May 27, 2010

No Good Very Bad Wish I Would Have Slept Longer Day

I mentioned on Facebook today that I was having a no good very bad day. In the way that most of my days do, it started full of optimism and promise. I was certain when I awoke of the many things which I would accomplish this morning. By 9:00am, that plan was pretty much shot all to heck.

We've been blessed lately with a smallish and handy man named Mike Stanley who seemed to be able to do almost everything. Mike Stanley reminded me of a leprechaun. Not because of his diminutive stature nor his somewhat elfin features but more because he seems to possess magical powers which enable him to clean stalls in record time, fix anything that ever was broken, and perform basically any task we ask. My very bad day began when Mike apologized and told me that he was needed in Pennsylvania by Saturday morning for his real work (he's not a stall cleaner/handyman by trade but rather a pipe fitter who happened to be without pipe to fit lately). I did take time to appreciate Mike while he was working for us- but was still not ready to see him go. I had so many plans for things that he could do. So many weeds left to whack and so many fences still to repair.

Next, I returned to the office/kennel/foaling barn and found that the mower had mysteriously found its way into a deep pool of mud whilst Wayne was sitting atop it mowing a pasture. It was firmly wedged against a fence post and buried to the axle in slippery chocolate colored mud. The next hour was spent more error than trial on deciphering a way to extract the machine from its watery grave. Finally, with the truck in four wheel drive, and the boards from the fence removed, and the mares and foals looking on at the mud-pie flavored humans, we pulled the mower to safety.

And, then it was time for Maxim's second dose of IV antibiotics for the day. That in itself is a task as the yearling is adjusting to his enforced stall rest and recovery from a kick from another horse. His prognosis is good and he is improving each day but the delivery of IV antibiotics to an animal who is nearing 1/2 ton but has the maturity level of a puppy does not add to the general mood of any day.

The day progressed and I made yet another trip between the barns this afternoon to pick up the video camera. We've needed to catch an updated video of horse for sale Snapshot for a bit and today seemed like a great day. I hopped into my car promising to return with camera in hand in 15 minutes and drove the 3 miles to the office. Before I could get there, a surprise pop up thunderstorm arose. By the time I reached the kennel/barn, there was thunder, lightning, and torrential rains. Needless to say, the videography session was postponed once again.

So, that is the majority of my jacked up day. In the middle of it all, I tended to some of the horses, gave Maxim 3 more doses of medicine, worked on invoices, addressed invitations to the Open House, made phone calls, picked up items at the embroidery shoppe, got a new farm sign, and re-wrapped a foal's hernia wraps on her belly. Now, I'm going to go to bed and put the covers over my head. I'm going to dream of green fields (who someone else mows), fat horses (who someone else feeds), beautiful babies (all Chevy's of course), and sunny days. And tomorrow, I'll wake up ready to tackle the chores which I didn't get finished today!

May 26, 2010

Daily Update

It's been a while since I actually did an update regarding everything that is going on in our daily lives. I thought for the next couple of weeks, that I would shift my energies that direction as we prepare for our June 12th Open House!

The past week has been a whirlwind. We are winding down from Foaling Season but I find I am having some trouble readjusting to sleeping all night. I still wake in the middle of the night and lie there waiting for the phone to ring. Surely there is a mare foaling somewhere. Sleeping with the laptop at my bedside is a January to May habit that needs to be broken post haste. I have absolutely no business checking my e-mails or Facebook updates at 3:00am. Nor do I really need to check Turner Classic Movie Channel only to find an old movie that I just have to watch. There is too much to accomplish in the daylight for me to also have a secret middle of the night life.

The Open House gave us a good excuse to make small repairs as well as clean, spiff, and refurbish fixtures. There is a master list of tidying up that we've begun checking off. The usual items such as mowing, spraying, and weed-eating are on there as well as a few tasks which were in sore need of completion. Painting doors, landscaping, planting flowers have been added to chores such as grooming, clipping, riding, and lunging horses.

The foals which were born a few months ago are growing tall and strong. They have been practicing walking nicely on lead ropes, getting their feet picked up for the farrier, and learning all of the things that baby show horses must learn. Many/most of the foals have begun to travel to their owner's homes but there are several who are still with us. Audry, Eden, Tally, Vegas, Cam, Sundae to name a few- they are each beginning to show their own little personalities and we are enjoying getting to know them individually now.

