Author Topic: Cedar's 13  (Read 38750 times)

Offline Cedar

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Cedar's 13
« on: January 08, 2013, 11:07:20 PM »
Animal Husbandry — Learn how to drive a draft horse team - In Progress
We picked up a pair a few weeks ago and I will now need to learn how to pull logs, mow with a sickle mower and use a dump rake with them. I have driven singles before, but not a team. With Z getting the 60 acre (plus 40) farm, there is over half of it in woodlot with tight trees where we would not be able to get a tractor. I need to be able to work the woodlot of 20-70 year old trees. Also the ground is fragile there since it basically is in rainforest. The horses haver many years of experience as logging horses. The horses will pretty much keep us fuel free and they can help produce their own feed, other animal feed, as well as our own food and firewood. We also have riding saddles for them so they can also be entertainment, and we can also possibly do waggon rides with them for income. Since we will have a farming farm open to the public, they could also be an added attraction to bring people. Since that is also in elk country, they can be used for packing.

Gardening — Crash course in Silviculture - In Progress
Managing, using, conserving, and repairing forestland. There was not an option for forestry or silvaculture, so I opted that it is REALLY a LARGE gardening project. I don't know alot about woodland management and with at least 60 acres out of 100, I need to learn this to keep the forest healthy for us, for wildlife and the ecosystem. This is something I can easily learn from the local college. I like learning new things. I need to walk with a timber cruiser and see what s/he has to say. There is lots of flora and fauna on this land and I want to make sure I don't mess up anyone's home, whether it is a mushroom or an elk. Income, firewood, lumber, wildlife refuge, added value for other ag products.

Carpentry — In Progress
House building With the new house being built over the footprint of the old one, there is going to be alot of steps I have not participated in before. Although I can swing a hammer and use a saw, I have not built that many things and I am excited to be able to help on this project. At the minimum will help me when I build other buildings such as the outhouse, poultry breedings pens, the cow stanchions and more.

Beer Making — In Progress
Make beer because Z has all the equipment and I got him hops from a interview I did for the newspaper. Even though I HATE beer. I was raised on a vineyard in Oregon when 'they' said winegrapes could not be done here. Dad had about #11 vineyard in Oregon, and now there are over 500. I used to play out in the winery with him, dabbled a bit in distilling (not for 'shine, although when I was in West Virginia I saw the copper stills there) and I like the science of making these types of things. Security through food for the family??? Fun to see if I can pull it off?

Animal Husbandry — A.I.ing Hogs - In Progress
Put my class from a few weeks ago to good use and start AIing livestock, so I get better at it. Not only do I do conservation with heritage vegetables and fruit trees, but I also do with animals. Most of the livestock I raise many people have not heard of, let alone seen. So the gene pools in areas tend to be close and I need to go 'out' to keep them from getting too inbred. Some of the cattle genes I want to bring in from Scotland as frozen semen. Some of the hog genes I need to bring in from the mid-west. The area the farm is in, creates some challenges with livestock and how we want to raise them. If the farm had been elsewhere, I likely would have chosen other breeds to raise there. But with the way and where the farm is, these are the breeds I selected. 10,000 varieties of heritage vegetables go extinct each year and so do 60 breeds of heritage livestock. I would like to help prevent this from happening to our heritage or at least slow it down enough maybe more people can have the opportunity to find out about them and start raising them too. I was a vet tech for 22 years for large, small animals and worked on a conservation zoo for endangered wildlife which most no longer existed outside zoos. We did embryo transfers and such and I became interested in that. I do not believe in some types of AI, such as the un-naturally broad breasted turkeys which cannot naturally reproduce, but to bring in semen from distantly related or not-at-all-related to produce offspring, I do not have an issue with. I can also hire out as a AI tech if I wanted so that is profit, keeping us from having to keep a male of a certain species which can take up room, feed and could be dangerous (like a Jersey bull) for only using him limited times a year (like 1-2 in some of our cases). We should be breeding our sow in January/February.

