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, July 30, 2010

Finally a short ride

All of the pictures in this post are from another ride last year. I didn't take any pictures today, ride was too short.
The weather was perfect today, it was 61 degrees at 9:00 this morning when I went to the barn to feed. After Gilly had eaten his oats I decided that since the weather was so cool and I didn't see but one or two killer flies that a ride was in store. Gilly of course didn't agree with me but.....who cares, you lazy horse, you haven't had to work for weeks and weeks!!! I hurried back to the house, changed into riding clothes and set about preparing for my ride. I knew that it probably wouldn't be a long one.
I rode only about half an hour, we did some trot work just on the road but didn't really have time to really get warmed up before, you guessed it the swarm attacked.
I had my crop with a shoo fly attached so I was swing away at them. I got bit several times on the back. They got Gilly on the chest, hips and rump. I probably looked like a crazy woman swinging the crop around and around and finally my arm wore out, I couldn't do anything with any kind of training. How can one, horse or human, try and concentrate with all the blood sucking/biting flies after us.
I gave up! When I put Gilly back in the field he ran to the safety of the barn....sigh...well, it was fun for the short time that it lasted.
The pictures like I said were taken last year but I did some altering them to make them look soft. Yes, Gilly has a bit on back then and I had the western saddle on him that I no longer have.


Can I splash just one more time???
 Cool drink.

Yep.....The End!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Flies from Hell

Here is one of the reasons that I am not riding now, we have these huge horse flies that the horse can't tolerate, me neither! Oh, one or two won't be so bad but there are countless numbers of them attacking Gilly when he comes out of the barn......I am not kidding with the numbers of them either! We live in an area where they love to live and breed. Down in a hollow, lots of foliage and trees, a creek and apparently us to feed on!

Those things are like razors cutting through skin, clothing and really HURT when they bite. I have had them cut (no lie) through my blue jeans and bit me! Putting a fly sheet over Gilly wouldn't stop the bites at all, they would cut right through the thin material....I mean if they can cut denim...scary thought!

The life span of these flies is from 30 to 60 days some a year. They seem to appear as early as May and last as long at into October! UGH!!!

Horse flies lie in wait in shady areas under bushes and trees for a host to happen by (me, Gilly and Pokey). Sight is the main host finding mechanism, but carbon dioxide, body heat and odor also play a role; and moving objects especially dark colors. (Poor Gilly, he smells good and is dark). Attacks occur during daylight hours with a peak beginning at sunrise and lasting three hours. A second peak is two hours before sunset and commences shortly after.On overcast days they seem to not want to feed (clouds, I need clouds!). Horse flies inflict deep wounds that cause a flow of blood. the mandibles and maxillae penetrate the skin in a scissor-like action. Anticoagulants in the saliva are pumped into the wound and the blood is ingested through a sponging labella. Pathogens may be transmitted from flies that are disturbed while feeding on one animal and begin feeding on another. Horse transmit Anthrax.There are NO effective biological control programs for controlling horse flies! (Oh, dang!!!) It says that cattle Egrets and Killdeer feed on horse flies......can I import some around here???
This is a horse fly trap that they say works? It only costs $295 and you have to provide the T posts! Think I'll get two!!! Well, they may work but I don't have that kind of money to throw around. Here is the link in case any one wants to check it out EPPS Biting Fly Traps

Where we live seems to be one of the worst places for these things, some of my friends how live up higher and more open don't have even half of what we have Gilly and I will have to wait until these beasties clear out. He can't concentrate on what I am asking him to do if he is being eaten by these flies, all I do is swat them off me and him. (sigh) so it's no fun for either of us. The other flies I can handle and the fly mask helps but these...the "Flies from HELL" they are unstoppable!!

I sure hope that all of you out there with horses aren't plagued with these flies. Guess me and the boys will be waiting for fall rides!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hess rug finally finished......

I finally finished this rug, been a long time getting it done. Not in a real hurry, it's not a commissioned rug and I hurt my hand a few weeks ago so it made for slow hooking! But now she is finished and I am thinking of what to hook next, another horse, a dog not sure just yet.

I don't usually think to take pictures of the back of a rug but this one is very pretty on the back also. Hess is such a pretty girl that I really enjoyed this work. Click on pictures to enlarge, if you wish.

I haven't gotten to ride in awhile, it's been soooo hot and now the horrid flying biting vampire horse flies are back. Not only do they bit Gilly and Pokey but me too if I venture out. I don't see the boys except to feed them, they pretty much stay inside the barn in front of their fan all day.
Sometimes I wish we lived out of this hollow, up higher where there aren't so many BUGS!!!! .....ugh!!! I sure do wish I had an indoor arena to ride in....guess I'd better be buying some lottery tickets, huh???

I am counting down the days until fall weather!!!!  Hope all of you are getting to ride.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Lawn Party

Since it's been sooooo hot and humid I haven't gotten to ride or do much with Gilly. He hides in the barn with Pokey in front of their fan. So with that said.....

A few weeks ago when the weather was nice and cool (cool what is that?) Kim had a lawn party down at her beautiful house. There was a really nice breeze and at times it was almost like a fall day, wonderful!

Just on the other side of the road is the creek that was rushing over some rocks that made a waterfall, the sound was so soothing. The flowers on the table, Kim had picked that morning, all wild flowers out along one of our country roads.

