Friday, February 28, 2014

Trailer Mats

Braelyn and Taegan finally got to come to grandma's house. Two weeks is a long time to go without seeing the grandchildren. They had fun today playing with puppies,

and playing dress up.

We got a bonus today, when Phil came to pick them up he stopped first at the apartment and fixed the washing machine leak. The girls and I are SO thankful for that. No more hauling laundry from the apartment down to the house. The puppies had a couple visitors today. A puppy owner showed up to meet her new baby girl. Of course they also had to go see the new colt, marveling how tall he is.
He is a curious friendly colt actually following me around the stall this morning. 
After supper Mark and I went out to work on the trailer mats getting 3 of them installed. The hardest one is now done, the one that goes under the collapsible tack. It has been a very long day but a very satisfying one. We have much to be thankful for. I don't always understand why I've been so blessed but know who deserves all the thanks, all the glory and all of my heart.

Rocky Video by Rachel

Rachel sent over this video of Sandy, her colt by Valiant and uncle Sunny. I knew this boy was special the first moment I saw him, he sure has the Friesian presence.

Rachel writes:
here's a video of rocky, along w/sandy & sunny. Rocky is $3000 by himself, Sandy & Rocky & foal due in august are $5000, Sunny is $3000. Entire herd (4 horses including new baby) $7000"
What a deal what a deal. 

The Birthing Video

Above is a short video of Lily giving birth to her Valiant son just after midnight. It is short because we needed all hands to towel him dry before he froze. He is doing GREAT! We are so thankful for a healthy beautiful colt.

Its a BOY!

How I love the set up we have for foal watch. A nice warm apartment with a nice warm bed that includes an electric blanket and the monitor right next to the bed. I felt very comfortable drifting off to sleep around 10:00 pm knowing I would hear Lily's water break on the monitor. Sure enough a little after midnight I heard the water hitting the floor. Looking on the monitor I could see Lily lay down and get ready to push.
The hard part of the night was waking up Emily. She was so deep in sleep when I told her it was time she thought she must be late for class or something. She made it out to the stall area in time to help with the delivery.

We video taped the birth but it was so cold we didn't video the colt standing or nursing.  He was born around 12:23 am. We were ready with towels and blankets and the propane heater turned to high, what a cruel thing to leave a nice 101 degree uterus to be dropped out into this cold hard world of 3 degrees! He is a strong colt determined to get up on his feet even before Lily got up. Once we were sure he was getting up on his own and dry enough we went back into the apartment to watch on the monitor. He found the milk bar around 1:20 and by 1:27 am I went out to make sure he was actually sucking well. By 1:45 am I was back at the house climbing into our nice warm bed.
What a good nights work!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Foal Watch

