Merry Christmas!! God still performs miracles!! I got my Christmas Miralce

God surely works in mysterious ways!  This Christmas season has not been the best, I tried getting in the Christmas spirit, but work has been extremely slow and with so little funds we had very little to spend for Christmas this year.  However we planned to carry on with Christmas traditions of the past even without the presents.

The relationship with my dad is a long and mostly bad one that I could do several blogs on and still not get the whole story out but about 6 years ago he reached out to me and we have been trying to form some type of relationship since then. It is really hard now that we are both adults and live 700 miles apart.  He has a twin brother that lives somewhat close to me that he comes to see every few years.

This year he planned a surprise trip in with my little sister (she is 11). His plan was to get to my Uncles and have Chuck take me out to eat somewhere last Saturday and they would surprise me at the restaurant but it didn’t quite go as planned.  When they got in to my uncles lil’ sis got on Facebook talking about having a good time at her uncles in Louisiana. Now I tend to have a really short temper and as Chuck describes I wear my feelings on my shirtsleeve. So needless to say I was not pleased that they had snuck into town and my thought was that they would sneak right back out without a word.

My dad ended up calling and inviting us out to eat that night. I went only because I didn’t have time to come up with a story to get out of it. It did not feel right to me and because I was already upset I convinced myself that if it weren’t for my lil’ sis not being able to  keep her mouth closed and having an affinity to my horses then I would have never known they were here.

I WAS SO WRONG!!!

We went out to eat with my dad and his brother and had a tense dinner because I was so angry that I could not truly enjoy the time that I had with my dad.  After dinner he let me know that he would be bringing lil’ sis to my house for her to ride horses the next day.  Usually when my dad comes in my step mom comes too and we all spend at least 1 full day together at my house.  My step mom did not come this year but this is still what I was expecting.

I WAS WRONG AGAIN!!!

Dad and my uncle came with my lil’ sis and dropped her off and left.  I was DEVASTATED to say the least. I thought that Sunday would be our day together and then he would have Monday and Tuesday with his brother nobody had told me any plans except that they were leaving on Christmas Eve going home.  I muddled thru Sunday as best I could and tried to enjoy having my sister with me in spite of how upset I was in what I believed my dad was doing.  They came later Sunday evening after dark to pick up lil’ sis and he arranged then for us to meet for lunch on Monday.  I was shocked but still thinking it was her influence causing this.  I agreed to go but only because I was bound and determined this was gonna work out or I was gonna take a page out of his book and tell him to get lost because emotionally I could not handle the roller coaster ride I had put myself on.

I struggled with my own inner demons all evening, night and the next morning I talked to my step mom who just has a way of calming me and putting things into perspective.  Before I went to meet daddy and lil’ sis for lunch I had a new outlook on life and his visit.  He had snuck into town to give me a Christmas present I have always wanted. Him. I have not spent a holiday with my dad since I was an infant. I have wanted to every year but things just have not worked out that way. So this year he snuck into town to surprise me and spend as much time as possible with me during the holidays while they were here.

Monday was a great day we spent the biggest part of the day together and I didn’t want to come home.

Now they usually get up in the middle of the night and leave out at like 2am because it is a 10 hour drive back home and they want to miss the traffic. However, that was not the case this year.  He let me know on Monday that they would not be leaving until close to noon on Tuesday and wanted to meet up again for breakfast on Tuesday morning before they left out for the drive home.

So I met them on Christmas Eve morning for breakfast and to see them off. It was great. And in the end I looked back to see that My daddy came into town and stayed at his brothers house who he normally spends the majority of his time with but not the case this time even though I wasn’t real receptive at first and was hurt by what I thought his actions were and not what they actually were. He spent a good bit of every day he was here with me. He really came in to spend the Holiday with me. It left me feeling a little bratty, selfish and about 2 inches tall for jumping to conclusions to start with.

My daddy being here even if just until Christmas Eve in the end was a present from God and the best present I could ever receive for Christmas.  God once again snuck in a surprise and answered a prayer that I was unprepared to receive.

