Thursday, May 27, 2010

Had a farrier out to do my horses...

It's been busy around here since school got out!

Today, I just finished with the farrier. He came out to trim all 5 of my horses. I was recommended this farrier from a friend. He does her horses and she said he's very quiet and got her little handled difficult mare to stand like a pro while he does her feet. And I went out to look at her horses feet to see if I liked what he did. Well, it took him 3 hours total to do all 5, and more than half of that time was spend on the wild ones. My "tame" horses all stood tied for him like old pros (and they have had other people work on their hooves before). The wild ones were definitely leary about this new stranger, but they settled down and did alright, although both of them gave him some trouble with the right hind (which was also the last hoof he did). Interestingly, that is the same hoof both of them gave me trouble on the time before and it was also the last hoof I did that time. I think they sort of get fed up with standing by that time (at least when I did it because it takes me so long), and when they start taking their hoof away and I have to start asking for it back, they start to get worked up and it takes even longer. We had to do the rope trick on both of them. It worked. Hopefully they are a little better on that hoof next time. And I think I will mention to the farrier to maybe not let that foot be the last one next time.

All in all, I was proud of them with a complete stranger working on their feet, and now I have a herd full of horses with nice trimmed feet! That feels good!

Last weekend was my middle sister's wedding. It turned out so beautiful and very elegant. She's been planning it for a year and half and every detail was perfect. I don't have pictures of her to post, but I do have one picture of me getting ready for the rehearsal dinner. Here I am showing off my baby belly. I am exactly 24 weeks in this picture.

I've also been out with the local dairy veterinarian once so far and I will go with her again tomorrow. That was interesting...we did herd health checks (mostly pregnancy checks and one surgery on a displaced abomasum) and also some health and tuberculosis checks on some Amish cattle that were relocating to South Dakota. Tomorrow, we go to a local 4,000 cow dairy. Wow. I think tomorrow will be very interesting. I've never seen anything that big before! I don't really plan to work with dairy that much. I'd like to focus on horses (and other farm animals), but I think it is inevitable that I may also need to work on dairy too...especially if I'd like to make any kind of money around here. Most people around here don't spend too much on their horses.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Exams are DONE!

AhhhhhHHHHHH! Finally! I'm done with school for the semester!!!! I just took my last final today! I think I did well in all my classes but we'll see when I get my final grades. So, now begins a summer of pregnancy, gardening, horses, and volunteering with a local vet. I'm also planning to take next year off school to be with baby and return the following year.

A lot has happened at our place in the last couple of weeks. Some good. Some bad. We had to put one of our dogs down because she attached our neighbor's dog. That was very hard, and it is still hard to believe that she's gone. Thankfully (for me) Jasper and Sage were not involved at all and so are still with me! I don't think I'd have dealt very well with having to put one of them down, even if they'd done something horrible.

We also picked up our little pony mule. She's doing great. She is so cute and very friendly. I don't have any pictures of her yet, but don't worry, there will be some soon. Unfortunately, she doesn't seem to really like living with the cows. I mean, she's doing fine and hangs out with them just fine, but I can always hear her braying/neighing to my horses across the valley. She'd like some horse companions. Anytime anyone goes up to the barnyard, she comes running down for some attention.

We got our garden prepped and some of it planted, but I need to finish planting now that school is done. We got the cold weather stuff in two weeks ago.

I took the following pictures last week but I haven't had the time to post them.

Here is my herd hanging out with the neighbor's herd. They are conversing across the fence. They have a 12 foot space between them so they cannot actually interact, but they like to pretend.

Here is my front flower bed. It looks a little sparse now, but all those little green things sprouting are a wildflower seed mix I planted, so by mid-summer this bed should be absolutely exploding with color (at least that's my hope).

Here is our side yard that we recently planted in grass seed. The grass is finally starting to sprout. We had our doubts for a while, but I think it just needed to get warmer. Behind the hay mulch is our garden, and further back you can see the horses in the pasture.

This is the only part we got planted - these are onions, lettuce, sugar snap peas, beets, and radishes.

My herd has plenty of pasture now, but we still have a lot of hay left, so to reduce their pressure on the pasture, we keep the feeder full. They come in to eat out of it periodically throughout the day. They've become quite the close knit herd. Kachina and Griffin crack me up all the time - they both have so much energy and are always playing with eachother, rearing, running, just messing with eachother. Chico often gets implicated in these episodes too. But never Cody or Catlow.

They are almost all shed out now. Chico has dapples again this year. He had them last summer too, but I never saw dapples on him in Idaho (I never saw dapples on any of my horses in ID).

Kachina has shed out her dull faded winter coat into a bright peachy red summer coat. She looks very pretty.

But Cody's spring dapples beat every one elses! They are so vivid! Cody is a dark dark sooty buckskin and she now gets these dapples every spring as she sheds out of her dark winter coat into her lighter summer coat.

So, Griffin, Kachina, and Catlow do not get dapples, but they are beautiful none-the-less. Here Catlow shows off her lovely flaxen locks.