Follow my journey into the future. I promise it will be full of random rants, travel and other photos, musical musings, especially BOWIE, general chaos, and all my animal family: four horses, three alpacas, three dogs, and three and a half cats.
This week's Sunday Stills challenge is "History- over 60 years old". Gosh, I couldn't make up my mind. There are so many things around me that are historic! I decided to revisit the Pony Express station I stopped at last year during one of my road trips.
Oh, and here's one of my favorite old barn photos. For such an old, decrepit barn in a barren field, doesn't it just look really happy? ;)
I was out in the field the other day, visiting my horses as they grazed, when I decided to ride Scout. I put his bridle on and climbed up, using the nearby gate as a mounting block. I'm just not limber enough to jump up and climb on anymore like I used to and I worry too much about re-injuring my knee.
I used to ride Scout around the field last summer and Nadia would follow us. Or I'd ride Nadia and Scout would follow. Anyway, once I was on Scout's back, Annie decided it was time to take off running away from us, down the field. Sometimes I think she does this as a test- "who's with me?"
Nadia and Yalla! took off after her and Scout became panicked as they disappeared out of view. He danced and wheeled and I was seriously worried about getting unseated. However, I had to wait until he stood still to safely get off... What a predicament! I decided right then and there that he was a spoiled brat and far too herdbound to be safe. Anyway, he stopped to listen for them and I dismounted quickly to the side. Then the girls came running back.
I was angry and walked Scout out of the field and back to the barn leaving the other horses behind. He was stressed and neighed and neighed while Yalla! and Annie neighed back. I decided that I couldn't leave them separated overnight, as much as I wanted to, because the neighbors wouldn't want to hear horse screams all night long, so I waited a couple of hours and brought the girls in.
The next morning, I took Annie and Yalla! out to the field and left Scout and Nadia in the barn. Even though Scout had Nadia and the neighbor horses with him he ran around and screamed endlessly for Annie and Yalla! who ran up and down the field calling back to him. I had to go to work but my daughter took Scout and Nadia out to the field a few hours later. That evening, I went out to visit some really tired horses. Of course, you'd never know it the way they came running over to me. Shame on my daughter for leaving Nadia's and Scout's halters on! She certainly knows better.
And Yalla! had obviously run through a couple of cactus plants. This is her knee. Three of her legs looked like this. Sorry for the blurry photo; she wouldn't stand still. I pulled out one of the thorns from her leg and it spurted and dripped blood. WOW! I couldn't believe how much a little cactus thorn hole bled!
I figured that I'd better get them to the barn before I pulled any more cactus thorns out so that I could dose it with some Wound Kote to cauterize it and stop the bleeding if I needed to. I walked them all in together down the little lane and through the field behind my barn. We've met dogs, campers, and dumpsters on our little walks to and from the barn. Annie walks very lightly on a lead and Scout and Nadia follow behind or off to the sides. I keep Yalla! also on a short lead but she is learning to walk more and more easily. I am always aware of where everybody is and I try to keep Scout and Nadia to the outside with Annie and Yalla! at each arm's length. Everybody walks quite calmly and the only trouble I really have is when we stop (everybody gets tangled up) to open and close gates. Also, Yalla! got rather fidgety once when one of the long lead ropes (Scout or Nadia) got under her tail by accident. And every once in a while, Annie will close in on me and step into my heel by accident, I think I have a nice little bruise forming on the back side of my ankle, because there is one place just outside of the barnyard where Annie and Yalla! don't like my parked flat trailer and sidestepped me.
I always find it interesting how calm my horses get when we walk. Arabians lead like lambs and ride like lions. Someone told me that once and I think it is true. Although, in shows, they get all hyped up. I think they like to act crazy because that is what the crowd wants. My Annie was always extremely calm and well behaved when I took her to the vet's office repeatedly for her breeding a few years ago, even though she'd never been away from the barn previously and it was all strange to her. I remember leading my Thoroughbred mare years ago and it was like a freight train when she wanted to go someplace, walking with my elbow in the shoulder and pulling back on the lead. My Paint, Dude, could yank the lead out of my hands. And yet, Annie can come running up to me at full speed with her head up and then she just drops it when the halter goes on. Shahreen, my half Arabian was just like that. Nadia ponies and leads with almost no control needed. Even Yalla! is fairly light on the lead although she needs to learn "whoa" a little better.
When I walk the four of them together, I feel like the herdmaster. I can even stop them all when I want to, along the way. Scout steals mouthfuls of grass and weeds where he can, but he is willing to pick his head up and keep the pace rather than fighting to graze. See, even he is easy to lead with the Arabian blood, although he needs more active direction, from that Appy and Paint blood.
