Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Barn Drama Makes the Wall Street Journal

Everyone knows the saying that the horse world if full of crazy people and that if you don't know a crazy horse person then it's you. You are the crazy one.  Good thing I know lots of crazy horse people so I can rest assured that *I* am not the crazy one.  

Apparently non horse people also think we are crazy, to the point it was worthy enough to write about in the Wall Street Journal. I love the subtitle to the article: "People Who Board Horses Know That Misbehavior by Human Owners is Common Hazard." I'll preempt everyone who feels the need to mention it and say the crazy isn't reserved just for the horse owners, there are plenty of crazy barn owners and trainers out there too.  

Why is there so much crazy in the horse world?  Horses are expensive in both time and money. Then there is the unfortunate fact that although they are large horses are incredibly fragile, delicate creatures that are born looking for a way to kill themselves. And they don't want a quick, painless death, they apparently want it to be slow and painful with multiple attempts. So when you have a bunch of people spending a huge amount of their time and money on incredibly delicate animals that spend their time looking for new and creative ways to injure themselves . . .  it is enough to make the most sane person start trending towards the crazy side. Apparently it happens so often the WSJ feels our craziness is newsworthy. Who knew?  


Thomas leading the way in for breakfast followed by Baby and Rip

Hemi and Tony coming for breakfast with Elfin on the run behind them saying "wait for me!"

Cuffie and Cinnamon



Merlin and Noble

Miracle and Sparky

Griselle and Timbit

Dutch and Murphy



Murphy and Renny

Wiz leaping in the air and saying "wheeeeee!" . . . 

. . . then he did it again with Murphy and Dutch watching

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday Stills

Something had this group's attention but I never could figure out what it was, probably dead people. Lofty, Gibson, Faune, Flyer, Lotus and Romeo all staring hard.

Then they had to do some milling around and re-positioning; Faune, Flyer, Silver (and Cocomo hiding behind Silver)

 Romeo, Lotus and Donneur doing some more staring

Then Silver, Faune and George had to do some re-arranging. Like I said I never could find a cause for all of this staring, re-arranging, and more staring.

O'Reilly and Bruno

Wiz and Sam


starting to look like spring

Dolly and Cinnamon; this picture looks very spring-like

Rip and Grand

what a traffic jam in our driveway typically looks like

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Odd Jobs

Some of the things we spend time on our pretty obvious like anything to do with hands on horse care. It is also no surprise that we spend a lot of time on farm maintenance as well. Pastures need to be mowed, re-seeded and fertilized, fences need repairs, etc. Other things might not be quite as obvious. 

I spent a couple of hours last week breaking down cardboard boxes and hauling them off. We get a TON of boxes. Between monthly SmartPaks, routine supplies that we order, replacement items sent to us by our clients (such as blankets) and so on we get a staggering number of boxes in a month. I tend to let them pile up in the wash rack until it is unrecognizable as a wash rack and is literally overflowing with boxes. Every couple of months I lose a couple of hours of my life breaking down boxes and loading them in the truck.

Yesterday Jason and I spent an hour loading baling twine into the stock trailer to haul it off. Our stock trailer is big and we had it stuffed full of baling twine. We had to drive over the scales at the transfer station going in and then going back out. Anyone care to guess how many pounds of baling twine we hauled off?

Any guesses?

Did you guess 50 pounds?

Maybe 100 pounds? 

The answer is . . . 

drumroll please . . . 

250 pounds of baling twine. No that isn't five years of baling twine that we had collected, this was only from the last few months. Who knew?  In addition to exciting things like breaking down dozens of boxes and hauling off baling twine, in the last couple of days Jason has spread fertilizer on the pastures and I've been getting all of my notes and instructions organized for spring vaccinations. These seem like more "normal" activities to me.

What crazy things (horse/farm related or not) have you spent time on lately? 

Jason spreading fertilizer

One of our many stashes of baling twine around the farm. We used pitchforks to load it all into the trailer!

It hasn't been 100% work with no fun around here. Jason transplanted a couple of redbuds. I don't think he appreciates it that I call them his "sticks." Here he is posing with one of his sticks.


Fabrizzio and Merlin


Faune taking a nap; note the closed eyes and drooping lip

Levendi, Thomas and Hemi

Trigger, Apollo and Homer

Lily having a good roll


Dutch and Wiz

Sebastian and Johnny

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Halter Effects

Whenever we have a scheduled event such as a farrier day, dental day, etc. we always put halters on the horses that will be participating in that day's activities at morning feeding. I don't know what it is about halters going on but it seems to make the horses on this farm very tired. There is something about the halters going on that equals horses laying down and napping.

The thought pattern is apparently something like "Oh no, they put the halter on me. This means that I might not be doing exactly what I want to do every minute of this day. This is so unfair, I'm retired, I don't want to see the farrier/vet/dentist."  Maybe the horsey temper tantrum wears them out and they have to take a nap to recharge like they are giant sized toddlers or something. 

Or maybe the thought pattern is more like "Oh no, they put the halter on me. That probably means I'm going to see a farrier today. I'm going to have to stand on three legs while I have my pedicure, it is soooo hard. I'd better lie down and rest up."

There is one day each year where halter day often has the opposite effect: vaccination day. I don't know how they know that it is vaccination day, but they do. We have seven pastures however if you were to drive down our driveway on vaccination day you would be wondering if a single horse lived anywhere on the property. The second the halters go on there is suddenly something in the farthest corner of their pasture that requires immediate attention. Everyone heads to the nether regions of their pastures immediately, often at a gallop, to investigate. That or they go hide in the woods. Either way the pastures suddenly look quite empty from the driveway.

Today was a farrier day so we had the tired horse phenomenon once the halters went on. As I looked at all the horses either resting up for their turn with the farrier or recovering from their turn with the farrier I reflected on the fact that farrier days always seem to equal tired horses. The things that make you go hmmmmm.


the morning view

another view from this morning

Murphy and Renny didn't care about the views, they wanted to be fed

Walden and Fabrizzio

Moe looks a lot less enthusiastic than  Jason about waiting for the farrier

Chance and Tony



Elfin; I'm not sure if waiting for the farrier is more tiring . . . 

. . . or recovering from the farrier appointment is more tiring; Walon


Jason's lilac bush a few days ago; Jason loves lilacs in the spring