Seems there are a lot of grouchy mammals around here today. Okay, true confession: just the horses and me. I am irritable and unmotivated, and the horses are just plain mean.
After pondering it, I think there are two things going on: the weather and physical discomfort. Almost all the horses now have rain rot, a skin fungus that causes them to lose patches of hair and must be itchy. Shows up when it is really rainy, and it has been. Of course, with rain comes no sun, and no sun for a long time apparently makes not only mamas but also horses a bit touchy.
Physically for me I am, I guess, just having a bunch of normal getting older things happening, none of which are worthy of mention really, they are just aggravating and uncomfortable. And lack of sun has always proven a problem for me. In fact, moving to Texas greatly alleviated the winter depressions I suffered in New England.
So really I suppose I am just having a pity party. ;-) Bleh! Enough of that!
Back to the horses... it has become increasingly difficult to get them into their corrals for dinner. Bunny, the mean mare, goes in readily, then no one else wants to. Can hardly blame them. Despite the fact that she has her own corral, own dish, etc, she bites at anyone who comes near the outside of her corral, which means no one wants to go in the corrals on either side of her.
Quite frankly, she scares me, but I am trying to be firm with her and not let on. It is a weird little dance I play with the horses, especially given my lack of experience managing them and the fact that I have never ever been with a person who knows what they're doing, who has guided me in handling them.
Stephen loves working with them, and whenever it works out, he does the evening feeding. He is bolder than I, and is the one who first got Quervo the donkey in a halter and put the kids on him for a little ride. This past week he has gotten a halter on all the horses except Chester, the super shy elderly horse. I'm impressed! He really wants to learn how to ride, as do I, but he is much more of a learn-by-doing kind of guy. When it comes to 1500 lb mammals I lean more toward the learn-from-someone-who-has-a-clue-and-is-standing-right-there-with-me method.
Bunny isn't the only one biting. Everyone except Cherokee has been biting each other, the donkey only in self-defense, but biting nonetheless. Poor Cherokee just runs away if he can; he is clearly low man on the totem pole. He and Quervo have very sweet dispositions.
As far as major changes to the farm (of which we have many planned) I kind of feel like we are a videotape that is either paused or occasionally set to frame-by-frame slow motion. Oh, let's be honest. This applies to minor changes as well. In a word, NOTHING seems to be getting done. This despite the fact that we get up at 5:00am and seem to be going constantly. By the time the kids are going to bed, we are often so exhausted we fall asleep with them!
Rain certainly is causing much of our slow-down. It is nastily wet and muddy here. I tried to dig holes for fruit treees, but our clay soil is now a bog, with standing water on top of it. I have been gathering leaves and buying compost and humus to mix in with the soil we will plant them in if it ever stops raining. Our own compost is too new to use directly on plants yet.
The chickens are fine. They make us laugh. I just love seeing them run around; but it sure would be nice if they would, um, "use the restroom", BEFORE they set off for a picnic lunch in our front yard. It is kind of embarassing to walk out to speak to your neighbors and realize there is a big fat chicken poop on the front walk. :-P
I have still not figured out how to put pictures up here. Anyone have any advice? I am working on a Mac if that makes a difference.