Friday, January 31, 2014

German Stars

Yesterday was an unusually slow day at work.  Instead of trying to level up on candy crush saga like everyone else, I decided to be a little more productive.
I made some German Stars for my Christmas tree.  Yes, I know Christmas is 11 months away, but you can never have too many ornaments.  And these are so light weight that they can go out on the very tips of the branches.
There is a very good tutorial at After getting the hang of it, it took about 10 minutes a star.  As I said, it was an unusually slow day, most likely due to the combination of weather and end of the month. 
And I couldn't resist another trip to Tractor Supply after work.  Who can pass up fly spray for .99 cents?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Deal or No Deal

I saw a deal on fly spray (hard to think about flies in zero degree weather)  on Tractor Supplies clearance page so I stopped by to see if there was any at our local store.  Low and behold there was.  A gallon was $30 but the 32 oz spray bottles were only $2.99.  When I went to check out they rang up as $0.99 each.  I thought, "what a deal," and almost went back to clear the shelf.  But after a second thought I decided to wait and check out some reviews because I have never used this spray before.  
The reviews are mixed.  One vet said 3 of her horses had allergic reactions and she was throwing the rest away.  Then there are others that say it works better than anything else they have tried.  Has anyone else used this one?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Bad Horse For Sale Pictures #7

Why, why, why, would someone try to ride a horse while dragging a lead rope?
And what would make you think that this picture of a terrible safety infraction would help you sell your horse?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Still Some Green Grass

I had a good ride on Wrangler this morning.  Thought I might ride some before the temperature starts to drop.  It's in the 40's but suppose to get down to single digits by this evening.  I just rode in the barn again because of the 30 mph wind gusts.  The barn creaking and groaning didn't seem to phase him any.   We did the usual, walk, trot, and canter, but also worked on side passing and opening and closing the rope gate.  He is really coming along well. Can't wait for warm weather and another show to try him at.  
 Anyway, after our ride, I always let him out in the lot around the barn for a little while.  Since this is fenced off, there is still a little grazing available.
He really likes the rows between the round bales.  There is still some green grass where it's been protected by the hay.   E did come out and watch some.  She says she will be more in the mood to ride by March.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Just Kit Sunday #37

Just a little cat nap.  

Trying to keep the sun out of his eyes.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Amazing Skies

We have been having some absolutely beautiful sunrises and sunsets lately.  I keep having to grab my camera and run outside to take pictures of the sky.  
Sunset 1-5-14
 It has been a little tough going outside though, -2 yesterday morning.
 It's a good thing J is here to take care of all of the outside stuff.
Sunrise 1-13-14
 Since we weaned the calves and moved them, they have run through 2 different fences.  Something must be out there spooking them at night and now they are pretty jumpy.
Sunrise 1-19-14
 E is winding up her science fair project.  I think it is due around the first of February.  She is comparing gas mileage between gas with 10% ethanol vs. gas with no ethanol.
I'm staying inside and getting some house work done.  Too cold to ride, even in the barn.
Exactly 12 minutes after the last picture 1-19-14
Stay warm and safe out there.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Featured Farmer

I found a blog that has tips on being a better farm blogger and agriculture advocate.
She decided to add me to her blog as a Featured Farmer!  
featured farmer badge
She has lots of blogging ideas and links to some pretty interesting farm blogs which now includes me. Yay.  
Go check it out.  

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Snow Days

No school yesterday because of a forecast of snow.  
 It finally did snow about 2 o'clock, we got 1/2 inch.
It made for some pretty pictures.  No school today, not sure why.  Maybe the cold, 7 degrees this morning. I think I'll have E do some vacuuming and dusting today while I'm at work.  Would be nice to come home to a clean house.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Bad Horse For Sale Pictures #6

This horse actually looks like it had potential.
Unfortunately , it is being held in maximum security without visitation rights.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Finally, A Good Turnout

After last year's disappointing turnouts for 4-H meeting I almost quit as a leader.  But once I start something it is almost impossible for me to quit, so I am trying again.  This month I decided to do a round pen training demo at my barn.  Since the weather is unpredictable in January,  it seemed like a easy decision to have a meeting inside.  It was still cold but tolerable without the wind.  
 First, I lunged the horse and described what I was doing and how any a little bit about why.
 Then I had the kids try.  I started with Brother but had to switch to Jessica partway through because Brother got way too slow and slowness has never really been Jessica's problem.
I actually had to meet both Saturday and Sunday.  Some of the kids that were wanting to join couldn't make it Sunday and since I wasn't really doing anything else I just had them come Saturday.  I ended up with NINE kids all together.  I think that is a record since we have been involved.   E is very excited about the possibilities of having other kids to do stuff with.  Now I need to come up with a good idea for February.   I'm thinking of a vet talk about  how to check your horse's vital signs and when to call a vet.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Just Kit Sunday #36

