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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Monday, June 23, 2014

CrAzY Busy, But Aren't We All?

"Do you think I've gone round the bend?"
I'm afraid so. You're mad, bonkers, completely off your head.
But I'll tell you a secret.
All the best people are."

Thanks be to God I found a farrier! He's Jared Brown and a graduate of the Heartland Horseshoeing School. If you're in southwest VA and need a farrier to trim or shoe, send me a note and I'll give you Jared's phone number; his e-address is jb_farrier at hotmail dot com. He's excellent at his work and, already, my beasties are showing signs of improvement. They'd have to because they've had me trimming their feet and I'm not a farrier. My work was shoddy but it was better than being lame...not much but still better than being lame. The mare above is Meri Go Lightly, an American Curly horse, who showed her behind while Jared was working on her. I told Jared, "I'm going to the house for water, back in a minute". While I was gone, Jared said Lightly jerked, twisted, reared and, finally, threw herself down on the ground in a petulant fit. My only comment was, "Did you take 3 seconds to kill her?" 

That's the rule...when a horse is being stupid, you've got 3 seconds to "kill" them. Usually, 3 seconds is all it takes, along with a lot of noise and jerking of the lead rope. I take excellent care of my animals but I refuse to put up with any foolishness...not the least bit. They're huge, I could get hurt in a NY second and it's not above me to get a horse whip and use it. Jared has my permission as well but he's a lot stronger and it doesn't take as much for him to control a horse so what I do is get out of the way...quickly!
Jared has us on a schedule and comes every 6 to 8 weeks. In the past, Lightly has foundered and her feet grow wonky but Jared is confident he can restore her to wholeness, given time. I'm grateful he's put us on his schedule; it helps him and it helps us...a win win for all!

Before he comes, I have the horses with halters on and have cleaned their feet. He doesn't require it nor expect it but it's a small kindness I can do and it pleases me to work with the horses. 
 First, he takes nippers and trims off the excess around the hoof. In a horse that's foundered, that's a delicate job and requires skill, expertise, knowledge and education to do correctly. 
The hoofs in the two photos above belong to HayJ, a Curly x Percheron. At one time, HayJ was the only black and white Curly x Percheron stallion in the world...then I had him cut or castrated. He's about 18 hands, about 72 inches, and around 2,000 pounds and, with hormones, he could get a little frisky. Best to nip that in the bud, so to speak; as it is, if he doesn't want the halter on, he will raise his head and look down at me. Thank God he's a gentle giant! 
After trimming, Jared uses a rasp to file the hoof smooth. I always had to use gloves because the horse would, invariably, jerk their hoof and the rasp, or file, would scrape across my hand, leaving a bloody mess. When that happened, I'd finish up, come to the house and wash the wound with tea tree soap then pour alcohol over the wound and finish with peroxide. It might sound extreme but better a little sting now than septis later.
One of these days, HayJ will be trained to pull a cart, wagon or Meadowbrook; I want to drive!
The bluebird box can be seen from the barn and Mrs. Bluebird is doing her duty.
While getting the horses ready for Jared, in addition to picking their feet, I brushed them, cut some manes and then combed some manes. Everyone enjoyed the attention but, after working 6 horses Saturday, yesterday I took it easy. Sam like to hide under my skirt and peer out at the world; he's a funny little feller. Sam and 
Sadie took it easy with me. 
Today, Gypsy helped with laundry. By noon, there were six loads washed and hung on the line; last week was rainy so no laundry was washed. What was meant to get done today...taxes and bills...will have to be moved to Wednesday's to-do list because tomorrow is going to be a repeat of today. 

Evening plans were to shower and go to bed at a respectable hour but that's not happening. For a good reason though...someone blessed me with Tennessee tomatoes that have to be canned. These tomatoes are fresh and some still have their stems attached! When the phone call came, I thought it was going to be enough tomatoes for a dozen quarts or so, but it's two huge boxes, about a bushel, and I've already got the first seven quarts on the stove. They should come off in about an hour, time enough for that shower and a cup of chamomile tea which has a variety of good things but especially to aid sleep. 

I was down to my last quart jar of tomatoes so this is a huge blessing. I'm going to can seven quarts to give to the woman who remembered me with this gift. She's not able to can this year, I am able and want to say "thank you" in a tangible way. When the snowballs fly, is there anything that says "summer" more than a quart of home canned tomatoes. I think not.

Blessings ~ a bushel of tomatoes ~ Jared Brown ~ horses with trimmed, cleaned feet ~ Mrs. Bluebird ~ Sam ~ Sadie ~ Gypsy ~ canned tomatoes ~ sweet dreams ~


  1. Good Morning! I love seeing all your animals. So thankful for Jared Brown. I know you will enjoy those flavorful tomatoes. Wishing you a good day.

  2. You are an inspiration. Do you know that? Actually, your blog should be required reading in public school, so all these kids who think they have it so bad can see that there are people out there who work hard and do kind things for others with no reward in mind. Thanks for reminding me of that all over again.

  3. So glad you found Jared. It was interesting reading about what has to be done.

    I always enjoy reading about your life there.

