Photo Of The Day is also Pick Of The Day.
From my morning walk to the beautiful New River meadow…
…a little Flower Power for you.
(Dear D.O.G. the pig…please don’t eat the daisies)
Photo Of The Day is also Pick Of The Day.
From my morning walk to the beautiful New River meadow…
…a little Flower Power for you.
(Dear D.O.G. the pig…please don’t eat the daisies)
Funny. Every time I send a text message or email to my beloved saying something profound like; ‘Hey baby…taking a break from wacking…where you be?’ or; ‘Vibing so bad from 3 hours of wacking…pick up some munchies?’ … auto-spell kicks in and turns wacking into ‘whacky’ or ‘walking’ or ‘waking’…when I just wanna say WACKING. It makes me even more WACKED OUT than I already am.
Now to be perfectly clear (as some perfectly murky politicians might say), to be whacked-out is similar (take definition #1 below for example), but certainly not the same. As defined by Merriam Webster;
Several days before I left for my bum-thumb-fated trip to Pennsylvania, we celebrated the Pip’s second birthday. It was sooo much fun! We invited some neighborhood friends, and kids, and parents, and a very special grandma, to join us for the festivities.
I had every intention of posting some great photos when I returned from my Fourth of July trip. It’s just that my dumb-broken-thumb got in the way. But now? I see it as a way to relive a magical afternoon. Every time I think of that afternoon, it makes me smile.
There were so many delightful photos, I had a hard time choosing. What follows, reminds me of a family album. I gotta admit…I’ve gone dizzy looking at some family albums. To the point of asking where the bathroom is…then asking for a glass of water…then…”Oops…I’m out of time…gotta run.”
I can’t help but think this family album…our Freeka’s Funny Farm family album…ROCKS! After all, it’s only once in a lifetime our beloved Pips…Grayson and Pockets…turn two!
Elizabeth and I wanted to have fun. BIG FUN. BIG KIDS KINDA FUN.
I figured we needed entertainment. Somewhere out on one of my hiking trails…it hit me. (I love how my brain works on hiking trails.)
YES! We must do…Pin-the-Tail-on-the-PONKEY!
First I sought Recluse Michel-MAN-gelo’s talent. Yup. Got him outta bed early that day…
…took him down to the barn and gave him some chalk and introduced him to his model…
His creative juices started flowing…
Pockets loved her modeling job…
…and that Recluse Michel-MAN-gelo…such talent!
Of course…there is no tail. Just you wait.
Let the party begin!!
That’s Toots greeting Jessica on the left, Nate, and mama Suzy…and a huge bag of carrots!
Dakota and Sabrina!Hittin’ up the treasure chest…Dakota and granny Allie… she’s my riding partner from down the road…she’s sixty-nine and kicks my butt on the trails with her little Paso Fino! Allie grew up with her Chincoteague pony who lived to be thirty five!I had a gut feeling the bunny ears wouldn’t last long on Pockets……whad I tell ya…
The pink and purple girls…Suzanne and Pockets…I encouraged the kids to draw on the barn before we started Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Ponkey.
I’m not sure what kind of creature that is below. Yo…Sabrina!
I used to see monsters like that, hiding under my bed at night…Dakota in dreads…with the sun shining over her head…Let’s play Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Ponkey!!!
I braided ten tails from baling twine so peeps could keep their tails. This was not a big hit. I found tails everywhere after the party. Sigh. Pioneer Woman…I am not.
As everyone took turns, they were spun around once wearing a blindfold, then directed toward the barn door. Slap that tail on, remove the blindfold, have a good laugh (for me especially…and apparently Dakota), then initial with chalk.
Dakota went first…now that’s funny!
Next up…Jessica…Check her out! I love her Lost Unicorn shirt…
Sabrina……you rock that tail girl!
Nate…he’s a stellar football player with a soft spot for the Pips…Hmmm…that’s a tailback position!
And then it was my turn…I asked Jessica to turn me once……I was lucky to find the barn door!You might say…I don’t know my ass from a barn door…
Then along comes smarty-pants Suzanne……who could barely find the barn……but was smart enough to locate the other tails…
We took down the tails.
