Sunday, February 25, 2018

Come on Spring!

    This morning was for grooming filthy horses x 3. Luckily, I can just about take Sunday mornings off, but today, I couldn't stand knowing my horses were crud-balls.
    So- trudging up the hill to the barn, I thought I'd begin from the 'top' and work down. Many thank yous to Julia Suter who puts up w/ me as I deal with losing Lynn. It's been a bad week for that, and I am still feeling lost. She was my 'go-to' horse, and now she's gone. No more sitting in her stall, discussing things, no more wonderful hugs from her, no more anything. I am a big void at this point. There are few tears left and they'll still flow a little. Now it feels as though a big piece of my heart is missing, but I know it is my mind that's never going to be able to fill the 'hole' in again.
The last time this happened was when I'd lost Dixie. Carlene filled that giant void so well. She Needed me to get to the barn and help her get better. Now? Nothing but a dear little black pony and my sweet BoJangles. They're really doing fine- thank the lords. < sigh> I guess I am alone in dealing with it all. There are so many other horse folks who've lost horses so very near and dear to their hearts/ minds as I have in the not so distant past. But to lose the closest friend I've had - wow. The nasty rainy weather has created mud like I've not dealt with in a while- at least not for so long. This doesn't help much either. I think having something that needs special care would help, but do I really want to get into that again? I don't know... this is just so hard.
     BoJangles finally dried off enough for me to scrape his mud off today. Yesterday, he was wet and sticky. Talk about a giant guy who adores attention! Whew. He constantly reminds me of why I adore the Percheron breed so much. All of the draft breeds. Even the little stinker, Briana. She is a constant in being a goofball. Bo got brushed and is shedding winter coat like it's going out of style. It's rewarding to groom this time of the year. The mud comes off w/ the hair- yay! It wasn't long til I found the huge white dude under it all. His eye ( injury from a good while ago) was weepy and sore, so I cleaned it up and added some medicine. He's so kind about this. I'd already clipped his head up some and he looks oh so handsome for one so old. 
     My little squirrely girly was next. I swear she hasn't a patient bone in her body. I had the A-5 clippers and hadn't even started them but she was acting like she'd not EVER seen them before. Now- I know she has as she was clipped last Fall. Ha- short memory in this short horse. So I began all over again, and could tell the instant she realized what was going on. Duh. It wasn't long before her head and neck relaxed and she was enjoying it all. Hahaha- I like clipping ponies! No 5-gallon buckets needed to reach their bridle paths. She looked so much prettier and loved getting a handful of hay for being a good girl. Curried the mud from her legs n' tummy and combed out her tail, mane n' forelock. Such a pretty pony! Til tomorrow I guess- unless a miracle happens and someone dries out this farm.
     It was Eli's turn. He's SO scared of people. He bullies Briana like mad but people? Ha- noooooooooooo way. My mission for this Spring is to get him dragging tires, etc. There's not a cart small enough to hitch but I have been looking at the pony-sized shafts on the one. I wonder......................... Got out the little clippers and Oh My! Eli didn't see them as a really good idea at all; little Appy eyes bugging out, head bobbing as he always thinks someone is going to twitch his little nose. Again- so so scared. Patience won out, and he saw very fast that it was just a haircut and not a leg being removed after all. I adore his fuzzy, frizzy forelock! Omgosh, it almost stands up straight, it's so fuzzy. He lost his mohawk bridle path and some of those long jaw hairs so he looks more presentable. Eli had rolled yesterday and hadn't gotten TOOOO horrid but still- he got a good brushing. Tonight, hooves will need to be cleaned- my back hurt too much for bending over this AM. 
    Julia groomed her two geldings too after I was done. Everyone is looking much nicer- but for one mare. Her Mom needs to spend time getting her neatened up some. I'd run out of energy- hahaaa. 
I sure wish the wet soggy ground would stop. The fields look like a series of deep holes left by hooves- big n' small. Since we had two whole days of sunshine, they are greening up ever so slightly. It is depressing to have to wallow about in ankle deep muck and to deal with mud and standing water. I imagine the ground is so saturated, there's no where for it to soak into. 
Again- I am impatiently waiting for Spring!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Thursday :(

