Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Liebster Award

Wolfie over at What was I thinking...? nominated me for a Liebster award  - thank you!!  It's a fun way to get to know each other.  Here are the rules:

HOW TO ACCEPT THE AWARD: The Liebster Blog Award is a way to recognize blogs who have less than 200 followers.  Liebster is a German word that means beloved and valued.  Here are the rules for accepting the award:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and include a link back to their blog.
  • List 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Answer the 11 questions given to you.
  • Create 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate.
  • Choose 11 bloggers with 200 or fewer followers to nominate and include links to their blogs.
  • Go to each blogger's page and let them know you have nominated them. 

11 random facts about me:

  1. I am an admitted, incurable horse addict. Everyone that knows me already knows this.
  2. I am also a sucker for any animal homeless, in need, injured or otherwise. I am incapable of killing anything except ticks, flies and other horrid pests. Once I killed a rat, but it was a mercy killing - it was spinning around in circles, fatally wounded. I hate rats, but if I find a helpless baby rat lying on the ground, I will try to nurse it back to health. 
  3. I am hard-headed, opinionated and like to do things my way. Again, everyone that knows me knows this. I think I can be pretty diplomatic in dealing with similarly difficult people though - as long as they are kind to animals and other people.
  4. I love nature and it's beauty - flowers, butterflies, hummingbirds, waterfalls... I also think Mother Nature is a horrible b%$@!# . I cannot watch nature shows featuring animals because I can't tolerate when one animal kills another or one is injured or dies - it infuriates me that the photographer/cinematographer stands by and takes no action.
  5. I get annoyed with women who tell me they can't do something - yes, you can do just about anything a man can do, aside from peeing the letters of your name in the snow - and I bet we could even figure out a way to do that! So don't be afraid to pick up a hammer or saw and build something, or rip up and retile your own floor. Yes, some of these things can be physically demanding, but most horsewomen I know are tough enough to handle it!
  6. I get overwhelmed with everything that is wrong with the world and some of the people on our Earth and it depresses me. I try to do the right thing, but sometimes it is logistically very difficult or impossible. For example, I know I shouldn't buy stuff from WalMart - I should support my small local stores - but what if I need to do my shopping at 11 pm? Is being a good person in every possible way even an attainable goal?! I want to save the world but I don't even know how to start...
  7. I love my cup of hot tea in the evening, even during the summer.
  8. I like to try new things - for example, I was on a NASCAR pit crew for a few summers (an intermediate level team, not the Cup!).
  9. I am terrified of heights. Ugh! I am also afraid of getting shocked and do not like to work with wiring, electricity or go anywhere near electric fencing. I am also afraid to swim in any water that is not a pool - thanks, Jaws! Oh, and I am afraid of flying. More afraid of crashing, really, but...
  10. I am not afraid of snakes, spiders or bugs, as many of my friends are, so I'm not a total wussie.
  11.  I am a little bit prone to road rage, I am ashamed to admit.

11 Questions from Wolfie:
1.  Who do you prefer - Ryan Gosling or Ryan Reynolds?
Can I answer "neither?" If pressed, I would choose Reynolds
2.  What is your favourite gait when riding?
A nice canter.
  3.  Have you ever had a light bulb moment when riding? Yes, especially when riding different horses and figuring out how each likes to be ridden.
  4.  Do you care what you wear to the barn? Not really - my barn is at my home and few outsiders ever see me there.
  5.  Do you wear a helmet when you ride?  Yes, 99% of the time. It is currently occupied by a nest of baby birds, which I don't have the heart to evict, so I will not be using it until they grow up and fly away. Right now, I don't have much time to ride anyway.
 6.  What is/was your favourite book? One of my favorites is A Prayer for Owen Meany, I don't have A favorite.
7.  What is your favourite part of the riding experience (grooming, competition, lesson, trail)?
I love seeing my horses content and happy and listening to them munch hay. I love their smell and just watching them.
  8.  What is your favourite season for riding? Spring is my favorite season, period.
  9.  Do you have other interests in addition to horses? Gardening, wildlife, reading - and my newest venture is building custom horse jumps!
  10. If you could only have one food if you were stranded on a desert island, what would it be?  Pasta with chunks of fresh tomato, mozzarella and fresh basil tossed with a bit of balsamic vinaigrette.

