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Horses To Pasture, Chickens In The Hay: Updates From Spirit Owl Ranch

Horses to Pasture, Chickens in the Hay: Updates from Spirit Owl Ranch

May installments in the saga of what it takes to create a space for horse rescue and a place to hold spiritual retreats. Charolette and her family moved to Spirit Owl Ranch last year, and are working hard since the property had been vacant for several years.

Charolette and I will be holding the first A Walk on the Wild Side at Spirit Owl Ranch in July where attendees will enjoy the tranquil beauty of 40-acres of old growth forest, meadow, and stream—home to owls, deer, elk, otter, fox, coyote, bobcat, Pacific Northwest tree frogs, etc. Nature walks, horse/cat/chicken encounters, shamanic journeys, fire ceremony in beautiful setting and more! Deadline for registration is June 13.

Grass green horse lipstick!

For this update, Tabitha Anderson (Charolette and Vince’s daughter) filled in while her mom was away. It is wonderful to watch the horses run in the lush, green fields.

Spirit Owl Ranch
by Tabitha Anderson

Hello all!

So, mom signed up for some classes that took her away from the ranch and asked me to fill in while she was gone. I have never done this before so I hope I will be able to fill in well.

Mom left on Friday while Beau and I were making some upgrades to the property. Mom likes to be able to see the old growth behind the house, so Beau and I have been taking down all the new growth. It’s looking better, not all gone but you can see the hidden beauty. Not done yet, but we have a good start to it.

Also on Friday I decided that I would try the chickens outside for most of the day…unsupervised. Guess what? It worked! I was kinda nervous about letting them out on their own, not knowing what they would do if some bad guys came around. Soon after that thought of bad guys came to mind, a crow flew overhead and all 21 chicks managed to gather under the chair I was sitting in. How they managed, I don’t know, but it worked. So, the chicks have graduated to unsupervised wandering. They still don’t go far from the chicken coop (which makes me happy), and the safety of their home.

In the video, Bully knows that if the rake comes out so do the worms and yummy morsels…I have a difficult time raking…he’s too helpful. Love my chickens!

At the end of the day on Friday everyone was happy and Angus wanted to share his dirt with me…Got to love the cats!

As Friday came to a close and things started to run through my head of what needed to be done the next day, I looked back at the barn as the sun was setting and a calm washed over me. Tomorrow is another day and I can think about that another time.


Saturday morning came way too soon, hauling trees, chopping trees, mowing, and fixing fence—I needed another day to sleep it off. But, my littles (cats, horses, and chicks) needed me.

So, when the grass is green and horses have had hay all winter long, you can get your horses sick if you don’t ease them into fresh grass. So, the boys have been getting fresh grass about three hours per day and will increase an hour every two to three days until they can be put out on fresh grass all day and not get sick. While they are not on fresh grass they are in the dry lot. With that said, I will get back to this in a few.

Morning routine is feed horses and let them eat in their stalls for about two hours, then put them out in the dry lot, let chickens out of the house part and into the coop part, clean stalls, soak feed, then back up to the house for more coffee and breakfast.

After food and more go-go juice [coffee], I will come back down and let the chickens out of the coop to roam the garden…ok, and help them find worms (my favorite part, playing in the dirt).

Beau and I cleaned stalls and went out in the big back pasture and did more to the fencing, cleaned it up a bit, and put more insulator posts in.

We will transfer the boys (horses) to the back pasture at 3-ish. That was the plan….note…horses had different plans.

The plan was Beau was going to take Dusty back to the grass, and I was going to take Dude and Soup, but Dallen had a plan of his own. As Beau was leading Dusty out, I was following with Dude and Soup, and Dallen decided to lead himself out without informing Beau or I. But, to our surprise, he followed right behind Dude, Soup, and it like he was being led by his imaginary friend. So sorry, I did not get any video of that. I wish I had. He was a good boy, very polite, didn’t run past anyone, stayed right in line with us and right into the grassy pasture…I think it had to do with the grass reward at the end.

