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Hooves

Not horses hooves exactly, the blog Hooves. Have I ever mentioned that it is the best blog ever?

As much as I enjoy her usual commentary and insight into conformation, in this case it is the best ever for a different reason. Her latest post was on what breed is best suited to the average rider. Not a person who wants a race horse or high level dressage horse, although the breed she chose can do dressage very nicely, but normal people trail riding, working cattle, driving and showing at lower levels in almost anything. A breed that can stay sound with hard riding and is level headed enough that amateurs can handle them. From that limited description the breed should be recognizable already. Read the blog here.

Of course she chose Morgans!

I have looked back through the comments many times a day enjoying the stories people wrote in with telling of the great Morgans they have experienced. She outlined the reasons far better than I ever could, there are so many. She didn’t mention heart, their willingness to keep going no matter what and how just plain old fun to ride a good energetic Morgan is. I suppose those things are subjective though and she was going on more concrete reasoning.

I am going to steal my favorite comment and post it here. It was to well written not to be read a few more times,  I am sure the author won’t mind:

I am what I believe is an average horse owner, have had Morgans for my whole horse life. Starting with a grade gelding when I was twelve, (I will be fifty-six in two months) My first gelding was too much horse for a green twelve year old, but we went on to have many great experiences together as I grew up and was my kids first horse. My first purebred Morgan, a foundation, western working bred gelding, who’s name was Brandies Tallyjack, just in case his breeder should happen across this, was the greatest horse ever. Got him as a green three year old and had him all his life. Any thing I wanted to try, he would do. When we came upon a team penning practice while out on a trail ride, he became a team penning horse with out having seen a cow before. When dressage sounded fun, he could do that. Parades, no problem. Babysitting, that was fine. And while doing these things people always came to look, and tell me how beautiful he was. He was sound and healthy his whole life. After he passed away, there have been more Morgans in the family, one a beautiful gaited mare, who had to find a new home because of an abscess that we could not fix at our barn (no shoes allowed, no matter why), one gelding who went off to live with our daughter, and now a twenty year old gelding from a Morgan rescue. He has saddlebred out crosses from back in the thirties,I would not hold that against him, he is very obviously a Morgan! He can be intimidating from the ground as he is sixteen two hands, very up headed and alert, but he is very well behaved. Started his life as a country pleasure show horse, spent most of his life as an amish road horse, and now he is learning to neck rein and work off my leg. He is peppy for adults, but trustworthy with the little ones. All that to say, I would agree that Morgans make a great horse for the average owner!

I remember that little grade Morgan gelding he was a perfect first horse. Tally, Brandies Tallyjack, was indeed one of the most beautiful horses ever. He was a dark liver chestnut, nearly black in some lights, with a bright red main and tail. He definitely  attracted attention where ever they went. The gelding that came to live with me is my own darling Coyote, my best horse ever.

I am sad to see the comments winding down. It was so nice to join a gathering of fellow Morgan enthusiasts. All of us sharing our love of such a great breed.

Spring Things

So may things I want to write about and so much time spent doing everything but.

We are ripping up our kitchen carpet! I have hated it for years, kitchens and bathrooms should never have carpet. The filth of it finally became more than I could handle. Underneath we found the same beautiful linoleum as is in the library. In way to bad of shape to use.

Under that we found the same wood floor as is in the bedrooms. Covered in glue.

The glue it turns out is water soluble! With lots of back breaking labor we are washing the floor clean and will, someday, have beautiful wood floors in the kitchen!

Unlike some poor people who I understand have hardly gotten to ride yet this year we have been spending a fair bit of time on poor long suffering Coyote. The Goblin Child is finally getting big enough to hold onto on horseback. Coyote is a dream and a nuisance. He maneuvers so light and easy I don’t need my hands for steering and can concentrate on holding on. He steps up to the pickup so nicely for us both to get on and puts up with her leading him very patiently.

