Finally some good news


As most of you are aware I still plant a good bit of cover crops in paddocks for grazing…..I even invested in an overseeder to help me get small seed and grasses into the soil rather than broadcasting it…….not much in terms of summer cover crops fared very well for me this summer…some did not even come up and what did come up suffered mightily from the drought.

I finally suspended even putting out seed in early July figuring I would wait on the rain…

then in late August I resumed seeding and switched to cool season species…I seeded a couple of paddocks anticipating rain which never came.

My fear was that the seed might germinate and then perish from lack of moisture…or that birds feasted on the seed that were exposed….or a plethora of other things that could go wrong.

I suspended seeding again, while having thoughts that I sure wasted my money on the overseeder…then I grazed the five strips in my big bull field….I seeded each of those as I grazed them….this would have been in September…early to mid September….still no rain.

about two weeks ago I grazed my two front yard paddocks and then seeded them.

naturally since we have had some rain I have especially been watching the big bull field and the front yard field hoping for some signs of life….I should point out that the existing chicory with its deep roots has been about the only species to still be showing life….they were grazed into the dirt which is contrary to all advice….see untoward acceleration article.

Untoward Acceleration – the Greatest Danger to Graziers

But the chicory was rebounding.

with the first rain we had a couple of weeks ago now, the existing grass began to show some signs of life….but I was not seeing anything from the seedings…

But in the last three weeks we have had a rain of 1.3 inches, another of 1.5 inches and this week another 3/10 of an inch.

last evening when I turned in the driveway, the field I sowed in August had a tint of green and when I slowed down to look I could see wheat from the mix I sowed coming up…I had given up this field as a lost effort…I was thrilled to see it coming up…this is a paddock where I hope to plant Eastern GammaGrass in the early Spring.

then while I was running water for the cows I looked at the big bull field and low and behold I saw some hints of small seed germination….there was no small grain sowed here so I was looking for small seed like grasses and clovers and brassicas. They were beginning to show.

So while the water was running I checked the Front yard paddocks and they two had signs of new germination.

I also feed a little bit of whole wheat to the cows and the two year old bull…I have a tendency to try stuff just to see what happens…I have just this week noticed that I have wheat germinating in my bull patties…I was thinking that seed placed on the ground in a warm moist environment would germinate immediately but apparently it also was waiting for rain….but I should add that I am seeing the wheat only in fairly new cow pies. Older pies that have dried out have been turned over and broken up by random scavengers and varmits as well as birds and dung beetles….I suspect that the varmits and birds harvested the wheat from those pies…

So while I have also succumbed to untoward acceleration and have been feeding hay for nearly two months…..I have most of the paddocks closed off and on some of the better ones I am seeing a greening up…..

I don’t have any stockpiled grazing for this winter but I will continue to feed hay and let those paddocks rest and hopefully we will have early spring grazing between the cool season cover and the cool season grasses.

Besides….everybody seems to need to point out that both Condi and I are not, shall we say, sleek and trim…Bad enough that she has to tote me….I don’t want to be accused of starving her to death…


JIM TATE
PIPE DREAM FARM
pdfangus@gmail.com

Big Step for me


Pretty Condi

Well……I did something on Saturday that I never would have even dreamed of doing just a couple of years ago.

I loaded Condi in the trailer and Stewart in the van and we embarked on a journey to Warrenton.

Our first stop was at the Dennys in Ruther Glenn for a grand slam breakfast. Then it was on to Skeeters Saddlery in Warrenton. The goal was to have Condi fitted for a saddle that would be comfortable for her as well as for me.

We were all surprised at how wide Condi measured out. She and I are both a little fluffy, but it is what it is and she is not that much over weight. Skeeter asked me why I wanted such a big horse and I told him he should have seen my big horses. Condi is the downsize. Besides I did not want anybody feeling sorry for my little horse having to tote my big self and he just laughed.

We designed the simple saddle I want and I am more satisfied that it will be at least as comfortable for Condi as it will be for me.