Maxim the tall yearling was injured last week in a pasture incident and he is now home from the Horse Hospital and beginning to walk down the long Recovery Road. He has a catheter sewn into his neck and is receiving IV antibiotics 4 times each day as well as regular bandage changes. His yearling friends- Amber, Jude, Hotrod, Smooch are all in various stages of life from growing up to actually beginning future show horse training.

At the barn, the training continues. Lessons continue. Amber is preparing several students to compete at their District 4-H Horse Show. If they do well there, they will earn the opportunity to compete at the Kentucky State 4-H Horse Show. Tensions always run high when horses, moms, and teenagers are put together. I'll let you know how that works out.

And those are the highlights of what we've been doing.  Stay tuned for more to come!


May 25, 2010

Top Ten List of Reasons to Attend Our Open House

This is a top ten list of reasons to attend our Open House on June 12th! Everyone is invited- come one come all.

10. All the fun people will be there
9. Horses horses horses
8. Great way to spend a Saturday
7. New Friends/Old Friends
6. Petting Zoo
5. Prizes and Games
4. Corn Hole
3. Gary Trubee clinic
2. Chevy will be there.
and the #1 reason to attend our Open House....
All the Animals will be waiting for you!

May 24, 2010


Paparazzi can be found stalking the celebrities who live at Fields Quarter Horses. These are some of the images they've captured in the past few days.
Cooper caught moonlighting as lead singer in an 80's Rock band.

Celebrity daughter binges and gains 50 pounds! All in her rump.

Hollywood Starlet caught wasted after night on the town.

Actor reported in stable condition after checking into hospital.

And, finally 
Alien Invasion...prepare for the End of The World as You Know It, Ringo!

May 23, 2010

Some Day

(This is the story of a young stallion at Fields Quarter Horses named HotRod. The life of a young stallion can be frustrating at times as they grow and mature- especially living on a breeding farm!)

HotRod was a dark brown, almost black colt with soft deep brown eyes. He was a stallion but gentle and kind. He played alongside the other colts in the herd and together the juveniles grew strong and learned to be horses. They wrestled and raced and spent long days in the Kentucky sun.

For as long as he could remember, HotRod had loved the red mare. He had met her when he was but a young horse, barely weaned from his mother. He stood in the pasture beside hers and was mesmerized by the way the wind lifted her reddish blond mane in its caress. Her laughter floated to him across the grass and his heart forgot to beat for a moment. He lifted his black muzzle into the air and her scent called to him like a familiar melody. It played on the wind as it rolled across the grassy expanse and captured him in an invisible snare. He was unable to move as it surrounded and engulfed and enslaved him.

She was older than he by just a foal crop or two and she wore her age with confidence and maturity. She was in the prime of her life and was strong and beautiful. She had come to the farm earlier this year and was meant for the older stallion- she was not here for HotRod.  Still, her essence called to him like a siren. Each day he waited beside the fence hoping for a glimpse, a casual hello, the briefest encounter. His life was pieced together by moments stolen with the red mare.

She knew that the young stallion adored her and casually tossed him an occasional glance. Some days, she was bolder and turned her body so that he could see her long flaxen tail. As he grew older, it became nearly painful for him to breathe her aroma. Yet it was even more painful for him to not see her so he endured. As he grew stronger, he became frustrated. He wanted the red mare for his own. He quarreled with his friends more often. He argued more often with the humans who cared for him. He began to think of nothing else but possessing her for his own.

HotRod began to despair. Surely he would never have such a lovely mare to call his own. He watched the group of mares canter down the hill in the paddock next door and toward the fence where he stood alone. As a herd, the mares broke into a trot and then to a walk and moved slowly past the small brown stallion. He pensively watched the red mare on the edge of the herd thinking how lovely she was. As she passed him, she inclined her head toward him for the briefest moment and whispered, "Someday, little one. Some day."

May 21, 2010

14 Days

Today's blog is a guest blog by a friend and customer who visited us this Spring. Here is her accounting of her time spent at Fields Quarter Horses!  Written by Debbie Spork.

1. I have lambed, calved and babied (as in use for the word). All I was wanting to do was foal. Ladies was that asking too much?

2. For 14 days in March and April, I lived and worked at Field's Quarter Horses. It was fun, exhausting and a learning experience. I was hoping to get lots of hands on foaling and although only KC cooperated, there were still things learned.

