January 14, 2017

Snow Fun!

Snow means ice around here and I definitely blanket up the ponies!  We had single digits, which I don't mind too much but glad it doesn't happen very often in the south.  Dani loved the snow and enjoyed rolling in it.

She also loved laughing at the funny human taking pictures all bundled up.  Guess she didn't realize she was bundled up too!

Chance and Dani both had icicles under their jaws and in their manes.  Dani for some reason gets balls of ice on the underside of her hooves so I have to use a ping hammer to free her, otherwise it's like she has high heels!

Chance did well with no snow ball feet but plenty of mane icicles.  

Spencer my old little dog was content staying warm on the couch.

And for Armani it was the same.  Us humans were fine too but I did have to drive a few days and let me just say that ice really sucks but my Fiat handled it all pretty well.

Now it's in the 60's and muddy....yipee!!  At least we are getting moisture so we can finally do some seed spreading in the pastures.

January 08, 2017

January 06, 2017

New year and freezing rain

Happy new year!  It's been a busy year and I'm sure the next year will be too but we are better prepared and know what to expect...plus heavy equipment purchases this spring will assist greatly!

I write this as the freezing rain and sleet begin to pour outside with hope for snow to come later making my Sunday morning work commute potentially crazy as we won't have much melting until Monday.  NC is not known for their winter weather preparedness but then again, they don't get much snow.  I groomed my very muddy ponies and got them set to wear their blankets to protect them from the freezing rain.

I tend to be conservative with my blanketing now, unlike when I first got Dani.  I think nature makes them well prepared for the weather and since they always have access to shelter they tend to take care of themselves.  Generally if it's cold I'll tend to throw them a little more hay.  If it's rainy but not too cold their coats have ways of shedding the moisture quite well.

Even snow is no biggie really but freezing rain, sleet and ice.  I would rather keep them dry and warm when it's really icky like that.  I also have to restrict them to the barn yard and shire since there is an area that is deeper mud and will freeze hard, I don't need a twisted ankle in a frozen hoof hole.

Staying warm and relaxing with the hubby and critters.  Wish I could have the ponies on the sofa too!

December 29, 2016

Moldy Tack!!!

I've been absent from the blog for a while but certainly not from the barn and Geek Acres itself.  Been busy.  I work 4 days a week, 10 hours a day or more so am tired at the end of the day and don't blog.  When I am off I'm always running errands or doing projects around the farm it seems.  I hope things slow down soon now that the holidays have passed.

Near the end of the summer when there were some pretty humid weeks I noticed some mold on my lovely saddles!!!  OMG!  I read up really quickly on what to do.  First things first is get the tack out of the tack room to clean so you don't spread the spores.  I sprayed them with a vinegar/water mix and let them dry in the sun.  Then I ordered Leather Therapy wash and Restorer.  This product is one of the few that lacks glycerin that mold will feed on and has a fungal preventative.

I sprayed the crap out of the saddles, mainly the western saddle stirrup leathers where most of the mold was but I got the entire leather of each saddle.  The Aussie saddle only had a bit of mold on the flaps and I suspect it was mainly on the dust not so much the leather.

Then I took apart the saddles and rubbed in the therapy conditioner.  This stuff is good!  I sure hope it prevents issues in the future but I also plan on sealing up the tack room better and then using those desiccant products to absorb moisture.  It's so humid and hot out here that the tiny window in the tack room doesn't do much for ventilation so I need to work on getting the tack room dry without buying a dehumidifier....though I could do that too.  I have to make sure to seal up the room or I will be trying to dehumidify the entire outdoors and I doubt that will work.  A barn that I would have built would have a larger tack room with much more ventilation and light as that is the key to prevent mold growth....oh and cleaning tack more regularly in this environment apparently!

I wish I'd thought to take pictures of the moldy tack but honestly was so horrified and panicked that I was rushing to remedy the problem instead.  Never had to deal with that in dry Colorado!!

Thanks all for still read this blog!  I guess I shouldn't be surprised that having a mini farm/stable means I have less time to blog but  you know.  Shout out to Mrs Shoes!!

Please review the video below and share if you can, this child Kaydance was abducted, please read story here and we would like to share in case there is someone it reaches that can help or knows any information.  You never know.

December 24, 2016

October 30, 2016

October 26, 2016

Apple Picking Season!!

Yeah, not that kind of apple.....  :-(
The horses are now going to be kept in the Wormhole and The Shire for the winter while we work on the rejuvenating other two pastures (post to follow).  Since we cannot rotate pastures because of that nor let manure dry out for a couple weeks after being harrowed (dragged) we have to resort to picking the field again to prevent parasite issues in our ponies.

