Sunday, October 30, 2005

Finally, some sun! This weekend was beautiful, even though we still are suffering the muddy remains of the snow earlier this week.

Besides are usually weekend activities of trailering Red and Guin for their lesson with Marcy Baer of Briar Hill Farms; trash and recycling run; and the normal horsie care, we worked with our hay guy, Steve, to erect poles for our winter paddocks. We had cut cedar earlier this fall, and had gotten most of them stripped when the rainy weather prevented us from finishing that job. So we put them up anyway, knowing full well those will be the ones that need to be replaced first.

We created two paddocks on either side of the pipe that leads to our leach field. We have to keep the horses off of the field, and no heavy machinery on it either! But in the winter, we like to have the horses closer to the house. This eases the necessary chores of haying and watering.

Last year, as we had just moved in and were living in the cellar, we used T-posts and 3 strands of electric rope, just as we have out in the pastures. However, we found that this set-up didn't work that well in deep winter. Whether it was due to their thickened coat or the ground not being good enough or the snow acting as insulation, the shock value of the fence was considerably lessened.

So, we decided to give wood a chance. The paddocks are smaller than the pastures, and each will have their own run-in, of course. We hope to have at least one round of wood crosspieces for each paddock this year and will run electric for the rest, unless we find the wood a bit cheaper than expected. Our desire is to eventually run 3 rounds of crosspieces, and electric wire to discourage chewing.

We designed in two gates in each paddock. A 10 foot one at the bottom and a 4 foot one at the top. Horses and humans can go in and out either gate depending on the ice conditions. Hopefully, we will get started on the crosspieces this week. Here's a picture of the posts.

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