Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider

Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider
Click on Logo (Original artwork by Lanie Frick for Messick Quarter Horses. Not permitted to be copied)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Acreage Upkeep

We have less than 8 acres, but it might as well be over 100 (which I would love to have!) How in the world did we get so far behind on all of the little projects, and some not so little?  Like the cutting, and trimming, and carrying to a brush pile to burn, and the burning time? 

Acreage upkeep and maintenance started back in January with hauling away the trash and junk.

We started with the burning in March. First the ditch.

What a smoky job!  I think we ate some smoke that day!

Then we started burning dead brush.  Do you know how much time that took on a tree-lined 8 acres?  I do, as I added the days and hours up, and including the last 2 days (which we were "suppose" to be done with any more burning until fall"), we have 12 days and about 50 hours into this project!  Did we have a storm that uprooted everything? No, but the pine disease hit us, and once we started looking, we cut about 24 trees down in one spot, and another dozen in another spot.  More trees are slowly dying, so we started cutting off lower limbs so the next time we burn pines, it won't take so long.  But this is what it looks like now:

Over the next month, we finished trimming and cutting away dead tree limbs.  We cut all the lower limbs off of trees where the mares are going to be.  The extra sunlight will be nice so that the grass will continue to grow!

In May, we planted fruit bushes.  Lots of Raspberries,

and some Blueberries and Blackberries,

We planted 100 strawberry plants.

The garden area:

Lots of tomato, pepper, and head lettuce plants. In half of the garden, 4 rows of beans, 2 rows of peas, 8 rows of corn. The other half had rows of watermelon, cucumbers, cantalope, melon, and pumpkins.

Hubby cut off the bottom of pop liters to protect the young plants from the rabbits.

 Hubby doesn't like zucchini, except in bread and cake, and he bought me these 2 plants, because my package of seeds only had 7 in them.  I thought if only 1 seed sprouted, I would have enough zucchini.  But, only 2 seeds germinated and then those 2 young plants wilted and died. I told hubby to water the whole garden, just not the plants. I think he didn't want all those seeds to survive. LOL  But I think those 2 plants will give me enough zucchini to put on the grill!

We set about 8 broken fence posts.  We also replaced three with larger posts to hang the gates from.

We've been busy a few days with new foals.

 Starlet's Dove born May 26th,

and Goldie's filly, born yesterday, June 17th.  I'm still thinking about her name, but my first thought was that she had such a doe-like face.  I'm thinking Doe, or Fawn...  Ideas???

Hubby made 3 lists a back when we started getting our projects done.  One list for the home, one for the barn, and one for outside.  Not much has gotten down inside, like finishing the started bathroom renovation (tub is in and drain hooked up).  We bought a water softener, and it is sitting in place where it needs to be hooked up.  We did replace the insulation above the remodeled kitchen ceiling.  That 3 hour job only took 4 years to complete.  It was a matter of getting up there (well, hubby up there), and putting the insulation that was up there, back in place.  Then I was called to help by cutting up 1 new bag of insulation for the areas where we needed it.  Check that job off the house list!!!  Sorry no pic of hubby up there, I forgot!

We moved about 35 bales of hay, that was stored in the smaller horse stall barn, down to the lower overhang next to the horse lots.  We picked up the hay pallets off the floor and stacked them. Then we raked all the old hay and took to the burn pile and burned it! 

Next we started bringing inside the machinery that sat outside. An old harrow.  An old disc. Why we are keeping them, I don't know.  But they do look neat. I'll have to get pics later and show you the organized barn!

If you look real close, you can just see the old fashioned seat of the harrow in the upper right hand corner. This is just across the fence line, and that is where the horses will go to eat the grass that is in there.  I just knew if that old piece was left in there, one of the mares would try to walk over it, or a baby would run into it.  It had to get out of there!  The other old piece was near the round bales, but it would look better put away, too!

Some days, we had little jobs, like trimming my Springer Spaniel, which ended up taking 2 hours.  You don't realize how matted ears get on outside dogs until you start trimming!  She looked like a new dog, all trimmed and toes clipped, dewormed, and fly spray on her! Photo was before the trim, I'll have to get new photos of all the dogs soon.

We spent 2 different days going to the Children's Museum and the Lincoln Zoo with Caden and baby brother Tyler.  Caden also spent some afternoons with us to help us burn and pick up.  Makenzie was here after Easter, and we are hoping to see her again soon!

I know there were more odd jobs, like vaccinating and worming horses.  I guess there are no horse photos - I've spent way too much time on sprucing up the place and less time with horses. I did have a training horse in for a month, and just sent him home a week ago.  During that time, I did squeeze in 2 dressage lessons, but I really need to start practicing again on Shaggy and go for a few more lessons.  The EHV virus scare kept me closer to home and I wasn't able to enjoy a few trail rides that I had planned. But fall time is a perfect time to ride, and I'll start conditioning some horses during the cooler morning hours.  Well, as cool as it can be in July and August!

We still need to fertilize garden and spray the fruit trees.  We are going to have apples this year from the trees hubby planted at least 5 years ago, and sure hope the worms stay away.

I've been planting some perennials, and I need to do a few more plants that I just bought.  If I plant a few every year, maybe I'll have some nice flowers all summer long soon!

Hopefully, the short list gets shorter and we can enjoy more sunsets in the evening, if only the mosquitoes would leave us alone!


txtrigger said...

I confess I looked at the stuff on the trailer for useful items. hehe

Greener Pastures--A City Girl Goes Country said...

Holy cow, were you busy! If it makes you feel any better, 8 acres is the hardest size to take care of. I used to have a horse farm that was a little under 2 acres, believe it or not. This was in Jersey. It was so small, you really had to keep it spotless. But you could get done quick. Then I had 110 acres in Oklahoma and 53 acres in Ferrum, Virginia. Those were easy beause the horses were out in large pasture all the time. Now I have 10 acres and it's the hardest. I have fields but I feel I should pick up the manure in the fields because they are not big, plus all the branches and the leaves, etc. Middle-size farms are the hardest.

What about Bambi for the foal? The mares look amazing for just having babies.

Horses Are Our Lives said...

LOL, Jonni, we didn't have the "kitchen sink" but we what would you want? a 70's "yellow" bathtub??? lol Believe me, everything had to go, even those old feeders and round bale feeders couldn't be welded back together!

and this is from the person who hates to through anything away!

GP, I think you are right. When you have a smaller place, everything needs to be in their place. I just like things to be in their place!

I'm not sure what I'll name the foal. THe mares are easy keepers, especially Goldie, but Starlet, the other mare, is starting to be pulled down with the heat and keeping up with her filly running around her. The summer heat and humidity really pulls these mares down.

Ranch Girl Diaries said...

Oh your babies are SO cute! I'm having a baby foal contest over at my blog right now.
I love the fawn-colored filly- those eyes! I'm trying to think of a nice name. Hmmm....wasn't there a doe that Bambi liked in that movie? I can't remember her name! Also, the reindeer in Rudolph, his little doe was Clarice.
Anyway, property is a lot of work! It's amazing watching my Ranch Boy take care of their acreage. He spends half his life on a mower, LOL!

Horses Are Our Lives said...

Ranch Girl, what a fun idea! I'll have to come over and look. Maybe I'll take your idea and do that here too! Great idea for names! Maybe I should post a name contest!


Messick Quarter Horses

Check out my website at:

Lessons, Training and Horse Sales
E-mail me at

Messick Tack & Feed

Messick Tack & Feed
website will be up soon! Click on logo to see current specials!