Just Horsing Around

Although I still have many Greek doors waiting in my photo library for their turn in the spotlight, I’m taking a detour today.

The doors I’m featuring in this post may be rather simple and unremarkable, but the place where they are located is not.  That place is Awesome Acres.

Cathy's farm 2

Awesome Acres is a horse farm owned by a friend, and former work colleague, I’ve known for 20 years. Recently I went to visit her and see the newest additions to her farm – 2 miniature horses.  The friendly little mares join the 4 regal Freisians Cathy already had in her stable.

Cathy's farm 6

One of the newest additions, Caly.  This miniature is in foal, expecting an even tinier miniature in April.  According to Wikipedia, when that little one is born, it will be about the size of my 20 lb cat.

Since her retirement a number of years ago, Cathy has taken her love of horses and developed it into a not-for-profit business providing therapeutic riding for children and adults with disabilities.

Awesome Acres is an accredited centre with the Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association.

Cathy's farm 7

The stall door in the background is so much shorter than the door in the foreground because it is for the miniatures.

Therapeutic riding provides many benefits, including development of balance and coordination, improving muscle strength and concentration, and helping to build self-confidence and a sense of achievement …. not to mention that some people just find it easier to connect with an animal than with another human being.

Cathy's farm 4

The barn is a place of wonder for a non-horsey person like me with all its saddles, straps, and whatnots.  The little flap at the bottom of the door is for the barn cats.  This is a heated room where their food and beds are located.  I’m thinking it would be comical to watch my Theo trying to squeeze in that opening.

The last year had been a rough one for Cathy – losing 2 of her horses, including her much-loved miniature, Gilligan.  He was popular, particularly among the children, providing rides in a little cart he would pull around the large paddock.

Adding the 2 new mares to her stable has been a huge boost for her, although Gilligan’s name still graces the door of the stall.

Cathy's farm 13

Cathy's farm 12

Welcome to Jeana, the 2nd newest addition to Cathy’s family.

I could fill this post with endless photos of Cathy’s very friendly and photogenic horses …

Cathy's farm 3

yes, that would be nice.  We are very pretty.

… but this post is supposed to be about doors, so I’ll end with the stable entrance – intended for humans.

Cathy's farm

This post has been brought to you by Thursday Doors, a weekly photo feature hosted by Norm Frampton at Norm 2.0.

About Joanne Sisco

Retired but not idle. Life is an adventure - I plan to continue to embrace it.
This entry was posted in Friends, Photo Challenges, Things I Like, Thursday Doors and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

98 Responses to Just Horsing Around

  1. Magnificent post! I love all those beauties; Jeana is particularly adorable!

    Like

  2. The minute I saw this post I had to call Ben over. Not only does he love horses but he REALLY loves miniature ones. His reaction “OMG, I am SO jealous!!!!” Can’t wait to see photos of the baby when it arrives ~ please do an update.

    Peta

    Like

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      I will definitely do an update!

      The last time one of Cathy’s horses had a foal, she went to the barn in the morning to discover the wee one had come during the night.
      Babies of all kinds are just so exciting 💕

      Like

  3. Your friend is the awesome in Awesome Acres; she must love humanity as well as her animals to create such a great retirement business to incorporate her love of horses to help those that really need those horses. And, of course, an awesome friend to share her story should not go unnoticed, great story for that human entrance, Joanne! 😉

    Like

  4. These photos are gorgeous. I swear I can smell the horses. Definitely one of the most therapeutic animals.

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  5. What magnificent creatures! You’ve captured their mugs beautifully. They all seem to be smiling. The doors are lovely as well. I love what Cathy is doing here. #RIPGilligan

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  6. I love this post, Joanne! Awesome Acres is aptly named. Gorgeous horses. I agree that the barn is a place of wonder. I hope to see more posts about this awesome place. And the doors are wonderful. Huge hugs.

