Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Virginia Academy of Science

V's science fair paper got accepted to be presented in Richmond for the Virginia Junior Academy of Science.
It was a 3 day convention with about 500 other presenters across the state.  Her abstract was then published in a scientific journal.  She said her project (can horses develop a resistance to dewormers) seemed very simple compared to other people who had been researching cancer.  We are still proud of her for getting this far. 

She asked if she could do something with cancer in dogs next year.  "Like What?"  is what I would like to know.  I thought maybe a retrospective study on the types of diets/dog foods dogs with diabetes were getting prior to their diagnosis.  Any other ideas?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Horse Heaven

The weather yesterday was perfect for a trail ride.  V was off to the Regional Track meet.  She had qualified in the 2 mile. (she got 10th at regionals), and E had spent the night at a friends house so that just left me and J. 
 J called his dad to invite him and he said he'd be right over.
 It was his first ride back on Lady since returning from the winter in Florida.  He's 77 by the way.
This spring we read where there was going to be a controlled burn on the trail. We could see the smoke from our house.  They burned a lot of the undergrowth on parts of the trail where we rode.
 This kind of thing really bothers me.  I hate seeing the discarded beer cans.  J says he doesn't see the point in drinking and riding.  To quote J, "You can't enjoy either one."
 The rhododendrons  were blooming.
 We had a short lunch break.
 Then back on  the trail.  J is still bragging on how well Jessica did.  I see another endurance ride in his future.  Hank got a little funny acting after lunch.  At first I thought it was the saddle bags.  But after transferring them to Lady he still seemed jumpy.  Then I realized he knew this trail so well he wanted to speed up to get back to the trailer.  The trail is an 8 mile loop, up the mountain, over the top, down the other side then along a gravel road back to the start.  It took 3 hours at a comfortable walk.  I can do it in one when we were training for the endurance ride.
The mountain laurel  was in full bloom too.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Minnie (i.e. The Yak)

I thought it was time for an update on the yak (see The Yak )  She now has a name "Minnie".  I advertised her on Craig's List and got an offer of $200.  J I think is a little attached to her and didn't think that was enough. He keeps saying "I think she's growing."
 She is currently out with some leftover yearlings so they are a little older than she is.  She was born in the fall.
 She has shed off and lost the yak look.
 Isn't she big?
That is until J in in the background to give some scale.  Looks like she'll hang around here for awhile and see what she makes.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Oak Burl

We have this interesting tree on our farm.
 It can be barely seen from the gravel road.  It is nearly inaccessible from the house.
 I didn't even know about it until a couple of weeks ago when someone asked to buy it.
They know someone that turns bowls out of burl wood and is always on the look out for trees.  Anyone know what this is worth?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Training Otoelene

I've worked a few times on getting Otoelene to go across a piece of plastic. 
 The first day I just introduced her to it.  I didn't expect her to walk across it right off.
 The second time she was more interested in it and with a little encouragement did walk over it.
 I think this is the third time we've tried it.  It's been a couple of weeks since she last saw it.
 O.K. so she's not perfect.  She still doesn't seem to like the noise it makes.  It also doesn't help that when she hears the noise she drags her foot backwards which makes more noise and moves the plastic.
 After about five minutes she'll stand on it with her front feet,
 then walk calmly across.
 After that I can send her over on her own.
 I like the relaxed cocked leg.
Finally, she'll stand with her back legs on it.  The next step will be moving it to different locations, then getting a larger piece of plastic.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Calving Update

Only 7 more to go. 
The rest maybe strung out for a little while.
One of the spares got adopted last week.  Wouldn't you know, the one day we go and do something (the 4-H riding clinic) a cow calved with a dead one.  It looks like she probably had it backwards with it's legs up under it.  We may not have been able to save it had we been here but you never know.  But fortunately, she did accept the new calf.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


The spring flowers are in full bloom.
 The daisies are so cheerful.
 But I just love the peonies.
Can't you just smell them?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Change of Plans

It's been cold, wet, and raining here for the last week so no additional progress on the grading.
 We do have a start on a pretty decent road to the location.
 And now we have a very large flat spot for the barn.
 But we also have this very high cliff of dirt.
This is where the opening of the shed is suppose to face.  If he continues to dig all of this out far enough back to where we can get trailers and equipment in and out then the road becomes too steep.  Looks like we will be flipping the shed to the lower side.  The only draw back with that was taking up more of J's field.  We are told that they will start construction next week.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Food Fight

Bunny (the Easter goat)  is still getting a bottle twice a day but staying with the herd.  Sometimes however, she is with just the dogs.  I guess we don't have to worry about a coyote getting her.
Bumble and Bea continue to be the sweetest, nicest dogs except at feeding time.  We pour the food out in two separate piles but Bumble aways comes over and growls at Bea until Bea leaves and goes to the other pile.  This may go on the entire time they are eating or may only occure once.
One time Bumble inhaled a piece of food while she was growling.  There was considerable hacking and gagging during which time I thought "if she passes out I can help but I'm not sticking my hand down her throat while she's growling like that."  She was finally able to clear it out on her own.  I don't think I want to get in the middle of these two dogs and their food.

Monday, May 16, 2011

District Qualifying Clinic

Usually our 4-H district only has one horse show to qualify at to attend the State Horse Show in September.  This year however, there were 2 shows and 2 clinics scheduled.  The first show was in April and it poured down rain.  The second show isn't until the end of June.  Because of V and E's busy summer schedules I thought it would be good to go to the clinic this past weekend in case we weren't able to get to the show in June.  
There was s showmanship portion that started at 11:00.   It was raining for that part but fortunately stopped before V and E started riding.
 E took the reining clinic which was from 2-5.  It was a lot of sitting while they tried different maneuvers one at a time for the instructor to critique.  He said E had a very well trained horse.
 Can't you just see the speed she's working with in the large fast circle?  They worked on pivoting, side passing, loping off straight and a small pattern.
 V's lesson was more concentrated in the 4:30 - 5:30 time slot.  There were only 2 others in the ring with her and Hank in Training Level Dressage.  This was her first time with a dressage instructor.  It was nice to see her ride and do what the instructor said without any "I can't" or "I'm tired."    She rode very well and Hank tried his best to be a dressage horse.  The instructor could tell how he was just trying to figure out what V wanted so he could do it.
J got a little tired waiting and found a comfortable piece of ground.  This wasn't nearly as stressful as a horse show.   I think everyone enjoyed the day and learned a little something.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Bee Swarm II

What has eagle eye J spotted now?
 Would you believe another swarm of bees!
 We were told we must have a very strong queen.
 Our bee man didn't have another hive ready so he sent some else that had lost their bees over the winter.
 Same procedure as before but these were a little higher up.  The bees are looking for a place to go and are happy to go in the box.
We were then told that bees not counting the hive sell for $75.  That's $150 we've given away in the last 2 weeks.  Guess I'll be reading up on beekeeping so maybe we'll be ready if they swarm again.  Beekeeper #2 said there was a saying "a swarm in May is worth a load of hay but a swarm in June just let them go."   I'm not so sure he got the wording right on that second part.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Monkey Goats

Goats love to climb and this tree affords the perfect opportunity for them to pretend to be monkeys.
 Once one gets brave it's not long before there are followers.
 The black headed one in front though isn't brave enough yet to get over that next hurdle.
 There was a small traffic jam when he tried to reverse.
Now we'll be having to check the trees to find everyone.
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