Monday, March 16, 2009

March Mudness

Minnesotans are usually happy to see winter’s end, but March Mudness can try one’s patience. Spring temperatures in the 50s and 60s have arrived and most of our property has turned into boot-sucking mud.

On Saturday, Tina came to haul a trailer load of hay that she stored in our barn and got stuck in the mushy driveway. Our neighbor Chad came with his skid loader and helped to pull her truck from the muck then lifted and turned her sunken trailer pointing it in the right direction for later hauling. The night temps still dip low enough to harden the ground making for easier navigating and Tina wisely chose to return early Sunday morning when the ground had firmed up to pull her trailer home. This morning, as he left for work, Ian sent mud splattering as he gunned his way to the road. In the coming weeks, I look forward to having a few dump truck loads of class 5 driveway mix dirt hauled in and spread on our U-shaped driveway, which should go a long way to lessening future mudness.

Our weekend was spent racking up plenty of horse-related mileage. On Saturday, we drove the 130 miles northward to Pequot Lakes to see Renoir and Pskye. Ian and I both worked with Pskye; jogging with him and setting him in a halter stance. He’s doing well. Erik introduced Pskye to the clippers, trimming his mane and muzzle whiskers. I can’t wait until he has his ear hair trimmed readying him for show grooming! Luckily, Erik’s very patient and Pskye trusts him.

During our Saturday visit to Lonesome Dove Training Center, we made a big decision regarding Renoir -- we’re not going to show him at all this show season. He is doing better and better under saddle and until he is solid in the performance arena, we don’t want anything to confuse the new skills he’s learning. As I said in the last post, we plan to debut him under saddle at the Scottsdale (Arizona) show in February 2010. This decision is both easy and difficult; easy because it makes sense to stay focused, difficult because he is such a stunning, champion halter stallion that is hard to beat! That said we have two yearling fillies sired by Renoir that we can show. In the end, having his get (foals) winning in the show ring makes Renoir a champion sire, not just a handsome ribbon-winning stallion. So, with that decision made, Ian will show Pskye in stallion classes this season. We’re still deciding when the Renoir daughters, Princess and Baby, and the Half Arabian yearling palomino filly, Tango, will make their show debuts.

On Sunday, we traveled 70 miles to New Richmond, Wisconsin to help load purebred Arabian mares Mara and Eve for trailering to our farm. Their owner, Kathy, has had a long hospital stay and will not be strong enough to foal them out at home. Both grey mares are in foal to Renoir and are due in May. Eve and Mara are inseparable and watching them in the pasture, it looks like it will be while until they integrate into our herd. They were here for two months last summer for breeding.

This morning on the way to do morning chores I watched as a noisy Sandhill Crane flew overhead. These 4-foot tall birds with 6-foot wing spans -- the largest species of bird in Minnesota -- are odd looking and even stranger sounding. Small groups of them migrate here to nest in surrounding pastures. Their offspring are called colts!

I also found two goose eggs laid by one of our two female geese. These are huge – maybe five inches from top to bottom. We’ll try not to disturb the nest and see if we get goslings.

Last Sunday, March 8, Marcia and Dan came over for lunch. Thanks for the tulips, Marcia! Dan has a new dog, 8-year-old Shepherd mix, neutered male, Buddy. Our groomer Becky called on Saturday asking if Ian and I could foster home a dog while she found him a home. When I saw this Buddy I knew he and Dan, whose Labrador Sid died last year, would be perfect for one another.

March can be a frustrating month. While I am truly hoping spring has sprung, it could also freeze and snow again before month’s end. Heck, it can even snow in April, but I’m keeping flower-filled thoughts!


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