Thursday, May 31, 2018

Farm Jobs

Over the past week Jason and I have partaken in what feels like all of the farm tasks. In reality we've done nowhere close to all of the things that happen around the farm but it feels like we've done them all. In addition to the usual feeding, grooming, farrier/vet visits and all normal horse care our to do lists have been very long.

Last Friday we finished nailing up boards on the section of fence we've been rebuilding. All that remains now is to nail up the face boards, and that is a very non-critical task. The warm season grasses decided to start growing with enthusiasm over the last ten days so Jason spent a couple of days spreading fertilizer on the pastures. This was his second round of fertilizing as he always does a split application. The cool season grasses get fertilizer in late February or early March, then the warm season grasses get fertilized sometime in May.

Our one unplanned task was dealing with a leaking water hydrant. Jason had the "pleasure" of tackling that job mostly on his own. There's nothing more fun than busting through concrete with a pick axe to dig up a hydrant. I know this because Jason looked like he was having the time of his life while digging up the hydrant. As it turned out the hydrant was fine, but the fitting that was used on the hydrant was the wrong size, and had finally come loose. We've got a mile of water lines buried on the farm and have had minimal issues with the lines over the past 8 years. The only areas we have had issues, including this one, are the lines and hydrants that Jason did not install himself. The hydrant is now re-installed with the correctly sized fitting and all is working properly again.

Needless to say the days have all felt like marathons lately. Hopefully things will now settle down and be more normal - whatever normal is around here!

lying face down in mud is always a good time

 all the boards are now on the fence

Jason working on round two of fertilizing the pastures

Nemo, Lighty and Sebastian

Merlin and Bruno

Cocomo and Silver

Maisie and Igor

Baby and Hemi

Johnny and Squirrel

Bonnie and Sabrina

Rubrico and Toledo

Rip and Grand

B-Rad and Blu grazing in the rain

Digby and Johnny

Fabrizzio followed by Remmy, Havana and Baner on a rainy afternoon . . . 

. . . and then Hesse joined the lineup

George and Flyer grooming

Revy, Homer, Moe and Levendi having a lazy afternoon

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Sunday Stills

Apollo, Hemi and Thomas

Gus, Lofty, Cocomo, George and Donneur

Asterik, Lofty and George

Alfie, Taylor and Art

Traveller and Dolly

Fabrizzio and Havana

Merlin, Cino and Art

Dawn and Renatta


Rubrico and Wilson

Merlin and Havana being silly while waiting for breakfast

Lofty and Donneur

Magic and Toledo

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

If You Want it Done Right, Part 3

I've written a few times about our saga with Maury Fence Company, and the mile of fence we're having to rebuild thanks to their incredibly poor work. We have six miles of fence, so we're very thankful that only one mile of it was built by Maury Fence Company. We had our trusted builders who built the other five miles of fence replace the first half mile of Maury Fence Company Fence. But then they had the nerve to retire and Jason and I both shed a few tears when we heard this news.

Despite the retirement of our trusted builders we still had a half mile of fence that had to be replaced. After a lot of discussion we decided we were only going to trust ourselves rather than another fencing company. We bought a post driver and Jason had a special plate welded so we could mount it on the front of one of our tractors. In the fall Jason and I used our new post driver to set new posts for a section of cross fence that had to be replaced. We actually did this fairly efficiently. We set 150 posts in about a week. That sounds excruciatingly slow until you realize we only had an hour, sometimes two, per day to work at this project.

Once we got the 200 posts set we spent the next five months we proceeded to find endless reasons not to finish this section of fence and get all of the boards on. A lot of the reasons were quite legitimate. It was often much too wet to be driving any equipment out in the field. When we had periods of reasonable weather we had other projects to do like seeding and fertilizing pastures, body clipping horses, holding horses for the dentist, vaccinating everyone, the list was endless.  Lots and lots of things got in the way of finishing the fence. 

We finally ran out of excuses to avoid the miserable job of finishing the fence this week. We've now worked on the fence for three days, but of course only for an hour or two at a time since we still have a farm to run. We've got a pretty good system going now for getting boards in the right place, spacing them correctly, and working efficiently. Another two or three days of nailing up boards when we can find an hour or two to get after it should finish this section of the fence. Then we'll just need to put the face boards on and that should be a quick and easy job.

The worst is yet to come. The last portion of the mile of fence that needs replacing is a quarter mile of fence along the driveway. We intentionally practiced on the cross fence first as it isn't as easy as it seems at first glance to build a straight fence. Once we finish this section of fence it will be on to driving posts along the driveway. I'm hoping we can find at least six months of excuses to avoid tackling that job but it has to be done at some point. Sigh.

Fencing seems like it will be fun when it involves riding on the trailer.

Then reality sets in and you realize it is hot, physically demanding and very repetitive. In other words, not a lot of fun involved.

some of our work 

Chance and Convey

Revy, Homer and Moe

Merlin, Art and Bruno made a pretty morning picture

Hemi and Thomas

King and Trigger

Asterik, George and Romeo


Maisie and MyLight

Renatta and Dawn

Cinnamon and Lily

Levendi and Elfin

Gus and Roho

Wilson and Walon