November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving and Beyond

It was a lovely Thanksgiving with family and friends, and a hectic weekend kicking off the holiday Season's carriage rides! In spite of chilly, wet weather on Friday, we had horses and carriages in Middletown on Friday night. Saturday, windy but not too chilly, saw us in both Middletown and Niantic. Sunday was wagon rides for the Advent celebrations at Blue Slope Country Museum. The horses got a good workout this weekend, and so did we. Alas, in all the hustle and bustle, the camera was left at home, so no pictures to share! We did get quite a bit of press, however, both by way of television and newspaper.

We now have a volunteer, Peter, from one of the local high schools, and he is a gem. He comes to the farm every day to help with chores - it is a requirement for his high school ag program to do some work on a farm. He is doing a tremendous job and we look forward to seeing him every day!

November 25, 2009

Hay Diary

New round bales for each paddock yesterday afternoon, November 24th. Each paddock had about 2 days worth of square bales in the meantime.

November 22, 2009

Lincoln and Santa Claus

Today was the annual parade in Jewett City, and Terry and Lincoln were there with the sleigh to deliver Santa and Mrs. Claus to all the good children of the town.

We are preparing the horses for their winter work, which is very extensive beginning this week. All will get a deep cleaning with the pressure washer, and blanketed to keep them as clean as possible (in spite of this, the muddy paddocks will require us to do, at minimal, a daily spot bath on each of them).

As for our hay situation: as of yesterday, we have been feeding each paddock square bales, as the round bales are gone. New bales will be purchased tomorrow. It is an amazing savings, yet it is also amazing to see how much money leaves our hands every week or so for hay.

November 16, 2009

Hay Diary

Today is Monday, November 16. This evening we lifted another round bale high into the feeder for Duke, Diesel, Gillette and Lincoln. Yesterday, November 15, we did the same for Danny, Dakota and Dolly. The before mentioned grays had been given a new bale last Wednesday evening. That means the four are eating one of these new $60.00 round bales every five days. Divide $60.00 by five and that is $12.00 per day, or $3.00 per horse. Based on Northeast prices, that is a savings of about $2.00 - $3.00 per horse per day over regular square bales. They are eating non-stop. No one appears malnourished! I project we will be after another load of round bales this coming Friday. We have found a new supplier since the two suppliers we have had before are already out of round bales for the season. We put a small load (about 135 bales) of square bales in the loft just the other day. We need to go after a tractor trailer load shortly to sustain us through the winter months - even that, if we don't have the back-up of round bales while the weather stays reasonable, won't get us through February.

Plowing Four-Up

Terry plowing with Duke & Diesel (lead) and Danny & Dakota (wheel) on our White Horse hydraulic plow.

November 10, 2009

Shoeing the Draft Horse

The November issue of the Horsemen's Yankee Pedlar includes a feature article by me, Elaine Juska Joseph, called "Shoeing the Draft Horse: The Legacy of Tradition". The above title should link to the correct page - if not, the article starts on page 56. Many of the photos supplied are by friend Tory MacDonald.

November 8, 2009

Clydesdale Gelding for Sale

FOR SALE: Jones, Clydesdale gelding. Jones is a very sweet, very correct Clydesdale, drives single and team. Traffic safe. Coming 5 this spring, @17.2HH. Click on the title of this blog to see a video of him driving. Call us if interested in trying him out! 860-376-8110.

November 6, 2009

The New Clyde

We brought in a new sale horse this week - a Clydesdale named Jones. He is a good sized horse, very personable, and so far an excellent driving horse both single and team. We will be taking him to the Eastern CT Draft Horse Association's "Fun Day" at Blue Slope tomorrow and put him on a plow with another Clyde. If all goes well, he is likely sold to the other Clyde's owners.
Terry went out to the Ohio line this week to pick up a load of PMU babies out of Canada. He met the broker at a sale barn, and loaded the babies into the trailer and brought them to a farm in East Haddam, where they will eventually be adopted out. This is good news for these foals - the other alternative was the slaughterhouse.

Photos: Top: Terry driving Jones and Lincoln
Middle: Jones the Clydesdale
Bottom: The pens at the sale barn where the PMU babies were transferred.

November 3, 2009

Sunday's Breakfast Ride

November 1st saw us in Hope Valley, RI at friend's Diane & Jim Rockwell's farm. Each year they hold a fabulous "Breakfast Ride" from their place - a 13 mile hike through RI state forest. The morning starts off with an unbelievable breakfast - bacon on an open fire, biscuits and gravy, johnny-cakes — you name it. The ride (this year we had six teams and four or five outriders) lasted about three hours. Upon our return we had a delicious pot-luck dinner - seems we never stopped eating! It was a very relaxing, fun day.

Photos: 1) Elaine driving Danny & Dakota
2) Sam Rich with his young mares
3) Host Diane Rockwell rides a pony for fun
4) Sue & Karl Lado with their team
5) Group shot!