Home

He thinks my tractor’s sexy

Leave a comment

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:

WP_20140514_002

Isn’t that right, Baby? (aka Oreo)

WP_20140514_14_03_35_Pro

Pasture perfect

5 Comments

At long last the conditions are right for their first evening out in the pasture. They are loving every minute of that fresh grass.

New Pasture: Part 2

Leave a comment

For some, horses are a phase but for others, horses are their life.

We are equestrians and pasture grass farmers.

Have I mentioned to you I have a black thumb?  Some people have green thumbs and are excellent at gardening and growing things.  I am convinced I have a black thumb that kills everything. Maybe this has to do with the fact that I would rather nurture a horse than a plant. Needless to say here I am trying to get grass to grow in the new pasture.  This is the before picture.  This is how the ground looked when we started.  The fence is up as noted in the previous post so the horses can’t trample and eat the grass before it has a chance to grow.

WP_20140422_18_19_24_Pro

The next step was to scrape the field level by back dragging the tractor over all of to get the field level and fill in the hoof prints ruts.  Then we dragged the field using a pull behind rake.  It wasn’t heavy enough at first so we attached a cement block to it.

Next we seeded the pastured.  We just used the walking broad cast seeder since the areas are not that big.

Lastly we covered the field with compost/manure.  I figure this would fertilize and driving over the seed would push them into the ground a bit.

Ok we are done for the day and can let the horse back in to the ACA.  The area around the new pasture.  OH wait we forgot to close the gate!  What are you guys doing in here?  Oh rolling around will help with the seed penetration.  Now get out you lot! You are not supposed to be in here!

Now we hope for rain to start the germination process.  NO NO not 24 hours of straight rain.  Did it wash the seeds away?  Only time will tell.  I am not liking those low laying areas where rain water is still standing.

9 days after seeding let’s see what we have.  Well the weeds are growing but  I do see some blades of  grass.

WP_20140505_16_13_13_Pro WP_20140505_16_12_43_Pro

Fingers crossed the green grass grows.

Pasture renovation and Paddock Paradise in one foul swoop

4 Comments

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.

WP_20140420_11_30_24_Pro WP_20140420_11_05_46_Pro

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.

They had a good run around

Leave a comment

Some times they get a wild hair have to run around for a bit to let it out.  It makes for some great pictures.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Weekend Warm Up – What a Tease!

Leave a comment

Last weekend was great.  It was in the 40’s (which now feels like a heat wave) and there was lots of activity on the farm.  Starting with a trail ride with Cuervo and Nash at 10 am Saturday.  Nash decided to be a freak and was bouncing around like a rabbit.  Everything was scary when I was on him, but when I walked him things were fine. Cuervo enjoyed the ride and even had a spring to his step.

WP_20140201_10_52_12_ProThen we had a lesson. My girls are troopers and have stuck with me the whole winter.  It is fun riding in the snow bareback because the horse keeps you warmer.

Then the ferrier  came to give everyone mani/pedi’s.  While he was there the girl scouts came over to lend a hand for their volunteer hours.  They cleaned all the cob webs out of the whole barn and goat house.  Thanks Girl Scouts!

WP_20140201_13_48_45_ProFinally the day ended with one more lesson with one of the Girl Scouts.  Her mom even posed for a picture while I was photographing from a top of Nash.  Yes Bareback to keep me warm.

On Sunday GSF’s favorite photographer Judy Reinford brought out her client for a photo shoot with Nash.  Now my horse has been in more photo shoots than me!  Again it was a great afternoon for it the weather was warm, but there was still snow on the ground for the picturesque winter couple photos.

While we were waiting on the wardrobe change we had role reversal and I snapped a shot of Nash and Judy.

WP_20140202_15_11_41_Pro

 

 

Lessons outside of the box

Leave a comment

I still can’t believe and am very grateful for how strong the lesson program is going even though the temperatures are dropping my students are still hanging in there and I am starting new ones almost every week.  With it getting dark at 5 pm I am even contemplating having lights installed around the riding arena.  BUT lets find out how much it costs first. 

I have started doing Gymkhana exercises with some of my lesson girls.  They love it!  I get on Apple and do it with them.  Then I discovered how much Apple loves to do it too.  It is a lot of fun and teaches them balance, quick reactions and confidence.

Sometimes at the end of lessons we go on “trail rides”.  It is just a walk around the front pasture but the kids love it.  They can relax.  Not have to go in constant circles and enjoy a bit of nature from the back of a horse.  The parents and dogs enjoy the walk as well.

2013-11-02_12-25-53_213 2013-11-02_12-29-21_369

Older Entries Newer Entries