No Free Horses!

No Free Horses!
Shiloh - a rescued horse (date was 7/14)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Two years of changes and some goals for 2015

Oh, my . . . what a long hiatus . . . much has happened since October of 2012 and life was much more interesting than writing about it so, I didn't!   I got married, in October of 2013, and adopted two nice geldings who were pulled from livestock auction in Oklahoma (see Cie Sadeghy's page on Facebook for information on many of these horses).  I have some new/old goals for the new year, 2015.  One of my ongoing goals is to improve my horsemanship through practice with my own horses and through interaction with horsemen and horsewomen who know more than I do . . .

In this coming year, I am looking forward to taking Shiloh (above) and Moxie to some lessons and on some rides with other women who are enjoying spending time with their horses and with the people who love them.

May we be blessed with peace and joy and contentment in this new year, and may our relationships, both with our horses and with "our" people, blossom in new ways as we, ourselves, learn how to be more honest, more kind, and more gracious and forgiving.
"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." -- C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Long Absence

How does one resurrect a blog that has been missing in action for over two years?  One acquaintance said that I should just scrap it and start a new blog . . . and he may be correct, but when I went to title a new blog, I was told that the title was already in use . . . and I really couldn't think of another title that would accurately label the content of the new blog without being ostentatious and intensely verbose.

So . . . will you give me some words of encouragement as I try to breathe life into this comatose blog "TREASURES . . . ," for the treasures of life truly are what I want to describe in any writing that comes from my "pen":  the innumerable gems (rough and polished) of relationship and learning that come from living on this imperfect and glorious Earth.

During my absence from blogging, I have learned much about my relationships with God, other people, and with my animals, particularly my horses.

The lessons that come from our interactions with other living Beings, whether with a Capital "B" denoting God or whether a lowercase "b" denoting other people or animals as equally imperfect as we, these are the lessons that make Life worthwhile, for as long as we are learning and growing, we are alive.  Life IS Growth.  We are made for relationship, and I will post about the growth, both painful and joyful, that those interactions create through the experiences I have.

I hope you will share your questions about life and relationships and teaching and learning and about the growth you desire and have experienced.  Our exchanges will benefit us as they prompt us to think about what we value and about where we are willing to invest our energies and resources . . . about where we are GOING and who we want to be.

One of the relationships into which I have recently entered is with a delicate, tri-colored, young, pony mare . . .

She was "free" (ha, ha! No such thing as a "free" horse.) because the owner was going in for knee surgery and hadn't been able to "do anything with her" in the year she had owned her.  Since untrained horses are nothing but "dog food" nowadays, I opted to take her.  There was something in her expression that showed intelligence and a willingness . . . but she wasn't in the right environment to develop those qualities.  I was told that she was not able to be caught without the help of several people cornering her . . . and her feet were overgrown.  As it was, it took four people to corner her and halter her before I arrived with the horse trailer.  I drove to the veterinarian's office and had her vaccinated (she was quite docile about it), and had to give her a name (I dubbed her "BitOHoney" to complement my old POA gelding Snickers whom you may have met in an earlier post) and have had her back at the ranch for two weeks.  I try to work with her for a short time once or twice a day, always haltering her before taking her out of the pen to grass.

She now lets me approach, usually without turning away, and if I hold out the halter in front of her nose and say, "put your nose in it!" she will turn her head toward the halter and sometimes dip her nose, and lets me put it gently over her muzzle and buckle it behind her ears.  She is a very reactive little pony, and it doesn't take much to frighten her, but one thing I have learned:

When I think I have waited long enough for her to respond to a cue . . . 
                                                wait a little bit longer. :)

She is part of my required course work for the completion of PATIENCE 201 . . .
I'm not sure with what grade I will end the course, but I think she will be fair when it's time to give me the final score.

QUESTION:  What are some of the most valuable classes you have taken in the learning of Patience?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Visit Historical Guthrie!!!

My friend, Susan, (oz-girl) and I spent the afternoon in Guthrie, Oklahoma, yesterday!  We had a gorgeous day . . . and it was a much-needed, well-deserved break from routine.  

