Monday Morning Ritual

Monday mornings, especially now that it’s warmed up, means coffee on the deck, with a toast to my favorite Girl…

Lovely bum!

This past weekend, on the hottest day of the year, her skull finally made it from the cage to the maceration tub.
Along with some other bones.
Now, we wait.
Change the water every couple of weeks.
And wait some more.
Hopefully, with the heat of summer full upon us now, maceration won’t take long, and I’ll have my sweet mare’s skull clean and ready for decorating.
And I know it sounds cold and awful to be cleaning her skull, but I have been a bone collector for years…longer than Hubby and I have been together.
Truth is, if I *didn’t* keep Cookie’s skull, I know I would regret it.
😦
I always knew I would keep hers…I just thought it would be another 15 years from now before she gave it to me.

 ❀

Monday mornings remind me how much I miss her sassyness, her demands for coffee and gingersnaps, those breaths of horsie breath in my face…

34 weeks today.

From her colic 2 years ago…it really was the beginning of the end for her…all the money and vet visits in the world just prolonged things, and we still had no answers until the very end.

And I still miss her like it just happened today…

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13

Monday was Cookie’s 13th birthday.
I had in my mind for a while, long before she passed, that I wanted to do a cake smash with her.
This was supposed to be her year for it…

Instead, her herdmates enjoyed her cake for her.
Seems like it should have been a bittersweet shoot, but it turned out to be great fun. ❀

Hubby offers some cake to Sable…

He mighta smooshed it into her muzzle a wee bit…being it’s a cake smash and all… πŸ˜‰

Ruby’s turn…you can see icing on Astrid’s muzzle…

That tongue…lol!

And then Hubby set the cake down, so all 3 could enjoy it at once…

Ruby:
“Y’know what I like?”

“CAAAAAAKKKKEEE!”

And then our dear sweet Blonde Girl had a moment with her friend’s halter…
πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

Sharing for Wordless Wednesday with Comedy Plus, image-in-ing, and Create With Joy.

The Thing About Heart Horses…

Last week, I read Anna Blake’s post on this very topic…
Heart Horses.

Initially, I had a very negative reaction to the post.
The angry monkeys in my head demanded their typewriters to bang out their thoughts…

And then I stepped back and thought about it all.
I came to this…

I have, since a month or so after bringing her Home, called Cookie my heart horse.
Why?
Because to me, she was/is/always will be the most special, most influential equine in my life.
It took a whole lotta *something* to get her and I together, and once it was done, there was only death to separate us.

So, does that mean my others…Ruby, Sable, Astrid…are any *less* special to me because they’re not Cookie?
I don’t think so.
They are who they are, and they are special in their own ways.

Sable is my accident prone, but rock solid, lean on me Mama I can hold you up, bombproof horse.
Ruby is my challenge Mama all day every day, if it ain’t my idea I ain’t doing it, horse.
Astrid is my happy Little Red who loves brushings and cuddles and forehead rubs and those rare times I let her lick me…dang that mare likes to lick things!! lol

They all hold a special place in my heart.

Unlike Cookie though, they were all pretty darn quick to come to the charm of The Food Lady.
Cookie was a force of her own, she gave nothing freely, and I earned every little thing she offered me.

When you have to spend hours on end sitting, waiting, leaving, and coming back day after day, to finally get a hand on a horse…
When you have to stand and wait in -30*c cold, hands uncovered because gloves are an unknown, to finally get a hand on a horse…
When you walk out the door one morning, after so many mornings like the ones above, and that horse calls and meets you at the gate…
When that horse drops her muzzle so you can gently blow and greet her…

So that was the foundation of our relationship.
Me being patient (for the most part), and her trying to decide if I was worth trusting.
And when she offered her trust, it was a high like nothing I have ever experienced.
How could I not love her a wee bit more than the others?
How could I not give her the biggest chunk of my heart?

But don’t think it was all pretty and rainbows, because it wasn’t.
It was hard work.
It was a lot of wanting to give up.
It was a lot of frustration for both of us.
It was her avoiding me for days on end.
It was a lot of heartache, as I wondered if I was in over my head (short answer? yes).
There was mud and blood(mostly mine) and bruises(also mine) and shit…and tears.
It was a lot of days ending in tears.

