Monday, February 17, 2014

Living with Wild Animals

The Wild Animal Hostelry has closed its door for the season.  The crawl space egress was closed with a flat rock bolstered by 10 pds of concrete.  Cottontails, cats, fox, racoons, and possums who have been spending part of their time in the space during this extreme winter season, milled around in seeming confusion before making tracks to alternates sites.  With numerous outbuildings and barns scattered throughout the country there is no shortage of alternate sites for their evenings pleasures.  The closed hostelry has made for uninterrrupted sleep to the in house inhabitants who had previously been awoken by the excitement of the canine house occupants when wild animals wandered beneath their feet.  We wish all critters a warmer spring!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Wildlife and Horses

One day I stayed for hours out in the pasture with the herd. I had just moved all 6 mares with their 4 month old foals out to the ridge land where they joined up with the older ‘saddle horses’.  Our land in Kentucky was nourished all summer by frequents rains and the grass (and weeds!) were rich and lush.

There was jostling and posturing and baby foal clacking. I was mesmerized by all the activity and stood quietly watching.  Something caught my eye and here are 2 coyotes traveling a well worn path not 20 feet from me.   They saw me turn and fled so fast they seemed an illusion.   Later, gazing up toward the barn I spied a red fox trotting across the top of the pond.  All this activity, I thought, this herd is in the middle of the wildlife.   Finally I tore myself away and as I came out from behind some bushes, I spooked a white tail doe, who bounded off into the woods.  What else is out here that lives with my herd, I wondered?

Later in my house as I write this I looked out the window and saw 3 deer in with the stallion.  They seems to be getting closer…who will be the first to venture into the backyard?…probably the fox!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Musical Mhairs

Musical Mhairs... what's that you say?  Imagine musical chairs with mares as chairs...
these 4 new babies this spring came within a couple of weeks of eachother, their dams  all related; sisters,  mothers, daughters, all bay and all babies alike. 
When I cracked open the barn door the other evening at feeding time, I peered out at a new young mother and watched her baby suckle.  Who? that is not your mama!  I peered around the corner of the barn door and saw a baby following the wrong mare!
A few days before I was watching a mare run with a baby stuck to her side, striding leg for leg along her side. Wrong mama!  This last one showed me how the instinct to stay next to a large body saves their life in a running herd, not knowing why, what, or who, they run and know to stay someone bigger but just like them!
Seems like they have all sorted themselves out better lately!
 So we are on our herdy way!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Tribute to Ruffles 1981-2013

TAMU Ruffles Copy "Ruffles" Tribute Apr 6 1981 - Feb 8, 2013

Here she is as a 2 yr old when I bought her while at Texas A &M. This mare changed my life. Because of  her sensitivities and my desire to get along with her she pushed me to seek out what is now called 'Natural Horsemanship ' but 30 years ago it was not labeled as such.

My friend while pregnant with her first child drove across country with Ruffles and I. It is the only child whose age I have been able to keep up with as the years travel along and our friendship lasts through our lives.

My path with horses may have led me to the same place because I believe we are given more than one opportunity but I will tribute Ruffles this distinction for my life was led toward rewards from horses that I had only so far dreamed about.  She had a long life and she will be missed. She left gently to go stay with heavenly horses.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Winter has given way in Kentucky and all the bales of hay and buckets of feed I have been toting all winter have given me the pay off. The grass is greening and the horses are shedding and I start to see the gleam again that has been hidden in long hair, dirt, and mud. There is renewed energy in the hoofs as the horses flit and sprint across pastures, heads lifted and tails streaming. Ahh, it has all been worth it...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Animernal Instinct

I pulled the puppies out from under the barn where the stray Mama had whelped them. I never realized she had so many! But they sure are cute and I was glad to see she had done her job... now that they were in the middle of the open barn in an open crate I started to worry...after darkness fell and everything was quiet as I went to bed I lay there and heard( or imagined!) tiny squeals. I got up 3 times to listen and each time the Mama was by the front door, and not with her puppies. I had visions of tiny morsels for coyotes, foxes, coons, possums, and lord knows what else. Finally, around midnight I made the trek to the barn, found a big box and brought them onto the porch. Of course they escaped as pups are wont to do, but they were safe and sound in the morning. Tonight I made up the rabbit hutch, so after awhile I will lock them up away from critters and varmints that might do them harm.

When I related my story to my sister, she coined the phrase, 'Animernal Instinct'.

(PS, this afternoon a couple of coyotes loped across the pasture).

Friday, September 2, 2011

Note from the farm

Dear Ma and Pa,

Everything is fine here. I am sending a picture of the horse colt born this year. I know you have seen him before but I admire him and his color so I am sending it along. We added a litter of pups to the pack yesterday, a little black dog came a couple of months ago and had her puppies under the old coal bin in the tobacco barn. One hussy mare pushed down the fence to get with the stallion. She is fine but he got a cut on his leg and he is now up in the barn recovering. I haven't had my farm bushhogged lately and the weeds are so tall I can't see my horses anymore. One spot out on the ridge by the pond is bare and yesterday I saw my flock of turkeys hanging out. I know them by their meager numbers (about a dozen) and the one that is all white. I have not seen the foxes lately but I do have a snake in the feed room. I guess that means my mice population is at risk. I use my flashlight to check out the feed bags before sticking my hand down in them. I don't mind snakes but they give me a shock to touch. Your loving daughter...