August 31, 2009

Selling Horses & Winery Tours

Anna & Andrew (Byron the Hound Dog's "parents") have had their eye on Annie the Percheron, and decided to buy her! We took her for a test drive on Sunday, and were delighted to see she went absolutely perfect even after a year off from harness work. They rode her on Friday as well and were happy with her in that discipline, too. She is a lovely, sweet mare, and we are very happy she will be going to a good home with caring people!

Sunday afternoon was winery tours at the vineyard. It turned out to be a beautiful day. The winery and cafe were very, very busy, and we enjoyed talking with all the people there to "dine & wine". As usual, one of our favorite places to be with a horse & carriage!

August 27, 2009

True Hound Dog Style

Visitors to the farm tonight gave our Blue Tick Hound, Penny, something to dream about - a very handsome, red-tick colored Red Bone/Blood Hound cross named Byron. "He smelled REAL good," Penny told us afterwards, "and his ears, the way he swung them around when he talked to me, made me want to coon!...I mean, SWOON!"

Photos: Top: Penny & Byron, waiting for a cookie.

Bottom: Terry introduces Penny to Annie the Percheron. "She doesn't smell anyway near as good as Byron!" Penny tells us.

August 26, 2009

Skeeter, the Standardbred

This is Skeeter, a 14 year old Standardbred we have for sale. He is just one of the sweetest horses - very personable, loveable, and willing. He is quiet, easy to hook and drive (a real "lady's" horse as the Amish would tell you). He is an excellent trotter, willing on busy streets or wooded trails, and will go the miles! He stands 15.2HH and is an easy keeper. I just ADORE this horse but, alas, I can't keep everything Terry brings home! We are asking $2000.00 for the package - horse, nice road cart, and NEW harness, as shown here. Come take a test drive!

This Time a REALLY Big Bale

It is Wednesday, and we are feeding out round bales again. One bale came from a new supplier, and it is HUGE. We estimate it weighs 800lbs and stands 6 feet tall - look at the picture of Danny, Dakota, and Dolly and take note of where the top is in relation to Dakota's withers - above them! (Dakota stands just a hair shy of 18HH). By contrast, a new bale from another supply was put in the paddock with Gillette, Lincoln, and Cyrus - it isn't nearly as substantial.

August 24, 2009

A Week of Sunday Weddings

We have been neglecting our blogspot as of late - just too busy! We've been doing weddings and carriage rides, buying and selling hay, taking business trips to Pennsylvania, and selling & fitting harnesses.

Our friend Beth (commonly known as "Liz" in her workplace), who was instrumental in helping us care for Norman, has been the topic of conversation at not one but TWO weddings this past week, coincidentally enough! It appears she is friends with guests that were at Patty Negeli's son's wedding (first wedding photo), and a co-worker of the groom at this past Sunday's wedding (second wedding photo). Such a small world!

Photos: Top: This is how we bathe our horses - with a pressure washer! They come perfectly clean.

Middle: The Naegeli wedding. A very, very hot day but a very nice wedding to participate in!

Bottom: This wedding was held at the winery, our favorite venue since we drive right out the driveway and up the road - no carriages or horses to load in the trailer!

August 16, 2009

Our farm is home to more than just horses: We have both caged quail and quail that roam loose (shown here taking a sand bath - he sits an outbuilding every morning, calling to the others). We also have wildlife - deer, skunks, the fisher cats that killed our chickens, and...snakes!

August 14, 2009

Hay Days

After six full days at the first round bales, we have had to give the horses another bale in each paddock. We are very, very pleased with the outcome of our round bale experiment, as we estimate we are saving approximately $16.00 per day on hay for these six horses, or $112.00 a week. (Duke & Diesel, the standardbred, the three ponies, and the goats continue to consume square bales at this point). This weekend we will have more round bales delivered, and, since Duke & Diesel are now out in the back pasture at night, they will likely get a round bale, too, which will save us even more.

Pictured: Top: Terry raking some of the old hay up to create a "bed" for the new bale. Meanwhile, the greys (Gillette & Lincoln shown here) are happy to have a tail-gate party.

Middle: Danny & Dakota chase Terry's truck as he brings a new bale to Dolly & the bays.

Bottom: Non-stop eating, and it shows - Danny Dakota & Dolly.

