I spent a little time in the pasture today with the horses.  The task of getting burrs out of tails gives you lots of time to reminisce and I went back to "the beginning".  Here's our story!

My husband always promised daughter Dakota a horse if ever he could find work locally.  He had been working in Minneapolis during the week and only home on weekends.  Well...he found a job so...
For Dakota's Sweet 16 birthday, she became the proud adopter of Dakota the horse who forevermore became known as Dakota H.(orse).  And the two Dakota's quickly filmed a tight bond.  In fact, if Dakota H. deems herself 'neglected' because her girl didn't see her enough, Dakota H. will pout and throw a buck or two until her person has made up with her.

But is this really fair?  Dakota H., all by herself out in the pasture.  Horses are after all herd animals...
So I go back to Helping Hands where we adopted Dakota H. from and asked about any "nice horses".  That was literally the highest standard.  She was just going to be a pasture mate to keep Dakota H. company so she didn't need any fancy pedigree or training or skills.  Old would be fine.  Tonya had one that she thought was going to be just the ticket.   She was a previously adopted horse that was coming back because it wasn't working in the adoptive home.  So here comes Zona.
Let me say before I show you the before and after pictures that as bad as it may look, it also shows why adoption is a good option.  It was during followups that Helping Hands found that Zona was not thriving.  I believe it was not from abuse/neglect but rather the other horses were not letting her in to eat so she got skinny. 
Alright, here goes.  I very rarely show these pictures, but this is "my horse story".
Here is Zona as she arrived on our farm.  (How do you explain this to your husband when he arrives unsuspectingly to a new horse in the pasture?  There was a whole lot of headshaking happening.) 

Let's quickly move on, as believe me, this look was very short lived.  Upon arrival, she lowered her head and I think she ate for 5 days straight before she even noticed the rest of us.  :)  Here's the fattened up version.

Zona is exactly what we asked for and does the role of pasture mate very well.  She just hangs out!  She loves kids and gets excited when she hears their voices and takes great care to make sure she doesn't step on them.  I guess I didn't share the beginning of Zona's history.  Zona is a very well bred Arabian, but as a youngster another horse kicked her in the head and that caused her to go blind in one eye.  So besides being underweight ... Her hang out personality sometimes lends to people jumping on her back in the pasture and that's ok with her too.

Then Dakota went off to college.  And then Dakota H. went to join Dakota at college...which would leave Zonie all alone in the pasture... so we now needed a pasture mate for the pasture mate.  Enter Molly.

Molly is alot of mane and tail (aka burr attractor!).  She also thinks that big horse rules do not apply to her and believes that fences are optional.  Obviously, if God made her so short, he meant for her to go under the fence and see what was going down.  She has recently added a new skill of curling her lip when she wants a treat.

The Dakota's come back from college so life is good.  The horse herd is complete and then I read the horse ads on Keloland.  I didn't shut my eyes fast enough!  I really think that Molly needs a playmate her size so down to Pukwana and here comes Roseannadanna aka Rosie.

Rosie is still a project so the story isn't finished, but our horse herd is now complete.

Do you know what I really want?  just one time... a baby mini... wouldn't that be fun!?

40 Acres and nothing to show for it.  We are venturing into the thought of adding an Ag enterprise to the homeplace.  I won't be in it for show tho'.  If we're going to do it, we're going to make money at it! 
But what...
Visited the extension agent today to get some input.  He mentioned meat goats.  Interesting.  This corresponds well to a conversation at the horse fair where SDSU is working to get a grant to determine what goat farmers need in support and marketing support to be successful in SD.  Makes a person think that it might be worth looking at further.  Getting more info and numbers together.
Also interested in miniature cattle. Interesting enough, they can be pastured with goats.  They eat different plants.  In fact the goats will eat the weeds and actually improve quality of pasture for cattle.  Again, very interesting.  Will have to see where the winding road will lead us.
We fixed the fence and let Rosie out again with the horses.  For all the snorting and posturing and agressiveness I put up with on Friday night, this was a really non-event!  The horses gave Rosie a brief glance before returning back to their hay barely holding back their yawns.

Sagwa, however, couldn't even interrupt his nap next to the bale.

Dakota H., the peacekeeper, welcomed her to the herd.

Of course, how could anyone resist a face like this?

Just love this picture!


