Saturday, 31 January 2009

RIP Kismet Farm Storm

It seems that my lovely old Silent Hunter mare, Ears (Alliance II) was not destined to have her children outlive her. Her first foal, bred by John & Gaye Meyer at Mamaku Stud died as a foal. Her second foal, my beautiful Hippy, was put to sleep last year when it became apparent that the autoimmune disease she had developed was incurable. She was 5 years old. And now, her last foal, Kismet Farm Storm, a lovely little grey yearling filly has also been laid to rest well before her time.

My thoughts go out to Kay and Pete at this difficult time. I know how loved Storm was and how important she was to Kay in particular. There is nothing I can say at a time like this that makes it any better. I hope Ears, Tee and Roxy (and your other four legged friends) provide you with some welcome and positive distraction and your memories of Storm can be cherished. RIP sweet little girl.

The Grandest Foal

I'll lend you for a little while,
My grandest foal, God said.
For you to love while he's alive,
And mourn for when he's dead.
It may be one or twenty years,
Or days or months, you see.
But will you, til I take him back,
Take care of him for me?

He'll bring his charms to gladden you
And should his stay be brief,
You'll have those treasured memories,
As solace for your grief.
I cannot promise he will stay,
Since all from earth return.
But there are lessons taught on earth
I want this foal to learn.

I've looked the wide world over
In my search for teachers true.
And from the throngs that crowd life's lanes,
With trust, I have selected you.
Now will you give him all your love?
Nor think the labor vain,
Nor hate me when I come
To take him back again?

I know you'll give him tenderness
And love will bloom each day.
And for the happiness you've known,
You will forever-grateful stay.
But should I come and call for him
Much sooner than you'd planned.
You'll brave the bitter grief that comes,
And maybe understand.


Wednesday, 28 January 2009

The good stuff

Grabbed Nick and the camera and went out to handle the feral foals for some photos earlier. Was particularly proud of Aine who, I must admit, has had little handling in recent weeks. Rory is such an 'in yer face' character I don't have to worry about doing anything much with him as he is so chilled out. Aine is not bad, just a little more thoroughbreddy (for want of a better term) than her little mate.

I hope that for some seeing some of these photos illustrates just how gentle stallions can be and how happy and content living in a herd situation can make them. Reilly is a really laid back boy but I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that he lives in a natural environment with other horses. I know that for some people with stallions, this is not an option and I respect any stallion owner who can keep a happy, healthy stallion, no matter how they do so but we can graze our boys with their mares and foals so we do so. We choose to do this because it fits in with our personal breeding philosophy and I believe we grow vibrant, healthy, well adjusted young horses and have happy mares and stallions because of the lives they lead here.

I hope you enjoy today's photos.

Rory rushes up to greet me with a kiss
Getting bigger
Rory love his mum's Low GI
and he is big on kisses!
Yet another kiss
What's going on over there?
Aine, captured!
Aine enjoys a scratch
Upsy daisy
Near fore
Me and my boy
Something funny Reilly?
Reilly wants in - Father and daughter

Monday, 26 January 2009

Ouch, the bill is here

It's been a financially and emotionally painful couple of days. It started on Saturday when we received the bill for burying Silas. Somehow in all of the mess, we completely forgot to pay the digger operator. I feel awful about it but my head was all over the place so I am not entirely surprised. Then, today, the vet bill for the last couple of months arrived. Not really a shock as we knew it would be big but it's still scary to see so many zeros on a bill. Somehow November's statement never arrived so we have November and December in one hit. That said, November was over 10x the December's bill so December barely rates a mention!

After doing a mental add up of vet, burial, milk and sundries, losing Debi and Silas cost us a just shy of $6000 and that of course does not include what they were both actually worth (both emotionally and in a monetry sense). But, well, they were priceless as they were members of our family and we would give anything to have them both here with us still now, today. Don't get me wrong, I don't begrudge spending the money for a moment and we couldn't not try, it just hurts so much to have lost them both after trying so very hard and I feel particulalry bl**dy awful for all the wonderful, kind, caring people who helped us financially and emotionally during the entire ordeal. I so desperately wish we had achieved a better outcome. It's all coming back to me too which makes me feel raw and has been making it hard to sleep again. Mental note to self: Focus on the good stuff Lou!

Anyway, I am heading out now in 30+ degree temperatures to feed/water the 'kids' and have a few extra cuddles with them so hopefully will be in a better frame of mind when I come back in...

Ahhhhh, that's better! It's another absolute scorcher here in the Wairarapa. We helped our friends/neighbours get in some of their hay yesterday but half of it is still out in the paddock and, as they will be storing it in our sheds, we need to re-organise our hay so it can fit. Because they got so much, it also means that we have access to a nice buffer should we fall short over winter. It's a great feeling to know that the winter feed is basically in. I also scored 10 bales of lucerne hay off trade me for $80 so I am pretty stoked about that. Just a little extra treat to have handy.

I am thrilled with the quality of this year's hay too. The contractor did a fantastic job and the bales are big and fantastically well packed, even if a few of them have the tensioning a little off. Perhaps the reason we only got 430 odd bales was because the bales are that much bigger than usual? It smells so sweet and the horses absolutely love it. I am feeding out a wee bit at the moment to top up and those who are on hay rations are most grateful it would seem by the way they are lining up at the gate waiting for me when they hear the bike coming, lol!

I think I will head out later with the camera so, watch this space for photos.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Meg practising being a grown up girl

So boring, very little worth writing about and too hot to get out much and take photos so all I have is these three little offerings of Meg practising being a grown up 'pony' with her sheet and tail bag on. This week she has had two introductions to the hosepipe, a brief reintroduction to the horse float, a reintroduction to hard feed (her absolute favourite!), a hoof trim, about 2' cut off her tail and she now knows all about wearing a tail bag.

I am deciding what colours to show her in at the moment. Her mum and dad were always shown in black and white and silver but I want something different for Meg and am thinking about purple and orange. Both colours go nicely with black plus, they're bright and funky, just like our Meg. So, this week I will trundle into town and visit the craft shop and see what I can get ribbon and wool wise in these colours. I will also see if I can find our show gear from the last time we competed the clydies or I will have to grab some more florist wire as well. In the past we left Debi's mane au naturale rather than rolling it but I think, as long as Meg obliges, I will put a nice roll in her mane. I want to make a real effort - if I am going to do this, I want to do it well!

I have been researching tail plaiting for undocked tails since it will not be possible to roll her tail like we could with Debi/can with Robbie. I think I will give her sprigs and a roll and then just brush out the bottom section of tail. Will be practising a bit over the next couple of weeks I guess. Might take photos of various experiments and ask for some feedback.

I have managed to score a couple of pairs of black dress pants off a trader on Trade Me so the in-hand outfit is sorted. I will do the turnout and 'Best Footed' class and leave the filly and walking class to Nick. Two classes each - sounds fair to me!
Hmm, it appears that my bucket is empty! Does my bum look big in this?
OK, so where's the food then?