Today my youngest son turns 18. I was putting together a collage of photos from over the years and I began to feel a little melancholy. Time has gone by so so fast. It floors me.
There are so many things I would like to to do again and many things I would do differently if I could. I like to spend short periods of time in the past. But when they begin to make me sad I know I need to pull back to the present.
To stay in the past can make us miss the joys of the present time. I don’t want to get caught in a cycle of sadness over things I can’t go back to nor change. But it’s ok to step back for a moment and it’s ok to feel the joys in the memories and the sadness over the quick passage of time. I don’t want to forgo looking back in the past because it’s is the framework of what has been my life. I just don’t want to get lost there.
I know today with my youngest son turning 18 – who also was my first child (I know puzzling- but we adopted out of birth order)- there will be memories that will bring laughter and some tears. To just hold that little boy one more time – I know he’s still here to hug but it’s not the same. His hugs are quick and awkward. Appropriate and expected for a teenage guy. I am not the one he would run to for a hug anymore after scoring a soccer goal (he used to)- and good lord he shouldn’t be! But that is why sometimes it’s just nice to remember those times where you were their world.
And truthfully I hope my now adult children have the opportunity to look back someday and feel the same. Because that means they have had love in their lives and that above all else is what I want for them.
Right now I’m am writing this while sitting on the beach in Delaware. Nice start to a day. I’m looking forward to seeing my son tonight for dinner. I figure he may be looking forward to seeing us but probably is more excited to see his dog who we brought with us this weekend. That’s ok. I know we come in second or third to the dog.
I’ll take some photos and someday – yet again – I’ll look back on them and have similar feelings that I have today. Then I will make more and more memories .
It’s the circle of life. And what that means is that I’ve had love.
Yukon Sticking his tongue out at me? I wouldn’t be surprised.
Note – Gelding is a male horse that has been castrated- making them no longer stallions. Typically Geldings can be kept together. Stallions are often turned out alone – maybe some are turned out together but i have never seen it. I think that would lead to fighting. I have three Geldings living here.
Mare- female horse
Once again this human is learning about horses and how they interact. Horses will teach us a lot…it will never stop. When Airy and Harley lived here we were very used to that dynamic of the two of them together. They ate their grain side by side. They shared a stall. Airy was the boss as many mares are when they are turned out with geldings. We were very comfortable with the routine with the two of them. After she died we knew we were going to add at tleast one new horse so Harley had a buddy.
I knew the dynamic would change and we would have to learn how the horses interacted, what their needs were and we would have to determine a new routine based on the dynamic between the new horse – and now its a dynamic of three horses since we also have my neigbors horse Hank here.
The arrival of Hank and his meeting Harley was very easy and I think I had thought this would be the case with Yukon.
Yukon arrived a few weeks ago with little fanfare. His arrival was uneventful. The truck and big trailer that was hauling Yukon pulled down our driveway and turn around and popped open the gate and out Yukon walked. Head up ears perked. “Where am I?”
We put him in one of our
pastures and the current horse residents – Hank and Harley- began the dance of meeting by getting to know each other over the fence. I spent time watching all of the horses reactions.
Hank and Harley checking out Yukon.
Right off I could tell Yukon wanted to be top horse. He spent time nipping Harley – the current herd leader- from over the fence. Harley is my horse and we added Yukon so Harley could have a friend as we lost our mare Airy suddenly in August.
Hank had a few little pushing matches with Yukon over the fence but Hank is much smaller than Yukon and Hank is much different in personality then Yukon is.
Hank didn’t want to challenge Yukon at all and hung back from the fence more often than Harley did.
Over the first few days I spent some time with Yukon out in the field. I wanted some bonding time just he and I. It was a hot week when he arrived and he spent time back in the trees that line the property on one side. Hank did the same when he came.
I wandered out there with Yukon and we sat under the trees for a bit. He kept trying to chase off our barn cat Ziggy. He definitley has a bossy side and I think he is testing the waters. He;s a big horse 15.3 hands. Hands are measured at the withers of a horse- thats sits where the neck meets the back. So Yukon is 5’3″ to the withers and he has a very long neck making him oh so tall when he holds his head high. His body is very long as well. Harley is the same amount of hands but the rest of him just ins’t the size of Yukon.
Looking at the barn from the edge of the pasture. Oh and Yukon’s long back is in the photo too
Temperment wise Yukon is pretty good with humans. As I visited with him the field I was able to lean against him and take some photos over his back. He is nudgy about treats and loves attention. In many ways he reminds me of harley.
Speaking of Harley – I was under the impression that he would try to maintain his head of household status when we let them all be together. I wasn’t off on that. He was that way at first. But it turns out he was bossy over the fence but not once they met face to face.
We decided to introduce all of the horses a few days before we went out of town. I hoped that some routine would be established with feeding and such after they were together a few days.