3. How phenomenal Chevy really is and how talented, quiet and beautiful his foals are. (Not new knowledge)

4. Khris and Wayne drink A LOT of caffeine.........and I mean A LOT.

5. How to clean stalls bedded with straw. ( I got really good).

6. What a red bag looks like. (Early separation of placenta.....not good for baby)

7. How to treat the above. (Watch baby for signs of brain swelling. Treat baby with IV DMSO. Check IGG level on baby to check if he received enough colostrum.)

8. Learned to look not only for slower activity in a dummy foal, but also ankle swelling as a precursor of brain swelling.

9. What Placentitis looks like. (Yuck)

10. How to treat above. (uterine lavage for mama, SMZs for baby)

11. The procedure for collecting Chevy at Rood and Riddle and how the semen is processed in the lab for shipment. (Very interesting!)

12. Did I mention how much caffeine Khris and Wayne drink?

13. What a great lesson Gary Trubee gives and how talented he is as a horse trainer. How lucky Fields Quarter Horses is to have him at their facility and what a great opportunity for Amber to work with one of the best.

14. While moving loads of hay in the pickup, learned how strong a little piece baling twine really is. (At times, really thought we were going to loose the load)

15.How cute Shelties are..... (Heidi you can come live with me anytime)

16. How to do milk testing.

17. During foaling season, breakfast is at Waffle House.

18. How busy Khris and Wayne are during foaling season, hence the GALLONS OF CAFFEINE they consume.

19. How much caffeine I should have been drinking.

Last spring a friend and I stopped at Fields for 2 days. I went to see Sage and her foal Myah. While there I bought Chevy Metal. During that visit I was hoping to help with foaling. None of the mares cooperated.   This year, I figured if I stayed 2 weeks during breeding season, I would definitely help foal lots of babies. During my 14 days at Fields Quarter Horses, I worked, learned and gained new friends. My only complaint is that the mares were not given a copy of my itinerary.

And the last thing I learned while at Fields Quarter Horses............................................ full moons, a change in weather or low ph milk testing has no bearing on when a mare is going to foal. Just send Debbie back to New Jersey and they will all start popping.

Thank you Khris and Wayne for the opportunity.
Debbie Spork
Owner of future World Champion Stallion, Chevy Metal, aka Ozzy.

May 20, 2010

The Loyal Shepherd Dog

Sugar sat quietly looking through the glass on the lower part of the door. She was a small dog and when sitting, looked through the lowest square panes on the french style doors. Her brown coat was rimmed by a white scarf of hair- thick and dense. She looked like a miniature Lassie but when she spoke, her decidedly Scottish accent and diminutive size revealed her to be a Shetland Sheepdog. Her eyes had been a deep rich brown in her younger days but now were lightening with age and looked more like weak coffee with a hint of creamer.

Although her eyes were aging, her senses were keen as ever and she scanned the doorway for the object of her regard. Brittney had walked outside moments before- carrying her green laundry basket laden with clean clothes. Like all small shepherd dogs, Sugar was a creature of habit and she knew this habit well. Brittney carried arms full of belongings to her white Ford Ranger sitting just outside until there were no more bundles. Sugar looked pensively at the Ranger- maybe today she was going for a ride in the truck as well. They loved their car rides together, windows down, singing slightly off key to the blarring radio. They had spent Brittney's high school years taking many such rides but those yearshad  passed and now they were a rarity.

These days Brittney attended college several hours away and her visits home were not frequent. As the girl grew into a woman, the little Shepherd dog grew gray around the corners of her mouth. The dog slept more and played less. On weekends when Brittney came home, she did not leave her side. She followed her about and was rarely farther than arms length from her master.

Brittney kissed her mom and dad, hugged the little dog and packed herself into the truck for her departure back to school. The little dog sat for a long moment watching the tail lights signal reverse as the white truck backed up and then slowly pulled down the driveway. After a while, there was no sight of the truck. Getting up slowly, Sugar walked down the hallway and looked into the open door of each bedroom. Her small toenails clicked on the wooden floors signaling her whereabouts as she conducted a methodical search of the entire house.

Once satisfied that her girl was indeed no longer there, Sugar stepped down the single carpeted stair into the floor of the family room. She hopped onto the leather sofa and curled into a round ball of brown and white fur. Letting out a long sigh, she closed her eyes and began to dream of the days when she played with little girl.

