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My Horses and hopeful progress....

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        11-20-2013, 03:54 PM
      #41
    Yearling
    Well it turns out Stormy is gaited, and go figure he waits until I have absolutely no doubt that he was NOT gaited, and then changes that. Silly colt, now just to try and figure out what he may be, my vet thinks walker, and I think walker, someone said about MFT, and I was thinking maybe gaited Morgan (yes they do exist). His mother is supposed to be QH X PF, but PF don't head bob when gaiting, and she doesn't display gait. He's gaited his little butt off to get his breakfast for the last 3 days, and of course my camera batteries are junk, and my camera doesn't work. Shadow has been doing well, and I plan on riding him this coming spring, though I could have ridden him a good bit this fall/winter since it's been so mild. But I don't like to work my horses in cold weather, not only fear of them getting sick, but myself as well (and that wouldn't benefit either of us). He's quite the grain hog as usual, and I have to stand watch or he'll steal someone else's feed. Loony is doing great, keeping up her weight this year well (she's the hard keeper). She's been gaining muscle tone too with the more active they have become because of the cold weather, hopefully she keeps it for spring so we can start riding lightly again. Chloe is doing fantastic, and earning her place in the herd. I can't wait to start working/riding her more in the spring, if the mild weather keeps up and the wind dies off some, maybe i'll work her a little (only on the ground). She's keeping her weight well, and i'm keeping an eye on her for a "possible" surprise foal (the Amish guy who took care of her insists she's bred), but she's been having regular heat cycles so I personally don't think she's bred. I'll have the vet out to make sure. I'm thinking of breeding Miss Chloe, since she's an old bloodline Mountain Pleasure Horse, and there are so few of them left. I need to find a good old bloodline stallion to pair her with, and maybe get a colorful foal. I would like to try for a buckskin foal, but finding a qualified stallion to put her to, is going to be a challenge. Either way, i'm not breeding her to sell her foal, i'm breeding her to try and preserve the old bloodlines that are left. We'll see how things go.
    I managed to fail my drivers test for the 3rd time, go figure, and of course over something stupid. Ugh, so off to test #4 next week. I finally got my wood cook stove too!!! I can't wait to fire it up, and start heating/cooking/baking with it. I need a couple more pieces of pipe and then we're ready to rock!! I think i'm going back in time rather than forwards LOL!! I guess I prefer living that way. Oh well. I think I may have a job at a local barn, they just finished building, and will be opening soon. I'm sure they're going to need help. The woman is a horse trainer, and her husband is involved with the township politics. Both are very nice people. They breed, raise and train Morgan horses. And maybe I can ask for some help with a few of my own horses while i'm there. that's all for now I guess.
    Oh, and I may try my hand at writing a book....i have a couple ideas started. But I would really like to write a book about the Mountain Pleasure Horse to raise awareness of the rare breed, and the history of them and their place in gaited horse history. But I don't live in KY, nor do I know any of the good old time, old bloodline breeders that are left. And I can't do the politics there, nothing against the people there. So that idea may never get off the ground, but it's a dream.
    That's all for now...
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        03-04-2014, 03:12 PM
      #42
    Yearling
    This winter has been a hard one, with temperatures dropping regularly into the negatives last month. Such is life when living around 2,700 feet elevation. This has been the coldest winter i'v dealt with in years, and i'm only in my 20's. My herd fared well through the cold, getting extra hay, and oats, and plenty of salt, minerals and water. I worked hard to keep them in extra hay, they have even learned to follow our little pick up through the pasture when putting the hay out. I'm still looking into potential stallions for Chloe, but nothing yet.
    I did finally manage to get my drivers licence, of course on the 4th try, and in the middle of December!! Yeah I think the instructor thought I was crazy for that one. Still no job yet, but with the insane winter weather, it's understandable as to why no one is hiring. Not only so, look at the way our country is being run....go figure...
    I'm slowly getting back into the rhythm of things around here, and finally we're getting a warm up. I'm slowly getting into being back out with the herd for an hour or so each day, to get them back into the work schedule.
    Storm has grown another hand since fall, he's turning into a big boy, with another year to go yet. He'll be 3 in two days.
    Old man Shadow is doing great too, hard to believe he'll be 22 in May. I plan on riding him some this year to keep his weight manageable.