Well, Kit is going on with life. 
 He was a little sad no one else joined him on his friend day,
 but he got over it.  He's just that kind of cat.
Now he is working on his animal impressions.  This is his Great Horned Owl pose.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Protein Lick Tubs

J is trying something new this year with the calves.  As you know from previous posts, (weaning), we kept the calves on the cows longer.  We are also keeping them here over the winter instead of sending them to the feedlot.  We had been sending the larger calves out west and keeping the replacement heifers and smaller calves anyway but this means more mouths to feed.  
 J has been thinking about using these protein lick tubs for a couple of years now.  He finally went for it and bought some for this group to see how it would work for us.
 It has 24% crude protein and 5% fat in a molasses base.  They weigh 200 pounds.  I am excited about having the empty tubs to use for my garden and yard projects, or as water tubs for the lot without a natural water source.
 The calves were very curious about them at first.  Anytime there is something new in the pasture they have to go check it out.
They are not as excited about them now though.  Sometimes 2 or 3 are hanging around sometimes none.  It will be interesting to see if it helps them come through the winter in better shape.  We'll see how it goes.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Friday's Fences #113

Some nearby land was up for auction and J and I decided to go on the off chance that maybe it would go cheap and we would be there to snatch is up.  
 This beautiful white fence goes with the neighboring property.
 It really is a pretty area.
This is a view of the farm for sale, 100 acres no real buildings, no cross fencing, no improvements, sold in one track.
 It was pouring down rain with the wind blowing and no tent set up.   J's clothes pretty much acted like a sponge.  He was soaked to the skin by the time we got home.  Umbrellas were getting blown inside out and one man was wearing a trash bag.
It was a court ordered sale where 2 brothers were fighting so the sheriff was there too.  It turned out that the only bidders were the 2 brothers bidding against themselves.  We left after an hour when the price was up to $540,000 and they were bidding in $100 increments.   We heard it eventually brought $640,000.  The only real winners here were the auctioneer and the lawyers.   Of course, at those prices maybe we should be thinking more about selling than buying.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Burning Wood

As most of you know we heat our house with an outdoor wood stove.  This requires lots of wood.  Fortunately, we have lots of wood.  J has really spoiled us and usually gets the wood in but he's been busier that usual so it was left up to me and V.  
 We have several wild cherry trees that were in an old fence row that were cut when we put in a new fence.  J has already cut the wood up, we just needed to load it and bring it home.
 V was great help and we were very proud of our work.
 We did have to leave some of the bigger stuff for J, my bad back and all.
Somehow, it doesn't look like as much as we thought it was.  Looks like we'll be getting another load soon.  

Monday, January 13, 2014

Blog Hop - Show Me Your Barn

I have felt compelled to join this very interesting blog hop, show me your barn.  Besides, it's going to be tough to top those last two Bad Horse For Sale Pictures Tuesday.  

Here goes, 

1. A view of your barn.  
Built 2 1/2 years ago. 

2. Your horse's living space.
Nothing but space, seven horses on about 20 acres.  J said he wasn't giving any more land over to the horses.  I did not put any stalls in the barn when we built it.  I hate cleaning stalls.  Plus, I get to look out my window and see the horses.  

3.  The tack room.
My tack room is really just the back wall of the shop.

4. View of where you ride.
I prefer the view from where I ride. 
And here is another view of where I ride, from here to the top of the hill behind the barn.
And when I'm lazy or the weather is bad, I get to ride in here.

5. Your favorite feature of your facility.
Location, location, location.  How lucky to have this as my backyard.  

Join the others at The Process of Learning. for more interesting barns.  Thanks for stopping by.

Dream Horse Day

Sunday was a wonderful day to ride.  V and E both joined me at the barn to work on the horses.  V is home from college until the weekend.   
 I rode Otoelene around some to warm her up.  Much better attitude than the picture in the blizzard fiasco.
V decided to try Otoelene out a little too.  I think V's hunter riding took over because she had Otoelene trotting faster than I can ever make her, plus she looked nice too.  
 Here is a little clip of Otoelene's canter.  I think V still had her geared up a little faster than normal but she is very smooth.
E decided to ride Pep for the first time since her last show in October.  Not much has changed.  I think Pep pretty much has everything down pat by now.
I'm just not sure I care much for this lope though.  I think she sometimes tries to pretend she is loping by just nodding her head at the trot.  But it's western pleasure so what do you do.
 Then we switched out and caught Brother and Wrangler.  V lunged Brother but said she was too cold to ride. (it was nearly 50 degrees)  She had even added a pair of coveralls to her outfit and was still freezing.  I went ahead and rode some.  He did fine, slow and smooth but still needs lots of work on steering.
Then E took a spin on Wrangler.  His lope is really coming along.  Still a little stiff but he is dropping his head more and getting smoother by the day.  Wonderful day to have my 2 girls and ride 4 horses.  I couldn't talk them into catching Hank and Jessica though.
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