Sunday, September 20, 2015

When It Pays Off

After six...loooonnngggg... months...

Of exhausting and never-ending labor...

It's all paid off...


The girls got turned out 'to pasture'!!!

Halla-freakin-luyaaa!!!

The boys have been luckier than the girls because they have regularly gotten to graze around the yard this summer and more recently I have been allowing them to go out and graze on the pasture as well...


But, due to all of the openings I still have in the fence line for access, I still put halters and lead ropes on  and keep an eye on them. None of them are too interested in going anywhere, but Moon is really the only one I trust completely. Of course, you know the dun horse gets preferential treatment. While everyone else only gets a couple of hours to hog down grass, he gets all day. I am hoping that being out on grass during the day will help his breathing and he will be ready to make some runs. If it doesn't improve soon, I won't be running him in SD the first weekend in October. It is what it is with him now though. Running Moon again is purely for fun and if he isn't breathing right...We just won't run.

As it is right now, I can only hand graze Flashy...



Since he is not casterated yet, I cannot turn him out with the mares, nor do I dare allow him the freedom to run willy-nilly. I have more step-in posts and hot rope on order and will be making him a little pasture down by the arena, so soon enough he will be allowed some freedom and longer grazing time. After he is cut, I will winter him with the mares and Ruger. The two little boys can play and with the mares on pasture, as well as having free choice oat hay and grass hay bales, he should do quite well.

Of course, with 'ranch work'... It's never-ending. I still have a ton of work to do once the irrigation water gets shut off at the end of October. All that dirt work I did last spring helped get the 'hump' out of the pasture, but we were never able to get it cut down as much as it should have been. There is still a pretty decent sized hump the water has to go over after leaving the headgates, which is where most of my water struggles have come from this year. I've have to constantly work the lines to keep the water flowing through that humped up area and of course, being the only one on the headgate, I have to contend with A LOT of silt coming out of the lines. I have been utterly stumped as how to remedy the problem. Obviously, once we planted, we couldn't go back in and cut the hump down more and as the summer wore on and I kept having to dig silt away from my pipes to keep the water flowing, I realized this was a BIG problem and I had no idea of how to fix it now.

But last week, when I was on the way to the barrel race, I was making notes of things I still needed to do this Fall and one of the things on my list is digging out the headgates, removing them and taking them in for new gaskets and BAM!! it hit me!! ....

If I have to dig the headgates out and take them off...Why can't I just extend the pipe UP another foot or so before putting the repaired headgates back on? Ding, Ding, Ding!! The problem of the 'hump' and the silting has been solved. Instead of cutting the silted in areas down, which makes the hump a major pain to contend with, I'll just leave the silt, raise the headgates and next year, when I lay the pipe and crease, the water should flow out and away from the pipe like it is supposed to, reducing the tendency to drop the silt right by the headgate. That will alleviate both the hump and the silting problems. Ta-Dah!! Some days I even impress myself!! LOL.

Meanwhile...I have happy ponies and will now get to enjoy a greatly reduced hay bill. I'm sure my hubby will appreciate THAT aspect of it. I know he hasn't been real happy this last summer because I was pretty much anchored to this place working on this pasture. I think he thought all I did was turn a few spigots and it took care of itself. Hah!! I wished that is how it had worked out. Hopefully next year that IS how it will work. :-D.

3 comments:

Cindy D. said...

they look fabulous as do your horses! Now will you come do my pasture in time for winter grass? LOL

Ian H said...

If there is a chance of them getting out, suggest putting a contact number and your name on the halter and waterproof it with packing tape. Makes it a lot easier for whoever finds them. Just saying...

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

Oh, If they decided to go walkabout, the neighbors know whose horses they are and will either let me know or return them. LOL. We've all had 'visiting' horses, cows on occasion and every once and awhile a flock of guinea will show up. Although, when the turkey's came for a visit...I had horses crashing off of the panels. Guineas are okay! Turkeys?...Not so much!! LOL.

Cindy...Blah!! I'm over the growing season. Making a last push to knock down weeds, get everything watered well for the winter and then my green-thumb is going to take a well earned rest. ;-). LOL