Friday, July 8, 2011

Update on mini barn!

Yay! We now have a roof, 2 walls  put up and everyone will have their very own window in their stall when completed! Today the cement will be going in the walkway and the first layer of limestone will be put into the stalls. The two donkeys will share a stall.  They are too attached to eachother be separated.  Everyone else has their own 8X8.  We took a little break from barn building
with all the holiday BBQs, wedding, graduations parties, baby showers, and birthday parties that have been going on the last 6 weeks but now we are
back in full force to get this barn done by the time our next new arrival comes in a month!!

They had been staring at this barn for a long time!  We fenced around it and let them come in.
Now they NEVER leave even when we have the tractor in there and nail guns sounding off!
And why would they?  They have shade, protection from any rain, and all the yummy grass in there they can eat... well at least they did up until last night lol! 

3 hours after letting them go inside.... Flynn is STILL in there!!

It kinda reminds me of an exhibit at the zoo or something like that!
Appartently Fairah was thinking the same thing.

After the fence post in removed this will be the view from the barn door

Cowboy finally left his new barn structure just long enough to have some dinner.

Sorry Nadia!  No doggies in the barn!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Introducing the newest members to our farm.......

Missy and Feather!!

Missy and Feather are half sisters and are 10 and 11 months old.. They are mini donkeys.
The two are inseperable as you can see from the pictures they never leave eachothers side.
They are both show donkeys and we hope to get them in the ring sometimes next year.
The boys were VERY excited to have new friends and were a little pesty at first but have been very kind and willing to share their space with these two girls.

Checking out the new grass!

Not too sure about getting out of the trailer

Heading out to the pasture to meet their new roommates

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Two New Additions Are Coming Soon To Join The Mini Clan!!

The boys will be getting not one but TWO new MINI surprises soon in the next month!!
To be revealed at a later date!!!!

Bringing The Boys Home and first bathes!

Moving day was a breeze and the boys have seemed to fall right into their new
schedule and pasture with ease!
Walking Flynn around the new pasture to get him familarized. He is such a good boy and
 handled everything beatifully. I was like he had been living there all along!

The new sign for the front pasture gate.

Of all the new loving family members surrounding this little horse he seems to have put all of his trust and respect into this little girl!  He follows orders for her with the zero resistance and with the greatest of ease and confidence.  It is an unspeakable bond that has been created in the short time since he has been moved out to the new pasture. It funny... Here is this little 3 year old girl, who expects nothing from this horse yet he gives her everything.  He can be so stubborn for me to work with and sometimes to just get him to move.  But he never fails to do so with her!! All those days I was out at the boarding stables with him without my daughter because it was raining, too muddy, too cold, or too snowy and he STILL chooses her!  All the times I fed him the treats, removed the knots from his hair and cleaned the dirt from his eyes and hooves.
 It is funny.... the lessons you learn in life!
I guess it is true...
"It isn't the person who seeks the horse it is the horse who seeks the person".

FINALLY!  Warm enough weather for a well needed soapy bath!!

Drying out after the bath

She HAD to show the horses her ballet recital costume to see what they thought of her!

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Beginning Of A New Chapter

I welcomed in my 28th birthday this year with the completion of our pasture! The rain held out just long enough for us to finish with all the work that was left to do. Still not as flat as I would like it to be but it is far better than it was a week ago and I just have to except that not everything can be perfect. 

View from the gate

Our little stable barn is also on its way and should be completed within the next couple of weeks for now the boys will take shelter in a run-in and they have alot of tree covering as well out in the pasture.

Got the bone for the barn almost all up

Next weekend is moving day and we will say goodbye to the boarding stables
and all the friends we have made hooved and all...
Only a week later than we had orginally planned so I think we did pretty well as far as finishing it on time considering all the bad weather we have been having.

Road side view of the boarding stables
Our next big job is finding the perfect show filly to go along with our boys.
It has been difficult so far deciding if we want a weanling or an older filly.  The only problem I am having with a weanling is that we wont get her until the end of summer and you never know exactly how they will turn out.  It is a gamble for me.  Even with good bloodlines they may not end up with the best conformation or even stay the same color.

