Thursday, September 26, 2013

With the days getting shorter, it's harder to get in weekday riding after work. So that leaves the weekend warrior rides on Sundays for John and I.

Autumn's cool temperatures are finally killing off the bugs with a few hardy mosquitoes hanging on to their last warm days. We used the headnets on Sunday to keep those pesky guys off our ponies' ears. Rolex is still taking a break while she grows more hoof. That leaves our Ruffy to accompany Harley through the wilds. She's come a long way from last winter when in a frantic moment, she dropped John in the woods, and headed for home with Harley in tow, and me dusting off my britches (and clutching my chest with a cracked sternum). She still gets a little upset when there is no designated trail and she has to bushwack. I took the lead with Harley, trying to pick the clearest way while moving steadily so she wouldn't panic and bolt. She made it, although she was happy to get out into the open.

This is a cool spot in the remains of an old quarry. I suspect it would be a great home for porcupines.

Out on the road to North Point, John snapped a picture of Harley. Of course, he's thinking of heading home and already pointed in that direction! But as you can see from the big smile on my face, I'm laughing at the silly bugger! I'm thankful just to still have him after last month's colic scare.

Ruffy, putting on her best begging face, wheedles some carrots from John. She knows what a soft spot he has for her sweet face!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A daunting week

Harley picking on Vance while the girls watch
I'm taking a vacation this week, but I've only been riding twice, back before all the yucky rain and hot weather descended upon us. But that's o.k. I've got a gazillion things to do around the house to prepare for winter or a sale, whichever comes first. I need to get painting done upstairs, but it's been too humid for that project. My dad gave me a hand fixing broken bolts on the toilet--or I should say, he fixed it while I was at the barn with our equine dentist. I got home and he'd already finished--so much for my plumbing lesson. Then he fixed the cellar switch which has been making scary fizzling sounds lately. I took out the bathroom fan motor to replace, but need to track down which Lowe's has it in stock.

And we looked at a house with 18 acres and barn--sort of....The barn was really a wreck; no way inhabitable by any animals. The house had some issues as well. I've also spoke to a realtor to get an idea of what the 'ole place is worth and if we can afford to find another house with a little land, a barn, and if possible, near some trails. So I've got my work cut out for me--especially the de-cluttering end of things. It's amazing how much junk one accumulates over time. If things don't pan out--I need to order my winter wood pronto!

Today I sorted, culled, and straightened in the office. In the midst of cleaning, I had to dash out to the barn to bring in the ponies as ominous rumbling sounded overhead. I got them in the barn, settled in with some hay and sat down to read while I waited out the storm. After it appeared to have passed, I put them back out only to hear more thunder about a half hour later. This time serious bolts of lighting were touching down on the horizon. "O.k. guys, back inside!" The skies opened up and it poured. They were going to be in for awhile, so I went home to resume my cleaning.

Back out to the barn at 6:30 for some stall picking, fresh water, and dinner. Yes--3 trips to the barn in a day! This is why we need the horses on our property. For the nearly 50 miles I drove, and nearly $10 in gas, I could have walked outside, made sure they were alright (because I will have a run-in shelter), and gotten back to my indoor projects saving hours of time and a good bit of money. Hence my interest if finding my perfect mini-farm!

Harley's wounds have healed up from his colic thrashing and he's back to his old self. You can see the scrapes by his eye. This picture was taken right after he came home from the 5-Star Hotel. I'm trying to fatten him back up before winter. That's always a project with him since a) he's a cribber and spends half his mealtime "urping" on the fence or his stall guard, b) he stomps at flies all day (I need to order one more round of fly predators), and c) the grass is getting eaten down.

The good news is the tractor is up and running again as of today. Hopefully, John can mow the pastures and knock back the gigantic waist-high ragweed invasion.
 One more day of rain, and then this horrible heat wave should be over taking the rain, thunderstorms, and maybe some bugs with it as cool air returns. Last weekend was perfect riding weather and the deer flies were minimal. I'm so happy to see the backside of those dang flies! And so are the horses.

Early morning turkey watching
Every night I give Harley a big hug, whether he likes it or not. And by Sunday--my last vacation day--we're going on a trail ride!

My best boy noshing on clover