Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Monday, January 30, 2012

Unexpected Company

Steven arrived as I was outside cleaning up after the dogs and brought out the the 2 boys for a training session. They are always so interested in the mares big or little. Below they had just seen the 3 pony mares.

Rhoda came out to work Ella in the lighted outdoor arena on January 30th, 2012, the weather is unbelievable!
Steven was still here working Zalena, we got a phone call from Amy that she was on her way so he left Zalena tacked up for her and got Jenis out for him. Below he and Rhoda were seeing if both of their horses would get on the pedestal at the same time.

Rhoda slides off Ella's back laughing all the way down.

Jenis is way to much of an aristocrat for sliding. She steps off quietly.

Amy spent some time schooling Zalena, teaching her to stay on the rail. This will help Anni control her in the big show March 2nd & 3rd.

Rhoda had to show us how Ella has learned to bow with Rhoda on her.

Mike wanted to join in the fun and thought tonight would be a great time to start Mindy undersaddle.
We were laughing as he used the pedestal to get on her. Really he just wanted to land lightly.
Ebby followed Mike out and started whining, she wanted up, Rhoda placed her on Ella and she was content to stay.

Rhoda wanted her pony back but Ebby didn't want to get down so Steven and Amy took turns holding this spoiled little puppy.

Actually it is good for the horses to accept anything we put on their backs including dogs.
Rhoda decided to start Mindy on some tricks, by the time she was done Rhoda felt Mindy has a lot of potential.

It was getting late and Amy really came over to work on Ella's description for the Horse Fair so Zalena was handed off to Steven while we went inside. The dogs were very board with the conversation.

It was so good of Amy to come over, I really enjoyed spending this amazing evening first in the outdoor arena under the sparkling stars then catching up with all the Bridlewood news inside the apartment. What a great day!

Cable Internet

Today is the first day I am actually using the cable internet, funny how one forgets how fast it is until it is back. It is even faster than the internet at the shop. Two pictures taken of Ebby this morning downloaded in just a few seconds, when we were using the cell service it would take so long sometimes I would forget I was trying to download pictures.
Ebby came running up for the walk this morning looking like a walrus.

She was so excited about what she had in her mouth there was no getting her to stand still for a picture. Finally Diane picked her up but even then she was wiggling so much she dropped one of her special treats (old hotdogs Diane gave her to share with Heidi)

Ylse was let out early this morning and given a bale of hay and a scoop of grain. She still looks like she is dropping weight. The vet was called to arrange an appointment to have her teeth looked at and floated if needed. Dr. Pallen is coming on Thursday afternoon to do this, as long as she is coming we will have new coggins drawn on Jenis, Ylse, Ribbon, Evan, Valiant, and Indy.
Braelyn arrived while I was getting a bucket of water for Ylse. Steven was called to see if he would pick up some Strategy for her on his way in to Hanna City. He actually delivered the bag and gave her a scoop before heading over to Zimmermans for work. She dived right in meaning she still has a good appetite.
Phil came just a bit ago to pick up Braelyn and I'm heading outside in the sunshine. It is warm outside!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Invited to Perform

As we were leaving the farm we see a car in the ditch. Mom called to see what happened and got the lowdown on how Caleb's car started sliding and couldn't stop until it slid over the embankment and into the creek.

We actually had to get out and make sure there was no one in the car before heading to Morton, IL to pick up Nancy.
After church mom took Nancy to her house for dinner. Mike and Diane came over, Diane came in and visited a bit while Mike helped Steven move round bales in the pony paddock, Middle paddock and Raven's paddock. they took off to check the horses at Middle Grove. Steven was good enough to let Ylse out for her extra food. We are a little concerned about Ylse, she has lost some weight since we are feeding the new round bales. The rest of the mares look really good. Hopefully since we have caught this before too much weight was lost we can have her built back up before the IL Horse fair in Springfield and speaking of the IL Horse Fair, we have been notified they need a high resolution picture of Ella and Rhoda and another one of the Friesian Jousting demo for their printed program. The Fair also wants a short introduction to go with the picture. We were thinking something like this: Presenting the War Horses of the Horsemeister Friesian Farm If anyone out there has a better catchy phrase that includes the words Friesian and Horsemeister we will consider that. These have to be turned in by Friday. We need Rhoda to come up with a short intro for her free style with Ella. This means we have been officially invited to perform in the IL Horse Fair's Horsecapades Friday and Saturday evening.