Our day started with freezing temperatures of below zero and another frozen waterer. Emily has the routine down pat, get out the hair dryer and screw driver, open up the waterer, stuff the hair dryer down the hole while on high and hope for the best.
We had a busy day here and an almost tragic one. Valiant escaped as I was moving Anna and smashed through the electric fence broke down 2 boards while hurling himself in Evan's paddock determined to kill him. It seemed like the fight lasted hours but was probably more like minutes before I was able to separate them. Evan has 3 pretty good size bite marks on his chest and flank. He has just 1 short week to heal before the fair.
Emily picked up 20 bags of grain and the vaccinations for the horses going to the fair. The bill came to almost $500.00. Those vaccines are so expensive but cheaper than vet bills later.
Karin helped unhook the new trailer and hook up the stock trailer, then helped with giving the shots to the horses. Sally's colt Phoenix is going to his new home on Saturday and we needed to wean him. He was brought in a stall while she was taken out to Middle Grove.
The puppies got a treat tonight, Regina arrived bearing gifts. She brought a few stuffed toys for them and they are still playing with them hours later.
Leona sent over a box of disposable blankets made from recycled plastic.  They cannot be washed so the quilters can't use them. I cut one in half, put newspaper over it and it is working well. The blanket is very absorbent.
We are under foal watch tonight, Lily progressed from 150 to 300 in one day. She should deliver tonight. This is what her udder looked like this morning. The white dots is the waxing that is a good indicator of delivery soon.
The side door of the stall barn has been frozen half open so we decided to try to melt the ice in order to close the door. It just wasn't going to happen. The ice is too thick and above the barn floor so as the ice melted the water would come into the barn and freeze. We finally just decided to hang a tarp in the door way to keep the cold out. The propane heater was brought in and turned on. I'll be spending the night at the apartment with the monitor turned on and the camera ready.
We just got an  update from Tim Reinhard. He smashed his thumb in Haiti breaking it badly. They sent him to Miami and from their he rented a car and drove to Jacksonville to see a surgeon there.
Tim writes: I had a good day today over all, with surgery scheduled for 3:30pm tomorrow. It should be an outpatient procedure, and  I should be back at Ronnie Jones’ house for overnight again. It started a bit rough this a.m. when we got to the hospital, they said I did not have an appointment. I checked at another receptionist’s desk, the orthopedic department, and they said the same thing; and then they advised me to wait for the real secretary to show up. Somehow they had two different spellings for my name in the system, and two different case numbers. Instead of having two reserved appointments for “both of me” they said I didn’t have one. Must be a new type of medical math? After a delay of a special task to merge two files, it was a day of success.
 Dr. Peter Murray @ the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL  is performing an irrigation and debridement (a clean out) of the thumb wound, and then he will most likely use some fine stainless steel pins to stabilize the broken bone in a good position (right now the thumb fracture is out of position). He would like to have me stay in the area for a return visit next week for a check of the wound, and possibly receive some hand therapy. They are planning on using a “block” type of anesthesia to put the arm asleep, but I will still be awake. After everyone looked at the wound, two nurses in the clinic put me back into a very comfortable plaster splint. Every once in a while, for all of the world it feels like the tip of my thumb is flexing and pushing against the splint, but it is just a form of strange feeling from the nerves in my thumb either being bruised or cut from the initial injury.
Ronnie Jones and Kay Dukes drove me to the Mayo this morning and spent the day with me. Dr. Greg Adamson also came down from South Carolina and spent the day with us. Pastor Gerald Greenlee and Little Gene also stopped by and wished me well today after they had made a Pastoral visit to someone undergoing a knee replacement.
Kay Jones fixed us a wonderful meal tonight of spaghetti, green beans, salad and fruit (and we are having ice cream now). Tomorrow in the early AM I can have some clear liquids, but I cannot eat any more real food after midnight tonight.  Despite being a strange set of circumstances it was a special day, and the tone @ the Mayo was one of encouragement.  Thank you all for your prayers for me in Florida, and for Joan in Haiti taking care of the house and children.
Blessings to All, Tim Reinhard

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Below Zero More Snow Coming

It was below zero again this morning and tomorrow is suppose to be -4 when we wake up. The high is only predicted to be 4 at least that is a positive 4 and not negative.
Old man winter just will not let go of his grip for central Illinois.
We announced that Valiant will not be going to the fair this year.  He just didn't make the cut.
I really didn't think it would matter but have been getting comments and emails asking "Why not?"
The truth of the matter is Valiant rubbed a big part of his mane off this winter and it looks raggedy. This will be the first year he has missed and no we are not going to change our mind and bring him. We don't have the trailer space and we only have 10 stalls. Speaking of stalls we got our stall assignments for the fair today. We will be in aisle C in barn 14 so please feel free to stop in for piping hot popcorn, sweet fluffy cotton candy and your Friesian fix.
The new trailer was swept out then Karin helped move 4 of the mats into it. We will still need Mark to cut and fit them but the mats work well. These were purchased at TSC when the stall barn was built. Someday I'll need to replace the mats I'm using for the trailer for the stall we borrowed them out of.
Vaulting practice was held first this afternoon with Friesian practice to follow. They needed help with the Friesian practice so I willingly went to help and by the time we finished it was already 6:30 pm too late to go to church. Mark and I listened on-line.
Lily was tested tonight as she had some waxing on her teats but she is only testing at 150. Her udder is so tight and full I will be surprised if she doesn't deliver this weekend.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Puppy Poop

