October 31, 2009

All Soul's Night

Hallowe'e'n day was busy, preparing as our agricultural ancestors did for the late fall and winter months. We put up some hay and cleaned the barn. Wagons and plows were moved to out-of-the way locations in the barnyard. We managed to rake out the upper paddock, and extended it out to make it half again as large as it was, giving the horses more room. Duke & Diesel were brought up from the back pasture to co-mingle with Lincoln & Gillette for the winter. As predicted, the re-introduction after months of being away from each other caused chaos - Diesel chased Lincoln relentlessly, all horses galloping full speed through the large paddock, creating fire as their steel shoes skid on newly upturned rocks. Terry and I just stood there in the dark, watching their great white bodies passing by us like aggravated spirits in the night — ears flat against their skulls, manes and tails tangled in the autumn wind, nostrils flaring against the effort of accelerating over the ground and turning at the edge of the fence-line. The smell of damp soil, the musky woodland scent in Diesel's mane as I stood near him, trying unsuccessfully to draw his attention away from Lincoln, brought a brief, heady flicker of wonder for the pagan roots of this, All Soul's Night.

October 29, 2009

Black Horses

The three black Percherons we had for sale are now in their new homes. Sunday we delivered "Mary" to her new owners, Patty and Dale, and her new team mate, Michael (a grey Percheron). They make a beautiful couple, I have to say! Patty and Dale seem to be very much in love with her, too, and we love that she is in a happy home. The team of blacks delivered on Saturday (Duke & Dutch) could not have gone to a more luxurious farm! A hundred acres or more of hill-top pastureland, wooded carriage trails, indoor/outdoor arenas and a state of the art barn that puts our humble HOUSE to shame has elevated this team from the hard-nock Amish life to the Good Life! We are very happy for Mary, Duke & Dutch and are very grateful to their new owners for their stewardship.

Photos: Top: Mary and Michael learning to work together. Mary's new owner, Dale, sits in the driver's seat with Terry.
Bottom: Having been asked by Duke & Dutch's new owner to give hay rides with them at his Hallowe'e'n party on Sunday, I snapped this picture while driving past a covered bridge on the property.

October 25, 2009

Rainy Saturday

Yesterday was rainy throughout the state, but that didn't keep us from winery tours and other business at the farm. The team of blacks went to their new home early in the morning (a real opulent home, I might add); winery tours went well, and we managed to stay relatively dry through the afternoon; and Matt Lewis came to work on horses.

Two Clydesdales and a pulling pony came to use the stocks. Matt worked so quickly on them that by the time I went out to take pictures, he was done. He then worked on Duke & Diesel, and we are happy to report that their feet are showing signs of improvement! Duke didn't need any apoxy at all, and Diesel needed less than last time. This is encouraging.

Pictures: Top: Terry at the winery with Danny & Dakota
Middle: Terry & Duke
Bottom: Matt working on hind feet

October 24, 2009

Fun Day

On November 7th at Blue Slope Country Museum in Franklin, CT the Eastern CT Draft Horse Association will be having its annual "Fun Day" with their draft horses. Members, including us, will be there to try new things and enjoy the day. We will be there to help people who would like to plow, drive four abreast and four up. Members may participate but it is open to the public for viewing. Bring your own lunch, watch and talk to teamsters about their horses! Click on the title above for more information.

October 23, 2009

New Team of Blacks

Duke & Dutch, the new team of blacks we brought in for sale is everything, and more than, what we hoped they would be. They are absolutely perfect - street safe, quiet, with lots of stamina. They stand while hitching, unhitching, and anywhere in-between if you need them to. Yet, they will pick up a good working trot and keep it going. This is the quintessential farm team! And, alas, they just sold tonight. Click on the title above to see a video of them on Youtube.

On another note - you may have noticed already that we have added a music playlist to this blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of the page - you can turn it off or change the song there). The first song, "Heavy Horses" by Jethro Tull, was undoubtedly the catalyst behind my life-long love affair with heavy horses. What better song to fill a young girls mind and soul with the imagery of the mighty work horse?

October 21, 2009

Lady Bugs, Fly Away Home

We are being invaded by Lady Bugs! They swarm all over the yard, collect on the house and land on our clothes. We find them inside our shirts late at night, crawling on our backs and stomaches. They congregate around the lights in the kitchen and find their way into darkened bedrooms. As cute as they are, millions are too many! It is deportation time!

October 18, 2009

Long Time No See!

Looking at my last entry, I am astonished to see that it has been weeks since last reporting about the farm, our rides, and the horses we have brought in recently. Partly to blame is my old computer - also to blame is too much to do, too little time to do it in! In any event, this new computer and a very cold, rainy Sunday prompts me to get back to business.

Although I have countless photos of the past few weeks, just these few will suffice for now.

Photos: Top: Driving Danny & Dakota to the black vis-a-vis at St. Clement's Castle for a 10/17/09 wedding.
Middle: The new black mare, currently un-named, with Lincoln.
Bottom: This same mare with Dolly. Although she is seriously being looked at by someone right now, Terry likes to interject, "She and Dolly are a good match!"