Just a few random thoughts on the day to day happenings of a mom surrounded by chaos. Come and enjoy my life with a family, corgis and the other creatures at Foggy Bottom.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

April showers...wait it's May?

And yet again, we have rain.  The grass is growing.   Lawn mower broke this weekend.   Arena is knee high, but that's okay, never dry enough to really work a horse.  Well the recovering horse that is.  

But perfect weather for pony rides in the front yard!

I'm so over it--though it is keeping down the buffalo gnats.   I guess it could be worse, we could be in Texas?

Later gators....
C

Friday, May 22, 2015

Public service announcement!!!!

Boy, do people just not read things through these days??

Effective immediately, Iowa has cancelled all poultry shows at fairs(state and county), birds swaps and no birds will be allowed to be sold at exotic swaps, meets or auctions.

This is due to the Asian Avian Flu strain that has crippled the western part of Iowa as well as affecting many other states in the Mississippi flyway.

The key here is....read the announcement:

 http://www.iowaagriculture.gov/press/2015press/press05212015.asp

Swaps, sales and auctions can still happen, just no BIRDS at those events.

Fairs and shows are looking at other avenues, especially for our kids that put their heart and souls into their projects.

If you ever have any questions, go to the source.  Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship---IDALS, has confirmed to me directly that you can still buy privately from an individual or purchase chicks/birds online.   Quarantines are in place in the affected counties.  Other states are not banning sales of birds from Iowa or to Iowa.

BUT..............  it is imperative for all involved in the poultry industry to practice even better biosecurity and make sure to report anything to IDALS!!!  Quarantine new birds for up to 30 days.  Keep the flock away from wild birds as best you can.  Clean boots in, dirty boots stay.  Wash, disinfect all equipment coming and going.

For that matter, we are putting a little more restrictions on those that come on to our property.  We ask that you call ahead and please, don't go wandering around.  Though we try to raise a free range flock, we do have areas that are off limits and we ask you to respect that.

Okay....now.... I still need to get those chicks out of my house!!!   Time to start hardening them off!

later gators....
C

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Everyone in their places

Ah, no loose ponies, no chicks running amok but those darn ducks.  I will figure out who has grown thumbs.  But really no worries there either.  The barn manager has been fine tuning a new skill:  poultry herding.  Yes she's vying for the June employee of the month parking spot.  And no I'm not kidding.  The cat has helped Muff herd the chickens and ducks in for two nights.  Heck, she's better than the dog!

Hum, wish she weren't spayed....I'd be breeding herding cats!

Later gators...
C

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Fences make the best neighbors....

except when a certain ladybug figures out the creek fence.  Sigh.

Last night was the "let's run around loose" event.

Pulled in the driveway and who is there to greet us but Bug.  Easy peasy, walk to the side paddock gate, open, she walks in and is on the correct side of the fence now.

Turn and hum, why is there a flock of ducks and geese in the pasture? Yep, some bird has developed  opposable thumbs and can undo the gate wire.

Milling around under the horses feet now, herding them back in and Frank(rouen hen) and Ethel (runner drake) are missing.

Down to the creek and they look at us like, what?  Move along, nothing to see here, of course we aren't supposed to be here.

Herd them back up, Frank voicing her opinion the entire way.

Walk in the house....wait for it.....

One of Muff's d'uccle chicks is wandering around the study....with a granny dog watching intently.  Luck the little bugger wasn't a snack.

Today-poultry gate shut tight.  Checked for thumbs and didn't see any, wondering now which chicken was in on the jail break?

Bug and Moo, securely placed in front yard paddock-only thing they can do is eat grass and maybe scoop some poo-ha.

Chicks-top on brooder box.

I dread coming home tonight.

Later gators,
C

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Karma

I'm thinking I need a dog named Karma.  I'll stop right there as this post could go south so quickly.

This weekend marked our return to the adventure known as trail riding.  The girls aka the hormone squad, headed up to Matsell's Bridge for a short ride with the CPSC.  Never been there, planning on going back soon though!  It was fun.  Enjoyable area, lovely trails and fun conversation.  The hormone squad got a good work out.  Mares involved were Sketch, Laredo and the super duper LadyBug.  