Nice try Mama E…are you pinning the tail on the patella?
Some of the adults were too grown-up to bother…in other words…they were drinking beer in the shade…Did I say…Grown-Up?We did get Allie…Tim..…and Suzy to pin that tail!
After the game, prizes were given to the kids. They were really special gifts Elizabeth had chosen from her horse collection…winner got first pick.
Sabrina and her mini-horse!There were books and cards and fun horsey things…including Elizabeth’s booklet about the Grayson Highlands ponies…See Elizabeth smiling her best ‘pony-girl’ grin…Meanwhile…the artistry continued. I was blown away by how cool the barn was looking!
Pockets inspected. “OH MY GWAD…MY BUTT IS A MESS!”
Now THAT is a HAPPY barn door…The party was rockin’……as the best carrot cake ever was served…But what about the horsies?I filled a trough with hay and had the troops sprinkle carrots on top…Suddenly there was an audience…Gypsy and Star!
They were most attentive…especially when the molasses appeared…That Star has a looong neck…I mean really loooong…We chased the barn gang out to the pasture and shut the gate. It was time for our great leaders to march in the birthday buffet!Next came Pockets and Grayson…with Grayson charming the girls as always…What a FEAST! (see the Elders patiently waiting in the pasture)Elizabeth and I took turns making birthday photos…while Grayson and Pockets munched down with total birthday abandon!…then finally the Elders were invited in…Here you see a bit of horse-heaven on earth…Did I mention it was hot? So very hot in the mountains?It sure did seem like that fan followed Dave wherever he went……I know you are wondering if Recluse Man ever got that beer open…Well…he did…After our guests left…I couldn’t find Elizabeth…But Grayson found the beer…
It was a birthday party we will always remember…even the two-year-olds. Right Grayson?OH MY GWAD. Such a poser that Pockets!And that my friends…is the end of this chapter from our family album.How I love a good Tale of Tails!
Ahhhh…Memorial Day Weekend…such a great American holiday.
Traditionally, there are family visits to cemeteries, mourning mixed with sweet memories, flag raisings, potluck dinners, neighborly get-togethers, BBQs, watermelon, lawn mowing, gardening, hiking, biking, fishing, sunbathing, the Indy 500, horseback riding (had to put that in there…right Gypsy?!), and all the good and the sad that go into this holiday. It’s a contradiction of sorts. A painful, joyful holiday. While some hurt over the loss of loved ones who died for our country in military service, others kick off the arrival of a brand new summer.
I wanted to learn more on the history on Memorial Day.
I discovered Memorial Day began after the Civil War but back then it was called Decoration Day. It was declared a holiday to honor deceased veterans by decorating their graves with flags and flowers. But whoa…the Confederates refused to celebrate on the same day those damn Yankees did, and in fact had many different days to honor their dead across the southern states.
It wasn’t until after WWI that tensions eased and a one-for-all Memorial Day was established for all American soldiers who died in any and all of our wars.
I do not have a grave to decorate, but in keeping with a new Freeka’s Funny Farm tradition…I have a live pig to decorate. Indeed, D.O.G. is booked for a deluxe spa and accoutrement session later today…on Decoration Day 2016.
On the funny farm, we lean toward the hedonistic side of this holiday, and celebrate summer with our best bohemian enthusiasm. Please allow me to share this memorable tradition, as created one year ago.
START YOUR HOSES!
IT’S TIME TO CHILL!! (gritting teeth…thinking…um…heavy camera for a selfie…just take the dang photo…will I??? …and where is the pig?)
Why there he is…hot diggity D.O.G.!!
Let’s call this the pre-soak. It serves to remove any loose dirt or goobery thingys…
What a chill way to start the festivities…right D.O.G.?I made preparations for the next step as the pigster rested…hose showers are exhausting!
In order to decorate D.O.G. properly, as I see it, he must first get a facial, followed by a pedicure, a coconut oil rub, and plenty of sun screen powder puffs. In other words…a deluxe spa treatment.
