The book, my book, Understanding Horse Whorls is available. Again.
It was released some time ago. In the spring maybe? As an ebook. That went very well. Sold copies all over the world. Lots of people asked for a print version though. And there were lots more things I was still learning that I wanted to add. So, I started adding, and I started reformatting, all the things it took to get it to print form. Then there was more editing, fiddling with the cover, all the stuff. It took a long time. We were also busy with the other summer stuff and my normal work I needed to do so there wasn’t a lot of time to work on it. Thankfully the kids went back to school 😉
After a going through a few proof copies with all the waiting to be delivered that that calls for I think I’ve fiddled with it enough. All that I’m going to at lest. Until people start pointing out the errors that we all have missed. Then there will be some more fiddling.
Have you ever had a terrible, awful, no good, really bad day?
I do believe that title is taken, but it was how my morning felt.
My wonderful husband got up and got breakfast for everyone, like he always does. I took a long, joyous sip of my coffee. Only to discover something in my mouth. Looking around for somewhere to spit it out, I finally decided on the table. It made a large mess, but I was relieved to find it was a moth that had decided to make my coffee its final resting place and not a fly. My toast was soggy, my coffee no longer appealing. I comforted myself with the reminder that I’d be going through town later and could get a yummy fancy coffee there.
I set about getting my chores done so I could get going and get that coffee. One thing after another caught me though. I ended up helping clean out a bulk truck and finishing laundry. I switched vehicles a couple of times ending up in the pickup and trailer with a four wheeler loaded instead of my pickup, the original reason for going to town. I need gas. Oh well. By now I was committed to town for reasons other than the original.
By the time I got to town it was nearly eleven. I walked up to the door of the coffee shop, only to come nose to nose with a closed sign. The lady was inside, but no, she was not willing to get me coffee. I consoled my self with tea from the grocery store. And a bit of chocolate. It was nearly lunch time by the time I got to the pasture to do the cow checking I had set out to do to start with.
With my chocolate for lunch and bottle of tea to take the place of the water jug I had left the house without 🙁 I got to the pasture. The cows were mostly in the new pasture I had gone to the trouble of bringing the fourwheeler to move them to. What a wonderful day. A couple of heifers and a bull were still in the old pasture, Daisy and I got them moved.
Most of them.
The bull said no. I had been told to leave the gates open between new and old pasture. The bull could stay where he was. We left him behind.
After moving the heifers and getting back to the pickup I got to thinking about that bull. He would do nothing but cause trouble. That’s what bulls do. They jump over fences, tear up fences. wander the country looking for more fences to destroy.
What if I brought him home?
I have a friend who is my hero. She regularly loads the yearlings she watches in the trailer and brings them home to doctor. All by herself. No chasing, no roping, no dragging. Just a girl out there do the job in the best way possible. I want to be like her.
Would I be able to walk a bull into the trailer though?
She brings along panels and spends time out working with her yearlings.
I had myself, a fourwheeler, the trailer, a barbwire fence, and my trusty Daisy.
It seemed unlikely. What was the worst that could happen? No one was there to see me fail. I do all the fence fixing anyway. I would have a little more to do if he went through the fence.
I pulled the trailer alongside a corner brace, unloaded my mount and we gave it a try.
It didn’t look promising to start with. The bull walked into the windmill pond and said no.
My mount couldn’t swim. Daisy ran up to him barking. He said no. She looked back at me and shrugged her shoulders, I swear she did, and said sorry.
I sat a moment thinking how sad it was to have failed so quickly. Then I grabbed a piece of wood that was laying nearby and threw it at the bull. It actually hit him! He was so offended. He looked around at me, feelings hurt, then walked slowly out of the water.
Wow, weird, but not going to question what works.
Daisy hopped on behind me, Speeding around the water hole we rushed to keep him out of it. Wet muddy Daisy laid against me soaking us both The bull walked quietly towards the trailer.
With only the trailer door for wing fence, there wasn’t much to hold him. I pulled along side, he stopped and started to back up. I jumped off and got behind him.
He stood perfectly still, looking around, judging his options. Then he walked right into the trailer! It worked! I was, almost, as cool as my friend. Only because the bull was calm and easy going. Just exactly the way bulls should be.
My terrible, awful, no good day was looking a little brighter.
We’ve been very busy for the last month. Earlier this spring we got the goats. So we’ve technically been busy with them for a long time it just picked up as we began washing, shaving, and putting in lots of practice time.
The goats are sweet, tiny delicate little things. They don’t lead like tiny delicate little things though. Or maybe it’s that they are almost as big as the children trying to lead them. There were toes stepped on and frustrated children as they worked to figure out how to handle these small wild animals.