May 19, 2010

The Round Up

The morning dawned to yet another overcast sky. May was usually punctuated with sunshine and flowers and small showers followed by double rainbows. The past few weeks, however, had offered up unusual amounts of rainfall followed by chilly winds and cooler nights. The grass was unaffected by the cooler temperatures and carried out its Springtime march undaunted. This was agreeable to the mares with foals on their sides and they spent long days grazing the green pastures.
Spook was a recipient mare and she had given birth to the embryo belonging to another pair of horses about a month ago. She had carried the foal for 11 months and did not know that Audry was not her genetic daughter. She loved her since before she was born and had proven to be a nurturing protective mother to the muscular red filly. Audry's legs had grown long and strong drinking the large draft cross mare's rich milk. She towered over the other foals her age but then again, her surrogate mother towered over the other mares too.

Spook's past was a mystery to most everyone at the farm. Checkered pieces of history were tossed about here and there- she had been a nurse mare; she had been born in Canada at a Human Hormone Production farm; she had a tattoo on her left hip- these rumors could be neither confirmed nor refuted and her riddle grew in stature. One thing was for certain, she did not trust humans and was not interested in any of the things they offered.

On this day, Audry had a swollen front ankle and the humans needed to take a closer look at it. Spook had lost foals to the humans before and the memory was still fresh. She only knew that the people were interested in her foal and she wanted to keep her away from them. As they walked to her paddock, she instantly sensed that they came with a purpose. She snorted the scent of their intentions loudly and lifted her large head even higher into the air. They approached her and her powerful legs propelled her down the long hill. They followed her- some on foot and some of them in the green machine which moved nearly as fast as she. She was fairly certain as she galloped away that she had secured safety for her and her foal. Yet, they persisted.

As they advanced down the hill and toward her position alongside the swollen creekbed, she galloped freshly to the top of the hill. The small filly followed her obediently, running along her flank in perfect tandem. The humans marched up the hillside and soon were advancing on the pair yet again. This scene played out over and over as the hour progressed. Up the hill. Down the hill. Up the hill. And down the hill again. In due time, the filly was breathing heavily at her mother's side but the mare was too wary to be concerned. 

With each scene of the drama- up and down- the people closed the ever smaller circle around the mare. Her freedom was slowly being stolen by their tightening human net. On her next trip up the hill, the mare found herself encircled by a group of five seasoned horsemen. Like a pack of experienced wolves hunting, they advanced on her step by step communicating in quiet hushed tones. In the age old dance of predator versus prey, she stood poised for flight and they held her confused and looking for escape.

In a moment, as she was deciding between flight or the instinct to fight for her foal, a loud snap echoed across the grassy knoll. SNAP. And the trap was closed. The lead rope connected to the large mare's halter and the game was over. She had been caught and her life of servitude to man beckoned her to walk quietly beside the man as he led her toward the gate. 

The mare and foal walked into the barn and soon, the group of people were snapping x-rays of the foal's ankle. Then, they rubbed an offensive smelling ointment on the leg. As the lead rope released from Spook's halter and she dove greedily into the delicious smelling pile of hay in her stall, she vaguely remembered that she had been displeased about something. Forgetting what her uneasiness from earlier had stemmed from, she dropped her large head back into the waiting alfalfa and grabbed another mouthful.

(As a side note: Spook's filly Audry had a swollen ankle. After the round up which lasted nearly and hour and took an entire crew, Dr. Mather snapped some x-rays and it proved to be just a "whack" on the leg. She received liniment on the leg to reduce inflammation and is expected to make a complete return to normal within the next day or two!)

May 18, 2010

Smile...though your heart is aching.

The Equine Dentist visited the farm a couple of days ago. His name is Mr. Nice (really, truly) and he brushed, flossed, and handed out toothbrushes to his horsey patients. Equine dentistry is a field that has grown exponentially as we have learned more about the care and keeping of our equine friends. Regular dentistry improves the horse's health and overall quality of life. For our show horses, keeping their teeth in good working order ensures that there are no roadblocks when it comes to wearing a bridle and learning to yield to hand cues.

