The adventures of Gilly the rescue horse and his side kick and partner in crime, Pokey the donkey.


Being with a horse is a journey that never ends. What they have to teach us is amazing; but we must quiet our mind to hear them. ~ jca


Friday, December 31, 2010

Ride in the New Year???

Well, here I am sitting waiting for the New Year to come in and I thought I would do something different this year. This afternoon I got Gilly our for a short ride, wow, it was great! I hadn't ridden for several weeks or has it been longer? Oh, well, I got to sit on that big broad back of a magnificent creature and just let him take me down the road.
I got to thinking this was the last ride of this year but.....wouldn't it be fun to ride out the old year and ride in the new?
Well, that's what I'm gonna do!!! Gilly is in the barn now with Pokey quietly munching some hay, and he is still CLEAN, imagine that??? Well it's only about 5 after 11 as I write this so in about half an hour I am going to saddle up. Mike is going to take some pictures and I have the date and time stamp set on the camera so you will know it's the real thing!!!
Will post these pictures (they'd better turn out!) later!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Archie, my daughters puppy

Archie, my daughters puppy got to come home today! She said he was very happy to be home, he was wanting to eat some, play with his toys and bark!
I told my daughter the type of dog she has is going to have SOME bark. Half Walker Coon Hound...oh, my!!!

He will have to go back in a few weeks to have more shots and more worming. He had a LOT of worms, poor little guy....well, he's not really so little. I think he is going to be a big boy when grown.

We have been working on our downstairs bathroom and got it nearly finished! Over the weekend my husband got the drain and water lines run. All work that no one can see, glad he knows how to do it, he is quite the handy man to have a round.
Today we went grocery shopping, he has been on vacation this week, it was more fun to go to Lowe's and shop! We got some paint, this is exciting...LOL...the ceiling paint we bought is purple! You heard right, purple but it dries white. This is so you won't miss a spot. I need all the help I can get!

I will be posting some pictures of it a little later. Molding to put up, then I can paint the ceiling. There is still a linen closet to build, that will be awhile.
Kicked back now drinking some really good raspberry wine that a good friend made and gave me! It is YUMMY!!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sick Puppy

Hi Everyone! Hope you all had a grand Christmas! Ours was starting pretty good until my daughters puppy had to be rushed to the emergency vet Christmas morning. We had had our Christmas on Christmas Eve with some dear friends and my daughter and her boyfriend.

They had left their new puppy, Lab/Walker Coon hound mix at home because he was not feeling well, they had had him 4 days. They didn't want to bring him for fear that he had something contagious.

They were here about 3 hours then went home; she called and said they were taking him to an emergency vet clinic about 30 miles away. This clinic is open when regular vets aren't....thank goodness for them! The puppy was vomiting, had very bad diarrhea and seemed very depressed. Turns out he has Parvo! and has a 60% chance to pull through.

Wow, this stuff is nasty and can hit a puppy pretty hard in a short time. While at the emergency clinic he was on IV fluids and antibiotics. Yesterday morning, Monday, they took him to their regular vets office. He has improved a little but still not eating. The vomiting and diarrhea have stopped but he is not wanting to eat. He seems somewhat happier, tail wagging and seemed happy to see them last night when they went to see him. However he is not out of danger yet, they will see him tonight again and see how he is doing. They call the vet periodically to check in on him and will see him again tonight.

Hope he pulls through! I have never had a dog with this horrible virus and hope I never do; this is some bad, bad stuff!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Merry Christmas everyone!!!!


Merry Christmas!

I added some bling to this very special card for all of you, my blogger friends. All of us here at Liberty Homestead Farm want to wish you and your loved ones good health, much happiness and love at Christmas and all year long!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Snow and cold

 We have gotten some snow, not a lot but it's very cold here too. Gilly and I haven't been out doing any work, cause I can't take the cold. Gilly and Pokey don't seem to care though. A few nights ago it was 7 degrees with the wind chill of -11, wow that is cold!!! Now, Gilly and Pokey can come and go as they please but that night, that cold night, they slept on the ground outside!!!! I know because I found a big spot on the ground where the snow was melted where they had been. In the barn there is a bed of thick sawdust for them to sleep on, I guess they weren't cold. I gave them lots of extra hay and have been since it's been so cold, they seem to prefer to be out in the weather. I check them to make sure neither are cold, both have thick long hair and are toasty warm.

