Fall at the Farm 2016.

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Our first fall at the farm has proven to be busy but bountiful. I have fallen in love with our newest rescue Freedom. Amazingly, his calm energy hasn’t budged since his arrival. We thought it was due to him being in a new environment but after a month of being with us, he is still the same docile, sweet and friendly horse he was on our first meeting in the front yard. He has captured my heart. He looks at me with those big brown eyes and any anxiety, any fear, any sadness, any anger that may be in my soul that day melts away.

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Don’t underestimate the power of a horse’s energy. I have spent many afternoons in the barn standing next to Sparkle, petting her without saying a word, only to find tears of emotion bubbling to the surface. They sense when you need them close and will draw near you. There are no words that can explain that feeling.

The friendship between Sparkle and Freedom has turned a corner. Sparkle made her position known as head horse on their first encounter and presented some aggression when food was near. I was a little worried but Andrew wasn’t concerned one bit. He was right once again. They have a coordinated routine now and blend well with one another.

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Sparkle took Freedom on a tour of the property, making sure to point out the hidden pasture in the back among the trees. Freedom followed right along. When you see Sparkle in the pasture, Freedom isn’t far behind.

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When Freedom first arrived at Cypress Bayou Farm, his hooves were in bad shape because of a poor shoe job and he had a severe ankle laceration on his back right leg. Our farrier visited the farm for Freedom’s first pedicure and horse shoe removal. I know his hooves have to be feeling better now that those pesky horse shoes have been removed.

His ankle laceration has healed beautifully over the last few weeks. He started on an antibiotic oral medication and an antibiotic salve on the wound. It took a long time before the wound would stop bleeding each day. A couple weeks ago, our vet The Animal Center gave Andrew several boxes of Unna Boot with Zinc Oxide that was donated by East Baton Rouge Parish Services.

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The girls at the vet know my sweet cowboy pretty well by now and recommended using this dressing to aide in Freedom’s healing. We change out his dressing every night and apply this directly to his wound and wrap a cover bandage over that. So far, the results have been incredible.

Our sweet boy’s recovery is moving right along. He even had his first rider just last weekend. I was going to try riding him first but this precious girl beat me to the punch.

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Even though I haven’t ridden Freedom yet, he made sure to be close by when I enjoyed an afternoon ride with Sparkle.

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Afternoons like these are what I dream about during my days at work. There’s always something to experience and enjoy outside at the farm. And once the farm life grabs hold of you, it doesn’t want to let you go.

In other animal news, we have two girls in heat. Yes, you read that right. Dixie is going through her first heat cycle right now at 8 months old. We thought we might have a couple more months time to spay her but we were wrong. Before we could get to the store for some dog diapers, Andrew made a makeshift diaper from a t-shirt.

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That’s one good dog Dad right there! Watching Dixie wiggle around trying to figure out what in the world was wrapped around her behind was our entertainment for that evening. Even Gypsy was curious what all the fuss was about. Dixie continues to be a crazy puppy but keeps us smiling and laughing which is good for our souls.

The other female at the farm in heat is Sparkle. We realized she was acting uncooperative a little more than usual. She’s always had an attitude to an extent but it was apparent something was off. We noticed some discharge and lifting of her tail around Freedom and are pretty sure she is in season right now. We haven’t gelded Freedom yet and our schedules keep getting busier with Andrew’s travel schedule for work and holidays right around the corner. Look out, we may have a foal at the farm.

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What’s strange is Freedom’s lack of interest in Sparkle in that department. For being a stud, he’s even tempered and laid back, doesn’t at all seem driven by hormones. We’ll see what happens!

If you’re wondering how our little hogs are doing, here you go:

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They aren’t so little anymore but they still have their cute personalities. Nibbles is on the left and Nacho is on the right. Nibbles hogging the food station is the reason he has been able to catch up to Nacho in size.

In other farm news, Andrew was able to seed the pasture with rye grass a few weeks ago. We rented a seed driller with our neighbor and used his tractor to get the job done.

Of course Andrew is always right at home on a tractor. Hopefully we will have one of our own one day.

After waiting what seemed like an eternity, it finally rained a couple days this week and allowed the grass seeds that were below the soil to germinate. It may be a couple years before our pasture is in better shape but with proper management, I have no doubt it will be beautiful.

Another exciting farm happening was our very first farm photo shoot. As our brood continued to grow, Andrew really wanted to have pictures taken and send out Christmas cards this year. I enlisted my infertility sister Melissa Venable who owns Mellissa V. Photography to swing by one beautiful Saturday afternoon and do what she does best, take beautiful photos. We bought some festive accessories for our animal crew, donned our cowboy hats and and geared up for a wonderful photo shoot.

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This time of year is Melissa’s busiest season and we were 1 of 3 photo shoots that day. My girl is kicking butt and taking names my friends. Even when our animals were going buck wild and we were trying to catch Sparkle for the photo-op, Melissa remained patient with a beautiful smile on her face.

Luckily she loves horses and I get the feeling she really enjoyed her afternoon at the farm.

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I can’t wait to see the finished product and you know I will be sharing some sneak peeks with you. Unfortunately, Sparkle remained in the background because she had her sassy pants on that day and the dogs were a little wild and crazy but that’s our reality these days. I have learned to love our imperfections and to accept things aren’t going to be perfect. And they don’t have to be.

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I love that we have a farm of rescues, a motley crew of sorts, but love is all the same here. It doesn’t matter where you came from or what your past is, we will love you and care for you. There has been quite the spiritual awakening during this fall season at the farm. We were getting ready to add a few calves to Cypress Bayou Farm and Freedom walked down the street. Just as it is with our infertility, we don’t know what God’s plan is for our family but we trust in His design, not ours. What we thought was the plan for this farm may not be what God’s plan is for us. Right now, we are healing one horse at a time.

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