Tuesday, October 26, 2010

John John in training

John is getting stronger & faster. The interesting thing (to me) is that his trainer says he can go either way: running walk or rack.

Friday, October 1, 2010

John-John, by JFK

Training a young, gaited horse involves putting all the moving parts together. For example, Charlie is teaching John how to propel himself forward by moving off his rear end; yet, John needs to pick up his front feet & reach & also nod his head in rhythm to his steps. It's a lot for a youngster to remember to do all at once, but Charlie is a patient teacher.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Lucky me!

It's not quite my birthday yet, but this is my new birthday present: a Kubota RTV ...WOW!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Betsy cantering

Who says older horses can't learn new things? Betsy is a 15 year old registered Missouri Fox Trotter who, until recently, only walked & fox trotted. A lot of 'old time' fox trot enthusiasts used to insist that if you cantered a gaited horse it would ruin their gait. Hogwash! Charles Weatherell of Everton, MO has definitely proven them wrong. Betsy now canters but still retains her walk & smooth fox trot.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Welcome to the world...

Registered American Saddlebred "Missouri Showtime", barn name "MO", welcomes her son into the world. This is MO's second foal, & he will be registered as a Racking Horse.

Dear Horse

I discovered this on Jennifer Morris Black's Facebook page...it's very appropriate for any horse owner/lover:

Dear Horse (author unknown)

I love you very much, and I truly cherish your presence in my life. I would never wish to criticize you in any way. However, there are a few trivial details regarding our relationship that I think might bear your consideration.

First of all, I am already aware that horses can run faster than I can. I do not need you to demonstrate that fact each time I come to get you in from the field.

Please remember that I work long and hard to earn the money to keep you in the style to which you have become accustomed. In return, I think you should at least pretend to be glad to see me, even when I'm carrying a bridle instead of a bucket of feed.

It should be fairly obvious to you that I am a human being who walks on only two legs. I do not resemble a scratching post. Do not think that, when you rub your head against me with 1,000 pounds of force behind it, I believe that it wasn't your intention to send me flying. I am also aware that stomping on my toes while you are pushing me around is nothing but adding injury to insult.

I understand I cannot expect you to cover your nose when you sneeze, but it would be appreciated if you did not inhale large amounts of dirt and manure prior to aiming your sneezes at my face and shirt. Also, if you have recently filled your mouth with water you do not intend to drink, please let it all dribble from your mouth BEFORE you put your head on my shoulder. In addition, while I know you despise your worming medication, my intentions in giving it to you are good, and I really do not think I should be rewarded by having you spit half of it back out onto my shirt.

Sometimes, I get the feeling that you are confused about the appropriate roles you should play in various situations. One small bit of advice:
Your stone-wall imitation should be used when I am mounting and your speed-walker imitation when I suggest that we proceed on our way, not vice versa.
Please also understand that jumping is meant to be a mutual endeavor. By "mutual", I mean that we are supposed to go over the jump together. You were purchased to be a mount, not a catapult.

I know the world is a scary place when your eyes are on the sides of your head, but I did spend a significant amount of money to buy you, and I have every intention of protecting that investment.
Therefore, please consider the following when you are choosing the appropriate behavior for a particular situation:

When I put your halter on you, attach one end of a lead rope to the halter, and tie the other end of the lead rope to a post or ring or whatever, I am indicating a desire for you to remain in that locale. I would also like the halter, lead rope, post, etc., to remain intact. While I admit that things like sudden loud noises can be startling, I do not consider them to be acceptable excuses for repeatedly snapping expensive new lead ropes (or halters or posts) so that you can run madly around the yard creating havoc in your wake. Such behavior is not conducive to achieving that important goal that I know we both share --- decreasing the number of times the veterinarian comes out to visit you.

By the same token, the barn aisle was not designed for the running of the Derby and is not meant to serve as a racetrack. Dragging me down the aisle in leaps and bounds is not how "leading" is supposed to work, even if someone happens to drop a saddle on the floor as we're passing. Pulling loose and running off is also discouraged (although I admit it does allow you to run faster).

I assure you that blowing pieces of paper do not eat horses. While I realize you are very athletic, I do not need a demonstration of your ability to jump 25 feet sideways from a standing start while swapping ends in midair, nor am I interested in your ability to emulate both a racehorse and a bucking bronco while escaping said piece of paper. Also, if the paper were truly a danger, it would be the height of unkindness to dump me on the ground in front of it as a sacrificial offering to expedite your escape.