Here are a few horsey dental facts:
Observation of horses teeth dates back over 2000 years.
Floating of horses teeth (which is smoothing out the uneven edges) dates as far back in England to the 1600's.
The Germans had equine dental charts from the 1800's.
Floats and other instruments have been dated back to 1817.
Power tools have existed since 1895.
A horse's teeth continue to erupt their entire life at the rate of about 1/8th of an inch/year.

Mr. Nice comes with a menacing array of dental toys and devices that would intimidate even the most stalwart patient. His thorough exam identifies areas of the mouth where the teeth may be causing abrasions to the cheek, not wearing evenly with one another, or perhaps an occasional reluctant baby tooth on a young horse. Below are photos of Chevy during his routine dental exam.

May 17, 2010

Oh Give Me Land

lots of land under starry skys know the rest. We are in phase 3 of our master pasture plan and are in the process of adding some additional grazing areas to those which the horses already enjoy. The new fencing projects will produce 3 new paddocks and we are very excited to get them finished and open to the horses. Each of the new paddocks are over 10 acres and are standing freshly mowed just waiting for hungry equines to forage to their horsey hearts desires.

This weekend, the existing pastures were also mowed. We take our grass rather seriously- it's an important part of our equine friends lifestyle. Each pasture is carefully managed to make sure that it grows at optimum levels and is grazed then rested in a manner which will allows it to accommodate horses year-round. There are a few tips that we've picked up through the years which keep our grass lush, thick, and healthy.

Each pasture is groomed (mowed) regularly and maintained with the grass at 4 inches. Scientifically speaking for our area of the United States, this is proven to keep grass growing at its peak. They are rested whenever they reach nearly 30% and will usually recover within 30 days. For each active pasture of grazing horses, there is another being rested at all times. The new pastures are new, thick and lush and this year (at least) will be able to house 6-7 horses for quite a while.

Their dappled coats will ripple over waves of fat on their backs as they lift their heads only long enough to say hello. Then, the mares will drop their muzzles back into Kentucky's green gourmet and munch the Summer months away.

May 16, 2010

Facebook At Fields

I thought for fun, that I would create a social application for Fields Quarter Horses so that the animals could participate in Facebook just for once. Brittney and I asked each of the animals for status updates and allowed them to have pretend Facebook accounts just for the day. Here's what we got!

Status Updates:
Chevy is wondering if he can sit at the bow of a boat and yell "I'm the King of the World" at the top of his lungs.
           Ringo (and 3 others) like this.
           Comments:            Delilah says "Can I be your Rose?"
                                        Sunny says  "You are my King."
                                        Delilah says "Sunny, you are a slut."

Rondo the Poodle is getting a haircut. Text me.

Cooper the Tall horse feels diminutive today.

Brownie is all warm and fuzzy. She thinks she wants a date with Chevy.
           Comments:            Delilah says "Brownie, you are a slut."

Ringo says this is stupid, he will just steal the computer and create his own Facebook account.

Sebastian is feeling a little homesick today.
           Comments:            Kathy says "We love and miss you, son."

Kramer is wondering when he will go to a horse show.
           Tara Lytle likes this.

Jude wants to know what Facebook is?
           Judy Mollner (and 2 others) like this.

Red Cline and Grey Ottman wish they could have a Chevy foal.
           Comments:            Delilah says "You are both sluts."

Cam wishes his mother was nice.
Delilah joined the group People Who Want a Dislike Button for Facebook.

Ringo is pimpin'- raccoon style.
            Chevy likes this.

Heidi the Sheltie wants to know if Facebook is something she can eat.
            Comments:            Sandi Kempton says "GAHHH!"
                                         Brittney Fields says "Shut up, Heidi."
                                         Heidi says "You shut up, Brittney."

George the Llama has joined Farmville. He needs 10 nails, 4 boards, and a goat.

Nona the Nurse Mare is leavin' on a jet plane.
            Comments:            Tilly Baldwin says "We'll miss you!"
                                         Boo says "Say hello to Vermont for me."
                                         Eden says "Gaa Gaa, Goo Goo."

Sugar the Sheltie is sending a Big Bag O' Hearts to her favorite girl Brittney.

Guenther the Gelding is sending a big shout-out to his boys from Da Hood.
            Amber Tewell likes this.

And that's a little bit of Farm Style Facebooking from Fields Quarter Horses...until next time: Adios!