    Loony girl is doing fantastic, her back hasn't bothered her much if at all, so something is paying off. Maybe she can be ridden. Now to find the right saddle to fit her...
    Chloe is looking great, and shows no signs of being bred (thankfully), and has been my follower for the last few mornings. I plan on working with her extensively this year, and maybe get her to be a mounted shooting horse, and maybe some mounted archery.
    After I get a job, hopefully i'm going to save up and get a new saddle, since my old one only seems to fit 1 horse, and guess who.....yeah old man Shadow. So i'm looking at new saddles and trying to pick out what I like, and what is necessary, and what I want....this could be a tough one. Husband isn't too fond of the idea of me "wasting money" on another saddle, I feel its an investment!!
    Depending on what's going on with his dads loan status, we may be moving, on the plus side right across the field from where we're at. WHY? Because his dad and his new wife plan on moving off the family farm, and we get first dibs on the foundation that their doublewide is sitting on. And finally we'll be away from the side of the road. And then we can put a nice barn here where our trailer was sitting. But the foundation is going to need a roof built on it, and the walls and floors insulated, and walls put up so we can live in it. But I think it will be better than the stinkin trailer we're in now. But we just have to wait n see what happens first.
    I am working on a book about the Mountain Pleasure Horse breed, a woman from KY contacted me about the idea, and offered to help me. SO some time this year i'm to head down there to get started. I'm excited!! And I hope to get to meet some of the greats in the breed! She is a well known breeder, and has a lot of history with these horses, and knows many of the old bloodline breeders that are under the radar so to speak. She will be a great asset to this book completion. And I can't thank her enough for being so willing to help me! I'm also working on a few other books, they are fiction novels, when they'll ever get finished, i'm not even sure. I get to them when I can. I might be on to something here. LOL or maybe i'm just going crazy?? Who knows anymore.
    Well i'm off to get some work done....maybe i'll get it all accomplished today....maybe
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        03-18-2014, 01:50 PM
      #43
    Yearling
    I'v got some great news to share. I'll finally have a job, either at the dairy farm right down the hill from me, or being a guided trail rider/leader down at the state park. I'm so excited!! The dairy farm is family friends, i'v known some of them my whole life, and my husband and his family knows them too. The guy with the trail horses, isn't sure if he's going back to the state park yet, but he'll stay in contact with me. He doesn't have as much help as he did in the previous years, and that is understandable. Either way i'll be happy to just get away from the house for a few hours, and i'll get to learn new things. The dairy farm I think i'll work more days than being a trail guide, he only wants to do weekends, and the dairy farm operates year round. Heck I might even ride the horse down to work, if they're ok with it, it'll save me on gas, and wear n tear on the truck. It depends on what time I need to be there too. We'll see what happens. I hope I get one or the other, maybe i'll do both.
    We still haven't heard anything on his dads loan status, i'm itchin to know, i'm tired of hearing about it all the dang time. His wife, and her daughter in law are workin on my last nerve. Claimin how their so country, when for one his wife is from the city, and well she ain't as country as she thinks she is, and doesn't do anything to impress me or the rest of the family. And her daughter in law is a spoiled little rich kid playing country, she gets everything she wants no matter what, only now has she decided to get a job. She even stated that she NOW has a lot of respect for farmers, because of all the work they do, and that she wouldn't be able to handle all of the work in a day (i witnessed this speech). And yet they both go on FB and whine and complain about those fabulous "fake" country folks, well I think they need to take a step back and look in the mirror (pot callin the kettle black here) They make no sense. But it's whatever, as long as they keep me out of their business they can call themselves what they want. Anyhow, I guess now for sure if they don't get the property adjacent to us, they're planning on buying a Victorian style house (to my inlaw he thinks it looks like a castle), down in Uniontown (back in the city). Which is fine with me, but the house is purple, I mean seriously purple! I giggled when I first looked at the photos of it. But its whatever they want. I would just like to know whats going on so I can get things ready, or just stay here, and deal with them as my neighbors forever...... Who knows with them.
    My herd is doing very well, i'v begun to cut back some of their hay so that they can lean out some, and be ready for the spring grasses. I have begun workin with Loony girl and Storm already. It's mostly just basic ground exercises until the weather finally breaks. And I can't wait for that! I'm so tired of dealin with the snow and cold.
