Musings of an everyday woman . . .

Reflections on living and loving life . . .

Update on “Baby Belle” February 16, 2010

Filed under: Baby!,Farm,Workhorses — everydaywomanusa @ 2:54 pm
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Our dear filly, Isabelle, sure has grown up in the last few months!  Here she is, at 7-1/2 months old, catching up quickly in size to her mother, Annabelle.

Remember her as a newborn in June, just a few short months ago?

Mom Annabelle has decided that baby Isabelle has nursed just about long enough and now pushes her away when she attempts to nurse.  Baby Belle is quite happy to gorge herself on grain and hay and really enjoys romping in the pasture with her Mom, and our Dapple-Gray Percheron, Vinny.

She was definitely “feeling her oats” on a recent, brisk day when we turned her out after too many snowed-in days in her barn, alongside Mom.  Isabelle was quite happy to kick up her heels in the snow, as you can see in this video . . .

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How Cute is This? July 26, 2009

Filed under: Animals,Family,Farm,Workhorses — everydaywomanusa @ 10:35 am
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My guy and “our baby” Isabelle, now four weeks old.  She just LOVES to have her neck scratched . . .

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Obviously, they’re still “bonding,” aka “imprinting.”

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“Are you taking pictures, again?” they both seem to say.

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Isabelle’s main source of nutrition is still her mother, Annabelle, but as she ventures into new tastes, like grass in the pasture, or grain, she is so cute . . .

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Baby Belle’s legs are still disproportionately long to her growing body and neck and she has to do this weird stance, bending her legs, to reach the ground.  She reminds me of a giraffe!

Do you have animals in your life who give you joy?

 

Happy 4th!!! July 4, 2009

Filed under: Adventures,Holidays,Summer,Workhorses — everydaywomanusa @ 10:04 am
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Hope it’s a fun day for you, whatever you might be doing!

Last night, we watched some great fireworks (which were shot off from a barge on the Sound) with friends, which was wonderful.

It’s amazing that the show went on, after a severe summer thunder-and-lightning storm, which threw torrents of rain just hours before.  The sky looked like ominous, as we raced to get the horses, including Annabelle and her new baby, Isabelle,  into the barn.  We—and them—got soaked to the bone, then we listened to the thunder and watched the lightning spark all around us, from the safety of the horses’ stalls.

The horizon right after the storm.

The horizon right after the storm.

 HAPPY DAY TO YOU AND YOURS !!!

Oh. . . I found this pretty mermaid in our pool . . . might you know her?

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Aloha Friday #11 July 2, 2009

Filed under: Aloha Friday,Animals,Workhorses — everydaywomanusa @ 11:27 am
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Friday is coming again, so that means it’s time for . . .

My “Aloha Friday” question this week is: 

IF YOU HAD A BABY SHIRE WORKHORSE THIS CUTE,

WHAT WOULD YOU NAME HER?

Here’s a little background . . . her Mom is a Shire Workhorse named Annabelle and the baby filly (girl) is black & white and a week old.  She’s more than 150 lbs. already with long, spindly legs, who loves to run!

Here are some of the names in the running, but our family is having trouble coming to consensus on the perfect name:

  • Belle
  • Bella
  • Isabelle
  • Shiloh
  • Shania
  • Beauty
  • Cinderella/”Ella”

(Thanks so much for your ideas!!!)

 

If you’d like to participate in more Aloha Friday questions, click on over to  An Island Life for Kailani’s  “Aloha Friday.”

"Mommy, will they be nice to me?"

Annabelle & Baby (3 days old) out in the pasture for the first time.

 

“Imprinting” AKA “Bonding” June 30, 2009

Filed under: Adventures,Animals,Family,Farm,Reflections,Workhorses — everydaywomanusa @ 3:58 pm
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I guess you could say  that everything people know they learned from animals–about bonding with newborns, that is.

I’ve always appreciated the importance of “bonding” with our newborn children and I felt the same way about “being there” with our newborn baby filly as soon as she was born.  Instinctively, I felt the need for my husband and me to bond with that filly, even though we aren’t the biological parents.  After all, her mother, Annabelle, gets all the credit for all the hard work she’s done with carrying and delivering her baby, and with what lies ahead for this single mother (as the father is in Michigan and never got to meet his offspring.)

Anyway, back to the bonding. . . I knew it was important, I didn’t know until just recently that there’s an actual word for it in the “horse world.”  It’s called “imprinting” and it’s vital to the newborn foal’s future relationship with people.  I admit we humans are only surrogate parents here, but we do want to do our part.  By the time we greeted our baby foal (still yet to be named, as we continue to seek the perfect fit!), she was already licked clean by her dear mother, nursed, and was walking around the stall. 

My husband, Al, bonding with our new filly.

My husband, Al, bonding with our new filly.