We are so sore to roll out of bed each muscle must be first stretched slowly before trying to sit up, slide out of bed and stand upright. Well that's a stretch of the imagination, we are not upright but bent over from cramping muscles. Those kids worked us to the ground yesterday. Poor Mark, he feels like he has the flu, he aches in every muscle. We just can't keep up with the thirty and twenty year olds and shouldn't even try. The sad part about all the work yesterday was none of it is for show, it is just shoring up the foundation. The farm house is around 150 years old, when it was built they just built it on a rubble wall. The original builders just dug about a foot and a half deep then dumped rock in it and built on top of that. We all know about building one's house on a firm foundation and not on sinking sand.
I was so thankful Steven left a full wheelbarrow of hay in front of the pony paddock. Just a few steps out to feed was way better than trying to make my way into the barn on the slippery packed snow and ice. The middle paddock inhabitants were way jealous of the ponies getting the good square bale when their 2 round bales are almost gone.
Mom is going with me this morning to pick up Nancy. My turn is actually next week but we will be cruising in the Caribbean then.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


The workers started showing up at 7:00am, they quickly realized one pallet of 80 pound bags of concrete was not going to be near enough and sent Mark into town to buy 2 more loads as full as Lowes could fill a 3/4 ton truck. All together they went through over 10,000 pounds of concrete. The three grandkids spent the day with me while Dave, Stef, Phil, Anna, Ben, Taunya, Rhoda and Sarah worked on the house. They came in muddy and frozen. Emily and her brother Matthew arrived early and went riding with Karin before the scheduled Horsemeister practice. Steven had Karin put the 2 boys out in the arena early so they could get some of their pent up energy out having fun. Karin took the video camera out when she did this and got about 5 minutes of play.

The Horsemeister riders: Karin, Rhoda, Steven, Rebekah, Emily & Anni showed up a little early went over how the practice was to go and then out to face the cold. They had a good practice even though they had to ride in a snow filled arena. They are practicing 2 different routines, one for the afternoon breed and sport demo and one for the evening Horsecapades. We were very pleased with how the boys acted. They are young Friesian stallions in an arena filled with very attractive mares and Steven was easily able to keep them focused on the job in hand.
Mom had them all over for lunch once the Friesians were put away, then they saddled up other horses for an afternoon ride. Karin, Rebekah, Anni, Emily and Matthew rode the horses all the way over to Ruth's house and back put the horses away and went hot tubbing at the Sauders. Around 1:30 the house workers stopped for lunch, Anna picked up pizza which was scarfed down, then they headed back out. Mom came over to help watch the babies while the vegetables and chicken for dinner were chopped. She was good enough to try to help clean up some of the ever present mud that got dragged in each time someone entered the apartment.
By 4:30pm the house workers ran out of concrete and headed in for dinner. The house workers ate, then headed for home, the horse riders showed up 5 minutes after the house workers left and they also enjoyed dinner each before heading to their prospective houses. We are tired but think the kids must be exhausted, Ah youth!

for Mom

Mom we want to open your horizons and stretch your mind. When we heard there was a t-shirt printed with instructions on good old fashioned hand raisings it just had to be copied and posted here for you to study.

Mom watched the video of Tim Hawkins doing his hand raising routine and burst out laughing. She may as well learn this, one never knows when something like this will come in handy. Heaven waits for those who love and worship the King, the only instruction missing on this shirt is the important casting crowns but perhaps we won't need printed instruction on that, it will probably just come natural.
We have a couple inches of snow on the ground. This may come in handy if the temps climb to 39 degrees like it is suppose to, the snow will have insulated the sand in the outdoor arena leaving it soft enough for the 11:00 am practice.
Phil has a work day scheduled for the farm house today and has asked the workers to come this morning.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Ella's Workout

It was sunny and just above freezing this morning, a perfect day for Rhoda to work Ella in the outdoor arena.
Below she was asked to get up on the pedestal.

