Sunday, May 31, 2009

my, my, my, I'm so happy

Pie's foot is finally healed enough to ride. It is a very good thing, too, because he has become quite the lively lime without his proper exercise. I had not ridden him since last Wednesday and he has found all sorts of ways to get into trouble! Yesterday the sun was out and the humidity gone - hooray- so I hopped on for a small jaunt. Actually, I rode him bareback for the first time! I've ridden Sovereign bareback, but not the big boy. I didn't intend to ride him bareback yet - especially his first day back (I am not that crazy), but it just sort of happened. I was grazing him and he was itchy from the bugs and wanted to roll every couple of minutes. Mom handed me the Bitless Bridle and said she would give me a leg up. I agreed that it would be kinder to him without the weight of the saddle in case his foot was at all sore. I figured that I could bail quickly and he wouldn't break my saddle tree if he did end up dropping to roll. I walked him around the fences and out into our big field. The wind was blowing the tall hay grasses and it seemed like I was out on a western prairie. His long mane and foretop were blowing in the breeze and the sun was so lovely! Oh, I felt like the luckiest person in the world at that moment!

Our cheerful cousin, Glenda, a talented writer and dedicated blog follower, stopped by Honeysuckle Faire in time to see us head out for our ride. In addition, my sweet Maizie, who has been battling a stomach virus, was well enough to come to the barn. It was really a great day. I told Glenda to come back in late June to smell the fragrant Honeysuckle when they bloom, but I was wrong! I smelled their sweetness last evening!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

the first one said to the second one there

Pie and Sovereign were having fun today in the pastures with cooler temperatures and drizzle to keep the gnats away! I am still soaking Pie's abscess and it looks good. He isn't sound enough for riding yet, but it is too rainy to ride today anyway. It is a great day for baking people cookies and horsey treats!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

life is a carnival

This morning I was taking a picture of the irises my mom planted by the milkhouse and I turned around...

...and spied these two characters in the mineral tub together. They are connected at the hip! I managed to separate them for a ride on Sovey this afternoon. Pie's abscess seems to be healing nicely.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Maizie and Pie

We only have one white sock between the two horses. The other "sock" in this photo is a diaper wrapped in duct tape around dear, "little" Pie's left front foot. He was off yesterday and our vet dug out an abscess this afternoon. Pie is being so good about it all. He is a gentle giant about some things, and soaking and wrapping his foot has turned out to be easy. If someone told me that really he was a Labrador Retriever puppy who happens to weigh 1000 lbs, I would believe it. He is just that silly, and kind, and naughty, and even-tempered and everything all rolled into one giant puppy-horse. Already, he is walking better. Our vet sent me to the store for more diapers. I swore when Maizie was potty trained 8 years ago that I was not buying diapers ever again! But, there I was, in the Huggies aisle this afternoon. I really have no right to complain. Pie's foot is on the mend and that dear, sweet Maizie, for whom I had to buy Huggies way back when, accomplished something spectacular this morning. She jumped 7 feet 2 inches in the Standing Broad Jump in Field Day at her school. She set a school record for both boys and girls. She is our amazing Maizie. Below is a photo I snuck this evening of her playroom. She pretends she is a teacher and these are her animals in "class" with schoolwork in front of them. Oh, to be in 4th grade again!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I tripped the merry-go-round

I had two fun days of riding the boys. I think Mom and I are going to ride together today! I know Pie and Sovey like it when they both get to go out for a ride together. I rode Pie on Sunday and we went the whole way over to Maplewood Farm. The grass hasn't been cut over there in a long time so I made him move very slowly so we could look for groundhog holes. We walked up and over a very picturesque hill that is lined with old-fashioned trees and looks like it is out of an episode of The Waltons. Unfortunately, the noise from the Turnpike spoils my pretend time travel back to the Depression Era. He was his usual inquisitive self, not shying at anything, but lowering his head and looking over his invisible bifocals the way horses do. We ran into an old friend who is going to put apples out on the fence post for us in the future. Pie and Sovey will sure like that! I rode Sovey bareback yesterday. Two helicopters flew over very low. Our farm seems to be a magnet for low-flying aircraft. Pie was terrified in the pasture, but Sovey remained calm. I stretched out on Sovey's neck and gave him the reins. I figured, if we were tight together like that it would calm him. It worked and he did nothing. Being bareback is always a challenge to figure out ways to stay on in an emergency! Sovey wanted to hang out at my parents' house and would not walk home. My dad, who loves all animals, but doesn't ride, performed a little "lead-line-pony" with us, and helped Sovey start back toward the barn. Sovereign loved that!
I put a detail of a painting of a straw package from the 1960's I painted a few years ago at the top of this post. I love the "Springy" nature of it - especially "for iced drinks" - oh, warm days are near, I think!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

