Thursday, February 28, 2013

Bath Time

What a morning. Out the door just after the day was light enough to see to move in a round bale for the middle paddock. It had not stopped snowing all day yesterday and the driveway was impassable again! Mark took the skid steer down breaking up the new ice and clearing off more snow. We loaded Ribbon and Eliza into the front of the stock with Jenis and Zalena bring up the rear of the stock trailer. Steven had his truck and trailer posed at the top of the hill while we went down the drive and watched for traffic. As soon as the road was clear Steven came barreling down the drive and onto the road without stopping in order to make it off the ice. The next truck and trailer to leave was mine but Mike was willing to drive it down the hill while Diane and I watched for traffic. Once we were finally on the road it was actually a relief. We made it to the fair grounds to find Steven had already unloaded his entire truck and trailer. The mares were in the outdoor round pen while he had his truck pulled into the stall barn unloading. After the releases and coggins were turned in and the wrist bands collected for the Friesian and vaulting demo, Steven started bathing horses while Rhoda, Emily and I worked on decorating the stalls. Below is Valiant and Evan, all clean and wearing their brand new coolers.
We finally stopped work around 4:00pm and headed to Culvers for a late lunch. Check in at the Ramada was next. Rhoda, Emily and Steven were planning on heading back to the fair to ride the horses around the grounds and hopefully into the coliseum but when the girls went to Steven's room to tell him they were ready to go they found his room quite a bit larger than our room and made him change rooms with us. His was at 8 feet larger and guys don't need that much room. Once all the luggage was switched, they took off for the fair. Amy had arrived, checked out our decorations, gave her approval then drove to the hotel. She walked in with her Horsemeister sweat shirt on and the man at the front desk didn't even have to check the records, he told her exactly where we were. She wondered what kind of an impression we made that he would know that. It is now 6:20pm and I'm ready to hit the sack.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Steven Marchal showed up today with brand new, very fancy, embroidered with HM Friesians, coolers for the boys plus an extra for one of the mares. I was telling mom about the coolers and how we were taking them down to the fair tomorrow when mom starts questioning why we would want a cooler for the boys and did I expect them to stand on it. It took me a while to figure out she thought Steven bought the boys a food cooler. Pictures will be taken and posted when we are down there tomorrow. Almost is as bad as giving instructions to a blond. For reference Rebekah is going to be showing Ribbon in the undersaddle judging at the fair. She will be asked to walk, trot, canter and reverse. Rebekah was riding Ribbon while I was shouting instructions and when reverse was shouted out, instead of turning around and going the other direction Rebekah asked Ribbon to back up.  I couldn't figure out what she was doing until Karin said, "remember you are talking to a blond." Did that ever start us laughing.  Now for some sad news. We are not taking Lily and Rosalie to the fair. The snow just didn't stop coming down yesterday and today. Amy Koch was going to bring 2 horses down with her but her trailer is buried in the snow. We thought about taking 2 trips down tomorrow but it just doesn't make sense. We will just be taking the 6 horses down, the 2 boys in my trailer and the 4 mares in the stock trailer. Today was spent pulling, packing, plowing, and pushing snow. The skid steer was the most important piece of equipment today, it was needed to plow the drive, pull out Steven's truck and the stock trailer, push snow out of the way and then pull my truck and the living quarter trailer out. Karin and Steven helped with the packing, Steven's truck is as packed as it has ever been, It was amazing how much that truck held today.
Mom picked me up for church and I was so ready to quit working and sit quietly. We had a visitor today, Paul Messner from Winthrop was in town visiting his parents.


The wet heavy snow has made the woods on the other side of the fence a winter wonderland. The branches are all fluffy white. The snow on the roof is slowly sliding down but still hanging together. This picture was taken as soon as it was light enough outside looking North. Our entire front porch is framed with this blanket coming off our metal roof.
Yesterday the big dog bones Amy Koch donated for Darcy and Emma were cooked up and given to them as a special treat. Below is Emma enjoying hers.

And we mustn't leave Darcy out. Emma always grabs the largest bone but Darcy's was big enough for her to gnaw on most of the day.

