Monday, April 25, 2016

Cracker Jack

Twenty years ago I brought this little fellow into the world, I knew the mare I had leased was pregnant only 2 months earlier. What was I going to do with this little colt? Cracker Jack.
         He was orphaned at 6 -7 weeks old and I brought home a young standardbred filly who basically raised him. I sent her off for training and found her a home when he was about 8-9 months old, at which time Maverick came home, a sick, run down 9 yr old Standardbred stallion, but Cracker could chase him away from food even then, they spent the next 14 years together. Cracker Jack was always the winner at the food pile.
        After imprinting him at birth Cracker had basic Natural Horsemanship type training in ground manners, he learned being tied, trailer loading and standing for farrier.
      When he was 3 1/2 years old I took him to a colt starting clinic at Piper Ridge Farm, his education had begun! After that I boarded him for a month or more each year so he wouldn't become home bound. We also continued his training with Parelli weekends, for 2 years. I became unable to ride due to my knees and I didn't want his life to waste away without any form of enrichment, so when he was 12 or so I decided to try to lease him out, first to a trail rider and I checked up on him frequently. One day I saw a wound on his leg and pointed it out to the leasor, a couple days later I went to check on him and found he was very sick with pus running out of a swollen leg and he had a high fever and wasn't moving, the leasor had thrown him in a stall but not called a vet. I called a friend who had a truck and trailer and she helped me go get him, I stayed up all night soaking his leg in betadine and Epsom salts and had the vet out first thing in the morning. Cracker was lucky, he was so close to being permanently lame from the injury, but he recovered fully.
          I then leased him out to a dressage rider, she got him to shows where he proved a good student and ended up moving up a class at each show and pinning  first or second too.
         Unfortunately they never formed a bond and a couple years later  he developed Lyme and lameness, I went to her farm to give him doxy twice a day and saw some improvement but she refused to continue to treat him, he came home, Cracker took his Doxy quite well for 6 weeks and once again had a full recovery.
 The following spring I found , through the friend who helped me rescue him from his first failed lease, another lease, this was a young girl in 4-H , in a horsey family. Wow has it been almost 4 years! Cracker found a girl to love him, and though they had some work to do to become partners, she stuck with him and now I think they are enjoying the rewards.
   I really enjoy seeing the videos and pictures of them together, after so many years of raising , training and protecting him, when I couldn't ride, and wanting him to have a life with more enrichment, I'm glad he has someone who loves him and can enjoy riding and doing things with him. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

A long hard winter at a Dog and Pony place

The Ponies breaking trail after the first of 2 Blizzards

The storms just keep rolling in during the coldest February ever, but on a cold still night the moon casts a glow over my little yellow house, far from the highway, tucked away like a good nights sleep.
I'm not fond of holding on to things, forever gone.
But God would you keep, this one thing for me?
A little yellow house, far from the highway,
Tucked away like a good nights sleep.
-Michael Martin Murphy

My beautiful Savvy, not quite ready for prime time, she's waiting for me to get there with her

And the snow came tumbling down!

I wonder when the trailer will make it out the driveway?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Changes and rearranging down on the farm

             October found things on the farm needed changeing.
    One afternoon I realized Susie was dragging her hind legs, a visit from the Vet and a heavey course of worming and anti-inflamatories, pain med and vitamin injections and she slowly recovered from deer meningeal worm.
     After 4 years with Ella I realized she was just too much horse for me, I had so much time, money and emotional stress invested in getting her healthy and trained to drive but the realization I was never going to drive her because she was just too strong and powerful and I felt like I just couldn't keep up with her.
I had been trying to find her a person of her own, and finally reached out to everyone i could think of for help.  I realized the worst thing I ever did was to trade my precious pony for her, and that If I ever owned a horse again I was going back to miniatures, and needed to find healthy trained ones with the fewest number of owners previous to me, the total opposite of all  I have done before. Everything with Ella ended very sadly and I learned yet again that I am not good at reading people.
       As we entered winter in late november I  became acutely aware that I may not be a good goat farmer, I really didn't like keeping a buck. and after giving him a couple opportunities with Dolly and a couple weeks later both Dolly and Sue he turned really nasty and started ramming me knocking me down, later a fall at work and my knees were in so much pain I couldn't take it. He found another herd to join. Dolly appears to be pregnant, Susie I'm not sure. Dolly still causes an uproar at every feeding racing around ramming everybody and it's particularly hard on Dharma. Dharma and Dougie got sheared, I love their kid mohair quality fleece and I took it to be proccessed into yarn, I must learn to crochet as I want a scarf or shawl and hat from it. 
     With Ella re-homed I really did miss having a horse, and brought home an adorable little Palomino mini.