But instead of traditional spa treatments that start with herbal tea or coconut water infused with essential things we never knew were essential…D.O.G. prefers a beer. Yup. And it sure makes a pedicure easier for the pedicurist. Please don’t report us to any even-toed-ungulate-cruelty-associations. I’m telling you…this is one happy-easy-going-cooperative pig with a beer in his belly. And he is far less likely to get nicked by the clippers.
Plus it’s his favorite part of the tradition….
Can you tell?
Such admiration and appreciation for a good beer…
About this time I was laughing so hard it was all I could do to point and shoot without peeing my pants…
BEER BUBBLES!!!!(only a mama could love)
OK…it’s high time to get on with the spa treatments…
After all…no more beer…We started with a cleansing facial…D.O.G. has deep folds on his face and quite a bit of eye discharge which is normal for a pig…
There’s an eye in there somewhere although I have never really seen it…Next…the pedicure…see Lily running away when the clippers come out…I have so many clippers for dogs, cats, fences, weeds….but only one for a pig…I’ll spare you the clip by clips of the job…it’s tedious and lasts about as long as the beer nap…then on to more pleasurable spa activities…a coconut oil rub and puffs of sunscreen to follow…And now for the real fun…the decorating part…Oops…I’m not very good at nail polish…especially with twitching toes…
Isn’t that the cutest little tail? (I kept telling him. Sometimes being a blind-buzzed pig works for the best)WAKE UP D.O.G.!! It’s Decoration Day!!!Let’s honor our veterans……and our firefighters…D.O.G. said…”Enough of this! I want to honor summertime! Too many brothers and sisters on the grill!!”Well…OK then…howzabout some strawberries…
I swear he was humming ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’…
That is…until the watermelon showed up…UH BOY!!!
…and that my friends is how we do Decoration Day on the funny farm…
2016 tradition coming right up!!! Wake up D.O.G.!!!
It’s Decoration Day!!!!
Sheesh…I am hiding in the barn…it’s taken me so freekin’ long to publish a post.
It’s me. I’m back. The gone-forever girl.
Lotsa water under the bridge.
Lotsa poo shoveled.
Lotsa trying times.
Lotsa healing days.
Lotsa laughter and love with my tribe… and especially Recluse Man.
Dang. I could write a corny country song.
That was the end of 2015 in a nutshell. And now here it is already the second week of January.
While sweeping out the old and bringing in the new, I thought it might be a good thing to share some of my favorite funny farm photos from 2015. Little did I know how long it would take. In fact…I had to get a wrist brace to finish this post!
Holy Cow Patties…did I ever get carried away! I do believe I have Photoshop Tendonitis.
Before I begin with this indescribably hilarious and seemingly bottomless blog post…(OMG…how many photos and words did I include???)…let me announce our latest addition to the tribe…STAR!!!
That would be the very same Star-Trek-Wars-damn-horse I tried to load on the trailer for 24 days…then finally walked here…2.2 miles in 45 minutes..smooth and easy.
After a short trial period with Star and Gyps and the Pips…about one week before Christmas…my crazy boyfriend…that Recluse Man who I love…told me he wanted to buy Star as a Christmas gift for me.
HAPPY HEART POUNDING WITH GLEE!! INDESCRIBABLE JOY BEYOND WORDS!!! That’s what I was feeling when Recluse Man asked me what I thought about the idea. HEAD IN THE CLOUDS!!
Welcome to the farm…you hot-blooded-red-headed stranger..STAR!
You’re mine all mine!
Now for some favorite farm photos from 2015…
Let’s start with Freeka’s Funny Farm covered in snow…
Grayson and Pockets had arrived two days before Christmas 2014, when their Mama Elizabeth brought them to live on the farm. They were born into feral herds in June 2014, at Grayson Highlands State Park. Three months later, Elizabeth bought them at the annual pony auction. Six months after their birth…they joined my tribe.
OK…so one is a ponkey…(half pony – half donkey). Guess who?
(hint…the one hiding her ears…)What the hay??? Gypsy had never seen such pip-squeaks before! Could it be???? Gyps & the Pips??? Move over Gladys Knight!!!Such short legs running in the snow!
