We have a lot of ponies - many of the same colors/shades/markings. It's hard for my family or for others who help, to know who is who. I have a braided collar on each pony and have a name tag on that collar. I should also have a phone number on it so that if this current weather system (hurricane) - winds, flash flooding/lots of rain, lightning take out any fencing - authorities would be able to call us. I don't have a phone # on this round (have in the past).
These are made from cattle "ear" tags that came with a paint marker. I've now had them on the ponies for 1 year... The names are still there!! YAY!! I tried marking the buckets with their names the same way - but w/ a permanent marker. The names were gone in 30 days... Just bought a new paint marker, but will have to wait until we get dry weather to remark the bucket tags...
So far, we've only had 3 chestnut and white equine - now only the one - Tory. (sometimes I spell it with an "i")
All the buckets in this wheel wagon, going out to the pen to feed a group of ponies, has the names on the small bucket. It will match the name tagged at the feed bucket that each pony is tied at. At times, that has been important - as feed amounts/supplements were vastly different. Right now, a lot of our ponies are getting the same amounts...
The collars have been braided out of different materials - mostly recycled haystring and also from paracord. I've done both flat braid and round braids. A lot of the hardware is also recycled from old halters that the nylon is worn out of. I cut the nylon away and save all but the most severely rusted/oxidized hardware.
From 2009 thur 2013, I was on the road a lot and that included just a weekend here/there and sometimes almost a full month at a time. I've paid friends and others to come and care for our equine. We usually have big round bales out in each paddock - especially when I'm gone - as that's just easier. My family would check on them, supposed to keep them watered (and sometimes they ran out!!), but the others would actually catch each group and feed them. I usually paid up to $50/day - depending on what all was done... To coincide with the tagged buckets, collared ponies and named feed buckets - I keep a list (right now not up-to-date or missing as Julie pointed out to me the other day when she went to feed some) for the caretaker. That included a diagram of each ponies "position" in the tie line up,
Here's all the Jr girls in their feed pen - ALL 8 OF THESE GIRLS ARE SILVER DAPPLES - 2 solids, 1 silver bay spot and 3 silver black spots.
The Sr mares - L backwards - Bell, Tory, Koalah, 'Clipse, K-La. Next to tree (in the pen) - Cheri and then Bit furthest to the right.
This shot shows 2 of the spots in the round pen (not doing that here - I don't like all the holes they dig while eating and don't want to have to constantly refill them. In the round pen - didn't/don't want cement , but may be doing cement in the two pens above). You can also see the line of buckets in the "Boys Paddock" - across two fence lines. Doesn't show all of them in either pen. I don't have a decent pic showing all the boys, LOL, at either place... I'm not currently finding any of the tied ponies in the barn at our previous place either... But could feed up to 9 in the section of open barn we had. While I love our new place, I REALLY MISS my barn. This place isn't really set up to do a central barn like I previously had - which is why I set up the two other individual "feed sheds" in front of the SR mares and Boys' paddocks. The "Shedrow" barn works for the rest... BUT use the wagon to haul feed out for those ponies as it's much further to go!
If I get that many, my hubby would truly divorce me... And to be honest, even with the way I have things set up right now, with our current schedules and all, the ones we have are *probably* too many! It's crazy and while I get a little done here and there, we have so many different and on-going "projects" right now, that it seems every time I do one thing there's 4 others not getting done. And when I slow down and have down time, I often fall asleep (even outside sitting in one of the feed sheds OR here at my laptop computer).
