I am mighty

Jul. 8th, 2016 03:58 pm
goddessfarmer: (overalls)
Done today:
received a delivery of 300 bales of cow hay - there's a "funny" story there - keep reading.
Did some mowing that no one else wants to do because it requires careful patience.
cleaned up some around the cow barn (again, if people would follow instructions, I wouldn't have had to do that)
Picked up a part for the tractor from the JD dealer, and got a chance to tell someone there why I'm using a different repair shop for things these days. (rudeness from the service manager is not acceptable, but possibly related to the hay story below)
Put the big hay elevator away in the shed after unloading the hay. People look at that thing and think I can't move it by myself. (again, see below)
Taught a jumping lesson to the DQ who works out of the barn here so she can cross-train.
Fetched the trash/recycle bins from the bottom of the driveway.

OK, so the "funny" story - The hay man sent his 2 delivery people along with the 300 bales of hay to put up in the loft of the cow barn. I told them that I would load the elevator. It's an old beast that requires careful handling. The older of the 2 (neither were out of their 20's) asked "are you up to bucking 300 bales?" I blinked. What? Why yes, yes I am. 2 weeks ago I baled and put up 750 over 3 days, I can do *this* job (loading the elevator) all day and not really break a sweat. This is the first time in a while that I've had someone obviously judge my strength/endurance based on gender & body type. I think the last time was the new (then) service manager at the local John Deere dealer, who, not knowing me yet, assumed that I wasn't a serious farmer and didn't need that thing fixed TODAY, like I said I did. Well, as it turned out, I really did, found someone else to do it, and the dealer has lost all of my repair business, which is measuered in thousands per year. It also means that I'm not buying new equipment from them either, which has been significant since then. So, I may not be black, but I am woman. I am stronger than you think.
goddessfarmer: (overalls)
And I handled every one of them. Maybe I will be stronger tomorrow, but for now I am still tired. We actually finished on Friday, after a short season of only 2 weeks, and all but the first 247 bales of that was baled over three consecutive days. Despite this being our 22nd season, it still surprises me that I can outwork a lot of men. OK, those men I'm outworking have desk jobs, but still. Many, many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] chocorua for showing up and doing what needed doing. We are still a fantastic team out on the field. Also thanks to [livejournal.com profile] dhs, [livejournal.com profile] miekec, and [livejournal.com profile] dajt for bringing your good attitudes, putting in your all, and helping me wash up after.
I have a bunch of fields that I haven't been haying because they got weedy. Over the next few years I'm going to work on renovating them and bringing them back into production. It'll be work, but it'll be worth it, since this year, despite being 200 more bales than last year, isn't enough for the full barns here now. I've ordered 300 bales of hay for the cattle, hopefully to be delivered in the next 2 weeks. I'm also working on more chicken space and more cow pasture.
The turkey chicks are outgrowing their brooder, and I think they are bigger every morning. 19 of the 20 have survived so far, so I'm hoping that they all live through the transition out of the mudroom and into the barn.
I think I like to work.
goddessfarmer: (graincat)
What actually happened yesterday:
I did cut more hay. [livejournal.com profile] dajt did nearly all of the tedding because I had to send Kevin down to the hardware store for a new (temporary) fuel pump for the new (used) diesel tank whose transfer pump I couldn't make work. I got started raking about 12:40 and [livejournal.com profile] chocorua got down to the field with the baler about 1:15 (I think, I wasn't really clock watching by then). The baler knotter was being balky, and not long after I got done raking the field (3ish) the baler let go both it's shear bolts. Even so, there were only about 100 bales in the first wagon by then. [livejournal.com profile] dhs was doing a great job riding wagon (stacking bales). I left [livejournal.com profile] chocorua, [livejournal.com profile] dajt and [livejournal.com profile] dhs in the field and ran off to get extra shear bolts, as we only had 1 of each. They had it back together and ready for hand turning test by the time I got back. I sent wagon #1 , driven by Kevin the house elf, up to the unloading area along with [livejournal.com profile] dajt and [livejournal.com profile] dhs and stayed in the field for wagon #2. The crop was really light and with about 30 bales in #2 we were done by 4:15. I helped unload the last one, and we were all done by 5:15. Bale count was 147, which is not much for that field.