Here is Lucy our Australian Shepherd who also thinks winter time is great! She has a double walled insulated dog house with lots of cedar bedding but a lot of time she too will sleep outside on the ground. One night she, this was a few years ago, slept out all night in a flower bed and was covered with snow. See? What a silly dog I have! She has a very heavy coat also and loves to play and roll in the snow. Not me, I'll stay in the house and keep warm cause I don't have a hairy coat like the critters do!

So Gilly is getting a break for now, it's too cold for me to be out to even do any work with him in the barn. I can't keep my fingers warm, I will have to look for some really warm gloves or mittens to keep my hands warm. I have some Mountain Horse gloves for winter but they aren't doing the trick.
What kind of warm gloves do you have for frigid weather???

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Santa Rug on Ebay

I have this Santa and Reindeer rug listed on eBay just in time for Christmas. Here is the link to see it there. Rug measures10.5X14.5 inches.

Most of the snow we got the other day has melted but tomorrow we are supposed to get about 2 inches of the white stuff! Will we have a white Christmas? Who can say; I myself would rather have a warm Christmas so I could ride!!! I haven't gotten to work Gilly on the long lines since I posted about it but we have done some work in the barn. He can be pretty pushy at times so I started making him do some foot work inside. The end of the barn he and Pokey occupy is about 14 by 24 feet so he can move around pretty well. We work on backing up, moving his butt around, this is a spin around on his front feet, stepping over one hind leg in front of the other and really moving that butt FAST. Now I just have to crouch down and look at his butt and he moves around in a hurry. He used to move at a slugs pace and have a very Ho-Hum look on his face, now he is very alert and hustles those feet for me. I have also been working on him lowering his head to put the halter on. He wants to hold his head up in the air, but now he is starting to lower it and be more respectful. This is something we work on everyday, rain, snow or sunny he can do this little bit of work inside; Pokey too.

I have to give both boys some worm paste the other day. I was hoping that Gilly would remember the work we had done with taking meds and he did. He still was a little resistant but then I got out a peppermint candy that was in a cellophane paper, it rattled so he was very interested; took his meds and I gave him his treat. It worked great. Pokey you just open his mouth, insert the tube and squirt it in, he makes a little face and that's it, he's a good little boy!!!

Has everyone gotten their Christmas shopping done yet? I haven't ...... still have a few more things to do; think I will shop the internet. So much easier, no crowds, no traffic, no standing in line.........I LOVE IT!!!!!!


Monday, December 6, 2010

Hoof print in snow

We got snow last night; I thought we were only getting flurries but the flurries turned into about 2 inches of snow. Yes, it's pretty but.....seems like just yesterday I was shoveling snow off the patio! Wow the summer went fast, fast, fast!!!

Anyway, when I went to feed the boys, Gilly came into the barn while I was getting their oats. I feed them outside so he turned and went back out and to the feeder by the gate. When I came back to the barn to fill up the water bucket and get hay, here is what I saw laying on the barn floor.
I picked it up and carried it to the yard by the patio so I could get my camera and take a picture. This is a cast of one of his hind feet, I can tell because they are have a more pointed toe than the front feet. I was looking at the long marks the bars of his hoof left. When he first started getting the barefoot trim almost 4 years ago he hardly had any bars but not look at them! Almost to the end of the frog! (click on picture to enlarge) There is also a large snow flake on the left side too!
Since it's cold outside and I am a wimp about the cold today I am staying inside and addressing my Christmas cards and am going to watch a movie, "Tombstone". Lots of horses in there to watch and Sam Elliott too (sigh) one of my favorite number one favorite is Tom Selleck (bigger sigh) and I have a lot of his  movies too. So I'll be in front of the TV all day! LOL
My two favorite cowboys!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

To get a new saddle or not???

