2.14.2019

clicks from pink week

Pink Week

pink

#tinted #fog #february #wisconsin #wintermeetspring #mybackyard

soft pink
Catching up #February #challenge is #hard...not a #pinkperson.
I was going to skip this week, when I saw this #sunrise #wraparound #west
Imagine what it looked like to the East!! #mybackyard #nofilter


pop of pink

Decided to #brush #sydney and found #pink
#itworks #cat #catsofinstagram #nofilter

from the corner

Taken from the corner of our deck, looking up at the corner of the roof
#babyicicles #nopink

lined up

#linedup #pinkheart #stuckindoors #nofilter

classic
#brio #trains dumped its load & left the #train station,
see #reflection #imagination #useyourimagination #nopink
Should have set up the tracks indoors, it’s negative degrees outside! Brrrio!! 
#trainset is over 30 yrs old & outlasted three kids. 
Now the little grands play with it when they visit. 
Their favorite part is the wooden train whistle 😳🙉🤪

accent

Sunny #cold #winter mornings bring #wildlife
out seeking warmth from the sun
#coyote #february #wisconsin #nofilter #nopink


More Clicks per Day

2.06.2019

pasture feeder

We finally chose a pasture feeder that we think will best fit our horses & set-up. Our main priority, besides safety, was finding one that would keep hay off our sandy soil. We also wanted the option to use a slow feed net with it. Many feeders do both but it was harder to find a covered feeder, to block some of the elements. 

This Farmco feeder seemed the sturdiest, and loads from the side instead of the end:



It sure would have come in handy with the crazy winter we are having. Unfortunately they don't sell them anywhere near us, and they also don't stock them. We are waiting on their manufacturing schedule. Nothing is easy, or fast!! We will just enjoy it all the more whenever it does make it's way to us, especially our horses. The next time I post about a feeder, I hope there will be three horses eating from it!!!

In the meantime here is a pic from yesterday of our two big bad appaloosas huddled in the shed, while our older girl munches away peacefully...


L-R (Harmony, Koda, Nemo)

2.05.2019

where did this girl go?

When Koda & Nemo were three, after 90 days of formal training, they came home to continue growing up. They lived by us at our previous house, across a couple large fields at what used to be Brad's family farm. Some of you may remember those days...grab a cup of your favorite beverage, this is a long one...

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Repost from September 2010:


Titled: rodeo anyone?

Today started out peaceful.


Nemo eating breakfast in the sun

















I was finally able to spend some time with our horses. This past week between work, we had the farrier out, rain, appointments, rain, hockey board meeting, rained out football game,  rescheduled football game, rain, sick yesterday - but today, was a good day to ride! It had been a whole week. By the time we could get out, it started to rain. We didn't care, we did a warm-up lunge in the rain anyways - and then we all took cover until it ended. So the beginning of today's lesson was, how to take cover and remain calm in rain and thunder with your human :) Koda, Nemo, and Harmony passed with flying colors. Three horses and two humans in half a walk-in is pretty cozy. Shortly after the rain stopped, and we headed out on the trail.

Koda was on fast-forwarded, unusual for him. We tackled "the corner" before Brad and Nemo reached us. Koda circled, I thought "here we go...no we don't" and we did, walk on. 

It has become clear that the gravel/rocks are really what is bothering Koda's feet, and causing the ouchy-tripping. We walk on grass whenever possible, but sometime you have to cross on gravel/rocks. I feel terrible that it bothers him. He still does his occasional lazy-itis trip in the grass, but that is different. Regardless, Koda was on forward march the entire ride. When we got back to the gravel, it was back to "stumbling". I talked to the farrier about it, he said his feet are rock solid. Shoes would help, but he really doesn't need them...

Unfortunately, sudden mosquitoes came out in force and kept us all on our toes. As usual, after our trail ride we headed down the road. Before we got to the highway, Koda balked at a small piece of white paper - like it was something. Not the norm. We rounded the corner onto the grassy wide-area along the highway, and...both horses did not want to cross the muddy culvert area today. We were both busy trying to get our horses across. Koda did his usual backing, and that's when the show started.

The mud was a long strip but only 12-ish" wide, and leads into a culvert that is huge with a white insert. Water drains into it, with the recent rain there was standing water in it.  The surrounding ground was mushy. Really, the culvert is a good thing. It takes water away from the field, and the pasture. Try convincing a horse.

Koda backed, I moved him forward. He chose to keep backing. I chose to correct him - but instead he scooted and the loose end of the rein slipped to the wrong side. I tried to get the rein back to the correct side (so I wouldn't drop it, if it came to that) and move him forward. Okay then, we'll do some circle work here instead and the mud strip won't seem so bad. He zigged. I zagged - and WHOA, I almost fell off! Thank god I was on a western saddle and not english, I was almost side-ways going down slo-mo when I grabbed the horn, and pulled myself up - as we spun in a circle. By then the cars on the highway slowed to watch, the two resident girls had run to the end of their driveway to watch, and Nemo and Brad were behind us watching the whole thing (which went on for a while). It was all surreal. Brad chuckled and said "next time you decide to put on a show and ride in a rodeo, charge admission" Ha ha, very funny.  No, Koda didn't offer to buck - but he just about spun me off. I know that wasn't what he was trying to do. I just lost my balance. What happened immediately after, made me very proud of my boy. Koda responded and moved forward, he marched right over that mud strip without so much as a quiver. Thanks buddy, for trusting me. 

