Horsie Mani Pedis

One of the joys of horsekeeping is hoof maintenance.   Once every 8 weeks or so the horses’ hooves need trimming.  The hoof is really kind of a crazy thing if you stop to think about it. A very simple or basic way of thinking about it is to consider it as a big ole toenail.   Not a super attractive thought, but somewhat accurate in that it protects the tissue and bones under (really within) it and that it is constantly growing. In reality, hooves and hoof health can be very complicated and important things. 

No hoof, no horse!

Now, I’m not going to pretend like I know a bunch of stuff about the intricacies of the physiology of the hoof, but I want to commend the farriers and veterinarians who are fascinated by hooves and know this stuff inside and out to keep our horses feet happy and healthy!

Our three horses,  small, medium, and extra large, recently had their hooves trimmed by Jen, our fantastic farrier, and I was reminded how cool and weird the hoof actually is. And gross.  Coming off a very wet, muddy winter, the crap (some of it literal) that came out of them was pretty smelly! I am certainly looking forward to warmer weather so everything around here can dry out a bit.

The aftermath of a hoof trimming episode at the Old Glory Horse & Cattle Co.

Rhett, our extra large, shed this frog out of one of his front hooves. Pretty crazy, huh?

Kitchen Tidiness

Kitchen destruction post cinnamon roll construction


I’ve come to the realization in recent months that having a clean or, at least, tidy kitchen lowers my stress considerably.  It seems strange that such a stupid little thing can improve my mood so much!

I actually really dislike washing dishes so, in the past, I’ve let the dirty dishes pile up until either there isn’t any more space on the counter or there are too many things that I need to use that are dirty.  Having that huge pile just weighed on my mind because I knew I would have to spend hours washing to get all those dishes done.  And yes, we do have a dishwasher that I do use, but there are just some dishes that either can’t go in the dishwasher or I don’t like how they get etched in the dishwasher. Picky, picky!

Now that I work from home and I have flexible hours I have been making more of an effort to step up my homemaking game, because,  let’s face it, I was pretty mediocre at it when I was working full-time at an office. 

So now I try to wash dishes as I make meals and have found that this strategy helps me get the washing done faster and by the time dinner is over I only have a couple dishes to clean up and I am done and have a tidy kitchen! It’s a good feeling!

True confessions: I am not 100% consistent with this practice, but doing it most days makes a big enough difference in mood and attitude that skipping a day here and there is okay.

Soggy Spring Fever

In the 9 days of Spring so far, we have gotten more than our fair share of precipitation in Whatcom county.  It has been fairly depressing weather lately and the fact that it is tacked onto the end of one of the worst winters in decades has not improved matters.  Spirits are flagging at the Old Glory.  Well, at least my spirits are.  I seem to remember, though, that early Springtime tends to be a bit rough on the emotions… you’ve made it through a long, dark, and damp winter and your cheerful endurance is almost exhausted but grey and dreary days persist.  So I will continue to grasp at the currently tiny thread of hope that real Spring weather is coming.

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Our garden is under water.

 

Today, we made the decision to keep the horses in their turnouts and stalls instead of letting them out in the big pastures.  The horses are not a fan of this decision but, with their pastures under water, we felt it was best to minimize the damage their hooves cause when it is so wet and soggy out there. Especially a Clydesdale’s hooves.

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The pastures that are currently lakes and ponds.

 

This afternoon, the sun broke through and the rain has stopped for the time being.  Suddenly, my attitude shifts into a happier, more hopeful place.  There is hope for sunny, warm Spring days and I can’t wait to get out there and do some yardwork!

(Check back in several months time to see if I still feel this way about yardwork)

Here’s to hoping that the rain stays away long enough that the standing water around here gets absorbed!

Everybody has to start somewhere…

20161105_204714 (2)I feel like I should give a small introduction to the cast of characters and setting of this blog.  The Old Glory Horse & Cattle Co. is the moniker my husband chose for our 4 1/2 acres of land in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.  We have a wonderful horse barn, several pastures, fruit trees, berry bushes, a garden and acres of yard in addition to our little house and garage that keep us plenty busy.

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Winter at the Old Glory

My name is Caitlin and I like to think of myself as a Farmgirl but, in all honesty, I have many friends and acquaintances that are far more authentic Farmgirls than I.  My husband, Jon and I are both Washington born and raised; he on the Central/East side and me on the West side. Thankfully,  he decided to settle down in Whatcom county where he eventually met me and we fell in love, blah blah blah, and then married about 2 1/2 years ago. We added a tiny human to our little family about 3 months ago in the form of our daughter, Kit Cassidy.  She delights us no end. Jon is (in my book) a genius mechanic and fabricator at a local off road shop and now that we have a tiny human to take care of, I get to be a stay at home mom.  I recently started up a medical billing business that I can do part time from home.  God is good!

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Kit Cassidy

A not so small part of the Old Glory Horse & Cattle Co. is our collection of animals.  Currently, we have 3 horses (we do not yet have cattle at our Horse & Cattle Co., but we hope to add some in the not too distant future).  Sadie, a 22-ish year old Rocky Mountain Horse, was the start of our little herd several years ago.  She actually came on the scene before my hubby did!  Sadie would spend the summers at my grandparents farm to eat down their small pasture of grass (as an added bonus, it saved me some $$$ in boarding fees), but she was lonely for a friend.  The cows across the road were just not cutting it in the friend department.  So I asked my friends who had a pony that was just hanging out in their field if I could borrow him for the summer to keep Sadie company.  They willing obliged and Scooter came to live with Sadie.  Scooter is a pony of indeterminate breed and age.  We’re thinking he’s in his mid teens and is a mix of Welsh and possibly Shetland pony.  He’s a small little squirt but, true to pony form, is a big stinker!  Anyway,  I sort of forgot to bring him back to my friends and after a year I finally asked if they wanted him back.  To which they answered “we hoped you had forgotten that you had him so you wouldn’t bring him back!” Turns out, they had their hands full enough with their herd of Clydesdales and just didn’t have time to care for another horsey mouth to feed.  So Scooter is (hopefully) destined to be Kit’s pony once she is big enough to ride him.  Those same friends were recently downsizing their herd of black Clydesdales as they are no longer showing their six horse hitch at the local fair.  I asked about Rhett, one of their hitch horses, as I had always liked the big guy with his pretty white markings.  They were willing to part with him, so Rhett came to live with us and round out our herd of horses.  He is most likely in his late teens which is starting to get up there in age for the draft horse breeds and is intermittently lame, but even if we don’t get to ride him he still makes a stunning pasture ornament.  Sometimes when they stand in the right order in the pasture it looks like the bars showing cell phone signal with small, medium, and large.

The other half of our collection of animals consists of our dogs.  We have three dogs; two indoor and one outdoor.  Rex is our outdoor dog and is very loyal to Jon.  He is a big ole chocolate lab that tends to be more happy than smart.  Angus, a 4 year old Frenchton, is also more happy than smart. We call it “Angus Happy” when someone or some animal is clearly oblivious to logic or even danger, but is incredibly thrilled with life.  He loves to snuggle whenever he gets a chance.  Olive, our 6 year old Frenchton, also loves to snuggle, but the snuggling must be done on her own terms and be her idea.  She tends to be the instigator of mischief around here.  I imagine her conversations with Angus sound about like this: Olive says “Destroying that thing that the humans really like sounds like a good idea, why don’t I demonstrate how to do it and then you, Angus, can finish it.”  And Angus, being more happy than smart, agrees to that plan and therefore tends to be the one who gets caught and chastised.

So there you have it.  The main characters at the Old Glory Horse & Cattle Company.