Archive of ‘Karen’ category

PHOTOS FROM YESTERDAY – HOMECOMING – AT LAST

We did it. Star and I completed a month of learning with the illustrious, indefatigable, incredible horse trainer, Jim Frazier.

The man is unending. His stamina. His dedication. His knowledge and experience. He’ll turn seventy on 9-11-17 and he kicks my butt for endurance. A truly remarkable guy.

I think some people send their horses to Jim for training and expect to pick them up a month later all ready to ride and go. Not me. Not my dear friend Janice; who had her horse there with Jim the month before Star burst onto the scene. We knew we needed to learn as much as our horses…in tandem…in harmony…lessons with Jim and our horses in a huge arena never to be forgotten. Lessons imbedded in our minds to go home with and practice, practice, practice.

Jim’s words ring in my ears. “THERE’S THE EASY WAY AND THE HARD WAY.”

At first it was, “WHY DID YOU GET YOURSELF A SADDLEBRED?!”  um…me in a small voice…”he was a rescue of sorts and I fell in love”…Jim sheeshing me. (his body language…nutso horse-lover-girl doesn’t know better). Then admitting, “WELL I TRULY BELIEVE THE 3 SMARTEST BREEDS IN ORDER ARE ARABIANS, SADDLEBREDS AND THOROUGHBREDS…THE 3 MOST HOT-HEADED BREEDS…BUT ONCE YOU GET THEIR HEADS CONNECTED TO THEIR LEGS THEY CAN TURN INTO SOMETHING GOOD.”

In my opinion, we got good. Good enough to come home with Jim’s approval and encouragement to; “KEEP GOING WITH HIM. YOU CAN’T GIVE HIM VACATION TIME. HE’S GREEN. HE NEEDS WORK.” Roger that.

However…I am giving Star the 4th of July off. He’s been ridden and worked and scolded and praised for many days in a row now. In my humble opinion he deserves to snooze in the barn with his girlfriend Gypsy, graze and lollygag around, and maybe pluck a few apples from the trees with his endlessly long neck.

Last night I hung out with them in the barn, Gypsy on one side of me, Star on the other, stroking their necks and heads and talking silly love-gooberish. I think Gypsy yawned a dozen times as their eyes got droopy and their bodies started swaying. I almost fell asleep too.  I think we were all feeling blissful-zoned-out-tired-contentment.

I texted Jim this morning… ‘It was a happy barn this morning and I am gonna spend the 4th pampering my pig who has been highly neglected and we are gonna eat watermelon together’.

That’s tough for a horse trainer to swallow. He said, ‘Holidays are made for eating pork sandwiches’. I may disagree with my fabulous horse trainer…but I will never argue. (well almost never)

I was steadfast in my insistence on loading Star in the trailer of Janice’s we had such a hard time with many moons ago. It’s a narrow two-horse trailer with a ramp and divider and a heavy gate to lift. Recluse Man has been giving this trailer a face-lift and I must say…it looks truly TrAshe county in appearance all covered in primer and painters tape, but who cares when you are a horse wanting to go HOME? (OK…it took a few flighty balks…like Star thinking… YOU ARE TAKING ME HOME IN THIS???)…never mind!

Here are some favorite photos from our homecoming…many thanks to my friends Janice and Karen for making the photos of me with my red-headed beauty and an even bigger thanks for making the journey home possible.

Here we go…

My Philosophy…Dessert First. Here is my favorite photo from yesterday depicting Dessert First…THE HOMECOMING!!!!Jim Frazier….riding Star at the end of our month of lessons…Last lap around the arena…Seriously…I always took him seriously…A few final instructions…“Anybody Home?” (Jim’s famous question)
It took 8 minutes to load Star in the trailer of our nightmares….So yeah….get on board…
Loaded and almost ready (one more balk)… Yup. Here we go….Home Sweet Home.Photo BombGypsy…way beyond just strutting her stuff…Pretty boy rolling and soaking up his turf…

Hay. You got the day off. No worries until the neighborhood fireworks go off.From all of us at the Funny Farm…

Have a happy, totally FREE-RANGE INDEPENDENCE DAY!

HOLIDAY FARM ANIMALS (I sure hope they don’t hold a grudge)

I can’t help myself. A flashy holiday rolls around and I feel this need to dress up my farm tribe and make photographs. How silly is that?

(rhetorical question…don’t  bother asking the animals)

I have to wonder…in my middle-aged life…am I just now getting in touch with the inner childhood I missed out on growing up as a tomboy climbing trees…when I could have been outfitting Barbie dolls?

