Thursday, January 31, 2008

South Africa - My Second Home - Part One

You will all have to forgive me for jumping from one continent and one country to the other but I have so many disks and am just grabbing pictures as I find them. Once again these are very old scans from slide film so the quality is not that great.

In 1985 I moved to The Republic Of South Africa after my first marriage ended in divorce. I had a two year old daughter at the time and the unrest in Zimbabwe helped me make this decision.

I packed my clothes, my daughter and her clothes and left my place of birth with 500 Rand in my pocket which is the currency of South Africa. I can't remember what the equivalent in US Dollars was at the time but it was not a lot of money (Maybe half a month's salary even less), but those were the rules of the government at the time.

If you wanted to take a car or furniture with you, your car had to be more than 20 years old, your furniture more than 5 years old (you had to provide sales receipts to prove it or get the furniture evaluated) and you could take only R500 with you .... period. Everything else had to stay. I am not going to get into politics but it was hard.

They had stopped people taking out insurance and retirement annuities before leaving which was one way that people were getting their money out with them. In a nutshell they cottoned on to everything and did everything in their power to make sure you left with as little as possible.
At the time Petrol (called Gas here in USA) was very short and we were rationed, only allowed so many gallons a month to get to work and back, had to apply for our "ration" and when the flow got worse we used to park our cars in a queue outside a service station on a Friday night so that we could be there first thing on Monday morning when the delivery arrived to get 10 litres (a bit more than 2 gallons) and when it ran out everyone else got nothing so it was first come first served until the following shipment which was normally a week later.

Also it was not the fuel like we get here, they had mixed Ethanol into the petrol which presented its own problems, my little old car used to get too hot for it and it would start evaporating before it got to the carburettor and my engine would cut out until it had cooled down enough to make another spurt for the border LOL.

To make matters worse, I had just got up a nice speed and was chugging along when an eagle that had landed in the middle of the road to eat some roadkill (sounds like a comedy!) wouldnt move until the last minute to get out of my way and it slammed into my windshield shattering it!! Fortunately it remained intact so I didnt have a big hole in place of the windshield but it made for very difficult driving.

I started off my South African adventure with a 2 year old daughter, a car that was falling apart and no money. I was very fortunate that my brother put us up for a short time in Johannesburg and then I moved in with some old Zimbabwean friends who had moved a little while before, to house sit for them and to help get back on my feet and find a job.

The first picture is of one of my favorite animals, the giraffe, this was a young one. The second one is of a lion that lived in a lion park near where I later lived in Johannesburg and the last one is of another favorite of mine the Zebra and foal which was taken in a small game park just on the outskirts of Johannesburg outside a town/city called Krugersdorp (same park as the shot of the giraffe). We would often make a day trip to this little game reserve and on one occasion stayed overnight in their guest lodge which was wonderful and attracted a lot of tourists.

To be continued .....

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Invisible Image Meme

I have recently been tagged twice by two different types of meme's so here is the first one that I got from Angry Buttons. This is a new blog I have just started visiting. You can see my five images at the bottom of this post.

This is how it works (I hope) I will add one thing, if you are not using your own photos please respect the copyright laws on any photos you may use, just because it is on the net and doesnt have a signature doesnt mean it is freegame to be used by anyone for anything. If necessary ask the picture's owner permission and NEVER remove a copyright logo, it is polite and the law LOL:

What’s an Invisible Image?

As bloggers and computer users for various purposes, whether for work, play, art or some other interest, we tend to collect images on our computer for later use. They could be any type of image that you had intended to use somehow.

Often they are photos headed for the family site, or quirky images that get sent to friends via email, they could have been intended to act as a header for a blog post, or indeed they are images that have been sent to or found by you on the internet, with no real purpose in mind. The point is, for whatever reason, we all tend to have quite a stash of images.

And despite our best intentions, many of these images just hang around on c drive collecting dust. Maybe the moment had past, or there were too many for the one subject, or we simply didn’t finish the post that they were intended for. For whatever reason, it’s these forgotten and ne’er used images that I like to refer to as Invisible Images. And it’s these Invisible Images that this meme is all about.

Before I get to the rules I’d like to point out that despite what I may insist to be the rules, there really isn’t any way for any of us to insist and police the strict adherence to these rules. So this meme is to be conducted under the honour system. (Or for those with no honour then you must conduct yourself under the honor system) (tehe, just a little word joke...) So here are the rules;

Rule 1:
Any image used for this meme must never have been used for any purpose by you before.
Rule 2: Refer to Rule 1.


1: Take 5 images that you have stored on your computer and post them, each with a title and/or a single line description of what the image is, or represents, or means to you.

2: Tag five people telling them that they are in fact tagged to do this meme, and also asking them to take a look at your 5 images and then email you 1 only Invisible Image from their stash.

