Mare's are wonderful. But this mare? She's the best. Geldings are often full of love and sweetness and teach us beautiful lessons on being kind to ourselves, and a million other things.
My experience of mares is that they teach hard lessons. My Rayn teaches me to stand up for myself, to stand up and speak up, to listen to my Inner Voice and trust it fully. She was the one who made me realize that animals really do communicate with us and that what I was hearing was true. And that they can hear and understand us too. I'll never forget the time when she had a foot abscess and I had no idea how I was going to get it cleaned and rewrapped in medicine, padding, and duct tape. How does one keep things clean before putting it on a horse who is standing on a dirt floor? It popped into my head to use a square piece of plywood. Ok...how will she understand to step on it and not move? So, I just explained it to her, out loud. She looked at me and put her foot on the piece of wood. I clicker trained her, so I gave a cluck of my tongue and gave her a treat. Brad watched the whole thing, mouth agape :-) I was able to get everything clean and wrapped up on that piece of wood. Incredible.
Here is another story I wrote about the horses hearing me.
Wynter is a pushy sort and is constantly pushing her around to get what he wants. He's very big, nearly a foot taller at the shoulder than Rayn. They get along just fine, even grooming each other, as long as Wynter isn't a complete jerk to her. Rayn is very clear in her communication and very clear in her boundaries.
ManChild was out doing his daily manure clean up in the pasture and Rayn was munching on tiny bits of hay in Muletta (that's our name of our grounds keeper golf cart!)
Wynter said, "Gimmee."
And when he kept pushing his head into the hay, this was her response:
And now the goats. Piper and Angel Kiss are wondering if they are going to have babies in the fall... Yes to Piper on left, no I haven't bred her yet, I'm waiting for her to come into heat. Did you know Nigerian Dwarf goats come into heat every 17-21 days? Some goat breeds are seasonal, only coming into heat in the fall.
Another bit about goats—even though this photo of Charlotte makes it seem like they eat anything and everything, they are actually very picky eaters! But they do like bark ;-)
This week Dancer figured out that my lap is WHERE IT'S AT. At first she asked to come up by putting her itty bitty hooves on my knees:
How can I say no to that face? I can't :-) (Do you like that every picture you ever see of me, I'm always wearing jammie pants?)
Once up she promptly falls asleep. Goat temperatures are 101.5—103.5 so she's a toasty little critter.
It seems like hanging her head like this would give her a headache but these are the animals that smash their heads into each other for fun...
By yesterday, she didn't have to ask with her baby blues, she just jumped up!
And then there is this little pipsqueak. Still tinier than Dancer but she's catching up fast! She grew enough to jump the 18 inches into her birthing stall!
My favorite is when I can get both of them in my lap at the same time!
This is the last week in their full baby perfection, they get disbudded on Monday and will have two little circles on their heads where their tiny horn buds used to be. Usually this is just done while they yell for a minute but my new vet likes to sedate them, numb the area, do the disbudding (which is with a hot iron), and then give them a shot to wake up. She needed them to be at least 5 lbs and Galaxy hit 5.7 lbs early this week while Dancer was 8.7 so they should be good to go. We will probably have to buckle down and learn how to do it ourselves for the September babies. It's much more expensive than the person who did it for us in Colorado and while 2 babies isn't the end of the world, I was thinking about the 12 babies we had in 2020!
This picture was taken 5 years ago today, while holding the first baby goats we ever met (see the circles where they were disbudded?). If you know me, you've heard the story of these three putting their feet on our knees and looking us in the eyes. Holy smokes. I had intended on getting 2 baby goats. Haaaaa! Within a week, I was the new mommy to 6! That's Raven in my arms, Denali in ManChild's arms, and Alaska in Brad's arms. Alaska is Dancer's mom and Raven's twin.
This week also brought about lots of new introductions for the little ones. The girl goats live on the other side of the fence so they had seen them there but I think they all enjoyed getting to meet the babies "in person." Most of the girl goats did what Grandma Snickers is doing here, being sweet. I swear Snickers is smiling!
But Aunt Denali was more interested in teaching boundaries:
Dancer says, "Crap. That was kinda scary."
Mostly they left them alone though. (Galaxy loves the sunshine, maybe because she isn't a black goat?)
I love how their moms will often lay in such a way to protect them:
Dancer is behind Alaska, under the hanging water bucket and Galaxy has her nose resting on her mom :-)
We had a weather forecast of an inch of rain (but got 2+!) so we brought the horses and donkey down to the lower pasture where the new barn is so they could stay dry and not have to wear blankets. It's still just a roof for now as Brad has been working on some other stuff to get me up and running for offering neurofeedback (open next week—Thursday 4/28!) but it did it's job and kept them dry.
When we brought them into the pasture they immediately found this lush patch of clover that the barn builder planted when he was finished:
Remember when I painted this in 2018 and talked about how my horses would sometimes stand over me and it felt like a giant angel?
I had a moment remembering that painting! In Colorado I could sit right on the ground with no worries but here you have to have a chair because it's too buggy! It's a wonderful feeling having them right above you! At one point he had his mouth right on top of my head, ahhhhh...
(Thank you for the picture Therese!)
This week the donkey print goes to Kelly Driscoll! Keep an eye on your email Kelly!
See all of the prints of my original watercolors in my Etsy store!
Thank you for reading :-) My blog is reader-supported—that's you my wonderful friends! The best way to support my work locally (Research Triangle area of NC) is:
Commission a painting or bring your logo idea to life,
buy a tshirt or a print with my artwork.
If a friend forwarded you this email, you can subscribe here.
Let me give you a big ol' hug!
Join a group of like minded folks who get weekly letters that feel like a great big hug, ranch videos, and free goodies from me.