family history · horse stories · Off Topic · Vicki's Ramblings


Here is a post from a couple of years ago.  It was so cold that the hoses froze and we had to haul water out to the horses.  It brought back some memories from when I was a kid on the farm we lived on.

I don’t know if that’s such a good title or not.  It’s just what I came up with as I thought about what to write about today.

I was thinking this am about how we had to water the horses and chickens last night.  The hose froze so we had to haul buckets of water out to the horse tank. The boys were all there to help and several of them carried buckets out.  That made it go fast.  I appreciated that!!

When I was a teen, we moved to a run-down farm in Jackson. It was a mess to say the least, but I was in heaven!  It didn’t matter to me that the floors in several of the upstairs bedrooms were rotted and the whole house was full of mice.  It didn’t matter to me that  the barn was thigh deep in poop.  I was just so excited to finally live on a farm!!  Eventually, with a LOT of hard work, we got it cleaned up and liveable and then the animals started coming in.

First was a snotty Shetland pony named “Lucky”.  He was my second horse.  My first horse was a paint mare named, “Fred”.  No, I don’t have any idea why she was named, “Fred”.  I actually have never asked.  Mom, if you read this, and know why she was named, “Fred” could you post that in the comments??  And another question, why did we have that horse anyway??  Where did she come from??!!

My Mom said she had come from a girl who went off to school.  She gave her to me then.  She thought she was a boy.

Anyways, we started getting animals and they needed water but there was no water in the barn.  So we had to haul the hose as close to the barn as we could get and then haul buckets from there.  But in the winter, well…  That was quite a bit harder.  We, my sister, brother and I, had to go to the basement of the old farmhouse.   This is your clue that this was not a normal basement.  I would imagine it had been hand dug because it was not very tall at all.  It was a concrete floor but the walls were stones.  It was a typical creepy, old farmhouse basement.  With a short set of creaky, wobbly made back when the house was built, stairs.  So we had to fill our buckets down there in the winter, haul them up the stairs, put on our gear in the entryway, and haul them out to the barn for the horses and steers.

We got to be pretty strong pretty quick!!  We had to do that at least twice a day all winter long.  It didn’t matter what the weather was like, the animals needed water and also food.

Back then, I remember winters like this happening most of the time. In fact, I remember one year we had blizzards.  We had snow drifts that went to the top of one of our sheds!  A good 2oft tall!  Oh did we have fun with that one!

We spent our days sitting inside playing video games then.

NOT!!!!!  We played outside! We skated on the icy driveway.  We went sledding down the snowdrifts or down the barn hill.

One year, Mom and Dad were so worried because they had no money for Christmas.  So they went to St. Vincent DePaul, (known as St.Vinnie’s )  and bought ski’s and poles.  They found bows and arrows.  They gave us the best Christmas presents!  We had so much fun with them!!

We skied down the barn hill.  I have no idea if they were downhill or cross-country ski’s.  We just put them on our boots and went! We set up a target in the barn and shot our bows.  We had so much fun with that!!

He looked kinda thin that year. He looks much fatter this winter!! GOOD!!
He looked kinda thin that year. He looks much fatter this winter!! GOOD!!

When the boys were helping with the water I was telling them stories of when I had to haul water.  I like to think it was encouraging for them!  At least, it was only that day.







Update: Yesterday, they had to haul the hose from the sunroom out to the water tank for the horses.  Still a hard job, especially in – 8 temps, but much easier than the day we had had to haul water out there by hand.  And certainly easier than my sister, brothers and I had it back then..

Funny..  Now it is so cold we are all staying in.  Back then, we went outside and found things to do despite the cold temps.

I love the country life!!  Cold winter days and all!!



chicken keeping · horse stories


Its all about the horses today.  We have 4, you probably know already.  Barney, a rescue who we “won” at age 1, I believe it was.  (a free horse is never free. Just remember that!)  He is amazing and such a sweet tempered horse.  He had a battle with Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis that seems to have been conquered.  Last week, for the first time in quite awhile, he allowed a rider on his back.  We were kind of surprised actually.

Storm who is another rescue horse.  He is such a pretty horse, I think.  He is the one Horse Daughter takes on Endurance rides.  They go out and ride on trails for 12, 25 or 50 miles.

Hailey, the mare of the group.  Mares are temperamental.  Snotty and naughty I would call it.  Right now, we are treating a cut in her flank.  We don’t know what in the world she got into, but she has a nice cut.  The picture is of her and Horse Daughter. hailey

Thunder, the pony, also has an issue.  He has a bare spot on his behind, right around his tail, where he is rubbing himself.  We don’t really know why, but apparently, it itches.  This pony is a real sweetheart.  The youngest and I can ride him and he is so patient with us.  He knows we are rookies.  Horse Daughter can get on him and he will pull every trick in the book on her!  But he will also do anything she asks him to do.  The person who had him before really trained him well.

Good for sores.  Also good insect repellent.
Good for sores. Also good insect repellent.

Here is what we are doing for them:  We wash both sores good with a little soap and water.  They both dance around, but otherwise tolerate it pretty well.  Then, I layered on Geranium essential oil mixed with some coconut oil.  I tried to really rub it into the sores.  I topped it with some Animal Scents Pet Ointment.  (its a Young Living Product.) This stuff is pretty thick and full of healing oils.  It will keep the sores sealed from dirt and bugs.

I will repeat that again today, hopefully twice, but we will see what happens.  I will probably add some Thieves oil to Thunder’s sore to help kill any mites or fungus that may be there.

I will keep you updated as we treat these horses.

On a side note, I have been using some Lemon essential oil in the chickens water as well.  There are a couple of hens that I was keeping a close eye on.  Both seem to be doing much better after extra vitamins and the Lemon oil in their water.  I put about 10 or so drops in the 3 gallon tank.

Oh dear… I just realized that I may or may not be FDA compliant..  I think I am, because I just told you what oils I am using, not that they can heal certain things. Well, I hope I am.  I don’t want to cause trouble for the company.

How are things going at your house??