Posts Tagged With: horse

My Boyfriend, Sidney

“I love your earrings!” a friend said, pointing to my silver horseshoe studs.

“Thanks. My Boyfriend, Sidney, bought them for me,” I said.

Her eyes widened and she glanced away.

The husband knows about Sidney. He doesn’t care. He encourages me to have buddies.

“Just don’t cheat on me,” he jokes.

No worries there. Our love is completely platonic.

My boyfriend, Sidney, is an excellent listener. He loves to cuddle and kiss. Yesterday we enjoyed a one-year anniversary of the day we met. He bought me a gift.

ME and sidney

Three bathing sponges. One for each of my horses.

I love Sidney. He and I are on the same wavelength.

Today I talked to him about Melody’s issues. He understood completely and didn’t judge my decisions. He’s cool like that.

He just nods his head and lets me talk.

When it’s time to let him go, I smack his tushie and tell him to go have fun with his friends. He needs male bonding time, too.

I love my husband–and I also love my “boyfriend.”

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Singin’ in the Rain

Ponies gather at the gates as a hearty vibrato echoes through the indoor arena. Phoenix digs at the earth, her hoof splattering muddy water. Lexi nods her head. Twist’s ears prick, and Dusty yawns. Braveheart blinks as water rivulets trail down his face.

“Cheeseburger in Paradise, Heaven on earth with an onion slice, not too particular, not too precise–it’s just a Cheeseburger in Paradise…”

Jimmy Buffett loves horses. He would embrace this use of his “Margaritaville” CD set.

“Oh, whoa, whoa, Jolly Mon sing…”

He would, perhaps, balk at soprano overtones, but whatever.

Phoenix redoubles her pawing, nodding her head in time with the music. Lexi shakes her entire body, shivering off a layer of chocolate water and hair. Twist sighs and snorts. Dusty and Braveheart engage in a game of “Who will move his feet first?”, biting the other’s neck.

I open the boys’ gate, and they can’t run in fast enough.

I open the girls’ gate just in time–“Hey, where did we go, Days when the rains came…” Water beats a heavy tattoo across the indoor arena’s roof as I serenade the two “Brown-Eyed Girls” into stalls with Jimmy Buffett’s cover of the Van Morrison song.

I pour grain into each stall feeder as the gentle strains of a foreign tongue soar through the air. “Ia ora te naturaj, E mea arofa teie ao nei…” 

It’s almost time.

I let the boys and girls out; the girls back into their pasture, but the boys trot into the meadow.

“Lakes below the mountain, Flowin’ to the sea…”

It’s almost time.

I breathe deeply, remembering not to strain; to allow the notes to float freely from my center. The electric guitars fade, and suddenly, there’s nothing. Silence permeates the barn and I feel empty.

It’s time.

I skip to the CD player and press a button.

“Nibblin’ on sponge cake, watchin’ the sun bake, all of those tourists covered with oil…”

Ahh.

I allow the words to flow forth as Lexi and Phoenix enjoy dinner and a show.

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Quick Release–Not

January 28, 2013 046

The stall door squealed a protest as I pulled it open.

“Zeus! Time to go play!”

Every other gelding had already raced to the pasture–except Zeus. The large grey horse snorted as he walked into the aisle. He refused to leave my side, so I ushered him forward.

“C’mon, buddy! Everyone else is inhaling the hay.”

He tossed his head and nuzzled me for a treat. I obliged.

We reached the pasture gate, and I pointed out to the boys at the far end.

“Look, buddy! Do you see them?”

He leaped forward and plunged into a gallop. I shoved my glove-less hands into the depths of my pockets, and realized my mistake.

“Zeus–I forgot your treat! Sorry, buddy. That’s ok. Go have fun with your friends. I’ll give it to you later.”

At the sound of my voice, his head whipped around and he skidded to a halt. He wheeled and turned, galloping straight back to me.

Gentle lips closed around the offered treat. He nodded twice, then darted toward his friends.

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The Love Connection

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Mighty Blue Print

Left: Melody, “Frostys Baby Doll,” my mare

Right: Mighty Blue Print,  “Bachelor Number One”

“When a boy and a girl love each other very much–”

“When someone wants a baby–”

“There comes a time in everyone’s life when they have to decide if they wish to expand their family–”

I imagine sitting Melody down for a talk and explaining where babies come from. Instead, there will be all the responsibilities of motherhood with none of the ‘fun’ beforehand.