Gypsy wondered if she was ready to be a soccer mom…
Will they ever grow?
She thought…they were so funny looking…But with such a sense of humor! Why Gypsy was a smash at motherhood!
Then one February day, a pot bellied pig named D.O.G. arrived…His human, Tommy, had been looking for a good home for him…
A little peanut butter bribery on a stick, and D.O.G. discovered his new home in our abandoned chicken coop…
No doubt…D.O.G. wondered where he had landed…is this the moon?I was so tickled to have a pig.
I mean he WAGGED HIS TAIL AT ME…the very FIRST MORNING!!!!
I GUSHED and SWOONED!!!! (while he chomped and smiled)
On the second morning, after the weather got very cold, D.O.G. figured out where Recluse-Banana Man lives…
Recluse-Banana Man is way more fun than those mean ponies and yapping dogs…They were so up close and personal…
D.O.G. decided ‘Running with the Pips’ wasn’t for him…
After that…the pigster free-range grazed until I worried he’d become bigger than our house…D.O.G. considered going on a diet…(very briefly)…in order to fit through the dog door…Meanwhile…winter was still wagging around…
I’ve always loved that late-winter day when the Rose-breasted Grosbeaks finally arrive…
Elizabeth and I did silly things and made lots of photos…
We found out Grayson does not like to wear hats or jewelry…but will gladly nibble on any-damn-thing…don’t ask me about Mama E’s taste in hairdos…
Pockets? Why she just LUUUVS to dress-up!
It was the Pips first winter!“Who cares?”…said the pig! I’m running away from home…Sing it Toots!
No matter what season…Blue pursued his favorite pastime……while I found the secret to giving D.O.G. a successful pedicure…
When the warm weather returned, Recluse Man did some spring cleaning. Much to Lily’s disgust…he tossed the TrAshe county porch couches!!! WTCOUCH???In between repairing fences, Recluse Man discussed the merits of having white hair…with his favorite hairy-white friend Pockets…As a result…she felt uplifted!!!After all…she’s a honkey-fonkey-furry-white-ponkey!!!Pockets…”OH MY GWAD…It’s tough hangin’ wif a fwend like Gwayson…”
Hey let’s not forget how cute the pigster is…all posing in front of the rhododendron…he is…By early spring, Elizabeth and I were walking Gyps and the Pips to the river and around the neighborhood. The Pips were learning about halters and lead ropes and voice commands…(theoretically)Spring on the farm!!!Spring is for the birds!! It was my first year putting suet out through the winter and beyond…Such payoffs! (ok…so I’ve never had a grackle at a feeder before)Jesse-Linguini was nearly fully recovered from her ACL surgery by spring, and was ready to run and play outside…ya think?
Jess…”gimme one more dang dog toy and Ima rip out yer persnal sqweeker…5 sekunds or less”)Then…Pockets saw her first rainbow……and fainted……what a drama queen…Elizabeth comes out every chance she gets… …while Recluse Man and I try to find a little time to ourselves……but there’s always competition…and serenading in the background…HA!Then when we finally GO somewhere…… it FREEKIN’ rains!!!Who cares??? We’ll make the most of it!Back on the farm…while I was tending to daily chores… Recluse Man was singing in the shower…and that would be the Minny Whinny shower!
If I recall, he was singing…”Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain…” …oh go SPLISH SPLASH..will ya?!
What the heck you doin’ there Recluse Man???? Quite the psychedelic landscape…are you on the Magic Bus?
D.O.G. enjoyed hanging out on our porch and gave up on the chicken coop sometime during late spring. He was fine with going up three steps to get to the porch…but he made it perfectly clear he did not like going back down the steps. It required serious bribery.
As experts…we found tortilla Pringles worked the best…
Then we set up a ramp. It was an instant success with at least two of the d.o.g.s…
Dog Day Afternoon…but where’s the D.O.G.? Did he really go down the ramp????
Tommy showed up one hot summer day and shortly after we decided I would become D.O.G.’s permanent human. Hot diggity D.O.G.!!!
