Posts Tagged With: horse

Frederick Meijer Sculptural Garden

image2image3image4image5image6image120150808_154627Mel at Meijer 4Goat at MeijerMel at Meijer 3

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Gift Certificates

Gift Certificates from Firefly Farm make excellent presents for any holiday.

Send us a check for the desired lessons/camp/party, and a gift certificate will promptly be sent to the address of your choice. A small note of “Do not open until Christmas” can be written on the outside of the envelope.

Lessons–set of 4 one-hour lessons –$100

One-hour long lesson–$30

Camp–certificate for any amount toward camp for the next summer (maximum of $200)

Pony Ride–a five minute pony rides is $5

Please support our small business.

Dopp 1

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Mid January 2012 050

The world was covered with ice, and nature’s glass steadily broke apart everything it touched. Our silent guardians, the trees, appeared Leprosy-riddled. Their limbs quivered and fell as they stood helpless against the assault. Ribbon-wire fences swayed and drooped; their burden a glittering, crystal swag.

The horses were irritable–their playground too icy to frolic upon. Their excitement was reduced to running in the indoor arena. My charges, grateful for time to buck and nip without falling on their noses, took full advantage and were reluctant to exit the barn once inside.

We retained heat and electricity for the duration of the ice storm, and never lost it in the ensuing days–a fact, for which, I’m still grateful.

The stable is back to normal for the horses. The kids are frolicking once more in their pastures. For us, cleanup has just begun.

(As a side note, the cleanup will commence once the cold snap is finished. Until then, I’ll play with ponies in the indoor arena.)

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License to Chill -Jimmy Buffett

April 9, 2012 094The bay mare shivers, sighs, and then braces herself; shaking silver raindrops from her gleaming body. She stands sentinel at the wooden fence, observing the other mares. She lowers her head and snuffles, then raises it as she hears a distant whinny. Her pacing resumes. She cares little for the other mare in her pasture, wanting to belong, but refusing to submit to their dominance.

Honey watches from the shelter of an open run-in stall, munching contentedly on hay that was meant for both horses. She doesn’t attempt contact with the other mare, nor does she shy from it.

Honey (my shy palomino) and Hart (the new bay mare) are perfectly matched to become best friends. Hart is dominant and Honey is extremely submissive around new horses. However, that’s not the way Hart wants to live her life. Instead, she wants to be

DSCF3277 best friends with Phoenix.

Phoenix, the very large and in-charge Canadian Horse. The horse who is considered Beta to Melody’s Alpha.

Hart whinnies and nickers and cries to be let into the pasture with Phoenix. When I relent and put them out together, Phoenix kicks little Hart’s tushie. Like kick-her-and-then-run-after-her-until-she’s -100-feet-away tushie kicking.

Hart and Honey are in a bonding-time-out in the wooden pasture today. I have two run-in stalls open, both with hay inside.

No dice.

March 31, 2012 054Hart darts along the fenceline, chasing down unrequited love from a fellow mare who doesn’t prefer her company.

Meanwhile, Honey reaps the rewards of being chill. She munches, licks her lips, and in her own little pony way, smiles.

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“Did You Know You Already Have One of These?”

Sniff, snort, prance, pull, flip out.

I endured this dance five times yesterday morning. Five Times. I understand I’m crazy, but the things that scare ponies are eyeroll worthy.

I knew the husband’s generosity at allowing Lucy the Chicken to live indoors in our bathtub would wear off. So what if she had 3 broken bones and the Vet said she had a slim-to-none chance of making it? That was, like, months ago. Ancient History. These are the times that try men’s souls–or rather, now is the time that men tire of a chicken-poo scented bathroom.

Therefore, I considered my options.

DSCF3330Could I push Lucy out in the world cold-chicken? Naw. Instead, I dragged my friend Sherin to the local Family Farm and Home, enticing her with visions of flannel-lined jeans. Together we scoured the aisles for something–anything–that I could use for Lucy.

“Do you have a chicken house suitable for a little lame bantam?” I asked my friend Nellie. “Maybe a house and chicken yard attached?”

“Sure, got one right here.” Quick as a monkey, she scurried up the crossbeams and onto the tippy top of the chicken aisle. As I mentally quaked for her safety, she yelled for another associate to help her yank the monstrosity off the highest shelf. Not only did they have to dissassemble it, they still couldn’t fit most of it into my car.

“Get more horsepower,” my friend Art grunted.

“Talk to my husband,” I said. “I’ve been trying for years. At least I got a horse farm.”

“Ok, well, I’ll deliver it to you myself. I’ll be drivin’ a red truck. Don’t shoot me when I come over.”

I promised him I wouldn’t, and he graciously offered to bring it himself.

Once Art arrived, he unloaded the Chicken McMansion.

DSCF3333“Did you know you already have one of these?” He asked, pointing to Lucy’s prior dwelling.

I nodded. He shook his head, commencing construction.

Quick as a duck landing on a pond, Art put the Chicken Mc Mansion on the market for a new owner. Once I explained that Lucy currently lived in the bathtub up at my house, the poor man raised his eyebrows, shook his head yet again, and left.

(I think he wanted to run from the crazy animal lady before the insanity rubbed off.)

Lucy instantly took to her new digs, laying an egg within an hour of entering her new home. She’s completely at ease in the Chicken McMansion and attached yard.

If only the horses could relax in the same way. Every time they walk past, it’s “new.” Sniff, snort, prance, pull, flip out. It never gets old. They have to pass the McMansion to go into the RAMM Fence pasture, and every time it’s an adventure.

However, if the horses relaxed the same way Lucy did, I’d make millions. Who wouldn’t love to know a horse who lays eggs?

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A baby sits at a table.

She reaches toward a crayon, grasping it in her chubby fist.

