Thursday, December 31, 2009

Reminders (or remainders) of Deer Season...

Our dog, Roy, found his own best Christmas Day present: a deer leg left over from someone's hunt back in November. Roy proudly carries it around with him where ever he goes.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Flying south for the winter...


It seems a bit late in the season to be migrating, but I suppose that's due to the mild winter we've been experiencing. At any rate, these birds are on their way!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

White Christmas

Thanks to a skiff of snow, we managed to have a White Christmas. This picture was taken at twilight on Christmas Day, and by the next day it had all pretty much disappeared...but it was there for Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Rainy days...

Silver came into his stall to escape the rain & also to enjoy his morning breakfast. I startled him by taking a flash photo, whereupon he immediately bolted back out into the rain. It didn't take long for him to come back inside & resume eating though. And we - both man & beast - are all very fortunate that all this rain isn't SNOW!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Parade


This is one of my riding buddies, Tammy Smith, from Alton, MO. We had planned to ride in the Christmas parade last Saturday, but I canceled at the last minute. Tammy went ahead & rode in the parade, & was one of the few who did an outstanding job of decorating her horse (& herself!). The long string of large jingle bells draped across her horse's withers as well as the jingle bell wreaths at each side of her saddle provided a nice background beat. So congratulations to Tammy & a Very Merry Christmas!!! (If you click on the picture - or any other picture on this blog - the picture will enlarge for better viewing.)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Update today - Booney's FREE!

Kathy just emailed me some new pictures of Boone, who was turned out of the barnlot today & allowed to run free with her coming 3 yr. old TWH filly. He's enjoying having some extra freedom & room to stretch his legs. Boone has not been allowed to run with the fillies for about 6 months on the off chance he could have impregnated one, so he'll have to find his place in Kathy's herd.
Contrary to popular beliefs, in the horse world a stallion does not 'rule' the herd---that position is occupied by an Alpha mare (usually the oldest, definitely the most dominant. In my herd, that position is held by Jamaica Mistake, black reg. TWH).

Boone's new home...

Boone surely feels right at home at Kathy's house. He has lots of new horse friends so he won't be lonely, & he even has what appears to be a poodle & a min-pin for dog friends (doesn't the min-pin remind you of Quark, our min-pin?). It won't be long before Boone will be turned out with his new horse buddies & become part of his new family.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bye, Bye Boone

This is Boone, a yearling Missouri Foxtrotter. Today Boone began his big adventure with his new owner, Kathy Murphy. He left here in the rain, but Kathy kindly took his picture upon arrival at her farm & emailed it to me so I'd know he was safe & at home in his new quarters. As you can see, he is happily munching away on some hay. He has a nice, big stall, & Kathy has other horses so he won't be lonely. Kathy is a soft spoken, self confessed 'horse collector', & I'm sure she'll take really good care of Boone. Kathy & Boone don't live far from me, & Kathy has invited me to visit Boone from time to time. So, Boone found a new home, & I found a new friend.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Twins?


If you think you're seeing double, just look a little closer. These two Spotted Saddle Horses are full brothers. Jim, on the left, is a three year old while Dan is a year younger. It's hard to tell from this angle, but Dan (the 2 yr. old) is actually a couple of inches taller than older brother, Jim.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Horse's eye view...


Everyone's heard of a "bird's eye view", but not many people stop to think of a horse's vision. Because a horse's eyes are situated on the sides of its head, it can't see objects directly in front of it but instead has what we humans consider great peripheral vision. This is one contributing element to a horse's "spook factor". In simple terms, while we riders tend to look ahead, a horse sees things off in the bushes to the side; many times resulting in the horse's jumping sideways to escape the danger it perceives.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

'Slow' calf update

This is the calf that required bottle feeding shortly after birth...just look at him go now. The pictures don't clearly show it, but he's got milk ALL OVER his face!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Growing up...