Let me tell you, that darn Ladybug is a heck of a pony.  Never been out on a trail.  Never been much of anywhere.  Ended up out in front, lead most of the way and was quite the trooper through it all.   She's so much fun.   Laredo, whom everyone said the last time she was rode, was her typical broncy witch self.  Not sure what horse they were riding but the one I was on, was an angel.  Then there's Sketch.  She is a sweet heart but notice to all, don't ride up on her.   She's got a mean kick when a strange nose goes in her butt.

Enjoyable and both the girls had fun.  So those empty spots on the calendar are being filled in with side trips on the trails.

Speaking of empty spots-there are really none.  Unless it rains and some days I do the rain dance all day long.  This week?  Let's see-armed forces year end meeting, then a riding lesson, then PEO presentation and a  youth council meeting. Tuesday, dog class, Wednesday, horse clinic, Thursday, go look at a pony and a FFA alumni meeting, Friday......

Last night the Muffinator got in the van and drove to her meeting on her own.  I can't let that happen again....she comes home with things.  Things like little black kittens called Oscar.  Karma...just you wait.  not that it's not a great addition to the menagerie but the kid's allergic to cats....and it's living in her room for now.

It's cold, I'm tired already and it's just Tuesday.   June isn't here yet either.

Later gators....
C

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I need a valium please

You really need to look at my calendar.  It'll make your head swim.  Our only saving grace has been events cancelled by the lovely rain we keep getting.

This week is....two 4-H meetings on Monday(and heavens, Muff had to drive herself to one!)
Tuesday-4-H dog class, Wednesday-4-H horse clinic, Thursday--NOTHING--well, dishes, a real sit down dinner, laundry, etc.  Friday-FFA 40th anniversary banquet, Saturday-saddle club trail ride, graduation party.  Sunday---empty for some reason.

Rinse, repeat.

On top of that on pins and needles with the evil four legged child, Rutro(Monroe) in TN at the national specialty, a set of xrays to OFA, two girls who I pray are bred and praying that Torey is healing.

Calgon, take me away!!!!

Later gators....
C

Friday, May 8, 2015

Food for thought on a Friday....

I've been wandering around the net, looking at horse and riders, dogs and handlers, how things are meshing, youtube videos comparing horses, learning some new techniques on webseminars with the dogs.

One of the things that I ran across was videos showing a rider on several different horses.  The most interesting was watching the progression of the horses and the quirks they all picked up in the end.  The rider didn't get it.  Excuses were made about the horse, but no change in how the rider rode or trained.  Same problem, different horses, same rider, hum?

I refer back to my dog kids.  I always tell them, don't make excuses for your dog, it's not their fault because you either did or didn't offer the right command, rewarded too early or late, or just plan ignored what your dog was telling you.  Always, always, go back to the handler and ask yourself, what have I been doing that elicits that reaction?

We are our dogs, and horses, best friends and worst enemies.

https://www.chronofhorse.com/article/we-have-recognize-our-horses-unique-selves

When I first started really riding competition horses, I had huge dreams.  Hours and hours spent riding in a circle, perfecting this and that.  My horse's trainer at the time really liked how we progressed, but he also said, when did you stop enjoying your horse?  Huh?   I thought I did enjoy my horse, but I found I enjoyed the process and had forgotten the beast under my saddle.  So we made a point of having a fun day every so often.  No circles, no reins jerks, spurs off.  We'd go out and just ride-trails, roads, what ever came about.  We stood in the creek.  Raced on the flats.  Splattered mud up on our legs(yes both of ours).

When we returned to the circles, I was relaxed, refreshed and so was my horse.  My horse didn't have grumpy ears, choppy gaits, switching tails or a hollow back and I had to use my extra aids-spurs, reins and legs, less and less.  My horse was more responsive because I wasenjoying my horse more than the process.

http://www.horsechannel.com/horse-community/horse-human-bond.aspx

So many times we feel like we have to fix things, when in reality, we need to adapt more to the situation.  It's not broke, maybe we are?

http://www.double4trailersales.com/Newsletter%20Archive/top_10_ways_to_ruin_a_good_horse.htm

I'm going to print out this pyramid to keep in the barn.

http://www.equitationscience.co.uk/common-training-mistake/



Well here's to a great weekend!   It's monsoon season here.  The yard is ten feet tall, no riding because everything is slippery but hey, the poultry is happy.....lots of earth worms to eat!

Later gators...
C