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Licorice Thief

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All I can say is….

Who knew horses loved licorice so much?

Horses, Welfare and End Of Life

At first I thought this post was a bit tardy, however, it seems there has been an uptick in discussion lately. I am referring the re-authorization, by the Federal government, of funds to pay for the inspection of slaughtering horses for food.

Now, for those of you who have not been following my blog, tweets or Facebook updates, my family raises horses and has for several generations. We have raised our own, purchased domestically and from abroad (Percherons from France), train and use them for work on the ranch, competition driving and riding, packing and pleasure. Read more…

Death, Maiming, Wolves and the HSUS

The Wolf Known As OR7, photo by John and Karen Hollingsworth, USFWS

It has been a while since I posted and for that I apologize. The primary reason was that I did not want publish a post that was not uplifting and positive, so close to Christmas.

Four weeks ago I helped bury a dear friend and had to put a mare down who broke her leg, in the middle of the field, with no holes around, apparently from running, or being chased. Then, three days later, one of our mares, who had just foaled, was killed by either a mountain lion or bear and a cow was killed on the same night, perhaps by a pack of coyotes or the same lion or bear. Read more…

DOL (Department Opposed to Labor) Strikes Again

My son helping change water.

I received an email the other day from a friend…an email that at first I thought was a joke, a spoof, one of those emails that once you read part way down says something to the effect of “Gotcha! Things aren’t really as bad they seem.”

I read through the synopsis…waiting to come to the “Gotcha” part…it wasn’t there…this was a legitimate proposal by the Department of Labor.

I was dumfounded at first…then a state of disbelief…followed by a wave of legitimate anger.

How could anyone seriously propose these new regulations for agricultural employment of children?

What is even worse, is that it will negatively impact and make illegal, many of the routine activities considered by the department to be “work” that occur on a daily basis on all farms and ranches. Read more…

First Family Friday

September 12, 2011 4 comments

This past summer has been crazy….

Due to long hours haying, my wife being gone for eight weeks in CO to become a Two-Star Parelli Professional we have had very little family together time.

My wife and son went on a camping trip for four days…but I had to stay home and hay.

My son and I spent three days at the county fair, showing sheep and horses…but my wife was helping put on a clinic in OR.

Upon my wife’s return from CO last week, we sat down and decided that we needed to set aside some family time and came up with the idea of Family Friday.

Being able to do things together as a family is very important to us and with our son about to turn 5, it is setting in that time waits for no one.

Family Fridays have now been designated as the day or night that we will do some activity together as a family, without distractions, just focusing on us as a family…having fun!

Last Friday was our first, with the entire family back home at the same time.

To start our new tradition, we headed to the mountains for a few hours with the horses. There is nothing better than a peaceful ride as a family, dogs bouncing through the Manzanita, breeze blowing through the trees and the smell of pine in the air.

It was agreed by all, as we headed back to the truck and trailer…Family Friday was a great idea.

Looking forward to this coming Family Friday….

Side Note: We took our ride in forest managed by Sierra Pacific and they are doing an excellent job of maintaining forest health. Nice job Mark Lathrop (@sustainablewood on Twitter)!

From The Drivers Seat

For those wondering about what it is like to put up hay on our ranch, I have tried to put together some short videos to give a sense of what takes place.

Swathing / Cutting

We wait until the dew has burned off the hay before cutting. It is important that the water has been turned off and that the ground moisture has dropped to a point so moisture does not transfer from the ground to the hay, preventing proper drying.

Raking

We rake in the early morning, while there is still dew on the windrow with alfalfa, so the leaves stay on the stem and the stems do not break. Grass hay is raked in the afternoon, with out dew, so it does not get trapped and cause mildew.

Baling

We bale grass and grass-alfalfa hay in the early evening and early afternoon, so it is soft, but not damp. Dew is not our friend when baling grass as it will cause the hay to mildew and mold. With alfalfa, it makes the best hay when baled in the morning as the dew is coming off, but we also bale in the late night/early morning as the dew is coming on when our windows for morning baling are short. We want the dew with the alfalfa, so we do not lose leaves off the stem and the stems do not shatter.

Can You Assist Me?

Gotta love the way horses help each other out.

Jessie and Digger

Jessie and Digger Helping Each Other Get An Itch

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