Friday, May 30, 2014

Gypsy, the Blonde Girl

Gypsy is the first horse that made me fall in love with horses.  I still have a special love for her because of that.  She has been the most time consuming horse for me to deal with since the four arrived, and even with all the work involved, I still adore her.  

Luckily, she gives me daily laughs to offset all the work involved.  She is truly a "blonde" in the classic sense.  The other day she went her own way, got separated from the herd (which happens all day long) and then starting yelling for them because she is spoiled and lazy and figures others should always do the work instead of her.  They all come running and she settles down immediately because she is "with her herd again".  
Never mind that there is an electric fence between them and there is no way for her to get close to them without going all the way around and through the back pasture and then through the yard.  She is with her herd, so life is good.  Ignorance truly is bliss sometimes!

Later that same day, after a half hour chat about respecting personal space boundaries, she wanted to come inside with me.  She was quite pouty that I said no.  Well, the white fluffy thing goes in there!  So why can't I?
A bit later I hear something thumping up against the house and poke my head out to see this:
Because if there is fun to be had, then Hanovi is going to get in on it.  He is such a good boy that all I had to do was say go on, Hanovi, and he ran off.  But the dear blonde one was still there a half hour later when I peeked out.
She is persistent! I'll give her that much!  Gotta love that Gypsy girl!  If she figures out how to get up the steps and open the door, I'm gonna need a new game plan!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Atlas Joins Our Family

Nathan has wanted a big dog for a long time now.  He really liked German Shepherds, Labs or Dobermans.  Auburn tried to talk him into rescuing a Doberman from her work, but it just didn't feel like the right fit to him.  Then her work got a German Shepherd puppy in that needed rescued and he went to look at him.  He mostly went to humor her, all the while telling me that it wasn't a good time to take on another animal right now.  After meeting him, he wanted him.  I went to meet him the next day, not really interested one way or the other.  Auburn brought him out of the kennel and I was in love by the time they reached me.
Meet the newest member of our family: Atlas!
He is a really exceptional dog!  I have informed Ava that she will really have to step up her game now that he has arrived!  He is still a puppy but so well behaved and so calm and so smart.  He stinks, he sheds like mad and he is way too big for our house but we still are glad he is here!  He just fits our family.

We had this beautiful double rainbow when we got home with him, which I thought was a nice welcome:
I wish I could say that is ALL when it comes to animals, but we already know we have three more coming.  Then I hope that is ALL! 

Chevy Update and Savannah's Ears

My Mom asked if I was losing my interest/love for Chevy because she didn't hear me talk about him and working with him so much since he arrived.  I assured her my love and interest and working with him is as strong as ever.  

I don't talk about him quite as much because he is the one I know the best, and right now I'm working hard to get to know the other three as well as I know him.  So I'm fascinated by all I am learning there and sharing that.

A quick update on the rock star: he is doing great!  Since I have three other horses out in the pasture and don't have space set up yet to work one on one with him, much of our interaction is out in the pasture or our yard with the three other (sassy) horses.  
Which means he has been exposed to lots of carrot stick waving, strings in the air, driving, tagging, big energy and horses reacting to it in sometimes stubborn and dramarific ways.  

All of which has been wonderful for him.  So much so that he has decided to start acting like the other (sassy) horses!  Which is fabulous!!!!  Whatever they do, he is right there wanting to do it too now.  Even when Nathan is out there, which is huge!
When I went to let them out of their feeding stalls today, he decided to see if he gets special privileges because he is after all my Chevy Chev, and I took the carrot stick and drove him back.  His response was to nonchalantly move one foot at a time as slowly as possible until I stopped.  I'm so proud of his progress and love seeing him transition in some big ways for him. 

I still adore him as much as ever and daily tell Nathan that I get choked up when I see him "right here".  It is one of the neatest things ever to me and I don't see me ever tiring of it, or him.

Savannah, his buddy, is doing great too.  She still has this thing with wanting to pin her ears as her default mode sometimes.
The good news is, as soon as I address it, she is quick to remember that we like nice and friendly ears here, just like at the sanctuary!
She is also a great one to ask me questions...what?  Is it the ears????
Yes, the ears Miss Vannah! problem!  I can do that!
Much better!  She is a gorgeous girl when she is soft and friendly!  You can see why Chevy is smitten with her, right?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Weekend and More

Memorial Weekend was full of company and work and fun for us.  We had a very special visitor when Jen Hall, a Parelli instructor, drove down from Orlando to meet us.  She gave Nathan and I an awesome session, which I was not expecting but gratefully soaked up and learned tons from!  We met Jen when we went to the Parelli tour stop in Kentucky.

My SIL Katee asked her if we could come back and meet her horses and she graciously said yes.  
She is so much fun to be around.  I laughed when she said something about me having the same personality as her and said, nope, and said what I was instead and she said, "You sure?"  I told her that I was definitely sure.  I thought after she left that it is just she was so inspiring, she had me keyed up on her energy and exuberance level!

It was so neat to get to know her better and I trust it will be an ongoing relationship because she rocks both as a person and as an instructor!

My mom also visited us, because she has been worried about my physical state of being, and has been coming to help me to do some of the tasks here.  Which is super sweet.  I took pictures of her but she thought she was hot and sweaty and not camera ready, so I won't share them.  We got all of the living room and reading room painted which was wonderful!  Thanks, Mom!

