Posts Tagged With: Dusty

De[Fence]

Snow flakes twist and whirl in pulsating spirals through crevices in the barn walls. Their turbulent dance explores each available space throughout the indoor arena. The graceful flight culminates in one last frenzied spin before touching the floor.

Ponies huddle together for warmth within shelters. They occasionally reach their delicate lips over to itch a neighbor, sharing the misery that is winter.

An ear perks up, followed by another. A slam; a clack; a whoosh. Dusty peeks his head around the shelter’s wall. Brave emerges entirely.

The ponies sniff around their enclosures. They explore the world with their mouths, and frequently stir up action by delivering a mid-air kick to a friend. Mind-numbing boredom coupled with curiosity pushes them to consider the world outside the pasture. Phoenix reaches her head over the fence, looks both ways, then nibbles frozen grass. Dusty canoodles with Lexie, who lives in the next pasture. Braveheart reaches forward and delicately rubs the electric tape between his teeth.

Each of these activities takes a toll on the hotwire. If it doesn’t bend and stretch back into place, it snaps, rips, or snags. The ponies stay within the boundaries of Firefly Farm, but they sometimes discover areas of weakness within the inner fence and “go for it,” traipsing the meadow or another pasture.

Fence is time consuming and costly to repair. The mare and gelding pastures previously used solar fencers, but they aren’t effective in winter. The tape is a sightline only, and it isn’t effective anymore.  After fixing and re-wiring and tying and fixing again, I’ve come to one conclusion: it’s fencer time.

I spent the entire morning and the better part of the afternoon installing a new fencer for the back pastures. The snow screamed past my ears, destined for parts unknown. Burning chill permeated my bones, and I rubbed my hands, grateful for heavy-duty gloves. The whistle of wind through trees and a little black-and-white Border Collie kept me company.

Along with the ponies. Their warm snuffles tickled my neck, and more than once the wind carried a whinny: a plea for more treats. Snowflakes rested upon their backs; their tails dragged ice crystals. I inspected the job once before retiring to warmer quarters.

Brave touched the fence with his teeth, and instantly recoiled, licking his lips. Dusty watched, then backed away. Phoenix ducked into the shelter.

The fence is complete.  My work is done. Oh–never mind. It’s time for night chores.

January 28, 2013 053

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Unrequited Love

Poor Dusty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dusty’s lady love, Lexi, is in a different pasture, and he’s begun to desire someone else–Misty. She, however, couldn’t care less for his strong, muscular physique or silky black mane and tail. Misty is either playing hard to get–or perhaps she’s simply ignoring Dusty’s “crazy horse stalker” tendencies.

Meanwhile, Lexi enjoyed a little off-the-clock time in the new addition to the girls’ pasture.

Lexi loves to roll.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sidney is silly. He changed up his look, tired of the same-old-thing.

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New Digs

Scatter, weave and dodge. Hooves drum in rhythm, seeking out the delicious foliage at the edge of the paddock. Each day, the T-posts are moved further into the meadow, allowing the horses more room to frolic, roam, and munch.

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Fun at Firefly Farm

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We’ve had a lot of activity at Firefly Farm this past week.

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Secrets and Lies at Firefly Farm

I can’t keep it a secret any longer.

Bribery, Blackmail, Secret Photographs–none of these were necessary to make me cave. My name is Savannah. I’m a whistle blower who can’t actually blow a whistle. Instead, I’m going to let you in on a massive secret.

Dusty:

Is ACTUALLY the 90’s Rocker known as Diesel Dust! Here he is, attempting to hide from the paparazzi.

Once I figured this out, he attempted to conceal himself behind a cool set of shades–but I saw right through this flimsy disguise.

He tried to sneak out at dusk, but once he’d been discovered, Diesel Dust (Dusty) was quickly surrounded by fans eager to get his hoofprint.

Though rumors abound, this gorgeous stud has been known to canoodle with a particularly leggy brunette. One anonymous source has identified her as “Lexi,” though this hasn’t been confirmed.

Though part of a “big hair” group of the ’90’s, Diesel Dust has since blown his money on ladies and expensive hoof treatments. Furthermore, his lengthy addiction to tail-growth hormone has been well documented.

“He’s a love ’em and leave ’em kind of guy,” Honey Bear told me on a recent morning, sobbing her eyes out as she came to terms with the fact that the tall, dark, handsome stud would never call her ‘Mrs. Dust.’ “I’d pictured us in a big stable together, surrounded by a white picket fence. Just the two of us and Diesel Dust junior.”

One recent incident under active investigation is that Diesel Dust (Dusty) is running an underground mud-wrestling ring behind the barn. Photos confirming this report remain inconclusive.

