West View Acres has a new boarder. Apache arrived from Nevada on Thursday evening. Apache's owner is going to college in Rexburg and was really missing her horse. Now she'll get to play with Apache anytime she can take a break from studying!
In other news, Kid 2 spent the weekend in Boise participating in the 4-H Know Your Government Conference. I believe all 4 of the kids that attended from Madison County received a scholarship that covered the cost of the conference, hotel, and meals. We only had to pay $28 for bus fare. In return, the kids act as ambassadors for the program. Kid 2 had a great time!
I finally caved and got myself a smart phone. So far it is not making me feel very smart as I try to figure out how to use the silly thing. Kid 2 rather eagerly volunteered to keep it for a few days and then teach me how to use it. So thoughtful of her, don't you think?
Friday night she was messing with the ring tones. She pulled up one that just seemed to demand a disco dance. Kid 1 instantly said, "NO! Not that one, or we'll have to watch Mom do that stupid dance every time the phone rings!" Nice, huh?
Kid 3 and I went for a short ride together in the woods next door after riding lessons yesterday. Piper had to poop and since Kid 3 was right behind us, she got a good view of everything as it fell out. "Eewww...It looks like cinnamon pull-aparts!" she exclaimed.
Anyone else going to have a hard time eating those now?
Finally managed to pick the remaining apple trees yesterday. We lost some apples to the recent cold temperatures, but as you can see, we still have plenty--including 3 more boxes of damaged apples not shown here that we set aside for the animals.
The apples didn't sweeten up so much this year, so they would probably be better as pie, juice or sauce than eating apples. Contact me if you are interested in purchasing some for $0.50/pound.
EXCITING NEWS-- I was finally able to order the overhead door for the south side of the barn. It should be up in a couple weeks. Stable Boy spent yesterday afternoon installing a header and making a few carpentry adjustments to accommodate the new door. It will be so nice to no longer have a wind tunnel for a barn--I can't wait!
While I've been slopping paint all over myself...I mean all over the walls, Stable Boy has been busy working on my birthday present. He designed and built 6 saddle racks and 8 smaller racks to hang saddle pads and packs. I think they look great and I'm so excited to be able to have all my tack organized and in one location.
The hardest part was determining the length of the angled support beam that helps hold up the rack.
Stable Boy: Do you remember how to do Sin and Cosine stuff?
Me: Soh, Cah, Toa! Ha! I can't believe I remembered that! What is that anyway, Algebra, Geometry, Trig?
Kid 1 (with an eye roll): Trig, Mom.
Me: Why can't you just use a2+b2=c2?
Stable Boy: I want the answers to match. They should match. How do you use this calculator anyway?
Me: I don't know. Ask Kid 1.
Where upon Kid 1 demonstrates how to properly use the calculator.
Later that night I find Stable Boy attached to the laptop watching Kahn Academy.
Me: Whatcha doing?
Stable Boy (determinedly): I want to figure out this sin, cosine thing.
I think I've got it figured out... Stable Boy = Geek Boy + Attitude = All Mine.
Thank you for all you do for me!
The wind finally died down enough last night at dusk for Stable Boy and I to hang the plastic sheeting over the south barn door.
This is a stop-gap measure to tide us over (hopefully) until we can get a real, overhead type door in place. The plastic makes a huge difference in the overall temperature in the barn. Cross your fingers that the wind doesn't shred it too quickly!
Yesterday, Kid 1 and I also moved the construction stuff from under the overhang and adjusted the fence so that the horses could take shelter. I think they like it.
In other news, a couple years ago, the window in the chicken coop literally was falling apart. I taught myself how to window glaze and fixed, painted it and rehung it. I am, apparently, not very skilled at glazing windows, because by this summer, a couple of the panes were falling out.
I took out the whole window, removed all the glass, cleaned it (with a little help from my mom who was visiting at the time), sanded it and took it in to the local window shop to have them glaze the glass into place. I repainted the whole thing with 3 coats of paint this past week.
Stable Boy (prompted in part by Kid 3's consistent nagging--she's been worried about her chickens with the cold weather, but in my defense, I did hang plastic over the window hole) went out this morning and hung the window.
If fixing the window every few years wasn't such a pain, I'd almost hope that the glass company's glazing job falls apart, too. Then I could feel better about failing Glazing 101.
Piper officially christened the new barn. I had the farrier here on Saturday. Because of the on-off rainfall and all the mud, we were on the new cement pad under the over hang.
It started to hail. The sound of the hail on the metal roof made Piper nervous. Nervous horses tend to develop instant diarrhea. Her poop hit the ground right on the edge of the cement and splatted everywhere. It was on the dirt. It was on the cement. It was half way up and along the metal wall. It was even all over the man-door and the brick molding around the door.
