Bucking Happy!

I haven’t posted in a little bit because I’ve been very busy and sometimes I just don’t enjoy blogging. However, I’m feeling pretty pleased with things at the farm. Pie and Sioux are very energetic and seem to be feeling better all the time. Saturday, I emptied Sioux’s stall of sawdust (yet again) to put in some stone dust to make it level. I also took out a mat that was in there and then moved it to the center while we await some mats that a friend of mine has. Mats were already put in Pie’s stall last weekend, but the seams are driving me a little crazy. I’m trying to figure out some ingenious way to join the pieces together, but in the mean time, a big, but thin mat that had been under the water trough moved into the center of Pie’s stall is perfect. As long as I was shoveling sawdust and stone dust, I also moved the stones that I errantly put in various place when moving them from errantly putting them into the dry lot.

The point I’m making here, is that I did a lot of shoveling.

I also raked the pasture of horse patties which was nice because I got to witness Pie playing. At first I thought he was bucking because of one of those huge, nasty, horse flies that land on their spine just out of tail swishing distance, but no. He was just happy. He even got Sioux in on it. They didn’t do much, but there was cantering and playing and farting and general silliness.

What’s kind of funny is that I was there from morning feeding, until some time in the afternoon. At which point I drove home, took a shower, had a 20 minute power nap, ran an errand and then went back to take Pie and Sioux on a trail ride. I think I was so happy to spend most of my waking hours at the farm this weekend because I put in so much time working on a project that had a Friday deadline, when I wasn’t at work or taking care of my animals, I was working on this project. Ok, I did get side tracked a couple of times and a little house cleaning. . .but that isn’t the point.

Pie and Sioux did great on the ride. Sioux can be ridden, but she’s a little sensitive, so she gets ponied. It’s a blast. The two of them are just thrilled to be doing stuff. We wade through the old corn field that currently has grasses up to Pie’s ears in some places, and they snack. . .as long as they keep walking, fine, snack. I can only imagine the equivalent would be to tell me to walk through a field of tacos; you bet I’m grabbing some and munching as I go.

Anytime we got to decent footing in the woods, we trotted. At least one time Sioux and Pie were so excited to go that we did a tiny bit of cantering, but I think that non-racetrack people would call it a gallop. Whatever it was, there were a couple of moments when heads were starting to toss and they were forgetting that I was on them. While I love for them to play, I like them to remember that I am their human and there are some very basic guidelines. Very high on the list of said guidelines is: You may not play or run or in any other manner behave as though you are loose in a field and I am not on you.

Thankfully, only the briefest of reminders was needed. They were so happy, that it was hard not to laugh with them, but all that was necessary was a little collection of the reins and lead and a verbal, “ok, ok, ok. . .” and we went back to an easy gallop for a few more strides.

We got back to the barn and I rode them past the driveway to their fields/shed and to the ring. Pie helped me open the gate and we did a little more walk/trot. Sioux was done, though, so that was that. After the ride, I just took a ton of selfies with my ponies because I was so happy.

Exhausted, I went home and watched an adequate movie with Vincent. Yes, Vincent is still around. He’s not doing great, but he’s pretty peppy and happy when we spend time together. I don’t know how much longer he will be comfortable, but when I see distress, I’ll make sure to send him to the other side compassionately. Besides, I like having a movie buddy. We don’t always like the same things (shoot-em-up movies are fine as long as I remember to cover his ears), but he enjoys watching movies while draped over my leg. I’ll probably end this now so he and I can spend some more time together. I need to get back to my illustration project, but I don’t know, sometimes rest is a good thing.

Speaking of rest. . .I did not rest on Sunday.

Sunday was much more tiring than Saturday, but knowing that I’m doing something to make the ponies’ lives better makes it so easy to do. All the nicer when I go to the fence for a break from my work and call them to me and they happily come over for a pat. I think it must be nice for them to always be handled by someone who loves them. Previous care providers were fine, but if I were dependent on someone else for my meals and my housing, I’d like it to be from someone who loves me. Not just someone paid to do it.

With rain in the forecast I set out to get the fertilizer down. My father helped me for about an hour. While he didn’t get the roughest terrain, he got the second roughest. There were areas that were not mowed very recently and were not grazed down so taking a simple, backyard spreader over all of that was a work out. After he left, I continued until all three bags of 19-19-19 were down. The next step was figuring out how soon I could seed. I wasn’t going to over seed the whole pasture, just thin patches and I got specific crops for these areas. Thankfully, my friend who’s been doing the bulk of helping me, was On Call to answer questions. What he didn’t know, he Googled and called me back.

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The big thing I realized was that the ground was very hard and even if we did get storms overnight, much of my work and money would be, almost literally, down the drain. This pasture is on a slight slope and I just couldn’t stand the idea that the fertilizer and seed would simply wash down the hill. So, getting the hose and soaker hoses from my yard, and my parent’s sprinkler, I set out to get the ground wet enough to be absorbent if the rains were torrential. While waiting for the area to get pretty soaked, I put down the last bale of hay that I had from the previous farm over some of the seeds. The rest I covered with the tall grass from the last mowing that was now dry and killing the grass. I had just enough to cover the bare spots. I’ll just have to be hopeful about the rest. There were a ton of birds munching in the neighbor horses’ pasture Sunday morning. I hope that they have moved on and will leave the other seed alone.

To be honest with you, I don’t know why it took so long nor why every muscle in my body aches, but it took until around 3:30 or later. I had just sat down to eat when I got a text from Jessica about riding a new thoroughbred that just came off the track a week ago. I actually know of the trainer (never rode for him, though) and was feeling pretty good about how the horse’s mind would be. Jessica wanted to see him go. I was thrilled to get to work with a right off the track horse. They are still just so Race Track. While Jessica tacked him, I stood and played with him. He’s mouthy and he’ll have to learn not to be, but for now, playing with him while he settles into his new home is fine.

However, it is time to spend time with my bunny and play kibble toss with Molière, so either you will have to live your entire life not knowing what happened next, or I will get inspired and let you know in a few days.  img_3320
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2 Comments

Filed under Blog, Pie & Sioux's New Home; aka Pioux's Corner

2 Responses to Bucking Happy!

  1. Laurie Higgins

    If you’re using the big square mats that don’t interlock, you can get big nails (6-8″ long) and big washers (50-cent-piece size) and have them welded together so that there’s a large cap at the top. Then pound the nails with their caps on into the floor where the mats join at the corners. The big washer will cover the corners and keep them stable.

    • These are second hand stall mats. They will not be joining up all that well. My big concern is how to keep the pee and sawdust going into the seams. I like your idea and will do it, but I need an additional measure. I was thinking that maybe a garage mat to go over the whole thing. That would be pricey, but not as expensive as new, thick stall mats. So, I’d have layers of thickish stall mats, and then a layer on top of it all. Whatever I do, I just don’t want to have a nightmare of stall cleaning this winter.
      As a friend at the farm said, their run-in shed is much more like barn stalls. And I’m more than willing to provide that for them.

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