Remind them that they are to avoid sending one that you have posted in your meme. Insist that they do this within 4 days so that on the fifth day you can post another Invisible Images post as before, but this time using the 5 images that you received from your taggees. Only this time you don’t need to tag anyone. And who knows, you may even get a full post out of one of them. After the second posting, you have completed all your meme obligations. Simple and, I hope, effective.
So here are my 5 pictures all old shots taken with a very old digital:

This represents a time when I merged
my love for horses and my love
for photography, one of my first pics.
I have always ridden English and when I arrived
in USA this was my first western saddle!

This little foldup bike was one of my modes of
transport in the two years that I spent in London
before coming to the USA

This is the tunnel I had to walk through to cross the tracks
to get to the station when I worked and lived in Eltham
London and needed to get into Central London or
elsewhere. The graffiti is very common.

This was the first time I had seen snow and I took this in
Greenwich Park London after about an inch of snow.

Now on to sending Angry Buttons his invisible pic from me and I nominate (sorry guys, dont hate me too much!!!!):

Pats Pictures
L and Mira

I have just got another Meme so now I have two more waiting.



Monday, January 28, 2008

Just a Quickie

I missed yesterday for which I am sorry. I am just posting a short one today with a link to my blog buddy MiKael's site which has an excellent post from yesterday about the aerobic workout you get when being a horse owner and rider. Please use this link Blog Village page down, she is ranked No. 1 at the moment and I would like to keep her here because it all starts from zero at the beginning of next month. There are two places to click, one on the "Rate this site" button in the ranking box for her blog and then on the link to her blog to read the article.

It is very funny so if you are feeling like a chuckle I would recommend going to check it out. Thanks guys.

Today's picture is of one of my success stories and was taken a few months before she was sold, this is Cookie, a filly I sold December just over a year ago to a wonderful home. Her owner keeps in close contact with me and sends me pictures and updates regularly. This is the type of home I wish for, for each of my horses. Thanks Susan.


Saturday, January 26, 2008

More Ice

It was not as cold today as yesterday thank heavens. These were some photos I took a few days ago of the windows again. I am really building my arsenal of ice pics!!! I am having horse picture withdrawals!!!

These were just as the sun was rising and the color of the sunrise being picked up by the ice crystals.
This one was on the narrow window, ribbons.
This was just before the sun cleared the horizon, you can just see the color coming into the ice.
What amazes me is that they are never the same. I just can't resist photographing them when I see them. This time I actually cleaned the inside window!!!!! I am as domestic as a brick so that is a BIG deal. I will be adding some of these to my Store. Hoping to get back to that project tomorrow.

Nothing else exciting to report. It should be on a warmup trend although still around freezing and I am hoping to be able to get the horses out soon, they are bouncing off the walls.

Hope you are all having a great weekend ((((Hugs))))


Friday, January 25, 2008

My Tail Between My legs Again!!!

I know after the big flourish with my new store I went to rock bottom. Had a few bad days.

Thank you all for your wonderful feedback, I am taking into account some of your suggestions and will be making adjustments and additions soon so thanks for your loyal support I really appreciate it and thank you to all my new visitors I really look forward to seeing you all again.

This morning on our little paint horse farm we woke up after the coldest night since last February. I think our low was finally -1F (probably about -17C) and when I went out to feed when it got light at 8am it was 1F (-15c). I nearly died.

It took forever to get the water done for all the horses because any water they hadnt drunk had frozen solid and I had to keep topping up and letting them drink until they had enough by which time I was frozen solid and exhausted. The cold really drains my energy.
The first two pictures are of what I emptied out of the buckets outside each of the barns when I finally warmed up a bit and went out at lunch time again to give them some more hay and put their buckets out in the sunshine upside down so I could remove the ice and fill them at their evening feed with fresh water. These little piles grow by the day if it stays cold for more than a few days at a time so if it does grow I will keep tabs on its progress LOL.
This third one is the tank in the field for which I dont have a heater. Yes that is solid and is about 1 foot deep!!! I just keep adding and letting them drink their fill. When it is totally full and solid I normally resort to smaller containers which I can get the ice out of easily each day.
Mike you are right when you talk about the stat counter and the weird search words that pull your site up. I would put a few of mine in but I would have to blush!!!! Taxes (brat baby) has duly been petted and told to behave in your honor!

Cyndie my Dad and step brother still live in Cape Town, it is a beautiful country but after my experiences there I have no desire to go back!!! Although Cape Town is about an 11 hour drive south of Johannesburg where I lived. I will be checking out your blog soon it sounds like it will bring back memories for me too!! Thanks for coming in.

Julie Blair, good to see you again, I have been thinking of writing a book but when the heck I would find the time I dont know, Abraham gave me a great link to a self publishing site called so maybe if I can find someone to tell me if it sounds sane and to check for grammar, typos and general content I may consider it LOL.

MiKael again thanks for all the moral support and direction, you have no idea how much I appreciate your time and I know how busy you are.

Please check out all the links that I have posted everyone, these are special people and each one has their own unique story and photographs.

See y'all soon.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Making My Print Store Debut

I am finally feeling happy about unveiling my project that I have been working on over the past few days. I have always mulled over in my mind the idea of selling prints, using my photographs of horses, flowers, dogs, cats and generally everything to make those cameras and lenses pay for themselves LOL.

