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All the Beautiful Men

How does one ever decide? I mean look at them:**

stallions~~element48I love this guy, his build his color, his bloodlines are good. Maybe not exactly what I’m looking for. So he’s close but maybe not the perfect man, stud whatever.

unconventional10

I have loved Unconventional since he was for sale as a baby. I wanted him soooo bad. The Silver dapple color is pretty cool and he looks so much like Coyote. Ok maybe a bit better built, just the neck, but they do look a lot alike. His bloodlines are somewhat similar to the first stud on the topside but still not as cow/ranch bred as I would like  and I want a cow horse first and foremost.

braids out full bodyI saw Moab  in person at a ride at Fort Robinson he was stunningly gorgeous. And so very strongly gaited. The owner rode him for the first time on those steep hills in a group of horses and survived. I would say barely but I think it was that whole Morgan thing where they look insane but don’t feel bad when you are riding them. I rode a youngster that belonged to the same people. It was a tiny scrawny two year old I think, maybe a foot wide with thirty days training by a guy who charged a hundred dollars a month. You get what you pay for I usually say, I was charging considerably more at the time. I loved the horse it was quiet smooth and level headed, tons of fun to ride even if it didn’t know anything, sold me on their breeding. Plus he is bred the same on top as Jerry and she’s such a good little horse. So why am I not more serious about him? I really don’t know.

sun-6Good bloodlines, great show record. A little thick through the throat latch. I like a nice coppery chestnut. I’ve admired him for a long time would’ve crossed him on Jerry in a heartbeat.

suedesideNice looking horse, cool color, great bloodlines. I’ve always thought Chingadero was fascinating. Lots of good western breeding plus they are close to us, relatively. Not that it matters with AI.

And why am I checking out all these good looking guys?

20150502_161530It’s all because of this good looking girl. She’s bred pretty well, nicely built, strongly gaited, smart, opinionated, fun to ride, don’t know what she’s like on a cow. If she were to have a colt next year the youngest human child would be a year. By the time the  foal would be old enough to start 8 would be four. Maybe I would be in a position to start a colt. I am definitely not right now. In a perfect world The Goblin Child could have Onna for hers, 8 could ride Coyote and I would have a youngster. Would it be easier to just buy something ready to start when the time comes? Probably.

The two times I have bred mares it has been disastrous. First was Grace and her beautiful bay based grey stud colt. Beautiful and dead by nightfall. Then, if possible even worse, was Nev. He was perfect, gorgeous and sweet and fun to ride for one whole summer. Do I really want to do this again?

Yes, of course. I’m a glutton for punishment.

So which is my choice? How does one decide when there are so many beautiful studs to choose from? Close your eyes and pick? flip a coin? From even this small selection not one of them would be a bad choice and there are so many others just as good. It’s enough to make your head explode.

I chose the last one. Still working on the details and she’s not bred yet, only time will tell if it works out. I hate to even say anything about it until the whole thing is said and done. Afraid I will curse it.

Looking at their pictures next to each other here I think they are built just alike.

**To my darling husband, you know that if I’m checking out anything of the male variety other than you it’s got to be a horse right?

 

8 is Great!

What does one write about a baby? Especially one who is sweet and healthy and sleeps well? Someday he will get old enough to read this, not that he will want to but he could, and he will be so hurt that I never say anything about him. I talk about his sister all the time. I even talk about the new horse more than I do him, poor guy.

So I will try. The darling boy has only been getting up once at night for quite a while now and then he’ll sleep till almost seven. When he does wake up he doesn’t immediately start screaming like certain other children I could mention did. He snuffles quietly, or should I say snorts and roots about loudly? He does eat like a horse.

Boys are way more fun to dress than I thought they would be. Of course who knew that I of all people would enjoy dressing a girl either? When I dress him all cute to go somewhere it never fails he doesn’t leave the car seat. If I leave him in pajamas he’s out the whole time with everyone looking at him.

He snored all the way through his first time to church. Ate, burped and cried through his second. He doesn’t do any better at that than his sister.

At his last doctors appointment he weighed eleven pounds already. Somehow we seem to make tall children. His otherwise tiny sister is as tall as her normal sized friends. 8 was in the 90th percentile for height. He’s a good two foot long. He seems so big to us, it’s all relative after all, and is in the 75th percentile for weight. I need to look back and see how old his sister was when she reached that weight. I know she was wearing the blue bear suit, that he wears now, in April so she would have been eight months.