"The face of a true cowgirl"

We are thinking about getting a solid colored filly that is eye catching a dark palomino, black, roan, silver dapple, or buckskin or if I got lucky and found a reasonably priced filly with a nice looking appy blanket I would consider that too since the boys are both pinto we thought the filly shouldn't be. We considered going out of state about 4 to 5 hours or so to look at some falabella purebred but they always carry a VERY heavy price tag and I really don't know alot about the falabellas and what makes them so special.
It will be interesting to see what we end up with!!
Me and Giselle with my 28th birthday Barbie cake! 
Only took me 28 years to finally get a Barbie cake!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Updates On Our Mini Project and Playhouse Project!!

Pasture fence up *Check*
Removal of Chokecherry trees *Check*
Removal of rocks *Check*
Gate up *Check*
Weed removal *Check*
Stump removal *Check*
Root removal *Check* (well most all of them)
Ground racked with tractor - Tried but ground mostly too wet and tractor sunk
Holes all filled in- Everytime I turn around there seems to be another one that needs to be filled in
Ground rolled out- Tried but the ground again being so wet makes it difficult
Barn built - The frame is up!!

On top of our "mini project" we also have some other small and large projects going on which include my husband helping my grandpa rebuild his deck and reshingle his pole barn.  We also have a beautiful little playhouse to finish off for my girls which by far has been the most fun of all our projects.  We have some shelving to still put up on the inside of the playhouse, the deck to finish and stain, putting up this adorable mailbox I found at a local craft store, finish the garden path that leads up to the playhouse.
So far though we have managed to make curtains for the windows and pillows, drywall and paint the inside with an accent wall of pink and lavendar strips, add carpeting, electricity with light switches and 3 outlets, I slipcovered a childs chair to add inside as well, we moved the girl's play kitchen inside, framed and hung some pictures, painted the outside a bright sunny yellow, added windows boxes, and painted the mailbox!  and lots and lots of PINK, PINK, PINK!  My dream is to add on a sleeping loft sometime in the next few years for the girls to enjoy backyard sleepovers.
Cant wait to have our first movie night in the playhouse!!
Still needs the perfect name for the playhouse!

 Here are some pictures of our work in progress......



Kitchen area view from front window

Playhouse birdcage hanging light with my talented husband's beautiful stripped paint job


One of my favorite parts of the playhouse... The mailbox!  Can't wait to have it up!

Gotta have a nursery area for your playhouse!
Which also ahs a baby changing area and drawers for baby diapers and clothing
which wasn't adding in the picture

Mr gnome hanging out in one of the window boxes

My slipcovered chair

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Shinning up those pennies!!

How do you keep others from eating your food??

Take a nap on it!

Going to be talking to the boarding stable owner about them maybe getting too much hay lol!

They sure do love their grooming time!

These boys are such a MESS!!  I really don't think they had seen a brush in a very long time but they sure do look forward to it now! I have been grooming them almost everyday for weeks now and am just starting to see the fruits of my labor. Mane and tails are looking healthier and they are loosing alot of that scruffy winter hair and I cut some of the hair that had begun to mat on their bellies, neck and between their legs. I clean their feet everytime they get groomed too which is getting them more used to being messed with and building confidence.  Flynn is a little funny about his back hooves and tail being touched.  I really think it scared him because he was gelded shortly before I got him and was messed with alot "back there" before he came to me. They poured ice water on his suture area multiple time a day for 2 weeks to keep swelling down!  If that doesn't some horrible in itself the temp. was topping out no more than the mid 20's at that point in the year here in MI!  Can you say "frost bite" OUCH!!  I think I'm gonna let their manes grow out some.  They were obviously shaved down last summer.  I'm not a huge fan of the half shaved mane thing that seems to be the trend for the mini  horse show ring.  A "bridle/halter path" I can understand but I feel like when you shave half the mane off them it looks a little silly and takes away from that natural wild beauty that horses have.  This is just my thought so I hope I don't offend anyone! I picked up some MTG by Shapley's I read alot of reviews about it and people just seem to rave about it so I thought we would give it a try and see if it speeds up the mane and tail growing process.  Plus, Flynn has been doing some tail rubbing I've noticed and I don't want him to start rubbing the hair off!! I should be getting the braided tail socks that I ordered by the end of the week and the goal is to maybe get some nice long bushy manes and tail that maybe drag on the ground a couple inches! Then, IF it ever gets warm out shaving these big wooly pony coats off!! I am very excited to see them look less like furry mules and more like horses!  This will be the first time I will have seen their true colors and markings!  It will be like unwrapping a Christmas gift!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

