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September 9, 2012: Hrimfara, Update

Hrimfara is now four months and three days old. She’s a very agreeable little gal, who has acquired her dam’s good disposition. She’s independent, but does not at all mind being handled.

It’s now time for our little filly to be weaned. Signy’s a bit on the thin side with Hrimmi resembling Baby Huey. Hrimmi is now also eating her share of hay, drinking her share of water, and showing an interest in Signy’s grain. We aren’t going to have to bottle feed her. Thank dog, this would have been expensive and time-consuming.

There are several different ways of weaning a foal. Most are dependent upon

Pete working on the new run in shed

herd size and space. Some with breeding farms wean all the foals at once. This more stressful method is quick and easy. Others breeding farm owners pull one mare at a time out of the field or paddock. This is less stressful, but not so quick and easy. The third way, done by those with one foal and limited acreage, is to use what I call the gradual separation method.

We’ve been separating Hrimmi and Signy for brief periods of time, putting Signy in her foaling stall, and letting Hrimmi hang out with the big horses. And we’ve just begun separating them for the entire day. In a few weeks we’ll start separating them at night. I will spend the night down at the barn the first evening that we do this.

Lead line training continues. We’re now taking both mare and foal on morning walks, letting Hrimmi loose to run about at varied intervals. She often stops, grazes a bit, then runs like a bat out of hell to catch up with us. Fun to watch.

We went for a walk this morning. I found a large bear track on Jim’s Road this morning and took a photo. This didn’t surprise me. Yesterday I went for a trail ride solo on Tinni, and at one point he stopped, arched his neck, sniffed the air, and breathed rapidly. I trusted his judgment. We did an about face, and headed back to the road. He most likely knew that a bear was in the area.

I’m not worried about a bear encounter, but I am going to start carrying our Trac cellphone, just in case the unforeseen happens. The vest, a cellphone, a helmet—all are a good combination.

Hrimmi’s pastern wound is healing. We’re no longer wrapping it, but are going to keep cleaning it. I might soon work with Hrimmi on trailering. In the meantime, there are more pressing things to tend to. We’ll finish the run in shed today, and if there’s time, resume work on the new compost facility. And, I’ll get out for a ride on Raudi and Tinni. Hate to waste the beautiful day. Actually, as I write this, the afternoon storm clouds are moving in. Darn. This doesn’t bode well for the hay crop. It’s down, rain will ruin it. Double darn.

At least we have enough in the barn for a few months. And all the horses here are doing quite well. They ought to be. They’re waited on hand and foot.

Next: 275. 09/10/12: Manure Out, Hay In