Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hattie heads out

Last evening a bit after dark, Hattie hopped into a large gooseneck horse trailer headed east...she is off to her new home. I know for a fact, that her new owner will love her, and care for her with the highest standards, but I have to say, a piece of my heart goes with that filly. Hattie taught me a whole lot about myself this summer, how much grit and determination I have buried inside and how rewarding caring for these creatures that God put on this earth for us can be. I have SO many great memories of raising this filly. It was certainly tough on my nerves, but all my worries were pushed aside one by one.....her horse social skills soared as she first shared spaces with her sister "Heather" then the rest of her 2009 siblings, and finally the rest of the herd. This is one very special filly, in many, many ways. I truly appreciate that her new owner will cherish her as much as I have.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Merry Christmas everyone !

This is the week of Christmas! My, how fast this year has gone....here is our Christmas greeting for you, our family, our friends. I imagine this week will be a little hectic around here, so I am sending greetings off to you for you to enjoy all week! Merry Christmas from Creekside, the humans who handle the ops and the herd members who bless our lives ;-) and very Happy New Year to all of you too!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

that lovely snowfall

What a week we have had for weather....we got about 6" of snow...then the next two days a good steady rain...lucky my horse work involves using our arena....as they say the outside footing is "not fit for man nor beast" !

While we still had some snow on the ground, I was able to catch a couple of really cute shots of Hattie and Mike. We needed some updated pics, now that Hattie has grown up a bit...and she always is in the mood for attention.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Loving my job

I sometimes forget HOW much I enjoy working with horses...sure it is always there, in my mind..but when I really get concentrating on what I am doing, using newly learned methods, I realize how rewarding it is for me.

I have been working with our mare "Izzy" she has been gently started under saddle, and ridden a few times after her initial training. BUT...in order to progress her through my 5 star Trail Horse Deluxe program...I must fill in the holes in her training that may have been skipped...One of those holes was clipper training. I also wanted to take her through the progressive training of the "101 Lunge and Long linning lessons" from the book by Cherry Hill.

In a segment of Julie Goodnight's training session, viewed on RFDTV I learned some very advanced lunging methods...this session was a young lady with an unruly and unattentive horse.....often I have a bit of "I am not paying attention" in several of my horses, esp just after being taken away from their buddies..so, I put the learned info to task..and it worked SO well.....

Izzy continued her crosstie training, I added clipper training, and we did some very successful lunge work, with her learning voice commands and also learning to read my body language. I can only imagine how far I can take this mare.....and I will soon start the same training regiment on my own keeper filly..."Kallie"...my first keeper foal from our ranch stallion....

More often than not I have limited time training on a particular horse...breeding season interupts HeartBreaker's training ( mostly due to my time limits and duties ) preg mares need time off for foaling and raising a foal, so...this is a Luxury for me....and I am excited about how well this is working.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A very small start

well, I have gone and done it....after years of having "learn to drive" on my list of 100 things to do in my life...I have stated learning to drive! Now...it is a very small start ( pun intended ) a miniature donkey named "Tango" is my kind and gentle teacher.....My friend "Diana" of Red Moon Acres has graciously helped my make my first venture into the world of driving. You can see Diana's donkey herd at www.redmoonacres.com.....frankly they are all terribly adorable..lucky I already have a pasture full of equines ;-)

Some of you might wonder just exactly what my goal is here...after all, we have a highly successful dressage program, and also raise Trail horses deluxe...
Driving is something I have always wanted to do...and did you know, you can compete in Driven Dressage????? I think I have a few horses that might be very suitable for that. So, I will learn to drive, and then learn to teach driven dressage to one of my very own equines...Diana is teaching me driving basics, and Tango allows me to learn from my mistakes...there is a whole lot more to learning to drive, than one might think, and I am ready for the challenge!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Izzy is back to work

Izzy is back to work...after just a couple weeks out on pasture ( our farm green grass rule, "if you don't have to feed hay...you don't" ) I just could not take it any longer, and am breaking my own farm rule...but, I just needed a horse to work! LOL.....so, I brought Izzy off pasture, and put her back to work....I am working on all the little things that have not been done in her ground work, like learning to crosstie....Izzy ties well, but I like to work with my horses in cross ties, and it needs to be taught to them to handle it safely. I am also doing some advanced lunge work with Izzy, and will start riding her again next week...I just wanted a chance to really instill some of the advanced ground work skills I require of my higher trained horses.

After our work session, I noticed how lovely Izzy looked in her winter coat, and the sun here was just spectacular..The sun this time of year has such a lovely quality to it...so, I headed out to our outdoor arena, and let Izzy play and bit while I took some shots. I also had the chance to use our outdoor time as a schooling tool too, as a different location resulted in a chance to help her learn, "same rules under any circumstances"
There is just something about the color of a chestnut and this winter sunlight...Izzy's coat is just coming in, and I really love the look of her curls at this time of year.

I really enjoy working with Izzy, she learns quickly and has a pretty unflappable attitude...and did I mention she is for sale? Give us a call or drop us a line..this could be your next riding horse!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Visitors....it never gets old

Sharing a hug

We had visitors to our farm over the weekend....a Mom and daughter team....came to see our horses and to test the hypoallergenic qualities of our herd....as you can see from this picture...our horses were completely hugable and hypo for these gals.

We spent the afternoon playing with the horses, all the horses got attention, and our weanlings especially loved the attention...Legacy also claimed the Mom for her human of the day, and kindly shared her soft curls and showed her stellar people friendly attitude to our guest...

These gals also raise curly coated dogs for guide dog service..of a hypoallergenic type....They associate with www.genesisservicedogscom a wonderful organization that helps provide hypoallergenic service dogs to the needy.

It was truly a wonderful afternoon, I always enjoy sharing my horses with folks, and as we talked we found many similarities between training and personalities of the dogs they raise, and the horse we raise.

Friday, November 27, 2009

New Traditions on Thanksgiving Day

Linda Elisa Lauren
We started a new tradition this Thanksgiving day of 2009....after all the partying was complete, my future daughter in laws...Lauren and Elisa, and I spent the rest of the afternoon putting Christmas wreaths together to adorne our homes....

Elisa working on her wreath

Linda and Lauren making something lovely out of some tree boughs

I am thrilled with my idea for a new tradition...Thanksgiving day for the guys ( after dinner ) is always about football and relaxing...so, this gives us gals something fun and creative to do...and since the Holidays often get so busy with activities, we have a opportune time to make our wreaths, we do not have to try and schedule it into one of those jam packed weekends between now and Christmas ;-) and gives us even more time spent with our family members.....