Weaving — In Progress
Perhaps set up my floor loom finally by the end of the year. You know, I have carted that darn thing which is the size of a pickup bed around to four houses and two countries and I have not set it up yet. Now I have two of them. Hopefully soon I will have a 600 sf log cabin to use as my teaching space and office and I will no longer have an excuse in leaving it in pieces. I even have a willing victim friend who is awesome weaver (she has 8 looms) who has volunteered to help me warp it. It is for education, income, teaching, and being able to make clothes for me and my family if I want to. I think it has a 58" reed in it.

Alternative Energy — Planned
Hydro power (pelton wheel) since we will probably have a good source for that at least 9 months of the year. I am not sure we can do this, but there is a strong creek coming down the hillside to the river. It would be awesome if we could put a power generator on a diversion or something even if we create some of our own power for 9 months of the year, since although the creek runs 12 months of the year, with the 3 months of rain we don't get in the summer, the previous owner state it will get enough flow, although it also is spring sourced. I have always been interested in alternative power through my father (who was an industrial electrician) in the 1970's and I would like to know if it can be done, how to set it up and how to keep it running. If we can, we can have some (plus) self security for producing our own power. I have really been interested in Pelton Wheels since I saw a working one deep in the mountains not far from here, where it has been working since the 1860's, giving electricity way away from towns when many of those towns at the time lacked it. I always like the ... "Can it be done?" theme.

Food Storage — Spring House - Planned
Spring House on same water source as above. It so looks like there is a foundation for one on the creekline at a natural spot not too far from the heritage house. Until 1970, they used the creek and finally a hand pump next to the lilac bush for water. I would like to restore a springhouse if there had one previously to preserve the ambience of the century old farm (again, working/teaching farm open to the public) and teach people about them, but they are also practical for me to store extra produce from the garden, extra milk/butter from the cow. I have been in spring houses before and if the electric does go out, they are just about as good as a refrigerator. Not to mention pretty nice to hang out in on a hot day.

Communication — Ham radio license - Planned
My grandfather had his ham license and I remember his shack in the basement along with lots of scary looking electronic tubes nearly as large as I was. I have his ham logs and some of his other stuff. MINUS the radios themselves. I used to have a rig in my kitchen for a few years, not knowing it was a ham radio and yes I used to talk on it. But now I would like to take my classes to get licensed and learn what I am doing and how to repair and all that stuff. I want it for various reasons going from nostalgia of what my grandfather did. I saw what ham radio did for us when I was in SAR. I see this one as security and communications when there might not be any other means. It might even be fun.

Water Catchment/Filtering — Planned
Crash course for watershed management, erosion control. (There was no 'right' catagory for this one either). Again, wanting to preserve the ecology of the place and with water running downhill to the creeks, rivers, wetland I want to make sure any farming activities I do there, do not create washouts, mud into the creek/river. Make sure I am not going to dry up the wetlands if I clear some brush uphill/east side from it and always keep in mind any changes I do can mess up native plants/animals.

Bio Fuel — Planned
Possibly making biodiesel for Z's truck This one might be nixed now since his truck half died. However, when it gets towed to the garage at the farm, I will be tearing it down to see if we can fix it. I used to work on lots of quarter mile cars for the racetrack, but never diesels which were not semi trucks. So it will be a bit of a new thing for me. I have had an interest in biodiesel and would like to try it even small scale to see how it is done.

Electronics — Planned
Learn basic electronics, like build a radio from scrap like they did in WWI. This goes back to my 2012 New Years Resolution for learning electronics. My brother built a small radio when he was in 4-5th grade and I remember it working quite well. I know during WWI they used scraps off the Jeeps to make radios for the trenches. It fascinates me that something so useful can be made out of so little. I would like to know the knowledge on how to make one. So for entertainment, learning and one day could be security.

Education — Economics - Planned
Learn basic economics better than I have a grasp on now. I fear that what I know, I really don't know, so I think I really ought to know what it is all about. I think in a way I am afraid of knowing, which is why I am forcing myself to know it.... you know?

