Posts Tagged With: fun

An Easter Gift

Chocolate bunnies are delicious; loaded with sugar and calories–but does snacking create memories to last a lifetime?

Vibrantly colored Easter eggs are healthy (or not, depending on the latest research study), but will your children even eat them?

We understand the hard issues facing parents and grandparents this time of year. We have the perfect solution–a healthy, memorable treat guaranteed to inspire smiles and exceitement–a ride on one of our wonderful horses or ponies: Melody, Twist, Honey or Sidney.

Gift certificates for Easter are available now. Just drop $5 in the mail to us this week, and you’ll have it in plenty of time to add it to the basket. While we won’t be giving rides Easter Sunday, you can call or email anytime after that to schedule the ride. For more details about the pony rides, click the Pony Rides tab on our website.

Checks can be made out to: Firefly Farm, LLC. Our mailing address is: Firefly Farm, 3180 Hagadorn, Mason, MI 48854

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Another Op’nin’, Another Show

I love Horse Showing.

LOVE. IT.

Today, I had the pleasure of attending an Open Horse Show in St. Johns. My friend and fellow barn manager, Sara, from Sandalwood Ranch, was kind enough to let me tag along.

Sara’s shown horses all her life. I began showing as an adult. As I grew up, I rode, certainly, but always on a borrowed horse. Once Melody came into my life, I trained her with the intention of showing her as my personal horse someday.

Rain, heat, cold–none of these matter. The desire to attend a horse show outweighs any temporary discomfort I might feel. I distinctly remember my horse-crazy childhood. I used to beg someone, anyone, to let me ride their horse.

To let me enter a class in a show.

To have the chance to win an all-important ribbon–a talisman to show my love for horses. Deep down, I’m simply happy to be there. When things go wrong at a show, or life isn’t perfect, I laugh.

Today I laughed a lot.

During the Showmanship class, the judge commented about Melody’s long tail. I turned around to look–and wouldn’t you know? The top of her tail wig broke and all 3/4 of a pound of hair was falling out. I untangled the mass of hair, but the judge and I had a chuckle. I was fortunate enough to win 6th place. Fortunate, because there were only 6 horses in the class.

During the English Equitation class, Melody was performing a pattern and my foot slipped out of the stirrup. This distracted me enough that I forgot the pattern. I kept going with the pattern from my fragmented memory, keeping my foot between the stirrup and Melody’s body. I must remember next time that the bottoms of my show boots are slippery, and I should practice riding with my show boots a week before the actual horse show. I was pleasantly surprised with a 3rd-place ribbon. (I probably shouldn’t have been surprised at that point because only 3 people were in the class.)

When we performed for the judge during the English Pleasure class, the judge walked over and mentioned that Melody was swishing her tail and opening and closing her mouth. I explained that with all the ultrasounds poor Melody has been enduring, her back hurts. I knew she’d been fussy, but I didn’t know it was so obvious. Once again, we won a ribbon–4th place.

Although it sounds impressive to win 3rd, 4th, and 6th place, I won those ribbons in very small classes. Tiny classes, really. Melody was off all day. She fussed and fretted and wrung her tail. As Pat Parelli says, the judge has to give ribbons to the people who show up, and that can be the best of the worst.

Poor Melody was at her worst today. She was achy and sore, and I didn’t have any way to alleviate her pain. Therefore, we elected to end our showing today after 3 classes. (It helped that the jumping classes were cancelled due to mud.) She seemed relieved, and I knew I’d made a good choice.

One highlight of the show was seeing the sister of a Riverwalk Theatre actress. The former Riverwalk Theatre actress is currently on the road, singing and dancing with a company who will be traveling to Japan for 2 months and China for a month, performing and teaching kids. I’m so happy for her. It’s amazing to hear someone I know is also living her dream.

I live my dream every day. I can’t wait for the next horse show!

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Seeing Double

Cuts and abrasions and swelling, Oh My.

Savannah, for well over a month and a half, has had a great deal of swelling in her leg. She’s had her leg cold-hosed twice a day at around 20 minutes per day and poultice afterward.

Honey, for the past week, had swelling in her leg. She had seven or eight kick lines on the upper part of her left hind leg. Poor baby. She’s at 20 minutes cold hosing, also, and she needs poultice, too.

Last night, Lexi was running out to the pasture when she got a little too close to the front of a horse stall. She scraped off all the hair and skin in about an 1/8 inch wide about 6″ long  on her flank.

Last night was Glory’s first night at the barn. Wouldn’t you know it? She found a stick and rubbed part of her leg hair off. It’s nothing serious, but it swelled up a little and we’ve been poulticing it to push the swelling down.

The two girls are so incredibly beautiful together. They absolutely love each other, and it’s amusing to say, “Is that Glory? No, that’s Honey, and that one over there is Glory… Right?”

I’ve been very grateful nobody else decided to take the plunge and buy the lovely Miss Glory. This horse is vibrant, and she just needs to know she’s safe and loved. Her owner is the perfect person to have her. Then Glory will relax. I do hope, however, we can ALL stay away from injuries in the future.

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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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Pony Party #2: Huberts Family

 We had a great time last night! The Huberts Family had a birthday party for their 4 year-old daughter, and we all had a blast.

 I dressed Melody up as a unicorn, and everyone was excited to see her ready for Halloween!

Then came the fun part. Melody performed a riding demo, tricks, mini-lessons, and then…  Painting!

                                  

We had a fantastic time! Then, we got a new boarder: Dusty! He’s such a stud muffin in his baby-blue Amigo turnout.

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