Monday, June 19, 2017

haying... summer....riding and driving!!!!

so, with the fields being "knocked down" hay season has officially arrived, and for the record, it's one week earlier this year. Last year, it arrived just as we were leaving for our trip to Adrian, MI... and we had to leave it in the hands of Denise and Astrid... at least this year we are here to do our part...

But along with the haying, came the HOTTEST weather... jumping from the 60's into the very high 90's and almost 100.... still hay needs to come in, so we don our best hats... (my pick is my Amish hat) and we drink lot and lots (and lots) of water... we pace ourselves and head to the field...
We had two days of haying... nice to see the usual "field crew" always happy to help load. And I'm so very glad that Ed got the hay wagon up and ready to go.. because it certainly makes the job go better.
The hay stacks nicely in it... it's a good height to work on, and we don't have any worries about losing any of the bales on the trek home. 

First load arrives on the farm. The horses are so excited to see this wagon pull up... now, the real work (for us) begins, loading and stacking it in the hay loft. Astrid came to help again this year, as well as Denise.. so between the four of us.. we made pretty good work of it..

Day two was just as hot!!!! but more troops arrived to help. Abi couldn't wait to get to the field and was after her Mother from the moment she got home from school to come and help. This year she's big enough to be a true help and can hustle those hay bales almost as well as any of the adults. She was even more thrilled though when she and Papa were "allowed" to ride in the hay wagon as we moved about the field picking up the stacks. 

We pretty much worked until dark, and happy to report that three loads of hay is about all we need for this year. 

I might grab a load or two at second cut.. depends on how the hay seems to hold out over the summer. But for now, the hay wagon is empty and the hay loft is pretty much full. The boys will be heading out to the big pasture very soon.... so, in the food department of things... we are looking pretty good.
You'd think Livy did all the work by the looks of this photo....
It's been so much fun having Astrid coming to the farm and taking her riding "lessons" (I am not a riding instructor, but happy to share what I know and nice that Tonka is being worked)... She arrived this past weekend, and we played around with Tonka... afterwards, I asked her if she might give me a hand and begin to build a relationship with Abraham. 
We got him harnessed and I had just planned to do some ground work with him. Truthfully I have only taken him out once, last winter, when we had most of the ice gone. I don't know where my time goes but it hasn't been spent on this boy. And it's time to get back to driving and learn what this guy is all about. 
Astrid had asked what the game plan was... I told her, it's up to Abe.. and just decided I would see what both our comfort levels were. Because as much as I have to trust him, he has to trust me as well..... harnessing went very well and I did notice that he was much calmer on the cross ties with me than he had been in the past. 
He walked quietly into the barn yard, and stool like a gentleman while I fussed and got everything jus the way i liked it. 
Astrid caught this photo of him, and as I look at it later, I feel he has a very worried look about him. I'm not sure what this all about.... whether he was just worked very hard in his previous life, or just not sure what I was going to ask,... but either way, I need to soften this by just working with him. 
We ground drove all around the farm. He was so calm and attentive, that I thought, the time has come for a true hitch. So, we pulled out the fore cart and decided to see what he thought about. He backed perfectly between the shafts... stood nice and quiet while we hitched...

He walked out gentle with it... I did a little ground work from behind the cart... but, my last time out.. hopped in and away we went up the drive way. I think everyone was so happy for me, that the actual photos of our first drive together didn't happen... but I know it did. 

It was nice to be driving again, I haven't driven since that last ride that Duke and I had together just before we lost him. It made me sad and happy all at the same time. Another chapter has begun. It feels like it does when another generation of dogs come to my life. Abe reminds me of Duke and I have a feeling that with some more work and time, we will become a good pair. I can't wait to see him with the wagonette, but for now, fore cart work will be where we start....
He's a good boy and it was a very fun afternoon. I'm glad that I have found a new happiness /interest with the boys again. Because it's really what the farm is all about....