So here is the link to my new Blog Store Front.

Larry has been working frantically to figure out how to set up a shopping cart function for me to make it easy to order whatever you just cant live without, and I have been trying to work out a system that will be easy to follow and allow you all to see what I have available and how it will look in the different sizes.

There will be lots more photos and goodies added over the next few days or weeks, this is going to be an ongoing project for me so it will be added to constantly so keep checking in to see what is new, and we will be ironing out the glitches as we go.

I have so many photos I don't know where to start really and hope to introduce flowers, bugs, other animals and general scenery as I get the chance. You will be able to see which catagories are available by looking at the Labels in the sidebar of the shopping blog.

Any comments or suggestions on how the site is working or what can be done to make it better would be greatly appreciated.

I am looking forward to lots of feedback and hope that this project will develop into something good.

Forgive me for taking so long to moderate the comments on my blog from the last few days, that is something new I have introduced and I have not yet mastered remembering to check the Dashboard to see if anything is waiting!!!! Sorry I will get better LOL (((Hugs)))


Monday, January 21, 2008

Zimbabwe - My Birthplace - Part 1

(Click on pictures to view larger)

I am finding that while sifting through some of the CDs I brought from England with me I am finding photos that are bringing back memories so I guess I will post as I find things and in the end it should all come together to form my life story LOL.

These older photographs are scans of negatives and slides and were done about 7 - 10 years ago when the equipment we had wasnt as good as it is today.

I was born in a country called Southern Rhodesia, which became Rhodesia after their independence from the British Empire in 1965 (it had been a British colony until then), and then Zimbabwe which is the name it is known by now.

The photographs today are of one of the more common modes of transport by the black african people out in the rural areas. They used donkeys and were pretty ingenious when it came to making harnesses and wagons for them out of whatever they could find. Here is a very happy bunch trotting down the roadside.

I took this photo on one of my many road trips from Bulawayo which is the city of my birth to Johannesburg in South Africa.

If you look at the map that comes up when you click here or on Zimbabwe you will see a map of Africa and Zimbabwe, and Bulawayo is in the southwestern part of the country. The second picture is of some of the amazing rock formations in the Matobo National Park which is just outside Bulawayo. We used to spend a lot of time in this area while I was growing up. There were game parks/reserves where you could view all sorts of wildlife while you drove around the reserves which were protected areas.

It has many picnic sites where people used to go and have the equivalent of a BBQ except we used wood and a steel grate perched on rocks over the coals to cook our steaks, sausages (boerewors), corn on the cob and baked potatoes to name a few of the items. We called it a Braaivleis (this is the afrikaans word for roasted meat - afrikaans is one of the languages spoken in South Africa). Some people had portable Braais so they didnt have to rough it with the rack and rocks LOL.

There were many small dams where you could fish for Bream and large mouth and black Bass and a fish that we called Barbel which is similar to the catfish here in the USA. The unique feature of this whole area was the granite outcrops, huge granite domes and rocks which do balancing acts as the soil has eroded away over the centuries. We used to spend hours climbing up these natural formations.

Cecil John Rhodes, the man that Rhodesia was named after is buried on top of one of these huge domes which is called "World's View" or "View of the World" because you can see forever from the top of it and it was one of his favorite places to be. It has to be one of the most peaceful places on earth, I always used to make a trip there when I went to visit my daughter.

To be continued .....

I have so many memories flooding in that I am having a struggle to decide what to write LOL, so I hope that you all find this journey interesting.

Mike thanks for the help with the HTML, I will crack this thing if it is the last thing I do LOL. Abraham I asked Larry about the pitch forks, the three prong is used for hay, and the five prong is known as a manure fork because the prongs are closer (But I use a basket type of plastic fork to pick the stables which sifts the sawdust through and leaves the poop in the basket to be discarded), not too sure what the significance of the four prong is other than maybe for a general garden fork or digging work?

CG and Photogchic, my daughter's grandfather on her father's side was actually born in Alnwick, which is a small town near the Scottish border if I remember correctly on the east coast of England.

Well now that I have taken that trip down memory lane I hope the links all work. I will be back tomorrow ((((Hugs))))


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Trying to get my ducks in a row

Today's picture is one I came across while looking through my old photos. This was taken at a stable in the centre of London called Mottingham Farm Riding Centre.

It is about 50 acres of Kings land in the middle of the mass of houses where they had 30 odd horses and offered riding 365 days of the year but mainly over the weekends.

It was quite weird because a big six lane dual carriageway (one of the main roads into central London 5 or 6 miles away) ran down the one side of the land and it was completely surrounded by houses and businesses.

I used to go and shoot pictures for them every weekend and sell them to the riders to try to help support myself. This horse's name is Gaylord. In the winter they clip them like this so they dont altogether lose their winter coats which keep them warm.

