Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday.....ever have one of those days?

I got up EARLY.....drove to the barn, listened to Pink Floyd sing "Another Brick in the Wall" and so my day started.
My routine is slightly out of order because we have an extra horse and I always seem to fumble around while I am preparing the hot meals and this will last a couple of days until I have everything back in order. I am a creature of habit and routine.
Did I mention that I am a symmetrically obessessed? I cannot stand it if things are not even....evenly spaced, an even height.......even drives me crazy. Just an idiosyncrasy I suppose ........but I will spend a lot of time getting things to looks symmetrical.
My favorite number is 8. Go figure. 8 is a perfect specimen every way. It is balanced on top and bottom, it is evenly divisible by half or cannot go wrong with 8.
ummmmmm, I can't go wrong with 8.
It was a long day at work........short handed, grumpy contractors.....ringing phones........I was glad to go to lunch and have a walk and take a breath.
I went to the feed store on the way home, bought pellets, more beet pulp and grain........they are eating like a cloud of locusts.
No volunteers tonight , so I am on for the pm feeding and I turn the Christmas music get my mind off of my less than stellar work day.... Winston is not having any of the Christmas music waiting period ........he wants his grub in a tub NOW! He kicks and then lunges against his door...... of course I feed him first. I am reinforcing his behavior...I know........I know.......but still, I cannot have the barn kicked down. Sully gives a low and quiet whicker.......he wants his too, but he is at least mannerly......then TarBaby gives a deep in the chest whinny.........calling for his 85 lbs of grub.........he gets a huge portion because he does not eat much hay. We will make an appointment for him to get his teeth done for Friday...... he seems happy and somedays that is enough to make me happy. That is why we are here. Funny what can make you happy, huh? Not money, not glamour.........but a horse who eats and is perky and who calls out to you when you arrive.
I tried some of the compressed bales of timothy and I must say I hate it. I suppose it could work if you weighed the hay each time, but who has time for that? It is easier to load/unload, probably easier to store.......but has a lot of chafe in it and we are slowly making chafe bedding in stalls because no one will eat it.........except for Sully. I also think it has a lot of dust in it.
We are still working on a home for 451.......the Appy/draft horse. We have had some inquiries and we send them on to the folks who have 451. We pray he gets a great, long term home....and we wish we had more info on where he came from and his likes/dislikes/issues.
It is always such a high price to pay.........a horse who is sent to auction because of his owners issues.........and everyone assumes it is the horse's fault ...somehow, some way.......very sad. Folks should leave a note, a could save a life.

I was dreaming last night and I dreamt that euthanasia should never exceed a price tag of 25 dollars. There should be legislation. People get down on their luck and cannot afford 500 dollars to euthanize old Dobbin....and instead of old Dobbin getting a quiet, dignified death........his people are forced to take him to the auction. It really is dispicable. I hate it.
We should all hate it. A horse who is old, ill or infirm should be able to leave this life with his head being stroked by a person who has loved them.

Off my soap box for tonight......or I could ramble on and on.

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow.

Respect is earned, honor is learned ...........eyes wide open.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday and our four day weekend ends too soon

Up early to the barn, clean stalls, paddocks, back to the house, shower, clean clothes......back to the barn, meet Kim and off to get Sully. We stop for coffee and off we go.
Sully is happy to see us and loads right worries. He is a very trusting boy and we are glad to have him back with us. He is happy to be home. No screaming, no pacing, he settles right in.
He is very interested in Vinnie and Vinnie is interested in him. We are glad for hot wire or I think Vinnie would have come visiting.
We get everyone settled in and fed........then we go and grab some Mexican food and talk about our day and what the week will bring.
We talk about fundraising, expenses......volunteering and how we miss the barn cat.
We have some unique opportunities to pursue. Some things that could help us out financially and logistically. Just a matter of getting the time to do it and planning it out.
Tax time is coming and so are license renewals and property taxes.....and insurance.
OH boy.
The farm truck needs work.....four wheel drive and all the other things that need to be done at 60 thousand miles. I am no I am at the mercy of others who know more than I do.
We need lights outside at the loafing sheds too.......this is a priority because it is so dark when we feed the pm feeding and plus, you should try to out manuever Beaver with a feed bucket....!
He is determined to have whatever you are carrying.
Today he almost got the peacock too......he hates him and he does not want him in his paddock...the peacock just seems to drift around from paddock to paddock......most of the horses ignore him, but a couple......HATE him.
Work tomorrow......I hate to think of it....we were getting so much done with four days off.

Next Saturday we take Sully in the Banner Forest for a trail ride. We are excited and we hope it is not raining, although we plan to go rain or shine...we might take Max if the weather cooperates.

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow.......

Keep your comments to yourself and see yourself in your comments.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Saturday.......all day long again.

Slept in a little.....drove down to the barn, listening to the Bee Gee's sing Night Fever and Kelsey was already there waiting for me.....soon to follow was Kim, then Mary and then Ryan.....and so the day began. We got a huge amount of work done.
Roofs lengthened, Beaver got new mats, we graveled a roadway/paddock for Sully to come home to, cleaned paddocks, cleaned the barn horses fed, got a couple groomed......and got some hay moved.
I am just now home and it has been another long day.......muscles ache......and I am cold. The weather was not nearly as nice today as it was yesterday, but at least it did not pour rain........although it was windy and cool.
We have a little more hogfuel to move along a paddock and some fencing to fix, some painting to do and ahhhhhhhh, then maybe we can take a breath.
We will pick up Sully tomorrow and bring him home....then move some hogsfuel and make sure that everyone is getting along.
Beaver and the filly are holding their own. He sort of likes her...she sort of likes him.
Vinnie got his feet done today and he had some bad abcesses in his hind feet......the cracks are results of the abcesses.....we pulled his shoes and he is good to go. He was not happy with his food this morning and we soon found him begging at the gate for something else. We held out and he finally decided to eat what he was served.
TarBaby is feeling good and is happy in the barn stall........he is eating good too. What a relief it must be to be outside and to be able to move around.
Ollie and Max did not like the roofing noises and so we turned them out in the arena while we worked... I found that one of them has kicked through the new plywood.....well, I guess boys will be boys...and I should have used thicker plywood. When we first put them together Max was the underdog, but he now has the upper hand and he rules the roost...but they play together nicely.
I had to bodily put the chickens into the coop tonight, they are sure that they want to roost in the barn like the good old days........and so I take them one by one and put them to bed.
The tractor has turned out to be a godsend....I am glad I spent the money.........we moved manure piles today and hauled gravel........such a time saver.

anyway, dinner calls, and I am hungry.

Pony Up Fortune for tomorrow...........

Be watchful and wary of sure things.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday and it wasn't black for me

LONG>>>>>day. I have been at the barn since 8am.....working.....a little of this, a little of that......Kim came and helped me around 11am and she stayed all day. We got a lot done......and we are tired but there is more to do tomorrow, as always. It is now after six and I am dirty, sweaty and smelly (like mud/horse/wet smell.......not totally unpleasant but still?)

We regraveled Beaver's stall, put retaining fabric down, then hogsfuel in his paddock......his little feet do not disturb the ground like the big guys......and then we put Beaver back into his paddock and now he shares a fence line with the filly....which he loves, at least right now...we will see what he thinks tomorrow. We put TarBaby back into the barn stall, which is roomier for him...he is feeling more secure about the farm and eating well, so we are hoping he will be happier in the barn with an attached run. He actually kicked his heels up today, rolled in the dirt and had a long nap in the sun. I think he feels really happy.

We also dug a ditch, put a gate up, went to the feed store, went to the hardware store, got diesel for the tractor and this morning I got all the gravel spread in the driveway so that we can park easily. The driveway is now level lumps or bumps......I am becoming a great tractor driver and all around good grader of gravel.

We also went and met the potential adoptive folks who are interested in Yukon.....they liked him fine and are coming back tomorrow to see him again. Keep your fingers crossed........they were very nice folks...we liked them a lot.

