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


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Day BeforeThanksgiving

The day before turkey day was cold and wintery feeling here in Ohio. I took this picture from the patio looking down to the barn and out buildings. Didn't quite get the sun in just the spot I wanted it to be. Below is a picture I took in 2005 in February before I trimmed the bottom branches of the pine. This photo was entered in a photo contest, got an honorable mention in a book that was being published.
The sun looks like it had cut a hole right through the pine. My brother loved this picture. After he had passed away, Mike and I were cleaning out his house and I found a copy of this picture printed out and taped to his computer, it was also saved on his computer. It is a pretty neat pictures if I do say so myself! (smile)

Here are the two house peepers; they always are out by the summer kitchen in the mornings just waiting for someone to move inside the house. If they hear you, Gilly will whinny loudly and Pokey will hee-haw as loud as he can. "Oh, please, please come out and feed us! Can't you see that we are starving out here?"
When I do get outside they rush to the barn and stand impatiently waiting for their oats and hay. I love to stand in the barn and listen to them eat and hear their continted sighs. Nothing better in the world to my ears! Yes, I do love my babies!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Cold Sunday nap

Now doesn't Gilly look like a real handsome boy here? Looks like an old sway backed plow horse; really though he and Pokey, see his ears under Gilly?, were taking a morning snooze. Gilly is all fluffed out like a velvet pony, trapping warm air in his fur and soaking up the sun.
close up of the snoozing boy, see how relaxed he is? That lower lip is hanging way down and he is sleeping even though his eyes look to be opened. Hope he doesn't try to walk like that, he could trip on that hanging lip!
It was pretty cold out Sunday morning, see the steamy breath that Gilly is blowing out? I hoped that I could capture that on the picture. They were out on the hillside sleeping and waiting for me to come out of the warm house to do my morning feeding. I wasn't in a hurry to go out into the cold morning they had to wait a spell.
This picture was taken from the upstairs window, though double glass, so it looks pretty blurred but still interesting. I couldn't get a picture of them close up because they were laying up on the hill above the barn so the only way to shoot them was from the upstairs window. I couldn't open the window and the storm window because they would have heard me and then both would have gotten to their feet and spoiled the shot. So that's life on the farm on a cold Sunday morning, when there is nothing to do but wait for your breakfast..........sigh.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New Teacher............

Kim took this picture of me and Gilly walking across the arena a couple of weeks ago. She came over today and brought her camera card so I could upload the pictures she had taken. As a matter of fact she took all the pictures in this post. Thanks Kim!!!
I love this picture, looking at it I can't believe that the skinny little horse I brought home to the farm more than 4 years ago turned out to look this beautiful! And that he grew so tall, he is the tallest horse I have ever owned.
This is our new dressage teacher, Vicki. She was working Gilly around in the arena for the first time. Gilly hadn't had a lesson since last fall. Oh, I've ridden him but not like this. He did do pretty well, but he is not a forward horse so it takes a lot of pushing to get him moving. He will tire a person out just pushing him forward and then there is the way he moves. He is a very lofty horse and it's hard to sit him; well it is for me anyway. Vicki rode him really well. She studied dressage in Germany years ago and had some really good German teachers. Vicki also used to teach modern dance; next month she is going to start yoga/stretching classes and some of us horse women are going to take the class. Working to keep limber during the winter months so when spring gets here we won't be "rusty"...........well, that's the plan anyway!!!
Nice straight back and good leg position.........we are working on me, I think I need more work that Gilly. This is hard for me because one I have a green horse that I am trying to teach and I am not an English type of rider, I always rode western before. So both of us are learning, it's hard but we will work through it. I am do not want to show, just be a good rider and ride him the way he moves.
He remembers all the things we worked on last year...........sometimes I wish I had a place to ride that was covered so it didn't matter if it rained or snowed. A place that the footing was dry but that's not going to happen so we will just take what we get and work through it.
Here we are at the end of the lesson, Vicki, Gilly (who wouldn't pose for the picture) , me and another friend Beverly. Yes, it was pretty chilly that day.
Gilly is thinking, just take me home and feed me, I wanna play with Pokey.
Pokey wasn't allowed to come out because he would disrupt class!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening...................

