Sunday, October 27, 2013

Renegade Report II

Another quick check in with Rene!

We had a great ride at Popham Beach a couple weeks ago. Casey brought Tanner because Cooper had a swollen knee (which is all better now), and it was Renegade's first trip to the beach. Our farriers Emily and her son TJ came with a few other people, including our vet Marilyn. It was also a beach trip for a gaited horse group, so there were a lot of mounted steeds pounding the sand.

It was a beautiful, beautiful day and Tanner led the charge into the water (by calmly walking into the surf, letting the other horses know it wasn't going to be the thing that killed them that day). We galloped through the sand and surf and it was awesome!

Yesterday Casey and I went for a blustery ride on Coops and Renegade.  I hadn't ridden him since our Popham Beach ride (I was sick and it's getting dark earlier and earlier...weeeeee weee weee!). So I was interested to see how Rene was going to do.

And he did pretty well! On the way out he was in the kind of mood where he was looking for things to spook at. "Oh noes! A leaf! The end is coming!!!!!!" On the way back, we passed by barking dogs, chainsaws, and lawn mowers and noooot a care in the world.

I was impressed not only with his beach adventure but also that he had a two week break and just was a little frisky, nothing unmanageable.

Loving this guy!!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Smooth Criminal

We have a (hopefully temporary) new resident here at Blonde Bomber Acres. I kinda stole her...

I was dropping off a package at the post office last Friday and I was greeted by the friendliest, prettiest cat. I bent down to pet her and felt every single vertebrae and rib. So I scooped her up and walked over to a couple of post office employees who were outside.

"Is this a stray?" I asked.

"Well, she belongs to the people across the street," they replied.

"She's really skinny..." I said.

"Yeah, she was so beautiful and filled out in the spring and now she's just a bag of bones. One day I took her over to the owner and said she was looking really skinny, and the owner said they were feeding her," they replied.

"Hmmm...I'm tempted to just take her and feed her up!" I said.

"We really wish you would! We would, but we each have two cats already," they replied.

"So do I, but I'm going to take her anyway. She is just too skinny," I said.

"Great!! Thank you!" they replied.

"If the owner really cares, I live up just on Smith Road," I said.

"We're not going to tell anyone," they replied.

I stuffed the cat into my car and we drove off into the sunset.

And so now I have Poof (POst OFfice). She spent a couple days in the basement acclimating (read: traumatized), then another couple days in the office so everyone could get used to each other's smells, and now she's out and about under supervision.

Both yesterday and today I gave Poof ample opportunity to go outside and return home, or live in the barn. She chose to stay inside, which I am taking as a sign that she loves me! Well, at least she loves food.

Poor Nellie was already getting kitten-bombed by Skitters and now the new broad is hissing and growling at her in her own home.  Skitters, happily clueless, jumps on anything that moves. Finch leaps in the middle of a fray when she senses a cat fight, pouncing and growling and chasing.  Hobbes hides in the back room.

Would anyone like a very pretty, very friendly cat?? She has been de-flea-ed and is already gaining weight.  Marm and Dard, want a look-a-like to keep Scrappy company?

If all else fails, Poof has a home here and can help keep the house and barn free of mice. But Nellie would love you forever if you take Poof!

In other news, I opened an online Etsy shop selling plus size vintage clothing.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Greetings to Gus

It's been a busy couple of days here at BB Acres.

First, I chopped off all of my hair!

I am so glad to be back to short hair. I do this every time...I think "Oh, I should definitely grow my hair out, it will definitely look good despite every other time I've grown it out and hated it, definitely." and then I get super sick of it and CHOPCHOP. 

Anyway, today we picked up the newest (and cutest) Blonde Bomber! Not mine, don't worry. This one is Casey's...or rather, Audrey's.

Casey had been casually searching for a pony for a while now, but Audrey had some pretty high standards. She wanted a white, male pony and had pooh-poohed many cute ponies. So when Casey saw that Brogan at Animal Rescue Unit had taken in a white, male pony, she showed his picture to Audrey and that was that. 

Whenever Casey and I set out to trailer somewhere it's always a spectacle. However, despite forgetting money and going to the wrong place entirely, we took the truck and trailer to a Maine Mounted Search and Rescue meeting and then headed down to ARU to pick up Mr. Pony.

Ta da! Just kidding. This is just one cool dude.
While I enjoyed looking at all the different animals there (goats, pigs, alpacas, horses, ponies, draft horses, minis, dogs, chickens), Casey had eyes for just one animal.

This is Gus, a 6 year old Welsh pony who rides and drives. He's had some time off so he needs a tune-up, but a) he is beyond adorable, b) he is really sweet, and c) Audrey isn't old enough to ride on her own quite yet which means that Casey gets to ride him and Gus has plenty of time to practice being a good pony.

Homecoming montage!

Welcome home, Gus!

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Tough Goodbye

We received the sad news that Jax had to be put down a few weeks ago. One day his back legs wouldn't work and he was not able to stand in the pasture.

