Monday, June 7, 2010

This is the first time I have contributed to this blog in months!

The pic is Rumble and it is still not as current as it should be. But it is so hard to make the hairy things look good at this time of year. He is due to be gelded in 4 weeks. I can't imagine standing another stallion again; Rodin was such a lovely boy and would be impossible to replace.

Red and Rococo are both in work and going great. I plan to have Red ready for the Spring show this year. Roccy has plenty of time up his sweat rug (!) and can come on slowly over the next 12 months. It was such a battle getting his feet right after the abscesses and seedy toe nearly toppled him - he will remain barefoot until such time as we decide he absolutely must have shoes. Seems to be the healthy option for this prima donna.

Ricochet has a new nickname - Tigger. She is big and orange and bouncy and so 'in your face' for attention. She had her first trim last week and was all in all, pretty fab. First time with a halter and leadrope.....and all four feet being picked up and sorted. What a star!

Dot is still here. And now up for sale. She is nice enough.....but really has no purpose with me. Unless Jack decides he wants to ride in a big hurry?

Farm News; TB testing all good. Dairy grazers staying on for a bit extra as local cockies needed OUR cows to clean up some rank pasture after destocking themselves. Had a good maize harvest, lucerne cropped and cut twice, haybarns full, silage pit chokka. Lambing due to start any day now and half the ewes were shorn in time.....the other half missed out due to over 7" of rain falling in the only remaining week to shear! So will be a good 'control' group for the crazy season. Got to 19 degrees today, which is just bizarre. All go and all good. Duckshooting has been a bit slow with opening morning being a roiler and then total lack of interest thereafter. In fact, we may have eaten all the ducks we shot already. But have a GIANT number of turkeys roaming the gloaming this year....

.....pick a nice fat one folks and send me a freezer bag!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Triumphs and Tragedies

How does a person attempt to describe a foaling season consisting of 50% tragedy? It is hard to be 'glass half full' pollyanna when you sit at the kitchen table with blood drying up your arms, placenta stuck to your knees and a horrid mess of death lying in the paddock waiting to be cleaned up at first light.

I feel like I let this mare down. I sat with her in the paddock last night and felt the foal move. Just on twilight....the time they all go silly in the paddock, playing, catching the last light before bedtime. I was comfortable leaving her, she looked well and happy, and was not a maiden mare. Penn has always just popped them out when she is ready, unassisted and under cover of darkness. Greg headed out at first light this morning to spray the vineyard and when I heard him turn the bike back, I knew we had news of some sort. Unfortunately, all bad.

JK My Penny would have given birth to a lovely bay filly, had all gone well. Now, I sit here typing this as a way of shedding some of the stress and shit that I feel caked in. Bloody animals.

My 50% triumph, is RG Rumblebee. A cute as a button chesnut colt, born Friday the 13th to my TB mare, Ducky. A maiden mare, unassisted. Funny how fate likes to fart in your face occasionally?

Rumble is orange with a white mark on his face that looks like someone tripped with a glass of milk. His legs are so long that he looks like a peanut balanced on 4 toothpicks. He is cute and cocky and has his 'fathers eye'! And he is so welcome.

RIP Penny, sorry I let you down.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Global Warming?

...and still it snows...! Nick and Greg ponder life at the lower entrance to Deep Creek (the top block) Very cold and wet. Note to self: Put bikini and shorts back in the 'summer trunk'.

Jack finally got to make a real snow angel! He wasn't convinced these were the original models though, having always had to make them out of mud, sand, leaves etc. Was deeply disappointed to discover how wet one becomes whilst making them also! Hence, 10 minutes was his limit and we were back in the hilux heading for the house. Good. The novelty of snow is starting to wear off. Am not looking forward to moving bloody heavy diesel filled frost posts with frozen wet fingers in the next 48 hours.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

We're Baaa...ack!

Spring was well and truly in the air this week....until today. Gorgeous weather all week then snow today! Thank goodness we aren't expecting any new arrivals for a few weeks yet.

Redman has been going really kindly for all who get on board...the pic below of Jessie having the ride of MY life! With mad cows, psychotic turkeys and an incident with an electric fence, I was a nervous wreck by the time we got home. Red was lucky it was Jess on board: my hands being somewhat less steady in times of high stress...!

