Saturday, 20 January 2007

The babies are growing up

On Friday Nick and I went with our neighbour Jan to see Holden under saddle at the breaker's farm. It was really exciting for me as although I have seen video and photos of Hamish progeny under saddle, this was the first time I had seem one 'live'. Boy was I in for a treat!

I had been told that there was another gelding there also by Hamish and had worked out that it was Morocco/Rocky. Rocky was bred by an outside breeder who also sent her mare back to us to foal. He was born in early December 2003 and is out of a mare by Racing is Fun.

When we got to the farm I spied a very pretty grey horse in the arena with Craig (I think Craig is Gavin's working pupil). Sure enough it was Rocky so I was able to watch them both being worked!

Here are a selection of photos of the boys.

Reilly's exciting float loading adventure pt III (video)

Unfortunately the batteries went flat so this is not as good as I would have liked but he is being pretty good. No backing off footage, thanks to batteries!

Thursday, 18 January 2007

Reilly's exciting float loading adventure pt II

Today he had his first proper mouthing session. I popped a bit on to a halter (using good old bale twine) and left him in the paddock wearing the halter, bit in mouth. Came back a couple of hours later and took it off. He was unconcerned, he is such a good boy. Later this afternoon I went back out and put the halter and bit back on and brought him in for another float loading session.

Bless him, he is a star but he had to test me out first of course. Got him to the ramp and he went in, two feet in the float, back feet on the ramp but he wouldn't go any further. Unloaded him and did some ground work but he was uppity and kept wheel spinning on the grass. Then he farted and gave himself a fright - dork! Eventually I started to lose patience with him so I called Nick. Nick really is my shining Knight at times like this and came promptly to the rescue and within a few minutes had him working well. By the end of today's session he was loading all the way in with me standing on the ramp and the divider closed. I spent some time getting him to back into my hand and then step forward and tomorrow we will probably close the back bar and put the ramp up.

After his session I gave him a hose down and a shampoo and he was like a seasoned professional, even happily letting me hose down his face - He's such a dude. I'm a proud mummy.

Wednesday, 17 January 2007

Reilly's exciting float loading adventure!

Today I embarked upon Reilly's first float loading lesson. I am so proud of him, he was so good. We had got him to the stage where he had all four feet inside and was licking and chewing and really happy when IT happened! What is 'IT' you ask. 'IT' was a Hercules C130 cargo plane that buzzed the farm!

I mean that sort of thing NEVER happens here! Sure, we get the odd light aircraft/crop duster but this was a freakin great big HERCULES (sorry about the caps but they are really very big and VERY loud) and it was so low I swear I saw the pilot wave at me. Nick said he must've seen what I was doing and come down for a closer look! Most of the horses took off in their paddocks (apart from the clydies who couldn't care less) and Reilly, bless him, stood his ground with a bit of ear flicking.

I am very proud of my wee boy!

Monday, 15 January 2007

Little girls and their ponies

First we put the leadrope over the obliging and long suffering pony's head ...

The we make sure the leadrope is securely tied to fence on both sides ...

And then we survey what we have done!


We have been having our hay cut for seven years. For these seven years we have used the same contractor. A nice man but a bit hopeless, bless him. Every single year something has gone wrong and last year was sadly, the last straw (sorry, unintended pun) when he ended up charging us for around 100 bales that simply were not there. So, this year I decided to try someone new ...

I called a chap who was recommended by a friend and he said that even though we were a bit of a distance from his base, he should be able to fit us in. I called him in November, allowing around 6 weeks notice. I had to call again in December as he still had not come out and confirmed he could do the job ... Finally yesterday he showed up only to tell us that he probably could not do it due to the distance. Oh how I WISH he had been able to tell us that two months ago!!!

Thank GOD we have found someone else. A really nice guy who we called yday and who turned up this morning to walk through the fields and confirm that he could do the job. He just has to clear his backlog (should take a week, all going well) and he will be out to do the job for us. Hallelujah! It looks like we have a bumper crop which means hours of backbreaking hard work for us but an awesome feeling once it is all done. Oh and the best bit, he is less expensive than the other two contractors!

Now all I need to do is try and find willing workers to help get it all in!!!

Sunday, 14 January 2007

Happy Birthday to ME!

Today is my birthday. In itself this is not so much a day for celebration as it means I am yet another year older! However, it is an excuse for family to get together and that is always a good thing.

Yesterday I went shopping with my mother and mother-in-law. It was lots of fun. I ended up with three new pairs of shoes, including a fabulous pair of purple flats. I LOVE purple shoes! We found a gorgeous cross made of precious stones in a posh shop in Greytown which had 40% off so that was my birthday present from my mum.

Nick and Amy gave me a new leather halter for Hamish and a new lunge line to replace the one that Nick snapped when he drove underneath it with the farm bike. I was using it to stop a mare and foal having access to the race. I guess that will teach me for not using proper electric tape!

Now the weekend is over and my mum has gone home and all I can do is sit and stress about our current hay situation. Hopefully it will be cut and baled and in the shed soon but after 7 years of poor service from one contractor I made the executive decision last season to find another one. Rang someone who was recommended in November, he said it was quite a distance but he would try to help us out. Rang again in December after waiting a month for him to come out and see the hay, was promised he would be back out in a few days. Today at last he arrived, some 8 weeks after first contact, only to tell us that we were probably too far away but he would be back in contact shortly. Of course now I am really stressed and have called someone else (well Nick called, I should have) who is apparently probably able to do it but not for three weeks. Meanwhile our hay which has been shut up since October is not getting any better! The thing is we cannot afford to buy enough hay in to feed the horses and cattle over the winter as we need around 600 bales plus we have neighbours who tend to rely on us for their own hay supply. Ugh!