Thursday, January 3, 2013

Through the Ages

The weatherman was wrong. We didn’t get the predicted snow that they were calling for.  Luckily after today, the weather will start to warm. This morning was frigid! By the time I’d walked back to feed Rabbit, Mayhem, and the ponies, my fingers were frozen.  The wind was out of the West but Rabbit was tucked behind a wind block when I came around the corner.  They dove into their hay this morning. I love watching them eat.
The big herd either had their heads buried in the round bale or was standing out of the wind in the leanto at the bottom of the drylot. I didn’t go in and see who was where because I was freezing (and running late as usual).
I’ve been naughty about hauling water the past two nights (we were actually not home until late and I didn’t want to haul water at 8pm). So tonight I’ll be hauling bucket after bucket of water to catch up on the water tanks. This weekend is supposed to warm up so hopefully I’ll be able to sneak out for a few hours to do a little bit of cleanup in the hayshed.  I figured out that we have about four weeks left of round bales before we have to start using the big squares. I used to despise the big rounds because I would hand feed the herd, which is impossible to do when you have nine in one pen. Because I was going back to work and needed to adjust to this new routine, we decided to just push the rounds in and let the horses have free reign. I’ve gotten spoiled. Now I’m going to be disappointed when we run out of the rounds.
But I guess it’s a good thing that we will run out of the rounds when we do. The big squares are better quality hay. We still have a few of last year’s bales so we’ll go through those first and then start in on the new bales.  We may have to fix the gate by the hay barn so that I can pull from last year’s hay first instead of pulling from this year’s hay in the hay barn. Otherwise I’m throwing hay along the fence line and there’s not enough space for everyone to eat in peace. But we at least have a month to figure out how to get the gate working again. The original post was concreted in and has rotted off and is only in the ground precariously at this point. I’d like to fix the gate and make that fence line more serviceable. Hopefully this summer we can tackle that project but for now, we’ll focus on getting the gate fixed first. I may resort to corral panels until this spring when it warms up.
I was hoping to get some new pictures of each horse so that I could post a 2013 cheat sheet of the horses. That way everyone will know who I’m talking about when I bring up their names. But I haven’t been home before it’s dark to take any decent pictures. Hopefully on Saturday I can sneak out for an hour or two and get pictures of everyone (and get them all dewormed). 
The hardest part about the new year is for me to remember how old everyone is. Oh sure the oldsters are easy for me to remember. It’s the early teenagers that I have a hard time remembering their age. I struggle to remember Ivan and Tommy’s age for some reason. This year we’ll have anything from a 31 year old to a 3 year old. Crazy! Let’s see if I can do a quick rundown of ages while I’m thinking about it.

  • Babe – 31
  • Jim – 25
  • Rabbit – 20
  • Zeke - 20
  • Dude – 16 (How can that be?? We’ve had him now for 10 years!)
  • Rain – 15
  • King – 15
  • Bo – 12
  • Ivan – 12?
  • Tommy – 12-13?
  • Skippy – 10
  • Maverick – 8
  • Brego – 8
  • Chaos – 8
  • Mayhem – 3

Doesn’t seem real to me for some reason.  When I look at this list, I realize that each one has taught me so much over the past few years. Also in looking at the list, Dude has been with us the longest, followed by Rain. Bo has been here the shortest amount of time.
I also can’t forget those that we have had to say goodbye to:

  • Dictator - 28
  • Ace - 27
  • Ten Man – 30+
  • Blondie - 16
  • Bob - 21
  • Longhorn - ??
  • Joe - 24
  • Sam - 21
  • Sahara – 1
  • Dick - 28
  • Flower - 25
  • Queen - 34
  • Thor – 24
I’ve spilt a lot of tears over this second list. Each one is an ache in my heart but at least these family members were loved and hopefully knew it when they crossed over.  I can tell you why and when we lost each one, although I feel like I’m forgetting someone.
It’s almost a comfort looking at the first list and comparing the ages to the second list. Hopefully we won’t have to say goodbye to anyone for a little while longer.  As we begin this new year, hopefully we will be able to expand that first list by one so that he/she can enjoy a well-deserved retirement.

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