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Blizzard

There’s a blizzard comin’ on how I’m wishin’ I was home
For my pony’s lame and he can’t hardly stand
Listen to that norther sigh if we don’t get home we’ll die
But it’s only seven miles to Mary Anne
It’s only seven miles to Mary Anne
You can bet we’re on her mind for it’s nearly suppertime
And I’ll bet there’s hot biscuits in the pan
Lord, my hands feel like they’re froze and there’s a numbness in my toes
But, it’s only five more miles to Mary Anne
It’s only five more miles to Mary Anne
That wind’s howlin’ and it seems mighty like a woman’s screams
And we’d best be movin’ faster if we can
Dan just think about that barn with that hay so soft and warm
For it’s only three more miles to Mary Anne
It’s only three more miles to Mary Anne
Dan get up you ornery cuss or you’ll be the death of us
I’m so weary but I’ll help you if I can
All right Dan perhaps it’s best that we stop awhile and rest
For it’s still a hundred yards to Mary Anne
It’s still a hundred yeards to Mary Anne
Late that night the storm was gone and they found him there at dawn
He’d a made it but he couldn’t leave ol’ Dan
Yes, they found him there on the plains his hands frozed to the reins
He was just a hundred yards from Mary Anne
He was just a hundred yards from Mary Anne

I love this song. I’ve only heard the Chris LeDoux version but it’s a great one. I love to sing it when I’m out riding in the summer heat, right now it hits a little too close to home.

It is howling outside. For once I’m happy to play the girl card, stay inside, and care for the child.

Yesterday was spent preparing. I moved the horses up front out of the way. The father and mother-in-law put out bales in all the pens and I waited for the call to say he was ready to bring the cows in. The day started nicely enough warm without too much wind. As the day wore on the temperatures dropped steadily as the wind rose. And still we waited. At last  a freezing mist began to blow and it was finally bad enough to be just right for moving cattle.

Coyote was feeling the coming storm. He was hot, I think we could have run laps around the two four-wheelers. They came off of the corn stalks easy enough. Until they got to the gate at least. The fences around the pivot are all single strand electric and the calves happily pop back and forth underneath them. They saw no reason why today should be any different.

There we sat with the cows in the narrow lane, the calves out side the narrow lane and coyote boinging around the narrow lane like the squirrel in Over The Hedge after they gave him coffee. The father-in-law and the neighbor Bill were off their four-wheelers chasing calves on foot through the tree row on one side and the wheat field on the other. They are both around seventy give or take a few years and there I sat on my horse while they ran about on foot. I felt awful. I felt as though the natural superiority of the horse was being put to the question.

Coyote managed not to crash into the electric fence and no one had a heart attack. We got one batch of calves into the pens and I found a secure place to tie my horse then I ran through the tree row on foot. The calves all seemed to have come in, no one was bawling last night. It started snowing in earnest shortly after we finished. It would have been nice for them to have more time before the storm to get paired back up but moving pairs in nice weather is simply not done.

Coyote was lathered, soaked to the skin more from nerves than exercise. I turned him out anyway. A good roll seemed like the best cure. Later that evening I went out to check them and found them all shivering. Not too surprising, I groomed them. I knew as I picked up the curry comb that it was a bad idea. They got locked in the barn for the night. It was nice and warm and dry. They hated it.

Why are People so Bad at Selling Horses?

In a fit of insanity I called about a horse this morning.

I was browsing through Craigslist, because that’s what I do while the rotten Goblin Child eats, skipping over the decently priced horses and laughing at the really bad adds. I saw one philly for sale and a half quarter half pertron, what is that exactly? But there are so many blogs devoted to the well deserved mocking of Craigslist horses I wont get into that. Then I came a 13 year old Morgan mare, I got all excited and clicked on it. The add was as bad as most other Craigslist adds including a picture of her papers. Not close enough to read them just a picture of it laying there.

Mocha is a 13 year old registered morgan. She was used as a ranch horse when Mike bought her. Can be a little hard to catch, but is good as gold once haltered. Easy with her feet, easy to load and can be ridin bareback.
Asking $900 OBO.

It’s not much information but worth calling about, I have been (not) looking for a teenaged Morgan mare. The guy answered I was suprised being a week day and all. Score one, and final score. I asked him to tell me about her. He thought real hard and said “well she can be hard to catch.” Great you said that in the add, can you tell me about her?