Anyway, since the horses were tired and I was not happy about Scout's herd anxiety behavior, I decided to ride him. I saddled him up and we rode over to the pasture. I got off at the water pump and intended to take the hose across the lane to fill the water tank when he got all jittery again, not because of the hose, but because he was away from his companions. I nixed the watering plan and tried to get on him. He wouldn't stand still. The neighbor was out walking his dog down the road and as he approached us he picked up the dog. I thanked him and proceeded to turn Scout around in circles until we were both dizzy. Then, when he stood still for a second, I climbed into the stirrup and jumped up quickly. Scout settled a bit and we rode around. He neighed once, back at Yalla!'s constant calling and then seemed to finally remember his manners. For the whole rest of the ride, he kept his mouth shut. We had a really nice ride through all the neighborhood lanes as the sun set and the moon rose. He walked calmly at a nice clip (not too slow or fast) with his head down even though I could feel he was still a little tense. We even trotted and cantered a little. I enjoy riding Scout because he is always alert but he is usually well behaved, like when the turkeys suddenly gobbled as we walked past and he never even flinched. We rode long after the sun went down but the moon was so bright there were shadows on the ground. It was almost 10PM when I finally went inside for the night after settling the horses down for the night.
I am going to keep on working at his herd anxiety because he demonstrates extremely risky behavior at times. I realize that if I ever plan on going trail riding with him, I need to teach him to be a loner. I have spoiled him in recent years by ponying Nadia along with us.
In parting- here's my little whirlwind. Since she has been turned out to pasture for the last couple of weeks, I've noticed that she seems to have grown. She is shed out now and muscling up nicely. She shows lots of spirit and loves to run the long field, still doing circles and figure eights around everybody. It must be her daddy's working cow horse genes ;). She has a wonderful shine to her black/brown coat and her everchanging star on her forehead is now looking more and more like an "f' again, even though I just told my mom I thought it looked more like a feather plume and less like an "f". It's so covered up by her thick forelock it really doesn't matter, I guess. She is also going to school these days. More on that later...
Too tense to be undone - song: Get Real, artist: David Bowie
At the Horse Fair on Saturday, they had a Fine Arts competition. I decided to enter some of my photographs. The subject was animals. I entered these: First thing on Saturday morning I made an online order with Walgreens Photo center to have the first two, Monkey eyes and Giraffe love, made into 8 x 10's and the fourth one, The Finger, into a 5 x 7. The third one, Terra, was already in a 5 x 7 frame on my dresser so I took it as it was. In just an hour my order was ready so I dashed over there, picked up my order, and headed to the Fair.
They allowed me to enter all four.
I got Third Place!! I am thrilled! I had to compete against drawings, paintings, wood crafting, pottery, other photos, wow!
Can you guess which one I placed on? Terra cat! I shouldn't have even bothered getting the other pictures developed! ;)
See these eyes so green - song: Cat People, artist: David Bowie, album: Cat People soundtrack
Saturday was my day for Wildlife West Nature Park, a wildlife preserve just down the road a half dozen or so miles from my house. I went to the Horse Fair and Blacksmithing competition in the daytime and then I went to the Chuckwagon supper later that night with my sister in law and her boyfriend. First, we got to ride in a tractor driven haywagon to the pavilion. Yeehaw!!There was a short lecture on hawks. I missed most of the talk but the smaller one is Peruvian, I believe.We had a bar-b-que dinner with brisket and chicken, beans, baked potato, roll, applesauce, and a cookie. I have to confess that I ate practically all of it since I didn't eat much during the day.FYI, I asked for half a potato. ;)
Next, there was a puppet show. My SIL's boyfriend called it a commercial. lol. They did pass the hats around for a collection towards the park animals' upkeep. As you can see in the background, the sun was setting. The entertainment for the night was a great local band called Syd Masters and the Swing Riders They play "Vintage Cowboy Western Swing". One of their songs, Under New Mexico Skies, is New Mexico's official Cowboy song. I like their song called the Galisteo Highway. Here's a video I found of them performing a fun version of Riders in the Sky which they did for us too. The lead singer comes from Wisconsin originally, so he incorporates yodeling in his singing.
The audience was really having a great time, even the little ones.
On the way out of the park, we saw a deer right next to the sidewalk. It was too dark for a decent photo though. The weather was perfect and the dinner was fun. What a great end to a super day.
Il Mio West - movie: Il Mio West starring David Bowie
Last night, I brought the herd in from the big field because I had soaked some beet pulp and I didn't want it to spoil. When I took Scout and Annie in from the field, Yalla! and Nadia went crazy, running and neighing. I was afraid Yalla! would hurt herself on the barbed wire since she's never been around it before so I hurried the two-in-hand to the barn so that I could go back and bring the other two home before they got hurt.
When I got to the field, Nadia and Yalla! had settled down somewhat so I haltered them and we walked back to the barn. We met up with some dogs which, thankfully, the neighbor called in to the house so they didn't bother us.
