Stable Management

Brought to you by Mount Manure

"Mount Manure", our compost pile made of soiled shavings and horse manure, produces amazing plants. This cherry tomato plant was living in its pot with our raspberries in old water troughs filled with Mount Manure "product". I pulled it into our bay window room in the middle of last night's freezing rain. Planted from seed, this tomato is an indeterminate variety, meaning it should have multiple growing seasons, and is still full of flowers. I hope the grow lights keep it going through the winter! Read also, Easter 2013: Grandang's Rhubarb, which shows how we use old, leaky water troughs as planters. Grandang's rhubarb, shown below in an updated August photo, is also in a bed created from our horse output. The rhubarb produced like crazy, even after being split earlier in the spring. Arrangements can be made if you are interested in a piece of Mount Manure.

Tomato plant started from seed and fertilized with the soiled bedding in our manure pile - a mix of wood shavings and manure.

Grandang's rhubarb - August 2013 - also in a bed fed by Mount Manure - Poudre River Stables - Fort Collins - Colorado - 80521


You do need proper equipment to manage the manure. We use an old , tustworthy John Deere 950 for all sorts of land stewardship chores!


Where the really valuable horses compete - the "chore horse" competition

"The Chore Horse competition is a test of skill for driver and horses. There is a prescribed course of different tasks that must be attempted in the correct sequence. The tasks are all things that a working team would have to do in the course of their work. Teams are judged on disposition, power, versatility, precision and agility."- The Cochrane Eagle

Canada rocks when it comes to horse compeitions. They also have a versatility team breed contest, the Telus Battle of the Breeds. Read the full story on the "chore horse" competition in the Cochrane Eagle.


Poudre River lapping at banks - natural area ponds breached


Poudre River - Shields Street Bridge
The North Shields Street - Poudre River bridge becomes a tourist attraction as people pose with small children above turbulent flood waters.
The Poudre River is lapping at its banks after heavy rain. "The Beach", a popular recreation spot, is now completely under water, and the river has breached the natural area ponds to the north. The Shields Street - Poudre River bridge on our northwest corner has become a tourist attraction, with cars stopping on the bridge for photos, and people posing with small children for that special shot. Little do they know that the bridge is slated for replacement, and is damaged by water scoring. If some of the flood debris, a big tree for instance, hit the bridge, would it hold?

Goats munch through Davenport weed problem

"They've done a lot more work than we were expecting. It's unbelievable the amount of work they are doing and how cost-effective it is. They've been wonderful."
-- Amy Loving, naturalist
SiouxCityJournal.com

True, goats are great munchers, and they especially love leafy spurge. Be careful, however, that you don't put them near something you want to keep. Mine nearly destroyed a small orchard! Click on the Sioux City Journal link above for the full story on the goats who munched through the Davenport weed problem.

You might also enjoy: Just an old goat


Horse fencing: Do it right and skip the 1,348-acre brush fire

Instead of twisting wire for splices, use proper clamps. Read the full story at Fencing fracas: Tips for sanity.

According to The Coloradoan, a retired nuclear physicist's electric fence was connected to a 100-foot extension cord that was plugged into a power strip plugged into another extension cord plugged into an electrical outlet. The contraption sparked a brush fire that consumed 1,348 acres of Colorado's Lory State Park.

Avoid endearing yourself to the neighbors and thousands of other park users -- get your electric fencing right the first time. It's not rocket (or nuclear) science.


Snowmageddon Day 2: The horse blankets that survived

Many of our horses came back into the barn soaked after about three hours in Day 2 of Snowmageddon 2013. Their turnout blankets and rain sheets were soaked through. Considering what horse people pay for blankets, you would expect better results. Oddly, it was not a case of popular name v. knockoff. Some big names failed as did a lesser-known model. I also think as blankets age, they lose their water repellency. Watch the video to see what our stable discovered during this crazy spring snow storm!

"PB" wears blanket that survived - Poudre River Stables - Fort Collins - Colorado - 80521
"PB" wears blanket that survived

 

Manure spreader buried in snow - Poudre River Stables - Fort Collins - Colorado - 80521
Manure spreader buried in the snow.

 

Another blanket that survived - Poudre River Stables - Fort Collins - Colorado - 80521
This horse also wore one of the blankets that did well in Snowmageddon 2013. Watch the video to learn more.

 

Snow hangs over shed roofs - Poudre River Stables - Fort Collins - Colorado - 80521
Snow hangs over shed roofs in a big way.

 

Dry and close to the heated water - Poudre River Stables - Fort Collins - Colorado - 80521
This little guy loves being dry and close to the heated water.

 

Bonnie peeks out over stall door - Poudre River Stables - Fort Collins - Colorado - 80521
Bonnie peeks out over stall door. She didn't enjoy getting soaked in her Weatherbeeta turnout blanket.

 

Hobbes watches, wishing he could go back out and play in the snow - Poudre River Stables - Fort Collins - Colorado - 80521
Hobbes watches, wishing he could go back out and play in the snow. He didn't seem to care whether he was blanketed. His off-brand rain sheet failed completely, leaving him soaked.

 

Kalvin with his Wal-Mart pencil carrier stall card - Poudre River Stables - Fort Collins - Colorado - 80521
Kalvin with his Wal-Mart pencil carrier stall card holder. Kalvin's rain sheet failed, leaving him soaked, too. Watch the video to see the exact rain sheet.

 

Snow piled up against the barn - Poudre River Stables - Fort Collins - Colorado - 80521
Snow piled up against the barn. Let us hope we do not have to repeat this experience soon!