RicelandMeadows


Dashing Through the Snow
January 19, 2023, 8:58 pm
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January 19, 2023

This week we had some old fashioned fun. We hooked our new to us mare with our Amee and went for a sled ride. We haven’t had much snow this year, so it was nice to not be playing in the mud! Rosie, our new mare did great. She worked as good as I could have hoped. We pulled our laughing grandchildren behind the sled on their own little sled. All the noise, squeals and laughter made for a good time for me and bothered the horses not one bit.

We used the beautiful day to further Hank’s training some too. Hank, with the stripe, is our coming 4 year-old stallion. Here he works with Abby, pulling a training tire and my grandchildren on their sled. The noise didn’t bother Hank either. He took the day in stride too It was a wonderful time for us all.



New Year, but Where is Winter?
January 9, 2023, 10:58 pm
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January 9, 2023

After a very cold Christmas season, we have been enjoying some unseasonable weather. We have had plenty of rain and LOTS of mud. All the mud makes it hard to keep the horses exercised. We have been hitching as often as possible. In the photo above, my multi-tasking son leads his filly over to be worked. He was hauling over some manure and drinking coffee and listening to music, while this wild steed walked along beside him.

This says a lot about the Suffolk horse. She was not bothered by the running motor, the rattling cart or anything for that matter. All of this going on and she hasn’t been out of her loose box stall for 2 days. She worked good alongside my Abby mare. This is Belle. She and Abby have worked quite a bit together, but she will work with any of our horses. In the coming days we will be working many different pairs. The young horses in training will soon be paired up to start actual meaningful work.

The weatherman says that we will see a dip in the temperature, by the end of the week. I just hope for a freeze up. We have quite a bit to do before the maple season starts. I’d like to have horses ready, willing, trained and able to work the sugarbush by the end of February. It will all work out, but for now we will wait on winter and play in the mud a bit.



Year End

December 31, 2022

The end of the year is here. It is hard to believe that it has flown by.

In the photo above, our four grown up Suffolk horses enjoy their supper before turn out. I gave all of them haircuts and trimmed all the tails and manes. They were due!

Left to right; Hank, the new horse Rosie, Abby and Amee Quite a bit of power on display.

We are sitting through a rainy day. The bitter cold temperatures have left us. Now, we are having unseasonable warm days. Today was 55 F

We have plenty of work to do, but the mud and rain makes for a day off for us all. We will ring in the new year in a few hours. We will make our plans and resolutions and hope that we are blessed for doing it.

Maple days will soon be here. Firewood jobs are plenty. There are many youngsters to keep training and spring work is right around the corner. Instead of looking forward, I will take a minute to look back and reflect on a successful year that was 2022. There were sad days, mad days and glad days. I will hold on to the glad days.

Happy New Year everyone!



Out with the Old, in with the New!
December 28, 2022, 5:03 pm
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December 28, 2022

In a harness that is a bit too small, we dressed and took a walk around the farm. It was just a test drive to see what our new addition “Rosie” knew. She is most definitely an old hand. She walked off, turned when asked and stood quiet when I said, “whoa”. She backed up and turned either direction on command. We walked around a bit and it went very smooth.

I kept the lesson short, mostly for me. I am still recovering from Covid and it knocks the crap out of a guy! I am finally feeling better but my energy is fleeting. The recent cold took my breath away, but today the warmer temperature made me want to do something.

Rosie is a champ. She is a great addition to our work horses. I see her as a trainer for many of our youngsters. She is patient. She is kind and she listened intently to my squeaky hoarse voice. She is a keeper!

I think she even understands the “drill”. She stood quiet behind Hank our stud to be groomed and harnessed. You would think she had done it her whole life. No monkey business from either horse, just calm and quiet. I do love these Suffolk horses!



Winter Storm Brewing

December 20, 2022

It is a beautiful day today. It is wintery and cold, but the sun keeps peeking through the clouds. We don’t have as much snow as in this picture from a couple years ago, but it is coming. The weatherman says our high’s will be in the single digits F. Brrr, I have been making preparations, but still have a ways to go. I am still battling from the winter virus, so I am weak and get winded easily. It makes me wonder how Santa does all that jumping in and out of a sleigh with his big belly?!

Looks like we will be trapped indoors a bit while the cold snap wreaks havoc outside. It is a good time for training youngsters and socializing babies. The winds can howl while we enjoy the warmth and comfort of the barn, mixed with the wonderful smell of horse!

Soon we will be playing in the snow, but for now it is a rest, drink and heal kind of day. We will take the storm head on and find much to be thankful for as we watch the weather outside and listen for sleighbells in the air!



Welcome to America Rosie
December 18, 2022, 4:12 pm
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December 18, 2022

We found this dear lady in Canada. She is a full sister to two of our registered Suffolk horses and a half sister to three others. She is twelve years old and has been earning her keep on a produce farm near Montreal. We picked her up in Buffalo last Friday. so far we like her real well. She and our Hank have no shared DNA, so she will be a valuable asset to us in our breeding program. More importantly, she will help us teach youngsters, horses as well as children.

