Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ready to Learn part II

I wanted to give an update on the weanling training I attended. The colt, Timmy, that was so ornery at the clinic has come a looonnng way. They went back to him after everyone left and were able to walk up to and halter him with absolutely no problems. This photo is from that same day, later in the afternoon. He is already beginning to use his neck quite nicely in a show halter stance. He must have been absolutely terrified of the people in the stands and the tarpaulin cover.
Ready to Learn - song: Buddha of Suburbia, artist: David Bowie, album: Buddha of Suburbia

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sunday (9/27/09 Signs of Fall)

Looking at the wall thermostat in my house, there are definite signs of fall. The top number is the current temperature outside. The bottom left is the low and the bottom right is the high in recent days. We've had a couple of freezes already and, as you can see, the afternoons are still quite warm. Yalla! has already grown a very plush winter coat.
Fall means getting the hay in the barn
and having a BIG woodpile outside. We still need to go wood cutting this year. This is just the beginning of our woodpile. We have to split the wood and season it before it is ready to burn.
Speaking of trees, the leaves are already turning colors!
Because of the freezing temperatures, my garden is finished. I pulled out all the produce I could.
We had a major corn roasting the other night. Then I fed some immature corn and dried out cornstalks to the horses. They loved the treat!

And, of course, my favorite sign of ending summer and impending fall is the pretty little purple aster.

Sunday - song: Sunday, artist: David Bowie, album: Heathen

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday (9/20/09 Purple)

Purple is for Iris, the beginning of Spring.
Purple is for Asters and the end of summer.

Purple is for gazing balls. Purple is for Christmas skies.

For more Sunday Stills pictures, please visit here.

Sunday - song: Sunday, artist: David Bowie, album: Heathen

Pull on your finger

The beginning of this month, I decided to bring my horses, Scout and Nadia, back from the big field where they had been pastured for the last few weeks. I just didn't think there was enough grazing for six horses: my two, my neighbor's three, and my other neighbor's one horse. They weren't losing weight, in fact, because they were wandering around in search of food, they were in great condition, especially Nadia, my 26 year old mare. The neighbors nearest to the field have been doing major yard work, building a wall, putting in a pond and river, graveling, and landscaping their backyard, so my horses have alternated between being super curious and staying back from the activity. I thought it was good exposure for them to see all the tractors, trucks, backhoes, etc. nearby, but I didn't feel like renewing the lease with the food supply running so low. One day at the beginning of September, I called them to me. Even though I couldn't see them because the field was so big, if I called them, they always came running or trotting over to me. I usually tried to have treats in my pockets to reinforce this. I often bridled Scout and haltered Nadia and rode bareback around in the big field, ponying Nadia beside or behind Scout. We would ride up through the trees to the other side and back. Often the other horses would trail along behind us for a while and then stop to graze. Then they would come running after us again. It was almost like a game of tag or hide and seek.

On this day, I bridled Scout and haltered Nadia and brought them out of the field. Using the fence, I climbed on Scout and we rode around the neighborhood for a while and then I decided to turn them out with my other two horses, Annie and her foal, Yalla! I have a gate at either end of my arena so we rode up to the outside gate. Annie and Yalla! stood right near the gate anxiously awaiting the new arrivals. As I opened the gate to bring them in, I stood beside Scout in his bridle and Nadia in her halter, both to the right of me. Nadia saw Annie standing right there and panicked. Annie is alpha mare and Nadia trembles at Annie's look. Nadia pulled back and I thought she wrenched my arm out of it's socket at the shoulder. I thought, "Oh no, this can't be happening! My old mare is hurting me!" I gathered myself together, realized that my arm was okay in spite of the fact that I think she lifted me off the ground, and decided to again try to put them in the arena.

I shooed Annie back and we went towards the open gate. This time, Nadia pulled back again, but differently. Instead of being yanked up, I felt my hand get squashed or twisted, or something. I couldn't tell you what happened except that my middle finger really hurt. Somehow, I think it got jammed between Scout reins and Nadia's lead rope. Anyway, with my throbbing finger, I did get them in on the third try.

Then I went to the house and got some ice on my finger. I couldn't bend it and it was swollen at the middle joint. The next day I bought a finger support for it. I bought the medium size but had to return it because it was too tight. The pharmacist suggested a metal splint but I didn't want to wear anything like that so I bought a large size finger support. With the finger support, I am able to use my finger somewhat. (You can see my nifty little finger support in my blog header photo.)The swelling has gone done some now, so my large finger support is almost too big. Oh well!

