Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Jack is just a sweetheart...

He's a great horse...

The kids came over today to meet Jack and Jazzy. This is our youngest Grandson sitting on Jack. He didn't even care there was a little one up there. He was great with it - no issues. Our little Grandson was born to ride - he LOVES horses. He is just a natural horse kid.

Our oldest Grandson was a little more reluctant to get on Jack. He had to get to know him a little bit first. He petted him and touched his tail. He helped brush him and talked to him a bit.


 Then, he was ready to get on Jack. Jack wasn't bothered with the little ones on him at all.


Jack was definitely enjoying the attention from the little ones. 
He was so gentle and so careful...
 


He was certainly enjoying all of the attention and love...


Now, Jazzy on the other hand - well - our daughter Amber decided she wanted to ride her in the corral, so the hubby haltered her and held onto her while Amber climbed on. Whoa... Jazzy started running fast in a circle, while the hubby still had the lead rope in his hand. 
It scared the little ones - they were kind of timid about Jazzy~~~


 

Jazzy got her share of loving today too, but no little ones on her back, yet~~~


 Both Jack & Jazzy are doing great and we're still patiently waiting for Meri to have her colt...

Sadly, we had to put my old white horse 'Little Ray' down on Sunday. He was clear full of tumors. 
It's hard to lose a 28 year old horse, but I just couldn't stand him to suffer.
='(



I think Jack has put on about 75# since he got here. He's looking so good and so content. He gets his hair brushed twice a day and he's nice and shiny now. He's doing fabulous and he's got such a great temperament. I feel so lucky to have found him. He's just a sweet horse...



The kids sure had a fun day getting to know the new horses. 
The horses had a great day getting to know the kids...




Tuesday, November 1, 2016

If you climb into the saddle be ready for the ride...


There's a new girl in town...
(On the left - Jack is on the right)

Her name is "Jazzy" and she's a registered Tennessee Walking horse, like Jack...

She has a white star on her face and a long white sock on her back leg. This is about the only thing that distinguishes her from Jack. 



 Now, we have a Jack & Jazzy. 

Jaz came to us by a fluke - 
 When you have a 'walking horse,' you pretty much need two if you want company along for the ride. Or, one walking horse just out-walks everybody else and you find yourself riding alone. So, by a fluke, Fred has a friend that had Jazzy up for sale. Actually, even though Jazz has a lot more weight on her, her and Jack are about the same exact size when they stand side by side. They could be brother & sister the way they resemble each other. And, they get along wonderful, which is surprising, considering she's a mare.

Jack has a crooked white blaze on his face and one small, white sock'n back foot. Jazzy has a white star on her face, one small white sock'n back foot and a longer white sock'n back leg.
Other than that, they look exactly the same aside from weight gain.

I've been soaking Jack's foot in some Epsom salt bath and using a product for abscesses and thrush and he's feeling a lot better.


We took them on a short ride on Saturday to see what they were all about... 


You know, if you climb into the saddle, be ready for the ride !


I led Jack to a bale of hay to see if he would stand while I mounted, which he did. Not even a wiggle. He was wonderful, still and attentive. When I was seated, I then made the mistake to click my tongue and well... 
HOLY HANNAH~!!!

He didn't buck, jump, or rear - He went from standing still to a fast gallop in one leap. Oh heavens my heart was racing and when I went to collect him I realized I had dropped one rein in the excitement!

All of a sudden, the hubby cuts Jack off using Jazzy's body and stops Jack and while he's laughing, he hands me my left rein I had dropped. 
I asked him, "What the hell was that?"

He said, I asked Jack to go and well... Jack went~!
<I guess, I should probably ask softer next time...>


The previous owner had warned me that Jack liked to move out fast when he first got started. A lot of horses do. Usually, in a fast walk with some excitement. Jack can go straight from standing still to a fast run in a split second...
We'll be working on that~~~

After Jack planed down and got settled, he started to calm down his excitement, but oh my word he is fast. And, he loves to canter and he does it naturally and it is very smooth...
Jazzy is a little more trotty - she's a little more choppy and needs some leg work. 


Riding Jack for the first time was much like riding a very happy Jack Russell Terrier.
(=

There was nothing agressive about Jack, or nothing mean. He was just so HAPPY to be out RIDING and stretching his legs. And happy can sometimes be hard to control~!


We had a good ride on Saturday and it ended on a good note and that's all that can be expected.
Jack spent the rest of Saturday and Sunday harassing Lil' Ray (my old white horse) over Jazzy. Ray is about 28 years old and has some cancer, so he's not here but for a little while longer. But, Ray has enjoyed the excitement of all the new horses...



I hope you had a Wonderful Weekend~!
 
 


 



 




Thursday, October 27, 2016

An Update on Jack...