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

by Robert Frost

I love that poem because of the snow and of course the horse and sleigh, "my little horse must think it queer to stop without a farmhouse near" then he shakes his harness bells to ask if there is a mistake....why are we stopping??? When I was in high school and read this poem I never thought that I would someday have a sleigh to be pulled by my horse. Well, it was my second horse Copper that got that honor.
Here is Copper in 1979 pulling my sleigh, a very small one but a sleigh; my two nieces, my daughter and a friend are in the sleigh. I was behind the camera lens. What fun we had then, we had built a huge fire farther away down the field that is out of sight; it was really cold that day.
Copper had sleigh bells on too, what a merry sound they made ringing through the crisp winter air!

I don't have that sleigh anymore, would Gilly pull it if I did? Not sure but I think he would and Pokey would be tagging along behind!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

More pictures of my brother............

This is my brother and sister probably in 1937 at our grandparents farm. Love the little bib overalls my brother has on; look far into the background and look at the old truck my grandpa had then.
I LOVE this picture!!! (my sister doesn't like it though, says it looks like the family was poor....... well, we were and so what?) My dad is standing by my brother, my sister is next and the other girl is a neighbor. I don't know who she is though, I wasn't around yet, this was in 1940's? Not sure about the date, I also love the old car, know nothing about it either. But look at the's popped out at the bottom.
This is my brother in a shooting squad, in Florida I believe in 2005. He was a trap shooter and a pretty good one too. Yes, my brother is tall, 6"5". The man to the far right is my brother's best friend; the traveled all over going to shooting matches.

I took this picture in September of 2006 at Marietta Gun Club, my brother was a member there for several years. He had a break in shooting and we had gotten some lunch at the club house.I love this picture, shotgun broken down over his shoulder checking a box of shells before reloading for another round.
A kind and gentle man who is missed by his family and friends.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Veteran's Day

November 11, Veteran's Day.......a time to remember those who have served our country so that we may be free. To those who have served in past wars and are serving now, I thank you all and God bless you!!!

This is for my brother who served his country in the Marine Corps in 1954 and my husband who served in the Marine Corps in 1968 in Vietnam.
My brother in his dress blues, I always loved this picture, he was my hero.............16 years older than me, my big brother.
On board a ship.
Yes, that's me in my little bare feet in our front yard, Rod was home on leave and I loved being with him.

This is me again, what a hairdo, huh? This is one of my favorite pictures of the two of us; he with his medals on his chest and me with my stuffed kitty. I took that cat everywhere with me!
Sadly I lost my big brother last year..........I miss you!
your little sister

Sunday, November 9, 2008


This is for my friends at People's Bank at Frontier Shopping Center in Marietta. We were talking about Zonkey's the other day and so I said I would post some pictures here on my blog. So Brenda, Paula and Ashley, here are the Zonkey's!!! :-)

Someone sent me this picture in an email of a Zonkey, at first I wondered if it was real?? Well, they are and aren't they beautiful? I don't know where this picture was taken but the two below...........

These two pictures, love the markings on the face above, came from the "Spots N' Strips Ranch"!!! Gorgeous!!! Here is the link to the site, check it out.........
This is the link to the photo albums gallery.........

A zonkey (also known as zebrass, zebronkey,zeasses, zeedonk, zedonk, zebadonk, zenkey, donbra, zebrinny, or deebra) is a cross between a zebra and a donkey. The generic name for crosses between zebras and horses or asses is zebroid or zebra mule. Donkeys are closely related to zebras and both animals belong to the horse family. Zonkeys are very rare.
(from Wikipedia)

A zorse is a cross between a zebra and a horse. The zorse takes the color or dominant color gene of the mare and the zebra sire gives it stripes Zorse Color Info . Photo Album A hebra is a cross between a zebra mare and a horse stallion – the rarest. Horse stallions as a general rule do not like to breed zebra mares. Zebra stallions usually must be raised in a special environment to breed horse mares.