I know it's a barn. It's surrounded by animals. It's going to get dirty. But I couldn't help it. I had to get a bucket and paper towels and wipe it off. Sigh. All better now.
Here is Piper the Pooper right when she stepped on a big slippery rock and fell in the river the last morning of our hike over Hurricane Pass.
Can I just say...I love my new barn! Love it, love it, love it. This is the first week that we've had the construction materials cleared out enough that I could use it.
On Wednesday I was busy putting back up the gate and the sections of fence that we had taken down because of the construction, so it was nearly dark by the time I got Duke out for his training. But, guess what!?! I have this new barn with lights in it! I could see what I was doing! I didn't have to be out in the pitch dark! I love it!
Today it is windy and drizzly. But, guess what!?! I didn't have to be out in the rain. I could groom and tack up and do my groundwork and start my ride totally dry instead of cold and dripping! It was marvelous! I love it!
It was a little breezy, but Stable Boy is going to hang some plastic sheeting over the south garage door (where the prevailing wind comes from) and over part of the north garage door to take care of that until we can get some real doors in place.
Let me say it again...I LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT!
...gets the worm, right? In this case the early birds (Stable Boy and I) get to keep our overhang posts.
Monday night I saw Piper reaching above where I had sprayed the bitter anti-chew stuff to gnaw on the wood. Tuesday morning I saw Duke totally ignore the bitter spray and chomping away. By Tuesday noon, I had made the trip down to Idaho Falls to pick up the sheet metal casings.
Six am yesterday morning found us out placing the sheet metal around three of the five posts. We'll finish the last two tonight.
HA!HA! Try chewing that, you rotten horses!
Stable Boy (and sometimes, Stable Girl) have had several late nights continuing work on the barn. The tack room is completely framed in and insulated and enclosed. There is a little loft area above for storage. We have lights and electrical outlets, which means we are now able to plug in the animal's water buckets. No more breaking through the ice in the mornings!
Stable Boy tells me he is going to build some saddle racks and put in pegs for hanging bridles and halters.
We had 5 ton of hay delivered yesterday and, you guessed it, Stable Boy got to stack it! He did have some help from the farmer and a friend who had come over to help with the barn and got drafted to help with the hay when it arrived. Poor guy didn't know what he was getting into when he showed up to our house!
We ordered metal to encase all of the support beams for the overhang since the horses will soon have full access to the beams. It added another $228 to our already over-budget barn project, but at least "Beaver" Valentine won't be able take out the entire overhang.
I will try to get a training post up soon, but I'm a bit pressed for time with the kids off of school and the holiday. Kid 4 had three doctor appointments over the last two days--one for which we got to sit in the waiting room for two hours! Kid 3 got braces on her teeth this morning. Her mouth hurts now.
We (mostly my kids) are currently baking a truckload of holiday sweets, most of which will hopefully be given away before I eat them all. I may need to go sign up for the Rexburg Turkey Trot 5K tomorrow morning as a preventative measure against weight gain.
I'm about to go down and start prepping for the big feast tomorrow. Stable Boy invited a couple of his students over for T-day dinner, so even though we are far from family, we will have some company. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Years ago when Stable Boy and I were students, we took a job as caretakers on a goat-and-horse hobby ranch in Colorado. During the same time period, I worked part-time at an assisted living home. I remember telling one of the residents about caring for the animals. This elegant elderly woman declared, "Goats are dirty and destructive."
I'm here to tell you that goats don't have nuthin' on horses. You show my horse Piper a mud hole and she's like a pig in a wallow. I tell her she's supposed to be an equine, not a swine.
And then you get to the destructive part. I know some horses like to chew on wood, but I didn't know that either of my horses liked it since we've never had wood fencing here.
The above photo shows what Valentine did to our brand new support beams between sunset on Saturday and Monday afternoon when Stable Boy went out to work on the barn. Every single beam she could reach. Dirty and Destructive. Are you getting the picture here?
It's a good thing he caught Valentine in the act so he knew it was her doing the damage. Otherwise I might be minus a horse. He has a higher tolerance level for Valentine than Piper. Probably because Piper, AKA "Miss Curious George- I'm into everything", is usually the one breaking or damaging something that Stable Boy ultimately gets to fix.
Stable Boy is not a happy camper.
On a more positive note, Stable Boy stayed up till midnight last night installing an outside flood light and the east wall of the barn. In the photo below, Stable Boy and his buddy are installing the soffit under the overhang. They are out there in the dark right now trying to finish it. I think it looks great!
If I'm not posting here, I'm probably out horsing around!