Unfortunately I did not take any pictures while the horses were interfering with my cow cutting. I simply didn't have enough brain cells to handle taking pictures, cutting cows and herding horses all at the same time, especially first thing in the morning. I also jogged a few miles as I made my way back and forth across the pasture and was a bit frazzled and out of breath. I was fairly impressed with myself that I managed to do accomplish all of that without calling in reinforcements. Not bad for a morning's work!
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
I hope you have enjoyed meeting Leo!
Monday, August 25, 2008
They lived in one of the stalls at first since we didn't have any other goat proof location for them. Being the animal lovers they are my parents fenced off a new paddock behind the barn with goat proof fencing, and then built the goat condo for them as well. Isn't this what everyone does when stray goats show up? They also proved to really helpful when we have new residents on the farm. We use the goat paddock as our quarantine paddock and so far each and every horse has fallen in love with the goats as they spend their first days on the farm in the goat paddock.
Buffy's second day with us. I think Buffy loved the goats more than any other horse ever has!
The goats had really outdone themselves this time, and had chosen to destroy a bois d'arc tree, also known as an osage orange tree. As it turns out the wood from these trees is one of the hardest woods out there. My dad, Jason and our friend Carlos decided to tackle sawing up this tree last weekend and 4 dull, overheated chain saws later the job still wasn't done!
It took awhile but we did actually chop our way through that tree - once! We decided to wait until the chain saws had recovered to finish off the stump. It was a tough job and I am confident that everyone involved hopes we don't have to cut up an osage orange tree again!
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Just like people, some horses enjoy being leaders and others simply want to be part of the pack. Of course we have a wide variety of personalities on the farm, but one retiree in particular stood out as determined to be in charge. The fact that he is a stallion no doubt had much to do with his strong personality. He was named Mister and I thought it was perfect as you could just hear him saying "that's Mister to you."
Almost immediately upon arrival Mister became very obsessed with Ogie. I have mentioned Ogie before in this post. Ogie is one of those horses that is always liked by other horses. He is a very gentle, reassuring presence and does not have a demanding personality. I think Ogie could be turned out with any horse, be it a mare, stallion, or gelding, and they would think Ogie was great. Ogie is a retired eventer in his late 20's who had fallen on some hard times. Thankfully a wonderful woman stepped in to care for him. She does a lot of wonderful rescue work and founded the The Bucket Foundation which is involved in both small and large animal rescue. If you are looking for a good rescue to support, I can personally attest to the wonderful work done by The Bucket Foundation.
Mister quickly decided that he was in charge of Ogie and took control of his life immediately. Ogie could not go anywhere or do anything without Mister's approval. One time I saw Ogie make the mistake of trying to hang out with a couple of horses that were not in Mister's crowd. Mister marched over to Ogie, who had his head down sniffing noses, reared up, grabbed Ogie's lip, and lead him back over to a place in the pasture he approved of! If only I'd had my camera with me at the time!
Saturday, August 16, 2008
I would imagine a lot of the pictures get repetitive to people over the months as they are basically various poses of horses grazing, napping, rolling and interacting with each other, but I never tire of taking pictures of happy and content horses. No, they aren't leaping over huge fences, performing a precise dressage test, or trail riding against a gorgeous moutain backdrop but I love the pictures from around the farm just the same. But of course I am slightly biased . . .
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
I had just cleaned stalls and was getting ready to prepare the evening feed for everyone. I open the door to the feedroom and without really looking I lean in and pull the lid off of one of the feed cans. Then I happen to look up and come face to face with one of my biggest fears - a SNAKE! The hot water heater for the wash stall is located in the feed room, and wrapped all around the pipes was this gigantic snake just a couple of feet away. I could have won an Oscar for best dramatic performance as I started screaming and slammed the door shut and ran out of the barn in a blind panic.
Jason has really been hounding me lately about having my cell phone with me. I hate being interrupted by a ringing phone when I am enjoying my time with the horses but I was soooooo happy that I had that stupid phone in my pocket. Jason had just gotten home so I called him in the house and told him to get outside now. Honestly I am amazed I needed to call as our house is right next to the barn and he should have heard the screaming! I then called my dad as well as I wanted a full court press against this snake.
Jason and my dad approach the feedroom door and somewhat hesitantly open it and peer inside. The snake is still in the back corner behind the water heater, wrapped around the pipes. They are unable to determine what kind of snake he is as his head/eyes are hard to see. So the snake extraction begins. My father fired off a couple of rounds with a .22 (no one needs to worry, in his 'retirement' he has been the firearms instructor for the sheriff's department so he is an excellent shot and well versed in firearms) and then steps aside to let Jason remove the snake.
Mr. Snake is attempting to slither under the drywall and head into the office that is on the other side of the wall. The snake made it about halfway in before Jason pinned him with his shoe. So Jason is ramming around in this little room occasionally throwing things out...a feed bucket....sponges, various horse medications and supplements......no one knows what is going on and he is cursing a blue streak and barking out instructions for tools like a drill sergeant.
I would go and retrieve the requested tool, and being the brave soul I am would then hand them to my 9 year old nephew Tristan so he could give them to Jason. I mentioned in this post that Tristan was here visiting for a week - his brother was very jealous he missed the snake incident!
Anyway, Jason was requesting a wide variety of tools including a handsaw, a shovel, a hoe and a pair of channel locks (which is finally what he latched onto the reptile with). Aside from retrieving tools I mostly stood outside the barn and shouted out helpful things like "have you gotten it yet?" and "is it poisonous?" (the answer is no by the way) and "will there be more snakes?" I think the one that really irritated Jason was "how much longer will this take?" Jason finally made a dramatic entrance into the aisle holding/throwing the snake out first in a pair of channel locks.