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Visiting Casey

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Casey the Wonder Pony

Last month I received a message through Golden Spike Farm’s Facebook page from a girl who used to ride Casey apparently they called him the wonder pony.  She was glad to have found out where he ended up and how good he is doing.  Social media is a crazy world where it is so much easier to make we can make connections.

As part of my getting ready to leave PA I decided to take Casey’s new owners up and visit him and them.  Casey is doing so good and is spoiled rotten by his new family.  It was good to see him, go for a ride around the ring and say good bye to the old guy.

 

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The other purpose of the visit was to deliver to them my dining room table.  I helped them bring their old Kitchen table and chairs out to the curb for free pick up.  Then we decided to sit at the table and proceeded to pretend to eat, drink and wave at cars.

Cheers!

Welcome Spring

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Mother Nature welcomes the first day of spring with the embrace of a fresh blanket of snow.WP_20150320_12_36_06_ProSeriously!  All of the snow had just finished melting.  We saw grass for the first time since January. Now this!  Not fair she is seriously not playing by the rules.  Maybe April will be good to us?

Song For An Old-Fashioned April

April, April, how do I know
whether thou be friend or foe?
Give me sunlight, give me breath,
Give me belief there is no death.

How I wonder, my giver of the flower
Whether I’ll have staying power;
To wage this battle through thick and thin
To know my love will come back again…

Tell me April, who is my love,
The red robin or the cooing dove?
How can a messenger seem so still
While streams overflow with winter’s swill?

Give me love or give me power;
I’ll take some of both
And contemplate the flower……

Source: http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/song-for-an-oldfashioned-april#ixzz3UwjiAbGP
Tulips

Just Cutting Grass

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Earlier this week I cut the back pastures.  Really it is so boring going up and down.  Keeping the wheel in the track of the last run. Piper came out to join me for a bit.  Which was surprising as she hasn’t done that in as while.  It is like she is taking over some of Shadow’s jobs.  The sun-setting was beautiful and the finished product is even nicer.  I guess it is an okay way to spend your evening.

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Horse in Boots

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So you all have seen the funny cat videos of them trying to walk in shoe or socks.  Here is a good one if you haven’t.

That got me thinking how did they decide to make a cartoon Puss in Boots if the cats can’t walk. Well some how Puss figured out how to walk, run, dance and sword fight.

But I digress… I got Cuervo a pair of fly boots.  They are basically mesh leg wraps that go from the hoof to below the knee.  I was noticing he had a lot of bug bites and blood spots left from the bites because he didn’t stop his feet to get the bugs off.  Did mention he is old and lazy?  Well this video is the second time putting the boots on.  The first time was even more dramatic but he still walked funny this time.  Enjoy!

 

He thinks my tractor’s sexy

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Yes – from Kenny Chesney’s song:

So I am becoming a little more proficient and confident in using the tractor.  I can load up the farm truck with manure with out denting anything.  I can cut the pastures but find it so boring going around in circles.  It is nice to be able to hang out with the BF while doing it.

But really I would rather be here:

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Isn’t that right, Baby? (aka Oreo)

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Escape Artists

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 A horse farm owner’s worst nightMARE.

So I am not sure who is the culprit. It is a toss up between Apple and Chex but someone figured out how to open the back doors.  These are the back doors to my guys’ stalls (Cuervo, Apple, Nash & Casey).  The doors are closed and locked when the horses or out in the ACA during the day.  The horses can hang out in the shed row to get out of the sun and I guess someone has taken to playing with the locks.

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These are the front doors to their stalls.  they can be either open or closed during the day while the horses are out. BUT if they are open and then the back door is opened then we have horse out in the barn area which is fine…

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EXCEPT for this part which backs to the woods is not fenced.  The donkeys have wandered into the woods and I think that on the day of the great escape they led Cuervo and Izzy into the woods.  I noticed the other day when I had them out that Cuervo and Izzy got very upset when the donkeys went off with out them.  Funny how attached to each other they get.
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So now we have clips on all the back doors so the nimble mouths can’t open the locks anymore.

 

Pasture renovation and Paddock Paradise in one foul swoop

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We just completed the Equine Environmental Stewardship program with Penn State Extension’s  Equine Program.  In this course we learned about best management practices of pasture management.

Right now the horse are being kept in an Animal Concentration Area (ACA ). This area is also known as a sacrifice lot or a dry lot.  This is the area right behind the barn that the horses are out in when I am trying to preserve the pastures form over use, over eating and hoof damage. Now, after the winter snows and spring rains it has no grass and is all dirt and mud. See before pictures below.WP_20140420_11_06_02_Pro WP_20140420_11_09_19_Pro WP_20140420_11_11_03_Pro

As shown in the picture below the ACA consisted of the whole area within the blue lines.  This was a large area for the horses and donkeys and would never grow any decent grass due to over grazing. ACA

Last year we had members of the Equine Program (Donna and Sarah) out to evaluate our pastures and determine if the farm could be part of their pasture rejuvenation project.  See the post from August 2013.  We were invited to participate but it fell through due to the fact that we didn’t have the right kind of tractor.  Their recommendation was to fence off part of the ACA and plant grass seeds so that it may grow to a lush pasture by next year. Their only requirement was that we had to keep the horses off of it an only allow them limited access to prevent over grazing.

The good news is that Donna and Sarah were running the course we just took.  Donna told us we are still considered to be part of the pasture rejuvenation program and we are eligible for a  bag of grass seed.  We could use our on methods to seed the pasture and did not have to use their no till drill.  We received the grass seed mix on the last day of class.

Originally we were going to just fence off part of the pasture (like cut it in half) then I came across the paddock paradise concept.

“Paddock Paradise is an exciting new natural boarding concept based on Jaime Jackson’s research into how horses live in the wild. It is a ground-breaking idea which has many benefits including:

  • provides a more stimulating environment for the horse which discourages vices
  • encourages more movement which benefits overall health of the horse
  • enables easier grazing management”

So I decided to start my paddock paradise in the ACA area and create the pasture in the middle.  See yellow box in the above picture.

This weekend we completed phase I putting up the fence.  See below the pictures of the work in progress.

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After it was completed the horse got to try it out.  They actually enjoyed running around the parameter.

The next day we leveled out the field.  Now all we have to do is drag it to loosen up the dirt and plant the seeds.  Then hope our timing is right for rain and sun.  Be on the look out for more posts as we continue our progress.

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