Now I go into Christmas Day with Chuck’s family happy and hopeful for what the new year will bring and ready to try once again to let go of old hurts and scars and enjoy life and the company I have here in it.

God performs miracles every day and if you take the time to look and listen you will see his miracles unfold in your own life. I feel very special that  God performed a Christmas Miracle for me.  Christmas is not about the gift giving or the amount of decorations you can afford to put out. It is about celebrating the birth of Jesus with your family and being thankful for life and family. So I hope this Christmas blog finds each of you happy, healthy and surrounded by family and love in a Christ like spirit this year. Life is hard but if you have Christ and the love of a family what more do you need?

NOTHING!!!

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Controversy at it’s finest- Horse Slaughter!

This post is quite controversial and will probably get your goat.  This is my opinion as everybody has one on the subject, I know that my opinion is shared by some but not many and that is fine too.

This is a touchy subject for everyone in the horse industry.  Slaughter of horses never stopped even when they shut down the slaughter plants here in the states you could still ship your horse to South Texas and it would be snatched up by someone there buying for a Mexican slaughter house.  Now that legislation is being passed to reopen Slaughter plants here in the US, PETA, The Humane Society, and everyone else with a soft heart has jumped on the band wagon to stop them from opening.

Now don’t think I am a cold hearted B—H I am not, I am a horse owner and take in a few rescues from time to time.  I live in an area where 25 years ago you couldn’t buy a horse for less than $800 even if it was crazy, unbroke, old, mix breed and the good ones were way out of my price range into the several $1000’s now there is a free horse on every corner and starving horses everywhere you look.  You can’t give horses away hardly. Even the well broke, registered horses are going way too cheap. Horses are way over populated at this point I think we need a Bob Barker for Horses advertising daily about having your studs gelded and stop having babies for the heck of it.

About a year ago I had several in my herd that I had rescued or that their health had just declined to the point that they served no purpose except an unwanted vet bill and taking up extra space in my pasture. And after months of just trying to give them away, to no avail, I thought of sending them to slaughter only to be told that I couldn’t because, Slaughter houses are not allowed to take in horses that have any issues they want fat horses over 1000lbs and with no visible issues, they can not have wounds, scars, limp, and must have perfect vision. I had 1 that was blind as a bat, 1 that had foundered 4 times in her last year with her previous owner and had a forever limp, and 1 that had the end stages of cushings disease. 2 of those 3 are now buried in my back field after months of high vet bills and getting to the point that they both were just miserable and had no quality of life at all.  They could have went to slaughter and served some kind of purpose if it was nothing but soap and dog food.

Slaughtering a horse is no different than slaughtering a pig, cow, or chicken it needs to be done humanely but they all serve a purpose. People are against the slaughter of horses because they are a pet. How many 4-H kids raise and train pigs to show them and sell them to a buyer that sends them straight to slaughter at the end of the show. How many dogs and cats are killed in this country on a daily basis because they are mans best friend but nobody wants them, and that is just the ones that are killed in pounds and shelters.

I have seen too many horses taken away from owners just here within 100 miles of my house that the owner had entirely too many and just could not afford to feed them, but was still breeding them every year. What happened to those horses? The state took them over fattened them up and sold them to kill buyers. because an unbroke 15 year old is rarely wanted by anyone else and when it comes down to selling these repossessed horses they are just looking at making some of their money back.

Horse slaughter has always been a double edged sword and even more so now that it is being brought back to the forefront by the media. Is it necessary? Yes. Is it cruel? To some, yes. but it is needs to be for the horses that have no future not for the ones that are perfectly healthy and still have many good years left.

To those of you that are totally against the killing of animals, are you vegetarian?  If you went to the pound and asked to adopt a dog and only wanted to see the ones on the kill list for the day would you take all 30 of them home with you to save them? Probably not so why is it any different for horses. And if you did what then would you do with that pack of yelping dogs?

