Thursday, August 31, 2017

Bad Behavior

The foals were all fine this morning except the fillies had dumped both of their water buckets. That was actually good, they were very glad to see me and drank right out of the buckets as I was hanging them. Now I'm the good guy. Apollo had not dumped his bucket but also had not eaten his grain. He is too busy sulking now that he is in solitary confinement.
Right after our walk, Lily was loaded and taken out to Middle Grove. I just let her go at the bottom of the hill then drove away.
The rest of today was spent doing housework and running up to the barn to take care of foals.
Karin called as she was coming back from Middle Grove. She had 3 concerns while out there today. She thinks Soul isn't feeling well, Jewel is acting like a stallion and she is afraid that Galena lost her foal. Tomorrow Rhoda is coming so it will be back to Middle Grove to pick those 3 mares up. Dr. Hoerr is coming to the barn Wednesday morning so we can have both Jewel and Galena checked at that time, plus I can check out Soul and try to figure out why she isn't feeling well. Karin thinks it is something to do with one of her ears. If she isn't better I may just try to run her straight to Hoerr Vet clinic. We also have a lady wanting to see a video of Indy's filly Envy so new pictures and videos hopefully can be taken with Rhoda's help.
Apollo (Lily x Valiant) is not the usual sweet Friesian foal, he has an attitude. He was still mad about losing his mom and tried to kick out today with me in the stall. He got walloped but I was concerned enough that his owner was called and told, he is a big strong colt, which wouldn't be bad but he is also very strong willed.  I offered to refund her deposit or sell her another but we only have 2 fillies available at this time and she really wanted her next horse to be a gelding. I believe EasterBonnet would be perfect for her and suggested she drive up to meet her and see why I'm concerned about Apollo. He looks magnificent and should easily end up 17 hands, but with that attitude he needs a strong leader. His problem stems from being the boss mare's son. Nobody messes with Lily's babies and he really took advantage of that. We believe HE thinks he IS the herd boss not realizing it was because of his mama all the other horses backed down. Below is his full sibling JoAnna, Lily's 2016 filly by Valiant and she turned out sweet so maybe there is hope for him.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Weaning Day

Today was such a busy day. I went out at 7:00 am to feed, we have so many mares and foals here that it took longer than usual and I was almost late for our walk.  As we were crossing the dam a huge snapping turtle was also trying to cross the dam.

She had mud all over her back so it was obvious she had just laid her eggs. Bummer we don't like snappers in the ponds. They eat the goslings.
As soon as that was over it was time to drive to the Berean office. We had 4 of us working there this morning and easily got the 80 + Bibles requests entered and printed out then wrapped, labeled, and stamped. Cindy, Mary and MaryJane were the helpers today.

When we finished Mary and Mary Jane followed me home to see the mares, foals and stallions. After they left I ran down to the house for a quick lunch then took off for Middle Grove with the truck and trailer. Karin agreed to meet me there to help loading the foals. Weaning day isn't a fun day. We had Star, Hadassah, Lily and Lola haltered. The first mare and foal we put in the trailer was Lola. As soon as her filly EasterBonnet jumped in, Lola was pulled out leaving Karin and EasterBonnet inside the trailer. Karin was able to get her in the front and the divider was shut. Lola was tied outside to the front of the trailer so EasterBonnet would stay up there. Next mare and foal to load were Star and Elsa. We did the same routine and it worked just as well. Now we have 2 foals up front with 2 mares tied outside to the front of the trailer. Hadassah and Esther were next and again the loading and unloading of Hadassah went smoothly and then Karin made the mistake of saying, "this is all going so well!" Of course that meant when we put Lily and her colt Apollo in it didn't go as well. Lily is such a big mare that when she turned around to go out the gate we couldn't close it fast enough and Apollo followed her right out. Both took off running all the way back to where the rest of the herd was lounging in the shade. That meant a long hike for us and a change in plans. We decided to just bring Lily home with us. This time they were loaded up and the trailer gate shut and off we drove. Karin followed me home for the unloading. The trailer was backed between the 2 barns. The door to the arena was shut and only the side door of the stall barn was opened. Karin opened the trailer gates, I led Lily into the stall barn and into a stall followed by 4 weanlings. Lily was put in the stall across the aisle and the 4 weanlings left together. We were all done with this by 3:45 pm which was perfect as we had a mare coming in for breeding to Valiant at 4:00 pm. The monitors were turned on then out I went to check udders. Oksana's was for sure more filled with a drop of colostrum on each teat. That meant Lily was kicked out of the stall barn and the foaling stall given to Oksana for the night.
She does not look or act like she is in labor but I'm not taking any chances so she will be stalled each night from now until after the foal comes. The lady bringing Jazz, the mare to be bred, was late so I went down to the house and was watching the foals on the monitor when I realized Apollo, (Lily's colt) was causing havoc in the weanling stall. He was going around kicking at each filly and threatening them with his teeth. Back out I went and he was put in a single stall and  is now in solitary confinement. The 3 fillies were SO relieved to get him out and settled right down to eat.
Jazz arrived at 5:15 pm and was teased. She is not showing so was put in the paddock next to Evan's. Hopefully she will come in soon. I had a few minutes to jump in the shower before needing to leave for church. The picture below was taken Sunday but only downloaded off the phone tonight. Mike's grandchildren were there and so excited to sit with their grandpa.
A nice email came today from one of our visitors this morning MaryJane sent this with the picture below:
Thank you for showing us around and introducing us to your horses! It was a beautiful day. I especially loved watching Evan and Valiant showing us how they bow, sit, roll etc. It was so sweet how they interacted with you. Valiant was quite the guy when he looked over after he sat down to watch for our approval. 😊  It was also great to see your mares, fillies and colts in person. Thanks again for taking time out of your busy schedule! 
Mary Jane

