Sunday, September 24, 2017

Wild Pony Sale

J and I went to the Grayson Highland Festival on Saturday.
 There was bluegrass music,
 arts and crafts vendors,
 and Hobo pies. (apple butter between two slices of bread then fried over a fire)
 But the main attraction is always the "wild" pony sale.  These are ponies that live in the park and are rounded up each year and the offspring sold as a fund raiser to help continue to care for the herd.  I say "wild" because hikers are always feeding and petting them.
 And despite signs posted all around the sale pens,
 people just acted like it was a big petting zoo.  I don't think the ponies minded at all.
Anyway, it was a gorgeous day and a large turnout for the sale.  I think they averaged well over $400 each and they had 22 to sell.  The high seller went for $875.  To keep me from getting caught up and bidding, J reminded me that was much more than I paid for Draper. So sadly, no little new pony at the 4R's.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Saddling Draper

Draper has had a pretty easy summer.  I've done some grooming, lunging, hoof care, and I even ponied her off of Otoelene, but nothing too taxing for a yearling.  I decided yesterday to see if she was big enough to wear my cheap old hunter saddle.  And guess what, she was.  
 I was afraid the girth would be too long but with it on the higher notches and with the saddle pad it was fine.  She really acted like it was no big deal.  Of course, with Sweetwater as a comparison, Draper is a dream.  I'm pretty sure the saddle hit the ground at least 30 times when I was trying to get Sweetwater use to it.  So far zero times after 2 days with  Draper.
 Yesterday, when I asked her to trot she did throw in a couple of bucks but they weren't much and she stopped and went on with no more drama.
Today, I asked her to canter and she threw in another buck for good measure.  I couldn't ask for a better 1 1/2 year old.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Fencing Crew

J has started keeping a list of things to do when Mike and V come to visit. 
This weekend it was fixing the fence around the bale lot next to  the creek at JJ"S.  
There were several broken posts and the fence was sagging down along a long stretch.  
J and Mike made quick work of digging post holes, and pounding in metal posts.  I think they put in 7 wooden and 8 metal posts.  V and I worked on clipping the fence back to the new metal posts and removing the broken wooden ones.  We love having good help. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Official Count

I have finished straining and bottling the honey.
 It looks a nice light color this year.  Still plenty of sticky clean up to do.
But the total volume was just a little over 3 3/4 gallons. Yay!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Making Up For Last Year

The bees did it!  We have honey this year.  I don't know what is going on in that first hive, no honey there. 
 They didn't make us any last year either.  They are very calm bees but I am disappointed in their work ethic.
 Now the second hive was one J was able to capture last year when a friend found a swarm in their cow pasture.   These are very aggressive bees.  J got 2 stings through the leather gloves and I had to retreat to inside the house.   The horses that were very curious up to this point even left when J was working on this hive.
 But they made some beautiful honey.  The third hive was a swarm from this spring and they had honey too.  They must have swarmed from the first hive because they were on the mean side too.
J had to retreat to the trees for a bit to get them off of him.  We did learn that you should not leave the super out for very long after transferring the frames.  The bees got right back on it even with it being out in the yard.  We ended up having to put them in the back of the truck and I drove up and down the driveway until the majority of the bees gave up.  We then carried the supers to the garage where over the next hour or so the bees started collecting at the windows so we could let them out.  Then this morning they were still flying around just outside the garage.  I haven't finished straining the honey yet but this is our biggest haul yet.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Blazing Weekend

I had collected a large pile of limbs last year down in an area that was hard to drive the 4-wheeler through because of all the debris.  I had also been waiting until I had company and smore stuff before burning it.  Well, I had company but sadly no smores but we burned it anyway. 
 M and V came Sunday to hang out and watch the VA Tech, WV football game, (Go Hokies!)  We had a little time to kill so we decided to burn the pile.  It was a short hike from the house.  There is no gate near that location so we always just get up on the tire trough and climb over the fence.  J is still pretty limber.
 The cattle in the field took notice and came running.  These will be heading out west tomorrow for the feedlot.
 I think they spooked a little bit as V climbed the fence.
 J had the pile blazing in short order.  I had plenty of old cardboard stuff I had been saving to recycle.  It got put to use though as the fire starter.
 It was probably a good thing that I didn't try to make smores.  It was so hot we couldn't get within 20 feet.
There are still plenty of sticks and brush in other areas if anyone is interested in another bonfire.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Weekend Ride

Well, last weekend anyway.  Brother had thrown a shoe but luckily Hank and Jessica still had theirs and they were both in good health.  J had not ridden Jessica in quite awhile.  She did wonderful, so I think J really enjoyed the brief change from Brother. 
 The weather was perfect, in the low 70's so the horses didn't have to work too hard.  Hank is 20 and Jessica 16 and not quite 100% after her bout with Lyme disease.  Therefore, we try to take it pretty easy on them.
 I use to not let my horses eat on the trail. That is until my first endurance ride several years ago.  At the half way point Jessica had slightly decreased gut sounds and the vet recommended letting her eat along the trail on the way back.  It was difficult to do because I had never let her eat while riding so she wasn't really trying to.  I ended up leading her for a bit and pulling leaves off and handing back to her until she figured out it was ok.  Since then I decided that if they aren't doing it in an annoying way, what's the harm of letting them snatch a few leaves along the way.
 Anyway, Hank was a superstar and a pleasure to spend 3 hours with.
J thought Jessica looked prettier than usual and wanted to commemorate it with a picture.
The forecast is for rain for the next couple of days but maybe we will get another ride in before the long weekend is over.
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