A Zonkey is a cross between a zebra and a donkey. The zonkey takes the color or dominant color gene of the jennet and the zebra sire gives it stripes. The zonkey is generally more easily bred for than the zorse as the donkey and zebra both communicate behaviorally using very similar language, whereas the horse language is somewhat different than the zebra's. (Taken from the "Spots N' Stripes Ranch")

Now how interesting is that??? Beautiful colors for sure............I want one? Think Pokey and Gilly would like to have a Zonkey for a friend??? Don't know what Mike would say about it, probably, a firm, "NO"! LOL

Saturday, November 8, 2008

More lessons and a ride in the woods

Run, run, run!!! When I take Gilly and Pokey to Kim's there is always an hour or so of play time! They are all so happy to see each other and have a grand time running from one end of the field to the other.
Gilly is really trotting out here, he is normally in the lead or at least thinks he is; sometimes the other two turn and go the other way. Pokey had to come back to the spot he is in now and have a roll in the dry dirt. That little guy LOVES to roll in dirt!
After a wild run through the field they had to stop and have a grooming session. I'll tell you looking at those teeth and hearing them snapping I am glad that's not my skin he is working out on!!! Ouch! They stood for 20 minutes chewing on each other. What did Pokey do, he just stood back and watched, then went off in search of another dusty spot to roll in.
"Oh, here we go again, they want me to get back inside that big white box! I don't know about that, maybe I'll only go in part way this time"
One foot in............
Oh, mom has a treat maybe if I stretch my neck out realllllly far.............

Lacy's turn! She didn't want to go in either and had several fits and smacked her head above the door....Ouch!!! Gave herself a pretty good goose egg on her forehead. This is not going as smoothly as we had hoped. So far Gilly is the only one that got all four feet in the trailer.
After the lessons Kim and I decided to go for a ride in the woods. A beautiful day to ride too. This is an old road up on the ridge about our houses; nothing goes up here but ATV's and horses.....Gilly and Lacy that is. Gonzo and Lucy are behind me and Gilly. I sure do hope we have several more days like this, no flies to bug us and 70 degrees............beautiful!!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Gilly and the Trailer

My neighbor and riding buddy, Kim, got a trailer so now we have wheels!!! Yippee!!! We can haul the horses to trail rides and anywhere we want to go. How fun. Gilly is not so sure about it though. Here he is at the beginning of his lessons.
Good boy, going into the trailer that far. See Gilly will get on a trailer but doesn't like to back off. We what we are doing it just going in with the front feet, leave the hind ones on the ground for now.
He is smelling the inside of the trailer and chewing on everything in sight; checking it out. He likes looking out the big windows in this one. I let him stay on as long as he wants to, then he will back off by himself. Then again, back on with the front feet. I don't want to make him get on, forcing him to get on will only make things worse. Each time he gets on by himself he builds confidence and it will be easier then next time.
He did great and this was about the end of the lesson yesterday. I am reaching out with the stick and string only to lightly tap him on the rump to encourage him to move up a bit more. When we are finished with his lessons on this I will have him going into the trailer with me standing beside it. I want him to load and unload just by my wiggling the lead rope.
Pokey will have to learn this also. But for now he is saying, "Nah, I don't think so". Pokey of course will not be going with us in the trailer but if he should ever need to make a trip to the vets office I want him to be able to get on the trailer too. He will be a tough nut to crack though, donkeys thinking pattern is much different than a horse's.
Maybe we can just roll him in, think????