He really couldn’t.

I finally managed to squeeze out of him that they had used her a little to work cattle. He bought her from a friend who had ranched on her. She liked to look at cows at least and would spook at strange things. Great she’s a Morgan I expected all of that, he still hadn’t told me anything about the horse. So why do I want it any way? Obviously I am insane.

He said he would get back to me with her blood lines. I hope he doesn’t, it would be awful if she is beautifully bred.

The pictures didn’t transfer well but I liked how uphill she looked cantering. She seems to be short and stocky her legs look nice and she is cheap and close. That is always important.

Theoretically, it would be fun to buy her make sure she is riding nicely shine her up a little and try my hand at some marketing. I believe there is a market for this type of horse but it’s not Craigslist in this country where no one has heard of anything but a quarter horse. Of course if she turned out to be really nice I could do some more training have my horse for the child and husband and maybe breed her to Nevel some day.

Ahh, the joy of wishful thinking.

There is no hay. There is no grass. There is no time. I need to stop looking at Craigslist. This is self inflicted torture.

 

Finally the Garden

I keep getting off on different tangents and neglecting this topic. Which is completely unfair considering the amount of time we devote to it.

So we started most of the seeds back in February. They grew like crazy. The tomatoes, my gardener husband tells me, were too far from the light and it got too warm encouraging them to get a little leggy. But we will plant them deep and other than that they look great. The peppers are perfect and my little petunias are doing amazing. I can’t believe that from those microscopic seeds these big healthy plants have sprung. Everything is transplanted into three inch plots and ready to go.

It’s been quite warm out, in the sixties, and the radishes, lettuce and spinach in the greenhouse are doing alright. We are hoping that this weekend our seedlings will be able to join them. That means that the chickens will have to move back into the chicken tractor immediately of course. we will not have a repeat of last year.

Calf Horse Extraordiaire

Not the roping kind, he couldn’t rope a dead goat.

I don’t know what that would mean I just liked the way it sounded.

I love it when my four-wheeler-riding relatives need  horse to get a job done. I try to be nice about the horses natural superiority. Not.

Last year it was a very sick calf stuck in the pond. They were plotting all sorts of convoluted plans for retrieving the little guy. After listening for a bit I pointed out that my horse could go in the water. And so moving slowly and watching carefully for barbed wire we waded into the pond dropped a loop on the calf and drug him out. Unfortunately he died anyway, but I enjoyed being useful.

This time a tiny baby calf crawled out of the pen with its mother and into the pen with the yearlings. They, yearlings, are rotten curious creatures and were chasing the poor thing all over. They called me, I caught Coyote.

Coyote used to be a top notch first rate calving horse. Not that he isn’t still good, he has simply changed professions. He has saved my hide more times than I can count and his unique skill set makes life so much easier. Today he was not feeling useful, he was hot, temperature and temperament, and wanted to go home.Therefore he decided to be terrified of the yearlings sniffing his butt. Prancing and skittering sideways the whole time we brought the baby calf and half the yearlings out the gate and up the lane to the circle.

Once there we easily sorted the yearlings off, returning them to their pen, until only the calf remained. We then quietly and as easily as Coyote could manage since it was in the same direction as home requiring much fit throwing pushed the calf towards his mother. The calf ran pushing hard against the feed bunks until finally he hopped in and crawled through into a different pen of yearlings. I may have cussed him a little.

So we rode into the pen, spooking from the yearlings and pushed them out into the circle. Is this sounding familiar? Yeah same routine different pen. This time as the calf ran down the lane pushing against the feed bunks Coyote and I dove through the still open gate into the pen and galloped down the inside of the feed bunks alongside the little fart head. We were headed towards home and I’m not sure Coyote knew there was a calf we were working, he was just going home as fast as possible. He didn’t know or didn’t care that we were doing so down a concrete slab covered in an inch or so of manure. Just enough to create a good slick slime. At the fence I hauled him to a stop and watched to see if the calf would crawl back into his original wrong pen. As he continued on I turned Coyote who proceeded to discover the cement as his legs splayed in every direction.