    Like

  7. da-AL says:

    absolutely gorgeous!!!

    Like

  8. JoAnna says:

    This post is beautiful and exciting in many ways: the horses of course, the earthy colors and feeling, and love comes through your words and photos. I’m reminded of how horses, with their special powers, helped me through my adolescence. Just being with them still gives me good energy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      I’m glad this brought back some happy memories for you.
      I didn’t grow up with or near horses, so I never got that horse fascination that many people do … but I see that love in my friend and I can appreciate it ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ally Bean says:

    These are lovely horses, with some nice doors. Of course, the minute you show me horse photos the Mr. Ed theme song starts playing in my brain. “A horse is a horse, of course, of course, And no one can talk to a horse, of course. That is, of course, unless the horse is the famous Mr. Ed.”

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Such beautiful horses, Joanne. I’ve only ridden a couple of times when I was younger and I’m afraid I’m too wary of doing it now but I love to watch horses, they’re one of my favourite animals.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pistachios says:

    Those really are beautiful horses! I had to look at the first photo for a while to make sure it wasn’t a painting or something.
    Didn’t know “therapeutic riding” was a thing, but it sounds like a wonderful thing your friend is doing for those with disabilities. The doors may be more on the nondescript side, but for their function and sturdiness, I’d say they’re pretty remarkable 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Enjoyed this post – on many levels…first horses❤️…then the important work your friend Cathy does with the help of her steeds…also what a well maintained stall and tack area this is (hard work!)…and finally great photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      I thought you’d appreciate this more than most 🙂. Cathy is meticulous in everything she does and that includes the barn and the entire (very large) property. I have a sense for how much work is involved and am in awe of her energy and strength!

      Like

  13. nrhatch says:

    The horses are more photogenic than that door.
    Just saying. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Su Leslie says:

    Lovely post Joanne. I’m not a horsey person either, but I can admire their beauty from a distance. Having said that, the in-laws used to have someone grazing her horse on their land, and I did enjoy patting and feeding it (from the other side of the fence). Our little community has a therapeutic riding programme, run by volunteers at the local pony club. I’ve heard so many good things about it, and love that it’s all done by good people, like your friend, who are willing to share their skills and time and love of horses to help others. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      The concept of therapeutic riding was a new one for me and Cathy’s been doing it now for a number of years. It’s very hard work, but clearly a labour of love for her.

      I’m with you about staying on the other side of the fence from the horses. Even then I feel a bubble of panic when they spot us standing at the fence and come running.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Su Leslie says:

        Hehe.
        It truly is a labour of love; and I can see why people take it on. A friend’s son has muscular distrophy and some developmental delays; therapeutic riding has brought about amazing changes in him, especially in terms of muscle tone and in his confidence. For the volunteers who work with him, seeing these changes must be make their efforts seem worth while

        Liked by 1 person

  15. dweezer19 says:

    Great photos. I can actually smell it….😉

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Amy says:

    Those horses are stunningly beautiful! I was thinking Awesome Acres was a perfect name since they are so awesomely cute, but then I read about what your friend does…and that’s even more awesome!! Thanks for sharing Joanne. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      I think Cathy feels a twinge of guilt that we’re always driving out of the city to visit her rather than the other way around. The truth is we love driving out into the countryside and visiting the farm and the horses. She has a beautiful property that’s meticulously maintained. She named it appropriately 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  17. joey says:

    Great doors, and delightful purpose 🙂
    Horses are so majestic.
    My husband’s aunt has miniature horses. They’re twee, course!

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Those miniature horses are so cute!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. bikerchick57 says:

    The two horses in your first photo are gorgeous. The doors are nice too, but I’m an animal lover, so…
    It’s wonderful work that your friend does, something that she must enjoy doing every day. So rewarding and a blessing to others!