Tomorrow, we will gravel another paddock for Sully to come home to and also gravel a bit more in TarBaby's area........then we should be good for winter! We got two loads of gravel delivered today.....and I have to say it.......Morrison Gravel ROCKS! Their drivers are the best......they can back those dumptrucks anywhere and the guys always shut gates behind them.

We will also lengthen some roof lines, install a light fixture in a loafing shed out back and turn some horses out for some exercise in the arena. Ryan is coming to help and is bringing us some metal roofing.

The shoer comes tomorrow. We found some really bad lateral cracks in Vinnie's may be the reason he is not still racing. We will see what we can do for him. He is feeling much better and acting much more like a 5 year old OTTB. He raced around his paddock like a madman today.......sweating and screaming and bucking. We took his blanket off for a while to see how his weight was and he promptly filthy dirty........and oh, by the way, his weight is good....he has gained some and has filled out.........he has a beautiful body. Nice short back, big hip....good shoulder. What else would you expect from a son of Giant's Causeway?

Sunday we will go and get Sully.

As usual we are always busy and planning for future projects. We need to replace the arena fencing or get it fixed properly.......we need better footing for the arena and we need more exterior lighting. The chores never end.

The day was beautiful today, no rain, blue sky and the horses enjoyed some sun. It was so nice to not have to work in the rain. I felt entirely less grumpy today......maybe because of the weather, maybe because I got to work all day and get a lot of things crossed off my ever growing list of "things to do".

I hope your Thanksgiving was good. Ours was quiet and uneventful.

The Appy/Draft cross gelding perhaps has a place to land. We will help with whatever we can......hauling or help in finding temporary board.......if you have a cheap place where he can be boarded for a few us. The gal who is interested in him cannot take him for a few weeks. We have no room to help with this......not even with a shoe horn.

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow:

Reflect on where you have been and think about where you are going.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day......Thursday

Pictures of the beautiful Breeze.......from late summer (photos by Kim)

I was grumpy yesterday.....tired and ready for some time off. I slept in this morning until 7, then got up with the dogs, made the coffee and off to the barn. I was still a little grumpy and glad to be by myself for a little exercise and quiet. Who needs the gym? All I really need now is some aerobic exercise and I could probably be Ms. Fitness.

I fed everyone, then started cleaning stalls and paddocks........patched a hole in a leaky roof, extended a roof line a little to keep the rain out.......took TarBaby's blanket off because he was too warm........and raked up loose hay.......voila, now it is four hours later and I am done.

Everyone is clean and dry and I can rest.

I think about Thanksgiving and I think about things we should be grateful and friends, jobs in a tough economy and plenty to eat.

I also think about the things we take for granted and how selfish we are sometimes....yes, me included.......I am not just talking about others. Sometimes it is all about me and I must check my ego at the door, keep my mouth shut.......swallow hard......

So just for today why don't you and I ..........

Swallow our pride.

Show some enthusiasm for someone else's project.

Agree to disagree and leave it at that.

Give a helping hand when no one is expecting it.

Buy the guy in line behind you coffee.

Hug your grandma as tight as you can.

Listen to your child explain something......all the way.

Visit someone in a nursing home who doesn't have family.

Plan to drop your old clothes off at the women's shelter.

Hold your tongue when tempted to say something sharp.

Try the new dish your sister in law brought and RAVE about it.

Understand that everyone is carrying a burden of some sort.

Let your mom give you advice and say thank you.

Don't drink too much.

Be polite.

Smile a lot.

Turn the football off and watch an old movie.

Think about how lucky you are.

Say grace with meaning.

Please enjoy your day with your family and safe and sane and THANKFUL!

Pony Up Fortune for tomorrow:

Happiness is just a phone call away.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009 clears up

My computer needs help........the hard drive is failing. I spent like 1900 dollars on a top of the line laptop and you would expect it to last longer than this, wouldn't you? Anyway, my blog may suffer for a while until I get it sorted out. I think I got an extended warranty, but these days who can remember everything that you did 18 months ago? Certainly not me.

I got up late this morning which is a problem. I wake up faithfully at about 4:50am and then tell myself I have about five minutes so I lay my head back down and somehow it turns into 25 minutes. Yikes....then I fly around and don't feel like I got everything done and I hate to makes me anxious.

I get to the barn and I heat water for TarBaby's mush. I make a vat of it because he is not absolutley sold on our hay and I am not sure his teeth are good. That smacks of another vet bill coming, doesn't it? But if he needs dental work.....he will get it...I don't want to think of mouth ulcers. He didn't eat very well for a few days...he was unhappy and depressed, but seems perkier and he is eating better today and yesterday. He gets a full water bucket of mush twice a day...tonight he got cut up apples in it....and it is always served warm. We moved him into the pony stall because he was afraid of Winston, my big horse. Winston was making menacing faces at him over the fence and Winston is I traded Beaver and TarBaby places........Beaver can hold his own with Winston.....okay Winston is afraid of Beaver........there ....the truth is out.

I finish up in record time....and dash off to work, listening to REO Speedwagon sing "I'm Going to Keep on Loving You." It is lighting raining and I hope it will stop soon. I write myself some reminder notes for later and think about what I will do and when I will get it done. Friday...always Friday......I think about going shopping or just kicking back and nope......I have chores to do on FRIDAY. Gravel.....and I must pick up diesel for the tractor.....and I must have my oil changed in the truck....and speaking of the truck...gosh, I'd better wash it and maybe change the serpentine belt..............and speaking of serpentines, I better schedule a dressage lesson.........and the shoer is coming...........and the hogsfuel........and whoa......Thursday is shopping.......and I need to make a dr's appointment because I was supposed to do it two weeks ago........and I have a prescription to fill.....the dog needs to go to the vet......and I need to see my grandma and to order hay and go to the feedstore......take blankets to be washed....check Pony Up donations boxes..........send thank you cards......

oy vey.

Time to buy hay again and time to load up on grain and supplements. We use timothy hay pellets, rice bran, beet pulp, sunflower seeds, corn oil and senior grain. Senior grain works for almost anyone except the very obese. Beet pulp and sunflower seeds go to the easy keepers like Beaver. He has a fit if everyone gets grain and he doesn't , so the beet pulp and sunflower seeds are his......he loves we add timothy pellets for him now because he has a cough from dust in the hay or perhaps an allergy......he is getting cough syrup too. We mix it up in a nice warm mash.....and he likes it just fine.

Felice the barn cat never came back. I keep thinking I see her out of the corner of my eye, but it is just my imagination. She was a really nice cat and I miss her. I am sure a coyote got her. I hope it was quick for her. Sorry I didn't protect you better were a good kitty and never any trouble.

It is almost Thanksgiving and time to stop and reflect on what you and I are thankful for.

I am thankful for family and friends.......thankful for a job in a crummy economy......thankful for a nice place to live and the chance to make a difference in the lives of some horses. Thankful for volunteers who become friends. What are you thankful for?

Well, I have some chores to get done before I go to bed.........laundry, empty trash, clean kitchen.......write some return emails....

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow:

Do what you know is right ......put your ego in your hat.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Slept in a little, got up, fed dogs, let dogs out, listened to cats complain about new cat food....drank coffee, Craigslist. (I keep saying I am not going to do that) some email and I see that the filly we were trying to place got placed! YAY!!! Another reputable rescue will take her and we are glad! That leaves us with trying to help the Appy gelding...and so we are putting the word out and keeping our fingers crossed that he can get a home before the auction.

but I digress.......I finally did get my butt going and I got in the truck and started driving to the barn. I listened to Elton John sing Blue Eyes and I was thinking about how I was really hoping Felice the barn cat would be at the barn when I got there. She was absent when I put barn cats to bed, and although I called her for an hour and then went back later.........she wasn't there. She had been around all day while we were building....but just sort of disappeared. Anyway, I got to the barn and she was not there. I was sad. I think coyotes probably got her. I called again this morning and checked every nook and Felice. I have probably posted pictures of her and white tuxedo girl kitty........very sweet and so soft. We are going to miss her.

