Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Moving Boundaries

Jason and I made use of some temporary fencing when we had Vaccination Day 1 and Vaccination Day 2 in the last couple of weeks.  We watched the Big Boys paced along, stared at, and generally looked disgusted with their temporary fence that took away their option to be Runners as we waited for the vet on Vaccination Day 2. None of the horses liked being trapped with their halters on in their temporary paddocks (Don't you people realize there is a veterinary professional on the way? We need to run!) but the Big Boys were the most expressive in letting us know how unjust their temporary fence was. 

A few days ago Jason and I decided to put up a temporary fence in one of the pastures to keep the horses off an area that they tended to walk on a lot, and thus really tear up the grass. We put the temporary fence up about 8 feet from one of the perimeter fences in their pasture so they hardly lost any space. 

However in the horses' opinion we had stripped them of their inalienable right to be in that 8 foot strip. They came over and stared, hard at the temporary fence and the area which they could not access. Then they ran along the fence, they sniffed the fence, they did some more intense staring at the fence, they looked for a way around the fence. Apparently the only place they wanted to be was in that 8 foot strip we had illegally stolen from them blocked them from. Because, you know, the other 15 or so acres in their pasture were completely unsuitable for habitation. 

From our perspective this minor boundary change seemed to generate much ado about nothing, but apparently our opinion doesn't count for much around here.


Merlin, Fabrizzio, Walden, Noble and Bruno saying "What IS this?? The only place we wanted to be was on the other side of this. Don't you know we have rights?!"

Murphy and Johnny

Silver, Donneur and Asterik

Grand on the run

Toledo and Rocky grooming

The three Amigos waiting for breakfast; Thomas, Hemi and Homer

something had the attention of Tony, Rip and Ritchie

Murphy, Wiz, Lighty, Sam, Africa and Johnny actually stood in their run-in shed for a few minutes while it was raining

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sunday Stills

Dolly, Traveller and Silky

Johnny and Clayton

Romeo, Lofty, Gibson and Cocomo

Bruno, Lucky and Lightning

Fabrizzio and Merlin

Calimba and MyLight

Levendi and Ritchie

Timbit and Griselle


Thursday, April 24, 2014

And Then There Were None

Vaccines that is. Today was the second half of Vaccination Day and we are officially done and everyone is vaccinated.  As I mentioned in my post last week about our first Vaccination Day Jason and I decided to work smarter instead of harder this year when getting everyone vaccinated.  Actually I said Jason and I were being a combination of lazy and smart but that doesn't have such a nice ring to it. 

We decided to to vaccinations over two days instead of one this year.  We did the first four groups last week and did the last three groups today. We also used temporary electric fencing to keep the horses up by the gate and take away the option of galloping hither and yond through their large pastures while refusing to be caught. We liked that idea so much we trapped captured temporarily contained the horses to a small area of their pastures again today. It was so nice to not have a single Runner to chase down simply because the option had ceased to exist. 

While we were waiting for the vet to arrive Jason and I sat on overturned buckets and watched the horses investigate their new fence while intently searching for an escape route. After awhile they finally gave up and stood around looking most displeased with their circumstances. I was actually laughing at some of their expressions. Jason made the comment to that it seemed a bit ridiculous for them to be acting so put out because they couldn't do exactly what they wanted to do for two whole hours out of one day. What a tough life. 

And for anyone who cares our Betta fish is STILL ALIVE. We have made it four days now so we might actually make it at least a week. We thought we had lost him a couple more times but he is still hanging in there. Carter officially named him Bob today so now Jason and I are working extra hard to keep him alive . . 

Apollo and Thomas came on the run when Jason started putting up the temporary fence . . .

. . . because a post that wasn't there before is extremely interesting

Homer and Hemi wandered over to have a look at Jason's construction project

Trapped.  Trigger, Homer, Moe, Tony and Levendi huddled at the temporary fence looking unhappy. They had their halters on so they knew they needed to escape. Sorry boys, nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.

Leo, Chance, Rip and Ritchie looking bored while waiting for the vet

Stormy and Oskar opted to eat hay while waiting

Cuffie is still shedding like crazy. He had an itchy spot and wound up with hair stuck to his lip. He will be getting body clipped soon.

Asterik and Lotus were having fun

Gibson and Silver were also having a good time

Kennedy, Toledo, Largo and Bergie (Stormy is hiding behind Bergie)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Fish Out of Water

Jason and I have accumulated a reasonable bank of knowledge about caring for horses over the years. However we are re-visiting the beginner experience these days, athough with a fish and not a horse. We acquired a new family member over the weekend, a still unnamed Betta fish. 

It is a freaking miracle that this poor fish is still alive. The fish was a birthday present to Carter from his Aunt and Uncle. Since Carter already lives with a menagerie they thought a fish might be a nice addition to the farm and also make a nice birthday present for Carter.

We almost managed to kill the fish in our first five minutes of fish ownership. We needed to transfer the Betta fish from the travel cup he arrived in into his fish bowl. We tried pouring him into the bowl but he refused to be poured and managed to stay in the travel cup. No problem, Jason just picked him up with his hand, except then Mr. Fish decided he didn't like that either. So he jumped into the kitchen sink and landed on a bag of ice. He proceeded to flop around like . . . well like a fish out of water. 

I was shrieking at Jason "get him, get him, he is going to suffocate or freeze to death on the ice!"  as Jason kept trying to scoop up this frantically flopping fish. He finally got him in the nick of time and we deposited our poor fish into his bowl. He was looking a little shell shocked but he survived. 

