Cows and horses and mules

Bally and Wink

Bally and Wink

Now that March is over, we have only had the twin calves born here so far. Two of the cows out in the main pasture have slipped (aborted) their calves, for unknown reasons. We took the other four cows to have them preg-tested, and they are all pregnant. Time will tell. We both would like to see a few more calves on the ground.

The other day, luckily my day off, we saw the horses and mules run passed our front window. I went out to catch them up as Chris left for work. Since several of them needed their feet worked on, I decided to bring a few of them in and trim feet. Junior, our youngest mule, needs to be worked with and trained, so I pulled him in too. It was a rather enjoyable morning, the sun was shining, sky clear, and the day pleasantly warm. I groomed Junior, dug out the surcingle, and started with just laying it over his back, letting it flop a bit on his other side and down his rump. After about 10 minutes, I told him he was  good boy and put him in  one of the empty stalls. I groomed Otis and put him in a stall beside Junior. Next was Delta. Her front feet aren’t the best, so I trimmed down the heels a bit and then ran a curry comb over her to help her shed off her winter coat. After that, I gave her some sweetfeed as a treat.

Clemmie was tied up at the end, waiting patiently. She was a bit perplexed when I didn’t feed her any sweetfeed, but she knows not to be a pest about it. I dug out the shedding blade and really worked her over with it. With a bit of difficulty, I trimmed her feet. They seem to be as hard as a rock, but they are also a little flexible. My hands aren’t strong enough to trim her hoof with the nippers as well as I’d like, so I usually end up taking the rasp to them and rasping them down. After that, I scratched her in her favorite spots, and just gave her some one-on-one attention. Both of us needed it. I feel more at peace with myself and the world when I’m able to work with horses, and I really miss working with my mare. Before I turned her back out, I gave her some carrots and sweetfeed, which I know she appreciated. Now that the weather is warming up, I plan on bringing her in more, if for nothing else, just to love on.

I had planned on bringing in the unnamed mare, and switch her out with Otis, but Chris and I decided to leave both the mules in the paddock for now so they get used to not being with the herd. When we turned them out yesterday morning in the paddock, they were pretty upset that they hadn’t been turned out to the pasture. By today, they were starting to settle down. In a few more days, we’ll start putting them in their stalls at night, then turning them back out during the day, then start working with them. Otis needs a bit of a tune up, and Junior needs to be trained on the basics of packing as well as riding. So maybe this week I’ll bring the mare in and put her in the stall beside the mules.

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