I fed horses and worked on cleaning paddocks and stalls for three hours..stalls were messy due to nonstop rain last night (don't get me started on that).....then headed home about 11:15, showered and ate lunch, then went to Costco and ran some other errands. Got home, went back to barn, fed dinner, filled waters.......went back home and changed clothes for the Pony Up Fundraiser.

What an evening.......we had a good time, good food and a great turn out. I think people didn't recognize me without dirt or hay stuck in my hair.
A huge thank you to all who participated.......
C..., who donated her time, who donated her cooking skills and great food, as well as her restaurant and who also attended to a million other details.........THANK YOU! Thanks to all of the folks and business' who donated items.......we couldn't do it without you and thanks to all the folks who attended! I hope you had a good time. Also thank you to my volunteers who helped set up and organize.........I am very pleased with our turn out and also that we had some fun. It was very nice to meet new folks!
More thanks to:
Strohs, as always, thank you for your support and efforts!
Peninsula Equine Services, Dr. Julie Page
Mt. Rainier Equine Veterinary Services, Dr. Bob DeWard
Collins Chiropractic
Sandy Green, original artwork
Horses For Clean Water, Alayne Blickle
Cedar Hill Training, Crystal Hornbuckle-Baker
Sound Equine Farrier
Stiffey Family
Jo Meintz
Kathleen Moroney
Elaine Davis Photography
Dawns Photography
Winter Lakes Farm
Liz Howgate
John and Dianne Green
Lucky Dog Outfitters
Kristi Anderson
Education Stained Glass Studio
Koi’s Bistro
Sul Mare Salon and Spa
Ellen Mosier, Pearl Moon Equine Massage and Reiki
Darlene Piper
Elizabeth Clark, Equine Rhythm Beads

Jesse Link, original artwork (

I am sure I have missed a few.......but I will get you tomorrow......I am tired. I stopped at the barn on my way home to make sure Felice wasn't there (she wasn't) and to make sure the chickens were in their proper beds.
I have let the dogs out, put them in bed and now off I go!
I shall be asleep in like 45 seconds.
Pony Up fortune for tomorrow:

A sincere smile will make someones day better..........practice yours on a stranger.

Post Script Saturday

Kim and her mother built a chicken coop for us........and it is fabulous! We worked all day at Pony Up putting it together and is finished! Roofed and has a for all our precious chickens and it is insulated! A virtual chicken paradise....thank you Kim and mom!

We worked from 8 until 4.........Kelsey and I cleaned in the morning,and then I practiced spreading gravel with the tractor up the driveway and around the barn. Let me just say that I am not yet an accomplished tractor/gravel spreader. ...although I have managed now to pick up full buckets of gravel without digging the whole driveway up.

We are tired.

Here it is Sunday morning and I have lots to do before our event tonight.

It is pouring rain and cold. One of those days when you think about waking up in tropical Hawaii in your fancy hotel room ....birds singing and a sweet breeze flowing in the window.....
I guess I will dream isn't happening today.

I guess I will just spray some horse linament on my shoulder and neck, pull my Carhart on and go get it done. I will pray for no roof leaks or major flooding........

more later!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Saturday morning is still raining and it is COLD. I am not motivated to leave the house except that I know what would happen.
I will get going a little early to check on our new visitor. Yesterday we sent Yukon to a local barn where he can get some exercise and love from a couple of young return we brought back TarBaby. TarBaby is an old Tb who has spent the last five years at the stable. Six months ago his owner never came back and left no word as to what her intent was. TarBaby got no visitors, no carrots, no groomings, no pets except for the infrequent kindness of passersby.
Fortunately for him, the stable owner is a kind woman, who continued to feed and shoe him with her own money. TarBaby is not rideable. We were approached to take him, but as we have been saying, we are full and have no empty stalls........but we did have a ridable horse who could be half leased and at least bring in some income for the barn.....and in place, we took TarBaby.

When I brought him home yesterday, he had to go into the barn, into the last stall and so he had to walk through the kangaroo court. First Church who wanted to take a big bite of him and then Winston who just wanted to touch him once or twice......then past hay storage, then a couple of chickens scattered past him and that was scary. Then to his room with a small turnout......he has not had a turnout on his stall for years..........he was not sure what to do......he went out and stood in the rain and stood there for several hours. I had to coax him back into the stall to eat.

I hope when we see him this morning, he is more settled......he was not too interested in eating last night. We are trying to find a foster home where he can actually have pasture for a while and really stretch his legs. Poor old guy. He has big ankles and a stiff gait and his tongue slightly protrudes from his mouth. He has a fresh clean blanket on ......and he will get plenty of love and treats here.

off to do my chores.......errands and a million other things........I have a list.

I have to go to Strohs, the Humane Society, Costco, the a couple of friends to gather auction Cenex........I have to dig a small ditch, fix a roofline which leaks a little..........strip the pony stall........change some feed bins around.....and Kim and her mom are bringing the chicken coop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! more chickens in the barn. The chickens were ALL in the barn last night and had to be bodily removed. The peacock was on TOP of the barn...and I really suppose he is not leaving....sigh....I never wanted a peacock.

more later..........enjoy your brisk and blustery day!

Friday, November 20, 2009


I try to sleep in......but it doesn't work. The dogs know what time it is and where they are supposed to be and why don't I hear them? Well, I do hear them....and if I get up for one...well, the whole household gets up. So......I get up....let them out, feed them......drink a quick cup of coffee and I am on the the barn, listening to James Taylor sing "Fire and Rain".

Did I mention it is STILL raining? Honestly.....enough is enough. I am sure every reservoir in the state must be full by now.

I throw hay and then clean stalls, then paddocks.....they are wet and the piles are heavy. I remove my jacket due to the resulting sweat. I forgot a hat, so I rummage in the barn and find one of those plastic grocery bags.....voila...I have a hat. I am praying no one comes up to the barn and sees me with a plastic bag on my head. I laugh at the thought....but seriously......a plastic bag is on my head.

I finish up and go to my truck to leave and Mary V. shows up to help.......I explain that I need to run home and shower, then come back to take Beaver to the vet and I leave her to Ollie and Max's paddock. She did NOT see the plastic bag.

I run home, shower, put clean clothes on and go back to the barn.

I figure I am going to take Vinnie to the vet to, just to have him checked out. So, I go and get him, take a hay bag, hang it and load Vinnie. He loads like an old trooper. I shut the divider on him and go back to the barn for Beaver.
Beaver is not sure he wants to go anywhere.
He bites me.
I halter him anyway.
I lead him towards the barn and he gets the idea that he might be getting food and so he drags me into the barn as he starts rummaging for any sort of treat, hay or grain. I pull him up shorter and lead him through the barn.
Just outside the barn is a bowl of chicken food. I am shortly transported to that bowl by a short and stout pony....who just barely gets a bite of it before I over power him.
I break a small sweat and my clean clothes are not clean anymore.
I drag him down to the trailer and he is suspicious.
I open the door and he gets right in ........he wants to see Vinnie.
He sticks his nose through the divider slats and bites Vinnie.
Vinnie squeals.
Vinnie kicks.
Beaver strikes.
Okay, I cannot tie Beaver that close to Vinnie.
I hold Beaver's lead while I contemplate the best course of action.
My shoulder hurts.
Beaver reaches under the divider and bites Vinnie on the leg.
Vinnie screams and kicks.
I consider tying Beaver in the very back...but the tie is high and I am afraid he could hang himself.
I consider that might not be a bad thing.....just for a fleeting second.
Beaver makes a break for the divider.
I grab him before he reaches Vinnie.
ummm.......okay. Vinnie must not go today.......
Vinnie goes back to the barn.
Beaver is loaded loose in the trailer and he starts screaming.
I hit the road.

It doesn't end there.

