RicelandMeadows


Introductions, never too soon!
October 25, 2021, 10:31 am
Filed under: October 2021 | Tags: , , ,

October 25, 2021

We were able to introduce our newest great grandson to our farm and horses. Here Owen got to meet Hank our budding stallion. You could almost hear the thoughts they shared.

Owen wasn’t quite big enough to help with chores, but he made no protest as we walked from pen to pen and animal to animal introducing him to everyone. This type of introduction can never come too soon. The mind processes things early. No fear, just kindness and calmness shared… it is a beautiful thing!

The dynamics in this photo are many. A young stallion meets a baby boy, held by his momma, while grandpa takes the picture. I as great grandpa, get to watch the scene unfold. It is a crazy quick life that we get to enjoy. It is moments like this that make me smile.



Community Outreach

October 25, 2021

Ambassadors Amee and Abby, helped me share our farm with a group of school children last Friday. The little ones learned about farming, animal husbandry and the power and grace of the Suffolk horse. They fed the hogs and chicken, raced and chased, squealed and shrieked as they scrambled from one pen to another.

I talked to them about safety and caring. They were impressed by the large horses, smitten by a crazy cat and amazed at the oinking hogs. The children had a wonderful day and managed to stay dry between rain storms.

We all got real cozy as we squeezed onto my wagon for a horse drawn hayride. Abby and Amee took it all in stride. The noise from the excited kids, the urging from other horses in the pasture didn’t bother them at all. We made several trips around the farm lane. I discovered this was the easiest way to keep them engaged, contained and happy. A few little ones got to “drive” the horses as they pulled the wagon around the farm.

I don’t know if any of these young people will go into a vocation in agriculture, but they had a great experience. They made a few memories and they had a good time. We are blessed to be able to share. I have been given a gift to talk with kids and help them understand the farming cycle. They may never do it themselves, but they will have a little more understanding for those of us who farm. This outreach makes me happy because I believe, with understanding comes tolerance. Hopefully, these youngsters will be patient when they have to follow a combine or slow tractor on the road. They will remember that their food comes from farms and somewhere behind the scenes, there is a farmer just trying to do the right thing.



Stallion Training Day

October 13, 2021

Yesterday was a very good day. We worked with Hank, our young Suffolk Punch stallion. He just turned 2 last April. We were pulling an old tire around the field for awhile. He has done this job before, but yesterday his brain “clicked”. He figured out how to start the load, but also how to enjoy a break. You can see a little sweat coming from under his harness. That sweat along with breaks at the right time, lead to just standing still, minding your own business and listening for me to give direction. He is getting it. I am very happy with his progress.

I won’t push the young guy too hard. He only gets light loads for now. We are more training his mind than his body. He likes the ladies, so we need to make him understand that life has other things in it too. Some of you may notice the “jockey stick” running from his halter to his partner Abby’s harness ring. This spacer keeps him from trying to whisper sweet nothings in her ear. He stays in his place and she is not bothered by his nonsense this way. Abby is a wonderful partner. She moves and stops when I ask. She teaches him stuff by just being there and she is one big anchor if I need one!

I snapped this picture of the growing speltz yesterday. I am pleased with these results so far. The crop should be well rooted before winter sets in and freezes the ground.

All I can say is that it was a very good day!



Computer Trouble / Farm Success

October 10, 2021

We have been fighting with our computer for almost a month! Finally we have been repaired. We didn’t lose anything and I am back to communicating and blogging.

In the photo above, Abby , Amee and I were plowing at Lake Farm Park. The park is located in a neighboring county. They host a horsepower weekend. Old tractors and of course, real horsepower are showcased. We had a fun time visiting and plowing. The event was well attended by other teams of horses and the public. We struggled a bit with old vegetation plugging the plow, but we did make some loose dirt.

This is a picture of my old Oliver plow. I haven’t used it for years. My knees got too sore to use it. I got them replaced and decided that I wanted to try plowing this way again. The horses had not done this ever in their lives either. We worked on it for a few evenings before we went out in public. I am not the plowman that I once was, but we got it done.

There is a lot to this job. Once things are all set up and understood, it is a joy to plow this way. We are not there yet! I managed to drag along the ground a few times as The horses learned where to walk and I learned to pick my feet up higher. It was still fun. I will plow like this a few times each year just to keep my memories alive. This old plow belonged to a mentor of mine…I think he would be pleased too.

Over the last month, we continued to work with Hank, our two-year old Suffolk Punch stallion. He is doing good, but the training will continue for the coming months, even years. He is growing fast and well. He is pictured with our 7 year old mare Abby in the photo below.

It is my hope to have Hank plowing in a three-horse hitch before the snow flies this fall. He is not shy about pulling and keeps his mind on his work. I will call that a success!

The speltz have been planted. This horse grain is up and looking good. I have opened the corn field by picking two rows closest to the fence and down the middle. The main harvest will commence as I begin hand picking the dry ears in the coming days.

Thank you everyone for bearing with me in my absence. Its good to be back sharing our success with all of you. There is much to catch up on, so ride along with me as I bring you a glimpse of our small farming life.