Archive of ‘The Farm’ category
I may be the only person in the entire state, but I really kind of enjoy Texas’ winter storms. I’m also amongst a very privileged minority who have been blessed with no power outages during winter storms in the nearly 16 years we have lived at our property. Yes, I count my blessings after each storm.
Why do I like these awful storms? People in western cultures are exceptionally terrible at stopping. Stopping to “smell the roses” or just take a break and Boot City and I are no exception to this “busy-ness”. Winter storms force us to stop and focus on the little things like food, shelter and water for ourselves and the lives we take care of on our little farm. We have to haul water (the barn pipes freeze when it gets below freezing for more than half a day), haul hay, feed, clean stalls, repeat for however long the cold snap remains.
As I type this my whole body is sore. My arms. My neck. My hands. My knees. All the parts, but there is a satisfaction that comes, at least for me, from the aches that come from real hard work. I absolutely love having my horses at home. I can’t imagine not being in control of every single facet of their lives and know all their idiosyncrasies, and ailments and their favorite scratches. etc. I also know how they react to winter weather. Coco gets cold when it’s below 40F. Jaguar gets cold a lot easier in his old age than he did 5 years ago. Simon is fine in the cold, but he’s always on the thin side so I blanket him to try to prevent him losing calories from keeping himself warm. Gene is a sturdy island pony, so he’s warm unless he’s wet or in the wind. Pablo is the lowest on the pecking order and won’t stand for wearing a blanket, so I have to be sure he’s somewhere he can get away from wind and weather.
Fortunately, everyone fared well in this storm. I opted to turn my horses out every day for at least a few hours. Only Simon has shoes and unshod horses tend to have better grip on slick footing (unless they have special shoes) and they all were fine. I find it is better or their mental and digestive health to get some time to move around even in bad weather. They ran and bucked and kicked and played, even Jaguar! But they were all ready to go back to their stalls when the sun started to climb behind the hill at sunset.
The winter storms always feel like a season reset on the farm and for that I’m grateful. The weather in Texas will warm up now and all chances for snow and ice appear to be gone until next winter. I’ve already started preparing the heavy blankets for summer storage and planning the spring cleaning in the barn. Coco and I are headed to a horse show this week (YAY!) and will hit the ground running for spring cleaning after our return.
I am SO excited it’s September! AND it has rained about 4.5″ here this week! I think we were officially in a drought, so the rain is AMAZING. I can’t wait to see how good the grass looks in about a week. There is more rain in the forecast, but I don’t think we will have Flash Flood Warnings again next week!
While we were preparing the stall for the arrival of the Chincoteague Ponies this week Caviar decided it would be a fun time to climb the stall barrier and hang out on the stall walls. She was up there for a few hours and took a nap even! Cats are so silly.
Kitty exploring on stall walls. Like the high beam for cats?!
There was much cleaning to be done to prepare for Gene’s co-owner to come stay for the weekend in anticipation of his arrival. Red Rock Linda wasn’t much help with the vacuuming and mopping.
That is one VERY sleepy hound!
We had SO much fun with Gene for a couple days! Gene’s co-owner’s kids spent lots of time in the stall with the foals feeding them by hand. Chincoteague foal owners recommend spending lots of time in their stalls feeding and hanging out with them to get them accustomed to being around people. And, of course, there is a special bond between the foals and children.
Gene being sweet!
After all the rain this week it was fun to see a rainbow!
A beautiful morning rainbow on the farm.
We still get fair amount of erosion after heavy rains so I like to check the fencing in the back pasture to be sure that the dirt hasn’t pushed down or through any of the fencing. The dogs always like to come along to help test the perimeter (LILYBET!).
Dickens helping to check fencing while Chivas looks for snacks.
We are very much looking forward to the long weekend. Lots of pony and horse time will be had as well as some farm projects. Have a GREAT weekend!
I am SO excited it is the final Friday in August! SO EXCITED! This August hasn’t been terrible, but I just don’t love the heat. And this weekend is going to be HOT! Temps forecasted to be over 100F. Gross.
We were fortunate to get a little bit of rain from the remnants of Hurricane Laura. She certainly was a b$tch, but at least she wasn’t as horrible as she could have been. I was reading possible comparisons to Katrina! Yikes!
I love it when it rains, but it’s still sunny! This storm was prefaced by possibly the most beautiful rainbow I’ve ever seen! The colours were SO vivid!
One of the bad things about storms is that the hounds get really scared. Usually we have to let them into our walk-in closet and they hide under the hanging clothes. The closet door was closed and Linda had to make herself comfortable in a pile of dog beds.
