Wednesday, June 29, 2011

E's Show Results

Pep was lame after last month's reining clinic (abscesses in 2 feet from the gravel in the ring and no shoes) and E was gone for the week before the show to basketball camp at Myrtle Beach, so Pep had only been ridden by me twice and E once in the last month.
 E is now a Senior 4-Her so the competition is a little stiffer also.  Her showmanship pattern had a pitiful pivot and she was 5/5.
 Pep had a lot of down time between classes that she took advantage of  to rest up.  I think her new/vintage bridle I got off of ebay looks pretty sharp.  It's Mexican silver with bit clips.
 She did well in the performance classes with no real mistakes other than the usual nose out at the lope.  She was 5/19 in Go As You Please, 3/4 in Equitation, 5/12 in Western Pleasure.
J somehow got stuck working the gate for most of the show.  He finally got away after the gymkhana classes while they were putting up the jumps for the hunter classes.   With V being gone for a month and E coming and going all summer with the State Horse Judging Team, I don't know when our next show will be.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Governor's School

V was one of 100 Jr. and Sr. high school students from across the state accepted into the summer Agriculture Governor's School program at Virginia Tech.  There are 5 other programs at different universities; Humanities, Performing Arts, Math/Science/Technology,  Marine Science,  and Life Science/Medicine.  We moved her into the dorm yesterday.  She will be there for 4 weeks. 

 E's comment to all that V had packed was "this is ridiculous."
 Luckily, all of her luggage had wheels.
 Her roommate never showed up during the check-in so V had her choice of bed and desk.

The orientation took nearly 2 hours with  1 1/2 hours being parent questions.  "Will they be able to get a shirt pressed?"  Will you celebrate Independence Day?"  Will they need poster board for their project?"  Will cell phones be allowed?"  Will they be able to see the Harry Potter movie?"   J got so frustrated with the questions he finally had to leave.  These poor kids seem to never have been let loose it the world.  Apparently, they have no experience with agriculture either.  This is part of an e-mail we got from V today.  "I think I am one of the only people here who even has a clue about agriculture.  Lots of people don't even know what a steer is or why you would castrate a bull.  They had no idea why I would lead one around in a ring.  I was telling one guy that I lived on a 300 acre farm and he asked who mowed it.  I thought he meant the yard but he was thinking you would mow the whole thing with a lawn mower.  He was fascinated at the idea of riding a tractor and making hay.  I don't think he even knew what hay was."  If this is the future of agriculture we're in trouble.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

District 4-H Horse Show

We just got back from a long day at the District 4-H Horse Show.  V finally had a better day than E. 
 V's classes where at the end of the show so it was a lot of waiting for the pair.  V didn't even bother to braid Hank until after lunch.  When the judge took a break V used the time to ride in the ring some.  Hank acted a little fresh which worried V especially after her experience last year. see 2010 District Show  But after some more work in the warm up ring he settled down fine.
 He ended up doing great.  In three classes he only missed one lead (fixing it quickly) and breaking down from the trot once.
 There were lots of nice horses.
 Finally, a picture with a real smile.
V was 5/14 in Hunter Pleasure (missed lead), 3/19 in Go As You Please (break from trot) and 1/11 in Huntseat Equitation (no mistakes).  I think she's starting to like Hank now.  This was his first real show with any competition.  
E's results to come.

