Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day and Updates

I realized today it has been almost a week since I updated my blog so this post got a bit long. Nothing out of the ordinary has been going on, just the usual level of busy. I hope everyone is having a nice memorial day and has taken a moment to think about and be grateful to the many troops who have suffered and died for us for many generations. Coming from a family with a lot of former members of the military (Army and Air Force) I like to take a few moments to think about the significance of Memorial Day.

Jason and I have had a fairly quiet last few days together. There is tons of work that needs to be done around here, especially mowing the pastures. I have no doubt Jason will be horrified that I am posting pictures showing our over grown pastures. On Saturday as we were walking across the farm after we had finished feeding everyone breakfast he made the comment that the "place looks like a dump." Well personally I have to disagree. No the pastures don't look perfectly manicured but quite frankly I don't see any of the horses complaining!

We spent a few hours on Saturday afternoon visiting the Belle Meade Plantation which is located not very far from our farm. I haven't visited Belle Meade Plantation for so long I can't even remember when I was last there. Probably when I was in middle school? In Middle Tennessee there is no shortage of gorgeous old plantation homes to visit. Belle Meade is particularly interesting to me as the plantation was never a field crop plantation with cotton and the usual southern crops. Belle Meade was famous for their thoroughbred horses.


The main carriage house at the Belle Meade Plantation
Bonnie Scotland, considered to be one of the foundation sires of the thoroughbred breed in North America, stood at stud at the Belle Meade Plantation. Some of the notable thoroughbreds that would trace their pedigree back to Bonnie Scotland include Seabiscuit, Secretariat, Giacomo, Smarty Jones, Funny Cide, Barbaro and Mine that Bird to name a few. At its peak the Belle Meade Plantation was known as the oldest and greatest Thoroughbred breeding farm in North America. The beautiful main mansion presided over 5,000 acres devoted to breeding horses with numerous, impressive barns and outbuildings throughout the property. In fact the oldest registered racing silks in the United States belonged to the Belle Meade stud.

Jason in front of the Carriage House

We also had a new arrival join us for retirement as well. He's been waiting for several months and we were finally able to greet him last week. "Trigger" has a lot going for him in the looks department. He is a beautiful chocolate palomino with a blaze face and stockings on all four legs. Unfortunately Trigger has navicular in both front feet and was no longer staying sound for regular work even with all of the typical management approaches for navicular. So at the very young age of ten Trigger joins us for retirement.

These pictures do not do justice to his gorgeous color


Trigger had very limited turnout at the show barn he was previously living at and he was quite a handful his first day. I pretty much was simply an impediment in his way at the end of the lead rope as I walked him from the trailer to the barn. I don't typically use a chain over the nose when leading horses but I would have given a lot to have had a chain leadrope for that experience. I'm just glad I managed to hang on and get him in a stall! After he had a few minutes to drink some water and go to the bathroom I decided to put him out in my arena. He was still literally jumping out of his skin in the stall. We had another hair-raising walk from the barn to the arena and I did put a chain over his nose this time. As my dad watched me attempting to lead Trigger around he asked me if it was safe to be leading that horse around!?

Trigger and I made it to the arena and I let him go. Trigger put on a show of galloping, bucking, rearing, roll back turns and generally just going crazy like I've never seen. I even forgot to take pictures for the first part of the show, I just stood there watching him with my jaw on the ground! I was seriously wondering when the last time was that this horse had been turned out. I'm thinking it had been quite awhile. He kept it up for almost an hour before finally calming down. Needless to say Trigger has been MUCH easier to handle since he was allowed to blow off some extremely excessive energy.

These were taken after he had calmed down and was just running laps; at first he worked in huge, crazy bucks and lots of rearing in addition to tearing around the arena at Mach 10.


Otherwise we've just had our usual happenings around here. Gwen, our amazing farrier, was here one day last week. Horses were fed, some were groomed and/or bathed, stalls were cleaned, water troughs were scrubbed. Just another typical week at the farm!

Short video of Mina and Jo, world's cutest fainting goats, playing on the "stump complex." (That is what Jason calls it anyway!)


Jo Mina
Redbird on the fence

Chili, Lucky and Slinky

Winston and Ogie
Faune (taking advantage of the fact that he is just shy of 18 hands) eating some leaves
Lucky on the left and Lightening on the right. Yes, we do have an Arabian retired with us - I didn't realize that would surprise people! We have had two other residents that were also Arabians but unfortunately they have both passed away in the last couple of year. Their names were Sultan and Magick and they were both gray as well.
Elfin on the left and Homer on the right
L-R Apollo, Ivan and Baby
Dustin
Faune, Asterik and Winston; too bad they were in the shade as they made a pretty picture but my camera didn't like the lack of sunlight.
According to Jason the overgrown grass makes the farm "look like a dump." The horses seem fine with it.

4 comments:

Kate said...

We've had to leave our grass a bit long for the time now due to nesting meadowlarks and bobolinks - unfortunately the ticks love the longer grass, too!

LuLo Designs/Blue Eyed Tango said...

We just mowed our pastures this weekend too....it's bad enough with older barns that need paint, tends to look like a dump when the pastures are out of hand and we're in for rainstorms this week so knew it would really grow! The plantation you visited was quite nice and I only dream of owning such a place! Oh and your new resident will be SO much happier with you! Gotta run! Have a wonderful day!

ZionFarm said...

The Belle Meade Plantation looks beautiful, I love visiting places like that.

Trigger is beautiful also! He looks like a real powerhouse!:)

Java's Mom said...

Melissa, it is SO good to know that some of your residents blow off a little steam when they arrive too. It is pretty much guranteed that Trigger is very happy, grass, turnout, TLC, all at 10, what a life, lucky herd you have there. Nice spot, as always, thanks for sharing.