The tomatoes are up!  As is the cabbage, broccoli, and a few flowers are up!  I'm mapping out the garden and trying to talk Jay into doing more "Square Gardening".  I tried it out last year in the cold frame and declaring that a success so ready to try more with less.  (Corporate lean processes in the garden :))  But I'm not sure that I can wait for the garden to be ready and am eyeing my cold frame again.  I think that this week after I add some soil conditioner (manure!), I'm going to lay some black plastic in it to help the dirt warm up a bit and then plant something in it this weekend.  Either lettuce and/or carrots and/or broccoli.  Who knew that broccoli was an early sow plant?!?

Tonight's the night!  I am going to let Roseannadanna out in the corral with the other horses after weeks of bonding and learning to be caught and like human touch.
We're ready.  I put the halter and lead rope on with no problem.  I lead her out with gentle coaxing.  Oh, she wants to run so I unhook her.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I unhooked not the lead rope but the whole halter.  What was I thinking?!
This may not be a problem.  (Ever the optomist)  If I don't have to put her back in her "cage".

POOOOOOOOOOOOKIE!  She's a big meanie to my Rosie.  Downright agressive and I don't like it.  Shoot, I better put her in the pen tonight then.  That means I'm going to have to catch her.

ROSIE, get away from that FENCE!!  Oops, too late.  Rosie goes to find what's on the other side.  UGH.  Now I have to put her back in the pen or she'll get herself into trouble.

Whereupon, I "practiced" catching her the rest of the very long evening. 
I have to apologize for the lack of pictures, it makes for some very boring posts.  In my defense, it's hard to generate the enthusiasm to take pictures after work, when it's almost dark, on wet dreary days.

The snow melt has made everyone a little grumpy.  The chicken coop is at the bottom of the hill.  That means the snow is all melting, racing down the hill, and under the chicken coop where we had 3 or 4 inches of standing water.  We put in a couple of pallets/boards down so that we had a place to feed. The chicken's HATE it.  Mr. Rooster is of the variety that he has feathers on his feet.  And he can also make facial expressions or at the very least sends telepathic messages.  After we feed, he attempts to make the long journey from his platform to the feeding platform.  So he sticks one foot in the water and quickly removes it, shakes it and scrunches up his face with a "Oh, I hate getting my feet all wet, it's so unsanitary, gross, and common".  (He is anything but common).  His hens look at me from their nest box roost with a tough decision, "Is the food really worth the journey?" and they outright refuse to lay any eggs until it dries up.
We chipped the remaining ice around the door and that started the flow of water.  It came in under the west wall and left thru the front door.  We are now down to a muddy mess.  Everywhere.  It is a two handed process to walk into the cattleyard -- to lift your leg out of the mud to take a step.

Good news!  Tomorrow the sun comes out!
I think this is going to be one of those random thoughts blog.  Not one thought is staying long enough in this flaky mind to make a paragraph.

Thought #1 ... Congrats to daughter Dakota on her engagement.  Another gray hair for mom.
Thought #2 ... Church today... for some reason this hit home today when speaking about Adam and Eve and God giving them one rule "Don't eat ...", that everything was fine and good until she decided that didn't want rules, knew better, listened to someone who doesn't know as much, that wasn't after their best interests...it felt like I was listening to a description of a teenager learning life's lessons the hard way.
Thought #3 ... Started my garden seeds today to try desperately to have some green for Jakeob's graduation.
Thought #4 ... Jason (my mini hauler) stopped to see how the mini was doing and was surprised that she wasn't a lot further along than she is.  Here I was proud as we really had to work at taming her down.  Now I'm wondering if I don't know what I'm doing...I have been so enjoying it. <sigh>  Oh, thanks for asking. :)  She is still spooky when I go into her pen, but can catch her easily, she is easier to approach on the left side than the right so still working on that and working on haltering her.  It's also time for spring worming so that should be "Interesting".
Thought #5 ... Not expecting any flooding concerns here except for some very soggy roads with some runoff going over the roads.  They say it should peak on Wednesday or Thursday this week.  We will see.
Thought #6 ... Sunday night blues.  <sigh>
Don't you just want to touch that mane?!  Finally, after 3 weeks, Rosie is ready to accept someone scratching her neck.  Wow, that was work. Besides making it difficult for us to catch her, she also has been filling her days with a little soccer.  She kicks away and I usually have to climb under the feedbunk to get her going again.  And why do I do that?  ... Those Mini's!

Then there is Molly...who has learned to roll her lips to get a treat ... and rolls and rolls, the little beggar. 
Pretty as a Rose
Lip Roll = Treat
Bigger roll = Bigger treat?
Gimme the TREAT!