Here is a picture of it from just a few days ago, three weeks after it happened. Please excuse my ugly hands! lol. I think all my fingers are slightly bent from riding horses and holding the reins.You can see that it's still swollen and slightly bent up at the joint. There is redness on the inside right of the joint, and a lumpy area. I took this picture today. Does this look like a fracture? I can bend it enough to use it but it's still very stiff. Either I jammed it or I fractured it, it doesn't really matter. I just don't know if it's ever going to be as good as it was.

This is a perfect example of how horses ARE dangerous and unpredictable. Nadia is my little angel who would never intentionally hurt me ever!

Another day, when I had all my horses turned out together in the arena, I walked down and sat on the log to watch them run around. The four of them ran around for a little while and then Annie walked up to me and stood, wanting to be loved on.

When she is in her pen, we have a game. I sit on the rails and she walks up next to them. I'll slide over onto her back and we'll go walking around the pen in circles and figure eights, whatever she wants to do. Then she comes back to the rail and I get off. We'll do this over and over.

On this day, she stood next to the log so I decided to climb aboard. I have never ridden her like this in the arena. In fact, when I ride her fully tacked up in saddle and bridle, she tends to shy and try to bolt from the outside corners of the arena. She thinks there are always spooks in the grass and the neighborhood is terrifying whenever I am riding her. Really, I think she just likes to play 'shying' games with me. Whatever, I never had the nerve to try riding her with no control before. On this day, I figured the worst thing that could happen is I would make a flying dismount.

So, with Annie contentedly standing next to the log, I scrambled on. I had to jockey for position because she still stood too high for me to just throw a leg over. I worried that my activity would upset her and cause her to run. I shouldn't have been afraid because as soon as I was on her back, she just moseyed around: grazing, licking and chewing the mineral block, nursing Yalla!, and wandering around. Over and over, Yalla! ran up to us and passed us. But Annie kept her head low and stayed relaxed. After fifteen or twenty minutes, she still hadn't wandered back to the log or near enough to any fences for me to dismount so I when she stopped for a minute, I slid off her back.

I was so happy and proud of her! This mare has had so many changes over the past year. She has been a great mom to Yalla! and I trust her so much more than I ever thought possible. She is still high strung, always will be, but she trusts me now too.

Pull on your finger - song: Rock 'n Roll Suicide, artist: DAvid Bowie, album: TRAFOZSATSFM

Friday, September 18, 2009

Join the gang

After the rains stopped and the arena dried out a little, I decided to turn everybody out for a while to get them away from their soupy pens. The first thing Scout did was roll! I missed getting his picture but you can see how dirty he is. It was fun watching their interaction as a herd. If you look under Nadia's belly you can see Annie and Yalla!Mom and baby share a mineral block.Scout and Nadia are best buddies.Here, notice that Annie is pinning her ears at Nadia. I wonder why she's telling her off? Probably, just because she can.Nadia decides to take it out on Yalla! Not really, but she is asserting herself while she can. I think Yalla! will grow up to be an alpha mare just like her mother.
Annie rolled and rolled. Yalla! must be wondering what she's doing. While Mom rolled, Yalla! and Scout exchange small talk.Annie must have gotten up and told Yalla! "Yalla!" (let's go!) I love how she is following Annie and Scout is just watching like, "what's the big deal? We were only talking."
Then Nadia had to roll too! So much for all my clean horses!
Yalla! ran around as if to say, "doesn't anyone want to play?""I wonder what's over here?"I've only ever seen Yalla! roll once so she was the only clean one left. However, she's so dark, she doesn't show dirt anyway. Notice how her legs are getting blacker and blacker. And she's getting so fuzzy from our cold nights. It looks like her winter coat is going to be brown. She still has that "F" on her forehead. I hope she keeps it.

