Monthly Archives: March 2011

The Great Adventure: Day One

Most of the time when a family adopts an animal, it’s smaller than you. Even though our English Mastiff was a little smaller than my husband or I when we got her. But when you adopt a 4 year old horse, you are starting out with a mighty powerful creature . . . and that can (wisely) give you cause for pause.

We’ve had horses for about 6 or 7 years now, but fortunately for us, all of them except for one came to us very well-trained. So we knew that this was going to be a big adventure since we were adopting a very green 4 year old horse.

We’ve read and understood the basic concepts of natural horsemanship, and some of the ground rules for owning a horse. Jake (my 14 year old) will be doing most of the actual work with the horse, but the rest of us are going to be very involved too.

Pretty good for the end of our first day!

I’ll be trying to journal the different things we do with our (thus far unnamed) horse and how he progresses. We’ve been reading different websites online for ideas of how to work with our horse and a friend loaned us her copy of Bringing up Baby by John Lyons. I really like how it’s laid out with 20 different groundwork lessons.

Our initial goals are:

  1. To earn our horse’s trust.
  2. To get to know him.
  3. To show him that we are the herd leaders.
  4. To develop him into a reliable, accepting partner.

For the first day, we were really just trying to let him get to know us, his surroundings, and the other horses and pets, while settling in at our place. Friends had told us to give him his space, focus on being a calm leader so we earn his trust, and to let him see how our other horses respond to us so that he will become curious and actually approach us!

Our plan was to keep him in the barn all night, but he managed to knock down our gate and get out into the pasture with our other horses. Although we weren’t happy that our gate was broken, we were pleased to see that he was staying in the electric fence!

And wow, just look at him run!

After they finished burning off some energy, we put the new guy back into the barn, tucked him in for the night, and replaced the gate again. All in all, it was a successful first day.

God Provides

Something has been missing in our pasture since Billy’s been gone. As much as we love the visiting horses and Baab, we still wanted another horse to call our own.

Standing in the pasture

Tucker, King, Baab, & Mickey

We looked in the classifieds and online, but none of those horses seemed quite right. Finally another horse-loving homeschool family posted a message about a FREE HORSE on our group’s message board. It said:

We have a 4 year old gelding, a palomino, very green – yours for the taking if you can come and pick him up. Call me if you are interested.

I didn’t really get my hopes up about it at first. In fact, I actually forgot about it for a little bit. But another homeschool friend reminded me about the listing and asked if we had gone to look at him yet so I thought I should probably give it a try.

I set up an appointment for us to go look at him and off we went with me praying that God would clearly show us if this was the horse for us or not.

He was pretty aloof when we visited him at his pasture. He was there with his sister, a brown palomino, and she was more friendly than he was. He watched her every move, and once Jake got her interested in some alfalfa cubes, he decided to come on over too. We watched him run and tried to get an idea of his disposition, and by the time our visit was over, we all agreed that he needed a lot of work, but that we wanted to try.

Working on the barn

Adding a gate to the barn

We stopped to buy a few supplies on our way home and then Tony & the boys set about adding another gate at the back of our barn so that we would have a way of separating our new horse from the other horses until they get used to each other.

Getting ready to load the horse

So thankful for friends with a trailer!

But there was a problem, we don’t have a horse trailer, AND I’ve never driven a truck pulling a horse trailer!

But God providedĀ  yet again. Some wonderful friends offered to come with us to pick up the horse and to load him and deliver him for us in their trailer. That’s not a small gesture. They have 6 kids, the family we were getting the horse from lived about 30 minutes away, and we knew that it might be a challenge to get the horse loaded. Yet, everyone looked on it as a fun adventure. She was there with her 6 kids, I had 2 of mine, the family that gave us the horse had their 3 there, and they had another family visiting with 5 kids! That’s 16 kids, 4 moms, and 1 dad taking part in this adventure. It took a some patience and teamwork, but we safely got the horse loaded and were off towards home.

Unloading the horse from the trailer

Welcome to your new barn!

You can not imagine the absolute JOY it brought me when they unloaded that horse at our barn. I have been humming the theme song from Mr. Ed FOR DAYS!