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Oh they’re so beautiful! What a wonderful post this is today. I love horses, but don’t get ride very often.
    This summer I’m going to be spending 4 days on horseback in the high country looking for Wild Mustangs to photograph and admire. I am hoping I get to be a better rider, and understand horses somewhat better after that. I hope my derriere survives it! 🙂

    Anyway, I’m hoping you go back in the Spring so we can see the new foal too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      I definitely plan to go back to see the little one. One of Cathy’s Friesians had a foal a few years ago and it was quite exciting to see him shortly after he was born. This time it’s going to be quite different because miniatures are so small at birth (look at me, pretending to be knowledgeable about these things 😉)

      Your trip this summer sounds really cool. As uncomfortable as I am around horses, I like the idea of taking a trip on horseback. I think it would be a very different and ‘intimate’ way to experience the countryside. I’ll be looking forward to reading about your experience – and I hope you find many wild mustangs to photograph!!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Susanne says:

    I would love to see a newborn miniature. Hard to imagine a horse of any size weighing only 20 lbs. What a wonderful way to spend your retirement doing this kind of work. Awesome indeed!

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Anabel Marsh says:

    Awesome is the right word! I especially like the top picture with the two black horses. The one with the different coloured mane is so elegant.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Heyjude says:

    Lovely story. I am not a horse person, they scare me to death because of their size, but I’d probably be OK with the miniatures. The black one with the auburn mane is a true beauty though. I do hope you will return to photograph the foal in spring. As for the doors, I did once have a stable door in my kitchen. Very useful for letting sunlight and fresh air in and stopping a crawling baby and a puppy from getting out 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  24. What a wonderful story! Your friend has a generous, loving spirit. Thank you for the introduction.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. jesh stg says:

    Those two black horses are beauties – so elegant! Thank you for telling Cathy’s story! The stables look greatly cared for:)

    Liked by 1 person

  26. What a lovely place, Joanne. Cathy’s horses are beautiful, and what a wonderful way for those with disabilities to build strength and confidence. Yay! A fun detour, my friend. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  27. JT Twissel says:

    We live near a therapeutic horse ranch – it’s wonderful what they do. They do provide a “door” for many traumatized children. (I love those ponies but the big horses scare me!)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      I think horses are beautiful, but I’m happier when they’re on the other side of the fence from me. Their size is rather intimidating and maybe that’s just because I didn’t grow up near horses.
      The little ones are just so cute and I can see why children in particular are drawn to them.

      Like

  28. Beautiful post, thanks for sharing. I have a niece in Germany who does something similar with horse therapy. Very cool.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Dan Antion says:

    Wonderful doors and beautiful animals – what a great combination, Joanne!

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Retirement Reflections says:

    I love reading about places like ‘Awesome Acres’ where people combine their passions with generously serving others. Big Kudos to Cathy! Thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Tippy Gnu says:

    I’m very impressed with the photos. You seem to have done a great job capturing the beauty of these horses.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Kelly MacKay says:

    wonderful post. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Suzanne says:

    Wonderful post. Thanks for sharing your friend’s passion for helping others through her work. Photos of the horses are great, but the little stall door was a highlight for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. loisajay says:

    Wonderful post, Joanne. I love how people respond to animals–it is such a joy to watch the connection. I have never seen stall doors for miniatures, but it makes sense! And they’re so darn cute, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      It makes sense to me too. I didn’t think to ask Cathy about what kind of reconfiguration she’s going to have to do when Caly has her foal. The girls are currently sharing a stall, but Caly will need some private space when the foal is due.

      Like

  35. This is my all time favorite door post ever. I love the name “Awesome Acres.” It is perfect, what an incredible name for a place that does so much good and asks for nothing in return. Your friend has a heart of gold and it shines through the pictures. The horses look happy and even though I can’t see the children’s smiles, I can feel them. Well done Joanne!