We get to the vet. I go to the trailer door and there is Beaver's face and he is ready to get out. I snap a lead on him and he LEAPS way out of the trailer.
Part of the leap is designed to allow him to get away from me or pull me where he is headed. I use both arms and pull him up. I tell him to behave himself.
Now both of my shoulders hurt. I shake it off.
He trots along beside me and up into the clinic.
The vet remarks how cute he is and just as she pats him, he tries to bite her.
I tell her to be careful.
She laughs.
He swings to kick at her and I push him back.
I tell her that, honestly, he will kick.
Her old golden retriever enters the clinic......
Did I mention that Beaver hates dogs?
He tries to bite the dog.
I pull him back.
The dog is old and doesn't see well, she continues to wag her tail and approach him.......I tell her no, no....don't come over here.
She sits next to me and Beaver flexes his neck to get to her.
I move him.
He gets examined.......he doesn't like it.
She says he is fat.
I say I know.
She says he is cute and should have a job.....
I say I know...but who would have him?
She says "someone who wants a cart pony?"
I just laugh...and then laugh again.

anyway, Beaver has a cough....due to dust mostly likely......and so now he has cough syrup....and he must eat timothy pellets in a mush. His lungs are clear, his heart is good (well, it sounds good) and so off we go.........towards home.
I trot back to the trailer with him. ..(not my idea) and he gets in. I shut the door and we drive home.......he drags me back into the barn......and I drag him back out of it and into his paddock.


I handle BIG horses every day and this little pony is a bugger........he can drag me anywhere.....he is strong and I must lend more credit to the big horses attitudes and behaviors......they WANT to get along.......they WANT to behave.

Ponies are not horses. They are devils in small horse suits.

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow:

You will recieve a great blessing from a person you admire.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday...another week gone by

Thursday already.
Time keeps on ticking.
There is a lot to appointments for tomorrow and the shoer is coming and horses must be switched around......I must pick up auction items and go to the Humane Society, then up to a training barn........and I must make arrangements for Sully to come home. I really should wash my truck and maybe empty some of the ten thousand items out of the inside of it.

The constant rain is making our chores hard and lengthy.......Lauren and I cleaned by flashlight last night (now that is dedication, isn't it?)
There is water everywhere.....puddles, pools, leaks......oh, I am very weary of the rain today.
Why don't I have an indoor arena? I guess nothing that 100 grand couldn't give me,huh? Just waiting for it to fall from the sky. Where is Bill Gates when you need him?

Today is the last day of my "real job" work week. Long day, no lunch ...but I come home to the farm and see that my volunteers have cleaned, watered and fed. All I have to do is put cats to bed.........what a treat! Thank you.

We had a small article in the paper today, about us and what we do and why we do it. They didn't mention mental health or counseling or anything?! It was a nice article and they showed a picture of one of our "adopted" residents ...Rio. Rio currently lives with the Stiffey family and is very much adopted!

We have two horses outside of our facility who need homes.......they need homes soon. One is free but you must have adequate facilities and knowledge........the other has a small is a mare and one is a gelding.......the mare is a race horse........the gelding is an all around trail horse who has found himself in less than stellar circumstances. If you might be us. The filly is young........the gelding is 12ish.....and the gelding is Appaloosa......trail horse deluxe.
We have NO room...literally. We need foster homes and I said before, our hands are tied until then. Or simply adopt one of the lovely horses that we currently have for adoption!
Help us to help other horses. You might fall in love with your foster horse and that is okay with us! Horses who could go to foster include: Sully, Yukon, Breeze, Vinnie..........or maybe little Beaver, although I admit he is a handful and rebellious but very cute!

Our expenses hit the roof in winter.......lots of stall bedding, blankets, extra hay fed, extra grain fed......and our personal favorite >>>GRAVEL and other mud management. Somedays it feels like we are behind the eight ball but we keep plugging away. We typically feed two tons of hay per month and about 4/5 bags of grain per week, plus rice bran, black sunflower seeds and some oats. Throw in shoeing expenses, gets spendy. We hope to create some income from our fundraiser and a future garage sale and by selling Pony Up Pastries for Equines...
if you want to order some.......send us 5 dollars........we will even mail them as a gift to another equine lover.......perfect way to say you were thinking about their horse!

anyway, I am out of gas for the day......writing myself notes for tomorrow.......and anxious for the weekend fundraiser.
Pony Up fortune for tomorrow:

don't take NO for an answer......not today.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tuesday and it has been a long day

Finally sitting down at more chores to do....well, I guess I do have some laundry to fold and put away....another load of wash to put in......but that can wait until I go to bed.

Can you believe how much it rained? A virtual constant deluge. Hard to clean paddocks and even if stuff doesn't usually does now. Water, water everywhere.... everywhere.
Horses have wet heads and so do I. Stalls are well used by horses who do not want to venture out and I can hardly blame them.
Chickens who stay in the barn all day and again, I can hardly blame them.

Yep, I looked at Craigslist again........simply horses, mares who are pregnant, stallions who are permanently lame......divorce sales........."I lost my job" give a ways.
Heartbreaking....worrisome. I feel helpless. My hands are tied. It is not even winter and we are already full, as are any of the rescues I know. Sad....and makes me emotional.
I know I must work harder to get horses adopted.......we have some great horses....we just need the right homes.
I don't mind holding onto a horse until the right home comes along....honestly I don't. It is always hard to let them go. You become attached, they become "your" horse and of course you want the best for them. A nice barn, a good paddock...........a big turnout....a lot of nice horse accessories and a kind owner. I know they are out there. ..but we are still in a bumpy economic time. Newspapers report that we are "out" of the recession but I think they must be writing from outer space. Where are things better? Which people have a steadier income? Who has full time secure employment? So many folks I know are just "holding on" to the job they have and there is no money for extras. I don't know the answer. Rescues are "just holding on" too......donations are down, adoptions are down.......cats, dogs, horses....all the same. Shelters overflowing, animals abandoned..... helter, skelter......a crazy time. Easy to make room for a cat or a dog perhaps but a horse? Hardly.

and so I highly recommend "sharing a horse"......sponsoring a horse, leasing a horse.....the cost is so much less when shared...and you will find the riding time about the same, unless you are a hard core, everyday rider. Maybe you always wanted to have a horse but you live in the city.....sponsor a rescue of ours or one of theirs from another rescue....come and apples/carrots...brush, pet, walk........"your" horse. We would love it and so would they. It helps the rescue out and gives you something in is also tax deductable.
Or find a reputable stable, if you want to another horse owner out...share might be helping that owner to be able to keep his or her horse.

I experience weather like today and I ask myself why I don't live in Arizona, New Mexico......Florida..... I love summer. Okay, I hate humidity.......but I love sun. ...okay, well I guess it can get too hot and I would rather be cold than too hot...but ...but.... I guess I want it all. I have traveled all over the world and I always say when I am coming home into Seattle........there is not a more gorgeous sight than the Puget Sound, the Islands and all of the greenery.........still true.....that is why I live here.

Pony Up Rescue fortune for tomorrow:

Love who you love.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday....has it stopped raining?

Non stop rain and wind........wind and rain.
The peacock is out with no shelter. He is welcome in the barn but he is not interested. Don't these birds flock together like chickens?

I think my hair has been wet all day. I was soaked from feeding this morning ..but pleased to find that all the shelters are dry and holding. Gravel is holding too. I heard it is supposed to rain until November 25th? Could that be right? I better buy a boat.

I said I was going to quit reading Craigslist and I didn't. I have anxiety for several horses who are at risk. Tb's and mustangs.......not horses for everyone......when I see them for under 300 dollars I worry.

Sadly....we have no room at the inn.. we are hock to hock and all rooms are filled until further notice.....we need a couple of foster homes and a couple of adoptions. Life would be grand then...but we are careful with placing our treasure. Sully is not adopted yet but is a prime candidate for a new home....he is brave and confident. When he comes home we are making a trail horse out of to the Banner forest we go and we will take Max too or perhaps Yukon.

Our next project is still involving gravel.......and we need to straighten the arena fence.....and of course we have the fundraiser......we are looking forward to that! I imagine as the winter goes on, the projects will stack up and we will get them done as we can/when we can. It seems like a long time before spring and even longer before summer. Oh to have dry paddocks and dust again.

If you are mulling over coming to the fundraiser......mull no more........we have lots of good stuff........great food, good company.........fantastic music!
Come see us!

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow.