Three Spotted Saddle Horses and one Rocky Mtn./Kentucky Mtn. Horse. All are ready to begin training on the lunge line & learning to wear a bridle & saddle. Next year, they'll be three years old and ready to ride. Now if I could just get in gear & start training...I need a ranch hand!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Here they come...

This is what I encounter any time I venture out on the four-wheeler. Once I'm spotted by one horse, here comes the entire herd.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hidy hole...


#648's calf was the one that didn't seem 'normal'. He was slow to nurse, & I had to give him colostrum & then bottle feed him for several days before he finally started nursing mom. He also acted like he couldn't see or hear well. When I finally turned #648 & her calf back in with the herd (they had been in the barn for the duration of the bottle feeding), mom wisely hid him, putting him in a brushy area surrounded by blackberry bushes. She kept him this way for several days, until he was strong enough & savvy enough to come out into the real world. He seems to be doing better each day, & he is certainly growing.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Two Year Old Stallion

This is 'SP', short for Seve's Pushover. He is out of the World Champion TWH stallion, Seve, & his dam (mother) is out of another well bred stallion, The Pushover. He is definitely bred for performance & should have a chance to strut his stuff in the show ring. He is BIG, BLACK, & BEAUTIFUL. (He has not been stalled, but running outside in the pasture, so his coat is sunburned & bleached. When stalled, he will be coal black.) We haven't measured him yet, but he's probably already close to ... maybe over ... 16 hands, & he's only 2 yrs. old. He will continue to grow until he is 4-5 years old, so he will definitely be a TALL one. He is now old enough to start to work...all I need is the time & $$$ to train him!

Another birth

#218 blessed us with a calf on Oct. 24. As is typical, she is keeping her little one apart from the herd for the first few days.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bulls babysit

Cows are notorious babysitters. It's not uncommon to see one or two cows with almost all the calves gathered around. They seem to take turns watching each other's babies so that they in turn can go forage unencumbered. But sometimes Papa takes over & gives the Moms a break--what a guy!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Calf update


I'm already three cows/calves behind! On 10/06, a black cow with some white on her face (ear tag fell off) gave birth to a black calf. Then, #210 (above) gave birth on 10/07 to another black calf. Today, #214, (second picture) gave birth to a little black bull calf.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Mop of a mane

No, this little guy is not Welsh...or at least MUCH Welsh. As near as I can figure, he is 7/8 Caspian as his mother is 1/4 Welsh & 3/4 Caspian, & his father is 100% Caspian. And as for the mane, well, it sorta does look like Rod Stewart...notwithstanding the cockleburrs in the foretop!
If only we could put him in a shampoo commercial!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Caspian yearling--Shovan's Showoff

This is our Caspian yearling, out of Shovan (sire) and Chinchilla (dam). Although Shovan is a purebred Caspian, Chinchilla is not: she's 1/4 Welsh. Therefore, we had immediate plans to geld this little guy as he is only 7/8's (?) purebred. We registered the little one from the get-go as a Part Caspian, but have held off on sending pictures & naming him until we knew exactly what color he's going to be. He was born bay, but his black legs, mane, & tail have lightened over time. It's hard to tell if he's just sun bleached or if he is indeed changing colors -- altho I've never seen a bay loose its black points before. At any rate, this little guy has a MOP of a mane, with equal hair on each side of his neck. He also possesses a super inquisitive nature. We hope to 'borrow' a kid as this little one ages so that he can reach his full potential as a jumper. Caspians are known for their agility, so we expect him to follow in the footsteps of his breed.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

2 year old stallion


Seve's Pushover (barn name 'SP') is going to be a BIG horse. I need to get the measuring stick out, but just eyeballing him, I think he's already close to if not over 16 hands...& he will continue to grow for another year or two. He is going to be BIG, BLACK, & BEAUTIFUL. He also exhibits a huge overstride at liberty in the pasture; he'll definitely be a 'big lick' horse & needs to be in the showring to exhibit his talents.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Silver

Silver has been so happy this year as he has been turned out with two mares: Missouri Showtime, an American Saddlebred and Pushover's Heart of Gold, a Tennessee Walking Horse. Due to the extreme downturn in the horse market, we only allowed him to breed these two mares---but both should produce quality foals. Mo's foal can be registered as a Racking Horse (her father was a 5 gaited champion so she carries the racking gene), and Push's foal will be registered as a TWH. Both foals can also be registered in the Spotted Saddle Horse Assn. if they are spotted as Silver is registered in all three associations.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Banner Day for Babies!



