One of our neighbors has lent us his original roping saddle. It needs a good cleaning, new latigo and keepers but it is still usable. It weighs more than a pony. We were told it has an iron tree under all that leather. We are very honored to have such a nice antique saddle to try out.
Now that we have our horses we are looking for saddles to ride on. So we are testing used ones and borrowed ones. It takes time to evaluate a good saddle to sit in and one that fits our horse.At least our schooling mare, Puddin, is a good sport and she gets a nice back rub after workouts.
We moved Luna and her colt home to our pasture after being away for since we got her, almost four months. Luna had to get used to being number three horse in the herd after Dolly and Maple. And Mr. Bean, Luna's colt, is last in the pack. But after a full day of kicking, biting and running all horses seem to be getting along. There is enough room for all in the pasture and stable. It will be nice not having to getting up and drive to feed our horses in the mornings.Our herd is home and waiting for us after a long hot summer of building for them.
This evening under the full moon we got the roof to our stable on. It has taken all summer to build this stable ourselves from the rocky ground up. We put up green sheet metal and also clear panels for light to get through since there is no electricity in our stable. Our cat Poppy climbed the ladder to supervise. Our Chickeneastas came by to peck at acorns and mason bees. Now we only have to put up the walls and gates. Soon all our horses will have a place to call home.
Mr. Bean adores his green bucket. He has claimed it since he could get up and walk to it. It is the bucket I use to bring his grain in. While empty he still insists on licking the bucket clean. Then I remove the bucket until afternoon feeding. And Mr. Bean will wait all day for his turn on his little green bucket, again.
This week my goal was to use up all the apples I purchased. I did not want any to go to waste. So after canning half a bushel I dehydrated the rest. I borrowed my neighbors apple peeler/corer and I so have to buy one. I love this cool device. It makes dealing with apples fast and easy and it was fun to use. You can find one here. I put the apples slices in lemon water then into the dehydrator. And now I have crisp and very tasty apple chips with no sugar nor preservatives added.
Today, I got a full morning of learning how to open gates and herd cows around on horseback. I learned that cowboys/cowgirls do not dismount to open gates. You stay on your horse and bend over. And with the threat of stinky wet cow mud just under my horse, I stayed mounted on my horse. I had three gates to open to move cows then go back and close. I moved five groups of cows on five runs for a total 25 bovines, 4 riders and 7 horses in three hours in the arena. Once in the arena, my job was a turnback rider. I had to keep the cows in the center and turnback the cows who stray. My trainer does this 6 days a week rain or shine and trains over 10 horses and 40 head of cows. She has so much knowledge and strength, I admire her skills with these animals. Can't say it is ever boring in the country!
This past Wednesday was a very busy morning making quilts for our local nursing home. We are sewing in our small town's community center. We have gotten several donations of fabrics by just word of mouth. Our town works hard to help out when there is a need. And that is why we love living here in Summersville.
Here is our weekly walk through the pasture treat for Dolly and Maple. They get to graze on the lush grass and we scratch them. Dolly makes faces while getting scratched. Maple romps around and eats random weeds.
The apples are ripe and the canning has started in my kitchen. Apples are washed, cut and cored then cooked with spices and cane juice sugar. Then they are pressed and strained warm then a hot water bath for half and hour, then done, apple sauce for winter. The results are 9 quarts of apples ready to be eaten. The rest of the apples will be dried.
We are finally getting rain in the Ozarks again. The only problem is the trench created by the water running down our driveway. All the rocks were pushed down the end of our driveway. This means we have to haul them in a wheelbarrow back up the hill, in the heat and humidity. Not a fun time.
Here is a great site for all the things you need for home food preparation needs:Rawberry Kitchen . One of the perks of living next door to the website owners is all the fantastic foods to sample and share. I am having a blast in my kitchen by saving and using my fresh foods. Nancy is a great teacher of how to work with food. Here is one of her great recipes: Island Coconut "Ice Cream!"
I have been very busy with fall harvest, cake making and food for preserving. I have no desire to eat food after working with it all day. So for dinner I will have cucumbers. I made a "death by chocolate" cake for a friend's birthday. It was fudge cake, mocha filling and chocolate cream cheese icing. My friends said they were on a sugar high after having a piece of it. I still have apples and pears to can and peppers to dehydrate. I just had to take photos of my kitchen in progress. With the shiny pans and cake holder glowing in the setting afternoon. And Poppy resting in the sunbeam right in the middle of it all.
We do not own a pick up truck, yet. So we asked for some friends to help us get hay for our horses. They said they could get 50 bales of hay in their truck, and they did! We were impressed this feat could be done; being newbies to getting hay. We learned a lot about quality hay and stacking of hay for transport. We got our hay home and began stacking it in our garage for the winter. I was impressed with the architecture of the barn we visited, it was built in the 1970's, as old as I am. It was made from the lumber of the trees on the property.