Tuesday, November 25, 2014


It didn't go quite as quickly as I'd hoped, but we did get all of the hay unloaded and stacked away.  170 bales in the barn loft - which is not nearly as full as I thought it would look - and another 28 in the granary for quick access (and cat insulation). 

We started unloading Saturday afternoon after T got off work, and with H home from college even had an extra set of hands for the first couple hours.  Which was a huge surprise and a lovely gift, considering she's not at all interested in the horses.  And given the fact that she only weight about 30 lbs. more than the bales do, I was seriously impressed that she stuck it out for that long. 

We had the first 60 or so bales in the loft when the skidsteer started acting up.  Resolving that problem and a break for supper took a couple hours, and by 5:30 it was too dark in the loft to see to stack.  So call it 85 bales on Saturday.

And of course, for the first time in over a month, Sunday morning's forecast called for rain.  It started to spit as the last 25 bales came off the trailer, and probably would have poured had we left some on, but we didn't end up getting enough to even settle the dust. 

I guess I'm in better shape than I thought, as other than my hands I'm not terribly sore, and I sure thought I would be.  Tired, though.  I slept really, really well Sunday night.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Amyra, on the fourth day

The camera was in my pocket on Tuesday afternoon when Amyra got herself stuck.  Guess I'd never make it as a reporter, because I didn't stop along the way to document the untangling process.  But I did get one picture after I had her all undone and doctored.

Here's the same foot this morning.  The black stuff mostly dust stuck to the wound spray and feet wet the from dew/heavy fog we had overnight.  There's some scabbing at the back, but she completely ignored my prodding at it, so apparently it's not sore.

From the left (outside, same as above)

From the back

From the front

From the right (inside)
 Still can't believe how incredibly lucky we were!

What's on your gift list?

What's on your horsey wish-list this year?  I'm guessing like me, you probably have a running list of necessary, would-like, and when-I-win-the-lottery tack room & horse gear tucked away somewhere in your brain.  Here's hoping some of those items will end up under your tree or decorating your four-foot (or you) after the holidays. 

Me?  It's no secret around our house that horse-something is always appreciated.  But every year about this time T announces, "I don't want anything for Christmas.  Nothing.  Christmas is too commercialized."  (He does this for birthdays, too.  And of course I get him something anyway.)   And before you start thinking, oh, he must just really like surprising me, or that he really hates shopping in general, nope. That's not it.  

I suspect in his mind, if I don't get him anything, he doesn't have to shop for me.  To be fair, it's more likely the trauma of past gifts given: jewelry (I've never worn any of it), the new cell phone (it went back), the perfume (made me sneeze, reference jewelry above)... see where I'm going with this? 

For my birthday this year, we got a new coffee maker.  I picked it out.  As copious amounts of strong black caffeine help keep other people safe (from me) in the pre-dawn hours, it was the perfect gift.  Although we agreed it was my birthday present after our previous one died the morning before my birthday....

But really, I'm not that hard to shop for, honest.  The perfect gift doesn't have to be expensive, sparkly, or even require braving the mall or that store, initials VS, full of lacy things, that shall not be named.  I'm even okay with gifts of small power tools - or would be, if T didn't already own most of the ones I can name and more that I can't!  But you be the judge; here are a few items that made my Christmas list this year, several of which can actually be found at the local lumberyard:
  • A saucer.  Not the teacup kind, the outdoor, fun in the snow kind you can tie a nice long rope to.  Given snow, I think Sunny would be a perfectly lovely saucer-towing pony.  At least, I'd like to give it a try.
  • Weave/pole-bending set of 8 poles.  Admittedly, a more time consuming present, but with a few empty coffee cans - we have those (!) - some quick-set concrete, and a few lengths of PVC, not overly spendy.
  • A pair of large C-clamps.  My own set, for moving the trailer mats, that way I don't have to dig through the tool box (and remember to return) a borrowed set from the workshop when I deep clean the trailer.
  • A trailer mat.  A new one for outside the barn, one under the loft door for dropping hay out onto.  Yes, this is on my to-be-purchased list anyway, but it would be a lovely early gift, and he'd definitely get credit.
  • New lead ropes.  Several of the old ones are really ratty, and I'd love a couple more of the long, thick, cotton kind with bull snaps.  Not available at the lumberyard, but I'd take an IOU in my stocking.
  • A battery-operated portable radio.  For the granary/barn/orchard riding.  With good speakers, and maybe a port to plug in my MP3 player if I wanted to ride to a particular playlist.
  • Flavored coffee.  Not horse related you say? But since it's lovely, lovely caffeine, or the promise of it when I come in, that propels my butt out the door to do chores in the morning, and I'm the one that drinks the flavored stuff, it counts.  And that's grocery shopping. 
  • Horse treats.  Always acceptable.  The (Sunny-approved) gift that keeps on giving.