Today was the best calving day ever...at least so far. Three calves were born within hours of each other - two at almost the same time! All three appear healthy, active, & alert. Here's the first cow to give birth today: #191 and her very pretty calf. Tomorrow I'll try to post pictures of the other two calves born today.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Busy birthing week...

Arriving on 9/26/09, calf # 3 belongs to #637. She's a great mother & has kept her baby segregated from the herd for almost a week.
Calf #4, a black bull, arrived on 9/29/09. I had to bottle feed him colostrum & milk replacer because he was too weak to stand, & when he did, he wandered off in the wrong direction even though mama, #648, was calling to him. I think he is blind & perhaps deaf. He also has a swollen right knee. Is this joint ill? Blind staggers? Dumb calf syndrome?

Calf #5 belongs to a cow that has lost
her ear tag. He arrived on 10/01/09.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Magic Mushrooms ???







The pastures are filled with mushrooms. Are these 'magic' mushrooms? (They are in the sense that they appear suddenly.) What kind of mushrooms are these & are they poisonous? Are they harmful to cattle or horses? Is the livestock going on a spirit journey without my knowledge? Where is C when I need her?! I'd better start googling...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Ranch dog...


Quark the Wonder-rat loves to ride the 4-wheeler to check the livestock. If the cows or horses get too close, he barks at them ... as if that would intimidate them. Photo courtesy of Claudia of The Goose fame.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Boone's registration papers - or lack thereof...




This is my only non-registered horse, & I consider him quite handsome. His name is Boone, & he is a 'sooty' or 'smutty' buckskin yearling. Actually, he is eligible for registration as both his parents are registered Missouri Fox Trotters. But with horse prices so cheap, it doesn't pay to register. In his case, I would have to first join the MFT association, then I would have to pull mane or tail hair & submit for DNA analysis ($45-50 depending on the association) plus, since MFT has only recently converted to DNA, I would also have to run the DNA for his mama. She has her registration papers, but at the time she was registered DNA was not required. So, before registering any of her foals, she will first have to be DNA'd--so, there's $100 just in DNA fees alone, not to mention joining the assn. & registration fees. Small wonder nobody seems to be breeding horses any more.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fall calves




First calf, born 9/14/09 to #730
Second calf, born 9/19/09 to #657, shown with Dad, #369, in the background.
And no, I do not have that many cows...those are just the numbers they came with at purchase.
I'm so thankful that I don't have any heifers trying to deliver calves that are too big. I never want to go through that again!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Growing, growing...


GM seems to be getting a little taller each day. Despite her independence, she still has to check in on Mom now & then.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Brothers


Dan (on left) & Jim are full brothers separated by one year of birth. Both are very well gaited, registered Spotted Saddle Horse geldings & both are ready to start under saddle work.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Castration


I always try to have the veterinarian castrate my foals according to the "sign" in The Old Farmer's Almanac . I have discussed this with several veterinarians, & the consensus seems to be that no one truly understands it, but there actually does seem to be something to it. For example, one vet told me that sometimes a horse will bleed excessively while at other times there seems to be almost no bleeding or swelling, etc. So, I figure why not err on the side of caution (&/or what do I have to lose by trying)? This month's favorable days are September 28, 29, & 30 so it won't be long. Unfortunately, Boone (yearling Mo. Fox Trotter) is cryptorchid - meaning his testicles have not 'dropped.' Therefore, castration for him will be a much more involved procedure...so he may be granted a reprieve for a few more months in the hopes that he will 'drop'. Since this is my first ever foal to have this problem, research seems to be in order...