Conundrum Farm

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It took quite a while for my husband and I to come up with a name for our little horse?farm.? But when we thought of ??conundrum,? we knew we had a perfect fit.

On the easy side of?things, it's been a mild winter (until recently), and?we have had little-to-no water-trough difficulties this year, as our solar tanks stay ice-free. One morning, after it dipped below zero the night before, the tanks required a few smacks with a rubber hammer, but that was it. The horses love them, and they're drinking well out in the field and in their stalls (a little added salt ensures the water bucket gets attention over night). I worry about water consumption, especially in the winter, having lost a horse to compaction colic?many years ago.

Yesterday, we drove to the store to get six bags of feed, as we worry about running low and being unable to get to the store.?It takes an hour, so we try to get as much at once as we can. Of course, as our luck usually runs, in this morning?s paper, we found the bedding was on sale for $5/bag instead of $6.49. We?ll be making many more trips to the feed store while it's on sale to stock up. With prices the way they are, we can't not do that.

It was extremely windy last night, and continues on today, and many branches came down over night, including on one section of fence. My husband and I both spent many years working on and/or managing breeding farms, and one thing we both learned was: Horses can find ways to hurt themselves on downed branches. ?So, that was my morning?picking up branches.

It was easier than my husband's morning, though. He?re-secured loose tarps over machinery and fixed the patch of fence and three broken windows.? He also did the stalls for me this morning, so I could get to the office earlier. Since the weather has forced our old mares into the barn much earlier this week, the stalls have?been "fun."

Of course, the winds?and cold?made the paddock area muddy and icy. Without a snow cover,?that's a worry for the horses, as they crunch through it. We?ll be inspecting fetlocks tonight, so we can head off any cases of scratches. And, looking out the window, it looks like the chestnut mare might be a little sore on her left back leg, so I'll be heading out to the field for an inspection as soon as this is finished.

Yes, our little farm takes up a lot of our time, although I wouldn?t have it any other way. can't imagine what folks in apartments do with themselves all day! And, honestly, aren't conundrums supposed to be?somewhat fun'?