The Calmness of Autumn

March 31, 2011


As summer faded away, it took its hot and humid days with it.  Autumn took its place with cooler temps and shorter days.  We were very fortunate to have gotten a third cutting from our hay fields.  Generally with our typical dry summers we only get two cuttings of hay.  But with the early summer and steady rain, we were blessed with an extra cutting of hay.  (Little did we know at the time that we would need that extra hay for the long winter ahead.)

Miss Ember

Image, Ember and Abi at the crabapple tree

As our herd fell into a new routine with its new leader, Abi, there was a calmness and an affinity among them that was quite pleasing for everyone.  Image and Ember continued to flourish.  As the apple trees produced a bumper crop of wonderfully delicious apples, Image and Ember soon discovered there are other benefits of living here with us.  The apples!  Oh did we ever have the apples this fall.  All of our apple trees are the result of nature taking its course.  Birds and other critters left behind seeds that the ground swallowed up and gently nurtured into seedlings and then into beautiful apple trees.  Touchy has her favorite apple tree down where our two pastures meet.  She has always quietly sauntered off by herself to enjoy the first apples that drop to the ground before the others realized where she was and would soon join her.  In years past, the apple trees never produced enough apples that we had to concern ourselves with the horses eating too many of them.  But this year was different.  We had apples everywhere.  Earlier in the year we had tried to persuade Image and Ember to eat apples, but they would have nothing to do with them.  It wasn’t until they saw Abi and Touchy eating apples off of the ground that they decided to give it a try.  Image was immediately taken with this new ‘candy’.  He couldn’t get enough of them.  He would take a whole apple in his mouth, as if afraid someone would take it away from him.  Ember, on the other hand, chose to eat her apples in the daintiest of fashions.  One small bite at a time.  As the season wore on, the apples continued to drop at an alarming rate.  Concerned that the horses would eat too many and perhaps get sick, we began collecting the apples that fell to the ground.  We fell into the routine of Terry collecting buckets of apples in the morning and mid day and I collected them in the evening.  As Image realized that his supply of apples was getting smaller, he would sneak away from his friends and go gobble up the couple of apples that were there on the ground.  Only after he had eaten, would he call to Ember to join him.  I am sure she smelled the apple on his breath but she didn’t seem to mind that there weren’t any left for her.  She wanted to run and play.

We continued to play fun games with them in the round pen.  We have continued to built confidence and trust with each other.

Abi and Image in the creek

Ember following me everywhere I go

Image wanting to taste my camera....

Ember in the creek

Abi and Ember

Ember and Image



  1. Beautiful pictures and wonderful writing. Thanks for sharing – I love keeping up-to-date on the kids!

    • Thanks Nancy,
      I know that Image has a special place your heart. I remember your reaction the first time you saw him up on the mountain, when he was just a little white fluff ball! If you could see him shedding now, you would still think he’s a fuff ball!

  2. All of you are so blessed to be so happy with one another.

  3. Thanks again for keeping us informed with your stories about all the horses, Deb. It is so good to hear that the kids are thriving and enjoying life on your farm. God bless!

    • I can’t imagine my life without Image and Ember. We have been truly blessed!

  4. Deb: would you mind if i painted your photo entitled ember in the creek? that is just so gorgeous. i am a hobby artist but now and then i do sell some work for small prices. i am doing a series of animal cards to be used to raise funds for serenity equine rescue in washington state and old dog haven also in WA.
    i think this one would be a perfect addition to that effort if you are ok with it.

    i am on facebook … Horses in Art – artist.

    • Thank you Linda,
      I will send you a private message. Thank you for your work with the rescues!

  5. What an absolute paradise! Thank you for these pics, and post. So very uplifting.

    • Thank you Audrey.
      I would have preferred that Image and Ember stay in the mountain home. But since that wasn’t possible, I am so glad they are here with us.

  6. Deb, Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful photos. You have a wonderful place for these wonderful creatures.

  7. What wonderful images!! Thanks for sharing!!

  8. Such Beauty & so much love. Thank you for sharing.
    I have no idea about Crabapples making horses sick but I do know that if horses eat to many reguler apples with the seeds in them that the seeds can kill the horses. A few are ok. Reguler apple seeds contain Arsnic in them.

    • Thanks Barbara,
      We were very careful about the apples and how many of them were out there. The horses really didn’t eat many of the crabapples at all. They were probably too bitter. And there are still quite a few of them on the tree all shriveled and dried up now. I am surprised the Cedar Waxwings didn’t gobble them up.

  9. great pictures all the horses look good thanks for sharing. bob

  10. Thanks Deb for updating us on Ember and Image. As Ginger would say better they go to a loving home than someplace else… .

    I just got done reading this wonderful book on Wild Horse Annie. It just fries me that we find ourselves back where we were in the 1950’s. I don’t believe anythings really changed.

    Thankfully we know that two are safe. Thank you for this.

    • Thank you Margaret. History has a horrible habit of repeating itself when human pride and ego is involved.

  11. Hi Deb & Terry,
    How great to be on the receiving end of all those
    super-great photos of your dear “horse family”.
    We like to read all of your updates and just marvel
    at the adaptable ways of Image and Ember. Of course,
    God has given you great gifts in the communication
    you have with them and superb training techniques.
    How I hope to meet up with them “some day” should
    the church have need of us for another JMC.
    I,Nancy, was recently out to DELAWARE,OH to conduct
    another JMC at this church,though the day before
    leaving I cracked my ribs in a fall while hurrying to load up the car. The Lord worked in wonderful ways and it was a wonderful conference.
    Would love to come out your way if the church is
    having a missions conference this fall.
    We think of you, and “all the family” often.
    Nancy & Betty

    • Hi Nancy and Betty!

      So good to hear from you! We just love our 4-legged family. They are very dear to us and have wrapped themselves up in our hearts.

      Please let me know when you are in our neck of the woods. We would LOVE for you to come visit! And meet the kids.

      I’ll email you more in a little bit….

      Love and Hugs,

  12. Hey Deb,
    Your photography is beautiful! Really vibrant and gorgeous…. Of course the kid’s look great, my little buddy looks like he is getting enough apples. Little smarty pants.

    Hope all is well with you!

    • Thank you Susanne,
      Yes, Image can be a little smart pants! But a lovable one! He has that way of looking at you that will melt your heart.

      I hope you are doing well,

  13. Favorite photo is of water with trees framing horse and water. Would love to have you take photos of our horses when you and Terry visit Myrtle Beach!!!!!!!!!
    your friends,
    Diane and Casper Little Man

    • Thank you Diane,
      I will let you know if/when we ever venture over the East Coast. Montana has a way of pulling me West.

      I hope you are doing well,

  14. Lovely pics. The kids look good.

  15. I have seen your art for years at various horse events. Every time it simply takes my breath away. May God always keep you safe and happy so that you can continue to share your passion.

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