Sunday, January 23, 2011

Extra Sauce

Just a few more pics from today, enjoy my orange beauty...

Working It

Last week I got to go to the barn all of zero times between the weather and grades being due. To make up for it, Morrissey and I worked out Saturday and Sunday. Chris came along Sunday to document both of us chubby girls doing something active. 

First, we got in a lot of leading practice. She's doing really well with respecting my space, and following my cues. I am still having a lot of trouble with backing up. I shake the lead and she looks at me. I shake it more and she looks some more. I flap my elbows and chicken walk, she seems to want to rear. I can easily get her to back up, by pushing her chest or just applying backward pressure with the lead, but I'd rather do it with more distance between us. Morrissey is a good horse and I know she wants to do what I ask. That leads me to believe that I am asking incorrectly.  I've decided to just lay off on the shaking to back up thing until I can get Dot out to show me my mistake. Hopefully I can have her out in February.

Now that Morrissey respects me, the lunging is going really well. I suspected that she knew voice commands, and today this was confirmed. She walks when I say walk, she trots when I say trot. Canter didn't work, but lope did. Like many drafty horses, Morrissey is a reluctant loper. If I ask, I'm guaranteed to get some attitude. Being the chicken that I am, I rarely ask. Today I was feeling confident so I asked. She bucked, I continued to ask and she cantered quite a bit. I left feeling exhilarated! I love this pony so much!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Music to My Ears

 a terrible snapshot of my wonderful snapshot
One of the least farmish things about me is my taste in music. I wouldn't really call it suburban either, but it sure isn't your typical farm fare.  I listen to a lot of hip-hop, and the occasional pop song, but my true love is Indie Rock. As I've said before, I try to be open minded and tolerant. One of the harder things in this world for me to tolerate is Country music. I was raised on it, but 99% of it drives me insane.
Indie Rock is open minded in itself. The range of musical types encompassed by this title is vast.
One of my favorite bands is The Decemberists. They are wonderful. When the deluxe box edition of their latest album The King is Dead came in the mail recently, I was excited to see how farmish the whole thing was. The music is folksy, the album art features horses and weedy fields. I love it. It is the perfect soundtrack to my life right now. One of the features included in the deluxe box edition, was a Polaroid photo taken during the making of the album. I'm not quite sure what my photo depicts, but I love it none the less. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

What day is it???

Morrissey's mouth seems to be all healed up. I am still not sure what caused it. I'm just glad it is gone. She is such a goof. Worming her yesterday left us both covered in bright yellow worming paste. I'm just going to have to learn that I'll never leave the barn looking clean enough to go somewhere else. She has a warm cozy stall, but naturally she was standing in the rain when I showed up. A nuzzle-happy,  fuzzy Haflinger with a drenched winter coat means your shirt will end up smudged. I managed pretty well though. I was still able to head to my suburban grocery store after the barn trip, with minimal embarrassment.

My first Goat Club meeting was this weekend. Unfortunately,  I forgot what day it was and didn't go to the meeting. I feel like a fool, but when teachers aren't at work, they tend to forget what the date is... it can't be only me who has done this... right?!  I bought a bar of goat-milk soap from my local feed store and have been using it this week. The soap comes from TLC Farms, where one of my doelings is coming from. I honestly couldn't believe the difference in my skin. It feels smoother, softer and just better than it used to feel. I've only had to use lotion once since I started with the goat-milk soap. This is an abnormally cold winter for us and prior to the soap change, I was applying lotion at least two times a day. The lemon grass sent that I chose also stays on my skin for so long.  I have been converted. I can't wait until my does are in milk so I can start making soap for myself!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mouth Sores?!?

In this shot, you can see one by her nose.
A few days ago I noticed a little sore on Morrissey's lip. Today there were more. I have no idea what this could be. Does anyone have any ideas? It is on both sides of her mouth. They don't seem to be bothering her. Nothing in her diet has changed recently. The weather has gotten much colder, but I don't see how it could be related.

Today we worked on moving away from pressure and general ground manners. She was amazing! I've been meaning to work on how mouthy she is, but it is hard to tell her no. She constantly wants my hands in or near her mouth, but she never bites. She reminds me of a goat. She tried to bite the button off my jacket. When I told her no she let it go. Who knows what she is getting into in her pasture that is causing the sores. I've looked at all the plants in her pasture. They look the pretty normal... dead, but normal. Maybe it is something in her round bale? I'll have to check it out.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Squirrel Knows Why...

Who? you ask... Squirrel, she is my awesome class gerbil. She was originally named Marvolo, but my students voted to change her name. I have to admit, her new name fits her better.  What? you ask... She knows the reason that posts have been slow. How? you ask... Because she's seen me at school, hard at work. The week after vacation is always hardest for sure. Hopefully the weather and my workload will improve and I'll have more to post, until then look at Squirrel reading the board. 

Seriously though, gerbils are awesome pets. They are entertaining, affectionate, easy to care for, and independent. They aren't supposed to be kept alone, but Squirrel doesn't like other gerbils. She loves my husband, likes me and tolerates 85 children.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Did Someone Say Cliché?

They insisted on doing this... really.
Happy New Year! I know that this blog has been almost entirely about plans and goals, but what better time to make a nice, neat bullet point list that I can refer back to later?

This year I would like to...

  • Ride Morrissey without being afraid.
  • Continue with Morrissey's training
  • Blog more about the dogs, (even the blind one who won't look at the camera).
  • Draw a nice large portrait of Morrissey to hang in the house.
  • Earn a dry champion leg for at least one of my goats. 
  • Teach the goats to drive a cart.
  • Start making and perhaps selling goat-milk soap.
  • Learn more about nutrition for each of my farmish pets and provide them with the best food possible.
  • Make solid plans about looking for a new (horse and goat friendly) home. 
  • I know I said no more farm animals for two years, but perhaps a donkey or LGD for my goats?
  • Hold on tight to my positive suburban attributes while adding some nice farmish ones as well.