turnout time

Cierra and Hope's turnout time has become a regular part of our daily barn routine. One that we look forward to. It waits, until Brad and I can turn them out together.

Much has changed and yet stayed the same with Hope. She continues being entertaining with her zoomies, catching air and willy nilly bunny hops. Although some days are quieter.

She still enjoys being scratched, and seeks us out. Yet remains reactive, quickly moving away. Not really trusting us. I thought we were making progress. Almost three weeks in, it feels more like we have plateaued. Her tolerance to human touch has somewhat even decreased (IMO, not Brad's) as Hope becomes older and wiser.

All we can do is be patient and continue working with Hope, at her pace.


Tuesday was a quieter day


28 sec

her cord nubbin is still attached

she has started jumping OVER light spots

that evil cone!



koda update

Koda is still very lame. In the pasture & barn. He is just not his happy go lucky self.

 4/23/23 (14 sec) 

I promised my boy we would get him some help. 

It pains me to walk him into the barn at night, and I am not the one in pain. There are days Koda's steps are taken almost on his front toes.

We walk slowly in hand.

The day I spoke with the vet about this, the weather had turned cold. Imagine my surprise when we called our horses in that evening to see Koda come barreling up the to gate. Of course! If that is all it takes, we will just call our vet when our horses come up lame. If only it was that easy! 

4/19/23 (21 sec)

Koda always wants to come in first. You know, someone might eat his hay! Even tho our horses have hay 24/7 even when the grass comes up. I worry about Koda (actually all of them) with the gate craze that frequently happens when we bring horses in.

Koda showed improvement for the first time in a long time. It didn't last.

Our vet came out yesterday and did lameness blocking on Koda. Disinfect. Inject. Wait. Observe. Decide. If there is enough improvement, they stop blocking (numbing). If not, they continue the process and block higher. 

They started with his heel. Koda was incredibly well behaved! The vet & tech both commented on it. Even when the second shot in coffin bone area was given. Our vet said it can hurt and told the tech to watch herself. "There are a lot of nerve endings. It would be like getting a shot at the base of your fingernail" Ouch! 

That is where we stopped the blocking. Koda showed about 85% improvement at a jog.

After the first shot, he mentioned the lack of improvement showed this is unlikely related to his early stage Navicular. Our vet thinks perhaps it could be a ligament in the coffin bone area. To be sure what (if anything) can be done he suggested the next step. An MRI.

Expensive? Yes. Definitive answer? Yes. Or at least we hope yes. We know horses that have had MRI's and come back with unclear results and therefore no answers. No hesitation from us, we have to try. I can't just leave him like this. We will be hauling Koda to a clinic with MRI equipment and equine specialists, a little over an hour away.

Koda is a very sweet guy (when he isn't acting like a naughty little kid). The funniest moment of the appointment was when Koda was giving the tech a back massage, and she was all in lol!




This isn't about riding anymore, it is about Koda's comfort.


bunny hops

Most of our free time these days revolve around things related to Hope. Amazing how one little horse changes everything. She has certainly made us busy(er) and brought us a lot of joy and laughter.

Hope at 12 days 4/22/23

high jumpin'

She continues with endless zoomies. I have taken endless zoomie photos. Not sure how many photos one person really needs. I'll look back someday and be happy I took all of these (and many more).

love catching her powerful run

rollin' rollin' rollin'

bunny hops are the funniest (16 sec)

Yesterday, Brad was brushing Cierra in the arena. We were surprised that Hope wanted to be brushed too. She really liked the feel of the soft jelly brush! Hope has been more sensitive to touch on her left side, but did really well. She thoroughly enjoyed her first brushing at two weeks old!!

right side 4/24/23 (26 sec)

left side 4/24/23 (23 sec)

Incase you are wondering, I do interact with Hope. Not as much or as comfortably as Brad does. I am often behind my camera/phone or watching the sweet interactions in real time. All our animals love him best. Except for the grand dogs, especially Remi. All the visiting office dogs ditch their owners and hang out with him at work. Brad is an animal magnet and Hope is already in his back pocket :))



two weeks

I took a few days off from taking photos of Hope, and boom ~ she is two weeks old! Posts are swirling around in my head...time passes so quickly. Lets get to a few updates!

I forgot to share these two photos in my last post. Hope walked away from Cierra and over to the far windowless corner. Brad and I looked at each other and both instantly thought... 