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is pie day....in preparation for our family version of Thanksgiving Day dinner....Pumpkin, Pecan, and.....hmmmm??? or it is mmmmm? So, I best get my self in gear and get my pies made early, because the SUN is out and it will be a beautiful day....and....my camera and my herd are calling me ;-)

I am starting a new tradition here...Thanksgiving Day is truly a football day for my men, and this year, I am going to make wreaths with my future daughter in laws...and create another Thanksgiving tradition.....while the men watch football, us girls, are putting greenery together to decorate our homes ;-)

I want to wish a Happy Thanksgiving Day to all, we, as a family, certainly have alot to be thankful for...sure, everything is not perfect, there is some health issues among our extended family, but generally speaking we really are all OK, and have a HUGE amount to be Thankful for...

So, Happy Thanksgiving, and enjoy and appreciate your family and friends...and for us horse owners, you herd! They are all something to be very thankful for.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cleaning up my act

Ahhh, what a gorgeous day here!

Late November, and we are getting plenty of sun today, so, I grabbed some cleaning supplies and headed outdoors. Once a year ( if not more often ) I give all my nylon farm halters a good scrubbing....for me, this entails washing them in the washing machine ( I only do up to three at a time ) and then dipping them in a bath of water and fabric softener, a gentle rinse and they are all hung up on the clothesline to drip dry ;-) Dipping the halters in fabric softener/water mixture ( I use quite a bit of softener ) helps the halters to stay pliable, and easy to use...we have all seen those nylon halters, left outside a bit too long, that are stiff as a board....my special recipe prevents that..

This wash job also works well on lunge lines, side reins, anything that is nylon and needs washed! If we still have nice weather tomorrow...it will be dubbed..."clean leather day"....my tack room is in a lot better order than it has been in a long time, and soon I will sort out my bridles, and probably have some nice bridles for sale...it just seems I have too many ....how could that possibly happen..LOL

Friday, November 20, 2009

Everybody out!

For the first time since March....we have, once again, all our herd out on pasture...oh, that is a good feeling! My main concern was for Hattie, she has been doing well in a herd here by the house, but I wanted all those babies out with the mare herd, to take advantage of our nice fall green up...and save a bit of the hay pile for later in the winter...

I turned out the herd of 5, Marbles, Princess, Hattie, Spark and Dark Knight.... in the big pasture, and after 3 days of them running alone, they met up with the mare herd, Krinkles, Ally, Kallie, Legacy and Izzy. Things went rather smoothly...not much in the way of fussing or bad attitudes, and Izzy does not seem to think of Hattie as any different as an of the other youngsters....

So, for a few days we have all the herd out on pasture.....they all get a break! Soon, Izzy will be in for more training, but hey, I am taking a break...it has been quite a while since I had one ;-)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Catching up

There has been a whole lot of things to catch up on........vet work, training, etc...We preg checked Marbles...( yeah! a lovely little foal on the way ) we gelded Dark Knight, vaccinations for all, and a bit of a "nose job" for Ally, a repair from her camping trip injury. After our vet work was done, I strolled though my tack room, and ARGH !!! WHAT A MESSSSSSSS!!! so, the next couple days I spent getting things back in order. I have just a few chores to do there, some saddle cleaning, and returning my freshly washed brushes to their grooming totes. It always makes me feel good to get cleaned up....and a freshly cleaned tack room makes life a whole lot easier..easier to find what I need, and easier to get around...LOL...yeah for clean

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Conquered by the Canyon

There could be lots of titles for this post....."When Hell ( Hells Canyon ) freezes over" would be a good one...or perhaps"I should have stayed in bed".....Here is my account of our horse camping/hunting trip.

The morning started out wrong...when we went to load our mares to head out on our trip we found the mares were already out and needed rounded up! Ally was at the barn waiting for Mike, Izzy was giving HeartBreaker google eyes over the fence....silly girls! someone managed to disconnect the gate from its hanging posts....silly mares!

When we arrived at camp, Darren and Jeff were already there...the weather was spectacular and Mike and I hobbled Izzy and Ally, left them to graze while we set up our tent and got things arranged. This is a stunning place, at 7000 ft elevation you can see forever! The Seven Devil mountains rise in the background of this pic, they are to the NE of where we camp.

The next day the guys scouted a bit....we turned the hobbled mares out to graze and things seemed to be going well enough....The noise level at night was a problem though, the mares played in their corral, banging off the panels and thumping the ground. Hmmm, I will have to think of a way to remedy that. Ally and Izzy found a quiet spot to relaxe as the fog/clouds came in that day.

Saturday, the rest of the hunters arrived...there will be 7 hunters, and me...the horse wrangler I guess? More camp set up, and some scouting for the guys..we also noticed that there are way more pack trains going down into Deep Creek than usual. We had spotted a large herd of over 100 elk on the hill side above Deep Creek, but the constant stream of pack trains would be sending those elk into no mans land....an area where there are cliffs, no roads and no way to get to them. In the night, I heard the corral panels again, this time though, it was a different sound, and I knew right away what it was....Ally had laid down close to the panels, when she went to get up....she had her front feet under the panel....so, @ 3am, I slipped on my shoes, and went out to get her out of her predicament.....she seemed a little sleepy..had to slap her on the fanny to get her up once she was free...

Sunday the season opened...Mike is 52 today! The guys hunted all day long. The weather was so/so...no sun left anymore...it was quite cool, 20 degrees when the guys left camp this am. Duane and I hand grazed the mares awhile, then hobbled them and turned them out. Imagine my shock when we checked on them and they were no where to be found! We started searching, and found them at a neighboring camp...a camp which had mules....we called the mares with a grain bucket and they came as fast as they could. Our mares also found out they can canter while in hobbles....not so good at first, but after a few trys...pretty darn good! They made one nice canter through camp...that kind of ended a whole lot of time in hobbles.

The week went on....the weather got a little tougher each day..then by Wednesday, the temp just stayed at 15 degrees, night and day..the wind picked up too, and from then on, blew 30PMH steady, with some 60 MPH gusts....talk about cold! Luckily Duane and my job was to keep the wood stoves burning and warm.....one in the main sleeping tent and one in the cookshack. At one point we were all sitting in the cookshack when a huge gust of wind came along..it tore the 14 X 30 tarp, which we used for a rain fly right off the tent.....within moments the guys were outside trying to catch the tarp, but it had already spooked the mares who were relaxing in their corral....Ally was nearest to the fence, and on her way out she skinned her nose...pulling a flap of skin right down the bone....Mike and I went after the escaped mares, and Duane helped me doctor Ally's nose....the best thing I could think of was to lay the skin back down and hope it would graft back on....I had a bandaid out of guaze and duct tape. It worked too! By morning the skin flap was laid down and had started the healing process.
Then..it started to snow.....each day we got more snow and more wind....I kept the blankets on the mares 24/7, they needed the extra warmth....the next few days were cold and the guys had nearly no visibility..elk hunting here you count on your eyes....with fog/clouds at our heads/snow/blowing snow...the conditions were tough...in fact, we know of NO elk being harvested after opening day....we were not the only ones the weather was conquering.