That is all I can think of to say about him I’m afraid. He hasn’t had any explosive spit-ups and only a couple overflowing poops. He is just a good incredibly adorable baby. And well loved. I hope someday he will be able to appreciate how well loved he is. For now I think he spends most of his time cowering in fear.

 

The Joy of Circles

A girl and her goat

A girl and her goat

I had managed what sometimes seems the impossible, both children were down for a nap at the same time! I turned the TV on to play Sesame Street for the next couple of hours and laid a drink and a snack out on the table in case the oldest child awoke and searched until I found a shirt with a snapping pocket to hold the baby monitor in case the younger woke up. I caught Princess Onna and let her graze in the yard while I saddled. Everything was set, I was going for a ride. With one last walk through the house to make absolutely sure everybody was ok I mounted up.

Princess Onna was in fine form. She pranced in place on her tip toes and her back was humped so high it was like sitting on a beach ball. I pulled her head around and moved her hind quarters over and let her circle a couple of times then we started off again. The wind was blowing steady enough to cool the first eighty degree day of the year but not quite howling. The first leg of our trip took us between feed bunks and cattle on one side and equipment and stacked railroad ties on the other. Having decided she was done being contrary she walked down the road without flinching.

Down at the Quonset my part time mechanic husband was spending the weekend fixing the corn planter with his father. They were within range of the baby monitor. With Onna standing, not quietly but standing, I yelled up to him as he sat in a tractor cab just inside the door to tell him where I was planning to ride and that I was leaving him the monitor. I lead Onna up to the four-wheeler as we squeezed between the drill and the building. I turned the monitor on and sat it down to make sure it was placed where it had reception. Just as I remounted we heard a child squawk. I said a few choice words and waited to make sure he was really waking up and not just stirring. He was definitely awake. So much for my ride.

Rushing back to the house I was trying to balance hurrying to get to a crying baby and not running my horse back to the barn. Which is the more important priority? She has a good fast walk and it’s a short distance, I think we got there as fast as was necessary without teaching any bad habits.

Dismounting I dropped my bridle and left her to mow the lawn as I hurried to the child. He had decided  he was starving. Keeping an eye on the horse out the window while he ate I mourned my lost ride. But The Goblin Child was still asleep. I keep hearing about my friends and friends of friends who ride with their children sitting in strollers in the arena surely I could manage. Sure I don’t have an arena but I have a driveway and a shaded spot out of the wind to set a car seat.

8 sat happily watching the branches of the big pine tree sway in the wind while I sat happily in the saddle. We, the horse and I not the child and I, worked on turns on the hind quarters and stopping. Knowing the guy who started her I can guess the sort of things he would have installed, knowing that shes been a trail horse for the decade or so in between and probably not practicing roll backs, I don’t know what she can do, what hasn’t been taught and what she just doesn’t feel like doing. I am enjoying finding out.

Three? years ago before starting Nev I was burnt out on training and just wanted to ride. Starting Nev got me in training mode again. Losing him took away any opportunity to train. One does not “train” Coyote to do anything, it is beneath him, he decides what he is willing to condescend to. Now here I have, if not a colt to train, and maybe not even a horse that is any more willing to accept instruction than Coyote is, at least something new to play with. She is light, relatively, and responsive and what, powerful maybe? Coyote can bolt with a rider, at a walk. She gives that same feeling.

We have moved the garden this year and the old/usual garden plot was sitting there beautifully worked so we claimed it for our arena. I put her on a circle and we walked. I have come far enough that I no longer work on head set. That lesson took awhile to learn. She deviated and we worked harder. She got mad that I would dare to tell her what to do and trotted. I realized how long it had been since I trained horses and cowered in fear of her breaking into a canter. We worked on staying on our circle while she chose to walk or trot and I thought of everything that could go wrong if we crossed that magic line into a lope. It’s one thing on Coyote, he’s not scarey no matter what he does, and he does a lot. I didn’t want to go any faster on a new, more than slightly rotten horse. Then I got over it.

