Archive | April, 2013

Back in Harness

29 Apr

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Brief (and shockingly) good weather was a perfect time to put the riding pony back in harness.  She hadn’t been driven in about a year due to being a riding pony that is almost but not quite outgrown.  She would be considered outgrown by many.  However, in Europe kids stay on ponies a long time and in America kids move off ponies quickly.  My daughter does not want to give up the pony she grew up with so she is the last teen we know riding a small pony!   This year it may be harder for this little pony to pack a bigger rider around the show ring so pony goes back in harness.

This is the time of year I start longing for a big riding horse again.  But driving is fun, too.  And we’ve got the pony!

Katie gets another Award

26 Apr

Thank you Bacon at http://piglove.wordpress.com/  for honoring Katie with this award!  I will be back to finish up the post later.  Katie’s busy this morning eating her hay and attempting to crawl under the fence to eat grass.  She’ll be back later!

Here are the new nominees:  I will notify later as one small piece of clip art takes time to give out!  If you see your name you can pick up your prestigious blog award!

http://southfortyrocks.wordpress.com/
http://thecasualphilosopher.wordpress.com/
http://hensandhippolgy.wordpress.com/
http://rodneyssaga.wordpress.com/
http://mellchan.wordpress.com/
http://thecraftycultivator.wordpress.com/
http://windhorseblog.wordpress.com/
http://bensbitterblog.wordpress.com/
http://leafandtwig.wordpress.com/2013/04/27/opening-2/
http://muckingmoms.com/

http://jillaroojess.com/

Hope the sun shines on you today and you find some friendly smiles.

Katie Shares Her Secret For Beautiful Hair

23 Apr

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Katie understands the unique challenges of being a (miniature) horse.

Dear Katie, I am a 16 hand tall off the track Thoroughbred race horse.  I would like to grow hair like yours.  What is your secret?  Signed,  Thinning Mane

Dear Thinning, The trick is to eat lots and lots of grass, treats, hay and you can even eat part of your shed if you want better hair.  The key is to never stop eating and then your hair will grow longer.  It works for me!  Signed, Katie

Katie Prepares for Shedding Season

22 Apr

 

 

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All of this hair has to go somewhere.  Most of it ends up on me!

Two Jumps and a Mariachi Band

21 Apr

DSC08426This weekend I wish I’d taken pictures.  We were down at a 4-H equine contest, and the judging ran into a few issues.  Or the issues almost ran into each other.

The Fair was in full swing during the 4-H judging contest.  Normally that would be a good thing.  But this time it involved Mexican Dancing horses, and the only route from their barn to their dancing place went through the arena where the 4-Hers were attempting the judge a pleasure driving class of four miniature horses and carts.

Mexican dancing horses are big, Iberian and prancy and wear lots of clinking, clanking silver saddlery.  The riders wear large sombreros.  The miniature horses pulling their carts were not enthused about the Mexican dancing horses coming through their class, and the big horses (rightly so) were spooking and showing terror at the sight of any miniature horse, much less one pulling a cart with a human in it.

Chaos ensued.  A mariachi band struck up suddenly behind the back wall of the arena.  Collisions avoided, the class of chaos was completed, the kids moved inside to judge Hunter Hack.

Hunter Hack involves hotter-blooded hunter type horses, two jumps and a hand gallop.  And apparently a mariachi band.  And Mexican dancing horses.  A hand gallop is a controlled gait faster than a canter.  The hand gallops were very fast to say the least.   The horses cleared their jumps at record speed.  There was bucking and spooking and then the judge placed that class.

The last class was miniature horse halter.  This one should be easy and safe.  The minis trot in hand and stand square.  But the Mexican Dancing horses paraded back to their barns and then back to their dancing place endlessly.  And the horses were just as terrified of miniature horses without carts.

The judge gave her reasons, somehow managing to point her megaphone at the ground as she spoke, so even without a loud Mariachi band, it would be impossible to hear.

So that was my weekend.  I hope yours was great!

What Brings People to Read a Blog

19 Apr

For some time I’ve been pondering what draws some, um.. let’s say…NOT family friendly bloggers to hop over and read my tales of horses, farm life, zen, art and rainy weather.

It’s all unicorns and rainbows here.  And fluffy kittens.  The unicorns have pet fluffy kittens.  So do the rainbows.  There’s no innuendo present.  Or past.

I’ve discovered some very cool blogs by seeing who stopped by.  And then there are a few that require brain bleach.   So there you have it.  Whenever I figure this one out, I suspect I won’t want to know.

Katie Understands Writer’s Block

18 Apr

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Katie understands the unique challenges of being a miniature horse.

Dear Katie, I am a 35 inch tall miniature horse.  I would like to write a book.  But I have no idea what to write about.  Or how to write.  What can I do? – signed Writer’s Block

Dear Writer’s Block, the best way to get really good ideas is to escape your fence and go wander around the neighborhood looking for food.  That’s what I do.  If you are lucky, someone will think you’re cute and give you carrots.  Or try to bribe you and catch you with grain.  If not,  you can just eat someone’s garden.  – Katie

Why Is My Lettuce in a Cage?

18 Apr

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That  was the first thing I had to ask upon coming home and finding my lettuce starts inside a pet carrier on the picnic table.

On closer inspection, I saw the decimated plants were mere shadows of their lush, leafy selves.  I had left them peacefully basking on the deck rail in black plastic containers.

Now they were tattered bits of leaf.

“The chickens were eating it.  So we put it in the cage,” my daughter informed me.

“Well, thank you. Couldn’t you have set it in the garden inside the fence?”

“Oh.”

So that’s how my lettuce ended up in a cage.  The lettuce is fine and has been transplanted.  No plants were permanently harmed in the making of this blog post.

Chicken and the Egg

18 Apr

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Having chickens should mean cartons of fresh organic eggs and a steady income from selling them.  However, like most things, reality has a way of intervening in the quest for a picture-perfect existence.

Of our two lovely, off-the ground nest boxes, one is occupied by a pile of broody banty hens on a mound of eggs in various stages of rotting.  The normally mild-mannered hens refuse to leave their pile of eggs, puff up and emit a horrible screech while viciously pecking if you attempt to remove their eggs.

They have no problem rolling the eggs with their beak to rearrange the pile and sometimes give them too vigorous a push so the eggs fly out of the nest box and land in a cracked mess on the coop floor.

This is the state of one nest box.  That leaves a second nest box for the full-sized hens, and it is usually taken up by a particularly large Cuckoo Maran who has the bad habit of pecking a hole in her own egg when she’s done laying.

The addition of on-the floor cardboard nest boxes didn’t lure a single hen.  They prefer to lay in nests inside the potting shed behind the lawnmower, in a thick patch of stinging nettles behind an old flower pot, or in the rhododendrons in front of the house.  We usually discover these nests of 30 + eggs when they have reached the nearly exploding stage.

So, we have about one dozen eggs in the fridge when we should be collecting 14 eggs a day and selling them for big bucks.

Katie Knows You Can’t Put the Cart before the Horse

9 Apr

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Katie understands the unique challenges of being a miniature horse.

Dear Katie, I am a 36 inch tall miniature horse.  I am tired of pulling a cart.  I would like to retire and eat grass.  What can I do?  Signed, Magna Carta

Dear Magna Carta,  It is easy to eat grass while you’re pulling a cart.  Just dive your head down and munch.  If you refuse to move while you are munching grass, then they will get out of the cart.  Eventually they won’t get back in and will decide you are too much trouble.  Then you get to eat grass and retire. – Katie