Friday, June 24, 2011


The broccoli is ready.  The problem is that it is all ready at the same time.  I usually give a lot of it away, but this year I am trying to freeze it. 
 Aren't these heads huge.
 After we harvest the large head there are plenty of side shoots.
 After trimming and washing, I boiled it for 3 minutes.
 Then right into the ice water.
 Next came drying.
And finally, beautiful freezer ready packages of broccoli. (I don't have a vacuum sealer but I read where you can use freezer bags and suck the air out through a straw.  Guess I'll see this winter if that helps keep freezer burn at bay.)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Father's Day

We knew exactly what the get J for Father's Day this year.  We have 2 maddocks but both have wooded handles.  Chopping thistles in wet grass has caused the wood to swell. Then when it dries out the head is loose. 
 J is now the proud owner of a new maddock with a synthetic handle.
 V and E have promised to go thistle chopping with him but so far only E has followed through.  She prefers a little hoe. We told her to invite the basketball team and maybe it would count for one of their weight lifting sessions.  She was not amused.
J says with the new maddock the thistles almost chop themselves.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Show Results

We had a day with a lot of firsts.  First bath with a hose, first time seeing the clippers, first time hauled in the slant load, first time tied to the trailer, first show, but no first place. 
 She did wonderful with everything.  I borrowed E's shirt and hat, V's belt and Pep's halter.  I think we looked pretty sharp.
 She did a great job trotting in the ring.
 There were 3 other horses in the yearling class.  The tall bay won and we got second.  The judge actually came up to me and said "I placed the class on how I think they will turn out.  I like for a horse to be taller,"  I guess he never had any of the same training as we did on judging teams.  You judge the class in the ring that day, not what you THINK will happen in your crystal ball.  But I can't complain any about how well Otoelene behaved.
 After her class we used the Blocker Tie Ring to tie her to the trailer next to Lady.  Lady is always happy to just stand and eat so this had a good calming influence on Otoelene.
 Then came the break to water the ring.  There was a torrential down pour that delayed the rest of the show for an hour.
 When the show resumed in the mud, V rode in her 2 classes, Hunter Pleasure and English Go As You Please.
She won both classes (but isn't saying how many were in the classes).   Lady was dropped of at Papaw's house and Hank and Otoelene returned home.

Coming Soon


Otoelene is going to her first show today.  She'll be in a yearling hater class.
V will be showing Hank in 2 hunter classes and Lady will be along for the ride to keep Otoelene company. She will then be left at J's dads house since he's back from Florida.
Stay tuned for the results!

Friday, June 17, 2011

More Thistles

We are now on to trying to control thistles the old fashioned way.
 By chopping them.
 I had the hoe.
J had the maddock.  We had to walk in rows up and down the field chopping the thistles that were in our part of the grid.  I've been reading the Lincoln Rhyme's books by Jeffery Deaver and that's all I could think about "walking the grid".  I think I made more progress spraying but the effect is instantaneous with chopping.  There is never a lack of things to do here.

Monday, June 13, 2011


The trusses for the barn arrived today.  They are 60' long.
 They got stuck at the bottom of the driveway at the mailbox.  I think it finally took the bulldozer to pull it out.
 They didn't have any trouble coming around the sharp turn in the drive.  J had told them to cut the walnut tree if need be but it wasn't even close there.
 He then couldn't pull up the grade to the cattle guard so bulldozer to the rescue again.
 No problem with the turn down to the barn.
 Then they had to decide which way to go.
 After a small conference it was decided to go the the right.
 Looks like a state highway project.  One working four watching.
 Finally, unloaded.
One more time with the bulldozer to get up out of the field and we're done. (with that part anyway)

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Just catching up on a few flower pictures from the yard.  Some aren't blooming right now, 
 like this poppy.
 The irises are also done.
 The clematis is still going strong.
And the Endless Summer Hydrangea is in full bloom.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Hay and Lightning

J is halfway through making hay.  He's finished the hay here and is getting ready to start at the other farm.
 The hay field out by the red barn yielded more than ever.  The sod also looks the best it ever has since we moved here.
 There was a tremendous thunderstorm yesterday.  J saw several lightning strikes.   Afterwards when J went to go feed the dogs, he saw smoke rising out of the hay field.
 One of  the bales of hay was on fire.
 It's been burning for almost 24 hours and after 1.2 inches of rain.  Fortunately, it's not near anything else.
Of course Oreo had to join me on the hike out there.
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