Need a Laugh?

Seriously though the flooding is awful. Check out these before and after pictures. This video was taken from the weather channel. 

It is just hard to imagine so much water. The rain fall totals topped 50 inches in places and broke all records.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Expectant Mares

We had a good time on our walk today, Joan and Diane stopped at my house to help load the Berean meal into the car. They continued walking but I left for TEMCO to pick up the mail. To read about our fun times at that Berean office today click HERE.
I got home a little late and had just unloaded when Karin arrived. We brought in Oksana, groomed her up then took her to the outdoor for a few pictures. Oksana is due Sept 21st, and today was the first day I noticed she had bagged up a little.

She is such a big thick mare. She sure inherited that thick long tail from her mom, Eliza. Her mane was long and thick but she had so many burrs in it the mane ended up quite a bit shorter by the time we finished combing everything out.  Sangria was next. Sangria loves to roll in the mud, she likes to cover herself, probably trying to look black like most of the rest of the herd. Her tail had thick caked black stuff plastered into it. We had to use about a half of bottle of shampoo to just be able to comb it out. We quit after we had all the tangles out but it is still very stained up. We will need whitening shampoo on this tail.
 Sangria is due Sept 14th, but usually goes late. She is starting to bag up a bit so maybe this year she will deliver on time. 

This evening Dan came over with his dog Diesel, then Spark and Rhonda brought over a big group of Rhonda's brothers, sisters, inlaws, cousins and her mom Gladys.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Mare MixUP

We had a misty foggy morning after our rain last night. The horses weren't fed until after the walk. Since Flynn was a pain no longer following his mom into the stall, I decided to bring Sally and Rosaleigh into the stall for grain. Sally and Eli were taken in first and fed, then I went into the paddock to get Rosaleigh, and not until I pulled her out did I realize I had pulled out Roxanne, not Rosaleigh. Why that happened I have no idea, they don't even really look alike. Roxanne was put back so Rosaleigh and her colt could be taken into the stall barn. 
Above is Rosaleigh and below is Roxanne
The last of the cat food was fed out which meant a trip to my favorite store, Big R in Pekin, IL. I splurged a bit and bought some of the little Schieich animals that were marked down. I like to keep those in my purse for church toys. NOT for ME, for grandchildren and other little kids. 
When I got back to the farm it was such a nice day I decided to take Anna and Soul back to Middle Grove and bring back Sangria and Oksana. Sangria is due Sept 14th and Oksana is due Sept 21st. Sangria usually goes late but last year Oksana went early so I wanted them here in plenty of time. Even though it rained last night I wasn't worried about getting stuck since I have those really good tires from Riekers. 
They served me well today, easily climbing the hill even though there was some mud AND easily getting out and back on the road with two BIG mares in the trailer. 
When I arrived at Middle Grove Anna and Soul were let out before climbing the big hill. When I got to the top and turned off the truck I could hear the thunder of the herd coming at a gallop. They stopped just past the first set of woods so I walked back and saw Sangria first. She was haltered then went looking for Oksana. I saw this huge mare coming through the woods to meet me and was sure it was Oksana, put a halter on her and led both mares to the trailer. As soon as they were both loaded it was only then I looked at udders to see if they were starting to bag up. Sangria is not at all but when I looked at Oksana's udder I realized, this was NOT Oksana. I was looking at Ayanna's udder. She was promptly unloaded. She is just such a big thick mare I mistook her for one that is due in 3 weeks! The next mare I thought may be Oksana was Ayanna's full sister Rosalie. She too is filling out so well that it is getting hard to tell these full sisters apart. When Oksana came into view though there was no doubt at all who I was looking at. Now part of the reason they were mixed up is that usually Oksana is the first Friesian mare to arrive for attention when people show up, when Ayanna came right over I didn't really look her over well, just assumed it was the horse I wanted. Oksana was loaded up with Sangria and off I drove for home. That was 2 mix ups in one day. Am I losing my mind? Nah, just too many horses that all look like each other. 
If I get off work early tomorrow I'll get updated pictures of both of these heavily pregnant mares and post them. 

