July 04, 2017

Trailer maintenance

My trailer was parked by the barn for the past nearly two years since moving here....has it really been that long?  In that time gunk has grown on the paint and simply made the trailer very dingy.  I didn't know how much until I moved the trailer away from the barn where it received more full sunlight on both sides.  I took the power washer out and began working on the trailer.  WOW.  You've got to be kidding me!  Many shades of ick came off the trailer.


I have some more work to do on it, the interior got scratched up in the move and a lot of paint is peeling so I'll need to power wash that, sand some and repaint some areas.  You have to do this with older trailers anyways but my plan will be to freshen it up and then get a good cover for it.  I should have done that to start with but after moving and all the stuff that goes with that it was far from my mind!  We are continually doing work around the place or just maintenance but at least it's slowly settling down.  Ponies are happy and I've taken some more lessons on Dani but lately it's been sporadic with rain and my schedule.  

July 01, 2017

Tree Frogs and Water Troughs

While working on the barn wiring Steve and I have noticed that we hear a really load trilling sounds sometimes.  I've identified the call to a tree frog called Copes Gray Tree Frog.  Lo and behold one evening we heard the sound not up in the barn roofing but near the water trough.  There there were two tree frogs handing out on the rim!  So cute! 


I knew that there was a build up of gunk in the troughs even though I scrubbed them and refilled them weekly.  It builds up so fast and sometimes no amount of scrubbing work will reduce that thick layer bio-film.  I would only scrap the surface with my scrub brush, it was frustrating.  


So I took out our power washer and spent a hot day powering through all that gunk; soaking myself in the process but I didn't mind.  It working like a charm.  I'll still scrub every week but will most likely have to do a deep cleaning on a more regular basis.  I've also gotten some apple cider vinegar to add to the tanks again so help reduce the rate of growth; I'm only adding a cup per filling and we'll see how that goes.


The scum builds up pretty fast with the heat and humidity but at least the power washer makes the trough look almost new.  I'm sure the horses don't care either way as long as the water is clean and fresh but come on....frogs were starting to like it so they were well overdue for a good cleaning.  Yuck...so embarrassed to post this!


Just look at it now, brand spanking new and shiny looking!  The frogs have since moved on but water beetles continually like to inhabit the trough within a day or so.  Luckily I've yet to see mosquito larvae so my weekly dump and scrubbing prevents that issue.  A power washer is such a great investment.  I've got another power washer post coming up!

June 23, 2017

Rewiring the Barn

 Steve and I recently did some work in the barn.  Our hay room was always awkward to stack hay since I used the small human door to enter and feed from, as you see in the picture below.  Because the doors are across from each other, and we load the hay from the big doors we've always had difficulty trying to stack the hay while leaving a space by the small door for my feed bins and supplies.  Now we can load in hay from the big doors and have the human door stay closed while we stack the bales flush against a full wall.  We moved several light switches and sockets to that side of the hay room as well.


Our barn had all the switches to the lights in the hay room, meaning when I entered the tack room I had to go to the hay room to flip the switch.  Steve rewired all the switched and moved the boxes to more appropriate locations.  We now have the inner barn lights, stall lights and tack room switches in the tack room.  The exterior lighting and the hay room light can all be turned on from the hay room.  The next step will be to build a fence on that side of the barn to increase the wormhole (paddock area) into that space and feed the horses from there instead in the stall.  It doesn't matter where I feed them I just need to have the door I get the food and hay from be near their hay stations so that will work.


We also bought another fan so each stall has it's own and Steve placed sockets near the fans and hardwired them into a switch in the tack room.  Now we don't have extension cords running up in the rafters to work the fan!  It's so nice!  I really wonder why the lights were wired that way in the first place.  I love walking into the tack room and switching on a light....feels so fancy!  LOL


The horses of course had to supervise while we worked, the photo above I call "Steve juxtaposed with pony butt"  Hahahahaha.  There is always something to work on around here!

June 11, 2017

May 21, 2017

Serene Sunday

The splendor of spring...



April 20, 2017

The tractor

We've been having fun with our new toy.  It mows well and if we need any front or back implaments we have the option!  We errected a portable garage  to put the tractor and our expanding arsenal of equipment.


Steve purchased it at Harbor Freight a local tool place.  We were able to get it up in a couple hours though we started late and it was very dark by the time we were done.  It felt like camping!