He stayed up of course and we again followed the calf down the lane. As my father-in-law opened the gate into the pen he belonged in his mother stood just inside calling him frantically. He pushed against the fence trying to get to her until he reached the open gate whence he turned and ran as hard as he could the other direction. I love cattle. We followed him nearly back to the buildings until he reached the closed gate then pushed him hard back to where he belonged. This time he plunged through the right gate.

Coyote walked back to the barn lathered with sides heaving. I felt bad for him in this beautiful warm weather still with his winter coat and planned a good currying. First I had to relieve my mother-in-law from her baby sitting duties. So I tied him up and pulled my saddle and bridle with a promise to return quickly.  Inside I rescued my mother-in-law from a crying baby checked said babies diaper loaded her in the back pack and headed out to finish caring for my horse.

Only there was no horse to be found. His lead rope was tied to the fence, the halter in a heap on the ground. Looking off towards their pen I could see him waiting for me at the gate. He looked at me over his shoulder as if to ask what was taking me so long. I hurried to let him in, if he doesn’t want brushed I guess that’s his call.

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Technology in the Classroom?

This is not the post I meant to write. I have lots of garden “stuff” I have been meaning to cover but…

My husband and I were discussing the local school’s current drive to add as much technology in the classroom as they can squeeze in. This is not in any way going to be a complaint about the school. I think we have one of the best schools around. We talk all the time about how we would home school if not for the quality of our little local school. Still this technology thing is very interesting.

The teachers are always going to conferences to learn new ways to incorporate technology into their teaching. All the classes have smartboards (glorified overhead projectors for us old people). Every high schooler has a school supplied laptop. There are currently three computer labs including one for the elementary who also have a computer in each classroom. Plus there is a strong push for all the elementary children to be given tablets.

Other than doing home work on their computer, research, testing, and what not, what are the ideas for using technology in the class room?

The latest is for teachers to send out home work reminders to students on twitter. Call me old school, I am, but what was wrong with writing these things down in their planners?  Doing that at least teaches them to be responsible.  I am not sending my child to school to learn to tweet.

If technology is so important, and it definitely is, why not teach the students real practical uses for it?

Short of teaching them all to use Linux they could learn to program, install software, and get rid of viruses. You know, real computer stuff? Most of the students don’t even know the most basic computer repair. You know, the reboot.

One reason for this lack is readily visible. None of these things are required on state tests. Not the schools fault. They have to teach to fit state requirements. Besides who would teach it? The teachers, great though they are, don’t know how to do any of these things.

Then there is always the money issue. The school has been running on fumes for a long time now and recent budgets cut have only made it worse. School staff haven’t received noticeable raises in years. Yet due to grants there is no shortage of money to buy more computers and technology. It is very nice that people want to help schools out monetarily but all the computers in the world aren’t going to do any good without teachers. I have suggested that perhaps paying the electric bill to keep those computers running could count as technology. The grant writers have their doubts.

So while we are still not home schooling our child will definitely be getting her technology lessons at home.

Still on the Subject of Mares

It’s really a hard subject to get off of. We have been gardening like crazy, the child is always doing cute things, I have a ton of projects going with sewing, knitting and painting the house. I have really become quite domestic. Not completely though because I would still rather talk about horses.

Discounting the Horrible drought we are in the middle of which means no grass or hay I still don’t have time to ride the horses that I have. The child needs a few more years before she will be able to ride a horse of her own. So on and so forth.

Does it sound like I am trying to talk my self out of a horse? Well I am.

We (me and mom) have become big fans of Forever Morgans ever since she got Indy. Her little (big) rescue is turning out to be a great horse, sound and quiet. So of course I had to check their sight for horses in my not looking for a horse. They had many that fit the bill:

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Jennie Moro

REGISTERED Morgan Bay Mare

Nabub Donnie Moro x Covenant Kate Moro

Foaled in 1989

Fostered in CA

14.3h

They have NO info about her but she looks kind of pretty in this picture and there is a child on her. I guess she is a little old to breed which defeats the purpose of getting a mare.