I REALLY like(d) using Nutrena Safe Choice. It's the first feed EVER (well, besides the "real feed" in MT that I fed - COB - corn, oats, barley) that I found they all did well on and that I just had to add a mare/foal supplement to. Also, it was available at more stores where I could get it if I had horses on the road (didn't have to take as much with me) or if my/our work schedule kept me from getting to the feed store while it was open. Right now, our local feed stores (including Tractor Supply - some open until 8pm and others open until 9 pm) have Strategy on sale and I'm in the process of giving it a try for the first time in years. That's a $5/per bag savings and it's supposed to be on sale for another month or so (I think that's what the rep said). IF they do well on it and I decide to continue using it, it's $2/bag less than Nutrena SC at regular pricing. HOWEVER, years ago when I used it, ours didn't do well on it. We'll see - I haven't gotten everyone switched over all the way yet. They are eating it. It is 2% less protein, though, and we'll see how that goes. Everyone now also gets alfalfa pellets (before I used to just feed a couple the alfalfa pellets). I am not feeding beet pulp at the moment - but seriously thinking I will be going back to it. I feel like they did better overall when they were on it.
When we take the buckets of feed out, we wet it down. I feed every horse here wet to soupy. During the spring and summer it's tap water (outside). Last winter - both in the temporary qtrs and when we first moved in here, they still got cold water. Doing hot or even warm water here will not be easy! Even hauled out to the pastures in the two ltr bottles and a couple of covered 5 gallon buckets like I used to do - it'll be cool by the time I get out to the pastures with it - ESPECIALLY the last one to be done. But going back and forth isn't really an option either. Have some thoughts about putting a hot water heater out where I want to set up a wash rack. Could do one that uses propane to heat the water. OR maybe could do one that is a "flash" heater (can't think of what it's actually called at the moment). A plug in bucket warmer will work in a pinch - but doesn't work for the amount of water currently would be using... After I feed, the individual small buckets get dunked int he water tank to clean and get re-set/filled up while the ponies are all eating. in the evenings, I do the Sr mares first - as with the tarp set the way it is, it gets real dark in a big hurry in that feed shed (soon it will be dark before I get home from work and I'll have to go back to using the head lamps). Then the boys and then the Jr girls - electric lights in that "barn". I haven't had the problems here with the ants like I did at the previous barn - in fact - I have yet to actually see fire ants here (THANK GOODNESS).
I've actually got the feed time - w/ doing all 3 pastures, the big pen (1 arab/1 shetland pony) and the two chicken tractors out between the 2 pony pastures, cleaning/re-filling 2 (of the 4) water tanks - down to 1.5 hours. Now, if ponies decide to be "crazy" and I choose to work at catching them - that adds time. If (like now) I have to put out small square bales of hay, it adds MEGA time to the equation - have to unstack it in the stall it's in, load in truck or onto the wagon and then take to where it goes. I REALLY LIKE and DEPEND on free choice hay and LOVE the round bales. I wish I had a tractor with the "pokey" attachment that can pick up/move hay bales and a "proper barn" to store it in. I prefer to have no more than 2 round bales at a time out in the paddocks - each then wrapped in a cattle panel for a hay feeder to reduce waste.
The JR girls wasted a lot of hay when I put 4 out at one time (I didn't put cattle panel around any of them) - though they have gone back and were going thru it today (in the rain) because I haven't gotten more to put out for them yet (they DO have hay and they DO have grass).
When I have ponies penned up - I've been lucky in that I can free feed hay that way too (put out a bale at a time - prefer to put in hay nets, or a feeder but can do on the ground as well) and it makes life soooo much easier not having to "mess with" hay at each feeding. Our boarder, Julie, has her feed for each horse set up in zip lock bags - we open/dump into the carryout buckets and pour it into their feed buckets. they are tied just like my regulars are.
With the loss of 2 equine in the past month (Kava, Shet filly & Jazzy, 16 hh NSH mare) and the birth of a new one (Riddler, Shetland colt -not eating from his own bucket yet), we currently have 22 purebred Shetlands, 2 -1/2 shetlands, 1 arab. Board - 1 mini and 1 shetland (so feed 27 equine 1x daily at this time).
