Archive of ‘Pony’ category

Farm Friday 09.04.2020

I am SO excited it’s September! AND it has rained about 4.5″ here this week! I think we were officially in a drought, so the rain is AMAZING. I can’t wait to see how good the grass looks in about a week. There is more rain in the forecast, but I don’t think we will have Flash Flood Warnings again next week!

While we were preparing the stall for the arrival of the Chincoteague Ponies this week Caviar decided it would be a fun time to climb the stall barrier and hang out on the stall walls. She was up there for a few hours and took a nap even! Cats are so silly.

Kitty exploring on stall walls. Like the high beam for cats?!

 

There was much cleaning to be done to prepare for Gene’s co-owner to come stay for the weekend in anticipation of his arrival. Red Rock Linda wasn’t much help with the vacuuming and mopping.

That is one VERY sleepy hound!

 

We had SO much fun with Gene for a couple days! Gene’s co-owner’s kids spent lots of time in the stall with the foals feeding them by hand. Chincoteague foal owners recommend spending lots of time in their stalls feeding and hanging out with them to get them accustomed to being around people. And, of course, there is a special bond between the foals and children.

Gene being sweet!

 

After all the rain this week it was fun to see a rainbow!

A beautiful morning rainbow on the farm.

 

We still get fair amount of erosion after heavy rains so I like to check the fencing in the back pasture to be sure that the dirt hasn’t pushed down or through any of the fencing. The dogs always like to come along to help test the perimeter (LILYBET!).

Dickens helping to check fencing while Chivas looks for snacks.

 

We are very much looking forward to the long weekend. Lots of pony and horse time will be had as well as some farm projects. Have a GREAT weekend!

Gene is HOME!!!

At about 8a EDT on Sunday, August 30 Gene and his friend Nina began their trip west to their new homes!

Gene’s luxury accommodations for his VERY long trip west! Pennsylvania really does look lovely this time of year, especially when compared to the inferno that is Texas in August.

We were SO very fortunate to connect with a fellow Chincoteague Pony owner who happens to live within 30 miles of me and already had a trip back east scheduled with an empty trailer! She offered to bring Gene back to Texas for us and another future Oklahoma resident joined the trip. It was probably good they were travel buddies, it would likely have been a much more stressful trip for a baby pony to make alone.

Trailer buddies.

Gene’s drivers stopped many times along the way to allow the foals to stretch their road weary legs, drink water and grab a bite to eat. They evidently turned their hay into their bedding! Chincoteague Ponies are known to be good drinkers, which is SO good especially for foals on a long road trip. These kids drank lots of water and never went off their feed.

Gene napping at a stop. Nina never laid down the entire trip. Poor girl!

I can imagine how exhausted A and M were after 30 hours of traveling. They arrived at my gate at almost exactly 2p on Monday, nearly exactly 30 hours after leaving Pennsylvania!

The best site of August! Gene’s ride arrives at the farm! Too bad it was 101F. Yikes!

The ponies were very easy to unload and they happily went into their new stall. I was impressed because the very first thing they did was take a big long drink. Why don’t big horses do this better?!

Babies getting a good long drink of water, likely glad that the floor under their feet is solid and not moving!

Boot City made a makeshift barrier to prevent the foals from touching noses with their neighbour (a very grumpy Coco). They will be as isolated as possible for at least 10 days to prevent them and my horses from sharing cooties. Nina will probably go to her permanent home later this week or weekend. I think it was a huge help for both foals to make the biggest part of their trip with a friend. Nina is quite a bit more apprehensive about humans than Gene so his presence has given her some confidence with all the new things. She will even eat out of a feed pan held by a scary person with him.

They also eat like champs! Jaguar is teaching them to nicker every time the barn door slides open in hopes of more food. It’s pretty cute.

They laid down to sleep a LOT in their first 24 hours in a stall. Most foals lay down to sleep more than adult horses and it speaks a lot to their development from feral foals to domesticated ponies that they felt comfortable enough to lay down almost immediately. We are SO excited for our journey with Gene! I’m so glad I’ll have a long weekend coming up to just hang out and get to know him. His co-owner was here for his arrival and i’m sure will be back again VERY soon!