11. Would you prefer a social person next to you on a long flight or someone who keeps to themselves?
Someone who keeps to themselves - I hate flying and am cranky when I'm nervous - would rather try to read!

I am sorry to say that I only know one horsey blogger - that is Wolfie! I will, however, take this opportunity to nominate a friend who's blog, though not equine, is very witty and relatable... If this makes me ineligible for the award, I understand :) And I suspect this person knows 11 good bloggers!

Ms. Crankypants !!

So Ms. Crankypants, here are your questions...

  1. I am fairly certain you have no personality flaws but, if you did, what would they be?
  2. What is your biggest pet peeve?
  3. Who is your movie star heartthrob of the moment?
  4. If you had the misfortune to be stuck on a long flight next to either an ignorant, blabbering fool or a racist, chauvinistic pig, would you parachute out the window or just stab someone?
  5. Name one place you've never been that you'd like to visit.
  6. If you could have dinner with any author, living or dead (though reanimated for the meal), who would you choose?
  7. If you had the power to erase five people from the face of the earth (not talking murder here, just poof, magic powers), who would you eliminate?
  8. What is your least favorite color?
  9. If you had to choose a natural disaster to endure, would you choose a volcano eruption, earthquake or tornado?
  10. Would you rather spend the day with a two year old or a 92 year old?
  11. If you had to change something about your physical appearance, what would you change?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


I have a Thoroughbred stallion named Biskit. Well, his actual, registered name is Mustabeencrazy. He is by Valid Expectations out of a mare that was not terribly well bred, but a hard runner who did win some money. People always ask me if he's a Quarter horse - he and his sire look a lot more like stock horses than race horses:  here is a picture of his daddy and an article about how he, this year, became Texas' all time leading sire by progeny earnings.

Biskit looking winter scruffy
I did not set out to obtain a stallion. I'd heard terrible things about what horrendous creatures they can be and I'd had some bad experiences with evil tempered colts. However, I had also met some colts that were fairly well behaved so, when I got a call from the racetrack asking me to take in a 2 year old stud colt with a fractured sesamoid, and when the caller assured me he was a darling to handle and would make a great horse for a kid, I decided to go check him out.

another scruffy photo of my stallion

He had been taken back to the owner's farm to recuperate and was, indeed, as docile as they claimed. They told me his name was "Biskit" for Seabiscuit - he was smallish and had slightly crooked front legs like the famous racehorse. I brought him home, and he was put on stall rest to recover from his fracture. I think he had to be kept in for about three months. During that time, he continued to be easy to handle and, anyway, I couldn't have him gelded while he was on stall rest - the newly gelded horse must be able and encouraged to move around to facilitate healing. The recuperation started in the spring. By the time he was allowed minimal turnout, it had gotten hot and the flies had arrived - also not a good time for gelding. Biskit was turned out with another horse recovering from an injury, my "miracle colt," Forbes, and continued to act as if he was already a docile gelding. My students led him around and groomed him, he paid no attention to mares whatsoever, he was better behaved than some of my geldings, and so gelding him was never a real priority.

A few years later, I was contemplating whether or not I should just go ahead and take care of the little operation, and one of my vet friends asked if I would be willing to let him breed a few mares first. By this time, Biskit had developed quite a reputation for his fantastic temperament. This particular friend was interested in breeding polo ponies, and thus Biskit's sprinting pedigree and compact, muscular build was ideal. We weren't too worried about Biskit's slightly crooked front legs - his sire has perfect legs and his dam raced many times, so we're pretty sure she must have been fairly sound. Just in case, Todd decided to breed just one mare as a test. This baby was born the following spring and was named Dr. Jones, after the doctor caring for Todd's wife, who was battling cancer at the time.
mug shot of baby Dr. Jones

  Dr. Jones snoozing
Dr. Jones had straight legs, a stocky build like his sire, and also turned out to have Biskit's super, friendly, docile temperament. Dr. Jones is two now, has been gelded, and is soon to be sent for some initial training. I have been told that he is quiet, smart and a very quick learner.
Dr. Jones at just a few days old
Dr. Jones with his momma

Last spring, when Dr. Jones was a yearling, I brought Biskit over to Todd's farm for a few months again to pasture breed a small herd of mares. This year, those foals were born. They are a lovely crop of babies, nicely built, and all seem to have their daddy's winning personality.

