Friday Night Lights

December 29, 2018

It’s Friday night, what do you do? Trailer your pony to an indoor for some dry lighted ride time. That’s what you do!

I took Possum to the welcoming Sunset Willow Stables. This was my first time here and I am so happy to have found it. Anne, the person in charge, is super kind and friendly and made me feel right at home.

I was in the indoor and riding in no time. It was larger than I expected and just what I needed.

I did trot sets with mounting block work in between and added in a few sprints for good measure. We worked on boring stuff like moving off the leg and nice round circles. We also worked on hard “whoas” and tight turns.

I am so glad I made this connection. I wish it were a bit closer so I could get there frequently. But I’ll see what I can manage and enjoy that!

Cleaning up Possum

December 23, 2018

Today I found a little time to clean Possum up.

I started by clipping him. He didn’t seem to know what clippers are all about and was shaking when I turned them on. But after a few clips on his chest he relaxed and pretty soon I had the front half of him done. I started with his chest and then moved that into my usual modified Irish hunt clip. He was still hanging tough when I got him clipped that far so I went ahead and did the rest of his body, leaving his legs and face.

Not my best clip job but he should be much more comfortable when we ride and a lot easier to keep clean in all this mud.

He was so good I was able to fly through the task and I ended up having a little daylight left so I moved onto his mane. He was pretty sensitive about this but I shortened it up and evened it out some. He has a very short spot in the middle, about half way up his neck, and I wasn’t going that short with the rest of it.

I finished off my brushing out his tail and banging the end to help keep it out of the mud. Ta-dah, a whole new pony. And just in time for our holiday trip.

The Dry Lot Flooding

May 23, 2018

The Dry Lot Flooding just keeps getting worse. I checked on it yesterday and it is a legit pond.

These photos were Tuesday night (while it was raining)

It just keeps amazing me.

It was actually not raining today so I got to ride. And of course I rode around the pond and I noticed it’s deeper. It’s over the fence in quiet a few places and actually lapping at the top of the hay shelter (pier) in spots.

I also find it note worthy, look at the ground in the photo above. It’s mostly dry. Not only do we not have mud, the field is actually dry where it’s not completely flooded. Crazy.

This is from the back gate to the field. The hay shelter is to the left. The spring feeding it is ahead to the right.

This is from where the spring is, the hay shelter is straight ahead. This is one of the higher spots in the field. Where Daisy is standing.

Last night the landlord was telling me the middle is probably 7 or 8 feet deep.

So I rode Poe for a while and then I decided to take him for a swim. So I untacked him, put on my Crocks, and in we went.

He is such a brave pony. He did not hesitate at all. He marched on in and right on down. His head did go under, I am not sure if he stepped deeper than he expected, and that threw him off a little. He swam a few strokes and then came out. But we turned around and he marched right back in.

He was so proud of himself. I decided to grab Simon and take him in. Simon really wanted to stand around and splash and “soak”. He swam for a second and seemed to scare himself a bit, and unseated me a little. I was laughing so hard it took me a minute to drag myself straight again.

Poe is certainly braver. Simon would have preferred to have a buddy along.

Let There Be CHICKENS!

May 18, 2018

This post is not about horses, it’s about chickens!

When we moved to our current house four or five years ago we gave our chickens away and I have missed them ever since. We knew we would eventually get chickens again but we needed to get ourselves and our primary animals set up and established first, work out the kink.

By the end of last summer I felt the ponies were well established with all the field rotations and such worked out. And I felt ready for chickens again.

We live in a more rural area, with a lot more predators. Predators that come up to our porch and walk around our house. So we needed to make sure we had our chicken set up figured out before we had any birds so we could protect them.

So I spent the fall and winter researching and comparing coop options; build our own, buy a prefab, Craigslist used, options, options?

I wanted a secure coop. One I could lock the chickens in securely. I wanted it to have a small secure run also attached. I wanted it to be easy to clean. I needed an easy coop, convenient, manageable. I also didn’t want to spend a ton of money and I wanted to see how well the chickens would do with all these predators anyway.

In the end I decided on a Tractor Supply prefab coop. It was on sale for $200 from $250. It is a secure coop with an attached secure run. There are three nesting boxes with a nice little door that opens easily in the back for simple egg removable. The floor is a tray that slides out for super easy cleaning. Two nesting rails inside and one outside, it has ventilation, and several doors to the outside.

To finalize the security we just needed to add some more wire across the bottom which was inexpensive and simple to do.

We could not build a similar coop for that cost.

I ordered the coop and when it arrived Rich and I put it together. It was pretty easy and took about an hour. The instructions were easy to follow and al the parts were included. We did add some extra screws but otherwise followed the directions exactly.

We placed the coop right next to the house in our back porch area. We figured this would help with the predators. We also want the chickens to help with pest control around the house. Chickens love to eat ticks and slugs and little bothersome bugs. They also kill mice and other unwanted household pests.

Then we picked up one laying hen and six pullets in a variety of colors. My goal was for every chicken to look different. Accomplished! The laying hen has yet to lay an egg and the pullets are still too young. But we are hoping to be rolling in the eggs by the end of the summer and even more so next spring.

Rich and I have both been spending time “chicken watching”. It’s a good piece of mind. I love to watch them do their chicken yoga, stretching their wings and legs, taking dust bathes, pecking around, chasing bugs, and just being chickens. If you have not spent any time chicken watching and letting your mind unwind, you should give it a try.

Every morning I open their door and they spend the day going in and out eating bugs and bits of grass. They are rather timid still but are getting more ambitious. Lupin, our cat, loves to hang out with them. So does our cattle dog Ash. And Rich and I both enjoy chicken watching.

It’s so good to have chickens again!

The “Dry-Lot” is No Longer Dry

May 17, 2018

I moved the ponies off the dry-lot and onto pasture last night. I got home this afternoon and went to move them back. I didn’t want them to have too much grass.

It’s been raining pretty non stop all week, and the dry-lot is an old dried out pond. It’s had some flooding but nothing too bad and always short lived.

Today it was rough. What I assume is an underground spring popped up and is actively flowing into it. The hay is all ruined. There is about two feet of standing water under the barrels, which are full of hay. I am guessing it is about three feet deep in the center of the pond.

I took a short video I’ll post at the bottom.

My ghetto hay shelter is completely flooded. Trashed hay.

Check out the video. You can hear the water flowing.

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