Cedar
« Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 11:14:16 PM by Cedar »

Offline Cedar

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Re: Cedar's 13
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2013, 11:56:56 PM »
Animal Husbandry — Learn how to drive a draft horse team - In Progress

Two months ago we went to go look at a team of Clydesdales for me to go 'test drive' (don't look at the lines, I am not holding them correctly. The horse was on voice command and the lines were apparently too short and I did not want to be right at his rump since I did not know him and end up with draft horse feet in my face). We ended up buying them. The older horse "Cody" drives wonderfully and was so happy to work. "Whiskers" was like "Umm.. I have been on vacation for three years and you want me to put on a collar?" But he did decide to work for me. My plan is that normally when you get them hitched together, one talks the other one into working too. I hope "Whiskers" goes along with the plan. We had not closed on the farm yet, so the lady we bought them from, agreed to hold them for us until the farm closed. We were pretty sure that by buying extremely large animals we jinxed ourselves. But we didn't.


"Cody" & Cedar


"Whiskers"


"Cody" & Cedar thanking him for driving so nicely


That was the last we saw of them until last Sunday when a friend trucked them 4 hours for us to the new farm. The horses seemed to like their new home. We let them settle for a bit and then we tacked up "Whiskers" into a draft horse sized western saddle to see if he could be ridden as well as driven. We discovered he is green broke and would put up with a green rider.

We do not have work collars for them yet as the collar has to be sized right for each horse. Nelson said he would bring some for us to test fit on them to see what size they were so we can order or locate some. However, we have alot of practice to do before we can even drive them, such as putting a singletree on a post and 'driving it', so we can keep our hands even and such... (and fix the wonky lines). Been reading THE guru draft horse expert author Lynn R. Miller also from Oregon. Z ordered about 5 of his books. And I have been slowly getting to read through them.

Contacted a farrier who will deal with draft horse feet and get them all trimmed up on Saturday and deal with the quarter crack in "Whiskers" front right foot before it gets any worse.

Basically this week we are just introducing ourselves to these gentle giants and gaining some trust from them and getting acquainted to working with them and how they react to things. I have been squashed and broken by horses before which were much smaller than these guys.

Cedar
« Last Edit: January 09, 2013, 12:27:30 AM by Cedar »

Offline Cedar

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Re: Cedar's 13
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2013, 12:06:23 AM »
Water Catchment/Filtering — Planned
Crash course for watershed management, erosion control. Again, wanting to preserve the ecology of the place and with water running downhill to the creeks, rivers, wetland I want to make sure any farming activities I do there, do not create washouts, mud into the creek/river. Make sure I am not going to dry up the wetlands if I clear some brush uphill/east side from it and always keep in mind any changes I do can mess up native plants/animals.

It has been raining alot there, so I am finding the different paths that the water is taking to get to the creek, the river and where it is pooling up at. SweetPea and I checked out the spring house today on the other section to see what was in the house, how the water got to the house, where the source of the spring was and where it went downhill from the building.

Found a winter creek and how the main creek has the remains of an old dam on it. Talked to the former owners two days ago and asked if there had been a springhouse on it for cooling foods and they said there had not been and that was a great idea and they should have done that. (They are in their 80's and 90's and were born on the place). So they answered a couple of my questions and I resolved to indeed make a springhouse here too.

Cedar


Offline Cedar

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Re: Cedar's 13
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2013, 12:09:57 AM »
Animal Husbandry — A.I.ing Hogs - In Progress

We took an all day class at Oregon State University in Swine Reproduction and AI-ing. Our teachers were Swine Breeding Specialist Dr. Tim Safranski with the University of Missouri (who was the one who mainly taught the class) along with Gene Pirelli, an Oregon State University professor and the district extension specialist for livestock and forage. We got to do hands on necropsies of the reproduction tracts and got to do hands on AI-ing.

Cedar

Offline archer

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Re: Cedar's 13
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2013, 12:10:13 AM »
wow.. i had an answer that you know everything, but you are learning some new useful skills! good job Cedar! Those horses are huge!