Was a lovely ride around the farm, checked on the broodies out the back and everything looking good.
A bit of a different vista today:

This is 'Big Lake', at the back of the farm. In between the broodmare paddock and the Island Lake, where the previous pic was taken. In 30+ years, I have never seen snow this low in October (actually, any month!). This was a 3pm this afternoon...and it is now nearly 8pm...and to the best of my knowledge it is still snowing... AWESOME! Apologies to all readers in colder parts of the country: I know snow is cold and inconvenient. But this is a real treat here:) Of course, unless it all buggers off by Monday night, we could be in the poo with the vineyard? The last thing we need is a frost. But hey. Wouldn't life be boring without the odd challenge?

New additions to the menagerie:

Bushy and Fi: My beautiful TradeMe Rodent Control Units! Have moved in, taken over and am loving them to pieces.

And, not to give up on my moonews...I have a newmoo! Heidimoocow is the proud babysitter of Honky Snowballs, a cute white boy whose mother couldn't jump (over the fence to save him!)

No, I don't usually bother with the extravagance of covering cows....but it is so cold and miserable out there, and the covers weren't doing anything.... (That's a 4'6" on Heidi!)

Signing out:)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Back In The Saddle....

Well, it's been a while....but it feels great to be back in the saddle again! Red is back in work, nice and slow, absolute gent. And the exciting news is: Rococo is now started under saddle! We have had a few nice 'little' rides out and he is a totally different horse to sit on. Very much like his sire. Soft, powerful, extremely athletic and very sane! Was a big decision to take this step, but I felt we needed to have a degree more education before Spring. And he is a big boy! The next big thing is - to geld or not?! Rococo has some lovely bloodlines on both the jumping and dressage sides. His Dam is Glamour Girl (D WB, Cuddles) a delightful old girl who is retired and living out her days in the Equine Valley for the Perpetually Bewildered (out the back). By The Immigrant (Formateur), Cuddles is also the Dam of several highly successful NZ dressage horses bred by the JK Holsteiner Stud, including JK Lonestar and JK Lucazen. Sired of course by JK Rodin, Rococo shows all of his athleticism and incredible nature. I was devastated to lose Rodin earlier this year and am reminded of what a special horse he was when handling his youngstock. Rococo should mature at around 17hh, and is very well put together which will make him a lovely ride.

I can also add to 'the team' Duchess Dorothy Spot. Dotty is a wee coloured filly, rising (very slowly) 2yrs and keeping everybody amused. As soon as the sun comes out and I can chip some of the filth she is encased in, off, I will get the camera out. But right now, she resembles something that looks like 7 goats in a sack.

Did I mention the autumn calf? Heidi-Moo? Heidi has grown far too fast is is not a cute calf any more. She is a vile wildebeest of a thing, which terrorises me at 'dinnertime'. I have to take a stick to her as the witch is growing horns and uses them to her utmost advantage when I am upside-down mixing feeds in the tack shed! Red will occasionally allow her to share his feed bowl but remains Boss. However, Heidi can totally intimidate Dot and I have to say that witnessing a spotted hissyfit in 6" of mud with a mad cow circling the feed bins is definitely good for laugh.....only if you are on the right side of the fence! Throw in 15-20 marauding chickens, a Prozac dependant fox terrier and a control freaky 5 year old boy that wants to be an animal trainer and you get the whole picture.

So watch this space. As we drag our knuckles towards Spring, the whole place should start to thaw, and maybe even dry out? I can't believe that soon enough the ground will be hard enough to break bones on again. (We have the first days docking done with plenty more to go. ) Funnily enough, I had to buy a new pair of wellies this winter as my old ones had split. And to be fair, that probably happened last year....but with the drought...didn't notice!

Global Warming My Foot!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Sad Day

Goodbye Old Man.

I will be forever in your debt. You were the kindest tutor I ever had. The most generous of spirit. The most giving of souls. The final decision I had to make on your behalf was by far, one of the most painful I have ever made. I am privileged to have kept you company thus far. Thank you.

On Tuesday morning, JK Rodin was put to sleep after suffering a broken leg in his paddock at home. He was 23 years old. He will be missed.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What's Wrong With This Picture!

Can't quite put my finger on it...but...? This is Heidi. The latest addition to the ever-growing menagerie we call home. She was an 'Autumnal Blunder' who was mis-mothered in the confusion of culling and spent 3 days out the back on her own, before a sharp-eyed neighbour picked up on her plight and called us. She has taken to the bottle straight away, and comes to the whistle (as does everything around this place, except the dog) but especially loves her big orange mate in the video. Red, is not so sure. He is not particularly fussed on sharing any feed with Heidi-Moo, however, is definitely keen on having a bottle as well.....