(We won't mention the gorgeous saddle rack I spotted on Pinterest that I know he's more than capable of making for me.  And yes, I hinted. Well, actually, I came right out and said, "Hey honey, look what I found!  Why don't you build me this, with wheels, for your next project!  It would be  a perfect gift!")

So anyway, this year when he started bemoaning the shopping aspect taking over the spirit of Christmas,  I called bull.  "You just don't want to shop for me.  Because you and I both know you'll get the kids and your mom something."  LOL!  Yep. 

T's right, of course, it's not all about the presents, but this list is going up on the fridge. :)

Friday, November 21, 2014

Review: Bandage Cutter/Hoof Pick

Combo Bandage Cutter/Hoof Pick:  After a week of trying not to stab myself or Rufus with short, pointy-ended scissors, while attempting to remove firmly adhered to itself Vetrap, I was thrilled to find an inexpensive dual ended bandage cutter/hoof pick.

At less than $3, it was a bargain, and it really worked, at least initially.

It ended up costing about $1 per month. Because after the third month of twice daily use, the blade is very, very dull.  And unfortunately, it isn't replaceable.  But still not a bad deal, especially if you don't intend to use it as frequently, or only intend to need it frequently for a short time.

The hoof pick is... sort of okay as long as you're not attempting to dislodge packed dirt, gravel, or dried on mud.  Or gooey mud.  So basically it works well on anything soft that falls out easily.  Like horse manure.  Otherwise, the end bends.   I haven't broken it yet though.

The cutter is far, far better than scissors for removing Vetrap, it was much harder to stab Rufus accidentally.  It is more difficult to cut myself (although I can still manage), but also amazingly easy to separate myself from a stray lock of hair.  Yes, my hair has gotten that long, and no, I don't always have it tied back when I do chores.  Probably not an issue you need to worry about if you're more attentive, remember a hair tie, or have short hair.

I'm going to try a Multi-Cutter next - maybe it will be a bit more durable.

Yay, hay!

Upwards of 15,000 lbs. of small squares trailed me home last night.

The big round bales have been here for a while, but having some small squares stored in the barn is never a bad thing.  Especially given how cold the weather has turned this fall!  We stacked 60 up in the loft this summer, and another 200 will be joining them on Saturday.  Really nice grass hay, averaging about 77 lbs. a bale, and decently priced, too. 

A bit of cushion if winter hangs around into spring.

One of the guys at work puts it up, and he does a  fabulous job - nice, tight, evenly  packed, sweet smelling bales, all stored under cover.  The horses loved the ones I bought from him last year.  Not to mention how super-convenient it is to have to-work delivery - last year I only got 50 bales, so I just picked it up in the horse trailer.  This time since with the larger amount, he loaded it (he has a bale mover attachment for his skidsteer that will grab 12 bales at a time - and boy howdy, would I love one of those!) onto his big flatbed and pulled the trailer in to work.  Much easier to just hook on and drag it home from there.

He ran the whole shebang across the scale on the way into town: his truck (1 ton Dodge dually, same as ours) & loaded trailer weighed in at upwards of 33,000 lbs.  Which was kind of fun to pull.  I haven't driven with a load that heavy on before.

Out of curiosity, what's hay running in your neck of the woods?  We paid $50 per net-wrapped, big rounds of prairie/mixed grass hay - not sure what they weigh in at, but I'm guessing somewhere in the 900-1100 lb. range based on how tight they're baled & how hard the skidsteer works to move them.  That's about average for here.  The small squares were $4.50 a bale, which again is about average based on what's listed on the HayExchange for Kansas ($3.75-$5.00/bale for grass hay).  

(Stay tuned for further adventures as we actually get the bales stacked in the loft!)