More snow..more wind...I calculated the temp + wind factor...it was -5 degrees most of the week, according to the wind chill chart! We kept the fires toasty warm and kept the mares fed and happy..no hobbles now...everything was buried in snow. I highlined the mares, I really wanted to see how they would do, and they handled it just fine....

It was apparent by the end of the week, we just were not going to get a weather break before our season ended. Here are a few more pics from our week, Mike hauling wood to the main sleeping tent.....Ally staying warm in her blanket.....a few icicles on the tent ;-)
A couple days before we headed home we found out we were sharing the cookshack with a chipmunk...."Chip" spent 2 days with us....snacking on carmel popcorn, and a few other snacks we thought he would like...he was very undaunted by my camera and I have fun trying to get the perfect shot of Chip....
We headed for home on Saturday..it had been a wonderful and memorable week. Even though I had no opportunity for some spectacular packing pics, I saw my mares grow up a whole bunch and that is always of value. The training that I did over the last month will pay off in the end for these girls, and they will know the routine if they go camping again. If not for good equipment, plenty of planning and experience we might have been short on supplies or equipment...but we lacked nothing....a good time and a memorable time...that is what life is all about ;-) It took us 2 1/2 hours to break camp...each of the 7 of us working on a task.....and I snuck away to take a pic of the sunrise..in the back of my head I remembered...."red in the morning, sailors warning" I can only imagine what it would have been like on the edge of Hells Canyon that very night!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Training trail horses

Over the last month I have been busy training. We have all our foals weaned and enjoying life in a small herd, guided by our yearling filly "Princess"....so, it was time to change focus and start making some progress on our trail horses. Summer show season is over and we can now concentrate all my efforts on our Creekside Trail Horse Deluxe training. I will be offering our mare "Izzy" a 2005 curly mare as my first "5 star Creekside Trail Horse Deluxe" in the spring of 2010. She is currently offered for sale, and is getting lots of daily training. We will be taking Izzy and Ally on our 2009 Hells Canyon hunting/camping trip. We will spend 10 days on the rim of Hells Canyon and our mares Izzy and Ally will be used to pack elk that we harvest on this trip. Izzy has been through a regimented training schedule learning to hobble, stand tied quietly for hours on end, pack items and fresh game ( meat ) ...in our pics here, Mike is using Izzy to pack almost full water cans + fresh meat...the cans make lots and lots of noise, sloshing back and forth, he also threw in a few rocks to add to the noise factor. Izzy has handled all this training in stride. Many horses are better with one rider/handler, but Izzy handled reliably the same no matter who is at the end of the lead rope, or who is in the saddle. I have been taking a few lessons on Ally, and since my instructor does not like to teach from the ground, he has been riding Izzy. This is a real benefit to me, as I can see how Izzy does under saddle and also get more professional time on her under saddle....did I mention she is for sale? I will be keeping Izzy in training all winter...there are a couple local schooling shows, we will plan on attending those too.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Replacing the old with the new

I was sorting through some old "Country Living" magazine, when I came across some inspiration about replacing some old with some new...now you might think, lovely pictures inspired me..but no..it was the editorial, written about cleaning the editors office....she made the point that replacing the old, will make room for new and interesting things....I got to thinking about this...and it really is profound....it could be as simple as tossing out some old magazines, and replacing them with new issues...but what if...we apply it further....replacing old habits with new healthier ones, replacing old taxing relationships with new healthier ones....replacing old ideas with new more inspiring ones.....the author certainly opened up some opportunities to see ourselves in a different light ;-) Each day is a new day, and we should enjoy every single moment as well as strive to be a better self.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Dad's Birthday October 9, 1919

On October 9, 1919 my Dad, R.A. Meiling was born in Vernal, UT.....on September 20, 1958 I arrived and was introduced to my Dad.....My Dad was a quiet man, a builder with standards totally beyond what most folks would consider, a teacher, an animal lover, esp dogs..and an avid reader. He passed away on May 5th 2007. I miss my Dad dearly, esp during the time of year that we always celebrated his birthday.

A couple weeks ago, my Mom held an estate sale of my Dad's tools and stuff. As I prepared for the sale, I came across a sheet of quotes that he had thought enough of to write down...In honor of my Dad, I will share some of those quotes here. I do not know of their origin so I can only say they are quotes from my Dad..that I know for sure.

"He who is silent is strong"
"A fool speaks often and without thought" hey...this was before the internet..how appropriate is this now?
"The less people think, the more they talk"
"He who knows nothing, is confident of everything"
"Better unfed than untaught"

I really appreciate Dad dropping these quotes in my lap so to speak....and how appropriate for these quotes now...some were copied from a book that listed quotes from people that lived in the 1600's.....ironic isn't it...these quotes still apply today....
thank you Dad ;-)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

WOW...that was fun!

Today, I had the pleasure of introducing my curly herd to a couple of professional photographers from the Seattle area. I had met Gretchen Thompson of Gretchen Thompson Photography ( see her work at www.flickr.com/gretchent) earlier this year at the Colfax Threshing Bee on Labor Day. Gretchen also brought along a friend, Bobbie Clime of www.bobbiecphotography.com Bobby is a Portrait specialist, and we asked her to do a few horse/human portraits for me.

The girls arrived at 7:30am as planned, and we began shooting and playing with the horse shortly after their arrival. The sun was just peaking the hill and the light on those early photos ought to be quite lovely. After a round of playing with the babies...our 3 weanlings and their counterpart, Princess who is a yearling...we put them up and brought out the big gun! HeartBreaker danced his way all over the pasture, showing off his love for life and open spaces. After he got the "wiggles" out, we worked on portrait shots of HB and Me......it got warm fast, and by the time we got done I was pretty sweaty.....!

We came on back inside and had some discussion, looked at a few of my photographs and Bobbie helped me with a sizing issue I have been having regarding printing 8 X 10's.....Bobbie is a Photoshop expert and her help was GREATLY appreciated ;-)

What a wonderful time we had......working on composing shots and thinking of new creative ways to pose and portray.....working with these two gals was truly an honor for me....


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Renewal of preserving food?