Even though Jax joined our family for only a short period of time, his loss is sincerely felt. He was a sweet, sweet boy who just wanted to please and loved "his girls" Casey and Audrey so dearly.

It is a very bittersweet ending. He was kept in a shipping container with no pasture for who knows how long...then when he finally hit pay dirt by being rescued by Animal Rescue Unit and subsequently adopted by Casey, he was only able to enjoy freedom for such a brief a time.

I'm incredibly angry that he had to endure such gross mistreatment, but I'm also indescribably thankful that he passed on knowing he was safe and loved.

Many pet owners are familiar with the concept of the "Rainbow Bridge." Many of you also know I am generally a skeptical person and try to pretend I'm above being sappy. But I found this poem today that gave my heart solace. The sixth stanza especially helps calm the storm of bitterness and anger within me for Jax's hard past, and for that I am truly grateful.


Message from a Horse Spirit
by Katie Graham

Where am I, now that I am
   Gone from your life?
Leaving you lonely and sad,
   For that I am sorry.
But this is a warm place,
   And the pastures are green.
And now I know just how
   Much you loved me!
Everyone here shares the
   Kindness of your heart.

What am I doing, now that
   I have left your care?

Racing with wide-eyed 
   Foals, orphaned no longer.
Breathing crisp morning air
   With wise old work horses,
Now grown young and
   Strong again.
Looking at mountains
   Through the eyes of the
Blind who
   Can see.

Carrying on my back all of
   The folk who never had the
Chance to know the warmth
   Of my sweet horse breath
Or the thrill of a gallop, but
   Always yearned for it.

Visiting little girls who
   Dream of beautiful steeds, 
Flying over fences and racing
   Past the finish line,
Keeping them safe, giving
   Them hope.
Saddest and sweetest of all,
   Greeting the ones who
Cross that Rainbow Bridge. 
   Some were wild and free on
The earth, and they remain
  Wild and free. Some were
Loved and cared for, and
   The will be well loved
And cared for here. 

And some of the horses
   Trotting over that Bridge
   Neither free nor loved.
Those are the greatest joy to
   Greet, for now they have the
Greenest grass and the
   Freshest water, and they
Will never be sick or in pain
   Or alone ever again. And
They will always be loved.

So cry for me as humans do,
   And then move on
To tend the mortal horses
   Who need your care and

Kindness. And take care of
   The children; help them
Find their dreams, nuzzle
   Them for me.

I'll be waiting for you
   When you come to pass that
Rainbow Bridge,
   We will piaffe through the
Clouds and leap the
   Lightning bolts, and then trot
On home together to
  Those green, green fields.


Farewell Jax. You are safe and you are loved.

Friday, October 4, 2013

No Caffeine Needed

Sometimes I worry that I'll run out of stuff to write about. Silly me.


My morning routine is to drag myself out of bed, put on my muck boots and a sweatshirt, and stagger out to feed the ponies before taking a shower and fully waking up.

This morning like usual I fed Cooper in his stall with his special grain and then got the buckets laid out for Tanner and Renegade. Their grain was running low, so half asleep, I was leaning into the grain bin to scoop some out when something shrieked and leapt at my face.

I yelled* and jumped back.

I stared at the bin as my body involuntarily shuddered. I looked at the tools in my hands, the scoop and a bucket, looked at the grain bin, and squared my shoulders. Let's do this!

The vague plan was to scoop whatever it was into the bucket and then release it outside.

Except that when I approached the grain bin for a second time, the creature again erupted in unholy shrieks and raced round and round the bin. There was no way I was going to put my precious face and arms at the mercy of this vile being.

The dogs started to go crazy, whining and trying to find the source of the shrieking. The dim light of the tack room gave no indication of what it was; it was just an ominous moving shadow.

I dragged the whole bin outside the barn, where I finally caught a glimpse of the monster.

Inside was the BIGGEST mouse I have EVER seen**. It stared up at me with its beady little eyes, clearly plotting my demise.

I didn't have my camera on me, but this is a faithful interpretation.

Once again I girded my loins and prepared for battle. I slooooooowly tipped the bin over...and then chaos erupted. Finch, no longer able to wait patiently, lunged halfway in and the mutant darted between her legs. Hobbes pounced, pinning it down until Finch turned around and rejoined the party.

I won't go into detail about what the dogs did then, but it's safe to say that the way they play with squeaky toys is indeed the way they kill live squeaky things. Surprisingly quick and bloodless though.

I feel a little bad for not mercy-killing it or at least holding the dogs back so it could escape, because even the most hideous of creatures is loved by someone***.

However, I am hoping that this was the famed beast living under the tack room that had been taunting Finch for weeks.

Maybe now Finch can have a little bit of peace...but I know I'll never be the same. Shudder.

Anyway, happy Friday!

* I am more than a bit proud that I did not scream like a little girl, but instead emitted a dignified lumberjackish shout. I've always wondered how I would naturally scream in a scary situation...haven't you?

** Edited to add: It was actually a RAT. I told myself it wasn't since it didn't have a naked pink tail, but then I googled wild rats later and it totally was a rat. EW.

*** That someone is probably only its mother.