August 13, 2009

Duke & Diesel Get New Shoes

Our farrier was here again today, putting shoes on Duke & Diesel. We have been guarding their feet for two weeks, since Duke lost his hind shoe and put a nail through the sole of his foot. Duke shows no sign of lameness in that foot, and both horses have been re-shod with apoxy on the back feet (the front seem to be pretty good, at least for now). Duke has a bit of thrush in front so Matt cut out a hole in the pad for the frog, and we are soaking it in bleach. We will do this until the thrush disappears.

It would appear that after five days of the round bales, our horses are going to need new bales tomorrow. That's not so bad! We hope to get some tomorrow and maybe over the weekend, too, if we can figure a way to store them for now.

Photo: Terry with Matt, working on Diesel. "In the 49 years I have owned horses," says Terry, "I can honestly say that Matt Lewis is one of the best farriers I have ever seen." You have to know he means it, too.

August 12, 2009

Chicken Killer on the Loose!

WANTED! The critter(s) that murdered 15 of our chickens, many of which were mere youths! We first discovered neat little piles of feathers this morning - then finally, after a lot of searching, discovered some of the bodies. All neatly murdered, laid out in the same position - a chicken serial killer is on the loose! We have but two hens and a rooster left, and a youngster that is wandering dazed and confused after witnessing the massacre. (Needless to say, we are changing our hen-keeping practices).

August 11, 2009

A Dream Come True (for a Chicken...)

If I had the money, this is how my chickens would live! In a deluxe mobile home, with specialty boxes that sort all the eggs and keeps them clean. Their house would be bright, airy, and happy. It would look like this! Friend John from Charmingfare Farm just had this portable coop built for his chickens, for the times they are at state fairs strutting their stuff.

August 9, 2009

Round Bales

Each draft horse on the farm consumes about a bale of hay a day, or 40-50 lbs. At $4.50 -$5.00 a bale, it costs us about $40.00 a day to feed out hay to all our horses. Yesterday we tried something new - round bales. Each round bale weighs approximately 600 lbs, and costs us $40.00. We estimate that each round bale should feed the three horses in each lot for five days - that's $2.60 per horse, per day. If they last longer than five days, the cost per horse will be better yet. I am hoping this works for us - to be able to cut our feed bill in half would be a tremendous savings!

I woke up early this morning and wandered outside to see how the horses were doing with these new bales. In both paddocks, the horses were just standing around, too full to care about eating. Once I walked into the paddocks to visit with them, they started to eat at the bales again. That's when I snapped these pictures. They all seem so content!

The chickens, of course, are free-range and they are happy all the time, too!

Photos: Top: Lincoln & Gillette (in fly mask) eat from the round bale while Cyrus hangs back.

Middle: Danny & Dakota - Dolly was so full she was sleeping under a tree.

Bottom: My young hens, busily running about the yard.

August 7, 2009

Wandering Around the Farm...

It has been an entire week since I last blogged about what is happening here at the farm. Duke's hind foot is much better, but with our farrier out to sea hooking sharks(!) we continue to leave Duke & Diesel in the barn most of the day to protect their feet. Matt should be coming early this week to re-shoe them - none to soon as they are needed for a wedding next Sunday and maybe even wagon rides Saturday (may choose to use Danny & Dakota on Saturday instead).

We have another sale horse here at the barn - a 14 year old Standardbred gelding, fresh off the PA streets! He is a very mild tempered driver, easy keeper, sweet temperament. Visit our website to learn more about him!

Photos: Top: Duke & Diesel get a break from their stalls and roam the farm from the OUTSIDE of the fence!

Bottom: Skeeter, the Standardbred we are offering for sale.

August 2, 2009

Duke Loses a Shoe

During Saturday's wedding, Duke lost a hind shoe. He not only lost it, but he put a nail into the sole of his foot and woke up this morning totally lame on it. This afternoon we had a customer, Allison, stop by, and she helped us soak Duke's foot in water & bleach, then pack it with a sugar/iodine mix. Allison is not only a very accomplished horsewoman (she travels to Portugal every year to study dressage) but is very, very knowledgeable about horse care, health, and nutrition. Our farrier, Matt Lewis, will come out in a few days to redo Duke's shoe (and Diesel - he is ready to lose a front again!). We will have to discuss other options with these two, such as the possibility of using Kevlar instead of apoxy, using boots instead of nailing shoes, putting in an all-sand paddock and letting them go barefoot. We are pretty desperate to fix this problem before we can no longer use these horses. To read more about Duke & Diesel and their feet, see the blog "Diesel Gets a New Foot".