This is the first summer - ever- in my horse ownership years, that I've done "nothing" with individual ponies. No one has been clipped (not even bridle paths), regular grooming hasn't been done (did quite a bit when treating for lice for two weeks - then disinfected/bleached and sun-dried the curry comb, brushes & mane/tail comb I used). I do a very cursory grooming when each pony gets his/her hooves trimmed (dirt knocked off w/ stiff brush, mane and tail combed out).
The middle stall in the barn now has MOST (not quite all) of our horse/pony equipment in it - but it's not set up where we can easily go in an take out harness that we want to use (YET - that's another project!!). Or safely bring a pony in to groom/harness or have farrier do hooves.
A grooming area/wash rack is not set up yet - want it covered and it can be done via a "hoop coop" and tarp(s) (for now) - will need to join two panels together to make that work I believe...
Want to install heavy duty hitching rails, in several different areas, built from railroad ties/heavy duty posts that are here already - but need to dig the holes for the posts, notch the posts for the horizontal pieces and get the steel straps done (just found a local welding shop that could bend those for me). Need to shift equipment that is against the barn wall at one end, build another hooped "coop" to use for storage and put my wagon and carts in that.
Need to dig in post holes and set the posts for the gates on EVERY pasture - right now they are only "tied" into place...
With all this rain, wish that every building on this place was guttered and had rain water catchment barrels in place - there is A LOT OF WATER coming down. If this keeps up, we'll have a full pond again tomorrow (for the 2nd time this year). None of the buildings - even the house - have gutters! I don't understand why, in this area, every home and shop and garage/carport aren't automatically guttered.
Need to set the gate post and finish the round pen -
We have 3 "pokey" things, one for each tractor, although one of those tractors usually has a bucket and grapple on it. We're hauling bales, so a tractor out in the hay field to load and one at home to unload and stack; just not moving today, as it's raining (so I'm going to try to quilt this afternoon, I trimmed 3 this morning).
Now - "K-La" - Haven't posted any pics of her lately.
Here is one from August, one from September and a couple from October 1st. They all show the same side - none from the rear right now...
Sooo.... will take more pics and try to get some from the rear and her udder. The last time I checked her udder by feel, I don't remember it being any larger (yet) but ... the pics don't really show what I thought as a slight enlargement showing in front of her stifle. I'm thinking that this isn't a hay belly but a "Bun in the oven"?
"K-La" is 20 this year and I don't know when her last foal was born. I have to scan and then do up some pics I have of her and her foal (s?) that came with her when I purchased her. I haven't been able to straighten out the mess that is her papers yet... Wish I could - this should be a foal w/ tremendous substance - exactly what I'm looking forward to...
I don't have any really great shots of Tory again, either. I was beginning to think she just had a wonky hay belly going on and had re-absorbed what I thought might be a foal (she DID develop and udder in May/June - same time frame that Koalah foaled).
Then when we were taking pics of "Riddler" on Thursday, 2 things happened. FIRST, our wild child mare walked up to me and stuck her nose in my camera and then my "tummy". Not a head press like some of our ponies do BUT... DIFFERENT for her. I think I "squeeed"... and the pitch of my voice caused her to jump away but she didn't go far. As I brought the camera up, I swear I saw a flutter in her upper right side flank. I put the camera down and looked at her and pretty sure I saw it again... So, a foal here, too, may be FINALLY coming.
Other than that "flutter" - she looks less pregnant right now to me than she has since April... ??
Just 9 days later - here is K-La during her hoof trim and her first udder shot. I thought I'd gotten some udder shots of her previously, but I'm not seeing them so I guess not (will look thru some more pics later).
At 10 days of age, Riddler was introduced to the halter for the first time (Iate compared to most of our ponies in the past), a belly rope and responses to pressure. He is developing nicely and we are all starting to accept him on his own merits.
He also has blue eyes, though not as blue as Kava's were.
I love it when they start teaching themselves about how the reward via release of pressure works. This shows how he has backed up after stepping on the lead rope. When he backs up - the pressure is released (& shows).