Nemo said "okay, I'll go too" - and we rode on. I'm pretty sure I lit up that highway. So bright that I scared some birds, they suddenly squawked and flew up right out of the corn a foot away from us and spooked Koda. I swear we jumped three feet sideways. The rest of the ride was smooth sailing. We not only walked right over that mud strip on the way back, but the insignificant white paper too. Koda earned HUGE praise for trusting me. He made my day. I love my horse. Today ended peaceful.

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Where did this girl go?? The girl, from a post written 8 years ago...where is she? The one who wanted her own horse, her whole entire life, but couldn't afford one. As a little girl she wished and dreamed, rode other horses whenever the opportunity came up, grew up and got busy with life. The desire never went away, and she started taking lessons and spent summer vacations riding the Colorado mountain sides with family and friends. She turned down owning a horse she loved and schooled with for several years.

Finally, at the age of 46 her husband made her dreams come true and she chose Koda. If I ever only got *one horse* in my lifetime, it would him. The doe-eyed bay boy with Fabio hair, that is full of personality. Not always the ideal kind. Kinda like me.


Is that girl still inside me, or gone forever?? 
I remember that "rodeo day" like it was yesterday. Fear had already reared it's ugly head by then, but I seemed to overcome it. I know I am older and literally broken now, in more then one body part - but I never would have let that get in my way in the past. 

Breath, sing, work with a trainer, do more ground work, get out of your head, stay calm, be confident, get a different horse, catch it before it gets big, redirect their behavior...while all those things certainly do help, the fear imbedded deep inside remains. No matter what. It is raw and it is real, and has absolutely *nothing* to do with Koda. It has to do with me. When horses "get big", any horse, especially on the ground, or in the saddle, doesn't matter, they scare the crap outta me. There I said it out loud!! 


Just for the record, nothing bad has recently happened. With all the indoor frigid weather I've had excess time to think, more then the usual. That's a scary thought! Because I already think waay too much about e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. I can't help it. It is how I am wired. They forgot to install an off switch in my head :) You play with the cards you are dealt. My cards are complicated. I wouldn't have it any other way, but that does leaves me wondering...where did that girl go? If I knew, I would go find her. Until then, I will keep searching for an older wiser version of her...I've got plenty of opportunities to work on it.


2.04.2019

weathering it

It never ceases to amaze me how much weather impacts our lives, and in so many ways. It profoundly effects the eco-system, work/school, appointments, activities, attire, our bodies, moods and more. 

It's old news that the Midwest got blasted by arctic cold weather last week. It was caused by a polar vortex, the link has a good explanation of what that is. It was actually caused by weakness in the weather pattern. If you don't respect weather, it can be deadly. People and animals, lost their lives. Thankfully, at our place we survived just fine. However, I don't know a soul that isn't glad it's over. 

Our dumper of incorrectly forecasted snow, was followed up by frigid cold. Many places closed prematurely, only to close again for what felt like endless days. This new week brings us warmer temps and rain, on top of melting snow, creating ice. Everywhere. We are still trying to weather it...

We stay stocked up on animal necessities, and try to do the same with human perishables. I don't think I left our property for close to a week, and turned into a cozy hibernating bear. One of the warmer days I went to a (re) rescheduled appointment, and my truck said -27F (air temp). Brrr! I probably should have stayed home that day too.

Our horses did amazing well last week. Most days they waited to go out until afternoon. I think they appreciated the slightly warmer turnout, even if only partial day. They were always happy to be able to come inside. We didn't use any blankets, even on Harmony. She has one, but so far hasn't needed it. Side note: blankets sure became a hot topic on Facebook...!! Our horses tolerated being stalled for two full days without loosing their minds, without any turnout. Those were a couple poopy days!!! They did get to play musical stalls and walk the aisle in-hand. An indoor arena sure would have come in handy!

This is our first winter here, much is being experienced for the first time. We were so thankful our barn stayed above freezing, and that the cold didn't faze our waterers. For us humans and dogs, the heated saloon was soooo welcoming during chores! Speaking of dogs, our grand dogs had a terrible time with the frigid cold. Just being let outside to go potty brought on legs cramps and frozen paws. Poor babies.

I've been preoccupied doing a photo challenge, and haven't been taking many other photos. So I'll just close with an unrelated photo of us out on our sleds the *one day* between frigid cold and rain. It was our first time riding in two years. I was so happy it doesn't bother my torn rotator cuff!! It was a fun afternoon of exploring new trails (to us) that are minutes from our land. Sooo nice just to be outside!!