This is her “Princess and the Pea” impersonation.So. Many. Dog. Beds.
Gene begins his journey south and west very soon! His caretakers have been working hard to get him socialised and he leads a little bit. He’s also had a HUGE growth spurt since he left the island! We are SO excited to have him in Texas! Hopefully the heat subsides before he arrives.
Gene modelling his nice conformation. He’s pretty “basic” chestnut, but I really do love his color.
And last, but CERTAINLY not least we acquired another chicken. Our chicken coop is in our “old barn” that needs to be torn down before it falls down, so we haven’t gotten any chicks in a couple years so are down to 8 chickens. We will start anew with all new chickens in a new coop so are kind of just waiting these ones out. When I drove to work on Monday I noticed a feather-footed chicken by the road near our house and convinced Boot City to go catch it. Well, chickens are hard to catch (see Rambo). I saw the chicken again today on my way to work and we agreed that if she was still there at the end of the day we would try to catch her. Lo and behold there she was. I mean, who doesn’t go catching chickens in their work clothes on a Thursday evening?! It took about 20 minutes, but we got her!
We are going to call her Melania; she is so pretty, but doesn’t do much other than be pretty. Feather footed chickens aren’t good for meat and they don’t lay many eggs. LOL!
Have a GREAT weekend and if you live somewhere there is real fall, know that I’m crazy jealous because this is my FAVORITE time of year in Montana!!
Does anyone else feel like we really dodged a bullet by today NOT being Friday the 13th?! The next Friday the 13th will be in November, but hopefully 2020 will be done torturing us by then. This week has been H.O.T. in Texas. Like I feel like I’m living in someone’s armpit after running a marathon hot. The forecasted high tomorrow is 107, but thankfully next week looks MUCH cooler.
The black kittens are smart kitties and they prefer to stay in their air conditioned cat/feed room rather than hanging out in the heat. Their cat gym isn’t the sturdiest thing ever made, but Black Caviar is brave enough to nap on the top floor of the thing.
Black Caviar and her brudder Sunday Silence keeping cool in the AC.
Don’t tell the other dogs I said this, but Quila really is the BEST girl! She keeps as close to me as possible and is a bit protective yet snuggly. Her only misbehaviour is that she likes to open the freezer and help herself to frozen meat and ice cream. She went out on a pasture inspection mission this week to help try to find the hole where Dickens and Lilybet snuck out and didn’t return home until 3a the next morning. BAD DOGS!
Quila AKA the BEST girl.
Boot City sent me this photo the other day. This is Annie nonchalantly resting next to the wheelbarrow while the chickens root through it and kick urine soaked shavings and manure ALL over her. SO gross. But, truth be told, Annie likes to roll in the dirty bedding when it gets dumped. It is extra disgusting because I let it sit in the wheelbarrow for a day or two and fill it with water so it’s an extra disgusting poop soup. Why are dogs so gross?!
Annie and her hen friends.
Last, but not least, is a lovely sunset from the top of the driveway. I have a love/hate relationship with this paved driveway. I love that the road isn’t as rough for the horses to ride up and down in the trailer, but I miss watching people freak out and park at the end of the road and walk up and get to the top to drop off their cars for Boot City to work on. It really was the best judge of character to see if people could or would at least try to drive up.
Hot August Texas night.
Y’all have a great weekend and stay cool!
A few years ago I got a wild hair and decided that I needed a smaller trailer for short trips close to home and purchased this delightful 2-horse Lakota Charger trailer from a friend of mine. She had decided that horsing was no longer in the cards for her and gave me the opportunity to buy a lovely little trailer that had hardly been used.
My sweet little 2 horse Lakota trailer!
About 2 years later this little trailer saved my hunt season AND allowed me to take Coco to some A shows. You see, White Lightning, our ’02 F350 truck needed QUITE the update. Boot City is a mechanic, which is awesome because he can fix literally anything with a motor, but our stuff often falls to the bottom of the list while other people’s vehicles get fixed. So White Lightning was out of commission from about September to May. This is where the little 2-horse trailer saves the day. I have an SUV that is big enough to pull a horse trailer so I was able to attend the full fox hunting season using my SUV to tow the Lakota AND I used it to take Coco to my BFF’s house so we could ride with her to a couple USEF A shows in Katy.
Passenger side. Note the newly repainted wheels.