 

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Wheatland Lacy   

22 yrs. Old
REGISTERED Brown Mare

Fostered in WA
15.2h

Lacy is an excellent mare with many years of riding still in her
and is too nice a mare to let stand in a pasture. She is a very
healthy with wonderful feet and a near perfect confirmation.
She will require an experienced rider as she is a fast moving
mare. Lacy has been on trail rides and does fairly well- but she
has an extremely fast walk and loves to be out ahead. I have
ridden her mostly in the arena though. She is definitely a saddle
seat horse. With more ride time and training I think she would
do awesome in a show under saddle seat. She has a HUGE
extension on her trot (her favorite gait). I have been able to slow
her down though for a western gait if someone were interested
in that. She is classified as old time Morgan and is approximately
1000 lbs and 15.2 hands. She is a big mare, but has nice ground
manners and is a VERY easy keeper. We can put her in pasture
with anyone. Her pedigree can be found at allbreedpedrigree.


This does not fit my requirements, but this is the one I want. I want her so bad. She is so pretty and I love the fast walk with lots of go. My two people need quiet and slow. I have a hard time remembering that that’s a good thing.

This last one fits my needs even less but as soon as I read his info I wanted to try to fix him.

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Locust Valley Blaze

REGISTERED Morgan Chestnut Gelding
Enons Night Hawk x Miss Cyclorama
Foaled in 1995
Currently in QT in PA
15.1 H

His video under saddle. 

His video in hand. 

Update March 19, 2013 :
Blaze is doing much better now ! Taking treats and letting people
love on him ! What a milestone he has crossed !

Blaze is ANGRY. When he first arrived in quarantine he
was NOT being a nice guy. He seemed to subscribe to
the “attack first, find out what they want later ” school of
thought. He would use his teeth and stomp his feet – with
true intent to harm. However when firmly reprimanded,
with a rope or quirt visible for reinforcement, he would
back off and seemed surprised. After a few weeks of firm,
consistent, and fair treatment Blaze is starting to come
around. His ears are not automatically pinned when he
sees someone, he is no longer snaking his head out to
bite, and he’s allowed a human to put a halter and lead
on him without first requiring diversionary tactics.  He is
NOT a lost cause! He just needs someone very special
to help him find the nice horse hiding inside him!
Blaze needs someone who is willing to work with him
using firm and fair practices but who won’t back down
from him. Somewhere along the line Blaze has learned
to fear or even hate humans and he has learned that his
Big Bad Boy behavior earns him space. He needs
schooling in correct behavior and he needs to learn
that people ARE deserving of his respect and perhaps
even his love. When this boy is finally won over he will
be somebodies soul-mate forever!  In the meantime he
is hanging out in quarantine, and FM is paying for him
to just stay put until we find the EXACT RIGHT home for
him. Obviously we will be very particular where he goes.
Blaze is waiting for HIS person- do you know who they are?

Okay, so they really only had the one mare that almost fit the bill but there were so many unregistered mares on there that sounded very nice and lots of good geldings. It is always the first place I look when I am (not) looking for a horse.

The Last Thing I Need?

As I bombarded my mother with horses for sale at the slightest hint she might be looking so she is doing to me. It is really quite cruel of her.

I love looking for ponies for the small child. Recently I have added to my requirements. Dead quiet and well broke are still tops but if we could find that in a sweet well bred Morgan mare that would be very nice. Since I have decided to halfheartedly offer Nevel at stud it has crossed my mind that it might be nice to breed him just once. He is coming so nicely and kid broke seems like proven enough for me in a mare.

Now I keep getting emails containing links to mares that sound like they fit this description exactly.

This one sounds great, probably every thing I’m looking for. The picture turns me off though:

679484_1What a great all-around beginner mare, and well papered to boot!!! She is well broke and would make a great kids horse. Showy has tonnes of trail miles, has been used on the ranch to move cattle, and has been used to drive horses. She trailer’s, ties, is great with her feet, and is easy to catch.

Her sire was a proven show stallion, that could cut, pull and be roped off of like nobody’s business. He was a phenomenal foundation sire that contributed greatly to the Morgan breed, and that breeding stands out in this mare! Showy’s dam was also a great producer, and was an all-around performer in the show ring and out, passing on her intelligence to her offspring…

Showy would be the ultimate horse for someone just starting out!

http://www.equinenow.com/horse-ad-679484

This shows up in my tabs as Angel mare needs….. that’s hard to ignore. Not enough training I think and again with the picture:

701003_1

12 yr old Morgan Mare is up for sale to a �forever� home only. She is half Standard Morgan & half Lippett with excellent bloodlines.