"nobody puts baby in the corner"

I wondered, what is she doing? I quickly found out.

no privacy, sorry Hope

Yes, I did just post a photo of our horse peeing. I thought it was cute that she chose to pee in the corner of the arena! Some people train their horses to go potty in corners. It hasn't happened again. Hope usually does her business in their stall. She learned that from Mama.

It is guaranteed that Cierra will pee the minute she gets back into her stall. Even when she is turned outside all day. It was helpful when she had to random test at horse shows.

You know what else she learned from Mama? Pawing. Ugh! All horses paw, but some more than others.

4/19/23 (13 secs)

As you all know, everything goes in a foals mouth. Buckets, humans, gates and even mama's poop. Blech! Hope has become obsessed with eating Cierra's poo. It's disgusting! Who wants to let a foal nuzzle their hands while chunks of poop are spewing from her mouth. Not me.


"hey lady, put the phone down and pet me" 

first selfie 4/17/23

 Cierra says "leave the gate alone" (14 sec)

We continue to be impressed with how good of a natural mom Cierra is. I was trying to hang her hay bag the other day, and kept missing. Now that would be a funny video! The bag clip just about bonks me on the head when it rebounds, every single time. Meanwhile I get covered in itchy hay lol. I am a little too short!

Brad normally fills hay bags (I am allergic to hay). I schlep around a step stool when I fill the hay bags, but not with a foal prancing around. Of course Hope wanted my attention. After about the 6th toss (and duck) Cierra nudged her baby away from me, as if to say "Leave her alone. She is having a hard enough time". It was very sweet, and I got the hay bag hung!

It goes like this: heft the bag up, toss the clip, jump! and try to catch the clip, damn! a little short, duck. Try again.

nom nom (7 sec)

Hope isn't the only one messing with hanging halters...

Tinkerbell (6 sec)

Hope watches us intently while we are doing chores. Speaking of chores, it is a wonder I get anything done in the barn. Take a look at these two funny Tinkerbell video's from last week.

(26 sec)

(11 sec)

We continue working with Hope daily. Getting her used to being touched all over. Short sessions, as many times as we can. She is curious, but cautious. We have a lot of "scratch me, scratch me" then quick retreating "don't touch me, don't touch me" going on. The good thing is she always comes back for more lovin' right away.

Hope shows progress allowing human touch, every day. Slowly. We are on her timeline. It takes a lot of patience. 

Friends are anxiously waiting to meet her. We are asking them to wait until Hope is more comfortable around humans. Everyone will want to pet her. Can you blame them? Nope. It will be such great exposure for Hope to meet others! However until she is more comfortable, her exposure is us and our son and Harmony's girl. Along with our shorter four legged critters.

working on picking up feet 4/19/23

On Friday (at 11 days old) we noticed the very lowest part of Hopes feet (four socks) are suddenly black. Like someone put hoof black on them, black. Her tail has grown longer too.


We did one last day of bedding half straw and half shaving, before switching to all shavings. What a difference! Shavings make it SO much easier to clean their stall.

napping on fluffy straw

What is THAT?

Cierra's smallest filly halter is way too big. We bought Hope a suckling halter & her own lead rope yesterday. They didn't have the color I wanted. I don't think Hope will care. She will grow into the halters we saved, from when we got Cierra as a filly.

halter intro (12 sec)

Last week I mentioned adding a cone to the arena for Hope to play with. Other than a sniff from Cierra, and the scoot below from Hope no one has touched the boring cone. 

(18 sec)

Yesterday Brad put up his version of a creeper feeder. At first I was unsure, and so were they. It is working perfectly! Last night Hope was messing with the supplement feed (Strategy). Brad also started putting some hay on the floor underneath the hay bag. She has been happy mouthing that too. We are trying to offer the busy girl alternatives, and maybe Hope will leave the manure alone!

about 5 ft deep

I'll close with some of Hopes zoomies from last week:

eight days old 4/18/23


Hope at ten days old


day five and a half

As of Saturday, Hope is five and a half days old. Our barn routine and lives have been changed forever. It is a big responsibility raising a foal! Of course, Cierra is doing most of her care.

Hope 4/15/23

I worry about the filly's safety, as well as ours. 
What if I inadvertently teach her bad habits? Brad is really good with young horses. He is a natural. A lot of interacting with the young ones is common sense.

