Thursday, February 28, 2019

Bathing 8

Up at 4:30 am and as soon as it was light headed up to the apartment to load the popcorn machine and start hooking up trucks and trailers. Karin arrived right about then. We got both trailers hooked up and moved forward for Mark to start checking the tires. One was totally flat and couldn't be filled. By this time it was after 7:30 am so Karin and Shaeya took the other trailer load of Rosalie, Ayanna, Oksana and Anna and left for the fair. Mark changed the tire about the time the walkers arrived. Joan and Diane stayed to help load horses into the Exiss trailer except one of the dividers was frozen shut. It took 4 of us working to get that divider off and out. The second divider also needed to come out as Galena was just too big to fit in the slants. Valiant was loaded first and he barely fit. Once that slant was shut we got Galena, Indy and Jenis in no problem. The trip down was without trouble. This old 2003 truck ran perfectly.  When I arrived there were plenty of volunteers to help unload everything and then it was time to get to work bathing. Karin's friend Sue came down to help so Sue, Karin and Shaeya each took a hose and a mare and went to work. They were getting 3 done at a time while I worked on taking braids out of Valiant and Galena. They finished the first 3, put coolers on them and got the second set of 3 done all before I finished with the braids. No pictures of those horses. When they started working on Galena and Valiant I worked on organizing the stall and only went to help a bit later with those two.You can't see them but Sue and Shaeya are behind Galena hosing her down in the picture below. This mare is just massive.
 Galena's white markings were washed over and over to make them white and her mane and tail are so thick that too took forever to get washed and conditioned. By the time Sue and Shaeya finished with her they were well pleased with the results.
Valiant was well behaved, better than expected,
 and we were well pleased with his results also. No mud and no tangles.
 Shaeya took Galena back to her stall.
 Check out the baby bump on her in the 2 pictures below.

 We were telling someone about our hay situation as the horses were getting hungry by the time we finished and the hay wasn't suppose to arrive until tonight. A man heard us, knew where we could .buy hay right here on the fairgrounds. We found the place, bought 10 bales for $10.00 a bale, and headed back to the stalls. The people bringing the hay actually beat us to the stalls. We canceled the hay coming down from Lewiston and will just use this hay. We can buy as needed. The horses were glad to see supper arrive. All are munching away contentedly. We left for the hotel and as soon as we were in the room got our suits on and hit the hot tub. We are staying in the Drury Inn again. They served us a nice supper tonight with chicken fingers, baked potatoes, broccoli and cheese soup and a wonderful salad.  We are tired but content and will head to bed soon. Tomorrow will come soon enough and is going to be a busy day.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Set UP

On the walk this morning Ruth told us that Rebekah was impressed with the dress rehearsal and said that the munchkins stole the show!
Set up went well today. Karin and I had the most efficient way of working together putting up the runners first, then the lights and finally the stall fronts. After 2 hours we were almost done but decided to put lights around the big Horsemeister sign and fill all the water buckets.
We were both very pleased with the results.

Simple yet elegant. That went so well we would have been home early but had to wait for the hay and straw to arrive. When the boys arrived with that we were terribly disappointed. The hay was not what we ordered and not anything we could feed the horses. Their father told me they didn't have good grass hay so he would need to send down alfalfa but when the boys loaded the trailer they put on the grass hay. We took one off the trailer, cut it opened and showed them how bad the hay was and told them not to unload the rest. It was brown all the way through, was stemmy and and had no nutritional value.  They took it back and promised to be back tomorrow after school with alfalfa bales. We are going to have some hungry horses if that doesn't happen. 
We got home in time to listen to church on line. I need to get up early tomorrow to run in to Hanna City to fill this truck up, finish the packing, hook up both trucks and trailers, load 8 horses and leave here around 7:00 am. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Cleaning Tack and Packing

I quit after one round of the walk to load the car with the Berean meal. Diane and Joan were put to work helping with that task. I needed to leave early as I still needed to buy the  800 zip lock gallon size bags for the cotton candy and 500 more popcorn bags to take to the Horse Fair.  We had an amazing day at the Berean office. Not just 1 or 2 amazing things happened but I'm not going to share it here, if you would like to read about our amazing day there click HERE.
Once home from there the skirt came off and the warm sweat pants came on and it was time to head outside into the cold.  We had a couple coming today from Oregon to check out Gideon so he needed to be brought inside and groomed up except the gate was frozen shut again.  It took about 10 minutes of using hot water to get the gate to open. Gideon had some dried clumps of mud on his hind leg and since we now have hot water available I thought that would be an easy clean up. WRONG!  Gideon was taken to the indoor arena and tied while I tried to shut the big doors but they were frozen to the ground. That took about a half hour of work and I was only able to get them half closed. Then came the hose problem. The first hose I tried was too short. We had 2 hoses in our bathtub down at the house so those were brought up and hooked up to the short hose but both of them leaked. I ended up flooding the front of the stall barn while trying to get the hoses to work. I finally gave up and just put Gideon in a stall. Karin arrived about then so we tried to use rags with buckets of hot water but that didn't work out well either. We finally just decided to show him as is and went to work cleaning tack.
When Emily and her husband Clint arrived we had finished 4 saddles and just had 2 more to go. Gideon had been  put in a stall to wait.
 Gideon was led into the indoor arena and Emily worked with him a bit. 