Horse experts say  that imprinting in the first days after birth is crucial.  This includes handling the foal, while always being cognizant of the mother horse’s anxiety level of those around her.  Using soft tones, you must hold the baby in an embrace, while it’s laying down, and stroke its ears  and handle its feet and gums, so that it’s comfortable later on when you need to clean and attend to these areas.  Horse people even say you should blow gently into the baby’s nostrils, so that it recognizes your breath and smell and feels comfortable with you.  If the mare is comfortable with you and how you handle her and her baby, then the baby also generalizes that people are good.

I’ve so enjoyed being a part of this process, although I’ll be the first to say that Annabelle and her new baby respond first and foremost to my dear husband and our children, who have always been directly involved in their care.  I must admit that sometimes I feel like a “third wheel,” more of someone who documents this incredible phase of life through pictures and words.  They’re the ones who actually do it.

I’m happy to say that all this imprinting is working.  Annabelle’s baby is adjusting to her new home so well and Annabelle is such an accomplished mother.  She is somewhat of an expert, as she’s delivered and cared for two previous foals before she came to live with us.   Annabelle came to us as an expectant mother and as already an expert in the matter!

"The fam" walks Annabelle and her baby out to the pasture.

"The fam" walks Annabelle and her baby out to the pasture.

Annabelle’s baby walks nicely with us, in her halter now, as long as dear Mom is nearby.  Annabelle also makes sure that she is always the one in charge, knowing where her baby is at all times.  When the baby is sleeping, Annabelle stands guard over her.  When people approach to visit, the baby will come up to the fence to greet them, and as I found yesterday, will even suck on your fingers in her effort to appease this oral stage.  She gets the idea that people are good.  We’re just protecting her from too much visiting by closely monitoring the time she spends–always with Mom–in public view.  But we’re all adjusting nicely, this new family of ours!

Annabelle stands guard over her sleeping baby.

Annabelle stands guard over her sleeping baby.

Our new filly, exercising her sucking reflex, on my fingers!

Our new filly, exercising her sucking reflex, on my fingers!

 

Talk of the Barnyard! (Sunday Stroll–June 28) June 28, 2009

Filed under: Adventures,Animals,Farm,Sunday Stroll — everydaywomanusa @ 5:54 am
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Since our new filly was born, she’s been the talk of the barnyard.  On her third day, we introduced her to the menagerie of other animals on the farm.

Here’s what everyone is saying . . .

"Who's the new kid on the block?"

"Who's the new kid on the block?"

"I don't see what all the fuss is about.  She isn't even a long neck!"

"I don't see what all the fuss is about. She isn't even a long neck!"

"Let's get a closer look. . ."

"Let's get a closer look. . ."

"Mommy, will they be nice to me?"

"Mommy, will they be nice to me?"

"I'm king of the mountain!"

"I'm king of the mountain!"

"Whinny, you may THINK you're king of the mountain, but you WILL be nice to my new baby girl!"

"Whinny, you may THINK you're king of the mountain, but you WILL be nice to my new baby girl!"

"Mommy, I'm scared!"

"Mommy, I'm scared!"

"Will you be my friend?  We're about the same size!"

"Will you be my friend? We're about the same size!"

"Mommy, I'm hungry!"

"Mommy, I'm hungry!"

 

"Can we play together?"

"Can we play together?"

"Mommy, I think they like me, but I'm SO tired . . ."

"Mommy, I think they like me, but I'm SO tired . . ."

"A Mother's work is never done . . . "
“A Mother’s work is never done . . . “

To see who else is “strolling” today, click here.

 

The Miracle of Birth June 27, 2009

Filed under: Animals,Family,Farm,Workhorses — everydaywomanusa @ 9:36 am
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Annabelle’s foal surprised us my making her entrance into the world a little sooner than expected!  She is the most beautiful, perfect, spotted draft filly with lanky legs, beautiful, long eyelashes, and a skip in her step . . . all in her first day!

Annabelle is the MOST PERFECT mother, catering to her young daughter’s every wish . . .

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Of course, timing is everything and when I got the call early Thursday morning that our new baby had arrived, I didn’t believe it at first.  I was also heartbroken because I was hours away, giving an educational workshop.  Even though school was out for students, it wasn’t for me and I was dying to bond with our new baby.  I dashed out just as soon as I could and spent the next 2 hours in the barn, just admiring this work of perfection!  She is so perfect, it is almost surreal!

We’re still searching for JUST the right name for her.  Under consideration at the moment are:  Isabelle, Belle, Beauty, Rosabelle, Belle of the Ball, Cinderella, probably all preceeded by Rose Farms’ ___________.  It’s a difficult decision to agree on!  Any thoughts?

To see more pix, skip on over to our Rose Orchards site.  Abbie and I have taken hundreds of photos of our new treasure in the first couple of days and will post more soon, as soon as I return from barn to admire her some more . . .