Thursday, January 31, 2013

Training horses

Rhoda arrived early afternoon to build on Ayanna's training. Yesterday Ayanna accepted Rhoda sitting on her just fine. Today she was ready to move with a rider. Ayanna was great.
This round pen reasoning Karin starts the horses on is just plain wonderful. By the time they are ready to be ridden they know all the basics such as go, turn, stop and back up. Ayanna thought nothing of walking over the tarp with a rider. She did so well, it was tempting to ask for more but instead she was given a treat and put back so Zalena and Marika could be brought in. Steven Marchal arrived, while Rhoda was riding Marika, Steven worked with Zalena on her bow. Below is Rhoda and Marika:
Below is Steven working with Zalena:
next he asked her to accept the tarp with no problem at all.
It probably helped that it is bitterly cold. She must have thought the tarp was some kind of blanket. Zalena is no dummy, once she was done, she walked right over to the heater and stood there warming herself.
Rhoda finished with Marika and just for fun brought her over to Zalena, Steven covered both with the same tarp.
Above they are looking over at the heater and below they have wandered over to stand next to this marvelous invention. Notice the glow of the heat on their chests.
Funny funny mares, most horses would be afraid of something like that. They were put away and the boys brought out. Today I stayed and watched for a while. Steven started on Valiant with Rhoda riding Evan.
Both boys have learned to bow with a rider, so impressive. The riders soon switched. Evan is still naughty throwing some pretty big bucks when asked to canter. Glad both Rhoda and Steven have no problem sitting them. The most entertaining part came when Rhoda was going to mount Valiant, each time she would get ready to mount he would bow. These wonderful trainers finished up giving Olivia, Jewel's filly a leading lesson. She also had to stand still while all 4 legs were picked up. She is learning quickly.

2 Round Bales

The temperature was 19 degrees around 6:00am but forecast to drop like a stone hitting below zero by tomorrow morning. After checking and finding this grim fact, Mark was willing to go out in the cold wind, start the skid steer up and move 2 round bales in, one for the boys and one for Sissy and Star. That just sounds so easy, start the skid steer and move in 2 bales but in this kind of weather there is nothing easy about this job. The gates and feeders are frozen into the ground, the gloves must come off to work the latches causing the fingers to become numb in a matter of seconds, the net wrap must be removed without the bale falling apart before it is securely in the feeder. All in all this job that is maybe a 10 minute job in the summer took over an hour with both of us working. By the time we were back in the house there was a message from Rachel, no walk today, the wind chill factor is -1. What no exercising today? The good news was Marika, Jenis and Zalena are all getting along, no horse was made to stay out of the shelter into the cold. Philip ordered the new printer, today the invoice will be dropped off at TEMCO, hope enough money comes in to pay for this. We couldn't use a cheap printer, we go through 5000 labels about every 3 weeks. After trying to find a better cheaper way we finally all agreed to stay with the expensive dot matrix. At least these printers are pretty much guaranteed to last 15 years.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Today was the day Ayanna, Indy and Killian were going to be introduced to a rider. The school district Karin works for closed early, she arranged to meet Rhoda the rider in the afternoon. The wind was howling, slamming into the barn, the rain soon turned to sleet and then snow and that wasn't very quiet as it was hitting the roof and walls of the indoor arena. Ayanna was the first brought in, not surprisingly she was jumpy and spooky but soon settled down. After a few minutes of round pen reasoning she was saddled and bridled.
She was worked a bit more then taken into the middle of the arena where she was asked to stand next to the mounting block with Rhoda up above her.
While Karin held Ayanna Rhoda moved the mounting block from side to side each time resting most of her weight on Ayanna's back. Ayanna didn't even tense up, she was just curious. The next step was the mount.
We were very pleased with how she reacted that and ended on a good note with her. Next out was Indy. Karin and Rhoda followed the same routine with her.
Indy was even easier than Ayanna.
Once the saddle and bridle was off, Rhoda brought her over to the bridge so we could stick her. Indy at 2 and a half years old sticks at 15.3 hands. The next horse worked was Killian, now Killian won't be 2 years old until the end of April so he was not expected to work much. The tarp was on the ground and he just walked right over it. We just wanted him to accept the bit and saddle. Once the saddle was off, he was taken over and sticked at 15.2 hands. This boy is going to be HUGE!
He was standing so quietly Rhoda decided to just sit on him bareback.
He could care less about someone up there, he just wanted to be with Karin. While he was put away, Rhoda grabbed Eliza while I got Marika out and brought her over to meet Jenis and Zalena. By the time Karin and I made it back into the barn our cheeks were frozen. The temperature had dropped from mid 30s to low 20s with wind gusts probably around 30 to 40 miles an hour. We were glad to be in by the heater. Rhoda was just about to climb on Eliza.
Eliza is such a gorgeous mare, she looked so big after working with the young ones we decided to stick her also. She sticked at 16.2 hands. The boys were brought in next but it was time to get supper started so I didn't stick around to watch Karin and Rhoda worked the boys. I heard later they were excellent. Mike and Diane drove the red van to church filling it with mom, Mark, me and their 2 grand daughters. Craig Sticking had the service on leadership.

