Friday, July 9, 2010

A Vistor's Story

My friend, Linda, and her dad, Barney, spent a week with us in May. We had quite an agenda! It was the week that we were planning on finally getting the calves out to pasture as part of our grazing cell rotation, both Linda and Barney were getting ready to film their auditions (Barney L1 and Linda L2 On Line) and had a few rough edges to sand off, Barney is just getting back into riding after - oh - maybe 60 years, and at the end of the week....Barney's 80th birthday!

Linda recently sent me a little write-up about the first part of their visit. They literally arrived, got out of their car, unloaded their horses, and started helping us with the fence. And the next morning, the first order of the day was Trailer Loading . . . . calves! Linda is incredibly game when it comes to anything like this, and she actually did most of the loading. Talk about principles to purpose! The real fun started when we released them into the grazing cell. Typically, a couple of them decided to run through the hot wire. It was a real test of non-predatory behavior for all of us!

We formulate a plan
Making the right thing a little easier
Then it's all about watching Linda do the work!!
And work
And just a little more

Then the smart Herefords almost load themselves
C'mon in! It's really not that bad!

 Here it is, in Linda's own words:
Earlier this summer I spent a week at The Farm with my father, Barney and our two horses. Every time we come over we see the results of Kris and Mark's continuing progress with the facilities and pasture management. Our plan for this visit was to relax and make progress with our horse-man-ship without the distractions of my fixer upper home and my full time job. And all along the high point of the week was to celebrate Barney's 80th birthday and his Level 1 audition completion. Our unofficial non plan plan is always to join in the life and times of Springvalley Farm.

The first task after settling the horses and ourselves, was to help finish clipping the southern fence lines after Mark had restretched them. All five of us including Denise quickly secured the fencing. Its a first time 3 of us have hooked and looped wire to a t-post. Add that to my suburban girl rancher wannabe horsey girl tool box.

Well, that prerequisite set us up for Mark's grand entry of the weaner calves to the track system's cell grazing. I had a blast moving calves with only a carrot stick and one dvd view of Pat Parelli's tips: pressure on when they look the wrong way and no pressure when they move the right direction. Well, young calves need some support hiking up into a trailer and calming them down after release into acreage. It doesnt work to impulsively snag a 200 lb right brain calf with a carrot string and stick to finish the catching game one yard from the hotwire! Predator impulse still present ! Dad had some great fun moving the two escapees 75 yards back to cell, only to lose them with a last second phase 4. We eventually succeeded while Mark held the hotwire up, and Kris kept the small herd from scattering out the open wire.

We thought this would be the easy part.
Just let 'em go, right?
Cool, calm and collected cowgirl.
Mark and Barney round up the strays.
City Slickers redux (PNH subtitles).