The farrier came by yesterday to pull Jack's long shoes and trim him up. He has a really bad abscess in his right front foot from manure and dirt being impacted in his hoof while he was being stabled with his previous owner. When we brought him out of his stall, before we brought him home, it was like he was standing on softball's because the manure was impacted so tightly in his feet. The hubby cleaned his feet before he could be loaded, so he could stand flat. The abscess has been treated and will be healed soon and Jack will feel like a brand new horse with his brand new shoes.

He was amazing while the farrier done his feet. Absolutely no pull back and no anxiety, even when he was cleaning out the abscessed spot. And, the hubby took him for a gentle ride two days ago to see what he was all about. If you can notice, he's riding him in my halter - he's just that sweet...

The hubby is in the process of building an outdoor arena complete with picnic area and a fire pit. I was sitting on a swing in the picnic area and he rode him right up to say hi... 
(=


We have a piece of property above the house and above the barns that works perfect for an arena, but it had a big slope, so the hubby has been playing in the dirt for a couple weeks leveling things off and screening out all of the rocks. 

He built the picnic / campfire area under the tree where the backhoe is sitting in the pic and it turned out so awesome and has a beautiful view in all directions...



He put in some railroad tie stairs to walk from the arena to the picnic area and he's in the process of putting in a firepit area. It's a fun place to be and not too far from the house.

 



We actually challenge ourselves with the cost of our projects and of course, we never take into consideration the time. So, for just the raw, cash cost - so far, we're into this $450... We had everything else here already from other projects in the past. The breakdown is $150 in diesel fuel for the equipment and $300 for the swing and picnic table...

We had plenty of free labor show up to help out and direct the construction - - -





 More to come soon...
Jack is doing well and settling right into things.
(=




Monday, October 24, 2016

I would like to introduce you to, "Jack"...

Meet "Jack -in - the - Box"...
I call him "Jax"...
 
He's an older Tennessee Walking Horse about 17 years young.
He came to live with us on Saturday. He needed a home... 
Life changes and things un-forseen forced a change of ownership for this special horse. 

When we arrived at the location he was being stabled, he was standing with his head out of a plywood  box. He was very curious what was going on and looking right at me and the hubby. I knew it was him the second we pulled in, even though he was in a dark shadow and only his crooked blaze on his nose could be seen very well... I walked over to talk to the stable owner, my hubby walked over to Jack.  He had apples in his pockets and pulled out an apple and his pocket knife, cutting a piece of apple for Jack and a piece of apple for himself, talking about what a wonderful life Jack was going to have...

Jack is a city horse - 
We are very rural -
Jack is used to the confinement of city life and tiny city stable areas. 
We have wide open spaces with plenty of room to roam, large corral's and huge pasture areas.
I'm not sure Jack has ever experienced wide open spaces before...

I don't think he's ever even had his own manger. He didn't act like he knew how to eat out of it and just stood by it puzzled, looking around...


Jack is a Tennessee Walking Horse that desperately needed a home because his owner had moved.
Life changes and unforseen's had taken a turn and this sweet horse really needed a new place to be.

We could tell he was loved, because he is so darn sweet~
And he has shoes on his feet, although they're in need of a trim and to be re-shod.
(The farrier will be here in the morning)

Jack is the type of horse that just stands quietly, but he's busy with his mouth. He tastes everything.
And, it's very cute... 
If he has his head buried in your shoulders getting a hug, he's lipping your cheek with his big old lips.. He's an excellent kisser and he kisses all day...!

He has a very busy mind and he's a lot of fun to play with.


Until he's reshod tomorrow, he won't be ridden, but we played around and fitted my gear to his cute black self in preparation for our first ride...

He stood calmly and quietly while the hubby rigged up one of my saddles and some tack just for Jack's unique shape and for his best comfort...
He stood quietly and calmly through the whole event and ate a few carrots and apple slices as a reward. 


Jack has the kindest eye I have ever seen on a horse. And never has his nose been stiff, or puckered. Even when he was introduced to my white horse Little Ray, he horsed around and showed Ray he could hold his own, but he never tensed that nose, or got aggressive. He would let out a war cry to Raymond and then walk over to me and get some affection. I do think he was telling Ray that there was a new horse in town and his new Momma loved him~!
(=
We named this sweet fellow "Jack-in-the-box" after my Grandpa Jack. We always called him Happy Jack, or Smiling Jack because he always smiled. I don't think my Grandpa ever had a bad day, even when he was having a bad day and this horse has the same positive attitude. The hubby added "in the box" after Jack's name because we received him from a tiny box stable made out of plywood. He is kind of like a Christmas present that came early.

 Jack was on the precipice of a great new beginning, or a really bad ending when we discovered him. We're happy he is here for his new beginning and that we are able to give him what he needs. He's very, very light weight and has little muscle tone, but that will change with some groceries and some exercise. He'll get a much needed trim and his new shoes tomorrow. 