Cute little jars of Blackberry syrup sit atop cute really little jars of Blackberry jelly

Recently I read an article about the renewed interest in home preservation of food ( canning ) HA ! That is something I never need renewal for, it happens here on a yearly basis and has happened here, every single year of my adult life. This year I was making a list of things I had preserved..it goes something like this....Asparagus, Cherries, Apricots, Salmon, Tuna, Tomatoes, Salsa, Soup Veggies, Peaches, Blackberry jelly, Blackberry Pancake Syrup, next in line is Pears, homemade and preserved Chili, Apples, pumpkin, squash....and we also dried a few items too, Cherries, Apricots, Tomatoes, Pears, Apples, Jerky and Pepperoni.....so, my cupboards are stuffed full, and I suddenly realize why I have been a bit strapped for time ;-) I love the knowledge I learned from "the chore of canning" when I was a kid...makes me a perfectly capable adult food preservation specialist!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

It's my birthday .....more from Hattie!

Dear Diary, I am 3 months old today...My Mom says I am doing well. I enjoy my days with my brother Dark Knight, and my sister, Heartfires Spark...Mom calls her Spark. I rule the roost. DK is second in line, and poor Spark has to be in the bottom spot. Mom gives us grain everyday. I also am still getting milk, as Mom thought the recommended time frame of weaning off milk, was a bit too early for me...she did grumble something about the price though. DK likes milk too, but I make sure he only gets a slurpe after I get my belly full. Ahhhh! the life of a horse at Creekside....plenty of food ( we have our own really big bale of hay ) lots of clean water, some great attention from the humans, and my milk and grain snacks....Mom also has Darryl come over and spoil me too...she likes to read to me..is that spoiled or what ???? Life IS good!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

pickin berries

Last evening I picked 3 gallons of blackberries at a spot across the road. This morning, after doing a few conformation shots of DK ( Handsome Dark Knight ) the mares came strolling by on their way to the barn....that is, all except Legacy. I walked up the draw to investigate what she was up too, and found her happily picking herself some blackberries. Normally the horses don't pick berries here...they have a good assortment of wild plums and pears from some really old pear trees, they don't waste their time on picking a hard to pick berry. When you consider that horses have a blind spot in front, and they are usually just heading for a general direction, and the fact that blackberries are a prickly thing to pick, they just leave them alone....but this year, Legacy has decided that those oh so sweet berries are worth the effort. So, I guess that spot along the road in the pasture won't be producing many berries for me now...at least not with Legacy on guard.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Lucky Horse shoe #112

When we bought our current farm and acreage we had to have some foresight. Old buildings in terrible condition, an old farm house, and lots and lots of junk covered this property. As we started clean up, I started finding horse shoes...since this place had folks on it since the early 1900's, I found we not only had horse shoes all around, but LOTS of horse shoes...so, I started collecting and counting. The first few years here with the most productive. In the areas around the barns, produced the most horse shoes. And the funny thing was, they were all shoes that had been sucked off in the mud, lost by the wearer probably unknowingly. I found various types of shoes, a good amount of draft horse shoes, many, many mule shoes, and the rest just general horse shoes. Draft horses were used here years ago, to farm the ground, from a wheat crop to a hay crop which they brought to the barn on wooden sleds. Mules were later used by the owner here , as he was an outfitter. He took folks into the back country for hunting trips...and then of course, throw in alot of misc horses all needing shoes.

It has been several years since I had found any shoes. I was stuck on the total of 111. I saved most of them, and put them in our barn in various spots, used a few to make tack hangers with and saved the rest....but, yesterday as I headed down to feed in the evening...I heard that recognizable klink...a sound that one hears when they hit a part of a horse shoe...so, I looked down and saw an edge right at ground level. I took my hands and dug around it a bit, and my work revealed horse shoe #112! I wonder how many more years until I find the next one ;-)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Welcome Marbles

We are proud to introduce to you and give a big welcome to our ranch "CVC Marvelous Story" aka..."Marbles"....Marbles is a product of Laura Kinne's program, she has been breeding quality horses for a number of years. Marbles loaded quickly at Laura's, and settle in nicely for a long ride home. She seemed content and perfectly happy on our journey and has settled in nicely here at the ranch. Marbles' pedigree traces back to *Peter J, ABC -1 (f) literally the first curly horse registered in the ABC. On the bottom of her pedigree it is a fine blend of curly lines, and TB lines. Marbles is a smooth coat and is 3/4 curly 1/4 TB. She is a lovely mover, supple, elastic, with good suspension and extension. We are quite pleased to have her in our mare herd. She will be started under saddle, and there will be a fall breeding to our stallion. Welcome to the new girl !

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A great Honor

As most of you know or suspect...I have a love of "horse photography"...presenting our horses in the most accurate and incredible light as possible. I also have a great love of competition...whether it be in my horses competing or myself competing my own photos.
Well...I have my very first "BEST OF SHOW" winning...for one of my pics ;-) I enter a few great contest each year, the CSI Equine photo contest is one of them. and......this year, I took top honors for amateur photographer, a BEST OF SHOW win! Not only did I get a really great prize, but I am stunned, honored and totally jazzed about the win. Photos are the history records of life. This photo was taken 2 years ago, when Kallie was just a baby foal, and has always been one of my very favorite photos ever! Thank you CSI for hosting this contest..and thank you to God for my talent and my herd.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Hattie's diary...happy birthday to me!

Yeah !!! Tomorrow I am two months old...a real mark in an orphaned foal's life, at least that is what they say.....;-) All my recent visitors have commented on how well I am growing, and some muttered something about being able to eat dinner off my back? I thought a flat back was a good thing? I spend my days with my 1/2 sister "C-C Heather" she knows I am really the boss, and acts accordingly. Mom takes us out for long strolls, some grass to eat, and good exercise...Heather and I like romping in the arena ALOT !! We get to play with the brother..."Dark Knight" some and sometimes Legacy our "auntie" watches over us. All in all, it is a very good life. I have cut my milk consumption down some, but Mom decided to keep giving me milk, to make sure I keep growing so nicely. Usually at 2 months, they cut your milk off, but I guess I am going to be waaaaaay spoiled and get some for another month. Mom says it is expensive..but she says I am worth all her effort and love. I guess soon there will be other weanling to greet, I have not offically met my other sisters, they stroll by my pen twice a day, once in the am for breakfast, and they again in the evening on their way back out to pasture with their Moms....life is certainly good around here ;-)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The ups and downs of AI

We offer *AI* as a service here on our farm, so that mare owners across the country can get some of the genetics of our wonderful, successful competition stallion....*Shadow's Hawk Spirit...aka..."HeartBreaker......

