Saturday, October 31, 2009

The devil and the horse shoe

Since it is o'hallows eve I thought I should share a little story with you.
I am sure each and every one of you have seen an old horse shoe hanging over the door. Do you know why we hang horseshoes over the door? For good luck right? Well that isn't the original reason behind it.
My mothers best friend was a farrier and gave me this story of the devil and the horseshoe when I was very little. According to her it is out of a a 1912 horseshoers journal. The legend however originated in Germany. I hope on this day my mothers friend is watching down on all the trick or treaters. Halloween was her favorite day of the year.

Many, many years ago, in a little German village a blacksmith was hard at work. The sounds of the anvil attracted the attention of the devil. He saw the man making horse shoes and thought getting his own hooves shod would be a good idea. The devil struck a deal with the man and put his foot up. But the blacksmith knew right away who he was dealing with and so he nailed a red hot shoe square into the devils hoof. The devil paid the man and left but the blacksmith was honest; he cast the money into the fire knowing it would bring him bad luck.
The devil left the forge walking a long distance. Soon he began to suffer in agony from the shoes. The more the devil danced, pranced, kicked, swore and played tricks on people the more torture he endured from the shoes. After going through the most painful agony he had ever imagined, the devil tore the shoes off and threw them away.
From that moment to this whenever the devil sees a horseshoe he runs in the opposite direction; eager to keep away from the torturous devices.
German peasants remember this legend and because of it you will scarcely find a doorway or barn that does ot have a horseshoe nailed above it.
Of course horse shoes to keep in the good luck if kept upright. To hang a horseshoe upside down you made all the luck fall out!

So on this halloween hang horseshoes above your doors and in your barns for you never know which ghoul, goblin or little demon might be making their ways onto your doorstep ;)

Have a happy halloween and stick around to see tomorrows spooookkkkyyy Sunday stills post.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

How NOT to ride

I love the look on her face in this second picture. Shes like "oh dear what now!?" as I squeezed with my legs it must have felt weird because she went on this really slow wobbly walk.

Indigo's whole outlook on this
"stoopid crazy food mom"
I am laughing hysterically because I nearly did a face plant over her butt when she attemped to walk in the direction my uncoordinated backwards rein signals told her to go exactly where I put her.

I love her, she tolerates so much from me. Oh yeah. Don't let your kids do this at home(even though they are probably doing it as you turn your back. So long as they have a good horse and no camera evidence is to be found. Hope mom does not read this but shes used to my crazy ideas.) Good ol Indigo. I thought she was going to be such a brat today considering shes been all bent out of shape lately about me poking at her now healed up, but still stiff and ouchy scar where she lacerated her shoulder some 7 or 8 weeks ago.

I had the best ride today. It was so crappy when I woke up. All raining and stuff. I trudged off to work mad about not having to go to school and it being a crappy day which meant no riding. Everything was so wet and nasty.

Then suddenly around noon the sun came out. Boy was it hot. I had to take my sweatshirt off. The water dried up and I said know what, time to go ride. Not too many days left like this.

My friend Keri came over. She used to ride regularly but hasn't in the last five or so years. I stick her on Sheba. Here she is holding Indigo for me wile I went to get my camera.
Look at that cute furry white butt! Haha sorry ok back to the story.
In case you are new here Sheba is a big clydeXstandardbred (we think) cross that was likely an amish plough horse due to her disposition and work ethic. Oh and some nasty HUGE splints on her front legs. I have never seen splints as big as hers.

Last time Keri rode Sheba she was bareback. She fell off. Fun times. I was driving Indigo. Keri went to canter. Mind you she hasn't ridden in...5ish years. Sheba goes one way, Keri goes the other. Keri goes to grab for Sheba's reins. Sheba actually GALLOPED away!! Woah!! Laziest horse actually gallops!? It was short lived because she stopped at the first patch of grass.Indigo got all bent out of shape and started to act stupid. I calmed her down in time for keri to hop in the carrige with me and drive up to Sheba. She lead her back.