(no regrets…and again…don’t ask the animals)

I learned recently, there was a scientific study that determined dogs have no self-awareness with regard to how they look. I could have spared the expense of that study and offered the same conclusions (from all my farm animals), backed up by Freeka’s Funny Farm research and documentation. Lily with spaghetti drools all over her snout, the pigster with a little poo stuck to his tail, Gypsy with more brown mud on her body than natural white, Pockets with a sticky molasses nose…and they each be like…

“WHO CARES?

WHY YOU LAUGHING AT ME?

I FEEL GOOD!”

(sung to James Brown tune)

However…when it comes to Christmas holiday photography, those same critters may just exhibit a little more self awareness.  They’ve made it through Valentine’s Day, St Patty’s Day, Fourth of July, and Halloween, but the year is not quite complete without a few Christmas costumes and a little craziness.

I apologize to all the critters I have humiliated. Just know, in my eye you are all so fun, and yes, silly. So…what’s wrong with that? I promise never to turn y’all into Barbies.

This year I had the pleasure of humiliating someone else’s farm animals. “Whew!”… said the tribe. Took the pressure off the gang here. But as you will see, my gang did not go completely…undressed…shall I say?

Here are some favorites from here and beyond at Tucker Farm.

I’ll start with Toots and the decorating of the tree. Toots did not want to budge from the new dog bed that was taking up so much room right where I was trying to decorate our little Christmas tree. So what’s a girl to do? Yes! Decorate the dog. Well c’mon…I had to stretch out those new Christmas lights somewhere!

Toots…hoping she wouldn’t be gift-wrapped next…

I know how much Elizabeth loves having photos made with her Pips, especially to share with her family and fans at Christmas time. The Pips are such troopers as photo models, all I have to do is say…SMILE! …and look what I get…

…SMILES all around!

Never mind that Pockets was wearing a doggie outfit…that ponkey loves to dress up!

Even Grayson didn’t seem to mind the ‘faux mistletoe’…any reason to nibble…lick…kiss…

Nobody looks terribly humiliated here…right Elizabeth? (better pass out some treats real fast)

On we go to Tucker Farm. My favorite home away from home. The lady of the farm, my great friend Karen, has a good-sized tribe of rescued donkeys and goats at her barn and each year she’ll do a little Christmas slide show with her gang. I couldn’t wait to get involved. Three of my favorite horse pals live there as well, and almost living there, is another simpatico, ‘favorite-home-away-from-home’ girlfriend, Janice, who owns two of the horses.

My goat-to girlfriends…Karen on left, Janice on right…butt-heads in front…

None of the Tucker Farm critters are newbies at photo shoots. As soon as the costume container came out in the horse pasture, Dart was all into everything…

…hmmm…maybe red is really my color?

“Hey Dart…when you stick your nose in the goodies box…well who nose what will happen next…eh? Ha Ha Ha!”

(is this horse lacking a sense of humor?)

Here’s Dart’s stable mate, Louie. The twin brother of the same mother of costumes…Might have a case of stink eye going on here..

Asante…the only mare on the farm…ready to dance… …and prance……and maybe a little french kiss? (such a huzzy!)

On to the donkeys and goats. It was such a highly organized Christmas shoot with a bunch of curious models just waiting their turn.

Like a Victoria’s Secret Christmas runway show, we told them.

Yup…you believe that?

It was more like…

(goats and donkeys)…”HAY…WHAT’S to EAT in that BOX?”

(girls)…”HEY! GIT OUTTA THERE YOU RASCALS!”

 That…’You’ve Goat to be Kidding’ look….

Can’t wait to unwrap my presents!

Truly…Star Struck…What Ernie was really thinking…

“Star Struck…my butt! I just wanna know if that thing on my head is…EDIBLE?”

Check out my favorite goat, Ethel. Too bad she got stuck with my middle name.

Poor dear.

I think because of that, (ruthless teasing…you gotta understand!), she likes the idea of having grown a set of balls……now what to do with those balls???

Stormy said…”After this? I am sooo breaking into the feed room. First chance I get.”

Thanks girls…I was seeing so much red and green…I didn’t know whether to stop…or go……or just grow a mustache…

Meanwhile…back at the Funny Farm…things were getting out of control.

D.O.G. had busted into his stocking and lookee what he found!!!

DANG!…D.O.G….gimme back my Recluse Man!!!!

The Pips had found the calendar that will surely make them overnight Hollywood sensations…

…ya think??

My New Year’s date turned out to be a real pig…Toots spoke her first and final words of the year……and then passed out from overexertion…I caught D.O.G. ransacking the Christmas goody bags…

…then squatting on my homemade holiday cards…and is that the sports section of the paper where I circled all my winning bets??? …I will forgive that pigster…if the rest of all those wonderful creatures will forgive me…

Deal…D.O.G.?

