Category Archives: horses

hey hey hey a farm photo post

this past weekend me and mom were farmers.  we went to the farm to feed the animals and ended up herding cows.  we didn’t get them where we wanted them…but we tried and will try again.

we have been trying to get to the farm a lot but with the cold weather and it getting dark so early it has been rough getting out there.  i will say when we do go it makes me so happy to be with the furry animals.

now for some pictures (most of these are from feb with some from last weekend).

new resident

new resident

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amazing sky.

amazing sky.

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debating on nibbling the camera.

debating on nibbling the camera.

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a man and his horse.  (we got him so far before he got spooked and ran back to his mom)

a man and his horse. (we got him so far before he got spooked and ran back to his mom)

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my buddy coming to see me.

my buddy coming to see me.

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moving the horses to a different field.

moving the horses to a different field.

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me and andy on "our" hill.

me and andy on “our” hill.

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sometimes it frustrates me that the camera doesn't capture as good as real life.

sometimes it frustrates me that the camera doesn’t capture as good as real life.

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breath taking views

breath taking views

always looking for a treat

always looking for a treat

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jack is fun to take pictures of because he reminds me of eeyore.

jack is fun to take pictures of because he reminds me of eeyore.

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hold me

hold me

silly boys (notice pancake sticking out his tongue)

silly boys (notice pancake sticking out his tongue)

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jack and pancake (notice how jack is listening for pancake to attack)

jack and pancake (notice how jack is listening for pancake to attack)

argyle growing up

argyle growing up

andy and the furries

andy and the furries

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poor jack looks fluffy

poor jack looks fluffy

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it is time to work the cattle which means shots, vaccines, and new tags.  that is why they are in the barn, but fear not they will be turned out again soon and will be back to eating grass and mooing.

alban hills

(that is the name of the farm incase you didn’t know – or if you actually cared).

i mentioned will getting attached by the horses while he was in town.  well the proof is in this post.  it was really muddy when we went out there so we stayed in the kabota and fed them treats from there.  abbey distracted will and penny grabbed the treat bucket and tipped it over.  it was a feast for everyone!  jack was sad so he blocked our path so that he could get some special loving!  he always looks so sad.

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with it getting dark so early it is a little hard to get good pictures of the animals.  but i still love taking my camera trying to get a great shot.

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i know the animals love the treats but it makes me happy that they come running when we get there.  a while ago we went to feed and saw a blue cow.  he was so slate gray he was blue.  by the time we could get a picture of him (his mama was really protective) he has already turned more gray/cream and less blue.  all of the baby cows are getting so big.

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i can’t wait for days to be longer so we can spend more time wandering around and playing with the animals.

furry happiness

we go to the farm to feed animals i have stated before that it is more for my benefit then it is for theirs.  they can eat grass and be happy with that, but who doesn’t want a little treat every now and then.  it doesn’t matter how bad of a day that i have had going to see the animals and ride around makes me happy.  some people go to happy hour and have liquid happiness i go to the farm for furry happiness.

i have enjoyed being able to go see the mountains and have enjoyed being “responsible” for animals.  pancake has come such a long way.  do i trust him yet – not at all, but i feel a lot more comfortable around him and he does me too.  i can now put my forehead on his and he crosses his eyes and looks at me but doesn’t jerk away like he has been shot.  he has gotten to the point where he always wants to run to us.  which is awesome but a little scary when he is flying down a hill and you are at the bottom. pancake also does this thing where he will just stick out his tongue after eating!

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pancake has always had personality (which was evident when he tried to take dad out and escape the horse trailer) but it is really starting to show in a fun way.  he loves treats.  sometimes he gets really excited and tries to eat your hand with them but he responds to ouch and stop and a firm hand on the forehead.  he tries to steal other animals treats also.  he also loves the camera.  i will get the camera out and he comes to see it.  he wants to smell it and lick it and see if it is a treat.  he loves having his picture taken even if it mean photobombing another picture!

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he still gets antsy around the horses but has gotten more bold and will come around them.  i recently learned that he slurps his water.  he will put his lips in a bucket of water and uses his lips like they are his personal straw.  it is really funny but could be a little annoying if he did it all the time around me.  (the horses also drink this way too).

