Saturday, July 30, 2011

Helping the farrier.

There are two people who, once you've found the right ones, you never want to lose - hair stylists and farriers. We've been through our fair share of farriers in the last five years - seven, I think. There was one who got mad and jabbed my horse in the ribs with her clippers - for leaning on her. There was another who wanted to drug every horse he touched, for his own safety - even though we work very hard to have calm, easy-to-shoe horses. There was the one who was habitually two DAYS late, two who just did really crap jobs.

So when we tried this farrier last summer, and he was so wonderful, I tattooed his number on my arm for safe-keeping. Not really. But I did put it in my phone, in my husband's phone, and on my computer. Oh, and on a paper hung in our tack room. And tattooed on my arm.

He's calm, confident, moves quietly around the horses, expects fidgeting when there are flies, does a fantastic job on their feet, will work with even tiny Cookie ... But this last time, he went above and beyond. Hannah asked to help and he gave her the all-important job of picking up the nail ends with his long-handled magnet.
And he answered every question the girls had while he worked.
I've always kept them away while he worked before, but this time it was just the one horse, so it was more safe, and he really seemed to enjoy their chatter and questions - and blatant admiration. When I tried to move them away, he said "No, don't. They're listening when I tell them where to be to stay safe and I like their questions." So I left them.

Ainsley got distracted because, well, she's four years old.

But the farrier's dog never got distracted.
She's trained never to leave the truck at a client's home, but that doesn't mean she can't keep a close eye on the cats. Once that kitten laid down there, just laughing at the dog, the dog never moved. Just stood there and stared.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ainsley's post.

Ainsley wanted me to put up some pictures that she took, so here they are. Enjoy 'Ten Minutes Through the Eyes of a 4-year-old'.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The beauty of a well-made Cookie.

When we got Cookie, we envisioned her being a good pony for Ainsley and then Grayson. Hannah's pony Princess died from Cushing's disease complicated by old age this spring, so we were needing a new kid's pony. I'm using the word 'need' loosely. But we wanted one and were lucky to find Cookie. So far she's been wonderful with the kids - gentle, calm, easy-going, slow. Pregnant. She's not too fond of adults - our size intimidates her, I think. She tolerates us, but likes the kids.

But her size doesn't intimidate the littles - and that's what counts.

Gray likes to sit on her. He can get off by himself if he gets worried and he likes that.

It doesn't hurt that her baby is the perfect size also. He's getting lots of gentling attention.

While Gray isn't up to riding by himself yet, Ainsley is.

She can get on and off by herself, which she does frequently - I think just to prove to herself and Cookie that she can.

It's sweet watching her hold her own with the big girls ...

or chat with her sister about the merits of salt blocks.

I'm looking forward to when Grayson has enough interest and confidence to ride her by himself. Right now he's good with playing on the bales while others ride.

**Cookie's baby seems to have a name now. After short stints as Chocolate Chip, Brownie, and Popcorn, Ainsley seems to have settled on Prince. Which is a nice tribute to Hannah's Princess pony.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Grayson's Dora shorts.

Grayson loves Dora and Diego. I decided to make him some Dora shorts and some Diego pants. The Diego pants were a big fat FAIL. I'll post those later. But the Dora shorts turned out cute. (Sidenote: Do you have any idea how hard it is to find non-pink Dora fabric?)

I used Simplicity's 2907 toddler shorts pattern. Easy, cute, has a pocket for him to stuff full. Scratch that - it has THREE pockets for him to stuff full.

They look a bit like board shorts. Very cute.

Speaking of cute ...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Consequences, schmonsequences.

"My, she's a fat pony!" has been pretty much everyone's reaction on meeting our sweet Cookie.

(picture taken two days ago - may she forgive us our ignorance)

It was certainly my reaction when I met her three months ago. "Yeah," laughed the guy that sold her to us, "We've only owned her a few months, but she's too slow for our boy." Sold. We like slow in a pony.

What possible consequence could there be for buying a fat pony?


That one.

There is much incredulous rejoicing here today.

Now Ainsley needs to figure out a name for that little man. And Cookie? She's positively svelte now!