growing closer

Here are the boys heading out this morning before the storms hit. Look at their sleek coats and "finally-getting-rounder" figures! Mom and I had another excellent ride yesterday. It was buggy and humid and too icky for fun grazing so we took them on a long trail ride in the shade of our own woods and other, nearby woods. I do think Pie would have easily walked into town if I had asked him to do that. We ended up in the wooded backyard of a neighbor and long-time friend of our family. Pie wanted to walk right up to their back door. I was afraid his hooves would cut up the lawn so I made him stay in the woods. He was so funny, craning his neck, like a kid looking in the windows. On our ride, Mom kept saying, "That Pie is so good!" I think she says that because Pie is only 4, but it makes me laugh to myself. She is riding a 5 year old Thoroughbred! She acts like she is on a calm, chubby school horse. We rode all over, including up the hill near the Turnpike and down a steep incline. The boys were wonderful. When we were coming home we were near the road and it was windy and slightly chaotic. I heard Mom behind me calling, "Julie!" I turned around and here she and Sovey come, trotting right up to us. At first I thought he was shying at something until I saw her big smile. She cracks me up! We hosed them off and grazed them until they were dry. Oh happy days!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

you're so good for me

Here is a photo of my mom on her Thoroughbred, Tam. I love this picture of her - although in today's world there would be many "tsk, tsks" because she doesn't have a helmet. Oh well, it is still a great photo with the white sunglasses and his tail swishing. She and I rode Sovey and Pie on Tuesday morning. Tacking up was a disaster and I wasn't too sure we were going to actually get to ride. I like to have calm grooming and tacking time to ensure a safe, happy ride. Both horses were so antsy and not cooperating in the cross-ties. Sovey is slender and his proper saddle adjustment takes a long time. Pie is young and has a very tiny attention span. Together it was like a three-ring circus! Mom and I just walked them around outside without mounting and let them calm down a little. Then, we got on and had a fabulous ride. I even asked Pie to trot! We had to catch up to Sovey at one point and the Pie-Pie was wonderful. I posted and he trotted right up beside Sovey like he does this all the time. Pie and Sovey make our days so special!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

so I'll just groove along quite naturally

Yesterday Pie and I had a ride on the farm that brought back many memories of my pony, Penny Lane (Tardy). Click here for a story about her. I found this old photo (above) of us walking out of the ring after getting pinned at a show at Ryegate. This picture was probably taken in the summer of 1981. I must be in 8th grade. Pie and I investigated an old haunt that Tardy and I loved. There is another horse farm connected to our property by a sliver of woods. Tardy and I would ride over to that farm back in the day to see our friends - my friends, Amy and Natalie - and Tardy's friend, their horse, Baby. The entry into the woods is a steep hill. I was always bareback on Tardy and this hill is so steep that I would slide off the back of her if I wasn't grabbing mane. When you reach the top of the hill you can see that the Pennsylvania Turnpike is about 200 yards away. With the cars and loud trucks whizzing by, it really isn't something I thought Pie was ready for yet. As usual, he had different ideas! He is so adorable when he wants to do something that is new and I am not sure if we should. I say, "Oh, Pie, not yet, honey, we will come back to this." He then stops and turns his head around and puts it on my foot and nuzzles my shin. He isn't biting or being aggressive. He just softly holds it there, as if to say "please". It is hard to resist. I really think he is reassuring me that it is ok and he will be good. If I squeeze and ask him to walk on, he listens, so I don't think he is trying to be naughty. Anyway, I agreed, and up the hill we went! At the top there is a log across the path that Baja jumped the last time we rode here. Pie stepped over it while watching the trucks with their flying tarps and loud noises. He is something else - so quiet and sensible. We circled around in the woods and popped back out on our property. Pie wanted to do the whole circuit again. I started laughing at him and loving him up, patting his neck and hugging him. He is such a good boy!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Tack Room