Stewart and I plan on riding a lot now that he is feeling better and we are much nearer neighbors now. And after I retire next year we are going to ride even more as long as our health holds out.

Skeeter helped me design what I wanted and Stewart gave me his input every time I asked. Stewart has a much better sense of style than this old country rat.

I am looking forward to it, but being custom made it will be a couple of months. Skeeter told me that he has two ahead of me. He explained the process and that this would fit right into the work flow.

Skeeter also inspected both of the saddles I have and declared them both to be safe and serviceable. One is the part synthetic and part leather Circle Y that I have been riding since I first got Palladin Perkins. The other is a Big Horn roping Saddle that my dad bought used when I was a kid. It is nearly as old as I am. I rode it all through my teen years and nearly daily for the ten years I was doing cow work. It has been through a few wrecks but it is good to know it is still serviceable. It is heavy as the devil though so I probably won’t use it much.

We were back at my house by 1:30 and I even had time to weigh my heifers. For a dry as it has been and not having much grass, I was very pleased to see that they are both gaining nearly one and a half pounds per day. One of this falls calves who is about 45 days old came in with them and I weighed him as well at 184 lbs. So he is gaining about 2.5 lbs per day as well. Tickled with that. Both cows with calves seem to be milking well but not loosing condition too badly. As long as we get them bred back on schedule all will be well.

The only reason I have grass is my multiple paddocks and rotational grazing. I don’t have a lot of grass and I am nearly out but the heifers are still growing and I was not expecting that.

All in all a very nice day yesterday and this morning it is raining. While the rain kept us from riding today, we need the rain and heeding the prediction is why I scheduled the trip to Skeeter for yesterday.

Jim Tate
Pipe Dream Farm
Beaverdam, Va

71st Trip Around The Sun


Baby Jim Photo courtesy of The Old Cowboy Archives

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A few days ago I emailed and posted a facebook link to some photos that I took on a simple trail ride that I went on with my friend, Stewart Wickham. Stewart and I used to ride together all the time. We were two guys who just got along…we had similar riding styles, similar riding ambitions, similar but different backgrounds, similar upbringing, similar values and perspectives on life and events and we discovered that we both had a warped sense of humor that other folks sometimes had trouble understanding, but we would crack each other up…We had both found a good friend that we could talk honestly to and not have to worry about it being broadcast.

Several years ago Stewart and his wife moved to Buchannan Va. We had become pretty good friends and we kept in touch but we seldom had a chance to ride together…While he had retired from the Hanover Sheriff’s department he went to work part time in Law enforcement and courts in Roanoke. So he worked some odd hours. I continued to lounge around at the Soil and Water District. Then while he was up there, is when Marie’s health was just beginning to fail her big time and I had to stick a little closer to home so me going up there to ride with him was out. Stewart made several trips down this way so that we could ride…The last time we rode together was a short parade in June of 2017 in the town of Mineral….I don’t even remember the cause of the parade but recall that the Best of America by Horseback crew was there. I rode Palladin Perkins and Stewart brought Dancehall Dixie. Many of the riders who frequent the Poor Peoples Riding Club were there. It was a short fun ride…

Photo from the Mineral Parade assembly point

We kept in touch and talked at least weekly on the phone and sometimes daily..A little known fact is that I am the one who caused Stewart to acquire Dancehall Dixie even though he had a wonderful Rocky Mountain Mare at the time. Similarly he is the one who caused me to acquire Condi and sell Star Baby. Both are stories for another time. We had become close friends and I am a man who has never had a lot of close friends. I have a few I hold dear going back to high school and college and a couple since, but they have all pursued bigger and better and are scattered around the nation…..Michigan, Texas, Florida, North Carolina…We try to keep in touch thru e-mail and the occasional phone call. There were a few others who have left this realm all together.

