A Photo Year.

Last night I was looking back at some of our many photos from this year , there was so many and lots I had forgotten about . So here are some of my favourite’s from the hundreds that were taken.

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What a year , roll on the next on if it’s half as busy and exciting as this one I can’t wait :).

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Calm Before The Storm.

I have a sense that we are in the calm before the storm on the farm at the minute. Our weekly routine is very much about keeping things ticking along. There is a bit of lamb weighing , keeping feet in good condition , making sure the rams are working away and that there is fresh grass ahead of the weanlings as much as you can this time of the year.

I like when it’s peaceful like this no great stress because believe me when myself and the farmer go at sheep or cattle the sparks are fierce :). We will be having two lambing groups this year with the first starting around Christmas , these are my pedigree girls their is five of them two scanned with twins and two scanned with singles and the other went to the ram later so she wasn’t scanned . We will have a few weeks rest then again till the next group start all 54 of them :). It will be late nights and 3am checks when these girls start , most have had one or two sets of lambs before but we have 20 bought in this year who will be first time mothers.

Last year I was amazed how the first time mothers were very much like ourselves some took to it like they had lambs for years while others it was all a little bit of a shock to the system that they now had this little thing or things hanging out of them. Nature is amazing , after a few days when they had time to digest what had just happened to them they relaxed and got on with the job of being a mother.

We were lucky last year we only had two pets and three loses at lambing which was good I think for our first year back to lambing. This year I hope it runs as smoothly but I can see my posts here falling apart a little due to lack of sleep :).

Our 20 bull weanlings are still out on grass getting meal twice a day , because grass growth and quality has fallen way back this time of the year they only have about three weeks left out that’s so long as the weather plays ball. They are all getting hairy in the last week with the drop in temperature and some have great curls starting to appear :). We are hoping to house them all in the one shed for most of the winter and we will split them into two groups of ten, one group of smaller ones will go out for grass in the spring while the bigger ones will be kept in and fed ad lib meal for 100 days till they are ready to go for burgers . The last group went a few weeks ago and even though they were our third group to go I still felt sorry for them the evening before they went .  It must be my mother side because the farmers said all they hoped was they weighed well and we got a good price which thank god they did and we got .

I am going to make the most of this peaceful time before all hell breaks loose and we have lots of cute lambs running around.

Here is one of our lovely little lambs from last year, this little guy loved getting his photo taken :).

 

Last night I started a second blog at www.trotandcanterblog.com and a second twitter @trotandcanter . The reason for starting a second blog is I wanted somewhere I could cover all things horsey , if I was to put it all here there would be no space for anything else and I want to keep here for me and the farm. I am hoping to post training exercises , problem solving , health and stable information , fun bits from the riding centre and some of my many horse related photo’s . I am hoping people will let me know what they would like me to cover and that they will email me if they have questions and I will try to answer them and if I don’t know the answer I will find someone who does . It will be a blog for horse lovers , beginners to advanced and everyone in between . I have learned loads in my twenty years with horse and I have a lot more to learn but would like to pass on what I have learned so far 🙂 .

National Ploughing Championships Day Two.

Yesterday we headed again for the National Ploughing Championships with the two eldest little farmers with us . The amount of muck by evening was bad but we had two great days even with the rain, cold and muck.
Here are some photo’s from day two 🙂

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National Ploughing Championships 2012.

Today myself and the farmer headed for Heathpark , New Ross , Co Wexford for the annual National Ploughing Championships. This is one time of the year that everyone in the house really looks forward to .  I love the stands with fashion , food , Farmers Journal , sheep and cattle while the farmers love all the machinery and cattle and sheep stands. We normally try to go one day just us then on the second day bring the eldest and middle little farmers . We are not bringing the littlest farmer, one because of the weather for tomorrow and second because he is just not old enough yet for a full day at the ploughing . The Ploughing Championships are organised each year by Managing Director Anna May McHugh and her daughter deputy managing director Anna Marie McHugh. It must take a lot of organising to pull off three days of a show this big.

So alarms were set for early this morning so all feeding and stock checking could be done before we left. We arrived at Enniscorthy this morning about half eight and it took us about half an hour from there to the green carpark at the ploughing . Traffic was a little heavy in Enniscorthy at that time but it was also school time which didn’t help. We had brought wet gear with us but nothing prepared us for the wet and cold today, by lunch time we were soaked and frozen to the bone. If you are heading tomorrow bring lots of warm clothes because today was very cold down there. From the green carpark we had about a ten minute walk till we were in the ploughing which is not bad at all. The crowds today were big but it was still easy to get around , by the evening it was getting very muddy so wellies or good boots will be needed tomorrow.