I hereby present Biskit's 2013 foal crop:

This is the oldest, a colt named St. Patrick born on - you guessed it - St. Patrick's Day. He is a flashy bay with lots of white and he absolutely loves people. He is very curious and outgoing.

Patrick, just a few days old, with Kayla

Patrick at approximately 2 months old

Posing with one of Todd's sons

This is the filly, Sarah, I believe she was second born. She is a flashy light bay or chestnut - I think she will end up being a chestnut like Dr. Jones. I was worried about her when I first saw her a few days after she was born - she had really long spider legs and her butt was far higher than her front end. She has leveled out nicely at approximately 2 months of age.
Sarah, about 2 weeks old

with her mom

Sarah around 1  1/2 months old

Next we have Cubed, Todd's favorite - a feisty bay filly, very well put together and stocky, perhaps a little hotter than her father but becoming sweeter and more people-oriented by the day.

Cubed, less than 2 weeks old, posing on the hillside

She wouldn't let me touch her

Stocky little baby girl

Cubed and her flashy Paint mom

Cubed just under 2 months old

The attitude is still there

She thinks she's the real deal

And here is the surprise filly, Brisket (yes, I know - I had no say in the naming of the babies and tried to veto this particular name, though they claim it's an homage to her daddy!). She is a lovely chestnut out of one of Todd's best polo mares, who apparently broke down a fence to get into the pasture with Biskit and produced an unexpected foal to everyone's surprise (apparently she didn't even look pregnant, just a little chunky!)

Surprise filly Brisket with her mom at around a week old

Brisket having a drink at about 1 1/2 months old

And finally we have Telulah, a pretty little bay filly who has had a rocky start. She and her mom had to be sent to a clinic soon after birth - her mom foundered and also stepped on poor Telulah's leg. The tough little filly is in a cast and seems to be recovering well. She has some way to go to catch up to her siblings, but has a strong will to live and loves the attention she's getting - I was told she much prefers people to horses. Mom is doing a little better, but is a long way from recovery.
Telulah sleeping in the sun soon after her arrival home from the hospital, just a week or two old

I have no idea how that black box got there or how to remove it!

Telulah around 5 or 6 weeks old, showing off her cast

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Wee Willie

Several horses have come to my farm, Equutopia, after suffering past abuse and/or neglect. In the cases I’ve dealt with personally, the physical damage has been far easier to undo than the psychological injuries. Interestingly enough, the horses I’ve received in the worst physical condition have all been sweet and very easy to handle, a testament to the generally forgiving nature of the horse.

Willie, a small, bay hackney pony, has been my toughest psychological rehabilitation case thus far. He was genuinely afraid of people and very difficult to catch when he first arrived. I kept him in a fairly small paddock and, with time and patience, earned some measure of trust. Catching him was a very time consuming procedure at first: I had to approach him walking very slowly, looking down at the ground, facing sideways. It usually took many approaches before I could touch him but, once I could start patting him, he’d stand still for me to slip a lead around his neck and get hold of his halter. Eventually, I got to the point with him where I just stood in the middle of the paddock, called him, stretched my arm out and stared at the ground and he would trot right up to me. I think he figured out that it was easier that way, that I wasn't going to just leave him alone.

Willie and Copper (sorry, terrible pic but only one I have of them!)

Handling Willie was another challenge. He was never mean – he would just freeze and tremble in fear. Again, with lots of patience and gentle grooming, he came to realize that I wasn’t all that bad. He was always reluctant to let me touch his right side – I have no idea why, and was never able to completely overcome this issue. I suspect that the vision in his right eye may have been bad.

One moment in particular with Willie will be etched in my memory forever. I had him loose in a stall and was just trying to make friends with him, patting and stroking his neck. I was standing sideways to him with eyes downcast, arm fully outstretched to reach him while standing as far away as possible. Willie seemed to be relaxing and accepting the attention, so I decided to see what would happen if I stepped away. I slowly lowered my arm and took a step away. Then I waited. After a few moments, Willie took a sideways step toward me, and I resumed my attentions. It was the first real breakthrough and brought tears to my eyes.


