Previous month:
August 2012
Next month:
October 2012

September 2012

Pressing on: Ye Olde Cider

Happy Valley Ranch apple press - cider making 2012
Taking a break from the horses, we harvested more than 400 pounds of apples this year, and pressed about 25 gallons of juice. Friends from the community joined us for a day of camaraderie and community food preservation. The apples are first washed via spraying in a cage. Next, any bad spots are cut out and discarded. The apples are dumped into the Happy Valley Ranch apple press, and ground up. The grindings are then pressed, and the juice runs out into a stainless steel pot. We used the tractor to cart away the leavings to the kitchen compost pile, and fed some to the goats. (No, we did not feed the leavings to the horses. Their stomachs and physiology are too sensitive to handle a load of apple leavings.) A big press like this model is the only way to go when it comes to pressing apples. Don't bother with the small stuff.

Cider pressing - many hands make small work.

Our apple-washing cage - part of the harvest waits for a cleansing spray.

Trainer filmed abusing horses fined $75,000, given probation

"It was our hope that McConnell would do prison time for these terrible crimes but there are gaps in the federal law that need to be strengthened."
-- Keith Dane, director of equine protection for the Humane Society of the United States


No prison time, but we can take solace in the belief that what goes around, comes around. Click on the link above for the full story.

Read the Tennessee Walking Horse Association press release on new federal anti-soring legislation.

Pasture therapy

Bonnie (background, below) and her pal, Little Bit, take a grazing break. We notice that our older horses move much better during grazing season. The constant movement lubricates stiff joints. And yes, we are happy to say that Bonnie's Gorilla-Taped grazing muzzle continues to hold up. (Bonnie is a real-life horse character in the novel, Winning Bet, a clean read for 'tweens and teens.)

Bonnie and Little Bit enjoy a sunny afternoon in the pasture.

Police horses harmed during stable break-in

“They did not enter this to commit a theft; rather, they entered this to maliciously harm our horses — for what reason, I don’t know.” -- Lt. Paul Bauer, Chicago police officer


Can you believe somebody would stoop so low? When it comes to animals, there are some very sick minds out there. Click on the link above for the full story.

Grazing muzzle v. Gorilla Tape

Over the last couple of summers, Bonnie cleverly beat the bottom off of her grazing muzzle. The rubber actually appears to have aged to the point of being very weak, so it did not take much to bust through the muzzle's bottom. My roll of Gorilla Tape came the the rescue, and I bet we get many more days out of this piece of equipment. We also use Gorilla Tape to secure protective leg gear on cross country courses. Bonnie wears a grazing muzzle to help prevent overeating and another attack of laminitis. (Bonnie is a real-life horse character in the novel, Winning Bet, a clean read for 'tweens and teens.)

I basically rebuilt the bottom of our horse Bonnie's grazing muzzle using Gorilla Tape - Poudre River Stables - Fort Collins - Colorado - 80521

Fawns revealed!

On a spreader run, I finally saw the family our resident doe has been hiding. What cuties! We lost one sibling from another set of twins earlier this year when a car hit it on N. Shields St., the western border of our property. Traffic on Shields kills one or two fox babies every year, as well. One of my worst memories is the day a car hit a fawn, and we had to sit there watching the fawn thrash next to the road until a state trooper could come and shoot it. I often wonder what will happen to the wild animals, what with all the development taking place around us.

Baby deer enjoy the lower pasture - Poudre River Stables - Fort Collins - Colorado - 80521