Friday, January 29, 2010

Cast of Characters-Part 3

I love that it takes three posts to introduce my family.  Some would question that chickens and all the other animals running around outside are not "part of my family".  I disagree.  I believe that all animals are unique individuals that are not meant to be "owned" by humans, but to be willing participates in sharing their lives with us.  It's mutual co-operation.  I want them to all enjoy being in our "pack".    I may have to change my story when we have to butcher our first animal, but I'll cross that road when we get there. 

Anyway, when we moved here there were 5 horses already here.  I didn't have the heart to kick them out of their home, so we bought them all.  I've questioned my sanity many times since then.  You see, I knew absolutely nothing about horses.  I've always loved and admired them from afar, but have never had the opportunity to really get to know a horse on a personal level.  I was and still am determined to learn how to develop a relationship with these beautiful animals.  In the last couple of months, I've read every book and watched every video I could find about "Natural Horsemanship".  It's all about building a partnership between horse and human that closely resembles the relationships that exist between horses.  It's about getting the horse's respect so she will do what I want because she trusts me, not because she fears me.  I have made a little progress with these girls, but still have a long way to go. 

Like I said, we started with five mares.  Unfortunately, we lost our sweet "Maggie", a 30+ yr-old Shetland pony, a couple of weeks ago.
Here is Pokie, our big, beautiful, pregnant paint mare. 

This is "Star", Pokie's  9 month old foal. 


Here are my "wild girls"

They didn't really like having their picture taken, they took off with all kinds of attitude.  

The mare with the darker mane is Babe.  She is a sweetheart and the leader of the pack.  The one with the lighter mane is Honey.  That's about as close as she'll come to me.  She refuses to let me touch her.  She is my biggest challenge.

Okay, so that wraps up the horse introductions!  Last, but not least, our barn cats!  They have the hardest, but most appreciated job on the farm -catching mice.  They do a fabulous job at it, too!  This is what I usually see when I stand on my porch.  The black one hiding in the back is Lily.  From left to right on the table are: Isabelle, Darlin', Fluffy, and Snowflake.  There is another male black cat named Oreo that comes over to hang out occasionally, if you know what I mean....

 Snowflake and Isabelle

I love this picture because Snowflake is hanging out with our rooster, Fred.
Snowflake's, biggest fan:
Fluffy looking so sweet and innocent, but don't let her fool you.

She has no intention of making friends today, or any day, with Buddy and Otto.

Here is our sweet Darlin', who's belly is growing bigger by the minute.  I think we should have kittens any day now.


Darlin' hanging out with the chickens

and here she is again thinking about making friends with Buddy and Otto

So far, so good!

Snowflake and Isabelle

Snowflake up a tree

Isabelle eating scraps and telling Fred, "I dare you to try something!"


Showdown over cheese

Beautiful Isabelle posing for the camera

Lily participating in the hen gathering on the porch

Well, that does it for our family introductions.  Now comes the fun stuff, the day-to-day adventures of a city family trying to figure out country living.

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