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now that the weather is getting cooler all the animals are feeling a little frisky.  pancake is running circles around us and jack.  jack has gotten a lot more mobile since pancake has come to live at the farm.  jack runs and kicks and makes a weird heehaw noise.  it is a little more like a screech noise but still gets the point across.  jack also gets excited about treats.  he doesn’t bite as much as he lips.  he will take the treat from me but my hand ends up in his lips.  he really loves the caramel treats that we recently got.

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argyle is growing up so much.  we put the halter on his….and he lost it.  we are still looking in brush and on limbs to see where he got it caught..  he is almost taller than me.  he is fuzzy (with his baby/winter coat).  he loves for his butt to be rubbed.  he will let me rub his head and neck and then he turns so that we can get to his back and butt.  he also will still rub/lean up against me like a big dog.  he loves attention and treats and is getting a lot more bold with the big horses.

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the other horses are still crazy.  they love treats and being bullies to the other animals.  flag is getting a lot nicer and actually will listen to me (well sort of).  abbey and penny are still a little jumpy and bossy but they are sweet and get treats too.

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dinozzo…he is getting big!

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we love to take my camera (in part for the animals but also for the mountains).  you never know what you will capture.  (all of the pictures are from the last several weeks).

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my dose of furry happiness.

the country: a beautiful thing

growing up we took a lot of family vacations.  i say a lot but i have no idea how many we really took because when you are younger things seem more often.  i know that we travelled all over and i am amazed at some of the places my parents have told me i have been but i don’t really remember.  some of the memories i have of those vacations are of me and will running through museums trying to get through them as quickly as we could so we could move on.  i remember waiting on my parents (who according to my younger self) were the slowest people in the world.  it was a race to get back to the hotel/camp ground to go swimming in the pool.  ah the joys of family vacations as a child.  when we loaded up for vacations as teenagers it was more of the same, but instead of running to the end, it was more avoid and hide from my parents (who according to my teenager self) were the most embarrassing humans alive.  it was a slow form of torture.  looking back i realize that it was actually (dare i say) fun.  now looking back it makes me a little sad.  not only because of the carefree vacations but because i missed out on a lot of things because i was too hurried to really look at the things in the museum or appreciate the sites.  i was too busy making fun of things that we had to do to really absorb it and the history.  as a teenager i was so annoyed that i wasn’t with my friends that i missed out on a lot of great experiences.  i might have been physically there and going through motions but i didn’t really “get” it – whatever “it” was.  this is true for our trip to washington dc, the nasa space center in fl, countless museums across the south, the cherokee reenactments etc. 

that rambling leads me to this:

i grew up in the city, yes i spent time in the country visiting family on some weekends and in the summer but let’s face it…i’m a city girl.  there are times i pretend that i am a country girl…like when we go feed the animals and i move a branch out of the tractor path and act like the world stood still until those tasks were accomplished.  i pretend that i know what i am doing when i grab the horse’s halter to put fly medicine on her face – but in reality i am thinking “please don’t pull me through the fence.”   i pretend that i trust pancake when i think he is really plotting against me (especially when he flattens his ears).  i pretend that pancake has come a great ways and it is all because i am a self-proclaimed donkey whisperer.  i pretend that if it wasn’t for me and andy, argyle would be so skittish around humans that he would be considered for the rodeo.  i pretend that when argyle goes to his new home (whenever that might be) that i won’t miss him because he is just a horse when i actually think that i love him and there is a great possibility that i will cry when i drive up and he isn’t standing in the field with his lanky legs running to the fence to greet us.  