The APOTHECARY GARDEN is the only one in the state of Oklahoma and is adjacent to the Drug Store Museum in which we would have loved to spend time, but will have to visit on a return trip.

Susan had heard that there are lots of antique shops/malls in Guthrie, and she's been on a mission to customize her gardens and porches and thought she might get some ideas or find some vintage (i.e., old . . . lol) landscaping items to continue with her eclectic/country theme.  I haven't gone anywhere "interesting" since my visit to friends in California in November, so I was ripe for adventure (which isn't readily available here at the farm unless you call a 5-ft long black snake "adventure.")

It was my fault for not getting down to Guthrie sooner than we did.  I had forgotten the time it took to get down there . . . and had to run to the bank and post office (in the opposite direction from Susan's house) before I could leave for Oklahoma.

 One thing we decided, though, is that we really HAVE to return to Guthrie to see the rest of the town (we only made it through ONE BLOCK!!!! . . . and a couple of those shops were closed!)

We did have a delicious and very late lunch at BONEYARD GRILL, a barbecue restaurant that opened in an old stucco gas station.  The food was delicious and the people very friendly (but the barbecue sauce could have been a bit spicier for my taste . . . apparently, they were fresh out of their habanero sauce.)

Next time, we'd like to lunch at the VICTORIAN TEA ROOM.  I ate at a fabulous tea house in Old Colorado City, CO, several years ago, and it was one of the highlights of my visit there.

 Guthrie is a lovely old western town with lots of flavor (and home of the famous LAZY-E Ranch and LAZY-E Arena).  I encourage you to visit if you are ever in the area, and I look forward to a return visit very soon.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Lacey Finds a Home

Lacey enjoying Spring grass

Lacey, the OTTB mare who has been here since December, has found a home with a wonderful woman in Colorado.  If all goes as planned, Lacey will be leaving here on Monday morning to start her new life.

I agreed to board Lacey here after she was rescued (for a second time) from an auction in central Kansas.  She had been rescued once before, and adopted out to a fellow who sent her to another auction.  Thankfully, someone who knew of her was able to purchase her from the man who was going to send her to slaughter . . . 
Another Colorado woman who has worked to help place other OTTBs, presented Lacey's need to a friend there who is a hunter/jumper trainer with a few students.  Lacey will be loved and trained, gently and firmly and consistently . . . What more can we ask for our horses?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Re-enactment at the Cherokee Strip Museum

The Saturday before Easter, I decided to leave the ranch work behind and go to a nearby town to see a mini-reenactment featuring Mountainmen and the Delaware Indians.  I heard that there would be dancing and singing as well as story-telling . . . so grabbed my camera and arrived just after 1:00 o'clock in the afternoon. 

As I approached the Museum, there were lots of tee-pees and tents set up . . .

and a one-room schoolhouse . . .

I arrived during a song/dance to honor veterans of the Delaware Indian tribe:

This man is the friend of a friend, and he patiently explained to me the significance of the beading on his skirt . . . He had made some of his leather clothing/moccasins, and a friend of his had made his leggings.

The beaded stars on his skirt represent his three sons, one of whom has died.  The red, yellow, and green wedges represent the circle of his life.
There were hollow deer "toenails" hung from rawhide just below his knees, and I was told that they made noise to confuse enemies who were then unable to gauge the number of approaching Indians when they were moving through the trees or in the dark.

After listening to a mountainman story/song . . .

I went to see what the mountainmen and craftsmen had brought to trade.
There were guns,
A matchlock . . .
other valuable items like brass candlesticks, strong drink, knives, oil lanterns . . .
and even turkey feather "kites" for the children . . .
There was even a jail for outlaws . . . and the most hardened of criminals . . .
It was a beautiful day for the reenactment, although windy . . .
and I learned some new things as I talked with some of the people who participate in these reenactments around the country.
There will be another reenactment next weekend . . . with many more tribes represented, and a Renaissance Festival is planned for August. 
It was a nice break from working at the ranch . . . and as one friend said, "The ranch work will be there tomorrow . . . "  It was refreshing to get away from the routine and have some new experiences and meet new friends.

