RicelandMeadows


The Ups and Downs
February 13, 2020, 3:41 pm
Filed under: February 2020 | Tags: , , , , ,

knightAmee

February 13, 2020

In the photo above compares the size of my Percheron gelding Knight, to our new Suffolk Punch mare Amee. There is a full eight inches of height difference! It seams funny to be able to see her back when I am brushing her. Putting the harness and bridal on is a breeze with the new girls. My old, short body appreciates that fact. My geldings are big. Hoss measures 18 hands. Knight is 17.3 hands. Amee measures 16 hands. Her mate Abby is a bit shorter at 15.3. A “hand” for you non-horse folks, is a unit of measurement of four inches.

My geldings have been sold. They are still here on the farm, while their new owner prepares a stall for them. They will be getting a great new home. They will work some, but have a good retirement home, giving wagon and sled rides, mowing cow pastures and skidding a little firewood. The new owner is kind and calm. He has been driving Knight and Hoss. This gives the horses and the man a chance to meet and get to know each other.

As we transition to the smaller, chunkier Suffolk punch horses, things are going smoothly. The new girls have gotten used to the routine. They will soon be powering the farm 100% of the time, but for now, are sharing the work with the geldings. My own emotions are on a roller coaster ride. It is a bittersweet thing to be making this change. It helps me a bunch, knowing that my guys will be going to a good home. A place that I can even visit from time to time.

Our black Percheron mare, also called Abby will be headed off our farm too. We are in negotiations over her sale now. She is a flashy girl who is broke well too. I will make sure that she too gets a great place to live.

Maple syrup time is at hand. We need horses to power the sugaring operation. So far, things are working out well. I will say though that my emotions, just like the sap in the maple trees, are having their ups and downs!



New Beginning?
January 11, 2020, 3:34 pm
Filed under: January 2020 | Tags: , , , ,

jakeannabelle

January 11, 2020

Our youngest son just took the plunge and bought a young pair of draft horses. He settled on the breed known as Suffolk Punch. These are an old breed dating back to the 1500’s in England. The breed became more defined in the 1800’s and came to Canada and America around the 1880’s.

They were bred exclusively for farm work. They are a chunky powerful horse with stamina and gentleness. They are of moderate size (16-17 hands) for a draft breed. They are easy keepers and willing workers. I have known about the breed for years, but never really gave them much thought. They are a rare breed. Thirty years ago, when I bought my first draft horse, none of these were available in my price range. I settled on Percherons and have had them since.

Recently, I was reintroduced to this breed on the internet and in person. My son has been researching the breed and a few other breeds that are smaller in stature. Not many of the other breeds can match the easy going, yet willingness found in the Suffolk breed.

My son bought a pair of full sisters, a weanling and a yearling. I went with him to haul his team home. While we were there, I met a weanling stud colt who followed me home! The stud colt is unrelated to my sons fillies. He may just become a great gelding, but the potential exists.

Our saga may change as I look  more serious at this endearing breed. I am very impressed so far.

hank1

Ridgewind Aethling Hank of Indian Mound … Long handle for a youngster, but “Hank” is a bit of a celebrity. His daddy is from Virginia, owned by Jason Rutledge, named Eyke Sovereign. A horse imported from England in 2010, I believe.

hank2

Hank is a handsome fellow. We shall see if he grows into his name. Born last April, he is a growthy colt. He is a quick learner with a trusting manner. We are becoming fast friends. Who knows what the future holds? Stay tuned.