This morning, it was like I didn't quite know what to do. I didn't want to go to the barn, but I HAD to. There were the other horses to care for... so we got up there, fed breakfast, dumped water buckets, refilled, and I doled out hay for everyone. I think they *could* have gone out but I didn't want to risk it. I let BoJangles wander in the aisle for a while, and he has yet to call for Lynna. He kept an eye on what was going on Tuesday, so I think he understands his bestie is gone. Those two were great friends. At first, it was Lynna who was boss, then as she became so arthritic, Bo took over being boss. She'd give way but did it begrudgingly - she knew she couldn't move fast due to the pain. 
Bo did stand at her empty stall, looking, but nothing more. He walked to me constantly and looked for hugs- which he got a lot of. Briana was just starving!! No one else has said a thing as they all have been around long enough to understand death. I was most concerned for Bo and he seems to be handling it alright.
I stood in snow-covered hoof prints from Lynn and tried to ground myself. I couldn't... oh well- too many sadnesses in the way I guess. 
Not so many tears today, but I can feel them right behind my eyes waiting to be shed. Simply incredible sadness and now the questions are starting. Could we have figured out a way to have gotten her up? SOME how ??? She was trying to do it, but was to close to the stall wall. ( it is called being 'cast') As it is, she pushed three boards loose w/ pushing on them. I thought if BoJangles might be able to slide her away to the middle of the stall so she could get enough room, but he couldn't do it. I had a collar on him w/ ropes attached- no draft harness anymore. Then I didn't want to pull on her tooooo hard for fear of hurting her. 
When our vet arrived, she tried a couple of different ideas but they didn't work either. There wasn't a way to get her up other than somehow sliding her out thru the stall door. For what we had, the leverage was totally wrong. Each time Lynn was careful of my stepping over her head or neck.
Becky mentioned that she didn't start out like she was- against the wall. She figured Lynn had laid down, and possibly rolled over.Lynn has NEVER gotten cast before- so I think Becky was right. Maybe a colic? Maybe some sort of pain that enticed Lynna to roll against that wall ?
After she was gone, and the fellow w/ the big backhoe arrived, he had the right machine and power to just slide her body out into the aisleway. Glenn said it was so simple then. The bucket could move sideways. If we had tried it when she was alive, no doubt the whole move would have damaged her terribly. 
And then, she gave up trying. That's when I heard her tell me she was just tired, and wanted to rest for a bit. She was sweating from the stress and the fear of not being able to use her legs to 'escape' ( fight or flight instinct) and from struggling; she was worn out. Every single time I asked her to try, she would- every time.Our vet agreed that it was time... and she went to get a tranquilizer to let her relax. After Lynna was pretty much sleeping, she gave her the final two shots. My mare left me alone in 2-3 minutes. I knew when she was gone, but our vet had to double check her big heart to be sure it had stopped. It was a little bit later that the backhoe arrived... and within a short time, my mare was gone. 
My best friend in my whole life on 4 legs. Almost 27 years of being together...We saw it all, from peaceful grassy pastures, almost chest high snow, to hot air balloons, to trains flashing by, firecrackers, helium balloons on strollers, cars, buses, semi trucks, helicopters, jets doing flyovers, burning houses , and just about anything one can think of that would scare a horse. Just about the only thing she didn't like was water. Puddles, storm drains, the runoff in the ring, anything. She loved baths though- so go figure. I remember when we had the posts in the ring here put into the ground. No fencing, just the posts. It rained like mad the next day and when it was done, I turned Lynn n' Bo out in that pasture. Oh My Word! You'd have thought she was going to sink to China with how she trotted up the hill. ' Ewwwwww- I am NOT stepping in those Puddles!!!!' Bo would wallow in them- I called him "Scuba Bo". But not Lynn- oh now. I never saw such terrific high action that day with her trying her best to not get her hooves or legs wet. I remember just laughing at her which in turn embarrassed her a little, but nope- just don't ask my girl to walk in water. She'd do or go Anywhere, but not water.
So now she's gone, and I miss her antics and her love for a very long time. She took me to the top in the show ring, and thru her, I became a world champion driver and trainer. I still can't really believe that night was real but I know it was... all thanks to a tall, goofy looking, big-eared, long-legged yearling filly, that no one but our Suzi could tolerate, I fell in love with so long ago. now the tears come.
This was last March- shedding like mad. I knew she was looking "old" then but it took her 27 years to look her age.

