So, you can probably guess, if 10 chickens, or for that matter 30 chickens, weren't enough then surely one horse was not enough. Today we welcomed Stormy the miniature Appaloosa gelding to our farm.
He is only 2 years old, silvery gray and he and Sugar have quickly become the best of friends. When they first met through the fence, Sugar came running up, whinnied a loud hello and stamped her foot as any independent, spirited woman would. This was the most movement we've seen from Sugar since we got her. Then she sprinted over to the gate where we were leading Stormy in, they both whinnied a lot, danced around some, and then that was it. They were friends. I expected some bickering as they adjusted to each other but there wasn't any. Both are mild mannered and they don't wander more than 5 feet from each other now. I'll have to post another picture later, it was getting dark and that's the best I can do.
Now the work begins. We need to train them to our voice commands, the saddle, and eventually to a cart. Sugar has some experience with the saddle and riders and she's working on obeying voice commands but Stormy has very little experience with any of it. By the way, when I say "we" need to start training, you know of course I mean Andrew. After all this is his venture, I just get the joy of blogging about it.
And that's not all...
We also opened the front pasture up to 6 male alpacas. It's a win-win situation as we've been wondering how we were going to maintain the field and the owners of the alpacas needed extra grazing room for the herd. It's also another opportunity to bring in a little income and get familiar with the animals without the investment of actually buying some.
Josiah and Mia got to hold the lead on two of them but both dropped the ropes when they pulled too hard. Alpacas are stronger than they look and of course they were nervous in the new environment. Unfortunately they could only catch one right away and the other ran off with his lead dragging behind him. They were all in the field, but we didn't want the lead to get him caught up in anything. So, if you're wondering, catching an alpaca isn't easy. Especially when it's their first time in a new field and they've just gotten out of a trailer. Thankfully for me, Sierra needed to go down for a nap at the same time, so I got to watch the comedy unfold from the warmth and vantage point of the house. The couple that brought them over, Andrew, Josiah and Mia were all waving their hands, arms outstretched, forming a semi circle trying to corner them on one end of the field. Those wiley alpacas though, they managed to bob and weave and work their way out of the little trap.
Pacas 1, humans 0.
They tried again, this time with all the leads they had removed from the other alpacas tied into one long rope. The alpacas saw that coming and ran all the way around to the other side of the field.
Pacas 2, humans 0.
Finally, with the extra leverage of a tree in the corner and the extension of a long branch cutting off the get away angle, they got them cornered and were able to grab the lead. Phew!
Game over. Humans win 3-2 with that last second 3 point play! It was great fun to watch!! I was thinking that I actually should have joined in, perhaps that would have sent me into labor. Oh, there's still plenty of time to chase them around.
To top it all off. Josiah found another garter snake, only this one is a lot smaller. He named him Carter. We're keeping him outside in the same little tub we used before. Hopefully he'll last longer than the other one. I'm wondering if a raccoon or some other predator got the last one. Poor thing.