Sometimes just a smile will suffice.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday morning coming down

I drive along our little country road, it is drizzling and leaves are spread and red...... pale beautiful, so dreary. I wave to an older couple who walk rain or shine...they wave back. Our little community is like that.
I turn the wipers on and listen to the rhythm of the steady thump, thump against the windshield. I am always thinking.....planning.....wondering...... I probably think too much some days. I write notes on paper and leave it for later.

I get to the barn and do my regular chores......dig my bare hands into steaming grain and beet pulp in order to mix it up and make sure it is not too hot. Smells good.....but is messy. I should use a glove.....but I am not a princess at the barn......just a slave.
The barn cats are bothering me and MEOWING loudly because I do not have their food out yet. Butchie bites me on the leg. I tell him to wait a minute.
The peacock is clacking his beak at the chickens in order to make his way to the food bowl. They peck at him. He doesn't care....he barges in anyway.
It is 42 degrees.......I muck stalls and paddocks.......I don't have volunteers on Sunday it is just the right need to take my coat off.......I do not sweat.... perfect except for the frizz in my hair.
I finish up and go to let the cats into my mom's house.......and to check on her. Everything is okay.....
I make a phone call to Chelsea and bounce a few things off her......we vent for a while about life in general, then laugh.......then hang up.
I must leave and go get hay.....then go to The Harbor Kitchen and see what needs to be done.......for the fundraiser. Poor Cherri thinks I have left town probably.

more later.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saturday ....boy oh boy

Slept in a little.....couldn't find my keys for about ten minutes...and brrr it was cold.......Jack Frost visted during the night for the first time. I put my fleece jacket on and then my Carhart so I will stay warm.

I listen to the Little River Band sing Lady on the way to the barn. I notice my gas tank is on empty.

I get to the barn and release the hostages......then throw hay and start on grain. I will warm the water that goes into the grain this morning, as I always do when it is cold. Ryan shows up and helps me finish with grain, then we clean paddocks and talk about life and what is important.
Ryan is a student and he is going to be a mechanical engineer.
Then Kim, Darlene and Briann show up. We talk about chores and who wants to do what.
Kim gets the tractor/gravel work......Briann gets to sweep and water.......Darlene gets the Filly...Ryan and I move mats.
Jan and Sharon show up and then we start construction completion on the shed......

Darlene brought us all coffee from Starbucks........she always does that......we love you!

Ryan and Jan work on the shed roof, Sharon and Briann rake gravel, Darlene and I dig a trench... Kim brings gravel back and forth with the tractor........we work hard......we are filthy dirty. At 1 pm we are hungry and Jan and Sharon go and get us pizza and drinks.......THANK YOU for your continued kindness........we don't know a nicer family...truly.

By 3 pm we are wiped out.......we got a lot done! The filly's paddock is finished......the upper paddock has a new road of gravel leading out to the lower paddock and the new shed has mats, a complete roof and sides! WOW. That almost completes our major projects......we have one more "road" to gravel and one shed to gravel for under the mats.....then we need to fix the posts on the arena.......they are leaning from big fat horse butts rubbing on them.

Vinnie is feeling okay today. He ate well and is still perky. He loved meeting the volunteers...he is a very friendly, curious horse. He hates the tractor...not scared.......he puts his ears back and shakes his head at it.......very funny....because he also reaches for scratches from your hand as you are driving.

The filly got to play along the fence line with Winston today...they had fun chasing each other up and down the paddocks.

The peacock is still here......need I say more? He is not OUR peacock.....I repeat.....NOT OURS.

Long day and I am tired.....have to get hay tomorrow and run other errands....

Sleep tight.

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow:

Stranger things have happened.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday morning

Pony Up artwork by Jesse Link
My little chicken family roosting in the rafters of the Pony Up barn.......ready for bed.

I get to sleep in until 7, but I get up with the dogs at 5 because they don't understand the sleeping in thing and they need to go okay,okay...I get up and stay up for half an hour ...then try to go back to sleep. Wrong.

So I shower, fix coffee, hit the road to the barn. Listen to the Go Go's sing "We Got the Beat". If that doesn't get me going, well....nothing will.

It is windy and the horses are nervous Nellies.....flitting in and out of stalls, kicking walls as they spin and bolt. I throw hay and expect calm.....but NOOOOO. In and out, screaming and kicking. Winston takes down a strand of hot wire. Okay, I cave in and give them their grain. Now all is well.....I hear the wind and the slurping of wet grain. Yukon slops his all over the wall,the feeder, his face and then he licks everything down.....such a piggy.

The filly is dry and I can see she has been using her shed like we hoped she would...but I give her the grain and she starts to eat it and also starts kicking the wall behind her. I silently tell myself that I am glad I put those really thick
2x12s on the wall. She is not going to kick through those.

I start cleaning paddocks and pull my coat off....this is bicep building work....I move from paddock to paddock....and then suddenly I am cold to the bone.

I have to run to the Southworth Ferry to meet an artist who has donated work to us...
Jesse.....who hand delivers a huge painting....of a horse.......I LOVE IT... are talented and I am so grateful for your donation! Thank you. For the rest of better come to the Pony Up Fundraiser and bid on it......before I do!!!

I am now home for a bit, to warm up and put the painting in a safe place.....then back to the barn. I am going to use the tractor and see if I can do as good of a job as Kim......
Well, I guess I have to go to Lowes first and get some plywood for tomorrow, so we can finish the shed up top. We also have mats to move...I can't do that by myself any longer..for reasons I won't say.

I am still cold. Hot coffee to go

Vinnie is still running a small temperature, although he is perky and has a good appetite. He may have a bug from the auction. He has a deep throaty whinny......and he calls to me each time he sees me.

okay, well time is wasting. Off to Lowes then back to the barn. Mary is coming to help around 1 pm.....hmmm...maybe she wants to move mats with me????

Ryan is coming tomorrow to help on the last of the construction. He can drive the tractor too. It's a party, that is for sure. I hope it clears off for at least several hours so we don't get so wet.

more later.

Okay, here is more later.......

I worked on gravel all day. Of course I had the tractor.....took me a while to get a routine down and going...but I got the last paddock pretty well graveled! I want to put some more to top it off in the morning....but PROGRESS...sweet progress.

Mary came by this afternoon and she cleaned paddocks and then groomed Vinnie who adored the beauty treatment> I kept looking over there and he was half asleep and so loving the good grooming. Mary ..thank are such a sweet and kind person...the horses love you.

The afternoon was over before I was really ready for it to be done....but tomorrow we should get a lot done and maybe I will feel like we can rest a while? We have really worked hard over the last few months, haven't we?

I got lumber at Lowes today and of course there was NO ONE to be found to do any loading, so not only did I load my own stuff inside, I loaded it outside too......plywood, 2x6 boards and some metal roofing. The last three times I have been one is available to help.....umm...they are probably watering plants or staging the Christmas decorations....I swear.

anyway, I posted pictures of the wonderful painting that Jesse Link donated for our auction and also a picture of my precious little banties....

enjoy your evening!

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow.

Something good comes your way early in the day.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thursday and my week is over

Yes, I was late again this morning. I slept like a log....and drug my pathetic sleepy self around like a zombie this morning.
And where did I get all that laundry to fold? It looks like we have a family of 12 living here.
Finally off to the barn, listening to Billy Joel sing "Don't Go Changing".....he still rocks.

Up at the barn and I am scolded by hungry horses. It is misty outside and I can tell it will be clear for a while this morning. Birds are singing like it is spring time...crows calling to each other while they forage the lower pasture. I love crows. I can never figure out why folks hate them. They are so smart and wiley.

Vinnie trashed his stall last night. Oh well. I scrape his stall out and rake the piles off of his new gravel. Then I go back to the barn and Yukon slimes my shoulder with his mush......nice..yeah, that will be nice for work. I should have brought another tee shirt. The guys are used to seeing me with assorted horse type treasure attached to my coat,

Off to work for the day.

On the way home I stop at the feed store....senior feed and stall pellets. I live to buy stall pellets.....I swear.

