Most of the time people assume that when you run a horse farm you spend most of your time caring for and grooming horses and there is a great deal of truth in that statement. What might surprise a lot of people not intimately familiar with how a farm runs is how much time is also spent staging and preparing for various cyclical events.

Let’s use making hay as an example. First, every piece of equipment that we’re going to use has to be repaired and serviced, including mower(s), rakes, tedders, balers, wagons and tractors. Notice that everything is plural ? Before we even get started at doing any work this means keeping (and keeping track of) all the tools required to keep everything in good repair. There is nothing more frustrating than needing a special wrench or socket to complete a three minute job and spending two hours attempting to find it and then driving to town for a replacement. We do most of our service and repair work before we put the equipment to bed in the fall but since much of it has been sitting still for months  it is surprising what can wear out or rot with very little advance warning. The same series of events happens every time we move equipment across our land. We service bush-hogs before pasture clipping, tractors and loaders before winter hay feeding, sprayers before spray time, etc, etc, etc.

Routine horse work requires considerable staging as well. We make a day of it when the dentist comes to float teeth several times per year.  These days (and farrier days, vaccination days etc) start extra early as all the horses have to be fed well before the dentist arrives. The horses due to be worked on have to be haltered, caught and brought to one of the barns before the dentist gets there. We leave them in stalls and watch them pretty carefully when the dentist leaves, too. I don’t want to bore anyone with a long list of details but the same sort of preparatory work takes place before every farrier day, every vaccination day, etc, etc. etc.  As Melissa mentioned in several posts on herd dynamics, new horses bring their own set of preparatory and behind the scenes work.

I heard someone say once that farming often feels comparable to trying to dip out the Mississippi River with a teacup.  It is a pretty accurate statement !

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Romeo napping and Faune grazing
O’Reilly, Walden and Fabrizzio
Titan and Lotus
Norman and Calimba
MyLight, Cinnamon, Maisie and Lily
Chili and Johnny
Mina and Lyle climbing the blanket pile