Monday, June 23, 2008

The Best Show on Tracks

This weekend we went to Sacramento, we started in Woodland at the Best Ranch for "The Best Show on Tracks". This event has been 3 years in the plannings and was huge!  It was an exhibition of antique tractors and farming equipment, with the main focus on Holt, Best and Caterpillar( which Holt and Best co-founded) equipment. We have been interested in joining the Draft Horse and Mule Club which was meeting at this event so went with some friends to meet the club and see what they do. There were quite a few teams there and one of the attractions of the event was a hitch of 27 mules pulling an old harvester (links to pictures of them below). That was really impressive! For more about the event visit their website. (And if you watch the slide show you will see a picture of Crescent and Gibbous, my friends' team") (Oh and we forgot to bring my camera so had to pick up a cheap one at Wal-mart so the pictures are really awful!) Click on the pictures for a bigger view.

And here they are, Crescent is on the Right and Gibbous on the Left. They are Suffolk Punches which were bred specifically for working in the furrow. They are shorter in height, but still very strong. We had just finished harnessing them and they were just waiting to go to work. 

Hitching the Boys to a plow, the teams were doing demos of how the different horse drawn farming equipment worked. 

Getting ready to start plowing

Taking a break with another team, A 3 up of Shires also pulling a plow. It was about 102 degrees so the horses got to take frequent breaks. 

Stan taught Jarrett how to drive the Boys, it was his first time behind a team so he was really excited! He started with the boys on a Harrow, which breaks up the clods of dirt after it is plowed. It just drags on the ground and then you walk behind it.  Then he also go to drive them hitched to a wagon (same one as in the next picture). I don't have any of those pics yet, the new camera was full but I will put them up once I get them. 

And I got to drive a team of Shires for awhile. This is Max and Prince. I got to drive them for quite awhile, they were very good boys, it was a blast!

There are a ton of pictures from the event on their website, Here are a few of our favorites:

Stan & Jarrett hitching the boys to the wagon:  #1  #2

Max & Prince pulling a grader: #1  #2

A 4 up of Shires pulling a wagon: #1

The 27up of mules pulling the Harvester: #1 (use the navigation arrows above the picture to see more, there are a ton!)

And there are lots of other great pictures, just navigate through some of them from those links. 

We also found out that the people we got the Girls from are members of the Club and were there so I got to update them on how they are doing! And it also looks like we will be getting a covered wagon, which we are very excited about!  

Sunday we got to go fishing on the Sacramento River for Stripers. I caught 2 catfish...  Oh well, It was still a blast, and nice to be out on the water in that heat! Driving home late Sunday night, there was a ton of smoke from all of the fires, from the time we turned onto Hwy36 until we hit the house the sky was full of smoke, and we stopped and watched the Telephone Fire (Near the Hwy 36 & Hwy 3 Junction)  for awhile. This morning driving back to the coast there was thick smoke all the way past Bridgeville. There are about 900 acres on fire near Jarrett's place (no danger in coming down though), the Telephone fire that we watched is sitting on the ridge less than 1/4 mile from our friends' Ranch, they have not had to evacuate but crews are working hard on it to keep it from coming closer. 

And Serina is still holding out, I'm just going to ignore her for awhile... She is still developing a bag, and the baby makes her very uncomfortable at times pushing on stuff, but it isn't dropping into position yet, so who knows, she will have it when she has it... 

Monday, June 16, 2008

Lots of training...

We got in some training this weekend!

We started with Bailey, decided to lunge her with some weight to see how she would do since she had some trouble balancing weight last time we worked her. We started her with some feed bags with grain, no problems.

Then moved up to some truck tires. She did great with them, only gave a little buck at a lope, told her no, and she was perfect the rest of the time!


Black mooching scratches at dinnertime. He loves his shed, he can stick his head in the barn through the feed door and watch all that is going on...

Then we got Hannah out and worked with her:

She is practicing being patient while we visit with the neighbors.

Then we got to ground driving, she did great, though we had to remind her how to step over a log... (Like be somewhere near it first!) But that resolved quickly, so we hooked up the single tree and did some laps just pulling weight on it, which she acted like an old pro at (She has been hitched to a vehicle once).

So we went ahead and had her pull her first log! She was a champ! We had already driven her over the route 5 or 6 times since she had to step over limbs going in to the tree and duck under low branches where it needed pulled out from. Jarrett led her for her to pull her first one since it would be a little bit of tricky ground to pull over. He had to reassure her just a little as she first put her weight into it...

But once it got sliding she decided it was no big deal and walked right out.

 She is such a fast learner! 



Then we just drove her around the loop a few more times with no weight to teach her it isn't all hard work. We couldn't be more pleased with her.


I had to get some pics of Holly, she is developing a really pretty dappling pattern, unfortunately it isn't quite as clear in the pics (the sun was getting low so I didn't get it well) but she is turning an almost smutty palomino with dappling on her belly while staying her regular color up top...

And Serina... still holding out on us...  For those interested this is an excellent article about due dates in mares:  While average gestation in horses is approx 340 days, anywhere between 320 and over 400 days is normal. The longest recorded gestation resulting in a live foal is 445 days, so we are sill well within that range. Older mares tend to carry long (Serina is 23) and some people say colts will cook longer. She is getting bigger, but the baby has not dropped into position yet. Her muscles are starting to loosen a little and she is walking a little funny, she has a half developed udder with amber fluid, and that little baby just drives her nuts some days, but likes to hide when I try to feel. I still get a few kicks out of it every once in a while though. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A Working weekend! Lots of pics!

We ran non-stop this weekend, Jarrett had an order for Custom Saddle Bags for a motorcycle that he had to fit to the bike on Sunday so we worked on those most of the weekend, but in between we still did some fun things!   Also, please check out the links on the side bar --->  We have some stores if you need to shop for gifts! For the Zazzle store, if you see any pictures you like on here that you would like on one of the many products they have let me know and I would be happy to put it up for you!

Friday Jarrett's cousin called to have him help cut down a few trees. They took down a total of 5 road hazard trees.

Starting tree #2 

Working on the undercut. 

And falling... 

Measuring to cut the logs into millable lengths .

Loading the logs into the truck. 

Tree #3 on the way down... 

And measuring this one... 

Deuling Chainsaws on the Last ones... 

Jarrett wins!

Saturday we finally got to trim Holly's feet, they couldn't hold out any longer. She had major issues about her feet and would run backwards halfway across the yard when we first started trying to pick up her feet, but after about half an hour she was standing very nicely. She also made huge progressions in ground tying, all in all it was an excellent training day for her. She definately has a lot of issues and is very nervous and flighty about things, any sudden movements are likely to get her to try and run, as is a simple pat on the shoulder. She is very very smart though and trusting us more every time we work with her. 

I think she was trying to figure out if she was really tied to the ground! 

Before, the picture actually makes them look better.... 

And After, I couldn't quite get it round yet because of the amount of flare she had on the sides but will do them again in about 2 weeks and I should be able to get them almost back to round.  

And the transformed, relaxed Holly... Much nicer than when we started!  I think she liked her pedicure.

And a pic of the Saddle Bags, click on it for a bigger view.

And Serina is still baking the baby... I'll let everyone know as soon as I know!!! We are starting to see a little more progression though, so hopefully soon!!!