The pedestal is pretty tall for Ella and this was the first time she was asked to get up without having her stand on the bridge first. By the time Rhoda was done with her she was riding her over bareback, having Ella get up then Rhoda sliding off her back.
She also worked on her bridle-less routine, some jumping and bowing.
I soon left to take the golf cart over to mom's where she was working outside on this beautiful warm sunny January day.

Rhoda came cantering Ella over to play with Heidi.

While the camera was out I snapped a few more pictures of the 2 of them. Ella was a bit naughty in the arena trying to swerve around the jump instead of over the jump but Rhoda ended on a good note. She was perfect on the trail ride. We sure like this pony!

Sarah brought Braelyn out, then asked if I would watch her while she and Rhoda helped Philip inside the farm house. Steven came over, moved in a new round bale for Ribbon's paddock, then took the boys out for another training session. He reported today Valiant quietly bowed, laid down, then sat up slowly. Steven is coming out 5-6 days a week to get these boys ready for the fair. Karin came with 2 of the new leg wraps, tried them on Ribbon and we rejected them. They just don't lay flat, look bunched up a bit. By the time her vaulters started showing up for practice the day had done a 180, snow was coming down so fast and thick in 15 minutes the drive was covered. The picture below was taken about 4:30pm shortly after the snow started.
Our nice sunny day turned into a cold cloudy snowy gloomy evening.
Hope tomorrow is nice, all of the Horsemeister performers are to be here at 11:00am for a practice.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Opening the Box

Remember the picture of the half empty study holder? Well today there are at least 150 studies of each lesson and it only took 5 hours.

I left the farm around 8:30am got to the shop, turned on the copy machine and ran it steady for those 5 hours. These will only hold us off a week or 2. No wonder Eva Jean would get so upset when she would come in and find the slots empty. She used to make them all at her home until the risograph quit running for good and the copy machine we took to her place to replace that broke.
Finally made it back to the farm, walk in the apartment and it is cold. After splitting a few logs the fire was started and the place started to warm up just about the time Mark came home. He brought home a couple of boxes, one was more sparkly material for the horse fair and the other the feeders we ordered. Darcy feels it is her job to open each box and has such a great time getting it done.

Of course by the time the box is opened there is cardboard all over the living room floor.
Mark went out to cut more wood while supper was prepared. Tonight we had chicken stir fry served on a bed of white rice and topped with Chinese noodles (the crunchy kind), one of our favorite meals.
We need a closer picture of those delicious vegetables.

Steven was over to work the boys and Rhoda is coming this evening to work Ella. We were relaxing in front of the wood burner when the dogs start playing. They are such goofy dogs but act like they are royalty in front of people they think they can impress.
Emma is pictured below.

But wait, is that rolls of fat on her? Yes poor Mark's feet are sandwiched between Emma and Darcy.

Darcy is pictured below, as old and lovable as she is she still is the boss of Emma.

Emily's Coming

Emily and one of her friends are coming down for the day on Saturday. Rhoda and Karin for sure will be here, now if we could just get the rest of the team here we could hold a practice for the show. The weather had been mild enough perhaps it will still be above freezing on Saturday so they can use the outdoor arena. We have been so blessed this year with mild temperatures. Mild enough we still have 4 out at Middle Grove, unheard of in years past. Each morning the golf cart is loaded up with a square bale making it easy to throw 3 flakes to the ponies and the rest of the bale to Raven. Then back for another bale for the 2 boys putting the entire bale in the bale feeder. The last paddock where a square bale is given is Indy and Killian's paddock again throwing the bale into the bale feeder. Steven made feeding them easy, he moved a bunch of bales into the breeding shed for easy access. By afternoon only the ponies are needing more hay. We will do this for the next week but before we leave for vacation Feb 3rd we will load up the paddocks with round bales.
Last night we ended up taking 3 cars to church from the Lake. It wasn't a good night for car pooling, Mark needed to bring things for Ron Christ, I needed to take a big sack of stuff from Rhonda for Gail Hodel and Marve Hodel had 2 things he needed to give me. Jessica had to go somewhere after church. Good thing Ruth & Fede's van was available for the rest. They were willing to stuff in 3 more mom, Rachel and Jackie.
Church was fantastic as usual. How could people willingly miss being fed from the Lord's table? At least now if one can't physically come they can listen on-line but it sure isn't the same as being there with the wonderful fellowship available. God knew we humans need fellowship, that's why He wrote in His Word, Hebrews 10:25 forsake not the assembling of the saints. Craig Stickling spoke and again left the pulpit way to soon. After church we joined the group that meets at Culvers for more fun and fellowship. We were the first to leave, we had the farthest to go to get home.
Today is copy day down at the Berean warehouse. Hope the toner holds out, we didn't remember to order more when the last of the toner was used.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dan's Repair