“Sweetheart, I’m setting you up on a date with a pipette,” has no ring to it. In more ways than one.

Therefore, I prefer to keep her in the dark; an ‘immaculate conception’ if you will.

When horses meet one another and mate in person, there is the potential for serious injury to both the breeder and horses involved. Horses kick and bite and become violent when they’re in the moment.

Therefore, Melody has a date with a pipette-ended syringe. She can dream of boys all she wants, but when it comes down to it, she’ll remain completely unaware of why she’s chunky and moody. I prefer to keep the uncomfortable conversations to a minimum.

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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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An Injury and a Revelation

My boots squelched and squeaked as I slopped through the mud. I lifted my feet with care, attempting to stay on the highest ground. I stomped the excess mud off my boots and entered the tack room. The tissue box sat on top of the grain trunk, so I lifted it to put it back.

Inside lay a sky-blue egg.

My mind flashed back to the Vet saying, “If you haven’t had eggs from your chicken, it’s not a pullet.” My Father-In-Law saying “That ain’t no chicken. That’s a rooster.” The girls at camp stating, “Her vent hole is clean, and she’s definitely a girl.”

Lucas lays eggs–we’ve just never found one before now.

I mentally pushed this new information aside. The horses nickered and whinnied from all around and inside the barn, shaking me from my reverie. I added hot water to each grain bucket, creating bran mashes.

I gave Misty and Zeus hay, acknowledging their nickers and hugging them as I entered their stalls. I saved Melody, my horse, for last. I hefted an armload of hay, prepared to throw it in her hay net.

I dropped the hay.

Tears coated the right side of Melody’s face. Her swollen eyelid remained shut. Red membrane ballooned from under the lashes, and she backed away from me as if in fear.

I felt moisture gathering in my own eyes for my wonderful, sweet horse’s pain.

Melody’s been through this before. She scratched her cornea in 2011, but needed a Vet to diagnose it and provide medication.

I’d never met Dr. Tavernier before, but I called her when Melody scratched her eye that first time. Our first meeting began a professional union, one I’m proud to be part of.

Luckily, I saved the medication from that first meeting.  I applied the  ointment, and within a few minutes the swelling diminished. She opened her eye, and I saw the exact place where the top layer of her cornea scraped off.

I strode into the tack room to return the ointment, and once again spotted Lucas–no; Lucy’s, egg. I lifted the precious egg in one hand and the vitally important ointment in the other.

I sighed and smiled, shaking my head.

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Doctor, Doctor, Give Me The News

I dug my fingers through mane, shoving her head forward. My forearms burned with the strain. The Vet shoved her drill deep into Susie Q’s mouth. The pony’s tongue shoved at the metal, to no avail.

Dr. Tavernier visited the horses today for a variety of reasons:

Zeus and Susie Q needed their teeth filed. Horse teeth grow during the animal’s entire life span and need to be sanded down at least once a year. Today, I held these two horses as the Vet acted as Equine Dentist. Both needed extra helpings of “happy drugs” (otherwise known as sleepy meds.) Zeus took three servings, Suzie took two.

In between, Dr. T. drew blood from Phoenix, Melody, Honey, Twist, and Sidney for Coggins Tests. This is an annual test which proves the horse doesn’t carry a certain incurable horse disease. A negative Coggins test allows for horses to be transported other places off farm property to shows.

Twist and Melody were supposed to have additional work done, but it didn’t happen today. Twist has a slight head bob, and always has since he arrived here. I hope that it’s something small and fixable with supplements or another easy solution. The Vet didn’t have her diagnostic equipment today because of a computer crash, so it’ll wait until next time. During the next Vet visit, Dr. Tavernier will also test to see if Melody’s “in season,” or ready to be bred. The plan is to breed her to Awemost Dun again this year. Sadly, she miscarried last year. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for a 2014 foal.

With the Vet gone, exhaustion crept in. I crashed soon after the visit ended. I hope next time the Vet comes it doesn’t involve power tools.

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Winter Blahs

January 28, 2013 051

They shred and then toss your motivation in the air like confetti. They creep inside the marrow of your bones, and practice their football-type blocking drills until you’re sore and aching. They glamorize lounging with a lapdog by the hearth, wrapped in a Snuggie.

“No!” I say.

