We’ve had a wonderful week of firsts at Morning Bray Farm.

On Saturday, Ellsworth rode with his new headstall, bit and reins for the first time. One day later, Patrick was wearing his first fly mask and loving it. Then, on Monday, Ellsworth and I had our first riding lesson together. We even got him ever so briefly up to a trot.

Despite all of the excitement and activity here, Don and I always make it a point to spend time with every one of our critters every day… even if just for a few one-on-one uninterrupted minutes.

For the very first time on Tuesday, Nigel let me really brush him. We’ve brushed him before, but he never allowed us to brush him for more than a few minutes… and definitely not all over. 

This time, Nigel allowed me to brush him until the comb ran cleanly through his hair… about 20 minutes. We took a medium-sized dog’s worth of hair from him.

I throw the boys’ hair over the fence so that the birds can nest with it, and so Bernard doesn’ t eat it.

Yesterday, Nigel graduated to a dandy brush and the FURminator. Again, he stood quietly while I brushed and brushed and brushed him.

It looks like he has a gorgeous black coat underneath all of his old, dirty hair.

Being that Nigel is four years old this year and this is the first time he’s accepting regular grooming, we can’t wait to see what the boy underneath really looks like.

Beautiful, for sure. ♥ ♥ ♥

Watching Bernard, Ellsworth and George exhausted Lucy and Alan

Those crazy boys never stopped moving.

Alan thought George had lost his marbles.

Why was George cavorting with the city boys like that?

Oh, how they played and played and played!

What a posse. Small, medium and large. ♥

Our friends Stanley and Cindy did it again. They captured the emotion of every moment they were here last Saturday.

Just like they did last August.

Thank you once again, Stanley and Cindy. ♥  You both are amazing, talented and wonderful… and the boyz love you! (So do we.)

You can also visit Lei Photography on Facebook here. ♥

We put the burro brothers in a stall yesterday afternoon so I could work with Nigel.

The next time our farrier visits will be a year to the day short one week of when Fergus and Nigel came to Morning Bray Farm, and Nigel needs a pedicure.

We still haven’t managed to get a halter on Nigel because he’s extremely hand shy when it comes to having his face touched.

He loves being scritched everywhere else, but please don’t touch his face, he says.

Fergus did a smashing good job of being a supportive brother though.

He even brought out his best goober face to make Nigel laugh. Fergus learned well from Bernard, don’t you think?

All things considered, I called our session a success because I was able to clean out Nigel’s eye boogers for the first time. ♥

I think yesterday was one of the best days of young Bernard’s life. While his brothers were contentedly eating breakfast, Bernard wanted a part of whatever was going on as soon as Don started backing up the trailer.

It was a perfect New Mexico day as we drove to The 7MSN Ranch.

As soon as we arrived, Bernard expressed his excitement by letting out a big, loud bray. George and Alan were so excited, they floated on air.

I simply loved seeing Bernard in this environment.

After a delicious lunch on the porch – while watching the burro brothers and Bernard gallop past in single file – we all took a walk in the pasture. Bernard made himself completely at home and led the way.

George, Alan, Carson and Hank were right behind us.

And when it was time to head back to the barn, Bernard led the way once again.

At the end of the afternoon, parting was such sweet sorrow. By the time we arrived home, the sun was beginning to set as we crossed the Rio Grande, and the only thing Bernard could talk about was the next time he visits The 7MSN, Ellsworth will be along for the ride. ♥

My dad came to visit this weekend.

It was his first time meeting Fergus and Nigel. You would’ve never known.

Nigel took a keen interest in my dad.

Fergus made sure he got scritches from PeePaw. (Don’t miss the look on Fergus’s face.)

Aww, Nigel… ever working up the courage to get closer.

Of course you knew it was inevitable… The Bernard and Ellsworth Show soon followed.  Bernard thought pretending to tell PeePaw a secret…

…was the perfect ruse to make an attempt at eating PeePaw’s glasses.

My dad and Ellsworth found that amusing. Bernard then tried to eat my dad’s shoes,

…then wanted to play cone. (Good golly, look at the farmer tan on that woman.)

Ellsworth gave PeePaw a hug…

Then my dad gave Ellsworth a hug…

Then… here’s my new tattoo, up close!  The top freeze mark is Fergus’s… the one below is Nigel’s. If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out Carson’s blog today to get the scoop on how it all went down.