i pretend that i have always enjoyed doing these things…but i haven’t.  i can remember when i was growing up and was “forced” to come to tn with my family.  it was a time when i was starting to really have a social life outside of neighbors and family friends but wasn’t old enough to stay at home so my parents did the responsible thing and took me with them.  i drug my feet the entire time.  i longed to be with my friends in the city and hated that i was missing all of the latest things.  i was worried that my best friends would replace me in the 72 hours that i was out of their sight.  i missed the beauty in feeding animals with my grandmother.  i missed the knowledge in riding around town with my grandfather making deliveries and picking up boxes.  i missed the freedom in running through a tobacco field looking for tobacco worms.  i missed the experience of riding on the tractor around the farm.  i missed the familiarity of walking through the barn yard with the cows.  i missed the understanding of why we picked and shelled beans and cut up apples.  i will take a moment to make it clear that i did all of those things and for the most part i plastered a smile on my face but it isn’t until now – years later – that i fully grasp what i was missing out on by not truly living in the moment.  i didn’t take advantage of the situations and now that we are living here there are things i wish i could do again and wish that andy could experience because they really were life changing things – if i had only let them be.  no one in my family grows tobacco anymore and when we pass a field i am reminded of running through the rows and looking for worms.  it makes me sad that andy may never see one and get to step on it.  we won’t be able to walk into a barn and smell the dried tobacco.  i missed out – i took for granted those experiences because i wanted to be somewhere else.

i have been thinking a lot about all of this in the past year and have come to the conclusion that if i would have moved to tn earlier in my life (or if i was born and raised here) i would not be as appreciative as i am today to be doing the things i am doing.  if i lived here when i was in high school i would have applied to college and moved far away because i wouldn’t have appreciated the experiences that this little town has to offer.  i would have been the first of my class to skip town and get on with my life.  i would fled and never looked back and honestly would have never realized what i was walking away from. 

it took moving to the country to realize how much i took for granted and still take for granted.  i feel like i am more aware now (as compared to when i was younger).  i see the outline of the mountains in the morning sun and notice the way the sun highlights the ridges.  i see the clouds casting shadows in the valleys.  i laugh when argyle leans into me to be rubbed like a big dog.  i practice tough love when i take the feed buckets away from jack and pancake.  i practice tolerance when the horses try to steal each others sweet feed.  i sit in awe listening to the creek at night in the cool mountain breeze.  i enjoy riding around the farm looking for baby cows and wild turkeys.  i do all of these things now with a true appreciation and it isn’t because i am a farmer or a country girl, but because i don’t want these experiences to pass me by again. 

living here in the country with a second chance: it’s a beautiful thing.

funny animals…

so a while ago we went to the farm to feed and took the camera and got some great pictures!

oh no I lost my ear!

oh no I lost my ear!

just kidding here it is!

just kidding here it is!

he is so funny and likes having his picture taken (as long as he gets treats in the process).

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I also found some pictures of when Bryson, kelli, and betsy came to see the baby horse (from back in june).

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this past weekend we went to Bristol to see friends and andy went to the race (with dad).  I am so tired (even after a nap) and am not ready to go back to work tomorrow….but next week is a short week and we have some wonderful plans (i think) for labor day so I am excited about that).

pancake is a jerk and other farm animals…

many weeks of events narrowed into one post:

pancake:  is a jerk.  he was let out into the barn yard (while i was at the beach) and he rolled in the dirt and acted like he was going to be good.  sometime that night he busted through the electric fence and got jack, the other donkey, and the horses and cows to inter mingle and go to places they shouldn’t have been.  so he is a bad influence.  so i was upset about that when i was informed that he was chasing the little calves.  it was feared that if he kept chasing them he would run them to death (it can really happen).  and my fear was that if it killed a calf pancake would be no longer…when i got back from the beach i found him (in the field with the cows and jack and the horses) and we had a talk about how bad he was.  he wasn’t to chase the calves any longer and he wasn’t to be mean.  he was to be a sweet donkey and stop running through the electric fence.  i am happy to report that he hasn’t been through anymore fences.  he has been good (as far as i know) and has been hanging out with jack.  he seems to like his friend and seems really happy in the field.  now when we go feed he will run to me (i am not delusional to think he is running to me….it is the sweet feed and treats that he loves).  when we are done feeding he will follow us back to the gate wanting more treats.  we can rub him and pat him now (he still gets a little skittish depending on if the horses are around) but for the most part he is getting used to us.  he had a cut on his neck (jack bites him and tackles him) so i had to get some purple spray to put on it.  i got the wrong kind because it makes noise coming out of the can…but we were both troopers and he didn’t kick me so it was all good.  even though he is kind of a jerk he really is cute and i love him.