As is the case with everyone, life has a way of throwing obstacles at us. Stewart has had several surgeries on his eyes. Marie had the spider bite from hell that would never heal and she was at one doctor or another every two weeks for a couple of years. That bite and her inability to quit smoking were both contributing factors to her loss a year and a half ago. I had to put down dear old Palladin Perkins who carried me so many miles over the years. Then about a year ago Stewart fell ill. That is his business and not mine, so I will leave it there. He was very ill. Several hospitalizations. Before he was really sick they had decided to return to this part of the world and bought a house and sold the house in Buchanan. During the move is when he was really sick and back in the hospital and all of the burden fell on Debbie. That woman is a Rock. I hold her in high regard.

During his hospitalizations and convalescence, the one thing that would bring a smile to his face is when we talked about the horses and riding . So we talked of it often…he planned for a long time about riding again. As he recovered his strength, the planning got more serious. When it looked like it might become a reality, I suggested that he plan on Dancehall Dixie rather than his beautiful and high spirited Samosa. He thought about it a while and even though he wanted to ride Samosa, he agreed that Dixie might be a wise first choice. Dixie is an older gal.
She is settled in her ways. She is gaited and rides as smooth as butter. She is broke to death and pretty near unflappable. I once fell off of her due to equipment failure and she stood there and looked at me as if to say stop acting stupid. Another animal might have stomped or drug me to death as my foot was still in the stirrup. So we began making plans for trying to ride Dixie. It got postponed several times…Then a few weeks ago He told me he was ready. I went over to help him in any way I could and to be on standby. Dixie was a perfect lady and stood quietly while we tacked her up and then while he climbed aboard.

A few adjustments and getting comfortable and then that smile broke out all over his face. He was back in the saddle. He was not in pain. They stepped off and Dixie was as if she had been ridden three days before rather than spending two years as an entertaining pasture ornament. He rode around for about ten minutes and then we decided that was enough for an evaluation. We needed to see if there were after effects. They all did great. No after effects.

A couple of days later he called me and proposed that we go for a ride on my birthday.  Stewart is not happy with the fact that he is two months older than I am and he was anxious for me to “catch up”.   I told him that if he was up to it I would be there. He floored me when he proposed that we go to Powhatan State Park and have a real ride. I was thinking we would do a half mile or a mile and then backtrack . So I took the day off and we went.  At first I asked him every five minutes how he was doing and he replied great. At a mile I stopped and asked if he was ready to head back…his answer was “Hell no”.  At two miles I stopped and told him that we were near half way and if we needed to head back, that was the time…he again said no. I told him that I was not interested in him acting tough to impress me and that I was more interested in making sure he got back safe and in good shape.  He said “Honestly, Jim, I am fine and I am comfortable and doing something I never thought I would be able to do again. I am having a ball.”

We rode the whole wooded loop at Powhatan. We stopped one time near the old chimney where there was a bench to use for a mounting block and rested for a few minutes and then we mounted up and finished the loop. He is now busy planning our next ride. Condi had her shoes replaced this morning and Dixie acquired a new set all the way around.

There must have been some divine intervention. Even my fireball Condi was well behaved and relaxed. She is normally a big motor gal who wants to get on down the trail. She hates not being in the lead. Anyone who has ridden with us can testify about that. That day we started out behind Dixie and Condi was perfectly happy. Maybe it was because we were not in a larger group. Maybe Dixies calm and laid back demeanor had something to do with it…I was even able to ride side by side with Stewart for a part of the ride without having to hold her back. Of course it helps that Dixie, while no spring chicken, has a pretty speedy little pitter pat gait and can cover some ground comfortably without being in a hurry. She is not as fast a walker as Condi but she was not far behind.

It was the first time I have ever ducked out of work because it was my birthday. I quit celebrating birthdays and ever since I was 39 I have referred to it as the anniversary of my 39th birthday. Once a bold and burly man, getting old and fat and losing a step here and there has been difficult. Losing Marie was difficult. Losing Perkins had me in tears again. The recent loss of sweet little Dee Dee brought it all back again. But after 71 trips around the sun, I might not have many trips left. If I expect to enjoy my life I need to get on with it, stop fretting about losing my grip and enjoy what is left while I still can. Condi and Dixie both got new shoes today….