I put them in their stalls and even though they had been eating all day long they were neighing for the beet pulp mash. They all love it. I give Annie and Nadia most of it but I give some to Scout and Yalla! too.
After they had eaten, I could tell they were tired and happy to be back at the barn so I gave them hay (??) and said goodnight.
I thought about my walking the pairs to and from the field and decided that I would try to walk all four at once. I've seen lots of photos of stable hands walking four and six broodmares together so I thought, 'yes, I can do it! I will go slow and I'll actually get done faster than if I walk the pairs. It'll be safer too, because they won't be having herd anxiety.'
So, that's what I did. It was very challenging, to say the least, to get started. I haltered each one and kind of threw the rope over the barn doors until I had all of them in the aisle. Then I took Yalla! and Annie by their halters and let Nadia and Scout trail behind at the end of their lead ropes. Once we were through the gate- challenging- and out in the fields we walked pretty well. Once Yalla! balked and then moved right on again when she realized the whole herd wasn't stopping. Another time, Annie gave a little rear which surprised me and I'm not sure why. I was too busy juggling ropes. Most of the time, Nadia's lead rope was across Yalla!s neck and back. Anyway, I have to say that it went better than I really expected. Sorry, no photos, hands were FULL!! i think the hardest part was getting them all into the field and closing the gate. I didn't really want to let anyone go ahead of time with halters and leadropes trailing and I couldn't maneuver them to get close enough to the gate to shut it. Finally, I let Nadia loose and of course, she tried to wander out through the gate, so I had to walk the other three around her and herd her back. Anyway, I got them all in, shut the gate, pulled off their halters as quickly as I could and they calmly walked about ten feet away and began munching. It seems that they know where they are going and are quite willing to forsake grazing along the way to just pleasantly walk along with me.
Tonight, I decided to try it again. Yalla! is walking better, hardly pulling anymore, ahead or behind if i keep a short lead on her, and Annie is very light on the lead as long as I keep the rope short as well. I let Scout trail behind, holding only the end of the rope, and he seems happy to follow right along. Tonight, Nadia led the group part of the time, a full lead rope ahead of Yalla!, me, and Annie, and part of the time walked on the outside of Yalla! to my left. Annie will travel on either side of me and now it seems that Yalla! will too. I am very proud of my little herd and the way I can walk them all together now.
I left them in the barn again tonight and I plan on walking the four of them out together in the morning. Wish me luck!
In hand - song: You Belong in Rock 'n Roll, artist: Tin Machine featuring David Bowie, album: Tin Machine II
As I was thinking about my yearling, Yalla!, and looking at past photos of her, I wanted to share some with you. If you want to, you can go here to revisit her birth. Lisa at LaughingOrcaRanch also has some wonderful posts and thanks to her, I got lots of birth photos. We had quite the adventure, sleeping in the barn every night for a week, to witness the birth. I can't find any search button on her blog but she took wrote some incredible posts about it.
My lights weren't working out in the barn at that time so we watched it all by hand held flashlight. Annie chose to lay down right where we had a perfect view. We worried when we noticed the bag didn't break away from the foal's head but rather at the hind feet so I went over to help. The foal was struggling and snuffling like it was trying to breathe but there was a lot of fluid sloshing around in the bag down by it's nose. I worked hard at the sac to break it open as quickly as I could. It was like a vinyl glove: elastic, wet, and cold. Then I fished around until I found the head and lifted it out of the sac. I was there for the first breaths, holding the warm, wet head. There's nothing like a newborn!
What an experience!
I am also reminded that the winner of my contest to pick the time of birth, sex, and color was Andrea. She's never emailed me her address for her prize. So how about it? Are you still out there, visiting my site once in a while? I still have your prize. Email me!
Happy 1st Birthday to my sweet Yalla! FantastyKheema!!
She is now officially a Yearling! Yay!!!!!
I think Yalla! is on the small side. She stands approximately 12.2hh and weighs about 460 pounds. I'm hoping she'll be a late bloomer. Her hooves and knees still turn out a little. I didn't measure her rump but it sure looks high in this picture!
I believe she is going to stay dark, some sort of bay as far as Arabian coloring goes, which makes me very happy, but she could be a dun or a black bay or even a brown. She still has a lot of fuzz going on; it's those cold nights we always get. It was 42 degrees the other night! You can especially see the line of fuzz on her belly and on her body where she's not shiny. She's funny. She takes after her mother in that eating to her is secondary. She'd much rather look around and follow me around the barn than go eat. Whenever I brush or pet Annie, she'll stop eating, half close her eyes and just melt.
Anyway, Happy Birthday to my Yalla!
