Thursday, June 26, 2014

Soldier and Nancy ~ a little "living history"... and a brief update

We've been helping take care of a neighbor's horses lately...

That's Soldier in the front stall... Nancy in the back stall.

This photo shows their personalities... Soldier is big, bold, confident and curious... Nancy is small, shy, a little skittish and not much into things that are unusual... like a camera!

They are the dearly loved horses of a friend of ours, Mr G... a elderly man who, until some bad health this past spring, took care of them entirely on his own. Soldier was his riding horse... Nancy's a rescue he got as a companion for Soldier. Since March though, another neighbor and I have taken turns caring for them... Mr G spent a month in the hospital, and has been home for awhile now but isn't strong or steady enough to take care of them.

I might feel differently come winter but, right now, I don't mind taking care of Soldier and Nancy. You know how much I love history... and going into Mr G's tack room and hay barn are like stepping back in time.

Mr G was born in the mid-1920's and grew up on a farm in central Europe. He came here after WWII and has no wife or children... just his horses. His place looks and feels a little like I imagine a small farm in 1930/1940's Europe might have looked and felt.

His tack/feed room is nicely organized and is decorated with pictures and calendars he liked so much that some of them have been hanging on the walls for decades.

He also has a little hay barn, with hay neatly stacked on one side and this old, carefully cared for, tractor on the other. (I might try to buy this tractor when he's ready to sell...) The chains on the tires are for the snow, of course... yes we do get so much snow that even a tractor needs chains!

An ancient, well used pair of hay tongs remain stuck in an old bale of straw next to his hay.

Anyway, I don't mind going up there to do his barn work... I go early in the morning, before anyone else gets up, and it only takes 20 minutes or so.

It's so peaceful up there.... and I love seeing the "from scratch" ways his barn is set up. There are no livestock panels, electric fencing, or pre-fab stalls here.

It's all made, by hand, by Mr G.

His tools of the trade...

.... mended, not replaced, when they break.

These scissors, stuck in the crack between the wood of the hay barn, have a slightly curved blade... for trimming the "feathering" on the back of a horse's legs and fetlocks. They also work well for cutting baling twine!

Decades worth of horse shoes... Soldier only recently began going barefoot.

An antique scythe hanging in a shed...

A long piece of lodge pole pine which can be used to limit Soldier and Nancy's pasture access...

I took a lot of other pictures as well, too many to post... wanting to somehow record a way of doing things that seems to be quickly being lost...

We are doing fine with S here, by the way... M and R are bending over backwards to make things work and I'm hoping everyone's patience holds out until they find her a place to be. Her attorney (all children in foster care are appointed one) was here yesterday and S enjoyed showing her around... She (the attorney) will probably be sending her assistant to the foster mom's house on Friday to help get S's things packed up and moved out. It will be good to get that done sooner rather than later...(When we packed up a few of S's things to take with us on Monday, the foster mom told S she'd better take everything because she wouldn't keep it for her... Needless to say, we couldn't pack up a whole room at that time, and S has been stressing about the foster mom throwing her things away...) The GAL is sending her assistant to make sure foster mom doesn't start in on S or me again verbally...

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