I had been thinking of getting a new saddle, an all purpose instead of the dressage saddle that I now have. But now??? not sure what I am going to do. I thought of taking the large knee block off of the under flap of my saddle so I had a little more knee room. I really like this saddle, the deep seat is really comfortable, so I was almost ready to get my seam ripper and take the stitching off the leather and remove it. Then I thought, well, maybe I should call someone who knows something about saddles before I do this.

I called Trumbull Mountain Tack Shop and talked to Kitt Hazelton the saddle fitter there, check out her blog for tons of great information, Saddle Fitting-The Inside Journey. I wanted to know if I really could take the knee block off, she said yes. But then she said maybe what I wanted was to get an all purpose and sell the dressage saddle. If I take the block off, no one else might want it. So another thought but since Gilly needs work on his back, I will wait and see how he looks in the spring. What Gilly is doing in the picture above is what I have heard called long and low, he needs to do this to work those big back muscles.

Monday before I started working him in the round pen I put his saddle on him with only a thin quilted pad that I had made for him so I could see just how the saddle sat on his back. It actually looked pretty good.

Gilly looks like a big butter ball with his velvety winter coat, and he isn't done growing it in yet. When I put the saddle on him I didn't tighten the girth all the way up at first and just let the saddle find it's own place to sit. When I did tighten it up this is where it wanted to be. As you can see though it is still a little high in the front. I hope that with work his back will come up and it will be fine.
 View of saddle from back, this one was a hard one to get. I had to stand on tiptoe and hold the camera up and just click and hope I got the shot. That's one big butt to lean on, and pretty fuzzy too! LOL

 View of saddle from front, looks like he has room there too. This is a wide tree for a wide boy. So now I will just have to work Gilly when I can and weather permitting to build up his muscles. I ordered a couple of books from (my favorite place to buy stuff)  Longeing and Long Lining The English and Western Horse: A Total Program by Cherry Hill and 101 Longeing and Long Lining Exercises English and Western: A Ringside Guide by Cherry Hill  They both sounded like good books, lots of pictures it said. I like lots of pictures!

Will let you know how it goes when the books get here. I love doing ground work with Gilly boy, he is fun to work with. Maybe Pokey can learn something too. Then he will be a smart ass! heehee

Jane and the boys

Monday, November 29, 2010

Long lining

 Today Gilly and I worked in the round pen with the long lines. I am not really sure just how to do this with him so.....anyone who reads this if you have any tips, pointers or good books on long lining please feel free to help me! :-)  In the next few pictures we are just working on having him drift across the round pen to go in the opposite direction.

He does step over nicely. Sometimes he does really well then we have a few problems, I am sure I am not giving him the right signals and he is confused. He does try really hard for me. I need a long whip so I can reach out and tap him when he starts going the wrong way or when he backs up. He backs up when he doesn't know for sure what I am asking him.

I also saw when working him this way why he has such a hard trot to ride. He really, really needs to round up his back!!!! When trotting on the way up his back is more straight and when he comes down his back is really hollow and he is really strung out. Almost looks like he is pulling himself with his front legs....ugh...Gilly we REALLY need a lot of work!!!
I notice that his neck is really stretched out too. Looks like an old sway backed work horse.....poor Gilly!

 This looks a little better, head and neck are looking much better. I am also thinking of getting some trot poles for him to work with. With winter coming and sometimes riding is not going to happen but I am hoping that I can still work him in the long lines, even if it's just up and down the road.

So now if any of you have any thing you can tell me to help me out with this I would greatly appreciate it! :-)

The End

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Finished a rug

Got an order for his rug Sunday night and just finished it today. Rug is 11x20 inches and one of my favorite patterns that I designed. The date on the rug represents the year my grandmother was born, the one I am named after. She was very talented, an artist, milliner, and had studied to be a concert pianist.
I am saving for a new saddle so this will help. I have decided that the dressage saddle has to go. I like the saddle but Gilly's back has changed and now sitting in the saddle is putting my legs in a different position and it hurts! I want an all purpose English saddle, my legs won't be so straight down and long stirrups. With the all purpose, my stirrups can be a little shorter and my legs a little more forward. Better for jumping too!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day

My brother; United States Marine Corp - 1954 

In Honor of all who have served and continue to serve, 
Thank You!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Gilly in the indoor