"Project Mini"

Fairah brings a whole new kinda fashion to the tractor world!
We made the decision a few weeks ago that having the minis close to us was more important than having all the luxurious amenities that comes with boarding your horse.  Indoor arena, having someone to always feed your horse in good weather and bad, heated barn bathrooms, someone that always cleans out your horse's stall, lots of round pens to work in, unlimited access to jumps and obstacles ect. heated wash rack and so on and so on...  
When we decided that we would start prepping the 2 1/2 acre lot for the minis we thought piece of cake! The ground appeared to be flat, there were only few small trees that needed to be removed, plenty of shade for themunder some pines, no poisonous plants or trees anywhere near the pasture to worry about, the weather was getting warmer, it was PERFECT!  Or so we thought...

The boys got out there early on a Saturday morning to start putting in the posts.  They are all very handy guys and this is far from the first time they have put up fencing.  After just drilling 3 post holes they started to lose control of their auger.  It was actually getting sucked further into the ground than they wanted and was near impossible with FOUR guys to get it back out.  Apparently there was not only ALOT of clay under the soil but natural springs flowing that they were hitting and drive the auger down. What they thought would take 2 days ended up taking 4.  

After digging 50 or 60 post hole, we thought the hardest part of the pasture prep was done... Well, not exactly!  We plowed down the long dead weeds and briars with the large tractor to discover what will be the BIGGEST part of the "project mini" so far.  The new pasture had been a wild jungle for many years that had never been kept up. The weeds in the summer time would easily be up to my head (I'm 5'2). It alwasy apeared to be somewhat flap.  Well... We were VERY wrong!  In fact the field was VERY uneven to make matters worse it was over grown with small trees, SNAKES! thorny wild raspberry and blueberry bushes, SNAKES! huge rocks,  prickly briars, did I mention SNAKES! and holes holes, holes. So guess what my job was besides being the official snake charmer :)

I had the liberty along with about 4 other family members of cutting down all the tiny trees that the tractor didn't pick up, removing HUGE rocks, snipping huge roots that stuck out of the ground, trimming up tree branches from the trees we are keeping, racking up all the mowed over tree branches and weeded grass the tractor didn't catch, and pulling those nasty briars out by the roots (they will soon be sprayed) to try to keep them from growing back.  My next big job is filling in all those wonderful holes! Good thing I love any type of outdoor work.... Expect having snakes popping up on me!!

On the bright side we had GREAT weather 80 degrees and sunny for our first official day of work.  It was the the first and warmest day we have had since probably last August.... Followed of course by 2 weeks of straight snow, hail storms, heavy cold rain, and lots lots of wind. 

Our weather has more mood swings than a toddler! My girls got to come out and help on the warmer days that we had and my oldest got her first official drving lesson on the tractor with her great grandmother and uncle at the age of 3!  She is already turning into such a little country farm girl and my youngest will be too once she doesn't mind getting her hands dirty but she is already obsessed with farm animals! 

Giselle was so proud of herself

We just finished week three of our new weekend mini project about to start number four tomorrow and like week three it looks like it will be another gloomy, wet, windy day.  We hope to have the boys moved over to their new pasture before the biginning of May.  We will put up a temperary shelter for them while and we work on the next project of contructing their very own barn which hopefully will include a heated wash rack for them.  I just know they are going to LOVE their new home! They may get a little more bored not having all the other horses around from the boarding stable but I think they will be perfectly fine with eachother's company. The barn and pasture will have everything a little horse could ask for.   There has already been talk of adding a filly after the boys get comfortable!!  Now we just need a name for our new little mini farm hmmmm..... Any ideas???