When I ask you to cross a small stream, you may safely assume that said stream does not contain crocodiles, sharks, or piranhas, nor will it be likely to drown you. (I have actually seen horses swimming, so I know it can be done.) I expect you to be prepared to comply with the occasional request to wade across some small body of water. Since I would like to be dry when we reach the other side of the stream, deciding to roll when we're halfway across is not encouraged behavior.

I give you my solemn oath that the trailer is nothing but an alternate means of transportation for distances too long for walking. It is not a lion's den or a dragon's maw, nor will it magically transform into such. It is made for horses, and I promise you that you will indeed fit into your assigned space. Please also bear in mind that I generally operate on a schedule, and wherever we're going, I would really like to get there today.

For the last time, I do not intend to abandon you to a barren, friendless existence. If I put you in a turn-out paddock, I promise that no predators will eat you, and I will come back in due time to return you to your stable. It is not necessary to run in circles, whinny pathetically, threaten to jump the fence, or paw at the gate. Neither your stable mates nor I will have left the premises. The other horses standing peacefully in adjacent paddocks amply demonstrate that it is possible to enjoy being turned out for exercise.

Finally, in closing, my strong and gentle companion, I would like to point out that, whatever might happen between horses and their people, we humans will always love you. In fact, our bonds with you help create new bonds among ourselves, even with total strangers. Wherever there are horses, there will be "horse people", and for the blessings you bestow upon us, we thank you.

Most sincerely yours,

Your Adoring Owner

Friday, July 30, 2010

Soccer Anyone? S.S.H. learns to kick a soccer ball.

This is 3 yr. old registered Spotted Saddle Horse, Dan, after 1 1/2 weeks of riding in the Mark Twain National Forest by Gary Thomlinson. Dan was only halter broke, but Gary saddled, bridled, & then actually rode Dan in the round pen immediately upon Dan's delivery. Dan's reaction was just like his big brother, Jim: both took it all in stride. Gary used to own & stand Dan & Jim's grandsire, so Gary said he knew that both would be laid back & easy to work with.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Cute Little Girl Running Barrels on a Little Horse

WOW...wish I'd started out like this ~ look out world when she grows up!

Friday, July 23, 2010

2010 Caspian foal

This is our latest addition to the Caspian herd. He's healthy and curious & all boy! He's another bay just like Chinchilla & Shovan (Mom & Dad).

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Betsy in the arena

This is Betsy, technically "Show Me's Brassy Betsy C.", a blue papered Missouri Fox Trotter. Betsy has done a bit of everything from the arena to the trail to the broodmare pasture, & she does it all with style. She passes color on to her foals & is a great mom.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

#657 & new calf...

When I purchased my first heifers from my neighbor, I asked if cows were like horses in that they were capable of breeding right back. I was told that NO, they did NOT immediately come back in heat, but that they would re-breed anywhere from one plus months to three months later. I was also told that normally a cow would keep the same pattern & calve at about the same time each year. Well...that's not correct. This cow calved on September 19, 2009...& again on July 19, 2010. And I've already had another cow that delivered twins (both dead) on 7/2---& she calved on Sept. 29th of last year!!! FYI for those who don't already know: the gestation period for a cow is 9 months, just like a human. The gestation period for a horse is 11 months.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

John-John, by JFK

This is our 3 year old Tennessee Walking Horse stallion, "John-John by JFK" after his second week under saddle. His dam is "Jose's Lucky Lady" by World Champion, "Jose' Jose'". John is being trained by Charlie & Cheryl Weatherell of CW Stables in Everton, MO. Charlie is able to accomplish amazing things without soring, & I'm so glad I found him!!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Smoky and Brenda, his new owner

After three nights & three and a half days and close to 1400 miles, Smoky hinny arrived at his new home in Holden, MA. He is pictured here with his wonderful new owner, Brenda. Congratulations to both Brenda & Smoky for finding each other!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Gaited Trail Mule for Sale Video 6

Hammer, the mule, & Smoky, the hinny, have both been sold. Hammer is going to Rick, a very nice man in KS, who has an old mule & a 26 yr. old TWH---so he knows how to take care of his animals. Rick said that he plans to keep Hammer until he dies or Hammer dies, whichever comes first. He took Hammer on a test drive in the National Forest, & he & Hammer are a super match for each other. Rick is a good rider with soft hands, & he had no problems getting Hammer to foxtrot & also runningwalk. They will make a great team.