 She then let him go so she could see his movement.

She worked with him with the tarp then let him go to see what he would do. He was curious and had to check everything out. Gideon really is a good boy. While they were working with Gideon Karin got the rest of the tack cleaned then she and I finished packing the trailers. Below is the front and the back of Gideon's registration papers as I forgot to bring them up to the barn:

 Emily and Clint stayed until after 4:30. I had been outside since 1:00 pm and was pretty frozen. Mark had just gotten home from work and he was willing to eat Berean leftovers for dinner tonight while I huddled over the electric heater trying to warm up frozen fingers and toes. As soon as Karin gets off work tomorrow we will head down to Springfield to start decorating the stalls. The big truck is packed with a ladder, step stool, tools and all the material.  The hay guy is going to meet us tomorrow with 18 bales of straw and 20 bales of hay. We wont leave the fairgrounds until the stalls are set up ready for the horses and hopefully the stalls all decorated.

Monday, February 25, 2019


Right after the walk I drove to Big R in Pekin to pick up vaccines for the 8 horses going to the fair. We use the 5 way by Prestige for $31.00 each. Those shots should have been picked up 10 days ago but I forgot. One year we had given all the mares their shots but didn't think about giving the 2 stallions going that year shots. Both boys came down with the flu which they spread to all the mares here that were not vaccinated. We don't take a chance anymore. The other stop made was to Aldi where I picked up ingredients to make the Berean meal.  The Berean mail was picked up on the way home and as soon as I got home the Berean meal was made. Tomorrow we are having crock pot lasagna, salad, garlic bread and 2 strawberry pies for dessert.
Karin came after work to clean tack and also helped pack the truck for Wednesday.  Rebekah arrived to work with Valiant. Valiant got his shot after his work out, the mares weren't worked today and all stood very well for their shots. We have such well behaved mares. The only mare that is hard for shots is Lily.
She spent 10 days at U of I when she was 8 months old because of coming down with EPM and during that time got stuck with lots of needles, then had colic surgery when she was 6 weeks pregnant with Ayanna 10 years ago. Ayanna will be 9 years old this year. Lily really does not like shots. Stephanie sent the picture below of Israel and his munchkin costume. It is PERFECT!
Israel is our only male munchkin as those other 3 Sceggel grandsons live in Texas and can't come perform at the fair.  Diane has 2 grandsons and both will be coming to the fair but one is too old and doesn't want to be in the play and the other is too young. Thankfully we have plenty of other munchkins and all of them do such a good job with the acting in the play. They have a very special part but I'm not going to tell what that part is, if you want to know you have to come to the fair and watch.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Dress Rehearsal

The wind started roaring last night and this morning we knew there would be trees down. Sure enough as soon as it was light enough to see Mark went out with his chain saw to remove a tree that had fallen over the main drive.

Once that was cleared I headed over to check mom's drive while Mark went over to make sure Spark and Joan's driveways were open. Mom had a big fat squirrel on her deck. It had been eating out of her bird feeder but Emma chased it away.
The rest of the driveways were open. I hiked up to the barn to see if the gate which had been frozen shut for weeks would finally open and was able to dig it out.
This was to the weanling paddock. There are 2 other gates to this paddock but this is the one that is closest to the barn so I wanted it open. By the time I got back to the house I was pretty frozen. The  temperature was in the 20s but the wind was still roaring and gusting over 50 miles an hour dropping the real feel to zero or below. We were glad to go to our warm church today.  Willis had the morning service. I believe Willis is 95 years old and he had powerful Spirit filled message. Greg Rumbold had the afternoon message.  
As soon as we got home I stuck two apple pies in the oven then went out to the barn where Karin had the mares in getting ready for dress rehearsal. Amy was there with her daughter and 2 of her grandchildren and they were helping Karin warm up the mares.

The munchkins like to come early to help warm up the mares.

Just about everybody arrived in costume.

We were missing the Tin Man today as Rebekah had to work. The practice went well.

