Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday Farm Report

Today Boots on the Ground is a little under the weather; nothing serious, just not up to par. So I'm not sure I'll be doing much on the farm. John already fed the critters for me, before heading off to work. Yes, he works on Saturdays; such is the face of our current economy. Mary should be up and about, feeding her bottle babies. "Should be" doesn't mean "is;" we're dealing with a 14 year-old here. So I'll make this short and head up to check on that soon.

I've been wandering around this website this morning. Mouse over Soldier Life, then follow the drop-down to Becoming a Soldier and then to Basic Combat Training, to see what Ethan is up to these days. The videos load a little slowly, but they're a good overview. He's in White Phase right now.

Jay and Kris should be over later, to help out with some fencing and building that we have to get to. Mary and I will be playing with the horses later. We had a "fun" experience last night. In short, I learned not to tie both horses to the trailer at the same time. We wanted to groom them, and we don't have a hitching rail yet. We've been tying them to the trailer in the driveway for a while, and it has worked. However, John has been less than pleased by the...leavings left in the driveway. It's hard to get manure out of gravel. So this time I decided to tie them to the back, which means the horses were in the grass. "Leavings" in the grass don't bother John. Wakiya was bothered by a half sheet of plywood which was lying there (don't ask.) Before I could move it, she began...reacting violently. Hope "caught the spirit," as they say, and, before I could do more than get out of the way, they had pulled the trailer off the driveway and about ten feet into the yard.

I won't be tying them to the trailer again. And I am concerned about getting them into the trailer again. Wish I had listened at the 4H natural horsemanship clinic the other night when they discussed trailering issues. But we hadn't had this point.

Ah, well. Never a dull moment, as they say. You know you're in for it when the TV weather man says, "Unique weather tomorrow." We've already had rain pouring through a sky full of sunshine.

Until Monday!


Betsy said...

Ethan is in my prayers. I do remember my son talking about the Tactical Foot March.

Hope you are feeling better! Sounds like you are still going to try to do too much today.


Kim said...

We use a Blocker Tie Ring for horses that like to pull on their lead rope. It keeps them from getting themselves worked up. We tie all our horses to the trailer with it with no problems and 2 of them are barely halter broke. It works under the idea that if they can pull some slack out when they want to pull back then they won't become upset and keep pulling. The theory works well and a number of the big name trainers use them on hard to tie horses.

As far as trailering, we try to get them to walk into the trailer daily (at varying times of the day), this way there are few surprises when we need to get them in to go somewhere. We recently started using Kitty Lauman videos to brush up on groundwork. She's big on getting the horses to lead really well before introducing them to a trailer. I have to say her method has worked amazingly on our 2 horses that are still pretty green! Our 8 month old is a wild BLM mustang and she has had no problems with getting in a trailer.

One of the things that our dd has learned while interning at a training facility here is that if a horse is spooked by something make them walk by it calmly with you on the ground, don't just avoid it. Too many people figure they will just stay away from things that scare their horses but never think about what will happen when they have to ride by those types of things on the trail. She goes out of her way to find new things to introduce the horses to (walking over tarps, over large pvc pipes, around tires, etc.). I'm sure this is way more than you wanted to hear :)

Wendi said...

Years and years and years ago Woody puuled the same trailer stunt. It was a bitty two horse trailer and I left him tied to it while I left for a very short time. I came back to find the trailer not where I left it. He still loaded fine, but I did learn not to tie to a light trailer that isn't hooked to a truck! We just got one of the blocker things that Kim mentioned, haven't seen it in action as of yet.

Too bad Ethan in at Basic... he has experience building tie rails! He's built two on two different ranches in Wyoming and his second one was definitely better than his first! The third one ought to be GREAT!