Sunday, October 23, 2011

A sad time

Well I apologize for not posting or being around recently but things are very busy. Hopefully they will settle down now that the horse showing season is over for me. I have had a very sad week with the sudden and unexpected loss of my ten year old Jack Russell.

I got Binson shortly arriving in the United States.

She was a wonderful dog to have and loved to cuddle next to me on the sofa. When the days got colder she could always be found under a blanket or soaking up a patch of sun.

Unfortunately on Monday she was diagnosed with a very large cancerous mass on her spleen. The vet was kind enough to call it a "ticking time bomb" and I knew we would only have hours or maybe days left with her. She was tired and uncomfortable so on Tuesday we decided to put her to sleep.

When my heart starts to feel a little better I will post a picture of my breeding group. The sheep are doing well with the lambs continuing to grow and mature and my new ram getting along well with his girls.

Monday, August 15, 2011

I've been busy

Very busy. Showing sheep and my horse, etc etc.

This past weekend was the Bolton Fair. Our very local country fair. I took along my ram and my two ewe lambs to show. My new ram Rad (Horseradish) did wonderfully winning his Junior ram lamb class, and then going on to win Champion Shetland ram at the show.

Eleanor and Eliza entered the ring, forgot their halter training, and promptly threw themselves down on the ground. My poor son had a terrible time keeping Eleanor on her feet, although even with this she did manage to second, and the smaller Eliza did alright and came fifth. Overall very nice and promising for next year. They're not standing well in this picture, but at least they are on their feet.

I did manage to squeeze in some time to watch events. I saw some very cute animals.

Oh, and we added 3 animals to our ever growing family. My son purchased a very young guinea pig (no picture yet) that he has called Teddy Bear. And my partner and I finally bought rabbits. So this is my rabbit Julius.

And my partners rabbit Octavian. We seem to have a Roman theme going on. A proper cage is on it's way.

I also managed to take my horse Muppet to NEDA's fall schooling show. Here's one of the proofs from the event. We also got Reserve High Score with a 68.75 which made me so proud of my horse. Time to start learning the Training level tests.

After all of this, I feel a little like Marcus my puppy.

So what have you been up to?

Friday, July 22, 2011

We're having a heat wave, a tropical heat wave

As I sit inside being blasted by a fan I thought I would post a quick update. We are suffering in a heat wave here in Massachusetts at 1oam it was already in the 90's. For my friends/family in England that translates at around 30+ degrees. Throw in some humidity and it's pretty yucky outside right now, and not much better inside with no A/C. In fact I am going to a movie theatre later today just to appreciate the cool for a few hours! The animals are doing ok, the fans are blasting in the sheep barn and there are buckets of water a plenty. The other night it was a little cooler (ok so there was a breeze), and I managed to get some halter work done on the lambs.

Eliza still isn't sure about it, but has started to eat animal crackers and I think this will help things progress.

Eleanor was even less unsure. But if a cookie happened to be dropped near her she might be tempted to eat it. Still a mommy's girl she has been the hardest to train, but still any progress is good right now (just realized the picture makes her look like she has 3 legs lol)

Rad is a delight to train. He has become friendly and curious about me and I can even play with his legs already.

My son Ian has taken over training and looking after our wether Vlad, the two of them get on very well, and I think it is sweet when Ian asks if we can "go and walk the lambs tonight?"

Fruit bushes are doing very well. We had so many strawberries this year that we made jam. I still have goosberries left to make jam from as well, when the weather cools down a little. Blueberries and raspberries have a little less fruit on them.

Wonder where the ripe berries have gone?

They are on the way to the pool, and might just get picked in passing on the way there and back again.

I also was busy doing another dressage show with my horse Muppet last weekend (sorry no pictures) and was so happy with him as we scored in the 60% in all 3 tests, he was also such a grown up and really listened.

That's all for now. I hope you (and your animals) are staying cool. Do you have any tips for how to beat the heat?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Meet the new guy

Introducing my new ram Windswept Horseradish.

I picked Rad (Horseradish is not that catchy so Rad is his barn name lol) up from the Northeast Youth Sheep Show which was taking place at the Big E in Springfield. Windswept farm were showing there, very successfully. It was great because it gave me the opportunity to meet Heather and Mike (and their very nice children) and learnt a lot of things. I had a wonderful afternoon talking to them, and got to watch the Shetland show. What a great experience. Then we travelled home. Here we are on our arrival.