Every year we have inquiries about the complex business of AI, and ask how they can best be successful, as it is a costly venture. We have several tried and true rules about what we want in a possible date for HeartBreaker, but the most important one of these rules, is DETERMINATION....
it takes alot of determination on the part of the mare owner, one to find a suitable equine reproductive vet ( believe you me, they are not all suitable ) to get the appropriate "prep" work done for the mare ( culture, proper weight, good health, etc ) and patience too. Not all mares will settle on the first round. Live cover stats for mare is at 70% success rate, and AI rates are a bit lower than that. Maiden mares are sometimes stressed by all the vet work that must be done, and until they are used to it, and in a better frame of mind, they may not settle.
This year we had another factor in the mix ( this is where determination comes into play ) We received word that Fed Ex had damaged the shipment, and the vet requested another shipment of semen. It was doable from here, so we went ahead. Timing should have been just right, BUT...Fed Ex was again the culprit....The Shipment was on a plane that was delayed for repairs in TN, the shipment never made it to its destination, but instead landed there a day late...in repro work, a day late is most often a disaster, as it proved to be in this case....So, our mare owner was out yet another cycle, and had to file an insurance claim against FedEx to cover expenses.
Thankfully, on the next cycle, the mare settled and is happily into her pregnancy now.
For those considering AI, just remember, a good dose of determination can go a very long ways.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Makin Noodles

Makin Noodles...I always am interested in things that happen where folks live...here we live on the edge of the "Great Palouse" ...this is an area of farming, and though folks frequently ask, we do not grow potatoes here ;-) Our farmland in the area is not flat...as you can see from this photo, the combines have levelers on them, so they can work the side hills.......The area is covered in wheat, barely, lentils and garbanzo beans. There are some areas of Canola too, which, in bloom is a spectacular yellow color.

We have a wheat field directly out the back door of our house. The farmers call it the "Peanut field" seems it is shaped liked a peanut. It took the guys a little less than an hour to harvest the field of 35 acres. This soft white wheat that they grow here, is headed for the orient. Almost all the grain grown in this area is headed to Japan, China, Hong Kong, and the rest of Asia for use in making those lovely soft noodles used in their cuisine. So, the wheat is off the field now, and will take a slow journey to its final destination. The wheat will most likely be loaded on a barge, and barged down the Columbia river. Lewiston is the US's most inland port, a mere 400+ miles from the Pacific Ocean.....Through a series of locks the barges make the long trip to the Columbia river bar at Astoria, OR, and then they head out to sea.

We are always a little relived to have the ripe/heavy wheat removed. The removal of this will cut our fire danger down a whole lot. An unharvested wheat field has a whole lot of fuel in it, and we are glad to see it lessen a bit. And...to think that our little kernels of wheat will someday be someone in China's lunch or dinner.....yep, makin noodles ;- )

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bringing home a **winner**

All my horses are at home now....for a bit at least, as we hopefully will be taking HeartBreaker up to Trainer Mike for a late summer/fall training and showing season. We gathered up the foals that were out away from the ranch,Hattie had been staying with a babysitter, while I took a few days off, and I also brought Legacy home from Trainer Mike after our show last Saturday. Trainer Mike rode her in an Intro A test, and then we switched to the next step up and rode her in a Training Level 1 test..... That second ride of the day produced BLUE for Legacy and Mike, winning the TL 1 test class....Trainer Mike had been working on Legacy's canter, they handled it just fine for a young horse. The judge also had time to add a few pointers and Mike had the option of riding the test again. He opted for schooling the canter instead, and with the judge encouraging him to let her open up, they rode the canter much better....Trainer Mike tends to be a bit conservative, we both realize that our young horses have years and years to develope, we don't not want to push too hard..... but the judge really encouraged him to let her go more forward , accept contact, as she totally trusts him, and it was lovely. I brought Legacy home after the show, and put her to babysitting youngsters. We also confirmed yesterday that she is in foal to HeartBreaker for a spring 2010 foal. That is exciting news, both the parents of this foal are dressage winners! Proving their potential out in the public, in open shows against all sorts of other breeds.....We are very excited about this young filly's talent, our very first homebred to hit the show ring, and a huge future in the world of dressage. Legacy also has a whole lot of growing left to do, at 15.2HH as a 3 year old, we are excited about what she can do for our program. The judge also commented on her gaits, her MIND and her potential, when she grows into her gangly body as she matures.....This is one very awesome curly filly.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Tales of skunks and ponies.....

In early July we had some very special visitors to the ranch....My niece from Missouri came with her family, ages 3 weeks ( yes, weeks!) to 12 years...her three oldest kids are bonus kids, and she has 2 youngins aged 2 1/2 and 3 weeks.....Cassie, came with a plan in mind...find something to love and ride ;-) We made use again, of our nurse mare, pony mare, "Addy" tacked her up in a halter and lead rope and sent Cassie off riding...they stand at the fence, wondering what adventures could happen outside that wall......Cassie had a blast, trotting around on Addy, finding her own legs sored pretty easy, and dreaming of cantering down the trail in the future. We had a wonderful time with all our family members, the older kids are gracious and kind and love their new siblings.....!
While the boys were exploring in the hay barn, they came across some of the local young skunks....we had been having trouble with skunks in our barn, dinning on our cat food...so, this trip for the family was filled with tales of skunks and ponies...you can not get any truer to farm life than that!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4 th of July.....our independance day !!!

Ralph August Meiling....somewhere in Europe....1943

woohooo !!! It is the 4 th of July...a time that America celebrates and remembers our past.....and a time that we are so very thankful of our military troops that help to keep us free. My Dad was a WWII vet...he spent 4 years overseas, first in Africa, then in Italy......after he passed away in 2007, I found his war picture album...all those places in pics.....he looked so young, he must have been amazingly brave to travel the world and defend our freedom. His pic album is a real treasure, he had told me of those pics often, but could not remember where he had put the album, so we never got to look through it together....and sadly, not ONE single pic, had a place or date on it....some pics are obvious....Africa is pretty easy to spot, as is Rome.....but I surely wish I knew where some of the other photos were taken....

Photos are a legacy that we leave behind for our heirs and the next generations.....a treasure to share for certain....

Enjoy your day, remember that because of soldiers of wars past...we are all free !!! and Happy 4th of July !!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Hey, hey, HAY !

Anyone out there remember "Fat Albert?" ....I do not suppose it is even politically correct to say that title anymore.....Fat Albert was a cartoon about a rather plump, but cheery kid...who always said...."hey,hey,hey!" so, I am just quoting him on this topic.