Tempest in a Teacup

No walk today, it was raining and cold. Instead we met for breakfast. Olivia, Jewel's filly is like nothing we have ever had on the farm. She is the youngest foal on the property and yet she is such a Prima donna. The weanling paddock is crowded, until 2 of the foals, Onyx and Oksana are picked up in March, the foals need to get along and all do guessed it, Olivia. When the grain is brought out each morning she is first and demands her own feeder. The others are content to share but not her, she will threaten any that dare step into her space fiercely with her ears back. Today the others were ignoring her, eating out of her feeder, she backed into them and let fly with kick that hit nothing. She was so mad she ran into the shelter and kicked the wall. The picture below is from a few months ago but just seems to show her arrogant attitude.
Such a tempest in a teacup. Sissy and Star needed to be square baled. Their round bale is now gone but the mud is too deep to even think of driving the skid steer into that paddock. The deep freeze should be here tomorrow, if the mud is frozen solid they will be given a new bale, if not they will be moved out of that paddock and into one with hay. The boys can wait at least one more day before they need another bale. It has now been long enough to take Marika out of isolation and introduced to our mares. I would like her in with Zalena while Jenis should be put in the breeding shed paddock to watch for her to come into season. Zalena and Marika are due at the same time and we want them to raise their foals together.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

It Died

No jackets needed this unbelievably warm end of January day. Not knowing what was in-store at work, I was actually looking forward to work. Picking up the huge amount of mail, only made me more anxious to get started on the day. Walking into the office and seeing empty lessons slots...still no problem, just turn on the copier and wait. But then came the crash. The first load of studies were entered into the computer, the print button pushed when the first inkling of trouble loomed. Our 50 year old printer gave up the ghost sometime between Thursday and today. The copier finally warmed up, paper all loaded the start button pushed and that quickly came to a grinding halt. Toner needed to be added and somehow as the cartridge was inserted developed a leak, black toner powder showered the machine, me and the floor. Once the mess was cleaned up and the start button again pushed we heard a clunk. Paper jam was showing but when the door was opened, the hinge broke. That could be jimmied, the jam unjammed, the start button pushed and a notice comes up to CALL FOR REPAIRS. Except I'm the repair person. After a good 10 minutes of taking it apart and cleaning it up it was ready to be tried again except right about then Philip arrived to work on the dead printer and even he, the miracle worker could not bring it back to life. At least the copier quit acting up and behaved the rest of the morning allowing us to copy truly thousands of studies. By 11:45am the mail was opened and copies made but that was about as far as we got. There will be no Bible studies going out this week. Eva Jean has volunteered to call the graders to tell them there will be no Bible studies to grade. Philip and Mark are looking into solutions for this. Please pray for them, they need to come up with something soon. After lunch 12 boxes of Bibles were loaded into Mark's van for the trip down to Skyline for wrapping along with 500 copies of lesson 1 and 500 letters explaining the study to be wrapped with the Bibles. The rain started as I was driving home from this very frustrating day. There is beauty and even some color outside even though the sun is not shining. The mist rising off Mark's pond made for an interesting picture.
Then once the computer is turned on a very nice email was waiting to be read, and best of all she sent PICTURES. Hello, In October I purchased a lovely mare who turns out to be Raven's daughter. I just did a search to see if I can find out about her lineage and found your web page for Raven. I wanted to say I am sorry for your loss. My girl certainly seems to have his disposition. Loves people and is a ham. Her name is My Serenity, she is 6 yrs old and I intend to use her for dressage. I work for a farm that used to breed and I know they like to hear about their offspring. Though I would share with you. Take care. Heather Sigwald Wisconsin
Thank you Heather that makes up for this not very satisfying day.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Birthday Breakfast