 Gilly and I went to Stanleyville on Friday for another lesson. (only have two photos that were good, it was a dreary day and camera didn't like the lighting, I guess) He has been loading up just fine in the trailer and seems to like going for a ride, it's only about 11 miles over there from home.
My friend telling me what she wanted me to do with Gilly and he was very intent on watching her. What a personality this horse has!
We worked on me getting a better seat riding this big boy. I had to ride with no stirrups for awhile, boy was that hard work. I did hold onto the grab strap for support, I felt like I was bouncing all over the place but she said I was staying in the saddle.
Learning the feel of having my legs in the right place, she placed them correctly so I could feel where I needed to be. She was really helpful, to have a person on the ground to watch and correct things that I can't see I am doing wrong and that's a lot. We worked on riding without reins, scary at first but Gilly did really well. We had an hour lesson, when I got off I was pretty sore from using muscles that didn't used so much in awhile.
I don't know if I will be back at the stable arena again, my little friend is leaving and a new manager is taking over on Monday. My friend will still be in the area so hopefully we can still take some riding lessons at home, weather permitting. It sure would be nice to have an indoor....sigh...only if I win the lottery!!!

Saturday morning I was sooooo sore from all the work that Gilly and I did. Today my husband and I are just hanging out and taking it easy, enjoying a relaxing Sunday afternoon. A real treat, we don't usually take days off, always something to do around the farm. We did a lot yesterday so today is a good day to just put things on the back burner and do nothin'!

Lacy update. Lacy is still lame the new shoes don't seem to be helping. At first the farrier was going to put some pads on but decided to wait and see if just the shoes would help. He is coming again on Tuesday and will put the pads on then; if this doesn't work then she will probably have to be retired from riding. I don't know what Kim will do then. So sad she is only 12 years old and that's still a young horse, I hope this works.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Gilly's jumping video


Here is a short video clip of Gilly and I jumping. This was our second time over the jumps. I have no idea if I am doing this right or not...LOL...but hope with more practice I will get better. I look like I am bouncing all over the place but remember Gilly has a BIG LOFTY trot. So here you go, any helpful tips would be appreciated!
When I jumped before I was always bareback and much younger, I wouldn't attempt jumping bareback on at all, at least not on Gilly.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

This is what me and Gil did today!

Me and Gil had a blast today! I haven't jumped in over 25 years but today I decided to give it a try. WOW....what fun, it's addictive too, these were small jumps but.....must do it again with higher jumps.
Will write more later......
Jane and Big Gilly

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Halloween, a night for clanking bones, scary noises and the headless horseman!!!
Be safe my blogger friends!!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I've got a GREAT horse!

 Gilly and I have been doing a lot of work with gates and working with me just moving him around with only my legs. He is doing great at it and I can just turn my body and he will follow that feel. So far we have only been working with walk and trot but it's a start.

These pictures where taken last year and I have none when I was working with him alone on Saturday. But I needed these pictures so you can see how my old round pen gate is. I also was riding in my dressage saddle in these pictures I am riding the western saddle.
We have been opening and closing this gate for two years now and everything has been fine but....

 See the bottom of the frame holding the gate, well the weld broke at the bottom corner below the gate pen a few weeks ago. I didn't think anything of it, it still opened and shut but the gate didn't swing open as far. Still we had been through it several times with no problems.

The gate didn't open as far as it is in this picture but Gilly will push it with his shoulder to walk through, we were going into the round pen when the unthinkable happened!
My stirrup caught on the pen area was we walked through because Gilly moved toward it instead of the gate. OH....SHIT!!!! My stirrup is hooked on it and we are pulling the ten foot panel into the round pen behind us! He jumped a little and I do mean a little and curved his body around my leg that was hooked to the gate.......we pulled it in about 4 feet before my foot was released. Gilly continued to turn and face it but when I was free he stopped.  I had to sit there for a minute to soak in what just happened!!!
Yea, my horse just drug the round pen several feet and DID NOT lose his mind in the process??? Really???? I leaned forward and gave that big boy a HUGE hug around the neck....he let out a loud long sigh and just stood there.

