Sunday, August 31, 2014

August Is Done

Heating up around here.

He worked on the 'chattering' wheel on the flatbed trailer. The brake fittings had failed and melted, like a candle, and will need to be replaced. He worked on this with a beach umbrella over his work site.
Even in the shade it is brutal out there.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ride Time!

We decided to ride, because it was the best day, weather-wise, of the holiday weekend. Now that the trail has been 'fixed,' going to Sykesville is a pleasure. We practically had the park to ourselves.
We tied up next to the Police Department, in the shade.

On the way back, Skip threw a shoe. Darn!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Loose Ponies

Lots of people (parents) get miniature horses because they are little. They figure they can handle them because they are little. This is a myth. These guys are the perfect size to injure you in ways you never thought about, faster than you can deny it is actually happening. To you.

Just last Tuesday Sprite knocked the veterinarian on her butt, twice. Glad I had cleaned the stall up nicely, only sawdust and a rubber mat to catch her fall.

This evening I was taking KC out of the dry paddock, moving him to field #2. I imagined I would come back for Skip right away. Instead, as plans go, Skip bumped the gate, swinging it out of my grasp, and he was now loose. I knew he would follow KC and me, but he made a slight detour and I couldn't reach the gate in time and Lil Fred and Sprite followed Skip out.

Now I have three loose horses.

I get KC in the field and Skip follows, close that gate. The 'littles' go to the edge of the parking lot, at the hay elevator, and drop their heads to eat grass. Cool.

As I approach, both trot the fence line, past my Adirondack chairs, and Skip immediately starts running the fence line, too. Great.

I follow them around to the road side of the fence, swinging wide around the septic tank lid and turn them back to the little woods. I keep on them and they get confused about where to go, with all the piles of debris (stone dust, dirt, fence boards) and decide to head out to field #3 across the new gravel on the dry paddock.

The gate to field #3 is open and they lit out of there like their tails were on fire. Meanwhile, he is weed-whacking the fence line of field #1, all the way around. He doesn't have his phone, couldn't hear it anyway, and I don't have mine. His sight-line prohibits him from seeing me and all of this playing out.

I can't close the gate because the gravel is too deep. It has also set up, like concrete, and I have to rake and dig a trench to get the gate closed. This takes time. He is still trimming the fence line. The 'littles' are so far down the field I can't see them.

I finally finish digging the trench and get the gate closed. Skip is not done running the fence line, his tail straight up, full speed ahead, and back again. He continues to incite a riot, and the 'littles' are running along with him, evading and eluding capture. I just took a shower, but my t-shirt is getting wet down the middle. Skip is soaked, too.

I get Skip, bring him in, putting him in field #1. He is distraught. I go into the house to tell him that the 'littles' are in field #3, and can he console his horse, who now is running the fence line and calling out in field #1.

KC comes up to the gate, but then goes back down to the bottom of field #2 to be next to the 'littles.' I walk, again, all the way down to bring him up, put him in his stall next to Skip, who now is in his stall and quiet.

He gets on the tractor and rounds them up. It took time, he was going as fast on that tractor as he could, and they were running through the field as if it was a movie set. A lot. Like "Misty of Chincoteague" or something, mane and tail flying with their speed. They both looked magnificent, really. Around and around we go. Mustang round-up!

Eventually she got tired, winded, and allowed me to catch her. Lil Fred needed more persuasion with the tractor, but he succumbed to the lead rope, too.

They really are cute.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Riding in the Rain

Saturday it rained. A lot. Wasn't supposed to, but it did. We rode anyway, because.
We HAD to ride in the rain because it was raining, couldn't reschedule for a better weather day because of time constraints, so ride we did.

He rode with his niece, and surely she won't forget this soggy ride. We got soaked clear through, but a good, memorable time was had by all.

Friday, August 22, 2014


Last year, last May, the rotors and brake pads were replaced on the 2004 RAV4, my favorite farm vehicle, at a close-by auto shop. It was well-rated, and we gave them a shot. We do not use this car to commute, the mileage is low, for a 10-year old car.

With just over 10,000 more miles on it, the brakes were getting weird, shaky. The steering wheel would vibrate, seriously.

This vehicle is perfect for jobs around the farm. Thrifty gas usage, light enough not to bend the grass, all-wheel drive; can get about seven bales of hay in the back, a dozen or so of sawdust cubes.

We took the car to our long-time car guy, close to our old house. He said the rotors were shot. WHAT!?! Barely 10,000 miles on those rotors. How can this be? Not genuine parts, cheap China parts. Not up to the task.