May 13, 2010

Open House

Not a particularly noteworthy news day- buuuutt, we are planning an open house on June 12th and invite each and every one of you to attend! There will be Free riding clinics with legendary AQHA Professional Horseman Gary Trubee, Open Horse Days (where you can visit and get to know a horse up close and personal), Door Prizes, Pony Rides, and of course, lots of nice people to get to know.

It seems that there will be a nice number of Chevy offspring owners attending and it will be a blast to hear everyone share their stories. Family and friends- both horse and otherwise- will be there so pack your bags, load up the wagons, pull out the maps, and set sail for Kentucky in June! Hope to see you there- we really do.

May 12, 2010

Making Sunshine

This is the recipe for style.

Take one Palomino mare.
Add a sprinkle of Show Record.
Add a dash of high quality pedigree.
Shake well.
Mix with 2 parts Chevy semen.
Stir well with an insemination pipette.
Bake for 340 days.
Remove from heat promptly when timer goes off.
Should rise within 20 minutes.
Sugar lightly before serving and ENJOY!

May 11, 2010

The United Nations

I like to think we are an equal opportunity farm- there is equal opportunity for all animals, despite race or creed, to live here. After all, we have a backwoods Appalachian Raccoon, an African Pygmy Hedgehog will be moving in soon, there is the Latin lover Jorge the Llama, the always neutral Bernese Mountain Dog who hails from the Alps, a Standard Poodle who likes to kiss people on both cheeks, and a bevy of little Shetland Sheepdogs who have tried very hard but been unsuccessful at losing their rich Scottish accents.

So, one would believe that we have all of our bases covered. The Senate of horses housed here hail from the four corners of the United States of America with origins from California to the Eastern Shores. I, however, feel there is one corner of the Earth that is not represented- and that is the Desert. I've begged; I've pleaded; I've pouted; I've been compelling; but, alas, I cannot coerce my husband into allowing me to own a camel. I have dreams of how cute he would be. Dreams of teaching him to cush (lie down) on command, and accept a rider. I have researched the proposition and understand that they are agreeable with our climates. I even understand that they can learn to cohabitate with horses fairly well. Therefore, it seems to me to be a natural addition to our animal kingdom.

But, since I won the recent debate regarding trees and allowing our woods to be logged, I have learned that it is better to lie in wait on this one. Patience is a virtue; and maybe, just maybe, will yield me a camel.

May 10, 2010

Tough Love: Couples

Delilah could not contain the fury which bubbled up into her throat. The blonde mare was accustomed to the stallion looking at her when she was outside in the paddocks. She would toss her white mane as she lowered her head to graze so that her forelock fell just so between her eyes. When she stood with her tail to the wind, the creamy hair blew across her golden Palomino coat. He had told her once that she looked like a Greek goddess horse- or at least one which a Grecian goddess may ride upon. She liked the sound of the stallion's voice as he crooned to her from his secure paddock across the way.

He sang to her. He shouted to her. He called out his emotions for all the farm to hear. She normally lowered her long dark lashes against her yellow face in a coy manuever meant to drive him crazy with love. But today, she could not control her ire and did not feel pretty. Chevy had eyes for another blonde horse.

Sunny had arrived at the farm about a month before and like Delilah, she was a new mother. She and Delilah had become fast friends- neither had ever had another Palomino friend and they found common ground on many subjects. Like school girls, they whispered and giggled from their stalls at night. By day, they walked to the grassy paddock and watched their sons play around them. Little yellow replicas of the mares, the two colts had been born within 4 days of one another and were half brothers.

Delilah had become comfortable with her beauty. She was a city horse and had been a show horse just a few years ago. Sunny, on the other hand, was a country flower. She was comfortable in the shadow of Delilah's beauty and fame. But today, her own beauty beckoned to the stallion. She felt particularly special as he pranced and called to her.

Sunny practiced a toss of her head- mimicking Delilah but did not quite pull it off. She glanced around her to see if anyone had witnessed her awkward attempt at flirting with the sorrel stallion. She lifted her tail in a reflexive movement and he nearly climbed the tall boards which contained him in his private enclosure. Sensing his interest, she lifted her tail higher and thrust her head  into the air.

The rivalry between the blonde horses reached a new pitch as Delilah let out a whinny and tried to ignore the fact that her voice seemed shrill to her own ears. Sunny ignored the mare to her left and stretched her tail farther above her back- wondering if she looked sexy as she did so. In answer to her unspoken query, Chevy spoke his approval loudly. Feeling invisible now- Delilah moved forward and pulled her head and neck upward- looking as regal and graceful as she possibly could. Still, the stallion voiced his approval of the other mare.