Offline Nicodemus

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Re: Cedar's 13
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2013, 12:32:02 AM »
Those Clydesdales are incredible!

Offline rikkrack

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Re: Cedar's 13
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2013, 06:53:42 AM »
Again, don't you sleep? Nice progress!

 I guess I need to post what I have been doing now too.

Again, inspired me.

Offline Krystel81

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Re: Cedar's 13
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2013, 04:08:38 PM »
Can't wait to see your progress with your team and AI. I always though that AI was a good skill to have if you ever breed large animals. :)

Offline Cedar

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Re: Cedar's 13
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2013, 05:27:59 PM »
I always though that AI was a good skill to have if you ever breed large animals. :)

It is and it isn't. Your ratio of getting females bred is down compared to 'pasture bred' as it can be dicey getting her bred at the optimal time. But with the heritage breeds I tend to have, it is nigh near impossible to get unrelated animals. Like with our hogs, we will probably have to bring in semen from the midwest and for cattle possibly from the NE USA or Scotland.

Cedar

Offline Cedar

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Re: Cedar's 13
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2013, 10:57:29 PM »
Electronics — Planned
Learn basic electronics, like build a radio from scrap like they did in WWI. This goes back to my 2012 New Years Resolution for learning electronics. My brother built a small radio when he was in 4-5th grade and I remember it working quite well. I know during WWI they used scraps off the Jeeps to make radios for the trenches. It fascinates me that something so useful can be made out of so little. I would like to know the knowledge on how to make one. So for entertainment, learning and one day could be security.





While we were moving "Z", I came across alot of his solar yard lights which had cracked globes and such. So SweetPea and I picked them up. I am going to sidetrack a bit on my main goal and tear these down to use the solar cells with "Z's" blessing, saving the rechargable batteries and other bits and pieces that I can out of them. I think we collected about 12 of them and alot of them still seem to work. I have a few ideas on what to do with one or two of them already. I figure this works for the electronic learning too and maybe teach me something for my larger project.

Cedar
« Last Edit: January 11, 2013, 11:05:04 PM by Cedar »

Offline cheryl1

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Re: Cedar's 13
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2013, 09:15:57 AM »
There is a Clydesdale breeder in my area. We often stop by the side of the road to watch them running in the fields. Beautiful animal!

Offline Cedar

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Re: Cedar's 13
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2013, 09:18:46 PM »
Animal Husbandry — Learn how to drive a draft horse team - In Progress

Today we were mostly doing other things in the 20F weather like cutting trails and firewood, hauling 2 ton of wheat straw for the animal bedding and my oyster mushrooms. But we work with the horse every day and the new rule is... you get no sweet feed until you stick your head into the halter. We have to do this anyway as we have to separate "Whiskers" from 'Cody" as "Whiskers" is a hoover vacuum leaving "Cody" very little.

When the farrier was here yesterday, we noted that "Whiskers" does not have ground manners up to my standards, so we are working with him more, but "Cody" as well. My theory always has been "The bigger you are, the better you better behave". Even my cattle used to pick up their feet on command. "Whiskers", not so much. "Cody" even without a halter will pick his feet up in the field for you and anticipate each one as you move to it, but we need to work on other things with him. They do seem respectful of where your body is however, which is a good thing since they weigh about 1,800 pounds each.

My goals for the next two weeks:

"Whiskers"
  • Standing without pawing the ground [ ]
  • Ground tying [ ]
  • Standing quietly when tied [ ]
  • Come when called [X]
  • Picking up his feet when asked [ ]
  • Lower his head into the halter [X] His is doing this much better

"Cody"
  • Ground tying [ ]
  • Come when called [X]
  • Lower his head into the halter [ ]

They are both coming when called now in this last week. I have never used catch grain per se to catch any of my horses, but I teach them to come to me, put their head in a halter, then they get lead out of the field and then fed. Usually within 2 weeks, they come cantering to me when they see a halter as something yummy is probably in the works.