The pups were SO hungry at 3:00 am crying loud enough to wake the almost dead. At least I felt almost dead, dragging myself out of our warm soft bed out to the kitchen to face the onslaught of starving puppies and a very stinky messy box.
Just 3 short hours later it was time to do the very same thing. I keep telling myself, "only 2 more weeks, just 2 more weeks and they will all be gone."
Diane drove down to Meisters early to start warming up our office as we are again in the deep freeze. Eva Jean, Diane and I were like a well oiled machine today cranking out the studies and Bibles. We finished as far as we could go by 11:40, loaded Diane's van up with over 100 Bibles then headed for lunch. Diane took the Bibles to the small Hanna City post office and only then found out they don't have a loading dock. Each box needed to be brought in through the doors, unpacked, stamped and loaded back up. No wonder her back is hurting today. I took off for the drivers license facility to get the sticker for the truck then to Sams for groceries then Walmart to find pads. I wanted those blue absorbent hospital pads to use for the puppies but no one had them. I finally found them on-line at Walgreens and ordered the smallest package possible which was 100 pads.
Mark drove Ruth, Diane and I to choir. We ended the night with the song, I"d Rather Be a Servant in Your Heavenly House and of course that song has been running through my brain all evening. Rhoda had already changed the puppies bedding when we got back from choir. The puppies are now fed and happy.
I hope Lily doesn't deliver for a while, it will be below zero by tomorrow morning and stay cold for the next few days.

Monday, February 24, 2014

We Bought It

Emily is back and took care of Lily for me this morning so I drove in to the shop early to unload the 12 boxes of wrapped Bibles out of my car and into the warehouse. Mark came down to help and he was much needed and much appreciated. Then it was time to get to the bank to withdraw the money for the trailer. What was funny about that was it was the very same teller that helped me withdraw it on Saturday then put it back on Saturday. I told her to wish me luck this time.
Rhoda and I left at 9:30 am for the trip down. This wasn't just to St. Louis it was 30 miles past Six Flags on I 44 so was an almost 4 hour trip. We arrived to find no one around, the trailer was unlocked so we spent some time going over it thoroughly to make sure it was structurally sound. The mats are missing, the divider slants are gone, all the bridle hooks are gone, the removable saddle stand is gone. Basically anything that could be removed had been. The trailer is longer and taller than mine but the same width making it a breeze to drive. A man showed up to help us hook it up to the truck then when I asked him if I was following him to the dealership he said nope he didn't work for them, and had never ever been there.  Thankfully we had the address to the dealership already entered in the GPS so decided to just drive the 50 miles to the place and pay for the trailer when I get there. That was weird and felt weird driving away with the trailer before paying for it.
It took over an hour to get to the dealership and they weren't even expecting us. The man that was suppose to meet us at the trailer then take us to the dealership had to go to Kansas City unexpectedly.
After paying for the trailer and getting the title we stopped at Red Robin for a late 3:00 pm lunch then started home arriving home around 7:00 pm. The trailer pulls great, the truck handled it just fine even on those Missouri hills and we are now the happy owners of a 2007 Keifer built Genesis 4-X.

The first thing we need to do is get mats on the floor. We spent some time on-line looking for used trailer mats but haven't had much luck. I would love to buy a couple of the slant dividers but found out Keifer has them priced at $350.00 each. That's just scandalous! Anyone out there parting out a horse trailer?
A special thanks to mom today for coming over and taking care of the puppies while we were gone.
Emily called during our drive to report Ribbon is in season and got her covered by Killian.
Karin called during the drive to tell us that vaulting went well and she got most of the release forms signed for the fair. I'm heading to bed, tomorrow is another big day.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Visitors for the Puppies

Rhoda has strep throat and even though she is on antibiotics was not feeling well enough to go to church so she spent the day with me. We listened online to both services, Craig spoke in the morning and Dave in the afternoon. We Peoria AC's are so blessed. After church Eva Jean and Janell came over to visit the puppies.