    We sent 2 young bulls to the butcher yesterday, we should get around 40-50lbs of beef. We are slowly cutting back the cow herd, and we now have 3 new calves already. Only 3 more cows left to calf then we're done, and so far all 3 are bulls. My 2 sows are re-bred and I should have piglets around July/August. If they aren't good mothers this time, then off with their heads, and they get turned into bacon. We'll be butcherin 2 bars ourselves soon, probably next weekend, that way we know how to do it, and I can cut the meat how I want. Nothing better than fresh porkchops right off the hog, and into the cast iron skillet! MMMM MMMM MMMM! And of course his grandfather still insists on getting holstein bull calves from the dairy in Confluence. I don't care to raise them, they don't produce the quality meat that beef breeds do. And they don't grow as well either. Just more work and more of a pain in the @$$.
    I'm workin on getting some plants started for the garden, but the almanac says its goin to be a wet and cold spring. So I probably won't get to plant until mid-late May. UGH!!! I'm so tired of the cold. I'm going to be busy this year...but hay I like to keep myself busy.
    Well I think that's all for now......
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        03-31-2014, 12:32 PM
      #44
    Yearling
    I'm so tired of everything. I almost can't stand to live in PA anymore, there's no work, everything keeps going up, taxes are getting ridiculous. There is just nothing here, resorts are buying up farmland, along with stone companies...ect. There is nothing here! My husband and I have been looking for jobs for the last 2 years, and have found nothing, unless it includes travel. UGH! I'm about ready to pack up everything, tie up my husband, load up the horses, and just disappear. Find some deep old holler down south of me, and live there. I'm going crazy! I just want to live my life with my husband the way we want to!!!!!
    I'v been considering leavin PA for some years now, even before I got married. I'm disgusted with the way the state is run, and that agriculture is slowly fading away, big deal PA is the largest lumber producer in the continental US. My husband is in timber, but with it bein family owned, he might as well be a slave.....and we never hear the end of it if something goes wrong. The business isn't that great anyway, he's lucky to get paid anymore. I'm disgusted with our lives at this time. We're both workin our way into or mid-20's, we have next to nothing, and are going no where in our lives/careers. I just don't know how else to put it. Yes we got married young, so what, but I love my husband, have always had love for my husband, and I wanted to be able to go out and make those memories together. Whats the fun in making memories by yourself? I can't find any other solution other than moving to where there is need for workers. Which with a little research I found is everywhere south of PA.
    I would like to have my own farm where I can grow, raise, and do what ever I want without being dictated, or having to worry about what the rest of the family has to say! I'm so tired of doing just about everyone elses work for them. I just want to disappear.......be away from everything. Our little towns have expanded so much thanks to the gaswells. Outsiders have come from everywhere, and wreak havoc on everything, and have no respect for the locals. I hate it, I miss our quite little towns, with very few people in them, and everyone knowing everyone, and helping each other. Everything has gone so far down hill.
    No one stays around here anymore, everyone moves away because they know there is nothing here, and those that stay are lucky to make a living. The culture of this area is nearly lost. No one is interested in how their ancestors survived settling in this area, and how they did things back then. So much of the old mountain culture is gone, along with the legacy of the old timers themselves. I'm learning what I can, and even that's difficult because some of the folks can't do it anymore. I'm heartbroken, the culture of this area is just about gone, and no one seems to care in the least.
    I wish to move to a more culturally based area, where the old time traditions are used everyday, and passed down with care and diligence. It's part of mountain folk ways, and there aren't any in my area anymore.
    I used to be proud to say I was from SWPA, with our unique way of talkin, but there is no culture behind it anymore. Your lucky to know the reasoning behind it. Its no wonder half or more of my family has moved out of the area, even a good portion of my husbands family has moved away too.
    I just don't know what to do anymore......
    The places of interest are TN, KY, & WVa. I want to stay in the Appalachian Mountains, where my family had originally settled, but it makes me wonder if they actually moved away, and just a few generations later they moved back. My inner "Mountain woman soul" is tellin me, has been for a while, to leave while we still can, find a new place, and make a better life. I'm disgusted with the way things are, and it's next to impossible to change it.
    I'v cut down our bills by doing a few things here n there, and growing what we eat, and preserving it, but we still can't keep up.

