Patience of a Saint–Revisited

I think I am going to be earning credit for having the patience of a saint soon, in addition to my fine gypsy stallion, Lexington (AKA Boho’s Cold Fusion)!

Me and the photo program on wordpress have not come to an understanding.  I upload/insert best I can figure out how to do it, and it just seems to ignore things after I have almost gotten thru with a post and just does it’s own thing!  The first part of this, the main story, just got swallowed up in a photo title for some unknown reason, and even swallowed up a photo whole, I just don’t know why it screwed it up so much.

So, I have a couple more photos to share, I’ve given up for tonight and will just plug them in here:

gypsy pony mini vanner

Coming into the home stretch of cleanupYearlings get shornGood little mini gypsy filly

 

miniature gypsy horse

Desi and Ha'Penny next to dad

Patience of a Saint

burdock gypsy cob horses vanners

All burrs all dayA few days ago I shared a picture of my bunch of naughty ponies who had broken thru my lot fence and into the old sheep paddock. Well, I had been trying to work the chore of cutting out the burdock for the past month, but the time never seemed to make itself available. Mid July would have been best to get in there and simply cut down those growing weeds and put them on the burn pile. But no, they had to keep maturing and set on a nice crop of seeds. And really, it was not a terrible patch to manage; it might have taken a couple hours to clean up the area but here the ponies had decided to make a fashion statement and it was going to take much more time to pick out those burrs from manes, tails and FEATHER! Deep breath. Today was the day we needed to get this taken care of . The farrier was coming at 9 a.m. and I knew he would not be impressed with trying to trim hooves while working around scratchy, sticky ponies. Of course the stallion in all his glory had to receive special treatment. He was left for last because we decided he didn't need a trim today, his feet were still in pretty good shape. Guess all that road work in August was good for lots of reasons! Let me interrupt my story with saying I am posting my picture again because I don't understand what the program did with it at the beginning of my post. I do want people to be able to see the enormity of the challenge of cleanup. Okay, so the farrier got to work with clean ponies because I decided I just did not have the fortitude to clean them up in the usual way. Even with going thru with butchering the manes and tails on the yearlings, it took more than an hour. So while the farrier was trimming the first half of the 9 horses he worked on, the yearlings were getting shorn. I did not have a camera with me in the morning, but in the afternoon later when we finally tackled Lexington and the last yearling, by the time I got busy with pictures it was getting dark. But, I did want to share some pictures to show why I appreciate my Lex stallion (BoHo's Cold Fusion) SO MUCH! He tolerated pulling on mane, forelock, tail, and all four legs which was a process of TWO HOURS, with only a minimal amount of fidgeting. Okay, by the end of that time he expressed his opinion of the whole thing by evacuating stool and urine, but on the whole, he was an angel. I really have a hard time thinking of any time he has been bad, oh, yeah, except for leaning on the fences last week when he learned he could reach some tall grass and weeds to chew on, and eventually pushing a cattle panel loose so he could lead all the ponies into the weed patch. Yeah, that was a bad pony!!!! But he certainly is the best natured horse I've ever been around, and smart, and listens, is making an amazing driving pony who I could see doing so well in CDE events and such. And his hair quality is exceptional all over his body, being non-fading black and ready to show all year long with no special treatment. Even after this episode of being covered with burrs and the aggravation of having to pull them all out; he had minimal hair breakage and loss, and really with a good wash up is ready to take to a show tomorrow! I just love this pony! About half way thru the cleanup

Gypsy vanner horse cob Irish tinker

Home stretch for clean up

Bohemian Gypsy Cob mini vanner

Tail End!