Today is Diane's birthday and since mom can no longer go on the walk with us she cooked Diane a birthday breakfast that we all got to come in and share. The bright blue juicy blue berries, the sweet red ripe strawberries and the delicious fresh squeezed orange juice made for a very colorful plate.
The fruit along with farm fresh eggs, rye bread and salty bacon really hit the spot. The ice is just about all melted and should stay that way for a couple of days. We hardly needed our jackets on the walk today. After breakfast I drove to Sam's club to buy the organizer Philip needed for the work shop at Meisters. One just doesn't buy just one item at Sams, $90.00 of groceries and other necessary supplies were also picked up, such as toilet paper. There are now 3 bathrooms that must be kept stocked. This morning walking into the barn office bathroom to get the hose I discovered that bathroom was out..Not any more! Both applications for the IL Horse Fair were filled out and mailed. One for the vaulters and one for the Friesians. We have ordered 8 stalls, 6 will be used for the horses, 1 for a feed and tack stall and 1 for our dressing room. Speaking of the IL Horse Fair, this year it will be for 3 full days, March 1st, 2nd and 3rd. The vaulters will be performing The Pirates of Horsemeister while the Horsemeister Friesian riders will be continuing the saga of The Evil Queen of Maquon vs the Lady of the Lake. Both will be in the coliseum on Saturday and Sunday. We haven't been told the time yet but as soon as we know we will post the information here and on the website. This is one fair you won't want to miss! Karin only had time to work Indy and Ayanna before the scheduled vaulting practice. Ribbon was excellent for that tonight. Her canter is getting balanced enough that Mykala and Mitchel could practice their mount in the canter and the other 12 were able to practice sitting her canter. Karin has a big team this year but all of the vaulters are enthusiastic and fun to work with.


Want a fantastic buy? Jill the owner of Kenzie born March 17th, 2011 has just placed her for sale for ONLY $6500.00!!! This is an unbelievable price on a purebred Friesian filly that can be soon started and bred as early as next year. Below is a picture of Kenzie at 18 months.
Kenzie is a Raven daughter out of Wynne SF. She qualifies for a reduced breeding fee to Evan or Killian at 3 years of age. contact me if interested.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

More Ice or Just Rain

The weather report was horrible for today, as soon as it was light enough to see I headed out to see which paddocks needed hay. We only moved in one bale into Jenis' paddock, the boys are low but have enough for a couple of days and the breeding shed should also be fine for 2 days. Good thing I went in and checked their hay supply, I found their waterer was running over. usually this can be fixed by pushing the bladder up to stop the flow but today that didn't work. Mike will probably need to order new parts. The snow was suppose to start by 9:00am then turn to ice, lots of ice. Spark, Rhonda, Marvin and Gale were suppose to leave today for their mission trip to Alabama, rebuilding after the tornado destruction, but decided the forecast was so awful they left around 4:30am. As Mike and Diane were serving lunch we planned on arriving early to help fill trays. Diane had lots of help, not needing ours which gave us the opportunity to go down to the praise singing then David's class. Tim Funk had the morning service, David Obergfel had the afternoon...need I say more. What a blessing it is to be in Peoria on a Sunday! We exited church just before 2:00pm only to find no snow and no ice, just rain. The roads were fine until we hit the long farm driveway, heading to mom's the car started sliding. Arriving at the farm house ice had formed under puddles of water making for an interesting slippery walk just to get into the house. Why oh why don't we keep our ice shoe grippers in the car?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Practice Makes Nearly Perfect

Well maybe nearly perfect is an exaggeration, but after the 3rd try with the temperatures hovering in the teens it was close enough. Emily's dress was too long and each time she stepped backward she would step on the dress. Below Karin has tucked the dress up for Emily:
Below Mitchel is holding Evan waiting his turn to enter the arena.
We were wondering if the boys would react to Emily's dress but they both just took it in stride. Emily popped on Evan as Karin led him back.
Steven Marchal arrived to work with Emily Ricketts on the boys. Below is Emily on Valiant.
By the time he was done working with her Emily had cantered each boy around the arena. Once the tack was off, the 3 stallions were grained then put away and we finally went in for some lunch, this was around 2:30pm and we had worked up an appetite. Costumes were talked about and decided on. Rhoda, Mykala and Mitchell Cooksey are wearing the velvet robes, the girls will wear the red ones while Mitchell as the prince will wear the royal color purple. Emily's dress will need some modification.