Stop by the barn and I find Kim and Devon......who tell me that another volunteer was here today and brought her dog........and let him run loose. He killed one of my chickens. I am sad and disappointed that someone would bring their dog and let it kill one of my animals. We have a no dog policy at the farm. I don't even bring my own dogs. I am protective of my horses, my chickens, my cats and my mom's small dogs......I don't like dogs in with the horses. I cannot have dogs or a dog running loose. The best place for YOUR dog is at YOUR home or safe in YOUR car or truck.

Tomorrow I meet with the county and with a reporter who will do a small story on us.
Of course I also have errands to run and chores to do....horses to move around as well.

I see so many free horses on is an awful state we seem to be in. Unwanted horses everywhere...not enough homes....not enough money. We must get through it and do the best we can do with what we have. Our horses are fortunate. I am fortunate too and must remember to count my blessings when I feel overwhelmed.

Pony Up Fortune for tomorrow:

The surprise of your life happens when you least expect it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wednesday is wonderful

Cold this morning......alllllllllllmmmmmmooooossssstttt freezing but not quite. Brisk enough that I left my fleece pullover on and had really cold hands for a while. Maybe I will learn to wear gloves? hmm.

Vinnie is glad to see me and waiting for me at the gate. I see that he had a nap in his stall. I am glad he feels comfortable enough to lay down. His appetite is still good and he has finished all his hay. He still smells......needs a bath really badly but of course it is too cold. We have plenty of time.

On the way to work.......on the oldies station I listen to Blondie's "Call Me".......

Kim calls me at noon and says she is going to start on the gravel project and do I mind if she uses the tractor? DO I MIND?????????? ummmm......NO MAAM...I welcome your use of the tractor and the help! Use the tractor anytime....and let me buy you Mexican lunch in payment!

So I must report that indeed Kim used the tractor and did a fantastic job with paddock one. It is mostly finished thanks to her! WOW. It is SO nice to have someone who is handy and willing and who will do a job with the same result as I would want or do myself. Thank you Kim! You definitely rock! One more mudfree paddock bites the dust....and hopefully we can finish up on Saturday and voila....we may be done?

Friday we have a reporter coming to the, a small story about the fundraiser..........we will be stars of the Harbor! Okay...maybe not stars...maybe a star attraction?

The filly loves her new paddock.......we are glad we moved her.....she stands in the stall while it rains rather than outside which makes us really happy. I hate to see a horse standing in the rain when they have shelter.

We always have more projects.....hogsfuel in Beavers paddock to keep his pony feet out of the mud, more gravel under his mats and to put more mats down in the newest shed that we recently built. Have you ever moved wet, muddy mats? No easy feat.

sooooooooo, that winds up another day. Progress was made.....things got done.
Yippee kai yay.

Pony Up Fortune for tomorrow:

Pony Up for something you love.....

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tuesday and we have TORRENTS

I got up earlier and was only a little late......must be the time change.....I don't know...I can't seem to get myself in gear any faster.

I get to the barn and Vinnie is waiting. He whinnies softly, waiting at the gate. I cannot go to him first due to quarantine protocal.....but I call to him and tell him I am coming.

I feed the rest, clean stalls, pick paddocks......and then take care of Vinnie. He has not left his stall. He has eaten all of the mountain of hay I have given him and he is anxious for grain. Of course he is. I feel under his blanket to check his temperature and give him a look over.......his hind legs are swollen with a little heat. I give him some bute in his grain. He doesn't have a temp but he does have a little cough. He is much more alert this morning.

I put extra food out for the chickens and our peacock........umm.yes, he is STILL here and I think he means to stay. He sleeps on the roof every night now and eats with the chickens in the morning. I must say that he is not much of a problem. He does chase the cats.

We have two mountains of gravel waiting and calling my name. HUGE piles which will be utilized to take care of the last of our mud issues. Mud makes me want to move to Arizona or never rains in California, does it?

I drive to work and the radio plays Blood,Sweat and Tear's "Spinning Wheel". I used to listen to that on the bus in the 7th grade. It still is a good song I think. I am getting to be a geezer I guess.

We had a new volunteer today...Stephanie.....who worked for two hours cleaning buckets and mucking paddocks......thank you for your hard work and welcome to Pony UP!

I came back to the farm this evening to give a final check on everyone. Vinnie was at the gate again....waiting. I check on my mother, put the cats to bed, shut the chicken doors, check stall gates.....close the barn and go to see Vinnie. I take a small flashlight, the kind that is barely three inches long and is an LED light.....small and compact....Vinnie is fascinated with it and playfully tries to take it from me. I let him mouth it a couple of times, then move it away and scratch him under his jaw. He moves into me and leans his head against my chest and gives a low and soft nicker. My heart melts..I get a lump in my throat...I think to myself and wonder why a horse who has been through hell is still willing to trust a human? No contest for me........I already love Vinnie and make a promise to keep him safe from what ever demons have been chasing him. This is a nice horse with a kind a million others except that this one found his way to me or I found my way to him or the stars and the moon lined up .....something happened. tell me how it works.....I really don't know.

Somedays, no matter how bad, are made better by simple things.....

Pony Up Fortune for tomorrow:

Stand up for something or fall for anything.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Monday, Monday

Up at my regular time,but I am late,...took too long showering, or maybe too long putting my socks on or drank my coffee slowly....I don't know. Off to the barn,let the cats out, let the chickens out and then go to see the new boy.....but I don't see him. He is found inside the Noble shelter, snug as a bug......he nickers softly to me as I peer into the darkness. I say hello Vinnie....good morning.

Then off to feed everyone starts raining of course.....I clean what I can, then move on to get Vinnies stall cleaned. It was, shall we say, well used during the evening....but on a good note, good solid poop and he has eaten well.

We will make some phone calls today and see what we can find out about his history and why he is where he is.

He is a darling......more like 25 than 5...he is an old soul.

On the way to work I listen to Steely Dan "Black Cow" that is an OLD one.

We have a start of some very good items for the silent have to come and check them out. Lots of artwork from kind artists.....veterinary certificates, photography certificates....doggie accessories......a little of this, a little of that...........oh and a cookie certificate........cookies once a month for a year!

Do you ever look at something everyday for like most of your life and you never notice anything different and then day, something is different? My brightly colored leaf and I zeroed in on made the whole thing different....and then I saw a late summer rabbit ....then zip he was off into the woods.

It rained and rained this morning and then surprise of all surprises, the sun came out for a little while. What a pleasant lifted my spirits a little.

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow:

Do you really know what you know or could you learn something about something? Keep your mind open and your mouth shut today.

Sunday, November 8, 2009 day of rest for us

Up early.....feed hay, clean paddocks, clean stalls, clean barn...wipe counters down, throw some gravel on the driveway where it is slippery......10 o'clock and I am finally done.
I go home, shower, jump in the truck and go to pick up some donated items......go home unload them and meet Kim at the barn at 1 pm.

We hook up the horse trailer, move the filly....go get gas in the truck.....and we are on the road. Out to Rainer to pick up the new guy.

The new guy.........

We get to Yelm and load him up. He gets right in. Quiet and sweet dispostion. Thin. Shod....scars on his poll and over his eyes, scars around his right hind. Walks sound. Reported to "fall on his knees" every once in a while. Hmm. Maybe a wobbler. Maybe neurological damage.... we don't know. I have not yet seen him take a strange step. The gal who has had him a few days trots him around...he trots sound. I guess we shall see. He is very dirty. He smells. He is depressed. He rides quietly..we stop to eat and we check on him, he is busy with his feed bag. He is not sweaty or nervous. He obviously has been hauled a lot. He doesn't utter a sound until we get to the feed store and he hears us rustle the feed sacks. Then we hear a low nicker from the trailer. We open his window and he is adored by the feed store employees. Then we head home. He unloads with proper manners and remains quiet as we walk him around. We put him in the filly's Noble shelter and he goes right to the business of eating. The other horses call to him but he doesn't answer....he wants to eat.

We go about our business feeding and cleaning, he comes out to take a long drink of water and look around a bit.....then goes back to eating.