Bohemian Gypsy Cob Pony Mini Vanner

Rosie models the new bobtail draft pony look

gypsy pony cross mini gypsies

Cleaned up ponies

Fruity Friday

Well, I need to get a picture of my horses enjoying the fruits of fall…the orchard has a lot of pear trees, and buckets of them end up on the ground and deteriorating faster than Grandma Block can get them made into preserves like canned pears, pear butter, etc.  So Grampa spends a lot of time picking up pears and bringing them over to the barnyard.  Now usually he gives a couple buckets of fruit a day to our five head of cattle, and they start moo-ing, running for the gate and getting excited about hearing his truck coming as soon as he turns into the lane, and it is a long lane of about 1/4 mile from the road back up to the barnyard.  My new neighbor this year has called me in the last couple weeks, asking if we need help getting any loose stock back in, they just couldn’t imagine what the ruckus was all about!

But I started out this post thinking about how the horses get this treat once in a while, too, and I need to get a picture of them with their eyes half closed rather in ecstacy, enjoying that sweet juice coming from crunching on that pear!  Actually I suppose the cows have a similar look on their face when eating pears, but I think the horses are a little more obvious about it.

Pears have a long history as part of this farm, there have been pear trees at different parts of the residence areas for probably 100 years.  When my husband was a child, they bought a pony for him and his sister, who ended up being a pasture pet more than being ridden.  He developed a real sweet tooth I am told, being fed things like jelly beans and such.  But in the fall, his passion was pears fallen over the fence into the pasture, and unfortunately was part of his sad story with laminitis and founder.  This is the real threat to food-efficient yet glutonous ponies…they cannot be simply left out on lush pasture as they frequently succumb to laminitis from over-eating.  Lesson for today, that will be expounded on some other time….

 

Thirsty Thursday

The theme for today will probably through time encompass lots of concepts, related to hunger and thirst.  Food and agriculture should be my focus after my recent AgChat conference experience where I got lots of good advice and training about social media opportunities, as well as met so many great people; but people also thirst for other things….many people think of thirst for power, for example.  But  today I focus on my personal recognition of my thirst for success (financial).  I have always tried to be a really good person.  But sometimes it seems like being a good person does not help you be successful in life, which has always puzzled me greatly.  So I continue to ponder.  But at this point in my life I am devoting tons of energy and focus towards making my dream of the miniature gypsy horse come into being.  I am amazed when I run into opposition to the idea.  But that is a really long term effort on my and my family’s part.  And I have to be thankful for the successes (non-financial)  in life which I have had, including being blessed to have a supportive family.

Short term goals for being successful right now include being involved with a business family I am really impressed with:  Visalus.

This company, Visalus, has amazing people as leaders.  The primary product of the company is a protein (soy) based powder meal replacement that is of the highest quality available within the competitive market.  This recent few months have seen a bunch of athletes and body builders get involved, because of the opportunities the product and the company offer.   Personally, I and my family use the protein Vi-shake to help limit calories since we are “easy keepers” like our cob ponies….but it is a product that is a nutritional supplement not only for those who want to build muscle mass, but those who need to maintain muscle mass without the extra calories, those with health problems like diabetes, high cholesterol or digestive issues such as post gastric surgery.  But the most magical thing about the Vi-shake product is that is tastes SO GOOD!  and of course, you can use it as the basis for a multitude of fruity or frozen shakes to build variety in your diet (as well as adding it into other food dishes to add nutritional value!).

To find out a little bit more about Visalus, please visit my website:

http://minigypsy.bodybyvi.com/

And to see one of the three founders of Visalus at work, watch this:  (I guess making flip videos and driving is not against the law in California!)

http://youtu.be/qGrADRIGEZk

I am also currently involved in a CEO course offered by another of the three founders of Visalus (Ryan Blair), and at the beginning I am being reminded of the things that make people successful:  unwavering commitment to success.  I will likely be sharing some of these Youtube videos quite often because they really do contain information that cannot be disputed contain great advice for anyone.  But it reinforces why I believe Visalus is a great company and I agree with Blake Mallen in his video above; this company is going far.  I invite you to join with me on the ride!