    Love and hugs to you Sandra ~ FlowerLady

  4. Miss Thistle Cove Farm gal . . . You are a writer . . . Loved the read . . . I'd say, YOU ROCK!

  5. Sandra, so glad you found a good farrier. I hope he is able to fix your mare's hooves over time. And I love the pic of HayJ. I was telling my oldest daughter (horse crazy one) about him and how big he is.

    Stay safe and give Miss Sadie a hug from me!

  6. Hurray for people like Jared that can perform such professional work. You take such excellent care of all the critters. HayJ is so pretty. I don't think I've ever seen that color combo on a horse before. Because of all our Blue Bird boxes, there's been several broods of babies raised this year. Does my heart good to see so many in the yard. Wish I could share in the canned tomatoes. They sound scrumptious! Take it easy today. You deserve it. God bless and stay well my friend. ~:)

  7. Glad you found a farrier you like. I've been using the same farrier for 16 years. I adore him. He doesn't do a lot of shoeing/trimming anymore since he had a heart attack about 5 years ago, but he still does mine :-)

  8. Hi Sandra, What a wonderful and learning post to read. I so enjoy my visits to your home and you sure have been busy. So glad you found Jared for the horses and his professional expertise. What a blessing. The tomatoes look so delicious. They will be a wonderful winter blessing to have on the shelf. I used to can with my mother every summer and we put up many quart jars of tomatoes which made the best sauce.

    Your sweet fur babes are adorable. Thank you for sharing such interesting posts. Always something to learn here and leave inspired.

    Wishing you a wonderful day.

  9. Your horses are VERY handsome/pretty!
    I don't even really LOVE tomatoes but you make them sound delicious. You're an amazing farm gal, canning all of the bounty so quickly!

  10. HayJ is a real beauty! My husband always planned to break a team of his horses to drive, but wasn't able to. I hope you will get the chance to do that! (His dad actually farmed with horses when he was very little.) You sure have more energy than me (all that canning and stuff)! Here's to some good tomato eatin' come winter! :)

  11. Geesh, I'm tired just reading that. Seems all productive and rewarding work, though.

  12. Hello Sandra:

    We continue to be filled with admiration for the ways in which you cope with all that life throws at you. On the subject of the tomatoes, we wish we were near you to share. They sound perfect.

    Forgive our lateness - Blogger problems hopefully now resolved.

  13. Sandra, talk about a lot on your plate, I thought I had it bad.
    Pace yourself sweet heart.
    I showed my Daughter your post, she loves horses.

  14. Whenever I take a minute for myself and visit your blog my soul sighs with contentment and all pressures lift. Thank you for gifting all of us with a view into your beautiful world (and beautiful soul!).

    Hopefully I will get back to blogging soon. Tomorrow is moving in day at our little homestead! I hope I can create as magical a world there as you have done with Thistle Cove! Thank you for all the inspiration you give xoxo

  15. Our youngest son is a farrier and he loves clients like you ! A good farrier can renovate a horses' hooves , especially so when he has horse owners who help as much as they're able, and expecting good behavior and training for it go a very long way towards good horse & hoof care.

  16. Mrs Bluebird is so darn cute in her box! :)

  17. I remember the days of my childhood when I'd watch the horseshoer (I didn't learn the word farrier until much later.)and at other times watch as my mom or dad had to pull a shoe off a horse for whatever reason. Just within this last month, my dad - while clearing some things out since Mom's passing - gave me the nippers we had back on the ranch. Sweet memories for me. Thanks for sharing.

  18. A good farrier! A long day! Good work! Good plans with the hooves now! Lovely animals! Lovely Thistle, brave as always!

  19. Dearest Sandra-- life in your farm is never dull. Love the story about your horse-- so much I never knew!

    Your little furry friends are precious-- love your laundry helper!

    Tomatoes already!!! That's impressive!! You'll be loving those this winter:)


  20. My blogger friend,Tammy,directed me to you.I just lost my husband on May 18th.I`m trying to find my way & I know God is with me so I am patient,but I don`t need to tell you,it is so hard sometimes.
    Love your farm,& tomatoes already?! I hope to can this year again ,after a long respite,myself,blessings,Phyllis

  21. So glad you've found your farrier and your horses are in good shape :) I know a farrier in NC, and he is an immensely strong man. Your tomatoes are gorgeous! Yay for canning!

  22. I have to say I love reading your posts too. I have always wanted to live on a farm...there is something so beautiful about it. Could I manage the )o:

  23. I love that you're canning "her" tomatoes for her. Nothing beats a garden tomato. How great a gift were they!! :)

    Love to you for the week ahead,

    Val ♥

  24. Our farrier had a bumper sticker on his trailer (placed there by a customer) which said:
    Farriers are like Cats. They don't go out in the rain and they don't come when they're called! :)
    We always got a good chuckle out of that since it's often true.
    I can just picture your HayJ hooked to a Meadowbrook.... he'll be perfect for the job!

  25. I am late in reading this, but have so enjoyed it! Good for you to jump right in canning. I loved seeing your horses and the care you take for them. Blessings to you in your busy life!

  26. I love your Percheron cross! I love big horses and hope to own some of my own one day!

  27. The photo of Mr. Bluebird is downright precious.

  28. thanks for stopping by my post yesterday.. i read several of your post and chose this one because i love horses and dogs and cats and you have many here.. i now have a little better idea how much work there is on a farm..


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