Fall Leaves

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It’s a beautiful fall day, crisp and cool, and the sun shines brightly through amber, maroon and burnt orange leaves. I suddenly had to grab my camera and take photos of the horses with this new scenery. The horses are beautiful all the time, in all weather and with every background…but the changing seasons reminds me of the glory of these animals, the natural setting they inhabit, the farm we are blessed to call home.

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Fall is a time of change, the outer world is shedding itself, leaves that are no longer living flutter brightly through the air. Remember me! Remember me! they seem to call out, the way my own memories flash and twirl through my mind. My mother’s awe at the water-colored sunsets on the coast, the winking of gold and silver in the waves, the bleeding of peach into lavender cloud. My daughter’s glee at turning five, the birthday she’d dreamed about for a year, asked every afternoon after preschool, Is it here yet? Yes, my sweet one, it’s here and gone…and here again as the leaves of memory circle and float.

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I will cherish these memories and loved ones as long as possible, yet, at the same time, I must open my hands, release my grasp on things that are not mine to hold. Eight years ago next month, my mother stepped beyond my reach into a golden glow. That same day, my sweet girl rained flower petals down the aisle of a church, paving a path of fragrance for Emily, the bride.

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Yesterday, Sydney slipped behind the wheel of my car to practice driving up the dirt road to our house. When she was a flower girl, I never dreamed her feet would reach the pedals. But they did. And the years have passed. She stepped tentatively on the gas, braked when necessary. Her long, golden hair flowed gently over her shoulders.

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My own hair is greying…and the days keep moving. One day soon the branches will be bare and the frost of winter will set in. But today it is late October and the woods are glowing. The muzzles of horses are buried in emerald grass. They don’t look ahead or worry, just simply feel the warmth of autumn through their coats. And the sun shines brighter each day through the shedding forest.

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Blue Skies

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What a difference a few days makes! The pastures are green again. Misty and Foxie graze under blue skies.

 

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The horses eating their hay in the ring before being turned out in the big pasture.

 

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The ring has dried out, and Sydney is back on April.


Random shots

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Hello there, sweet horses!

 

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Fall sunrise.

 

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Not exactly a fashion statement…but they keep my feet dry.

 

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My dear friend Lyn stopped in to see Sydney and me at the farm a couple of weeks ago. It was so wonderful to see her!

 

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Lyn and I used to ride together back in our college days.  So good to see her!

 

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Sunny taking her turn at the water bucket. She thinks she’s a horse at times.

 

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Joel and Sydney helping me run water up to the ring. With this dry weather, I’ve been rotating horses into every available space…hoping to preserve some grass.

 

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Sydney surveying our small herd.

 

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Lots of clouds, but no rain. 😦


Misty’s Treatment

During Misty’s recent vet exam we learned that her hocks were sore. The vet recommended a round of injections to help her feel better. He came out today and treated her. I took a series of photos so that I could share the experience with Karen and LK who are out of town. Misty was a good girl.

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The vet techs prep Misty by wrapping her tail and scrubbing her hocks well.

 

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Misty is feeling pretty sleepy after being injected with a sedative.

 

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The crossties hold Misty’s head up.

 

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The vet techs continue scrubbing. Misty’s hocks are cleaner than they’ve been in a long time.

 

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The vet gets the needle in.

 

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The first injection.

 

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A close up.

 

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The next injection.

 

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Misty isn’t too sure about being injected in this hock.

 

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But the vet is patient.

 

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Suddenly Misty kicks out! The vet decides to give Misty a little more sedative.

 

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He finishes the job.

 

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After the vet leaves, Misty goes into her stall. She is sleepy.

 

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VERY sleepy!

 

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I turn Foxie and April out behind Misty’s stall so they can all see each other.

 

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Foxie comes over to say hello and April grazes close by.

 

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Foxie stays right outside Misty’s stall for a while.

 

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Misty is starting to wake up. And Foxie peers into her own stall wondering if there are any treats in there.

 

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A few hours later, Misty seems to be back to herself. Hopefully her hocks will be feeling much better over the next few days.

 


At the Salt Lick

We always enjoy watching our horses and seeing their natural behaviors and herd instincts. The other morning the horses hung around the back of the barn after I had turned them out. So I watched them take turns at the salt lick. Foxie is the alpha mare, so she always goes first; then Misty, then April. Poor April didn’t get a turn this time (she’s at the bottom of the herd)…but she has her own salt block in her stall. 🙂

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Foxie moves in for her turn at the salt lick.

 

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Because she’s the alpha horse, she takes her time…and the others wait patiently for her to be finished.

 

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Finally…Foxie moves away and it’s Misty’s turn. April waits in the wings…staying close. Sunny keeps an eye on the horses too.

 

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Foxie comes back and parks her head in Misty’s neck while April continues to wait.

 

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Foxie and Misty wander into the pasture…and April decides to follow them, forgoing the salt lick. She doesn’t want to lose sight of her friends.


Horse Massage….ahhhh!

Our horses were treated to something extra special this afternoon. The sister of a friend of ours is a horse masseuse. She came to the barn and worked on Misty, Foxie and April. As usual, I was so involved in watching the horse’s reactions that I forgot to pull out my phone and take photos until she started working on the second horse. But here are a couple of photos of Foxie and April feeling pretty blissful.

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Right there! That’s the spot!

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Ahhh! Don’t stop….

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Misty, relaxed and happy after her massage, and Karen watching the masseuse at work on Foxie.

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April enjoying “her turn.”

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April saying “thank you.”

 

 


Seeing Double

Two paints in one ring! A few day ago Sydney and Lauren-Kate had their first opportunity to ride together in a few weeks. It was a lovely sight!

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