They ride for an hour each session, 5 sessions Saturday and 5 sessions Sunday and have various fields with different sets of obstacles to jump over (nothing big which made it harder to shoot good photos as they were up and over so quickly) and places to gallop and go through a stream, so the variation was not great but the people who used to go regularly loved it and would ride whatever the weather .

I used to trudge around with my camera. I have a pic a friend took of me with my camera in shorts there in the summer which I will find and post, it should give you a giggle.

So this is a little tidbit from my two years spent in London. You will hear more about that I promise.

We woke up to -2F or thereabouts this morning, a high of 10F and a windchill of -15F so it has been a miserable day on this little Paint Horse farm.

By the time I had fed the horses in shifts because my fingers were freezing within 20 minutes and had to keep coming inside to get the circulation going again, got all the ice out of the water buckets and fed and watered the horses it was nearly lunch time!!

I went over to Muncie to get some horse feed as I will only be able to order my normal supply tomorrow for delivery probably on Tuesday and had nearly run out of feed. It was freezing!! I have struggled to stay warm all day. Thanks to Stan for running me over there and doing all the bag toting, as I get older I find it more and more difficult to lift these heavy bags and bales of hay.

MiKael and Larry have been helping me work on my storefront for offering prints and postcards for sale, I just wish there were more hours in the day, I just never seem to get ahead. I think I have worked out the basic layout, now all I have to do is get the inventory presented nicely and get a shopping cart worked out.

More to come tomorrow. (((Hugs)))


Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Siblings on The Paint Horse Farm

Woke up to 6 degrees F this morning and had a high of about 12, tonight it is expected to drop to -6F so I am dreading it.

Part One of my story

Part Two of my story

This is the oldest of the four paint horse foals, DB April Dawn. She had been born on 1st April and was two and a half months old when I arrived, a very classy, pretty filly who has beautiful movement.

And here is Christine again with her momma "Blueyed Kooter", yeah I know it is a strange name but I will get into it's origins later LOL, they try to say she was named after the guy, Kooter, on The Dukes of Hazard, but I know better LOL. This was another very classy beautiful filly who moved like a dream. She unfortunately was a solid or breeding stock paint horse as she didnt have enough white in the right places to qualify her for the regular paint horse registry. Unfortunately just because your paint horse mare and stallion have lots of white spots doesnt guarantee that you will get a baby with lots of white spots too, it is a bit like roulette LOL. When you get into more of the genetics I will explain that there is one way to guarantee getting spots, but that is all for later.

Last but not least this is Paula, DB Paula Leusman. You can't really see her spots here but she has them on her chest and on her left side as well as plenty of white on her face. She has the most beautiful eye. Again I will post a shot of that at a later date, a nice closeup of her eye with it's white eyelashes!! All of these baby paint horses had been exposed to very little handling until I came into their lives so I had to learn quick and as nervous as I was, I was amazed at how good they were. When I was expecting to be dragged off into the sunset by a wild unhandled baby horse, it didnt happen and they learned and absorbed everything like little sponges.

When I said that the first winter here was a huge shock to my system I meant it. I have very few pictures of me with my horses and this is one of the first ones that I have of me and Lori during our first winter. Larry had just bought me these wonderful insulated overalls which I would never survive without!!! They are amazingly warm, just wish I could find something for my hands that are as good but that I can still undo latches and chains with, without having to take them off!!! This was one of the first times that I had actually put a halter on any of the foals and taken them out of the barn on a lead rope. She was so good. This picture and the next were taken by one of our home health aides with a very cheap digital camera so you can see the quality of the shots are not good, but I treasure them.

This is my "Farmer Brown" photo, pitch fork in hand, ready for action!! Again taken with the cheapie camera but definitely had to have this for the record LOL.

That is about it for today folks. To be continued tomorrow ......

Have a great weekend. Thanks again Abraham and MiKael for all of your input and help here, you have both been a godsend to me. (((Hugs))))



Friday, January 18, 2008

DBD Lori Endres & Siblings

MiKael asked me what the DBD at the beginning of this mare's name stands for so I will try to explain. The original Paint Horse stud that Larry had was a horse called Sonny Dee Bee. He was a crop out (sire and dam were QH but he had too much white for the QH registry and was forced to be registered as a Paint Horse) son of the late great Sonny Dee Bar. A lot of our stock have this breeding so we took the DB from Sonny Dee Bee and then Lori's daddy is Dosie so we added the other D. All of Sonny Dee Bee's babies that we bred started with DB, all of Dosie's babies start with DBD and Blue's (who is also Dosie's son) offspring will Be DBB. As clear as mud LOL. In the Paint Horse registry you only get 21 characters to come up with a name so it gets quite challenging sometimes.

The story continues.....

Apart from Lori there were there were three other paint horse foals to deal with, DB April Dawn, DB Paula Leusman and DB Christine Harcus, all four fillies. Yes I know my husband promised me he would never be responsible for naming the horses again, he named these poor babies after his internet pals, except for April who was born on 1st April.