I'm excited to see what lambs Rad produces next year. He's a lovely lamb and we hope he'll fit in very well at Ridgeway Farm. I am also looking forward to showing him this summer a few times, and next year when he's a yearling.

Halter training and show preparation start very soon.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy 5th of July

I know it should be the 4th but yesterday I was busy falling off my horse (ouch), so I am a day late. Thankfully it is all just bruises and a little whiplash in my neck, which should all heal quickly. Things have been busy, with changes taking place. All the lambs that were being sold have left for their new homes, and we also made the tough decision to sell some of our ewes to decrease the flock. I was very happy to find such wonderful homes for everyone though.

We decided to keep the following sheep; Jewel, Isabella, Eleanor, Eliza and Vlad as a wether (he has an appointment next week with the vet poor dear).

That gives us 2 ewes to breed this fall.


And Jewel

And 2 ewe lambs for breeding next year.

We have a ram lamb on his way and I will be picking him up on Sunday. I am excited to get him and think he will fit in very nicely here. Pictures will follow as soon as he arrives. This means I need to do more halter work with everyone, before I add another one to the mix.

I wanted to show you our black eyed susan. It appeared last summer in a crack in the asphalt driveway by the barn. I think it's rather amazing that it is thriving and flowering so beautifully. I hope to be able to transplant it in fall, and hope it does just as well in the garden. Isn't nature wonderful? We also have sunflowers that have sprung up around the chicken coop and one in a pot on the deck that the birds must have scattered. Does anyone else have plants that have just appeared in strange locations?

I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A summer day

Happy first day of summer everyone! Still sunshine and warmth here in New England. The sheep are enjoying the pasture and love going out every morning onto grass. But look how lovely it is, I'd like to spend all day out there too.

All of the lambs that have been sold for the year have now left for their new homes. We have actually kept three lambs this year. The plan was to keep two, but Eliza has worked her way into our hearts. Who can say no to this face? And you should feel her fleece!

The chickens are also enjoying the sunshine in their run. They love the chance to go outside and scratch about in the grass.

Things are going well. We just got back from a vacation in the Berkshires. Very picturesque, although much of the landscape was lacking in livestock. A very lovely waterfall was found though. This is Bash Bish Falls.

We took Marcus and he had a lot of fun on his first vacation swimming in a lake. His life jacket came in handy with all the water around that area, and got a lot of use.

The garden is in bloom. Here's a selection...

That's all for now. Back to work.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Have you walked your lamb today?

That could also possibly be rephrased as did you drag your lamb today? Yes halter training started today. We only have 4 lambs to train as 3 ram lambs left today for their new home.

It has been a super busy time here with worming taking place last week, ear tags being put in yesterday and then CDT vaccination number one taking place today. Throw halter training in on top of that and I was very please with how everyone did.

Vaughan (who leaves very soon too) after a shakey start really did very well and should make fast progress. His favorite part was all of the attention he got.

Vladamir really took to it and didn't throw himself on on the floor once. What a good boy.

The same could not be said for Eleanor who didn't so much walk, as leap about or just play dead on the ground. Should be fun to train her not to throw herself around in the show ring.

Eliza (who we have also decided to keep) was not really sure about it at first.

But slowly got the hang of it...a little.

How's halter training going where you are, or do you not halter train? I can't believe how fast the lambs are growing up. Where does the time go.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

It's a dogs life

My puppy is no longer a puppy. Marcus is over a year old and weighs in now at 13lbs.

He loves to dash about.

A lot

So much that sometimes I miss him altogether!

He also likes to play.

But sometimes he can be quiet and hang out with the other dogs.

Before having to be on the go again.

All the lambs are doing very well. Worming is due this weekend, and hooves may get trimmed too. I need to start my sales list though and get them sold lol. Anyone need a pet wether or a really nice mioget yuglet ewe? I have some mature ewes I would like to sell too.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial day

Too tired for words after a very busy long weekend. Here's some of todays lamb pictures as the flock tolerated the sudden increase in heat and humidity.

I hope everyone had a lovely long weekend!