Eva Jean and I had such a nice surprise when we entered the Berean office yesterday. Dan repaired our study holder. We had this stuffed with studies, walked in last week and found it collapsed in on itself. The papers were too heavy for the cardboard shelving. Dan took it home and fixed it better than new. Now there is real wood slats instead of just cardboard. Now we can stuff each slot as full as we want and it won't collapse again. THANKS DAN!

I knew he was the one to ask, Dan can figure out how to fix anything, he must have inherited that talent from dad. The only depressing part is all the empty slats, tomorrow will be a copy day. We try to keep 300-400 copies of each study on hand as there are many jails and prisons in the area that use them.
Mark and I played hooky from choir last night. Mark came home with a scratchy throat, Spark & Rhonda are in Florida and I just didn't want to drive the dark country roads to the fellowship hall all by my self. The other factor was Rhoda came over to work Ella and I wanted to watch. Ella has been at Middle Grove and not worked for a couple of months, we had no idea if she would come back naughty or nice. She was excellent! Rhoda worked on her bridle-less routine, her bow and her lay down. This is one smart pony.
I know action pictures can't be taken clearly inside the arena at night with my camera but took a few anyway.

Today is Braelyn day, the vacuum better be run to try to get the dog hair up before she arrives. Maybe there is something to Rhoda's idea of breeding Emma to a poodle. These dogs shed. That won't happen any time soon, we have a line-up of people wanting to be put on the list for the next time Emma is bred. She passed her OFA hip certification but her left elbow had grade 1 calcification (1 the best 3 the worst). I was concerned about that until more research was done, everything that came up was: grade 1 very rarely moves to grade 2, if only 1 elbow has it more than likely the cause is an injury and not congenital. Meaning we will need to look for a huge championship AKC male.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Books

Last evening was spent on getting the Horsemeister books in order for our tax man. That took hours, finally pushed save, went to email it to Diane and it couldn't be found. What a mystery, it must be on this computer somewhere but even the search button couldn't find it, how's that for secret files. Too bad these weren't suppose to be secret. At least the second time didn't take quite as long, most of the paper work had not yet been put away.
Today the correct birth dates were added on the horses born, bought, or sold, I thought it might be fun to compare horses bought or given to us against the horses sold and actually was a bit depressed. We were given 3 ponies and 1 horse but we purchased 7 more giving us a total of 11 new. This would be fine if we had sold 22 but nope we only sold 12. No wonder we are not making any progress on cutting the herd. The final number for the start of 2012 is 27. For my birthday one year Amy Koch gave me a T-shirt that had a picture of a lady handing her head to a doctor, the words in big letter said, "Doctor, I need you to examine this, I just bought another horse." That shirt is going to be worn over and over this year.
This would be a great time for any one to offer on one of our horses. We would accept offers on Izadora, Bow, Cindy, Mindy, or Bonnie. If a new horse or pony is in your future consider one of ours.

