Posts Tagged With: pony

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.

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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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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.

Yet..

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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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

DSCF3347

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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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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A Comfortable Cadence

The tattoo of hoofbeats pounded along the barn. A sharp, youthful whinny exploded from the small horse in the field as she pranced back and forth; her frantic pacing broken only by moments to listen–to find out if, indeed, she’s truly alone.

My neighbor, Katie, asked me to board her pony, Cadence, this weekend. Katie’s riding her other horse at a clinic, and she shipped her mare to Wisconsin this morning. Cadence would’ve been alone at Katie’s barn until Sunday night unless she stayed with me. The young filly’s herdbound to Katie’s other horse. Unfortunately that makes life difficult when there’s no choice but to separate the two for shows or riding clinics.

Cadence arrived at the farm this morning. Even before Katie officially unloaded her passenger, Cadence’s panicked screams echoed from within the metal trailer. She fought to remain with her buddy–but to no avail.

We covered basic rules, and Katie filled out a boarding contract. We discussed niceties and a variety of situations all the way to Veterinary calls. Before she departed, Katie spoke adamantly about not allowing other horses in with Cadence, as she worried about her pony kicking.

I locked the pony in a stall with hay for most of the morning, and then gave her time this afternoon in the RAMM pasture. Poor Cadence ran the fenceline for 30 minutes, calling for any horse within hearing range. The whites of her eyes bulged as she bugled,  and her coat shone with sweat. Her throaty whinnies drove daggers into my heart.

I caught Honey and moved her into the pasture. Cadence’s demeanor changed instantly. She relaxed, grazed, and sniffed. I gave them 45 minutes of pasture time together–all directly supervised. I stayed within a 20 foot radius, ready to separate them in case of trouble.

Trouble never came.

I caught Honey to move her back into Suzie Q’s pasture (her regular digs) for the night, and as soon as Honey stepped out of the paddock, Cadence began calling. She screamed and squealed, devastated that her new friend left.  Honey settled back in with Suzie Q, but called out for Cadence. A cacophony of little-pony-girl screams developed from both sides, since Honey also developed an attachment to the adorable bay filly. I moved Cadence into Phoenix’s stall, since she’s an indoor boarder overnight. This quieted both girls down. They’re contemporaries, so it makes sense that they love each other.

The girls sniff through their stalls. They nicker at each other and nod. Whatever confidences they share remain between them alone. These gentle, bashful little girls are having a slumber party over the weekend. Katie won’t have to worry about separating her horses for a few days. Cadence has a new best friend–and she no longer feels alone.

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Spread a Little Sunshine

Yes, that line’s from the musical Pippin, and it’s sung by a villain–but it’s a nice phrase.

No matter what evidence I present to the contrary, Diva firmly believes I am a tree.

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Poor Twist. He had his first bath yesterday since arriving at Firefly Farm, and he had to wear Honey’s blanket to stay warm. I could almost feel the scathing heat from his eyes as he shouted “Oh, the humanity! To be wearing a blanket embroidered in pink?! You bawling, blasphemous, incharitable dog!” (I don’t know how Twist is able to quote Shakespeare in my head, but that’s his quirky side coming out.)

Girls have cooties, Mom! Why do I have to wear a girl's blanket?

The cold weather would’ve made him freeze if not for this “girly blankie.”

He’s very white now. It’s amazing to see the difference.

Sidney sported a delightfully masculine maroon blanket last night.

Braveheart braved the cold with a lush “au natural” coat of palomino and dazzling white.

The kitties also got in on the Fall Fashion Show.

The girls also decided to stay nude in the pasture. Melody, of course, being the exception.

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Strike a Pose

FINALLY!

After weeks of inability to post photos, I now can share some fun from around the farm.

Enjoy.

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