It is to be noted that there are many involved in this scam. Not only are most of those living here aware of what’s going on, some are sentries for these activities. It is believed that this one gives “Tips” about infiltration and snitches.

Though it was assumed at the beginning of my investigation that these…animals…were innocent until proven guilty, it can be assumed that nobody’s clean. Everyone I’ve discussed this with has said that Dusty has spies everywhere, and knows if someone isn’t holding up their end of the bargain. They hide in plain sight, and tend to be easily overlooked.

Worst of all, his assassins have no problem “taking people out.” They even keep waterproof “blankets” nearby to wrap you in, should they need to keep the area clean.

There are acres and acres of land behind the pastures where nobody would ever hear a whinny.

This freshly dug “garden” was “created” after a recent “transaction” between Tip and her boss:

Innocent pile of freshly turned earth, or something more sinister? You decide.

Beware next time you’re on your way to Firefly Farm. You may find yourself in the middle of Espionage, Treason, and Blackmail–or at least up to your eyeballs in manure.

Happy April Fool’s Day!

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Another Perfect Day

Radiant white paint reflects sunshine from each post. Giggles and exclamations of “Hey! You got me!” and “Honey, stop eating my hair!” are shared between friends. The constant swish of brushes keeps time with horse-focused conversation.

Today is Dusty’s birthday. I hope you had a great one, Diesel Dust!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is some sad news on the boarder front. Glory’s potential owner was advised by our vet not to buy her. It was a sad moment. We’ll miss her. She was a lovely horse to ride, and she had an excellent temperament. The owners are not at fault, and neither is the potential owner. Some things just aren’t meant to be. The previous owners took her back this morning.  Though we didn’t know them and do not expect to have future contact with these owners, we wish them all the best in their search for a suitable new owner.

The horses are shedding like crazy. Honey has lost at least 1 1/2 mini-Honeys out of fur.

The farm is perfect in spring. Enjoy some lovely photos of the glorious property and those who live here.

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‘Tis a Gift To Be Simple – Aaron Copland

  Today is a gift.

  It may not be wrapped up in a pretty bow, but it is a gift all the same. It’s deliciously perfect. There’s a bite in the air, but it’s not bitter. There isn’t snow on the ground, but the mud is frozen. Every pony has shelter from the wind, and everyone is fed and happy. My world is gloriously complete.

   Today is Firefly Farm’s first Christmas, and I was given the gift of time. Time to spend with the horses. Time to relax with my husband and dog. Time to cook and clean and build the husband’s Christmas gift after he opened it.

   I woke this morning, alight with evergy. I fed all the ponies warm bran mashes. They also ate 2 of their 3 flakes of hay in stalls. The wind is blowing, so the hay would have scattered all over the place if I’d put every flake out in the pasture. Then I mucked the stalls, put the last flakes of hay in the pastures using the tractor (so I could spread out the flakes easier.) As I was sorting hay flakes at the far end of the pasture, the tractor ran out of gas. I laughed, and you could say I frolicked back to the barn in search of a gas can. I’m amused by my own folly.

   Today, nothing can ruin my mood.

   I gleefully grabbed that gas can and filled up the tractor, enjoying the looks on Lexi and Senorita’s faces as I vrroomed the tractor and cart out of the girls’ pasture.

   Most of the girls are finally together. I moved Braz and Misty to be in the same pasture as Senorita and Lexi. They’re getting along very well. (Misty has it bad for Coffee–another cougar, I know.) The girls didn’t have a single problem being together this morning. I fed all the ponies at the far end of the pastures, so they didn’t have to eat in mud. (I can’t wait until spring, when I can expand Dusty and Coffee’s pasture. I feel so bad for the boys. They need more than 3/4 of an acre to play on. They’ll get it as soon as it warms up, if I can have my way.)

   Lexi and Senorita have really bonded. They eat from the same hay pile and watch each others’ back. Misty and Braz seem to be the same way. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when we add Melody and Savannah to the mix. Misty is, by far, the most dominant horse in the current “large” herd. Savannah and Melody are a tag-team you don’t want to mess with, though. Let the fireworks ensue. (Some other day. Not today.)

    I’m here at my heaven-on-earth, enjoying the scenery out my window (Coffee and Dusty in one pasture, Melody, Honey, and Savannah near the other side of the barn.) I couldn’t ask for anything more. I have what I want, and most of what I need. I’m grateful for it. All of it. It is, inteed, a gift.

   (I don’t have  to be a whirling dervish to see that.)

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Licorice? Is That You?

   The natives are restless. They see and smell someone new, and they can’t wait to create a disturbance.