I still can't wrap my head around the fact that Hope is my horse. I continue to periodically try to change Brad's mind...

We talked to the Purina rep at horse fair about when to start supplementing the filly. They recommend around 8 weeks. Hope is not going to be able to wait that long. She has been playing with water buckets and nibbling on the bottom of Cierra's hay bag for days. Doubt she is actually eating the hay and probably not drinking water either. Or maybe she is. She keeps eating sand, and getting called on it. We don't want to rush anything, but this girl is ready to go go grow! Brad plans to eventually put up a creeper feeder. The earliest we've heard is two weeks.

When did you start supplementing your foals?

Also curious, when did you start halter/lead training??

I forgot to mention in earlier posts, that Hope shares a birthday with our three barn cats :)

They turned four and are very curious about her. So are the dogs. Except Jameson (black lab grand dog). He is horse/barn shy for some odd reason. Nothing has ever happened to J that we are aware of. We can't figure it out or get him over it.

Tank hanging out with his cat fan club.
Leo (on a dressage whip) Tinkerbell and Purr

Brad & Leo watching Hope

There isn't a whole lot for the filly to do in the arena, other than run like the wind. A few poles are stacked on the ground against the wall. Apparently they taste good. The soccer ball continues to be a big attraction. Brad has already inflated it twice for the munchkin.

the soccer ball is used mostly for rubbing

lets roll (21 sec)

future soccer player (24 sec)

I lovee the soccer ball

except when it won't roll!

and she is off

catching air

tripod on the fly

So many more photos, so little time. 

caught in the act

As you can see, Cierra is completely ignoring Hope. I think she misses turnout time with her buddies (well, probably not Nemo).

Hopefully Brad can get machinery behind the arena this weekend. The tree he pulled needs to move! I would really like a nice photo with the pines in the background :)

Cierra and Hope 4/15/23


day four and a half

Cierra and Hope really look forward to daily turn out time. We do too, for obvious reasons. Plus, it gives us a chance to clean out their stall without working around 8 constantly moving feet.

I can tell you one thing I won't miss about having a foal, is straw bedding. We will be going back to shavings soon. They really don't need straw anymore, but we thought it might be more comfy this first week.

Speaking of this first week, I have one more half day post to come after this one. Then I will change the programming. Capturing their first few days in greater detail was important to me. I will still take photos of the crazy daisy. She continues to grow like a weed. Just less photos. Not a fan of spending hours sorting & processing. 


Hope runs in speedy short bursts. Often near the entrance, where Cierra stands looking for scratches from us. Cierra has become a mush pot. Often body blocking (my photos too!) but these days it is for attention. It is very obvious Cierra wants us to give her all our love. Specifically in scratches.

I mentioned changing light settings in my last post. Here is a visual of what I was talking about, with Hope stretched out zooming around at the end of the arena.



I watched Hope run past Brad and kick one back leg up. Lightening fast. Gasp! He was sitting on the ball. She was fairly close and kicked level to his face. He didn't even flinch. Not me. I like to wait until the filly has run off some of her pent up energy.

Hope wasn't trying to hurt Brad. Just a baby trying out her moves. 

Hi Brad! Whatcha doing?

Hope has such long eyelashes! They stick out on either side of her head (see above).

Hope 4/14/23

Yes, that is sand on her muzzle (above). She keeps eating the arena sand. Ugh!

Cierra says "a little more to the left"

Brad rolled the ball out of the corner. It was game on! After trying to move the ball in various ways, Hope suddenly launched herself on top. She rolled right over the ball. Very funny! Of course, Cierra was blocking my view. She has been doing that a lot. Sigh.

learning to play with the ball (14 sec)

It is funny to watch sassy pants backing up to her mama. Sometimes Hope does a mini double barrel kick at her. Cierra doesn't flinch either and has a "whatever" look on her face.

trouble brewing (Cierra is off to the right)

Look at that sassy face lol! Maybe I should have named her Sassy. Oh, and the back lighting and sand spray! Yaaay!!! I truly love shooting movement enhanced by sand, water, dirt or snow!

Sunspots have always been one of my favorite areas to shoot in an indoor. Along with the moodiness that barn/arena door openings offer. 

(not tack sharp, but a keeper in my eyes)

After a whole buncha more running and bustin' moves:

The little girl wore herself out:

Cierra and Hope 4/14/23