Suddenly, the menage trois was broken by the harsh sound of a brass snap on Sunny's halter. "Come on, yella," Gary spoke to her as he led her from the paddock. "Looks like today's your lucky day."  And they walked together toward the barn and the white truck where the veterinarian waited for them.

(Sunny was AIed on Friday and will be having another Chevy foal in 2011!) Here is a picture of the girls this afternoon with their little Chevy colts!

May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

The sunshine woke up early today or so it seemed. She creeped over the horizon line trying not to wake the babies who were sleeping at the feet of their mothers. Slowly, as if she were embarrassed of her brilliance, she spread across the ground toward the sleeping foals. One by one, each pair was bathed in her invisible warmth. The mares stood quietly as the sun crawled up their rumps, across their backs, and then past their ears. Each of them stood like a statue with her sleeping foal curled into a ball at her front feet. They dozed as a group knowing that they were safe but instinct demanded that they stand guard over their respective offspring.

As if they came to life with the either the warmth or the glow of the sun, each small horse opened his eyes and yawned. Long legs stretched and the sound slumber shared by all infants fell away to welcome the day. As each foal rose to stand beside his mother, the sun now looked across the meadow at them. Quiet suckles filled the stillness of the morning and the mothers fed their babies. It was Mother's Day- but the horses did not know it. They began each day much the same.

May 8, 2010

Solitary Man

He stepped into the barn aisle and inhaled deeply. A surplus of scents moved invisibly across the fine hairs inside his soft nostrils. He filtered them methodically- noting the musky scent of the new horse who had arrived yesterday, the tangy odor from the breath of a neighbor who had received antibiotics earlier today, the acrid smell of death from a recent kill by the cat. The person beside him spoke in a quiet tone- he liked it when the people spoke to him. Chevy rarely knew that they were saying- just picking out a random phrase here and there- but liked the soft tones that were usually directed his way. They fell onto his soul like a tenor hand stroking his heart.

The red horse did not realize the impression that he made as he walked quietly beside the smallish man. He passed beneath the beams of sunlight which streamed through skylights and his short hair glistened an even brighter shade for a moment. Beneath the slick coat, the thick muscles of the stallion moved in a symphony of power and strength. Clp, clop clop, Clp, clop, clop. His feet accompanied him by tapping out a rhythm.

Chevy was an oddity of sorts. He was a mature breeding stallion: masculine, muscular, physical, and perfection. However, he was gentle and peace-loving. He avoided conflict and confrontation. His testosterone served nature's purpose but none other. It did not seep into his kind and easy attitude. The other horses in the barn already knew this about him. They knew that he best liked Neil Diamond songs on the radio, that he still remembered and loved his mother; they knew that he preferred to curl into a ball like a foal to sleep, and that he enjoyed playing with his ball toy in his stall.

In a different time, he would most likely have not sired foals. He could not, nay, would not, have challenged another stallion for the right to breed a mare. He would have happily roamed a prairie eating grass and taking long naps in the sunshine. But it was not another time. People decided which horses would have an opportunity to reproduce. And therefore, the same traits which may have prevented him from siring foals in the wild, caused him to have the opportunity to do so now. His slow nature, gentle attitude, and willingness to work alongside people ensured that his genetics would carry on.

The pair reached the end of the barn and walked out into the mid-morning sunshine. Just outside the barn doorway, sat the red truck with small black horse trailer tagging along behind. The door to the trailer was swung wide open and Chevy paused for only a moment before he stepped his front feet into its entrance. With agility that even a large cat would have envied, he quietly lifted his rear in a single hop that should have made a sound on the trailer floor but did not.

He dropped his head anticipating the familiar snap of brass beneath his chin and settled himself comfortably for the ride. The people standing outside spoke briefly and then the door behind him latched and blocked the sunshine from following him inside. He looked lazily ahead as the truck wheels began to turn. He saw the green countryside begin to move and closed his eyes for a nap. And he dreamt of grazing upon a prairie.

(Chevy makes a trailer trip about 3 days each week to Rood & Riddle to have his semen collected and prepared for shipping to mares around the United States and Canada. He has enjoyed this routine for 4 of his 5 breeding seasons and loves to travel.)