I was a bit nervous about "Cody's" back feet as the former owner told me he was touchy with them and he was a bit sketchy when I was checking him out prior to purchase, but after washing them off in the garden hose yesterday, I found that he would willingly pick them up for me. The new rule with "Whiskers" is that he gets a bit of grain after he picks up each foot for me while he is in halter (and "Cody" gets to eat in peace).

Cedar

Offline Cedar

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Re: Cedar's 13
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2013, 07:23:02 PM »
Animal Husbandry — Learn how to drive a draft horse team - In Progress

The rule for all of my horses over the years, is you get called from the pasture, you stick your head into a halter and THEN and only then you get to eat your grain. The boys have learned this lesson pretty well, the piglet "Whiskers" is super easy to catch now and "Cody" still is like "SERIOUSLY?". Yes, seriously "Cody". But he is 4x easier to catch than before. I think another week and he will be easy to catch on the first try.

"Cody" is taller than "Whiskers" so I usually let Z catch him up and I have been working on getting "Whiskers" to lower his head for me when I put the halter on and off. I put pressure right behind his poll and then he moves his head away from it, downward. If he lifts his head up, I can't even reach his chin. So he is learning what "Lower your head please" means.

While they are eating their grain, we make them pick up their feet. "Cody" is still awesome on all 4 feet, but "Whiskers" plants them solid. Yesterday and today I got him to pick up his front feet in trade for a honey pretzel reward. It is forward progress.

This morning a person from TSP runs draft horses and invited me to be his 'helper' at an Ag event in April. So even if I don't get any hands on time with the team, I will be taking lots of mental notes on harnessing, working and driving them.

Cedar

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Cedar's 13
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2013, 09:25:06 PM »
amazing list... amazing progress Cedar!

Offline rmoeggy

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Picking up feet
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2013, 09:10:02 AM »
One of my 2200lb. percheron didn't like to pick up his feet for me so we had to work on it. I also practiced when he was having his grain. I would run my hand down his leg to the hoof which is my cue that it is time to clean his hoof. They move slowly so this gives them time to shift their weight and prepare. When I get to the hoof I say "foot!" and give them another second to process and pick it up. If they do not I poke the back of the foot just above the hoof with the hoof pick. Always start with the smallest amount of pressure. You want the horse to respond to your asking them to do something. If that doesn't work, I apply pressure and make it uncomfortable to do the wrong thing. When they do what I want I release the pressure and praise them. If your horses are prone to kicking at all be very careful. Now my boys are so good at picking up their feet I can't get them to leave them on the ground when I am brushing their legs!

Offline Cedar

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Re: Picking up feet
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2013, 10:08:13 AM »
Now my boys are so good at picking up their feet I can't get them to leave them on the ground when I am brushing their legs!

This is what "Cody" does. He anticipates and lifts before you say "Foot". I swear "Whiskers" shifts his weight onto his foot. I pull up on his feathers at the hoofline and sometimes this works. I will start taking the pick down with me when I go to feed.

Cedar

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Re: Cedar's 13
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2013, 08:59:23 PM »
Animal Husbandry — Learn how to drive a draft horse team - In Progress

I am pleased as punch tonight. I got "Whiskers" to pick up all 4 feet today. Without treats and without a hoofpick as an incentive.

Cedar

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Re: Cedar's 13
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2013, 09:12:25 PM »
Gardening — Crash course in Silviculture - In Progress
Managing, using, conserving, and repairing forestland. I don't know alot about woodland management and with at least 60 acres out of 100, I need to learn this to keep the forest healthy for us, for wildlife and the ecosystem.

We met with Petr (he has a odd sounding name and I think this is how he spells it) yesterday afternoon to talk about our forests and what he has been doing for them for the former family and what we envision it in time for us. Petr has been cutting and thinning, but he is not really a silvaculture guy. We do not want to fall any of these 100+feet tall trees so we are working on shares at the moment as a deal. He has been thinning and then getting all the firewood which then he sells as agreed from the former owners who wanted the woodlot managed, but they did not burn any. He is pretty knowledgeable however and was happy to know we have logging horses.

