Sunday, January 31, 2010

Newest additions

This is one of the new calves that made its appearance today, and the white lump in the center of the second picture is our Christmas puppy, Emily, a Great Pyrenees. She thinks she's a cow!

This is Sally Run!

No, we did not come up with the name. Sally Run is the creek that runs thru the heart of the farm, so this has been called the "Sally Run farm" for generations - long before we bought it in 2004. But we loved the name, so we kept it!

More snow, more calves

The crazy weather has once again sent some of our cows into labor a few days early. On the upside, the Predestined calves are gorgeous. Here's a link to the bull's info!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Another Big Snow!

We are up to close to a foot of fresh snow, so I thought this helpful hint was appropriate!

Tip of the day from our farrier, Dewayne Kimberlin:

If your horses are going out in the snow, spray the inside of their hooves with non-stick cooking spray (like Pam), and it will help keep the snowballs from forming in there!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sally Runt and OJ

I had to snap this while I was taking the drain picture. Sally and OJ (Orange Julius, not Simpson) came into our family as puppy and kitten, respectively, nearly two years ago, and they are still best buddies!

Drain picture

Here is the picture of the drain.

Barn floors

I don't have any training words of wisdom to offer, but I have been thru an extensive equine facility design and construction project, and I learned so much over the years of planning and building. I have learned that in every project, the most important splurge should be your floors. Your horses' legs are everything (and so are yours), and this is the most difficult and disruptive thing to upgrade later. We used the thick rubber tiles (dog bones, as our builder refers to them)for our aisle and grooming/washing areas, and they have been a dream! The floors are so comfortable for your legs, do not get slippery, are super quiet (can even take the pawing out of anxious horses when they don't get a good loud sound out of it), and look amazing. One thing that was actually a bit of a redesign when we were in the process was our drain system. We poured concrete floors to set the tiles on, but we added three large (18" x 24", I think) drains at even intervals down the aisle. We also put a drain in the center of each wash area. Initially the drains were elevated so that the tile flooring bumped up next to them, but even my non-horsey husband looked at this and said there wasn't a horse in the barn that would go near those beastly drains. The fix was to cut the legs off the drains so that they set into the concrete flush and lay the rubber tiles over the top of them. We drilled holes in the tiles first to let the water thru, which was fine in the aisles but clogged up in a minute in the grooming areas. Then we cut a pattern in the tiles (I'll take a picture) to make bigger openings to the drains, and the result has been fantastic. The floor is a continuous and safe surface with nothing to trip over or hang up on, and everyone's legs are very happy! So, if you're renovating your barn or building a new one, and you are going to splurge on one thing, my hands down vote over everything else we did is the floor. You can add a lot of other things later, but this has an immediate impact on your horses' sound legs and is a beautiful, soft look as well.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Find of the day

Found this today during a blog search. A North Carolina based rider has also seen the need for an amateur dressage forum and created a website for such riders! Some cool stuff, so check it out!!

On a personal note, we had freezing rain last night, and I again cannot get the horses out of the barn! Fun stuff! This is when boarding your horses rather than keeping them at home seems like a better idea!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Here's what I don't love . . . MUD!

I'm not talking about an overnight rain that made things a little soggy. I'm talking about the two feet of snow trying to melt, frozen ground that starts to thaw, and then several inches of rain kind of mud that sucks your boots right off your feet!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What makes it a good day?

I realized today that one of my small joys/favorite things about horse life is having time to thoroughly clean my tack after a good ride rather than throwing it on the cleaning hook for another day and rushing out of the barn. It gave me the time to think about what went right and reminded me how much I do really love this sport and these animals.

Amateur Horsewomen

I've been thinking a lot about adult amateur riders and how different their training experiences can be when it has to be squeezed into a busy schedule of family, work, housekeeping, and horsekeeping. This article was truly inspirational at a time when I was really struggling with the "why do I do this?" that hits us all at different points. I hope you find it hopeful as well.