He likes to look at things and get a little spooky. I am realizing how extremely important exact control of my seat is. We are, of course, bareback. I can feel the second his back tenses, if I allow my backside to tense in response, even just griping to hold on,  he stays tense. If I make sure to relax my seat muscles he immediately calms and his back softens. This is a very important lesson being driven home to me.

I put up these next pictures having read enough Fugly and Snarky Rider to know what they would say about letting such a small defenseless child so close to a big dangerous horse. To their voices inside my head I say, you just don’t know my little Yoder. She is about as cute as this darling girl and her equally trustworthy horse.

Most of the plants are started for the garden and they are coming up beautifully. We transplanted the early starts into bigger pots this week and are hoping to get the rest started this weekend. My darling husband bought me some more Petunias, these are supposed to be climbers. I can’t wait for warm weather and mature plants.

I am hoping to do some fun things in the garden for the small Goblin Child this summer. She may be too young to appreciate growing things but I am going to try a sunflower house and in the pumpkins I thought a wire panel for the vines to grow over would make a pretty cool fort. I am picturing a cool, shady tunnel all the way through the center of the pumpkin patch with tiny pumpkins and gourds hanging from the ceiling.

Spring Blizzard

Or not.

We got snow at least. During the brief snow my father in law decided it was the exact time that the runts and late calves had to be sorted off of the cows. Most of the cows had come into the corrals already to eat do they got locked in and we headed off to gather the others.

When I say we I in no way mean to imply that I was doing any work what so ever. I sat huddled on the back of the four wheeler hiding behind the sheltering bulk of my husband. He makes a great windbreak and it was very cold out. I was merely along for the ride.

The cows however have been carefully trained that the four wheeler means food. Not hay bales in the corral type food but the pivot being moved so they get fresh cornstalks type of food. (See here for why that is) They immediately turned and ran for the far corner of the pivot. The four wheelers zoomed about chasing cows as best they could in their unwieldy, slow turning way.

Coyote King of the World

Coyote King of the World

The cows left.

I got my horse.

Poor Coyote, he was not happy to be out in the blowing wind and snow. At the same time he was feeling quite frisky in the bitter cold. I was glad I had enough sense to put a saddle on for once. On a loose rein he tossed his head and made delicate little leaps into the air while he pranced along. It was just like old times.

Together he and I have braved some nasty weather. Snow coming down so hard, being pushed by winds so strong I was unable to open my eyes, trusty old Coyote found his way though. Often finding calves as we went that I would have missed completely. All on his own he has dodged momma cows who objected to being moved to shelter. I didn’t even know they were there until he lept nimbly aside keeping us safe and out of their way. He has push nearly frozen new calves ahead of him using his nose to nudge and front legs to shove until we had them someplace warm. We froze and got soaked, he walked with his head cocked sideways to keep the snow out of his eyes and took  advantage of every chance to turn his butt into the wind but he always gave his all and got the job done.

And quiet kids pony, all in one

And quiet kids pony, all in one

Now I was asking him to do it again and he wanted me to know he objected. Until we got around the cows at least, then he was in his element. The only thing he likes in life besides food, is to chase cattle. He may never have made a show horse but he is one heck of a working horse. We walked the cows in as easy as could be, succeeding again where four wheelers failed.

 

 

The Latest in a Long List of Many

I really want to write about our kitchen but I have to get our latest God thing mentioned before I start that. It’s little, nearly insignificant, but that makes it all the better.

We needed to get the Goblin Child a hat for summer. The sun is fierce here and she would really like to spend all of her time outside in the sun. Last year she wore darling sun hats until she got a baseball cap down in Nebraska City. The cap stayed on better but we loved all her hats.

Her head has continued to grow even if it doesn’t seem like the rest of her does. None of the old hats fit anymore. We discussed how one goes about finding a hat in her size, none of mine are small enough. Planning to look into it farther another day we went on

Not wearing her hat yet but you can tell she's excited about it.

Not wearing her hat yet but you can tell she’s excited about it.

with life.

The very next morning a teacher stopped by my hard working husbands office and dropped off a bag of baby paraphernalia. Swim

suits, shoes and…..