Fast forward to now and White Lightning has been back in action for over a year and I find myself preferring to use it to haul my big 4-horse trailer SO the little Lakota is FOR SALE! Boot City has gone over it with a fine toothed comb and packed the bearings, fixed the brakes, painted the wheels, updated some wiring, beefed up the tie hooks, replaced the door latches on the ramp and checked and double checked the floor.
The inside of the trailer. The middle divider moves for easy loading. You can kind of see the saddle rack in the nose and the bridle hooks. The kitty does NOT come with the trailer (can you even see her?!).
This little guy doesn’t have a separate tack room, but I never had an issue with that feature. I bought a tiny tack trunk to store stuff in and the saddle racks are remarkably secure and my saddles NEVER came off of them during hauling.
Driver side. The back windows latch open so when it’s hot your horses can get extra breeze.
The trailer is rated for a total weight of 7525lb, so a load of about 4200lb. Pretty beefy for a nice sized trailer. We also replaced the jack since that is a normal wear item. Find me on Facebook (Tara Tibbetts) if you’re interested in this lovely little trailer. I’m excited for it to have it’s next happy owner.
It’s FRIDAY!!!!! Friday’s don’t really mean as much as they did before coronapocolypse, but I still love them because they mean I have two nearly uninterrupted days of horsing ahead of me. Add to that the weather has been gloriously cool, albeit quite wet, this week and it looks like the cooler (for Texas) weather is going to stick around for a bit longer!
A few weeks ago I was in the barn doing chores and when I went to dump water buckets from one of the horse stalls I found one of my kittens staring at a little baby Blue Jay was on the ground. It was a big baby and had some feathers, but clearly wasn’t ready to fly yet. I quickly picked it up because me picking it up was going to end better than what the kittens would do with it if they had their way. Immediately I could hear the Blue Jay parents go CRAZY! They were swooping down from the trees and carrying on, like any good parent would do if a giant took their baby.
Super cute Blue Jay nearly-fledgling.
I put the baby bird in some grass hay in a box with a lid to keep it safe while I tried to figure out where it needed to go. There are quite a few trees around my barn so I had my work cut out for me to try to find the nest this little bird belonged to. The parents were still losing their minds so they weren’t a great deal of help to figure out where was home nest. After wandering about for nearly 30 minutes I was ready to give up when I FINALLY saw what looked like a nest at the very top part of the tree just outside the stall where I found the chick. Thankfully Boot City invested in a 14′ ladder so I wrangled the thing to the barn and set it up under the tree. This was my cardio AND strength training for the day. That ladder is no joke. Once set up, the bird parents resumed their maniacal freaking out and dive bombing, so I felt pretty good that I had found the right spot.
The top of the 14′ ladder. The nest was still a good 6-8′ higher. Never mind the car projects that live in perpetuity at our house.
I made sure the ladder was steady and got my baby bird and we climbed to the top of the ladder. The ladder was quite steady, thankfully, because when I got to the top I realised that I still couldn’t reach the nest so I had to climb into the actual tree ABOVE the ladder. Thankfully I don’t have too much of a fear of heights. As I was doing that, the bird parents started dive bombing my head and face. Yikes! I got just high enough that I could reach the nest at the top of my reach and gently drop the precious cargo back into it’s home. It never made a peep. I climbed back down and the parents relented on their attack. I never saw another sign of the bird family again. I hope all was well and they live happily ever after! Never a dull moment!
In other less dramatic news we have gone from having as many as 75 to 80 laying hens to now only having 6. All were lost from predators, old age or illness. Old hens are not very tasty, contrary to what people try to convince me. The remaining hens have two very nice gentlemen roosters to look out for them and they enjoy helping Coco eat her breakfast and laying eggs in her hay. It entertains me because Coco is quite aggressive about attacking dogs or cats in her stall, but she’s perfectly happy to have chicken guests!
A little for you, and a little for me.
When Boot City’s and my house was being renovated last year there was a long period of time when we didn’t have a dryer, so I got back into line drying our laundry. I really like line drying for many reasons. I love the smell of line dried clothes/sheets. I like that the sun naturally whitens things. I like that a lot of clothes that are line dried don’t need to be ironed like they do when they come out of the dryer. Texas summer heat dries things on the line almost as fast, and sometimes faster, than the dryer so the time commitment is actually better if you take into account the lack of ironing. However, there is the constant risk of laundry being furry.
He just stood there in the laundry for like 5 minutes. Like he enjoyed the fabric flapping around him. Like a weirdo.
And no Farm Friday post is complete without at least ONE dog photo. During the renovation we turned our breezeway into a dog/laundry/mud room and Linda (she’s a foxhound retired from Red Rock Hounds in Reno, Nevada) enjoys napping on her dog cot. She’s the sweetest old hound when she isn’t teaching the youngsters to dig under the fence to get to the neighbour’s to chase deer.
