Thursday, April 23, 2015

Good Fences #57 After the Flood

We had over 2 inches of rain on Sunday.  There was severe flooding throughout the county and schools were closed on Monday.
J holding his head in his hands
Depression hit J hard as he went out to inspect the damage.   Remember his dream, to have a farm with all new fences.  HERE
Well, what use to be new and good has washed away.  This section had 7 posts pulled out of the ground and the fence broken.  
 The water got up so high that all the debris caught in the fence.  With the pressure of the water behind it, the fence just gave way.  100's of feet of our fences along the creek are ruined.
 Since E was out of school we put her to work.  We pulled all of the staples out of the fence posts so we could pull the wire back up.  J put in 3 temporary steel posts and we tied the wire up to them.
While we were doing this it rained and hailed another inch.
This section is not as good as it was but at least it might turn the cattle until we can get a permanent fix done.
For more Good Fences click HERE.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Beginning Horse Vaulting

I had 9 count 'em 9 4-Her's show up to our club meeting on Sunday.  This is all a pretty new group of kids and none of them have been to the previous vaulting meetings so we started  at the beginning with the basics.
 Everyone had to practice on my make shift vaulting horse before going to the real thing.  I had them start with just some compulsory moves first.  We did the basic seat, the windmill, flag and heal click - precursor to scissors.
 Everyone was game to try.  A couple of 4-Her's tried mounting at the trot but no one was successful for that so we just used a bucket to get on.
 After everyone went through a couple of times at the walk or stand still I started letting them try other things.
 Two girls wanted to try the windmill at the canter instead of the walk.  There is really no point trying anything on Hank at the trot because you would just get bounced off.
They both made it 3/4 of the way around before slipping off to the outside.  Hank was such a trooper putting up with everyone spinning at twirling around on top of him.  He was very patient walking and would stop if someone was losing their balance.  He really lived up to his name of Hank the Wonder Horse.  I think this group is looking forward to the next time we do this.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Picture Heavy Show Results

Our Saddle Club had its first show of the season Saturday.  We had a moderated turnout.  The weather was beautiful but with all the resent rain the ring was a bit of a mud hole. 
E complained it was too early for a show and Pep hadn't finished shedding out and looked like an Icelandic pony.   And because the ring was so muddy we had the halter classes outside the ring.  E did great in showmanship and won a blue ribbon.
Shay, a girl in our 4-H club wanted to try and show Brother.  She was only able to come practice on him twice while he was doing perfect in the barn.  So at the show when he wasn't doing perfect she wasn't prepared with how to handle him.  
Plus, some of the other horses misbehaving around him and the mud didn't help things much.  
 She made it through the classes but didn't place in anything except Jr. Horse GAYP where she won against one other horse.
 Pep was her usual steady eddy self despite E only riding her twice in the last 6 months.  I'm sure she would say that is an exaggeration but if it is not by much.  She was 3rd in Stock Horse GAYP and 2nd in Ranch Horse GAYP.
 I took Otoelene to  play with and took her in Riding for Charity GAYP.  No pay back in the class and all the entry fees went to St. Jude.  We placed 5th in that class.  
 But the class I was really wanting to do was Ranch Horse Pleasure which was a pattern class.  Even with the mud and bog area Otoelene was a dream.  She sped up and slowed down, changed leads and pivoted perfectly.  She was just a little slow to lope off from the stop but we still got 2nd.
 E had signed up for the pattern class but wanted to scratch because she was afraid Pep wouldn't go through the mud.
 I made her do it anyway and her only fault was that she broke for a few stride to a trot from the lope when she got bogged down in the deepest mud.
 But she had an excellent pattern and I had her 3rd but she ended up not placing.  Some how the judge thought someone that went off pattern and turned to the right instead of the left as the pattern called for and didn't change leads should place instead.
I guess I will here some complaining about that one for awhile.
 Trail class was last for us and Pep went through like a dream, only having a bobble at the side pass and just getting 1/2 way across the logs at the trot before she started walking.
 E was early in the lineup so had to wait for everyone else to go.
 Shay took Brother through the course and she did great with him.
I would have place her 5th and E 2nd or 3rd but the judge place E 5th and didn't place Shay.  Someone that didn't even attempt to trot at the poles and completely knocked over the hay bales was 4th.  A disgruntled contestant wanted to see the judge's card but he had already left and didn't leave his score sheets.  Sometimes you just have to be satisfied with how you did regardless of the ribbon you get.  (and then fuss about it when you get home)
E ended up breaking even on her entry fees and if you don't count the Charity class which I was giving up anyway I was only out $2.  Shay was responsible for her entry fees and because we stayed and worked the concession stand for the gymkhana classes our food was practically free.  So how often does that happen, an almost free day at a horse show.