Then we realized we could not put the fish in chlorinated water, that the fish needed to be in spring water. Conveniently we happen to have our very own spring on the farm, in fact it even originates on the farm. We can't get springier water than that, right? No need to purchase bottled water at the store when you have your very own spring. Jason went off to the spring and collected some water. 

This time we managed to move the poor fish to his travel container without almost killing him first. We then dumped the chlorinated water out of his fish bowl, rinsed it with spring water, refilled it with spring water and had him all set up.  Jason went to dump him back in his fish bowl and I protested. "Doesn't the water need to be room temperature? That water is straight out of the ground and it isn't room temperature." 

Jason declared it would be fine and dumped the fish in.  Within seconds this poor fish, who was probably wondering where he was and what he was doing in this handbasket, wasn't looking so good. The water was definitely too cold. We put the fish bowl next to the stove to help warm the water up. Thankfully we were smart enough not to put the fish bowl on the stove!  After about an hour the fish was looking perkier and the water was much warmer. 

After consulting with Google about caring for betta fish we have read that his water should be changed every three days, that we need to be careful not to overfeed him, that he should have at least five gallons of water and that his water should be heated. Well, I'm thinking his water isn't going to be changed every three days, Jason dumps more betta food in the bowl every time he walks past it (he claims the fish is bored and needs to have something to do so he feeds it constantly), his fishbowl only holds a half gallon of water and it is not heated.  We are striking out everywhere.  We are the newbie horse owner that feeds the horse a bag of sweet feed and wonders why the horse got sick. I give this poor fish a week.

I think we need to stick to horses. 


the view yesterday morning

MyLight napping in the hay with Cinnamon, Calimba and Maisie munching

O'Reilly on the run

Tony and Baby

Lighty, Darby, Johnny and Alex

Bruno on the run

Hemi and Elfin

Faune and George

Norman and Cuffie helping each other do some shedding

Moe found a mud puddle; Moe is a gray, not a bucksin

Donovan also took a mud bath

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunday Stills

Asterik and Cocomo playing hard with George watching

Flyer and Silver were also being rowdy

Rip and Tony

Johnny and Bergie

Lucky's nose was covered in white hair after grooming Lightning

Homer taking a nap

Clayton and Largo

Walden and Noble

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Halfway Done

I'm not sure if Jason and I are getting smarter or lazier or both, but we made some significant changes in how we approached vaccination day this year. For starters we decided to break vaccination day up into two days. We vaccinated the horses in the first four pastures yesterday.  We will be vaccinating the horses in the last three pastures next week. This was not our only change to vaccination day.

In addition to breaking up vaccination day into two days we also set up temporary fencing with step-in posts in two of the four pastures to reduce the number of potential Runners. For anyone who has forgotten Runners are those horses who literally run away as we try to catch them. Horses that are not normally Runners sometimes turn into Runners when they realize a veterinary professional is on the farm.  While I was feeding breakfast and putting on halters Jason quickly put the posts in the ground and ran the temporary fence across. 

As always the moment they were done eating the horses went to take off to the nether regions of their pastures thanks to their halters being on their heads. You could see their confusion and surprise when they made it only a few steps and encountered the temporary fence. They stared at the new fence, studied the new fence, and looked at each other with dismay as they attempted to come up with Escape Plan B. I had no sympathy and told them "sorry guys, you can't run or hide this time."  I may have even followed that up with an evil laugh. 

Thanks to our planning ahead we had no Runners on vaccination day number one.  However Timbit felt the need to make up for that and turned into every stereotype of the evil mini horse you have heard. Timbit let us know that A) he had no desire to be vaccinated and B) he had eaten a big bowl of Wheaties for breakfast. Timbit put up an admirable fight and it required some serious wrangling on the part of Jason and two vets to get Timbit vaccinated.  Team Vaccinate Timbit had to regroup in between each vaccine to catch their breath and reposition. Timbit was in it to win it and he almost took home the title.  

Normally Sparky the donkey carries the torch for the most uncooperative equid on vaccination day. However he was pretty easy yesterday and allowed Timbit to take up the cause of uncooperation this year. We vaccinated Sparky and Timbit first and we were all wondering if Timbit had set the tone for the rest of the horses. Thankfully no one decided to follow Timbit's example and everyone else was cooperative and pleasant. 

So far Jason and I are really loving spreading vaccination day out into two short days instead of one long day.  We really loved taking the option of being a Runner away with our temporary fence in a couple of the pastures. We liked it so much we are going to get some more step-in posts so we can employ this same tactic again in all three pastures next week. When some of your pastures are up to 40 acres in size when a horse decides they are going to be a Runner they have lots and lots of room and places to run. Ask us how we know. 

Like I said I don't know if we are getting smarter, lazier, or both, but either way we liked the results.  We'll see if we still feel this way after Day Two next week.


Two vets and Jason wrestling Timbit. I did the heavy lifting and supervised and took pictures. Someone has to do the hard job.

Regrouping for a moment. I believe this was when dart guns were being discussed.

Timbit was in it to win it . . . and he almost did.

Word travels fast when everyone has a smartphone and apparently the farm was buzzing with the news that the vet was on site and vaccinations were happening. All I wanted to do was take their picture but as soon as Clayton, Toledo, Walon and Rocky saw me coming they exited stage left. ASAP. I tried to tell them the vet was gone and they were not being vaccinated but no one was listening.

Romeo and Flyer


Baby and Trigger

Hemi and Apollo

Alex and Darby

Walon, Bergie, Stormy, Oskar and Johnny

Kennedy and Donovan

MyLight and Calimba

Norman and Cuffie

Renny, Murphy and Dutch