Saturday, 28 March 2009

Weaning, day 2

The girls have worn a walking track along their fence line - I guess that was inevitable. Otherwise, they seem fine - signs of milk on their legs and swollen udders - all par for the course, poor ladies.

The 'kids' have been released from the yards and are now sharing a grassy paddock with Uncle B. Poor long suffering Uncle B is being suckled relentlessly - He's naughty as he lets them when he really should boot them off. He's clearly getting soft in his old age!

Hmmm, what's wrong with this picture?

Grazing Rorror
Hooning Aine
Here comes Aine
About as fast as Rory goes ...

Friday, 27 March 2009

Weaning Day

This is a day I always stress over, put off and generally fernaffle about over yet every year, without fail, it goes without a hitch. Today is weaning day. This morning we went over to the 'nursery' and caught Maude and Hooty and lead them to the jumping paddock. Both foals got to jump the big scary ditch. Rory, with typical gusto, launched himself over without hesitation but Aine, who is delicate you know and does not like to get mud on her pretty little tootsies, was a little hesitant. She was much better this time however and was over within a minute. Last time it took her about 5 minutes to work up the courage to do it!

Once in the paddock next to the yards we led everyone into the yards and separated the mares from the foals and Bados by shutting the centre gate. Our yards are split into two halves, which is very handy at times like this! Maude and Hooty were then led out of the yards, down the race, through the gully paddock and down into their new grassy paddock by the road. Surprisingly this year the mares have been completely nonplussed about leaving their foals behind - perhaps because I have weaned a little later than usual? (Aine is over 6 months now and Rory is coming up 6 months).

I then set about sorting out the morning feeds and took a big bucket full of NRM Evolve, boiled barley and Fibrepro up for them to share. It's so cute the way Bados lets them eat with him - in fact, he spends a lot of time standing back to make sure that they get plenty. He's just the BEST uncle and worth his weight in gold, especially at weaning!

The photos are a bit random but it is hard when they are all in an enclosed space with high walls but you will get the idea. There is a hot tape around the top of the yards and Rory and Bados have both discovered that it is currently 'live' - I am not sure if Aine knows this yet. It is just an added deterrant incase someone decides they might want to 'go over the wall'.

Mmmm, feed time (Rory sneaks a peak in his mum's direction)
Uncle B stands back and lets the kids in
Sharing a net
The kids sharing nicely

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Exciting stuff!

Well we got the call early this week to say that Gavin (Morison) was ready for Meg so this morning I dragged her abandoned backside out of the paddock, threw her on the float and drove her the 70km to Gavin and Nicole's property. Poor Meg had literally been turfed out into a back paddock after the Masterton A&P and I was very pleased with her attitude when I caught her. Not only did she whicker to me but she walked over to be haltered and walked quietly away from her friends. We had to pass one fire breathing stallion on the way which was very exciting (NOT) although Reilly thought she looked mighty fine and did his very best display as she walked past - she steadfastly ignored him and carried on - that's my girl!

She loaded exceptionally and travelled even better. I realised when I had her all loaded up that this was in fact her first trip in our own float as we took her to the Masterton A&P in our neighbour's float, after lending ours to Kim and Steve for Pippa and Amos. Once again I was reminded why I love my float so much - the young horses really seem to enjoy travelling in it. and it tows beautifully. Meg is now safely ensconced in a paddock close to the house with a very cute (and rather portly) purebred Andalusian gelding as a neighbour. I can't wait to hear how she is going.

Yesterday I had grand ideas of plaiting Reilly up for a photo shoot. I plaited him very quickly (the ugliest/fattest plaits EVER) and popped him in the jumps paddock for a run around but the sun was fearsomely bright and I was all by myself and photos did not come easy. I gave up after about 15 minutes but will share a couple of the less awful ones. He was very cute, choosing on a couple of occasions to pop himself over the small jumps that I had up. I hope he enjoys jumping with someone on board half as much as he seems to in the paddock free.

Finally, I had a nice email this morning to let me know that the last of Hamish's mares was scanned in foal yesterday. Woot! He's had a good season, successfully getting every mare he has covered in foal, bar one. I am sure, had the empty mare come to us a little earlier and had more opportunity, she too would have conceived.