Tag Archives: horses

Looking Back part 2

Looking Back part 2

After a few months of being farmers and getting the llama experience, we or shall I say, me…decided it was time to add to our family of animals. You know us women, we all want a horse! It is every little girls dream to have a horse, white and powerful who eats carrots out of your hand and tramples deadly snakes to save your life! My dream horse was named Snowfire from a TV show back in the mid 1960s. So of course I wanted a white and majestic horse! I got on the internet one night after causally mentioning to Chad about “horses, farm, lots of fun, how about it”. Before he could answer, I already had 4 sheets printed out of who had horses and where within 500 miles! I narrowed it down to 10 miles and found a cute little place in the country called, Knapp Mini Horses. We visited Lisa and her prize horses. She had every size, shape and color! I saw my white horse off in the distance and bee lined to her. She wasn’t a ‘real’ horse, her head came just past my waist and she had a little grey mixed in. Also, her name was Sparky, there was and is a reason for that! I nuzzled her nose and made up my mind that Sparky was going to be mine! Now we needed another horse because according to the internet, they do better in pairs. We found laci off by herself eating, which is what she does best and allot, all the time, non-stop. She is brown with a golden mane and best of all…she is with foal! Two horses for the price of one! Laci reminds me a wal mart greeter so I thought she would be great with little kids while they pet her as she stands there eating. We went into dickering mode with the seller and agreed on a price. Of course I was a few hundred dollars short. Lisa offered to let us put them on ‘lay-a-way’. So, for two months, I paid on my horsy-lay-away and got our barn ready for the new family members. I had a talk with the llamas assuring them that the new horses were not as important as they are and that mommy will always love them the most! They heard me without listening, blinking as they stared into space as my Charlie brown teacher voice went over and around them. Soon the day came when my little girl dream became a reality! Lisa Knapp dropped off my horses and gave us a small booklet on, yes that’s right, the ‘do’s and don’ts for mini horses’! Like before, I scanned it, under lined the important stuff and handed it to Chad who once again frowned at me as he slowly shook his weary head. We introduced the animals and both llamas ran out of the barn into the pasture as the horses bee lined it to the fresh hay. Yep, it was going to work out nice! We had 2 llamas and 2 mini horses with a foal on the way! The four were easy to take care of and gave us hours of entertainment and enjoyment! Well, I was anyway. Chad now had barn duties that he didn’t count on, like mucking the barn, feeding animals in 20 below blizzards and chasing horses back into their side of the field or off the road after they knocked down the fence. What could be better? Maybe a goat? Or three dozen chickens? Why not add a few bunnies? And of course one has to have a barn kitty or three to keep out riff raff

The Vet Pays a Visit!

Great, now ALL the animals are mad at me! The vet came over today and gave everybody their shots. Dr Larry, Kyle and I chased, cornered, tricked, tackled and yelled at running horses, llamas and goats! It took over an hour to get the job done. Sparky ran like the wind and she ran and ran and ran and ran, oh, and did I mention that she ran? She was NOT going to let Doc stick her with anything! Finally after a good 15 minute run and chase…she stopped and stood there in defeat! HA! We win…she got her meds!

Also…when we were trying to corner Sammy & Lincoln (out in the open field) they kept running towards the fence where Stormy was pacing, which made him very upset! Stormy pushed against the fence spitting in our direction yelling out his war cry toward the boys. He then jumped up and tried to get over the fence which made Lincoln nervous since he is usually the target for Stormy’s aggression. So….3 humans, 2 llamas and 1 scared Alpaca running in circles yelling, spitting and a few choice sailor words from the guys! We finally got them cornered and did a free-for-all grab…Lincoln got caught, Sammie slipped through 6 arms and galloped to the farthest part of the pasture that he could possibly get with Kyle running after him. My camera….I needed my camera!! Youth….Kyle chased that Llama in a wide circle (as Stormy spit) back towards The Doc and I who were still hanging onto a squirmy Lincoln. Sammie ran for the gate and got caught by a salty old Vet who has learned all the sneak, grab and hold tricks from the past 40 years! Job done! Ten upset animals and three humans doing high fives along with yells of YIPPEE!!!

I didn’t mention how we corned the goats…..that story is for later!