They are just SO cute. Today they got their first baths and didn't really enjoy that. Rhoda washed and I dried. They were given nice clean bedding and their toys afterwards as a reward.
Well Rhoda has been trailer shopping and she found us another horse trailer to go look at tomorrow.
This one is a 2007 Keifer built 4 horse Genesis 4X and the reason we can afford it was in a slight accident. The picture above is the good side the picture below shows the damage. Looks like someone turned to close to something high up and scraped up the side. This one is down by St. Louis and we have plans to meet the owner around 2:00 pm unless we get the call it has been sold out from under us like the last one.
The spare tire has been stolen and the 4 dividers are missing. It may also need floor mats but we can check that out. The good thing is none of the damage is structural.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Too Good to Be True

Rhoda found a 1992 all aluminum 4 horse Featherlite Horse trailer for only $4000.00 on Craigslist. This was located up near Chicago. We thought it might be a scam but the people selling responded both with phone calls and texts. After arranging to meet them at their farm at 12:30 pm, Karin and I drove the truck to the bank and picked up the cash. The seller sent through a text that she had an appointment at 12:30 and could we come sooner. We let her know we were already on the way and our estimated time of arrival was noon. She said that would be fine. We had passed Morton, IL and were getting close to the Goodfield exit when the phone rang. This time it was a guy to say, "sorry we just sold the trailer." We drove right back to the bank and put the money back.
So was it a scam to get us to go on a wild goose chase wasting our time and money or did they really just sell the trailer right out from under us?
Yes we are disappointed but also feel God must not have wanted us to have this trailer, perhaps He has something better for us.
So instead of driving 3 hours there and 3 hours back we only wasted an hour giving Karin time to grade the arena and work horses. She ended up riding Jenis, Eliza, Anna and Zalena before giving Mark a hand splitting another load of wood for the coming cold.
After 2 days of above freezing temperatures we are back into winter. For the next 10 days we will not see above freezing and the night temps are suppose to drop to single digits or below. The only good thing about this is we won't be dealing in mud. What a long winter.
Mark and I needed to put a round bale in Sissy and Star's paddock then stacked the split wood up on the porch filling for the wood burner. Mark counted the bales when he put the tractor back, we have 63 left. We used more than planned, we were projecting 67 by the end of March and this is only the 22nd of Feb. Sure hope we have an early spring and an early first cutting.

Friday, February 21, 2014

De-Worming Day for the Puppies

We awoke to more snow but not much with a promise of a warm up. By the time it hit 40 degrees Mark's pond overflow was rushing out with the sound of thunder.
Rhoda came over to help with the de-worming of the puppies. They were weighed first the largest pup weighs 9 pounds 8 ounces the smallest weighed 7 pounds 10 ounces. They are all looking and eating well.
Today was dress rehearsal for the Friesian practice but with the amount of slushy mud and snow the dresses were just put on while the girls were sitting on the horses to see how they would drape then taken off for later. Rehearsal went well. The costumes are quite elaborate for this demo. I'm not taking any pictures if you want to see them you must come down to the fair either Friday March 7th, Saturday March 8th or Sunday March 9th. They will be performing all three days.
Rachel posted pictures of the finished micro house the girls (and boys) were building over the summer. This is the finished product:

Amazing what one can accomplish with determination and willing workers. This was not a high budget project and yet it turned out charming.
The picture below was taken today of Lily. She is hanging pretty low and her udder is tight and full but no waxing over so we still have a few days.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Ribbon's 2013 Filly by Raven

Her owner writes: Even with the 50 mile per hour wind gusts here. Pandora is calm and loves getting brushed by my two year old. She even nickers for her when she sees her. They have definitely bonded.

 Lily was moved into another stall this morning and her stalled cleaned and prepared for tonight. The puppies were fed and their box cleaned for the day then off I drove to work. When the door to the office was opened I was so tempted to turn around and head home, instead I spent the first half hour mopping up water. We had over an inch of rain on top of piles of snow and the the water run off ran into the warehouse and into the office. Mark brought down some lunch around 11:30 and by 2:30 pm I had to leave. My back was really hurting. Not that I'm compulsive or anything but I can't remember EVER leaving when there are studies still needing to be entered. Once home the puppies were cared for first then Lily was moved, the stall cleaned and 2 loads of hay brought in. One for her stall tonight and one for the morning. For the first time since building the barns the indoor arena is flooded. We may need to cancel Friesian practice scheduled for tomorrow AGAIN unless the water goes down. At least the rain has now stopped. The wind came roaring behind the rain slamming into the buildings and almost shaking the house. Some of the gusts have now been clocked at 54 miles per hour but the sustained winds are in the 20s and 30s miles per hour.  

