Saying Goodbye to Smokey…for now

We’ve enjoyed having Smokey at the barn so much! Pound for pound, he has the biggest personality of all the horses. And he loves his mares! Last night when the horses heard that Smokey was leaving today, they all gathered together over the fence for a horse huddle. They were either coming up with an escape plan or saying goodbye.


Smokey and April enjoyed eating their hay together one last time. Smokey was happy to have a break from his muzzle.


Sydney cleaned up Smokey in preparation for his trip home.


Smokey gives a big yawn….


We’re all going to miss Smokey. Even Sunny was looking sad that her friend was leaving.


Sydney combed out Smokey’s tail and started braiding.


Waa la — a fish tail! Wait…I thought Smokey was a pony.


My friend Lynn brought her big truck over to help us move Smokey. We hooked it up to my dusty trailer and pumped up the tires. We loaded Smokey, and he looked so small in the trailer. In fact, on the ride over to his old home, he turned himself around and ended up on the other side of the trailer. When we unloaded Smokey, we didn’t even have to lower the butt bar. He just walked right under it.


Smokey recognized his old home right away. We are so grateful to MeLanie for letting us use him!


Smokey let out a long whinny to say hello to his old friends, then happily started eating hay.


Bye, Smokey! We love you!! Hope to see you next spring!


Different Combinations



April drying off behind the barn after her bath.

We’ve been moving horses around this week, trying out different combinations to see how they get along. Initially, while we still have Smokey, the easiest and most natural combination was to pair up Foxie and Misty in one paddock and pair up Smokey and April in another. All four horses were quite happy with this arrangement. Then we tried April with Foxie, who is the alpha mare. Since we’ve been riding the two of them together, they seemed quite content and peaceful together. Next, we tried April with Misty. In the beginning, Misty made it clear that she was in charge, putting her ears back. But after a few minutes, both horses settled down and grazed contentedly together.

The next day, we decided to try the three mares together to see what would happen. I put them in the big pasture so they’d have plenty of room. I didn’t want April to get cornered. Misty again pinned her ears at April and kept her away from Foxie. But the horses seemed to settle down — Misty and Foxie in close proximity and April just a short distance away. And, finally, we let Smokey join the herd. He trotted on over to his mares, thrilled to be with them again. Interestingly, he started out very close to Foxie and Misty. He was so happy to be with them that he rolled. Once again, all four horses settled into companionable grazing.


Foxie and April getting acquainted. April look darker than usual here because her coat is still damp.


Seeing double! Misty and April figuring out their relationship.


Smokey and April enjoying each other.


Foxie and Misty across the way from Smokey and April. Each pair was very content.


April, Foxie and Misty in the big pasture.


April standing just a few feet away from Foxie and Misty.


Smokey joins up with Misty and Foxie, and April is a little farther away.


Smokey, Misty and Foxie being downright cliquish!


Smokey is so happy he decides to roll.


Smokey getting up from his rolling.

April is Here!

We’ve been anxiously awaiting the arrival of this sweet mare all the way from near Charleston, South Carolina. Today April made the trip. She got off the trailer and immediately seemed at home.


This is the big rig she arrived in. Thanks so much to Deirdra Lunny for transporting her safely to us!


Foxie and Misty ran right over to say hello to the new horse. April was more interested in grass than socializing.


We started April out in the paddock behind the barn so the other horses could see her and get used to her presence.


Then we put April in the middle paddock and turned Smokey out beside her. He was thrilled to have a new mare on the property and trotted right over to welcome her. April wasn’t overly interested in him at first.


But Smokey finally got April’s attention. Even though Smokey is only three feet tall, he’s still “the big man” around the farm.


The biggest surprise of the day for me was when Deirdra got out of her truck, I realized she was an old friend from the horse world. We knew each other before we had children. Now, both of our daughters ride. It was fun catching up with her. Small world!


How Many Horses …

Is it one horse…?



No wait… from a different angle… it’s three!



Morning After a Blue Moon

The clouds were gorgeous this morning as Sunny and I took off for our walk. I couldn’t help but marvel. There was a coolness to the air and a beauty that lifted my heart. Something about the blue moon last night reminded me that we live in the midst of a glorious story…despite the pain and suffering embedded in our lives. If we step out of our daily grind, look up, we might just capture some of the brilliance that surrounds us.







Smokey Makes More Friends

Over the past week or so Smokey has made lots of new friends. He will be going home soon, so Sydney and I invited some families from our church to come over and visit him. The kids brushed Smokey, and Sydney gave the children pony rides on him. And I got to visit with the moms. It’s been a sweet time!








Misty and Foxie enjoyed the show from their stalls.



We’ll miss you, Smokey!


On His Knees

I didn’t get a photo of Smokey the last time the farrier came to visit, so I made sure to get one during his most recent visit. Our farrier is tall (6’3”) and Smokey isn’t much more than 36 inches at his withers. As you can see, Smokey had the farrier on his knees, literally! 🙂