The Hoof Man Pays a Visit

My horses and Dunkay are not happy with me at the moment. They saw the ‘hoof doctor’ today. Poor Mike, he had to chase Sparky all around the field until he cornered her inside the barn. Even then she wiggled and squirmed until he got her tied up as close to the fence as possible to keep her from moving. Took him an hour to do 3 animals. Now the musketeers are glaring at me….hey, I didn’t give you sore feet…Mike did

Biskapit meets Sparky…the hard way

Poor Biskapit (our new puppy)…he ran after me into the field where the horses and Dunkay were grazing. I was trying to grab him to get him out of there. Sparky galloped full speed to him, then back kicked him so hard he bounced into the fence and laid there yipping in that high pitched puppy voice. I was worried the neighbors would think I was beating him! I picked him up and carried him to the house where I looked him over good…no broken bones, no blood. He snuggled under my chin and wouldn’t leave for about ten minutes. Within a half hour he was back to chewing on poor Cody our 17 year old Retriever. Well, I guess he won’t be demanding to play with the horses anymore!! The farm can be dangerous at times, I never let my guard down when I’m with animals that out weigh me by 200+ pounds!!!

Snow Melting means Boat!!

Oh goodie! Today it is 50 degrees with a 24 hour down pour rain on top of 40″ snow drifts melting onto frozen ground!  That means instead of struggling to get to the barn with a shovel, I now have to go by canoe! All that water will be seeping into the barn turning it into a puddle of poopy straw as my miserable cold, wet  animals plead with me to make it dry and cozy again!  They will more and likely demand extra treats because mommy can’t fix the problem without our SUPER FARMER daddy! The only happy animals on the farm today will be the quackers, who for once will not be squawking at me in protest about the other animals ‘touching’ them!  They will be outside paddling in all the deep ponds on the property that weren’t there yesterday. They will be happy as a Lark, even though they are ducks…just how happy are Larks anyway???

Miss Piggy

My farrier, Mike is brave guy! He comes out in the bitter cold to spend time with my horses and Dunkay who run as soon as they see his truck pull up. Mike means trimmed hooves, something all farm animals dread, especially the goats. They know Mike, his truck and his tools. Sierra and Dillon hide behind the barn until all is clear of any signs of ‘The Hoof Man‘..

While Mike was pulling and tugging on Sparky’s back leg he told me a funny story about Miss Piggy, a 300 pound pot belly pig that was raised inside an English woman’s home from the time she was 5 lb piglet to an oversized and spoiled Sow.

 Mikes story (with my help)….

Years ago, Mike was called to a small farm just south of Addie Acres to trim the feet of a pot belly pig named Miss Piggy. Mrs. Brackston came from England and spoke in a heavy English accent. Her husband of 40+ years was a drunk so she adopted a tiny pink piglet for companionship, naming her Miss Piggy . Mrs. Brackston raised her little girl inside the house giving her the princess treatment and full run of their humble home nestled in the middle of dense woods . Miss Piggy was potty trained like a dog and would oink at the back door to be let out. Well the farmer who trimmed Miss Piggy’s hooves retired and gave her Mikes phone number. Later that week, Mike and his father ventured out to do what they believed would be an easy foot job! Not to be! Mrs Brackston answered the door in an outdated flowered night jacket, hair in curlers, a cigarette dangling from her bright red lipstick mouth. She greeted them in her heavy accent, forcing both men to turn their heads in her direction trying to understand her words. She escorted them into a dimly lit living room where they found Miss Piggy laying on a brand new tan with blue stripes couch watching TV. As Mike and his dad approached Miss Piggy, she jumped off the couch and ran to the back of the smoke filled house, squealing all the way. All three chased the scared animal into the master bedroom, doing circles around the un-kept bed until they cornered her in the closet. Miss Piggy does not like to have her feet touched and wasn’t about to let two strange men anywhere near her! She barreled through the middle of the human blockage, pushing her frantic mother down onto the wood floor. She ran into the kitchen knocking over a table or two along the way sending magazines and ashtrays flying through the air, pooping and screaming as she went. Mrs Brackston was very upset and tried to coax the now shivering pig that was still relieving herself on the floor to come snuggle into her outstretched arms. Miss Piggy wanted nothing to do with her or anyone else and waddled back to the couch, slipping out of Mikes attempted grasp as she quickly shoved past him. The pig now has her 300lb body on the very top of the couch, still relieving herself in fear! Both men lunged at her and was able to grab onto Miss Piggy as her mother yelled out encouraging words through tears trying to calm the pig. Mike held her down as his dad hurriedly trimmed each foot without making them bleed. The frightened pig yelled so loud that they wrapped a fuzzy wool blanket around her head to help muffle the unbearable squealing! After what seemed like an hour, her feet were finally manicured. The exhausted men collapsed on the couch, staying away from the fresh brown and yellow stains. Miss Piggy ran into the spare bedroom where her bed was kept and buried herself under her teddy bear blanket. Mrs Brackston was pleased at the outcome, praising them for a job well done as she causally mopped up after her baby. She promised that next time, she will give Miss Piggy a full bottle of beer to help her sleep through the next trimming. Mike said it didn’t work. When they came back 6 months later, the drunk pig jumped off the couch weaving it’s way into the master bedroom closet relieving herself along the way. His dad refused to go back with him after that and Mike was forced to struggle with Miss Piggy alone as Mrs Brackston cried out her anguished words of encouragement to a panicking pig for the next 3 or 4 years