The winter blahs crept through the seemingly impenetrable walls of my house. They slipped in through cracks and crevices. Somewhere vulnerable. Perhaps an exposed section of un-caulked tile. Somehow, they found their way in.

I want my unwelcome houseguest to leave.

When I’m at the barn, an assortment of chores keeps me busy. There’s always something to do. Re-wiring, fixing, clipping, brushing, trimming, cutting, filling, emptying.

The moment I step into my house, however, my energy is gone. Completely, utterly gone.

My energy and adrenaline are up the moment I enter the barn. An alert barn manager is someone who gets things done; who notices everything. They don’t get hurt. My attention is focused everywhere at once–I can’t relax or I might miss something.

Once I step inside my house, my balloon deflates. There’s no danger; no imminent threat or worry.

So I snuggle in with my lapdog to read by the fireplace. We love wrapping up in a warm quilt.

Why a quilt? Because Snuggies are ugly. (But that’s a post for another day.)

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Grovel, Grovel; Cringe, Bow, Stoop, Fall -Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

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Urgent whinnies greeted me as I strolled through the barn this morning. I quickened my pace and reached Misty’s stall. Her nose poked through the feeding hole, lips smacking together. “Is someone feeling better?” I asked, then toyed with her peach-fuzz muzzle. She attempted to eat one of my fingers before reluctantly pulling her nose back inside the stall.

Misty’s on a diet of water-logged beet pulp and drenched hay cubes since her first bout of colic. She’s on banamine for pain relief and Neosporin+pain on her backside (where she has an open wound.) I’m a firm believer in probiotics, so she’s on those, too. Misty pulled through and is much better. She colicked twice, but made progress with eating and digesting food. She went outside with Melody today and played in the snow–they frolicked all day.

Although Misty’s out of the woods for now, her food is still limited. She will not recieve plain/dry hay for the next few days; it’ll all be hay cubes, mineral oil, and beet pulp mixed with her normal mash of grain. She needs to heal before eating “real” hay again. She can beg every morning, and I hope she does–but it’ll be a while before I indulge her wishes.

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On The Right Trac[tor]

Tractor, tractor, tractor.

Money, money, money.

Tractor, money, tractor.

The rush of wind through my hair as I speed along, clipping grass, brings heat to my cheeks. I fantasize about large mower decks and a comfortable seat as I plow through tall grass, taking down burdock plants as if they never existed.

It’s mentally exhausting to fantasize about a tractor. It’s expensive. It’s necessary.

It’s something I try not to think about.

We haven’t bought the new tractor yet. Why? I’m dragging my heels, that’s why. There’s very little money in the bank, thanks to expensive hay and rising feed costs. Unfortunately, that translates to less money for a tractor.

Money, money, money.

Tractor, tractor, tractor.

Melody’s been wonderful, slogging through rain and mud and snow, helping me to deliver hay. She’s been my backup plan.

However, there are certain things she just can’t do.

She’s earning her keep around here, and she’s been perfect in so many respects. She can’t mow the lawn in the same way a tractor can. We eventually plan to buy a manure spreader, but her manure tends to stay in a pile when she “fertilizes.”

Tractor, tractor, tractor.

The fast-talking salesman at the John Deere dealership tried to convince us we need a top-of-the-line model. I loved it until I spotted the price tag.

Gulp.

My palms sweat; my tongue dries out, my face itches for some inexplicable reason. I rub moist palms over my face until I realize where my hands have been this morning. My head throbs, the pressure inside thrusting my brain out of every open orifice.

I admit, I’m rude to the salesman. (He deserved it from the moment he said, “I refuse to sell you something smaller than this tractor. You couldn’t run a farm with anything else.” I wanted to stomp on his foot. I hate it when people tell me what to do.)

Round and round and round.

The arguments for and against this purchase swirl as fog in my brain, whooshing through one ear, circling my brain lazily and tickling through my nostrils until they slide out the other ear.

I imagine fencing off the front yard and letting ponies loose.  Or lesson students hold leadropes to let their horses graze. Or getting Arizona-type rock landscaping rocks which spell out “Welcome to Firefly Farm” across our front yard.

I’m grasping at straws.

Sigh.

I can’t do any of those things. I like my front lawn. I love the grass everywhere. When it’s trimmed and neat and tidy, we look like a real farm. We look professional. We look like a place where people want to ride.

We need a tractor.

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