The only issue was about a week later we had a lot of wind and discovered that the anchors aren't that great.  The sign on the inside of this little shed states to remove the tarp everytime there is heavy rain or wind.  Um...yeah that would be a pain in the ass.


My husband was luckily home as the whole shed lifted up and began rolling towards the electric fencing that would have been destroyed and released our ponies.  So glad nothing bad happened but feel bad that I was at work while he struggled with the thing.  He disassembled it while fighting 30-40 mile an hour gusts!


So our tractor, aka Kevin (named after the minion) is in the garage and his car, who is often at the garage at the airport, will be outside for a bit.  We are currently pricing those metal carports that are guaranteed and secured better.  We'll probably get one with one full side as it will be up against our tool shed.  Steve has eventual plans for putting a large garage behind the barn that will store the tractor, our tool shed and then beer brewing stuff for his hobby (of course I will store soap making and bee stuff there too I'm sure!)  But that is many years in the future.


And just for some laughs here's this:




April 02, 2017

March 31, 2017

Spring trimming and Riding Lesson.

I'm getting my butt in gear and back in the saddle.  I've enlisted an instructor that my neighbor utilizes to train and ride her horses.  Erin is awesome!  My lesson was amazing and having not been on Dani in a while and being really rusty and nervous in the new location (just my neighbors arena) she was very calm, methodical and put me at ease.  I plan to take lessons every other week and hopefully get hubby on board with Chance.  I need to ride Chance some too.  

My lesson was mainly Erin trying to see where Dani and I are in our communication etc.  We trotted most of the lesson and I was worn out!  We did get pretty good work done with getting Dani to respond to slow downs, speed ups and turns.  She's no ballerina but she did quite good for being rusty herself.  Now that it's been a week I'm at a loss for more description of the lesson.  It's good to have someone push me some again and getting that trot done was great, I need to work on posting the correct diagonals though!  The plan is to eventually get this mare on the trails around here and for me to not be a woos about that.  I'm nervous and that's not a good thing to be when I need to support her!


As to Chance, I'm going to give the Australian saddle another try with a cushy pad I bought for the seat.  The problem I found on the first ride was the over girth that these saddles have and the location for stirrup attachment.  Not the best design in my opinion but people swear by them.  I'm going to give it a few more rides before I break down and get a western saddle for him.  Steve can ride in which ever one he desires.  I'll keep everyone posted.

So why does this post have pictures of Dani's feet?  Well spring time means trimming of the fetlocks.  My horses have both gone from goat beards and bell bottoms to a much more horse like clean cut look.  Always nice to have a good look at their heels before the mud starts up in the spring.  I have to be on the watch for scratches and the trimming helps.  


The spring clipping has led to excess hair that I just don't want to toss.  I think the birds will appreciate it.  Looking at the saucer I placed out for the birds I can't help but think about Donald Trump.  Hmm....hopefully there won't be an angry tweet from in the future....wait what am I saying.  LOL.  I've since picked up the hair and placed it in a cute barn shaped suet feeder, sans suet of course.  This way birds can pick it out and bring to their nests.  I need to get more bluebird houses and other critter houses for that matter but that's another story.

March 25, 2017

Pasture Work

The horses will live in the wormhole for a few months as we'll be working on the pastures extensively.  We wanted to this fall but just didn't have the time or equipment.  We sprayed this fall for broad leaf plants using our effective PasturePro that did such a good job on Curly dock last fall...though we do have a few stragglers.  We just have to keep the weeds in check so we need to do it to all the fields once more especially The Shire.


The sprayer makes quick work when we want to get the entire field done rather that spot just a few areas.  It's great to have options.


The field onions are back with a vengeance and we did a soil test that showed we needed A LOT of lime which will help combat their growth and encourage thicker grass.  We'll have to do several spreading sessions over the next year to get where we need to be since we can't lime all at once.  It's better in the fall too from what I've read since it takes several months to work into the soil.


We have our seed and pellet spreader so Steve spent some time spreading lime in Gallifrey where I've concentrated on spreading the manure for right now.  We have to get the rest of the fields done but that will happen a bit faster next weekend when we get our new toy!!!!  A mini tractor!!!