I understand being soft hearted, I cry every time one of my animals gets hurt or has to be put down. But it is a necessary evil some times. You can not save every animal on your own and some people just should not own pets at all of any kind. There is a humane way to go about it and that is the way that should be sought out.

 

And by the way the pork chops, ribeye, t-bone, bacon, hamburger, turkey burger or fried chicken you ate for supper last night once roamed around on somebodies land and was a living creature it was not made or produced at the store you bought it from!

And if you think that only healthy cows, pigs, chickens, and turkeys are killed for our consumption then why is it in the news right now that the FDA is now blocking and stopping some of the ANTIBIOTICS used in meat for consumption. Why do healthy animals need to be shot up full of antibiotics prior to slaughter for consumption. Healthy animals DO NOT!

Heck if you are against horse slaughter in the states here is some food for thought: in other countries around the world Horses are slaughtered for human consumption, now, while I have no intention of eating a horse EVER. Our country is spending all this money helping 3rd world countries and there is a commercial on tv every day that what is it for $7 a week you could feed so many starving kids in 1 country or another how about we send these countries all our unwanted horses for food. I am sure they would be happy for anything to eat regardless of what it was.

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I am Southern and Proud of it

Warning this Blog post is subject to send you running for the hills. It is a bit of a rant.

I am all about horses and people and steadily trying to help one of our local gaited clubs get the word out about our gaited breeds here in Louisiana.  I own a triple registered TWH stud and a double registered TWH mare along with 16 others that are not registered but are all gaited breeds and crosses.

That being said I am on several of the TWH facebook pages. Down here in Louisiana we don’t have a whole lot of interest in gaited horses and don’t have any shows and such, a very few travel out of state for shows, dressage training and such, the rest of us love our smooth trail riding partners that will go anywhere and do anything a QH would do but do it a lot smoother. Some of us follow the big wigs in the show ring most do not.
Those of us that breed are constantly looking for the perfect broodmare with the perfect bloodlines and WGC’s high up in their pedigree so we frequent these sites. Now the hardest thing is getting along with people that have no personality and are flat out rude all the time.  Last night I got on a site and found a lady from TN that has a coming 3 year old filly for sale. She was out of the same bloodline as my stud.  That is a rare find in TN as my stud is Marshall Dillon bred and most outside of Texas don’t have a clue who Marshall Dillon was because he was a Western Pleasure Show Ring horse from the south. So I complimented her on how stunning her filly was and that I was impressed that she knew of and had those bloodlines in TN.

With in 10 minutes I had some smart mouth telling me how I must have forgotten TN is walking horse country and Marshall Dillon was a Walking Horse like I am Stupid. I by no means am Stupid but I am Southern.

Here in the south things are done a whole lot different. We wave, honk and speak to total strangers on a daily basis because it is the nice thing to do. We love our neighbors and are happy to help when we can. If you need something and we have it and can afford to give it we do. We are not cold calloused and smart mouthed just for the heck of it. We enjoy friendships and cry at others losses even if we don’t know them personally.  We enjoy spending time with family but love our friends like our family.

I can not fathom the need of some people to be hurtful just because. It’s like it is a game to them.  We have freedom of speech in this country and for that I am proud but some people should have never been allowed to learn to speak if nothing but hurtful crap comes out of their lips.

I have met several people like the one I come in contact with last night on FB and it has caused me to leave several of the TWH sights. Especially since all of the Soring issues came to light in the show ring. The ones that are against it(and let me be perfectly clear I am totally against any form of abuse) think that their way is the only way and the ones that agree with it think the same.

Bottom line is we all have different opinions. We all do things different ways. Who says my way is better than yours or vice versa. I do things my way because it is what is easiest for me. And who are you to judge me. People pass judgement too quickly these days with no insight at all.

I travel every summer around this great country we call home and the sights are amazing. I have been to 40 of the 48 continental United States and nowhere have I found the friendly nature of people like right here in my home state of Louisiana.