    My horses are well, i'm working on getting a custom saddle for Chloe, as of the moment I have a job house cleaning for a friend.....it's once a week, and not much. I'm almost ashamed of where my life has gone......
    My lovely paint mare is becoming quite famous, she'll be shown on a cd album cover, and in a few of my cousins unique photo creations with me.
    Shadow looks great after such a hard winter, he's leaned out a good bit, and is fit and healthy.
    Storm is coming along nicely, he's gaited but i'm having an issue finding what gait he does.
    Chloe is wonderful, and lookin forward to work, I just may begin usin her as transportation to local areas.

    Food prices are supposed to rise 19%, and I can only imagine what gas prices will do, along with everything else out there.....it seems like theres no end in sight.

    I guess that's all for now. "Horses were not a luxury for the Appalachian people but a necessity."

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        03-31-2014, 03:36 PM
      #45
    Green Broke
    That sure is a pretty sunset (:

    Congrats on the custom saddle! I hope I can have the funds for something like that, maybe with my next horse. (:

    I will say... if you're looking for culture, my suggestion wouldn't be Kentucky. XD
    Elizabeth Bowers likes this.
         
        03-31-2014, 04:51 PM
      #46
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Zexious    
    That sure is a pretty sunset (:

    Congrats on the custom saddle! I hope I can have the funds for something like that, maybe with my next horse. (:

    I will say... if you're looking for culture, my suggestion wouldn't be Kentucky. xD
    Really I thought at least the mountainous eastern side would at least have some LOL. You'v been there?
         
        03-31-2014, 07:40 PM
      #47
    Green Broke
    ^That could be!

    I've been there a few times for horse shows, and I really didn't think it was all that bad. Perhaps a little humid xD
    But my new roommate just moved from there to here (Colorado) and says he was desperate to get out of there. Just lots of closed minded people, coupled with not a lot to do.

    Tennessee has such a bomb music scene though. So that would be neat!
    Elizabeth Bowers likes this.
         
        04-01-2014, 09:34 AM
      #48
    Yearling
    Nice, nice.
    I'v never been to KY, but i'v been to TN, NC, SC, VA, WVa, MD & FL. In WVa they celebrate a lot of the old time Appalachian culture that you don't see or hear about anymore, which is really cool. I haven't been to the western side (mountains) of NC or VA in years, but what i'v been told by my grandma in NC that a lot of it is still practiced there too. SO, it's up for debate now, hubby and I are actually discussing matter of moving now, with his job pretty well in the toilet, and it not looking any better even through a different contractor.
    The close mindedness I totally get, i'm surrounded by them (my inlaws), they're old fashioned, but a little on the extreme side. They don't display much old mountain culture either....they just do things in ways that make it much more complicated that what it already is. And same here, there isn't much to do unless you go off the mountain, and hang out at walmart......which isn't all that great either. There's nothing around here that celebrates our culture any more, and it stinks, there was when I was a kid, but it's all gone now.
    If my dad moves for sure, there's a good chance we will too. He's been talkin about it for years, and he's the only help we've ever had since we got married, if it wasn't for him we wouldn't be as far as we are now. I guess we're all going to move in like a family group LOL
         
        04-05-2014, 04:43 PM
      #49
    Yearling
    Nothing majorly new around here, the weather has been considerably wet though. So glad for the warm up. I'v been steady working with the herd. I can't wait to actually be able to go out on the trails and ride. I'm so glad they're shedding, though it gives me more work, laundry, and makes the birds very happy. LOL But hey I enjoy spending lots of grooming time with my horses.

    On another note, husband might be getting a new job, I filled out his app and re wrote his resume again. I pray that he does, this would help us out so much. Then I won't have to deal with listening to his fam whine and complain about how he doesn't go to work n blah blah blah....... And he mentioned buying a piece of ground that we can move our trailer to, and fence in a pasture for the horses. Then we'll be able to get our house and put it there, and begin starting our own farm. I can not wait. I pray everything works out for us, we so need a break. I'll probably start house cleaning in another week or so. Our dirt road that we currently live on is absolutely atrocious. We've called the township with no response, you know its bad when the neighbors are attempting to fix the road for you and them. The potholes are looking more and more like small ponds, and getting nearly as deep. I enjoy life on that dirt road, and so high up on the ridge top, but I just can't take not being limited on what I can do on the farm. I'v worked to hard around that place to be limited, its just unfair.

