Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spring Has Sprung

Good Thursday morning to you!  Yesterday was my first go at my normal schedule after being sick for several days.  It wore me out.  You know how that happens, right?

So, Bart and I ended-up having take out Thai last night for our anniversary and watching an old movie.  And, yes, I bought to say "thank you" for all he's been doing around the farm lately.  Our date may not have been filled with the passion and anticipation of our first date, but it was lovely all the same.

I am in love with a really fine man.  Thank you for being in my life, honey.  Spring is known for new life, fresh starts, and spring romances, after all.

Speaking of spring, it seems to be finally upon us in all of its glory and the weather seems more stable for the moment.  The azaleas and dogwoods are blooming in my yard at the house in town.  Here on the farm, we don't have those flowering trees and shrubs, but there are other definite signs.  Farm life begins to shift a bit each season and the changes that come with spring are here.

In the spring and summer, my neighbors move their three horses back to the pasture next door with all of it's tall green grass. These are the same horses from February's "I Can't Make These Things Up."  If you didn't read that one, go back and have a good laugh.

Those horses always hang around at my fence line looking like they'd rather be here than there.  I can't blame them.  They don't get a lot of attention.  I'm sure my horses look like they are having a lot more fun.  You know the saying, "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence."

The fly predators have arrived, too.  Another sign of spring.  Fly predators are little bugs that eat fly larvae, but otherwise aren't harmful or a nuisance to humans or animals.  I order them by the season.  They are shipped to me each month still in their eggs in a pouch with shavings.  As they begin to hatch, we put them out on fresh manure.

Why?  It's a natural, non-chemical way to prevent flies. Flies can be a huge problem on any kind of farm with animals.  I pride myself on how few flies we have here.  The fly predators are a big part of that "fly prevention program."  Yes, really, a horse farm has to have such a program.  And, yes, it is odd the accomplishments I've become "proud" of at the farm--fly prevention, who knew?

It's time to order the "fly string" from Mr. Sticky, too.  It goes inconspicuously around the top of the stalls in the barn. It winds up on spools on either end.  So, when it's "full" we just crank around more clean Mr. Sticky String.  It is also a non-chemical way to have "fly control."  I do think the name of the company is funny, though.  Mr. Sticky.  Sounds like a rib joint or a sticky bun maker!

Of course, we're still selling sh*t for people's gardens.  The manure pile is about two-thirds gone.  A lot of that I've given to two of our "special" manure clients.  One is Doc, my small animal vet.  The other is a professor from the Bible College who has been particularly good to my herd of little Christians.  He's putting in his own vineyard.  Not your typical conservative Bible College professor!

Why give it away if I can sell it?  Well, I do sell it.  But, by the end of the winter, the manure pile is huge!  No one is gardening in the winter.  The average horse produces 50 lbs of waste per day.  Multiply that times my eight.  And, you get 400 lbs of waste a day here.  That makes for a big pile after four of five months of none of it leaving for someone's garden!  Good thing it doesn't stink!

So, as I told you before, there are a few special people who can have all the free manure they want.  But, they are very special and few and far between.  My farm nun, my good ol' boy farmer friend, the professor, and Doc.  That's it for the freebies.  Otherwise, that manure money goes right in the Cowgirl Domino Fund.

Of course, we're getting more clients making appointments to ride in the beautiful weather.  I'm always thankful for new clients.  In this economy and always, a new client is something special.  It's my chance to pay-it-forward and pass on what others have taught me about horses.

It's my chance to give them the opportunity to fall in love with horses the way I did as a child.  Born a horse person or not, if no one ever gave me the opportunity to be with horses, that internal horse person spark would have never caught fire.  They won't all fall for horses like Cowgirl Slim or I did. But, I always get excited that maybe, they will.

So, I'm off to make new clients packets for orientations to come while Rose is planting our vegetable garden. I always have one person on staff who is really into gardening.  So, that person is put in charge of it for the spring, summer, and fall.

Just like the rest of the community, spring begins our gardening season, too.  And, I guess, in a way, I'm also sowing seeds.  In my teaching, I'm always sowing the seeds of understanding and loving horses.  It will be fun to see where they take root.  You never know.  You just never know who is going to fall in love with these beautiful creatures.

Have a lovely Thursday where ever you are.  I hope spring is starting to peak out in your neighborhood, too.  Thanks for reading.

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