A horse is a horse, of course, of course,
And no one can talk to a horse of course
That is, of course, unless the horse is the famous Mister Ed.

Go right to the source and ask the horse
He’ll give you the answer that you’ll endorse.
He’s always on a steady course.
Talk to Mister Ed.

People yakkity yak a streak and waste your time of day
But Mr. Ed will never speak unless he has something to say

A horse is a horse, of course, of course,
And this one’ll talk ’til his voice is hoarse.
You never heard of a talking horse?

Well listen to this: “I’m Mister Ed.”

Jon would actually like to name our horse Mr. Ed because we like watching that show and Mr. Ed is a Palomino, but I think our horse needs a more sporty name. We’ve got some different ones that we’re considering, but we’re going to take our time and get to know him before settling on a name.

What do you think he looks like?

Isn't he handsome?

He needs some grooming, and he did get a scratch on his head from carrying on when we took his sister away from the trailer, but I think he has the potential to be what horse people call “flashy”. He kind of looks like a unicorn or something with his light coat and mane. And, wow, you should see him run. He has the most gorgeous movement. I’ll try to see if I can upload a video to show you all soon.

Pretty good for the end of our first day!

Spring is a time for new beginnings and we feel very blessed to be starting off spring with a new friend in the pasture. It’s going to be a fun adventure of learning how to work with a green horse. I’m pretty sure that God is going to be teaching us quite a bit about patience in the process, and that’s okay. Good things are worth waiting for.

God provides.



If people wore signs, what would yours say?

If God put a sign on you, what would it say?

Here, There, and Everywhere

Oh my, I was on a good roll with blogging and then all of a sudden, BAM, I got a little busy and now it’s been almost a month since I last posted. Yikes.

The truth of it is that with my fibro, I only have SO much energy and when I focus on other things, things like this blog just have to slide.

I’ve still been at the computer quite a bit though. Let me give you the general rundown:

Teacher's Toolbox

  • Teacher’s Toolbox – I helped get this website set up with lots of fun activities, recipes, history facts, etc… for The Old Schoolhouse subscribers. It really is like a little treasure chest for TOS subscribers with a ton of free resources.
  • Journey Through Joy – I’ve been posting updates for my friend, Brooke, while they’ve been at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital with their precious little miracle baby, Haddie Joy.
  • Kingaroo Games – And then in my spare time (HA!) my friend, Candace, and I have decided to start marketing some of the games that her husband creates. He is a natural game creator and writer. He loves it. It’s what God created him to do. The kids love playing the games and it’s amazing how they are learning along the way. Her 6 year old is a maniac with strategy and a U.S. map! We’re getting all of the components together so we can list them for sale on the website. I’ll be sure to announce when things are ready so you all can check it out!
  • The Homeschool Channel – Mary Jo Tate interviewed me via Skype (that was a first!) for her Homeschool Spotlight. We talked about the importance of staying connected as homeschoolers. I thought it was kind of fun, but it’s embarrassing to see the funny faces I was making when I forgot I was on video. I’m more used to just doing audio with the Schoolhouse Expo!
  • 2011 CHEK Leadership Conference – Tony and I serve on the Advisory Board so we got to go hang out with a bunch of homeschool leaders one weekend in Elizabethtown. We had some wonderful speakers, a great time of encouragement, and they all laughed at my Top 10 List of Reasons You Do NOT Want to Lead a Homeschool Group.
  • 2011 CHEK Family & Homeschool Conference – This doesn’t happen until June 24-25, but since we ran into some scheduling troubles, we’re still in the thick of planning speakers, lining up vendors, etc… Whew, I’m so glad that God somehow can do amazing things with our very humble, imperfect efforts.

Wow, typing this all out, actually helps me not to feel like such a slacker. Sometimes I get so frustrated by feeling like I’m forgetting things or letting projects slip, but seeing all that I HAVE managed to accomplish is pretty encouraging. IĀ  just lose my perspective and get lost in the busyness of things. I’m so thankful that God is always right there to meet me where I am and that He never loses track of me.

Truly, He is Here, There, and Everywhere. :O)