This time we had saddles. I asked Keri if she wanted to canter. She said yes. Away I went with a cluck, I turn around just in time to see keri do the most graceful unplanned dismount and land ON HER FEET!? Say what!? I have only done this once. I was riding bareback on Indigo, one of the 2 times I have parted ways with her. walking up to a balloon in the field that had drifted there. Like those helium party balloons. We get 5 feet from it. The wind catches it, it shakes, Indigo teleports 10 feet away, I land on my feet. Hmmm. Interesting concept. Now if only I can harness this landing on feet energy I will be set for later life in my splattering years. I picked up the balloons, rubbed them on her then put them over her neck and rode home no fuss.

She got back on and we walked/trotted for the rest of the almost 2 hour ride we did. I got my crappy Kodak camera. Man, I wish my Nikon wasnt as big or bulky or EXPENSIVE to take on rides. The quality is definately not here. Sadly enough as Kodak was the leader in photography way back when. I would not buy another Kodak product, ever. Especially after this camera. It's useless. I did get a shot of Keri's butt though. Shes probably gonna shoot me for that one.Apparently taking pictures wile walking on a horse is too much to ask of the crappy Kodak point and shoot. Hah.

How's everyone elses fall rides/drives going?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Macro Monday: Buzzzzz off

These are mostly all gone. Thank goodness. I do love the colours in it's wings and how the shadow looks HUUUUGGGEE compared to it. Little monsters.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday stills: landscapes, fall colours

Fall is pretty boring here colour wise compared to other places. The fields are brown. The trees go from green to brown and if you are lucky yellow or red.

My horses cute little brown spots go light as her fluffy winter coat grows in.

The soybeans are almost ready to harvest. It was kind of a misty day. I wish we would actually get summer and skip all this cold fall and winter crap.
I have been a little swamped with school and work lately. I didn't have time for pictures really. These were taken between work, fixing up Indigo and rushing off to class (which on this day I was late for because of this detour for picture taking)
If you see the last post I did there are better fall colours in terms of rosehips but they didn't quite fit into landscapes.


Thursday, October 22, 2009


So since Indigo lacerated her shoulder early September shes got little more done with her than being groomed, doctored and taken for walks down the lane.
She gave me a lot more trouble after it was completely healed than when it was wide open. The nerves hurt when it was growing back. I went to put ointment on it to keep the skin supple and she would back up as far as she could tied and bug her eyes out at me and shake.
Shes finally gotten over that but shes still a teeny bit stiff from all the hard scar tissue built up there. Good thing I do equine massage therapy.

So I rode her for the first time in a wile yesterday. She was very good, and very bad at the same time. Going out she was excellent until we came to the dreaded horse eating bush.

If you haven't heard me talk about the dreaded horse eating bush heres the lo down.

It's a fence row of trees between our lane and the neighbors field. The first time I ever put a cart on Indigo and drove her a bird came zooming out of the horse eating bush and beamed her right in the side of the head before flapping off in a daze. Ever since then any time something skitters, flaps or crunches in the horse eating bush she bugs her eyes out of her head, sometimes does a 360 in .5 of a second or dives sideways away from it. No matter who's working her or what I am doing shes always been claustrophobic about that bush after that incident.

Anyway we were going along. I guess we both sensed something. She shortened her stride but kept a forward motion. She gets really jumpy right now because the corn is not cut down so it's like walking through the tunnel of horse eating bush death to her. Shes not a very claustrophobic horse, except when this bush and another object such as the 11 foot high corn is involved.

You wouldn't think anything of much size could hide in the horse eating bush but it did.

This is when a HUGGGGEEE buck with a rack that a hunter would drool over EXPLODES out of the horse eating bush!

Cue Indigo's 360, eyes bugging out of their sockets, me hollering IT'S JUST A DEER YOU DOUGH HEAD! She didn't see it but I could through a hole in the horse eating bush as it bounded off to the corn field beyond.

