Wild Moon Cottage is a small working homestead in the pristine Ozark Mountains. We have dairy goats, poultry, organic herb and vegetable gardens, a start of a tiny fruit orchard, several black walnut trees, wild berries and fields of wildcrafting goodness. We raise our own milk, our own eggs, much of our own medicine and food. I do laundry by hand, make my own vinegar, candles, soap, bread, cheese ........ For a living I am an artist and herbalist. My goal for myself and our homestead is to be as self sufficient and self sustaining as possible.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Horse Beings

I've always thought it odd that horses, creatures made of fire, magic, thunder and wind, are among the gentlest creatures of the world. 
Shazam, a 1,000 lb 16 hand spanish barb, who had never had anyone on his back, gave little 6 year old Nik rides often. He was among one of our most trusted allies when we had so very few.  
My beloved Trixie was roughly manhandled for years before she graced me for a time. She could run like lightening streaking across a night sky and yet, when she had my little niece on her back, she was as calm, quiet and gentle as any kindly old nanny.
Lions and lambs.
A deal has been made and we are now the honored family of two horse beings. Anya and Ajax. Anya is a 10 year old roan foxtrotter/appaloosa mare. Ajax is a 2 year old dapple quarter horse gelding. Anya was physically abused by previous "owners".  Ajax was very neglected, which shows in his many scars and skeletal frame. Both were rescued by the person I'm buying them from.
Both were already for sale and I was talking to her about buying the gelding when her house was burned to the ground. We took both horses and her 8 cats temporarily, with the intention on helping her sell the mare. But the mare and I bonded fiercely ....
I've been working with both, when time allows (there's never enough of that particular anomaly)  and both are excellently smart and willing.
Anya is already quite ride-able and I've been on her bareback but, I need a saddle for several reasons and one is that she's fairly tall and I'm not as able as I was. I have to climb onto something (the water trough) and then onto her, it's a long fall and she has Appy mane (not much of it) so not much to grab when needed. I didn't even actually ride her bareback because Nik was still very ill from the spider bite and I didn't want to chance leaving him alone (should i break my neck or something). Another thing was getting down, it's a long drop for knees without cushioned joints. Whinning, I know but I really need a saddle  :)  :)  :)  :)
Ajax is doing so well too. He's given rides to rugs and my old horse blanket. He also did very well reining with long reins.
Ajax will be taught to ride and both horses will be taught to pack, pull and drive. For the first few weeks they are just learning to trust and putting on much needed weight. Ajax is painfully thin, there will be no weight put on him at all until he gains muscle. But I believe he'll fill out very well and be a sure footed, well built, reliable person.
I don't know if Anya has any driving experience but the way she took to the long reins she seems to.
This is all as crazy and scary as it is wonderful. The riding, training, teaching, learning, being with and among etc etc etc etc is the wonderful part. The feeding is the crazy scary part. But I am very good at making do and have already scoped out some very good eating spots for when I have a saddle and Anya feels comfortable and trusting enough to journey out. We'll take Ajax packing and go graze along the creek beds and little traveled dirt roads. Of course they're getting plenty of hay and oats etc but they need live green as well and I'll see that they have it.
To add to that, we've had blessed rain here and a goodly amount of it. Our rain gauge was broken awhile back but I believe we got close to 3 inches in two days. Our pond has risen a bit from being almost completely dried up. Another huge thing on the list, try to find the spring and clear it. Maybe we'll get enough rain for folks to have a second cutting of hay, which will truly help us all.
Rain and Horses, how incredibly blessed we are.



1 comment:

the wild magnolia said...

so happy for your horse persons....so happy they have found you.