Red Rock Linda having a nice snooze.
I’m looking forward to lots of time in the saddle this weekend, some mane trimming and bridle path clipping and maybe even some house cleaning. What are you getting up to this weekend?
It’s Friday! Yay! Hopefully at this time next week I will be watching some amazing show jumping at the World Equestrian Games. Cross your fingers and send prayers that Hurricane Florence decides to skip the Tryon area of North Carolina!
A few weeks ago I brought a friend’s OTTB to my house on his way to a couple months at finishing school. KHorse thought that Pablo was excited to meet him, but really Pablo just wanted his food.
Pablo is never not thinking about food.
Last weekend Annie got bit by a snake. Poor girl. When it first happened it really didn’t look very bad and it hardly swelled at all.
The bite is on her left paw.
I hadn’t been paying very close attention to the chickens and evidently we had a broody hen in the coop for a few weeks! We REALLY hope this is a hen! We don’t need any more roosters.
Baby chook in her cage with her heat lamp.
A few days on and Annie’s foot actually looks pretty bad. It is difficult to get her to stop licking her paw and she’s limping now. We may try to wrap it if she continues to lick and it gets worse.
Poor Annie. Her paw has some necrotic tissue, but it doesn’t help that she won’t stop licking.
Have a great weekend!
Happy Friday the 13th y’all! Boot City has a “13” tattoo and Coco has a “13” brand, so the number 13 is near and dear to us. It has been cooler and stormy this week in North Texas, which has been AMAZING, but sadly we haven’t gotten very much of the rain. Only .15″, but as long as the hay fields got it I’m happy.
The goats like to clean up the hay that the horses spill in the trailer. They are so helpful!
Introducing Nellie and her babies! The puppies were born on June 30. She had 8, but we sadly lost the runt at day 11. The rest appear to be doing fantastically!
Samson is the hungriest pony you’ve ever met. He is always trying to steal food at every opportunity. It helps that he’s so cute.
This puppy has the cutest nose spots. I’m hoping to have a name theme for them by the end of this weekend. I’m taking suggestions (but Game of Thrones is not an option. That has been suggested to me a lot and I don’t watch the show!).
Have a fantastic weekend!
Good Friday morning y’all! I’m a bit behind on my blog posts, but hope to get to it this weekend! Some fun things have happened and some fun things are in the works with the horses. We have had a little drama, but nothing a big fat vet bill didn’t fix (insert eye roll here).
In the meantime, enjoy some pics from the farm from the past couple weeks.
We are a good 3″ or more behind on our average rainfall so it was pretty exciting when we got a non-forecasted quarter of an inch in early June. I can’t help myself, but take pictures when it rains.
RAIN, glorious RAIN!
The surprise goat kids are growing quickly. They are both white, but I can tell which is which by the skin color on their faces. Hansel’s is black and Gretel’s is pink. I think it is adorable that they are more or less pink and blue.
Baby Hansel Goat plays in his feed pan. Kids!
Our sweet barn kitty napping under the hay soaker. He’s absolutely the sweetest cat I’ve ever had. True to barn cat form, though, he’s been leaving bits and pieces of his kills in the barn aisle. I turned on the lights yesterday morning to find a bunny head and other various sundry parts. Gross!
Boot City and I have been diligently patrolling the pasture to pull up sticker weeds and the other evening we came across this cute box turtle. He/she wasn’t very social, though. We released it on our neighbor’s side of the fence, away from our dogs and on his/her way to some water.
Come out, come out, wherever you are!
When I left for work this morning I saw this snugglefest in the corner of my eye and had to snap a photo! It’s funny to see a 100lb sighthound snuggling with a pink squeaky bear.
I’m planning to take Coco to a local English show tomorrow morning, perhaps catch a game of polo and get lots of work done around the house and farm this weekend. I hope you have a fabulous weekend!
I’m back! I feel like I have my blogging ducks in a row now, but that can always change. I would love MORE feedback from my readers! If you like a post, please comment. If you want to know more about something, please tell me. If a blog is boring/offensive/fantastic, let me know. I sometimes feel like I’m writing into an abyss and getting feedback helps me stay motivated and write interesting content.
We have a somewhat unique lifestyle that people seem interested in learning about it, and that is the primary reason I started this blog. I love writing, too, so that is my selfish reason for blogging. I’m hoping to maintain more “themed” days so readers will know which days to tune in if there is content they find more interesting. I presume most non-riders get bored when I write posts about the details or riding and showing, but I enjoy reading the blogs of other riders so I like to add my 2 cents about that every now and again.
