Sunday, April 28, 2013

Chickens n' Horses, n' Hair, OH MY !


What a time we've been having at our farm ! All good, all fun and ALL perfect.
First, I have acquired a teeny little lost soul in the form of a Hackney Pony. She arrived here on April 16th, thin as a rail, horrid hooves, and scared of any thing human. Yes, even though I do not make a habit of taking in"rescues", this little mare really needed to be saved. Her owners of two weeks didn't know what to do with her due to her being so flighty and scared, but they DID do their best in care, feeding and being kind to her. I don't know much about her history but she had fallen on that 'pipeline' to a kill auction.

Here she is the day I first met her , after she Jumped over her water tub to get out of her stall. Then she took off in total fear. Luckily she's little or I imagine she'd still be running.

Once she arrived here, she got groomed as much as she'd allow, and has had some work done with her so she becomes more trustful. It has worked well because now, I can touch her ears, and run a whip all over her with no tantrums or panic from being terrified. Just one step at a time, and hers are all 'baby' steps.

We named her Breeze - and she has lived up to it already ! Here's how she looked last Sunday... One of the working students was here, and I happened to have my camera handy !

Breezy has gained some more weight this week, and is looking great. I plan on teaching her to drive !

Then yesterday, we had a real busy day. I have been keeping a diary for the month of April for Farm & Ranch Magazine, and the gal from Cove Creek Photography came out to finish the shots that she's sending to the magazine folks. It was fun, but whew- So many photos taken ! At the same time, our barn was stock full of great working students. They did all of the hard stuff, so I could concentrate on getting the photos accomplished. 

THANK YOU  Meghan, Tami, Chy, and Patience !!!!

These gals are becoming such good horsewomen and will certainly be of a continued part of our team.

Later on, a gal came to pick up a load of horse manure, and she ended coming back for one more !  YAY- good bye horse pooh .
The farm's vet came by to administer vaccines for a couple of the boarders, and a  brand new boarder ( arrives June 1st) stopped out to visit , anddddddddddd, whew, a prospective riding student came to see the horses.

It seems that our hens are laying eggs like mad - 
I get about a dozen Daily now- so our girls "rock" !!

 A busy month, but absolutely wonderful & positive. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Well it WAS warmer...


Happy Earth Day all !!
Who is going to remember to watch the meteor show this evening ? I hope I do.

Mother Nature sure has hit us with some more chilly than average weather. We had a few days of super warm ( almost 82 here) and then a BIG storm session moved thru, bringing very brisk mornings. I have been lovin' it as this is the weather for me !

We have a new addition to our barn, even though I swore that I wanted no more items that ate or pooped....  This new addition is actually a small rescue... Meaning she sure didn't need to be where she was, and the folks knew it. If they let her go to the 'wrong' people, who knows where this little gal would have ended up. I have a pretty good idea, but won't ever be sure as she's Here now.

She is pure Hackney Pony, 12 hands tall, and exquisite. She trots like the demons of hell are on her tail out in the pasture, and has some kinda fancy action. I hear she's "green broke" to drive but am not going to consider she is. She will be taken back to me treating her like she knows nothing at all.

This little gal is scared of humans, point blank. As an equine, she's very brave, but add a human and she's in a panic. She arrived here last Tuesday ( 4/16) evening via a very dark, HOT trailer and was shaking as she came off of it. So far, she's been all over the farm to explore (' shopping' is what I've called it for decades)  has been learning the routine, and meets me at the pasture gate each evening. This doesn't mean she'll let me put her halter on, but she Does meet me, at least. I have an appt with our farrier in a few weeks for a good hoof trim as her feet desperately need it. Vaccines will be administered as soon as she picks up some more weight, and a good de-worming as well.

She has a brand new soft halter and a brand new name as she really didn't come with one.
So with out further adieu, Meet WoodFinn's English Breeze .