And now, we nap under our fans.

Farm Friday 08.28.2020

I am SO excited it is the final Friday in August! SO EXCITED! This August hasn’t been terrible, but I just don’t love the heat. And this weekend is going to be HOT! Temps forecasted to be over 100F. Gross.

We were fortunate to get a little bit of rain from the remnants of Hurricane Laura. She certainly was a b$tch, but at least she wasn’t as horrible as she could have been. I was reading possible comparisons to Katrina! Yikes!

I love it when it rains, but it’s still sunny! This storm was prefaced by possibly the most beautiful rainbow I’ve ever seen! The colours were SO vivid!

 

One of the bad things about storms is that the hounds get really scared. Usually we have to let them into our walk-in closet and they hide under the hanging clothes. The closet door was closed and Linda had to make herself comfortable in a pile of dog beds.

This is her “Princess and the Pea” impersonation.So. Many. Dog. Beds.

 

Gene begins his journey south and west very soon! His caretakers have been working hard to get him socialised and he leads a little bit. He’s also had a HUGE growth spurt since he left the island! We are SO excited to have him in Texas! Hopefully the heat subsides before he arrives.

Gene modelling his nice conformation. He’s pretty “basic” chestnut, but I really do love his color.

 

And last, but CERTAINLY not least we acquired another chicken. Our chicken coop is in our “old barn” that needs to be torn down before it falls down, so we haven’t gotten any chicks in a couple years so are down to 8 chickens. We will start anew with all new chickens in a new coop so are kind of just waiting these ones out. When I drove to work on Monday I noticed a feather-footed chicken by the road near our house and convinced Boot City to go catch it. Well, chickens are hard to catch (see Rambo). I saw the chicken again today on my way to work and we agreed that if she was still there at the end of the day we would try to catch her. Lo and behold there she was. I mean, who doesn’t go catching chickens in their work clothes on a Thursday evening?! It took about 20 minutes, but we got her!

We are going to call her Melania; she is so pretty, but doesn’t do much other than be pretty. Feather footed chickens aren’t good for meat and they don’t lay many eggs. LOL!

 

Have a GREAT weekend and if you live somewhere there is real fall, know that I’m crazy jealous because this is my FAVORITE time of year in Montana!!

Chincoteague Pony Preschool

Our story left off with our pony being purchased and a semblance of a plan was coming together to get him home to Texas. It has been nearly two weeks now and Gene is currently hanging out at Stoney Creek Chincoteagues with a few of his island buddies. We are so grateful to have connected with Tipson and Allison to care for Gene and give him some time to mature a bit and acclimate to life not on the islands with his Mom.

A lovely photo of Gene with his Mom (Lefty’s Checkmark) at the Carnival site in Chincoteague from photographer Nicole Menta.

 

While he’s in the care of Stoney Creek Chincoteagues he will learn to wear a halter, eat commercial feed, socialise with humans and (hopefully) be taught to be led or halter trained. Right now he lives in a stall with a few other Chincoteague foals and it appears he’s one of the bigger foals right now. Gene’s co-owner has done some research and it turns out that Gene’s dam and his sire are two of the taller ponies on the islands, which we are VERY excited about since I’m 5’8′ and his co-owner is a bit taller than me so hopefully we will both be able to ride him when he’s full grown.

Gene with one of his stall buddies.

 

I purchased the book Your Chincoteague Pony Foal’s First Year to help prepare for Gene’s arrival in Texas, which is projected to be at the very end of August or beginning of September. I’ve brought along plenty of foals, but wanted to be sure I was prepared for a feral pony foal who will undoubtedly have some different needs than a domestic horse foal. One of the primary things is that Gene will need some pelleted milk based feed for a couple months. Since he was weaned from his dam at only three months he will need a bit of extra milk nutrition. When he gets closer to six months old he’ll start getting a commercial foal feed and phase out the milk based pellets.

We also plan to keep him isolated from my other horses (and pony and donkey) for at least 14 days. He will only have had one round of vaccinations due to his age and he will have been exposed to some bacteria/viruses that my Texas equids haven’t been exposed to so this should assist everyone in staying healthy during Gene’s transition to Texas.