Mark went out to start the skid steer. He is almost out of diesel fuel, hope he has enough to do both driveway hills.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Trip to the Barn

Lily and Rosalie have been locked in a stall since yesterday afternoon. They were very glad to see me this evening and Lily wanted out. I believe she is starting to come into her foal heat. She just seemed anxious and not content inside. Ella pony is starting to bag up. She isn't due until March 27th but ponies usually do go early. She will need to be checked tomorrow. She is certainly looking round.

 Mark took me in to work late morning, picking up the Berean mail at TEMCO before heading to Meisters. Bills were paid, and letters worked on while waiting for Byerline garage to call on the car. By 4:00pm the car was finally finished and now has a brand new starter. Before heading home I took a quick trip to Aldi for groceries and Family Dollar for 3 bottles of shampoo and 4 bottles of condition. Hope that is enough to bathe 7 big horses. The roads were awful coming home. Thankfully we got the word choir was called off before the food was purchased. We were suppose to serve tonight. Mom invited us over for a hot meal but both Mark and I declined, it was just too long of a day and I had dinner already prepared. 


Today we are really having a blizzard, not some hyped up event where we only get a few inches. The picture below was taken just a few minutes ago and already (if I could open the door for another picture) the landscape has changed to white.

Mark's van is not good on slippery roads, he is stuck here for the duration. My car is great with the wonderful snow tires Mark installed but that is in Peoria getting the starter replaced. The truck's 4 wheel drive is broken but...we still have the skid steer. Not that we can drive that in to Peoria to get the car. Last night Karin and I worked on the vaulting and demo script for the IL Horse Fair. We are to leave for the fair Thursday morning, sure hope Mark can get us dug out and hooked up by then. 
The weanlings got a new bale this morning as the snow turned to sleet then a rain snow mix. There are now 59 bales left in the barn.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Winning Photo

Just for kicks I entered the photograph below in the funny foal contest the Friesian Heritage Horse registry was holding for 2012. It won $15.00 and 5th place. This is Jewel's filly by Evan, she is such a funny filly, very arrogant and bossy.

Today Philip brought Braelyn and Taegan over for the day. These 2 little girls keep grandma so busy the camera doesn't get used. Actually I grabbed it a couple of times for a cute shot but Braelyn is so quick the pictures were missed. Both girls were really good today.
As soon as Anna picked them up I jumped in the truck to hook it up to the trailer but it was stuck in the mud. The next job was to drive to the bank to deposit a check, jumped in the car, drove to the bank, parked the car and went inside and when I came out to leave the car wouldn't start. Just then mom called so she was asked to come rescue her stranded daughter. Right after work Mark picked me up, we drove to the bank, got the car started and drove it in to Gary Byerline's garage in Peoria. We finally arrived home for dinner after 6:00pm and heated up left overs from last nights dinner. It was just as good tonight, either that or hunger is a really good cook! 
Today Teagan's grandma offered to donate all the popcorn supplies for the IL Horse Fair. Teagan is one of Karin's little vaulters. We say a great big thank you to Sherri! 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Rotating Potluck

Is there anything better in this life here on earth than sitting around a banquet table laden with mouth watering foods and surrounded by brethren of like mind? What a wonderful gift today has been from the time we arrived at church until right now. Mark and I hosted rotating potluck tonight. Afternoon church lasted late, so Diane and mom came to the rescue helping to get the house looking spiffy, the table lovely and the meal cooking. Thank goodness for family. Our special guests tonight were Vonnie and Verle, Eunice and Leon, Tim and Debbie, and mom, then Mike and Diane came over after dinner to join in the fellowship. The guests are now gone, the dogs have been released from the apartment and are now sleeping quietly on their beds and we are both ready to hit the sack. What a great day!

Potluck at Ruth's

Shortly after arriving from our long one mile trip to Ruth and Fedi's house Fedi showed us one of his house pets.

This is actually his son Steven's snake, sure can tell this snake is well fed. Ruth then pulls out an appetizer that looks as if it could be cooked snake. It wasn't, it was a kind of Romanian sausage, very delicious. Along with our hosts Ruth and Fedi, the other guests were Gary Unsicker, Roger and Melanie Geyer, Carolee Unsicker, mom, and Mark and I. We enjoyed the entire evening. Mark is heading outside to try to get the car going, he thinks the starter went out. What a nice surprise to see Steven had moved in a wheel barrow full of hay for Lily last night. That makes the morning feed so much easier. Thank you Steven!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Crying My Eyes Out

My cousin MaryEllen and her husband Albert came today to see Rosalie. She had to show off a bit but the camera wasn't taken out. The picture below was taken yesterday and it looks like she is practicing her Piaffe. We start them young and expect a lot of our Friesians.

