Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Over a Thousand Big ROCKS

We had a good walk today, the mild weather of temperatures in the upper 30s really helped make the walk enjoyable. Mom dropped off first after the first round and I drove the golf cart over to the house on the second round so I could leave for the Berean office in time. To read about our work there today click HERE.
Karin practically followed me home so we stopped in at the house and had an early supper then went out to work. Yesterday I had to move a couple round bales in, one for Valiant and one for the middle paddock. Today I needed to check on Evan's paddock and the weanling paddock but both have enough hay in them for a few more days. The weanlings were grained while Karin was bringing in mares. Today she worked with Oksana, Anna, Zalena and Galena.
 Above she is working with Zalena and below Anna and Zalena are resting waiting for Karin to take them back outside. The horses all love to come in even though they are going to get worked. The training is easy and they get a chance to roll in that nice soft footing of the indoor.
 I was trying to water the arena today and Oksana kept getting right in the way of the hose. She had a good roll then went over and started knocking things off.
 That wooden sword in the picture below is actually flying through the air to land on the ground next to all the other stuff she knocked down. 
Oksana was tied up at that point since I was tired of cleaning up her mess. Below she is sulking. Karin calls that the time out corner reserved just for her. 
Today Hannah came over to help Karin with Galena's training. 

 At the end of the vaulting training they practiced trotting side by side. This is something that they need to do in the play and Oksana was having a hard time figuring out what she was suppose to do. 
 They were able to get a few rounds in where both horses were behaved. After Galena was put away Oksana was worked a bit more. She really is a fantastic 4 year old.
 I took Hannah back on the golf cart to rejoin the workers on the dam. The concrete below the overflow has eroded and collapsed creating a big hole. Joan had a load of big rocks delivered then put the child laborers to work. Hannah was driving the kabuta and dumping loads of rock on the dam then they would pass one rock at a time down the line for Joan to throw in the hole. They had already thrown in over 1000 rocks. Joan was counting as she threw each rock in. The kids were all working hard.

 The hole is pictured below and this is AFTER the 1000 rocks. 
 What a hard job and yet not once did I hear anyone complaining. Joan always finds a way to make work fun. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

In Memory of Darcy

We had to put Darcy down today. This joyful wonderful dog was such a loving companion for Rhoda.
We really will miss this girl. She was 189 pounds at her heaviest but the older she got the smaller she got, typical old dog. She was as sweet as she was big and never knew a stranger. She wouldn't have made a very scary watch dog, she was so glad to see visitors. She really was that one in a million dog.
As big as she was she was also a lap dog, if you were on the floor she would try to sit on your lap. Dr. Hoerr came over and helped her go to sleep for the very last time right in front of the fireplace. Exactly where she enjoyed the last few months soaking up the heat. Emma is going to miss her and is already walking around the house wondering where she is. It is hard to say goodbye to her but I'm thankful she does not have to suffer any longer. I'm thankful we have almost 12 years of memories of Darcy. She will not be forgotten.
She was so much fun when she was younger. Rhoda trained her to grab her back pack and pull it off. The kids had fun going into the room wearing a back pack just to see Darcy's reaction. The video below was taken years ago at Pleasant Home on Baer. 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sunday's Cold Practice

Darcy gave us a scare this morning. She fell outside and couldn't get up. It is so very hard to see a beloved dog start to fail. She IS almost 12 years old which is very old for an English Mastiff. We got her comfortable inside before heading to church a little late this morning but still made it before the singing. Greg Rumbold had the morning service which just seemed to go along with last nights message. David Obergfel had the afternoon service. We here in Peoria are SO very blessed. After church was the usual Horsemeister practice. Rhoda came early to see what we are dealing with her darling Darcy and we were very disappointed to find Darcy really wasn't better. She struggles to get up and is obviously afraid to walk outside. She was given 2 strong pain pills which may or may not help tomorrow. If she is no better by then we will probably call Dr. Hoerr to come let Darcy go to sleep one last time. Tears were shed as this decision was made.
The practice had to be held in the indoor arena as it was much to cold outside today. What a huge difference from last Sunday. The indoor is a little small for 9 horses at once and yet somehow these riders made it work. Below are a few pictures of the practice.

If interested in seeing the rest of the pictures click HERE
Below is a short video clip of one part of the play.

 At the end of the practice Mitchel and Emily had Jenis practice rearing with 2 riders. Below is a video of that.