Planning for today:
grease equipment, ted hay, rake hay - mostly me, but if everything is going well, Kevin will finish raking.
[livejournal.com profile] chocorua will run the baler again, I have [livejournal.com profile] dhs, [livejournal.com profile] miekec and myself to switch off riding wagon.
Kat will manage the unloading crew again, which I'm expecting to be some of the barn folk, [livejournal.com profile] dajt and possibly his younger spawn, and Spencer, my bro. Kevin will get the job of wagon runner and possibly errand runner.
While I'm doing maintenance in the morning, I'll also be calling the drain-uncloggger dude for the kitchen sink and tracking down the correct shear bolts for the baler, and maybe making a call about the fuel transfer pump. I expect 300 bales off today's field.

I am fatigued in my muscles, but feeling really good in my brain. Work is good for me?
goddessfarmer: (tractor1)
My back, shoulders, and arms are sore from the past 2 days of first baling hay, in which I mostly rode wagon, and then unloading it, in which I put all of the 249 bales on the elevator. The new mower-conditioner (which is a shiny red New Holland) handles just about the same as the old JD did, and cuts better. The JD mo-co died in horribly screaming mechanical agony 20' from the end of last season. The old JD baler is still grunching along. It's knotter is still fickle about twine quality, but for a 40+ year old machine, it's doing just fine. I hope it lasts another few years, because my budget this year is already stretched by buying Wyatt.

I've also made myself sore riding a few times: back, arms, abs and legs. But riding Wyatt is totally worth it. Soon I will be stronger!

April and most of May were sadly unmotivated and depressed, but it looks like I'm over that for now.

Today is a maintenance day. So I can be prepared for the beautiful weather predicted for this coming week in which I hope to bust my ass getting most of the rest of the hay in. If anyone were to ask me if I predicred a drought for the northeast this summer, I'd say yes. Water table is down locally this spring, vernal pools aren't, my feilds are 2-3 weeks ahead of where I expect them to be in terms of ground dryness.
goddessfarmer: (graincat)
Let me introduce you to Wyatt.

Wauwinet is a 12 year old Oldenberg gelding. I feel extaorodinarily lucky to be able to ride this horse. I've seen him around at events, I might have even competed against him. He's been consistently winning at Prelininary. Here's the most beautiful part: he is the best trained and easiest horse to ride that I have ever in my life ridden.

goddessfarmer: (graincat)
Love really isn't enough. 
goddessfarmer: (overalls)
I got back from my vacation with horses, and in the past 3 days have done 4 or 5 days worth of to-do list. I still think I need another day in my day today, and then another extra this week to sleep.
So, here, but extra super busy. 

done/to do

Jan. 31st, 2016 08:23 am
goddessfarmer: (graincat)
Granted, yesterday's list was short, but I did manage it.

today's goals: 
eat optimally
ride both horses
afternoon date
meditation/magical study
get to sleep/lights out by 10. 
goddessfarmer: (bareback)
Way back when I was a wee thing (yes, I was wee, forty-mumble years ago) and riding recalcitrant ponies, galloping haphasardly across the countryside and jumping whatever could be jumped over, it was height of the DeNemthy era of US showjumping, George Morris was still ascending, and the US won everything on the international Jumper circuit, and a fair bit on the Eventing circuit too. Back then, my instructors talked about shoulders back and sitting more on the crotch bone than the 2 seat bones, creating an effect of having the top of the hips tipped toward the front of the horse and, when one straightened ones back and shoulders properly, created an arch in the back. Go forward a few years, to when I was given my first Dressage instruction - and was told to tip that pelvis back, put more of the seat bones in the saddle. While my jump instructors kept saying to put my shoulders back, no one corrected that back-tilting pelvis, until 1-2 years ago. Between then and now I've taken a lot of instruction from many instructors, some of whom have relatively famous names in their specific sports, be it Dressage, Show Jumping ot Eventing. Today, as I was walking down a steep hill on Costa, it hit me - if I keep the pelvis tilted forward, weight even between the crotch and seat bones, it's much, much easier to keep my shoulder blades back and down, therefore freeing up my hand to follow the motion or lending strength to my back if I have to use a rein aid. CLICK. Light ON. All of this should be obvious! I have struggled with my position and stability both jumping and with the Dressage for many years. I knew that applying the aids effectively didn't have to be this hard. It took going back to my 14 year old mind to find my position again. Now to keep it and become strong again.

Compare my seat in the photo below to the user icon above. Below is far better.

goddessfarmer: (graincat)
Today's plan is to find a new accountant (my old one retired) and ride my horses. If I got some of my email filed that would be good too. I will do my normal meditation and study time in the evening.

