Moose River Farm Blog

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Horses, Donkeys, and Fifth Graders, Oh My

     Good Evening,
     I bade a final farewell, today, to the fifth grade students with whom I have spent the last ten months.  As a tribute to their creative spirit I wanted to share the illustrations that they sketched after spending a day at Moose River Farm.  Enjoy!


"My favorite part was kickball." Calvin

"My Favorite thing was riding the horses." Collin

"My favorite part was when it was my turn to kick and Bing and Frankie were in the game." Dylan

"My most favorite things at Moose River Farm were  Ben and Sandi." Emily

"I love seeing Mrs. Phinney's horse, Sandi, and her donkey, Bing, playing." Emma

"My favorite part was kickball." Grady

"Silly Easau was scratching Sasha's head." Hannah

"My favorite part was riding Joshua." Jack

"My favorite part was hanging out with my best friend and the animals." Jake

"I liked everything but I liked kickball the best." Jimmy

"My favorite horse was Zambi." Julie

"I liked playing with Bing and Frankie." Justin

"My favorite part was the horses." Kami

"My favorite part of the day was playing with Bing and Frankie." Karen

"I have to say my favorite part was when I held Rosemary, (the iguana), and walked down the trail." Leah

"The thing I liked the most was...everything." Liam

"One of my favorite memories at MRF was when everyone was playing kickball and Bing and Frankie came onto the field to wrestle." Madison

"I really liked Bing and Frankie playing kickball with us." Megan

"My favorite part was kickball." Nolan

"My favorite part was kickball." Sasha

"I liked playing kickball." Wyatt

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Mixing Business with Pleasure; 2013

     Good Evening,
     It is hard to believe that another school year is winding down.  In four more days I will bid farewell to 21 fifth graders with whom I have shared the past 180 school days.  In that time we have tackled a mountain of common core learning standards that have, hopefully, prepared them for the rigors of middle school next year.  My students have worked hard in all areas of their academics and taken great pride in the success.  Through the course of the year I have shared with them many stories about my animals.  For some, the escapades of Fiona, Rosemary, Bing and Frankie are a way to connect on a separate level from school work.  It gives them a glimpse into my other life; a life that is dedicated to living with and caring for animals. 
     On Friday we celebrated the end of the school year with a day at Moose River Farm. The visit was an opportunity to meet my animals up close and personal.  With the help of a few horsey friends, the students were able to spend some quality time in my realm.  It is evident from the resulting video that a good time was had by us all...2-footed and 4-footed alike. 
     

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Exchanging Gifts

     Good Morning,
     With the passing of a diminutive chestnut gelding named Welby this week, the last ember from a childhood long ago has been extinguished.  The following poem expresses my thoughts in the final hours of this horse's life. 
Exchanging Gifts
Walking together for the very last time
Suddenly I am aware
Of the beauty in these last few moments
That we have to share

The birds are singing, and the leaves
appear to rustle along
Our feet step in perfect time
to the beat of this somber song

Donkeys tussle, Goaties browse
Horses munching hay
I would have missed all this
If you'd not asked to be on your way

In exchange for this lovely gift
I bid you a heartbreak farewell
The time has come to let you go
Just a brief wait now for Dr. Nightingale

Won't be long, Freedom is coming
And when it finally does
You'll fly up to join a herd of horses
That watch us from above

Our tears mingle in afternoon rain
That washes the earth clean
And when the sun peeks out later on
From our hearts your memory will gleam

In honor of Sir Welby, (1989-2013)
He was the topic of many past blog posts including the following:
Mayhem:Colic Part II
Boys and Horses
All Grown Up


Amy was 13 years old when she acquired an 8 year old Thoroughbred gelding of her very own.
Sir Welby was euthanized this week at age 24. 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Is it Summer Yet?

     Good Morning,
     Thanks to two unused snow days, I looked forward to an extended Memorial Day weekend with great anticipation.  Visions of warm sunny weather motivated me to consider tackling a whole list of spring chores between long trail rides and schooling sessions with my horses.  On Thursday morning I woke up early, not wanting to waste a moment of the five precious days bestowed upon our school calendar this year.  I planted flowers in several of the boxes that hang on our house and barn.  The air was warm, but humid and laden with pesky black flies.  However, nothing could have deterred my enthusiasm until dark clouds roared in over the Adirondacks.  By late afternoon the temperature began to drop!  For the next three days I pulled on my heavy winter coat, gloves and wool cap for insulation from the cold while doing barn chores.  The incessant north wind forced me to close all of the outside stall doors.  Since my horses and goats have shed their winter coats this gesture was most appreciated.  My newly planted petunias were carefully covered at night along with the tender blossoms of the juvenile apple tree in our back yard.  So much for washing windows, horse blankets and anything else I've ignored over the last five months.  
     Instead, winter lingered with chilly dampness that forced Rod to keep our indoor fireplace stoked day and night.  It appeared that good weather, already limited to a precious few weeks between May and October, would be stunted even more this year.  The word from town was that tourists and campers were seeking dry winter clothing to purchase.  By Sunday afternoon a line of cars exiting the Adirondacks suggested that those, defeated by the weather, were giving up on their holiday weekend plans.  Of course these weather issues pale in comparison to the recent loss and devastation caused by tornado activity in Oklahoma.  And I am thankful that we were spared the 30 inches of snow that fell on top of White Face Mountain.  
     Keeping all of this in mind I've begun to focus on the events of the weekend that were uplifting and fun.  Meg Marcone, (Where Attention Goes, Energy Flows), along with her two girls rode with me for three days.  Alex, (Wings for Alex), spent most of her break engaged with the horses as did Vicky Brazell, (Riding the Trail).  And my little friend Trinity, (Donkey Lessons), also spent a busy day at Moose River Farm.  Life is good and although I made many derogatory comments about the disgusting weather, nothing prevented me from counting my blessings while remembering those who sacrificed so much to establish Memorial Day weekend for us to enjoy. 
    As for summer?  Well this week our shaggy donkeys, Frankie and Bing have finally begun to shed their heavy winter coats.  I believe this is a true indication that although it appears we skipped spring this year, summer is finally here! 


Most of Memorial Day Weekend was cold and wet.
But not enough to dampen this blonde spirit.
Meg and Jacob see eye to eye most of the time.
Lacey smiles for the camera.
I never get tired of the daily animal procession....
....and enjoy it more when sharing it with others. 
Bing and Frankie play at the edge of the pond...
...then stop to graze on the sweet green grass.
The rest of us continue on our hike and...
...eventually, the donks run to catch up.
Its official....little girls 'heart' horses!
Big girls love them too.
Sandi and this little one have been 'buds' for years.
My mount is the other blonde Spirit in the barn.
Our first trail ride along the Moose River this year....Finally and officially...its summer!