A darling little pink John Deer baseball cap.

Spring has Sprung

As my brother has pointed out, I stopped writing. We’ve been very busy.

I went back to work for a week. It was quite the vacation, there were grown ups to talk to and I could get things done with out near as much help as here at home. Cleaning a bathroom is nothing compared with getting The Goblin Child dressed to go outside. I was still glad to be done once the week was over, I missed my rotten little Goblin Child.

Speaking of which, she and I have gotten a fair bit of riding done. On trusty old Coyote not her pony yet. Having The Goblin Child under foot makes me appreciate Coyote all the more. I give her the reins and she leads him all around. With me hovering right next to her of course, the old boy is trust worthy but spooks happen. He has had lots of experience with very small creatures underfoot. Years ago when we used to calve for real those baby calves often got confused about who was their mother. It was a different gelding that got suckled, lucky for Coyote, that poor boy was standing very carefully squealing every time the calf got hold.

Avoiding that embarrassing fate doesn’t mean that Coyote hasn’t had them under his belly and wrapped around his legs. He is very careful of the child, leaning down to sniff her every time she stops. I complain about how spooky he is when we ride him but truthfully he does pretty good. I spend most rides without being able to use the reins. The Goblin Child leans clear forward onto my arms, one hand clings to the main to hold us on and the other holds the reins but mostly holds onto the main too, helping to support the dead weight laying on them. I don’t know how anybody can survive with out leg reining.

The Goblin Childs pony did get some riding time last weekend. The whole family was up for Cades birthday (Happy Birthday Cade!!!) and Ava wanted to go for a ride. That made me very happy it seems like as she’s getting older she wants to ride less and less. Odie hadn’t been ridden in months so I saddled him and rode around in a circle or two then threw her up on him. He went as nice as could be, zipping along for the first circle around the yard. Ava wanted to keep going so we went again, he slowed down a bit. Cade decided he wanted a ride, I told his mom that I didn’t feel comfortable putting him on a horse that I had barely ridden. So we did anyway and made another trip around the yard. By then poor old Odie was really dragging. Apparently that was a lot of exercise for a horse that had stood around in a small pen all winter.

I need to start getting him in shape. First though he has to learn how to step over, to mounting blocks or say my pick up so I can get on. Yet another thing I don’t know how people live without.

It’s hard to find time to keep up with all the things I want to write now that the weather is nicer and one of us wants to be outside all the time but I am going to make an attempt.

Big Brave Bears

2014-02-10 13.34.59

Why would she need movie ponies? She has a real one.

Last night we watched Brave for the first time with The Goblin Child. I was a little concerned that it might be too scarey for her but she sat enthralled. The horses, one of my favorite parts, were of little interest to her. But then the bears came on. The big fight scene at the end was fascinating.

She growled right along with them as they fought. We know what sounds bears make, they growl with their claws over their heads, and we discussed it in great detail. After the movie was over she giggled happily pretending to cower while I, in bear form, attacked her. She showed no interest in the princess or playing with a bow and arrow. No silly princesses for us, she wanted to be the bear.

I couldn’t have been prouder.

It’s a Very Busy Day

Only my mother will (may) get that reference.

But anyway, we planted seeds. My tiny little petunia seeds shot up, again. The seeds of the plants for the greenhouse are taking a little longer much to the dismay of my impatient gardener husband. It’s amazing how those incredibly small seeds can produce such huge beautiful flowers.

I have gotten a surprisingly large amount of riding done this week. Twice. That’s pretty impressive for the way this winter has been going. I think I have made it out once a month, if I’ve been lucky, all winter. Earlier this week I put The Goblin Child down for her nap and grabbed a halter to catch Coyote. The child and I had been outside all morning playing in the unusual warmth of the day and I couldn’t wait to go ride. I stepped out the door only to discover it was snowing. I was determined though and decided that at the very least we would plod around the yard.