When we put the together all the horses met up in the pasture and sniffed one another and there wasnt much fanfare. They began to graze near each other and that went on for a bit. I thought that was that. But after about half an hour Harley decided that Hank and Yukon could not be near eachother and he bagan this odd weaving between the two of them . I guess he didn’t want to give up his friend. (Hold on loosely Harley…Hold on loosley). That behavior went on for a while and then Harley began the hazing process by not allowing Yukon too close to the overhang part of the barn.
Here Harley performs his weaving ritual!:
But soon the tables turned and Yukon began to haze Harley. He didnt have to do much- just tip his ears back and drop his head – which is a sign from one horse to another – to move.
Hank has been kind of in the middle of all this. He isnt vying to be top horse. He just wants to be friends with both guys. It seems that he is -though both Harley and Yukon boss Hank around but he doesnt seem to mind. The conflict seems to be between Yukon and Harley.
When we left last Monday for the beach it seemed like things were getting more settled. I figured Yukon won for top horse. What I realize now is that these things take time. Since i have gotten home I see that some things are better and other things need to be settled .
One moment Yukon and harley will be hanging out in the dry lot next to eachother and the next Yukon won’t let harley under the barn overhang. He tries to claim all the hay piles for himself.
I know Yukons feeding regime is differet now, he had been fed in a closed stall- we do lock him up for his grain but have been letting him out after he finishes to allow him to share hay with the other horses.
Yukon has naviclular issues which means he has painful feet and being stalled can make him stiff so we havent wanted to stall him for too long. – I think his lack of manners when it comes to sharing hay is likley due to his being fed in a stall and not having to share his hay – and i think he thinks that all the hay that is put down is his.
One thing I feel is that the horses have to work these things out between themselves but when there are humans around them a horse cannot behave in a wiley manner and get all the other horses riled up. Horses moving quiclky to avoid eachother and then a human being in that mix is very dangerous. So I will not allow them to behave crazily if we are working around them.
I have had to stand by while they are eating and not allow him to push another horse off the hay piles. Some posturing is normal but he cant have all the hay for himself. And he cant have the entire overhang to either especially in torrential rain. And we’ve had a lot of that lately.
I think it will take me a while to get used to having three horses. There is more crowding. More poop. More feeding. The good thing is we do have Austin -Hanks owner- who rotates in and helps with the care. Huge for me since I’m unable to do many of the chores now.
I am enjoying learning more about horse behavior. I know they will settle in- it just takes more time in some instances. I will try to stay out of their posturing as much as possible – I know they will figure it out.
Yukon is a very nice horse. I think he just needs to settle in some. Learn he doesnt have to own all the hay and know he will get lots of attention.
Since I began this post last week – yes last week (I can’t seem to find time to sit and write) – things have settled down more. I am pleased with this. It’s still a quite a frenzy at feeding time. I’m getting used to it.
I realize now how easy it really was to care for Harley and Airy. Three geldings together is different but fun. I’m pretty sure they will be quite the crew.
I’ve been at the beach for a few days. I was sitting on the floor stretching by the fireplace. And I was looking at the things that we chose to place on the mantle and hearth. It’s dynamic – anything can be moved at any given time. I like that it’s fun to change things up.
This is the lantern? Orb? Lantern orb I picked up at a furniture store. I liked its shape. It really has no function and the fake candles battery has died. But I still like the thing.
Then we have the tin “S” and I don’t think the reason for purchasing that needs much explaining. The jar next to it is for collecting stones and shells we find on the beach by the Bay and ocean.
I might love this bike clock the most right now. I’m having a thing for bicycle decor recently. The clock doesn’t work right and it’s loud so we took the batteries out. But I still think it’s cool.
These are the special stones and shells that are laying inside the fireplace. I don’t know what qualities they have that makes them special. It may have been size or uniqueness that kept them from the jar on the mantle above. Or maybe I was too lazy to put some of them in the jar. Anyway I find myself checking the shells and stones out often and I think the “Joy” stone is my favorite. Oh I ordered those. (In case you thought you could find word stones on the beach. 😉
This real oil lamp is a gem. It is very sentimental. We got this from my in laws Home. It was in their home for years.
I have always been drawn to people’s mantles. Since I was a kid. I think it was because my Nana’s Neighbors used to keep items on their mantle that Kids could play with. They had a puzzle and a Newton’s Cradle. You know where the metal balls hang in a row and you pull one back and the ball on the other end is the only one that moves? I loved that thing. I think that gave me my mantle fascination. I really do like to check out mantles and hearths. They lend themselves to creativity I think.
Life of a Family Dairy Farm. Senior aged husband and wife. The good, bad and ugly of the business. We love it and will try to present an ongoing tale of what happens here. Meet some of our animals and characters born here. Enjoy!