Nuttin’ like having a watermelon-eatin’ partner who doesn’t spit seeds…
I hope we don’t start looking like each other…like dog owners so often do…
The pigster loves it when spa day rolls around…
He gets a pedicure…a facial…a tusk cleaning…and…WATERMELON!!!…
It didn’t take long to realize…if the pigster’s nails aren’t polished…he develops a shoe fetish…
We love a reason to throw a good party around here…
When the Pips turned one…
…we made the most of it…
…until Pockets got schnockered on molasses and we had to cut her off…
Then Fourth of July…
I had one hat to share…….well maybe two…
Go Toots!…the others skedaddled when they heard fireworks in the distance…something to be said about ‘hard of hearing’…how I know…right Toots?
RIGHT TOOTS?SUMMER…my first, second, third…favorite season…
When I go to war with the watercress…
…and I think I’m winning…but not…(Let’s check in with Blue again…ok…still the same.)
When summer rolls around, we buy new Koi from a local high school FFA program. That’s after the freekin’ great blue herons and raccoons and kingfishers have feasted to the point of heartbreak and tears through the previous seasons.
The release of a new generation brings joy and anticipation. Yet often, we don’t see them for up to a full year after their release in our pond. Fortunately, we picked out some exhibitionists this time around…
…good luck amigos……listen to your elders..…and follow your bliss…(before the barracudas show up…)
Back to summer….
Did I mention Recluse Man’s summertime pizzas??? LOADED with love…and olives…and herbs and peppers and cheese…fresh from the garden and markets…The pigster was caught stalking…like ….’every breath you take…every move you make…Ima watchin’ you’…PIZZA…REALLY????
Occasionally the pigster would go AWOL. I freaked when he did this the first two times…but then realized it was a simple search and rescue to bring him home.
I am…after all…D.O.G.’s…The Bounty Hunter…with CHEERIOS!!!! Ah Ha!!! Got him!Meanwhile…Lily greeted every visitor to the farm……and experimented with mud packs…
…while the other d.o.g.s laughed…or napped at the thought of such ambition…“Hey Toots…those ain’t marshmallows …ok girl?”Who Cares???? Look what Recluse Man got….
Lookin’ good biker dude…it’s a Honda Shadow for croooooosin’!!
Summer is wonderful. After weedwacking and sweating and mowing for hours…I pretend I’m livin’ the life. Coconut bras and pineapple drinks galore…(oops…did I order the wrong size coco’s?)
And then I started blogging…and life changed…
I found myself sharing thoughtful, retrospective, deep-delving glimpses and realizations…even while revisitng my boarding school of years past…
…I found myself sharing the kind of urban chick I used to be…when I had a studio and lived five minutes from town…
I found myself chomping on the reins to share every little ride…
ENOUGH!!! TIME OUT!!!Does anyone need a TV or couch? ….
OK. Back to work…it’s hay season!! (wtf???…are those Pips loose?)
Is this Meals on Wheels?Somehow I got talked into pullin’ and stackin’ bales…
It’s a primitive and itchy job…
…that requires some airing out……and a good farm hand on hand…Meanwhile…during hay season…Pockets discovered she lives in a gated community!!!…yet not far away is an authentic outhouse!!!!
(Oh My GWAD…people poop! lemme outta here!!!)Blue continued to pursue his favorite pastime……as did his bgf…Moondust…The hummers were a daily sideshow…I made hundreds of hummer photos……and braved the rain (from under the deck roof)… I was not alone in my fascination…
Moondust had arisen……while the Pips practiced their two-step……and the pigster turned rasta…
Then Halloween rolled around…
…or is that Elizabeth rolling around???Pockets finally met ‘the Great Ponkin’…(dang…that hat gets around)…
…then chomped The Great Ponkin’s offspring……while D.O.G. dressed as Wilbur…“Trick or Treat???”…the pigster asked…“TRICK OR TREAT…LET ME IN OR I’LL BLOW THE DANG DOG DOOR IN!”
Waza matter pigster….been chompin’ too many treats…’eh???Ahhh…the beauty of autumn…when the Pips run wild…(or just stand and chomp)……an occasional walk is good…Next thing ya know it’s snowing…wait…that’s not snow…ah hem…Lily…oh LILY???“It gets so cold outside….paleeze let us in????” (use the dang dog door dummies!)
