Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Auction

It is fairly unusual for my husband and I to both have days off together, but this weekend, stars aligned and we were both off.

Unfortunately, it was the first major snow in the frozen tundra this past Friday.  We were planning on going to an auction Saturday morning and found out that the auction was postponed.

But hurrah, it was just postponed until Sunday, so we hoofed it out there today (Sunday).

The crowd wasn't very large.  It was cold: about 8 degrees Fahrenheit when we got there.  We were standing in various garages and pole buildings and I was dressed in typical Midwestern winter gear: thermals, jeans, insulated boots, SmartWool socks, heavy jacket, and a not-so-fashionable hat.

The Frozen Tundra isn't exactly known for its fine style.  It wasn't cold enough to wear the insulated coveralls yet.  I dig those out when it's subzero or so.  

 But I digress.  The major interest in this auction was that there was random horse items.  I wasn't sure because auctions have a tendency of running up prices over useless pieces of garbage like forty year old stiff bridles and aluminum bits.

But there was several new(er?) looking western saddles, some ancient cutback English saddles, a beautifully restored Doctor's Buggy, and an adorable easy entry cart.

I told my husband maybe if something went cheap enough.

Well, we came home with a truckload of items.  

-Easy Entry Cart
-Western Saddle
-Three huge water troughs
-A heavy old wooden show trunk filled with horse items
-Park style benches and planters
-Buckets with new grooming brushes

This was all around $100.  The saddle and the cart were the bulk of the purchase price.  I've always envisioned being able to drive Chili filly, so I guess I have another new project to work on.

The western saddle is new.  About a 7.5" gullet, 17" seat with no name.  Certainly seems like it will be able to find a new home easy enough. 

The trunk was filled with showing antiques.  What a blast from the past, including some old mice nests.

It included Saddlebred show shoes, Absorbine liniment from the 1970s, various bicycle chain bits(!), halters, lead ropes, and all kinds of various other things.  Considering we paid a dollar for the show trunk, it was well worth that just to dig around and see what we found. 

So have you ever gone to an auction and come home with treasures?

Sunday, November 15, 2015


I have been negligent I know in updating the blog.

So, I am working on changing that, because I know everyone really needs to hear the daily life and account of a slightly feral person and two underworked, overstimulated horses.

I may also be overstimulated.  It depends on the day and the level of coffee I've consumed.

Regardless, let's go back on track.

A couple weeks ago, we had a bloom of lovely fall weather in the 70s.  It's the midwest.  It really shouldn't be 70, but it was.  

So I've been taking baby steps in getting the baby horse out on the trails.  OK, she's four, but still, small steps.

My husband, my best friend, her significant other, and I all went out to the barn on one of these lovely days.  My friend rode Ms Donni and I had the Chili filly.  Chili lead most of the way on the trails, but was quite suspicious of the different colored leaves.  Really?  Leaves?

The trails behind the barn aren't very long, but there are some small sloping paths.  Chili went down part of one of the paths, but then wasn't sure how to go down and up a big dip. 

My husband had to go ahead and "lead" the trail ride on foot.  Quite amusing, but he's such a good guy for doing so.

Chili, of course, has known him since birth, so happily followed him along.  What a dork horse.

I took advantage of the next nice days and we worked on waddling out on the trails alone.  I am quite proud of Chili.  She still is hesitant and not quite confident, but she did it.  We even masters going up and down the dips.

On the way home, she seemed happy enough to do a light trot.  I am not sure if that helps manage her anxiety, but going into a nice working trot on the bit, but I'll take it.

So little Chili, time to keep growing up!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

And the Horse Spoke

Life has been busy for the past while.

But I had an experience, I wanted to share.  I'm not a person that usually believes in animal communication and extra-sensory perception and all that.  I wish I could, but I am a scientist.  I like reason and order.

Two weeks ago, I had the stunning news that a horse friend of mine was going into hospice.  I had known for some time that she had ovarian cancer, but it took a turn for the worse.

I volunteered to stop by her farm and pick up her trailer, so we could bring her horses to hospice to see her one last time. 

One of her beloved geldings was living at home, so she could have a horse to see while at home.  The other two had been moved to and were being cared for at another farm.

I saw the gelding Dash in his stall.  Dash had never lived alone and is a highly intelligent Morab gelding.

I raised my fingers up through the bars of the stall to say hello.  Dash raised his head, rolled his eyes back, and looked straight at me.

It sent a shiver down my spine.

His anxiety was evident and shook my soul. 

I have never felt something so connected in that instant.  He said, "Help me."

I felt guilty.  I felt horrible.  I hooked up the trailer and told my friend who was caring for the other two horses about my experience. 

It sounds ridiculous.  It sounds absolutely all kinds of crazy, but Dash spoke to me.  He wanted to leave.

The following day, we did bring the horses to hospice.  We went and picked up Dash and I think he knew. He saw his "mother" in her debilitated state and seemed at ease with visiting her.

We took him back to my friend's farm, where he stepped off the trailer and immediately was at ease, the anxiety leaving his body in waves.  He settled in and went right about nosing around quietly in his turnout.

I have never quite had an experience like that.  I realize it sounds ridiculous, but had to share.  I am a rational person, but this moment has left an imprint on my being.

Thank you Dash.  I was listening.