The first day of the 72nd trip was as nice a day as I have had in a long time. It was the activity of the day that made it special….it just happened to coincide with the 32 anniversary of my 39th birthday. I am now looking forward to retiring around the start of the 73rd trip. I have an obligation I made to something thru calendar 2020, and so I will try to see that thru. But not sure I can deal with another fall BMP signup at work that is as difficult as this fall signup has been.

I still have a few cows and goats, and Pete and the donkeys expect a handout every day and good old Apache, so straying off around the country is still a ways off. But Stewart and I have agreed that we are going to ride as often and as well as we can, while we can for as long as we can. I have a new short term goal of riding every public venue that I can make in a day trip, from the Blue Ridge to the coast. I am betting that Stewart will be there to make sure I do it right. He called this morning with a suggestion for where we ride next Sunday. I will be there with bells on…

Catching Up


Baby Jim
Photo courtesy of The Old Cowboy Archives

9/24/2019
I was totally blown away this morning to get an e-mail from a fellow I was in the Army with at both Fort Benning Georgia and Fort Carson Colorado.

He has been following my blog for some time and noticed that I had not posted anything for over a year and contacted me to see if I was still extant.

I immediately replied and realized how trifling I have been. I used to love writing and made it a priority, but lately I have let it slide. I have been thinking about it ever since I got the e-mail…Why I have I changed my habits.. Not sure but several things occur to me as factors…

1. Changes in my life……Since I lost Marie on May 8th of 2018 a lot of priorities in my life have changed as well as responsibilities. There never seem to be enough hours in the day any more…A look around the farm shows that I am way behind on everything.

2. Old age…approaching completion of my 71st trip around the sun….hoping for a few more but can feel the trip catching up with me. Supporting more Doctors these days than I knew existed…but I must say they are making my life more bearable……Especially Dr. Carleton my Rheumatologist…before I was referred to him I was losing the use of my hands and hurt all over. He has given me back my life…

3. Have only managed to get on a horse about once a month lately….I try to make the PPRC rides but that is about the only time I get out…and then I wonder why my horse is so amped up and raring to go…DUH..a good horse needs regular riding and exercise…Now that Stewart is getting ready to ride again maybe that will be a higher priority and everything else will have to slide.

4. Changes in the cattle situation…my neighbor lost his pasture and due to affiliation with him so did I…So I have less cattle but now they are all at home…Down to two cows with calves and two heifers one of which is the neighbors and one two year old bull…he should not be with us much longer as he is going to a new home. This is the last bull we will raise…We have already banded the bull calf born around Labor day…the other is a heifer and we have high hopes for her.

5. Weather…sounds silly but weather has made life pretty difficult for well over a year and a half now…First it was too wet to do anything…All last fall was wet….all winter was a muddy mess, killing grass and ruining pastures…The rain continued into the spring….then it stopped…Has hardly rained since…Nearly as dry as it was in 2002 which was the last big dry spell we had…Pastures are all dried up and nothing is growing and it is still in the nineties in late September…no stockpiled grass for this winter. Feeding hay already…Have even thought about selling the cows but that would be sort of like cutting off my leg and watching myself bleed out..

6. Facebook….I have a number of friends on facebook and many are long ago acquaintances. It is so easy to post something on facebook and hit send and reach as many people as care to read it…So I guess I have still been writing but just not in the familiar format…..  try to find my page on facebook…

7. Borderline depression…yeah I recognize it.

All of this and a lot of time to myself have made me think a lot. Then the e-mail this morning made me think some more…and reflect on life..

I probably have a few more stories to tell.. Need to sort them out and remove any incriminating evidence..

I have never been a bad man…but I have been termed as a bad influence by the wives of every friend I have ever had…they all disliked me…too carefree…too stubborn…too unwilling to step back…too much a cowboy… Lucky I am still travelling around the sun…

Stewarts wife does tolerate me…and here lately has been feeding me with her great cooking.