I used to journal here  often, sometimes daily. I think what might have replaced these natterings (mostly to myself) is the use of chat (hangouts and messenger).  When I spend the time chatting with friends, I get those natterings out of my system and end up not journaling. This week, one of the people I chat with most is on vacation and offline, so here I am, journaling. 
goddessfarmer: (graincat)
If I were to raise turkeys for thanksgiving this year, who might want one? 
goddessfarmer: (Costahug)
A very special thanks to [livejournal.com profile] frotz for making this day possible.  He helped out by helping me with quick tack changes and bablysitting the younglings when they had to be alone in the trailer.

Yesterday, I took my two 4 year old horses to a 2-phase, competing both of them at the Elementary level: a very simple WTC dressage test and 2'3" jumping.
For Betty, whom I've owned for about a month now, this was intended as a learning experience. She was downright bad in the warm-up before dressage, much worse than at home. I don't know if it was just nervousness, or not having her balance on the slippery wet grass or she's got some pain somewhere. She did not succeed in bucking me off and we managed to not collide with any of the other horses. The best thing I can say about the dressage test is that we stayed in the arena, and sort of managed to at least be doing the correct gait in the right places. I felt like I at least did an adequate job of riding the flail of tension. She was in 10th out of 10 after dressage. She redeemed herself in the jumping, being more settled in the warm-up, even though she still wouldn't stand still to wait her turn and we walked in small circles for 15 min while the show management ran late. She was distracted in the ring, but did jump all the jumps and leave all the rails up, despite my flailing right leg. I need to work more on my balance on her in the jump tack. She finished 5th, because lots of people had trouble in the jumping.
Costa, whom I've had since she was 18 months old, is pretty much old hat at going places and behaving herself. I think she was a little bit more tense than last outing just because of the sometimes being alone and sometimes not with Betty's comings and goings. The slippery grass in the warm up did bother her, so I cut short her warm up. I should remember to not do that next time. And ride her more at home on wet grass. She was surprised that the test was different from last time, and she knew it right away because didn't have a halt at the beginning. The first trot circle was fine, but then there was canter, and she is still unsteady at the canter, and the entire rest of the test was zoomy forward and not on the aids at all. Things to work on. She was tied for 6th after dressage. It's a good thing Costa doesn't need a lot of jump warm up, because she was slipping on the grass, so I only jumped 2 before going in. She was very brave and honest, but still being not too adjustible, and this being a height she actually has to jump over (she's ony 14h3", and 2'3" is much more of an effort for her than for 16h Betty) she did knock one down. She finished in 6th.

goddessfarmer: (graincat)
Was a nice Appoloosa gelding, who I would dearly love to take out of the place that he lives now. He'd be a great pony clubber horse, and I could think of a few of people I know who would adore him, but he's not quite my class of horse.

I have decided that I would really like to purchase the 4 year old Oldenberg Mare, Betty. So I'm done looking. Unless there she ends up not passing the vet exam. I am hoping to get that taken care of soon. :-)

goddessfarmer: (graincat)
Having a PTSD episode is like having a computer crash.
Think blue screen of death, core dump, spinny wheel of doom.
It's a hard reset, not a soft re-boot; pul the plug, uncouple the battery and start over.
Yes, there is probably some data loss, but it's presence or abscence can't be told until it's looked for.
It can't be looked for until the re-boot is complete and the programs are re-loaded.
Sometimes, some programs have been damaged in the crash and need to be deleted and re-installed fresh.
Now mind you, this is nowhere near as bad as the original trauma,
which is like smashing the computer with a baseball bat, repeatedly,
and then the computer has to make itself work again from the smashed parts.
Hi. Welcome to my life.
goddessfarmer: (graincat)
My Dad sent this to me today. I've included a photo of Paleface from 1983 at the top.bbpf2

Welcome Home Brother

In Honor of Fair Deal aka. Skippy

Hi Skippy, welcome to the pasture, we haven’t met but my name is Paleface and I’m your sister. Sorry you came early, but maybe between you, Trumpy and me we can have Jocelyn’s new mare Costa carry our mistresses safely over those outside courses.

If I may, let me tell you more about our owner she was more than an owner, she was part of us, usually listening to us except when she was headstrong and decided she would do it her way. Hey, I remember the time we took a tumble on a practice jump before our cross-country ride in Far Hills. There we were ass over tea- kettle and everybody rushing out to see how she was. Did anybody check me out, maybe but of course, they were more concerned about my owner. Yeah, I know we all had the best of training, grooming, stabling and most of all the love from her. However, you will get to know, that Connemara’s worry about how they are going to recover from a fall, than worry about the rider.