“Color on the paper, honey,” Mom says.

The child grows into a toddler.  She reaches toward a crayon.

“Hold it like this, honey,” Mom says. She corrects the child’s grip. “Color in the lines.”

The child grows, now able to hold the crayon properly.

“Make sure that when you color, use the proper crayon. What color is the sky?” Mom asks.

“Blue,” The child says.

Cappy has worked inside up until now. He’s learned his gaits and he’s almost ready.  Soon we’ll ride outside.

I’ve guided him step by step, trying to fill holes in his education gradually and without reprimand–only reward. I’ve started with a base layer of color and I’m adding to the masterpiece. I want to be certain if he reacts outside, it isn’t from fear/uncertainty/confusion about my instructions, which would only leave environmental concerns. If he’s upset over a tree, or a car, or another animal, I can deal with them once he’s obedient under saddle.

The baby boy is almost what I’d consider green broke. Once he’s ready, he’ll go home. Until then, he’s my canvas to play on.

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Knight in Shining Scrubs


Tears streamed down Melody’s face. Dipping her head, she rubbed swollen eyes against her legs. Melody blinked, the lower lid flapping as it hit the upper.

My damsel in distress.

I cursed the universe, cursed her itchy eyes, and then simply cursed.

Then I called three different Vets.

My Vet couldn’t come within a reasonable amount of time. I called another Vet, one who came recommended, but our kingdom is too far-far away. Then I called Kern Road.

Thank goodness for Dr. Esterline.

The Prince drove in on his steed (a red pickup), brandishing eye meds and comforting words that all would (eventually) be well with the Princess.

He came, he stained, he medicated.

Princess Melody is currently ensconced in a tower (stall) wearing a veil of protection (flymask). She’ll remain a prisoner until the Evil Queen (me) releases her.

Or perhaps the Queen will encase her in bubble wrap. Maybe she’ll escape, Rapunzel-style, when her tail grows–


(She could be there a while.)

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Melody’s Favorite Year

She lingers offstage until her cue. She flips mane out of her eyes. It trails down her neck in glossy black rivulets. Her dapples reflect the pink and blue stage lights. She prances in anticipation.

Melody will make her screen debut at Riverwalk Theatre this weekend and next.

Why screen, and not stage?

(Technically, it’s both. We have a two-fer)

Come see Melody’s theatre debut.


May 30-June 2,
June 6-9
Book by
Joseph Dougherty

Music by
Stephen Flaherty

Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
Directed by Dan Pappas

In 1950’s TV-land, a Mel Brooks type sketch writer working for a Sid Caesar type boss is tasked with keeping a wayward movie star variety show guest (an Errol Flynn type) sober and celibate until air-time. Shenanigans ensue in a frenzy of early-TV nostalgia.

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Mel in MFY

Categories: Firefly Farm, Horse Show, Horses | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Wistful Thinking

The winds of change sweep through the farm.

Chickens have disappeared. Swiftie and Buster are MIA. As of this morning, so is Lucy.

Luckily, Gladiator, the rooster; our two guineas, and Nugget, the Americana, are alive and well.

We own six new(ish) chicks; three Barred Rocks and three Australorps.

If Melody hadn’t miscarried, last year, we’d have 11 horses at Firefly Farm.

Sage left a while ago. Her owner found a wonderful home with young children to ride the lovely Standardbred mare and give her all the attention she deserves.

Lexi is now at Silver Fox Stable, owned by a Vet, Dr. Esterline’s, wife. I hear wonderful things about their facility and wish them all the best.

Lexi left on Sunday.

We’re down to 10 horses.

We’d have 11 if Melody hadn’t miscarried last year.


This morning I recieved a phone call from my friend Sandy. She’s looking to have me train her horse, Cappy.

We’re down to 10 horses.

I wish, oh, how I wish Melody’s foal were here. I’d be training her or him and working her or him every spare moment.

I can handle training a new horse. It’s what I wish I were doing at this very moment.

Training–oh, training!

I love to train. I love the young ‘uns. I adore teaching them how to behave, how to respect others, and how to be a proper citizen.

I love the way they’re defiant at first, and then calm, then ask “What would you like, Ma’am?”

Then, when I tell them what to do, they give me a great, big, “Yes, Ma’am!”

Spring sweeps over our farm.

Cappy’s adventure begins sometime next week.

I hope Lucy comes home.

I can’t wait until Honey is bred.

Last year’s worries tumble and flow away with the wind. The future is bright.

But oh, how I miss the foal that should have been mine this spring.

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January 28, 2013 046

His lips wrap around the grass, and he raises his head at an angle. The tender shoots rip and snap from their roots. His muscles ripple beneath the skin, and he strains for the last few nibbles.

His nose won’t reach.

He readjusts himself, preparing for the battle to come.

I hold steady. This is a fight he cannot win.

Zeus is allowed a certain length of rope as I graze him in the back yard. He isn’t allowed to step out of our “bubble.”

The Alpha horse in each herd decides when to stop and eat, when to move on, and when to drink. The Alpha is In Charge. He’s a kind, benevolent leader–but in the end, is also a dictator.

Zeus needs to learn that he is not the Alpha of any human.

He pulls and yanks and nods his head in irritation. I stand firm.

He sighs, snorts, and shakes his head. I smile. He sniffs the desired greenery, but steps back. His nose wiggles as he munches on the tuft near his feet.

I step forward one step. He lifts his head, a question in his eyes.

“Go ahead, buddy. You earned it.” I scratch behind his ears, and he lifts his head. He arches his neck, begging for me to find his itchiest spot. I oblige. Grey hair trickles through my fingers as his spring coat sheds from my touch.

“C’mon. I’ll groom you. It’ll be nice,” I say.

We mosey back to the barn through the now-forgotten grass.

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