Gene in his stall yesterday with his same palomino buddy.

 

Last, but not least, we HAVE to tell you about Gene’s OFFICIAL registered name! Gene is registered with the Chincoteague Pedigree group as Ginuwine Lefty II. We have long been obsessed with the song “Pony” by Ginuwine. Now that we actually own a PONY and we got to name him ourselves, this was really inevitable! The rest of his name is derived from his dam (Lefty’s Checkmark) and his sire (Don Leonard Stud II). Had we gotten a filly, her barn name would have been Winnie, but since it’s a colt his barn name is Gene!

He’s SUCH a ham and he has some large ears. Hopefully he grows into those ears!

 

Boot City and I are prepping the barn and getting things together to prepare for Gene’s arrival. His trip from Pennsylvania to Texas should take 2-3 days and he will have a travel buddy and a roommate in Texas for a few days as another foal was purchased by an Oklahoma resident and will be making the trip west with him.

We, um, bought a pony…..!!!!!!!

A few weeks ago Boot City and I were cooking dinner together and chatting about the things going on in our world right now. New LQ trailer. Lots (so much really) of fencing projects to do. A never-ending stream of cars for Boot City to fix. Not much fun travel in the near future. Somehow we go to talking about bucket list things. Boot City has a project car that we hope to take on a long road trip to stay at Blackberry Farm when it’s done. He’s got a super fancy motor for it and is going to have it repainted and put new seats and such in it. His bucket list is mostly wrapped up in that car. However, I’ve never been much of a “bucket list” person. I feel like wishing for more than I have is disingenuous and a bit selfish. But we all have things we’d love to have or do. So, during this conversation I mentioned that one of the very few things on my list would be to own a Chincoteague Pony.

I (oddly) didn’t read the Marguerite Henry books as a child, but I did have them all and I pretty well knew what the stories were about. I knew about the pony swim and the auction. I started listening to the Horses In The Morning (HITM) podcast a few years ago and every year they interview someone who is at the pony swim so I’ve learned more about it there every year. This winter Costco had a boxed set of the most popular Marguerite Henry books that I bought and started reading. Thus far I’ve read Misty of ChincoteagueKing of the Wind, and Justin Morgan had a Horse and LOVED all of them!

This year, because of Coronapocolypse, the swim and associated events were canceled. The pony auction is a significant fundraiser for the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company so the loss of the events could have been quite significant for the organisation. However, the pony auction was moved online for the first time ever this year! I briefly pulled up the website where the ponies were being sold after listening to the HITM podcast interview, but didn’t really think much of it at the time. Fast forward a few days and a friend and I got to chatting about the Chincoteague pony auction and an idea was sprung. This friend has two young daughters, one of whom has shown an interest in riding (I may have helped find and picked up a pony for said child earlier this year….). The friend grew up riding, much like I did and now has a lovely OTTB she rides for trail rides and does some jumping with. We thought it would be SO fun to buy a Chincoteague pony together! I could keep it until it was old enough to be trained to ride, then she would keep it for her girls to ride. When they grew out of the pony or for whatever reason the pony could come back to live with me.

We started stalking the auction page. Color. Parentage. Bids. We established a list of our favourites and we set ourselves a budget. The auction opened on July 23rd (my Mom’s birthday!) and concluded on July 30. We could tell fairly quickly which ponies on our list were going to be out of our budget before auction day and eliminated a few. Then came auction day. Prices started really going up on a lot of the more colourful ponies. Many more were struck off the list by midday. We texted and decided that if at least our two favorites were still within budget at noon, one of us would register to bid. I was working from home and checked the auction again in the late afternoon. The lots started closing around 3p my time. They were set to close in 3 minute increments, not all at once. We really liked the first pony, but my friend still hadn’t gotten a bidder number, so we missed that one. Then came our favourite, #12. Still no bidder number and he was above our budget. Another colt came up that looked like he might be in our budget, but alas no bidder number. We again had high hopes for Lot 24, but (again) no bidder number.