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Moving Bales

We are in a big melt down, not that the foot of snow is gone but with temperatures again in the 40s we made significant progress. The piles of snow are 10 feet tall in places, even around the patio after 2 days of melting we have 4-5 feet of snow. Tomorrow the rain is suppose to start and not stop until we have had over an inch. Flooding is predicted.
Karin arrived early for vaulting practice with enough time to help move in 2 bales. Evan got a new one and the mare paddock got a new one. Emily arrived about a half hour early and decided to work Killian. She is also going to put Lily in the stall for the night before heading back to Tremont where she is house sitting.
Amy and Regina came over to see the puppies. They couldn't stay long but long enough for Regina to hold and cuddle with her puppy.
I'm going in to work tomorrow, not that I will work with anyone, I'll be working by myself trying to get the mail opened and studies processed. It is a good thing to go in to work, I've found myself surfing the web for a 4 horse trailer. The problem is I want an aluminum stock with a 4 foot dressing room and don't have the money saved up to buy that. I really shouldn't be looking if the cash is not there. It is time to get out of this house and flee from temptation. So I"ll be fleeing to Meisters tomorrow after Lily is fed, watered and her stall cleaned out.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Melting Pot

We hit a high of 47 degrees today causing the snow on this metal roof to come crashing down with a roar right onto the shoveled patio filling it full of icy slush.
Diane got stuck in her drive as she was leaving for Meisters today while Eva Jean got stuck in TEMCO's lot as she was trying to get the mail. I say trying because it didn't happen. Ellen didn't make it in and the TEMCO lot wasn't plowed. Eva Jean and Diane worked on the individual Bibles borrowing a roll of stamps from Meisters. She was only able to get out 97 Bibles before she ran out of wrapped ones. She drove them to the post office to find out postage for the Bibles went up 16 cents meaning she had to buy the stamps needed, sit on the loading dock unpacking and placing 3 more stamps on each one before packing them back in the box and up on the dock. They didn't even get LUNCH.
The paddocks were checked over, both Evan and the mare paddock will need a bale soon but not today. Evan probably has a day or 2 left which should work out about right for the mare paddock. Mark did more snow plowing today after he got home from work.
Lily was checked, her udder is filling up. It was bigger than yesterday but we still have some time. She isn't due until March 14th but usually delivers early. She will be stalled at night as soon as Emily comes back from her house sitting job unless I feel she needs to be brought in sooner. This will be her 9th foal. The first 8 were by Raven this next one is by Raven's son Valiant. The picture below is of Lily and her 2nd colt by Raven.  She is our best producer. Check out the neck on that boy!
Check out his movement in the video below. 

It's kind of neat to go back and look at some of the old videos of our past foals.

Monday, February 17, 2014

More Snow

The snow was falling first then a bit of rain that quickly turned to ice pellets then snow pellets and finally back to snow leaving behind 4 inches of very wet heavy snow that must be shoveled and plowed. We sure have had the snow this year!
Diane sent the pictures below of their ride yesterday checking fences at Middle Grove. They were in fields of untouched deep snow. Diane is riding Bunni and Mike is on Mika.