HERE’S TO A STYLISH NEW YEAR!!!

BLOOD, SWEAT & GEARS (Pockets Takes A Trip To The Vet)

OH MY GWAD!

Speaking for Pockets-the-Ponkey, I am sure she would have begun this post with that very same expletive. It’s her favorite line, and what inevitably follows, is some sort of drama.

It was a BIG day for Pockets last week…her first VISIT TO a VET!

A two hour journey down the mountain!

Pockets has been dealing with a leg condition called stifle-lock and Elizabeth was beside herself with worry. If anything, it had gotten worse over the winter.

Stifle lock, or ‘Upward Fixation of the Patella’ (UFP), is fairly common in horses and ponies. The stifle is the upper part of a back leg on a horse and consists of 3 bones: the tibia, femur, and patella. The tibia is like a person’s shin bone, the femur is similar to our thigh bone, and the patella serves as a knee cap connecting them. Stifle lock causes the back legs to pop, or sometimes lock and drag.

Grayson had stifle lock but outgrew it, as is often the case in a young pony or horse. Stifle lock doesn’t hurt a pony but it sure hurts looking at a leg that pops or drags. Elizabeth was coming out nearly everyday to work with Pockets. Exercise is great. And the whole Freeka herd has 24/7 access to the pasture or barn. Which is good. Very good to be mobile.

Sheesh. Somehow I ended up watching The Who in Hyde Park, instead of the news this morning. Much better way to start the day! Their 50th anniversary concert. And this is stuck in my head…

Keep me movin’
Over 50
Keep me groovin’
Just a hippie gypsy

Come on move now
Movin’
Keep me movin’, yeah

Keep me movin’, groovin’, groovin’, yeah
Movin’, Yeah
Mobile, mobile, mobile, mobile

Let’s dedicate that to Pockets. WHEW! I have finally cooled down after watching Roger Daltrey strutting his stuff. That man has no stifle lock whatsoever!

Back to Pockets going mobile.

Mama E and her ponkey discussed the day ahead. Elizabeth told Pockets Dr Meeker is an expert…and I hinted he is a cutie to boot. She would be in good hands.

Here is the P-Pip trying to say Dwoctahh Meekaaahh….Pockets to vet 1

We practiced trailer loading so many times, Pockets was a pro. So long was there was a little grain. (Check out Peak Mountain in this frame. That Mountain. Inspires Me. Every Day.)Pockets vet2

I lifted that darn trailer gate so many times with Star-boy and P-pip…I made the excuse I needed to document. My aching back!!! Such heroes…Recluse Man and Karen…Pockets vet3

I worship the ground they walk on…and the trailer doors they close!
fPockets vet4

Elizabeth was happy…Pockets…not so much…(read ear language)…Pockets to vet4

And check out the look! HEWP!!!! I AM BEING KWIDNAPPED!!!!Pockets to vet21

When we got to Davie County Large Animal Hospital, in Mocksville, NC, we had a little wait. No problem with that. The grounds and facilities make for a very comfortable visit…Pockets to vet5But Holy Patooties!!! Pockets saw the EQUINE AMBULANCE and declared she would not travel home unless it was in that very same ambulance…

Such a Rebel! Such a Drama Queen!Pockets to vet6

Listen here you ponkey…you are NOT Mariah Carey or Beyonce, or any kind of Diva…demanding special transport!!! (Snort…)Pockets to vet7I had to remind her…she didn’t exactly qualify as a ‘LARGE ANIMAL’…(Snorts Galore)…Pockets to vet12

Thank the Ponkey-Gwad…for Heidi…answering calls and greeting clients. Elizabeth had already declared her a great friend after spending loving-lingering-bragging moments on the phone making the appointment…Pockets to vet9Then…the big moment came when Dwoctahh Meekaaahh examined Pockets.

He said…

‘This is the Texas-Ponkey-Two-Step-Syndrome. The way she dances in place!?! Turn up some George Jones!’
Pockets to vet10(totally fooling…forgive me Dr Meeker…totally-totally fooling)

Time for a serious walk to check out Pocket’s moves. After all…she has never stepped two feet in Texas…Pockets to vet11

Mama E showed the good doctor a video. Of course Dr Meeker recognized the problem immediately. But wadda-mama-she-is…showing off her ponkey-kid…Pockets to vet13

It had been eight weeks since Pocket’s last date with our farrier. I had suggested waiting until after our vet-visit to learn the best way to trim her. Too bad the farrier at the clinic was totally booked that day.