Wednesday without Lynna

While I couldn't deal with being in the barn this morning, I Had to go up this evening. I was alright until I turned the corner and there was Lynn's grave. We decided to give her a place of 'honor'- so she is buried up near the hen's house where she liked to stand sometimes. It was warm in winter sunshine and not in the line of wind. One day when things are thawed out, I want to rake over the top and make it look a little neater...
Got into the tack room, greeted the new-ish kitty girls and braced myself to head into the barn. Lynn's stall was the first- right across from the tack room door. All of the horses heard me and whinnied in hunger. Apparently, they hadn't been fed in oh, a year or more according to them. I put their dinner in their feed tubs and lost it as I walked back to the tack room door. The marks from her leaning against the back wall, the pooh stains on the wood, and some leftover winter hair from when she was dragged out of her stall yesterday. The scuff marks her hooves left were still there also.
If any of you get tired of reading of this incredible sadness, just scroll on by. Writing is one of the ways I deal with grief- so it helps me. This grief is strong also. It's worse than when we found Abby down in the fence, worse than when I had to choose between a terrible life for Evie ( to be on meds the rest of her life, dealing w/ the pain of chronic laminitis,etc) or to let her go. Yep- losing my soulmate on 4 legs is slowly doing me in. Of course, I don't say anything here as I know Glenn is handling things as well as he can... and it won't be long till we can talk about Lynna's goofy quirks and how intelligent she was.
So, I leaned on her stall, crying like some ninny over a horse who'd been in my life while many horrible things happened and many good things as well. < sigh> Tomorrow I will be up there alone after Glenn is done helping w/ turnouts. And more tears will happen, I imagine. 
Plodding along, hoping for an early Springtime- that's me. ; /

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

She's Gone

 I wanted to let you all know that today Lynn went to join Evie, Abby, Dixie, Suzi,Carli,Alli and Chance in horse heaven.
My heart is shattered right now, but as usual, I'll be alright. She was down in her stall, and we tried & tried, but couldn't get her up. It was time and while my heart is broken, I know all the things that should be absorbed to justify this loss , but not right now.

For my mare... thank you for the thousands of miles you shared with me. Each step, closer to retirement, but each step was with me, none the less. You were the absolute best friend a human could ever have, and I thank you for that. I loved you with as much love a human could offer a horse, and you understood. I remember those times when I had to leave you in different places- to be bred, or at horse shows towards the end of your career, only to hear your calls to me to not forget you. HOW could I forget the most wonderful, happy, loving animal I ever had the pleasure of knowing? I'd count the days until you could come back home. I remember sitting with you at those last shows, missing many driving classes, because you didn't want me to leave you alone and my not wanting you to be stressed about it.
I remember sitting with you during the last few days of pregnancy because I wanted to be there when you had your daughter. Luckily, I was and got to witness Mariah come into the world. What a wonderful mama you were! Full of love and patience, yet, still came to say hello to me- and to show off your daughter one more time. I remember sitting with you when your tummy hurt so badly the few times it did. We got thru it, though- didn't we? I remember just yesterday when you got angry at me because you were not allowed to be in the barn before dinner time, eating everyone else's horse feed. You got so mad, you even bucked and showed me that old flabby fanny, plus those hind feet. " You see? I am mad and I Could have kicked you, but I didn't"   Yes, you did have a temper and it got either worse or better when I laughed at it. Sometimes, the more I laughed, you knew it made me think whatever you did was funny, so you did it again, just to hear me laughing. I remember you hating those big black nasty horseflies on your back- and how you'd bring them to me so I could swat them. At a GALLOP! You were a little scary then, you know.  You never hurt me- even when you were frantic for me to Get that Thing OFF.
I remember the times I would try to video you and wow, did you put on a big show. You threw those hind feet right over my head! I remember how'd you wait at the end of the pasture for me to lead all of the other horses in, and only then, when you had my full attention would you gallop up to me. Yes- Gallop- again, a little scary when a big giant horse comes at a gallop towards a puny human.  You used to stop right in front of me, dropping that beautiful face for your halter.
I remember us having the big fancy white carriage for weddings. You were so full of yourself at looking so wonderful, but you kept that ever wonderful Percheron mind together and didn't take a bad step each time. Do you remember when we were in Wilmington, Delaware in the rain? You were just a 3 year old and so inquisitive. Once again, even though I was shaking like mad, praying you didn't get scared and get hurt, you came thru it all like the great mare you were. You even were having enough fun to lift your head up, looking at those city people on the bus beside you!  Oh, what a good time they had too.  I remember the wedding where there had been a terrible house fire the night before... You had no idea what we were walking into while taking the bride and her dad to the church.  Did you act like the average horse when we came down that slope into town? Towards the still smoking house, with firetrucks and police cars all over the single lane road... did you even feel frightened of that man in orange flapping his bright orange flag? If you did, I didn't feel it. No- you walked up to him, carefully stepping over the water hoses,ignoring the noise, the gawking humans and the helicopters flying overhead. We stopped and the man rubbed your face as you tried to eat his flag.Again, you were a champ for me.