Austin, Brittany and Ryan came and ate dinner with us and then we had some family fun together.  We had a very silly game where Nathan cracked us up all night long.
We are definitely entering the rainy season, which meant we did not get to do a bonfire when everyone was here, but hopefully we get a chance soon.  I am glad we are entering the rainy season, because that means I can hopefully keep the horses on grass and not have to do hay at all.  The storm clouds look quite nasty out here and the wind is pretty fierce too.
Although I still don't like having a house, I do love where we live.  It's so peaceful and I am enjoying our property a lot!  Most of all, I love that I can spend time with my family like we did this weekend!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sunrise With the Fab Four

Little by little we are settling in and finding our groove.  My groove mostly centers around the horses, of course.  Much of that is the work that goes along with the horses and clearing the yard so the grass is able to be used fully by them.  Some of this feels like having toddlers again because there is the daily care of feeding them and then cleaning up after them.  Meaning I spend hours and hours scooping poop.  Because it is hot here already, I have been trying to get up and outside earlier and earlier so I don't get as dehydrated and over heated.  This morning, Nathan woke me up before 6 am so I went ahead and got up and was outside by 6:10.  It was nice and cool and I got to watch the sunrise with the fab four.
 Chevy and Savannah played it cool and barely glanced at me.  Gypsy and Hanovi don't know how to play it cool and came to see me right away.
Good morning Gypsy girl!  How are you this morning?
I would be flattered, but she is mostly looking for treats.  She's a bit pushy!
Hanovi tries to get equal attention.  He is not so pushy, so he tries the subtle approach.
I know what he wants: friendly game with the carrot stick.  The nasty bite mark is compliments of Chevy.
Gypsy girl decides if no treats are around, then she doesn't need to be either.  Which is just fine with Hanovi, who loves one on one attention.
What a lovely way to start the day.  
Now if only I could get out here every day before 7 am!  

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

It's a Bird, It's a Plane....

or maybe it's just the neighbor, riding his horse Peanut.  This was the Fab Four last night, forming a captive audience for the show they were providing for us.
It made for nice entertainment for me also, since I was out there scooping and raking the yard.  I know I'm biased, but aren't they a great looking bunch?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day

We had a different kind of a Mother's Day than I've had for the past few years.  But it was very typical of the time period when I had five kids still living at home with us.  So it felt "normal" to me.  It started with me making breakfast with a nice view.
After breakfast, it was outside to do clearing the back pasture and fencing the front pasture.  It was hot outside, so we took lots of water breaks.  I stopped to make lasagna and a cake.  I saw then that the girls and Daniel had sent me the nicest texts wishing me a nice Mother's Day.  It made my day to see that after working so hard all morning.  

Then Austin joined us and gave me the Mother's Day gift I asked Nathan for.  He helped put up the fence posts.
He also brought me a card and flowers.  How sweet is he?
The guys finished up all the posts.  So the only thing left at that point was the wiring and electric box.  We will go back later and put up the permanent fencing.  Auburn came home and surprised me.  She brought me a sweet card and a beautiful flowering bush to plant outside.  It was even purple!  I was really beaming at this point.
The horses just hung out front, relaxing and eating the grass.
It is a wonderful thing to see Chevy hanging out near the guys while they are working and making all kinds of noise.  When he first arrived, he ran away from Nathan when he saw him.  He has decided he is ok at this point and barely glances at him.  Don't get me wrong: he still keeps one (or two) eye/s on me to make sure I am still around.  
It is still huge progress though!  And of course our town mayor is supervising things from her perch:
Surrounded by love, what more could I want for Mother's Day? It was a good day!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Horses in My Yard!

We are settling in more and more, and so are the horses.  It is getting very hot here, so I head out to do pasture work around 7 am now.  I have plenty of help while I am out there.  Usually from Gypsy and Savannah.  Actually, I think Gypsy is looking for treats or back scratching.  Still, she keeps me company so I'm not complaining.
Even though I really didn't want to let the horses out in the front until we finished the fencing, due to a lack of rain and big appetites that became impossible this week.  We opened the gate and they just stood there until I drove them out.

They didn't know quite what to think when they first came out and saw there was a lot more space and a lot more grass.  They ran and ran across the pasture, kicking up their heels as they went.  Then they saw there was grass-lots of grass-and got busy on it right away.  Here they are hanging out near Peanut, our neighbor's horse.
I said from the get go, that I didn't want the horses in our "yard".  Other people who shall remain nameless laughed at me.  But really, I just didn't want them in the little bit of space we have claimed as our yard.  That lasted all of two and a half weeks.  They are in our yard.  While I am not enjoying the packages they are depositing in my yard, it is really neat having them so close to us.
Of course, some modifications had to be made.
But I was outside with them all week long and think it's rather nice now that I've adjusted.  Chevy thinks it's pretty cool that he can really hang out with me now.  I was reading a book during my lunch break and he decided we should still eat lunch together.
They are all being exposed to new things and doing well with them.
And now that Ava has figured out that the horses really do belong here, they are a constant source of entertainment for her.  She barks when she can't see them now.  
I think I will we will all miss them when they move to their pasture!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Front Fencing is in the Works!

Nathan started the front fencing this past weekend and has worked every spare minute he has on it.  Since he is working alone so far, it is taking a long time.  What he has done so far, looks great though!
I am so touched by how hard he is working to make the horses space as great as we can.
He is also working on his horsemanship and helping me maintain consistency with the horses.  He is going great!
I think he is getting rather attached to the horses now that he can spend time with them too.  I have the fun job of clearing/scooping the pasture.  Which means I get to see really sweet moments like this:
You will have to excuse the lousy quality of my pictures.  My cell phone is about the only camera I have in my hands these days.  My other cameras are just not horse pasture friendly enough.  Some day I will get out just to get some nice pictures of them though!