Friday, February 10, 2012

Horse Power

Okay, this thing is incredibly neat.

The first video I saw of this thing I'm kinda himing & hawing about how safe that would actually be, but when you see it from a few different angles, it's pretty safe. The horse is pushing the treadmill so it's only moving at a walk, there is a but-bar behind him to prevent him from sliding off & there is a huge hand-break which you can see in this video.

Wonder if I make one that a herd of goats could push? :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

RENO: Bathroom

I already miss my tub!
Sorry for the teaser yesterday, things got a little nutty around here!

Our house was built sometime in the 1880s or so, but I've had help from the great people Old House Web Forums helped us ID the main part as from sometime in the early 1900s. So someone built on the old log cabin that once stood here, and based on how old the barn is, that might have been built a loooong time ago.

So yes the bathroom looks nice and pretty, these are shots from when we went to come see it the first time. What you don't see is the moisture problem in the back corner (by the toilet) or they leaky drain under the shower. Or what was equally exciting was finding out from hub's plumber buddy today (he's doing the reno work for us) that the drain under the sink wasn't glued on...

We love DIY, we really do; but hubs is a certified electrician who's had a passion for de & construction his entire life (just ask his poor parents!). This puts him in a bit of a different league then you're average home owner, and it was definitely your average home-owner the did a lot of the work around here over the years. Nail holes not filled, baseboard trim not stained, using ugly trim to cover a hole instead of evening out the wall, just those sort of little things that show lack of knowledge. So if you're going to embark on a DIY project please consult appropriate professionals and educate yourself before you ever pick up a tool.

Trust me, if I was doing all the DIY myself, it would be scary. I'm well known for just eye-balling pieces of wood to be straight and going with it anyway. I try really hard, but building stuff just isn't my thing, I'm better at the nurturing/growing stuff.

A drain under the shower that wasn't hooked up properly is why there is a hole above my head on the ceiling of the den, thankfully we didn't have any major damage. The shower is the strangest think I've ever seen, the sides have some sort of concrete on them. This is just about the worst material for a shower I can think of, it's quite rough if you happen to lean against it. Also because of this material the shower and the vanity which was glued to it (!?) had to be removed in order fix the drain. So might as well rip the whole thing out!

My beloved tub will be returning, although turned around in the correct direction, brand new shower. Should be exciting! I did learn that the vanity was built in place many years ago, so now I'm really glad we hired Brad's buddy to do the work, he took it out carefully & now it can have a new life in the barn somewhere.

Expect the "after" photos in about a year...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

RENO: Bathroom

Been a busy day on the farm... 

(more information on reno in near future)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

HK 101: Blanket Styles

There are lots of different styles of blankets. Firstly you need to consider the needs of your horse, and how often they are outside and in what weather, as well as your budget.

Front closures,
very easy with mitts on
Megs got fairly cheap, but warm and sturdy, blankets, Maddie's are more expensive and the ones I would buy in the future. You can get blankets pretty cheap when you buy them off-season or you can find them used.  Just make sure you don't pay more for them used then you would off season!

Chest straps,
Impossible to get on with gloves!
Let's start at the front, you can get them with straps or you can get them with closures. You want ones with closures if you have outdoor horses like I do. The strap front that Meg has is impossible to get on with gloves on, so if it's cold I freeze my hands off trying to get them done up. Meg's winter blanket has the same straps, Maddie's has 3 nice clips on the front which are very easy to get done up.

Belly Straps
Meg & Maddie's rain sheet both have two belly straps, Maddie's winter blanket has three. They aren't very different, Maddie's winter blanket hugs his belly a little better.

Proper leg straps
Leg straps are the one place Meg's blankets win of Maddie's. Maddie's blankets have tail-straps, they're quicker to get one but don't provide as much protection against the blanket lifting up at the back if the horse rolls. By the same token, a horse can not get their legs caught up in a tail strap like they would a leg strap. Leg straps should be kept nice and snug to the leg, whether or not you cross them is personal preference but you really don't need to unless your leg straps have stretched out and don't keep the blanket down snug any more.
Under the tail strap

Hung in the feed-room.
Don't forget when you're done with your blanket to hang it up where the air can get to it. You really only want to leave a blanket folded if it's for a short amount of time or if you've had them washed properly.

Happy Shopping!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Pigs are trouble

I thought our little piggies had finally gotten big enough they wouldn't be wandering off under the fence any more.

I'm sitting at my desk, writing a blog note when I see two little black round things out of the corner of my eye. Sure enough, there are the pigs, thinking about taking a stroll down the road again.

Thankfully they're a little more tame to us then they were last time and it didn't take too much encouragement to get them back to the barn. A little food & the decided their sty really was the place to be.

So the piggies are on lock-down for a few more months, or until new fences!