After the aisles were swept bedding was added to the stalls. Below Braelyn and Kensley are helping to spread the bedding pellets by throwing them into the air.
Shadow the cat was a big part of the fun.
The girls made a 'nest' for him in the water trough and thought he should take a nap there.
Shadow would stay in there but as soon as the girls would walk out of the stall, his head would pop up and out he would jump.
It was Kensley's job to bring him back. He really is a good cat.
Below Braelyn is hauling him back into the stall.
Shadow soon decided it was much safer to be high up and climbed up on the rafters to watch the girls work. Below it almost seems as if he is laughing at them.
One of the amazing parts of the day is Braelyn saw a blue bird flying around inside the barn. She was sure it was a blue jay but it really was an Eastern blue bird. We watched it as it landed on the rafters and started singing it's beautiful song for us. Mark had put up bluebird nests years ago but we had never seen any and here there was one right inside the barn. We opened up the big back door so the bird could fly out. We found a big fat toad by the water hydrant. All three girls played for a while with him until they got distracted by something else. The toad was rescued and put back by the hydrant where he can eat lots more flies. We like toads here.
Our company arrived, Lisa, Elsa's owner and her mom, as we were finishing up the barn. Karin was working with Whitney when they arrived. Star and her filly were brought into the barn, the filly haltered, her hooves picked up and she was led around a bit then we took them outside so the owner could see her move. Elsa is such a pretty filly and her trot is just amazing. Karin brought out Valiant so they could see Elsa's sire. Karin showed them Star's trick and Valiant's trick. Mark got the manure spreader hooked up to the tractor, put the bucket on the skid steer and started spreading manure on the fields as Karin was showing the horses. After the company left our real work day started. Rhoda, Lee, Karin, and Mark started on repairing the fences around the paddocks. Each winter we have broken boards that need to be taken down and new ones put up, or the old boards just put back in place. Below is Karin working on one of the shelters.
Below Karin and Rhoda are working on putting up a new board in Dakota's paddock.
While Mark and Lee remove and replace boards Evan broke.
The work went well and was done by 1:00 pm. We went in for lunch then after lunch the girls were taken to the playground as a reward for all their good help.
Karin and Rhoda pulled out Whitney and Madeira for training.
By the end of the session Rhoda was riding Madeira around the round pen, just at a walk but Madeira was accepting and quiet. They quit on a good note.
Nolan and Sarah arrived so the mares were called in from the pond pasture for a trail ride. Below is Elsa, Roxanne and Star.
Rhoda picked Star, while Zalena was brought in for Nolan. Below are those two mare's foals, Elsa and Flynn having a ball running around while their mom's were working.
It was interesting, Flynn didn't want to go on the trail ride, he wanted to stay in the paddock with Eli so was put back in. Elsa went and we were pleased Zalena was well behaved even though her colt was left behind. Below are the three horses used. Karin riding Whitney, Nolan riding Zalena, Rhoda riding Star with Elsa.
Sarah and I went on the golf cart down to one of the creek crossings. Sarah's dog Ari got to come with us and had fun exploring the creek while waiting for the horses to arrive.
Whitney was the first down into the creek. She was so well behaved that Karin made the remark, we just can't sell this horse. That seems to be a problem around here, the horses all turn out so well behaved that we don't want to give them up.
Nolan and Zalena walked right into the creek. Zalena is another mare that is just so well behaved.
Elsa wanted to stop and take a drink. She did perfectly crossing all the creeks without hesitation. This was her very first trail ride and nothing fazed her. Lisa her owner is going to be thrilled with her.
Below they are coming up the drive followed by the dogs that went too. The dogs just love going on these trail rides.
Rizzy had to stop and get a drink out of the horse waterer.
After the ride they stopped at Jessica's to talk over plans for the 2018 March show. Jessica brought her pugs out so we lined up all 8 dogs for a picture.
Those dogs are so well behaved that they stayed quietly until I yelled, "ok" then they all jumped up and came running. Studley is so quick he was first to find his owner.
After supper everyone met over at Rachel's for a campfire and that delicious treat, 'heartattackonastick' (big slabs of bacon cooked over the fire).
Mike and Diane spent the night at Middle Grove and sent the picture below of some of the horses grazing together on a hillside. This is probably a bit more than half of the herd out there. It isn't easy to get everyone in one picture. This pasture hasn't been grazed for over 2 years so the grass is thick and long. They are loving it.