That was actually how I met my husband. I was living in London at the time and the internet and MSN were very new and FREE, can you imagine that? I found a group of horse people that he had set up and we corresponded for months via that medium until I decided to come over and meet him. The other two names were of friends of ours that we used to chat with online, one in Wisconsin and one in the Orkney Islands, tiny islands just off the northern coast of Scotland.

You can just imagine how I must have felt faced with these 4 beautiful little babies and all the other horses and my limited experience LOL. It was daunting. Today's picture is of Christine the youngest of the four foals, she was only a few weeks old and this was one of my first attempts at editing pictures LOL so forgive the poor Photoshop work. I will post pictures of the other two in my post tomorrow.

This is going to be a short post today ... time has just got away from me again .... so again the saga will continue....

Hope you all have a great weekend. ((((Hugs)))))


You Make My Day Award

Thanks so much Pat for giving me the You Make My Day Blogging Award. I have received similar awards over the past year from some of my wonderful blogging buddies and have never learned how to deal with them and post the links etc. so here is another new year's resolution. I value all of your visits and input so much and now to narrow it down to 10 people to send this to is very hard. I hope that I am doing this right, if it doesnt work sorry, please help!!!!! LOL

Here is a list of some of the many that I would love to give this award to :

Okay so that is 11, shoot me for adding one extra LOL. I am hoping all the links work and now I believe I need to go and post on each of these blogs telling each these wonderful people how much I enjoy their blogs.

I will post my regular post a bit later but had to get this worked out first LOL


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Introducing DBD Lori Endres (17 Jan 2008)

I have loved horses since I was 9 years old when my best friend and her family got their first horse. The love just grew from there and it took many many years before I actually owned my first horse. That is an American Paint Horse called DBD Lori Endres. She is a sorrel and white Tobiano filly and was a few weeks old when I first came over to USA in June of 2001. It was my husband's idea to name her (this was my name at the time before I remarried ... I wasnt too keen on the last name but that is what she got landed with LOL). I have always believed that it is unlucky to change a horses name so that is how it stayed. No I am not really superstitious but this one just niggles me.

This is one of the first photographs that I took of her a few days after I arrived. There were 9 horses (1 stallion and 8 mares) in the barn and four foals aged between 3 weeks and 3 months old. I have never had the opportunity to be hands on where horses are concerned. I had ridden all my life but had never really been in a position to care for one myself and had never been around a Stallion or Foals. It was a daunting task and this was the beginning of my learning curve which still grows to this day, I learn a new lesson just about every day on this paint horse farm LOL. This filly was a real livewire, very lively, independent and intense, not very affectionate at all .. unless SHE wanted some loving of course .... then she would try to make it look like it was your idea not hers.

It amazed me daily how quickly these babies learned and I made lots of mistakes along the way but they are very forgiving creatures. Whatever I showed them they normally picked up the first time. We had 4 mares out in the 5 acre pasture but the rest of the horses were stalled and the only place I had to give them any exercise was the roundpen, and they loved to be out there.

Up until my arrival Larry had been reliant on people's (family and friends') goodwill with getting the horses cared for with regard to their feeding and keeping the barn in shape. Richard, our one neighbor was great with that and with helping me to learn a few of the ropes so to speak when it came to handling the stallion, foals and mares. Larry had ridden his whole life until the swimming accident in 1982 which left him quadraplegic, so his experience in this new horse world was invaluable to me if I was going to stay alive LOL. He has seen and done it all, there is very little that he hasnt experienced himself and has a solution for.

My first winter here in Indiana was a big shock for me. I was born in Zimbabwe, a country in southern africa, and our temperatures very rarely went below freezing and other than a few snow showers that I had experienced in London England just before coming to the USA, I had never seen snow. I have to say that not one season has been the same in the 7 years I have been here, every winter has been different, as every summer, spring and fall. I have learned to hate mud though, that is one constant LOL.

To be continued........

I hope that you will all enjoy this journey back into my more recent past with me. It is giving me a chance to look back at some of my old photographs and remember things that I have already forgotten about, and reinforce some of the lessons that I have learned since coming to this American Paint Horse Farm.

Abraham believe me I am going to pick your brain unmercifully during this process LOL, thank you for everything up until now and in case I dont say it enough for all the help in the future.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

16 January 2008

Okay another ice image guys. This was on the bathroom window this morning. It was pretty cold again today but sunny so I managed to get the horses out at least. Didn't get to photograph them though.

Photography and Horses are my two passions and I am happiest when I have my camera in my hand and a horse in front of me, preferably more than one horse and ones that are running and doing what horses do naturally. Fate brought me to the USA and into the lives of my husband and our many American Paint Horses (APHA) (For anyone who would like to know exactly what a Paint Horse is click on the link ... believe me I had never heard of them before I came here nearly 7 years ago, always thought they were called Piebald and Skewbald horses depending on the color) . I suppose the easiest way to describe them is spotted horses, like the ones that Little Joe on Bonanza used to ride (the black and white ones).