Friday, April 12, 2013

Stupid Chicken Things, continued


As some of you know, I have a rooster named Rooster Cogburn ( RC for short). He's a Lavender Orpington and is the Only roo here. Therefore, he is even More macho than ever. He struts himself about, crowing when he hears me talking, or if one of the hens lays an egg. This, we call the " Oh My Gawd, I Laid An EGG !!! song)  He will strut himself around, making all kinds of enormously loud chicken sounds, right along with the hen who REALLY did the work. He really is quite handsome, but he's oh so prone to doing 'stupid chicken things'.

Like when he decided that one of our boarders would be terrified when he 'jumped' at her as she was in the hens' house. Not smart-  Stooopid.... She grabbed him , picked him up and carried him around for a few minutes ( see former blog posts.) I even took pictures of him being held.  This totally befuddles and humbles one so great and majestic. RC, like many other roosters ,isn't known for his high intelligence. "Eraser Brains" is what I jokingly call my chickens.

One evening last week, I walked up to their chicken house calling them as it was dinner / bed time. The hens who know the house belongs to them came running as fast as their little chicken legs could carry them, and RC came hopping along, but not as fast, as he's SO big. We all walked up to their house telling them how smart they were for being such good girls ( and you tooo, RC). I poured some of their dinner in the small black dish (think water bowl for a dog size) and scattered some around for those hens who are lowest on the pecking order there.

RC was So hungry, and being a very big piggy, tried to stand IN the little bowl as he pecked up the crumbles. Well, as you can imagine, one big rooster IN a feed bowl, and trying to peck up some of the crumbles at the same time, didn't work well. He lost his balance and fell out of the bowl, beak first. After much flapping and sorting of feathers, he stood there looking at me ( who was cracking up) very indignantly, as though to say " I PLANNED TO DO THAT .".   Some days it's hard being a rooster. It still makes me chuckle just thinking about it but then I'm easily amused after so many days alone on a farm.

 Here's RC with "My Pet Chicken" Lilly...

So, it's been a while....


I have been BUSY. Spring arrived and it snowed a little. ( ??? snow ???) I was beginning to think Spring would Never get here but it has. < happy dance> Two days had HOT weather, and then we had some storms roll thorough, and Spring arrived. The grass grew a little - well enough to 'look' greener- the flowers started popping their heads up thorough the earth, and the birds singing again. While the horses shed their winter coats ( and omg, they ARE) I rake it up into piles, and put it outside so those birds building nests can use it if they choose to. I've actually found nests that had long tail or mane hairs incorporated into them.  So birds recycle, it seems.

As I mentioned, the horses are shedding their winter coats. Almost daily, I end up with a big pile of it. It's amazing to me how much hair they grow in order to keep warm !  It sure does well for them, how ever, I wish those thick coats were like turnout blankets and I could just unbuckle buckles and take them off in one piece.

The husband is back to work, and comes home exhausted nightly. Its been hard for him to get back into the swing of a work-a-day schedule after being off for three months, almost. He understands this and still is sound asleep on the couch by 8 PM. He has a superb work ethic and people take advantage of that- sure they do.It makes "working" easier for Them, if someone else will do their jobs too. At this point, we are both looking forward to the day he can retire from the daily grind, and devote his time to his 'part time ' job.

The Working Student program is now 'full', and those who were accepted are Great !! They are smart, funny, and so willing to learn all about horses in a more correct manner than they might have from someone else. We had a Vaccination Clinic a few weeks ago- and they learned all about them, plus saw how to administer shots correctly and safely. Then they got to inject their oranges so they understood how it would be to really give a shot to a horse....

In May (11th) we are having our Open House !! All kinds of things are in the making and plans. Today I have been working on that as it's a rainy day here in Pennsyl-tucky. Trying to remember to get listed in the 'event' columns' in local papers is not as easy as one would think. I find as I get Older, remembering things gets older too. < chuckling here>

That's about it from Lake Wobegon, stay tuned for more items of interest ! In the mean time- here are some Spring-like photos I took yesterday :