Holiday season is on…
…and Elizabeth seemed to love her new Muck Boots…
…but I had to tell her to tuck in her pants…WTH girlie???
…she got it…finally……meanwhile the pigster had moved inside..and tried to disguise himself among the spotty furniture…It was pointless to try and hide with a sock monkey…indeed..catastrophic……it became a funny farm…’cativity scene’…Yet I was discouraged…trying to load Star to bring him to the farm…I knew…he knew…he wasn’t going to fit in my car…After days and days of working with him…I got him to load…
…so long as no one was at the back gate…Finally after 24 days of trying to transport Star in the trailer…I decided we’d trek 2.2 miles to my farm. What a Star-Trek…one mile of which was on a fast two lane highway…this part had me freeked….until we had a perfect practice walk…I was never happier to get him on the farm in one piece…….then we all fell to pieces over his dance steps…
…even Grayson…the little man…
Star had never met a critter so poised and confident…and wanting to smell his butt…as Pockets…Let’s get on with Christmas!Too bad Mama E had to leave for her hometown of New Orleans……but of course Santa would watch over her Pips……when he wasn’t posing……or caught in the act….(What the heck…Santa…that’s my barn door!!!)I quickly forgave Santa when he gave me a horse of my own for Christmas……dats right you red-headed beauty…you are part of the tribe now!!!…shall we belly-bump Santa?Pockets was not amused…there was nothing in HER stocking…”WAAAAAH?”…dang…even the rasta pigster who doesn’t celebrate holidays that feature ham on the table…
…got something!!!…as Linguini says…”it’s all in your attitude…”…and with that…I believe the year closed on a good note…let’s ask Grayson…..better yet…lemme hug on Santa…Stay tuned for more zaniness from the funny farm in 2016…Be back soon…ya hear?
Until further notice, I have reassigned my duties as Star-trekker-trainer, and daily blog poster, to a highly qualified substitute.
As you can see, this substitute of mine has exuberance, she’s forthright with her goals, she has a good chomp, and every so often; a nice disposition.
“Hey Whip-Lash!! … Let go of Star!!! …See you on Friday with some leftover stuffin’!”
HAPPY THANKSGIVING Y’ALL!
FOUR ON THE FLOOR AND HEAD OUT THE DOOR…YIPPEE!!!
After 10 days of working with Star, and getting him over his fears and green-colt anxieties about loading in a trailer, we had the best day yet.
Thank you Goddess of Patience! Thank you Blocker Tie Rings! Thank you Janice for leaving your trailer!
Not only did Star load, he stayed. He sniffed. He stuck his head out the side door. He nibbled. He leaned into my fingers at his favorite scratch spots and batted his eyes. He turned his head this way and that. He backed out a few steps, then came forward. Then he stayed again…for awhile.
And then he asked… “Hay girl…where’s the TV?”
I was so happy with this headway (wimpy pun), I promised we’d watch the next Panthers game together.
It was the same feeling I had at age 14, when I won four blue ribbons and then grand champion, in a horse show at summer camp. It was hard work and team effort then, and no less so today. With the same huge feeling of accomplishment.
And trust. Gotta have trust.
Check out the Star-dude…in Photos of the Day…
Head out da door…four on da floor…
“Where’s the TV?”
“Love my little apartment…where are my slippers?”
“So when are we going?”
Lookin’ like Turkey Day…you hot-red-headed-turkey-you.
I haven’t posted Photos of the Day in two entire days.
I had my reasons. I think one was valid…the rest a bunch of poo.
Honestly, I think I needed a break. But the scary thing? I immediately got used to it.
Makes me wonder if I should take weekends off. But that’s when things happen!
For example…Saturday I had Recluse Man help me with Star. I really believed the day had come when that stubborn mule would load and go. Like an ‘IN-N-OUT’ Burger.
He went in OK. And he came out OK… breaking two lead ropes, and ruining a new halter along the way.
I got him loaded again…after much coaxing…then called it quits. Always great to end on a good note.