The auto shop that we used would, maybe, honor their work, but he decided to do the work himself, ordered the real-deal genuine parts and put them on. My sweet farm 'truck' is back in business, like it was brand new.

The long-time car guy didn't charge a penny for his time.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Little Dog Gone

Suddenly, Lexie experienced the immediate onset of IMHA, an auto-immune condition that painlessly killed her within three days. Her red-blood cells were exploding, she was lethargic, gums gray and pale, jaundiced; while resting she was panting as if she'd chased the ponies all over the place. Her urine was like rust.

She will be missed by all who knew her, and especially by Irene, her buddy and playmate.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Snake - Deja' vu All Over Again

A little bit late this year, the Eastern Ring-Necked snakes have hatched, and Irene is on the job.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Equine Dentist

Starting with KC, who was the best, the vet and her technician worked their way around the barn. Skip's teeth were in the worst shape, so spent more time on him than the others. Lil Fred was the most fearful, no new revelation there. Sprite was defiant, as usual. She was rearing, spinning, plunging and doing what she does best. Finally the tech got the tranquilizer needle in her neck and all was quiet.
Using power tool (drill) with a sanding disk attachment, the vet scrubbed down the 'points' and 'hooks' that grow on their teeth. Horses grow teeth nearly their entire life, so they have to eat to grind them down. Like a beaver. Hooks and points occur during the growth but also as chewing style is different for each horse. Skip is our special horse, in more ways than one.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday - Mid-August

Nail Salon was open for business first thing.

No time to ride today, with errands to run and more grass to mow. Before noon the humidity really got cranked up and I felt like hiding from the sun.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Saturday - Mid-August

We started the day with the 'Honey-Do' list, I mowed the lawn, he spread gravel.
The weather was delightful; low humidity, low 80s. Perfect for a walk in the woods!
We rode to the Woodstock Inn, and got a seat in the window.
Getting there around two, it was not mobbed with patrons, and the horses that were there were getting situated to ride back out. We loved this custom-built Steampunk Harley Davidson, with historic tags that was outside the restaurant.

There's no place like home, and the boys are enjoying the evening in the shade in the new pasture.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Gravel, Man

Finally! Gravel was delivered, twice, on Friday. He pegged in the 'cattle carpet,' and we were waiting impatiently for the gravel to arrive.
First load was dropped on the run-in shed site.
This gravel is the same type that is used as base for most road beds. With the geo-textile fabric on the bottom, this stuff will set up like a rock and never, ever, be muddy.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Sunday, August 10, 2014


A new spreader arrived, mostly not assembled. This is like the old-fashioned erector sets, with missing pieces, extra screws and washers, not enough of the right size.

We'll use this liquid spreader to 'burn' the pasture, fertilize, or dampen down the barn aisle.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Ride Time

Feeling adventurous, instead of turning left we went right - right on down to Sykesville. We were really taking a chance, because we hadn't been that way since October. The trail had been blocked by an enormous Sycamore, that was laying on the trail, with no safe go-around. Honest.

Since that time a Herculean effort was made by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and a youth group, Conservation Corps. I know they used mechanized equipment because of the wide path that was left. An incredible result was achieved.

No longer a treacherous billy-goat path, precariously perched on the side of a true cliff, can now easily pass another rider, hiker, or bicyclist.
We rode into Sykesville, with the train stopping traffic on Main Street for us! We hitched up next to the police station, the boys enjoyed a nice shady rest, and we had a delicious lunch.
On the way back we traveled through the Gorsuch Switch area, to the meadows where the big Poplar is located. This tree is massive. Situated on the meadow edge, its location is above Skip's left ear. It is taller than all the other trees, even though it is far down the hill, it is higher than trees on the ridge above it. We love to run through these fields, flush out deer and fox, and commune with this ancient tree while the boys enjoy a grassy snack while catching their breath.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Backyard View

Have waited for this scenario nearly my entire life. A dream delayed is a wish full-filled.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Front Gate Paint Job

The front gate has become faded and rusty around the edges
Sanded lightly all of the bars and hinges
Painted with 'Regal Red' oil-based paint

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Pony The Pony

We had a nice ride with friends that brought their youngster, Gibbs, along for the ride. He was a pretty good sport, keeping up fairly well, and when he did get 'loose' he didn't go anywhere. He saw a couple trains, crossed the river a few times, walked on the train tracks, hopped over logs and puddles, flushed out deer and was tired when we got back.

By the time he is old enough to be ridden, he will be a solid trail horse.