Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sharpening the Saw

(post by Jason) When I worked in corporate America it seemed that the office world was full of metaphors. I can remember attending a three day workshop where we would pause often to "sharpen the saw" and "beginning with the end in mind" was a corporate credo for the masses.

Well guess what I did today. I began with the end in mind, the end in this case being very real and very large clean fields full of waving green grass. The very first thing I did in the spirit of beginning with the end in mind was stop to sharpen my saw. In this case, my saw is a Stihl MS362 and it took about an hour to run a file across all the teeth to put an extra edge on the blade.

Just as you probably spend significant time picking up sticks and fallen branches from your yard before you fertilize and mow in the early spring, we do the same for our pastures. The difference is in the size and scope of our tasks. My "yard"  encompasses 149 acres and, as you might imagine, there are a lot of branches and limbs that need to be dealt with. In the next few weeks I will go through many tanks of chainsaw fuel as I create several vehicle sized burn piles.

Every farmer in North America starts his spring work by cleaning up the mess that winter leaves in his work space and we are no different. When you wonder what we could possibly be doing with our free time in the waning days of February now you know. Anybody care to lend a hand ? :)



George and Gus

I seem to take a lot of "grey horses only" pictures.  This time I took a "bay horses only" picture. Snappy, Fabrizzio, O'Reilly and Slinky

Lighty and Murphy having some playtime

I had recently decided that I would award Bergie the title of dirtiest grey horse on the farm.  However after taking this picture of Moe I am reconsidering that. Moe loves to roll in a mud puddle that forms in a small ditch in his pasture.

headless horses; Thor, O'Reilly and Lucky eating hay


super cute, super fuzzy ponies Traveller and Norman sharing some hay  . . .

... and cute, fuzzy Cuffie pony was napping off to the side

Hemi and Elfin were being wild boys


EvenSong said...

Seeing the fat fuzzy ponies made me wonder: You have several horses with cribbing straps (I have a boarder who needs one too), but I don't think I've ever seen one of yours in a grazing muzzle. How do you handle laminitic or metabolic syndrome horses? Do you have a "diet pasture?"

Melissa-ParadigmFarms said...

We have three horses that wear cribbing straps (actually 1 pony and 2 horses). As far as metabolic horses we've never had any issues, even with previously foundered horses. Our pastures are so big the horses are constantly moving which is by far the best way to moderate insulin levels - continual low impact exercise. That does a far better job of regulating insulin levels than a grazing muzzle ever will.

EvenSong said...

Thanks for your response, Melissa. I hadn't ever thought of it that way. Although mine are all out 24/7, my pastures are not nearly as big as yours. And Kate said something the other day, in relation to Lily (I think) about the cold-season vs. warm season grasses, too. That probably figures in, as well--we're pretty far north, like she is.
My two big Paints tanks put on weight just *looking* at the green grass, even when they're in moderate work (much like their mommy).