http://youtu.be/qGrADRIGEZk

Sticky

gypsy pony cob miniature vanner horse

Burdock is a curse

Proper Cob Enviable Colt Available

Our purebred gypsy vanner baby this year is a top quality specimen for sure.  He is now three months old and thinks he is the cat’s meow himself, thank you very much!  He hangs with our 12 hand tall half gypsy pony, QT (Quite The Pony) and apparently is tolerated to an amazing degree; he looks very bossy at times with her and with our very nice half gypsy, half mini colt, Lil’ Lex.  But never fear,  we have found they soon settle down after this stage and age and become calmer and very sensible like a gypsy horse is supposed to be, and are easy to handle weanlings.

proper cob, dressage quality

Truffles' 2011 colt likes to hang with "QT" and "Lil' Lex" and mom

 
Update 2-25-2012:
 
“Cool Rush” is getting bigger and more beautiful as he grows.  He went to a couple of gypsy horse shows in the fall here in the midwest, Indiana and Iowa, and did very well.  We are proud to offer him to a discriminating buyer.
 
gypsy horse colt

Growing well, he's a high quality colt.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
gypsy horse

He's sure to have a winning mustache as he matures; not all yearlings get mustaches!

Spam and I’m not talking food

Frustrated Friday night by running into junk and possible virus while trying to post and refresh some horses for sale on internet sale sites. One site has a ton of new “fake” horses listed which is easier to decipher probably with the gypsy horses especially since some of the beautiful pictures they steal and give fake names to with posting for sale are actually rather well known already among the gypsy horse community, anyway. I just can’t imagine the rewards for all the time spent messing up web pages….

Wordless Wednesday

Well, today will have to be an introduction to the idea….hopefully each week I will be able to find photo or video that does not need any other words added by me. 

I believe I will start the theme with an inspirational video:

 

I think every 12 year old boy who has the physical ability should get to build a brick wall during summer break!

Have a great day! 

Mel

 

 

Today is Tuesday…

My goal for Tuesday posts is to bring in someone other than myself to present a topic for the day.  I want to invite people who have special talents or gifts to showcase what they know.  My mother-in-law is an amazing cook and is retired from a career as a Home Economics teacher, which has become something rather lost in today’s educational system.  She spends every summer enjoying the work of having a huge garden, and starts canning jellies even before fruit of any kind is ripening.  This year she made dandelion jelly which I had never had before, and surprisingly, to me it tasted very much like honey!  I think people such as MaryAnn Block have so much to share!

I hope that you will enjoy visiting my page on Tuesdays to see my special guest for the day.

Monday Labor Day

Well, I’m working on trying to learn to manipulate my way around this new blogging experience; trying to figure out connections to other social media….I joined Twitter and Facebook both about a year and a half ago and for some reason couldn’t get really comfortable with Twitter yet but have learned my way around Facebook for the most part.   I just know that you can’t learn something new without jumping in there and DOING it, so I’ve made the commitment to devote time to this new tool for communication.

I had a great experience in August that I want to talk with you about–I attended the second annual AgChat Foundation conference held in Nashville, TN.  There was a fascinating group of presenters of information about using social media, including leaders from the Farm Bureau organization, as well as a new organization called US Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRAonline.org).  But many people involved were like me, inspired from some previous experience in life that prompted them to feel compelled to connect with some of the millions of Americans who have no links whatsoever to agriculture except that they eat food.

People involved with AgChat Foundation feel it is VITAL to the health and well-being of everyone on this plant to be more connected to the process of how food makes it to their tables.  From eons, centuries of the process people have travelled from being hunters/gatherers to farmers–in just the last couple generations suddenly a fraction of the population are becoming responsible for feeding the masses.  And the masses need to become “grounded” again, to know the value of the people who produce their food.  We are certainly in this process together, and need to know who the other person is.

