Friday, April 25, 2014

My Yellow Pony

Oh mah gourd I love him so much.

I saddled up both boys, jumped on Tanner, and ponied Harlan Pepper along for the ride. We walked up the hill with no issues despite a crazy turkey crashing through the trees...it's been at least 6 months since I rode Tanner and I forgot how easy and relaxing it is to ride a point-and-shoot horse!

On the way back down I decided to switch horses and see how Harlan would do. However a) I didn't have a halter on Tanner and b) Harlan was walking too fast for Tanner's ambling pace.  So I decided to just set him free and see what happened.


Aaaaaand just as expected, he just followed along. If he got too far behind he'd trot to catch up or Harlan would stop and wait for him.

video

I can't even handle it.

In other news, I apparently have tendonitis from shoveling horse poop. Yeehaw.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Monday, April 14, 2014

Lucky Ducks

What is this craziness - 3 posts in 3 days?!

I just had to share though. I got a call today from Shannon, the woman who picked up the duck with her husband and 5 year old daughter yesterday. Their duck Gideon had lost its mate Lois and was beside himself with grief. He would call and call for her and pace back and forth, refusing to settle in for the night.  While Mother Ducker (or Duckin' A) wasn't that sad to lose his friend, he certainly seemed lonely when he would run after the car leaving the driveway, or just hang out on the porch quacking.

My duck, renamed Lucky, and Gideon have already become best buds and are currently sunbathing together. Gideon has stopped his pacing and the two of them have been waddling around quacking together.





From Shannon: "This is such a blessing really. Gideon was breaking my heart with his pacing, and now he and Lucky are pals and both so happy with having a buddy to waddle with."

My little heart is warmed...I couldn't have found a better home for Lucky.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Reduced Numbers

It's a sad day here at Blonde Bomber Acres. Not only did I jinx everything by believing it was spring and so it snowed all morning, but we are down to just 2 horses, 2 dogs, and 3 cats [besides Julie and her 2 cats].  No worries, everybody else is fine and dandy, just in new homes.

Hattie the donkey went out on trial a few weeks ago and has settled in nicely guarding cattle.

Mother Ducker (or Duckin' A) was picked up today by a lovely family whose own Pekin duck lost his buddy.  Hopefully these two lost duckies will bond with each other.

As I write this, Daisy Mae is on her way back to her owner Jacki. Casey decided that she needed a break from being responsible for a horse.

It'll be weird not having the sounds of a braying donkey and quacking duck, but I feel good about where both of them went.  They will both be happier in their new homes:  Hattie is getting spoiled with one-on-one attention as well as having a job to do and the duck will have a buddy again.

However I am incredibly sad about Daisy going back. Casey and I had a bunch of riding trips planned this summer; I will go solo on a couple and hopefully rope in another riding friend or two on the other adventures. It won't be the same though. :(

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Entertaining the Neighbors

It was so nice out today that I am cautiously believing that spring is actually here.

After a Maine Mounted Search and Rescue meeting, I came home and decided to work with Harlan for a bit before taking him out for a spin.  We just worked in the pasture, where Daisy followed us around and Tanner slept in the sun. I stored the cart whip on Tanner's butt momentarily and promptly forgot about it. Five minutes later it was still on his back because he hadn't moved an inch. Oh how I love that doofus.



After getting Harlan's mind engaged and stretching both of us out, I hopped on. We zigzagged up the road, Harlan trying to walk as slow as possible and sneak opportunities to turn around. I pushed him on, past all the horse-eating obstacles and on to where the paved road turned to dirt. I rode through his spook that segued conveniently into a bucking fit and thought we were finally relaxed and enjoying the ride.

Pre-ride cuteness. And dirtiness.

I vaguely remembered the farmer up at the top of hill saying to avoid the dirt part of the road in the spring, but I thought it was just because it was muddy. Nope, it's because it turns into sinkholes. 

Poor Harlan found it out the hard way; when it shifted underneath him he spooked and spun and I got slung off. (I landed on mud and had my helmet on so was completely fine.) I tried to hold onto the reins as I was falling but was perilously close to pulling him down on top of me so I let go. He spun in a circle and at least had the courtesy to pause and wait for me to get up...as soon as he saw I was up and mobile he took off for home at full tilt. Finch abandoned me to chase Harlan - not sure if she thought I was still on him or just left me for something more fun. I choose to believe the former. 

The farmer's wife saw Harlan gallop by tacked up and shouted to her husband, who got in his truck and came to find me walking down the road. He gave me a lift home, past ALL the neighbors who had come to the end of their driveways after seeing Harlan run by. Nothing like having witnesses to a fall, right? 

I found Harlan in the barn eating hay, looking out the door at me as I walked up. I calmly got back on and we walked allllllll the way back up to the hill, both as a lesson and because poor Hobbes got left up there.

[Side note - As we were walking up the hill for the second time, I thought to myself, Hmmm...this method makes sure Harlan gets twice the workout with minimal effort on my part. Maybe we should make this a thing, like a ski hill! Ride up the hill, let the horse run back down while you get a lift in a truck, and ride back up again.  Anyone want to go into business with me?]

It's times like these that I really wish I had a riding arena or round pen. It would've been nice to get some energy out before heading into the treacherous wilderness that is Smith Road. No harm done though and tomorrow's a new day. And here's the best thing - it was SO NICE out today that I don't even care that I fell off.

And at least the neighbors got a show.



Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Walking Back to Happiness

I wrote a really sadsack blog post about how spring is out of reach and how I can't take any more negative stuff happening. I even used the metaphor about spring/happiness being the oasis that never seems to get any closer as I trudge and crawl through the sand towards it.  I know, I know; it was bad. At least I didn't write an emo "Vaguebook" post, right?

In the true family tradition, I am declaring myself FINE while pointedly ignoring the soul-crushing Depression lying in wait, looking for an opening. I refuse to acknowledge you...I cut you, Depression, as a Victorian lady cuts an ill-behaved suitor!

I will square my shoulders, lift my head, and warble out of key as I walk on, intentionally leaving little bits of happiness in my wake like banana peels in Mario Kart.








Take that!


And that!







FINISH HIM!



Anyway, hope you're all surviving out there. I can finally see my driveway, which I am trying to concentrate on while ignoring the 3 foot snowbanks still surrounding it.