Friday, June 23, 2017

Summer Arrives

So begins the long, warm days of summer. In the morning, dew lays heavy upon the fields and a calming silence enshrouds the farm. As afternoon approaches, life awakens and vibrates the air with sounds. The grass in the pasture is already showing hues of gold and lime as it drys and stiffens in the hot sun. The ewes in are flock are relieved that their lambs have been sold, so now they can fatten up before the heat gets sweltering. The horses are enjoying the last of being relatively fly-free since the dripping humidity will summon up the ruthless deer and horse flies. While the fowl scurry around, the they gobble up the maggots before they can evolve into flying pests. The heat slows life down and all the animals loll and languish in it.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Goodbye, Gainango

We said goodbye to our wonderful stud, Gainango after he bred one of our mares. With the looming time constraints now and in the future, we sold Go to a farm where he will enjoy his golden days as a pasture sire with a herd of mares. He was a wonderful, mellow guy and he will be missed. We look forward to his coming foal and its promising future.

Retired Racehorse Project, Our Mares

We are competing in the Retired Racehorse Project where you take an off the track thoroughbred, train them in a discipline such as eventing or trail, and then compete against contestants from around the country at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky in October. We purchased two mares, Tammy's Choice, a muscular, 6 year old, bay mare that raced in Canada and Halo, a wiry, creamy bay, 5 year old mare that raced in Michigan. We will be competing the gals in eventing, where they will be facing 182 other OTTBs in battle composed of three disciplines, stadium jumping, dressage and cross country jumping. Halo is clearly the alpha of the pair and can get quite jealous if you talk to Tammy's Choice without saying hello to her first. Tammy is more laid back but needs more conditioning to properly balance her muscles. We have a long way to go but are excited about the competition!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Gainango, Our New Stud

We have gotten an new stallion this spring from Missouri, a registered, handsome, 16.1 hand, bay thoroughbred who was Breeder Cup nominated in his youth, Gainango. Gainango throws 60% winning race horses with athleticism and heart. He has a mild temperament and lives with his mares year round. He is a welcome addition to our farm and we expect some awesome sport horses out of him for eventing.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Welcome autumn!

Colorful fall is upon us and the show season is winding down. We sold all our wooly lambs and were confounded when one of the ewes had another lamb this year out of season. We call the fuzzy, black ram, Surprise. The meadows have turned a golden emerald. spotted with violet-flowered weeds and browning plants releasing their creamy-white fluff. Splotches of crimson paint the stately maple trees as they waved goodbye in the autumn winds to summer. The horses are frisky, relieved that the sweltering heat and sticky humidity has left. They are turning shiny and round, preparing for the long winter. Our two muddy pigs rejoice at the harvest surpluses, grunting and squealing as wind-fallen apples roll under their snout. We welcome fall as we say goodbye to the dog days of summer.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Here Come The Babies!

We welcomed fourteen baby lambs to the farm this year. Their births heralded in the warmer weather and were without incident. They have formed a youthful flock and will part company with their mothers to spring and leap into the air as a wonderful, wooly gang.

Two foals joined our family and it is joyful to watch the long-legged sprites dart around the greening fields while their dams nicker to them. One is a bay filly and the other a chestnut colt.

We added six new chicks to the flock and they have lost their yellow fuzz to be replaced with ebony and white feathers. They hang out with the plump Pekin ducks which we raised from babies.

Spring, with its flowering pear trees and crimson tulips, has brought many new faces to the farm. We welcome the new additions and look forward to a balmy summer.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Last Wild Horse

While in the throes of winter, when riding can be numbing and painful, I have turned greater attention to my studies at Michigan State University. While getting my Master, I am creating a husbandry care manual for the last remaining species of true wild horses, the Przewalski’s horse or Asian wild horse. This equine is a descendant of the domestic horse and remains untrainable. While many people think the mustangs out West are wild, they are actually domestic horses that went feral when they escaped from the Spanish conquistadors and the settlers out in the plains and mountains. There are only about 1500 Prezwalski’s horses left, mainly in zoos though a couple hundred have been reintroduced to part of their old home range, Mongolia. These animals used to roam all over Asia and Europe until they were reduced to only thirteen captive horses because of hunting in the 20th century. With careful breeding, their numbers are now above 1000, which is truly remarkable. There is no current guide on how to care for these wonderful horses in captivity. By creating a manual from existing data and observations, zoos will have a reference for these equines.