It has been awhile since I’ve written… and that is mostly because we have been busy enjoying the farm. There is always something to do; it’s a farm, after all. But this is the quiet season, and for the most part, we’ve just been taking some time to look around and consider how incredibly lucky we are to live in such a beautiful place.
On Sundays, I am usually the first one stirring, and my favorite part of the day is going out to feed the horses. Even though we are in the south, it gets cold enough here some nights that I close the doors up at night check in the late evening; the horses really enjoy having their windows popped back open so they can enjoy the view while having breakfast. And truly, is there anything in the world more satisfying than the sounds of horses munching on their breakfast? I put a coffee maker in the tack room so I could sit out there with a hot drink and hang out to enjoy it.
We also have visitors 🙂 The Heron is one of my favorites, and he comes almost daily. Here he is enjoying his “beach” a few days ago:
As you might expect, we have learned a lot over this first year here. One of the things we’ve been experimenting with is different approaches to pasture management. We are very fortunate to have good, established pastures for the most part. My DH, who now refers to himself as, “FarmOps,” has done a fantastic job of maintaining the farm so that the horses always have tasty grass to enjoy. (I am the one buying muzzles and counting the minutes out on that tasty grass, LOL.) We also changed the configuration of the pastures to some extent, first by necessity when we were installing the arena and had to move some fencing around, and then later by design when I wanted more flexibility for turnout, particularly during rainy months.
When we arrived, about a quarter of the property consisted of one really big back pasture. We used it a lot during the summer, because it goes all the way down to the creek, and has a quite a bit of nice shade. This time of year, though, the lower half stays a bit wet, and particularly with the new horse in the mix, it made more sense to put a fence through it to create a new paddock on the upper portion. This created a nice, fairly level, well drained turnout paddock and also allows me better use of the side pasture, since I can ensure that all the horses have a bit of company in sight, even if my neighbors’ horses are elsewhere.
We’ve been making very good use of our Solarium, too. Well, some of us have. My new horse is convinced it is terrifying. Every time I bring him in to the wash stall, he stops, cranes his neck up to look at it, and does that half-snort, half blow-y noise that lets me know he is not a fan. Poor guy. He sees the other horses hanging out with it on and you would think he’d figure out it feels NICE. But it hasn’t happened so far. Oh, well. Everything in its own time.
The next project is to improve the lighting in both the aisle and the wash stall. But for now it is fairly functional, and having those heat lamps really makes for a nice environment when grooming or tacking up on a cold day.
Speaking of which, it’s supposed to rain later today, but right now it is beautiful out. Off to go ride some ponies. Merry Christmas, everyone!!