Monday, July 14, 2014

Ancient Technology

Yep. You read that right.  Ancient technology.  We used it this weekend and got 'er done.

What did we do?

We moved a shed.

Here it is in its old position.  We built this a good 20 years ago, well before we thought we'd put runs on all the stalls.  Once we started adding runs, well, it's in the way.  So, for the past 5 years or so, we've been thinking about how to accomplish this task.  Many theories were floated, many dismissed.

Finally, we decided what to do.  Dig out the entire foundation, put skids on it from front to back, brace and cross-brace, cut the posts (which were sunk 3 feet into the ground) right below the skids, and then put up on round poles and roll and pull.

Larry spent a good three weekends digging out the foundation, with occasional help from others.

Once the entire foundation was dug, we braced and put the rollers under it.
Then, Larry cut the posts off right below the skids.  Sawzalls are really cool.
Next, we hooked it up to the truck and the tractor.
There is a whole story about getting the truck here - what you can't see is the VERY tight space I had to navigate to get it where it is here.  I am now qualified to dock starships.

Then, we pulled, slowly and carefully, jacking up the shed to put new rollers under it.  The kids helped out and while they weren't exactly excited, they did the work. You can just see Alex, here, helping Larry.  At this point, the shed is almost in its new position.  Here we were taking out a fencepost that was in the way.

Here is a view from where the shed used to be.  It will get some fill and end up being a paddock, until we put runs where it was.
 Here it is, in its new position.  We later put up temp fencing and will end up putting in permanent fencing to make 3 paddocks.
Here is where the shed used to be.  That pile of gravel will end up being the flooring of the shed in its new home.  Maz (the horse looking at me) was very interested in what the crazy humans were doing. 

So, now we need to finish the shed, including the floor and a patio outside it, take down one line of fencing, put up a few more and wah-la, done!  Then, it's on to the next project, which is finishing up the 3 runs in progress. 

All in all, the actual moving time was about 7 hours total, but that doesn't count the prep or the hours of discussion on how to do it without trashing the shed.  We all did decide that we now know how they moved the blocks of stone for the pyramids, ancient technology plus a lot of modern horsepower and lots of muscle power.

After we were done with moving the shed, we went and picked up 100+ bales of hay. life!

We don't need to go to the gym today.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

More Foal Photos

The sport around here lately has been 'Taking Rocket Photos'.  While I'm not very talented in that department, Angela Davenport and Monica Bretherton have taken some really nice ones.

Here are a few:

Two days old in the arena, Angela Davenport photo

Whispering secrets in my ear - Monica Bretherton photo
Enjoying his first day in the pasture, Monica Bretherton photo
He really enjoyed the running around, Monica Bretherton photo
One of my favorite photos, Monica Bretherton photo
And, one more for good measure.  Monica Bretherton photo
There are a whole bunch more on my Cascade Gold Facebook page.  Rocket is for sale (He's not a filly, sadly!)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

New Foal!

Christmas has come!  Tulah (the mare due to foal) spent all of the 4th of July in labor.  I kept an eye on her as I went about my chores, but I could tell she wasn't quite ready yet (although the rule is "Any mare can foal at any time").  I set up my chair out by the arena and planned on leaving her in the arena while we waited.

No such luck - between her friends that were out of sight and the banging, booming and whizzing of fireworks, she ended up in the foaling stall with a small run.  I spent the first half of the night alternating between sitting by her stall and heading inside to get some R and R.  The other horses liked me being out there too - they kept watching me and asking if the world was ending. 

Usually I have a group of people to help spell me, but the timing didn't work out this time, so my husband Larry checked on her for a few hours while I got a little nap in between booms.

I sat out in the barn in the morning calm (around 5:30 am) and she was pacing but not seeming like she was going to foal immediately.  So, around 6ish I headed inside and grabbed a few more minutes of sleep and then did some email until Larry came running in (he'd been starting to feed the horses) and shouted "The baby is here!" 

I threw on some clothes and ran outside; the foal had just arrived, but hadn't stood up yet.  I did the most important thing....checked the sex.  Sigh.  I've been joking that I never get what I wish for, so this time I wished for a bay colt.  Should have wished for that buckskin filly, I guess! 

But, he's gorgeous, big and very robust.
Look at those long, long legs!  Yes, he has a little bit of blood on them, but mama took care of that pretty quickly

Tulah getting to know her boy.  She did very well, especially for a maiden mare.  Guess the older ladies have been giving her tips.
He hadn't found the milk bar yet, and was exploring everywhere, including mom's muzzle.
As I got to listen to rockets, whizzers, booms and bangs all night, his barn name is Rocket.  Also, he got up in less than a half hour (which is really good) and was nursing in less than an hour.  All excellent.  I will have to think of a 'real' name for him befitting his heritage.
And, as he's a colt, he's for sale.  Glad I have another one for sale, but I sure wish he was that fabled filly...