Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Say Hello to Q...

 And say good-bye, too. Q (yes, that's his whole name!) is retiring after 14 years of service as a therapeutic riding "instructor".  Q is a Paint horse that husband Jack purchased long ago. He planned to work with him and show him at horse shows. However, as they worked together, Jack could see that Q was a good, patient, and cooperative boy but he didn't have the moves he'd need to be competitive at shows. He was just four at the time, and Jack considered whether to keep him on our farm as a trail horse. But what he decided was to offer Q to the Marion Therapeutic Riding Association, a non-profit that uses horses to assist riders of all ages who have limitations. Although they don't often accept horses that young, the staff could see the Q had the kindness and qualities that would make him of benefit to the program. So for the last 14 years, he has been a faithful steed to dozens of riders. And now it's time for him to enjoy a retirement. That called for a party!

A large turnout came to enjoy the celebration, and Q was offered the first piece of cake. Sugary treats are not usual for the horses, but this was his day so an exception was made. He was not impressed and preferred the carrots and horse treats instead.

Here's the cake a baker at Publix designed for Q, using a photo of him. She got the color and his distinctive white face just right. And this is actually individual cupcakes assembled into a portrait, so the it was easy to serve. Nicely done!

You can see that he was a little tentative about his cupcake, but did get frosting on his nose.

This happy staff member got to take Q to her farm where he will reside for his retirement. She'll trail ride with him, and he has a pasture mate to enjoy hanging out with. We also offered that if she's unable to care for him for any reason, he is welcome to return to our farm. Have a nice life, Q! Your retirement is well-earned.

I've not written a post for this blog for some time as I was visited by whatever bug was making the rounds this month. Just getting my spark back now. But there was certainly a bright spot while I was feeling badly- this wonderful fiber valentine arrived from friend Robbie of Robbie's Paw Prints blog. She makes a number of these every year and surprises friends with her happy mail! You can read about how she made these delightful pieces here.

Even though I was a bit lackluster, and didn't go near the sewing machine for a couple of weeks, I did manage to make this little art journal. It's the first of 16 lessons in Tiare Smith's One BADASS Art Journal 2017 online workshop. Book artist Kiala Givehand was the instructor, and she's an excellent teacher with lots of ideas. I used a Gelli printed piece of canvas for the cover on this journal, but have another cover underway as well. You know I'm a big fan of online classes, and this one is no exception. More to come!

 And once I was feeling up to par, we took a day trip to St. Augustine. It was a lovely day to stroll around the historic downtown, and there are pretty courtyards and restaurants tucked in and among the historic buildings. This restaurant just looked so appealing with its painted chairs and greenery. Couldn't you just walk right in?


Createology said...

Sorry you were ill but happy to hear you are feeling better. Mr. Q will enjoy his retirement and what a wonderful joy he has given in his therapy work. I always love Robbie's fabric postcards! Happy Hearts...<3

Robbie said...

What a sweetheart Mr Q looks like!!! You know I raised Paint/Quarter horses...makes me miss them see Mr. Q.
Your little art journal is really nice!!! I just sent you an email and now reading your blog I think you are on the mend. sure hope so!!! Take care...and keep an eye on Mr. Q. Glad you offered to take him if the lady doesn't decide or can't keep him.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I had NO idea you had been ill, so was delighted to see you had posted. And what better way to start a post than with the lovely Q, who can now retire and enjoy the retired life.

Your art journal makes me jealous. I love how you painted it using your gelli plate and paint. And those stencils are to die for. I look forward to seeing the pages inside next.

sonja said...

Oh Nancy, you had me at Q! What a sweet guy with the gentle, soft eye. i have always known horses were healers, offering much wisdom and patience without a word, all with body language and a beautiful wrapping of warm and color rich coat. I do miss the scent of an equine since Lily left us at 28 back in 2005. I am so happy Q has all the rest of his time to languish with a pasture mate with the option of returning to your farm and meandering on a trail ride as that is an amazing way and height to observe nature. That he had contact with people that needed that healing touch without judgement makes him a hero to me. gotta go get a Kleenex now. glad you are feeling better!
Be well, Sonja