Good morning, from a sweltering heat wave!! We've been, once again, putting the equines out to pasture some time in the middle of the night for heat-free, insect-free grazing. I know they appreciate that time. Although I am not sure they appreciate our loss of sleep on their behalf! But that's ok, really, it makes us feel good to give them the best of conditions.
If only that were true for all animals. Believe me, living rural like this, I see all types of conditions... and some are heartbreaking. (But that's another story.)
When we head out to do morning chores, at sunrise, the horses are ready to come back into the dry lot, where fans await in cool, somewhat bug-free stalls. Our horses are always free to come and go from their stalls - but on hot days like these, they choose to hang out in the shade.
It's fun to watch their morning routines. Each horse has his/her own morning routine.
Breakfast (a molasses-flavored vitamin/mineral supplement in pellet form) is the first thing on their minds. It's during this time, only, that I separate everyone into their own space to prevent food thievery. They are conniving little thieves, the whole lot!
After breakfast fly masks are applied - then, grooming, scratching, and personal care tasks are performed. Often, grooming requires a partner.
Sometimes, it can be accomplished on the floor... a good back-scratching and dust bath are just what's needed before settling in for a nap.
I am there, cleaning up piles of manure from the night, and Ollie backs his behindertail right up to my muck bucket - using it as a scratching post.
Of course, he knocks it over, so I move it to prevent the loss of all the manure that I have already picked up. "Hey, where's my butt scratcher!"
Ollie just backs up further until he hits the doorframe and proceeds to take care of business. It's an itch that just has to be scratched!
Next, he paws at the ground - an action that always precedes a good roll.
Down he goes.
Back and forth.
Luckily, I swept the stall floor yesterday, so he will not end up too filthy.
Ahhh.... just filthy enough.
Then, he stands back up and gives himself a good shake... from nose to tail... sending the dust flying again.
It must feel great, because it's an activity he finds time for each and every day.
Next on the docket: cool, morning-air naps in front of the fans.
Everyone stands, motionless... full... spent. Life is good.
This summer, the goat chapter of our farm story came to an end. The last of the farm fainting goats passed on to the big farm beyond the veil.
So it is with our animal friends. They live out their expected life-spans and eventually leave us. I will miss having goats. But, as I have talked about before, we are not getting any younger - so adding more animals at this time of our lives would be unwise. I hope to be able to see all of our precious animal friends through to the ends of their lives... caring for them each and every day in the best way possible. The loss of the goats does open another pasture for the horses to graze. So, we will be making use of that particular pasture this autumn and winter. A new pasture will be quite exciting for the horses.... more on that, in the coming months.
We've arrived at yet another weekend. We have a chance of having some storms this weekend, and I am hoping that this happens! We need rain badly. We could also use a break from the heat. We have no weekend plans - but that doesn't mean anything - we always seem to find something to occupy us.
We'll be back on Monday to share.
With hugs.... from the farm.