Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Back behind the lines again!

Howdy from Texas!


Life has been pretty interesting.  I ended up having open heart surgery in July.  All went well and I recovered without complications. 


Now that I’m pretty far along the recovery path, I couldn’t hold off the driving itch any further.  I’m decided that I’m going to try and do the Christmas parade and Christmas wagon rides that I used to do each year.  This means I’m gonna have to get some lazy pasture ornaments into wagon pulling shape!!


I decided I was going to work all 3 horses at the same time just to make things easier.  Well it sure wasn’t easier.  Buck won’t step off.  He can be a stubborn butt just like his momma was.  I had him in the center of the 3 abreast formation, with cross lines from his hames out to the inside bit of the girls on the outside.  This means that when Buck won’t move, the girls step out and then turn into him.  I tried for a while to encourage him to remember what to do, but he just wouldn’t do it.  He wanted to walk behind the girls.  Ended the night without having any actual fun driving.


Next night I decided to just work the girls.  Pam and Rachael are my dream team!  They were a touch rusty, but fell into their old routines very quickly.  We drug the sled around the field for 45 minutes, then I went out on the road for a few minutes.  It was all easy, and fun, and everything I love about driving.  So lucky to have these horses!  I only have one picture from the night, but after a 2 year break in driving, it’s a sight for my sore eyes.  :)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Swimming through Spring

It's been a bit so I figured I'd better check in.  Especially so I can show off the barn!  I did get the metal on it and I'm very happy with it!  I still need to finish trimming it out, but it's working great!!  At first the horses wouldn't go near it, but then one day I came home from work and saw both horses just standing in it.  Such a good feeling.  No worse feeling then putting a ton of effort into something, and then feel like the parties  you were supposed to be helping don't give a darn about what you did for them.  :)

Here she is!  I left one section open so that I could feed through it if I needed.

A view from the back.  I did add gutter on this side a few days after this picture.

So there you have it ... Stage 1 of my 3 stage barn is complete.

The baby geese I got earlier this year are now grown.  I think I will miss their baby squeaks.  the goose honks are now loud and present.  Geese are certainly wonderful watchdogs!

7 total geese now thanks to 4 grown babies

This spring has been the wettest I have seen in the 10 years I've lived here.  It rained constantly from April till June.  All the local ponds and lakes are full.  I sure am glad I got the barn done before the April showers hit.  That would have been one mucky mess I would want to avoid.  I think the news said that we have gotten more rain in the first 6 months of 2015, than we did in all of 2014.  It's been WET! 

The Farmer's Almanac
So this January I was at the local Tractor Supply picking up some stuff, and I saw the Farmer's Almanac.  I've seen these for years and never thought anything about them.  This year I decided to purchase one and see what it was all about.  It had some awesome reading in it.  Talked about when to plant crops,  best days to harvest, and all kinds of interesting stuff.  It also talked about the weather.

When I read this in January, it said that we would have a very wet year, with showers all the way into July.  Due to the past 10 years of near drought conditions, I laughed it off.  Well,  look who's laughing now.  That Almanac was right!  Pretty cool to see that it actually forcasted this year pretty good.  From this point forward, I'll be picking one of those up every year!

Last weekend I drove to my friend Bev's house and brought Pam home from her year of broodmare duties.  it was very good to see her and get her home.  Turns out that she is past her breeding years.  She tested positive for a pregnancy 3 times in the past year, but when they went to ultrasound the baby, there was nothing.  The vet found some things that are not ideal, and so it pretty much means that Pam's breeding days are behind her.  She's just going to have to get used to being a work horse now.  :)  I'll try and catch a picture of her.  The horses are currently feasting on my in-laws/neighbors delicious pasture grass and so they don't come back up that often.

I plan on doing as much driving as I can in the next month.  I have some stuff going on towards the end of the summer that is going to limit me and my abilities.  This means I'm going to try to get in my horse fun now, while I'm still up and working well.  I'll post pictures as I do.  :) 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A Happy 2015 to all y'all!!

Happy New Year!  Things have been going alright out at our place.  I'll try to be brief and catch everyone up on what's been going on in my neck of the woods.

My horses:

Pam was leased out as a broodmare for the year.  She is currently living life as the diva she is.  Stalled, blankets when its cold, fed twice a day - she's gonna hate coming back to live on the farm.  She's bred and expecting a foal this next spring.

Rachael and Buck are best of friends as of lately and living it up here at home.  Due to a hectic work schedule and my health not being what it should be, they have become pasture ornaments.  I have plans to change that this year.  In the meantime, I feed them, and they look pretty.  That's about it.

It is with sadness that I report the loss of Nellie this year.  Her health has been in a slow decline since she ingested a whole bunch of hay net a few years back.  This year she was extremely lean on the nice spring grass.  We did all we could to find out what the problem was, but we ended up losing the fight a few months back.  The vet said his best guess is that the hay net either damaged her intestines, or were still wadded inside them, making it difficult for her to absorb nutrition.  This was the worst news of the year.
RIP Nellie

A barn???

Plans for Phase 1 of my barn. 

This fall I started building a barn.  The end result will be a 36 x 36 barn with 3 12x12 stalls, tack room, hay room, and feed/storage room, with a large center aisle.  In order to make this a reality,  I broke it into 3 phases.  Phase 1 - a 12x36 run in;  Phase 2 - another 12x36 run in, mirroring the first; Phase 3 - connect the two run ins and enclose it all.  See the process below.
More poles in

First poles
All Poles in the ground
Framing in work

Framed, with horses!  :)

I had some great help!

All framed up and ready to go!

Phase 1 is now all framed and just waiting on metal roof and siding.  I'm really pleased with the results so far.  Not too shabby for my first barn.  We also get the satisfaction that comes with the fact that we did it ourselves! 

A new puppy

A month ago, while out unloading a pick-up full of rock into a rather large pothole in the driveway, I turned around and was greeted by a pup.  He'd been dropped off out in our neck of the woods.  He just sat there, watching me work.  It was going to drop down into the low 30s that night, so I brought him home with me.  His name is Duke, and he now has a home with us.

The night I found him.

He's made himself quite comfy at our place.

Christmas Wagon Rides on Park Street

This year I didn't have my horses and wagon ready for the wagon rides.  I was pretty bummed that I was missing it for the 2nd year, but then I got a phone call.  The folks who were bringing the wagons and horses needed a driver for one of the nights.  I got offered the spot, and gladly took it.

A nice team of paint horses pulling a home-made vis-a-vis.  Great night!

I got to work a team of awesome paint horses.  they were much smaller than my drafts, but they pulled like a dream.  These horses loved to trot.  I've never driven a team with so much get up and go.  It was pretty awesome.  Much much different than the death march my Belgians do when pulling for the 2nd - 3rd hour.  Had a great time.  Next year I plan on being back, but this time with my own team again.

Plans for the future

The biggest plans I have are to get the horses working again.  I gotta get these horses out of their "pasture ornament" frame of mind and back working.  This will also mean training Buck.  All he really needs is hours on him.  This year I plan on doing that.