“Lean on me, when you’re not strong…”
“And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
‘Til I’m gonna need
Somebody to lean on…”
There is no denying the effect that the fragrance of horses has on people…
You either love it, or hate it.
We, ’round here, are quite firmly in the “Love It” camp.
Make no mistake, there are days when I say to the Girls “Could ya stop lying on, and rolling in, the manure pile? Damn, you stink!!”
For the most part though, the Eau De Equine soothes the Spirit, eases the aches and pains of the daily grind, heals the open wounds in our souls.
I say it a lot…only the horses are allowed to eat money around here.
It’s true, horses are a money pit.
So, why do we keep them?
LOL!! We had another passerby stop in to tell me about the “dead horse” in the pasture. Astrid was not impressed. 😉
We keep them because horses change lives.
Our lives are so much richer in ways other than money.
Yeah, they eat money, but what they give back to us is worth so much more.
Those days I have to leave the Farm, I’m always thinking about coming home. About standing in the midst of my little herd, breathing their unique scents, feeling their breath, touching coats, leaning on bodies that love to support us…
Many times I’ve been told that they’re lucky to be with us.
And while I sorta agree, because of what could have been when they were in the auction ring, I tend to lean farther towards I’m lucky to have them. We’ve given them a soft place to land, a Home ’til the end of their days, with good food, health care, and a whole lotta love.
What they’ve given me, all of us here at the Farm, is so much more.
I’m a firm believer in using what you have.
Whether it’s re-purposing something, or fixing it, I believe that throwing money at things is not always the best plan.
In fact, in Farm life, throwing money at things is the fastest way to become a broke FarmHer.
Take my pig and chicken yards…
All re-purposed materials, except for the main henny coop and fence posts.
The posts we bought the first year here, when the plan was fence the entire 80 acres.
We haven’t got that far yet, and so we used some of the posts for the food animal yards.
Chicken yard is a mixture of found-at-the-dump stucco wire (I found a 3/4 roll in the metal pile and fished it out right quick!) and chain link fencing that was from my Mom’s place in the city.
Pig yard is primarily pallets, which are, thankfully, free.
Pig house, and meat chicken house are built from skids and scrap wood that Hubby was getting free from work.
So, aside from hauling it home, the only cost into the shelters that have housed food animals for 2 years is maybe $20 in screws.
Pretty darn good, if you ask me.
For the past couple of years, we’ve been given medium square straw bales by a friend…they’re dirty bales he can’t use, and would have to burn, but, so long as we haul them away, we can have them.
This is what we’ve been building the shelter extension for the horses with, which makes winters so much easy on our Sable.
Come spring though, we have to figure out what to do with them…
This year? We put them around the pig yard. And it’s been perfect. Gives the piggies extra shade, Daphne uses them to (safely) watch the pigs, and it’s also something that the pigs can reach through the fencing to chew on.
It’s a winning situation all the way around.
And, next year, when they’ve broken down a little more, we’ll replace them with new ones, and turn these bales into smudges for the horses…and you’ve seen how popular smudges are around here. 😉
And then, this past winter, when Hubby hit a hard poo lump with the tractor, and ended up cutting a hole in the trough, I showed y’all my simple fix, that made it safe to still use for hay feeding.
Once the heat hit, we had to figure out some other fix, or we’d be looking at a new stock tank…which, if any one’s interested, runs about $300. If we could fix it, that’s $300 we didn’t have to spend.
One day, Hubby’s grocery shopping, and he sees a can on the clearance rack. It’s for a flexible spray rubber product.
Well, for $5, he takes a chance and buys it.
And then, using a cut open beer can, he made a patch to cover the biggest part of the hole…so, $5.10 later, we have a fully functional, safe water trough that give the Girls an extra 250 gallons of water.
Yup, totally worth it.
Oh, and the left over part of the can?
He used to fix the chicken waterers that had rusted out on the bottom.
Yeah, so, we didn’t have to pony up another $50 each for those this year either. Which was kinda nice. 😉
But, my real pride and joy for re-use, re-purpose, re-create ideas is this:
That’s an old pressure tank that some one threw away at the dump.
I said to Hubby “You could cut that in half and we’d have 2 pig feeders”
He says “Yup I could. Shall I load it into the truck?”
And into the truck it went.
It’s been cut, and now we have to spray paint the inside with a metal paint (hello Rustoleum 😉 ) and he has to smooth the edges so that no piggies hurt them selves.
We will then have 2 good-sized feeders for piggies.
With little cost, just some elbow grease.
At the end of the day, I think we can approach this whole Farm/Homesteading thing 3 ways…
The real key is, to know when it’s time to use each method.
Either way, you gotta get your hands dirty…a little soil under the nails…or it’s not going to work at all.
That’s what helps make a successful Farm.
A couple of months ago, I traded a digital thermometer for a 500gb external hard drive. I got the thermometer for a smoking hot deal of $20, and actually bought 2 of them. Along came someone who said, “Hey, I have this hard drive I don’t need, because I upgraded to a 2 TB one, wanna trade?” and I said “Uh, ‘Kay”.
First thing I did was empty my memory card and format it. First time in far too long…and now, as I’m still working on the stable portraits I did in April (this is why I don’t market myself as a photographer, only sell art prints…because I’m a terrible hired photographer), I’m finding images of my own horses that are awesome, adorable, or just plain downright hilarious.
I have 1 folder I have been avoiding for the past year too.
It’s the one with all the images of Cookie colicking, when I didn’t realize it was colic, until after I was done shooting.
I just can’t bring myself to look at them, and I can’t delete them either.
So they sit there.
But, at least I have a whole lot of space for them to sit in now. 😉
What I found though, was another image that just makes me smile…
She was as happy as a pig in…well, you know… 😉
It was a muddy, messy, sloppy day, she was starting to shed out the winter coat and was itchy, and rolling around in the muddy messy slop was fun.
And no, I will not apologize for having her “parts on display”, and nope, I will not “protect her dignity”.
Both were things I was told by an anonymous commenter when I posted a similar image of Sable a while back…
This horse has no dignity when it comes to rolling around like a pig in muddy slop.
Also, I tried to figure out a way I could make this post/image work with The Daily Post’s prompt for today, Bumble.
I couldn’t come up with anything, so I’m just shamelessly linking to the post anyways. 😉
Do what you love.
Know your own bone;
Gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it,
and gnaw it still.
~ Henry David Thoreau
If we didn’t have the passion and drive we do, this whole Farm thing?
It would fall apart.
I know my bone…
A few more images from the smudge fire…
This horse sure does love a good smoke bath, that’s for sure!
Grit is that ‘extra something’ that separates the most successful people from the rest.
It’s the passion, perseverance, and stamina that we must channel in order to stick with our dreams until they become a reality.
~ Travis Bradberry
What does it take to be the first female anything?
It takes grit, and it takes grace.
~ Meryl Streep
One of the greatest boons that can ever come to a human being is to be born on a farm and reared in the country.
Self-reliance and grit are oftenest country-bred.
~ Orison Swett Marden