Cedar

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Re: Cedar's 13
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2013, 10:24:56 PM »
Animal Husbandry — Learn how to drive a draft horse team - In Progress

Not only did "Whiskers" pick up all 4 feet today (you guys do realize his feet are the size of pie plates?), but he anticipated on 2 of them and shifted his weight over and picked his feet up!! Woo Hoo!

Cedar

Offline viking

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Re: Cedar's 13
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2013, 06:25:52 AM »
Great pics, When do you sleep?
Its amazing all the stuff you do.

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Re: Cedar's 13
« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2013, 09:28:52 AM »
Great pics, When do you sleep?
Its amazing all the stuff you do.

Contrary to belief around here, I usually get 7 hours a day of sleep and if I am tired, sometimes I even get a nap in the afternoon. Like yesterday I got a 1 hour nap around 1 p.m. with one ear open listening for my 3 year old. When I write(work) I work from 9p.m. to 2-3 a.m. and back up at 7-8 a.m.

It is just part of my day and I am not even really busy yet. Like soon I will be scrubbing acres of Scotch Broom off 100 acres and I figure that will be a 5-8 hour day for a few weeks. Building permanent fence.

I don't tend to watch TV. I don't go out. But I still do get to have fun even if it is working.

Cedar

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Re: Cedar's 13
« Reply #21 on: January 26, 2013, 05:01:14 PM »

Water Catchment/Filtering — Planned
Crash course for watershed management, erosion control. (There was no 'right' catagory for this one either). Again, wanting to preserve the ecology of the place and with water running downhill to the creeks, rivers, wetland I want to make sure any farming activities I do there, do not create washouts, mud into the creek/river. Make sure I am not going to dry up the wetlands if I clear some brush uphill/east side from it and always keep in mind any changes I do can mess up native plants/animals.

I know it is still cold and frozen in the north, but let me know you start this.
Been troubleshooting on how to capture water in a 55gal containers. might be too small scale for what you have planned. http://gardenrainbarrel.blogspot.com/

Offline Cedar

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Re: Cedar's 13
« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2013, 09:16:26 AM »
I know it is still cold and frozen in the north, but let me know you start this.
Been troubleshooting on how to capture water in a 55gal containers. might be too small scale for what you have planned. http://gardenrainbarrel.blogspot.com/

Was only frozen for a week, now we are back to rain and mud. When they refilled from pouring the basement, there is a 'duck pond' where it should not be and we are using the D-4 when it dries out a bit (which could be months from now), so get the water to start flowing down the hill to the pasture and river. But that is not my main intent for watershed management, erosion control, but just a little 'side job'. But yes.. will keep you posted.

Cedar

Offline Cedar

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Re: Cedar's 13
« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2013, 12:13:41 PM »
Animal Husbandry — Learn how to drive a draft horse team - In Progress

Improvements:

"Whiskers"

    Standing without pawing the ground [ ] (Getting worse actually)
    Ground tying [ ]
    Standing quietly when tied [ ]
    Come when called [X]
    Picking up his feet when asked [X ]
    Lower his head into the halter [X] Perfect gentleman now.


"Cody"

    Ground tying [ ]
    Come when called [X] Both the horses come trotting up to us when whistled to now from the bottom pasture.
    Lower his head into the halter [X ]


They also both hate worming and had to snub them tight to a tree with their heads low so I could reach, so I saved a paste syringe back and am filling it with strawberry jam to give to them. They are liking this.

Have not gotten collars ordered yet, soon friends are coming with their horse work collars to try them out for size. We both parties have been busy and swamped to meet up yet.

Cedar

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Re: Cedar's 13
« Reply #24 on: May 02, 2013, 08:06:15 AM »
Animal Husbandry — Learn how to drive a draft horse team - In Progress

I have not been able to get much done on my 13Skills recently in managing and building the farm,which has been a 14-16 hour job 7 days a week and caring for my 3 year old who is an awesome trooper.