Elisabet's First Year

David made such a cute video of he and Stephanie's daughter Elisabet's first year.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Hurricane Harvey Dumps More than 4 Feet of Rain

Poor Texas, The remnants of of  Hurricane Harvey is causing devastating floods pouring into the nation's fourth-largest city Sunday as rising water chased thousands of people to rooftops or higher ground and overwhelmed rescuers who could not keep up with the constant calls for help.
Helicopters, boats and high-water vehicles swarmed around inundated Houston neighborhoods, pulling people from their homes or from the turbid water, which was high enough in some places to gush into second floors.The flooding was so widespread that authorities had trouble pinpointing the worst areas. They urged people to get on top of their homes to avoid becoming trapped in attics and to wave sheets or towels to draw attention to their location."The breadth and intensity of this rainfall is beyond anything experienced before," the National Weather Service said in a statement. The unrelenting rain is forecast well into this next week and the the gulf coast is now braced for days of catastrophic flooding. The National Weather Service said some areas could be slammed with an unprecedented" 50 inches of rain by the week's end as the storm lingers in the region. We can't imagine that amount of rain. Below are a few pictures taken off the internet.  There is just so much devastation.

We had a beautiful morning with cotton candy pink clouds in the west as the sun was rising in the east.  That usually means rain and sure enough after church a light gentle rain moved in this afternoon after church. A bunch of us went to mom's house for an impromptu potluck. There was plenty of food and lots of people to play with. The rain slowed down to a drizzle so the volley ball players all went out to play but a bunch of us stayed inside and played games until dark. 

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Working With Flynn

The morning routine is to grab 2 buckets of grain. First Valiant and Evan are fed, then the mares in the middle paddock, then Roxanne and Rosaleigh but the last paddock I do differently. Grain is put in the buckets of the two foaling stalls and the paddock gate opened. Zalena and Indy know right where to go and usually their foals are good about following their mom's right into the stall. The stall doors are shut and then I feed Sally and Eli. Sally is low on the pecking order of all of the other mares and since her colt needs the most grain it helps if these two are fed by themselves. Today Flynn, Zalena's colt decided he did not need to follow his mom and went running around the yard showing off to all the other horses. He caused quite an uproar with the stallions trumpeting and Zalena screaming all worried about where her baby went. The stinker was having so much fun he wouldn't let me catch him. That meant it was time to teach this colt some manners. When Karin arrived, Flynn was first on the list. She brought him into a stall, put a halter on him and tied him up then put Zalena outside so he was left all by himself. He was not at all happy stomping his feet but never pulling back. He is such a smart colt.
 Next he was led into the round pen again just him, no other horse near just to make sure he would listen to a handler even though his mother wasn't in sight. He really is a smart colt. He called to Zalena but then paid attention to Karin pretty quickly. 
 She did a little desensitizing him then led him over to the stock trailer for a loading lesson. 
 These foals all seem to take loading in stride. He was good about following Karin right into the trailer.  She had to work with him not to come out to fast as he wanted to rush back to Zalena but it didn't take long for him to wait quietly until Karin stepped out then instead of jumping out and trying to run, he stepped out like a gentleman. 
We were expecting the man buying Whitney to arrive around noon today. The plan was he was going to take her on the trails then spend the night at a hotel in Peoria, come back in the morning to load her up for the long drive home. When he didn't arrive at noon, he was sent a text asking his ETA and it was only then we found out he is coming Sept 9th, to pick her up. There was some confusion on both sides. No problem Kayla showed up to ride so Karin took Whitney out on the trails with Kayla riding Anna. Below Kayla is putting Anna's bridle on.
 Below they are heading out to the trails. 
Mark was working on the wood pile for winter. He hired two of Joan's children to help. Faith and Mackenson were great help today. Mark borrowed Spark's flat bed trailer, he would cut the logs, they used planks to roll them up onto the trailer, then used the skid steer to haul all the logs over to our place for splitting later. Faith and Mackenson rode the trailer over to help unload. These logs are just huge and very heavy, most of them are oak.  

