Saturday, August 13, 2016

Summer finally came to 'The Portly Pony' in the second week of August.  This year is a huge contrast from the enduring heat of last summer.  In fact, it is the exact opposite.  It has been unseasonably cold, wet, and foggy all summer.  Not what we were hoping for in the garden or on the pastures.  At this late point in the season, we will take any last moments of good weather we can get.  But sadly, there will be no pumpkins in September.  BOO!

This slideshow is of Gretyl and Tuppence coming out of quarantine at last.  They are meeting Gwynaeth (Haflinger), and the Friesian/Dales Pony herd for the first time.  I think Ziekele stole their hearts!  These were special moments to share with these little orphans.  They are painfully shy!

Monday, September 28, 2015

It was sweet to wake-up this beautiful Fall morning, to look out the window and see Shandy Lil' sleeping in the spot she was born.  Despite her baby nursery no longer being there, she feels content to nap in her peaceful forest, birthplace.  

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Spotlight:  Wiebe!

Wiebe is 16 years old this year.  His health has been great since the two separate episodes of severe abdominal edema that left us fearing he would not survive.  We never were sure of the cause.  It was thought to be a possible heart conditon.  It was very scary to see his sides so swollen and to not know what to do or how to treat it.  So far, it has not come back and he has been happily frolicing in the pasture, keeping up with the younger herd members ever since.  He can often be seen scratching and hugging Anousch, Ziekele, Shandy, and Bailey Brynn at all hours of the day. It is a special gift to be able to look out the window and see such a beautiful Baroque boy.  He is truly a sweet soul.  His sire, Laes, was one of the longest lived Friesian horses in the modern era.  It would be special if Wiebe took after him and had a long life.  For most Friesians, Wiebe is entering the 'senior' citizen category very soon.  They don't usually live beyond the early 20's. 

We love Wiebles!

 Short video of Wiebe at Cair Paravel Farm in Sequim, Washington, when he was 4!


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Happy 16th Birthday to Royal Pony!  Royal is a tough little Dales Pony.  Despite his unfortunate, worsening neurological condition, he has made it clear that he loves life.  He doesn't look as strong and healthy as he did in these younger photos (who does, right?), BUT, he has every bit of spirit and Dales Pony heart as he ever did.  This birthday is the most celebrated one of all.  

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sweet 4th of July from the past

We spent a very quiet and peaceful 4th of July this year watching the Vancouver, Washington fireworks display on television.  We usually spend the night wrangling terrified dogs trying to crawl under the covers on the bed.  I tried something different this year!  I turned the t.v. fireworks up loudly and then when the booms were going off outside, the dogs were able to manage their fear.  I had 3 happily, sleeping dogs at my feet!  Not one of them were barking or very nervous when I took them up to bed.  But, two of them waited for me out in the hall before they would go into the bedroom!  Once in bed, more booms went off and I was able to soothe them with some Neil DeGrasse Tyson and The Cosmos.  Horses were a little jumpy, but not too bad.  Had a wonderful night's sleep and woke-up to a gorgeous morning!  Now that is a first on the fourth, for us!! 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

 Heat Wave From HELL

Preparing for another blistering, hot day

This heat is like nothing we have ever experienced up on this mountain.  A heat wave here is 80 degrees that lasts for 2 days in a row.  We have had one 3 day heat wave in 10 years that had 100 degrees and tapered to 80's.  The heat never lasted longer than that.  If a 70 degree day shows up in the summer that is a warm day!  Some summers it was cold and wet and we used the fireplace.  So, today, when the temperature at the house got up to 97 degrees (yesterday was a high of 96), and the barn was well over 100 degrees,  the whining and whimpering began.  But not for us, we have a beautifully air-conditioned space, but for our elderly horse Sydney and physically challenged pony, Royal.  This is getting down-right scary.  The heat has been on for weeks now, with no end in sight.  The dry, dusty pasture that we were looking forward to seeding and making lush, is an impossibility with no rain in sight.  For years, we could only dream of this much sun and land without mud.  Now, we are baking like a desert with a tinder box forest surrounding us.  Things are changing so rapidly it is a worry.  Are we going to have hot summers now like everyone else in the west?  This is spooky.

Somehow, we have to get poor Sydney through this misery.  I hope the heat wave will end soon and become a distant memory.  You know if it is hot up here, something is wrong!!

Welcome to our new family member!

This little mini stallion is not only fancy and adorable, but he has a wonderful personality.  He came to us from eastern Oregon and was named 'Merlin'.  His registered name is Vanity Grove Farms First Edition.  He has a very nice pedigree.  But, the prettiest thing about this little boy is sweetness.  He loves to cuddle!  He will lean himself up against your legs and ask for hugs.  What an oxytocin maker!  Instantly, a feeling of peace and happiness overcomes you when in the presence of this miniature horse.  And since we were hoping he might be a good therapy mini, it is looking like he may have what it takes.  Surprisingly, our Icelandic horse, Ynyr, has taken a shine to this little stallion.  Ynyr can be very aggressive and confrontational with other horses, but, something changed when these two were put side by side.  Ynyr has a joy that we did not see before!  You just never know why some folks connect, but these two did- instantly!  

We called Merlin by his name many times, but he didn't seem to respond.  So, we thought we might give him a new name- Fyntan Fire.  Fyntan is an old Celtic name that means 'white fire'.  It suits him very well.  We are so lucky to have this little stallion and will be getting our snuggles daily from a very sweet and magical little mini!