  Just don't ask you to go thru water though. I remember the times when my helper had to jump down from the carriage to "help" you step over drainage areas in roadways. You were scared you'd fall in ! Once there was someone there to be supportive, you hopped right over and waited for him to get back into the carriage.  Do you remember that trail drive at Fair Hill when we still lived in Maryland?  You JUMPED that 4' wide, inch deep stream! Me, Sara and the cart all went flying!!  There was laughter on both sides of that little teeny stream that day, my sweet.  We made it though, didn't we? And you did Not get those hooves wet at all.
I remember when we first met... You were quite the ugly duckling back them You weren't even 2 years old and in that awful butt high growing spurt. Ears big enough to be half mule short neck, and looking like there had been a few horses all glued together as nothing matched... but I fell in love with you right then. You didn't realize it but I did. All of the times we'd go to a show to come home with so many blue ribbons, and that world championship- well, you took me to the top, my dear heart, and I couldn't tell you how special it all was... Yes, we've had a grand life together. So many good memories...
When it was my turn to attempt to repay you for all of those fancy blue ribbons and miles of hard work, you graciously accepted the more than perfect care and tried so hard to understand that even though bending those painful, arthritic knees and hocks hurt so badly, it helped the farrier keep your hooves comfortable. You put up with me putting all kinds of things in your feed- and loved getting the almost pure alfalfa the past few years. All of those things were to help you feel better so you wouldn't get stuck laying down. I knew you had become hard of hearing, so those whispers we did together had to get a little louder. And you'd get mad about that too- usually shoving me to show it. I remember how poor Glenn would be battered by your show bit- and I could hear you snickering quietly about it. I remember when you first met Glenn. You didn't shove him away nor turn your rather wide behind to the stall door- no, you welcomed him. That was how I decided that he was the one for me. ( yes, he still jokes about it) He still is, Lynna... I love him as much as ever, possibly more each day.
Today, when we got to the barn only to find you down in your stall, you still tried to get up. You still trusted me to help all I could. Not once did I ever feel in danger because I was in a small space with 2000 pounds of power. Every time I'd go by, you'd nicker to me. Lynna- we tried SO damned hard to help you, but this time we couldn't. I knew when you gave up and told me you were just so tired. So I made the decision I knew I would have to make one day. I let you go... yes, my heart and mind are shattered right now, but never forget how I loved you all those years and will love you til the end of mine.
Goodbye my wonderful, sweet Lynna- You are missed now and will be forever. I love you and will treasure your being in my life for so many years. Never again will there be another love like yours and I will cherish the memories we had.

Godspeed, my best friend, my World Champion. You were my special spectacular horse- the best a human could ever, ever love. Even in your ancient years, you were still a World Champion to me and will be forever.
                                                                     4/8/1990- 2/6/2018