However, I got my 'driver's permit' last Sunday. One of our wonderful TSPers here at the forum owns a draft horse team and was doing an event last Sunday. Months ago he invited me to come help him at the event and learn how to hitch and watch the team work.

I was talking to our TSP member (he might pipe up and say who he is if he sees this post) in email about hitching two horses up together a few months ago. I have driven singles, but after looking at our harnesses I was mystified as how to hook the two horses together. So I went and was excited to learn.

My fellow Oregonian invited me to come to AgFest 2013 and help with his draft team and learn more about working draft horses. I have been a bit mystified as how to hitch two together and I am usually quite good at puzzles. Again, I have driven singles, but never a team (a bit more about the mystification in a moment). I wanted to learn for our draft horse team and their harnesses so everyone was happy and safe.

So I arrive at the Oregon State Fairgrounds to meet "r" and get a chance to work with a draft horse team giving rides to a couple hundred people over the course of the day. The morning started out with giving the horses a bath. They have white/grey coats, so after rolling in the arena the night before, a bath was in order. The pair is named "Dan" and "Saucer" who are a pair of Percherons in their early 20's. They have been carriage horses all their lives, not logging horses like ours.



"Dan" who is the horse in the photo getting a bath, loves to play in the water with his lips. Sometimes he will splash the bather back too. After their bath I got to walk them back to their area and brush out their manes and tails. I am almost too short to get their forelock. Thankfully they both lowered their heads for me to a bit to be accomadating. They are really gentle giants.

The Percheron is a breed of draft horse that originated in the Huisne river valley in northern France, part of the former Perche province from which the breed takes its name. Usually grey or black in color, Percherons are well-muscled, and known for their intelligence and willingness to work. Although their exact origins are unknown, the ancestors of the breed were present in the valley by the 17th century. They were originally for use as war horses. Over time, they began to be used for pulling stage coaches and later for agriculture and hauling heavy goods. (The breed I have at home are Clydesdales).

Then after waiting until the appointed time, we got the boys harnessed up. It did not take long. Less than 10 minutes per horse. I learned the finer points of how to store a harness, how to hook it when not being used so it is easy to put back on after use, the parts, how to put it on a horse. For instance when we put the collars on our horses, we unbuckled it, but you can turn a collar upside down to slip it over the horses head. I also found out about the "Y" on the driving lines and why one is shorter and how to hook the lines through the ring between the horses.

Also found out why I was mystified on hooking them together. I forgot the actual name of this piece of harness, but it attaches to the yoke, but I am pretty sure our harnesses are lacking them. I will go double check when I get a chance to go to where we store our harnesses at the farm. So if the "Yoke Straps" are not there, I was not completely losing my mind after all. I asked Z when I showed him this photo and he does not think there are any of these 'yoke straps' attached to the harnesses either.


This is the part I seem not to have on my harnesses and why I could not figure out how to hook them up together.

Then it was time to hitch up. "r" took the wagon to the horses, VS the horses to the wagon. Depending on the circumstances, it can be a bit easier. The wagon holds about 20-21 people and we took a couple hundred people around, some of which this was their first experience with farm animals, let alone interacting with one like this. About three kids got to sit up on the front bench seat with us on each trip. I sat up next to "r" to learn how to work them and I think maybe I did not ask him as many questions as he was thinking I would, but I was absorbing almost everything he was telling me in.

We had a route that went about 20 minutes from loading people up to the place we unloaded them. The route usually took us under a large metal sculpture. It did not even phase the boys a bit, but neither did the steam engine whistle. They are pretty unflappable. I was perfectly comfortable working in close proximity to them or right between them when hooking them up, even if I did not know them well. I am not usually like that with animals I do not know.



We stopped them a few times and gave them water and then lunch. "Saucer" did not usually drink very much. "r" warned me "Dan" might splash me, being the water loving guy he is, but he was a gentleman and refrained.