Horse Fair Entertainment

Yesterday 2 emails came in from the lady lining up the evening entertainment for the IL Horse Fair. In the first email she asked if Horsemeister would come up with a thundering jousting Medieval demo, and the second email was:
Could Rhoda put together a routine with Ella? I just finished re-watching the video of them and found another video of the two of them on your youtube channel. Do you think she could do a bridleless freestyle routine?
Rhoda was not real enthusiastic her words were, "we need to clear out the arena, there is too much stuff in it to train." I'm sure both Karin and Steven would agree with her. I wonder how quickly could we put up a coverall arena? Mark just shuddered! I'm just dreaming and someone said, "if you are going to dream, dream big."
Who would have thought when we built the big barn we would fill it up with so much equipment and hay there isn't enough room to train.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Valiant and His Father

Steven came out after his work at Zimmermans, moved a round bale into the middle paddock and a square bale each into Raven and Indy's paddock. Once all the mares were grained he brought Evan and Valiant into the arena for some trick training. While he was getting ready to put the bridle on Valiant we look over and there is Evan climbing up the hay stack to reach the best bales. At least he thinks they are better than the ones on the bottom, really they are all the same.

Evan is quite the thinker. Steven actually has him bowing on voice command, laying down on voice command, then sitting up when asked. Of course this is at Evan's home place where he is the most comfortable. Take him where there are people around applauding and he will lose his focus quickly. Once both boys were worked Steven let Valiant say hello to his daddy, Raven.
At 2 and a half years of age, Valiant is almost as tall as Raven but Raven works hard to show his son he is the head of the farm.

Mark has a home board meeting tonight, dinner will just be left overs.

Wide Open Spaces

Today on our walk Ruth brought back Mike's cowboy hat borrowed for some school project and all the pans left at her house for the lasagna dinner. We had a good time discussing wedding plans for Rebekah and Brian. I had to cut it a bit short as Braelyn was due any minute and for some reason we walked (I rode the golf cart) very slow today.

Karin posted some pictures of their trail ride at Middle Grove, above is at the cottage and below is the wide open grass lands of the neighboring farm.

No wonder Mike & Spark are considering this, the land is gorgeous.
Today is very windy, we had rain during the night that melted most of the snow. Below is Emma playing in one of the few remaining piles.

Last night we had an impromptu party at mom's house. Karin had purchased a bunch of T-Bone steaks, Mark grilled them over at mom's, Rhonda came in to arrange things before her trip to Florida and as there was plenty of meat, all in her house last evening were invited. Kari, Noel, Tara, Jay, their 3 little ones Spark & Rhonda along with Mike & Diane and Rhoda, Mark and I all crowded around the table with mom for a delicious perfectly done steak dinner.

Karin, Kari, Tara, Rachel and Rhoda had to leave by 5:30pm for their volley ball game (which they won)while the rest of us watched a video of 2 prisoners in the Canton prison give their testimony. It is really wonderful to see fruit from the prison ministry.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ruth Served Lasagna!

Well the dinner at Ruth's on Friday night was not a game night, she served LASAGNA! When we heard what she was serving no one wanted to wait until 6:00pm we started pouring into her house at or before 5:45pm and of course the engaged couple had not yet shown up. When Fede's sister walked in the first words out of her mouth was, "OK, what is going on?" She saw the pans of lasagna on the set tables and finally put 2 and 2 together. Then the only thing to figure out was who was engaged and who were they engaged to?

As most of us were early Ruth and Fede asked us to find a seat at the many tables Ruth had set up, then when the engaged couple texted because of the snow they were going to be late Spark went ahead and had the prayer. By the time they arrived we were almost finished eating.

Rebekah came walking in the door with Brian Schwind from Roanoke.
After greeting each of us they were finally able to sit down and eat some of the famous lasagna while answering many questions.

As we had finished it wasn't long before Diane brought out the dessert, a big congratulation cake.

They were asked to tell their story of how they met, how God brought them together and how they became engaged. We had Brian go first and it was fun to listen to his story of the first time meeting Rebekah, and Rebekah telling us the first time she noticed Brian. The picture below was taken during Rebekah's turn.

Below the cousins are getting the more in depth story we were given.

We had a fun time teasing the 2 of them but by Ruth having the lasagna dinner on a Friday instead of Saturday we had much longer to keep our mouths shut.
It was a relief to finally have it announced today in church. We think Ruth was beaming more than Rebekah. This makes 5 weddings for Peoria this year!