After playing with the dogs and horses MaryEllen and Albert headed over to mom's for a quick visit. After they left it was time to start work on the meat loaf for tomorrow's dinner. We are hosting rotating potluck and I'm using Rachel Honegger's venison loaf recipe. Unfortunately this recipe takes chopped onion, lots of chopped onions, causing me to cry my eyes out. Tonight we are heading to Ruth's for potluck, sure hope these swollen red eyes fade quickly. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Snow Day

Above  is Evan looking all majestic in the new fallen snow.

Mark was out at first light clearing the drives. The wind wasn't blowing allowing the snow to stick to the branches making for a pretty picture. Below is looking towards Mark's pond.

We actually had 4 dogs on the walk today, Emma joined us a bit later, they had such fun playing. Diane's dog Ebby and mom's dog Heidi love picking on Karin's dog Studly.

After breakfast at our house the boys were let out to play in the snow. They had a ball running around. Below Evan is  rearing up behind Valiant while Studly tries to get in on the games.

Lily and her filly Rosalie were taken to the outdoor arena for a few shots of her playing .

She had a good time running around then ran under her mom's tail.
Below it looks like she is saying, "ugh mom, your tail stinks!"

Helen's Family

Helen's new family are going to be making the long trip from Colorado March 13, leaving early in the morning, arriving late then staying at the apartment on the 14th to rest up and leaving for the trip home on the morning of the 15th. They are bringing the entire family AND a set of grand-parents. It will be nice to meet everyone.

They will be able to see her full sister and I'm sure will be shocked at how big a foal grows in one short year! The snow started before Mark arrived home from work. I was getting worried we wouldn't be able to move the round bales in if I waited as it was coming down fast so asked Karin to help. We were moving the first bale in when Mark showed up. He took over for Karin freeing her to head to mom's for dinner. We moved a bale into Jenis' paddock, the breeding shed paddock for the 2 walkers and another into the middle paddock.  Karin brought her dog and clothes, she didn't want to be snowed in at her home in Maquon, there are no horses for her to work in Maquon. Ha, she doesn't know the plans I have for her today, she is mine, all mine! I'm not sure how much snow fell but enough to cover the dingy gray grass and frozen mud. With Karin's help I hope to take lots of usable pictures for the website today. Mark went out early to start shoveling while I'm sitting here at the computer enjoying my second cup of hot delicious coffee.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tyler Joos

I took a quick trip to Sams for dog food and groceries right after the funeral and still made it home before Tyler Joos arrived. Rhoda and Steven had already brought in 4 of the mares. Together we brought in Onyx, Oksana and Olympia then let Rosalie and her mom out for the first time since she was born.
She was so funny bouncing around her mom. Rhoda started scratching her and she loved it.

Tyler arrived took one look at Ribbon and almost turned around and left. He decided he would save her for last just in case she might disappear or he would run out of time. He trimmed up Eliza first.

followed by Jenis, Zalena, Indy, Ayanna and then Ribbon before heading in the stall area to trim up Oksana, Onyx and Olympia. Steven brought Evan and Valiant into the arena next for their trims so back into the other barn for Tyler. Below he is trimming up Evan.

Once he was done and the horses all put back Amy arrived with her grand daughter Olivia to see little Rosalie. Amy made the mistake of bringing treats for Lily and Lily wouldn't leave her alone. Rosalie had to show off a bit, then when Amy started scratching her we all burst out laughing. That little filly had herself so twisted around in ecstasy we though she was going to fall down. Steven had Evan cover Star before he left for the day. Karin arrived after the other 2 left and started training the mares. We still need to move in 3 round bales before the snow starts.

