8.21.2016

learning new tricks

Every week seems to take on a priority, a focus, a flavor of it's own if you will. 

Two weeks ago it was about the land. We finished up field work. With the unforeseen challenges we faced, we had to do everything in two shifts. Pre & post equipment failure. It made the field work drag on for days, but we got 3rd crop done. Finally. I have a whole new respect for farmers that make their living off the land, and provide for others. 

Throughout the process, I learned a thing or two. Brad is determined to teach this city girl new tricks. All I can say is he is going to need a lot of patience *^* farming is harder then it looks. I process differently then he does "TURN NOW" doesn't work so well for this girl lol!! 

I learned the easy job of driving the truck & trailer, while Brad picked up & stacked bales with the bobcat, and hauled them so he could unload & re-stack. Load, after load, after load. I also learned to side rake. Sort of. The ends of most of my rows looked like hairpins. Oh well, I'll get better. Doesn't help I get a little distracted out in the field...






We also hashed out a few more things on the house plans...






This past week was all about the horse show, at least for Brad. He had a good ride the first day, placing third & fourth (out of 10). He scratched the second day due to tons of rain, kind of a bummer. Riding in a wet sloppy arena with standing water just isn't worth the risk. I did go to the show, but couldn't hang around long. I had twelve paws waiting for me to teach them new tricks...



My grand dogs,
 a young Labrador and a Bernese Mountain pup





It was love at first paw


Our old dog Sam (14 yrs old)
warming up to the new puppy

Let's just say Aurora's Doggie Daycare is now officially full!! 

Summer is fading out fast. Hope you learn some new tricks of your own, before **poof** it's gone!!

8.01.2016

field of dreams

Hellooo, long time no type! I've been enjoying everyone's summer posts. Here is the not so skinny in our little speck of the world:

Koda is doing wonderful! He continues to be a willing partner and doing everything I ask - as long as I ask correctly and many times even when I don't. Unfortunately we haven't been back out on the trail, but continue to arena ride 2-4X a week. I am mostly working on my communication these days, and increasing Koda's conditioning. Summer treats him a little too well, me too. This week I added counter cantering for the first time in a long time. Felt weird to lope "wrong" after working so hard to get it right. I forgot how smooth his counter canter is. Koda was funny when I asked for it the first time. I could see his eye look back towards me, and felt him think something like "are you sure that's what you want?!" Ha ha! He's truly been nothing but pure joy. Pinch me! 

Nemo, poor guy is STILL suffering from allergies :( it weighs heavy on our minds. There have been beautiful sunny summer days when we are stuck riding inside, because we would rather be together. The days we find Nemo really bad, he just doesn't get ridden. Sunlight makes his symptoms worse. We've thought about taking him to an equine ophthalmologist, of course we have to find one first. Altho our vet is adamant nothing is wrong with his eyes. I agree with him.

This year during turnout our horses aren't in a pasture with shade. Koda is Nemo's only outside shade. It breaks our hearts. We are working hard to get our land things in order so we can bring him home as soon as we can, but it won't be this year. The barn he lives at is very caring and trying hard to do the best they can for him. From what I've read, Nemo's symptoms align with "photic headshaking". The big guy that loves being outside most, and is a stellar trail horse, is happy to find relief in his stall. During turn out he is double masked. Yesterday I bought him a new long nose version. Maybe that will help a little more. We have tried different schedules/doses of Dex that have worked really well in the past. Not this year. Today finds us with another call to the vet, to discuss a different treatment. 

Cierra is working hard with her guy and getting ready for a mid August show. They typically do two lessons a week, and just keep getting better as a team. They are looking great!

Harmony (yes, we have four horses) continues living at a different barn, where both she and her girl are finally happy again. Not sure if Harmony will be coming to live with us. Hope so, we would really like our little herd to be together again. They were so content together. When the time comes, that will be up to her owner (Brad) and our daughter. 

Our Land is producing a bumper crop of alfalfa, along with the rest of the Midwest. It is hard to find anyone who wants it, or even do the work. Brad ended up cutting the 3rd crop himself, or part of it. The borrowed equipment kept breaking. Isn't that how it always goes?! Now we are waiting on parts. Sigh. 

We decided on house placement, and got the nod from the builder & excavator. We also met with the architect and left with a first draft of our floor plan in hand. Boy have things changed since the last time we did this, 18 years ago. The floor plans were projected on a big wall screen and we made changes on the fly. Our hope is to put the driveway in this Fall, maybe build the barn this Winter, and start the house in the Spring. Until then, we find ourselves living in a field of dreams...






6.27.2016

smell the pines

The past few weeks have been so busy, we haven't had time to work on our land. We did take a nice hike in the woods, and then walked the sunny loop.

The wooded paths do not connect, yet. We had to do some bush whacking & branch diving between the trails. It doesn't seem like we have that much left to clear, but in reality it will take much longer then appears. 

It is so interesting to see how the forest (and land) in general changes week to week... 


The spooky tree arms, 'er branches almost got Brad!!

Can't wait to ride the "spooky tree" trail we began creating,
with a little help from our deer friends.

Once we were out of the woods, the wildflowers that were spotty and struggling for light, stood out in bright patches along the edges of the loop...


I really like these bright orange & yellow flowers

Who knew spiderwort was a native wildflower? 


A sea of yellow

Yesterday after a very warm indoor ride at the barn, we hauled our mower for some long overdue mowing. You could hardly tell we had storms and a much needed dump of rain the night before, but you could sure smell it...mmmm...we took deep inhales...and longer exhales...instant smell of pines, from across the field...wow!!!

I've smelled pines many times before, even during rain, but never like that - it was soooo fresh! I don't know what it is about this property, but it's so quiet and serene...and 
offers instant relaxation.

Eventually we got to work. If that's what you want to call it.

Brad mowing the field island we cleaned up a while ago

Puttering along mowing one of the existing trails,
while my guy clears fallen wood ahead of me

 Brad blazed a trail through the grassy area,
until he got to the hill
 left or right?
left trail: towards the fields
right trail: further into the woods
Speaking of fields, second crop of alfalfa is done and the pasture grass we planted is looking good! So are the weeds, but those should be gone soon. 


pasture

We took one more looong look around...sigh...we already can't wait to call this home! Better get cracking on those house plans!! This land was such a unique find, don't know how we got so lucky?! I believe it was one of those things that was meant to be. If your a believer, you know what I mean...we are so grateful.




Before we left, we drove over to the area where the wild cactus grows more prevalent - they are just starting to bloom!!





6.26.2016

turtle sundays


Finding many surprises on our land,
including tiny moss covered rocks
in a dry sandy loam area


Turtle Sundays features an odd looking pig-faced turtle on adventures.