A lot of you already know that my horses dominate most of my life, blog, photographs and stories. I have also been known to photograph anything else that may or may not cross my path. As I said yesterday I am going to be adding things to my blog which will be a process which I will take a bit of time to get up and running properly, Abraham, thanks for your pointers and encouragement in this direction and also MiKael who has been invaluable in helping me understand how this all works. Be sure to check both of these blogs out they are both very entertaining and well written and have gorgeous photographs of animals and Arabian Horses.
I have had requests for prints of some of my photographs, postcards, fridge magnets etc. and am busy setting this up too so stay tuned, I will let you know the details once I have it all figured out.

I will end off with that for today and will have more for you tomorrow. Thanks to you all for your visits and comments, it is great to hear from each of you. ((((Hugs))))


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

15 January 2008

I am in the process of reorganising how I am going to deal with my blog to make it more interesting for those of you who are visiting. So not much has happened today other than mulling over ideas and hopefully my new format will start tomorrow. I want to also tell a little bit about my story of my place of birth in southern africa and my travels leading me ultimately to Indiana USA. My aim will be to post at least one photograph each day as well, it may not necessarily be something new, it may be something from my past that I have in archives.
Today's picture is one of my bottle baby Wiggle when she was about 2 years old maybe a bit younger. It is one of my favorite shots of her. She is one of those horses that really isnt very pretty to actually look at conformation wise but she photographs well (in my opinion of course LOL). She is a total brat, equally as bad as Taxes if that is possible.
We are heading into a very cold weekend, they are now predicting -6F for Sunday (it was predicted at -2) so we are bracing ourselves.
I hope everyone is having a good week, keep tuned in, I am determined to get my butt in gear. (((Hugs)))

Sunday, January 13, 2008

13 January 2008

I am afraid it is another muddy horse image of two of the "babies" playing again. We had a beautiful sunny day yesterday and today was the exact opposite. The only picture I have managed in the past few days is the one below of Huggy Cat sitting on the seat of the riding mower.

I actually managed to get to visit all of my favorite blogs today and leave long overdue comments on each of them so I feel that I have achieved something today LOL.

Abraham, I have started visiting Pioneer Woman's blog regularly, she is very entertaining and her photos are wonderful so thank you for pointing me in her direction. For any of you who have not been there yet, her blog is worth a visit. . You asked about the metal curry combs, yes we still have them but I use a rubber one, flexible and better for their coats. When the horses have been out in the mud and it is cold, I bring them in at night and close the barn up to stop draughts so they can dry out and not get sick. Once the mud is dry it brushes off quite easily and actually cleans their coats. That is one way that they get rid of dead hair and skin, roll in the dust or mud. When I put new sawdust in their stables that is the first thing they all do, roll in it and you would be surprised at how quickly they clean themselves up. On the subject of seeing my horses go to their new homes, yes it is really hard even if I know it is a good one, they are like my children, I am just a bit softie I am afraid.

Thanks to everyone for their well wishes I appreciate them.
Mike Happy Birthday for the 12th, who would have thought LOL. Believe me my horses arent really that active, it is only for short periods when I first put them out after they have been cooped up for a day or two and then just bursts when they feel good, they only last a minute or two at the most so they are not easy to capture with all the elements for a good photo in place LOL So in other words mine are mostly like those ones you pass on the highway, browsing lazily in their fields.
CG none of my horses are kickers either, this is just play fortunately. On the subject of being kicked or bitten, I was once bitten really badly on my chest by a mare who had just had a foal, she had never shown any agression in her life but she turned on me and believe me you dont want to be bitten by a horse either if they really mean it. My whole chest area was bruised, black and blue for 6 weeks afterwards and I felt like I had broken ribs and had difficulty and pain for weeks when I was breathing. This was Wiggle's mom, the mare we lost last year while she was foaling. She must have been having a hormonal problem because she never got her milk in and I had to hand raise the baby. The baby also arrived a few weeks early which didnt help her with her milk production etc. and the vet had given her a hormone shot to try to bring her milk in. She attacked me with all of her 1100 lbs behind her and believe me it hurt like heck.
Well I am making a concerted effort to catch up everyone's questions and visits over the past few months. I hope you all had a great weekend. (((((Hugs))))) see yall tomorrow.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

12 January 2008

I shot this a few weeks back but had it entered in a challenge on DP Challenge. Of course once again it didnt score that well, pretty average, I keep getting knocked for my horse pictures, not the most popular subject and in my opinion it is a pretty solid striking image, oh well, I like it that is all that counts. This is Dream, one of the two year old stallions. He has this one blue eye and the other one is brown. It had been muddy the day before and it looks kind of odd for him to be covered in mud but in the snow LOL.

I have really been slacking but am gearing myself up for a project which I will let you all know about and ask you all for your help with promoting it as soon as I have worked it all out. MiKael of MiKaels Mania - Arabian Horses is my mentor here and if you havent visited her site before please do so, she is a great story teller and is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to horses especially Arabian Horses. . I am posting this link, to her blog, if you page down on it you will see a button to enter the blog village and then page down and she is currently ranked number 1 so click on her name there to enter her blog it will give her a rankings boost too, you can also give her a rating from that page.