At this point Indigo was wound right up. She smelt the deer, she heard it fly out of the horse eating bush with one hell of a racket and knew something was up. She was landing on her tippy toes. I hopped off her to err on the side of caution. She rarely gets this upset about something.

One thing I love about this horse is that she will respect your space, no matter what.

About 15 feet later another deer bolts out of the horse eating bush, making a racket that would rival a circus elephant. She tries to wheel around, but notices I am standing there so she jumps ahead, bugs her eyes, wheels around me, stops in her tracks and then tip toes behind me past the spot where the demon horse eating deer was in the horse eating bush.

Normally if the deer was nearby she would have been like oh, a deer, Hey look some grass!*noms* Since they exploded out of the horse eating bush they were satans messengers here to eat her spotty butt.

I walked her a little ways further and then hopped back on her right when a hawk proceeded to fly out of the tree with a loud crash which sent her into a canter and even quicker, me sending her into a circle which brought her to a halt. We went a little further and she was alright. When I turned her around to go home she was ready to head for the hills. She was all high headed and spooky and really needed to get over herself. I hopped off her and decided to walk her a little ways.
We came back to the horse eating deer bush. She could smell them. She knew they had been there and thought they might be there again. A bird flew out of the bush. She jumped ahead. This is where I said ENOUGH! I got after her with my crop making her back up FAST. Shes looking at me like "you crazy person theres horse eating bushes next to me and you want me to BACK UP!?" but she did it. Good I might add she knew I was not gonna play her spook and run off games. She listened, only tilting an ear or eye once or twice before she realized that made me make her back up faster. You know what, it worked. Making her do something she is incredibly good at and knows she forgot about the deer and put her focus on the real threat; the riding crop that threatened to start waving faster if she did not get into reverse RIGHT NOW!

I got back on and rode her home and she couldn't have been better. What a good girl.

Of course we did stop on the way back so I could pick a shirt full of rosehips.They are not only pretty but good for people and horses to eat, make tea out of and for fall boquets. They are full of vitamin C and are given to horses in supplements for their coat. Indigo loves them. She even picks them right off the prickly vines herself as I am picking my own. These particular ones are dogwood roses. They don't look like roses at all when in bloom but they make pretty red and tasty hips in the fall.

Of course we came back with a container to fill and for Indigo to eat some grass.

Yeah thats her, loose with a few hundred acres of field to run off in. She doesn't though. I lead her out there with a halter but I much prefer pictures without a halter. If I go around the bush that the rosehips are are she follows me over to keep me in her line of sight. It's like when I am on the ground I am her herd. She would and does follow me anyplace I ask. On her back it's another story. Something scares her bad and she wants to run home. I hop off and that need to run home expires. Something we need to work on. Gives me something to think about as this weather gets crappier in preparation for winter. Supposed to rain all weekend. Bleah!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday stills: C is for...


"O Hai! Did u remember to bring the chezburgers?"

I was thinking of so many things that start with C but I love to take pictures of Cats and there happens to be an abundance of them at any barn you visit. They are so cute and funny but hard to get pictures of, especially when they try and trip you by encircling your ankles. I hear it's in their divine plan to eliminate the human race.

It's proper to stretch after every nap and to squash yourself in as small a box as possible. If there are no boxes a square drain hole works just fine.

Theres always things to swat at.

Sisters to tackle.

In every domestic cat there is a lion with a ferocious roar.

Things to keep and eye on.
When you live in a barn there are always birds and mice to catch. Sometimes I swear people are feeding pigeons bombs. I come in and it looks like a bird exploded with all the feathers around here.