Join the Gang - song: Join the gang, artist: David Bowie, album: Deram Songs

Sit in the garden- part 2

This summer my neighbor and I planted a garden. See here for previous story. In the beginning, I was picking romaine lettuce daily. Then the jalapenos started ripening. Boy, are they hot! I have a recipe for jalapeno poppers that I love. Wearing plastic gloves, I cut the jalapenos in half, lengthwise. Take ALL the seeds out and fill the little "boats" with a mixture of half cream cheese and half grated mozzarella cheese. Bake in 350 oven until the tops are very lightly browned, about 10 to 15 minutes, I think. I always forget to actually time it. sorry! The cheese eases the burn and boy are they good! These guys are really hot! One time I touched the insides of them with my bare hands when I was cleaning them. Then I washed my hands really good. About an hour later, I touched my nose and my nose went numb!I have been getting baseball bat sized zucchini. I like to deep fry it. Easy recipe- make pancake batter, add a little garlic and onion powder, dip slices of zucchini, and deep fry until lightly browned. Serve with marinara sauce (spaghetti sauce) or ranch dressing.

I have been picking onions, peas, yellow squash, chilies, jalapenos, garlic, and LOTS of tomatoes! I've also had green peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, and corn.

I declare that our garden is a success!

Sit in the garden - song: If there is something, artist: Tin Machine coveringRoxy Music, album: Tin Machine

Monday, September 14, 2009

Oh you Pretty Thing

My baby is growing up! Yalla! is now three months old! Annie now allows Scout and Nadia to mingle with Yalla! freely. No more standing in the middle of the arena while Annie and Yalla! run and wander around them. Notice Yalla! behind Nadia? That must be what it looked like when Nadia had a foal, many years ago.Here's Annie and Yalla! This is one of my favorite pictures of them together.
Of course, Yalla! is still full of energy. The first photo below was taken about two weeks ago. Notice the coloring changes in the next photo which was taken a few days ago.

I also gave her a lesson in leading. She readily took the halter when I brought it up to her nose and pulled it up and over her poll and then buckled the poll strap. She doesn't like things coming up over her eyes, I've noticed.
She is leading very well. She still stops quite often but she willingly walks forward again. I am working on leading her from either side. The halter that I thought would never fit her is now on it's last hole. I need to buy a yearling halter that I'm sure is going to be too big. lol.
I love giving her big body hugs and she loves getting them. She is so fuzzy now that I can leave a handprint in her fur. When I rub her neck and body, I see little white hairs fall out. Interesting! Is that the baby coat coming out, I hope?

Oh you Pretty Thing - song: Pretty Thing, artist: Tin Machine, album Tin Machine

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Sunday (9/13/09 Mechanical Things)

This week's Sunday Stills is about motorized vehicles that run on fuel and can take two or more passengers. I decided to revisit one of my road trips and include some specific photos.

Two years ago, my family drove to San Francisco. We had a lot of fun and saw so many things! Anyway, I want to share some of the mechanical, traveling 'things' I saw along the way.

I loved seeing the trolley cars go up and down the San Francisco streets with their ding, ding, ding.

Aren't the crates colorful on this freighter? That's a pretty, full load! Isn't this a cute little pickup?I found this boat interesting because it was named after a Chuck Berry song. It's on display at Monterey Bay. I wondered why it was there. After a little research, I found this history. Scroll down the page for a photo of the Anthony Boy being built. She was built in 1966 at the Monterey Boat Works. There's more to this little boat too, see this little story. We drove into northern California and right through a tree! We had to fold in the side mirrors to make sure that we'd fit.

Look for my little smiling Buddha dog in the middle of the car in this next photo. Can you see him?Along the way, we saw old, old cars and trucks for saleand some just going places. I wonder if it still runs...We saw lots of semi trucks along the road.Some people chose to see America on motorcycles.We saw a classic car in front of this Farmer's Insurance agent's office.This is a statue in the ghost town of Rhyolite, Nevada. It's not motorized but it is rather interesting. There is also a bottle house and lots of outdoor art. Notice the colorful couch in the background. It's made of tiles. If you're ever in the area, I'd recommend having a look-see around town, or what's left of it. Near Las Vegas, Nevada, we passed this little place with lots of fun 'toys' for sale.We saw this ship of the desert but it doesn't run. It takes...your money.We tried to photograph a Hummer Limosine but they are very camera shy. This regular limo was the best I could get. It was 96 degrees driving down the Strip on that August night, but oh, so pretty!Here's a double decker tour bus in front of the Mirage hotel.Oh yeah, we saw lots of trains too. We even saw airplanes because my daughter flew home mid trip for work obligations.

I could go on and on but I think that's enough for now. If you want to see more sunday stills, please visit here.

Sunday - song: sunday, artist: David Bowie, album: Heathen