Now add the responsibility of taking care of one, two, or in our case a dozen horses (in addition to 2 dogs and 4 barn cats) into the mix and things can get pretty hectic. That left me pondering the question, is there really such a thing as a "break" for the holiday on a horse farm, or any farm for that matter?
Someone has to be there to feed and care for the horses, to break ice in water tanks, and take action if/when a horse decides to put the ability of your farrier and/or veterinarian to the test.
But before I dive further into this discussion, I truly hope everyone had a chance to visit with family and enjoy a warm meal over Thanksgiving weekend. Our family was fortunate enough to be able to gather and celebrate on Thanksgiving. For some, the weekend was full of Black Friday sales and Super Saturday savings. Here on the hill, however, we took advantage of the extra time off to make repairs, stock the barn, and get ready for the next blast of winter weather.
Safe, sturdy fencing is a must on any horse farm. Some of our fencing had taken a beating over the years, and had to be replaced. After pulling a few boards and nails, it's safe to say some of those boards and nails were from when the fence was originally put in! It only took about 8 - 16 foot boards, countless number of nails, and about half a day, but that section of the fence should be solid for this winter.
Fall is also a good time to walk your pastures and check for any hazards that could lend themselves to an equine emergency. Check and replace any old or broken equipment, such as gates, latches, and feeders. Also keep an eye out for sinkholes - we have one that continues to grow and is developing underneath a portion of our fence. With weather changes and the ground settling, these can quickly become dangerous.
Winter Hay Supply
Friday we picked up our first, and definitely not last, load of hay for the winter is now stacked in the loft. We also have several repeat trips planned, with the horse trailer, to add to our winter supply.
To say the least, holiday weekends when we have time off from work can often become even busier than regular weekends. But don't interpret this post as a long rambling complaint! Living on a farm and owning horses comes with huge responsibility. If working on holiday weekends and taking proactive measures leads to fewer emergency vet calls, and less time making repairs during harsh winter conditions, I'm all for it!
It also helps me to appreciate all of the farmers, farm managers, staff, and individuals who work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Happy belated Thanksgiving, and may your holiday season be merry and bright!