An Equestrian Home

Necessity.

 

 

 

Equestrian style, classic, functional and simple. It just screams elegance. I love all of these ‘horsey’ touches represented in this post.

 

 

Simple and bold.

 

Perfect mudroom.

Check out that stool!

 

So cool.

 

I would have never left this swing as a little girl…my first “horse” was a half-buried tractor tire in our sandbox.

 

Perfect.

 

Boots+Peonies+Dusty Blue=Equine Heaven

Easy DIY decor.

 

What new home isn’t complete without one of these?

 

Barn doors belong inside too.

 

Like the vintage look.

 

Every home with kids needs a rocking chair…ours was a wooden one handmade by my grandfather.

 

Cute yet classy for a little girl.

 

Lovely chic entrance.

 

A horsewoman’s dream closet.

 

Born in a Barn

I wish I was born in these beautiful barns below! Who wouldn’t?! Feel free to direct me to other beautiful barns (or your own) by leaving a comment below.

Every barn needs a hex sign.

Log luxury.

Pink!

Stone + blue shutters = amazing

Shingles, great windows.

Blue!

Blue goes well in winter or summer.

Love the colors and dutch doors.

<3 barns with loft apartments.

Great spread.

Love doors, black trim, fenced walkway with roof overhang.

Make an entrance.

Yellow!

Stone, cupola, weathervane, windows, quaint.

Martha Stewart’s barn…swoon.

More my size, what a cute barn. Multiples of these in complimentary color schemes would be swell.

Archway.

I love black barns and houses.

Round barn in Vermont. Always thought these would be neat inside.

Greene, NY: Great barn, love the colors. Near my parents home.

Margretville, NY: I guess its a blessing to have so much awesome barn architecture in the area!

Richfield Springs, NY: I see this barn all the time when we go to our lake on the weekends.

Memories

It is amazing how much I can still remember little details about each horse I’ve owned. I’ve been reminiscing as I went through my photo albums to find old pictures of my horses. It seems on top of the memories I have of them, their physical characteristic are also imprinted on me. I can still feel how each one of their noses felt. The characteristic differences of how their manes running through my fingers as I would braid them. I can recall the individuality in how their neck sloped under my hand and the weight of holding their hoof as I picked them. And riding. Of course I remember how it felt to ride each one. They were all different but the weight of their memories are the same.

I guess I just never really noticed before how vividly they still occupy my mind…like a living picture.

Slaughterhouse Rules

I use to be pro-slaughter (yes, even as a horse-lover) as I remember reading a few articles that talked about the effect on the horses and horse industry if we didn’t. Have I ever sent a horse to slaughter? Not knowingly as personally I couldn’t do that knowing what they go through. Regardless of that discussion I have read more about the subject and I’m anti-slaughter now.

When it comes down to it SOMEONE is breeding those horses that are unwanted and starving. SOMEONE is helping an explosion in horse population numbers with no market for them! SOMEONE is not gelding their horses to avoid unwanted pregnancies. SOMEONE is choosing to take on more than they can handle and are unable to feed them so they starve. SOMEONE is choosing not to humanely put down their horses or re-home them. SOMEONE is all of us as a the caretakers for the horse population who do not practice responsible ownership.

Do I have a horse right now? No…I can’t afford one. Have I had a million offers to be given a horse? Yes. Do I want to get one? Yes. Do I? No. Do I want to save horses from this fate? Yes. But I will not be part of the problem. I will own a horse when I can afford one and I will only breed a horse IF I want the baby. For those of you wanting to send an unneeded horse to slaughter…do it a favor and just put it down. Whether with a bullet (yes I said it) or euthinasia do it a favor. I would rather get shot in the head than go through being shipped hundreds of miles to a foreign country facing fear, anxiety and chaos to meet death in an inhumane way.

Here are the sites/articles that helped me determine which side of the fence was greener.

 

American Veterinary Medical Association page of article links related to this subject

Just for basic human health reasons and why IF this industry is brought back into full swing NEEDS TO BE REGULATED…let’s not add another disease causing agent to our diets!

Dr. Ann Marini Makes Devastating Response to Slaughter Apologists in Letter to Peer Reviewed Journal

Humane & political (and religions) reasons…

Excuses 101

I Quit!

The $1,000 Pro-Slaughter Challenge

The Final Analysis

The Requirements of Justice

Food & Religion

It’s Current State…no-inspections needed is even worse than regulation when it comes to slaughter houses. I’d rather have a industry that has guidelines/rules and inspections rather than one that operates undetected.