We have kept her in isolation these last couple days, but all is well so introductions will begin tomorrow. I on the other hand tested positive for Covid. I had a couple really rough days with fever, coughing and aches and pains. I am on the mend but still moving a bit slow.

Rosie is her name. We will have more photos of her in action in the next few days. What a wonderful Christmas present!



Marching In Christmas!
December 5, 2022, 11:36 am
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December 5, 2022

Whew! We have been very busy these last few days. December came in with a rush. Over the weekend, we attended two different parades. We decorated the wagon with bows, greenery and lights. The horses and harnesses got spiffed up so that we could put on a show for local folks. The horses did very well. They navigated the darkened streets, scary shadows and crazy flashing lights in stride.

We were 19 out of 30 units in the first parade. Loud music, honking horns, sirens and even a few loud train horns ruled the night in Geneva Ohio, as we lined up on Depot Street. Baton twirlers, with their batons outfitted with boughs and lights, flung them skyward and all around in the dark night. It made for a wonderful sight. We laughed a bit as the horses “wondered” what they were. They stared wide-eyed at first, but soon settled down and simply watched the show.

We represented Lake Erie Crematory and Funeral home. They helped with the decorations and the banners.

In our hometown parade here in Jefferson Ohio, we were number 58 out of over 70 units! It was a big parade. The grand marshals were the high school football team, who had just been crowned regional champs. They got beat out by the team who won the state championship. The boys had an awesome year. The cheerleaders and marching band also led the parade a fitting tribute.

The local folks in both cities turned out in a big way to watch and support the parade. It was a fun time for everyone.

We all know that Jesus is the reason for the season. The Grinch made his appearance as did Santa Claus. We take all the commercial stuff with a grain of salt, for us this is a way to celebrate the Savior’s birth. We use the gifts we have been given to do this and have no regrets for doing so.

It was a cold, wonderful night. I even found several smiles to share with the crowd. Our son Jake partnered with us for these events and was a big help. The horses were awake, but stayed on task and did not disappoint in any way. So, like the band, they made it easy to march into December in a big way!



Chilling On a Rainy Sunday
November 27, 2022, 6:00 pm
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November 27, 2022

Today was a good day for just resting. The rain started coming down at daybreak and continued on and off all day. The weatherman says it will continue through the night. We were soggy from the snowmelt, but the ground is saturated now for sure!

The horses all had some indoor time today. I spent time after church doing the same thing as the horses…just resting.

Yesterday, we had a family visit us. These photos are from that visit, (Thanks Jennifer) Maggee made up with this little boy. They shared a moment together. Our littlest filly is growing fast. She stays with Grace and Bree. They are the three amigos. Maggee is learning a whole bunch of things. She has learned her stall. She comes when I whistle, with the rest of the girls. She is a bit bossy, but the pecking order seems to keep everyone happy.

Tomorrow is the first day of Ohio’s deer gun season. The ditches and creeks will be running over. The tracking snow has long melted. It will prove to be a wet day in the woods. I am undecided if I will hunt tomorrow or not. I much prefer to chill indoors on a rainy day!



Wood Work
November 26, 2022, 9:26 am
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November 26, 2022

We took advantage of a warmer day yesterday to haul wood. The sugarhouse woodshed is filling up. We have a ways to go but made a good amount of progress again yesterday. We set the log splitter up right at the woodshed. We can cut and split as we go, stacking the wood as it comes off the splitter.

A wagon load like this makes for quite a bit of split wood. I would say that we have less than a third to go. I hope to finish up this coming week. The mares had a good day and did a great job as usual. They sure are good working partners. I am glad to have them for my work…especially wood work!



November Highlights
November 23, 2022, 10:52 am
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November 23, 2022

Here in northeast Ohio, we get some fantastic sunsets in the autumn and early winter. My sister Mindy, loved them. She had many photos she had taken over the years in scrapbooks. Mindy has passed from this world, but every time I see a pretty sunset, I feel her in my heart.

That feeling fills my world for just a brief second, but resonates across my soul. Her birthday was yesterday. I captured these shots then. How fitting!

In other news, I have been busily working to get my younger sister Charlie’s house built. Getting materials and services has been a challenge, but things continue to move forward. We were able to finish the exterior siding Monday. The house is now closed in. What a relief. After a nine week lead time, we even got the garage door installed.

The back of the house.

The garage door, simple yet attractive.

The front porch, with vinyl stone entryway. It is a low maintenance option that won’t need paint and should last a lifetime.

The walkout deck and covered patio is taking shape. A few jobs, like pouring the patio and sidewalks, will wait until spring. My hope is to have her in soon with a few plans for next year once the weather breaks again.

This has been a big project. I am a jack of all trades, but master of none. I have been humbled several times, but I keep moving forward. We can now move to the inside where insulation and drywall are the next efforts. I am satisfied so far. We broke ground on July 5th. I’m pushing hard to be able to have her in by Christmas time.