happily basking in the sunshine and the hennys have loved every second of outdoor time they’ve gotten. My birds are spoiled, they do not like to get cold, so when it’s below -15*c, I leave them in the coop. But this warmth? They’re loving boking ’round the chicken yard, snow drifts and all.

This week’s prompts are Starts with G, Week’s Favorite and Pink.
And here’s my images…

Starts with G

Who else could possibly be used for the letter G, other than my Ghost?

<3

My big, sweet, supposedly feral, TomCat.
The Kid and I worked hard on gaining this guy’s trust, and now, he’s the best barn cat ever. Even when he follows me around the Farm yard yapping up a storm. 😉

Week’s Favorite

Well, you saw that image the other day:

I love this shot so much...feral or friendly Palomino?!?

I love this shot so much…feral or friendly Palomino?!?

Definitely my favorite shot of the week.

Pink

This one is a close second though…just shot fresh this morning, with the help of The Kid.

pink-mintsMs Cookie lipping up pink mints from The Kid’s hand.
And, a huge thank you to everyone who’s been asking about her, offering wishes of good health and been checking up on us.
Thankfully, my big donkey is back to her normal, delightful self..
Eating her beet pulp happily, and scrapping with Astrid again.

Sharing for Friday’s Hunt hosted by Teresa at Eden Hills.

Embrace the Chaos!

I’ve come to the conclusion that will be my theme for all 2017 photo shoots.

Embrace the Chaos

My attempts at calm, serene, ethereal images (much like other equine photographers capture) have gone far awry.
Y’know, for a while I was frustrated with it…but then, I thought, that’s life here. We’re not calm, serene, ethereal people, nor are our animals.
So, when I went out today to attempt some sort of heart themed photo shoot (because V-Day is coming and even though we don’t acknowledge it, I do like a themed photo shoot) and it didn’t work out like I had hoped (a horse with a thick winter coat won’t show a trimmed pattern unless you shave it into their coat. Trust me, shaving Cookie in any way ain’t gonna happen!!) I fell back on Embrace the Chaos and just took pictures…and then gave the camera to my Kid, who took 2 of today’s images.

Here we are, my offerings for Friday’s Hunt hosted by Teresa at Eden Hills

Starts with F

Today was a day of feet!
It was Sable’s turn to get a trim, and she was making sure Hubby did it right:

"Make sure it looks good too, Dad!" ~Sable

“Make sure it looks good too, Dad!”
~Sable

She has a thing for watching her feet being done.
She does it with Hubby.
She does it with Michele.
It’s a Bella thing. 😉

Week’s Favorite

This… ❤

<3

My Kid captured my Girl and I in a moment.

Heart

So, I wanted to cut out a heart pattern on her rump, like a My Little Pony cutie mark…didn’t work. At. All.
Lipstick on her forehead last year was much better.
Maybe I’ll do that again tomorrow…we’ll see.
Instead my Kid captured this:

Me and my SweetHeart

Me and my SweetHeart

That’ll do for heart, I believe. 🙂

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

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.

Feeling Thankful…

As 2016 comes to a close, I’m feeling pretty darn grateful.
2016 was a year of challenges and learning…
From spring and Bella’s hoof issues, raising piglets and caring for chickens, septic repairs, Cookie colicking, and then Cookie’s health issues…
It’s been a hard fucking year…pardon the cussing.

But…

We’ve grown as a family.
My Kid learned about raising meat animals, the proper care and respect, and the work that goes into sending them to Freezer Camp.
She was my rock to lean on when my horse colicked…which was amazing, because she’s always leaned on me whenever her Sable did.
My Hubby taught both of us the proper way to dispatch food animals, and how to gut and clean them.
He worked his ass off, taking extra shifts to cover vet bills for my stupid horse…a horse that he puts up with because I love her, but he doesn’t really like much. And that’s fair, because she did try to kick him into next week a few years back…damn near killed him…and he’d have been well within his rights to put a bullet in her for it…but it never occurred to him to do it.  He’s just learned and adjusted how he works with her…and he’s done so well that he trims her hooves now.

That is amazing…
That is dedication I have to admire…
That proves (as if I didn’t already know it 😉 ) I have a damn good Man…

And me?
I had to learn to adapt to a when things don’t go to plan, learn how to let things go and let them work themselves out, and celebrate the little joys that life gives us.
I’ve been covered in mud, blood, shit and puke this past year, and as hard as some things have been, the knowledge I took away from each and every experience has been valuable.
Some things I don’t want to have to do again, but if it happens, I know now what to do.
I call that a success.

Tomorrow, I think I’ll do a Best of 2016 photo retrospective…because I’ve pushed myself as a photographer too, and I’m damn proud of the images I’ve captured.
I hope y’all will come back and see which ones were my favorites…and tell me which ones were yours.