"bowing" when he feels the pressure from the belly rope (it released shortly when he stood up and took 1/2 step forward, didn't get a pic of that, though). He wasn't responding "as fast" as I wanted (rather I wanted to avoid all of this pulling and "bowing") so I flipped a loop around his haunches and used that to encourage him to step forward. I think the halter/lead was on him a total of 30 minutes (some of which he was loose) and then he was leading fairly easily...
Julie - I had to look for a long time to see what you were seeing,
, but FINALLY saw/recognized it. Well, think "Riddler" has stuck so "Boone" is out...
That's like "Rio" has a little scottie dog on his left side neck - but none of us recognized it before we called him "Rio". I could have gone with "Scottie" or "Scotty" but ah well. He's our little "Rio" now!!
Welp, talked to ASPC on Friday and I will be initiating his parental testing this week. Will start with his dam (*didn't think to check if she'd already been done by previous owner - wish those tests came back to O, so they could go w/ the horse when sold), him and Wizard (since I need to do DNA on him anyway). IF he turns out NOT to be sired by Wizard, we'll then test Oly (now a gelding owned by Vicki) and go from there. I'm not sure if we can do the Parental testing directly from the forms from ASPC/AMHR (DNA - $29/horse) or if I have to use the forms from UKY (DNA/Parental testing - $40/per horse). Will try to call UKY tomorrow (calls during the day are difficult, since my job is answering phones, returning calls and etc...).
Then we'll do color tests - Of course - we already know he's a bay tobiano so looks like this - E?, A?, T?. Just want to know what each of those ? marks are. Actually, will color test his dam first - have both Wizard, EeAATT, and Oly, EeAATt, color tested.
In looking over my DNA spreadsheet, I was very surprised. I've done DNA testing (permanent) on more of my herd than I'd realized! What a pleasant surprise. Still have quite a number to do yet with color testing BUT can hold off on DNA for a bit on most of the ones left (I think... - have to look up the parentage qualification rules and see what the newest updates are).
Well, talked to the DNA folks at UKY and what a different "story" than what I was told by the same office 3 yrs ago when I had a surprise colt born to a mare that I purchased "open"... The testing is affordable - just they ONLY send the results to ASPC, not to the owner (Y NOT?)... A waste of time IMO, when they (ASPC) then have to contact me as to whether or not the colt is sired by the stallion I'll be sending in (not DNAd yet). If he's not, we'll have to send in the DNA for the other boy - who isn't owned by me anymore and is now a gelding. SIGH.
I haven't done pics in a while. Need to drag myself out there (have to feed, too). I may be doing some feeding now, come in and rest, then go back out to finish the groups later... They don't exactly like it when I do it that way, but they seem to have gotten used to it. I love that I now have feeders in the chicken pens that allow them to feed themselves free choice. Now just need to finish the bucket/nipple waterers for all of them.
Fever broke (again) this morning and I finally know that I have an upper respiratory thing going on. The cough is sporadic, but when it hits, I cough until I almost pass out. I hate that. Glad I wasn't doing that the 3 previous days when I went to work - would have had a car accident - going off the road. The last few years, I've tried to eat better, tried to do some different things and for the first time, I haven't had as much respiratory issues (constant year round bouts of sinusitis and Rhinitis). BUT that means that right now, I'm "not used to it" and I'm miserable and feeling really WIMPY... O, woe is me.. My fever hit 103 again last nite the last time I'd checked before it broke - that makes 2 nites in a row and the first night it was 102.9 (when I checked - not checking much!!)... I was kinda glad it was pouring yesterday when I got to work - 10 minutes after I arrived, I had "water" dripping off the tip of my nose and my finger tips... The other receptionist dealt w/ the clients while I picked up animals and took them to the back. Made sure I didn't contact the owners or their leashes and I wiped everything down that I touched (cat crates, counters, door handles, PHONE etc) in the back... It was a miserable 3 days, but don't have the $$ for DR if don't work... I had to remove the "damp" layer of clothes (thankfully, I carry extra). I was sooo glad to get off work an hour early and not scheduled today. I would have had to call in today if I had been scheduled. O, sick, sick - go away.
