The horse thing.

Maybe it’s because I am coming up on the anniversary of the day I bought Merlin, but I’ve been thinking a lot about the horse thing lately.  I think I’m doing the right thing with being involved in the horses.  I’ve met a lot of interesting people due to the horses.  It’s been a very expensive endeavor.  I’ve been lucky enough to find most of my equipment used which helps a lot.  I’ve learned a lot since I bought Merlin and if I were to go to an auction and see a horse like Merlin, I surely wouldn’t buy him.  My ride on Sudi was the best way to buy a horse.  I caught him in the pasture, saddled him and rode him for over an hour in a manner that I intended to ride a horse.  I guess that’s a good test drive.  I hope I found the right horse this time.

Sudi’s pedigree has an interesting blend of foundation, desert-bred Arabians.  He doesn’t look at all like the Arabians you’d see in the show ring.  He looks like the Arabians did when they were originally imported to the United States from the desert.  I like that.  If I remember, I’ll bring my camera with me to South Mountain and hopefully we can get some photos.

I am a bit nervous about going to South Mountain this morning.  I need to get my butt in gear and get dressed, eat something, pack up the trailer and then go out and catch Sudi.  The horses spend most of their time in the lower part of the pasture eating off the round hay bales that were left down there this summer so it’s a haul to get down there to them.  At first I was irritated that the farmer that cut and baled the hay didn’t remove the bales, but as it turns out, it’s providing free food for our animals.

I haven’t said much lately about Gwen, her calves, the goats, the dogs, cats, etc.  Everyone is doing well.  Gwen is giving about two gallons of milk in the morning and I am drinking a good half gallon a day.  It’s amazing to me that I can drink a half gallon of whole milk a day and still loose weight.  It’s probably because the milk is almost all of the calories that I consume during the day.  We sold one of the two calves that Gwen was raising.  Given that we are now feeding hay, we didn’t want to have to feed four cows over the winter.  The buyer had the choice of both calves and he chose Gwen’s real calf, something we wanted him to do.  The calf we bought from the dairy to put on Gwen is a bit tamer and easier to handle.

The goats are all doing well.  They’ll start to kid in about 45 days and that’s exciting.  The three does I kept back from this year’s kidding will be the first of my breeding to freshen and that is really exciting.  Once I see how they freshen, I’ll be culling the does from other lines in favor of keeping my lines.  One goat in particular is slated to move this coming year.  She comes from a breeder that produces goats for the show ring.  That isn’t a bad thing, except that she medicates and vaccinates a lot.  I don’t want that in my program.  I can see that she’s not a healthy goat and this is nothing new.  Perhaps I shouldn’t have bought her, but I loved her udder.  I’ve since learned that the udder is only a small part of the goat.  Sure, she milks well (well, this year she didn’t do so well, but given how hot it was, I’m not holding that against her too much), but she’s the one I had a hard time getting bred last year, not even sure if she’s bred this year, but she’s living with a buck so if she cycles again, she’ll get bred.  She’s one that I know would eat herself to death … no healthy animal would do that.

The cats are all good.  Most of them live outside.  We made that decision a few months ago.  We got tired of the fighting and peeing that was going on.  Five or six of them are allowed to come in the house, the rest stay outside.  Given how cold it’s going to be for the upcoming week, I may bring them all in overnight and cage the troublemakers.

Of course Gel is great.  He’ll go with me to South Mountain today which will be a good thing because it will burn off some of his boundless energy.  Mica is doing well too.  He’s just being a puppy and that’s how it will stay for a good, long time.  No training pressure until he’s at least a year old.  I hope to start him on the young goat kids in the spring.  He’s interested in looking at stock, but it’s still all puppy play.  I expect he’ll mature as slowly as Gel did.  If you had asked me three years ago if Gel would be working to the level that he is now, I’d say hell no.  Gel is now a working fool.

Well, I best get going and get ready to pack up the truck and trailer, catch Sudi and head out to South Mountain.  It’s going to be a chilly ride.

Until later …