Thursday, July 29, 2010

You are invited to chime in with your opinion about this trailer

OK, went to see the trailer.

It looks pretty good.  They have used is about 6 times in the last 2 years for things like taking his tractor to a relative's house, and to help someone move a couple of weeks ago.  When they had horses (that they sold 2 years ago) they used it frequently.

It's a 1989 Kingston, model "Brentwood".
It's 7'4 on the inside (Java likes to try to hit her head, she needs all the room she can get).

Mr. Java's Mom will go with me next to look at it.

Here are photos.  It's not perfect, but seems sound.
Floor looks good from the top and under the trailer.
Lights work.
Turn signals work.
Windows and doors work.
The spring to make the ramp stay shut until you latch it works.
Butt and chest bars work.

Ok, photos:

That's the top left door in the trailer, they work, one is on, one is not.

it has imperfectoins, like this pad.
Replacement pads can be found (yes, I already looked).

Floor looks good, I would want to get any and all old bedding away from the flooring as it looks like a little is still in there.  The owner must have washed it out this morning, it was a little wet in places.

Tires may be fine, but have some cracks...
We would probably want to replace them, but Mr. Java's Mom knows about that stuff, he will tell me what we should do.

The jack thing.  It needs a pin (those are easy to find too).
This stuff all worked well.

So........ what do you think?

They are only speaking with us about selling it - meaning it's not advertised, they have not put the word out.
It's because I called their neighbor and asked about it that they are speaking with us to sell it to us.

I got under it (a little) and it looked fine, but Mr. Java's Mom and I will take another look.

I think we would need to get new tires, add butt bar pads, the chest bar pads need repair, the divider at the bottom is not perfect, that would be good to replace with new material, and I think that's about it...
That could add up.  I have no idea what new tires for a horse trailer cost.
It's a steel frame with aluminum "skin"

I called Kingston and new the trailer cost $6702 in 1989 (it's a 1989).
Their asking price is very very reasonable.  I am not sure it leaves room to negotiate.

chock full of events and news

Ok Ok Ok, there has been so much going on!!!

First, Stretch: 
he has been very very sick, since March.  It is not contagious, without airing all of his details (since he's not my horse, I think I should keep it somewhat "private"), he almost left us for horsey heaven a couple of times.  His loving owner, our amazing fabulous incredible vet, and I stuck it out and...  He is all better!  The vet pulled final bloodwork on him this week, and it's normal.  The news brought tears to my eyes, and I actually almost fell out of my chair.  He looks good, feels good, and is putting on weight.  The easiest way to describe it is that he had in infection in his abdomen, surgery was not an option, so we had to find the right antibiotic to kill the infection, (it only took 6 meds to finally land on the right combination) and it looks like there was SUCCESS.  This is huge.  This is just wonderful news. 

Her knee was injected as I think I mentioned.  It's better.  Improved, check that off the list.  Radiographs were taken first and there are no bone chips, good news.
And, she is still chowing copious amounts of Doxy for her Lyme, and she seems fine.  We'll pull blood again in September and see where we land on the titer.

Sugar Bear:  is adorable, and has the most amazing manners.  His lameness rehab/vacation here is going great.

The pens still ROCK.

And... you know how we are nuts about manure/composting/farm management?  Well... we somehow have flies.  I hate flies.  So... I broke down (I'm a horribly frugal yankee) and bought Fly Predators!!!  They arrived, and I spread them yesterday.

Meet my new friends:

Yes, I read the instructions carefully:

Just making sure I have enough:

You are supposed to get 1,000 fly predators per horse.  We have 3 horses here.  Well, I'm not messing around, I ordered 10,000.  With follow up shipments of 5,000 for the next two months.  Then cold weather (wah) will come and the flies will be gone anyway.  The paddocks/pens are 99% free of flies right now.  The flies are IN the BARN.  It's so bright and airy, that the flies made it their house.  You know can understand why I'm pissed, and waging an unfair war against them. 

I always wondered what they look like... and they look like teeny tiny bees/ants with wings
 and appear to be delicate.  Squashable. 

Around and in the barn they went:

Then to the manure cabana.

After I sprinkled them around, I found myself tip toeing around the stalls... hoping to not squash them.

Today, I'm going to look at a used horse trailer for sale.  Can you believe it!?!  It's not listed for sale... the owners live down the street, and if you crane your neck while driving... you can see what I'm pretty sure is an old Kingston horse trailer parked wayyyy off the road at their house.  I know one of their neighbors, called them they gave me their number, and since I asked, they would be interested in selling it.  YES!  They had horses, competed in Dressage (which I consider a plus, since anyone I have ever know that competes in Dressage is a little... um... particular and fussy, this is a compliment), etc, and they don't have the horses anymore and the trailer has been sitting there...   I'm taking photos when I go today.

Of course there is plenty of other stuff going on, but I don't want to make you read too much.  The fence issue is on hold... we are hoping that the DOT forgets about it.  Not likely, but that's the status.  I'll call that "wait and avoid see" status.

Yep, Java doing this again:

Friday, July 23, 2010

They like the pens... maybe too much

Java loves her new little buddy Sugar Bear.

She has lots of grass that she sometimes will work had at mowing down.
Here is a moment with Java working hard, look at that work ethic!

Then, she sometimes will call for me (truly, like yell for me in the house, or wait for me to pull in the driveway, then tell me what she wants)... which is "I'm tired from all this mowing I need a nap, and I prefer to nap with the company of my friend Sugar.  He's so snuggly".