Monday and Tuesday, we hauled in our hay....18 ton of round bales this year...we use round bales late in the summer, and then early in the spring, when we have mare in for foaling and breeding season. We still have a good supply of alfalfa left for our broodmares in the winter....our weanlings will come off pasture in the late summer, and they will spend their days in our pasture here by the house, with a round bale, and supplemental grain....

It is always a chess game here, seems no matter how many pastures or stalls I have, I could use more....but...hey, hey, hay....that is life!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Hattie's diary

I have always wanted to write from one of my horse's perspective...so, here it goes!

Hi, My name is Hattie...here is an excerpt from my diary.

Dear Diary....

I am 3 weeks old now....Mom says it has been a long 3 weeks, I think it has gone rather fast. I would like to share some of the things I have learned in my 3 weeks.

1. The Mom who gave birth to you, may or may not be the Mom caring for you. I think my brother, learned this too.
2. Mom's love comes in all sizes and smells...My Mom is not so tall, and a little round, and probably does not smell like me, but she is my Mom, and loves me dearly.
3. Some Moms have to work....my Mom can not be with me 24/7 like some Moms, but I am well cared for, lack for nothing and am happy....just goes to show a working Mom can have it all.
4. A halter and a lead rope will take you wonderful places! Just be sure and walk by your Mom, instead of out front and behind...it is a whole lot easier on her, and the proper way to go for a walk.
5. The world is NOT flat....when my Mom expected me to cross a ditch and walk up a small hill, I was so scared my legs got like jello....but...she promised I would be OK, and I was! and I understand now, the world is not flat.
6. Moms worry when you cough....OK, I had a little cough and you would have thought I was dying on the spot....Mom got out the antibiotics, made sure I had plenty of rest ( no problem! ) and a sunny place to play in. She really got worried when I slowed down my milk intake, it is almost back to normal now.
7. Moms insist on manners every day of the week..OK, it seems like a little overkill to me..but I guess walking nice beside my Mom, not bucking at her while I play, and not scratching my fanny on her is probably a good idea...at least she thinks so!
8. Moms are a wonderful thing, and I am thankful to have mine...no matter her size/smell or insistence on manners.

Thank you Hattie !!!

a note from MOM
Hattie continues to do well, though she has had an upper respitory issue this week. We have her on antibiotics and she is feeling better and eating better. Hattie gets to spend part of each day on grass, she is curious about that odd looking stuff....She picks at her grain and hay, but is most interested in her milk bucket....another week ought to be helpful in her eating ability and desire.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Legacy's first show

On Saturday, the 13th of June, our homebred keeper filly "Legacy" stepped into the show ring for the very first time. Legacy is under the training guidance of Mike Kincella, a well known trainer, who has a special love for the Spanish horses and horses of this style.....Mike and Legacy trotted their way to placings in both their test rides. I knew that the classes were large, but we were mighty pleased with a second placing in the Intro B test.....there were a few horse eating monster objects in Legacy's mind...a couple of trash cans, and even the judge! but she is a youngster, and each and every time out and about will help mature her mind. I also suspect that the breeding to our ranch stallion "Shadow's Hawk Spirit....aka..HeartBreaker" did indeed take...I don't know of many horses in training that keep increasing their girth size...we will have her preg checked later in the summer, but I suspect I know the answer anyway. Way to go Trainer Mike and Legacy, you both deserve a pat on the back!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

*C-C Hattie arrives!

On June 5th at 5am, our last mare due "Izzy" foaled...what seemed like a very normal and easy foaling was soon to present a real challenge...Izzy foaled, never looked back and walked off leaving her newborn alone and hungry. I made attempts to get Izzy to acknowledge her foal, but the mare acted as if the foal did not even exist...only when I led Izzy close, did she then react, and it was in a violent/non mothering way...I was afraid we were in for a very long haul.

I have know folks that had mares that did not let their newborns nurse..I suppose it is not all that uncommon, though we ourselves, have never had this happen in our herd. We did help some friends once, and it was a fairly easy operation. You simply restrain the mare so she can not kick, and once the foal nurses, the mare understands that the foal is her way to relief from a very full milk bag. Problem solved..once that happens, the mare accepts the foal, and you are off and running.

I had an odd feeling though, this was not to be the case....I quickly called my horseman friend, and mentor "Virgil" and had him help restrain Izzy so that the foal could nurse. After several nursings in this manner, it was apparent that Izzy was not going to accept her foal....we stalled the two horses next to each other, and I made my plans...we would give Izzy some time. Izzy certainly deserved some time to figure this out, I have even heard of this taking several days...

For the next 4 days, and 3 nights, 24 hours a day, I restrained Izzy while the foal could nurse. It was not a pretty situation..Izzy nearly bit the foals ear off at one point, once she kicked and caught her foot in the foals blanket, and slammed the baby to the ground. On day 4, I gave up....tired and hopeless, I headed to plan 2...find a nurse mare for this darling little foal. By this time, the new foal was not looking the best, she was guant and thin...we loaded up the foal, and headed to the vet clinic...it took several times of tubing milk down the baby, but we finally got her strength up. We tried a couple of potential nurse mares, but alas, this time, no luck....so, we were headed to plan 3.....I brought the foal home, and attempted to teach her to suck out of a bottle, or drink from a bucket...after 12 hours of trying, she took her first milk out of a syringe that I held for her..at least we were getting some nutrituion in her....we kept at that for another day, and she finally, after what has seemed like an eternity, took her first sip out of a bucket....

Now, we were headed in the right direction....2 more nights at the barn, the new foal waking me when she got hungry, but preparing milk and putting it in a bucket, is alot easier than loading syringes to have her suck out of....

We got more good news when we talked to that mentor of mine, Virgil. One of his lesson folks has used the method of preparing some milk, freezing it as huge ice cubes and then during the night, putting out the milk, with the ice cubes...this method works well. The foal can drink at will, but you don't have to be there for constant refills. We even took it a step further, and now freeze one serving of milk in the bottom of a small bucket. We give our foal her dinner, and then hang the partially frozen bucket beside the dinner bucket....we find that in the morning, almost every drop is gone! OK, I cheated and had to check in the middle of the night to make sure it was working....twice..LOL...

A couple weeks ago, my oldest son James was out here..he told me he did not like my choice of names this year...so, I asked...what would YOU name the next foal? When I told him it had to be an "H" name...he came up with "Hattie"....now, if you look at her picture, and see that obvious hat, do you wonder how things like this happen? so, Hattie it is...Micro curly/pinto/filly named *C-C Hattie !!!