Patching Troughs and Digging Post Holes

I found something at Wal-Mart . . . called "Water Weld."  It is a small roll of clay-type substance.  You cut off as much as you need (not much) and "mush" it up to mix the ingredients that cause it to harden . . .  and it can then be used to patch just about anything.   In my case, I needed to patch two Rubbermaid Fiberglass Water Troughs that had suffered from my using a pickax this past winter to remove "foot-thick" ice from the sides of the troughs.  Mostly, there were a few small holes, but in one case, I actually cracked the trough when I broke through the ice.

The Water Weld instructions require that the item to be patched be clean and sanded . . . So, I sprayed the areas around the holes with a cleaner for electric equipment . . . and sanded the area around the holes with medium grain sand paper.
Materials for patching

Crack in trough . . .
and a few holes.

Then, I cut off a small part of the Water Weld clay:

I blended it and then, started patching:

It can be smoothed before it dries.

After patching the holes and the crack, I set them in the sun to dry . . . and later that evening, I went back and sanded the dried patches . . .
It Works!

I also had a few arena fence posts to replace.  I either hit the base of them with the mower platform or with the box scraper whenever I mowed around the arena or combed the sand inside.  I'm not a whiz on the tractor, and a fraction of an inch difference between the width of the loader and the width of the mower or box scraper has foiled my best attempts over the past three years.

So . . . I had three fence posts (actually, landscape timbers) to replace, and they had broken off just below ground level . . . and I wanted to keep the spacing of the posts, so the bottoms of the posts (3-4') needed to be removed from the post holes.

A friend said that he wanted to bring his grandfather's antique, post hole digger over because he had never seen anything dig post holes better . . .
I  was game . . .
Couldn't pull it out with a chain because it was too "punky" and slippery.

Grampa's Antique Post Hole Digger

Another view

So, the digging/drilling began.  Set the digger next to the piece of post and start turning the handle . . .

I was amazed at how efficient this old tool worked when compared with my two-handled "jobbers," which is what I've used for years . . . except when I've used the auger on the tractor.

We were able to get the dirt dug out next to the broken posts so that they could be pulled out.  Now, I can replace the posts and get the arena fence up . . .
and be more careful about mowing or grading near the fence posts.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Lies About Patriots Who Stand Against Lies and Government Takeover

Obama has lied about many things.  Nancy Pelosi has lied about many things.  The major news media has supported their lies.

CNN - Jack Cafferty
Why should we believe what they say about those of us Patriots who believe in our Constitution and support FREEDOM of Speech and FREEDOM to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness? 

Don't believe the lies you hear on the news about Tea Party Patriots being "terrorists."

There is a more isidious kind of terror that is taking over American Liberty . . .

Do not believe a lie.  Lies bring bondage.
Seek the Truth and it will be found.
The Truth brings Freedom, and that's what our Forefathers fought and died for . . . That's what our Constitution was written to protect . . . Our Constitution that has been tromped on repeatedly by the present Administraion.

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Cowboy Named Rusty

It was fortuitous that Oz-Girl and I both had appointments that coincided on the same day so we happily agreed to spend the sunny, WINDY afternoon together in "the Big City."

In between appointments, we had time to stop in to visit Oz-Girl's favorite coffee shop, Panera . . . where she and I got her favorite kind of coffee -- Hazelnut.

After my appointment, we headed up north of the city to have a late lunch at the only Cracker Barrel restaurant in the area . . . and we poked around in the shop and bought some sweet gifts for some family members . . .

It was with a feeling of contentment that I left the shop to walk out to the parking lot . . . It had been a pleasant afternoon . . .

Suddenly, our eyes were drawn to activity across the street . . .

Holy Cow!!!!! . . . I mean, "Cows!!!"

No . . . REALLY . . . There was a Round-up happening right down the main street of town!!!!!!!

and the proud-looking, straight-backed character herding the cattle was none other than the legendary Rusty Flatiron on his trusty steed Steel Bar . . .