One of the vidoes is Vanessa sitting on the ground. When I was a kid, mom (or maybe it was my grandmother, I can’t remember), taught me how to whistle with a blade of grass (if you don’t know how and would like to learn and you come to one of the retreats, ask me and I will teach you).

The horses and dog Bernie had never heard it. I missed video-ing Bernie’s reaction, but got Dusty’s from a distance. Not being able to video myself whistling with the blade of grass and walking up to Dusty doing it was a bummer. But, he snorted at me, and took the rest of the boys away from me and my noise. Was quite funny.

Another video is of Vanessa and Reuger. Being a five-year-old horse he tests mom (Vanessa) every once in a while, and mom had to teach Reuger a few things while the other horses were out grazing…But watch Reuger when he finally gets to join the others.


So, today is Sunday, and tomorrow mom will be home from her adventure. Today, Vanessa and I have set up a “guide” for the horses to follow out to the pasture, with Dusty as head horse.

The plan (last one didn’t work out so well), was that Vanessa would put Dusty’s halter on and make the lead rope into reins, hop on him and lead the rest of the boys out to the back pasture at about 3-ish with no halters or lead ropes, just Vanessa and Dusty to show them where to go. You can see from the video how well that went.

Until next time!

Spirit Owl Ranch
by Charolette Anderson

First I would like to thank Tabitha and Vanessa for doing the last blog because I was gone to an art class. Was a great class.

After I got back, we took the horses out to the back pasture and Vanessa decided to see how [rescued race horse] Soup would react to the start music to a horse race [First Call]. Was fun, see video (turn up sound).

We have been letting the horses out to run to the back pasture on their own and hearing their feet hit the dirt at a run is amazing. It is very grounding.

The chickens are getting braver and wondering into Dude’s stall and out around the the Honey bucket. They can be unsupervised all day now and will go back into their coop as the sun starts going down. Tabitha cannot be the one to shut them in because they see her and coming running back out thinking she might have something yummy. Silly Chickens.

Well that is all for now, so until next time!

Spirit Owl Ranch
by Charolette Anderson

We have had another busy week, and weekend.

Please welcome Anna to Spirit Owl Ranch. Anna is a Chihuahua that Vanessa brought home from my sisters. Anna is about 14 years old and has a few medical issues including going blind. Anna loves digging at blankets so they are just the right fluff before she lays down on them.

We took a break and attended Celtic Women Live at the Paramount Theater in Seattle on Friday night and it was amazing! Very relaxing and exciting. If you have an opportunity to see this old, preserved Theater you must go.

Dusty took out his stall wall between him and Reuger. Vanessa taught Dusty to stretch a long time ago when he had an injury, and now he uses anything to put his foot up on and then stretch his front legs. Well, he did this to his stall wall, but had just had shoes put on and got his shoe caught in the livestock panel wall, pulling down the wall and removing his new shoe in the process. He is fine, and Tabitha is very proud of the wall she has ever built.

The first garden snake of the year greeted us on the way out to the back pasture.

The chickens love Dude’s stall, and he actually will protect them while they are visiting. Sadly, we lost one of the chickens from—we think—too many being in there at once. One accidentally got stepped on. Sad, but it will happen. Built the little one a Bridge of Light.

Until next time!

Spirit Owl Ranch
by Charolette Anderson

Today will be short and sweet. We went camping over the weekend and are still unpacking and cleaning up from that. We play with the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), an educational reenactment of the Middle Ages and have lots of fun doing it. Also lots of clean up when you get home!

We had a surprise arrival this week of 25 chicks, Sea Bright, Gold and White, and Wheaton Old English Bantams. They were only three days old when we got them, and sadly have lost six since they arrived despite offering them Reiki. So young to be away from their mother…built a Bridge of Light for those who passed.

The remaining 19 chicks are so cute and enjoy the cuddles and Reiki. So, this means that the old chicken pen needs to be ready for the little ones when they are ready to go outside, in about three weeks. So far, the rose bushes have been taken out and half of the enclosure has been found again. Still lots to go, but we are getting there.

We had a wildlife guest for breakfast the latter part of the week, and how many chickens can fit in a hay net?

Until next time!

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