I got off to put things back in order and shut the gate. Had to go out to get the step stool so I could get back on. I came back through the gate, since there is grass in the round pen he was eating when I came back. I walked to the center of the pen, got up on the stool and said, "Hey Gilly, come over here." He raised his head from the grass and walked over to where I was, walked around the stool, stopped so I could get back on his back. Amazing!!!!

We did about 15 minutes working with some poles, backing, side passing over them then.....yes, I opened the gate from his back and we walked through the gate, this time with no mishaps! I did swing the gate open a little farther with my crop so we had more room. He never batted an eye, he just walked through it like nothing had happened.

Now I ask you, do I have a GREAT horse or what????? What would your horse have done? (yes, my husband will be fixing the gate or maybe I will be getting a new one. one what will stay open better!)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pokey and the feeder

Pokey, hey Gilly! HEY GILLY!!!!
Gilly, uh?

Pokey, HEY STUPID!!! WAKE UP!! (whacking horse on jaw) Look what I got!
Gilly, huh.....what????

Pokey, look....look....LOOK!!!!!!! (heeheehee)
Gilly, OH POKEY!!! you brought me some food??? yum..yum!

Pokey, here let me hold it down here for ya!
Gilly, well, but.... hey....where is it??? I can't find it....lick..lick...lick!!!

 Pokey, come on....keep looking....heeheehee (shaking the feed tub)
Gilly, I don't see it Pokey......where????

Pokey, (drops tub on ground) snort, snort, heeeheeehawwww!!! Stupid horse.....baahaaaaa....snort...snort!!! You fell for it......heeheeehaawwwww!
Gilly, Pokey you are a mean ass....I was really hungry too! (sob sob sob)

What characters these two are! LOL This was caught out the upstairs window this morning before breakfast. That Pokey is a stinker!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Gilly gets a hair cut and Pokey is nosey....

 Pokey says hey, what you doing with that camera??? No, no don't look at that horse I am much better looking than he is....he doesn't have a cute pink nose like me and just look at these whiskers, cute huh????

 Gilly has been into the burs so much that I finally decided to trim some of his mane off because he will just get into the burs here he is with a trim and a big chunk out of it by his withers that he rubbed off or Pokey chewed off, I am not sure which!

 Gilly was giving me the eye for taking his picture, he thought he needed another treat. Not sure if this trim is correct but it still is long enough for me to grab if I need too. Speaking of grabbing mane let me tell you all what Gilly did this evening when we were riding.

After mowing the yard I decided to go for a ride. It was pretty hot today, yes, I said HOT so I didn't ride earlier thought I would wait until it was a little cooler for Gil since he has a lot of winter hair already. So about 4 this afternoon I saddled up and started riding. We just rode around the farm, back the hollow, up on the hill to check the water overflow. Just some easy riding first, then we went to the hay field to do some trot work. I had mowed a track around the field (this field would make a really nice arena but right now it's a hay field, it works)

We did trotting, with me posting sometimes and sometimes working on my sitting trot....this one is still hard for me to do on this lofty moving boy. Of course Pokey had to run along side us by the fence, but he had to add a little buck or two as we went past. Gilly paid not attention except for the turn of an ear toward him, he didn't speed up or spook when Pokey did his shenanigans.

We had been working for awhile and I decided that we could do a canter up along the fence and when I asked him to he decided to do a crow hop, brat, well I am happy to say that he didn't unseat me, I didn't grab the grab strap, I held the reins steady and rode it out, didn't stop, made him continue on at a trot. I should have asked for the canter again but didn't we just trotted and trotted some more. Since he wanted to be a bugger he had to do a lot MORE work, and some side passes too. Wonder if he knows he could have gone to eat his dinner a lot sooner if he had been good and did what I ask him to do. No, of course not but it made me feel good to make him work some more! LOL

This is a huge boost for my confidence and tomorrow we will work on the canter again! I think tomorrow I will have the dressage whip handy, sometimes a little smack on the butt will get him thorough the hip hops. Now here is a question I have; I have been told that lazy horses want to buck when they don't want to do something? I wonder why? That seems to me a lot more work to kick that big ole' butt up in the air than just popping into a canter.

