It's been an exciting week for both farm and stable. The lambs are nearly as wide as they are tall. Life is good; they eat, run, climb, and squeeze through the board fence, then nap in the sun and repeat. Padraigh is particularly striking. He has the largest horn buds and the cutest black smile and dark eyes. He is definitely the ringleader. An excellent gainer with tremendous personality, I'm really hoping to sell him for breeding.
The garden is developing. Mint, thyme, sage, and chives are available. Lettuce will be ready soon, as will lavender, marjoram, and cilantro. Corn, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, squash, and cucumbers are growing. We look forward to a bountiful harvest this year.
Anna seems determined to hold on to her foal forever, or at least until she's finished this bite...and the next...and the next....
The big news, of course, is our BIG NEW arrival! Inontime (Richter Scale - Ina Nic of Time/Nicholas) represents the true beginning of Rocinante Racing Stables and has already given us enough excitement to last the summer! She has a total sense of herself. Everyone comments on her presence.
Inontime came from Scott and Carol Ricker in Paris, KY. Terin found her listed on dreamhorse.com and after much deliberation, waffling, putting my foot down, and curiosity, I decided to run out and see her. Carol had emailed photos and she looked small, though very well conformed. When we pulled up to the loafing shed and Carol grabbed an elephant by the halter, I said, "That's not her...is it?" Saying this filly is large is like describing the ocean as wet. I haven't measured her yet but I'd be surprised if she didn't reach 17h. For our un-horsey followers, that's 6ft. at the back. Draft horse sized. A small Clydesdale. Honestly, I was so overcome by her Presence that I forgot to ask questions, check teeth, etc. After awhile I did start feeling her legs and we talked about her history, but it was superfluous; there is nothing amiss with the wondrous filly. She is tractable, charming, and very much in charge. I'd been stud shopping earlier that day and had a pocket full of treats; once the filly discovered them she took me as Her person, clearing a space around us that the other horses respected. When I left she followed me to the gate and tucked her head under my arm.
Getting the wondrous filly here was a challenge. Terin's friend's truck's U-joint broke the night before Filly Day #1. Monday May 3rd was Filly Day #2, and despite historical flooding, it went off without a hitch! Many thanks to Brandon and Amber for their time and care! After unloading and walking the filly for a bit, we gave her something to wonder about...the electric fence. The marvelous filly methodically examined her pasture, nibbling on the trees, the irises, the grass, and the fence wire. It...didn't go well. After a brief detour at the neighbor's fence, where she met their stud and spurned his advances, we convinced her to detour around the Invisible Horse-eating Forces through the back pasture. I really wanted another horse with her to show her the ropes. She wasn't interested. I've never seen Century intimidated by another horse, but he is terrified of the filly! Herself, meanwhile, stood frozen by the gate, convinced not moving was the only way to avoid the Invisible Forces of Horse-Eating Evil.
By midnight she'd settled some and was watching Chicken TV. (The chickens in their coop seem to be a perpetual source of equine amusement.)
Tuesday morning at 7am I went out to move Century and Herself to the pasture by the pond. Only Century was there. Four of us spent 13 hours searching for her and not a sign. Not a hoofprint, pile of poop, or bent grass to be found. Terin helped me place several ads and alert people from southern IN to Lexington and SW of Louisville. Wednesday evening the filly suddenly appeared with the horses across the street. She did not appear to have jumped the fence as all wires were intact except one, which had been taken apart at the loop. I gave her the motherly "don't you EVER do that to me again, do you understand" speech, including the "look at me when I'm talking to you, I'll let you run, just not away from home" bits. Funny how quickly we get attached....
I figure anything that doesn't hurt is worth trying once, so I name my horses according to theories of numerology. It works like this:
1 - add up the numbers in the date you were born (they must boil down to a single digit excepting 11 and 22)
2 - add up the letters in your name (in a rubric from 1-9), again until you have a single digit
3 - ideally the number should be the same
So, with Thoroughbreds, I want their birthdate and barn name to match. Better if the registered name follows suit, but I figure they won't hear that much. Inontime's birthdate is a 7, but her registered name is an 8, so she needed a 7 barn name. I made a list, asked for opinions, narrowed it down to about four names, and asked the filly which one she liked best. Now I figure if I'm gonna buy into this number nonsense I'd better go all in, so she had to be called by the chosen name exactly as it is, no nicknames or abbreviations. The filly was quite keen on Atalanta (a warrior princess who beat all the men fully armed in a footrace in mythology) and Guinevere (queen of Camelot), but I found them too unwieldy for everyday use. I liked Vashti, the queen in the Book of Esther who refused to dance naked before the king and his cronies. But the filly chose Ellin, which (according to baby naming websites) means "moving" in Gaelic. It's a good name, and it can be shortened as Elle ("she" in French) is also a 7.