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Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened.

Ride with your heart and soul ~ your horse can feel it

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Wordless Wednesday ~ #2

**Photo credit to my friend/neighbour Nelle**

Monday, March 10, 2014

So this happened...

Tasty had her baby!  Meet...
As you may recall, after losing the unexpected calf we had moved Tasty into the barn because she looked like she might calve.  Nothing seemed to be progressing so we had put Tasty back out with the other cows on February 17th.  Then we had more extreme cold weather.  Thankfully it was turning around and this past Thursday it wasn't ridiculously cold when I went down to do the morning chores, because this little guy was standing with his mama in the pen just checking out the world :)
Right away I threw some fresh straw in the stall and then the little guy was scooped up and brought in.  I wrapped him up in a cooler and started rubbing him, I wasn't sure exactly when he had been born and wanted to make sure he was warm & dry.  I slipped my gloves off and put my hands under the cooler - yay he was dry!  He wasn't too cold and warmed up really quickly.  So the fact that he was dry and had been standing relieved me somewhat.
Next step, get Tasty in the barn with her baby.  Thankfully that wasn't too difficult.  Then I put out some hay and filled her water tank. 
I was a bit worried though, I wasn't sure if he had nursed at all and he seemed a bit weak.  So I took the cooler off, fluffed some straw up around him and went to get colostrum.  There were a few pathetic sucks on the bottle and then he started to fight it a bit.  Pie told me to go feed the horses and he'd watch the calf.  When I finished feeding Pie met me at the barn door with a big smile, baby was up and eating on his own.  Yay!
So far Tasty and baby seem very content, although Dudley would like a bit more room.  He's trying to run and he can now buck in a circle without falling over.  If the weather holds Tasty and Dudley will probably go out Saturday, mental note - have camera on hand!!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Is It Spring Yet?

Normally I don't mind winter.  Of course by the time it's almost done I'm more than ready for spring, but this winter... well this winter has literally been one for the record books. 
The coldest in 30 years, more days below -30 than the average, and last night what was possibly the coldest Saskatchewan night on record.

If you click on the pics below they should open up for you...
This first pic is tonight's overnight forecast:

And this is a recap from the last 24 hours, the section I am sharing shows that we got down to a "feels like" of -50C! (that's -58 F American peeps)
The only REAL good news in all this... is that it looks like those other three heifers aren't due to calf after all so they should be carrying Baxter babies!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

There's a cow in my barn

Well Mom & Dad B came out Saturday to take a look at the remaining three heifers, and yep they agree with me... at least two, if not all three are preggers with Norman babies.

Trying to look at the bright side, it's going to be one more year before we get babies from the handsome Baxter so it'll be one extra year before we figure out what we'll do (sell his baby girls or sell him).

We're now a bit better prepared, sorta.  As the title says we have a cow in the barn.  We put Tasty in as she looks like she's closer to calving than the others.  Just really hoping she does calve first and then we can move in the next one (or maybe both of them) 

In the meantime we've got some more straw coming so I'll bed down the shelter the heifers have and we've separated Baxter from his ladies, he was feeling rather 'romantic' and we sure as heck don't want him getting that cow that lost her baby knocked up right now!

So fingers crossed that Tasty pops out a nice little calf soon!  And I've already got one boy name and one girl name picked out so hopefully I'll get one of each (Norma and Dudley, because we kept calling Norman "the dud bull" lol)

Then after the cows (and the dog) are done with my barn we'll get that nice horse smell back in there!  :)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Dang it

Woke up to some bad news yesterday... it looks like our little dud bull Norman wasn't such a dud after all, there was a dead calf froze to the ground in the pen :(

We'd had no calves from him the spring before and never noticed any "activity" between him and the girls.  Last summer we sold him to a lady with a small petting zoo, which was a perfect fit for him.  Then we bought a really nice purebred Dexter bull.  SO if everything went according to plan we were expecting calves around May.  Perfect for us!  We're not set up for winter/cold weather calving.

I'm really hoping that it was just the one cow that took.  For now I'm checking cows as often as possible and holding my breath.  Momma & Dad B are coming out on Saturday to take a look and see if they can tell if the other three are any further along.  Right now I'm not seeing any noticeable signs (but remember these are my first cows and first calves!)

Trying to look for silver linings here... Hera was sitting in the pen "guarding" the calf and led me to it when I didn't go to the pen myself.  It also seems that she ate the placenta, I couldn't find it anywhere.  From what I've read this is good LGD behaviour to help keep from attracting predators.  Momma must have calved easily, she's not in any noticeably rough shape or distressed. (keep in mind these are heifers so it's their first calves) 

So I'm just going to keep hoping that little dud only got the one cow knocked up!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Two in a row!

Two days in a row of horse fun that is! :D

I gave myself the stupidest, most brutal schedule possible this week at work... I had Monday off (which I normally do, it's Pie's ONLY day off) then I did night audit training Tuesday & Wednesday (11pm - 7am) had Thursday off and then day shifts (7am - 3:30pm) Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  ALL so that I could have Saturday evening free to go penning lol

Well it turned out that there was a bonus, Friday night there was a barrel racing jackpot scheduled that I had forgotten about!  So after a few trials and tribulations (stuck truck, low tires, air not turned on at gas station, etc) my boarder KD & I went barrel racing.

Voodoo hasn't seen barrels in months, and he hasn't been ridden a lot so I was just planning on taking a slow cruise through the pattern and getting a couple qualifying jackpots on our card (all you have to do is enter and "run" the pattern at whatever speed you want, you don't actually have to place you're just required to enter a minimum number of jackpots to qualify for Finals)  I was more interested in seeing how he'd act, Voodoo had gotten a bit silly at the gate toward the end of the year.  Obviously, being winter, this jackpot was indoors... so he'd already be "in" the arena.  He would however have to get into the alleyway and run toward the barrels.
Our first run he was juuuust turning into the alley and noticed the pattern set up and gave the tiniest pause and then he was all the way in and loping toward first.  Unfortunately I goofed... on second I didn't ask for that little bit more of a stride and let him turn too soon.
That darn turn has been my nemesis!  But I think I've gotten it figured out, thanks in part to Browneyed Cowgirl for that!  I started barrels riding Cessa, who was much longer bodied and less "bendy" than Voodoo.  As a result when I asked her to turn she'd glide into her turn and around.  When I ask Voodoo for the turn in the same spot he snaps around right.there and turns on top of the barrel.  I'm going to take BEC's advice and ride to MY spot on the barrel not HIS (ride to where my knee is at the barrel)

Saturday I hauled to penning with my neighbour Nell (who also happens to be a good friend and an equine body worker)  We've missed quite a few pennings this last little while either due to being cancelled because of cold, the Christmas break or lack of means to get there, and Voodoo has been missing it!  He's such a funny guy, our Dexters are in the pen on the other side of his and he'll go up to the fence, push his chest against it and stare at them then look up at me and back to the cows, it's like he's begging to chase them lol
This Saturday was pick night, which means you can choose your team mates.  Our little club is a "just for fun" club so teams are usually drawn.  Nell & I opted to team up and said to just put anyone that needs a partner as our 3rd, which turned into a funny story... the lady we ended up with (Carol?) turns out to be a neighbour of ours.  That makes at least 5 "new" neighbours I've found at penning lol
We may not have a very successful night as in actually getting our cattle penned but I was pretty darn happy with how Voodoo worked.  We actually got quite a few compliments - I appreciate a compliment on my riding/horsemanship (especially as I'm not that confident in my own abilities) but a compliment on my horse means even more to me :)