My friend finally got frustrated and called the auction company as their website said qualified bidders would get a number within an hour of registering on auction days and it had been nearly 2 hours. It turned out a tiny bit of contact information was wrong, they fixed it and she had the number! Just in time for #31! He was in the final 3 minutes of bidding and was below our budget. She texted and asked if she should bid. I texted back; “Yes!”. She placed our bid. 3 minutes to wait. The price stayed the same. 2 minutes. No change. Less than 1 minute. In fewer than 5 minutes we went from having a not having a bidder number to winning our pony!

Everyone, meet Ginuwine Lefty II!!!!

It was SO exciting! And then it became a bit overwhelming! We had bought a pony foal. A pony foal that was in Virginia! HOW were we going to get a pony foal from Virginia to Texas?! As it turns out, owning a Chincoteague Pony allows you into an exclusive group of horse/pony loving people who are the nicest and most helpful group of horse people I’ve ever encountered! So, over the course of the next few weeks, months and years I will be chronicling Gene’s journey from Virginia, to Pennsylvania (where he’s headed tomorrow) to Texas and beyond. On an upcoming post I’ll explain how he got his name. For now, just know his barn name is Gene.

Part of being in the CPOC (Chincoteague Pony Owner’s Club, I made that up myself) is getting connected to the photographer who goes to the island it seems like every day and documents the first sighting of the pony foals and makes those photos available to pony buyers. All the photos below are from DSC Photography and we are SO grateful to have them!

A quite young baby Gene. He was first seen on May 4, 2020.

 

 

 

Grazing with his Mom. It looks like so far all the foals from this mare have been solid chestnuts, like Gene.

 

Part of what we loved about him is his kind eye. He really reminds me a lot of Jaguar!

 

 

Gene walking on the beach with his Mom, Lefty’s Checkmark. I love the fog behind them.

 

Last, but not least, this one is our favorite of Gene!

Gene and his reflection in the water.

 

I’d love to hear if you own or have owned a Chincoteague Pony! Gene will start his journey to Texas at the end of August and I promise to provide updates! Please send him good thoughts that he makes all his trips safe and sound.

Farm Friday 07.17.2020

The weeks seem to go by a bit slower during Coronapocolypse. Mostly because there isn’t a whole lot going on during the weekends like there might be when we aren’t social distancing and most social activities aren’t canceled. Plus, it’s hot in Texas right now. It’s (thankfully) cooled off a bit the latter part of this week, but temps are still in the high 90’s, which inherently makes one want to take things more slowly. I have some fun horsey things this weekend, so I’m looking forward to horsing around with friends a bit.

 

Despite the heat, I’ve been getting some rides in after work. I got a super fantastic new bareback pad recently. I’ll blog about it soon, but for some reason summertime seems like a great time to ride bareback. Possibly because I can do it without wearing pants.

It appears that Simon and Samson have a bit of a bromance going on. It’s extra cute because Simon is the biggest horse we have and Samson is the smallest. Please ignore Simon’s lack of mane grooming. I promise I’ve been trimming it

 

What is it about cats in boxes that is SO entertaining?! I got a kick out of this one because the box is so very big and the cat can’t really get in it, but that did not stop her from trying.

Winx in a box.

 

I rode Coco for the first time in about 18 days after her vet visit cleared the weird welt as superficial. She was a very good girl and even walked and trotted through the sprinkler like a super star (she hates water and is usually pretty spooky). After our ride I groomed her and put some conditioner on her hooves since the ground is so dry in Texas. Who knew that one’s own shiny hooves could be so terrifying! She stood stock still until I undid the cross ties and then nearly jumped out of her feet, well, she would have jumped out of her feet if it were actually possible.

What, aren’t all horses afraid of their own feet when shiny from hoof conditioner?!

 

We have two neurotic and geriatric tiny dogs who both love a super fluffy blanket. One (the Italian Greyhound) is EXCEPTIONALLY neurotic and will scream at the top of her lungs if you pick her up wrong, not because it is painful but just because she’s crazy. Well, I succumbed to Facebook’s advertising algorithm and ordered two Soothing Beds that the internet told me would change my dogs’ lives. After watching the shipping status FROM CHINA for about 12 days the new beds arrived and let me tell you, those little dogs are OBSESSED with their Soothing Beds! Facebook Advertising Algorithm for the win!