I trimmed his feet myself. It took some time before he would even let me pick them up, and then he would extend the foot toward me and freeze, trembling, displaying a horrible, resigned fear. That, too, improved with time. He acted the same way for veterinary ministrations – he just steeled himself in preparation for the

Handling led to leaning, then sitting astride his back. I did this several times, feet almost touching the ground on the small pony. Again, you guessed it, the freezing and trembling. He would not take a step with me on his back. Perhaps with time and persistence he would have become rideable, but I felt he would be better off as a pet. He was around 4 when I got him, and I had him for about 3 or 4 years.

I had the good fortune to meet a wonderful lady, Julie, through my job at the time. She told me all about her hackney pony, Zoe, who was also a victim of past abuse. Julie was able to successfully rehabilitate Zoe, and she was clearly a pampered pet. Unfortunately, Zoe was very old and had some age-related health issues and eventually had to be put down. Julie was heartbroken.

After some time, I suggested that she might like to adopt Willie, and she did, along with two other ponies I had on the farm at the time, Willie's buddies, Copper and Sammie. Julie made progress with Willie as well, but we agree that he will never completely trust people. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Nature's First Green Is Gold

I have been really busy over the past few weeks working on an order of custom jumps, including a beautiful but time consuming faux brick wall. Therefore, I have not had much time to write. However, in honor of the arrival of spring and the new green grass, I wanted to take this opportunity to share an article I wrote several years ago about how hay is produced, featuring a local farming family, the Ritchies of Inglewood Farm.


“Nature’s first green is gold” – Robert Frost

When spring comes at last after another cold, bleak winter, and the fields of Virginia start turning green, this poem always comes to my mind. For to horse owners and the farmers that supply them, the green grass truly is gold – beautiful, leafy, gold-green hay.

To walk a mile in Bill Ritchie’s shoes, you’d better be fit, hard working, patient, part mechanic, part weatherman and love working outdoors. You also must handle stress well, multitask and be good at dealing with people. A farmer’s life is not an easy one, but Bill Ritchie, of Inglewood Farm in Bealeton, VA, wouldn’t trade it for anything else. “I love the fact that I just walk out of my house and I’m at work. No commuting,” he explains. “I also like that I do something different nearly every day.” 


Farming is a Ritchie family tradition. Bill’s grandfather, Wilbur Ritchie, originally purchased Inglewood farm approximately 70 years ago. He had four sons, including Bill’s father, Calvin, who was the only one to stay on and farm the land. In addition to the farming, Calvin started a grain business, Fauquier Grain Company, which was later sold and became Fauquier Feed. While Calvin was busy with the grain business, which included bagged and bulk feed for a variety of livestock and fertilizer, Bill grew up farming and gradually took over that aspect of the operation.

The Ritchie family turned its full attention to farming once the grain company was sold and expanded the business by leasing land. They currently farm approximately 2000 acres, of which the family owns roughly 500. In addition to producing hay, Inglewood Farm grows and harvests soybeans, corn, wheat and barley. The wheat and barley both help produce another golden “byproduct” – straw. Inglewood is also known locally for having the best sweet corn in the area. I can personally attest to that; if you see the “sweet corn” sign out on Route 17, a few miles south of Bealeton, it is worth the trip up the long gravel drive to pick some up.

The average person might think that producing hay is easy… it is, after all, just dried up grass, right? The process is actually surprisingly complex and takes about three days to complete. First, the grass is, indeed, cut and allowed to lie on the ground for a day. The next day it is tedded, or fluffed, to allow for better and more thorough drying. On the third day, the moisture level is checked with a tester – Inglewood does not bale any hay which tests over 15% moisture – and then raked into rows. Once raked into these windrows, it can be baled immediately.

Of course, this is assuming that the weather is good for three consecutive days. Cutting is planned with this in
Tractor pulling a round baler
mind, which is where accurately predicting the future, or at least the weather, comes in handy. Despite all efforts, sometimes the cut hay does get rained on, in which case it is baled and sold as mulch hay. The farmer must work long hours during nice spells, trying to get as much work done as possible while the weather cooperates. Thus the expression "gotta make hay while the sun shines."

The soil must also be properly prepared and maintained for optimum production. Generally speaking, the soil only needs to be tilled every three or four years. Seeding is also done at this time, though overseeding may occasionally be of benefit in between tilling cycles. Fertilizer is applied in early spring, with additional nitrogen applications between cuttings throughout the season.

