Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving - Retirement Style

When I look at these pictures it makes me think of the song from that 80's move "Annie." I think the song is called something like "It's a Hard Knock Life" or something along those lines. These pictures are from Wednesday and Friday of this week. These horses lead such a hard knock life, it just isn't fair! I guess if we were to ask our residents what they are thankful for they would probably say good food, good friends and plenty of sleep.

Levendi napping, and if you look closely you see a white blob on the ground which is Ivan
Ivan does his best dead horses imitation on a regular basis. It always makes my heart stop for a moment.
He is sleeping hard when he is in dead horse position, and I always have to walk up to him and say his name loudly to wake him up. Ivan saying "mom, why did you wake me up??"
Levendi looking quite refreshed from his nap. He popped up when he saw me. "I wasn't sleeping, I was wide awake, really."
This scene was in another pasture
Bridget napping and Lexi fast asleep doing her dead horse imitation
Poco having an afternoon siesta
Sparky getting in on the "action" as well

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has a wonderful day today, and takes some time to reflect on all of the things we have to be thankful for. I know I am very blessed to spend my time caring for all of the wonderful horses retired with us, and thank everyone in my life who has helped me to reach this point. Jason and I first need to thank my parents for their amazing support. Without their support and belief in what we wanted to we would not be where we are today. I am blessed to have the most wonderful parents in the world and I don't thank them often enough for simply being them and being there for me.

I also need to thank the team of people that supports all of our activities here on the farm. Gwen, our wonderful farrier that I have posted about many times. She cares about each one of the horses on the farm and is always so kind and patient with them. Dr. Bob McCullough and Dr. Nathaniel Wright of Tennessee Equine Hospital for always providing such excellent care, any time of the day or night. Bonnie & Stephen Ozburn who own the feed store Bonnie's Barnyard, who always take such great care of us. Amy for helping us out whenever we need it, being available on short notice, and allowing us to have a break occasionally. Laura for taking the huge mound of dirty and sometimes torn horse blankets that we dump on her and returning them looking brand new, repaired, and ready to go. And of course all of the wonderful people across North America that have trusted us to care for their horses.

I'll wrap this post up with a few more pictures. We're moving into October's pictures now!


Trillion and Ogie
Sebastian coming for breakfast with Faune behind him
Trillion and Sebastian
Faune drooling after a nice drink of water
Teddy and Harmony
Trillion and Faune

Monday, November 24, 2008

Full Circle

We had another new resident join a couple of weeks ago. His name is Clay, and he is a chestnut quarter horse. Clay has an incredibly sweet personality and always has an adorable expression. He also tends to be a bit head shy, and had a very worried look his first day with us.

Clay minutes after arrival

Clay is about thirty years old and the trip to our farm was hard on him. He had to travel about 800 miles to get to our farm, and he looked like he felt every one of those miles when he got off the trailer. Before anyone goes jumping up and down about shipping an older horse a long distance, there were some unique personal circumstances involved with his owners, and they had no choice about relocating Clay. Everyone needs to be applauding them for taking care of this grand elder statesman.

Clay resting after his trip

Jason and I were both very drawn to Clay from the moment he arrived at the farm. As we led him into his stall and watched him, he was so sweet yet clearly so worried. It was almost like we knew him even though we had just met him. Later that day it finally dawned on me - he reminded both of us Mable, a former resident who unfortunately passed away in July. Clay has so much in common with Mable, from looks to personality. Especially that worried look he had when he first arrived that said he wasn't sure about us or his new surroundings but he really wanted to like it here. I have missed Mable greatly since she passed away in July and have thought about her every day. I must say that since Clay's arrival things have just felt more "right" in regards to losing Mable. it really does work out that when one door closes another one opens.

I am happy to say that Clay quickly decided that he loves it here. The first few hours were rough, and Clay spent most of that time laying down in his stall resting and recovering from the trip. Jason kept asking me if we should call the vet but I said no, he was clearly just worn out from his trip, and what he needed was rest, not the vet. We did give him a tube of electrolytes and a nice mash of well-soaked alfalfa cubes to aid his recovery though. Interestingly Clay travelled here with his barnmate Chili who is the same age as Clay, and Chili walked off the trailer fresh as a daisy as if he'd just gotten on a few minutes ago. Thankfully Clay was fully recovered by the afternoon, and has been bright and full of energy since. He and Chili are great friends and very attached to each other.

Clay checking out his new digs

Clay started off life as a racehorse on the quarter horse circuit. He actually won a good bit of money at the track. He then went out west and lived in Colorado where he lived on a ranch at 8,000 feet altitude and went on trail rides up to 10,000 feet altitude. Unfortunately Clay displayed major lameness issues after only a year in Colorado and has actually been retired since 1996. He has the stereotypical quarter horse teacup feet. Kudos to his owners for keeping clay for all of these years!
Clay and Chili

Chili was also a trail horse alongside Clay, except he stayed sound until he was retired a few years ago. From what his owner told me Chili took amazing care of her on trails that were incredibly rugged! She said they would ride all day stopping only to eat lunch on trails that went straight up and down over some pretty tough terrain, and that Chili never took a wrong step.

We are thrilled to have Clay and Chili join us, and Clay has brought us full circle in regards to Mable. I'll have more on this topic in another post.

Friday, November 21, 2008


I hope one day I will actually be caught up on sharing pictures. These were all taken in late September.

Apollo coming for breakfast with Leo behind him
Elfin and Chance
Harmony rolling

Homer and Leo
Teddy with his head buried in the grass
Hello from number eighteen
Faune and Sebastian
Harmony, Buffy and Teddy
Elfin, Homer, Leo and Chance is in the very back

Thursday, November 20, 2008

One Of My Favorite Videos

I was recently looking through some of my old videos of the horses here and watched this one. This is one of my favorite videos. Poco the shetland pony and What, a retired Grand Prix dressage horse, racing around in the field. Yet another horse who apparently didn't get the memo that he would hate retirement! After all he was a show horse, was used to having a job, travelled internationally to compete, etc. etc. He seems to be having a pretty good time in my opinion!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Having Fun

I've mentioned before about watching all of the horses just being horses and having a grand time. Today I managed to capture some of the antics on camera. These videos are of the group of geldings I refer to as the Big Boys. The Big Boys are all young, retired geldings that are very interactive and playful with each other. They love to play, graze, nap and occasionally go galloping around and around and around . . . ! Today was one of the galloping days. The footage isn't great as it was overcast and I had the zoom maxed at times, but you can get the general idea.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Cloudy and Olivia

I've introduced you to Cloudy before in this post. Cloudy not only has his good looks going for him, but also his adorable personality. I also mentioned our other barn cat, Olivia. I said you would probably never see a picture of Olivia because she is shy and retiring, and also quite nocturnal. Well, I lied. I managed to take one (1) whole picture of Olivia a few weeks ago. Unfortunately she did not care for the flash and went up into the loft after the first picture.

Olivia is a big fan of my dad. She comes when he calls her and will sit on his lap while he brushes her. She slinks around in the background while I put the cat food out but I cannot say that she particularly likes me. She does love Cloudy though and the two of them are great friends.

Olivia up in the rafters; she did NOT like the flash so this was my one chance at getting her picture
Cloudy being a mighty hunter or something along those lines. He was being quite playful on the fallen tree limb.
Getting ready to make a dash up a tree; something had his attention
Trying to be stealth cat

Sharpening his claws

Taking a break to wash himself
Worn out from his excursion he wrapped things up with a nice roll in the grass