Friday, April 30, 2010

A Shrinking Herd

Have you ever heard of such a thing? Having less horses?

Barring some accident, it’s not something I’ve experienced in the last six or seven horses. Ever since my wife got her first horse, she’s been finding ways to increase her herd. She either buys them, is given them, or boards them.

However this past week we ended up losing two boarders, going from eight to six horses.

Good to see, from my perspective since it’s less work. For either me or my wife. I was actually surprised to see her mention it a few times, but in a good way. She’s OK with it, and I’m glad.

At the rate she was going, I thought that we might end up with 50 by the time I retired.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Manure Movement

I came in the house the other day smelling of horse manure. It was on my clothes, in my hair, and a shower was the first thing on the agenda.

How did I end up in this state?

My wife has been feeding on the west side of the barn all winter. We set up three large tubs for the 8 horses and we would put hay in them. If you're familiar with horses you'll realize that they tend to poop where they're standing with the urge comes over them, and with them standing near the hay in cold weather, there's a lot of droppings nearby.

Not a hug big deal as we harrow it down to break it up, but across 3-4 months, mainly because I've done a lot of feeding, we have about 1-2" of manure dust on the ground. I didn't realize it until the last snow storm when there were clumps of old manure appearing.

I've been meaning to scrape it off with the rear blade, and putting it off, but this past weekend, with my wife hurt in bed, it seemed like this was the time for me to do it. I know, I should have done something else, but I needed to be close to home and she usually has other chores for me. So I hooked up the rear blade and started scraping.

It's a little challenge to get the manure and not dig into the dirt, and I seemed to hit and miss (too high or low) regularly. But the 1 ft high x 6ft x 3 ft pile of old manure grew to one that's 5-6ft high in places. I didn't get all the manure near the barn, but I got a lot of it and it's down to dirt in places.

Good for preventing thrush, which results in me spending more time near the horses' feet helping my wife soak them than I want.

Now I have a new chore. Get all that manure spread out on the pastures as fertilizer.