Saturday, January 16, 2010

January Updates!

This new year has certainly begun with a bang! Between assisting with more rescues, teaching lessons, retraining ponies, and working another full time job, I barely have time to think! So without much further ado, here are the updates everyone is looking for...

Faith - The namesake of this blog, she is doing simply wonderful!

I must admit, I was very worried about how she would handle another winter. The winters in our area can get pretty bad, making it difficult on our older equines. The cold weather and hard ground affects their joints. The temperature drop also makes them burn more calories to stay warm, which can lead to weight loss in older horses as well as those with medical problems. Due to her history, Faith was a huge concern of mine.

Faith has been blanketed all winter, kept inside on the cold days and turned out on the nicer ones. Thankfully, she has maintained her weight fairly well and seems comfortable and content. On the cold days, she is a bit stiff leaving her stall in the morning and it takes a while for her muscles and joints to get working comfortably. But once she has time to stretch out and get her body working, she seems to move around pretty well. She is on a joint supplement and I think that has made a huge difference in her rehabilitation and maintenance.

Pet - the blind Appaloosa Mare

Pet is also doing extremely well! Liz, one of my student's moms, has been working with her and riding her. They are quite a pair and are really clicking together. It's just wonderful for Pet to have a job to do - she seems very happy on the days that Liz spends time with her.

Pet is turned out each day with Faith and they enjoy each other's company. If she losese track of where Faith is, Pet nickers for her and Faith nickers back. I've never had a blind horse before and I have learned so much from her. It's amazing to see how she communicates with other horses and her handlers.

Stewie, the skinny Paint pony, is doing well. He has put on about 100 pounds so far and still has a way to go. He is groomed daily and learning the basics of walking on the lunge line. Hopefully within the next few weeks we'll start working with him under saddle!

Grace, the flaxen Welsh pony mare, is coming along under saddle nicely. Courtney and Nicole have both been working with her and she is learning how to canter. She has the funniest personality and is just too cute for words.

Penny, the pony mare rescued from a feed lot pen in New Jersey, is amazing! She is the sweetest pony and Miranda has been having fun working with her. "Penny Pony" has had basic training under saddle before she ended up in New Jersey, so her training has been progressing fairly well. We will be working on collection and balance over the next few weeks. Hopefully by summer, she'll be schooling over small fences.

Miranda and "Penny Pony" ~ January 10, 2009

On a side note, does anyone know anything about webcams? Someone suggested putting one in Faith's stall and I thought it would be a great idea! But I'm technologically-challenged and I don't have a clue how to start.

Have a great day! More pictures and updates to follow!


Friday, January 1, 2010

Victoria, the Incredible!

For those of you who are new to our blog, Victoria the piglet was the runt of our sow's last litter. She had a very hard time during the first few weeks of her life, and spent the better part of two weeks living in my house. For more info, you can read about her struggles here: and here:

I received an email in my inbox about Victoria, and laughed so hard I cried. Her new family keeps us updated on how she's doing and sent me a hilarious email recently. I hope everyone enjoys it!

"Julie, I had to share the latest and greatest Victoria story.

Yesterday afternoon Victoria was running around the barn while I cleaned out the horse stall. The middle aisle of the barn has a cement floor which was slippery with the snow I tracked in. Victoria came running towards me, stopped short and slid across the floor. I warned her to slow down but instead she went out the front door of the barn and came running back in and did it again. This time she skidded even farther. She was so thrilled with herself, she came into the horse stall and twirled around. She must have repeated this 10 times!

She had me laughing so hard, I sat down on the floor with her and she actually climbed up into my lap and fell asleep! What a baby...and a heavy baby at that!

Then this morning, we were on our walk with the dogs and the driveway had been plowed but was still snow covered. We were going down the hill and she ran to catch up with the dogs and stop short again and slid. That smart little girl ran back up the hill and slid down again!

Victoria piglet, the incredible skiing pig!"

I always knew she was a superhero!