Depending on a number of factors including type of hay grown and the weather, a farmer can expect up to three or four cuttings from a hay field over the course of a growing season. The first cutting, which is usually harvested in early May, is a bit coarser than subsequent cuttings, but it also yields the most hay per acre. Bill estimates that he can harvest roughly 100 bales per acre from the first cutting, whereas that number drops dramatically to 20 or even just 10 bales per acre for later cuttings.

Raking hay into rows
Orchardgrass, timothy and alfalfa are the most commonly produced hays in our area. Inglewood focuses on orchardgrass hay but also grows a little timothy. They offer both the traditional square bales and the much larger round bales. All hay is stored inside immediately after baling. Inglewood is fortunate to have acquired a hay stacking machine in recent years, eliminating the arduous chore of stacking the square bales manually, as many farms still must.

Bill cautions that hay production is the least profitable of his farming endeavors. He further recommends that anyone interested in hay production consider the difficulty of making a reasonable profit. The machinery is expensive, both in initial cost and maintenance and repairs. You must also consider fuel, fertilizer and seed costs as well as labor costs, unless you have free help at your disposal. He emphasizes that “you really have to have a decent amount of acreage as well – preferably several hundred. You just can’t make a profit on less acreage.”

In addition to the cost, there’s the sheer hard work. You must endure long days in the blazing hot sun and being assaulted by insects and dust. .Inglewood is fortunate to have tractors with climate-controlled cabs, but many farmers do not… I have seen many homemade “shades,” including umbrellas tied to the tractor; as they say, necessity is the mother of invention.

Rows of hay ready for baling
Our hay producers have certainly earned our respect and thanks. It is a very difficult job, stressful, tedious and unpredictable at times. So many things can go awry, particularly in regard to the weather… a drought or particularly wet season can ruin a crop. Yet our horses depend on the fruits of their labors, quite literally. It is important that we help support our local farmers and, on a larger scale, that we care about and help conserve the open land and the environment itself on which they (and we) depend. Otherwise, the last line of Frost’s poem may come to fruition on a permanent rather than cyclical basis: “Nothing gold can stay.”

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Oh shed, spring is hair again!


Aaaahh... spring is here again, and with that comes the seasonal rite of shedding. Horses shed particularly heavily in spring, then more lightly in fall. The accompanying photos were taken just recently, as my horses are trying to lose their winter coats to allow their summer coats to shine through. As you can see, some horses lose a dramatic amount of hair in what I like to call the "mangy horse" syndrome. Older horses in particular seem to like to grow a LOT of winter hair, then have to get rid of it all in the spring. Sometimes it comes out in lovely patches. The molting look is very unattractive!

A little to the left, please
Benefits to manually shedding:

The local birds get a bonanza of soft fluff to build their nests and cushion their fragile eggs. OK, they get that when a horse sheds naturally by rolling and rubbing on things as well.

Less hair on your trees and fences

Good arm, hand and finger exercise for the human shedders, even if you use tools...

Great opportunity to bond with your horse, spending some extra time and attention on their care and comfort

Grossing out your prissier friends

Yeah, right there
Downfalls of manually shedding:

Very dirty hands and fingers - it is amazing how tenaciously that grime sticks to the area under your fingernails, in particular!


Some horses can be a little sensitive or ticklish - be gentle and be careful!

Loose hair never, never, ever will wash out of your clothing

Enough of it will wash/dry out of your clothing to line the walls of your washer and dryer and "infect" your previously hairless clothing

Grossing out your loved ones

Feeling itchy yet?
Go ahead, sneeze

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Gadgets and Gizmos

First, let me apologize for my lengthy absence. No, I didn't get tired of writing the blog - I've missed it, actually! No, I'm not a lazy slacker (not usually, anyway - I have my moments. What happened was that karma bit me in the butt. I had the audacity to write a post about winter survival tips at the very end of winter season and, as a result, the "dusting" of snow we were supposed to get here in Virginia turned into 4 - 6 inches of heavy, slushy, tree limb breaking snow. I lost power on Wednesday morning and didn't get it back until Sunday. To add insult to injury, when the power came back on, the surge killed my computer! It was plugged into a protector, just not, apparently, a very good one. Anyway, I finally managed to retrieve my information off the old hard drive (no, I did not have current backups, shame on me, another lesson learned the hard way!). Sooooo... glad to be back!

