RicelandMeadows


Moving On
August 18, 2021, 11:25 am
Filed under: August 2021 | Tags: , , ,

August 18, 2021

Summer is flying by, much like Hank in the photo above.

The hot, muggy, wet weather continues to challenge us. The calendar, however keeps right on rolling. It is true, “Time waits for no man.” Our county fair has come and gone for another year. The start of school is right around the corner and very soon the leaves will be changing color.

Hank is filling out fast. He is a few months over two years old. He is starting to take on a true stallion appearance. He is a good natured colt who pleases me very much.

Our first cutting hay and the spelt straw for 2021 has been made and stored. The straw sits along the fence row for use when needed. We hope to get some second cutting dry hay made once the weather pattern shifts a bit. The fields of second cutting hay will give peace of mind as it gets baled and put away. Its nice to have a little more than we will need. The pastures have been staying green thanks to the rains, but most all of our fields are saturated.

Its funny to me how our weather is extreme one way or the other. Lake Erie really does play a part in our growing season, not to mention our harvest seasons. It is also amazing how just a few miles in either direction can make such a difference. Its best just to smile and wait, because the current weather will change. Fretting about it doesn’t help the crops or the farmer.

As I look back, I can see it has been a fairly productive year. It is best to focus on the positives, because many things we simply can’t change, no matter how much we want. So, keep looking forward, we can impact change there. Good planning and preparation will help us capitalize on better days to come.



Training a Yearling

hankharness1

July 31, 2020

I continue to train our young stock. Hank, our yearling stallion, is learning to wear his harness. I put it on and off. I rattle the chains and fuss with the straps. I make him move from side to side as I walk around. Most importantly, I make him wear the gear for longer and longer periods. We are now up to about an hour of just standing with the harness on in a safe environment.

Today, I introduced him to the bridal and bit. He had to keep it on for about a half hour. I let him learn about it,  by just staying near as he fumbled with it in his mouth.

hankbit

He played with the bit with his tongue and teeth. I lead him around a while, then put him in his stall. I did a few other things as he stood in his stall, wearing his complete harness and bridal. After a little while, he just relaxed stood on three legs and rested. I left him stand and talked to him as I did other work around the barn.

He listened to my voice, but didn’t try to look over his blinders. He just stood like a perfect gentleman and waited for whatever was coming next. After he had stood relaxed for fifteen minutes or so, I brought him out of his stall and unharnessed him.

I started with his bridal first. As I took the bit out of his mouth, he just let it slip right out. I rubbed his ears and talked softly to him. He nuzzled me. I then took his harness and collar off. I made plenty of extra noise and made a few extra, unneeded movements, just to reinforce that all is well.

I brushed him for a while after removing his harness. He is a great student. Next we will begin line driving him on long lines teaching him to go, stop and turn. Very soon he will be going with the team, not to pull a load, just to learn commands and patience.

Hank is an April baby.  He will soon be 16 months old. It is a bit early for training to start, but he will be a stallion, so I want his mind busy with something other than breeding. He must learn to be a workhorse first. He will one day be our centerpiece.  This early learning is crucial for his development. Daily handling and good manners at all times is a must. So far, he is passing with flying colors!