For now, here’s one from this morning…

rippin-it-up
The Girls were rippin’ it up again this morning…enjoying life and having fun. Gotta love that. ❤

Digging Out

By Tuesday, it was finally done.
The snow stopped falling, the wind stopped howling and we started the clean up in earnest.
We have, thankfully, a snowblower for the tractor. That makes this whole snow thing so much easier to handle.
Still, wide open space, mixed with blizzard conditions, makes for lots of drifts, and deep ones.
For example:

Dog, Kid, snow drift...oh yeah, 5 foot fence in the background!

Dog, Kid, snow drift…oh yeah, 5 foot fence in the background!

Hubby had already cleaned out the entrance to the gate…Daphne’s trying to jump up on the drift that formed at the east gate into the pasture.
That drift also covered the driveway. Granted, it wasn’t quite as deep on the driveway, because there is a drop off from the drive to the gate for water to run off the drive, but it was at least 3 feet of snow sitting on it!

I’ll tell ya, that’s all but impossible to deal with without big equipment. A loader on the tractor works, but then, after a few big dumps like this, you run out of places to pile the snow…that’s speaking from experience. Our first year here was crazy with the amount of snow we had piled around. So, we bought a 6 foot snowblower, and snow moving got 1000% easier.

There are, however, plenty of places that need digging out by hand.
~ The waterer…can’t get too close to that with the tractor, so I dig it out by hand. Often.
lol
Horses drink a lot…4 x a lot = holy crap, that’s a lot of digging!
With help…always with help from Sable. Can’t do *anything* with water without Sable. She’s my 1500ishlb water baby. 😉
~ The deck…as much as I wish we could get a snowblower up there, well, that’s all hand power to clean. Wheee!!
Plus, with the cat house being there, it’s really important to make sure all my felines warm spaces can be accessed. I don’t want anyone snowed in, or snowed out.
~ The chicken yard…okay, so, the gate was completely blown in, and we had to get into the yard to feed and check on the hennys…6 foot blower doesn’t fit through the gate, and neither does the walk behind blower until the gate can be opened…and so, more digging.

And, I am glad we didn’t try to overwinter the pigs, because I’ll tell ya, I don’t want another species to try to keep alive in the frigid depths of winter…at least, not yet. Maybe one year we’ll try, but, this was the first year for wintering chickens, and that’s learning experience enough for this year. 😉

Of course, with the clean up, comes some delightful asshat-ery from the Girls. And, when I’m on the ball, that means I take my camera outside. Then, y’all get to see my mares being silly butts…

She plows through the drifts like they're not even there...

She plows through the drifts like they’re not even there…

And, of course, Miss Bella Haza BooBoo (if we could register her with any sort of association, that would be her registered name!) always manages an ice cut from playing in the snow…*sigh*
I must say, I love this shot of Sable though…the power in her hind end is so evident, and it’s amazing the power this mare has! Especially for such a gentle girl. ❤

Showing off her inner bucking bronco...

Showing off her inner bucking bronco…

This one ^^^…wow, she was rippin’ it up! Bucking and kicking and galloping…at one point, her and Sable were racing, with Ruby trying to keep up…them Old Ladies were showing the young Fat Girl how fast they could be! 😉

Race!

Race!

You can see, Ruby is trying to keep up with the old gals, but nope!

Ruby's losing ground...

Ruby’s losing ground…

Finally, Ruby and Astrid just gave up…

Watching the Old Ladies givin' 'er!

Watching the Old Ladies givin’ ‘er!

By the way…look at Astrid’s tail!!
It’s gotten so long…she has the longest tail of everyone now.
Used to be Ruby, but Ruby managed to find some barbed wire somewhere in the willows, and we had to cut her tail to get it out. 😥
Had the same issue with Cookie earlier in the summer, but Cookie stood for the tail trim much better than Ruby did.
Hopefully, we’ve managed to get it all out of there now. We’re awful tired of running into garbage from previous owners of this place.

Christmas Eve

It’s a blustery and blowy day…we’re moving into another blizzard.
Any where from 10-20 inches of snow expected and then, the wind. We’re as ready as can be…extra feed for hennys and horses socked away, good food in the house, gas for the generator, just in case…

What isn’t done is my Yule photo shoot with the Girls.
Safe to say, that’s going to have to wait until the weather settles down.
Y’see, it would have been done sooner, but I didn’t get the final necessary piece to do it until yesterday…despite trying to line things up for the past month and a half. 😡
Turns out, my local gov’t isn’t that great at returning calls, messages and inquires. Well, big stinkin’ surprise there!
So, it’ll be a bit, but I’ll get it done. 🙂

Instead, I have for you, a few images of my Girl from yesterday…

Sleepy horse...

Sleepy horse…

It may have been cold, but the sun was shining, and let me tell you, sunshine on her black coat means warm Girl…and that means nap time. 😉

When you need to use the fence as a pillow...

When you need to use the fence as a pillow… ❤

And then, as always, we had a cat come help…and he spoiled her nap.

Trouble whispers sweet nothings to her...

Trouble whispers sweet nothings to her…

This one is one of The Kid’s shots…she wanted to borrow my camera to take some pictures of the dog and her log, and happened to capture this moment between these 2.
Super cute. 🙂