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

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 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!