Thursday, October 30, 2014
It is hard to see but there is a Native American style TP right behind that buggy. I'm not sure, but my guess is they are studying Native Americans and this is a teaching tool. Looks like they have fun, eh?
If you enjoy the sentiments I shared in this blog, you might want to read the Amish Horses Book Series. Here is an Amazon link: Under the Heavens, Amish Horses Series
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Cowboys and Amishmen have something in common, they both grow up working with horses everyday. By the way, the same thing is true of Cowgirls and Amish women.
Here is a picture of me on the black horse (I was about 14 yrs old) That's my step-dad Dwain Chapman on the sorrel horse. This picture was taken on Uncle Truman's ranch in Idaho, Truman was Dwain's oldest brother, and a real cowboy.
I watched this Amishman working with these horses and he was good with them.
When we learn to speak, our language becomes so much a part of us that we don't have to think about the words. When you learn a foreign language, you have to think in your native tongue and then translate into the second language. Even then, you will always have an accent. You may wonder where I am going with all of this. I'm comparing people who grow up working with horses daily, with those of us that come into it later in life. We usually don't speak "horse" as a first language but we can get pretty good at it, over time.
Amish Girl with a Big Team
Just as Amish speak Dutch as a first language, many also speak "horse" fluently, we call people like that, "horse whisperers." I have known a few in my lifetime. The rest of us speak "horse" with a "human" accent.
There are exceptions to this rule. Some people just have a "way with animals" others of us love our horses so much we find a way to communicate. None-the-less, I am usually impressed with the way Cowboys and Amishmen handle horses. I'm gonna be honest with you, I'm not a Cowboy or an Amishman; but horses are as much a part of me as anyone else.
|My Son in the black hat and his buddy Nolan|
This is an old picture too
This is an old picture
|Amish Girls Riding|
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Our Amish neighbors a couple of miles up the road sell apples, garden produce, eggs and a whole bunch of other things. My wife and I stopped in a while back to buy some garden produce. We spent about a half an hour there because the elderly matron of the farm was, in my wife's words, an excellent sales person. My wife's mother bought produce from this lady for years and now my wife stops in and gets even more than she went to buy. It's all worth every penny!
I stood outside while the ladies were haggling prices and watched a group of little Amish children playing near the barn. I wanted to take pictures, but thought maybe I shouldn't.
Before we left, I asked the kind, older lady, "Do you still have that old apple tree that leans on boards to keep it off the ground?" She was obviously pleased that I asked about her special tree and encouraged me to walk around her produce shop and go see it. I didn't know she was following me so, I snapped this picture.
"The last time I visited this farm, this tree was propped up on boards," I said. She grinned and didn't say anything right away. I've found that if you stand quietly for a few moments, a person is often rewarded for having patience. She began to tell me more about her tree. "We think this tree is about 150 years old." And then she proceeded to tell me that her husband put props under the tree in the 1970's and then her son re-propped it in the 1990's and just a few years ago they abandoned the props and let the old tree lay on its side. She smiled and looked at her tree affectionately, saying, "We still get apples from this tree every year." You can see apples in its boughs in this picture.
I couldn't help but feel that I was witnessing something extraordinary! There has to be some type of moral lesson or fable connected with this tree. (Don't be surprised if it makes an appearance in one of the Amish Horses Series books) In the meantime, you all need to see this picture, it is too wonderful to keep to myself.
My picture isn't very clear but because the Amish woman was standing there I didn't want to take any more shots.
I included this picture because it was taken in front of the farm with the 150 year old apple tree.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Dogs who live in Bluegrass homes are happier than those who live in Rock-n-Roll houses.
Our Dachshund, Lucille
(she prefers to go by the name Lucy)
(she prefers to go by the name Lucy)
Okay, this is just a theory but I'm sticking with it! I'm also gonna guess that cats prefer Classical music, though some may love Country. There have actually been studies done that prove plants grow better in an environment of Classical music -vs- Rock-n-Roll. Don't get me wrong, I myself listen to all kinds of music, but I was listening to some Bluegrass this morning, while writing, and my little Dachshund seemed especially happy. That's when my theory about dogs and Bluegrass was born.
One time, a few years back, I took my team of draft horses back to the Amish farm where they were born. The Amishman that sold me the horses had asked if he could use them to do his spring plowing. I used my brother-in-law's horse trailer and took Stonewall and Jackson to the Amish farm before heading to work at the Post Office. I arrived at daybreak and didn't see anyone around. A generator was running so I knew that milking was underway. I headed into the milk-house and heard singing, but went unnoticed. Several teenage girls were milking cows and singing hymns in German. I stood and listened, afraid to be noticed, knowing that the beautiful moment would end as soon as they saw me. It did. I'm quite sure that hymn-listening cows produce much more milk than cows who are forced to listen to staticky radio. Especially a radio talk-show with some guy yelling about his views on politics. What do you think?
I will admit that I've known some real rock-n-roll dogs, but most seem to be born for bluegrass.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Barney is a horseman, but he is usually riding cutting horses, not driving a team of Belgians.
When we finally decided the harness was fitting pretty good, we led them over to my stone-boat, a wooden sled that has enough drag they wouldn't run far, if they did take off. We didn't know what to expect, except that his horses seemed really comfortable. Everything went great and we concluded that the Amish guy that broke this team did a great job.
Yes, it does look like we may need to tweak our harness fit just a little more.
It's a perfect tool for teaching horses and drivers, easy to get on and off. (that can be really important if there would happen to be trouble)
That's me, King and Kong
I was pretty relaxed after everything was over and it all turned out fine.
Sunday, September 21, 2014
Fall in the Kalona Iowa area
(notice the dragon fly in the clouds)
Natalie, my daughter, told me that she can't wait to have some of that home-made apple-butter. That got us started talking about Apple Fritters, those perfectly fried, cinnamon-sugary doughnut hole type things.
I haven't even started talking about all the wonderful music and entertainment, ranging from our local school bands and choirs to Bluegrass bands with a flare for humor.
All of us locals have a great time visiting but there is plenty of room and food for anyone that wants to join the fun!
Stop in the Mennonite Historical building and be amazed at all the artifacts and history in there.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Amish girls at a Horse Show
(this was not in Iowa)
It turns out that you will occasionally find Amish at a Horse Show. The reality is that there are a wide variety of Amish groups, each with their own set of standards. And within each of those groups there are individual families that are more, or less strict. I have also found that when an Amish family is on a vacation they may go to a Theme Park, or visit a Shopping Mall, or even spend a day at the beach. When Amish go to Sarasota, Florida for the winter they will ride bikes, even if that is banned in their home community.
I think these girls found a pretty good way to stay modest while riding horses in a dress... spandex!
These girls are sisters. I talked to the older sister, Annie, and found out that she has a Facebook group where she sells Horse-shoe Dream Catchers.
Here is the link to her Facebook Group "Horse Shoes For Sale." Please join the group even if you don't buy one it still may help.
At this show in June, Annie got 1st place in Western Walk and Trot. I think she said 3rd in the Egg Race, and 5th in a "Boot Race" I'm not sure what a Boot Race is but I've seen Egg Races before. You balance an raw egg on a spoon and ride your horses at a walk, then trot, canter and whoever is the last one with an egg still in tact on the spoon wins. It's a challenge and there are broken eggs everywhere.
(notice the egg Annie is holding)
(notice the egg Annie is holding)