Summer has returned and so have I.
Yes Please…bring it on!
I have the best neighbors. Generally, we’re a small quiet group, but the ‘hood comes to life on holiday weekends.
One family in particular will come up occasionally, and they know they’re welcome to mosey over to visit Gyps and the Pips, or D.O.G. the pig.
They’re from suburbia, where I would imagine most folks don’t have a ponkey in the pasture, or a pig in the living room. A live one at least.
Tim is the dad, and has helped me out many times over the years with his tractor. It sure is a pretty tractor. He’s plowed my driveway…dug up earth for my garden…moved the manure pile. Nothing like a part-time neighbor with a tractor to seal a friendship. A very pretty tractor. Did I mention that?
Sometimes Suzy (mom), and the kids; Jessica and Nate, come along to walk the Pips to the river. If they’re brave enough, they’ll pet the pig. Contingent on his whereabouts. That dang pig can be a grouch behind the couch.
Suzy always packs plenty of vittles and this Thanksgiving weekend was no exception. They headed back home today and afterward, I found a bag of food tied to the barn door. Veggies galore! For D.O.G….the local compost-master!
D.O.G. had already told Suzy, “No onions.”
I told Suzy, “He’s watching his waistline…easy on the desserts.” (BIG SNORT from grouch behind the couch)
I am NOT a Black Friday shopper. In fact, I will go to great lengths to stay away from crowds of frenzied shoppers.
Today for example, I needed to buy some rope at the hardware store for that darn horse I’ve been trying to load. I took the back roads to Tennessee.
And dang if I didn’t find THE BEST Black Friday Special in all of Johnson County, Tennessee.
I can’t wait til tomorrow.
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.
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.
Head out da door…four on da floor…
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.
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.
After our session…we parted in peace.
They were so far away when I returned, even when I threatened by screaming…
“SET PHASERS TO STUN”
…it seemed Highly Illogical.
Today was Day Four of Star’s trailer loading training.
On Day Three, Star put his two front legs inside the trailer, while his hind two stayed firm on the ramp. It didn’t last long, but it was a huge improvement over the previous session. So long as there is forward motion with each session, I find I can muster a whole lotta patience. The pay-off is so worth it.
For your Photos of the Day…I never thought a set of horse legs could look so gratifying…or make me so happy.
May I present …FOUR ON THE FLOOR!!! I even had witnesses, although they were busy looking for crumbs from my secret bribery technique…Then suddenly eight more legs loaded!!!There is much more to this story but alas…it’s late…and Thursday Night Football has begun.