February 28, 2016

Serene Sunday

I really think I missed an opportunity here, should have done the duck face selfie...

February 26, 2016

Chances Blanket

Chances blanket was a little short on him and didn't have any insulation.  It could still be used as a rain sheet perhaps.  We decided that after the first snow storm we needed a better blanket for the boy.  I love Horseware Ireland.  Dani has a Rambo duo with several different thicknesses of liners and a hood.  That's a bit of an overkill for the southeast.

We decided to find blanket that was around 100 gram fill as a base for Chance.  If needed we can always get a liner as well.  We found an Amigo on sale that was 100 grams and 1200 denier exterior.  It's a really nice blanket and compatible with the liners too.  Currently I have Dani in her size 72 (100 gram) with liners 100 grams and 300 grams of the same size.  Chance is a size 69 and I'll buy a 100 gram liner for him to make his blanket a 200 if ever needed.  I doubt I'll need a 300 liner for him since that would end up being a total of 400 grams of fill and a very toasty horse!

He also looks really cute in his blanket and the coloring matches Dani's but with just a different trim color.  What a cute pony boy!

February 24, 2016

Molded Hay

It happens on occasion.  Hay can mold if not baled perfectly dry and if stored improperly.  Luckily this was only one section of a small bale.  All the other hay was fine.

If I ever come across hay that is really tightly bound I make sure to inspect it closely.  This one was pretty obvious and pretty fuzzy in areas

I figured I'd post the pictures since when I was first a horse owner I was so worried about moldy hay and that I might miss seeing a moldy section and accidentally feed a horse.  Well, most of the times it's pretty easy to see.  Hopefully this pictures show what to look for.

February 14, 2016

February 04, 2016

Photo Shoot....sort of

A former colleague from CO is doing lots of fun art things for his enjoyment.  He said he wanted to do some of my horses and wanted me to sent him some pictures without too busy a background.  It was fading light in the evening but I figured why not.  Here are some of the "results".

My two ungroomed ponies in the field nibbling and grass bits. 

Chance mainly kept his head down like there was something really yummy buried beneath the grass.  He was licking mostly.  LOL

Then he moved and I thought "sweet maybe he'll pose!"  Nope just an itch.

Then he walked to me curious if my camera was edible.

I backed off a little but didn't quite get a good shot before he went back to grazing.  Plus, " Hi Dani's butt!"

Oh and speaking of butts....at least her head was up.  I think her butt is cute.

Chance decided to run around a bit and snort at things but the fading light meant my shutter speeds could not keep up with the action.

Finally Dani was a good girl and listened to sounds of people off in the distance.  Nice set up pretty girl!

I can always try again since they are right in the backyard!  :-)

February 02, 2016

Problems with Mud

Horses, precipitation and dirt....that means lots of mud.  I've mentioned on this blog that we have a drainage problem around the barn and stable yard.  First off there are no gutters on the barn.  Who would build a barn and not put on gutters to move the water away from the building?  The barn has been here probably since 1997 so maybe it just wasn't an issue then?

A north facing area of the "wormhole" as we call it creates a very muddy path and the water doesn't drain easily at all.  The muddy path is through the riding area towards the barnyard

Our plan when we finally have time, it's not raining or snowing and the ground isn't frozen solid is to start the French drain here along with removing much of the muck and replacing it with pea gravel and some sand.  The adjacent area, the "riding area" will be a project for another day.  I want to grade it slightly (there is hump right in the middle) and add rock and then sand to make it a decent large round pen area with good footing, it's mostly flat so will work well I think.  Plus when I get sand footing in there I'm sure it will be a favorite rolling spot for the horses.

Once the water does start flowing a little bit from the muddy path in the riding area it creeps around the higher ground of the barn walkway.  Then the water makes a path along the edge of the barn overhang.

It veers to the left of the trough and forms a "quagmire".  Some water drains to the right and some is starting to drain towards The Shire pasture but also towards where our septic leach field is located in the lawn...not a good thing.  Where you can see the fence corner there is a human walk thru and this is about where the lowest lying area of the barn yard is located, we'll need to build this substrate back up at some point.  

The plan is to create a French drain along the water pathway past the barn, towards this puddle near the trough and then towards the right away from the leach field and out to the other fields.  In the picture below with Dani this is the area to the side of the trough where we want to direct all of the water, between the barn and shed, and then that would lead the water to the other fields.  The eventual goal is to lead all of the water off to the natural slope of the land where it flows to a gully off our property.

You can sort of make out a line that goes between the barn and shed in the property aerial below.  The line moves across Gallifrey and Westeros.  It's hard to make out the topography but the barnyard has become the lowest area of this part of the property (even though overall everything slopes away from the area).   It's probably from years of horse use and inevitable compaction just in that paddock.  It's just what happens when heavy animals are concentrated in a smaller area.  Substrate needs to be added regularly but water should have been directed away from these buildings with gutters and downspouts.

When we had freezing temperatures for a while the muddy pathway had become even more hazardous when it froze solid.  It wasn't just hard and solid, it was pocked with hoof holes that were at least 6 inches deep and could pose a threat to bones and tendons.  When we had our Jonas experience I kept the horses off this area for fear that they wouldn't see the pock holes with a covering of snow.  When summer comes this could become a breeding ground for insects we would like to prevent from breeding rather than encourage.  

 I'm hoping here in the next month or two that we can get the drainage project under way, to also include gutters on the outbuildings shortly after we install the French drain.  We haven't had the time to really deal with this since moving in, unpacking and having family over often with the holidays. The weather issues have not allowed us to trench the area for the French drain either, so we've just made due and dealt with the mess.  I've kept a close eye on the horses' hooves and fetlocks and have been proactive in preventing Scratches and Thrush with my arsenal of No Thrush and MTG.

I want to get this project done so badly!  Steve and I plan to start measuring and figuring out a supplies list.  Here's hoping that weather wise we can get this done in the next month or so. I'll post before and after photos when we finally get this worked on.