The goats were happy to hang out with us but not overly interested in being caught all the time. Playing with small children is exhausting for everyone.
Until we started fair preparations for real. After being held for baths and trimming the goats went from semi feral pets to lap animals. They suddenly loved being caught and came runing to us begging for attention, and more torture apparently.
It makes me think about the quadrants and how ‘reward’ isn’t necessarily what we think it should be. Treats didn’t work but a bath did?
Show day dawned hot and miserable. We were showing one of the few animals that didn’t have to spend the week at fair. Instead we could show up that morning, do our classes, and go home again! There are lots of people who enjoy camping there during fair. I do like my own bed and have plenty of work waiting at home so it’s good to be able to keep it brief.
I entered the children in their classes, even the one who wasn’t mine. Thinking about horse shows I entered them in as many as they could. If we’re driving over there we might as well make it worth the effort. That meant four classes, showmanship, halter, I don’t know what it’s called, they judge the goat not the handler, costume class, and trail.
The Goblin Child’s goat was not interested. She went between refusing to move and flying through the air in giant leaps. T.G.C. handled it wonderfully. She never let go of the collar, she didn’t cry and give up like she did when we were practicing at home.
Instead she kept a brave face despite the difficulties and heat, she held onto that goat. My favorite part was when a friend of ours that she was showing against placed higher than her. She immediately turned and congratulated him. They shared a fist bump and left the arena to continue to help each other out behind the scenes. That is what I’m hoping the children can learn from this. That little bit right there is what makes the whole summers worth of effort worth it.
That and getting to watch them in the costume class.
I decided to do a fairy goat mother. The Goblin Child decided that instead of being the mother to a fairy goat, she wanted to be Cinderella. Her friend she was showing with went as one of Cinderella’s coachmen leading a goat drawn pumpkin coach. They were darling.
The last class of the day was the trail class. They set it up out by the barn. A simple but fun course that included getting sprayed by the hose, always a plus when it’s 100 degrees out. The Goblin Child’s goat was done and she could barely drag it through. 8 watched in fascination and begged to go help her. He wanted to do it himself. I made him wait. There were only a couple of kids, human and goat, in the class. Once they were done he took Daisy, the more willing of the goats and went through the course. They did wonderfully, even jumping the jump and enjoying being sprayed.
We were all happy to be done. We had fully funded the schools ffa program buying water from them all day. There was no way to keep up with the amount of water our bodies needed in that heat. The goats had spent most of the day hanging out in the shade of the barn eating and drinking and staying cool.
Now they are at our house, instead of the friends where they stayed leading up to the show. We are learning how hard it is to keep a determined goat penned. Our goats who live happily with the cows are much easier. It has been a fun learning experience and we hope to do it again next year. The two children too young for 4h should be able to show goats still next year with Cloverbuds. They were all devoted to the goats and worked hard to get it right and do the job properly. Next year we’ll all be better prepared.
Harvest actually started quite awhile back. They got the wheat here around the buildings back around the 17th.
Then it was time to move the equipment over west to get started on the rest of it. With everything over there and ready to start my farmer husband drove the combine into the field, and right back out again.
Somehow between finishing the last field and moving to the next something had broken, something major. With some poking and prodding and cussing it was decided to head on into town. There was nothing that could be done there. At the tractor doctor, as my children call them, they found the problem and the nearest piece to fix it back in Iowa. We have a neighbor who is parting out a combine just like ours though so first an attempt was made to get the piece off of that one. It wasn’t happening though, the piece refused to come loose.
So the other part was ordered. Shipped overnight, hopefully, although we were all in doubt of anything ever actually arriving over night.
Somehow it actually did! They had it on and the combine going again by evening. It was back to work again much to everyone’s relief.
The time while the combine was broke was hot and dry. Now the weather is sticky wet with humidity and there have been a few rain showers coming through. No combining today but hopefully back to it tomorrow.
They’ve, us parents, have been working at figuring out this goat stuff and getting ready for fair. Mostly it’s been Heather. She got the goats and has been caring for them. We go down and help when we can.
The Goblin Child and Whitten have been working on leading and proper form for showing. Mostly it ends up being a bunch of mostly naked children running around screaming and playing. Great times!
8 has really enjoyed playing with the goats. Next year we may have to get him one to show…
We were rushing, as always, to get done with one thing and get on to the next. I had been telling the kids repeatedly that we had to hurry!
Then we pulled into town and there on main street were three horse butts sticking out from between the parked cars. I slowed down to stare. Then pulled into the next empty spot. The Goblin Child started going on about how of course there was time to stop for horses. There was always time for HORSES. In fact she went on quite obnoxiously along that vein the whole time we visited with the people.
The horses turned out to belong to two guys who were riding from Nevada MO up to Mount Rushmore!