Sunday, February 24, 2019

Tumbleweed Gets Evicted

The day came where I needed to separate Tumbleweed from surrogate mama, Foxy.  I had noticed he was acting really studdy with her--biting, herding, even trying to mount her.  Foxy, of course, was golden, and she would take it as far as she could without actually letting him mount.  But I started to get worried that one day she might need to give him a good kick and it wouldn't go so well for T'weed--or she'd take too much of it and get hurt herself...or pregnant.

My vet suggested I geld Tumbleweed in March, and it is coming right up, but to be safe, and to introduce him to the rest of the herd, and give Golden Girl Foxy a break--I moved  them to the other side of the barn where their runs still adjoin, but they also communicate with the turnout horses.

Maybe I'm projecting, but Foxy seemed to look relieved.  Her eyes softened up and she kept nuzzling me like, thank you, thank you!  I imagine this is how real mamas feel when it's time to wean their babies.  I love them, but enough is enough!

You can see T'weed's look--"that's my mama, my slave, my buddy, my playmate, my, mine...mine..."

We had to make some modifications to his stall--increasing the height of the separators, just in case he decides he wants to jump in with mama.  And, believe me, he was thinking about it.

But then he sees the mares fighting, and runs away.

It won't be long until they're on spring pasture, so getting to know the rest of the herd serves many good purposes right now.  It's the natural progression of things.  Boy is old enough to fend for himself.  

And, now he's going to bond more with me, too.  Win, win, win.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

KonMari My Winter: A Heart for Now, an Eye to the Future

We were a bit spoiled in the northwest, but winter finally did make her appearance.

It's not easy to spend time in the barn without feeling like your fingers are going to freeze into ice cubes and fall off your hands--even with heavy gloves.  So, I do my thing: feed, clean stalls, work with Tumbleweed.  We don't do much.  He stands tied for his supplements, and then I stand in the breezeway and work at petting his face.

T'weed had started this bite, jump, bite, jump routine, that needed some smoothing.  Being a baby, he doesn't know what to do with his mouth and, invariably, he nips at Foxy and then turns to run.  But it was also filtering into our relationship.  I'd try to pet his face, he'd try to nip, then he'd turn to avoid getting kicked.  But I don't kick.  So, I wave my  hands around his face, ask him to look on in the center, then pet him in the middle of the face, between his eyes.  I do it over and over until  I don't get a reaction from him.  So far, it's working.  When I'm petting him, and he wants to taste my hands, I just rub his lips with my other hand, and that seems to take care of it.

We installed cameras in the barn since we don't get to be out there as much.

They rotate 360 degrees and have night vision and audio.  I can hear them and talk to them.  Leah is by far the most responsive to my voice, and Cowboy comes in second.  Leah, will whip her head up and look right at the camera source when she hears me call  her name.  I think that means she's the hungriest and she knows my voice means food.

So, I'm surviving winter with an eye to spring.  I've started doing yoga--holding poses that will strengthen my core: Goddess pose, Warrior 1, 2, and 3, Dancer's pose, Triangle pose, Dolphin and pigeon poses.

I set my mat up in front my bedroom window, face looking out at the mountains and pastures (where the horses are eating), next to my Echo, then I ask Alexa to play new age or meditative music.  I light a candle, and start by meditating and stretching, then ask Alexa to set timers for two minutes, as needed, when I hold the poses.  (Alexa is a very helpful assistant.)

(the book that got us to think differently)

I had this mat for a long time, as well as two great books on yoga, but I didn't start using them until after I KonMari'ed, and simplified my life.  As we were deciding what to keep and take forward in our lives and what we no longer had use for and would give away, I found the mat and the books and was reminded that this was something I always wanted to do.  Then, I found two different articles about yoga that help you strengthen your core for horseback riding--and I chose those poses.   Here they are:  One in Dressage Riding Training and one in Horse Illustrated.  They don't recommend the dancer's pose, but I find it really helps with balance.

I also do a relaxation exercise at the end of the poses--asking Alexa to set a timer for five minutes.  It is always the fastest five minutes ever.  I lay flat on my back with arms down at my side, palms up, and start with my toes. In my mind, I tell them to relax--breathe out tension, breathe in relaxation--and let them fall to the ground.  I move up my body and focus on relaxing each part--letting them fall to the ground--all the way up to the top of my head.

I've also started surrounding myself with flowers: azaleas, hydrangeas, lilies, and some unknown (to me) flower.

the essence of KonMari is choosing what to KEEP,  not throw away--even though you do end up discarding a lot.  when we really examine what brings us joy, we also want to experience that item.  the vase below was made for me by my youngest son, but it was stashed away where I couldn't see it.  I pulled it out and placed it in our main bathroom.  It sparks so much joy to see it every day.

the platter behind the next set of flowers is one I etched and painted when we traveled every week to Gig Harbor, WA. another good memory.

With inspiration from both KonMari and my sister (who was born to KonMari without ever studying her methods) I remembered that I had a Shopko framed picture in my bathroom that I didn't even know what it was about--some little girl on a beach in a gilded frame. Maybe it did spark joy for me when I bought it, as a young mother, but it does nothing for me now, and we use that main floor bathroom all day.  On the other hand, downstairs, in a guest room that is rarely used, one of my favorite pictures has been hanging, virtually unseen, for twelve years--Audacious, by Nancy Glazier.

I took the time to buy the limited edition, signed print, and invested a lot of extra money to have it framed, but I NEVER got to see it!!  Well, as you can see, I remedied that!  And, I also added a candle underneath. (Not shown in the picture--as well, as decluttering the magazines--unshown)

We had our first guests over since the big change and when the husband exited the bathroom, his first words were, who is Audacious?!?

I replied that I think of it as Cowboy, my heart horse--because he is who I saw when I fell in love with it.  Cowboy. In fact, my house is full of art that sparks joy because it looks like Cowboy.

Here is the original horse, Cowboy:

And here are the paintings I have around my house:

Sense a theme?

It's a journey, and our feelings change about things (like I can envision some pictures of buckskins in my future), but each day I do ask myself what is most important to me, and I try to make those things  happen--or pay closer attention to the beings and things I love.