Bunny LOVES her Soothing Bed! LOVES. IT.

 

And last, but certainly not least, the world always needs a Pablo update. This isn’t a particularly remarkable photo of Pablo, but he’s always cute and funny. He’s finally settling down and getting sweeter in his older age. We don’t really know how old he is, but we have had him for about 14 years.

Everyone loves the hairy ass. And the hairy ass jokes.

 

Y’all have a GREAT weekend! Wear your masks. Maintain social distance. Be kind to one another.

Farm Friday 07.13.2018

Happy Friday the 13th y’all! Boot City has a “13” tattoo and Coco has a “13” brand, so the number 13 is near and dear to us. It has been cooler and stormy this week in North Texas, which has been AMAZING, but sadly we haven’t gotten very much of the rain. Only .15″, but as long as the hay fields got it I’m happy.

The goats like to clean up the hay that the horses spill in the trailer. They are so helpful!

 

 

Introducing Nellie and her babies! The puppies were born on June 30. She had 8, but we sadly lost the runt at day 11. The rest appear to be doing fantastically!

 

 

Samson is the hungriest pony you’ve ever met. He is always trying to steal food at every opportunity. It helps that he’s so cute.

 

 

This puppy has the cutest nose spots. I’m hoping to have a name theme for them by the end of this weekend. I’m taking suggestions (but Game of Thrones is not an option. That has been suggested to me a lot and I don’t watch the show!).

 

Have a fantastic weekend!

Farm Friday 03.02.2018

This week FLEW by! Boot City and my 13th Anniversary was on Monday. We celebrated with an AMAZING dinner at B&B Butchers. I cannot recommend this restaurant enough! I was initially skeptical of yet another steak place in Fort Worth, but this one is it’s very own. The food and the service were second-to-none! As per usual we didn’t take any pics, but it was lovely.

We also got some more rain.

Muddy horse exhibit #1: Coco Chanel

Muddy horse exhibit #2: Simon

Muddy horse exhibit #3: Sterling

Clearly the horses are enjoying the mud. Good grief.

 

Patches got spayed on Monday. She was a great patient and enjoyed her trip home, basking in the sunlight.

 

Because you can never have too many pony pics.

 

Jaguar’s hay gets soaked for multiple reasons and Murtagh LOVES to sit on the hay as the tank fills with water and drink it when it gets high enough in the tank. He is so weird.

 

Lily has a meet and greet and will potentially be adopted this weekend. She has been a joy to have, but I’m very excited for her potential new family!

 

The upcoming weekend is the annual Hunt Ball! Boot City and I get to get all dressed up with our horsey friends and have a nice dinner with our favorite people. I also have a super fun delivery this afternoon that I am excited to share next week!

What are you getting up to this weekend?

Farm Friday 01.12.2018

Happy Friday y’all! It is COLD here in Texas! It was in the 20’s overnight, but thankfully should be getting in the 40’s today. Life is much easier when it gets above freezing during the day. Much time is being spent blanketing and unblanketing horses, hauling hay, turning heaters on and off. All things I never had to do in Montana! The irony! As I write this it is -2F in my hometown.

Pablo the nuzzler. He’s such a weirdo!

Pablo’s left front foot has been sore for the past few weeks and when his feet hurt he WILL NOT let me catch him. I guess he knows I want to mess with the hurt foot and he just isn’t into that. I feel like a bad donkey parent, but I also don’t want to wrangle a donkey. Now that the ground has dried up he seems sound again. And now that he’s sound he is super snuggly. He likes to stand behind me and rest his chin on my shoulder, then ever so slowly he starts nuzzling my coat, hat and ear before he tries to bite. This donkey. He should write a book about himself.

 

Murtagh the cat and Dickens the Whippet are best buds. Murtagh LOVES to play with the sighthounds and often can be heard terrorizing them in the middle of the night.

 

 

 

I was trying to snap a photo of Samson in the snowflakes that we had for about 45 minutes yesterday, but he was not into the photo op!

