Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Fame at last!

The beautiful painting pictured below is by the world famous artist type person called Jackie Morris - or as we know her - strange woman who lives in the hills!

The painting was created by Jackie for the musicians benevolent fund's christmas card.

But why fame? I hear you ask - well look carefully at the horses in the painting - yes they are coloured, hairy horses - our coloured hairy horses!!!

I am sure my coloured darlings feel as honoured as I do that she chose to portray them in such a great painting!

Clever lady! Dodgy wellies though!!

Monday, 20 August 2007


The pics above are of my gorgeous stallion Blue and the equally gorgeous Alicia who is my chief helper and 2nd in command here at horsefarm.

Blue came here 6 months ago and spent the first 3 months challenging me to be boss of the horsefarm, he would charge at me in the field and bite anyone who went near him. Lots and lots of time spent talking to him and grooming/massaging him (he is now a massage addict) and he suddenly changed and became very friendly.
Alicia came here 6 months ago and spent the first 3 months challenging me to be boss of the horsefarm. Lots and lots of time spent talking to her and making her coffee/toast (she is now a coffee addict) and she suddenly changed and became friendly.

Today was a big day for Blue - I bought him as a breeding stallion, he was supposedly broken for ride and drive but we had never put a saddle on him before. Alicia decided it was time and tacked him up just to see his reaction to it (brave woman) . He was a good lad so I decided to hop aboard for a few seconds. He was as steady as a rock, I was the nervous one!

Thanks to Alicia, a massive step forward with Blue.
Seems a long way up!

Me looking very nervous!

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Bad Week

Firstly, my apologies for not updating for a while, it's been a busy few weeks.

This last week has been a very sad one for me, on Monday I found a foal laying dead in the field.
She was a lovely 6 week old filly, very strong and even a bit chubby.
The vet did a post-mortem and discovered she died from poisoning, so off I went to search 30 acres of grassland to find out what had killed her. With the vets help I managed to identify an area in a ditch where some plants were trampled and broken - one of the plants turned out to be Hemlock Water Dropwert sometimes known as "dead man's fingers" - the killer of my little filly,
a plant very difficult to remove, so the area has to be fenced off.

Then two days later, a beautiful Blue Roan mare called Bethan who has been ill for 4 months suddenly died.
She had liver fluke ( a liver infection caused by worms, possibly contracted from sheep).
We had been nursing/treating her for all this time and thought she was on the road to recovery when she just lay down and died - such a sad thing - even this old horse farmer had a lump in his throat when he found her!
Having so many horses (216), the chances of some fatal injury or illness is quite high but make no mistake - it doesnt get any easier each time you lose one!
It is the one side of the horsefarm life that I just don't like.

Hopefully my next update will be more cheerful.

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

The move!

Everyone ready? Now follow Jack and keep calm.

Ok, lets go Jack! Come on girls, don't leave any babies behind.

Give way? can horses read that?

Ok girls and boys, head towards the cathedral!

Wait for me!

A big thank you to all our horse wranglers - smile folks - it went perfectly!

Competition time - Any guesses as to whom the "goddess", mentioned earlier in the blog, might be in this pic?

1st prize = Free horse manure for a year.

2nd prize = Free horse manure for 2 years.

Note# Anyone who lives with more than 4 cats is excluded from the competition on the grounds of sanity!!!!

The gathering.

Yesterday was the day of our big horse move!
All was planned to the finest of details.
Volunteers called and favours called in, resulted in a posse of 15 souls to move a herd of 65 horses from outlying fields, back along the road to the horsefarm ( about 1 mile) - a scary prospect indeed!
The pics above are of the gathering of the herd.
Everyone was is place long the route, including the road closures- it was approaching 8pm (zero hour) - I called up Jack the stallion and like a good lad he came trotting over with his girls and babies.
Head collar and lead on Jack - we were ready to go!
At this point I'm not sure who was more nervous, me or the horses.
Coming soon - The move!

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Our Babies!