I could tell Oz-Girl was enthralled by this tall, burnished, hard-riding cowboy . . . Something about the way he sat his horse and held his lariat must have reminded her of her beloved Marlboro Man . . .

Thankfully, I had my camera in hand . . . What a great opportunity for photos!  . . . but before I could take off the lens cover, Oz-Girl had picked her way across the busy highway and headed right toward the trotting cattle.

Now, these weren't just any cattle . . . They were rare and valuable Hard-nosed, Hairless Ironhorns . . .

Oblivious to everything else around her, Oz-Girl didn't heed my warning shouts . . . she just jumped right into the herd and took the bull by the horns!  (I think she may have been trying to impress Rusty.)

It was as if she couldn't hear me . . .  Dang, but that woman is tenacious . . . When she gets focused on something . . . well, let's just say she got hooked.
The last I saw of her, she was getting carried along by the bull at the front of the drive . . . down the Chisholm Trail . . . with the unflappable Rusty Flatiron driving the herd from behind.

In a panic, I pulled out my cell phone and called Marlboro Man . . . told him to grab his lariat and best horse . . . The last I knew, he was racing to head them off at the pass . . .

Ahh . . .the hazards of Life in Oz-Land . . .

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Guinea Hen in Spring

My male Lavender Guinea lost his love (to a hit and run) last fall.

and not wanting him to be alone all winter, I bought 3 pullets to keep him company through the cold winter.

       (hmmmmmmm . . . can't find photos of the common Guineas . . . but they are the darker gray kinds)
Well, one was hit by a car 3 weeks ago (and is recuperating in the horse trailer/guinea hospital) . . . but the other two have matured into squawky females who are not as tame as the Lavender male who was raised with his girl-friend in the house and on the back porch

(due to danger from a BIG, BLACK, GUINEA-EATING SNAKE who ate 4 of his siblings) 

This Lavender goes to prove the old adage "Familiarity Breeds Contempt" for he certainly has little respect for humans, especially in light of Springtime and two noisy girlfriends who have started canvassing the farm for nesting places (and constantly voice their opinions about the unsuitability of the neighborhood).  Probably due to his anxiety at not being able to provide higher-class housing for his mistresses, and partly due to his general disgust at humanity, (and partly due to his subservience to the testosterone coursing through his haughty, Guinea frame) this male Guinea has been quite dedicated to teaching me my "place" in the scheme of things here at the farm.

I am allowed to throw white millet in the morning and night . . . and to fill the water dish without fear of attack . . . but if I am non-chalantly roaming in the yard anywhere within sight of Mr. Lavender, he comes charging over and posturing . . . and as soon as my back is turned, will hit me on the back of the legs. 

preparing to attack

Now, mind you, the Guinea attack is not at all as painful or harmful as a rooster attack.  Without the spurs, the Guinea just whomps me a good one and postures for another hit . . . but it IS irritating . . . rather like being pestered by a giant gnat . . . and he's so quick that I have trouble making contact with return whomps or kicks.  In fact, if I raise my foot off the ground, he will come in for another charge . . . Honestly . . . talk about "biting the hand that feeds him."  But he makes me laugh and if I can get into a kind of syncopation with his rhythmic charges, I can manage to surprise him and give him pause . . . but the pause is usually just long enough for him to consider blind-siding me again.

The Lavender Guinea also has a habit of racing down the driveway with the dogs whenever a visitor arrives.
After the visitor parks his vehicle, Mr. Guinea proceeds to inspect the tires, being sure to neaten them up by nipping off any little rubber "hairs" on the wall of the tire . . . and then peering at himself in the shiny bumpers and hub-caps . . . (rather narcissistic in his little Guinea heart).

Sierra is a good girl . . . a Border/Aussie cross . . . and she takes care of all the critters here . . . so I wasn't surprised the other day when I saw her guarding an egg between her paws . . .
a GUINEA EGG . . . which she carefully carried around and protected from the other dogs.

Another sign of spring . . . Squawking, attack Guineas and abandoned Guinea children . . .
At this rate, there won't be any more Guineas running around the farm,
and to be honest . . . that's okay with me.