The next time she wanted to go I let her. It was great, we may have paced more than loped but what ever. I wasn’t afraid anymore. Right about then 8 started to fuss. Our ride was over but it was alright I had accomplished more than I had ever hoped for. I had loped a circle.

 

A New Halter

I have been imagining which one the Goblin Child will want for years, nearly three years now I started before she was born. Lined up on the wall at Bomgaars the halters looked so pretty. They had the plain old styles with stainless steel hardware in all the basic colors. My favorite ones in smoky hews of blue and orange with copper hardware, the fancy ones with leather and matching rivets. I must admit those were the ones I imagined her choosing.

But then…

Everything in the store was on sale, we didn’t need anything but it’s always fun to look. Walking through the horse stuff the new selection of halters caught my eye. And how could it not in blazing oranges, hot pinks and neon green all emblazoned with brilliant contrasting design. I was enthralled. So much for my dignified, classic colors.

I must admit I was surprised we when I asked which she liked best and she chose the green one. We oohed and awed over it for a bit then I was as usual unwilling to spend the money and decided to put it back and wait until she was older. My slightly less cheap husband pointed out that it was on sale and ordered me to “Just get it!” So we did. A new halter requires a new lead rope of course, this time she did choose pink.

I think they pull the look off rather nicely. Of course her pretty little mare would make anything look good.

Princess

The Goblin Child is not a name that fits a little girl who has decided that her name is princess, besides being so long to write. I am thinking about changing it. That’s a hard thing for me. I stick with the names on horses papers, or some version there of no matter how bad. But after mulling the beautiful simplicity of 8 for her brother, and considering ogre as an option for him to go with goblin, I think I might take the leap. Right now it’s between elf and her own choice of princess.

 

 

How did I produce such a girly girl? It’s ok though, I know there’s still a good dose of horse loving tomboy in there.

20150411_124824

Babies Babies Everywhere

It is spring time after all.

We have seen more of cattle giving birth than most children see in a lifetime.

I told you Poppy was about ready to calve. She had a healthy spry bull calf. Of course I am happy about it but I was pulling for a heifer.

 

 

20150413_113707My chicken that was missing showed up today. With, if I count right, eleven darling little baby chicks. With these added to the other four we have exactly way to many chickens. Anybody need some chickens? I suppose we should see if any of these make it before I start to worry about what to do with them.

 

 

 

And last but most importantly I have decided to go with my brilliant husbands suggestion and call the boy 8. I am embarrassed to admit that he had to explain the significance to me. All I could think of was my favorite trainer the great Eitan and I couldn’t figure out why my non horsy husband would want to chose him for a name sake.

So Many Things so Little…. Energy

I can’t say I don’t have the time to write, I spend hours every day sitting here at or at least by the computer. But I lack the energy to put in the effort at two in the morning. So maybe I can tie most things together here in one, kind of short, post.

We watched Moms’ Night Out last night. My sister-in-law recommended it and it was as good as she said. Critics hated it, but they hate anything vaguely religious.

It got me thinking about getting out without the children to blow off a little steam and how lucky I had been to get to do just that last weekend. Not to get dressed up and go to a fancy restaurant, that does not sound fun to me. Especially without my husband, where would the fun in that be? Instead a friend came over and she and I got to go ride. The six weeks was over yesterday so I almost waited the whole time. And if this was maybe not my first ride post baby it was the first real ride, more than five minutes. She rode Jerry and I tried out Princess Onna! OK, not for the first time, I had hoped on and ridden around our driveway for a couple of minutes the day before. This time though we went out around the yard.

Princess Onna

Princess Onna

Our companions did a perfect job of being calm and leading the way. Onna bounced off Jerrys butt and shied away from all the imagined threats while Jerry plodded along for her young inexperienced but potentially very good rider. It was great. Like Coyote, Onna wanted to act like she was scared of everything but like Coyote she didn’t do anything really bad. I can take a Morgans high headed spooking any day it’s those dang quarter horses and their tendency to drop their heads and buck that I can’t stand. Or stay on. Can’t wait to ride her again.

Need to get lots of riding in on her quick and secretly. All the Goblin Child wants is to ride Princess Onna. Last week I let her sit on Onna, bareback with me clinging desperately to the lead rope and the child like I do when I let her ride Coyote only with a lot more desperately involved. No that she did anything but I worry so much about everything.