Sunday was dismal. The coldest day so far this winter, with a bitter-stiff breeze. I had Recluse Man and a helper who is good with horses, and yet we still regressed.
Star wouldn’t even load. Not used to guys hanging out….trying new techniques…and probably gazing into my eyes… watching me wanting to turn the Panthers game on…we called it quits. Again. With no progress made.
Saturday I wasn’t able to post a POTD because I couldn’t access my FFF blog site. I took a nap at 8pm and didn’t wake up until 1am. Site was up, I wrote a post, went back to bed, woke up, and thought..HOW STUPID IS THAT? I should never have accessed.
Sunday I wasn’t able to post a POTD because I was accessing so much great football. Double Header!…Panthers then the Packers…my favorite two teams…WON!
I was very happy. Then later on, I found myself easily entertained with some really great excuses for not posting.
And then it was the late game!!!
Are you ready for some more and more and more FOOTBALL???
Lately, beyond football, I’ve been watching too much news and having nightmares about terrorist attacks. There are snipers and suicide bombers and feelings of deep fear inside my head. I wake up…then fall asleep to the next nightmare.
2nd nightmare…I’m trying to walk Star to my farm…1.2 miles along the highway. There are trucks roaring by, loaded with Christmas trees and lumber, that backfire when there is no shoulder on the road and nowhere to escape.
They are equally scary nightmares.
Then I’m shivering…and realize Recluse Man has rolled all the covers around himself, just like D.O.G. wrapped in his pig blankets. I grunt. He grunts. (I mean Recluse Man). I steal back the covers.
Now back to Star. We had a really good day today. I needed to hit ‘rewind’ on our training sessions and start with some easy tying. Forget the trailer. I had worked with tying him last winter and he did great, but there was no trailer in sight.
I thought he’d freak over any kind of tying at this point, but again, he surprised me.
Don’t forget this is a very green horse.
I bought two Blocker Tie Rings after watching videos, and seeing how much sense they made. The lead line is wrapped inside the tie ring so there is some play in the line when a horse pulls back forcefully. The amount of play is adjustable.
Once there is some give in the line, the horse will ease off on the crazy pulling. Horses are prey animals who hate restraint. Especially when separated from their herd. But when the restraint gives..no need to pull!
I was amazed by how quickly Star calmed after having a mini-freak-out. There was nothing to break. Nothing to fight. Nothing to bring him down…or up. In fact, he ended up with just a little longer line…(which I quickly shortened as soon as he moseyed closer).
Go Star! Go Blocker Tie Rings! GO INTO THE DAMN TRAILER!!!
At this rate…I will be happy to get that mule here for Turkey Day. I will STUFF HIM GOOD… RIGHT INTO THE TRAILER.
Here are some Photos of the Day. I do believe I will put an album together after that horse finally gets here…ya know…for his grandkids.
That Blocker Tie Ring has him….Star-Dazed….
…putting a broken lead rope to good use…”Say Yuum??? Star?”
We eventually got brave enough to tie on to the trailer..with great success…
…for us at least…
“What can I say or do to get you loaded…Dude?”
To be continued.
Star Treks; definition
To Boldly Go Where No Horse Has Gone Before…
I’m tellin’ ya…I am wiped out from being a Star Treks groupie.
That horse! We have logged some miles this week.
Once Star and I trekked down together this morning, we had a good, short session. He loaded immediately in the trailer, and then over and over again…so long as there was a grain bucket waiting in the bowels of that cave from hell.
Attitudes flared when there was no food in sight. I decided to end on a good note and return for a different sort of afternoon session, with Recluse Man’s help.
After trekking up first thing this morning to get Star, he and I Star Trekked back down and through the creek, as we passed all kinds of ghosts in the wind and monsters in the creek. After our first session, I decided to leave Star in the lower paddock until session number two. No more Star Trekking! I chained the fence, figuring I’d return in a couple of hours.
And dang if that horse hadn’t Star Trekked right over the fence and on to higher grounds.
Just as I pulled up, I caught sight of him leading the troops around the very last and highest bend in sight. When I shouted out, he looked my way with his ears pricked, then did a quick 180º (my heart skipped a beat), then did any even faster 180º (my heart thudded), and continued to lead his troops…up.