Smoky is also blessed to have found a super home with Brenda in Holden, MA. Brenda has two cute little girls who will love Smoky; & Smoky will be right at home with Brenda's three donkeys! Brenda said she stalls all her equines at night & then turns them out to pasture during the day. Smoky will LOVE life at Brenda's getting to spend each night in a nice, warm stall. Brenda has also said she'll treasure Smoky until the day he dies, & I truly believe she will. I think Smoky is a super match for Brenda & her family.

Gaited Trail Mule for Sale Video 4

Monday, April 26, 2010

World's smallest horse?

Click the link below to see Yahoo's story on what may be the world's tiniest horse at a mere six (yes, 6) pounds!!!


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Smoky hinny crosses the bridge

After being turned back by a truck pulling a fishing boat, Smoky hinny makes it across the bridge. The video camera person's horse is tied to the trailer & calling to Smoky, but now that there's no traffic Smoky is not in any hurry to go back to her. Listen to Smoky's hoofbeats & watch his front feet 'paddle'. He is very naturally gaited, & a joy to ride.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Gaited Peruvian Paso Endurance Horse

This great horse is proof that disabilities do not have to limit horse or human; it's all in the spirit.
(No, he's not mine - I just found the video on YouTube & wanted to share it.)

I don't wanna cross that bridge...

Smoky really resisted crossing that bridge. He normally willingly goes wherever he's pointed, but today was unusually hesitant. He has more sense than I.

Smoky crossing bridge but meets truck

Monday, March 15, 2010

#6's calf will hopefully solve the problem...

Top picture is of the long awaited calf belonging to poor #6. The calf arrived around 1 pm on Sunday & these pictures were taken around 6 pm. It's hard to see from this angle (bottom pic), but the calf seems to have solved the problem for all teats except the front left. I'm hoping it will take care of that one today!!! According to the feed store manager, this is not an uncommon thing, and calving usually solves it. I'm hoping he's right but plan to keep a close eye on her just in case.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Please don't let this be mastitis!

POOR #6...I hope she calves immediately & that solves this problem. I have never seen anything remotely similar to this.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

More new calves!

#187 (bottom photo) calved Sunday morning followed by #213 (top photo) that afternoon. Both had calves on the small side, so thankfully no problems with delivery. I feel very blessed that there have been absolutely no calving problems so far this year & that all the calves are healthy & growing well.

Monday, March 8, 2010

New arrival

Well, it looks like our young stallion, Seve's Pushover, managed to sire a foal without our help. We did NOT plan to breed Jamaica Mistake; nevertheless, our little accident is a real cutie: black filly with huge star & snip.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Foraging for Food

Winter takes a toll on anything & everything exposed to it. Although the horses & cows endure hardships related to freezing temperatures & wind chill, at least they are supplied with daily food provisions. The wild animals are not so fortunate. I've been trying to keep seed out for the birds & squirrels, but this enterprising little guy has been digging into his own stash of pecans that he carefully buried last Fall around the trees in back of the house.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Stallion behavior

It's amazing that even with the ground covered with snow, Silver can somehow manage to find a muddy spot to roll! Given the choice of freedom or a nice, much warmer stall, it's interesting that most of the horses choose freedom. They seem to crave the wide open spaces unless it's freezing rain or ultra hot & sunny.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Mr. Bull, alias #369, & one of his harem, er...herd.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Mud knots

Thanks to Equus magazine, this is how to tie a mud knot. In this rainy, snowy, icy, muddy weather it's a great way to keep the horses' tails from dragging in the muck. Check this download for step-by-step instructions in exactly how to tie the knot.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Quark The Wonder Dog

It's been so cold on the farm that even Quark has been forced to wear a parka, altho he isn't fond of it.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Thank goodness for automatic waterers!

A few years ago we installed these automatic waterers so that I no longer had to break ice in the winter. They have been a real blessing; however, with the frigid weather we've been having even they freeze. In order to drink, the animals have to use their noses to push the blue balls down to reach the water beneath. Trouble is, the splashed & dripped water all around the balls freeze, & then the balls are locked into place to the extent that even with the horses striking them with their feet failed to dislodge the balls. At least all I have to do is go around with hot water & a hammer to dislodge the blue balls...sure beats chopping ice on the ponds!

Friday, January 8, 2010


We escaped the heavy snow that blankets a lot of the country, but we haven't escaped the cold temperatures. The low tonight is supposed to be 1 degree & the high tomorrow is expected to be 13 degrees. Brrr !!