 

Farm Update 9/22/2018


As always you can click on any photo to see it larger….use your browser back button to return to the blog.

 

It has been a while since I posted anything to the blog.  Today is a hodge podge day….little bit of everything.

This being a rainy day I have cleaned on the house a little, did some laundry and cooked a couple of casseroles and thawed some meat for some beef barbecue and downloaded 47 photos I have taken with my phone over the last few weeks…

Have not had Condi out for a ride in five or six weeks now….the Poor people group had a ride scheduled for today but cancelled due to the rain….so much for my five miles a week goal.

Rain has messed up all kinds of plans.  I was going to plant 200 plugs of native warm season grass on Friday….was eating breakfast and the weather man on teevee was talking about what a great day it was going to be with no rain in the forecast……. and as he said those words, it was pouring rain outside here….So I went to Ashland to grocery shop and run a few errands and get feed for the horses…Finally about three pm it was dry enough to try to begin cutting grass….the grass was nearly ten inches tall and poor Dee Dee couldn’t squat to pee.  Finally was able to finish cutting grass on Saturday but it took forever because the grass was so heavy and still wet…

A lot of the photos were of Tim’s cows who had calved when I was checking them on the weekends.  I would snap a photo and send it to him.  We had a run of bad luck and lost several calves at birth a few weeks ago and still have not figured out why….lost two sets of twins and that is not so unusual….twins are almost always a pain in the butt…My Faxton heifer had a nice bull calf and I found him dead at about a week of age….not sure what happened to him but I think it was either the heat at the time or a snake bite or both….Joe reported that he had been limping on Friday afternoon and I found him dead on Saturday Morning.  If you are going to raise animals you have to be able to deal with losing one now and then….and it is normally among the best ones…My Xena cow has a pretty Claymont of Wye heifer at her side who will most likely be a keeper.  For those who do not know….Xena is a BIG cow.  The photo of Diva is not very good…she is really a pretty little thing and got the name because of the way she acts….loads of personality and she thinks she is special.

Raising two bulls this year as well….one is my Alap of Wye son out of my CC&7 daughter.  The other is a Red bull belonging to Tim.  These are the first bulls I have raised in several years.  I am really happy with this bull and will use him as a cleanup bull on my cows and the heifers this winter.  Yevette will go to him directly as I have never settled her to an AI service.   Tim’s bull may be for sale in the spring…For my bull it depends on how the baby calves look in the spring and whether there is a replacement bull potential in the calves.

Quite a few photos of my native perennials that I have been planting the last year or two….the coneflowers and blanket flowers have bloomed all summer as well as one of the Shasta daisies,

The beauty berries are really starting to look good…this has been a great year for plant growth….I planted several beauty berries last year and this spring I thought the hard winter had killed several of them last winter, so I bought a couple to replace them…when I went to plant them the older ones had put out new shoots from the roots.  One of the new ones I got from Colesville nursery I really like…It is blooming prolifically in its first year…

Later in the Summer the boss gave me one from her garden and I planted it in the border by the stable.  It has taken hold nicely and has berries developing on it.

I used to plant marigolds and other annuals in this border but have this year pretty much converted it to native perennials.  I am not so good with the names of some of this stuff yet because everybody keeps giving me Latin names and they go in one ear and out my nose apparently….I label them but then the labels fade or get lost…I have this one plant that just started blooming this week and it is covered with tiny white flowers…really pretty.   Have to get Pattie to ID it again for me….cannot find the tag

This is the best of my eastern red columbines…I planted several but this one has the best growth and it is the only one that has bloomed.