It's hard when Steve travels to get the teamwork thing done that makes work that much faster.  At least with some of these tools it's getting easier for me to do things alone.  We've discovered that our Newer can't handle old compost that is very soggy.  It's very much like clay.  We'll have to work on that by spreading more fresh manure and by using the front loader to mix the compost and then try to keep it dry before spreading.  It's a an art I guess!!


March 18, 2017

Pony Shed Rebuild

Last August we discovered that termites had returned to an already severely damaged pony shed. So we disassembled the shed.  Then we started to rebuild some of it but it was hot or rainy or we had other things we needed to do and then the holidays!  Seems like it takes forever to complete a project around here but we are always busy to something!


Well we finally decided to "get er done" and rebuilt the shed.  It took several saturdays with some weekends in between when it was bad weather.  Luckily the horses have the barn so we weren't worried about them not having shelter.


Each step caused the ponies to be wary about the shed; sniffing and blowing commenced and finally ended with licking of lips and a final satisfied sigh.  Ponies are funny.


I did most of the painting of the outside of the shed.  We chose a nice rusty red called colonial red.  I'm thinking our front door to the house will eventually be this color too.  Dani examined the paint and seemed to approve.


Chance also like the paint color so proceeded with giving his muzzle and whiskers a nice rusty red tint.


The south side...


The inside divider where we place the hay nets


The long back wall....that will take a lot of paint!


Eventually the inside will get painted too, we just needed to get the outside done first.  I also added an insect repellent to the paint .  We'll see how that works with the carpenter bees and such.


Awe yes, nice and red!


Still have the top beams to complete but my fear of heights is now delegating that job to my husband!


Yippee we finally have the pony shed again!

March 10, 2017

Newer Spreader

I'm very excited about a "present" the hubby got us.  A Newer Spreader.  It's a little manure spreader and we love it!  We do think it's overpriced but haven't found a better alternative or a DIY.  We bit the bullet and are actually quite pleased.  Composted manure can't go through most spreaders like that hefty seed spreader I was hoping would work; you need a manure spreader.  This is perfect, I can fill it up with my composted manure or fresh if I want and then spread it over the fields.


We no longer use a wheel barrow to pick the fields instead we use a harrow (here's an example) that breaks up the poop and lets it decompose into the soil.  This is just an added tool for that spreading of nutrients into the field concept.  In the winter the horses seen to mainly poop in the wormhole and thus we can't use the harrow so we have to pick that up and place it in piles


This will be great as we take several large piles of composted manure and spread it over the fields along with seed and lime.  We have a lot to do to rejuvenate the pastures and get them less weedy but that is another post.  The intent was to do that this fall but I just didn't have the time to do that spreading by hand.  It's so helpful having the tools we need finally!!  More tools means a faster job and thus more time with the ponies!!!

February 24, 2017

Christmas Time Family Fun

Oh wow is this draft old!!  It was just pictures with my intent to fill in what went on this fall and Christmas.  We had Steve's family over for Thanksgiving and then headed up to my brother's in VA for Christmas.  The week before I had the delight of my parents flying in from CO to visit us here for the first time.  My parents loved Geek acres! 


In November we had a new nephew, Colton, born.  Bryson has a little brother now and is happy as a clam and such a sweet brother to him.  My parents were ecstatic to meet their new grandchild!



My mom was constantly holding the little guy.  Dad baked pies with Bryson and Steve and I just visited with everyone.


Most of December leading up to this point saw me working on a monster book of monsters for Steve.  We are big harry potter fans but Steve didn't like the cheap looking books they had in Orlando.  I decided to tap into the creativity and make him his very own monster book.  I may post a how I did it post here in a bit.  I ran into many obstacles where I had to improvise but it turned out great and Steve loved it.  Here see Stubs sleeping with it on the loveseat.  Poor thing didn't know I put it there and when she opened her eyes she jumped 3 feet in the air!!!  Afterwards she sniffed it and then began cleaning the fur, LOL.


So in a nutshell that was Christmas.  The ponies got some nice grooming but no riding.  They are so spoiled not having to work lately but I'm looking into getting some lessons again so that will definitely change.

In the news, today hubby and I are going to tractor hunt!!  Plus we got a manure spreader!  I'll post about that very soon since it's very exciting to finally be getting things we need to make chores that much easier!

February 18, 2017