Big ol round eyes


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday/Fire hydrant FAIL

I took this on the weekend at Wheatley. What else are fire hydrants supposed to do!?
Vote for it on FAIL blog

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Just when I thought Summer was busy

We skipped both summer and fall and went right to Winter! It rained like crazy on Friday and has been super windy and cold. My mom called from the campsite in Wheatley telling me I better hold off on coming because there was no place to park due to one half of the campsite being flooded and the road being a river everyone was cold, wet and miserable. But by the time I got there Saturday afternoon it was really nice and dry. That was good because Saturday night Wheatley has it's Halloween. I mean you have never seen Halloween like this. People camp here two weeks in advance to set up their crazy campsites all for one night of ghosts, ghoulies and well...skelledogs.
My friend Korinne took this picture. Also a Nikon owner and user she wanted to try out my new lens. I made that costume for Savanah a year ago. It's always a big hit and the other store bought skeleton costumes just don't cut it when it comes to cute and good looking (or evil dirty looks in this photo's case) Note the appropreate spike collar and all. I think shes giving me the stink eye there.

However Savanah loves camping. She assigns herself a chair to sit on. If she doesn't have to be on leash she will assign herself your chair when your butt leaves it.
Crackling campfires

Also a picture for failblog You'll have to come back tomorrow to see that one :P

So some more on my pony. First of all it was not right what that driver did. People are so ignorant these days and since it's not a vert densely populated horse area not many are educated about the rules of the road when it comes to horses in Ontario. We need some signs in our area warning drivers about horses. We need a better crack down on asshole drivers as well. In the past 6 months I have had four cars pass me that purposely made more noise or drove too close for my own comfort. Fortunately for me the first three times I had a pretty good minded horse. Which brings me to my next point.
However wrong it was of that guy to honk and rev his engine it was equally as wrong of my pony to handle the situation like he did. Bucking is just not acceptable. Never, ever when I am working him. He knows I do not put up with his bullshit. He has known from day one but every once and a while that moron gene (aka half the pony is he is Hackney pony) clicks in and he does something I would rather not, but never has he bucked like that before. I have decided I am going to drive him again this week now that I got a new back board for my cart then stone boat the piss out of him all fall and winter. He is gonna work hard, and long and get over whatever he has got in him.
Hes a pony that once he knows what you want he does it. Hes known as a "push button" pony but like I said, that ugly moron gene tries to take a glimpse of daylight and it just happened to slip past me that day. Totally unacceptable. I think I know where the bucking came from though.

See theres a little lady who line drives, grooms, etc etc with the pony. She said last Wednesday about longing him. She told me "I longe him and let him get all his piss and vinegar out. He bucks and gallops around first" then it clicked. I NEVER let him get away with this. When I did when I first started training him he would try and have a fit about the way the harness was on him or kick out when running around at me, but not near me. As soon as I nipped that in the bud he quit his crap and has always gone right to work. Well I found the missing piece of the puzzle. This lady, she likes to spoil horses and ponies and sometimes kill them with kindness. However nice her intentions are they create unruly equines which a) are much bigger than her and b) leave me with problems to clean up after. I didn't mention to her about the bucking thing relating to him on the longe I just gave her a lengthy lecture about NOT letting him fool around. I told her when she expects him to work for her make him. It's not play time when hes on the longe, he gets to do that in the paddock. She wouldn't like it if every time she went to line drive him he had to kick up his heels first. She would get hurt and the pony would get more and more unruly. She understood. I just hope she can follow through and not leave me with more of a mess to clean up.

By being around horses I understand they are unpredictable. They are larger than I and I may even meet my maker if not sustain (more) serious injuries. I have only owned/worked for any legnth of time one 99.9% trustworthy, quiet, steady eddie and that was Naigen. I never really rode her or worked her like I do my other horses. I understand what I take on, I hope others do too. After a fall you gotta re-evaluate and find out what went wrong. I wouldn't trade a day of my world for any other life. Not unless I could share that other life with my horses.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The human race never fails to...

Disgust me!

