Lock, Stock and Barrel

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A funny little thing happened to my brumby's fetlock recently which I will describe in lurid detail in one moment. Well, actually,  none of the details are truly lurid. They were curious and baffling. But thank goodness, not lurid.

We began our Saturday by getting our Christmas tree. After gobbling up Eggs Benedict (sans muffin) and gluten free pancakes at Elmer's. Yes, again. Best pancakes around. It is not easy to get gluten free baked items right. Elmer's does it every time. So, stuffed with yummy food, we headed to Pieropan's tree farm.

Each year I struggle with getting a real tree. But I just can't imagine having a plastic Christmas tree. So when we head to the tree patch, my rule is that we cannot kill the tree. We can only take part of it. The rest will be left to flourish on the mountain.

Pieropan's is not your average Christmas tree farm. It is not tidy. It is not easy to navigate. It is wild and unkempt to say the very least. And it is on the side of a steep hillside. So you better wear your muck boots, and do not let yourself fall down, ass-over-teakettle,  since you are carrying a saw.

Up we go!

One year Bill and I rode our horses right by Pieropan's during one of its busiest days of the season! People see my gorgeous brumby coming and their mouths just drop open. If there is a little snow falling (like there was that day), it is like you are caught in a very magical moment indeed.

On this particular day, the partial tree that became ours was at the very top of the farm.

First there was some bickering over if, when we cut the tree, it would feel pain. Kestrel said
definitely yes and I agreed with her. This is why we thank the tree spirit for giving us the beautiful bounty of a Christmas tree.

Success! Our tree is as one-sided as they come. But this will be perfect inside the house.

This is what teens do: they cannot tear themselves away from texting with their friends even when their fathers are telling them to put the phone away and focus on the matter at hand.

After gathering the tree and installing it at home, it was time to go see my brumby at the farm.

Guess who is the cutest snow nibbler in the land? LILLY! Lilly caused a little stir the previous day when I went to take her out for a ride on the short trail. First I showed up and got her from the pasture. I did not notice anything amiss.

I took her to the barn and tacked her up. Bill came out and I chatted with him for a while. Finally when I went to turn Lilly around and head out, something was wrong with her right rear foot. After a moment of hysteria (on my part) because it looked like there was something seriously wrong, it became clear that Lilly's fetlock seemed to be locking up and then snapping back to the right position as she began to lower it to the ground. She did not appear to be in any pain. But it was super weird. It was like her foot was breakdancing all on its own.  We decided to wait and see what came up the next day.

The following day after the Christmas tree event, I was back over at the farm to see how Lilly was. At first I saw the strange locking/snapping again. But only a few times. I walked Lilly around. She seemed fine. I decided to take her down the trail to see what would happen. My instinct told me that movement would be good for her.

My brumby was in the best mood! She was walking fine. There was no pain. Her ears were forward and she went along with me more willingly than ever. Bill was not at home so I texted him that Lilly was acting totally normally. This was a relief.
This picture shows how easily my paint mare blends in with her woodsy environment. Bill will say that this is a reason for working in the ring and not the trail during hunting season.

While I was out walking around in the woods with Lilly, I began to notice all of these little prints in the snow. They were so adorable I was forced to study them.

They were so small and perfect! I could not get enough of them.

This is when having a field guide would really come in handy. But seriously, have you ever seen anything so cute?

They were all over! Such busy little creatures!

Evidence of another busy creature. Busy looking for ferns under the snow that is!

Getty is always so heartbroken when I don't take her to the farm. This means she gets time in the woods too but separately so the horses don't scare her and she doesn't eat the chickens or dig up Jackie's gardens. This picture was taken at a cliff called Chapel Ledges just up the road from my house. If you are new to rockclimbing, Chapel Ledges is an excellent place to visit.

While there I became mildly obsessed with these icicles.

I just wanted to get one really cool photo.

All my pictures started to look the same!

And then I finally got the one I wanted!

I call this picture: Muppetdog Watches Waterfall.

Hope everyone is enjoying the trail in this fabulous holiday season!


Willow said...

I so love how you think !
We get a small live tree that is in a planter and then we plant it in the Spring .
Trees are my friend ~ drives my sister crazy , no matter where we go I chat about the trees !
Very cool icicle shot , my fave shot "Muppetdog Watches Waterfall :)))

Ranch Girl Diaries said...

Your tree is lovely! What a fun adventure to find it. Those little prints might be raccoon? I'm glad your cute little mare seems to be okay in her fetlock! Such worrisome creatures, these horses of ours! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

Wishing you + brumby + 2-legged family a very Merry Christmas + health and happiness in the New Year!

Willow said...

Prancing over to say Merry Christmas to you, your fun loving family , and your beautiful Brumby .
Happy Trails,

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