This is a five year old gelding. A Storm Cat grandson on the sires side, an Alydar grandson on the dams side. His sire is Giant's Causeway. Big time how does a horse like this end up in a place like .......well, the Enumclaw sale yard?
A 50,000 dollar horse becomes a 200 dollar throwaway. Is it because of an accident? He had export papers.....he was training up until last May. What happened and who dumped him? We know who dumped him.....but we won't say it out loud ....yet. I have some more investigating to do and then I will say.

We have named him Vinnie. Short for vindication.
We hope that Vinnie is okay and if not, we have spared him a long trip on the slaughter bus. Part of our job, part of our heartbreak at times.....part of our souls.

Vinnie got a brand new blanket tonight.......I splurged on him, so he could be warm and he could feel safe.

Mr. Jimenez.....we would like to speak to you.......and you know why.

Well, it has been a long day. I am off to bed. I offer you sweet dreams and a peaceful slumber.

Pony Up Fortune for tomorrow:

Lead by example and follow with compassion.

Saturday........we get wet...really wet

I slept in a little, did my usual routine, drove to the barn listening to Freddy Mercury sing "Boehemian Rhapsody" that like the longest song on earth?

I get to the barn and Kim is already there. She cleans stalls and I feed breakfast. It is raining ....HARD. We look at each other and know that we must build a shed today. The wind is blowing. We put hats on....and look at each other again....let's go she says.

I had gone to Lowes on Friday afternoon and purchased some lumber.....or shall I say some more lumber. So we begin. Did I mention it is pouring? The nails are crummy and we bend several. We don't have a level....I say "well, we didn't have a level with the other sheds either and they are okay>" and then we laugh and keep going.

Ryan shows up and gets his rain gear on and he installs the roof supports. Then it is decided that we need more lumber, so off I go to Lowes for plywood, 2x6's and a few odds and ends.
When I come back Jan has joined us. We unload the truck and get going again.....Jan remarks that we are not plumb....and we laugh again and just cut to fit. Our dear carpenter helper...., I hope you are not reading this......seriously we are not in this for looks but for function! and they are ALL dry. Ryan we were so glad to have you with us, sorry the weather was so lousy......and Jan, thanks as well for your help and the yummy apples...and both of your senses of humor. Kim, you rock as usual.....hard worker, not afraid of the rain.....and a great attitude!

By 1pm we are beat....all of us.....we have a roof and two sides done. Yesterday we had placed the gravel for the stall floor, so at least that is done.

Having this shed done means that we can bunk Ollie and Max together, the filly will be moved to Ollie's old area and the new guy (gee,he doesn't have a name yet) will go to the filly's. The filly hates her Noble shed....too noisy I suspect and not a good viewing point. She is certain we have werewolves in the woods.

It is so nice to have the tractor and we can now finish the gravel paths in the paddocks and the entry ways to the paddocks. Jason, thank you so much for your help in fixing up the tractor. Jason says all tractors are girls and so it must have a girls name....HUH?

Today Kim and I go to get the new guy. I will update the blog as I know the details. We were supposed to get him yesterday but the folks changed their minds to today and it actually gave us more time to fix sheds. Looks like another rainy day with plenty to do.

We had a rat in the barn. I might point out that we have two cats as well. They were actually in the barn when the rat was but only had interest for a minute or two, then made their way to my mom's house for a nap in front of the fireplace. I may have to turn a Jack Russell loose to get the job done.

Kim and her mom are building a chicken coop for our wayway flock. To keep them safe and dry and OUT of our barn. They are cute, but messy. Our chicks are mostly grown, some are big and some are small. I got some cute pictures of them roosting in the barn.......I will try to post them tonight and maybe some pictures of the new guy too.

I have to go to the feed store for stall pellets, senior grain, beet pulp and a grain feeder, then off to fetch the new guy. Wish us luck!

more later.....enjoy your blustery day.

Pony Up Fortune for today.
Your eyes wide open, you see everything

Friday, November 6, 2009's lightning and rain...oh my

Sporadic power (thank goodness for a generator) and HARD rain, blue flashes of lightning.....wind, broken trees and limbs scattered everywhere.......
On my way to the barn to check everyone out.........
Wish me luck!

All is well, although all is also wet......but fences are up, peacock survived, horses are good...everyone is fed, stalls are cleaned and time to get on with my day.
A hot shower, a good cup of coffee, a list of things to do, places to go and people to see.

Our warmblood mare will be euthanized today. Sad...very sad. Please say a prayer for her. The colt is doing better, even played a bit and is eating like a...well, like a horse...which is GOOD in our book.

Tomorrow we build and then we go to pick up a gelding who needs some help. I will give all the details later, but the gist of the situation is that this horse sold as a yearling for 50,000 dollars. He has bloodlines to kill for. How he almost ended up on a slaughter truck and was last minute purchased for 200 dollars is beyond my comprehension. He is thin and has some serious scar tissue on his ankles. We will see what we can do for him.

Sully has the flu......the vet sees him today and will prescribe some medication. He was vaccinated for flu,...but he seems to have caught it anyway. That is what happens sometimes in a big barn with horses coming and going. He should be fine.

I am off to start my day.......enjoy yours!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thursday.....the tractor is coming!

Up early.....lots to do and I will have a long day. The dogs get their teeth cleaned today and I will have to drive all the way to Tacoma to pick them up after five.
We were at the barn after dark and we didn't get the paddocks cleaned like they should have been.....which means I must use extra elbow grease this morning. Yukon is a stall pig.
The chickens did not roost in the barn last evening .......hmmm.....wonder why? They went to bed in the old coop without force.
The peacock was on top of the barn by the mast, tucked in for the night. Strange place to sleep.No sign of him packing his bags either.

I have to make arrangements for the tractor delivery tomorrow! YAY! It will be so helpful to finally have our own tractor. We can move manure piles and rake the arena....move gravel (my personal favorite)........what a relief!

Lots of local folks working on auction horses and rehoming them. I applaud the efforts........for those making room or buying.........please just make sure your heart is not bigger than your checkbook. Have the proper space, room and an adequate budget for what you bring home....if you don't have any extra money are sure to not have any later. Vet bills are expensive and sooner or later, we all have vet bills. Although hay prices have come down, grain is still up there and not likely to decrease. Good luck to you and your new horse. Be prepared for behavior issues which may need to be addressed......not all auction horses have issues....but some are bound to.......just like when we take in a rescue horse.. you get the good with the less than stellar.

We are building a new shed and a chicken coop this weekend....want to help? Come on over. We love to build.

The filly's paddock will be graveled this weekend too....and that will be a relief. I get much anxiety about muddy paddocks. The filly is good, by the love bug. Loves for her ears and face to be scratched, good for her blanket to come on and off......loves her next door horse friend Church.

Okay I better get going..........enjoy your day.

Pony Up fortune for today:

Practice makes perfect.

Updated to include Thursday evening. I picked the dogs up.....Carlman got two teeth pulled...ouch! It is a raging wind storm out there right now. Our generator has been on and off......pouring rain........funny explosions in the distance......probably transformers.....I hope the peacock is safe and not trying to hold onto the top of the barn.

Tomorrow....a lot of work again......I hope it won't pour down with rain and more wind....makes working very hard.

I hope everyone is safe and sound out there tonight!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Usual start.....laundry, dogs out, dogs fed, cats fed, make a banana..shower.
It is light out when I leave and it sort of makes me panicky about "feeling" late for work. I hate to be late. My mind says "hey, it is light and you SHOULD be at work by now."
I listen to the oldies again......Eric Clapton's "Layla".......look at the open fields on the way to my barn. Multi colored horses in one field....I always look for them.....a pony further down who looks like Beaver and then some more mid sized ponies. Familiarity....comfort......the same scenary each day of my life. Who needs a road trip?

The peacock has not left and he is starting to beg treats from me. Does this mean he won't ever go home? Isn't someone looking for him? Wondering where he is?

Horses are all fine, all annoyed because I broke a granola bar in pieces and gave it to the chickens....the horses love granola bars....but so do the chickens.

I leave for work after opening the paddock gate for Max to go out in the arena today. He needs the exercise.