Hattie is doing well, today I added "Krinkle Clown" in with her, I am hoping she will buddy up and Krinkles can teach her all about how to be a horse. Hattie continues to gain weight, she has LOADS of energy, she loves making laps around our indoor arena that is her home for the time being. She runs and bucks and plays and thinks this old world is an alright place to be...even without a biological mom...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bye Bye Ty!

Yesterday we were treated to a visit from a lovely couple from British Columbia, Canada. They had an eye on Tyler and came to see him in person, before making a final decision about taking him. We toured the ranch, first visited HeartBreaker who impressed them with his size, build and manners...even though he was being a bit silly wanting to hold his lead rope in his mouth..as if he was a puppy dog carrying his lease begging for a walk ;-) We visited Tyler a few minutes, then headed up the hill to see the mare herd. The mares were not visible and it took some searching to find them. The luxury for our mares is being able to roam free on 150 acres of grass to their knees, the disadvantage is having to look for them, when I want to find them. They have several areas they like best, at different times of the year...they were down low on our place, in some really good grass. After our visit with our mares, we revisited Tyler and checked out Addy and Handsome Dark Knight....well, after the visit, Tyler headed to his new home in Canada. He traveled well, and had a little case of "sea legs" when he stepped off the truck in Canada, but he recovered quickly. I was quite impressed with Ray's knowledge of horses, conformation and potential...I wish all buyers had his kind of knowledge! We will keep track of Tyler as he grows and matures, and have the joy of seeing him started under saddle and being a great rep for the curly breed.

Monday, May 25, 2009

European news

News on the European front today! DKH Summers Breezy foaled....a lovely filly...This is HeartBreaker's 4th filly of the year! The filly is a replica of her dam, except for the lack of white on her...no white markings anywhere. We are so happy to see Breezy with a new foal, after last years painful loss of her newborn, we are so happy to see this new healthy/active/stunning arrival..and a HUGE congratulations to Aline of JAK curlies, France.....

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Celebrating the Graduate

On Saturday, May 16 th we have a milestone in our family. Our youngest son, Matthew, 23 years young, graduated from the University of Idaho, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. The EE program is not an easy one. Matthew spent 5 years in college ( only a rare exception gets it done in 4 years ). Most majors allow you to take a variety of classes, and then a dedicated round of classes the last 1/2 years...but in Engineering, you start out full force from the start. College class homework was always figured at 3 hours per class hour, engineering students average closer to 10-12 homework hours per class hour...some classes average more.

Matthew has spent an in numberalbe amount of study hours, he also worked his way through school, but due to the homework load he did not work fulltime. He had the pleasure of working with a NASA program (NASA RISE) and doing a research project for the Navy, and after his Junior year, he landed a coveted internship at an up and coming company, Schweitzer Engineering Labs. He continues to work for SEL and will start his first job as an offical engineer on June 1st 2009.

SO.....on Saturday, May 16th 2009, we celebrated (food/family and friends) Matthew's hard work and his college graduation! Needless to say, as parents we are might pleased and happy for Matthew. His degree is in a field that will boom in the next few years, and he has a job with a company that is leading in the field of EE. His internship boss, actually created a job in the same department to keep him from looking for work elsewhere...and last week told him about plans for him, and it includes worldwide travel.

I may not understand the specifics of all that Matthew does at work, but I do know, what a great kid ( OK, man really, but still a kid in his Mom's mind ;-) he is, what a great personality he has, and how hard he has WORKED to make himself a really great future...congrats to Matthew!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The first photo contest of the year!

Yeah !!! the results are in.....For the second year in a row, I have placed in the top ten inone of the categories of the photography contest sponsored by the Equine Photographers Network! This contest is world wide, and I am trilled and HONORED to have a pic placed ;-) My photo of Packer and Darryl, taken late last summer placed in the Amateur division...."Horses and Humans"...... The judges give feedback on all your entries, so I will be curious to see what they say I can do to improve. Thank you Packer, Thank you Darryl !!! awesome !!!!!!!!!

Here is the address to view their contest results

I always surf the photos to get inspiration and ideas for the next contest.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Up to my elbows in asparagus

Now that things are on a bit more of an even keel around here, my attention has turned to our garden, orchard and getting prepared for putting food up. Handsome Dark Knight is growing good and being a typical foal...good news in our book!

Each and every year Mike and I have planted a garden. As the result of that garden, I usually can and freeze much produce for the winter. I learned to do this as a young girl, when my parents harvested their mega garden. Jars of beans, corn, and other vegetables lined the shelves in our home...A reward for the winter, of the summer's work. As a way to preserve Mike's skillful fishing trips, for years I have also canned fish..salmon and tuna. We have a few things in the garden already, but we need a bit warmer weather to finish the planting. I must also add, that Mike does most of the gardening. He never had a garden as a kid, and finds it relaxing and rewarding. I love the produce, but I would probably rather clean a stall, than weed veggies, so this really suits the two of us well ;-)

We are lucky enough to live in an area that will provide us with fresh asparagus from the local farm store. The asparagus fields are near Walla Walla , WA, famous for its mild, sweet onions. So, off to the farm store yesterday, to get my box of asparagus. To preserve asparagus, you blanch it for a few minutes in hot boiling water, then plunge it into cold water, and put into ziploc bags and freeze it. You can also can it, but we prefer to eat the frozen version. So, on Friday, I bought not just one 25 lb box ( my usual amount ) but 2- 25 lb boxes. Last year I had gone with out , so I guess I was doing a little make up.....

It took me exactly an hour, to wash, tidy up ( cut off the tough stem if any ) blanch and drain and put into bags for the freezer, my 50 lbs of asparagus. It will certainly be a great addition to our winter supplies. Asparagus is just heaven when it comes right from the field. I feel blessed to be able to have it. No where else that we have lived, have we had access to fresh from the field asparagus ;-) I got 30 freezer bags full, I was not real sure how much to put in each bag, with just the two of us here, but there is nothing wrong with eating it leftover the next day.

It is interesting, for years many folks thought I was nuts, canning and freezing all that produce...fruits and vegetables...was it not simpler just to buy it at the store? but this year the biggest booming industry is new gardeners....people wanting to grow and produce their own groceries to eat. I just hope I bet them to the store for my tomatoe plants and my packs of seeds ..LOL

Monday, May 4, 2009

Dark Knight gets a new Mommy...miracles really do happen!

After we lost Sage, we had another serious problem...a 7 day old foal who needed help and needed it quickly. We tried all the usual methods for feeding an orphan, tubing was the most effective, but time consuming, risky, and not something that would be doable long term. Dark Knight had enough time with his Mom, Sage, to know that milk came from a Mommy, not a bucket or a bottle, and he refused both those methods in a rather opinionated manner.