I was able to drive them twice today. On the way to give them a break at lunch and then again when we were done for the day. The first time I did not grab forward enough on the lines (if you don't, you have no extra room for pulling back) and then I cut a corner a bit close (due to having too much line out, but glad I did not wipe anything or anyone out). You really do have to grab out alot further on the lines (the proper name for these long reins) than you think to keep good contact with the horses mouths. When the horses are moving, you need to keep some pressure on them or they will break into a fast trot. It is pretty fine to be flying along with them, but not when there hundreds of people in your way. I like that the lines feel alive in your hands and you have 2,200 pounds of horse connected to you through the same. "r" said they probably wouldn't listen to me as they are used to him driving, so he called out the commands, such as "Come Gee", "Yup, Yup, Yup", etc, but I still did, as it is habit I guess, from working with various animals and my sled dogs. Felt weird not to.


Me, just getting the lines ready to move off


OMG, I am actually driving!! In public yet!

After getting them unharnessed (and I got to learn more by unharnessing), letting them eat hay, drink water and roll in the dirt it was time to part ways.



I had a wonderful learning experience and I thank 'r' so very much for this opportunity and entrusting his partners to me.

Cedar


Offline LvsChant

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Re: Cedar's 13
« Reply #25 on: May 31, 2013, 07:29:01 AM »
Love those photos, Cedar! That sounds like a wonderful day.

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Re: Cedar's 13
« Reply #26 on: June 21, 2013, 01:44:53 PM »
Yeah, yeah. I have been slacking on my 13.

Food Storage — Spring House - Planned
Spring House on our creek which the former owners said had never gone dry in 100 years. It so looks like there is a foundation for one on the creekline at a natural spot not too far from the heritage house, but the 'kids' did not remember. Until 1970, they used the creek and finally a hand pump next to the lilac bush for house water. The children (who are now in their 90's and born on the place) of the original homesteaders said they used it for the garden too.

It re-started when I went to my friend Brenda's house yesterday and she showed me the water system on their creek that her grandfather designed and put in on their century farm which is about the same vintage as ours.

I would like to restore a springhouse if there had one previously to preserve the ambience of the century old farm (again, working/teaching farm open to the public) and teach people about them, but they are also practical for me to store extra produce from the garden, extra milk/butter from the cow. I have been in spring houses before and if the electric does go out, they are just about as good as a refrigerator. Not to mention pretty nice to hang out in on a hot day.


I knew we had a dam on our creek at one time even though it is a little rough. I figured that it was built sometime in the 1970's as it is pretty trashed. Yesterday I had a bit of time since it was pouring after I got home from gleaners, and SP was driving me crazy as a 3 yr old can, so I was not getting anything productive done anyway. So I decided to search for the rumored water rights attached to the farm. Guess what I found. Yep, they exist for this farm and they are NOT cancelled and still current.

We have priority water rights. It was filed in the early 1930's. That means the 4 other farms in the area (and not even on our stream) filed after the original homesteader did, so we will have priority and it says so on the certificate. I also found out that our creek is unnamed. Which is good, since we named it the other day for ourselves. The dam was actually built in the early 1930's, so no wonder it looks a bit rough. It is still there, just needs a bit of TLC. And since it lasted so many years (almost 80) we are thinking that was a good design and will refab it. Back in the day it cost $162.00 to build the dam. What is also awesome about the record of it, is that it tells how it was constructed and how many feet of pipe used. That the dam was 10 feet wide at the top, 8' at the bottom and that the gateway was a 6x8" notch out of a wooden plank. And that it also has 50" of head.

Now I will start pulling out my books of springhouse designs and maybe get it started before fall while the waters are lower and we have heavy equipment here to help us out.

Cedar



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Re: Cedar's 13
« Reply #27 on: June 21, 2013, 03:29:33 PM »
wow nice find Cedar...

Offline Cedar

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Re: Cedar's 13
« Reply #28 on: June 21, 2013, 04:52:03 PM »
Yeah.. S-C-O-R-E!!!!

Cedar

Offline rikkrack

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Re: Cedar's 13
« Reply #29 on: June 21, 2013, 05:55:01 PM »
Need to research this as never heard of it before. May prove benificial down the road