Half Broke Horses

So, I followed through with my plan to ride Ace.  I’m getting much better about tacking up a horse, but with Ace, I need to avoid his teeth when I’m cinching him up.  I don’t blame him too much given how badly he was galled by girths, but when he bites at me, I correct him.  He’s not good about standing still while being tacked up either, but he’s a whole lot better than Merlin ever thought of being.  Sudi stands really well while being tacked up, which is wonderful.

When it came time to mount up, he kept trying to turn and head back down to Sudi.  So I took him down the driveway and got on him there and off we went.  He was a jerk throughout most of the ride.  He was spooky and kept trying to head back home.  After a while I started making him move his feet.  We stopped, backed (sort of) and went around and around round hay bales in the field.  Backing was a problem.  I don’t know that he’s ever really learned to back and he fought me.  He kept popping up in the front in, but I persisted until I got at least one step backwards.

He almost felt a bit lame to me, but I don’t think he is.  He’s got an incredibly fast walk and his head was doing a lot of flopping around.  What did I expect though?  He hasn’t been ridden in over a month.  I am going to go back to using a Kimberwick snaffle with both horses.  I need to be safe when I ride them and a Kimberwick will give me a lot more leverage.  We road out behind my vet’s house and when we got to where his horses were pastured, they started running around, snorting which got Ace pretty jacked up.  It was cool and windy and that’s an open invitation for most horses to act fresh and Ace was surely acting fresh.

Now if I can only keep up with some consistency in riding him.  If nothing else, it will give Cowboy Gel some much-needed exercise.  He’s getting very little work these days and he’s been quite obnoxious.

It’s cold out this morning and getting colder.  Wally and I got the garden beds covered up with the Agribon and they’ll stay covered for a couple of days.  The cold snap isn’t going to last too long and by the beginning of next week, the temperatures will return to close to 70 degrees which will be wonderful.  We had a bunch of cats in the house last night and Wally and I are now back to sleeping with cats curled up all over the bed.  As I write this, they are all outside, but I’ll bet a bunch of them are at the door waiting to come back in.

Just checked … I was wrong, the only one wanting to come back in was Gel.  I hate that some of the cats can’t come in … they fight and spray in the house and a year ago now, I said enough is enough and several of them became outside cats.  I’d love to have little cages for them to come in to on really cold nights.  I do have one cage that I had when I was breeding cats.  It would comfortably hold four cats (two per level) if I could get them to get along, but that probably wouldn’t happen.  I will probably try it and see how it works.  The cats have good shelter outside and they’ve had the opportunity to grow nice winter coats.  They are all fat and well-fed.

On my way to work this morning, I’m meeting the man who made our rabbit cages to pick up some ceramic water bowls for the rabbits.  We bought some from him a while back, but he didn’t have enough available for all of our cages.  I’m getting three medium and three large-sized bowls.  I need larger bowls in cages with does and babies.  They drink a lot of water AND eat a lot of food.  Yesterday afternoon, I saw the buck digging in the pen and if that continues, they’ll need to go back up into wire cages.  I need to get in there this weekend and add more straw and figure out if I can put something in the area where he was digging to deter future digging.

Yes, rabbit does and babies eat a ton of food.  They are getting a lot of supplemental hay in addition to their pellets.  Whenever I bring home romaine lettuce leaves from MM, they get most of it.  There’s some weeds in the garden that I can harvest for them; well, there should be weeds, but the frost that we are getting may kill a lot of the weeds.

This morning Wally and I talked about what we are going to do about breeding the goat does next year.  I like getting an adult buck and getting all of the does bred within two weeks or so and then move the buck on; but I hate dealing with a full-grown buck.  We considered keeping back a couple of bucks from our better does and using them, but if we did that, we’d need to keep the baby does (half-sisters) to the bucks away from the older does and that is really not possible.  We could buy a couple of young bucks and raise them up on a bottle, but our breeding time would be a lot more drawn out.  I don’t like kidding over several months; I’d rather get it all done in a few weeks.

I continue to work on getting Wally’s consent to get another milk cow.  Now is really not the time to sell dairy does and it really isn’t a good time to bring on another cow, but I don’t want to miss out on getting another good milk cow.  I guess I’ll call the dairy owner and ask him to look at his cows and see whom he might be willing to sell; I would be very particular about getting another one.  I’d love to get one about ready to dry off and calf.

I don’t want to go outside, but I best get going and get it done.  Because it’s Veteran’s Day and a lot of schools and offices are closed, I expect MM will busy today.  That will be good because I have just barely ten hours in this week.  Unless it’s busy today and tomorrow, I’ll be lucky to get 20 hours by the time I’m done on Saturday.

Until later …