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Pinzgauer cows

Here are some pictures of the unusual cattle we had on the farm several years ago. This is Olga the matriarch of the herd. She was a very gentle cow and would mother any calf, hers or another cows calf; wonderful mother instincts. These cows have a very distinct markings on their bodies leg bands, white bellies and dorsal strip on the back ending with a white tail. When bred with Black Angus or another black breed you get a skunk looking cow, see below. Here is some information I got from the internet about Pinzgauers.
"About 500 AD, Alpine herdsmen, who ran their cattle on small, widely scattered, rocky pastures, began to develop a breed of red and white cattle from the native red Bavarian cattle. These early cattlemen selected animals that could withstand the harsh conditions and still produce meat and milk. Farmers in the highly productive valleys and other lush areas of Bavaria developed larger, brown and spotted (or "flecked") breeds of cattle from this native seedstock, and the Pinzgauer was born. As history progressed, Pinzgauer attained their present form and color.

Developed in Austria as a dual purpose breed, Pinzgauer possess a combination of high milk production and excellent fattening qualities; used for dairy, beef and work animals. Alpine grazing and harsh weather conditions generated the strong constitution, ranging ability and soundness seen in the breed today. Pinzgauer adapt to climate changes well, as herds thrive in Brazil as well as they do in Canada. Unusually thick hides provide resistance to insects and dark eye pigmentation virtually eliminates eye disease.

The Pinzgauer name stems from their origination in the Pinzgau valley in Salzburg, Austria as descendents of the European mountain breeds. They have been raised in the Austrian and German mountains for many centuries. Genetic research and performance testing in the mother country of Austria comes from a Pinzgauer Herd Book that is over 400 years old, with a focus on selective breeding being recorded at the end of the 18th century. There are records of exportations of "Pinzgauer Cattle" to Romania, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia in the 1820s. A group of Pinzgauer cattle were sent to the Paris World Exhibition in 1871, and a large number of breeding cattle were exported to South Africa in the early 1900s. One of the most famous expressionist artists in the world, Austrian Gustav Klimt, has paintings featuring Pinzgauer cattle. Years of selection in the rough mountain climate has resulted in an adaptable, hardy breed known for its ability to produce despite environmental extremes or quality of feed. The first Pinzgauer were imported into Canada in 1972

picture from internet

(Now you know more about Pinzgauers than you probably wanted to!)

This is the reason we got this breed, docile nature, good foragers, medium size. We got them from a man about 30 miles from us, who had been raising them for quite some time, he had a huge herd of them.

Olga on the hill overseeing what Mike was doing with the tractor up there. She followed Mike around to see if he might have any food on him or her favorite, alfalfa hay cubes.

Olga had a very unusual hair do, look at the bangs! Looks like someone combed her hair that way but that's just the way it always looked.This was our first born on the farm, Mike named her Itty Bitty. She was little back then but she grew and grew and grew! Her dad was a black bull so we had a skunk cow.
As you can see from this picture Itty got huge, I told Mike we should have named her Babe the Blue Ox, only in her case Babe the Black Heifer!
Here is Itty with one of the baby calves; can't remember what this ones name was. We named all of them and I am sure it's written down in a book somewhere in the house.
We don't have the cows anymore; but Mike is thinking about getting more at a later date. Maybe this time we will get a miniature breed like the Dexters. They are really pretty cows too, much smaller.
This is another picture taken from the internet of Dexter cattle. They weigh about 750 pounds and are another hardy, gentle breed of cattle. I love the horns with the black tips; Dexter's are mostly black but other colors are red and dunn.
I am sure that Gilly would love to have some more buddy's, he loved the cows we had before and always played with the calves.
OK, enough on cows!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Long Horn Bull

I found a picture of the Long Horn bull, Kim had taken this one and I uploaded it to my computer. What a magnificent creature he is...........just look at his markings! Beautiful! Kim had taken this picture a week before we were out and about; I haven't seen him in person yet. He looks HUGE!


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