She is very sweet and likes to �move�. She has been under 6 months of training in western/hunt seat using Dressage principals.She is located in Macomb County.She needs an experienced rider who can be gentle yet firm with her. She has been ridden indoors and on trails. In fact she won 1st place in her division in the WHAM judged trail ride this fall.

Asking Price: $1,100.00 includes teeth done. Offers entertained.

http://www.equinenow.com/horse-ad-701003

This is the one I want, yes it was the picture that did it:

673294_1This lovely mare would make a great family horse for use on the trail, showing walk/trot or training level dressage. She’s super sweet and does well with kids. She’s very tolerant, but is a forward mover and does best with a relaxed rider.

http://www.equinenow.com/horse-ad-673294

If only, so many if only’s.

Plant Potatoes on Good Friday

At least that’s how I hear the saying goes. Easter was early this year but we got them planted. We are not usually so prompt. My farmer husband got the plot worked.

He says I can say worked safely, with out sounding stupid. I am not allowed to say plowed, apparently things are seldom plowed. The other day my father-in-law was chiseling a corn field. They often disc things, I think, but my knowledge of farming and farm implements is pretty much nil. So on the theory that it is best to keep my mouth shut and not confirm my idiocy I shall stick with working ground.

He says if he can call a horse brown I can say plowed. I told him no.

Anyway.

After working the garden plot my (I could say anal but I wont) careful meticulous husband measured out the rows in exact two and one half foot intervals. He than measured and dug the holes for the potatoes with a post hole digger. We also got the onions and peas planted. I did that is, they were not measured neatly.

This year we are (he is) moving the plot further south than last year. He alternates it regularly to give the ground a chance to rest. There is just enough ground at the bottom of the garden to squeeze my pumpkins in. Just enough of the best most fertile soil, the nutrients tend to wash down hill. My millions of pumpkins ought to be huge.

We are hoping to get the tomatoes set out in the green house next weekend. They are rapidly out growing there current space. Spring is nearly here!

Busy Month

It has been quite a while since I got around to this last, since then things have been a little busy. The Goblin Child got sick for her first time, just a cold fortunately. Every thing with her is a little scary though. The doctors have spent her entire life telling us how fragile she is. She has gotten a VERY expensive shot every month for the last five months to protect her little preemie lungs from RSV. What is that exactly? I don’t know, but I do know it’s a respiratory sickness that goes around the school regularly not bothering older healthy children. The last one is done though, hooray! She is over that now with nothing worse than a cough and runny nose.

We then hauled our delicate sickly child to Omaha to see my Grandmother, mom, brother, sister-in-law and their boy Sabbath and my husbands aunt. That sounds like a lot of people already but we thought we would risk it with her and hope she didn’t catch anything. To our surprise it turned into an impromptu family reunion. We got to see every family member I have. All those who live in Nebraska at least. As always there is never enough time to visit and we had to come home, that whole work thing always gets in the way.

The Goblin Child seems to have come through it with out any difficulty I however thought I was going to die. It hit me as we were leaving Omaha. That means that for the five hundred mile drive home, eight hours minimum, through the sand hills and with a slightly cranky baby in the back seat we got to stop, along side the highway (that sand hills part that means not a town in sight) so I could (how do I put this delicately? Hmm, guess I don’t) spew my guts on the side of the road. Such fun.

Goblin child hasn’t caught it yet but my poor beleaguered husband did. This whole weekend he has been mostly dead. It’s amazing how weak this thing leaves you. He seems to be on the road to recovery and I can’t decide if he was fortunate to get it over the weekend and not have to miss any work or if that’s the other way around?

Feeding The Horses

One fine spring day we took a walk out to see the horses. We brought along a bucket of grain because horses always need treats. They were glad to see us and for the first time The Goblin Child seemed to notice them.

She thought they were very interesting. They thought maybe she was food.

I am hoping to have her thoroughly desensitized to them so she will be ready to ride come summer. I can’t wait until we get her a pony of her own. Every time we go to Bomgaars I take her to look at halters. She hasn’t decided on a favorite color yet, she thinks they all taste good.

I have started having fantisies of a little Morgan mare. Mid teens and dead quiet. She could be shared between The Goblin Child and my not a horses person husband and I could Breed her to Nev. I keep telling my self that’s the last thing I need.

Of course I haven’t found the perfect mare either.