Mares baby - This is our latest arrival, born today.

My baby - This is my little boy, posing with the tractor he likes to play on.

Monday, 16 July 2007


Horse moving day today. These pics are of Mini Me's herd after being let into new grazing.

Here they come!

There they go!

Mini Me was a good lad and lead his mares and foals up the road like a gentleman on a promenade. A gentle stroll in the sunshine and then a mad 10 minutes going absolutely ape around the field.

Lots of grass, news smells and new sights - result - very happy horses!

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Never let a cat do mechanics!

If you look very carefully at the above pic, you will see ginger bits in amongst the engine parts!
The ginger bits are our farm cat Steve, having decided to hide from the dogs, he had somehow managed to climb into the engine compartment of the camper van I was servicing.
The van belongs to an absolute goddess whom I was trying to impress with my mechanical skills, but more about her soon!
After much calling and rattling of cat meat tins Steve finally crept back out.
Even more drama at horsefarm today when stallion Mcoy managed to open the gate and stroll, with his herd of 54 mares and foals, up the lane to have a tete-a tete with another stallion called Mini Me.
Having heard a lot of horse shouting going on, I rushed up the lane to find Mini Me with his front legs over his gate, trying to eat Mcoy. After lots of shouting from me, Mcoy finally strolled off back down the lane to his own patch, muttering under his breath something about "it's my farm, I'm the king of vanners, why do they need him"!
Over the next few days I will introduce a few of the stallions and mares on the blog so that you can see who I am rambling on about.

Saturday, 14 July 2007

A sunny day - Hoorah!

Having been washed clean by almost 24hrs of rain, what should we do?
Oh yes, go play in the pond!

Result = Dirty + smelly horses!

A nice quiet day on the farm today. The ground is soft after all that rain so a good time to get some fencing done, mostly repairing damage done by stallions scratching their bottoms on posts.
Back into the house this afternoon. My children (19 + 22) arriving for a 5 day visit tonight so better get those curtains done and i really should get beds sorted for them I suppose!

We had a strange elvin like creature visit the farm to stroke horses this morning, she said she lives up in the hills with a mad cat woman who "makes me call her mother"!! Poor child!

Friday, 13 July 2007

I hate the rain, makes my hair frizzy!

Rain, rain and more rain.
That about sums up today here at horsefarm.
Lots of very wet mares with foals trying to cwtch up close, out of the rain.
The stallions have the best idea, stand in the middle of your mares and let them be your rain shields!
Good news on the house front.......the new boiler goes in on saturday and the cooker arrives on Tuesday, so from next week I will not only be able to cook but will be able to wash too!
Good news for all I think!

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Is this what farming is all about?

How typical, I start a blog to tell about all the wondrous and strange things that happen here and then....................... nothing happens!

Apart from the usual morning tour of herds to look for new babies and to make sure everyone is happy and content.
Having found all my darlings and then checked that the grass was to wet to go weed cutting, I decide - no tractor work today.

So off I go to do some work in the house. I only moved into it three weeks ago so it is a total mess!
Job 1............ put up curtain poles in spare room.......no problem.

Job 2............put up new curtains in spare room......... no problem.

Job 3 ..........."gather curtains"........ what is that all about?

So picture this.........am sitting on the floor of the spare room, reading instructions........"pull 3 strings to obtain required gathered curtain width"..........no problem.

Question 1 .........What does one do when one pulls the three strings completely out of the curtain? Apart from curse!

Question 2 .........Is this what farming is all about?

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Where to begin?

Now there is a question!

Do I tell about the latest foal or the latest escapee?
Or about "Heavy head", seen in the above pic working hard with me in the field?

No, I think I will set the scene and tell a little about the farm.

Our home is about 500 yrs old, consists of 190+ acres and is home to some 200+ Gypsy Vanner Horses. Every age and size from newborn foals to big hairy stallions.

This blog will be mostly about the characters of the herds and our co-existance, sometimes funny, sometimes sad. A "warts and all" account of life at the horsefarm.