Making Hay
Week of September 16th, 2007 | The weather was warm & sunny.

Julia with her horse.

Julia with her horse.

Today my brother, Justin, and I went to clean out the chicken wagon. We do this about once a month, and work hard to make everything fresh and clean. So we headed off to the chicken wagon out in a field on the golf cart with tools and shavings on the back. It was a beautiful day, the horizon was full of big fluffy clouds, the sky was a clear blue and the sun shone brightly everywhere.

As we approached the chicken wagon all of the chickens were spread out and grazing in the field. That was a good thing because it would make it easier to have them outside while we clean the inside. But there were some laying eggs in the nest boxes. We decided to sweep the floor first and then clean out the nest boxes so they could finish laying their eggs. About an hour later the nest boxes were clean and bedded, the floor was swept and bedded, the roosts were clean of manure and the chickens were happily eating grain in their now clean chicken wagon. It feels good to know that they will have a comfy, clean home.

After a glass of homemade, freshly squeezed lemonade, I was back out the door for a horseback ride. Recently I have been riding every day, trying to get as many rides in before school starts when I will have less time. The ride was the best part of the day as it usually is. First we warm up in the corral and then I spend the next hour or two galloping through fields, exploring different parts of the woods and viewing wildlife such as deer and sand hill cranes. It is truly the best way I know to escape reality and live life like a good dream and bond with my horses. As I was just coming out of the trail that leads around the pond on my way home, I glanced at my watch and realized that it was already time for me to bring the heifers into the yard for food and water. Because I was already near their pasture and on a horse, I decided I would bring the heifers in on horseback. I rounded up the heifers and we all headed to the yard. I needed to remember to keep the distance between Tasha and the heifers because if we got too close they would bite at each other. Not because they are mean, but because they don't know each other that well, they don't spend very much time together.

After I had taken the saddle off and brushed Tasha, I led her back to the pasture where we were gratefully greeted by Sayber. I turned around to release the lead rope and right then I encountered probably one of the most beautiful sunsets I had ever seen. The sky was streaked with just about all the shades of pink and purple and was radiating light everywhere. The sun was big and orange and glowing. It was just about to sink past the horizon. In just a few minutes this beautiful moment would be gone and I would never in my life see this sunset again. You have to hang on and enjoy those moments well they are there, before they are gone, just like the sun.

Your Farm Friend,
Julia K.

Farm Fact: Horses and ponies can rest and even SLEEP STANDING UP because of a remarkable stay apparatus in their patella or kneecap. A hook situated on the inside and bottom end of the thigh bone, on its hind leg, cups the patella and the medial patella ligament, so preventing the leg from bending.

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