This has turned out to be a very busy end of week. All the more so as it unexpectedly began Wednesday evening and is only now slowing down to a more normal pace. Well, kind of normal pace. I do have two different breads rising in the kitchen for supper tonight.
Wednesday, PeterC decided to go out and look at a horse that was being offered up for sale for an incredibly cheap price. He came home and was pensive. After some prodding it turned out he fell in love with this horse and was terrified to consider purchasing her and taking on the responsibility, but at the same time was afraid she was going to sold to the meat market. Yes, most assuredly there are people who buy perfectly good horses and sell them to the slaughter houses.
Thursday, PeterC was sick with a migraine. I actually think it may have been stress induced as he was awake most of the night trying to figure out a way to buy the horse and find a place to board her. I wish we had a place of our own to keep her but that is another story. We called a few local boarding stables and found one that could take the horse right away and would even trailer her for us. It wasn't the nicest looking stable but the owner knows horses and has broken many a green horse for riding and pulling. The best thing was the boarding price was cheaper than PeterC had feared.
Thursday evening PeterC called the seller to say we would take the mare. Turned out there were two. One was going for half the price of the first because she was crippled. PeterC and I discussed it and decided that the new mare would like a companion that she already knew and that we could afford to board both horses since the cost was so much cheaper than planned. The owner was happy as she had planned on selling the cripple for meat....a really shameful decision if you ask me.
Thursday afternoon I replaced the chickens temporary yard fencing, that was only 24" high, with a fence 4 foot high. The chickens had started hopping the shorter fence and heading into the neighbours yard. Since we couldn't afford to fence our yard this year we decided to use taller plastic fencing. We also made the yard smaller as this will be their winter yard, which I plan to keep cleared of most of the snow. Needless to say I didn't want to scrape a 25 ft x 25 ft area of yard. Instead the chickens have an area approximately 30 square feet to run around in. They also have the half barrels we use as planters. They seem happy.
Friday night we met the transport team at the boarding stable and headed out to pick up the mares. It took longer than planned as the transport team also had to pick up some other livestock along the way. It was annoying but it did cut the cost of the transport by half so it wasn't all bad. We arrived at the owners home just before dark and started the loading process. I had never seen more than a picture of the horses and was a little surprised at how nice they looked, even the cripple carried herself very well. Two hours later we arrived back at the new barn and the barn owner checked over the new arrivals and put them into the quarantine pen.
Saturday we went out to introduce ourselves to the new charges and sign the boarding contract with the stable. The weather was horrible, grey and wet, and it was nearly impossible to stand upright the wind was blowing so hard. We spent a few minutes talking to the horses and introducing ourselves to them, until the rain started coming down in buckets. I was under the understanding that both mares were Morgans but it turned out the cripple is an Arabian. A beautiful bay Arabian at that. The other is a chestnut Morgan.
We were supposed to meet the stable owner but she was running late, having had to make a trip somewhere. The plan was to let her halter and tie the mares to see how well behaved they were. We told her they were green, as we had been informed, and she was afraid they were to wild to be safely tied in the barn for grooming and regular handling. While I found the mares to be quite polite and well behaved, her barn her rules.
When the stable owner finally arrived, a couple of hours late, she dealt with some other business and finally brought us the contract the sign. She suggested and we agreed to leave the mares in the quarantine pen for the weekend as the weather could make it very dangerous, for us and them, should the horses get startled while walking over to the arena. We signed the contract, discussed taking riding lessons until we are both comfortable that we can handle the new mares, and headed home.
Today we went back out to the stable to spend some more time with the mares and to start their grooming program. We purchased brushes, lead ropes, a hoof pick, and a mane and tail comb to start with. PeterC plans to go out every day for baisc grooming and to get the mares used to being handled. I plan to go out on the weekends for a good grooming session and occasionally on the weekdays if he needs an extra hand for something, like the farrier visit or the like.
The horses were really friendly and quite well behaved. They stood well for the grooming and even seemed to enjoy it once we got the burrs and tangles out of their manes and tails. PeterC picked up both their feet and check them over for any major problems, thankfully there were none. The Arab had a hard time balancing on her right side but that was to be expected considering her injured right foreleg. We spent a very pleasant two hours getting to know these new pets.
All in all it has been a stressful few days; spur of the moment decision to buy a horse, then two; arranging for boarding and transportation to the new stables; getting to know the horses in such a way that no one, human or equine got hurt; and of course getting us and them used to their new surroundings. All that on top of the normal and regular chores that had to be done each day.
I'll be glad when we get a regular routine worked out even though it means PeterC will be much busier during the week, and we both will be busier on the weekends. Work never killed anyone, though my muscles are trying to tell me otherwise.