Someone thinks Giselle needs to be sharing that popsicle

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Horse With A Big Question Mark!

Well, the boys are here getting used to their new home and new friends but it sure has made it hard for us to do much with them with all the mud and the freezing cold rain and on again off again snow and hail we keep getting.
We get them all groomed out and look shiny and new again to turn them back out to a mud pit and of course being the naughty boys that they are the first thing they will go do after getting groomed is roll in the mud!

Although the rain and snow is nasty it drove us into having to use the indoor arena where we discovered Flynn's natural talent and love for jumping! Someone had left a set of 4 jumps out after practicing with their own horse and so I decided to walk him over the jumps for a little exercise.  But Flynn didn't wanna walk over them.... instead he JUMPED OVER ALL FOUR OF THEM! And was ready to do it again and again and again!  I have been jumping for about 10 minute with him daily now and he gets SO excited when we enter the arena he can hardly contain himself!! I have to limit him to only about 10 minute or so because I think if I didn't he would jump all day long! Most of the other boarders are impressed at how much of a liking he has for the jumping so soon after starting and how well he does with them. It sure has boosted his confidence too!  He struts back into the pasture after his workouts.

Cowboy on the other hand is a little bit of a question mark for us.....
Unlike Flynn, who will usually start to approach the gate when we enter the pasture with his halter and lead in hand and is ready to go. Cowboy usually required a lot more time to get him convinced to come to us and sometimes we have to chase and catch him.  It is rounding 2 weeks tomorrow since we got them and he is still wearing his halter in the pasture.  Flynn earned his halter to be removed when he is turned out in less than a week and has not had a problem yet. Cowboy also refuses to try the jumps and is so stubborn that in most cases when exercising him we can't even get him to trott.  We call him the mule horse!! I worried that something was wrong with him an injury? Was he sick? But the stable owner assured that he was fine she said he will run with Flynn in the pasture and always finishes his meals.
His personality is very different from Flynn's personality.  They are exactly a year and a month apart Flynn's birthday is Sunday, he will be 3 years old and next month Cowboy will be 4 years old.
They are very young horses but most days Cowboy acts like an old man at least compared to the energy that Flynn has.
When I first met him at the farm he was born and raised at he seemed full of life! In fact, we thought their personalities were going to be reversed! I keep wondering if he is just plain sad and missing his home or is it just that he is not used to all the attention and little workouts he is getting. I don't think he has been worked with in a very long time and probably only received one on one attention or grooming right before he was to be shown.  The farm they came from has over 90 mini horses! He seems to really enjoy the attention once we can get him to come out of the pasture and we praise him for it everytime with treats and a good grooming session.
The reason why this is so confussing for us is because Cowboy unlike Flynn has been broke to drive a cart and has a national title in halter.  Flynn hadn't received any training what so ever but seems very obedient and loves to work and please us and has a ton of confidence. 
My head is constantly swarming with could it be this? Or could it be that? They do have a much bigger pasture area and the boarder told us she cut back a little with their grain because they both were a bit over weight when we got them, is he just tired? He has already lost a little weight which I have question whether of not it is too soon to be show slight signs of weight loss.  But again I'm a new horse person and who am  I to question to stable owner! 
I think Cowboy was used to being the top dog at his previous home possibly too and is now the low man on the totum poll with these bigger horses. Flynn has even shown off his confidence/dominance toward the big horses since we started jumping him but from what I have observed treats Cowboy just fine.  He will  even kick at the big horses now when entering back into pasture which is just hilarious to watch this tiny horse scaring off these large horses! Where as Cowboy usually walks with a low head back into the pasture and straight over to the water for a drink.
I notice that even when leading Cowboy he tends to want to walk behind me instead of next to me and doesn't walk with the high alert head like Flynn does.
He is such a mystery to me and I feel so bad that I don't know what is troubling him if that is the case!
I need help!

Muddy, Muddy, MESS!!