So a quick update, will post more on this topic later but I had an unplanned tuck and roll event wilst driving my pony yesterday.
I was coming back from a little trot down a sideroad. Pony isn't terribly good on the road but he is ok.
This guy comes up behind us. No big deal.
He honks. About this time pony jumps a head. I am making "your a f*****g moron!" face and about to turn to see the car when the driver pulls up beside us, puts the car in neutral and REVS THE PISS OUT OF THE ENGINE!!
I just caught a glimpse of the car, looks like a dark blue neon but I am not sure because I was clinging for dear life onto a BUCKING and GALLOPING pony. More on that bucking part later.

Long story short I bailed before pony got caught on something and I did a superman impression and landed on my head (yes I was wearing a helmet!). Good thing I am at the age where I bounce and not splatter. I ended up with a bruised buttcheek and my one knuckle scraped off. Pony got caught up and I caught him and fixed him up.

So much for the big Brigdon show I was gonna bring him to on the weekend. But I do get to go to Halloween this weekend?

What it's to early? no way!
More later.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday stills: Happiness is...

A horse of course!

So I can elaborate a bit right? (the images of Indigo and I are not mine and property of their respective photo takers who know who they are)

A bitless (sometimes bridleless) horse.

That I can ride.

And also drive. Bitless of course.
I love that stud cart. It rides like a dream.
I love my Indigo even though yesterday I could have strangled her. She had a small fit in the round pen when I was giving my youngest Nephew, Noah a pony ride. She got a big what for after that and decided it was best to listen to the woman who rations her food and especially, her treats.
I also love the rest of my horses (and mr.pony) and all the horses I work with and have worked with. I think I could recite almost every horses name, breed and usually age from way back when I was young. Yet I can't seem to remember people's names of who I meet. Hah. Horses mostly make me the happiest. Whenever I am sad I just hug a horse or pet a horse or feed a horse or shovel some horse sh*t. I guess everyones vision of happiness is different.

Happiness is also a new camera lens, a Nikkor 55-200mm.

Here are my three wonderful Nephews, Zach (top), Seth (middle) and Noah (bottom). (click images for full view) I had a very busy day yesterday watching them wile my sister and her husband were gone to a wedding. The boys were so excited their Aunt Sydney was coming over to watch them they booby trapped the coat room just for me. That is a usual when they know I am coming over. They are either hiding or booby trapping something just to try and scare me. I can get these three going really good. My sister always yells at me to not get them wound up but I can't help it. Theres just something about a big adult that will horse around with them and take them out to the barn and then get them slushies and THEN bring them to see cloudy with a chance of meatballs in theaters. Quote from Noah as we are leaving the movie theatre parking lot "your the bestest aunt ever!" Hes so funny.
For pictures to get them to laugh hysterically "dad has furry buttcheeks" does the trick quite nicely.

Zach and Seth are twins. Fraternal of course as you can see they are two completely different boys.
Zachery is tall and lanky and seth is short and muscular (yes for an alomst 9 year old hes got a 6 pack it's so cute) They both excel at sports and last year their travel hockey team won all of Ontario! Thats a feat most kids can only dream about, much less on their first year they can join the travel team.

I had them the whole day. My sisters present is a really cool picture frame filled with pictures of her three boys. They posed themselves for each picture so it's authentic or I caught them on the fly, which is not easy when they are chasing cats in the barn, swinging from fences, jumping around off the big round bales AND trying to figure out how to start the tractor. They did just settle for sitting on it and acting like they were nascar tractor driving.

Of course since they are boys I get lots of silly pictures like these.
Noah at the top of the round pen fence showing off his muscles and roaring at me.

Seth in the hayloft window. He scares the crap out of me sometimes he does before he thinks and it's landed him in emerg a few times. He kept on insisting to try and convince me to let him jump out of the window. I don't think so mr. bull in a china shop I am not bringing ANYONE to the emergency room today!

Zach swinging off the tire swings broken rope.

So family, love, good health and humor also fit into this Sunday stills challenge.
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