    Liked by 1 person

  36. karen207 says:

    I like the doors in this one, Joanne, but love the horses. Especially those miniatures. I’ve often thought it would be amazing to have a farm full of miniatures – horses, pygmy goats, tiny piglets, miniature donkeys, you get the idea. All in a little red barn and beautiful paddock. I’ve got the room for it, but found out that pygmy goats last 20 years. Eesh, what a commitment. Instead, I’ll enjoy vicariously, such as through this post. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      Since Theo became a part of our family, I’ve learned that even one cat is a huge commitment and a lot of work. I can’t imagine the workload of a farm full of animals. All I know for sure is that there is no such thing as a day off. I have huge respect for those who manage active farms – of all types.

      Like

  37. Norm 2.0 says:

    Awesome post Joanne. I’m not a rider myself but I’ve always admired horses for the noble classy animals they are. A nice range of doors at this place including the cat door, yay!
    Places like this are a godsend for many. It’s heartwarming to know there are people willing to do this kind of important work. Cheers to Cathy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Lynn says:

    My daughter worked & coached at a therapeutic riding facility for a few years. She has so many wonderful stories of the efffect these beautiful animals had on their riders & the incredible interaction the occurred between the two. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      Cathy too has shared stories about some who arrive very withdrawn and fearful, but then transform in the company of these animals.
      I had never heard of therapeutic riding until Cathy began to pursue it. Now I get it and think it’s wonderful.

      Liked by 1 person

  39. Now this is a great way to give horses a job to do. Friesians are a beautiful breed. Magnificent horses. What a lovely story. The picture of the two Friesians… their coats are slick and shiny looking! Beautiful! So sorry your friend lost two of her horses. The little mares are cuties and it will be exciting to welcome a new foal. Maybe it will be a little colt… 🙂 I can smell that beautiful barn and have to laugh at the miniature horse sized stall door… 🙂 I would love to see more pictures and hear more about Awesome Acres and the gorgeous horses that grace the place. Lucky you to be able to visit. And the door is awesome!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      I’m not a horse person by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I’m a little afraid of them – but there is no denying the beauty of these Friesians. I’ve managed to take so many pictures of them over the years.
      … and the 2 new miniatures are adorable. I got a big kick out of Caly and her mullet-style hair 🙂
      I’m excited to return after Caly has her baby. A tiny horse around the size of my giant cat will be a very special treat to see!

      Liked by 1 person

  40. Lovely, Joanne! One of the people I work with has a farm and breeds sport and dressage horses. I loved visiting her and her horse mamas and babies last summer and hope to go again this year. She is having a barn built for her 4 legged family and I’d love to see it when finished (along with her new crop of foals). Your pictures of your friend’s barn are how I picture it will look – warm and woody and welcoming.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      Maybe because farms are such a foreign entity to me, but I am fascinated with the barn and all the stuff it entails. It is however very likely I would be less enthralled if I was mucking out stalls every day 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  41. Years ago we took our son to Gettysburg to learn about the Civil War. Nearby was a miniature horse farm. The animals and our young’un fell instantly in love, and we wound up buying one of the little ones! It was a lovely experience learning about horses and learning to ride. But when the children grew too big to ride, they lost interest in their horse chores. And that was the end of our miniature horse adventure!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      I’ve read that miniatures often become like family pets. They are friendly and trainable – even as service animals.

      It’s too bad your children lost their interest – although I can see why the chores would become a deterrent for young teenagers. Horses are a lot of work.

      Like

  42. A+ and extra credit for this one from this horse and barn lover. And, applause to your friend,Cathy, for being so generous with her time and money to help others. Oh, and I love the dutch door. Go back anytime. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      I am in awe of Cathy’s energy. She’s a tiny mite of a woman, but with incredible strength to handle the workload of managing and handling these animals. These giant Friesians can be as unruly as small children and she can show them who’s boss 🙂
      … but I agree, she is extremely generous in sharing her love of horses. I can hardly wait to meet the newest little one in the spring!

      Liked by 1 person

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