Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘grazing horses

Trouble Starting

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Despite the ongoing dry state of our soil, we’ve got areas of grass that well deserved to be mowed over the weekend, but I never got the chance. The ol’ Craftsman lawn tractor wouldn’t start. Actually, it tried to start several times until it stopped rotating the flywheel and just made a whiny sound. That set off days of trial and error troubleshooting. I thought it was the solenoid, but I was wrong. Then I wondered if it had something to do with the battery. That didn’t appear to be the case.

Next, I wondered if the Kohler engine might be seized, because I couldn’t move it. Then I removed the starter and discovered the engine wasn’t seized. The starter seemed okay, so I mounted it back in place, and lo and behold, the engine spun again. Twice, in fact, before it resumed doing nothing but whining.

Now I have a replacement starter on order.

Since I couldn’t mow with the tractor, I switched to the Stihl power trimmer and headed for the labyrinth.

Once again, we are finding that the earth is slowly swallowing the stones we placed to mark the pathway. Even with the ground hard and dry, the rocks seem to settle ever-deeper, and the grass gladly works its way to cover their edges, pushing them down even more.

The horses are doing their part to keep the paddock grass beautifully mowed.

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It crossed my mind that I could use their expertise on the runaway growth of grass between the barn and the chicken coop while the mower is waiting for its starter.

In the amount of time it would require to install temporary fencing around that area, I could take care of things using the power trimmer. If the ordered part doesn’t arrive on the day advertised, I just might do that.

The starter will be here about the same time the weather is predicted to possibly bring rain. It’s frustrating because we really need the rain, but, at the same time, I really want to get the grass cut.

I may not have trouble starting, at that point, but I just might run into trouble finishing.

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Written by johnwhays

July 12, 2021 at 6:00 am

Precious Sight

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We are so lucky to have these beautiful horses living with us. It’s been a month and a half since they arrived and each day brings them a little bit closer to recognizing us as well-intentioned caregivers. Seeing the four of them quietly grazing together without any fuss is a precious sight.

Just the change from how they originally stood well out of reach when we showed up at the fence to now greeting us with their heads over the top board to smell our breath and accept some touch when we arrive is such a demonstration of their increased comfort.

We’ve taken to temporarily closing gates between pairs during the times we set out feed pans to minimize food related interaction among them, but immediately after open all the gates to allow total freedom of movement. They don’t always regroup and wander off together as a foursome, but when they do, it warms our hearts.

A much less precious sight was discovered upon our return from the lake on Monday. The little pine tree that we transplanted on the rainy Thursday before heading north looked thirsty, with the sprouts of new growth all sadly toppled over. As I was watering it, I suddenly noticed there were two branches smothered with caterpillars that were devouring the older needles.

An internet search revealed these to likely be larvae of the sawfly. The dang things have denuded the upper half of the tree.

If this little pine survives I will be very impressed. We yanked it out of the ground just as it was sprouting new growth, we let it get too dry in its new location, and then it gets infested with needle-eating bugs.

Maybe it will make a good “Charlie Brown Christmas tree” next year.

That could actually turn out to be a precious sight… at least, for fans of that classic 1965 animated television special.

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Written by johnwhays

June 2, 2021 at 6:00 am

Grazing Big

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It was a big day for the horses yesterday on the front hayfield. The sun was out and they had already scouted the perimeter on the previous day, so now it was nothing but calm grazing in the increasing warmth of the morning rays.

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Their precious energy is such a treasure to experience. The impressions conveyed by the photos offer a mere fraction of what it is like to actually stand in their presence long enough to feel like you’ve become a member of their herd.

 

Written by johnwhays

April 29, 2021 at 6:00 am