I am trying to make a concerted effort to break my depressed state and start something positive. I love my horses and I love photography and it is time that I made the two work for me to support them LOL. I will keep you posted.

We had a beautiful day today, topped out at about 41F but it is expected to get colder tomorrow. The horses spent the day out in the sunshine and enjoyed that too. I havent taken any pictures for a number of days, just not photo opportunity/inspiring weather. I have to say apart from a few really cold snaps it has been a really mild winter so far, I hope I am not tempting fate. My white stallion is actually starting to shed his winter hair a bit already.

It was my birthday yesterday and I had a nice restful day, Larry bought me some chocolates, a bottle of wine and a birthday cake which were all scrumptious LOL. I heard from my brother in South Africa wishing me happy birthday and it got me crying because I really miss them all so much.

Well that is my story from the past few days, I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. (((Hugs)))) to you all.


Monday, January 7, 2008

7 January 2008

Sorry for the confusion but Eb didnt go to his new home yesterday, he is still here, we just gave him his first lessons. Stan and Valerie still have to section off a shelter and few acres for him in the pasture that they have because he is still a stallion and one of the other horses they have is a mare, who has the same daddy as Eb, so that would not be a good idea putting them together LOL. Anyway because of this wonderful Indiana weather they just havent been able to get it done and finished (not taking into account the expense!!!) so Eb is staying with his brothers until they can get that finished, hopefully we will get better weather. The shelter is the biggest drawback because they have to build a complete new shed. I will definitely be upset when he goes but I know he is going to a great home and joining two of his siblings.

(Click on pic to enlarge)
Have you ever wondered how far away you have to walk around a horse who kicks so that you wont get taken out? Well here is Miss BB giving us a perfect example of how high and far those legs will reach and believe me they do it with major force, this would definitely be a head shot if there was someone there. The good think is that NONE of my horses kick anything other than each other when it comes to pecking order, but I am always cautious about letting them know where I am when I walk around them. This was just exhileration after being cooped up for a few days. You can see the snow is gone and the mud is back and they made the most of it!!!
And more exuberance and mud LOL not very pretty pictures but I could sit and watch my horses playing and interacting all day. We had amazing temps today, in the 60s and tomorrow will still be warm so I have left them all out tonight, hoping it will rain and clean them all up a bit LOL, but tomorrow night the temps are going to drop to around freezing again so I am going to be shovelling poop all day tomorrow I suppose and making the most of a very small load of sawdust, should buy me a few days of dryness and comfort for them anyway.

Nothing exciting to report, had a bit of a down day today. Thanks everyone for your visits, I dont always get to comment on everyone's blogs but I am trying to keep up with visits. (((Hugs))))


Sunday, January 6, 2008

6 January 2008

A dry but warm windy day today, not sure what the maximums were but they may have been in the 40s or 50s. Still very muddy in the fields so I decided to leave the horses in one more day, we are expecting a few warmer days and then a drop again so tomorrow if we get a bit of sunshine I will put them out for a run and roll in the mud, they should enjoy that, only problem is it rips the fields up. At least I can leave the barn doors open and get good ventilation in there.

Today's pictures are of Eb with one of his new owners, Stan. He has bought him for his wife to trail ride. Of course he was as dirty as heck hence the B&W conversions, they dont look quite as bad with all the mud LOL. This was the first time that Eb had been away from his brothers and the first time he had a saddle on and the first time loading into a trailer and it all went pretty smoothly, we had to do a bit of coaxing on the trailer loading thing but he got the hang of it quickly. The pitures are a bit dull it was overcast all day again.
He will be 2 in April or May so they are getting the ground work started on him so that by the end of the summer Valerie will be able to be riding him safely and confidently. They now have 3 of our horses, all Dosie's babies but different mothers.

Thats all for the day. Hope you all had a great weekend ((((Hugs))))


Friday, January 4, 2008

4 January 2008

A few more pictures from yesterday. This is Girl Sonny (Taxes' momma). She is 18 years old now and this is one of the first times I have seen her have such fun. She was bucking and ran around the whole field harassing all the other mares as she went.
This is Eb's (the B&W colt) momma, Cat, she is one of the mischievious ones and does very good rearing and cow hopping (jumping with all four feet off the ground at the same time) when she is fresh and happy. I believe she rides but have never ridden her, seeing some of her antics makes me a bit wary LOL, she is also quite a bix buxom mare.
Cat doing another Hi Ho Silver with Piglette in the background and the three fillies in the foreground. I wish I could have survived the cold a bit longer because they still had a bit of life in them but my fingers were freezing off by this stage LOL.
And last but not least, this is BB (Eb's sister and Cat's daughter) doing the all fours up thing like her momma does. Not the most attractive angle LOL but she was having such fun. That is Dosie (the gelding - Eb, Cayenne, Lori and Wiggles daddy) behind her. I love the shadow on this one LOL.
The contrast of the mud on their coats still and snow is quite strange. The day before these were taken it was just a muddy mess and they love to roll in the mud as much as they love to roll in the snow.

