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!!!