I figured Dr Meeker could draw some sharpie lines on her hooves…Pockets to vet14But wait a minute…in a stroke of luck…Robert the farrier pulled up. Hay-lelujah!!!! Good to meet you dude! Just in time!!Pockets to vet15

But first Pockets needed sedation. She has no love for farriers and tends to rear up all high and mighty in defiance. At least as high as she can get. (maybe 4 more inches?)Pockets to vet16

Here comes the Blood…Pockets to vet17

The Sweat…(and dirt from rolling in thunderstorms)…Pockets to vet18

…and the Gears…churning in that ponkey head…Pockets to vet19

The cute-paleo farrier took over after that. He reminded me of a caveman…no business cards to share…no email…no FaceBook. He just said…”If you need me, they know how to find me here.” We were smitten. At least three out of four of us girls. Pockets not-so-much.

She was suspicious to say the least…the dude had scary tools and dangling ropes…and weird britches…Pockets to vet20

But in no time, Pockets was having sweet lil ponkey dreams…Pockets to vet22

Never mind the torture tools at her feet…Pockets to vet23

Pockets to vet26Pockets to vet25Pockets to vet24

In her dreams…Pockets asked Karen….”HOW HIGH DOES A CARROT FLY?”Pockets to vet27

“Way higher than your chinny chin chin,” Karen replied. Karen is so good at bedtime stories. Pockets was in a trance…imagining flying carrots…Pockets to vet28

Later on…Mama E and I agreed we might have a crush on our new vet and farrier…but an even BIGGER CRUSH on KAREN!!! For years shce has offered her Tucker Farm as a sanctuary for donkeys and goats in need of rescue. Now she can add ‘ponkey’ to her resume. Without hesitation, she offered to transport Pockets to the vet. Talk about great friends.

Karen…the ponkey-donkey-goat angel!!!Pockets to vet28Every angel needs a break. Plus angel-duty meant squatting in front of the fan…ahhh…felt so good. It was hot and sticky down down in the piedmont. My turn!!!Pockets to vet29“It’s your second sedation you rascally ponkey…let me tell you a story about the ponkey who fell down and never got up…you listening?” (I admit…I am not so good at bedtime stories).Pockets to vet30Elizabeth was enormously proud of her beloved Pockets…Pockets to vet31

Of course she documented the trim job for our local farrier to see. A half hour of action-packed drama. Soon to be released on Netflix. (not)Pockets to vet34

This is the final trim. How ’bout that!! Four on the floor…Pockets to vet32

However, the photo I couldn’t stop studying, shows the difference between her trimmed back hoof (on left), and eight weeks of growth (on right) The new trim gives her better balance and easier movement. Her stifle lock is not gone…but mo’ betta.
Pockets to vet33One last look after the trim, and a little trot-about. Here is Pockets singing…’The Low Spark Of High-Heeled Girls’. Actually it was more like…”OH MY GWAD…WE DONE???? I WANNA GO HOME NOW-NOW-NOW!!!!”Pockets to vet35Well excuse me m’ dear…but we are not quite done. First, Elizabeth had to express her gratitude to the good doctor.Pockets to vet36Pockets to vet37Lots of gratitude…Pockets to vet38Back home, Pockets set a personal best for her quickest ‘unload’ time…Pockets to vet39

Her elders were excited to have their little mascot home…Pockets to vet40

Grayson not so much. He was still recovering from an AWOL adventure during a thunderstorm the night before…Pockets to vet41

Pockets doesn’t know this yet, but in five weeks she will have another day of Blood, Sweat, and Gears. Poor wonkey-ponkey!Pockets to vet42

Thanks to all for following this little Tale of Pockets!
Pockets to vet44

PHOTO OF THE DAY – STAR LIGHT, STAR FIGHT – November 15, 2015

starlight II-2

There are plenty of documentary photos from the attempted trailer loading of my friend Star today. However…I would rather not edit them now and be reminded of the hours we spent futily trying to load that stubborn mule.

I had the very best of help with Team Trailer Star…thanks to Karen, Janice, Elizabeth, and Recluse Man. I thought Recluse Man might ride away on Buck while we weren’t watching. I mean…he had big feelings for that horse. But there was no breaking up Star-Buck today.

After more than two hours of rearing and balking and roping and walking…we chose to leave the trailer behind.

I will work with Star tomorrow…hopefully getting him adjusted and loading in the trailer with no big distractions.

Team Trailer Star and I would rather have it go peacefully and naturally…even if it takes a few days…rather than use force and fear tactics.

But keep in mind…YOU STUBBORN MULE…THE FORCE IS WITH US!!!!POTD_15_11_15_Star_stubborn

So there’s your stubborn mule Photo of the Day.