Martha's Funeral

Today is Martha Schaefer's funeral. Martha was 99 years 10 months old. She was the last of the 10 brothers and sisters in the Schaefer's family. Can you imagine the family reunion going on in heaven right now, all 10 siblings, their parents sitting at the banquet table with their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Tyler Joos, our farrier is scheduled today at 12:30pm. Steven has agreed to meet him here at the barn just in case I don't get home in time. He needs to trim up all the horses going to the IL Horse Fair plus the weanlings. Hopefully that goes quickly, there is a snow storm coming and no groceries in the house and even more important we are running out of dog food. Who knows what the dogs will start eating if their food is gone. Dr. Hoerr arrived late afternoon yesterday to check over Rosalie, give her a foal shot, and draw blood for a coggins test on Lily and Helen. Amazing how well Helen does, she left the herd of weanlings, walked quietly beside me out of the sunlight into the barn and into a stall, then stood like a rock for Dr. Hoerr as he drew blood. Lily on the other hand had to be twitched. I think she is the only horse out of our whole herd that needs to be twitched for shots and blood drawing. Her problem is that she has such a good memory. When she was 8 months old she spent almost 2 weeks at the University of Illinois getting poked and prodded then finally diagnosed with EPM then 4 years ago she had to go back to UofI for colic surgery. That did it, she would prefer to never see a vet again in her lifetime. Last night my niece Kristin hosted family outreach at church. She supplied around 150 people with a delicious full course spaghetti meal. Diane, mom, Mark and I helped with the serving and clean up. Ken Hoerr had the service.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Raven's Rosalie

Her registered name will be Raven's Rosalie but we will call her Rosie. Last night after choir Mark came with me to the barn to help with the feeding, watering and cleaning of stalls. It was great to have someone to visit with while the work was being done.

 The cold cold temperatures were a concern knowing it was to drop until the low single digits, how would this 24 hour old filly do? This morning after bundling up and hiking to the barn to check I find not only did she survive, she was ready to play. She was running around Lily bucking while the stall was being cleaned. She finally did settle down for a nap.
Diane came over for a short visit bringing her grand daughter and mom.   

They each had a cup of tea then couldn't stand it and got busy, Diane painting and mom cleaning.

Mom is going to have  her knee replaced in just one short month and one would think she would enjoy just sitting around drinking tea. Nope she sees the work and must clean. Maybe that is where I get all my compulsions.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Last night at 11:05 Lily gave birth to a big beautiful black baby girl.

She was up and rooting around for the milk bar within the hour. At 12:30am I headed to the farm house for sleep. Steven stayed up to make sure she was nursing. Trying to walk back to the farm house was an adventure. The wind was blowing so hard the umbrella was immediately blown inside out then torn from my hands. The rain had turned to snow, the standing water had already turned to ice making for a treacherous trip. At 2:00am Steven sent a text through the filly was nursing. We will both be glad to get a good nights sleep tonight! Warning the video is a bit graphic, feel free to watch in high definition...or not.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Nope Not Yet

Still no baby. At 2:30 am I gave up and headed back to the farm house for sleep leaving Steven on foal watch by himself. Today Taegan and Braelyn are coming over and this old grandma needs sleep in order to play nicely with them.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


The day started with singing in the church basement and ended with singing at the Goodfield Fellowship hall. In between was a very busy blessed day. This was my last week to sit under the tutelage of David. His class will be taking a 2 week break. After church Lily was put out her stall stripped and new bedding put down then a layer of straw for the night. Evan was pulled out to cover Star. Steven arrived and helped Mark and I put a new round bale in for the boys and one for Lily's paddock. The hog panels are working out great. They were $23.00 each and so far the middle paddock one has been used for 3 round bales, Lily's paddock 2 and they are still just about in perfect condition. We went through 10 round bales in January, have already gone through 9 so far this month and will need at least 3 more to finish out the month. We will need at least 12 bales a month until June to make it through. Guess I'd better count the bales soon. Steven stayed the rest of the afternoon and night as we were invited to Goodfield with the choir.
All the supplies for the birth are at the apartment ready and waiting. Now it's time for me to go wait, then wait some more. Hopefully by morning we will have good news of a safe birth and a healthy foal.

