Monday, November 19

Dobie Do

Dobie Do
Originally uploaded by duanekeys
I took this picture of Dobie and Suey a few weeks back. Jennifer tied my flannel shirt around Dobie's neck and he had a good time with it. Our boy is doing well, despite the diagnosis. We cherish every day with our Dobie Do.

Des is home from the trainer, but we're still without a saddle that will fit her. Dressage tack is so unnecessarily expensive in my opinion. We bought a saddle sight unseen, and it turned out to not be so great. The seller threw in some synthetic stirrup leathers and stirrup irons though, and we found out the irons are of really good quality and are probably worth more than the saddle itself. Oh well, to ebay we'll go with the saddle and be happy with the irons.

Friday, November 16

From ice comes fire

from ice comes fire
Originally uploaded by duanekeys
I finally got around to burning a brush pile that I created of debris from the 2007 ice storm. I threw on several pieces of scrap lumber from various projects which really cleaned up a spot next to the garage.

Ford 600

Ford 600
Originally uploaded by duanekeys
My dad, ever the bargain hunter, found this tractor at an auction. He couldn't pass up the deal, knowing we're "farming" with out a tractor to call our own and bought it for us. He got a heck of a deal. The tractor is a Ford 600 series. I'm not yet sure on the exact model (I haven't yet seen it in-person as the tractor is having a tune up at the moment at the shop) but it does have a 3-point hitch and a PTO. From my initial research I've learned that this tractor was probably manufactured in the 50's and from the pictures my dad took, it looks to be most if not completely original. I've toyed with the idea of restoring it to it's former glory.

On the homestead we've been clearing fence lines. Fifteen years of neglect has let some nasty brush grow up in the line, making it difficult to maintain. The honey locust trees are horrible pains to remove, especially when they've grown so close together. We're actually considering running some goats on part of the pasture. Which reminds me I need to pick up the goat books I reserved at the library,,,

The rooster and flock are doing well. No more raccoon incidents. Scarface, as I'm calling the rooster, has even returned to his crowing (despite missing an eye and just looking plain ugly).

Jennifer recently rode in a dressage clinic and was very encouraged by the clinicians comments. It makes me happy to see her happy about her progress and accomplishments.

Friday, November 9

New blogs

I stumbled upon a couple of blogs worth some attention.

Woody of Woodys Rocky Ridge left a comment on my post about our Percheron mare at the trainer. He's recovering from a broken hip (ouch!) from a Belgian mare, but that's not stopping his blogging...

From Woody's site I noticed another kindred technology-geek living the farm life. The Transformation: DBA to Hillbilly chronicles the life of a former Database Administrator turned homesteader.

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Thursday, November 8

Dressage Saddle Lessons

We are absolutely having a heck of a time finding a dressage saddle for to fitDes. I never before considered the fact that a saddle should fit the horse's back in addition to it's rider's butt.

Jennifer has been training in dressage at Taura while leasing a horse that is stabled there. The horse's owner is graciously letting Jennifer use her saddle. Of course this saddle wouldn't even come close to fitting Des.

We found a good quality saddle locally, used, but it won't fit either. Other than that, we've been out of luck on the local scene. We used craigslist and found one in Deleware that is her size. We saw a few pictures and the price was decent, so we ordered away. Upon getting it, Jennifer noticed that there was a large "bump" on the saddle, right where her legs would be. She hasn't had a chance to try it out yet, but is sure that it's going to bother her and her horse. That's bad. After some research I learned that it's actually the stirrup bars, which is under the skirt of the dressage saddle. The bars on the saddle she's used to are recessed, and reduce the bump in the skirt.

Now we know. And maybe someone else getting into the dressage sport will find this on a search and learn from our mistake!

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Wednesday, November 7

Des at the trainer

Des at the trainer
Originally uploaded by duanekeys
Des has been at the trainer for nearly a month. She's quite the celebrity there. Everyone who visits the farm has to go by and pet her. After a week of ground work the trainer, Dan Dyke, thought she was ready to ride.

We'll be bringing Des home in the next few weeks, and Jennifer can trade that western saddle for her dressage saddle.