Weather has been up and down here. Warmer then cold again. Today it was 20F at midnight, sleet, so things were pretty slippery this morning. SUPPOSED to get up to 65F by afternoon! My poor garden bulbs are wondering if they should retreat back under the dirt again! Dirt is saturated, leaves marks when i drive the tractor to spread manure. No leaves or stick cleanup done yet in the yard.
We have gotten in a few drives with each Pair during March. Hair is coming off by the bushel! We toss it in the spreader, which gives the birdies plenty of nest material to use. Always fun to see hair constructed nests in the Fall when the leaves come down. But I feel I should blanket horses on cold days, now that they have so much less hair. I don’t, but will bring them in earlier if it is raining or strong, cold winds. Kind of like the migrating birds, you want to say “Not yet! Don’t come north yet. Horses, don’t shed hair until it is truly warmer!” Ha ha
The first couple drives were really forward! We took precautions by setting reins in second bar, in case someones brains fell out. Didn’t happen, though they were excited to head down the road, see new things! They made good time over the distance. Less excitement with each drive after, though they are still moving big, times are slower than the first drive… Sitting in the carriage makes me wear several layers to stay warm in the wind, not moving. And weather changes fast. Sunny turns to cloudy and windy pretty quick some days. Still all walking, doing about 4 miles per outing, starting to build fitness. They may get warm, damp under the breastcollars but not really sweaty.
Shortened some manes, bridlepaths. Waiting for a warm day to give baths and do some clipper grooming on heads. It would probably need a new set of blades for each horse to cut well before bathing, dirty as they are now even after brushing and vacuuming . Silt is just ground into the skin. Hard to groom them very clean with the mud we have.
The barnyard in front just needs a bit of burn pile cleanup before husband can start long lining there. Moving things has cleared a large space to work in. The round pen is just too wet, not big enough for the length of his lines. And while good for round pen things, is too enclosed for long line work.
Got some dirt from 2 pasture fields for a soil sample test yesterday. Need to get dirt from the other two fields for their soil sample test. It is going to take a couple days of drying the dirt, mixing all the pieces together, before I can take it for testing. Been a couple years since testing pastures so my fertilizer needs may have changed. Hoping to get fertilizer done soon, just waiting on green-up here. Farm news forecasting a wet and cool spring season. That may delay things too. Horses were looking longingly over the gate as I went around the field digging. Sorry guys, way too wet and no grass anyway.
We got our boards back from the sawmill, cut from trees we had to take down for the new barn we put up in Dec. I was surprised how much we got with just 5 logs! 560 board feet, some of which was planks, really 2" x 10" dimensions. Not sure what we will use them for, but boards are always come in handy on a farm. We thought we had Shagbark Hickory and Elm, but the sawmill guy told us the “Elm” was really Pignut Hickory, also known as Smoothbark Hickory! We were quite surprised, did not know we had that kind of tree around! Sawmill guy said you can often have several type Hickory growing together, they like the same growing locations. He really admired the wood, as did some visiting guys while they were bundling up the boards for loading. It is very white, tight grained, with a few speckles on the length. I have to think this was the Hickory preferred for carriage building “back in the day.” Light, flexible wood for parts under stress like shafts, poles, spokes on wheels. We had hoped to get some blanks to make a couple new poles, but trees were not big enough to get away from the heartwood that is less strong. So everything was cut into boards and planks.
We are enjoying the “longer” days with more driving time. I look at my watch and “Good grief, it is 8:45P!” Not quite dark yet! Eating after 9P. The new puppy is very entertaining, though he does wake me to go out at oh-dark-thirty! Better than cleaning a crate!! He is gaining weight, probably for a growth spurt. He is a Shelty, developing his coat layers. The guard hairs are standing out with length, so if the sun is behind he looks like he has a halo! Not had a dog with hair like that before. His behaviour is improving daily, loves to fetch. Fairly bold, forward for a Shelty when meeting new people, going new places. He runs in big circles, going very fast. Sometimes centrifugal force rolls him on a turn while the other dog and I watch and laugh. Puppy jumps back up and takes off again. So much energy!!
Anyone else getting in any fun horse time? Or even just enjoying being outside?