Oh, but those days, few and far between in the beginning, when she’d let slip some normal horse behaviour, or she’d show me a cheeky moment (nibbling my braid was a favorite), or she’d just choose to stand next to me and be…
I’ve said it over and over…it was like she was my dealer, and those bits of trust she let slip were the crack I lived for.

Yeah.
She was, and always will be, my Heart Horse.
There will never be another one like her.
And y’know what?
I’m glad for that.
Because I know and recognize that, I can love others, give them a spot in my heart, and give them what they need, without comparing them to HER.
My love for her does not diminish the love for the others…any others.
And, quite frankly, loving a horse like Cookie just plain ain’t easy…it is…well, it’s exhausting

At the end of the day, I know the term bugs people.
I see the eye rolls, the little laughs, the snorts of derision…
My favorite (said quietly, but within my hearing) “Only fluffy horse lovers call any horse that…” implying that I couldn’t possibly be a real horse person.
Meh.
That’s okay, because, truthfully, people bug me like the term bugs them. lol
I’d much rather be with the horses.
(Okay, I’ll grant, some people are okay. πŸ˜‰ )
When I use the term, I’m not using it for others.
I’m using it for me…for her…for us.

And if that bothers other people, or makes them think less of me as a horsewoman, that’s okay too.
I’ve never much cared what people think of me, so how someone else feels about my usage of a few simple words…not my problem.

When I got back into this life of horses, it was for her:

❀

It was always about her…
To the horse world here, she may not have been much to look at, she may not have been anything more than a broodmare, she may not have been anything more than a number run through at auction…
But to me, she was the world.
My Heart Horse.

Aaaaaand….
Now I’ll just take the typewriters away from the angry monkeys and go on about my day.

Place in the World

Do you ever wonder about your place in the world?
Are you doing what makes you happy?
What you feel you’re meant to be doing?

I used to wonder…

Now, I’m pretty sure I’m right where I’m meant to be.

Let’s face it, if I wasn’t where I’m meant to be, I never would have had 3 days shy of 4 years with the Very Best Horse Everβ„’…

She made the best faces in this shoot…
I keep going back and editing images from it that I just love because they show her personality.
Like this one:

That tongue! ❀
Sassy pants paint

I wouldn’t have been in a place to bring this beauty Home for my Kid…

Hubby wouldn’t have gotten his Girl…


And who knows what might have been when Astrid needed a soft landing from her former home…

Not sure what’s going on with that mane, colour wise, but it sure looks pretty!

I guess knowing where my place is in this big wide world is pretty darn amazing. I’m sure there are people who live their whole lives never being sureΒ  where they belong.
I’m one of the lucky ones.
I waited 40 years to get here, and I ain’t going to give it up.
πŸ™‚

A Little Farm Update

Dry.
Dry.
Dry.

It’s really dry here. We need rain something fierce.
For growth, to stop fires, for overall health.

But, in the midst of the dry, we do have some growth happening on the fruit trees…and, we’ve (finally) moved the chicks into the chicken coop.
YAY!!!

Apples are starting to leaf out…

Honeyberries are blossoming…

Red currants are popping with leaves…

And because our red currant bushes are so new, they’re still rather small. Which makes them easy prey to fall to Daphne…

Pail protecting a newer currant bush…

I had a few extra 3 gallon pails, so I cut the bottoms out and used them the shield the plants from the turbo power of the Daphne running them over. πŸ˜‰

Finally…
The best news!
All chicks have vacated the house, and the garage.
Chicken coop renos are done and they have moved into their new, and permanent home.
Just because I’m mean, I laughed at the few hennys we have left and said “Your replacements have arrived!!”
Hahahahaha!!!
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Onward and upward to the next task…

Getting the garden tilled so we can plant my HUGE tomato plants.
I hope this bodes well for a bountiful harvest!

