Thursday, March 27, 2008

Since Bella still hasn't had her baby, and I really have nothing much to write about, here's a little tour of our horse shed, sometimes called "the barn" although that can get confusing because we do have an actual barn. That barn is pretty much useless and about to come down though, thanks to some previous owner taking most of the supports out. Some people just aren't too bright...

Here we have Bella's foaling stall, which is actually two of the three stalls that make up the shed, making it 24x16 feet. I'm only keeping it half bedded lately, since she's in no hurry to be doing much... I'd skip the bedding completely, but then if the baby did come it wouldn't have anything warm to lay on. As you can see, the hens love the straw. It still has a bit of barley in it, which they are of course overjoyed to scratch around and find. The white powder on the ground is Sweet PDZ, which is a wonderful product. I've never had to use it before, since I don't keep my horses stalled. It's the safe alternative to lime, and immediately kills the ammonia from all the pee. Which is important because babies laying down in ammonia can get pneumonia. Of course ammonia isn't good for adult horses either. The black balls on the pole are gate hardware covered in tennis balls covered in Vetrap. Bella loves to itch there. A gate in both forward corners keeps the downward slope covered so the baby can't roll out. There are two flaps in the back that can be opened to promote airflow. Which we certainly don't need with all this wind. You can drop hay through them too if necessary, but I like to actually get in with my horses when I feed so I can be sure nothing is amiss.

This is a portion of the third stall. It's my feed area. Like my "door?" I tied it on with twine to keep the snow from blowing in anymore. We had a minor blizzard last night. The area was pretty well covered by the time I went out there this morning, darn it. Eventually we'll put a real door up, but for now my plywood does the job okay.

My nifty bucket on its nifty bracket. This is safe for the baby, nothing to drown in since it's up high enough that baby won't have access.

Here's Tonka yesterday, trying on a new bit. He isn't too happy because of the high wind and a tarp flapping nearby. I'm not sure the full cheek is going to work with the slobber straps. I'll try moving the bit hobble below the reins and maybe they won't get hung up on the bit. My sister gave me this because all of my bits have copper, and I think he's allergic to it. He gets red spots all over his gums and lips when I ride. It's not like the bit is rubbing or pinching him, because the spots are pretty widespread and quite small. I think he likes the shape of the mouthpiece on this one, it has a lot of curve to it.

Oh, and behind Tonka in the picture you can see where Bella busted out of the mustang pen last year. Still not fixed, even though the lumber has been sitting there for a while, waiting. What can I say, just about everything around here is a work in progress...

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