Rebel, July 4th, 2019 at Forrestel Farm

Rebel, July 4th, 2019 at Forrestel Farm
“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” — Elliott Erwitt


Monday, July 14, 2008


Well, this morning we walked to the barn with a tiny little sprinkle falling upon us (us being Phoebe, Josh and myself).  After chores, I went out to put the masks on the horses and for the first time I noticed that all the geldings were together and all the mares were in a group.  For the past 27 years (unlike most horse farms) I have had the horses run together in a herd.  Many people separate them for a variety of reasons.  It takes about two weeks for me to work in a new horse, but once it is safe they seem much happier when they are together (not standing by the fence looking over at the others).  When I have had foals here, they...with their moms, were worked back into the herd.  The only time they were separated, was during weaning.
Target (25) and Berlin (23) were born here.  I also had several other foals here that belonged to others.  As many of you know, every horse farm owner thinks their way is the best.  I admit to being "back yard" and an animal mush, but my management style has produced very gentle, socialized horses.  They are spoiled rotten, but are very sweet in return.  Without Shenna, I am down to 6.  At the peak, I was up to 12.  I'm out of gas when it comes to boarding.  Everytime a horse leaves, we take down the stall wall and now the stalls are all huge.  Why not? 
I took classical dressage lessons for years, but have been out of that loop for a long time... learned a lot and "know" a lot more than I can "do."  Any horseperson worth their salt knows that you never stop learning.   Still a back yard rider who cares very much about how the horses are treated and outfitted.  Saddle fitting is extremely important, and most people know very little about it.  Your shoe size is 9?  Put on this 6, and if you don't walk, trot and canter I will make you!!!  Pity the horses.


  1. Your farm sounds lovely.
    I'm envious!
    Like you, I believe horses are happier in a herd, separating into bands as they please. It seems to me that too few horse owners ever take the time to really try to understand the horse's nature. They can't seem to get past their presumption of human superiority.
    Your ponies are fortunate.

    spartacus jones

  2. Great music! Sounds like a lazy summer day ...

    OK, so WHY are the mares and geldings now in two separate groups rather than a collegiate herd??? You are like a farm mystery writer!

  3. I would put them altogether as well, but then again, I've never had horses. We have the sheep and goats together. The goats ram the sheep and aren't very nice, but when I take her out she just wants back. She's a herd animal. Your fields are beautiful and you must have your horses potty trained because I don't know how you have time to keep it so clean! :) I hope to have a horse. Slowly, we work on our space. Maybe one day...

  4. Your information on saddles is timing perfect. Last week we had our saddle and pad checked/improved by a specialist. Then this weekend at our first show, the judge asked the girls about saddles and proper fit. She was not pleased that two horses had saddle sores and ill fitting saddles. Justine was complimented for "knowing the parts of a saddle and for the good fit and use of the right pads etc to improve comfort". "Maybe that's why this mare will stand calmly and content as compared to some of these others that are very annoyed for no reason?!" she exclaimed. We have been studying Parelli and other horse nature and how to become a part of the herd material and it is fascinating and works. Fit in with the herd, mimic their behavior and no their signs and getting one of them out of the pasture is no longer a chore.

    Always an education to read your comments as well.


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