Still cold today but not as bad, around freezing and tomorrow it starts to warm up with 50s by Sunday. I am hoping for some friends to bring a few of their horses over (ones we sold to them, Dosie's babies) to give me some moral support so that I can start enjoying my horses and getting miles on them so I can go out on the trails safely.

Well that is about it for today. Hope everyone is staying warm, have a great weekend (((Hugs))))


Thursday, January 3, 2008

3 January 2008

It was absolutely freezing again today. Woke up to 1F and it didnt get above 24F when I last checked. What with 17 frozen water buckets which needed to have hot water poured over them to get the solid ice out of them which meant taking them all outside the barn, my freezing fingers and toes despite two pairs of gloves, insulated socks, two beanies (wool hats) and insulated overalls I couldnt spend more than half an hour at a time out there.

It was beautiful and sunny with very little wind so of course I decided to put the horses out for a few hours, which then led me to freezing my buns off more following them around the field with about 6 inches of snow in it. I didnt get any really great shots because the mares headed to the far end of the field to have their fun. They were running bucking and rearing and having a ball. I had to crop a few down because they were so far away and todays pictures are of Cayenne doing the Hi Ho Silver thing (with Lori in the background) and the three boys being brats as usual.
This third shot was taken of the ice on the window this morning as we did have clear skies and a pretty sunrise. Not as spectacular as some of my others but one for the record. Promise this will be the last one for a while LOL, I am thinking of doing a triptych of some of these shots (sheesh still trying to get the calendars finished!!!!) I will have to do 18 month ones to make up for my lateness.

Stan is doing a fabulous job of finishing off our bedroom and has helped a lot with little stuff that I just cant get done around the property. I am hoping to make arrangements to go riding with him and his wife sometime soon. They spend the weekends at a camping ground about an hour's drive from here, with their horses every weekend and trail ride but I dont have a trailer and my horses have very little riding hours under their girths and I am hoping I can convince them to bring their horses over here when we have a bit warmer weather and ride in the areas around our property. That will give me and my three horses I want to ride a chance to gain confidence and exposure to other horses and still be close to home.

Well other than being a frozen popsicle today everything is going well. The stables still depress me every time I look at them but I am doing my best and the horses are fat and happy. (((((Hugs)))) everyone and keep warm.


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

2nd January 2008 (2nd post)

The first two were shot as the sun was rising and this is the effect it made on the ice, no color additions on either of them, the first was the sun just clearing the horizon and the second was as it got a bit higher a few minutes later. The other was a border on one of the other windows.

Thanks everyone for your visits and messages, I will get around to everyone again soon I promise, I check in quickly but just never have time to always leave messages. (((Hugs))) and thanks.


2nd January 2008

Well DP Challenge had a challenge starting with the theme Ice this week, of course it started the day after the day the ice had melted in the field (this pics I shot of the horses walking on the ice and licking it in the pasture) and of course the challenge finished last night at midnight and we had no more ice until early this morning!!!! Man that is frustrating. Here are a few shots that I got of the ice formations on the sitting room window (double glazed so this is what happens withe the moisture that is trapped in between when it is really cold. We woke to 4F (approx -14C) and maxed out at about 14F (aprox -8C) today and tomorrow is going to be colder.

(Click on pics to enlarge)

It was overcast at sunrise this morning so I didnt get the colors that I got last time I shot this type of shot a few years ago. I will put them in a seperate post. I find these absolutely amazing, isn't nature wonderful!!
No horse pics today, it was just too cold. I had to do the feeding in two or three stages this morning and again this evening because despite the gloves and insulated overalls my fingers were freezing. The horses in the old barn with the new doors are definitely happy with their new doors, it sure has made a difference to the temps inside that barn. It has been snowing steadily (very light but steady) and has been windy all day again today. It is difficult to say how many inches we have had because of the wind making it drift. If the high is a bit higher tomorrow and the wind has dropped I will put the horses out again and they should have fun, they love the snow.
Well that's about it, nothing else exciting to report for the day. Hope you are all well (((((Hugs))))

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

1 January 2008

Happy New Year everyone, may it be safe happy and prosperous. Thanks also to all my wonderful blogging friends that I have met this last year, I have enjoyed being able to take a glimpse into your lives and of course all the wonderful photos.

Today's photo is one I may have posted before of the Northern Mocking Bird but I saw one recently on one of the blogs I visit, sitting in a bush with red berries. I thought it would be interesting to show what they look like when they do their flashing thing. They will do this and also dive bomb people or animals if they come too close. They move very quickly, fly up stretching their wings and straight back down to the perch again.

This will be a short post today, it has been very cold and has been snowing all day with strong winds so not a nice day at all. Hope everyone is well, (((Hugs)))


9 April 2017 - Bread Making

One of my foals taken many years ago in my barn in the winter sunlight I made a discovery at the local Charity shop (where you can buy se...