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Signs of Fall

Everything has been nice and routine around here for the last couple of days. This happens to be just the way I like it! It looks like the rain will be making a return tomorrow afternoon through Saturday. According to our forecast some of the showers could be heavy. After our record breaking drought a couple of years ago I swore I would never complain about rain again. I am still not complaining about it . . . yet (well maybe a teeeny bit).

We are finally starting to see some nice fall colors in the trees. I am running about 2-3 weeks behind with my picture posting so this isn’t really reflected in the pictures. The pastures are starting to really decline as well. We have a mix of warm and cool season grasses on the farm. The cool season grasses are still thriving, however the warm season bermuda grass has really been starting to take over the last couple of years, with some pastures being mostly warm season grass. The warm season grass is starting to go dormant. In some pastures it is already completely dormant and brown while in others it is a quickly fading green. I expect that within the next week or two all of the bermuda grass will be completely dormant until spring.

We have a love/hate relationship with warm season grass here, namely the bermuda. The great thing about it is you can’t kill it, and it can handle drought conditions. Thus it really started to spread on the farm during the drought a couple of years ago. The bad thing about it is you can’t kill it. During normal precipitation years our cool season grasses get good growth for all but about three to three and a half months per year, and growth slows to a crawl during that time. The bermuda grass goes completely dormant a full month before the cool season grasses slow their growth to a crawl, and does not exit dormancy until about a month after the cool season grasses have really hit their stride again. Thus we lose two months of good grazing everywhere there is bermuda grass. So while we were glad to have it around during the drought we would be happy for it to move on now, but that definitely is not going to happen.

Between the fading bermuda grass and the color in some of the leaves it is really looking like fall on the farm.

I’ll end this post with one of my favorite horse quotes. I will admit I have a long and lengthy list of favorite horse quotes but I happened to see this one today. Anyone who has ever had a great ride on a horse can summon up a memory that would be perfectly described by this Arabian proverb: “The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse’s ears.”

I summoned all of my creative resources (I have very few) and named this the “gray horse picture.” Cuffie in the front, Harmony behind him, with Buffy and Lily in the back.

Snappy grazing with his new friends. Snappy has had quite an interesting life and travelled the world. He was born and bred in Poland, somehow discovered by the famous New Zealand eventer Mark Todd and evented through the 4 star level. He was sold to an eventer in the U.S. who crashed him at a cross country jump (rider error). After having tendon surgery on both front legs as a result of the crash he took up a new career as a show hunter where he was champion everywhere from the winter Florida circuit to Indoors. Although I rarely get to see it he has an amazing, huge and fluid gallop stride.

A happy group of mares and ponies. Cuffie and Missy are the ponies and MyLight and Buffy are the Thoroughbred mares.


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