This post will be somewhat of a catch-up on goings-on at the farm as well as some just silly pics of the farm animals. Enjoy!
Chivas has been somewhat on lock-down the past 2 months because she has some serious seasonal allergies. We haven’t gotten her officially tested, but every spring she gets mad itchy and is a tiny ball of oozing, itchy sores and keeps us up at night with her scratching and chewing on herself. This year has been the best for keeping that itching at bay, but it reared it’s ugly head in mid-May so we opted to try to keep her in the house and not take her out for rides and feeding. This is how she feels about being left in the house.
Who knew a 13lb dog could TEAR UP a giant dog bed…..
I posted before my blog break that we had a surprise set of twin goats. They are adorable baby goats as all baby goats are, but they are also weirdos. This is a photo of them nursing from their aunt Punky. Punky doesn’t currently have any kids and hasn’t had any kids since last summer. Their mom, Penelope, is producing plenty of milk for them, but for some reason they have also started nursing from Punky. We have never had kids do this! Punky and Penelope were part of a set of triplets and Penelope had to be bottle-fed because the Mom only had one teat to nurse from. Since the kids are nursing from her, Punky has gotten milk in her udder. Kind of a fascinating little social/ag experiment going on here.
The twins and their aunt Punky.
It has gotten hot in Texas so Murtagh has more or less moved in the tack room with AC 24/7. He also has mites in his ears that we are treating so I like that he’s happy staying close to home. He is just the sweetest kitty in the whole world!
In early May the horses came running to the barn from turnout to be put up for the night. Coco and Simon walked into the barn aisle where Boot City was opening stall doors to their various stalls. Coco turned and pinned her ears at Simon and he in turn tried to turn away from her a little too quickly on the concrete floor and fell down. It was one of those stomach-in-your-throat moments as he lay there and waited to get up. When he got up he was CLEARLY lame on his left hind. We got the other horses put away and fed them their dinner and I went to taking pics and video to send to my vet. Within an hour Simon could hardly walk.
We approached the injury fairly conservatively (my vet didn’t seem at all worried that he had broken anything) with stall rest, cold hosing, bute and poultice. Thankfully it only took a couple weeks for him to be almost 90% sound. I erred on the side of caution and kept him on stall and then paddock rest for a full 3 weeks before he was clearly stir crazy, not hurting and about to do something stupid when his friends got turned out and he had to stay in the barn. While he was sore he was a perfect gentleman on stall rest and even behaved for Boot City when he had to do the cold hosing and poulticing while I was away at a horse show with Sterling. Simon is a very wise and calm horse for only being 4 years old.
Poultice and stall rest o-rama
It took a good few months for her to settle in, but Ouiser finally seems to be happy and content in our house. She didn’t leave “her” room for about 2 months and now she more or less has the run of the house. She loves to sun bath in window sills and she is very chatty with Boot City and me.
Ouiser getting out and about in her house
Last, but CERTAINLY not least, is our dear Pablo. Pablo appears to have foundered or something similar and he WILL NOT let us catch him to try to see what is up. He lies down a lot. Stands on soft ground as much as possible. Appears sore when he moves out. We fear that his refusal to let us treat him will result in an earlier than necessary demise and believe me when I say we have tried working with him. Donkeys are “stubborn”. Everyone knows this, but you don’t really understand it until you have had a donkey. They don’t forget anything and they are not at all trustful.
Someone has mistreated Pablo and he refuses to get over that. We have, in the past, forced him to let us vet his legs/feet, give him meds, etc, but it just isn’t worth it. He will occasionally go into an enclosure where he knows we can catch him and let us groom him or trim his feet or whatever, but he seems to be doing that less lately. We don’t really know how old he is, but we have had him for 11 years. All 11 of those years we have given him treats, groomed him and basically let him do what he wants, but he still is terrified of the halter and being caught. His feet don’t look bad and he’s eating just fine (as you can see by his belly!), so he’s not suffering. We got 10 semi-loads of sand in April and he’s been loving rolling in it, sleeping in it and standing on the piles.
If you are an actual donkey-whisperer, I’d be happy to hear your advice for dear Pablo.
Pablo on his empire of sand
Please comment if there is anything I don’t write about enough or that you are just interested to know more about. Thank you for being here and reading about our little corner of Texas and the interwebs! Happy weekend and I hope it is cooler where you are than it is here.