Time was of the essence here, and we put our heads together, the team helping to care for Dark Knight. Mike and I decided that we would bring our mare Krinkle Clown in the the vet clinic. She still had milk from our month ago weaning of her colt "Tyler"...in fact, that mare has milk most of the time inbetween foals. We prayed that she would make a nurse mare, or at least buy us some time to find a nurse mare. Krinkles let Dark Knight nurse, but only if we held her and corrected her with our voice if she got crabby with the youngster...though I was thankful he could nurse, this was not going to be our most suitable canidate. I have to thank her though, with her milk she kept him going until we could find our miracle. Our miracle came in the form of a mare that needed her 2008 foal weaned.....the mare, owned by our very own Vet, Shelly O'Connell DVM had been nursing her last years colt and Shelly had not quite got that foal weaned yet. So, we brought in "Addy" and after a bit of fussing with Dark Knight, she seemed to accept her new job. We left the clinic Thursday night wondering if Addy would allow Dark Knight to nurse, unassisted from any human handling/contact.....I barely slept....would it work? she seemed willing enough, but frankly, this is asking a WHOLE lot of a mare, to accept another mare's foal. Just having the option of this mare was a miracle in itself. Finding a nurse mare in a timely manner is not an easy task, most mares will not take another mare's foal, most mares are not in your area, and transporting a 7 day old foal, whose only substance is tube feeding every 2 hours, just to find a mare that may or may not take him was a risk that could not be taken.

Friday morning when we came to the clinic to check on the pair, they were out on the grass area together...Dark Knight was stretched out for a nap and as we approaced he jumped up, headed to his NEW Mommy, hit the milk bag and filled his belly. Totally unassisted, totally accepted...our miracle was truly a miracle after all. The best part was when Addy guarded him from the other horses, that is the sure sign that the "graft" ( that is what the vets call it ) would work. She has accepted him as her own.

We brought Addy and Dark Knight home on Saturday. Addy is so kind, she even lets him share her grain pan. She lets him nurse at will. For a youngster this age, it can be up to 6 times an hour, and that is if he does not get scared or upset, that will trigger additional nursings, nursing for comfort.

I might have forgotten to mention, Addy is a Welsh pony mare. Dark Knight stands pretty tall next to her, and he can lay his head over her back and just be in pure bliss. It was a tough week for him, tough week for us all. We will continue this relationship with a guarded optimism. Dark Knight is getting milk and grain supplements, as well as Addy. They had a wonderful romp around the pasture, when they first arrived here....both happy and content. Addy will teach Dark Knight things we simply can not do as humans. All our attempts to make him drink from a bucket at the clinic were not successful, I cried when I watched her drink, and then he mimicked her drinking up his first taste of water. A Mom is what youngsters need, and Dark Knight has a new one that will love/teach and care for him. Yes indeed, this is a MIRACLE!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Goodbye Sage

On Tuesday, April 28, 2009 we said our goodbyes to our lovely mare "Black Sage"....Tuesday started out to be a perfectly normal day...I had the Vet coming in the afternoon, to do preg checks, the farrier was coming in the morning to trim a couple of our mares.....

I fed the horses that were here at the house, Sage and her new baby "*C-C Handsome Dark Knight were in the pasture here by the house, I threw a small flake of hay to them, and continued my chores.....I was pleased to see the horses out on pasture had decided to come to the barn. Our mare/foal pasture is a bit large, and spans 1.2 miles from the barn to the back of our property. The mares rarely come to the barn in the spring, usually we end up treking up the hill and leading our choice of the bunch down to the barn. I quickly nabbed Ally and Spark, and put them in the stall in the barn. As soon as the hoof trims and preg checks were done, Ally and Spark could go back out on the big pasture. I finished feeding, HeartBreaker get a morning snack, and returned to the house to wait for my farrier to call and say he would be a bit late.....that happens alot ;-) My farrier Virgil is a true cowboy, he has no concept of time...
Sure enough, at 10am sharp, he called to say he would be a bit late....

I was enjoying some caffine when I heard a noise, a rattle....I looked out the window and saw that Sage was down and she had slipped a leg under a corral panel.....I hurried out the door, and got to her, she seemed fairly OK, and I hurriedly unhooked the corral panels to try and free her...as I worked a pickup loaded with hay was coming by, so I stopped him and asked for help...I got the panel unhooked, and Sage hopped up on her own...she headed towards the corral full of mares, on the other side of our big barn, instead of back towards her foal..at this point, I knew something was dreadfully wrong.

My helper took a halter and lead to catch Sage, while I put the panels back together to keep her foal "Dark Knight" from escaping....seemed easy enough, catch the mare, return her to her pen and all will be well....wrong....

I was finishing the panels when my helper called out..."she is down"......sure enough, Sage had managed to get inside our hay barn, and she was indeed down again.....could she be hurt from the panels? I had no idea .....we haltered her, and got her up again, a couple times she got very weak and almost went down again....we got her back in her pen, down again she went...I ran and called my vet, she said she would drop everything and be on her way....I returned and struggled to keep Sage on her feet, I administered Banamine, and prayed....Virgil finally showed up, and between the two of us, we kept Sage from rolling down the hill in our pasture , but we both knew it was very grim....Sage was in a horrific amount of pain.

Dr. Shelly arrived soon after Virgil, she administered pain meds, and we managed to get Sage up and Sage and the foal into our arena...at least we were in the dry and could proceed from there...
In only a few minutes the decision was made to try and get Sage and the foal to the vet clinic...Dr. Shelly could then administer more meds, and keep a constant watch on her. Dr. Shelly gave more pain meds, and we got Sage loaded in our trailer, we put the baby in the tack room of our trailer, if Sage laid down while on the trip, she would literally crush the foal. It was a very long 20 miles, Virgil drove, my pickup was not home, so we hooked up our trailer to Virgil's truck....

At the clinic we started treating Sage....more pain meds, mineral oil, IV fuilds....it was not long though and it was apparent that this was not a common case of colic...it was way more serious, we were losing her. Even with surgery there was no saving the mare... Late that evening, Dr. Shelly , and the rest of us said goodbye to Sage and she was humanely put down....In an autopsy ( sorry, don't know how to spell the equine version of this ) it was found that Sage had a small intenstive twist....an irreparable situation...simply nothing a human could do. The twist hit her fast and hit her hard...literally at home, one moment she was fine, the next moment...she was dying.

In our pain and numbness of losing Sage, we had no time to grieve, we had a foal that was a week old to try and save. The tears will come later, but right now, we have a hungry baby who will be missing his Momma....