SIL is picking up the slack w/ the critters, but hubby said he wouldn't be out today cuz' they are now feeling it too... Think we picked it up at the ComiCon 2 weekends ago. First full "PONY WEEKEND" I'd had planned in a while and will be cancelling all activities most likely. Weak as a kit, too...
Here's my smile for the day (can't do a real one - face REALLY hurts!).
Fever lasted for 4 days - going as high as 103.2* f when I took it. Seemed to stay away over the weekend, but I was "knocked out" quite a bit. ONce the fever broke, the drainage started - and I'm sitting here with a throat that feels like hamburger and a voice acting like a boy's entering puberty (sometimes low, sometimes high and squeaky and sometimes non-existent). I'd love it if the coughing would stop... It's weird. I'm fine, i'm fine than out of no-where - I start coughing. bleck.
I HAD to get feed on Saturday - one of the only days that I could get feed between being sick AND the rain. I think it's been years since I've spent that much on feed in one run - but we were out of almost everything (alfalfa pellets, feed pellets, chick starter, layer pellets & cat food). SIL & his buddy helped unload 20 bags of feed. I was worn out after the driving (stopped at 3 places + picked up lunch for the guys & granddaughters helping).
Now have all the parts to build 4- 5 gallon bucket waterers for the chickens, 4 - 5 gallon bucket feeders for the chickens and the 2x4s to put up the "big roosts" so their little chickie toes can sit flat in the coming cold weather! The rain started up again Sat nite, so on Sunday the chickies didn't get their big roost yet (boards still in the truck, bad me!). And while I wanted to get the waterers/feeders done... I was worn out just from feeding in the rain, so ... I just looked at them occasionally. I also got some laundry done and made some meals that could be taken to work this week - so accomplished a bit..
The time change and the dark caught me by surprise! Forgot just how dark it is out there! Its now dark BEFORE I leave work, so all feeding the last 2 nights were done in the dark in the rain.
K-La has been "gimpy" the last couple of days. I'm hoping I feel good enough tomorrow evening (supposed to be a little more clear?) and then maybe take her out of the paddock, park her in front of the headlights on the truck and clean out her front hooves really good. I had increased her feed, but when she went "gimpy" I reduced her again. She's rather round with this foal and is slowly bagging up. I didn't get any pics, of course, so I'll work on that, too.
OK, off to take meds and crawl into bed so can go to work again tomorrow!
Maybe starting to get a little better, but you are right. It's dragging on..on..on Etc infinitum. Felt a little better today, good to have "decent" weather - nice breeze at first - then turned humid enough - thought was going to melt. Then the rain that was supposed to come in Sunday had changed to tomorrow and wow - started "spitting" at 1 pm TODAY! But got a lot done, happy with that. By the time I had chores done, we'd trimmed 6 shetland mares, 1 shetland colt, 1 arab mare - I was about "thru" but we didn't sit in the house long as it took longer than I thought it would to get that done. Larry rode along with me so we went up to Sanford to eat lunch out at Arby's (don't get there much) and then swung back around and down to the shop that had out trailer (tire replacement & service done 2 weeks ago but I hadn't been able to get there when they were open).
Little Riddler has rubbed his head of all his "fur". Looks like he's been clipped, but he hasn't. He is 5.5 weeks old and got his first hoof trim today. Here are some pics of him.
And by the time he'd led next to his dam the 3/4 mile from the SR mares pasture to the paddock behind our house (now that I have it set up finally), he was leading pretty well. Only the 4th time he'd had the halter on and doing very well. He's really a nice colt. Still under a bit of a black cloud but it's slowly fading...
Have some pics of "K-La" too, working on them... She never looks as "preggers" in the pics as she does in person!