Can smell my casseroles all the way upstairs…better go check….they look as good as they smell….cut em off to cool.  One is for supper and the other is going to a pot luck next weekend.  Gonna freeze it until Friday night

Had one of these for supper….and it was good….I have the rest of it for my lunch on Monday…

To cut grass I had to move my 27 plant buckets to cut grass where they are.  I pulled some of the native perennials I had stated from seed and transplanted them to my native gardens.  The Switchgrass I planted last winter from seed is looking pretty good.  It is over five feet tall and is seeding….there is some cool season grass in the buckets as well but I have left it because I do not want to damage the roots of the switchgrass,  I had pulled some switchgrass out while pulling out orchardgrass in the spring, and I think the switchgrass will crowd it out….I have a bucket of eastern Gamma Grass as well but one of the heifer stuck her head thru the fence and grazed it off to about 6 or 8 inches.  I think it will come back okay.

While moving stuff and cleaning up I planted one each in buckets for demonstration portability of Indiangrass, little Bluestem, Big Bluestem and switchgrass.

I also had four buckets that I cleaned up and put some of the soil primer seed mix I got from Green Cover in just to see what I get.

And these are the 196 native warm season grass plugs that will not go in the ground now until next week end.   I have a few spots where I am going to put them that need another dose of herbicide to knock back the weeds before I can plant them but I cannot do that today because it is still raining…

 

Baling twine as a fence


 

  Baling Twine as a Fence

As always click on any photo to see it larger….use your browser back button to return to the blog.

 

Some people have scoffed when I said I used baling twine as a fence…

Well I took the fence down and rolled it up and let the horses into the forbidden zone this morning.  Photo below of the rolled up “fence”.

It works because my stock is accustomed to a good HOT fence.

It was only about 70 or 80 feet of excluded area….but even the goats had not crossed the single strand “fence”

Below is what was fenced out and the horses were sampling the new found goodies.  Even Perkins came out for the taste test but the horse flies sent him prancing back to the stable and Condi soon followed…Pete endured another five minutes or so and he went to the stable as well.

The donkeys sought out the sunflowers…Perkins like the Sun Hemp and cow pea leaves because they were easy to chew with his old teeth.  Condi pulled on a Cow Pea vine and  pulled about six feet of vine out of the millet.  The vine startled her and she pranced around dragging the vine, until she decided to eat it.  Pete concentrated on the pearl millet…

Saw this device at a clients horse farm this morning.  It is a fly trap for biting flies.  They were very happy with it and felt is had really reduced the horse fly population and caught many stable flies as well.  There was a couple of inches of dead flies in it and several who were dying…

Perkins wants to borrow my credit card to order one…

http://www.bitingflies.com/

 

Here is a shot of morning day two of access to the new stuff.  It is interesting and unusual that they are staying in the short stuff and eating the new stuff from the top down,.  The goats and cows however go into the middle and eat from the inside out.  Yesterday afternoon the goats were hidden in this patch eating…I could hear their bells.  When I grabbed the camera to snap this shot, Condi was standing in the short stuff grazing at head height, but when she saw me she took off for the stable for her breakfast.   Yeah she and the others get a token handout morning and night when Perkins gets his sustenance.

 

No Blog….I have not forgotten you


Baby Jim  back by popular demand.

As Always….to see any photo larger click on it….use your browser back button to return to the blog

It is all the fault of Facebook.  It is so easy to post a photo and knock out a quick blurb about the photo.

I confess that I have been victim of the allure.  But finally I realized that in writing and opinions I am not a man of few words and I tire quickly of trying to communicate on a virtual tiny keyboard with my mangled and misshapen fingers……….That leaves me trying to type with a stylus and argue with auto correct about what I am typing and it is frustrating beyond belief.

So having some things to say I realized that I have a blog and it is easy and non limiting…takes a few more minutes to set it up but so much more satisfying than auto correct on Facebook.

Relative to the misshapen fingers, I realized this morning that Naproxen Sodium and Instaflex Plus is what is keeping me functioning.  I forgot to take them last night and awoke with great pain in my hand and wrist this morning from the Rheumatoid Arthritis.   The worst of my two bad knees was also making itself known.   Thirty minutes after taking them I was again functional….Won’t forget them again…

I am not quite dead yet in spite of my advancing age….I was in tractor supply yesterday and ran across a good price on some protein supplement tubs.  I asked a young man who worked there if they had a way for me to get one of these to my truck….100 lb tubs.  He brought out a cart and I lifted one off the stack and put it on the cart and he followed me and my shopping buggy through the checkout line and to the van….I saw him looking at the tub…just looking and not moving…I picked it up and set it in the van….he just looked at me.  I said, “I bet you didn’t think I could do that.”  He said, “No, I was hoping you would help me because I knew that I could not do that.”