One of the first things I saw when we arrived was a lovely baby and toddler feeding and changing area which is great when you have small people. I didn’t see much else for the smaller kids to do but it was really wet so we might have missed them. The next place we headed was to all the lovely food stands where we got tastes of everything from yoghurt’s ,sausages , fruit , crisps and chocolate. Food prices range from 2.00 – 2.50 for tea and coffee , 2.50 for muffins/cakes , 5.00 – 7.00 for sausages and chips or nuggets and chips , one Angus burger was 6.00 , breakfasts were 10.00 while dinners ranged from 10.00 to 20.00 .

Over the three days of the ploughing Championships there will be 7 tonne of red sauce used , 150,000 bottles of fizzy drink sold , 15 tonne of beef used , 22 tonne of potatoes, 15,000 Ltrs of milk used and 50,000 cups of tea drank . Farmers are a hungry bunch . There were lots of toilet blocks all over the the place and nearly all were nice and clean.

We then went and had a look at some of the machinery but the farmer is waiting to see all these when he has the boys to talk to about them :). We called to the Super Value stand where we saw Kevin Dundon , Kevin is an award winning Irish chef who owns the Dunbrody Country House Hotel in Co Wexford. The next place we went to was the Farmers Journal stand , here Neven Maguire was doing one of his daily cookery demo’s . Neven is also an award winning Irish chef who writes a weekly cookery piece in the Irish Country Living section of the Farmers Journal. I was hoping to get maybe my nails done at the Irish Country Magazine stand but there was such a huge crowd will have to try again tomorrow . They are doing free beauty treatments here over the three days. When we were passing the Farmers journal stand later on we had to stand aside while President Michael D Higgins drove past , I was two busy getting a photo of the two beautiful Gardai horses to take one of the president.

The cold by this stage was getting the better of us so we headed for the cattle and sheep stands to get some heat and to try an Angus burger . In the sheep stand there was Border Leicester sheep , they are the cutest sheep , with the biggest ears :). All the cattle were just fabulous looking , the ones I liked the most are the Angus and they taste good .

We headed home about three so I have a good few places I want to call to tomorrow so fingers crossed the weather will be a little better .  I am going to wear good warm clothes tomorrow so I am not freezing like today . On our way out of the green carpark all cars were being pulled by tractors and our jeep only just made it out, if they use the same fields for parking I think conditions will be rough but hopefully they will have different fields for parking tomorrow. Below are my photo’s from today, if you are going tomorrow or Thursday I hope you enjoy your day :).

 

 

 

 

My farming week.

The last two weeks have been busy on the farm and with the horses. The farm is a lot different to the horses, with the horses it is the same amount of work everyday and you know what you have to do . On the farm it is never the same some days are mad busy then some are quiet then some weeks there is a constant supply of work.
The last two on the farm have been busy we have been doing all the Sheeps feet to get then ready for seeing the boys and the boys have had their feet done as well so they will be able to work hard when they are in with the girls. After doing the rams feet my hands stank of feet and rams , the rams smell bad enough this time of the year ewes must have no sense of smell :). Because I have very dry hands they just seem to soak up the smells so I asked on twitter could anyone help me and yes I was given a recipe to rid my hands of the ram foot smell .
The ewes are all on good grass to have them ready for the rams , we are hoping to have them lambing around 15th March next year.

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We also got all the lambs in the weigh them to see if any are fit to go for lamb chops but none were quiet up to weight so they are spared another few weeks .

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If you are wondering what the funny line is in the photo with the lamb the farmer made the most of the fine weather and got a loan of a mole plough . This is a machine that is pulled behind a tractor to create small channels in the ground for water to run in .

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He mole drained three fields on the farm because they are the wettest so fingers crossed it will make a difference to the drainage on the farm. While the farmer had the good weather he also spread all the dung from the horses and the cattle ,I was delighted we live two miles from the farm the smell of the two dungs mixed was not pleasant .
The twenty bull weanlings that are still out were moved to fresh grass but all these guys really love is their meal.

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I am back riding two horses and lunging one most days and I am loving it, the one I have to lunge is so pretty she had no name when she arrived so we called her Ava .

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I have been thinking about doing some videos on the BHS stage work because I have been looking on YouTube and can’t find very many . Might do one every week and a post about each part in the exam ? Am just thinking about it might be to nervous the get filmed 🙂
Out of all the animals we have these are the ones I love the most and would happily work all day everyday with them. Their straw arrived on Saturday all lovely and golden , was good it did because the riding school ponies came in last night out of the rain .

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That is some of our last two weeks , tomorrows post will be after my day at the ploughing so if you are planning on going either Wednesday or Thursday check out tomorrows post :).