 As adorable as Jasper is he is so small, and really hates the goats as it turns out, he is quite unwilling to share the pasture with them. Then I came across a mini who seems to be exactly what I wanted, well trained to drive, a large mini gelding, but I am back to a bay horse,of course I have always loved a bay, and this little guy has a carriage horse build in miniature, sweet and easy going he will stand as long as necessary for harnessing. I fell in Love!
    I really do like how easy mini's are to keep, easy to clean, my hay is down to half of what it was last year, even with all the goats waste, shavings are a quarter of what I used for one horse,they don't punch up the ground any where near as much, I am never worried they are too powerful for me, they have sweet gentle personalities and  I still have a horse I can drive, and a cart that's truly easy to get in and out of, I'm sold! The really neat thing is Vision (honestly I think he will get a nickname soon) is totally trained to drive single and double and I am dreaming of driving a pair, Totally!
                      The Collies are well, although we all have cabin fever from this miserable cold nasty winter, Roma is still happy and active though arthritic, Savi and Ripple have so much joie de vivre that they keep all of us entertained, and Derby, Halle and even Inca playing along with them!

        Spring, Spring we await your arrival!! Please come early!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Welcome Wild Wind Hylights Savoir Faire

snuggle bug
Ripple plays with Savi
That sweet Face!

I brought home another bundle of Joy!
Many thanks to Shelley Bergstrasser of Wild Wind Collies for my "Savi" girl!
Ch C & J White Tie and Tails X BISS RBIS Gold GrCh Bit O Heaven's Sorceress CD RA PT
2 or more years ago I contacted Shelley, I had Roma from Michelle Tennis, Roma's dam was Ch WildWind On a Stormy Night CD, and I wanted to see if I could be wait listed for a puppy from Tegan (bred by Michelle Tennis, and now a Wild Wind member)  Roma was 10 then and I wanted another puppy with a similiar heritage.
    Tegan had complications with her next litter,and I lost my sweet Keyna after she was diagnosed with Lymphooma, needing a  connection to my sweet
  Keyna I brought home her cousin
                                           Ripple. So when Shelley announced the puppies were born and I saw who she 
puppy class
 had chosen as the sire, I tried to tell myself not to get excited, I had enough dogs, I had Ripple who  I am sure is going to be a fantastic performance dog, and will be shown in the breed ring. That worked until the day the litter was 7 weeks old and Shelley contacted me to see if I was still interested!!
I adore her already, such confidence, such sweetness, I just keep picking her up to hold her...
Ripple also adores her, and she now has an active playmate, and the old dogs are very Happy Ripple has a younger playmate!

Ready to start Perch Training
In the Pasture with Roma

Monday, July 29, 2013

Goats! and more Goats!

 I ended up with deposits on goats from 2 different states! Now I have to figure out how to get them home!
The little PCA doeling on the left is Dharma, I have wanted her since I first saw her, I waited and they only had 2 more Pygora does born and they both were very ligh colored, I so wanted reds and browns, so I am going to get both of these kids, the boy with the white spot on his head is wethered.
   But I was looking for a PBA  buck to breed Mocha this fall/winter, I wanted a heavy Pygora (more than 50% Angora)who had been disbudded (no horns)  Alas I found him!

 He is coming with 2 Pygora does who are Caramel and over 60% Angora. I can't wait to bring them home!
Fencing, fencing, fencing!!!!

I will have 3 does to breed this fall/winter, and so much Pygora fiber! I better start taking those classes so I can use it!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Every farm needs a cat......

I met someone back in May who's cat had just had kittens, she wanted homes immediately, I gave her my number and told her to text me if there was an orange long haired one, never heard from her and had pretty much forgotten all about it. Then I received a text telling me I had to get my kitten by 3 that day. So welcome Tuuka Rask-al!

 It is going to take some time to integrate her into the house, she came with fleas and worms and weighing 1 lb 3 ounces. The fleas and worms have been dealt with and she is eating very well, Orijen dry and Stella and Chewey's freeze dried, gaining weight and slowly meeting the dogs. Inca and Ripple will take some time to learn how to be gentle.