No Baby Yet

The second night up waiting for Lily to go into labor was hard and now unless she delivers today we will have a 3rd disturbed night. She tested right at 250 last night giving us an (according to the foal predictor test kit) 84% chance of delivery within the next 24 hours. Mares are able to hold off delivery for a while, she probably felt last night was just too cold to go into labor. I am thankful for the foaling monitor, at least we didn't have to sleep in the barn. The monitor's sound was so good that every time she urinated we were sure her water was breaking. Just guess how many times a night a heavily pregnant mare has to go.  At 4:35am I gave up and came home to crawl into my nice warm soft bed. The very worst part of the entire night and morning was I forgot to make and set the coffee maker. Thankfully there was about a cup left over from yesterday.
Lily will be left inside today, we won't take a chance of her delivering outside while we are gone.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Group Ride

Lily was  brought into a stall last night just in case she delivered. She was testing at 200 which is just a 50/50 chance but Steven decided to bring her in and stay all night on foal watch but no baby today. She will be tested again this evening.  Emily Ricketts, her friend Annette and Karin spent the night here as play practice for the 2013 IL Horse Fair was scheduled for 9:00am.  Steven and Emily took Valiant and Evan on a trail ride at 8:00am to give Emily a chance to get to know Evan as that is the stallion she will be working with at the fair. After breakfast, Mikayla, Mitchel, Dee and Rhoda arrived to start getting the horses ready. Dee was asked to read the script while I video taped the practice. They ran through the play 3 times and each time found something to improve on. By the end of the third time everyone was frozen and ready to come inside to warm up with hot chocolate.
As Emily is the Lady of the Lake she needed to look beautiful, Mikayla worked on her hairdo setting it in curlers. Below they are deciding how she should wear her crowning glory.
Karin scheduled a trail ride since we had so many willing riders. This was a great time to get some riding on the horses in training. She had Rhoda ride Ayanna, Emily ride Indy and Mikayla ride Marika. She used Ella for Annette, Jenis for Mitchel, Zalena for Dee and Ribbon for her.
Above is Annette on Ella and below in the lead is Mitchel on Jenis, Rhoda on Ayanna, Emily on Indy followed by  Dee on Zalena, Annette on Ella, then Mikayla on Marika and bringing up the rear is Karin on Ribbon.
Below is Mikayla on Marika,. Marika did extremely well today, her second time on the trails.
Below is Dee on Zalena ready to head out.
And off they go.
They had a great ride, everyone survived the 'death trails' Below they are heading for home, Marika is back there just not too visible. on
 They were willing to pose for a quick group shot.
It never warmed up the temperatures staying in the 20s with a brisk wind but at least the sun was shining. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Busy Fun Day

The first thing used this morning was my special valentines gift from Mark.
This was the best gift ever to melt my heart. The temperatures were hovering around 34 degrees all day but the wind wasn't blowing. Rhoda and Steven arrived around the same time. Eliza was the first horse brought into the arena. She popped up on the pedestal and stood there for almost her entire grooming session.
Rhoda tacked her up and took her to the outdoor arena for practice. She got a bit more than she was looking for. She was asking Eliza to come in at a gallop, Eliza saw the shadow of the light fixture, thought it was a jump and hurled herself into the air.
   After a very successful practice Eliza was put away and the boys brought out. They were given some free time in the arena to wear off some of their energy.
  Steven asked Valiant to come in to him, then asked him to bow and lay down.

Notice this is done free, no halter, no bridle. While Steven was asking Valiant, Rhoda asked Evan to perform.
 The boys were then tacked up and taken on the death trails. There is a pretty good sized rushing creek to cross on this trail and these boys have never been asked to cross the creek. Steven Marchal had to get off to lead Valiant through first, notice his wet pants in the pictures below. After the first time the boys crossed it numerous times successfully. A big thanks to Steven who was willing to sacrifice his clothes. Valiant was put away, then Evan brought over to cover Star

Karin, Dee and Rebekah showed up as the first crew was leaving. Karin rode Jenis, Dee rode Zalena while Rebekah took Marika on the death trails. This was a first for Dee and Marika.
.  Karin and Rebekah did some training with Ribbon while Dee and I moved Olympia and Helen back with into the weanling paddock. Lily was tested, she is now testing blue at 200. That is only about a 50/50 chance of her delivering but we will put her inside tonight. Steven has offered to spend the night in the apartment and wake us if she goes.