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jack:  is old.  he has been around for a long time.  i think his official name is black jack but he has since faded and isn’t pure black anymore so i just call him jack.  he is so funny.  unlike pancake’s ears (that are always pointed straight up) jack will let his ears flop over and he looks sad all the time.  the first few times i would feed him he would just get a mouth full of food and would look at me.  now he sticks his head in the bucket and won’t move.  (it is funny seeing two donkeys trying to put their head in the same bucket – they don’t like it and act like they are going to fight it out).  we have witnessed jack nipping at pancakes legs and we have seen him tackle pancake.  we have seen him run and cut off a horse to get his sweet feed.  he will come to us and he will follow us when we go back to the gate.  unlike pancake who puts his head through the gate jack will but his head against the gate almost like he is bowing in prayer for one more.  and looks up like well…  jack is very relaxed (unless abbey is around) and you can rub him and pat him and put him in a head lock.  he is a sweet boy.

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abbey and flag: are horses.  we have started feeding the horses in the field because they make pancake and jack skittish.  they are demanding and want food yesterday.  we take an extra bucket so that they can have some sweet feed.  (i admit we try to sneak up to the field so we don’t have to worry about them being around while we feed).  they are both beautiful but they are a handful (especially when i am still not too trusting that pancake won’t kick me at some point).  abbey rules the field and all the other animals (cows included) will get out of her way.  flag isn’t as mean but is big and so i think he intimidates but is actually not as needy/demanding/bossy.  they really are sweet and if i wasn’t worried about getting kicked by them or the donkeys i wouldn’t mind them a bit.

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penny: is a horse full or surprises.  a while ago when i went to feed pancake i heard luigi making a fuss and pancake was making noise and i heard another noise that i didn’t know.  i walked around the corner and there stood penny with her baby (we call him argyle).  her owner didn’t know she was pregnant until a few days before she had the foal.  she refused to let me touch her and cornered me in the barn twice when i was feeding luigi.  she wouldn’t let the colt get close to me (she would snort and he would back up).  finally she ate some sweet feed and she is my new best friend.  as long as her head was in a bucket she would let us pet and brush her.  i was finally able to touch argyle by brushing her and moved on to him and he was ok (mostly).  we have made great progress.  penny body checked me and made me drop a bucket and almost fall on my face (never get in the way of a horse and her bucket).  argyle bit me (he is chewing a lot).  he will let us pet him and thinks he is 1. a dog (he leans into me when i rub him) and 2. a rodeo star (he will randomly run around bucking).  he is so funny to watch get bigger.  he is letting us pet him and pat him and will approach us when we call him.  i still am cautious about him kicking so i keep my hand on his back and make sure he never turns on me.  (andy laughed at me when argyle bit me…i got to laugh at him because argyle bit his leg hairs and pulled).  penny is a beautiful horse and her colt is so handsome.  we have great plans for him to win the kentucky derby….ok maybe not.

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luigi: is the proud papa.  he is still funny.  he tries to eat my camera when i take pictures of him.  we are able to brush him a little bit…but he really is only interested in flapping his lips and eating treats!

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blackie: is not my favorite.  dad went to check on pancake and blackie was in the hay loft.  blackie is a 18 foot black snake (ok maybe not 18 feet but when you are talking about snakes 2 feet might as well be 18 feet).  i seriously think he might be 5 foot but the next time i went to the barn i talked to the snake…i said please don’t ever show yourself while i am here.  i know that black snakes are good and i don’t want to kill him…but if he sneaks up on me or freaks me out i am not promising i wouldn’t throw my bucket at him.  we made a pack (at least on my end we did) that i wouldn’t hurt him as long as he stayed out of my way.  now when i go i make sure i turn on lights and that i look before entering.  blackie creeps me out.

we have had so much fun checking on and feeding the animals.  it has been an adventure trying to gain the trust of an animal that doesn’t really understand what is going on.  pancake was taken from the only family that he has known.  jack was thrown together with a crazy young ass.  penny had to trust that these strangers wouldn’t hurt her or the baby.  argyle had to learn that we wouldn’t hurt him or his mama (now if he would learn to not bite).  and blackie understands his hiding places is the difference in life and death.

with andy’s summer schedule i had to feed alone a lot of the time and it was hard work and sometimes scary.  “farming” is hard work but it is so rewarding when the animals walk up to you and put their muzzle in your hand after thinking that there would be no way they would ever warm up to you.