A taste of the other side. If you read the comments it will make you feel better as they pick apart the article.

 

My Favorite Horsepirational Quotes

 “All horses deserve at one point in their lives to be loved by a little girl.” -anon

It is not enough for a man to know how to ride; he must know how to fall.  ~Mexican Proverb



The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse’s ears.  ~Arabian Proverb
 

Your horse is a mirror to your soul.  Sometimes you might not like what you see… sometimes you will.”

~ Buck Brannaman

These are a few of my favorite things…

Leopard appaloosa

and bigger spots :)

Gypsy Vanner’s

The dapple of my eye

<3 Perch’s

and Fell ponies

Absolutely exquisite

Beautiful Buckskins

A Bashkir Curly–love him!

Palomino’s are always pretty

(Me on a friend’s horse)

Blue Roan

Clydesdale

Fjord

Rocky Mountain Horse

My favorite loves of all time…the Friesian

The Five Horses We Meet in Life

I’m going to start off with a great link to one of my favorite blogs (yeah for drafts!).  While this article has been circulating around for awhile and you might have already read it, it is so true. I find myself moved by other people’s own 5 and so I’m finally doing my own.

1. The Intro Horse

We each came into horses in our own way, but it was always with a horse leading us. This might have been a friend’s first pony, or perhaps it was a draft horse on a farm you once visited It might have been a real-life meeting, or an imaginary one.           

The first horse I ever got up-close and personal with was kept at my dad’s farm 4 miles down the road from our house. Her name was Luna and she was a flea-bitten Arabin mare. I don’t think anyone ever truly knew her age but I believe she lived till she was about 38-40 years old (in true Arabian fashion). Luna was unrideable. That last image in my mind of her being ridden was her taking off with my father on her back and dumping him in the middle of the state highway. I think I was 5-6 at the time. Whenever I went to the farm (at least once a week), I would spend time with Luna brushing her, feeding her, walking her on her lead-line and day-dreaming about riding her. I would sometimes get brave and put a burlap bag on her back simulating tacking her up. When I was really brave I would try to slide on her back from her feeding station which was a few feet off the ground, she was always too quick in shying away though. When I was probably about 10 my grandmother called me to tell me they had sold her. I immediately was emotionally distraught that nobody told me they were even considering selling her AND I never got to say good-bye! I cried for hours over this and moped around for days. In most instances you never see the horse again, especially one that hadn’t been ridden for almost a decade. Luckily, a local horse trainer had bought her and she was living only 15 minutes from the farm. Jim changed Luna’s name to Lady (“as she wasn’t a lunatic”) and soon had her riding like she had been doing it all her life. I was even more astounded when I got to take my very first horse-riding lessons on HER! I can’t even begin to describe the feeling I had of living in a fairy-tale and seeing my dreams come true.
p.s. My first horse I ever got was actually Chrissy, a quarterhorse mare. She was alot of horse for me at the time so I only had her for a small trial period before she was returned to her previous stable. It was a good lesson in how important it is to find the right fit for both human and horse. She was great to ride in the ring but she was very green on the trails which is where I did 95% of my riding.
2. The Experimental Horse

Once you had crossed the line between “Darn, they’re big!” and “Wow! Can I try that?” you found yourself face-to-face with the horse that would suffer through your early attempts at figuring out the whole horse experience … wherever this horse came from, he/she probably didn’t benefit from the encounter as much as you did…

Needless to say my story with Lady/Luna continues here. Not only was she my first horse that I loved and rode but also the first horse that I owned for years. The trainer that owned her had lost his lease on the farm where he was keeping his horses. He GAVE me Lady as he believed we belonged together and I am forever grateful to him for that. I was 14 when we brought her home. I look back now and feel so grateful for her patience and willingness to live through my first horse experience. Even in her old age she still was able to ride like she hadn’t aged at all. I rode her up until the day I came out one morning to feed her and she was turning in small, tight circles over and over again. I couldn’t get her to stop and when the vet came he told us she had probably had had an aneurism. My fairy-tale with her came to an end that morning as I held her head and she slowly laid down and went to sleep. My father buried her in the corner of the alfalfa field (where she often escaped to) across from the barn where I still leave bouquets of alfalfa to this day. I love to tell Lady’s story. It has been one of my most powerful lessons in life about dreams and seeing them come true.