This means we get to pick the field every week!  We've gone a couple weeks without doing such and it took us a while to get The Shire cleaned up today.  It was a gorgeous breezy fall day so I can't complain.  We need to do a final mow too so it will be easier to rake the piles and spot treat any weeds until we can let this pasture rest and reseed next spring.  

Unfortunately our apple trees are still too little to get edible apples so we must be satisfied with pony apples. We are going in two weeks to get four more apple trees and a couple pear trees!  Can't wait to have our little orchard fully mature!!  I'm sure the ponies will benefit from it as well!

It's been a few nice weeks of fall-ish weather here in NC, some hotter than others and many trees are starting to change. We luckily avoided the flooding and other issues further south and east of us. The grass is becoming dormant despite the rains and I'm switching to hay...which means I am now able to get back into the feed room.  Two weeks ago the hay was right up to the door so the ponies had the task of eating our way back into the feed room.

It seems our house and property are unending with projects.  We have discovered mushrooms in our house windowsills so we need to replace our wooden windows, NOW.  The same company is going to put gutters on the barn so we will finally get working on our drainage project.  The shed still needs to be finished too.  We are in it for the long haul so it's good to get all this work done now and we can enjoy it sooner.  Being this is the second house we've owned with wooden and difficult windows to open I'm really excited about vinyl energy saving windows!!!  The ponies are happy and healthy and don't seem to care about any changes we make to our house or property. Fall is a busy time (like summer wasn't?)

I am happy with the weather being much more tolerable for outdoor work, fall has always been my favorite season.  Next summer I will have to just bite the bullet and arise early to avoid riding or working in the heat of midday. Even though I wish I had more time for the ponies I love having a property where they can be in my backyard and I can love on them whenever I desire.  Nickers in the morning is the best way to start my day!

October 21, 2016

Get Your Fall Hay!!

We received some hay for the fall and winter months.  It's amazing how fast the grass goes brown even though it's been pretty warm.  I still had a lot of hay left from the spring so when we had 100 bales arrive it was tough arranging it in our hay area.  With two doors you can't stack the hay in as tightly so it's been a big of an issue.  

We stack a lot of it under the tool shed overhang on pallets and wood beams.

Then several busted bales were stored in the tack room or in the shed and were fed first.  I've gotten it so I can enter the feed room again but am working on the hay under the overhang first.  Dani doesn't seem to know where to stand in order to pester me for food.  First she was at the feed room, then realized okay...tack room area was the place.  Now she had to hang at the gate and nicker while I load up the hay.  Chance just stays by his stall like he normally does and wickers softly.  Such a sweet boy.

Better to have too much hay to store than not enough!  We got a good deal on this hay as well so very happy on the pocketbook!

October 16, 2016

October 15, 2016

Projects, Slobber and Pastures

We've been very busy with mowing of course and random projects.  We still need to finish the run-in shed, and some fencing projects but honestly with the stifling heat we've had this summer it was hard to want to go outside.  Thankfully it is starting to cool down a bit and fall will start to set in giving us some crisp days to enjoy.  We already are feeling some nice crisp days.  Luckily the Hurricane didn't cause us too much rain or flooding in our area, that's more southeast of us.

The horses have been doing well and recently we passed our 1 year anniversary of living here in NC!  I love going out and watching my beauties grazing in the fields or going over for a quick kiss.  The nickers and whinnies of happiness when it's feeding time is always a welcome sound.  I love watching Chance's Arabian flag tail fly up as he trots in from a field.

I think this summer was a little overwelming for us, all the work that goes into owning more land and maintaining it for horses is a lot.  It's even more when you don't have the right equipment to accomplish the tasks!  We are slowly getting the equipment we need with a big purchase of a tractor in the plans for next spring.

Our manure bins are overflowing and having grasses growing in from the sides of the pallets.  We will be creating a better set up in the next year that will be more easily rotated since we'll also have a tractor!  In the meantime though I have a small spreader that I purchased for lime and seed and will hopefully be able to make it work for dry composted manure.  I'm not willing to pay $1,000 for a manure spreader at this time!

One project we'll be working on starting this weekend is pasture rejuvenation.  Two of our pastures have a decent amount of clovers growing in them.  We have a couple different species and apparently they are infected with the fungus Rhizoctonia leguminicola, from what I've read it appears in humid regions and will often induce heavy slobbering in horses.  My horses seem to really enjoy the sweet taste of the clover and then I get to enjoy buckets full of slobber and dodging splashes as I greet my horses in the stable yard.  

On really hot days Dani and Chance hang out at the barn to keep cool by the fan.  There they stand the drool.  Dani will have puddles in her stall that my husband often mistakes for urine on the ground.  She will fill up her feed bin with several cups of drool as well.  It's so disgusting that I often can't help but retch when dumping it.  I can't stand saliva in such quantities.  At least they drink well and there is no harm eating the clover but I want that plant gone!