We are coming up on the Christmas Season and I am extremely happy that I live in the south where 90% of the people I come in contact with are friendly and ready to help when needed. And everytime I get out of my car I hear a bell ringing and someone calling out “Merry Christmas” or leaving a check out line to someone telling me to have a “blessed day”

 

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Where have I been

Well I’ve been off the grid for a few days. With the holidays and staying busy planning events here and watching the everchanging weather forecasts.  We had a wonderful Thanksgiving I hope all of you did as well.

We have our first in the series of clinics coming up this coming weekend and it appears that we will have ice to build igloos out of for it on Sunday, it is going to be COLD with lows in the 20’s and highs in the 30’s here for the weekend.  I know some think that is not cold but I live in Louisiana. THAT IS COLD to me.  This bout of weather coming on an event weekend has me wanting to build a loafing shed attached to one end of my arena since the arena is not covered.

We will slow down for a couple of weeks after this clinic and then will be 90mph all over again right after Christmas with meetings, events, and trail rides.  We should have our second clinic the first weekend in January, the second weekend I have a meeting with another club (FOLGH) Friends Of the Louisiana Gaited Horse to hopefully get this club back up and functioning as a body and get some events planned for everybody.  I joined this club last year because they do a lot outside of trail riding. they like putting on shows and arena work and do some functions for charity. We will try this year to include events in North and Central Louisiana to include the entire state in our activities.  As the name suggests we would like to have something for everyone with a gaited horse to participate in and blanket the entire state with more knowledge of the gaited horse.

Many people have the misconception that the gaited horse is only for show and can not “work”. I know many people that work off of their gaited horses they can and will pen cattle, run barrels, rope, etc… their movements often are not as quick and jerky as a quarter horse but they certainly can get the job done.

On January 18th we also have another trail ride planned for OSTR in preparation for our big ride at the end of February. It will be a 15 mile circle ride with supper provided on Saturday night. Can’t wait to ride with my OSTR family again we just don’t have enough rides anymore. The economy has taken care of that for many of us we just can’t afford to travel with our horses as often as we used to.

So as you can see the month of January will be a busy one and February will be just as busy. More on February later it is too far out right now to worry with.

So with that being said it is time to go tend to ponies and finish getting ready for the weekend.

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Shop From Home/ Income Opportunity

So I sat in on a webinar last night for a company I heard about years ago and did not have the marketing skills or self control to think of trying them.  The are an internet/mail order company from Idaho Falls, Id. The have a full variety of products from household cleaners, laundry products, health and beauty aides, some snack items, some pharmaceuticals, diet products etc… this company produces eco-friendly toxin and chemical free products. This blog will not be full of advertisements from them or for them  or my marketing. I will in the future start a whole new blog, website and Facebook page for the business.  I am skeptical of joining their team as I am not the best at marketing but the products sell themselves once you buy them. I have talked with 2 other ladies in the company that also own horses and several of their products are able to cross from human to horse use.

The way this company works for me is I join them and pay a membership fee (which is discounted for the month of November) I buy products on a points system you must buy 35 points worth of product each month which is about $70 to stay active and each person that signs up and lists me as their referral I get credit for. So for example, I tell my mom and she signs up under me then I make money from her shopping, she tells a friend and they sign up under her then I make money off of them both and mom makes money as well.

The membership fee is a turn off for a lot of people but I used to pay $34 a year to shop at Sam’s Club. I quit because it wasn’t worth the time effort or money for shopping there twice a year.  This company you can shop from the convenience of you own home. Your products are delivered right to your door in less than 1 week and you are buying products that are not full of harmful chemicals that are in all of our homes right now.  They manufacture and sell over 350 products so there is something there for everyone.

At this time of the year particularly I get frustrated easily with going to town to pick up needed items at Wal-mart, K-mart, Target etc… because shoppers get crazy during the holiday season and stores are full from open to close with shoppers.  I am not a crowd person and have severe anxiety with crowds this time of year it gets really bad so being able to shop from home for necessities like dishwasher tabs, laundry detergent, makeup, toilet cleaner, personal toiletries etc.. is quite appealing plus if I go to Wal-mart for 1 thing I’m gonna pick up 3 or 4 or more things and spend $100 before I leave it is just a given. This way I never have to leave my home.  If you would be interested in checking this company out and maybe making a small residual income yourself please comment and I will get back with you I should know more details later today.

