I rode Merlin yesterday. It almost didn’t happen. It took me about an hour to catch and saddle him. The first time I tried to catch him, it took about 20 minutes. I brought him up and tied him to the trailer to saddle him, but he spooked and I didn’t have the rope halter tied properly (I’m rope challenged) and it came off him and I had to catch him a second time. This took longer, but I persisted. It would have been easier to just give up, but that would have been letting Merlin win. Finally, I got the saddle on him and off we went.
He’s forgotten everything he learned in the Robbie Potter clinics, but that’s my fault, not his. I’m still getting used to the new saddle so I didn’t press him much.
I won’t ride today, it’s much too hot. Not too long after I finished milking, I had to drive out to the meat processor to pick up another load of organ meat, bones and bone shavings. I did a few more errands and by the time I got back, it was already almost 90 degrees out. Tonight is my night to do all of the chores so I’m going to conserve my energy.
One of this weekend’s projects is going to be fixing the open stall so I can close the horses up in it. Luckily, horses are stupid enough to go into a stall to eat and that’s where I’ll catch him. I’ll feed him in the morning in the stall and close him up until I am ready to ride. It’s unfortunate, Al Bin is very easy to catch, yet I can’t ride him … yet.
The saddle is causing me some knee pain due to fender torque. When I’m not using the saddle, I have a broomstick through the stirrups twisting them so they are parallel. The saddle leather is very soft and supple so hopefully that will make a difference. I spent yesterday evening with an ice pack on the knee.
You may recall last year it was a war against ticks. Ticks are still a bit of a problem, but not anywhere near as bad as they were last year. This year, it’s flies. The damned things. The other evening Wally and I went down and put chemical fly spray on the horses. They hated it and started drooling. Not good. I won’t use that fly spray on an animal again. I think that incident is what contributed to Merlin being so hard to catch yesterday. While we are out this weekend, I’ll pick up some apple cider vinegar and a couple of different essential oils and make up an herbal fly spray.
Poor Gwen is covered with flies. I do spray her when I bring her into the milk parlor with a commercial herbal fly spray (when I use it up, I’ll go to my homemade variety). I also spray the goats before I take them down into the woods for the day. I purchased some fly predators: little bugs that feed on fly larva. I’ve heard good things about them, but they’ll only take care of the flies around the goat shelter, milk parlor and the horses’ open stall. I bought fly masks for the horses, which do help, as long as they stay on. When the horses came up this morning, neither had their masks on. Luckily I found them at the gateway to the pasture and put them back on tighter this morning. They do help. The horses look like alien creatures with them on. I wasn’t giving the horses any grain, but I started up again to get some garlic into them to see if that helps.
Yesterday morning, a family came out to pick up eggs and milk. The children had a ball with the puppies and the other animals. I intended to go back into the house and get my camera, but I didn’t. It’s unfortunate because there were some wonderful shots to be had. The puppies were absolutely delightful with the children. Several of them are now spoken for, but they’ll stay here for another two or three weeks. They are five weeks old today.
Until later …