We had artichoke dip, herbed crackers, lemonade, fresh fruit salad, hot dogs, homemade sauce and macaroni salad. After we ate and sat around talking, there were 7 women, (a real hen party!) One gal had brought strawberry, blackberry, exotic fruit, and several other kinds of Amish wine. I sampled some of all of it, sampled I said! If I drink too much wine I get a bad headache, not fun. We all had a great time, I left about 8 in the evening, had been there since noon!

We did take a break and walked up to my house to let the dogs out to pee and to see Gilly and Pokey. Pokey was fascinated by one of the gals feet, she had on sparkly green nail polish on her toes. He just kept putting his nose down to smell her toes and just kept looking at them....LOL...I had had a few glasses of wine so of course I didn't get any pictures of this...and...I had my camera clipped onto my jeans! Blah!!!

Here are some close ups of the beautiful flowers.........with a visitor or two!
 A bee.......

and a butterfly came by to sample the flowers!

One of Kim's friends brought this beautiful bouquet! All these flowers were from her garden! Wish I had gotten a better picture of them.
I liked this picture with the pines across the creek as the background. I wish I could bring back that cool breeze that was blowing down the creek that day. It would be much appreciated by everyone, including the animals!

I thought that maybe by posting about a nicer day it would make me forget about the heat and humidity...(the AC really helps!!!)  ;-)

Keep cool everyone.................

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Work in Progress

Since it's been so hot and still hotter today, I thought I would get back to work on this rug. I know it's made of wool but inside in the AC it doesn't matter. I bought a DVD awhile back called "Appaloosa" that I heard was really good so I think I will take the rest of the afternoon and watch it while I work.

For some reason I have been a slow pokey on this rug, it's not a commissioned rug but I am hoping that the owner of the horse will decide she wants it after it's finished and she sees how good her horse looks as Folk Art! Hess is one gorgeous girl that's for sure!

This is the photo that I took years ago of Hess and the one that I used for the rug. Where she is standing is in the old arena; now the CoverAll arena is there. Boy, I hope they have lots of fans running there today, because with the temps in the mid 90's I'll bet it's hot in there!

Speaking of hot, I looked out about an hour ago and Pokey was laying out in his dust bath spot!!! Wow, I don't know how he can stand the heat but then donkey's come from hot arid regions so I guess he thought is was OK to be sunning himself. Even worse with the temps so high the township came and chip and sealed the road out front. First they came by with the black stick oily stuff then came along with the stone but it's so hot the tar stuff is running off into the grass. I am keeping the dogs inside and leashing them when they need to go out. Lucy so far has been staying out of it but I am sure she will run across it at some point. I don't keep her tied because it's so hot she couldn't stay in her dog house, she would boil! She spends her time down at the barn, under it in the cool dirt. If it were me I think I could find somewhere else to stay cool, under that barn are all kinds of creepy things! Spiders, mice, snakes and who knows what else may be lurking under there!!!! I am sure not going to find out!!!

Another picture of Hess that I antiqued.
 Well, that's all for now............stay cool!!!!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A Ride and a Recipe.....

Gilly and I went for a ride yesterday, this isn't one of the pictures but it's from the other day. I didn't take the camera and there was no one home out here to take any pictures. But I wanted to show my neighbor, Kim's flowers by her garage and also the lion head fountain.

Gilly and I didn't do much any different than normal, except......I didn't work him in the round pen. We did some walking over poles and side passes over things laying on the ground. He did perfect! Now when I got on his back he suddenly forgot how to do it and was telling me "no". We worked on it anyway and finally he cooperated. Sometimes when I ask him to flex from side to side and at the poll he gets pissy about it. I wonder if he is telling me that he already knows this and why am I making him do it again? I still think that he needs to be in the thinking mode before we ride but it's up to me to read him and see what we need to do first. I think he is much happier when we play games on the ground that is fun for him instead of the moving his feet in the round pen.

We did have a good ride, a couple of times he said he wasn't going to go where I ask him to but I said oh, yes we are and he gave in and went along quietly. He can be very strong willed at times and I just have to be a little stronger. He is funny at times, last year if he didn't want to do what I was asking he would back up, now when I ask him to back he won't and then we have to go in some circles, then he says, sigh, OK, I will!

It was a good ride and a gorgeous day, wish I could have ridden all day but I had other things I needed to do.

Like make this Artichoke dip.....YUM!!! It's real easy too. Here are the ingredients.

2 cans of Artichoke hearts, drained
 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese, give or take, to suit your taste
8 ounces of cream cheese, softened
5-6 cloves of fresh garlic, squeezed again your taste, we love lots of garlic
1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice
I mash the Artichokes with a fork, blend rest together really well, put into baking dish (souffle dish works well)and bake in preheated oven to 450 degrees for 15 minutes.

(yes, I know my thumb nail looks bad but honest it is from picking suckers off tomatoes and being in the garden, uck!) I love this dip, have had the recipe for years, I use Wheat Thins for the crackers but use what ever you like. Very easy and quick and is really good.

While out in the garden I also found three good sized cucumbers, what a surprise! I pulled some large green onions and cut some fresh dill in the herb garden. I then sliced and layered onions, cucumbers and some dill in a dish; added Olive oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper, mixed well and poured over the cucumbers and onions. Let set for 3 hours and oh, boy did that ever taste good!!! I had never put in fresh dill before, gave it a really good taste!

If you try the Artichoke dip let me know if you like it!
Hope everyone has a wonderful 4th of July, we are just taking it easy today here at home. May have to go to Lowe's though and get some things to do some more work on the bathroom!


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