Today no one was riding horses they were all riding skis or snowboards. They took Ruth's motor home up to Sundown for the day and haven't made it back yet.
Since I couldn't go I made a video of Emma and the puppies and posted it on the Horsemeister Facebook page. We were going to try to get individual pictures for owners but there wasn't anyone to help.
Mark didn't get home until after 5:00 pm from work and had most of a days work waiting for him. We needed to move 3 bales in but the snow was too deep in front of the gates and had to be plowed first. Valiant got a new bale and the middle paddock got 2 new bales. Evan will need a new one tomorrow or I could get the waterer working in his old paddock and move him back as that has hay which may be easier. I'll figure that one out tomorrow. Once the bales were moved the bucket was put back on and Mark started plowing the drives here plowing well into the dark but he got it done.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Long Day Alone

We were only suppose to have 1-2 inches of snow last night. These pictures were taken this morning.
The lamp had no snow on it when the snow started falling.
Mark got up early and plowed the drives with the tractor as the skid steer is about out of diesel.
I'm not use to sitting around and I love the fellowship at church so today was kind of hard. Listening on line isn't the same as being there but better than nothing. At least I got to hear 2 great sermons. Craig spoke in the morning and Willis in the afternoon.
The sun came out today making the 22 degrees seem warm. Just check out the piles of snow around our patio.
I had to shovel a path for the dogs to be able to get into the yard. The Friesian practice was held this afternoon inside but I snapped a few pictures anyway.

They ran through the play 4 or 5 times getting the music with the timing better and better.
The rest of the day was spent reading. Day 1 down 12 to go.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

More Snow

It was below zero again this morning, is this sounding like a broken record? Even though it was bitterly cold Karin took Bethany and her fiancee Bill on a trail ride.

Ruth hosted the lasagna dinner for Bethany and Bill at her house for lunch. Around 60 of the family were able to make it. Amy took pity on me and brought some of the left overs here since I'm stuck in the house.
Karin had kind of a busy afternoon. Caleb went into the ditch and Karin got the skid steer to pull him out.
Rhoda came in and grabbed the camera taking these next 3 shots.

The snow started back up again and it looks like another 3 or 4 inches have fallen since this afternoon. The skid steer is now out of fuel so Mark is going to have to leave early to buy some diesel fuel if he hopes to plow everyone out for church tomorrow.
The puppies are doing well, they get three feedings a day of puppy food and are growing by leaps and bounds. Emma and the puppies were so content I had to snap the picture below for the Horsemeister Facebook page.
Emily went back to Forrest for the weekend so Rhoda checked on the waterers and reported they were working. As long as the horses have enough hay and fresh water the weather doesn't seem to bother them.

Friday, February 14, 2014


Dr. Hoerr arrived at 10:30 am to draw coggins on the horses going to the IL Horse Fair. As soon as he left I was on my way to drop off Stephanie's birthday card then to the doctor to find out why I'm having this back pain. Well today I learned all about shingles and not the shingles we put on the roof, nope this is the chicken pox virus that has after all these years decided to show up and attack. This is the varicella zoster virus 
and I am now quarantined for 2 weeks. I cannot go to church, choir, or work, I cannot watch the grand children and I can't have people over. So I've been downloading lots of books on the kindle.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Farrier Visit

The farrier arrived just a little after 9:00 am, Rhoda and Emily had the horses tied up all over the indoor arena waiting. Above he is working on Killian. It didn't take him long to fly through the 8 horses we needed done. The biggest surprise was Ribbon. She stood pretty well as long and Rhoda and Emily were leaning into her. He was able to trim all 4 of her hooves.
I broke down and made a doctor appointment for tomorrow afternoon for my pain in the back and no it isn't Mark, it really is my back and side.
I made it down to the shop to start processing the letters before noon and finally finished the last letter at 3:00 pm. There were over 250 letters to be processed and now 250 individual Bibles to mail out and a bunch of  prisoners wanting to start the study. I only have 9 cases of wrapped Bibles so either will have to start wrapping or get the young group to donate some time.
Emily made it home from school with enough daylight to take Killian on a trail ride. After the ride I asked her to work a little in the field so I could get some pictures of him riding through the snow.

We had visitors after supper to see the puppies and that meant washing all their bedding again. With 9 puppies that spend most of the day eating there is much that is coming out the overflow.
They are playing so cute with each other now, maybe by Saturday I'll have time to video tape them.
Tomorrow morning we have Dr. Hoerr coming out for coggins and ultrasounds. Then the dreaded doctor appointment then I'm meeting Stephanie and picking up Israel for the night. They say he is sleeping all night. Wish I could.