Anyhow to the cause for this missive.

I often advise folks to use portable electric fence for pasture division and grazing management….I get a lot of funny looks…Portable electric fence is basically one or two electric wires or polywire or poly tape or polyrope suspended on step in plastic posts.

I also advise folks to use the same setup to create travel lanes between the aforementioned grazing paddocks.  More funny looks..

I try to draw out layouts and get more funny looks.

So yesterday while walking down a temporary travel lane that Marie and I put up in the mid nineties….I stopped and snapped a couple of photos of it….She and I put this lane up way back then for some reason long since forgotten in order to make her livestock management easier while I was travelling for work.  She and I put it up in about a half hour before I left for some out of state destination.  It has been so useful that it still exists today….this was when we first started managing grazing and back then it was for the cows as we did not have horses until 2003 when I got Val and Junior.

One side of this lane was a paddock we had fenced off for grazing management….I took a couple of pieces of 2 inch PVC pipe about five feet long and using a block of wood as a cap hammered them into the ground….creating an insulated post.  This works but I have since discovered that it is easier to drive a steel Tee post into the ground and simply slide the 2 inch PVC over the post making a good strong corner for poly wire.

I used the same trick to hammer some sections of 3/4 inch PVC in as line posts.

We created the lane by moving over about ten feet and doing the same thing.  On this side we used what we had available, which was step in posts and poly tape.

Been there for over 25 years and still functioning.  Here is a shot of the lane.  the left side paddocks have been grazed and mowed and had fall multi species cover crop broadcast on them in the last two weeks.  The paddock on the right side will be grazed in a week or two.

 

My horses are so accustomed to electric fence that I can now use baling twine as electric fence and they will honor it.  I am using a piece of baling twine today as a horse fence.  My guess is that the goats will pretty quickly figure it out as they are not afraid to test their limits.

No photo of this but I finally have the goats in with the horses.  Since Star Baby is no longer in residence all I had to do was see if Condi would tolerate them.  Perkins absolutely does not care and Pete is pretty easy to get along with.  Jonah does not love the goats but he does not bother them.  Condi says as long as they stay out of her groceries she could not give a rip.  So I rigged them up a place in the stable where they could escape the equines if necessary and they have resided with the horses for two days now.  It has actually helped in making the two goats that I got last year more sociable.  I can now easily touch them, where they have always been skittish and standoffish.   Nelly has long been an in your pocket goat and is constantly investigating my clothes for something edible.  I wanted them with the horses to address some of the weeds that the horses will not touch.  The goats have gone right to work on them…I have enough weeds to keep twice as many goats’ busy full time…next year by this time we should have a few more goats.

Speaking of Condi, we went up to Brunson’ this week to try out Amanda’s obstacles.  I took Condi and Stewart brought his mare Samosa.  Condi and I just walked thru them and she did pretty good…Amanda had a remote control car that she drove around the horses….Condi did not like it at first but then I was driving it and we went all over the arena with Condi following it…Another obstacle was pool noodles sticking out of some barrels.  Condi would go thru them okay but when they touched her hind legs she hurried thru them..

So we hung some pool noodles in the stable over the weekend.  When Condi saw the first one she left the stable…but after I hung it she came right back to investigate…now she has to stand between two of them to get her groceries.  She adapted pretty quick.

Perkins uses them to keep the flys off…not much bothers that old boy.

The only other obstacle that bothered her was the bubble machine….she did not act foolish and was listening to me throughout….but she could not figure out those bubbles…Once she figures something out she accepts it.

I could wave the flag all around her and over her and no problem.  I even covered her whole head with the flag and she just stood there.