Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Saddle Fitting

Today, we had Anthony Cooper, Saddler come to Kearsarge Meadows to fit saddles for the horses.   Ideally, this is something we do at least annually, similar to Spring Vaccinations and regular dental work.   I like to think of it as preventative in nature, allowing us to ensure that this very critical piece of equipment is fits comfortably for the horse, thus reducing the chances of back pain.

Each horse at our barn has its own saddle, which is fitted to the horse.   While it would be seem to be much more economical to share saddles amongst horses, this proves to be a false economy when back issues occur due to poorly fitting gear.

Tony easily made each horse's saddle fit like a glove.   Even saddles which were not originally purchased for the horses in question were adjusted and finetuned.   All of the owners were thrilled to have their favourite saddles fitted successfully, something that is not always possible!

Most notable today from Kearsarge Meadows' perspective was the fact that our little homebred Bea Yewtee got fitted for her FIRST SADDLE today.   As her "Mum", this is such an exciting milestone!   Bea will be wearing a 17.5" Wintec Pro, custom fitted to her cute but rather pudgy body.   In another 6 months or so, after she has been working under saddle for a while, developing new muscles and losing her baby fat, we'll have Tony back out to adjust the saddle again.

Overall, the visit from Anthony Cooper (and his pooches) was a great way to enjoy a productive rainy day.   Thank you, Tony!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Fading Daffodils, Asparagus, and FROST WARNING

It's that wonderful time of year when the last of the daffodils and tulips fade away, their color only to be replaced by the lilacs, azaleas, and rhododendrons that are now coming into full bloom.

On the farm, apples, crabtrees, and cherries are in bloom.   And the asparagus plants are providing great edible stalks to accompany dinner.   The vegetables that will be going into the ground soon are getting used to the outdoors in a cold frame, protecting them from the wicked gale forces winds of the past week or two.   And the grapes and hops are already growing like crazy.

We are into the 2nd week of May, have already mowed twice, and yet tonight, we will have FROST.   Ugh!   Summer is just around the corner, but is not here quite yet.   So, this afternoon, potted plants will come back indoors and the barn windows will be closed against the wicked cold.   Again.

Meanwhile, the horses just seem to take the weather in stride.   When they get too warm, they seek shade.   When the sun is shining on cold windless days, they bask in the light, absorbing heat.   On windy days, they put their tails to the wind and lower their heads or seek shelter in and around the field sheds.

Today, they are chasing loose hay as it floats across the pastures, nibbling on the early spring grass, and are goofing around, the way horses do, engaged in horseplay.