May 4, 2010

Tall Tails

This year at Fields Quarter Horses, there are some tall tails runnng around. I'm not talking about the kind which are told at a campfire, I'm speaking about the height of some of the horses at the farm. I've become accustommed to looking up at a few of our residents. In fact, I think if I were looking down from their backs, I may get a nose bleed. Here's a break down from largest to smallest of some of our guests!

Tilly: A mare who foaled an equally long legged filly last month, Tilly tops the charts by towering over everyone and thing at the farm. She is over 17.2 hands tall at the withers. Her withers are waaaayyyyy above the top of my head and I would have to use a small step ladder just to touch her ears!

Maggie: This mare has come to the farm for breeding and she is a Thoroughbred who formerly raced. We call her Maggie Giraffe (I'll let you figure that one out). She comes with the largest step and the smallest brain of any of our residents. Anything that we do with Maggie usually involves a process and a team.

Cooper: A mere two years old, Cooper garners third place honors in the who leaves from the highest branch category. Cooper is an easy 17.1 hands at the withers and is staying over for a while following minor surgery for some growth related issues. He is a gentle giant who recently discovered that prefers to graze from trees rather than lush green pastures. I suppose that to him, it seems efficient.

Spook: Recently of Foaling Camera fame, Spook it the resident embryo recipient mare along with her all-grown up no embryo named Audry. Spook is some sort of draft mix with blue eyes, a bald face, and expansive body. She tops the charts as the heftiest horse on the farm also.

Kramer: His registered name is Chevromotion and he is from the first foal crop of Chevy. This 3 year old soon-to-be show horse is now a wohopping 16.1 hands and still growing. He is beautiful, talented, and very Chevy-ish, just with a much larger version of the trot!

And from there we will skip over the other horses until we reach the smallest (or end of the line if you prefer). Cooper the Mini Stallion is the farm's teaser. He stands a neat 7 hands tall but makes up for his loss of size with a big attitude.

So, that's a view of the horses from the top! It's exciting to get to work with so many different shapes and sizes but I must say that it's both amazing and intimidating to walk beside these giants sometimes. I am reminded that they choose to be our friends!

May 3, 2010

Rainy Days and Mondays

...always get me down. We've had torrential rainfall the past few days. If you live near us, you have experienced it; if you watch the news, you've probably heard about it. I wonder if life means to mirror nature. I had a terrible disappointment personally over the weekend and cried for the first time in ages. As torrential rain poured and the gutters lost their battle to manage it, I could not stop the tears. Maybe it was the rain, maybe it was the person who let me down so badly- either way, I am absolutely certain that I prefer sunny days. Now, Wayne tells me that we needed the rain. The hay crops were begging and the farmers are thankful. I'm going to reflect on my disappointment for a bit and see if there is indeed anything about it for which I should be thankful. But for now, it's Monday; it's rainy; and I'm sad. I've decided that life is messy, sometimes rotten, and can actually hurt so bad that we don't know how we will endure it. But we do and when it's all said and done seem to forget the worst parts. For that, I can be thankful.

May 2, 2010

Welcome To The World, Little Horse

I dreamt of you.
And then I waited
For eleven long months.
Welcome to the world, little horse.

Beautiful Mother-
Champion Father.
You are petite perfection.
Welcome to the world, little horse.

Tiny hooves and
Fairy fine mane,
Your legs are strong.
Welcome to the world, little horse.

I will ride you someday
to the winner's circle
But not tonight,
Welcome to the world, little horse.

My literary talents do not really lean toward rhyme and verse. But, on occasion, I take a stab at it. Thank you for indulging me-Khris

May 1, 2010

Let's Get It On

Hello. This is Ringo the Raccoon. I am heer to air my greevances. I hurd the cats talking and think my mother is bringing a new critter to our home. I found a picture of the newborn thing on her compooter. It is a Hog of the Hedge. She will expect me to smile and play nice. She will require that I share. Well, I'm drawing a line in the litterbox- there will be no Mr. Nicey Face Fakey Bleeding Heart Lookin At The Cute Little Baby Hedgehog Raccoons at my house. I will beat him up if he so much as looks at my marshmallows. She is naming him Barry White and all I can say is, Baby Hedgehog- watch your step. I am the King Pin at Fields Quarter Horses and I am not looking for a deputy. Hedgehogs beware.