I was struck by a scene in an old movie the other day, where the characters were sitting and eating a meal at table.  One popped up and said something like, “Gramps old sow ate all 12 of her piglets last week”.  In today’s society that might be viewed as horrendous and call up the troops from the animal rights crowd to go and shut down the farm business.  But it is actually a risk that any farmer lives with in producing the meat that goes on your table.  Back in the 1940’s when this movie was made, people commonly accepted that this was something that farmers dealt with.  Today’s society wants to place blame somehow for the way nature works, and how we live with it.  Why are farmers at risk of being put out of business in today’s world for what is a natural occurance?  That is what I ponder and want to try to convey to people; that farmers are doing the best that they can with the resources that they have.  Otherwise they are soon out of business and that is a real loss, because it becomes harder and harder to find another person to take up the slack.

Local farm agriculture in public
Farming neighbor Bennett Kuster

This is Bennie, a local successful farmer entering his retirement years.  I will likely interview him in future to get his feedback about coming to a point in life where he will apparently have no one in his family to go on with the farm business.  Like so many people in my area, his land or estate will either get divided and sold off eventually or may be rented out by another farmer as income for the family.  But it is the passing of an era and one of the many stories of how agriculture and farming has developed through the years.

 
So I guess the above information sets up the reasons why I appreciate being able to attend the recent AgChat Fdtn conference.  I’d like to share some highlights of the many things I learned, or was pointed toward learning, for using social media as a means of connecting with people who are interested in where their food comes from and want to learn why it is still important to support your local farmer.   Agriculture comes in many sizes these days and it is a long and complex story as to why government supported the success of large farmers vs. the old fashioned mom and pop small acreage farmers of yesteryear.  But it all comes down to feeding the world.
 
I know this is getting long already, but the main points conveyed at the conference were all about using many various tools available on the internet to inform the general public about agriculture in an entertaining way.  So we got tips about taking pictures and videos, and pointed in the right direction about how to try to involve new people in conversations thru social media.  And the tools are so numerous, I got kind of cross-eyed thinking about interconnecting sites like Twitter, Facebook, and some new and upn’coming sites like Google-Plus.  Pandora offers music; the weather channel is always important to farmers of course!  There was information about a drop box in the cloud….are you getting the picture, I’m still trying to grasp what I took notes about!
 
Ray  Prock was an interesting character, he is a California dairy farmer (raylindairy.wordpress.com) who uses mostly his Android phone for social media connections.  Of course when you start talking about what phones can do these days….and people had a variety of phones at the conference and used them all successfully, from old fashioned texting, to iphones, Blackberries, you name it.  Where there is a will, there is a way.
 
Blogging was probably the biggest focus of information for me, as well as using “Linked In” for a business platform.  Privacy and security issues were discussed.  We were reminded that being “real” is probably the most important thing, and encouraged to develop a credible reputation.  In the world of Google, searchers learn to look for certain credible media connections.  Of course it is of utmost value to develop trust among peers and base information on research and science.  It is also important to create great Headlines on your blog. (I’m open to ideas!)
 
Valuable advice was given about how to respond to personal attacks on social media.  Mostly we learned to “consider the source”…just like momma used to say, sometimes it’s better to just turn and walk away.  Certainly don’t become overly defensive; always look at a negative feedback as an opportunity to open a conversation, not come out swinging ready for a fight.
 
The closing statements of the AgChat Foundation conference came from Jeff Fowle of California (commonsenseagriculture.com) who also is one who converses thru social media from horseback using his phone.  Jeff is outgoing President of AgChat Fdtn.  He reminded us that our passion can be an asset or a liability, but let it be an incentive to reach out, build bridges, grow new communities.  Jeff wants us to encourage curiosity, and show that we care so that we can empower others to put the “culture” back in agriculture.  The strongest relationships that we have should always be person to person, but we also need more “backyard” people, those neighbors who come drop by our porch for a chat of a pleasant evening.  Online social media is a wonderful tool for us to reach out to new people, but Jeff reminds us that we need to be that REAL neighbor and family member first!