Now for the bad parts of my day...

Later today, Chelsea and I make the decision to euthanize the old mare we took in on Sunday. She is in rough shape.....her hoof wall is separated and her eye has been one ever did anything for her pain. It makes me weep to think of the pain she has experienced for months as well as being constantly hungry .....a pampered show horse who became a nobody.....I wonder why no one ever loved her enough to take care of her in her old age and now it comes to this. Two strangers take her, give her some final dignity and very sad. My heart feels good knowing that tonight, for the first night in a long time, she is not hungry and she is not in pain (pain medication)......I will say it over and over owe your old horse a decent retirement.....either provide it, pay for it or euthanize them. They don't deserve to be sent off to this type of "good home" and never checked on again. Nicolette.......we are talking to YOU>>>>

On another note:
I hate it when I hear horse owners say......"this is not a pet......I don't treat him or her as such. I don't feed treats, I don't pat or scratch him or her....they perform and that is head rubs, no pulling on the zipper of my coat or I will smack them because I am a professional rider".
Excuse me......but I call BullsXit on this. Maybe not a pet,surely not a stuffed animal...but how about a partner? A partner who without their participation, you couldn't perform any riding sport..or perhaps you could ride a stick horse (but then the rest of us would really laugh). Horses, like dogs and cats are living, feeling creatures......they feel pain, they crave attention,they feel happiness, they get sick, they get sore, they love praise, they have personalities....they can be clowns and over achievers.......or lazy and sullen. Get over yourself Ms. Professional rider....get way over yourself and let the partnership extend beyond you and your image in the mirror. Yes, horses should have good manners...they should be taught good manners. They shouldn't be scared of you....Riding isn't a sport unless there is a horse and rider who are committed to each other, who look out for each other's safety and compliment each others strength's and weaknesses. Not a pet.....okay, but a treat him or her as such. And as for me....if I see you slug your horse in the face or anyone else's horse....expect me to say fact, expect me to verbally lambaste you......and never, ever expect me to "promote you" as a trainer or a catch rider or anything other than an out of control, ill tempered vile human. Anyone who slugs horses in the face doesn't deserve a horse and seriously.... you should get some anger management help. Hit an animal, hit a child...people hit because they lack emotional intelligence and the ability to is easier to hit and bully and scare something that is vulnerable, something that can't fight back or get away. .....look at the fear in your victims eyes the next time.....does it make you proud or does it make you sick and ashamed?. Find out why you feel the need to hit/scream/blow up instead of correcting behavior at the root of the problem. =======

If your trainer hits your horse in the face as discipline.........RUN. Pack your stuff, load your horse and run. Professional riders/trainers don't hit horses in the face nor do they hit horses in anger because they are having a bad hair day or because it is raining or because the horse rubbed it's head on them......

Anger manages everything badly.
Anger doesn't win games.
Anger doesn't solve issues.

Pony Up fortune for Wednesday:

You know who you are at all times.

Monday Monday.

I am writing about Monday on Tuesday because I am late and up a little early.
Well, let's see.....

Max is still feeling good.....huge sigh of relief. The peacock is still with us and no sign of being unhappy and moving on. I am thinking of redoing the rescue sign to include "peacocks". It didn't rain yesterday...and we got some construction work done in the barn, courtesy of Cherri........we now don't have to fool with a gate that was hard to work and Beaver's house is more winterproofed. Kim has a new system down for turning horses out and so now, everyone can have a turn in the arena. The filly got to go out and Kim reports that she had a blast!

Yesterday evening, after the work was done.......we drank some of our best barn wine and talked about the upcoming fundraiser. Great ideas all around. Want to help? email us. Want to donate? email us. Want to attend? you know the drill!

We have another new volunteer who has pledged nine hours a week. This is a great help to with stall cleaning, water trough cleaning, barn sweeping.......perfect timing.

We continue to find creative ways to fundraise and have begun to market Pony Up Pastries for Equines.......there is a fresh variety and a crunchier,longer lasting variety.....but if you are like me, no need to worry about shelf life because I feed them all to the horses in about ten minutes. I am a complete pushover for begging lips.

Yesterday, the radio played McArthur Park.....I never did get that song....did you?

Off to the barn for chores......then to work......enjoy your day.

Pony Up Fortune for today.........

All that glitters is not gold......but sometimes real gold can be found if you prospect in the right places.

enjoy your day!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sunday.............sun.....oh boy

Up early to check on Max.......I am happy to report he is feeling better and perky....he ate his breakfast and had several piles of poop in his paddock.
Kim came and we turned Max out with Ollie......oh boy! Talk about some action...neither one of them looked to have any arthritis or joint issues....running, leaping, jumping.....they had some fun! They eventually settled down and nuzzled ..then groomed each other.

Kim and I blocked off the sink hole in the arena so that it is safe for turnout. We will turn the filly out for the later half of the day. It is dry and safe for turnout.

Umm....the peacock is still here.......he spends a lot of his time on the roof. Go figure?

The horse market continues to be frightful. .....already starving calls.....heart break.

more later.......I have chores calling my name.

Here is the "more later" report.

I was called away to transport two horses. Two starving, pathetic wrecks......owned by ignorant folks who put them on pasture and expected it to sustain them in November. When asked what they were feeding.....they replied "timothy because they don't like alfalfa"........funny, because there was not a shred of hay on the ground or in feeders.......NADA....nothing. You know as well as I do that when you feed hay, you leave evidence...a does not disappear into thin air.
They were both skin and bones, with the mare having a hugely swollen leg, both having horrible feet.......these are "warmblood" horses with good breeding. The mare was given to the people by an owner who surely thought the mare was getting a retirement home with okay folks.....the colt ........well, he will come through this....but he is very thin and had a halter on which grew into his face until his flesh is exposed . Like,does this happen overnight? Do you not look at your horse every day while you are feeding it all that timothy you talked about???? Does a halter just grow into the nose and oh well, he will get over it? Does running pus from a wound seem benign? Does your horse get dreadlocks from caked mud and you think it is normal? The colt's tail has NEVER been combed. I guarantee it. The mare's skin on her legs is wickedly pink around her pasterns....and the skin is so swollen it looks as if it will split. I will never understand until the day I die.......why folks do this......why they think their horses look normal.......why they don't see the ribs, the rainrot, the bad feet, the swollen skin......the goopy eyes....WHY????? Would you notice if it was your child? Your mother? The mare is old and used to be a 4th level dressage far she has traveled to such less than stellar surroundings. If you could have seen her eye today when I haltered her and started leading her up the first she was resigned, expecting perhaps the to the trailer and looked at me like......"get me out of here".........Embarrassing and shameful that a horse who has worked hard and mastered such a skill should end up a piece of trash.....shame on whomever did not do a site check. These horses did not have any shelter. When you get into bed at night, your warm and safe you not think of the animals you have and how comfortable they are? Would you sleep knowing that an animal you are caring for is wet, cold and hurting? When you hear driving rain, do you not rush to make sure your four footed creatures have cover? When you feel the bite of bitter cold on your skin, do you not worry about your animals well being? Do you not make sure that your animals have good food and a dry shelter from the elements?...or do you think that because they are an animal they do not have hunger, that perhaps somehow their skin does not feel the cold? That their hunger can wait for days on end? or that they do not have thirst......that they don't feel pain from swelling or oozing sores? Prick your own skin and know that is what the horse feels....a living and feeling being, not a stuffed animal.
I know that we are supposed to "turn the other cheek"......but it just isn't in me....people need to suffer in the same way they have made others suffer. Just my opinion.....I am sure you have your own.
The mare now belongs to Pony Up. We will do what we can for her, if that means that we can only give her a few weeks of comfort.....the infection in her leg may be more than she can handle...she is resting comfortably tonight, with lots of hay, some medicine and her friend, the young little gelding.
They both loaded right up into the worries, no hesitation......they knew something better was coming their way.

Pony Up Fortune for Monday:

When you think you can go no further and carry nothing can, go a little further and carry a little more.

by the way.........the Pony Up horse pictures were taken by Kim.....aren't they great?