Good Friday

News from the HUBERT farm

Thursday at work was the first FDA audit at the Deming Way location, so the past two weeks were pretty hectic getting ready. We passed the audit with no findings! We are quite relieved. I drank a Diet Coke Thursday at lunch, so I was wide awake until midnight, but went to bed anyway, knowing that Friday would be busy. Friday was an official holiday at work, so we were home. The farrier came at 9:00 to put shoes on Kay and Jimmy. Ray has decided to use boots on Loki, so the farrier just had to trim Loki. We will measure Loki’s hooves so we can get the best fitting boots.

At noon, a person came to look at Sporty. She is interested in adopting him. Ray rode him first, so she could see that he wasn’t going to buck. She was able to get him moving where she wanted. She even got him to canter. She wants a quiet horse, so she was happy to see how he would just stand and chill out while we were talking.

I took a nap in the afternoon, then we took Kay and Jimmy out for a nice five mile jaunt. Our average speed was about 5.3 mph, which is a bit faster than earlier in this spring, but still a bit slow for our competitions. Both horses were cooperative. We have been practicing standing still while on the trail, since we have to do that while competing. We can get them to stand for about 60-80 seconds, which is progress.

We let Kay and Jimmy graze on the lawn while we fed the rest of the herd.

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Working Horses

Today we started with Jimmy and Kay again. While Ray worked Jimmy in the round pen and then ground drove him, I took Kay out on our local trail. For the most part, the snow is gone. Kay was ready to go, so we spent some time practicing standing still. This is not her favorite thing to do, especially as we get closer to home. Ray says Jimmy was much calmer than he was yesterday, so apparently Jimmy needs to be worked more.

Then Ray took Scarlet out for a drive while I worked Sporty in the round pen. From the beginning, Scarlet was a bit of a stinker. She tried to refuse going past the garage. She refused to turn to the right. So Ray spent quite a bit of time making her go where he wanted to go. She was tired and sweaty by the time they got done. I am sure she wouldn’t have been so tired if she had been more cooperative.

Spring!

News from Mini Happi Times Farm

Today we worked with all of the horses except Sunny. By working with a couple of horses at a time, it gave Sunny a chance to hang out at the hay bale. We started with Kay and Loki. We harnessed them up and did about three miles with them. It was the first time we were able to get down our driveway. The trails in the woods are still snow covered, so we stayed on the roads. We forgot the camera until we got home, but they both did pretty well. I think they were happy to get out and stretch their legs.

We then got Sporty and put a saddle on him. There is a possibility that he will be re-homed with someone who has more riding skill than us, and can give Sporty something to do. He is only 14, so he is too young to be just hanging out in our pasture looking pretty. 🙂 He was a bit spooked at first by the step stool we use to get on, but he seemed to have no issues when Ray was riding him.

We took a break for lunch, and then got Scarlet and Jimmy out. I brushed Jimmy and put him back in the pasture while Ray drove Scarlet. She behave almost perfectly until the very end when she got a little obstinate about walking away from the hitching post. Ray just made her stop and stand still, then he made her walk a few steps in the direction which he wanted to go, and then he turned her back to the hitching post.

At one point, George the cat climbed up onto a window ledge in the barn and sat between the plastic on the outside, and the mesh on the inside.

Pongo supervised.

There are also a couple of pictures of blowing sand making interesting tracks in the snow.

Freedom

The power company is finally done putting up the new power pole in our pasture, and they have put our fences back up. So today we took down the wires from the temporary fence which we had built to keep the horses away from the power company people and trucks. The horses were a bit frisky as they explored this “new” area. We tried to pull up the fence posts, but they are frozen into the ground, so it might be a while. We put an orange flag or traffic cone on the end of each post to improve their visibility.

Illinois Horse Fair 2019

This past weekend Ray and I went to the Illinois Horse Fair with the American Standardbred Adoption Program. Our original plan was to take some horses, but when we saw what the weather was going to be, we opted to leave the horses at home, and set up a booth inside the Expo Hall. The temperature was about 45 degrees on Friday, 35 on Saturday, 25 on Sunday, and today it is about 5 degrees. Sunday morning Springfield got hit with the northern edge of that storm which raced across the middle of the county. However, by the time we left the fairgrounds, the sun was out and roads were dry. By the time we got home to Wisconsin, it was -5.

While at the booth, we got to talk to lots of people about the Standardbreds, and why they are such great horses. On Sunday, we were given permission to bring Pongo into the expo hall. Otherwise she would have had to sit out in the car in the cold and wind.

Calm before the storm

NEWS FROM MINI HAPPI TIMES FARM

Today was a beautiful day for February. Mid to upper 20s for temps, sunshine, and little wind. We worked with Kay and Scarlet. There is a lot of ice on our driveway, so we moved our portable hitching post (the ruck) around to the back of the barn. There is still about ten inches of snow on the ground, and with the warm temps we had on Thursday, there is a crust on it. Ray used the truck to mash down a path to make it easier for the horses to walk.

We just walked them, since the snow was deep, and they were working hard to get through the snow. Both horses behaved well, other than a mare fight at the beginning. I had saddled Kay and was sitting on her back while Ray adjusted the girth. Scarlet stepped too close to Kay, and Kay lunged at Scarlet. Both mares bared their teeth at the other, and pinned their ears back. No one got hurt, and I was able to move Kay away from Scarlet.

Sunday they are predicting 2-6 inches of snow.

Kay and Scarlet

News from Mini Happi Times Farm

Today we worked with Kay and Scarlet. There wasn’t much snow, but there was enough for the sleigh. The snow had a firm texture to it, but it wasn’t slippery. It was about 22 degrees.

I rode Kay while Ray drove Scarlet. When we started, I was sitting on Kay while Ray hitched Scarlet, unsnapped the lead rope, and got in the cart. Kay did some grunting as if she was getting bored with waiting for Kay. There is no love lost between these two, so we try to keep them apart. Both horses cooperated fairly well. Scarlet did some trotting and would let Ray direct her past the garage. This is progress for her, as she used to throw a bit of a fit if you tried taking her past the garage. Pongo supervised at first, but then we put her in the house, as she gets a bit excited if a horse is trotting.