Hey, here comes Trumpy. Now Trumpy, as you know was great as a dressage horse, boy could he make her look good. Of course, all those dam hours of training, hands relaxed, light leg and those dam sounds she would make from her mouth use to drive me crazy. Connemara’s are bred to run, clear fences and are some of the best barrel races in the world. Not to brag, but when it came to the best all around pony/horse and rider we would shine.

Skippy, I have been watching you and our mistress for quite some time and am thoroughly impressed how you and Jocelyn have put it all together. Boy, you two brought home some great ribbons. Your cross-country runs were terrific and your dressage scores were better than ours. Yeah don’t rub it in.

Well Skippy I think you, Trumpy and I can get Costa to know what needs to be done to have them become champions. What do you guys think? Trumpy and Skippy look at each other and think, “Dam mares, they always have to get in the last word.”

Trumpy and Skippy nod at each other and say, “Yeah, let’s help the new kid out and keep out mistress out of trouble.”

Paleface looks at Trumpy and Skippy and says, “Hey guys, I found a great viewing point, it’s called Kinney Hill. We can watch them, as they become champions.”

Well it’s time to head to the new pasture area I found, lots of great green grass and plenty of room to run. “Goodnight Trumpy, goodnight Skippy.” “Goodnight Paleface.”

To my daughter, may steeds carry her safely over the courses and bring her many ribbons and much happiness.


goddessfarmer: (graincat)
I have some thoughts running around in my head about sadness and compassion. Annoyingly, I don't have fully formed sentences about it. (I like fully formed sentences and paragraphs.) So I'm just going to leave you with some strings of words to play with.

Death is inevitable and, contrary to many people's belief, but not to my experience, it is not the end of the world. I am sad, but not for those who have changed plane, I am sad for myself, and those who are still here. I have compassion: compassion enough to allow the end of physical suffering, and compassion for myself, compassion for my sad. Compassion for your sad too.

I have observed over the past few days that is seems like people are expecting me to be "not OK", well, I am OK. Certainly there was the initial shock, no more or less now, for Skippy, which was sudden, than for times when I knew the end was coming and had time to prepare. There is no preperation for that shock, I think, except to already have a heart full of compassion. But once the shock settles into acceptace, yes, there may be a hole in my world, but that's no reason to let that hole comsume me. Having compassion for myself allows me a little time to slowly accept, but also the strength to continue. The strength of remember and to know that this is really not the end of the world. He is grazing in greener pastures now, with many of his friends that I knew. And yes, I do handle people the same way I handle my fur folk, as far as my brain and emotional processing.

I do not know if it is being a medium that gives me such a different perspective, or growing up with all sorts of animals around who just don't live as long as we do, that makes death easier for me, seemingly, than for many others that I know. I do know that as I have developed self-love and developed greater compassion, that my heart has expanded enough to make up for the holes that are left when ones I love pass on from this mode of existance. 
goddessfarmer: (first prelim)
For those of you who follow me on fb, this will not be news, but I also wanted to expand on the soundbite a bit. This morning I had say the long good-bye to my equine partner of the past 7 years. Just before out last event (May 10, not even a month ago) he started feeling not quite right. That progressed to being really not right, and a preliminary neurological exam on May 26. After bloodwork which ruled out the most likely cause of disease, I took him to New England Equine Medical and Surgical Center in Dover NH for further evaluation on Monday 6/1. The exam and x-rays on Monday showed a possible fracture or bone chip in C2/3 area, which, if impinging on the spinal column could certainly cause the presented hind limb ataxia. After much discussion, it was decided that the best course of action would be to take a spinl tap so that the disease EPM could be definitively ruled out, and since that would require general anesthesia, do a meylograph ct as well. Tuesday morning they did those procedures and the meylograph hit pay dirt - a spinal compression at c7/8. There could have been a chance at surgically opening the area, but I was not going to subject Skip to that. Even so, there was a chance that he would be able to come home and graze in his pasture for a while. However, he was never able to stand again. This morning, he had no nerve reaction in his hind legs, so even if the vets had righted him upright in the sling he would not have been able to stand up. I felt that we had done all we could do for him, and he was euthanised at 9:30 this morning.
I am sad. I was hoping to have more time with him. I do not regret anything though. I remember the good times.

goddessfarmer: (first prelim)
Photos from King Oak Farm Horse Trials. Taken by Joan Davis of Flatlandsfoto and used with permission.

many more here )
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