Meet the Herd Monday |Part Six | Frodo

Name: Frodo
Breed: Pony (grade)
Age: 14ish

He may be the smallest equine on our farm, but this boy has the biggest heart. Frodo earned his forever-at-home-on-our-farm status within six months of being with us, which is better shared through a bit of farm lore. The story goes like this:

My mare suffered from colic one February afternoon, was not a candidate for surgery, and sadly, was euthanized. An excavator was not able to come to the farm to dig a grave until the following day, so she remained in the paddock.  When I came out to do chores the following morning, her body was covered with hay, and Frodo was standing guard, holding space.  In that moment, I knew I’d never let him go.  He’d fiercely won my heart.

In the seven years since, he has continued to bless us with his unique blend of stout-heartedness and pony sass. Most days, you can find him hanging out with his bestie, Thunder. Each of our daughters has learned to ride upon his back, more through trial-and-error than anything, even though he’s a well-trained pony.  If being a sassy pony is a fault (I’d argue not), he makes up for it in the amount of love, kindness, and genuine interest he shows to everyone who walks through the gate.  His gifts are many, and I cannot wait to see him shine in EGCM sessions.

 

 

Meet the Herd Monday | Part Five |Thunder

Barn name: Thunder
Registered Name: Creation’s Rolling Thunder
Breed: American Saddlebred
Age: 17

Thunder is one of the lucky ones who will be born, raised, and pass on with the same people in his life. He was born on the farm to my husband’s one-of-a-kind mare, Roz, and everyone was so excited to see how he would grow and develop. Early on, it was easy to see that he was just as kind, solid, and willing as she was. Sadly, whatever genetics passed her awesome temperament onto him also had a glitch for bad hooves, and we’ve battled laminitis with Thunder for many years.  During good years, he’s a blast to ride and is a gentleman though he did not receive any formal training. In between, we keep him comfortable, manage his weight, and do what we can to ensure he lives a good life in spite of it all.  Much like Soozee, there have been a few times we weren’t sure if he was going to pull through.  Yet, here he is, always strong, always willing to do what is asked, always kind, always gentle.

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These days, our priority is to keep Thunder, healthy, happy, and sound.  If he is well enough to go for a ride, we do and relish every moment; otherwise, he hangs out with his main sidekick, Frodo the pony.  They are quite a pair. I know that when he has an opportunity to participate in EGCM sessions, Thunder will show the world what a powerhouse of a healing horse he is.  We are excited to share him with all of you.  He is ready, and so am I.

Meet the Herd Monday| Part Four |Soozee

Barn name: Soozee | Sooz
Registered Name: Wild Irish Soozee
Breed: American Saddlebred
Age: 18

While Soozee was born on the farm and is by all rights my mother-in-law’s horse, she won my heart a long time ago.  She did receive some training to become a riding horse, but for various reasons, she never filled that role.IMG_1580.JPG Over the past 5 years or more, Sooz has had increasing health challenges that require additional care, so she hangs out with two of our geldings, Thunder and Frodo. Between tick-borne diseases, laminitis, and other unknown factors, she has fought hard for her mobility some days.  While there was a time we were not sure if she would pull through, she’s made a good recovery, and we are so happy to have her here in our herd.

Despite her bouts of physical pain, she’s also one of the most sensitive, discerning horses I know. She is slow to trust but bonds deeply once she does. She struggles with change in her routine and environments and greatly dislikes shots. She is sweet and kind and strong and fierce. She is a quiet force and will facilitate awareness and healing.

Meet the Herd Monday |Part Three| Sadie

Barn name: Sadie | Sadie Lou | Lulu
Breed: Grade/Quarter Horse type
Age: 14ish

Like many of the horses in our herd, Sadie joined us through a little bit of luck and a whole lot of grace.  About the time Fleet and Clyde joined us, my mother-in-law was searching for her next riding partner and soon brought Sadie home to the farm.  The story was that she was purchased for a teenage girl from a sale where she had been with horses that had come from a trail riding business in Wisconsin Dells. As this girl went off to college, Sadie was looking for a new home and came to us. Over time, it became apparent that Sadie was not the steady, ‘bomb-proof’ horse that my mother-in-law needed.  She was temperamental, ‘mare-ish,’ and quite grumpy about having a rider.  Given the marks on her withers from past ill-fitting saddles, we started with chiropractic IMG_4208 2treatments to deal with any underlying pain.  While this helped her attitude greatly, she was still unhappy about riding.  As she was not a good fit for my mother-in-law, Sadie came into my care and into our hearts.

While Sadie still has her temperamental moments, we have been working on slow and steady progress riding bareback in the arena, and she knows that she is home, no matter what. The truth is that she is a very sensitive, gentle horse who also stands very deeply in her strength.  She is a force to be reckoned with. She forms incredibly strong bonds, and her herd (both equine and human) is essential to her. With her big, round stature, she is also the most huggable horse in our herd and is known to snuggle while she eats her dinner.  She is sweet, strong, and wise, and I have no doubt she has a lot share with us in our EGCM® sessions.

Meet the Herd Monday | Part Two | Clyde

Barn name: Clyde
Breed: Grade/Quarter Horse type
Age: aged/unknown

Even after three years, there is so much we do not know about Clyde.  We had a new vet out this year, and she thought he was quite an elderly gentleman, even older than we had guessed.  There’s no way to know for sure, of course, though there is a bit of wisdom about him.

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Clyde at his former home on the day we first met.

Clyde and Fleet came from the same home and have been pasture buddies for quite some time. When we brought Fleet home, Clyde refused to get in the trailer. Change is not his thing. He joined us a few weeks later when his then owners graciously trailered him to our farm.  Other than the years he spent at his former home, we know very little about him.  The one story they shared was that he was running loose in the area, and they were told by a neighboring farmer that they could have him if they caught him.  That’s the extent of his history as we know it.

What we have learned is that he has an enormously kind and loving heart.  When he arrived at our house and for quite some time after, he was quite insecure and pushy.  His right eye had been physically damaged at some point, and he is completely blind on that side. Over time as his trust in us has grown, he is no longer hindered by his limited eyesight and has lost nearly all of that insecurity. While he is at the bottom of the herd hierarchy, he has forever earned a spot in our hearts as a soft and gentle boy with a huge, caring heart.  I cannot wait to see what gifts he brings to our EGCM sessions.

Visit us on Instagram @artemisequus to see more photos of Clyde and the rest of our herd.