Friday, May 22, 2009

birthday boy

Ollie is two years old today!

'who, me?'

As you can see, he still needs to grow into his large ears and giant head, but it'll come.  The time has gone so seems only yesterday that he was born.  Here he is,  just hours after his birth (Sadie is still covered in sweat after all of her exertions).  

Sadie has been such a great momma to Ollie.  She has really turned out to be a most excellent horse.  Ollie has inherited her even-tempered disposition and general unflappability.  He has been a pretty easy horse to train, especially for two novices (o.k., one novice- my husband and our wonderful friend Ed did the training, I mostly watched, with my breath held, and my knickers in a twist).  

My job was caretaker and official spoiler and smoocher.  (Note to self: do not let people take pictures of me while wearing pyjama bottoms and a bun in my hair).

Ollie has always been treated with kindness, and he is a very open, friendly,trusting horse.

It's actually dificult to take photos of him in the pasture, because before you know it ....

he's practically sitting on my lap.  

'Mwah'!  here's your kiss, please don't eat my camera.  My husband has been taking him for some trail rides with the other horses, and he has done very well, so far.  I'll probably wait another, oh, I don't know, five years before I ride him (I'm that chicken of a rider).

Happy birthday little Ollie.  Stay sweet.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

In the pasture (finally)

The horses have been put out into their summer pasture, where they will basically graze undisturbed (for the most part, except for the occasional ride, weather permitting) until October.  It's a large, square area with a run-in shelter, so they can get out of the weather.
They have an automatic waterer, so horse care at this time of year becomes pretty easy around here.

The only dark cloud is...the flies!

We are finally having a hot day (cue the halleluja chorus), and so the May 'biting bugs' have appeared.  This results in fussy, fidgety, stamping, snorting horses.

I must go to the feed store and buy some bug spray (which only grants temporary relief, and also requires sneaky application since two of the three horses are scared of spray-and white cloths- it's a whole procedure, believe me).

Despite the bugs, I do look forward to the horses getting all glossy and fat (well, not too fat-although Joe and Ollie are looking thin.  Our farrier told us that many of the horses he's seen have lost weight because of the tough winter weather). They already seem so much more relaxed after a difficult winter.  It's a lovely sight to see them hanging out in the pasture just...being horses, enjoying the sun and the wind and the all-you-can-eat buffet, and dreaming about sleeping (as I'm told they all do) and perfecting the art of doing nothing!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Lilac time

It's lilac time .  It's been very cool here, so all of the blooming plants are able to showcase their finery for an extended period of time.  I keep telling myself that, as I shiver in my sweaters and windbreakers.  That, and also, the cold is keeping the biting bugs and mayflies at bay.

There's a gorgeous fragrance in the air as soon as I step outside.  It's a feast for the senses.  I can bring armfuls of these lilacs into the house.

And that's because we have *the biggest lilac bush ever*.

Big, huh?

The lilacs scent the rooms.  Have you ever noticed that bringing flowers indoors makes both the suroundings and the flowers more beautiful?  They add a gentle sense of life to a room.

You can't really say that about people, though.  People bring energy into a house, but they don't ornament it.  And some people can just suck all of the air out of a room, or make it seem gloomy.  I suppose one shouldn't compare people to flowers...I mean when was the last time a plant made you a nice cup of tea or rubbed your back?  Exactly. 

Enjoy your day, and don't let the gorgeous springtime make you feel too silly and's too late for me, I am in the process of being bewitched by the season.  Happens every year.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Heat something that has been sorely lacking here these last few days.  Cold and rain has been the order of the day.

The pansies can handle it, and it hasn't stopped the apple blossoms .

Full-out blooms, baby!! (too bad the apples from that particular tree are tasteless and mealy). 

On a somewhat related topic, my horse Sadie is in heat!  I discovered this while letting her graze on our lawn while I held her on a line.  Joe, our old gelding (who was roaming freely) decided to mount her then and there! (well, he attempted to, anyway).  This was rather alarming on many levels.  First of all, I wasn't expecting it, and didn't want to be that close to that much 'action'.  Secondly, she normally doesn't give him the time of day.  I think she finds him too short, too boldly coloured and lacking in refinement.  He's clearly not her type.   Plus, the dude's a gelding.  

 Yesterday, though, she was basically stalking him, and giving him all kinds of signals and overtures, most of them none too subtle.  Poor Joe, there's only so much he can do.

Ah, spring in the country.  Bursting with life.  And heat.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

(almost) blossom time

A sunny day with a hint of cool breeze; the air smells indescribably beautiful.  The only thing I can compare it to is taking a drink of cool clear water after a thirst that's been long in the making.  

And it's just about full-blown blossom time.  Sometimes a slow spring has its good points.  Must get outside to breathe it all in.  Bye.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Meet Rusty.  He is an Appaloosa gelding belonging to my husband's sister's family.  He's visiting us for a few days because they wanted to ride out to look at a farm they are considering purchasing, which is just a few fields over from us.

He's a very pretty, dainty, quiet horse.  His mane is just so lovely and straight.  Poor guy, though.  He's being ostracized by our crew of horses.  They take turns either intimidating him, or standing around in a pack and giving him the evil eye.  If looks could kill....

Eat up, Rusty, soon you'll be bossed away from that hay pile.  I think he'll be glad to get home to his own barn.   Herd dynamics are so complicated, and involve hierarchies and associations.  Rusty's a lover, not a fighter, so he just does his best to stay out of the other horses' way.  I think our guys will be glad when he leaves, too.  You can almost feel the tension.

The thing is, his next visit will probably be a lot easier.  It's very interesting to observe, and things went pretty well over all.  If my sister-in-law does buy that farm, the horses will have 'met' and be used to each other on trail rides.  We shall see.  In the meantime, I'm enjoying just looking at him.  He classes up the joint (sorry Sadie, Joe, and Ollie!).

Friday, May 1, 2009

get em before they're gone

Blue skies
Wildflowers (just a few more)

Have a great weekend.