Today Maizie and I both rode Sovereign, but first we picked lilacs from Jetty's lilac bush and decorated the tack room with them. We put the lilacs in the Brer Rabbit Molasses jar that had contained the molasses we used in the Thoroughbred Molasses Yummies. It has the cutest label! Maizie sat on the fence and made silly faces in the background while I photographed the jar (below).
Below is another view of the tack room with Eby's treat dispenser (empty, of course, because Eby is a treat hound!).

Here is a photo of the wall with our bridles and the tack box my grandfather made, and above the tack box, the mirror. The mirror in our tack room was purchased in 1952! It was a promotional item for an advertising company, The Vernon Company. It had a photo of Thoroughbreds on it but they deteriorated in all those years. I took the mirror apart and replaced the photo with horse wrapping paper. The wrapping paper is retro too - it is from 1976 - I think it turned out cute.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Pie!

Today is Pie's fourth birthday! Like all Thoroughbreds, his "official" birthday is January 1st, but he was foaled on May 7, 2005. Our birthday celebration was complete with a sunshine ride through the woods and all over the farm with best friend Sovereign. Sovey and Mom are in the photos above and below. Birthday Boy Pie-Pie only gets his ears in the photos because Mom hasn't learned how to use my camera yet. She shouldn't worry, I had the batteries in backwards and had to change them and shoot photos while we were moving. Pie was good for the whole crazy process. I wanted to get some photos in our lovely woods, but the recent rain has made the trails like a jungle. I honestly stretch out flat on the crest of Pie's neck and we still barely fit. It is time to trim - again! Fortunately, Pie and Sovey love the woods and fields so they tolerate tight bridle paths and silly humans with their cameras. After our long ride I turned to Mom and said, "Ok, let's go home." She said, "Ok," and we immediately busted out laughing in unison because we can't get the boys to go home! They never want to go back toward the barn because they love riding cross-country so much.

Mom hurt her left ankle last week and she had problems mounting today when she had to put all her weight in that stirrup. At one point, she was draped all over Sovey's back. I really thought that the birthday ride was going to be a disaster. But Sovey is so good - he just stood there waiting patiently until she got her act together. We kept laughing about it later. If I had taken a picture of her hanging all over him like that we could have won both a funny photo contest and a prize for the nicest horse on the planet!

Sweet Maizie was in school today, but last evening she baked Thoroughbred Molasses Yummies for Pie. Click here for recipe. Below is a picture of our "Treat Station" in the barn and the last photo is a close-up of Maizie's Yummies. Needless to say, Pie and Sovey loved the treats. I think Pie enjoyed his special day!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

two mud puppies

Here is a quick photo from this morning of the boys kissing. At 10 a.m., when I took this picture, each horse had a small amount of mud splattered about. Mom just phoned to report that the "splatters" have been replaced with an all out mud coating on both of them. The rain that fell on Sunday and Monday has made the mud puddles that Pie and Sovereign so enjoy! Ugh! I have a messy job waiting for me after I teach this afternoon!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Tiyuri to win - Perfect Dozen to place

Sovey and I had a nice ride yesterday afternoon. I groomed him while he grazed and tacked him up outside under a small shade tree. He thought that was really funny, I think. He stood proud and tall, with his head reaching up inside the branches. He wasn't eating the leaves, but rather hiding his head up there. Pie was in the pasture directly beside us and he was completely baffled by the disappearance of Sovey's head. I honestly think that is what Sovereign was trying to do - it was like he was playing a game with Pie. They are the silliest and cutest horses I have ever known.