We'll get Jax up to weight and energetic- It's just what happens here.
I have fallen in love with this black horse named Jack. 
This time, I think the horse may have fallen in love with me too...

(=

Monday, August 15, 2016

Meet "Meri" ~ My new, little Icelandic mare...

We have been looking around for a little pony for the Grandkids and I made a good trade on Saturday for this little doll. Her name is "Meri," (pronounced Mary). She's an Icelandic mare and she's due to fowl in about 90 days.




Educating myself on the Icelandic breed, the neatest trait so far is that they can live 35 to 40 years. That's a long time to be horsing around with a cute little mare named "Meri"...


We wanted to get the Grandies a pony to ride, but not something that would scare them, or hurt them and Meri seems to be just the ticket so far. And, the added bonus is that even though their small, adults can ride them far distances. It's strange because she's tiny, but with my saddle on her, the stirrups barely clear her belly (well, she's pregnant too - the reason the saddle is crooked, it just won't stay on her!)

The little grandson's didn't mind. They had fun riding Meri and they gave her a proper introduction complete with lots of attention and hands full of crunchy treats, including a whole bag of pears for her little self to munch on.


And she gave them a very fun ride. Very, very gentle and very attentive to her precious cargo. So much so that our little 1 year old Grand didn't want to get down. He just wanted to keep riding her with his little bare piggies and cute little hands clenched on Grandma's saddle horn.


Our oldest little Grandson properly introduced himself to "Meri" as, "Journey Bug"... 
She put her head down and sniffed him from his head to his boots. Then she stuck her head near his pocket requesting a treat he had tucked away and then let Journey pet her big belly and acknowledge her baby inside. That was exciting for a little boy.

Then, off for a ride around the farm on Grandma's precious new toy...


Reading up on the Icelandic breed is pretty interesting. I didn't know a lot about them aside from a chance encounter with an Icelandic stud horse named "Gus"... in 2013. It turns out little "Meri" is from the same owner, it's actually one of the "Man-Child's" cousins.

Another interesting tidbit about the Icelandic breed is that most horse breeds have 3 gaits; walk, trot and gallop. The Icelandic breed has 5 gates; the walk, the trot, the gallop, the tolt and the flying pace. They are so smooth to ride for being so small and stalky. It's an interesting experience...

I needed a different bridle bit the first day we were playing with Meri, so I called a neighbor and she brought a few and came to see my new toy. She got on Meri to give her a spin and she was trotting, or maybe "tolting" up the highway pretending she had a glass of champagne in her hand telling me how smooth of a ride this little gal is, which totally surprised her. Meri is just this little powerhouse of gracefulness. This video pretty much shows the beauty of this horse breed. I'm just completely tickled to have one here, especially one so, so, sweet ~!





 I'm very thankful the Grandkids will learn to ride on such a special horse...

Friday, May 13, 2016

An Antique Marble Fireplace from Caracas Italy...

BARN FIND!!!

And she has all her pieces~ yay...
Who would ever have known that there was an antique, carrara marble fireplace surround hiding in a barn in Central Utah???

 I wouldn't have guessed it~!
The people that purchased the contents of the barn had no idea either, until they stumbled upon some old crates from Caracas Italy and opened them up to spy this beauty...

She was just never installed in whatever home she was shipped here for, I guess...
Instead, she remained tucked away in an old barn with her crates rotting away and waiting to be discovered.

And, what a discovery~!



 All of the pieces are there, but her dark mantle piece was shipped cracked in half and packed separately in the crates.
We'll figure that repair out soon. 

She's not a tiny creature - she's over 6' wide and over 5' high.
And very HEAVY!!!

 I know she's heavy because I brought her home safely tucked into the back of my Durango and it is bottomed out and feels like it's towing the 'Mother Load'...
Which it is~!

Doesn't every blonde drive nearly 2 hours to tuck an antique carrara marble  fireplac safely in a retired cop car?


See, even the Durango has it's own story...

A couple months ago a gentleman came by inquiring about an old piece of construction equipment. Truthfully, it hadn't been used in over 17 years. It was kind of one of those 'bone pile' pieces of equipment that maybe someone would need a part off of. Well, seems this guy did...
Him and the 'Man-Child' discussed the terms of the trade and it was supposed to be a 1999 Dodge pickup truck with an automatic transmission and a Cummins diesel engine. I just get sick of shifting down a 6 speed transmission, but I love the fuel mileage of a diesel. Who screwed up 4th gear in a Dodge, right - Every time I shift down with a heavy load on, I miss 4th gear. My mantra for a while is that "I want an automatic."  I want the transmission to find 4th gear on it's own - AUTOMATICALLY - when I'm slowing down. This is the 21st century and frankly, I'm sick of 4th gear evading me.
So, on the date the guy was coming to get the equipment and bring the pickup, I was quite excited...