Kid Count 56

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Good Fences #56

Tuesday Otoelene and I helped J sort the first calf heifers in the field behind the house.  We temporarily moved out the ones that had not calved and held them in a different field until we emptied the field and could move them back.  
 Then we swept through the field and moved out all of the heifers and their calves.  Otoelene is admiring the fence along the way.
 What a pleasure it is to get to ride my horse while I'm technically "working".
 Then it was down the hill and along the creek to the ford.
Some of the baby calves were a little reluctant to get in the water but J was there with some gentle encouragement.  We didn't want the heifers taking off to the new pasture and leave the calves to run around crazy on the wrong side.  You can just see the post on this side of the creek that last weeks water gap is attached to.  
And a successful crossing.

For more Good Fences click HERE.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Repurposing

I found a new use for the 4-wheeler cart, baby goat nursery.  Yes, that is a second bottle goat J brought in this evening.  Another nanny was culling one of her triplets. 
Since the bottle goats need to be fed 3-4 times a day for the first few days it is usually easier to have them at the house instead of the barn.  The only problem is that I have never fixed a good pen for them here.  They normally roam around the yard during the day and stay in a 20 gallon tub at night.  Then I noticed the cart that I have been meaning to move to store in the shed but have been tripping over in the garage.  What a perfect solution, until they figure out how to jump out.  But by then it will be time to move them to the barn.
We have now had 8 sets of triplets out of 15 nannies kidding so far.  We only had 10 set out for 42 nannies last year.
To answer a couple of questions from my last goat post,

1- I don't think the nanny goats care much what the babies look like color wise.  There are all sorts of color combinations and I also don't think the nannies know what they look like themselves to try to pick babies that look like them.  (no mirrors out there)

2 - We tried some in the beginning of our goat herding to graft kids onto different mothers or force them to take their own when they had tried to abandon one and met with little to no success.  Goats are a pain to work with like that and for us it is just easier to pick up the strays and feed them.  Sometimes it works out to feed them with the herd and they learn how to steal some on their own.  

Kid count - 34

Monday, April 13, 2015

Weekend Ride And Then Some

Well, the title is technically true, it was a weekend just last week.  We had  too much other stuff going on this weekend to ride much.
 So last Sunday J took off on Brother and I rode Otoelene around our 3 mile loop.
 Emma went with us and about 1/2 a  mile into the ride she digs under a fence and pulls out a squirrel.  (already dead)
 She was very pleased with her find and carried it for a mile before leaving it at the gate to our farm.  I don't know if she ever went back for it or not.
 Brother was a little uppity about half way through so J did some weaving in and out of the trees.
 It wasn't long before Brother decided to start listening again
  and bending nicely through the turns.
 Otoelene just stood and waited patiently for her brother to start behaving.
As we finished our ride we saw a cow starting to calve.  After a little while J checked it again and saw she was not making any progress.
So off she went to the barn to get checked.  The calf was coming forward but it was upside down with its head off to the side.  It was just a matter of putting the chains on, crossing them over and lifting and pushing on the head while J pulled on the crossed chains to get the calf flipped up and into the right position.  
A little more pulling and he was out.
There is always something to do around here.
Kid count - 13

Friday, April 10, 2015

Off to a Bad Start

Last year was pretty trouble free for kidding season.  But we have gotten off to a bad start this year.  We were waiting to get the bought heifers hauled to our rented pasture before we put the goats in the kidding field but they decided to start kidding before we got them rounded up.  One nanny had a set of twins on one end of  the farm and another had a set of triplets at the other end.  It was dusk when I got home and J and E already had the other nannies in the field but we ended up just leaving the 2 that had kidded out because it was too far to try to move them.
Last night Bea was with the twins but this morning she was with the triplets, well one of them anyway.  Looks like the mother abandoned it and Bea was laying with it against this tree.   What a good dog.
 We picked it up and put it with the others but the nanny butted it away.
 She just wouldn't have anything to do with it.
And the little baby wasn't at all happy about the situation.  We brought it back to the house and went to check on the twins.  Even though they were in a large lot and away from the fence, the nanny still managed to lay on one and kill it.  J caught her so I could milk her for some colostrum  for the triplet.  So for the time being it looks like we have our first bottle goat of the season.

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