Anni learned how to ask Ayanna to bow today.
Amy brought a grand daughter out to watch and of course she needed to ride Anna back to the paddock.

It was a very successful practice. Afterwards a group came in to say goodbye to Darcy then we went to Gil's Supper Club for dinner. The kids left from there to go down the street to the gym for volley ball but stopped at David Jacob's house to drop of their dogs. It was funny to see how many of the family decided to do this today. Jessica's 2 pugs were there, Karin's Studly was there, DavidJacob's Zero was there, Rhoda and Lee's Ruby was there, and Sarah and Nolan's Ari was there.
We had a quiet evening, Mark working on our taxes for 2016 and me downloading and editing pictures. Darcy was better tonight, glad to see me come in with a to go white box from Gils, got up on her own and ate an entire sweet potato. Maybe she just needs pain pills.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Blessed Evening

Winter is back, we have been going through so much wood that even before breakfast this morning Mark brought 5 wheelbarrow loads of wood over to the porch for stacking. The fireplace has been burning non stop now since the cold moved in a few days ago. We are going through a lot of wood but we are warm and have plenty. Karin came early to work horses. While she brought in Ayanna, Galena, Zalena, Oksana and Indy, I grained the weanlings, Jenis and Eliza. Ayanna was fascinated with the heater today. I'm not sure why she hadn't noticed it all the other days.
 It was so cold that all the horses ended up next to that heater for a while. 
 Indy was the first horse worked, her tail bag had split open. They just don't make tail bags like they use to, either that or our horses are just plain hard on them. 
 Left to right is Zalena, Ayanna, Oksana and her mother Eliza.
 Galena was having a good roll before settling down to eat. 
 Ayanna was next. This mare continues to impress us. 
 Just as Karin started working her someone in the neighborhood starting shooting a very loud gun. Karin had to bail off Ayanna who is our most reactive mare. All the mares took off. The shots were repeated over and over and the horses were sure we were under attack. Eliza kept trying to get the barn door opened to escape. 
 Karin had to get their attention with another round pen session to try to teach them to ignore the gun shots. There were at least 15 big booms. I was just glad this didn't happen last Saturday when all the little kids were riding. I guess I should ask the neighbors to please let us know when they are going to be shooting so we don't have an accident
 After the shooting Karin went back to work finishing up with Ayanna then riding Eliza. 
 Oksana was very bored by this time so she was the next horse worked. 

 The last mare worked was Zalena. 
The horses were put away and we went in for lunch. While Karin was working the horses a couple phone calls came in. The first was the owner of this mare:
 She is a half Friesian mare they call Trixie and she will be coming up to visit Evan this spring. They should certainly have a beautiful foal. The next phone call was from a man with 5 mares. He has 2 Andalusian mares and 2 Aztec mares he would like to breed to Valiant and Evan. He wants to bring them mid March. Then when I got back in the house the man that bought Sheena's colt and Ayanna's colt would like to purchase a filly out of Soul or Sangria by Valiant in 2017. We have no way of knowing if these mares are carrying a colt or filly so he will just have to wait.  Nolan arrived to go on a trail ride with Karin. His dog Arie stayed in the house with us while they were on the ride.
 I took pictures but must have taken them without the camera card as none of them showed up. Nolan rode Oksana and Karin rode Ayanna. Both of these mares needed canter work but Karin wanted them cantering in the fields instead of a small arena. The ride was successful. Nolan is getting comfortable with Oksana and she with him. They were so frozen when they got back they went over to Rachel's to jump in the hot tub.
This evening we headed over to the Hanna City gym for the Night of Worship. We heard some beautiful music and powerful preaching. Rachel, Karin and Molly led the first set. Nancy got to go and loved the songs singing some at full blast.
 The second group that came up had a violin, guitar and yuke. Thankful they were willing to share their talents. 
 David had the message. The King IS coming and if you want to be great in HIS kingdom be a servant here. The message was WAY more than just this though. I wish it had been recorded to listen to again. 
 The band below played next and coincidentally they ALL happen to be pirates. I wonder if they would be willing to share their talents by bringing their instruments and sound system to the horse fair.
Mark and I needed to leave around 8:30 pm so did not get to hear the other bands play but it was a blessed evening. 