So, I put her in "her" pen, she promptly put her head over the gate into his pen, and she dozed off. 
He happily ate hay while she snoozed:

He is a really good little guy.  He is only here for a short time for rehab (lameness) so I hope she takes it well when he leaves.  But if by some incredible stroke of luck, he stays, she will be so happy.

Here they are on a totally different day, happy as can be in the gravel pens... uh guys... there is grass!! 
Sugar cannot go out into a large turnout space yet, Java and Stretch are being excellent hosts and keeping Sugar company... close company.

I look up, pray for sanity, and decide the weathervane looks pretty good for a photo.

Uh, Java, aren't you a little hot... there is shade in the grass paddock this time of day...

Nope, I want to be near my buddy Sugar.

These horses!!  They will do what you want, sometimes... with patience, and just the right weather.  As the temps got out of the 90s yesterday, Java grazed all morning, came in for a nap (with her gang) then they went out until a record late time until coming in for the night. 

He is pretty cute:

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Some photos of normal moments here:

Just some photos of regular activity/inactivity here...

Java being... Java:

Stretch in for a mid day relaxing nap:

An unfortunately dark "panoramic" shot in the barn.  Sugar is the only one wondering what I'm up to and looking at me.  Stretch and Java have their heads in their stalls eating hay.

Bandy with a bone (between her paws):

Mackie looking a little dorky. 
We were about to go to the pond for a swim (the dogs, not the humans).

They are off, racing to the pond, Bandy's tail a blur.

Soggy dogs playing (aka, Bandy terrorizing Mackie)

And, Java being... Java

Monday, July 19, 2010

the pens

The pens went through a few final stages.

This is the total list, the top stuff you already know:
Excavate down.
Remove the dirt.
Lay down underliner/geotextile as farmtek calls is "non woven pond underliner".
3 inches process (gravel with sand).
3 inches gravel.

THEN, in Ms. Java's pen - mats with holes. 
She is the destroyer of all footing.
She got mats, then more gravel.

Actaully, all the pens got more gravel.

We got rain today, great excuse to use the pens while the grass paddocks dry out.  Since it's 80* and sunny, that won't take long.

The layout again is like an L.  each is 12x24.  If we want to open a pen larger without all 3 out, we can just open an gate and give that horse more room:

Mr. Java's Mom laying the mats for the Java - the footing destroyer:

Mats with holes, from Farm Tek, supposed to be used like this.
They were in one of the dirt lots, but this is a better use for them, or at least we think so.
Well, now that they are in the pens, we are sure, sure that we don't want to move them again that is...

He's pretty good at things like this, so nice and straight, flat and tidy.
Yes, he is putting the cut offs of the zip ties in an empty SMZ bottle.

It was hot, Mackie came out out to supervise and needed to hydrate. 
Horse paddock water is his favorite:

All the gates open:

This is the size of the gravel:

Ah, nice pens:

Tidy, ready to go:

We love Tarter gates.

This is the pen with the mats underneath:

This photo is distorted for some reason, but you get the idea:

At last, project complete.  We're ready for precipitation and next spring!

Mid morning we got a dumping of rain, the storm clouds cleared, the paddocks are drying out, it's time to go out again kids!

Java and Sugar testing them out.  They did not bake in the sun, it comes around in the afternoon.

Each horse rolled, tucked into their hay, and last I looked, they were all in the shade napping. 
Happy horses -  That makes it all worth it.
This will give the grass time to dryout, and they can go back to mowing tomorrow:

Even Stretch likes the pens.  He gets the end spot, because he has to have his own space.
And his favorite posession, his hay bag.

Friday, July 16, 2010

fence update and general farm stuff

The next chapter of our DOT issue:

DOT meeting yesterday morning. 
We were here and met with a regional DOT person, and a more local representative from the local garage.

The regional person says that she "presumes" the property line is on the other side of the fence, and we have to remove it, move it, whatever, make it disappear.

I explain that the funds for that do not exist right now.

It was not a nice meeting.  Our local DOT person was very helpful, but there is only so much that he can do.

There is a lot to this, and it deserves it own post, or it's own blog.  We are getting different information from all 3 DOT people we have been trying to work with.  I'm considering making a sign and putting it on the fence, directing passers by to a blog to find out what is going on.  Then if we need to take down the fence, the locals will know what is going on, and if someone can help us figure out the setbacks on the road, that would help too.  DOT does not know the property boundaries, and neither do we for the road frontage part of the property... Next week we hopefully will learn more.


The new pens are being used.  They are getting a second phase of completion this weekend, we are putting down mats (the kind with holes) and more gravel to help Java (the footing destroyer) keep things nice. 

Sugar is on restricted turnout/movement for an injury (that's why he is here, to rehab). 
So he got to test out the pens.
Java clearly likes the little guy.  She kept him company for a little while in an adjacent pen.

Uh, Java, you have hay...

Stretch keeping an eye on his girlfriend and making sure to stay where he can see her while grazing:

Java resting.  She has been on stall rest/restricted turnout too since she got her knee injected.
Her knee looks like it will be fine, and she is back to full turnout tomorrow:

See the green plant in front of her window?

It's tomato plants.  When I put them there I never though they would get higher than her windowsill.
So far she is not bothered, and does not want to eat them.  Funny to see though!

I did not bother to put proper tomato cages around them because they were so small when I put the seedlings there.  Now, I could use some tomato cages... but I'm making do with bailing twine and stakes.

I'm taking photos of the next phase of the pens, I am excited that we are integrating the mats (mats with holes) into the project.  The footing is awesome.  But Java will work a certain area and excavate, she's um... needy.  The mats might add just the right bottom to stabilize the footing and keep her from excavating where we don't need it.

More tomorrow. :)