I’ve never really viewed myself as particularly talented.
I’ve viewed myself as slightly above average in talent.
~ Will Smith

That Time I Got to Photograph Cavalia Horses…

Every now and then, I get the pleasure of going off Farm with my camera.
Every now and then, I get the pleasure of photographing someone else’s horses.
Today’s post is all about a journey I went on last month, and some horses I was lucky enough to meet.
πŸ™‚

It all started with a late night tag on a Facebook post in a local horse group…someone was looking for local equine bloggers, a friend tagged me, and I explained what I do here (with the required sometimes salty language warning πŸ˜‰ ).
Next thing I knew, the lady looking for bloggers had sent me a message with an amazing offer…

Now understand, this is well after Hubby and The Kid have gone off to bed, I’m sitting with a cup of tea and a cat in my lap editing photos, when I get this message.
Let me tell you, the cat hit the floor, and Hubby was awakened with:

“WAKE UP!!!
You have to book Friday off…I’ve just been invited to an event that I have to go to…”

To which I got a mumbled “Huh? What?” from Hubby…

“Dude!! I’ve been invited to join the media folks to meet the Cavalia Odysseo horses!!!”

Well, that woke him up, and he very much agreed, this was an opportunity that was not to be missed. πŸ™‚
And his boss was awesome, giving him the day off with such short notice!

Friday dawned cold…it was like January had come back for its 137th day.
Didn’t dampen my enthusiasm even a little bit. Though, I do wish I had worn a warmer jacket, but hey, that’s what hot coffee is for, right?

We followed all the directions, and finally made it to the private farm where the horses were enjoying their vacation between shows.
Once everyone arrived, we were introduced to Cavalia people who would be sharing some of the horses with us…now, if I had been smart, I would have written names down. But, truth be told, my excitement was all about the horses. I had camera in hand and I just wanted to take pictures.

And I bet y’all want to see them, right?
The best of the images I took that day?
All right, let’s get to it. πŸ™‚

The first paddock we came to had these two ripping around it…

Having just come from a performance run in Arizona, all the horses we were introduced to were wearing blankets.
I’m sure they appreciated it!

Utah…
So amazingly handsome!

Y’all know me, I love me a Paint…and this guy was simply gorgeous. ❀

When you’re having fun running around and throw a shoe…lol

This is Marc-Olivier Leprohon, Cavalia’s Artistic & Equestrian Operations Director. He was showing us around with the horses, and answering any questions we might have had.
Once again, I was far too busy taking pictures to ask questions.

Along came the Arabians…

These guys just had a grand time galloping around us.
And yes, all of the 70 horses in the show are either stallions or geldings. (we didn’t get to meet all of them, just a handful, to be clear)

Stopped to snort πŸ˜‰

It was clear, watching these horses enjoy some free play time, that they love to perform. It didn’t take them long to figure out that this was another performance, but one where they could do whatever their equine hearts desired. Oh, and they sure did have fun!

❀

One of my favorites of the day:

Is it bad that I wanted him to snort on her camera?
It really was sweet how curious he was about her…

Once we were done photographing the Arabians having fun, we were taken over to meet the smallest equine member of the cast…

Miniature horse named Renaissance…

Oh my, he was a cutie!
He was a feisty little guy too…he’s just 2 1/2 years old and still a stud, so he has a mighty big attitude to go with that adorable package.
He darn near stole the show for the day.
Until we met the biggest guy in the show…

Gavilan

*swoons*
This guy…
This guy was the show stealer for me.
He’s a big boy, still a stud and oh so beautiful!
I was quite impressed with how well-behaved he was, all things considered.
New place, crazy winds and chilly, the mini stud challenging him every chance he got (I told ya, that boy was sassy!!) and he stayed pretty calm, cool and collected.

One of my favorites of him and the groom:

“My human…such a goooood human”
πŸ˜‰

From there, we (Me, Hubby and The Kid) wandered back to the paddock where the Paint was for a few more shots…

Ah, that sassy Paint side eye…gotta love that look! ❀

It was a wonderful way to spend a chilly morning and I’m so happy to have been offered the chance to go.
πŸ™‚

Cavalia Odysseo opens in Winnipeg May 12th.
If you have the chance to check the show out, do so!
You won’t be disappointed!