We hurried back to check on the child who was napping. She was still asleep so I woke her up and switched horses. With her up on Coyote with me, bareback in a halter as usual, we all went out through the cows and found Poppy. She looked about ready to pop, and I had been afraid she hadn’t bred back, so we brought her in. The Goblin Child loves chasing cows and, now her new favorite thing, trotting so she had a blast. Poppy as good and sweet as usual came in nicely and is here by the house in the same pen as my  heifers and the old crippled cows where I can watch her. We watched one of the other cows calve the other day and now know where calves come from. Butts of course, where else?

After getting Poppy in we ran into the father-in-law who was planning on moving the bulls and we got to help with that too. It was the longest ride The Goblin Child has ever been on and she was happy the whole time. If not for a certain small sweet boy child we could get lots of riding in this summer. Jerry decided she had had enough riding by the time we headed in and was quite energetic about it. I had made the girl riding her work on one rein stops on a previous ride and she was able to do a few of them and get Jerry back under control. With practice I think she has definite potential, hope she can come ride more often. And not just so I have someone to ride Onna out with. Really.

The next morning, Easter, the father-in-law decided to move the cows to a different pasture. Sending the children up to the big house to play with her cousins and nap where there was someone to watch him I threw a halter on Coyote and went along for the ride. It was great. It was a little much for my first couple of rides after a few months hiatus. We galloped across the pasture. We chased cows. Coyote loves to chase cows other than eating it is the only thing the grouchy old boy likes. He was hot I needed more than a halter. Most importantly I didn’t fall off that can be difficult to avoid working cattle on Coyote.

I am so sore now I can barely move.

Oh yeah, Easter was good too. Lots of food and eggs to hunt. The kids had a blast.

I know that I barely mention our new addition here and I feel bad about it. Isn’t that how it always goes for the second child? He is so sweet and so little trouble. He will grow up and read this some day and think we don’t love him. It has nothing to do with that of course. He eats sleeps and poops, he very seldom cries and usually only wakes up once or twice a night. Sometimes those times can last two to three hours but fortunately not too often. He doesn’t give us much to write about.

Even when he does I haven’t decided what to call him yet. The Goblin Child just fell into her nickname. I suppose he will earn his own in time until then I have been contemplating Snuffleupagus, I wanted something shorter and easier than The Goblin Child, this doesn’t qualify and I realize now I would never remember how to spell it. The other option at the moment is Goose. It qualifies on all counts. Any other ideas will be considered.

20150405_120530And last but not least, got four tomatoes planted in the greenhouse. One of which was eaten by something and promptly died. No potatoes yet. Hopefully next weekend.

One of the Flock

We are babysitting some baby chicks for a friend. They are here for us to play with until they get old enough to live outside on their own. Until then they are being very well loved. Hopefully not too well loved. That is part of the reason they are here instead of there. It’s hard to explain to a two year old that you can love something too much.

I understand that when my mom and her brothers were little they got to have baby chicks and ducklings for pets. Mom has said they would get them at Easter, brightly dyed in Easter colors. Between the dye and lots of “loving”, my uncles were notoriously hard on animals, they never lived very long. Which was probably not entirely a bad thing, they did live in town. But my grandpa was a farm boy and loved his animals, even if it was a rather rough love. As a boy he had loved to pit the roosters against each other.

It would appear that his love of animals in general and chickens in particular has passed on to his great grand daughter.

 

 

 

Haunted

Awoke from a deep sleep I lay still, startled and listening. My heart raced. There it was, soft and quiet in the dark of the night, the noise that woke me coming again.

Opening my eyes I peered into the depths of the darkened bedroom. Even expecting it to be there I jumped nearly out of my skin as my eyes met those of the glowing specter next to my bed. Looking deep into my eyes, glowing white in the dark of the night it repeated it’s whispered entreaty, softly but intent and earnest, wanting me to understand. That pleading intonation that had first dragged me from my slumber.

“Cheese”

With a muffled exclamation my husband threw back the covers and jumped out of bed. Dragging The Goblin Child back to bed he made her put the Parmesan cheese back in the refrigerator.  We divide child duty and one would think he would have the easier job taking care of the older one at night but it seldom seems that way.20150326_065532