Over the years I have discovered various items and gadgets to be indispensable on the farm. One of these invaluable gizmos is the head lamp. Now, I must admit that the first time I saw someone wearing one of these
Hi Ho, Hi Ho
lights, I had to stifle a giggle. I would expect to see them worn by cavers or miners, but it seemed a bit out of place at the farm. One of my friends has a bit of a lazy streak and apparently had decided that there was no need to carry a flashlight when one could be worn. He’d wear his light on an evening stroll through the woods or, indeed, for any excuse he could find.

Granted, pride in my appearance at the farm went out the window a long time ago when function won the battle over fashion. I was unafraid of appearing “dorky” as long as I was comfortable. For example, one winter I was having a lot of trouble keeping my feet warm and dry. I tried several different boots, socks, etc. My rubber boots kept my feet dry but were too cold no matter how many pairs of socks I wore. I had a warm pair of hiking boots which, though allegedly weatherproof, still allowed my feet to get wet, then cold. In desperation, I tried putting on several plastic shopping bags before slipping on the boots. My moisture barrier worked and that was all it took to sell me on wearing them for the rest of that winter.

I was a bit embarrassed on a few occasions when I had to run to the store or another public venue between chores, wondering what people would think – it was impossible to completely hide the bags without decreasing their effectiveness and they peeked over the tops of my boots. It has always seemed silly to me to take the time to change clothes and footwear for a run to the store just to return and take more time changing back to work clothes, thus I’ve learned to deal with the occasional stare or wrinkled nose. I have, however, long since invested in a good pair of insulated Muck Boots, soooo warm and wonderful, so plastic bags will be an emergency measure only. Oddly enough, the inside of my beloved boots are "don't shoot me" orange... why exactly is that?

Speaking of embarrassing apparel, I now swear by those one piece insulated zip up suits. They keep me toasty warm no matter how cold it is. I have splashed water on those suits and walked around wearing a coating of ice, toasty warm inside! My city slicker friends refer to it as my ":serial killer suit." Not sure why...

Got a little off track there. Anyway, I was reluctant to try one of the headlamps. When I first moved to my farm, Equutopia, 10 years ago, I was new and inexperienced at farm management, a single girl trying to
Dark Woods Dweller
make a go of it with little spare time and very limited financial resources. Unable to afford an ATV, I was hauling hay down to my pasture in a wheelbarrow, flashlight tied to the hay bale unless I was lucky enough to have a full moon on that particular evening. The hill was steep and rutted, the wheelbarrow bounced everywhere and the flashlight was often jarred loose. The return trip uphill was even worse, trying to hold a handle and the light in the same hand while contending with the panicky feeling that something or someone was looming in the dark, waiting until I’d almost reached safety to spring their attack - the same feeling I’d had as a child climbing the basement steps waiting for that hand to close on my ankle. I no longer haul hay down the hill in a wheelbarrow, but it occurred to me that a headlamp would have been really handy back then. These lights are also fantastic when tending to a horse’s wound or bandaging a leg or any other such situation when both hands are needed and no extras are available.

Most are familiar with the inherent value of duct tape and twine and keep both handy at all times, so I won’t elaborate too much on these items but to say that I use them most often for fence repair, hanging buckets and temporary blanket repair. Few may know the handiness of keeping a few bit guards or other thick, flexible rubber pieces around – if your copper pipe springs a leak, a small piece of this rubber and a hose clamp can prevent a flood. Thick rubber bands such as those found binding the broccoli in the produce section of your local grocery store make excellent emergency replacements for the bands on childrens’ safety stirrups.

Farm essentials.

During the winter months, when the occasional snow blankets the ground and makes wheelbarrow locomotion nearly impossible, a childrens’ flat plastic sled works wonderfully for moving hay bales, muck baskets and the like. Just beware of the downhill slopes – momentum is not your friend if you happen to be standing in front of your loaded sled. I turn the sled around and let it slide downhill backward so that I can control its speed (yes, I learned this lesson the hard way after being the victim of a hit and run by a sled loaded with hay bales).

There are countless other improvisations one can make use of on a farm – as they say, necessity is the mother of invention. Please remember when trying something new that safety should be your first consideration – if something looks dangerous, it probably is – keep thinking and find another way.