Sunday, February 4, 2018

It's Snowingggggggg

Superbowl Day

We brought the horses in a couple of hours early today, due to a wet snowfall.(which is Still falling)
Everyone was SO ready to come inside! I need to mention how wonderful it is to have a retired husband now- he's helpful as can be while getting his side job taken care of too. Thanks, Glenn Bowman.
Since I now CAN walk easily, I do most of it while bringing horses in or turning out. (pending upon who stops by- and Kris yacks) So the routine is Glenn walks to the barn, pulls heated bucket plugs, swings the aisle gate to let Lynn come into her stall, and slides her door shut.
I lead Briana up because she is forever more interested in what's going on in the rest of the barn Or she forgets where she lives- and Eli comes up alone. HE knows where his stall is, but Briana? Nope- tooo nosy. So, out of the gate we go- Eli has decided that he has time to explore some before cantering along the barn side to the aisle way. Meanwhile, my little Diva is bouncing sideways, telling me that she really Does know how to get to her stall. They were both snowy n' wet but warm as toast, with no complaints of being outside during the snow.
Once those two Littles were in their stalls, I walk up the hill to get Rusty, who is standing there, with one front leg up as high as he can lift it in eagerness to come in also. Sometimes I really do love this guy- he's careful, Way to smart and is pretty much a gentleman to work around. ( Hahahaaa- unless there are white geese in "his" pasture!! Then it becomes melt-down time) Glenn is there waiting for us w/ Dixies' halter and the great exchange is done. Rusty, for a halter...
I walk out to the boys and as usual, they're Both anxious to come in too. Whoever said horses don't like their stalls is full of 'it'. Mine all love being in their stalls. Dixie waits patiently at her gate while I open the other one and the two geldings make a dash for the barn. Even BoJangles!
Dixie is learning how to maneuver the gate properly at long last. She has to stand w/ her head toward the opening of it and not on the other end. She'll get bopped if she stands there and the gate swings open... By the time I get the gate opened, she's switched directions and is oh so easy to slip her halter on.  We're the last two to come inside, and while SHE thinks it's not fair and has to voice her frustration, she's a good girl. I very seldom have any trouble w/ my horses and the boarders here. Understanding idiocies has always been easy for me, and eventually, the horses that are new learn the routine.
This afternoon, however, and there's sometimes that certain horse who messes up the routine, it was Armbro. When I opened that pasture gate to let them go inside, Army chose to be Mr. Social. Instead of trotting down the aisle in the barn to his stall, he chose to visit. "Hey Rusty! Hi Eli! Howdy, Bo; I thought you were behind me!?" Glenn is standing there, telling Army to go into His stall, but Army took a little more time visiting w/ the other boyz.
I got Dixie all the way in her stall, halter off before the "Wanderer" chose to go get his hay. < lol > He's such a character and I love his personality...
So we are all "in" for the day/ night and life is good. Made some cookies to munch on while watching the Superbowl too.All in all, a wonderful Sunday.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

The begining of the End


The other day I was catching up on bill paying and saw a pending charge for the farm's website. So many bills happen when one runs their own farm- there are plenty of folks who work full time as well as run their farm. I have been there a few times when I lived in Maryland; just needed to take a break from it all. The last time for burnout was before I moved to PA. That one was almost 5 years long.

Slowly I accepted riders to the farm and found teaching was fun again. A few folks called me to ask about bringing their horses for training, and I accepted a couple of them. But then life took a downhill slide, I left that farm and moved to Pa., leaving my friends behind to begin a 'new' life.

Four times, I've built a successful business and this one here in Pennsyltucky is the last one. Slowly I've been selling off vehicles/equipment as my Percherons are both fully retired by now. Who needs to keep leather items around and not use them? Leather needs care and use. Then some saddles, bridles, and more. Each time a draft piece was sold and left, I shed some tears... the end of another era for me. Non-horse folks wouldn't understand but then again, maybe so.There have been so many 'endings' for me in the past 20 years but the big one is still in the future. When we finally retire into a much smaller place.

Anyhow- back to the beginning of all this: I thought about the website and how much fun I'd had keeping up with it. Then I considered the costs... Pretty much no contest, so I deleted it.  Gone, in an instant!

Happily saving money now, and not having some Very weird people calling to board here or to take lessons will be good, once I get used to it.  There have Been some Very odd people- hahahaaaa, I should write about them one day. It may turn into a novel though as there have been a lot. The horses were fine, but oh wow, their people- scary. Luckily I was blessed with many more good horse folks than the weird ones. THAT would be a much more fun tale to write. ;)  So perhaps we'll have to see how it goes.

In the meantime, I'm enjoying the lack of pressure to keep building the business into making more money, etc, etc... I am content where I am in life now and hope those here at the barn will remain for quite a few years to come.

Not to mention, I am Sick to death of cold, ice.frozen hoof prints, and subsequent Mud.  Come on Springtime!!!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

God Bless the Old Horses


As we get closer to 2018,after reading a great post concerning old cows and how their owners watch over them so much during the winter, I got thinking that I have been doing the same thing with my old horses.

There are quite a few Teenagers here, but only two ancients left. Those are my two Percheron horses. At 25 & 27, they are considered OLD. Draft horses usually don't live as long as the little ones do. While a well cared for riding horse might get into it's 30s, a draft horse of that same age usually has more health issues than that horse and won't live as long. Again, this depends on how badly or how well a horse was treated during his long life. From being ridden into the proverbial ground, to lack of veterinarian care and more lack of good care, a horse won't live as long or be healthy as long as a horse who was carefully conditioned, having great internal care as well as mental care. That horse may well live into it's 30's.