 Pokey says one more look at my cuteness; this is me trying to bite a new Himalayan salt/mineral rock. No luck, it's hard as a rock but it sure tastes good!!!!

More later!!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

More about Lacy.....

Above are Lacy's X-Rays of her right front foot from the vet in Lancaster.In the first one (side view) you can see the navicular bone, the small one above the hoof. The vet said it had some deterioration and some small cracks in it. I looked and looked but I don't see them but then I don't know what I am looking at.
Second one is from the back of the foot; what her foot is on is a thick piece of plexi glass so the xrays could pass through. Do click on each one to enlarge. Fascinating photos.

First he watched her trot, which she couldn't do very well and was really limping. Then he did a nerve block on the right front; waited a few minutes and had her trot again. No problem and no limping! So he said it was in her foot not in her shoulder as we had first thought. Well, this isn't good news.
Next he gave her two injections for her arthritis, one in the left knee and one in the coffin joint of her right foot. When he had the needle in the coffin joint he pushed on her skin at the injection site and a very dark fluid appeared in the needle. We asked what it was and he said the fluid in the joint, the reason it was so dark was because it had a lot of blood in it caused by inflammation! Oh, ouch! He said that the fluid should look like Karo syrup. I am not sure if it was Hyaluronic acid or something else he injected her with (so much information that I now can't remember...I will try my best) to help her joints.
It was supposed to help her within a few days, it really didn't. The other thing he said to do was to put shoes...ugh...on her front feet. Egg butt shoes so it would elevate her heels to take some pressure off her coffin joint and to stabilize and support her foot. He said her feet were in really good shape, her trim was excellent and she was balanced....but....she needed to have higher heels to help the navicular area and relieve some pressure.
Kim didn't want to hear that because for three and a half years we both have had barefoot horses and both have done very well. But what is going on inside her foot that we can't see needs support so Kim said she will try the shoes.

 Lacy's front feet, a little dirty! yes, they are a little long because they hadn't been trimmed in 6 weeks and it was time for a trim. But still they are in good shape.

 Kim called a farrier, Bryan Farcus, (click on his name to read more) he is an excellent farrier and taught at Meredith Manor for years. The chalk marks on Lacy's hoof are the angle of her hoof, the rasp is in the angle he wants her hoof to be to relieve the pressure on the joint.

In this photo her right hoof has been trimmed and the left one hasn't yet. Can you see the difference in the angle? She now has a higher heel and a shorter toe.
Here Bryan is showing how her shoulder is angled, very steep and short, Lacy tends to be short strided in the front. Gilly on the other hand has a very long shoulder and has a very long reach when he trots and canters.
 Here is Lacy's new shoe, looks funny to me but this is what she needs. It's aluminum and light weight.
 It sticks out in back, I asked if she would step on it with her hind foot and Bryan said she might but he thought she wouldn't.
 Putting the finishing touches on the foot. I never had a horse that had to have specialty (corrective) shoes before so this was all new to me too, as it was to Kim. are the new shoes on Lacy. She seemed to walk much better still the turning was a little ouchy but now she needs to see the massage therapist next. Having a massage will help work out the kinks of trying to compensate for the pain she was in.
When turned loose Lacy started running did some bucking too, we could tell that there was a slight improvement in her movement. She didn't over reach and hit her shoe either.

I might also add that Bryan explained, showed diagrams and talked to us for a long time. the actual time to put the shoes on wasn't long at all but he was there for three hours. He said he always makes time for new clients to go over everything very thoroughly; Kim had a lot of questions and  he answered them all. He really knows his stuff that's for sure!

I talked to Kim today and she said that yesterday she worked Lacy on the lunge line and there was NO limping at all, at the walk, trot and canter. She still seems a little stiff but the gal is coming this week to give her a massage.
This is GREAT!!! Now in a few weeks she will probably be able to ride and that means me and Gilly will have someone to ride with!!!

Happy, happy!!!!! I am really happy that Lacy is feeling better. I have arthritis in my feet, one is worse than the other so I have some idea how she must feel, it hurts.
I will post more later and hopefully have some photos of rides!!! :-)


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