   We have a new boarder, and every time I see her, I experience deja vu. She looks almost exactly like Melody’s daughter, Licorice.

   The horse above is my gorgeous girl, Licorice, who is now owned and loved by a dear friend.

   The new boarder is gorgeous and resembles Licorice. I miss my little girl so much, so having another horse who reminds me of her is comforting. I’m glad she’s here. Her name is Misty, and she’s a sweetheart. She has brown eyelashes over one eye and white eyelashes over the other eye. She’s calm, relaxed, and sweet. She has four white socks and is a lovely chestnut. Her stall is the easiest stall I’ve cleaned in a long time–solids in one area, liquid in another.

  She’s also made a new friend. Her stall is the one next to Braz, so she and Braz have all night, every night to play around and be buddies. Then I put them together out in the RAMM pasture. They’re getting along really well. I think I’ll put Honey out there with them tomorrow.

   Everyone else is doing very well. Dusty and Coffee stand next to each other in the pasture no matter how warm or cold it is outside. They usually have their noses facing the same way, almost as if they’re boys watching a football game on television. Perhaps they’re discussing Keats, Byron, and Shelley. Perhaps they’re rating the girls. (“That Lexi–ooh, her flanks rank a 10 in my book.”) In any case, they adore each other and are inseparable. When Dusty runs, Coffee runs. When Coffee stands, Dusty stands. They try to go into the same stall to eat. There are worse things that could happen in life. If Coffee grows up to be exactly like Dusty, I believe his owner will be thrilled.

   Lexi and Senorita are tolerating Honey. Poor Honey is left out in the cold. Braz is busy making buddies with Misty, so Honey is out with the “big girls.” My hope was that the two Thoroughbreds would eventually become buddies. That has come true with a vengeance. They are happy to gang up on poor Honey and push her away from hay piles. They tag-team when they want something. They’ve also tried to (unsuccessfully) take on Melody and Savannah for leadership of the herd. It’s amusing to watch. Everyone gets along, and nobody’s leaving a mark when they’re testing the waters, but it’s good to be aware of the situation. When the “big girls” are roaming, it’s best to step aside. We’ll see what happens when Braz, Honey, and Misty are re-introduced to the Thorougbreds after the “little girls” become a team. Misty has always been a boss mare, so her owner fully expects her to be large and in charge. Melody and Savannah will give her a run for her money, though. 

   Yoda’s tail appears to be healing. New issues are on the horizon, however. Smoky Joe and Penny fought yesterday, both of whom are older and more experienced fighters. One of my boarders heard the fight and described it as a sort of violent encounter.

   I hope the animals can figure out their hierarchies without involving me. I prefer to be the omnicient hay and grain giver, not the violent-animal separater. In the meantime, I think I’ll give Licorice–I mean Misty–another candy cane.

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Apple Days

  Days like today are crisp with an apple-like bite in the air. The ponies frolic and play in their pastures, enjoying the snow.

 

   The horses are delightful. I fed them all this morning and enjoyed horsey hugs. Savannah worried me, because she refused to eat all her breakfast. She wanted to eat al fresco instead of en stall. She abandoned half of her breakfast to Melody. I worked with Savannah; even trying to feed her from my hand, but nothing worked. I eventually put her outside with Melody, and that’s when they switched places and Melody proceeded to eat Savannah’s food. Fortunately, at that moment, Savannah’s owner came inside and learned of her pony’s appetite issue. I told the owner to give Savannah more grain later if she wanted; simply because it’s better to overfeed one horse and properly feed the other rather than overfeeding one horse and starving another.

   In that same vein, I have attempted many cures for Senorita’s cribbing/windsucking habit. The best appears to be the easiest. I had put her in the indoor arena and let her pace among the stalls while the other horses ate, but it seems that this doesn’t always work, either. The other horses are feeling threatened by her and are kicking stall doors or attempting to bite through the stall bars. I don’t care for the situation. Therefore, I started feeding her out in the pasture after everyone else comes inside. It appears to be working! She has been putting her teeth on the T-posts, but isn’t doing it as frequently as she has in the stalls. She’s more relaxed and calm. Then, if she wants to, she’s also able to meander around the pasture for a few moments before eating again. 

  

   Coffee and Dusty are delightful. They’re so easygoing and fun. They don’t mind changing to the other pasture with the smaller run-in shed. They seem content and relaxed.