    Hopefully if hubby gets the job we may just stay in PA, but if it arises again about moving out of sate, our best choices, and my own personal preferences are WVa, TN, or NC. It would be nice to be closer to my grandma too. We'll see what happens. I'v been working on finding just the right saddle for Chloe, but I can tell already that this is going to be a very long and arduous project. Either way i'm going to see to it that she gets a saddle that fits her properly, and myself too. And if i'm lucky i'll be able to use it on another horse or two later.

    After a year off, i'v finally begun riding Shadow again, lightly but it will help keep his weight under control, and him fit in his age. And I got to ride on my Loony for a little bit too, only for a few minutes, but she felt so much better muscle wise and everything while I was up there. So something totally paid off for her. I can't wait to work with her more. I was so happy with her that day, we even experimented with "scary flowy objects", it was a blanket, and a lacy curtain. She did good, was only concerned about it being around her feltlocks. I was proud of her, she did great. Chloe too was doing awesome, I rode her bareback up the road a little, bitless too. She still needs some work, but she's getting better. I'm proud of my herd, I couldn't ask for better companions and teachers.
    This is all for now....

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        04-11-2014, 03:59 PM
      #50
    Yearling
    Well there has been some excitement around here lately, none in a positive way though. I can say officially though that we are moving. It will be a challenge with 4 horses, 2 dogs, and 4 house cats, among all of our stuff that we've accumulated over the years we've been here/together. I can't wait to get away from here, and start our lives the way we want too. The main reason behind moving is because hubby's grandfather has threatened to kick me off the family farm simply because I stated the truth, and am tired of hearing all the time that "he's losing the farm", and the fact that he will blame my husband for it because "he didn't go to work for him". Yeah i'm over the drama, threats, manipulative lying, and all other bullcrap they try to pull over us. If the truth hurts that bad, then let it go and move on, I wasn't raised to be a liar.
    So husband has found a temporary job until he hears back from the pipeline company. I hope to be out of here by the end of the month. I'v already started packing, and making arrangements for our horses to be moved, and stuff.
    Things are already beginning to look up for us, I may have found a place already that has a barn that we can rent until we get our finances situated again, and are able to buy a piece of property to start our own farm. Things are steady going and I thank the Good Lord for everything we have, and opening up new opportunities for us. Though it will be a difficult move, and a major change. I'm sure He'll give us the strength we'll need for our new journey.
    The herd is well, though it's raining here, and been raining off n on for the last couple days. The fields are turning green, and the trees are beginning to bud. Everything is getting nice. Though i'm going to feel bad for my herd, they'll have to learn to adjust just as well as we do. Shadow will be losing his two main ladies, and "his" filly. Stormy will never get to see his mother Ginger again, since she'll be going with my FIL when they move too. Chloe will be moved again in less than a year, and plans for her and a new saddle are on hold. My poor Loony girl is going to be a challenge because she hates being hauled, and has grown quite happy and confident while living here. But I refuse to leave any of my herd behind with these people. I hope this will be one of the last moves for Shadow, at his age, it's becoming more of a toll on him than one would expect. Though it is stressful for everyone, he's my main concern.
    I'm going to miss living here on this old almost forgotten dirt road, at nearly 2700 feet elevation. It's quite peaceful here and with it's spectacular views and sunsets. We are going to go and better our lives, and give ourselves the opportunities we should have taken sooner. I had enjoyed my life here, but since i'v moved here with my husband all i'v ever heard is that "they're losing the farm". I'v done more than my fair share of the work here, and got nothing in return. Maybe by some strange twist of fate we'll return to this old weather worn mountain top, and continue to live where we can touch the clouds. Or maybe we'll move out of state, since PA keeps running out of money and the government is broke over stupid reasons. Who knows where this journey will take us, all i'v got to say is i'm excited for it. Whether husband likes it or not.
    I'll keep ya posted.....
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