Goats Sierra & Dillon #3 & 4

Goats #3 ands 4…Sierra and Dillon!
  My daughter LeAnna, my niece Linda and I took Isaac who was 18 months old at the time to the Michigan City petting zoo. It was a beautiful summer day and Isaac was naturally drawn to the goats as was I. Goat fever was still coursing through my veins. I stood there admiring how cute these ‘mini’ goats were, wishing I could have one! The goats at this family friendly zoo are very fat from all the extra treats they get from sticky little hands begging mama and daddy for more quarters to feed the funny, plump goats. We fed the animals until we had invested at least $10.00 to the Zoos grain fund. As I was admiring the goats an attendant walked into their pen and started to clean up after the cutie pies. Bright idea #1 popped over my head just like in the cartoons! I heard myself ask, “so what do you guys do with all the baby goats after their born? I can see you have a few on the way”!. She laughed at me and said, “their not pregnant, just fat”. I turned red and laughed with her as LeAnna and Linda made fun of me. The young woman then asked me, “do you want a goat? We were told this week that our budget was cut and we need to get rid of some animals’. Bright idea #2 is now flashing along with #1!! I thought to myself, ‘heck yeah, a free goat!’ Wait a minute, didn’t we just try this free goat stuff…twice now?? I didn’t care, all I heard was the word FREE.   She let me in the large goat area with around 20 ‘think-their-still-starving’ animals, circling us like ravenous wolves. The nice girl told me they come in pairs so I need to pick out TWO. Woo Hoo…two goats for the price of one! I attached myself to Dillon who leaned against me, giving me a hug (which he still does to this day) and Sierra kind of hung with him like they were a loving couple. She wasn’t as cuddly but she had a fun personality and if I wanted Dillon, she came along with him. I almost yelled out the words, ‘YES! I WANT THEM….I WANT THEM ALL‘! But two is all I was allowed to have! LeAnna and Linda shook their heads as Isaac excitedly clapped his hands. That’s my boy! We’ll make a farmer out of him yet! I quickly went home to tell Chad the good news, making sure I used the word ‘FREE‘ over and over! If I was in my right mind, I would have felt sorry for him.  He put his head in his hands and deeply sighed knowing that it was a losing battle once I get my ‘FREE ANIMAL’ mindset in full swing. Chad and I drove over to the zoo that weekend so he could meet our new family members. We found our goats, shook hands with the zoo keeper and loaded them both in the back of my Ford Windstar van….yes you read right, a mini van. We didn’t have a trailer. Chad and I drove home in silence, me with a huge smile and Chad with a worried look. Dillon and Sierra didn’t care much for the back end of a cramped vehicle. She baaaa’d over and over and Dillon made his way to the back seat sticking his head between us. So we drove home, fast, with a loud cry in the back end and a goat head almost up the windshield watching the road with us. I’m sure we turned a few heads in cars that day and boy am I glad a cop didn’t pass us! I wonder if they give out tickets for goats not being buckled in?? We introduced the new farm members to the horses that gave them the evil eye look along with a few grunts letting them know that they have been through this goat nonsense twice before, so no funny business! The Llamas took one look at them and ran to the back pasture afraid that butting would once again be the new barn game. Dillon and Sierra quickly took to their new home, exploring every nook and cranny, running around in the large fenced in area just for them. I stayed with my new sweeties petting and hugging as Chad drug himself to the main barn gathering all the used goat toys, buckets and sweet grain. Dillon and Sierra fit in with us and the other animals perfectly. They kept to themselves, never butted and was not interested in escaping as long as they had plenty of food. They did however, develop the habit of staring at the house for hours until we came out to feed them, especially the girl. It would be raining in sideway sheets and Sierra would be out at the gate watching for signs of humans. Thunder and lighting strikes a few feet away? She’s staring! Snow storm? She’s staring! Tornado sirens blasting ‘danger’ with wind gust up to 50 miles an hour? She’s staring! 100 degree weather? She’s staring! Ate 2 minutes ago? She’s staring! We still have them! Sierra stares and Dillon gives us a hug every time we go out to the barn. I believe that with free goats, the old saying, ‘3rd time’s a charm’ is true!