Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Humbling Morning

The evening was not without it's moments of unrest. I was happy to climb under the covers at 8pm,but prayed that the Belgians would rest safely in the stalls below me.The feeling you are left with after having a horse cast in your care (twice) is very unnerving, I suspect it is like having a child in your care get hurt.Any how I slept till Midnight,when the alarm sounded. I then got up and again put my coveralls on. My plan was to get up in the middle of the night and put the Belgians out,so Nick would not get so settled in he would begin to toss and turn. I then herd the wind howling and checked the thermometer,and rethought my plan. I began to think that if the big boys had warmed up , and perhaps even sweat putting them out in this cold now may get them a chill that made them sick. The barn was quiet and i returned to bed , waking every hour to listen to Nick snoring,much like a mother listens for the breath of a sleeping new born. When Lager and I went down to the yard at 4:30 the first thing I noticed in the light of the full moon was the stillness of the flag.The winds had settled and suddenly four degrees was more tolerable. The frozen snow crunched under foot.When I walked into the barn and was greeted by Nickels powerful Winnie , I was thankful he was safe and humbled by the feeling of having a full barn ,with so many lives that depend on our care. Everyone got a very full breakfast and ice free fresh water.The horses will now spend the day outside. The hounds will have to stay in again, but what a nice barn to be"stuck in" all day.

I Love A Full Barn

< Four degrees till normal. The temperatures in Maine have plummeted, as they have across much of New England. The attire currently is all about function,I am loving my coveralls. When I arrived home from work on Tuesday, the thermometer read 5, the radio station was reporting a -20 wind chill factor. The barn got lots of action,I am thankful to have such a functional barn. I had planned to post these photo's last night as I settled in, however with the fierce winds the Internet was not cooperating long. I was able to post only the silly photo's. On a more serious note, I made an executive decision to move all horses inside. If you follow the blog, with any consistency you are aware that for the most part the big boys are kept outside overnight.The Belgians for the most part prefer to be outside with the freedom to go in and out of the big run in.We prefer for the most part to keep them outside for their safety (no chance of casting). You only had to be out side for seconds yesterday to realize it was not fit for man nor beast. You can see from the photo's however Nick was his predictable self he immediately not only lied down but rolled over in his stall. After all of the dogs had been walked and settled in and all of the horses and foul had been fed I took each of the Belgians out for a full grooming and vacuum. Nickels grooming required much more wood chip removal.With Nick and Jake in the barn Lager was restricted to the tack room clear from big Belgian feet, he too seemed to settle in quick. With all the Large warm bloods in the barn it heated up nicely, and was quite comfortable for my barn time.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas

I hope your Holiday was blessed with the ones that make you smile...more later

Sunday, December 20, 2009


The big boys are back outside,after some much needed barn time.We only got a couple inches of snow, but the wind was cold. While inside the drafts got lots of brushing and hay. Although we have a beautiful barn, and nice big stalls the drafts spend nights outside.Bob has built them a huge , double run in.The run in can be accessed by tractor, if need be.When the drafts are in Bob does not sleep, for fear Nickel will cast in his stall. Nickel has cast twice.
A "cast" horse refers to one that is stuck on the ground for some reason-- either its legs are under a fence, or the horse has rolled up near a wall.Nickel loves his stall, and lies down for naps.When Nickel becomes very rested he goes into a deep sleep,and rolls over.A cast horse may panic and thrash, injuring themselves on a wall.In the day time we can interrupt Nickels naps keeping them shorter.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

First Day of winter

As we approach the first day of winter,a snow Storm travels across the East Coast.It looks as though the Southern part of Maine, where we are will get 1-3".The weather here today was cold, but manageable. No house work got done, but lots of barn and yard chores did.We went to Andy's Agway and stocked up on grain.A stop at Petsmart got Lager another 50lbs of Blue Buffalo. The barn is full, we have moved Boogie the pot bellie pig in as well as the 4 hens and 1 rooster. This will keep everyone out of the chill and away from the Coyote.It will also safe me time in the am. less frozen water bottles and trips across the yard.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Temp of 11,wind chill -4

Simultaneously the alarm sounded and the wind howled, it was 4:05am. The voices in my head said"15 more minutes". Across the house Lager said "no way Mom , get up". That little bugger is going make an awesome guard dog for me, he does not miss a sound!The minute he hears the alarm he is up and ready. I got out of bed turned on the coffee pot, hooked Lagers leash and slid on my "Muck Boots"out we went. I had barely shut the door behind me when the wind chill burned my thighs. Lucky for me Lager did not take long to do his business. Both Nickel and Jake were nestled in their awesome run in , Nickel was laying down. Back in side , pour and sip my coffee while I make my personal protector his breakfast of kibble, cottage cheese and chicken livers (an investment in my future).Fill 4 plastic cranberry juice jugs with water. Dress for my day job then cover with my canvas overalls, Cahart sox two jackets and gloves. Leash for my partner and down to the barn.Lager goes into Nickels stall. Feed for the horses, a walk for the Bloodhounds and into the kennels, breakfast and one of the waters for each.While the hounds digest breakfast,it is across the yard to check pig.Boogie is tucked in the pig house tight with his hay. I feed pig a mix of slosh 1/2 a jug of the water and pot belie pig feed. Open the chicken coop 1,2,3,4,and one rooster everyone made it, 1/2 a jug water and pellet. Back to the Hound pen Huck is ready to hunker in a stall in the barn, into Jake's he goes. Break the ice on Mini's water out they go.Food and water for bunny,the water bottle gets switched out for the one that has been in the barn. Two more hounds into the barn."off to work" After work I did almost all of the above in reverse then came in to vacuum and wrap gifts. Lager had a different plan he unwrapped one of his gifts and is laying by the fire, this inspired me to blog. I Love My Farm Family.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Not so tuff

Week #3 of Puppy Class

Last night was Lagers third night at puppy class. The class starts with play time, that is Lagers favorite part. The class ends with a task and some home work. The task was going threw a little blue tunnel,Lager goes through a big tunnel at home with Daddy so this was an easy one.The little girl bloodhound, makes me miss Ms. Audrey

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Caroling

Saturday was bone chilling cold, the winds made working outside extremely uncomfortable. Sunday, the winds were gone and after morning chores we took Lager and joined some friends from the Draft Horse Club for caroling. Lager was a wonderful, well behaved puppy. Bob threatened not to help me with Lager on the trip , because he was wearing his winter jacket Jesse gave him. As it turned out he was so well behaved,little help was required, and he was so cute Bob could not resist.Lager found a little girl who was happy to pet him non stop , so he hunkered in on a hay bail and enjoyed the fresh air. When we got back home we had snow, sleet rain ,wind and no Internet. Check out the Abenaki Blog for more photo's.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

This Weeks Menu

Although I use a format from that reads "Menu Plan Monday" on the top, I shop on Fridays (pay days) so my Menu week in "real life" is Friday - Thursday,whatever...

Crock pot Chicken 40 Cloves
Corn Chowder Crock pot again
Baked Ziti w spinach
Thursday Baked Teryaki Chicken and Oven fries
Chicken Stir Fry
Holiday Open House
Roast Beef Potatoes and Gravy.

Puppy Play Time

Tonight I made time for Puppies! We had puppy play time at Hooves and Hounds Farm. This time of year it is difficult to get time for anything,but some times you just have to play. Elvis and Lager really seemed to have fun, playing together in the barn. I am sure I will pay for it some where but it was fun.