I was looking out the window and seen this go by on the back of an equipment trailer...

 I'm like, "Honey - that's not a Dodge Pickup." 
"That thing on that equipment trailer has 4 doors and no pickup bed. And, unless someone else in this area is expecting a vehicle delivery today by a logging company on a large equipment trailer, I think there's a problem..."

I was really bummed...

Where was my automatic transmission on my new/old pickup truck with a diesel engine...
=(

My phone rang - 
It was the guy here for the equipment and that 4 door SUV on the equipment trailer was a loaner for me, or I could keep it until the pickup got out of the shop because the pickup truck blew up ~ 
Holy Hannah!
I'm glad it blew up on him...

So, here's this 2009, retired deputy vehicle with a souped up Hemi engine - yes, AN AUTOMATIC and she goes about zero to 693 miles an hour in 3 seconds...
She's ugly, but she gets right up and gets going!

We call her "The Short Bus" because she has 3 sets of seats, kind of like a jacked up mini-van that used to have bars... 

And, I've fallen in love with her and I'm keeping her, even though I still think she's ugly. And, my mechanic says there's not a damn thing wrong with it except it goes too fast...
(=

And, my grandson like's my new car and that's all that matters to me.

*Wink*



So, I had to keep my foot off the gas as I was bringing my beautiful antique marble fireplace home, all tucked in snugly in the hatch back with all the 'short bus' seats bent down.



We figure she weighs about 1200+ pounds.
My poor Durango is dragging ass, literally, but she carried the precious cargo home safely.



And, we're almost ready to start the garage / office addition to the home. We even had the roofing material delivered last week. So, sometime in the near future (I hope) she'll look something like this in our soon to be created, 'Office/Den'...

 
You really just never know what you'll find in a barn~!



Monday, April 4, 2016

A Barn Door...

Really, a new door into the sheep barn - - -


I've needed one since forever...

The "Man-Child" has been working on building a permanent corral for my beautiful St. Croix sheep herd.

We got the horse barn a long ways along last year, now he decided to do some work on the sheep barn.
He had a door that matches the chicken coop door (what are the chances?) and he put it into the end of the sheep barn for me. Easy access for the short woman - ME!

 He has rebuilt so much around the chicken coop. It is so nice now and so functional. Now, he in the process of building my sheep herd a permanent location sort of incorporating the chicken coop into things.

I started out with 4 St. Croix Ewe's and a St. Croix Ram. Now, I'm overflowing with St. Croix sheep. That's ok. I have good taste in sheep and sheep taste good to me~!

(=

We've been getting some beautiful lambs this year. 
I have a list of people all over the Western United States looking for St. Croix Rams. My silly sheep are playing a good one on me. So far, I have all ewe lambs but 2 - ugh. I'm probably not going to be much help to those looking for rams. My girls are on strike this year and only birthing girls...

But, they are the cutest dang ewe lambs ever~! 


And these little newborns were born during a trip to the hardware store for more bolts and screws and nails.
Aren't they just the sweetest twins ever ~~~

No lambs are cuter than St. Croix lambs...


I'm so thankful the "Man-Child" loves the critters as much as I do and spends so much of his limited free time making sure they're well cared for and comfortable. 

And, he makes sure these 'Little Grands' are well cared for too~!
They came to visit on Easter and we went for a 4-wheeler ride.

This is how the little guy prefers to ride in the Rhino - trust me, I never go too fast with him hanging around this way... 
And this grand little suffers from a sock issue - they just jump off his feet and we can never find them again ~

 And this little handsome boy decided he wanted to ride in the back of the rhino. At one point, he was laying down on a blanket looking up and watching the clouds go by.

I had some doughnuts on the counter and we bagged some up for them to take home with them. This little Sugar Monkey climbed up on the counter, took a doughnut out of the box and took a big bite out of it, then climbed down. I asked him if he was taking 'that' doughnut home with him ~ the one with the big bite out of it...
He said, "No"... "That ones for Grandpa."
I asked him why he bit a piece out of it...
He told me, "So Grandpa knows I picked it for him..."
Priceless~!
Of course, Grandpa ate that one first when he got home and heard the story...


This was a great project.
I've needed a door into the sheep barn for a long time. 
I must confess...
Sometimes I walk over just to use the door.You know, to make sure it's still there and still works...







This is quite a project going on for the beautiful St. Croix girls...

And, I have no idea why they line up and stare through that horse panel. They do it to me all the time and it's so cute...


I hope your Spring projects are turning out as satisfying as ours...

More to come on the sheep barn remodel soon~!
=)