The snow was so beautiful, gigantic flakes floating gently to the ground with barely a drop of wind, that we headed into the corn field. Coyote was spooky and hot while dragging his feet and trying to convince me to turn back. I thought things would get really interesting once we turned around, but no. He walked faster and that was all. He walked that walk that would have won walking races that were held back when horses were used for transportation and it was important to have a walk like his. He zipped and bounced and we flew home in half the time it took to get out.

Then again on Tuesday, he was at the gate begging, probably for grain not riding but he shouldn’t be begging anyway maybe this will teach him. It was cold, ten degrees maybe, we kept it short but sweet. I keep telling myself, and anyone else who will listen, that spring is coming and soon we will go outside again.

2014-02-23 17.28.56Last night The Goblin Child was playing at our feet as we watched a little TV. She scrambled on and off of the couch honing her new climbing skills. Finally as her bed time drew near she grew tired of that game and tugged at her father telling him to come with her. He pulled his hand away and jokingly told her to go wait for him in bed and he would come read her a book. She turned away and we continued our movie.

Next thing we knew she was headed down the stairs. She went to the kitchen table and got her sippy cup down then turned to her bedroom door. We paused the movie and her loving father went to keep his promise. He said they actually ended up reading three books but if a eighteen month old child is going to follow orders like that I think she deserves as many books as she wants.

 

Apologies

I knew that I needed to write this, have known for the last week or so, but it was going to be hard and I couldn’t think of a way to apologize nicely so I didn’t do it. I am very sorry that my mother had to be the one to do it but she did it far better than I ever could have. Very well written but I don’t think she owed near this much apology especially since I was the one who started it and talked her into writing the beautifully written story she did write. Sorry mom. So here it is, guest post by Tammie:

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a short story about two churches, one I attend now, and one I used to attend, pushed the send button, and off it went to neversummer. 

I grabbed a coat and ran off to the church I attend now, and, God spoke to me about what I had just written.

True, the voice he used was our young preacher, Steve, who preached from Romans 14, but the words spoken were Gods.

  “Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgement on disputable matters. One mans faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats every thing must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat every thing must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him”

Steve went on to say, do not poke at the one who’s faith is weaker, or tease him, as the worse thing we can do is be a stumbling block to one of Gods children.

I knew that was what I had done, even though I had tried to write as if I were not. 

Then midweek came, and God was not done yet.

Steve spoke again, this time reminding us of how Jesus offered bread to Judas at the last supper. Reaching out his hand to Judas, giving him the bread which represents Jesus’s body, broken for us, knowing that Judas would leave immediately to sell Jesus to the priests and pharisees. Even knowing this, Jesus offered Judas another chance, to break bread together, something one does as a sign of trust and friendship. Steve reminded us that we can do no less for our enemies, for those we feel far from or feel have wronged us.

If that is so, how could I have written something that might hurt anyone from a weaker faith who might read it?

So, what can I say?

Just that I am sorry. I did mean to be judgmental, but didn’t really think it was that bad.  God felt otherwise. 

 

 

Main Street Cam!

Something happened!

I don’t know what, it doesn’t really matter that’s not the point. The point is that if you had been looking at the main street cam some time before 9:40ish you might have seen it. At 9:41 I looked and could still see an ambulance sitting there, that in its self is something happening.

Oh the excitement.

It’s a small town it doesn’t take much to entertain me. I do hope it was nothing bad of course.

Planting Petunias

And everything else.

We started the first batch of seeds inside today. I planted petunias ,Wild, Vineing, Burpee’s Best Mix and some random petunia seeds I picked from one of the pots in the yard.

My gardener husband planted more practical things. Four types of tomatoes, Jetstar, Solar Fire, Super Sauce and Sweet Tangerine. And a very impressive eight peppers, Garden Salsa, Goliath Griller, Highlander, Purple Jalapeno, Sweet Goliath, Yummy, Golden Treasure and Orange Blaze. The last two were extras because the seeds were there and we had some extra space to fill. The others will go in the green house. Later in the year we will plant the plants to go in the outside garden.