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Trail Ride Here Saturday

Well it looks as though Mother Nature is going to cooperate.  We will get to have our small trail ride here.  I wish the weather men would have figured this out sooner.  I have got so much to do. At least they figured it out early enough to let the meat thaw naturally instead of having to hurry the process.

The only major thing that has to be done is getting my signs out today as most everyone knows where they are going and its only gonna be a small group of us riding .  And getting fire ready for tonight.

I got potato salad done and beans will be simple the Brisket will be thawed by this evening for me to season and have ready to go in oven to slow cook in the morning before we ride out.

I will have to ride a saddle that I am not used to because mine doesn’t fit my ponies anymore and I am waiting on it to sell to get me a new one. Hope I don’t end up sore this weekend.  Maybe I’ll get lucky and it will sell in the next few days so I can order my new one.  I have it all picked out just waiting on funds to pay for it.  It is a gorgeous black tooled Hilason treeless saddle and a nice hot pink saddle pad specially made for that saddle I got lucky in finding this dealer thought I was gonna end up going broke buying a Circle Y or something in that price range to find a treeless saddle.

We have a friend that lives on our ride route with 2 small children. Her little girl gets super excited when we ride past and I usually stop and let her ride for a little bit. She calls us a horsey parade. I am sure in the near future she will be getting riding lessons at our place as she is such an animal lover and I have known her mom our entire lives.

Love seeing the kids faces light up over something we enjoy and take so much for granted.  I remember being a little kid like that and wanting a pony so bad.

Well I better stop now I started this to talk about our trail ride this weekend and went off the deep end rambling.  More to come later.

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Feeding Star Tonight

I have previously made a post about my 21 year old mare Star, but i had to tell this.  She is the only one of my 17 ponies stalled right now and she is being fed twice daily.

This afternoon my son collected feed pans and buckets for our evening feeding regimen.  When he collected Star’s pan he shut the stall door but did not latch it.  Star has the bad habit of pawing at the stall gate while I am adding water to her pellets as to say “come on just give me the food already”.  Tonight was no different.

The front of her stall connects to the pasture where 3 of our young horses are kept. She has a small turn out of her own and is not allowed in with the babies as they cause too much chaos. Tonight I went about my normal routine our 3y/o stays loose our 19 mo filly is in the round pen and our 8 mo filly is in second stall at feed time to make sure each gets their appropriate feed in an appropriate amount.  Because of behaviors we feed the 3 y/o and Star first and then the other 2 girls.

As I am adding water to her pellets she begins her pawing ritual, but it ended sooner than usual with out me yelling to her to stop tearing up the gate. When I turned to see why, she was standing inside the stall with the gate swung wide open looking at me with her head cocked sideways and a confused look in her eyes. She wasn’t sure what to think of the gate opening it has never done that before while she was pawing. So I finished up adding her water and mixing her pellets and delivered them as usual. She never made one step outside of the stall while I completed the task only looked at me questioning until I delivered her food and shut her safely back in her stall.

I can’t wait to see what her reaction is in the morning when the stall door does not pop open to her pawing. Will this incident make the behavior better or worse? Only time will tell.

It is going to be cold here tonight. Lows in the 20’s since she is still not back to 100% she was happy to also get her blanket tonight. In the morning I may heat water to add to her feed and make it a warm mush.  She is getting so spoiled but hey she is a retired pasture ornament now and just a pet. So I am just fine with spoiling her as much as I can in whatever time we have left together.  Love this pony, she is truly a part of me and will hold a special place in my heart for the rest of my days. Good night everyone. Hope you enjoyed my short story, it’s silly, but I had to share. Just blessed to spend another day with my ponies.

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