Lady

3. The Connected Horse

The first horses we meet don’t really connect with us, nor do we with them. Those are experiences in survival and tests of endurance. The Connected Horse is the first horse you truly bond with. This is the horse that sounds a chord that lives so deep in you that you might never have heard it otherwise…

Joey came into my life in my sophomore year of undergrad. I had sold my 2 horses, Midnight and Tobby, before I went to college. This was a mistake. (My advice to high school seniors, if you are still horse-crazy and not traveling more than 2 hours from school and have parents that will take care of your animals then keep them. Or else you will always wonder what happened to them and if their lives ended up okay). Regardless, because of this mistake one of my most beloved horses came into my life. I don’t know what bit me and gave me the draft bug but that’s all I looked at. I found Joey at a farm that housed mainly retired thoroughbreds. He was a 10 year old Belgian gelding. Joey was alittle rusty in riding but had some spunk to him and the price was right for a girl in college. He’s quite the load to haul by the way on slippery, icy winter hill roads at 1300 lbs.  Joey was like riding a big couch that could easily sit three if needed and was a complete gentlemen with little kids. I also learned how to mount when your stirrup is at your shoulder level from the ground. He was the first horse I owned in which he was the only one (although I believe every animal should be kept in pairs) so I think I truly bonded with him because of that aspect. He and I had some great times going everywhere together and we even went into the woods one year and dragged out the christmas tree. There is no real magical, miraculous story with him. Just a simple story of a girl and the horse that stole her heart. <3
Joey’s beautiful head shot.
4. The Challenger

Into each horse-person’s life, a little challenge must fall. You’ll have read that one final training book, bought yourself a clicker and heading rope, and there you’ll stand, arms crossed, assessing the situation as if you actually knew what the situation was. It might be difficult to believe, as you are flying down the aisleway on the losing end of a braided cotton line, but you actually need this horse in your life…

My horse life is still young and I haven’t met #4 yet, but something tells me my next horse will be this one.
5. Your Deepest Heart
There will come a time when you will look at yourself with a cold, appraising eye, and you’ll have to be honest about your continued ability to deal with The Challenger and other difficult horses. At that point, you’ll seek out the horse that will be your soul mate forever… You’ll have bought him the most comfortable, best fitting equipment… Maybe you’ll still go to shows and ride – brilliantly or barely – in the Alzheimer’s class. Maybe you’ll just stay home. Whatever you do, one day you’ll realize that after all the money you spent on animal communicators and trainers, you only had to stop and listen and you would have clearly heard your horse’s thoughts and desires…
From the first day I brought Joey home I had always promised I would never sell him. Yet after 7 years of owning him, I graduated chiropractic school and found myself moving across the country. I knew my options were little. The cost of horse while starting a career in a small city doesn’t mix. I ended up finding a great family only a few hours away that were interested in riding every once in awhile but mainly he would be a big, spoiled pet. I failed in trying to hold back my tears the day they came and offered to buy him (and even as I write this tears are streaming down my face). I knew it was best for him deep down as he would be with other horses and a miniature donkey (named Donkey of course). I kept up with owners quite regularly until last March 2011 when I got a letter in the mail saying he had been put down. Joey had gotten sick one weekend and failed to respond to antibiotics. When the vet did a blood test it was found that he was in severe liver failure. He was put down shortly after. It will almost be a year since I learned of his death and I still think of him often. I’m glad he had the best treatment possible in his last 4 months with his new family. I know things happen but he should have had 10 more years of being a spoiled pasture pet. I mainly feel bad I didn’t catch his sickness myself.
I don’t know what it was about him exactly that made him so special in comparison with the others but he was there for me in some of my most difficult years. My town essentially adopted him as their own while I was gone during the week for school and I loved hearing from people about how they went and fed Joey carrots and to pet his nose. Even the kids up the street and my friends would go and ride him. Everyone loved him (even though my brothers nicknamed him ‘Glue’). Despite his size, few were afraid of him when they saw how gentle he was. Maybe it was the fact he was a draft. After owning one of them, you will never be the same. Their dispositions are unbeatable. I know I will own more horses in the future that I will have great connections with. He was my big teddy bear. He was the type of horse that you want around regardless of whether he earned his keep or not. Maybe he was so great just because he was the only horse that ever bought me flowers :-)
Joey and I watching a ‘mud-bog’. I always loved his long double mane.
My other two horses I owned while in high school were Midnight (ungaited Tennsese Walker) and Tobby (a gaited quarterhorse-lol). Even though they don’t fit into my ‘5’, they were great horses that provided me with many fond memories for my friends and I!!!

Tobby

My senior picture with Midnight and our mini dachshund Sandy