 It usually took both of them to roll them to the pile, while Mark rolled them off the trailer. 

They were finishing up with the first trailer load when the riders came back. They were not able to do the death trails, there is a tree branch hanging across the trail that is way to low for Whitney to walk under it. 
 After the ride Kayla brushed manes and swept the barn aisle floor. 
The next  job was to put the new sprayer together and spray the arena again. This weed killer did great but we could tell every spot missed last week. Both Karin and I are excited about this product. It is guaranteed to keep the weeds out for the season. Wish we would have learned about this a few years ago, it would have saved hours of weeding. 
Today was the Heritage Day Parade in Hanna City and we did not take any of the horses for the first time in years. We were asked to do a vaulting routine but had to tell them Ribbon died, then with not knowing when I would need to go to Mayo Clinic I just didn't want to commit to the parade. Rachel went and said it was small, they really missed the horses but lots of candy was thrown. Maybe next year we will be back. OutHear, David, Caleb and Jessica's band were scheduled to sing at 4:30 pm in the tent there but after working outside all day we were both too tired to go. 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Sold Sold Sold

Rhoda and Sarah came today to help with the foal instructions. We brought Anna's filly in first, haltering her, tying her and then taking her out to the round pen. She did exceptionally well.
We were followed out to the round pen by lots of dogs and 1 cat. Below are pictured 4 of them, missing in this picture was Ruby. 

After we felt Delilah knew what we were asking her to do and doing it Rhoda took her to the stock trailer to practice loading. 

 Again we were followed by 1 cat and 5 dogs, below are just 2 of the dogs, both Sarah's. Rizzy the poodle is expecting puppies by Buddy the King Charles Cavalier while Ari (the Maltipoo that got a terrible haircut from Pets Mart) is expecting puppies from a purebred miniature poodle.  Both are due in October. Ruby, the Cockapoo red dog in the picture below is expecting Pugapoos. We can't wait to see what those look like. 
 The cat's name is Shadow, he is excellent with dogs and kids. He really wants to be an indoor cat with a family of his own. He goes from house to house over here politely asking if he can come in. He is also a great mouser. If anyone can give him an excellent home please contact me. He deserved better than I can give him since we don't have indoor cats. 
Ruby is much more laid back now that she is expecting and Ebby just seems to be tired. Probably from all the chasing of animals keeping everyone safe during the night. 
 After practicing loading Rhoda took Delilah over to the sign for a picture. 
 Delilah was taken back to the barn and Francesca brought out. 
She was also taken to the round pen, given a leading lessen then walked through the barn and into the trailer. Both of these fillies loaded up without any problem. It sure helps that we haul them from farm to the vet then farm to farm. Loading is just no big deal. 

 Ella pony and her colt by Evan were just taken into the barn. The people coming to see the horses were really interested in the 2 old enough to wean but asked to see him too. When they arrived they were telling us they were all prepared to buy a mini from someone for their grandchildren and just as they were going to pick it up the owners called and told them they sold it to someone else. Now they had NO pony for their grandchildren. They had already made the decision to purchase the 3 foals when Rhoda felt we should offer them Ella too. This would be the perfect home for her, plenty of room, lots of food plus they could give their grand children rides on her while waiting for the other 2 to grow up. Rhoda took Ella to the round pen, put a lead rope on the halter, popped up on her bareback and showed them how she walks, trots, canters, bows and lays down when asked. Now just for Amy sake, they promised to give her back if they ever need to find her a home.
 This pony really does deserve the best and all of us felt she was getting the best by letting her go. 
After the trailer pulled away with Delilah, Francesca, Emmett and Ella we drove to the Warehouse in Hanna City for a late lunch but found they close at 2:00 pm and it was now 2:30 pm. That meant we had to drive the 10 miles to Peoria and eat at the closest Subway for a quick sandwich as Rhoda and Sarah needed to leave for home by 3:00 pm. This evening mom invited Spark, Rhonda, Mark, me, Karin and Ruth over for dinner but Spark and Rhonda showed up too late to eat. They took mom to the all church singing at Cheryl Grassi's while Ruth, Karin and I played Mexican train. Mark worked on the mower until dark.