Saturday

Wanna Own a Horse-Boarding Barn?

Wanna Own a Horse-Boarding Barn?

Do you dream of gazing out your kitchen window upon a herd of happy horses, grazing in the grass? Do you long to collect equine boarding checks for the privilege of housing these beloved creatures on your own property?

Think again. Perhaps this life is a bit more complicated than folks may suspect.

Check out this video a boarding barn manager sent to me. Hmm.

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Maybe writing those monthly checks is not as painful as we suspected. Barn management looks intriguing. Caring for horses is cool. Even mucking out stalls can be tolerable.

It's the people management that could become a little challenging.

Tuesday

Zap! It’s a Zorse!

Zap! It’s a Zorse!
 (posted for the A to Z Challenge)

Z is for Zap … and Zorse.

Well, zikes! Gadzooks! That’s not a horse!
What is that creature? It’s a zorse!
A zorse? What, say you, could that be –
This creature that begins with “Z”?

This little equid in his stripe
Belongs to an unlikely type.
His lineage is quite a mix
Of horse and zebra, just for kicks.
File:Zebroidfoal.jpg 
Image:
Zorse Foal
Photo by Sarah Hartwell
Creative Commons Licensing

Related Items:
Equestrian Terms 101: What is a zorse?  “A horse is a horse, of course, of course.” Can’t you just hear the Mr. Ed theme song? A horse may be a horse, but what is a zorse?
Equestrian Terms 101 - What is a zonkey? Equine cross-breeding terms may be enough to drive a person a little wonky. What is a zonkey?
Equestrian Terms 101 - What is a mule? Mules may be popular slip-on shoes to fashionistas, or stubborn souls to social analysts, but a mule is something altogether different to an equine enthusiast. What is a mule?
Equestrian Terms 101 - What are Jack, Jenny, John and Molly? Have you ever seen a Jack, Jenny, John or Molly? Would you recognize them, if you saw them?Equine enthusiasts and breeders can identify these four quite specifically.
Equestrian Terms 101 - What is a hinny? What do you call a cross between a Jenny and a stud? It’s a hinny. What is a hinny?

File:Zebroid.jpgImage:
Zorse
Photo by Olliver
Public Domain Photo

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Monday

Yearlings and Youngsters

Yearlings and Youngsters
 (posted for the A to Z Challenge)

Y is for Yearlings … and Youngsters.

What does it take to bring a self-assured equestrian down a few notches?

Young horses.

I used to feel pretty sure of myself in the saddle. Our faithful seasoned mounts carried us confidently into the show ring and out on the trail. Gleefully, we displayed ribbons on stall doors and curtain rods and strung them up in colorful garlands at home.

Then we began breeding.

Yearlings are wonderfully playful and fun. What joyful memories we have of romping in the pasture with cocky colts and frolicking fillies. How many fond moments have we shared, just nestling up next to these little ones at rest?

We could hardly wait for these youngsters to grow old enough to begin saddle training.

That’s where our real lessons started.

Young horses spill all our secrets. Green mounts know no shorthand or shortcuts. Aids must be exact, or they simply don’t work.

Steering is optional on horses that are only beginning their saddle experience. Brakes may be optional too.

Yep, we are continuing to learn as we go, along with our youngsters. Heels down, and helmets on! Yikes! Here we go.
Image:
Pretty Penny at Rest
Photo copyrighted by Linda Ann Nickerson
Nickers and Ink Creative Communications

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Sunday

X - Halt – Salute


X - Halt – Salute
 (posted for the A to Z Challenge)

X is for …

“X – Halt – Salute.”

If you’ve ever participated in a dressage show, then you know the magic of these three words. The reader pauses and puts away the USDF test book. The horse stands straight and square in the center of the dressage arena.

And the rider breathes.

It is finished.

Today is Easter Sunday, the highest day in the Christian calendar. On this date, also known as Resurrection Sunday, believers worldwide celebrate the victory of Jesus Christ over the grave.

He is risen! He is risen indeed.

And it is finished.

The work of redemption is done. We can be complete in Christ.

Hallelujah. May we halt and salute the One who gave His life and emerged from the tomb, never to die again. And may we live in His resurrection power.

Image/s
Dressage Salute photo by Nikki
Creative Commons Licensing

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Saturday

Watching and Waiting for Wonder

Watching and Waiting for Wonder
(posted for the A to Z Challenge)

W is for Watching … and Waiting … and Wonder.

Have you ever marveled at the miraculous and magnificent ways God expresses Himself, quietly painting images of His love in the details of our lives?


Take a look at the newest arrival at the barn.

This sweet foal was born this week to a prime Thoroughbred dam, sired by a pedigreed racer. Sadly, the owner did not live to see the latest addition to his string. An avid Midwestern racing fan, horse breeder and dressage show host, this respected horseman succumbed to cancer two weeks ago.

Steal a peek at this beautiful baby. 

Think perhaps God is trying to tell us something? Born during the Christian Holy Week, this little one looks to be a gift from above with a message of love.

Having bred and raised my own horses, I admit I tend to be partial to my own foals. But this newcomer may be the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.  

(I snapped these photos with my cell phone, so the resolution is not fabulous, but the foal surely is.)

Certainly, this foal was worth the watching and waiting … just for the wonder!

Image/s
Photos copyrighted by
Linda Ann Nickerson
Nickers and Ink Creative Communications

Here's a video the owner posted:
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Watch it, and try not to be touched by the beauty of this dam and her foal.

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Friday

Valuing the Valley


Valuing the Valley
(posted for the A to Z Challenge)

V is for Value and Valley.

Today is Earth Day.

What a great opportunity to pick up the pasture and trim up the trails. How might we add value to the valley by removing vile items (such as wind-blown litter)?

School is out for the day, as it is also Good Friday. It’s muddy and misty outdoors, but we are still venturing towards the barn.

No time for vanity!
 
I’m gonna toss on a grubby pair of jeans and pull on my muck boots today. I may look like a vagabond, but I want to hike up the hill to view the memory garden we planted last summer to honor our dearly departed old mare. Will the wild violets be visible today?

One of her youngsters began bucking a bit, probably because of an odd-looking bite under his belly. (He’s usually not very voluntarily violent.) It’s visibly vile and probably from something venomous. We will investigate and treat that today.

It’s also time to sweep out the trailer after last weekend’s journey to the first horse show of the season. We have tack cleaning to do. Our tack room could use a thorough vacuuming. The chore list grows!

Even an ever-growing to-do list may offer a viable means of turning down the volume. Somehow, labor feels lighter when friends are nickering nearby. (Just look at the photo, and see who wants to come out to play!)

Because it is Good Friday, today seems like a prime opportunity to share this image we found at the barn. Can you see a vital visage on this plank in the round pen?

Since it’s V-Day (in the A to Z Challenge), I have to ask: Has your horse been vaccinated yet?

Image/s
Photos copyrighted by
Linda Ann Nickerson
Nickers and Ink Creative Communications

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