Friday, January 27, 2017

Fun and Games

Our walk was kind of funny, Joan came running one direction while Ruth came running the other. Joan confessed to being very sore from doing 52 squats while teaching Berlica her ABC memory verses. We all sympathized with her pain, doesn't she know she is old? Diane left this afternoon for the Honegger birthday celebration held in Springfield each year. This is the first year for them to go without John.  We think Mike and Diane left early as Diane didn't want anyone surprising her on her 60th birthday tomorrow. At the end of the walk I offered to give Joan a ride back on the golf cart. As we both got in we both groaned at the very same time, looked at each other and burst out laughing. How OLD are we?
Rhoda and Emily came today to play. Rhoda actually arrived first and helped tease Rosalie and Galena but neither mare showed. They will need to be teased starting in 18 days but unfortunately we will be out of the country then so hopefully Rhoda, Karin or Emily can do that. Rhoda had a good ride on Rosalie. As she mounted up Ruby came running over and jumped on the mounting block hoping to get to go double again.
 Rosale looked over at her, gave her a sniff then stood quietly waiting for Rhoda to tell her to walk.
Emily brought Jenis in while I was videoing a little of Rhoda training Rosalie to sidepass. She is just starting this training and uses the circle to ask her to move to the outside a couple times before asking for her to sidepass down the long side of the barn.
Emily worked with Jenis to go in a small rear then walk or trot quietly after the rear is asked.

The two girls then rode the horses side by side in the trot to teach Rosalie to stay with another mare. Below Rhoda and Rosalie are on the inside and Emily and Jenis on the outside. Rosalie is just such a big mare you can't really see Jenis and Emily but they are side by side.
 They switched to have Jenis on the inside but Rosalie used that to get a little too far from her. 
Emily untacked Jenis then decided to try to ride her without a bridle or a saddle. 
  She asked her to walk, trot, back up, move sideways and rear and Jenis did amazing listening to her 
body language. They finished up with asking Jenis to bow. 
This evening Anni hosted a hot tub party at her cabin in the woods. I'm not sure who all attended but know Sarah and Karin did as mom hosted games at her place and those two were hot tubbing.
We had a good time with games tonight.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Galena & Rosalie IN

There were 8 mares out this morning but Rosalie wasn't in the yard grazing like the other mares, she was standing up by Evan. Galena also wasn't grazing in the yard, she was over bothering Valiant. Both of these mares are in and showing. I was able to stick Rosalie and Galena in the paddock next to Evan then bring the other mares in the indoor arena and tie them up so a couple bales could be put in the middle paddock. We are going through 2 round bales every 10 days. This all caused me to be a little late for the walk but thankfully the walkers walked my way first so I could join up with them without losing too much sister time.
After that all important activity I left for the Berean office for our usual Thursday job of mailing out Bibles. To read about the morning there click HERE.
By the time I made it back to the farm Rhoda had arrived and offered to help get Galena covered by Valiant. Which was done. Rosalie on the other hand wouldn't stand yet so she will be tried tomorrow. Part of the problem could have been Evan though, this was the first time used in months and he was rammy. She got impatient and kicked out at him. He was so mad when I backed him away he mule kicked with all his force. That will not be tolerated and he was scolded, disciplined then put back. Hopefully he will be better behaved tomorrow. 
Rosalie was taken into the indoor so Rhoda could work her while I grained Eliza and the weanlings. Below are a few pictures of the afternoon.
 Above Rosalie is listening to Rhoda and waiting the next command. Below Rhoda is asking Rosalie to stretch down in the walk. 

 Above Rosalie is cantering and below Ruby, Rhoda's dog, is also cantering, right back to my lap. 
 Ruby loves coming out to the farm. At the end of the session Rhoda wanted to see if Rosalie would ride double but there wasn't anyone here to do that other than Ruby. 
 YEP she rides double!

 Emily arrived, tacked up Jenis and the two girls left for a trail ride with their 2 horses. 
 These are not appaloosa horses spotted with white, those spots are snowflakes. It was COLD today. 
 Ruby loves going on these trail rides but our two dogs would prefer to snuggle up in front of the glowing fireplace. 
Karin arrived to work horses while we were in warming up. Today she worked with Anna, Eliza, Indy and Galena.
 She is a little worried about Eliza, she feels she just does not have the energy she use to have. After discussing her with Rhoda we decided to de-worm all the mares here again using ivermectin. It won't hurt pregnant mares but is not the best de-wormer anymore as some of the parasites have built up an immunity. 
We can count on Anna rolling each time she is brought into the arena. 
 Karin was thrilled with Indy.
The trail ride was a quick one, Emily got called in to work. Rhoda and Karin spent some time inside here discussing dogs and horses. We sure have a good life around here.