Super hairy ponies have to be the cutest thing ever! Samson is still difficult to catch in the field, but he loves to come in the barn to steal hay and is easy peasy to catch then. He desperately wants to be with the big horses, but the one time we tried that Sterling chased him endlessly to the point I was worried about Samson. We will try it again one of these weekends and let Samson out with a smaller group of the big horses. He has been out with Jaguar once and that went really well. Jaguar ignored him the whole time.

 

These two are non-stop wrestlers!

 

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!

Samson the Pony

A few weeks ago we were gifted the world’s cutest pony. He has been all over social media in the ensuing days.

Samson. The world’s cutest paint bay pony.

We housed Samson with the goats when he arrived. This would allow us to get to know him in smaller quarters, prevent him from having to be turned out with the big horses until we are able to supervise them together and see how he did with the goats. We don’t know much about Samson prior to when he was purchased from the kill pen about a year ago, but based on his behavior after arriving at our house I would venture to guess he was either mistreated or neglected in his past life. Try as I might I could NOT catch him! He would eat treats out of my hand over the fence, but if I went in the pen with him he would just run away from me. It drove me CRAZY because his little legs were covered with botfly eggs and I NEEDED to scrape them off. His eyes were a bit runny and NEEDED to be cleaned. He just needed some TLC!

I posted in a horsey Facebook group for advice and the in-a-nutshell advice was to have patience. Spend as much time as possible in his pen with him, but not forcing him to interact. I continued to give him treats over the fence anytime I had something in my pockets so he started coming to the fence pretty much anytime he saw me. Progress. A friend came over to ride with me the week of Thanksgiving and he ate cookies out of her hand when she was in his pen!

Pony gentling.

If I made any hand movement towards his face or his halter he would get away from me as fast as he could. I started giving him treats with one hand and petting his forehead with the other hand when I could. Sometimes he was OK with it, and sometimes he would back away. His reactions were getting less and less dramatic, but he still looked pretty darn skeptical of me.

Last week one of the goats had a kid. I always try to touch and handle the kids as much as possible when they are tiny so they are easier to work with when they get big and have horns. This was a surprise kid and I don’t think Samson knew she existed until I “showed” her to him and then he was FASCINATED.

“What is this tiny creature?! I must touch it with my nose!”

I think it helped for Samson to see me handling the baby goat. He was very curious about it the first couple days it was in the goat pen and would come as close as he felt safe and stare at it when I pet and held it.

Our big turning point happened on Sunday this past weekend. I kept the horses in their pens all day and we let Samson out into the big pasture with the goats for the first time ever. I was a bit worried I would never catch him again since he was now out in about 6 acres. He toodled around and grazed and followed the big horses around some while I rode, but he generally kept his distance. He did seem fascinated by the barn, the runs and the big horses in general. I was cleaning tack in my tack room with the big barn doors open when I saw something in the corner of my eye that was small and brown sneak down the barn aisle behind me. I walked slowly and quietly out of the tack room to find Samson happily munching hay from the wheelbarrow in the barn aisle. I hurried over and closed the big barn doors so he was confined to the barn. I didn’t want to fight with him, but oftentimes if a horse has been caught before they know when they are completely confined and can’t get away. Well, it worked. I was able to walk up and give him some carrots and snap the halter rope onto his halter.

AT LAST! I caught my little buddy!

He was extremely tense at first, but I gave him a few more carrot pieces and let him continue to munch hay and he slowly relaxed. I got to work with my bot knife on his legs, then combed his mane, cleaned his eyes, picked up his feet and scratched him all over. He was apprehensive, but not scared. I was SO excited to finally get my hands on the little guy! He was pretty much nonreactive and let me do all the grooming I wanted.

We even went outside and did some selfies. He was way into the phone/camera.

Pony selfies.

I didn’t keep him contained for very long and after I removed his halter he got a final cookie. He came in the barn again later in the afternoon to steal more hay and he pretty easily let me catch him again. The more times I can catch him and provide a good experience, then hopefully he will become easy to catch even in the largest pasture! Hard-to-catch horses are one of my pet peeves and can be dangerous so I’m happy this is progressing so quickly.

Wide-eyed pony face! HE IS SO CUTE!