At any rate, I look at these old horses of mine daily. It may seem as though I am just talking to them,or petting them, but I'm not just doing that. Checking to see for arthritic joints swelling, fluid in places there shouldn't be, creaks and groans from skeletal structures, their demeanor and more. They are checked walking across from pasture to stalls, listening to sound foot falls or lame ones. Heads' down in pain or a happy drafter coming in for dinner. All of these things are taken into consideration for my ancients.

They get extra fattening feeds, top quality hay that they Can chew easily, lots of fresh water, salt and a very carefully chosen diet just for them. Deworming right on schedule and proper hoof care too. The same with keeping a check on those teeth.
 When they get groomed, it is a gentle one due to old body parts being sore. I think these two enjoy a good vacuuming over a hard curry... it gets them cleaner and leaves them happier too.

The old horses have paid their dues in life. They have earned retirement just as many humans have. Used to be I'd think well they're paying for their keep.  Now ?  I owe Them. I owe them a warm comfy stall and lots of hay to keep their old digestive systems working properly. Each time these two are moving around outside, I check on them, making sure there's no limping or simply being "off''some how or another.

Wintertime is hard on old horses. They no longer can get out of the way from other horses wanting to steal their hay. My mare has gotten down 3-4 times and hasn't been able to get up on her own. So, she lays there, waiting for someone to come help her. And we do with no complaints... I understand how it feels to rely on others for help, and have them disappear. My mare will never be allowed to have those feelings of abandonment.

They patiently (haha- or not) wait to come inside in the evenings, no gallops now, but perhaps a trot towards the barn.Mostly a crisp walk...  I still get happy whispers of delight when I come into the barn and warm brown eyes looking directly at my face.

The most terrible part in keeping old horses is that their time on this earth is almost done. That to me, when they let me know, will just break my heart. When it's time, I'll be the one to call our vet for one last visit for them and my time to say a final goodbye.

My mare and I have been friends since she was 15 months old- we have been through hard times, heartbreaking times and a lot of wonderful times also. Yet I wonder- is it good to keep a horse til 'the end'? So many people sell their older horses ; they don't have to deal with a useless animal that needs special foods, or the heartache of saying goodbye- but is it good for the horse? I say no... if a person owns a horse ( or dog, or cat, even a hamster)- then try to be the best partner to them possible- til their last day.
But to keep an old horse until it is ready to leave this earth? 
I say wholeheartedly, YES.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Farm Stuff

In a few days, we will begin a New year. Not being one to make lists of resolutions, I do have one for 2018. I want to work w/ Briana enough for a debut at a "first" driving show for her. Stay tuned.

Alrighty then!! I am tired of living on a frozen tundra. TOOO damn cold for my toes now.  No more complaining - I'm done now. 
This morning water buckets in the barn finally got some ice on their tops so it was time to exchange them for the heated buckets. That took a good while but once it was done, I felt cozy knowing everyone would come into nice warm water to drink. This creates yet more extra work for us as we have to dump the heated bucket's leftover waters into another bucket, and carry THAT outside to dump.

Then a gal stopped by and by the time we were done talking, it was close to 11 AM. LONG past time for me to have stalls to clean out still. Didn't get into the house til around one or so, but things are set up more for this bitter cold crap called winter. Mixed up some beet pulp to soak for tonight's feed, mixed up dinner feed then tomorrow's feed, fed the kitties ( Simone liked being outside for about 5 minutes, then dashed back inside!) cleaned their pooh up. By then, I couldn't feel my right foot , my feet were so cold.
The hens got their heated water dish plugged in and filled, and a big dish of feed. I brought Bess n' Gracie over so they could be w/ the bigger hens. I placed a little barrier for Grace to be behind until the big girls remembered who she was but she was so frantic, I ended up leaving an opening for her to get out with... Hope they don't beat her up- I think she & Bess are my favorite hens.
I am tired out! It is so much harder when it's so cold out. Granted it's hard work but when it is warmer, it seems to be a little easier.
 Winter brings more worry for me- How are my ancient horses doing? Are all of the horses getting outside enough? Who is cold? How to keep them all drinking plenty of water during this cold time? Sheeeesh- then the hens n' the barn kitties worry me but not quite so much. So- yep, running a farm is hard work, come wintertime.
The good thing ? I can feel my toes again !