All posts filed under: Farm Life

Pigs and Horses…

This post was lost in my edit file from April.  Made me smile remembering that day.  The horses and pigs are surprisingly tolerant, even curious towards each other nowadays. April 2009 I brought home my first pair of piglets last night, Spam and Hamlet. I decided to put them in the barn because of the weather (freezing rain here) to settle in for a few days. While I got the stall across the aisle from the horses stalls ready for them, I left them squealing in the back of my truck. The horses, having never seen a pig, decided to vacate the premises and ran off to the far end of their winter paddock. Ever curious, they carefully crept back to the barn area just in time for me to haul the first squealing pig to its new home in the barn…pandamonium set in and off they went again to the far end, nearing tripping over each other in their hasty getaway. Well, I waited for them to creep back close (they were afterall hungry …

Insights from a Manure Slinger…

Some of my friends suspect I am alittle obsessive-complusive about manure. Whats true is that I enjoy manure management….and I find I occasionally have my best epiphanies while mucking stalls and the like. This, occured to me this morning while chipping piles from the snow….6am…..21 below zero…. “When approaching a problem, sometimes going at it at a slightly different angle is all you need to find the solution”

Happy Holidays 2008!

Happy Holidays, Everyone! 2008 has been a very exciting year…with both highs and lows! We’ve added to the farm in many ways and have cut back in other ways! During the winter, I finally got the family on board for some horsey activities, namely skijoring! Bear, Marina and Evan (supported wholeheartedly by freezing mom, Michelle and Vera on the side lines) competed behind Manny and me in two divisions. Bear and I took second at the Newport Winter Carnival…a product of smart strategy and great skiing! Videos are on my blog (see below). 2008 was the best winter in memory for me, full of snow! We had over 100 inches last winter…truly beautiful! In the spring, we had a blessed lack of mud, thanks to the heavy snow and thin frost underneath. We started our spring renovations…a farmer’s porch for the horses on the barn and a composting shed….a place to make manure a renewable resource! With rising diesel prices, I parked the big truck and limited my distant horsey activities to a minimum. I …

The Passing of a Great Dog…

Dax was an Australian Cattle Dog I rescued in Colorado, more years ago than I can remember. Meant to be my husbands companion, she became mine when he left us. We’ve had a pretty remarkable relationship ever since. She was a sensitive type of dog, right from the beginning. I learned quickly, that you didn’t need to yell at Dax to make your point. She knew every word of english I do, I swear. All you had to do was frown abit and she would know you were unhappy with her and she would hang her head in shame. Loyal to a fault, she never needed a leash or collar. She could be trusted to stay in the yard, even when unattended for hours. I had as much control over her at liberty as anyone had with their dogs on a lead. She was the best dog I ever knew The vets have been telling me to expect the worst for the past 7 years on and off. First was the diagnosis of a ‘fatal’ …

Peanut and Bear

Peanut’s 3rd ride was with a total newbie….my brother Bear….who had never ridden a horse. I had spied Bear making some advances toward Peanut on the sly that looked like a ‘connection’…so I taught him to halter and saddle, then mount (though that went less than perfectly, but oh well…more for Peanut to get used to and prepared for). Peanut will be a perfect mount for Bear in regard to his size and even at this young age, Peanut does not look too small to carry a big guy like Bear. I then led him on a 10 minute ride, lead line style and gave him the basics of being centered. Good first lesson for Bear and Peanut did great in his 3rd saddling. Video links below.. http://s306.photobucket.com/albums/nn258/mamajud/RESTING%20HEART/?action=view&current=DSCN1321.flv http://s306.photobucket.com/albums/nn258/mamajud/RESTING%20HEART/?action=view&current=DSCN1322.flv

Tip #1 for combating mud season

I just despise ‘mud season’ and boy are we in for one heck of a season this year with over 120 inches of snow this winter! So every victory won against that boot sucking mess is a thrill to me! Here is my first tip…. I hate to put my shavings in with the manure…it slows the composting process and feels like a waste. So now I sift out the manure for the compost pile and dump the soiled shavings outside in the muddiest areas. This turns out to be a brilliant idea! Instead of a mud patch outside the barn I have a soft spongy area that the horses have turned into a nap area (its also warm and easy to keep clean)…so here’s to mulch in stead of mud!

Paddock Paradise

I’ve had some requests to show some picture documentation of my ‘paddock paradise’ here at Resting Heart Farm. This all started when I found myself collecting horses, lol. I went from 2 to 6 horses over the past year and have only about 12 acres of pasture for grazing (4 or so are not even mine). After reading Jaime Jackson’s book of the same title, I used some (not all) of his ideas to create a network of fencing alleys that do several things…. Right now in winter, it is a simple track around my main field. It allows the horses 24/7 access to the main barn and stalls, but keeps them off the main pasture and on the perimeter only. The circular nature is great for keeping them moving…in contrast to a small paddock approach to winter. This is particularly useful with youngsters as they get pretty bored very easily. So I’ll give you a tour… Here I am standing at the barn looking down the track. The water trough is at the bottom …

Skijoring…

This is my second year skijoring with Manny. We’ve competed in three races this year and have climbed up the ranks from 13th to 4th to a very respectable 2nd in this past weekend’s event at the Newport Winter Carnival. With my brother, Bear in tow…..we weren’t the fastest but managed to strategize to minimize penalties. The really good teams go much faster….but we’re getting there. In the Peewee division, Marina made an impression with her style and enthusiasm.

Good Morning!

A few days ago, I was afforded a great photo op at my place. I had been out doing my barn chores and had let Manny out in the aisleway to hang out while I worked which is commonly our routine. I ran into the house to let my freezing Yorkies in and get a second cup o Joe. When I came back out to the mudroom, there was Manny, escaped from the barn, knocking on my door quite literally. He was sampling the ornamental corn on the door! Too funny!

Summer 2007….Mom and the minis

With my Mom’s retirement finally here, we moved her into a small apartment here at Resting Heart Farm, so she could enjoy the things she loves…beading, knitting and her dogs. But she felt like she was missing out…in the horse department. So when a pair of minis became available, we couldn’t resist…. We added Miss Molly (formerly ‘Sunny’) and her colt, Magic to our herd in August 2007. Magic and Peanut were of course, instant friends!