Wednesday - Sunday of last week I house sitted for some friends and their menagerie of animals:
- 2 Welsh ponies
- 1 Arabian x Welsh pony
- 1 Arabian
- 1 ?????? horse; she's a blue roan is all the more definitive answer I can provide, haha
- 1 guinea pig
- 5 dogs - only 1 in the house, the others have a brilliant yard and run-in
- 9(?) cats - only three in the house though
- 4 chickens
- 1 rooster
- 4 goats
- 2 turtles
- 2 (?) fish
So what is that, a grand total of 33 animals. Oh, and Kenai came with me. So there, a solid 34. Fortunately most were outside!
I used to think I wanted goats. Just two or three. I thought they would be brilliant for keeping the nastier greenery out of my future horses' field(s). You know, since they eat basically everything. No more. Not unless they are in a place that they can't easily escape. Every. Single. Time. I went through their field to gain access to the Welsh ponies to feed them the goats escaped. Every. Single. Time! Ugh. And its not like they listen to you when you're maniacally screaming, "NO! NO! You come back here RIGHT now." Luckily they're pygmy goats (or something) so they're little and easy to carry. I had Kenai herding [read: running around them in I-must-kill-these-things manner] them by day two so I could keep 3 of the 4 in and manageable while I toted the hay wagon through. (No worries on goat saftey, Kenai's remote training collar was on the whole time so he was afraid of me dishing out the pre-zap beep-tone; I rarely have to zap him thanks to that beep!)
|Isis; a photo of her from summer. The other goats are mostly black with very little white; all have those blue eyes.|
At any rate, it was fun taking care of all the animals. Kenai loved it. I schooled around on 1 of the Welsh ponies (Nanny), the Welsh/Arab cross (Maggie), and the blue roan mare (Bella) while I was there.
Bella is only 4. She was at training for jumping ALL SUMMER. She's very ornery. Obstinate, too. She wants to do what she wants to do when she deems its okay to do it. On the trail, she's great. In the little jump area they have set up? Uh, uh, no sir. She did one or two clean rounds for me on stuff I'd set up. I know she'd been jumping 2'6" at her training towards the end. So what I was asking wasn't impossible (nothing above 18"). She just seemed to resent it all. Her headset is so low its getting in her way. And she wouldn't collect or anything I asked. She really tried my patience. I ended up getting her to do a few things very positively and called it a day.
The next day my friend Jordan came and helped me work with Nanny and Maggie. && played photographer! Hoorah! I'd ridden Nanny before and I know that horse loves to jump and boogie. Maggie was a first ride though. Ooohhh I like that pony. She's VERY forward moving. Once I showed her the jumps and let her know, "No, you can't trot beside them, you must go over them" she was brilliant! Forward moving and wanting to rush to all the jumps. The ground was damp and slick after a lot of rain earlier in the week so I kept her to a trot. She was SO much fun though! I want to be little again and go show with this little mare. Granted, I don't like shows, I can't handle the pressure. Hence my want to do endurance and be alone most of the ride...
|Maggie this summer with her girls.|
I don't know that I ever mentioned on my blog - or posted the photos - of the barn these folks have? Because its drop dead gorgeous. Took 2+ years for the builder - all by himself - to build. Raising the beams for the standing foundation took the work/help of many, but after that it was all Charlie. The standing foundation beams of this barn are all held together by only wood. No metal whatsoever. Wooden pegs. The barn doors? 400lbs each. When you pull them closed you've got 400lbs per arm you're wheeling back and forth! Its a solid barn. Its a beautiful barn.
|The custom earth symbol on the large doors.|
|Note the escaped goats in the barn and associated crazy children...|
Oh and the really pretty bridge between loft areas; and the pretty stalls...
|The ponies and horses aren't in the barn often; only if the weather is absolutely |
nasty for a long period of time. These ladies all get 24/7 turn out. No
blankets. Barefoot hoof care. Natural diet/minerals/supplements.
|Associated crazy children...welcome to my life, haha.|
|The door below the window on the side is where I hucked hay out of while house sitting. Pretty fun.|
|A nicer shot of the earth symbol on the door.|
Now tell me, what does your dream barn look like? What special features will it have?