Rhoda spent the night and offered to hold Olivia for a few pictures. It is just so cold outside none of us could stay out long. So cold Olivia was willing to wear Rhoda's hat.
She was very well behaved today, stood nicely at the end of the lead rope for the pictures.
Karin had a group out for trail riding, they will be frozen by the time they get back.
Karin took them over to Ruth's to warm up before the long ride back. Mike is at Middle Grove and offered to take a group riding out there but it is even worse out there with the wind. Diane is setting up for lunch at church tomorrow. We were suppose to go help but she called to tell us not to come, Ruth's family stepped in and saved the day.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Sweet Helen

It didn't work out well with the boys meeting Killian. Valiant and Killian spent the night together, no problem, Evan was put in the pasture next to them and all seemed to be going well, then on the walk we heard a crash. We arrived to find the stallion gate completely smashed, Killian standing next to the weanling paddock and Valiant hung up over the gate in the breeding shed paddock. His front legs on one side of the gate and his back legs on the other. Star was busy flirting with him. It took Diane to keep Star and Sissy out of that paddock, Rachel to hold Valiant while Mike worked on the gate. I grabbed Killian, put him in the paddock then moved a new heavy duty gate in front of the smashed gate. Killian is now with the weanlings and the boys back together. Steven arrived to check over Killian and help teach Olivia how to lead when he noticed that Helen had a swollen back ankle. She has a small cut that has become infected. I was not sure how blind Helen would do with hosing and treating her wound but she surprised me. What a sensible trusting filly. She hesitated going from the sunshine into the barn so I know she can see at least light and shadow but once she stepped in she was willing to follow where ever we asked. She even stood quietly for hosing. She was taken outside for a few pictures. Helen is HUGE, she won't be a year old for a couple of months.
She is going to be so easy to train, she absolutely trusts humans to keep her safe. Olivia got a good lesson today in leading, tying, and standing still when her feet are picked up. Hopefully tomorrow I can get some pictures of her, she is really beautiful, her tail and feather are thicker and longer than some purebreds. Karin arrived and worked Indy and Ayanna and both did great. Ayanna is now accepting a saddle with no problem. Marika also did well, Karin said she has a really nice floating trot. Diane sent a text through to the family that they had a big fire going and ice skating was great. Mike had lights set up, Billy brought hockey equipment and a good sized group showed up to cook venison brats on the fire and play.
The hockey games were fast and furious, so much so they ended up too warm and needed to finish the game with no coat. Below is Rebekah going against Billy.
Below Willow is helping to clear more snow off the slick ice.
We were thankful for the warmth of the fire:
It was hard to leave when we were having so much fun telling jokes and visiting around the fire.
The night was still, the moon just about full and the sky clear for our walk home.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Dinner & Dessert

The call came from Hoerr vet clinic that the Horsemeister farm was first on the list. Out I went to start bringing in the mares to make things go efficiently for Dr. Hoerr. The mares were moved inside, then Jewel and her filly Olivia were led to the stall barn, Jewel went in, Olivia ran off. Jewel had to be taken out to find her wayward independent filly, finally she followed her mom into Jenis and Zalena's paddock. When Dr. Hoerr arrived he took blood first from Olivia then the other 3 foals who all were done with just a lead rope around there neck, over to the boys paddock where they both stood great and finally into the big barn to do Ribbon and the gang. When it came time for Jewel's preg check, Dr. Hoerr led Olivia while I encouraged her from behind and this time success. Jewel is pregnant by Evan and due Aug 19th, 2013. Jenis did not settle, we will start teasing her and hopefully have an early foal for 2014. Steven arrived to groom Lily. He helped load Jewel then came along for the trip to Middle Grove. The horses saw us coming and came running. Indy and Killian were loaded up within 10 minutes of arriving and home we headed. Killian was introduced to Valiant and Evan. We brought both boys into the stall barn then put Killian in a foaling stall. He first met Evan and then Valiant. That went so well, he and Valiant were put together into a small paddock and fed. Again we were very pleasantly surprised at how well Valiant behaved. They were both put in the stallion paddock and after watching them for an hour we felt very comfortable leaving those 2 together for the night. Evan was left in a stall and not at all happy. Tomorrow it will be his turn, sure hope he will be as well behaved as Valiant. Karin arrived to work mares, but only got 3 worked before it was time to drive in to Peoria to pick up Mark for the family dinner scheduled for 5:00pm at Logans. That was actually surprisingly good, the food plus the specials were worth trying. Two complete meals for $13.99. Below is Addyson and Braelyn so happy to see each other at Logans.
After dinner Phil and Anna had us all over for dessert. Jack was so tired he dug through Taunya's babybag, found his blanket and pacifier, crawled into Taegan's swing to take a nap.
Taegan didn't need the swing, she had more than enough willing people ready to hold her. Below is aunt Sarah taking a turn with Taegan.
Phil and Anna served a delicious chocolate cake, ice cream and coffee.
Mark, I and Karin were the first to call it a night. All that work out in the cold was exhausting and Karin had a long drive home to Maquon.