No doubt with a smirk on his green lips.
Then Recluse Man texted to say he’d be home after dark.
I was bummed. I had really hoped to move Star tomorrow, but I think we need at least one more session before he’ll quietly and fully load.
For Photos of the Day…a look at what Star Treks are all about…
I was thinking…hmmm…not high enough to drive…I’ll just do the Star Trek…
He made me trek alright…
It started out as a quiet descent…we were singing…’Trekking…like the doo-da man…’
Peace and Love…from a Star Trekking groupie…
…then…Star Trekker snorted…”YIKES!!!…MUST STOP! ..there’s a ghost-dog way up top…”
…then later I snorted…”No dude…the Star Trek does not end here…”
We were finally trekking nice and easy through the creek…
But on the way out?
“SHARKS IN THE WATER!”
Star Trekker… “I saw a SHARK…I know I DID!!!”
Me…”That was a minnow silly boy…”
Check out the Star Trekker stride!!
After our session…we parted in peace.
(notice the fence separating Star from his friends and a beckoning trek)
They were so far away when I returned, even when I threatened by screaming…
“SET PHASERS TO STUN”
…it seemed Highly Illogical.
I don’t have many photos to share today. I was more focused on a training session with Star, and didn’t want to distract our efforts by pulling out my camera. When I did, there was a break in concentration that wasn’t worth losing over a few photos.
We did not fully load in the trailer today, but once again, we made strides.
Am I talking like we are one?
Hell…if we were, he’d be dictating from the couch, after whipping up a carrot cake for us.
I want my boys to make life easy. Or rather…I want to make life easy on my boys? (Consult Recluse Man for the answer)
That will take awhile.
Meanwhile… bottom line…Star got his front legs inside the trailer today, and both back legs on the ramp. It only happened once, but I was beaming the rest of the afternoon. We got two legs on the ramp many times…but OMG…the flat, inside part was the scariest.
“I am a girl in constant sorrow…if only I get that horse here tomorrow.” (sorry…but that tune just popped into my head)
We started on Sunday with butt ropes and multiple lead lines and tricks and treats…and lots of resistance and lots of high pawing and scary rearing up.
Today, there was much pawing on the ramp (good sign)…but the rears were wimpy and few compared to Sunday, (double good sign). And there was so much more trust without restraints, and positive rewards after Star realized resistance wasn’t worth the effort.
Of course there was only me, (like yesterday)…not a whole gang of human strangers, (like Sunday)…and none of his horse buddies to cop the treats. Or dogs. Well waitaminute…that damn puppy ran through my car twice today…leaving muddy paw prints all over the place. And eating horse treats. Damn. Sorry Rita…but DAMNDAWG!
At the end of the day, I wasn’t disappointed about not fully loading Star in the trailer. I think we were both a little surprised, feeling a renewed connection we shared many months ago. The tiny gestures. The eye contact. The mutual understating and reactions over certain behaviors.
They were subtle…and clear…in a way I never get from communicating with people.
Maybe Star was thinking…duh…you human-girl…you are finally catching on.
Fortunately, I have the trailer on loan for a few more days. Tomorrow will be a wash-out, and too wet to pursue. So maybe Thursday is the day…or Friday. And that could be the first Thursday or Friday in December. But I hope not.
I have learned so much from these training sessions. But most of all…I have felt this joy, working with a horse I admire.
Star is so green…maybe that’s part of the attraction. I like to think I’m the first human he’s learned to trust. Lofty thoughts aside…I know he connects…as much as a horse can do….if you are not a bale of hay, or scoop of grain.
Blah blah blah…here are some photos of the day…late tonight… hay ho…hay ho..it’s off to work we go…
Three mules-of sorts…lookin’ for the payload…
See Star-mule…waaay off in the distance…is it dejå vu…all over agin?
Less rearing…more pawing…and forward movements beyond yesterday that I did not capture…you just have to believe…and tell Star the same…
NO STARS IN SIGHT IN THE PASTURE!!!
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