One - song: Baby, artist: Iggy Pop and David Bowie, album: The Idiot
Today is Scout's birthday. Let's just say he's over the hill now. Since he's not registered, he'll never age past 12. Right? ;) And he looks and acts like an 8 year old anyway.
The night before he was born, my husband and I heard his mother pacing in her corral. I guess we should have slept outside but we didn't even have a barn yet. Because she seemed so restless, we woke up predawn, about 4:30 and went out to check on her. I saw a falling star on my way out to the corral so I knew it was a special day. There in the darkness we saw a little form standing next to Beighley. He was spunky already, and dry, so we figured he must have been born a few hours earlier. Beighley was only five years old so, as a new mother, she was very protective of her little one. We couldn't even get near him until we caught her. It was such a difference from Annie and Yalla!. Annie was practically asking us for help and I actually broke the sac around Yalla!'s head when she was being born.
Funny thing about Scout's markings, as crazy as they are, they haven't changed much from the day he was born. Because of the falling star, I actually considered calling him Dakota Morning, Kody for short. My husband thought he looked like a Scout so we called him Renegade Scout. Beighley was an Appaloosa Arabian and she was bred to a Paint. An accident? I think everybody hoped for a pinto. Well, he certainly was. But he was also a beautifully blanketed Appaloosa with the sclera on his eyes (one blue) and striped hooves. Since today was his birthday, what better present could I give him than several hundred acres of pasture for grazing? There is a HUGE field about a 1/4 to 1/2 mile from my house depending on whether I walked the fields or the roads. I made a deal with the owner to turn them out during the summer months last year and he was agreeable again this year. Originally, I was only going to turn out Scout and Nadia like I did last year but then I decided that Annie could probably benefit from the grazing and Yalla! would enjoy it too. So, I set up a water tank for them and then walked Nadia and Scout out to the field with halters and lead ropes. I walked them down to the water tank before turning them loose so that they would know where to get water. Then I let them go and they took off running. I went back to the barn and haltered Annie and Yalla! Then I walked Annie and Yalla! together out to the field. I was sort of apprehensive walking the two of them but I didn't know how Yalla! would be by herself either. Annie seemed very calm and relaxed until she recognized Scout and Nadia in the distance. She knew right away where we were going but besides walking with her head way up in the air she was very calm and well behaved. Her daughter wasn't too bad, but she did make a few turns around Annie and I every so often. She never stopped and balked which I was very glad, of in spite of seeing strange things and being further from home than she'd ever been before. She tends to lean in on me sometimes which I don't like so I switched her from the offside to the near side and she walked a little better after that.
When Annie saw Scout and Nadia in the field they saw us too. They took off at a dead run up the field away from us. The neighbor nearest the field was doing yardwork and even stopped to watch them, wondering what got into them, I'm sure. I was hoping they were running for the gate knowing that we were coming, but no! mischievous horses that they are, they ran all the way to the very far end of the field out of sight. 'Great!' I thought. I'm worried about getting these two into the field and now I have to keep them in hand even longer. I did not want to let them loose until we found the other horses. The field is that big! So I managed to open the gate, bring them in, latch the gate, and walk up the field to Nadia and Scout. I should have known she'd head in that direction. It was her favorite grazing area last year.
Finally, we caught up with Nadia and Scout. As we came into view, Scout called and came running up to us with Nadia on his heels. I was relieved that the two horses I was holding were behaving and I undid Yalla!'s halter as fast as I could so she could be free to join Scout without getting me hurt in the middle of everybody. Annie was still being very calm and sweet on the lead even though I could sense how tensed up she was. I undid her halter and the four of them ran around me a few times in their usual pecking order: Annie, Scout, Yalla! and Nadia at the rear. I consider them to be Mom, big brother, and Auntie to Yalla! It's funny, even though Annie is clearly the lead mare, everyone defers to Nadia for guidance in uncertain or stressful times. Nadia decided they would stay in that area to graze, so they did. I watched them a while and I swear by Annie's eyes that she melted with contentment. Yalla! was fascinated. She gazed and walked around, looking at everything. I decided to check back on them in a few hours.
When I came back I brought the camera and took a few photos. They were still happily grazing in the same general area.
I wondered if they'd had any water. Nadia and Scout knew where the water was but I hadn't shown Annie and Yalla! So I haltered up Nadia and began leading her all the way down the field to the water tank. I knew that the others would follow because of that "everybody must obey Annie" but "Nadia knows best" rule. If I had haltered Annie, Nadia might not have come along. The way they drank I knew they hadn't had any water all day. Sometimes, I think Nadia is so forgetful. Can horses have Alzheimers? Scout wouldn't dare lead the herd even though he knew where the water was.
Unfortunately Scout has allergies as you can see from the bumps on his neck. Poor baby!
Is Heaven any Sweeter - song: Blue Jean, artist: David Bowie, album: Tonight