   Lexi is a super-smart stinker. I have the funniest time with her. My dog, a border collie, helps me with chores each night, moving the horses into the pastures. She herds them into the correct pasture, then generally does a good job making sure they don’t run back into the barn. Tonight, however, Lexi left her stall to go into the pasture with Bandit following.  She ran into the pasture no problem, but as I went to close the pasture gate, she breezed past both Bandit and I–heading back for her stall in the barn. So Bandit and I jogged all the way back into the barn, wiggled a lunge whip through the stall bars at her rump to get her moving, and she and Bandit blazed a trail for the pasture again. I booked it back to the pasture gate, telling Bandit to hold the horses in there and hoping I could shut Lexi in for the night. Wouldn’t you know it? Lexi’s owner came at that exact moment–and saw me being the out-of-breath/outsmarted-by-her-horse-barnowner. Supposedly the human brain is bigger than a horse’s brain–but some moments, I have my doubts. I would have been laughing very hard if I were the horse’s owner.

     I haven’t ridden Honey since Friday, but today she came up to me and wanted a hug and a neck scratch. That isn’t an odd occurrence anymore. She’s become more friendly as I’ve been able to work with her recently on ground manners. She doesn’t care for being constantly ridden without using her brain on groundwork. She is definitely a horse that needs a gentle trainer. She becomes resentful if you’re not careful, and rude if you don’t pay attention to her desires.

   Braz is constantly with Honey during the day now that it’s just Lexi, Senorita, Braz and Honey in the big pasture in the back. They are thrilled to be constantly, and there are two herds of two back there. Braz fusses over Honey as though Honey is her daughter. The relationship is adorable to watch.

   Savannah is a mixed bag these days. She appears to have lameness issues with her owner, but she isn’t having these issues with lesson students. Whenever we’ve used her for lessons or birthday parties, she’s been calm, gentle, and sound–but as soon as her owner comes in, she acts lame at the trot and canter. It’s very confusing. We do the exact same exercises, the exact movements with students, but Savannah is appearing to refuse movements for her owner. I didn’t use her for lessons at all last week because I wanted to be certain to give Savannah some time off, but unfortunately it seems she was still lame for her owner yesterday. One positive out of all this is that the owner is working through Parelli level one, so she’s able to do a lot of groundwork with Savannah. Savannah did level one and part of level two with me when I owned her, so she’s already familiar with the program.

   Melody is fantastic as usual. Cold weather makes her very happy.  She bucks and plays and generally acts like a foal.

   The pastures are finally frozen, so it’ll be fun to let the horses out back again once hunting season is truly over. The girls can go out there and play, the boys will be given a chance to burn off some energy, and everyone will appreciate how next year we’ll have larger pastures. I’m planning to expand the current pastures very far to the back, leaving a very generous driving lane with perhaps some area for a few cross-country type jumps. (Very low ones, of course–under 2 feet.) I want to have the ability to use the lane as a true “driving” lane so one day I can use a carriage, but I also want some “trail” riding area. Possibilities, possibilities… For now, I’ll be content to let the snow cover the grounds and pretend everything is exactly how I want it. Next spring, the neighbors will be tired or my relentless T-post pounding–and people will be terrified of my giant, “manly” biceps. That’s ok. If they hurt my feelings, I’ll just flex my arm and send ’em running.

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You’re Going Down, Down, Down! -Candace Flynn-Fletcher

   No matter how hard she tries, my little dog is accident prone. The puppy was “helping” to “herd” the horses across the arena (read: follow at a distance because she’s terrified of horses) when she ran into the pedestal. The poor dog scraped an unfortunate amount of hair and skin off her eye area. The eye itself wasn’t affected, but it certainly was a scary experience for both of us. 

   The amusing aspect of this situation is what came later. The husband, attempting to lighten the mood, deadpanned that if “Savannah hadn’t thrown the pedestal at the dog, she would have been fine.” Throughout the day, the story changed. At one point Dusty lobbed the pedestal; Melody, Honey, and even Lexi eventually were culprits.

  Last night a good friend of mine had her daughter’s birthday party here, and Melody had the honor of being painted again. She didn’t mind the noisy wind outside or the chilly paint inside, or even the bath afterward. She loves the attention. Savannah resents the fact that Melody is praised more, but overall, they love the kids. I hope everyone at the party enjoyed themselves as much as I.  

   The husband finally grew tired of me wearing four pairs of pants, a pair of chaps, at least three shirts, and arctic-chill Carhartts each day. Today he bought me another heater, bringing our total to five. I’m still moving us somewhere warm after he retires, but hopefully I can be manageably more comfortable for the next t00-many-to-think-about years. 

   Smoky Joe has come back to visit a few more times. He’s discovered there’s a set hour when everyone is fed and when he comes late, he isn’t fed moist food. He must rearrange his schedule for me or he’ll be hungry. He doesn’t prefer hunger.

   It’s time to do evening chores, and I’m bringing a little dog. Perhaps this time she’ll be on the lookout for flying pedestals.

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