Work Wednesday—Mustangs!


Well, Cody and Cav have been here a week now and have adjusted very well. They aren’t really in bad condition, at least, not as bad as I was prepared for. Cody, especially, needs her feet trimmed, but they’re more rugged—as one would expect for a wild horse—than overgrown or injured. Neither are particularly underweight, but are always hungry.

Chestnut, our visitor, was super excited to meet other horses—she’d been sharing a pasture with a few cows for a couple years—and she followed little Cav around like a puppy. Of course, she nipped him when he got a little too familiar with her nose, but other than that, they get along pretty well.

Funniest thing is that now, watching Cav take naps, Chestnut will too! Almost every day, within feet of Cav. Cody doesn’t seem bothered by their friendship; in a wild herd, all the horses watch out for the foals and, of course, let them know if they get out of hand. Gently, of course—foals can get away with a lot!

Cav has a very expressive face. He’s taken hay from me several times now, and yesterday I got to touch his little nose. He didn’t run or even step backwards, but jerked his head a little bit and his eyes got huge! Later in the day, he came SO CLOSE to taking a sugar cube from me, but not quite . . . he did follow me around the pasture while I was cleaning up. Once, when a forkful of manure and straw flew in his line of sight, he skedaddled pretty quick for a few steps. Came right back, though.

He also loves the mineral block—and my poor cedar trees are taking a beating from his scratching!

I put Chestnut in the south section of the pasture for a few hours yesterday. She’s such a pet that she’d be all over me for treats, and she tends to herd the others away so she can get all those treats for herself. When we took her over there a couple days ago for some work, she freaked out and could only think of getting back to her posse—even if she does bully them at feeding time. So for now she’ll go in that other section for a few hours a day until she stops being buddy sour.

Cody is a bit of an enigma. She’s very alert and will watch me until she realizes that whatever I’m doing isn’t a threat, and then she’ll go back to grazing. She’ll come close, almost within arm’s reach, but that’s about it, except for twice now she’s let me hand her some hay.

The first time, a couple of my fingers inadvertently went into her mouth, and we were both surprised—no harm done; other being startled a bit, we’re both okay with it. J

When I brought in our old squeaky wheelbarrow, Cody was very, very interested. She stood and watched me all the way from the house to the gate. I had a handful of hay left in the back of the truck, so I gave her that, but when she realized there wasn’t actually food in the squeaky thing, she wandered off.

But not too far. She had to keep coming back to check!

So I cleaned up the quarter section where we drop hay, although I’m rotating it around the area, and by the gate; Cody kindly left a fresh pile as I was leaving the pasture . . . And I cleaned out the shed. Later today, I’ll go get some proper tools and finish up the rest.

Wilson, our Maine Coon, has now met Cody. He’d been used to wandering around the pasture while we were fencing, and until Chestnut arrived. The first few times he went outside after the whole herd got here, he’d stop and stare for a while, on the deck, where he was “safe.” Yesterday, he went into the pasture while I was out there . . .

Cody was closest to him, and saw him right away. She paused for a hot second, then made her way over to him. I believe he thought he was invisible, but she quickly changed his mind. She put her nose down to him and chuffed a couple times while he flattened himself and made a pitiful mew. She decided he wasn’t going to hurt her, and ambled away.

Wilson, on the other hand, went under the fence like he was shot out of a cannon. He ran about ten yards toward the house, then saw me and came back inside the pasture—but he stayed close to me! Then, of course, he discovered manure . . . A little bit later, while I was cleaning the shed, he’d made himself a nest right in the center of all the straw.

He did meet Cav, too. Cav is fascinated with this fuzzy creature, but Wilson’s not so sure about it yet. He didn’t run, but Cav didn’t put his nose on him either, like Cody did!

I’ll leave you with a few pictures; sorry there aren’t more yet—but I’m still old-school enough to live in the moment and not have to document every second. Besides, I’ve kinda got my hands full here!

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Prep Monday—Ignoring the Cold


If I don’t talk about the weather, the bitter cold won’t actually exist, right? So I won’t discuss how, this morning INSIDE the house, the temp was 55 . . . which is fine for some reason if you’re outside. I won’t talk about how it took FOREVER for the furnace to kick on or how GODAWFUL it felt when I was breaking ice in the water trough at a totally miserable 3 degrees.

If my feet ever thaw out, I’m sure I’ll be able to ignore the weather . . .

I haven’t been to the greenhouse since Missouri became the new Arctic, but I imagine that, in spite of heat lamps, everything is dead. No biggie, we’ll start over—lesson learned!

The horses had ice on their muzzles too—and Cody had a little snow on her back. Must have been rolling, because we didn’t get any precip last night. Of course, Cav is often spotted SLEEPING in the snow. Guess here is still better than South Dakota! They do have a nice shed to go into, but since they’ve never seen one before, that might take a little more time to get used to.

I’ve also learned that Cody can be a little hard to spot; no pun intended. She blends into the leaves and snow covering the pasture . . . sometimes I have to look twice!

It’s not so bad out there—the only thing freezing are my eyeballs.

Well, enough about the weather; I’m ignoring it, right? Besides, in a couple days it’ll be 50.J

So they say . . .

In the meantime, prepping in on hold, so to speak. We’re getting ready for Christmas! The stockings are hung, but often have to be removed so we get more heat from the fireplace . . . Finally found a spot for a tiny tree—the one we had at the bookstore—but half the lights went out. Que sera, sera! And of course, no space on it for all my antique ornaments . . . seems odd after all these years . . . decades . . .

And no, we aren’t actually putting prepping on hold—see, here’s the thing: once you’re prepared, you go into maintenance mode. We restock whatever supplies we use and we make repairs when needed. Like the water pumps in the pasture, for instance. Good thing we caught that before the temps dropped. It seems little Cav was rubbing his head on the top and a half-assed fix from the previous owner came apart.

But my husband had experience replacing the one by the house a few weeks ago, so it all worked out. And, he bought extra parts for the other pumps, just in case!

We’re also making adjustments as we go, such as laying in a larger supply of firewood—which means cutting down more dead trees. Such a challenge as soon it warms up a bit—we’ll need to find dead trees. In winter. Yikes!

Also, we’re gonna need more hay—the challenge here is not finding it or buying it, but storing it. You’d think, with a 40×60 barn, we’d have plenty of room. You’d think . . .

Well, time to go break ice in the water trough again. Merry Christmas and happy prepping! Only 90 days until spring!