Rebekah Scwhind came to give the performers some tips. The second practice went even better. Rebekah is SO good at that job.  If you would like to see the rest of the pictures from the practice today click HERE.
They perform 3 times. Friday March 1st Shaeya and Rebekah will be showing Valiant first at 4:00 pm then the play will be in the covered arena at 5:00 pm. Saturday Valiant is on at 11:30 am in the covered arena then the play will be held in the livestock arena around 4:00 pm. You will want to show up there a little early to get a good seat. The munchkins will be throwing prizes out to the audience and the livestock arena is well heated. The Sunday performance will be in the covered arena with the stallion on at 1:00 pm and the play at 4:00 pm. We hope people come make the 2019 IL Horse Fair the biggest and best yet!  The organizers are working hard at making this a big success and assured us the barns will be heated. There is plenty of fun shopping, of course all that good fair food and LOTS of HORSES!  We are bringing 8 of ours down. Our stalls are the same as last year,  in barn 14 which is close to the covered arena and we will have plenty of FREE good hot popcorn and FREE sweet cotton candy to share with everyone. To learn more about the IL Horse Fair check out the fair website by clicking HERE.
After practice Joan invited everyone over for dinner. She had a huge pan of magic soup and served that with salad, cheese crackers, chips, and of course pie and cake for dessert. We all had plenty to eat. After supper we went to mom's house for games. It was another good day.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Rainy Day Practice

It was raining when we awoke and the rain just continued on and off most of the day. Sometimes pouring sometimes coming down light. What made it hard was the 36 degree temperature while trying to get the work done this morning. That cold rain made it miserable for us humans. The horses didn't seem to be bothered. Karin arrived at 8:30 to start bringing the mares in for the play practice.  Each mare just had to drop and roll in the sand as soon as they were allowed free.

 By the time they were all done rolling those black horses all looked more tan. That sand was ground into their wet coats. 
 Below they are all lined up for grooming and tacking.
 Below is Kayla bringing Galena over for her grooming.
 Spark and Rhonda arrived with Jacob and Andi's three boys. Below Spark is giving Charlie a ride on Anna.
 Max also got to ride Anna.
 Van wasn't sure about riding but he didn't complain.

 The girls arrived before the riders so they were allowed to warm up the mares. Below Kensley is on Rosalie, Taegan is riding Anna, Braelyn is riding Indy and Wren is riding Oksana. 
 Karin realized the mega phone's batteries were dead and drove to Dollar General for new batteries. When the riders arrived I was busy taking kids off the horses and telling the riders where there horses were. Sarah Reinhard arrived and somehow I directed her to Indy which I thought was Oksana. Sarah looked at her tack and remarked we must have gotten a new saddle. I replied we don't have any new saddles it is just a different pad. Then Sarah got on and said, "Oksana seems to have forgotten everything we worked on."  By this time I had others clamoring for attention so I didn't pay any attention. When Karin arrived and looked over the chaos she asked, "Why is Sarah riding Indy?" No wonder Sarah thought she had a new saddle and that Oksana forgot everything, she was on the WRONG horse.  I started laughing when telling the story later and just couldn't stop. Pretty funny that Sarah would notice the saddle was different but not the horse and hilarious that I mixed up the two mares. Why they don't look anything alike. Below Elisabet is watching the riders.
 Play practice went well.
 Below Sarah is throwing the 'fire' on Tyler.
 Hannah is trying to put the 'fire' out with a bucket of 'water'. 
 After the mares were put away Shaeya brought Valiant out.

Once Shaeya was done we let Valiant give pony rides to the grandchildren. Below Israel is riding that big stallion.

 Braelyn took her turn next. These two want to be Horsemeister Riders some day and if they keep practicing we will be thrilled to have them ride for us.
 Elisabet also got to ride Valiant.
If you would like to see the rest of the pictures from this morning click HERE. By the time everything was done it was past lunch time. Phil, Anna, Braelyn, Taegan, Kensley, Karin and I went to the Warehouse for lunch. Their special today was the home made tenderloin with fries for $6.95. This is such a good deal, those tenderloins are so huge we can usually take enough home for dinner too. I took more than half home for Mark. He had gone in to church this morning where they were holding the Purity Conference. He said it was a good turnout and the speakers were excellent.  He was glad for the leftovers. He was working on the driveways when we arrived. The rain is defrosting the ice and everything is muddy. Karin got her new car stuck in the mud over at mom's. I almost got stuck in the mud coming up our drive. Mark worked with the skid steer out in the rain dumping gravel on the worst parts. It is still raining this evening but has warmed up a bit and is now 45 degrees. It will be below freezing tomorrow morning and stay below freezing all day according to