Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Herd at Moondance - Part 1

It's time to introduce the critters of Moondance Ranch, starting with the biggest.


Bob's horse Boomer is the biggest guy at Moondance Ranch. He's an 18.2 hand Clydesdale and weighs 2,200 pounds. Here he is back in his Bud days. He's the lead horse on the driver's right.

The Bud Days

These days, Boomer enjoys pleasure driving,

First drive at Moondance - Bob, Boomer, Dave


Bob, Boomer, and Diana at Parker Christmas Parade

and even dressage.

Dave and Boomer at Rocky Mountain Dressage Society Show

Boomer is an all around good guy, and a ton of fun. Get it? Ton of fun?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Daily Routine

We're starting to get in the groove. First thing in the morning, we weigh out the daily hay allotment. The boys get 1.5% of their body weight in hay every day. For Boomer, at 2,200 pounds, that means 33 pounds of hay a day. The other boys all weigh around 1,200 pounds, so they are getting 18 pounds each. We divide their allotment into 4 servings, and feed around 7am, 11am, 3pm, and 8pm. The hay is first-cut timothy, very high quality. Here's Bob and Dave unloading hay off Bob's new truck -

The daily routine includes pasture turnout. Our city boys aren't used to grazing, so we are slowly increasing the time in pasture, trying to avoid colic and founder. Right now, they are at an hour and a half in the morning, and half an hour in the afternoon. Morning turnout is way more popular than afternoon. They like to run in the morning, but in the afternoon, they kind of hang around and ask if it's dinner time yet. Here's Paj enjoying a morning run -

He always runs back to his buddy Zan. Zan is the best friend a horse could have. Here's a better look at Zan -

In between the daily routine, we're trying to finish setting up. David has made a good dent in the gravel pile, and I am 1/5 done priming the runs. We love it!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Week One with Horses

Tomorrow the horses will have been here for a week. They have adjusted amazingly well. Here's Reggie enjoying freedom -

And here's David and Boomer enjoying the first ride -

Saturday, August 15, 2009

They're Here!

The horses are here, and all is well.

Reggie was the first to arrive.

Next came Zan with John and Jan.
Paj was the last to arrive on Friday, and Boomer came on Saturday. For the first few days, we obsessively watched the boys, monitoring every bite, every sip of water, every pee, every poo. The only one that really worried us was Paj, who took his time deciding the water was up to his standards.

Sunday we had a visit from Adwyn.

Today was the first day we let the horses out to pasture. Zan and Paj grazed -
and grazed -
and stared out into space. Boomer grazed - and decided that Paj would make a fine grooming partner.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


We bought gravel for the inevitable mud in the runs. Paj's pretty white feet with the thin soles leave him vulnerable to abscesses. The last abscess caused a lot of pain and took 3 vet visits, lots of soaking, iodine, wraps, stall confinement, and $400 to cure. Paj and I and Dr. Gary and Ray would rather not go through that again. Thus the gravel.

What I learned about gravel:
1 ton of 3/8" pea gravel will cover 90 square feet. Since we're trying to cover an area roughly 60x60, or 3,600 square feet, we need 40 tons. Gravel comes by the truck load, at 2-16 tons per truck load. We opted for a 16 ton load, and will get more after we get the first load moved. And by moved, I mean wheel barrelled into the runs.

I keep hearing Tennessee Ernie Ford's velvet bass voice in my ear - "You load 16 tons-whatta you get? Another day older and deeper in debt..." Hmmm.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Good Day

Today was a very good day. On a personal note, 27 years ago today David and I were in Hawaii getting hitched. This morning, we rode Boomer and Paj around the field and felt appreciation for how lucky we are to have had all these good years, and to still be doing what we love.

Both the fence guys and the run guys showed up at Moondance today, and the runs are done!

They need to be primed and painted, but construction is done!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Getting Ready

We are writing this blog so that our friends can check on how it's going at Moondance. Here's where we're at today -

The barn is horse ready! That doesn't mean that we're done: we have a long list of things that need to be done. But we could safely put horses in the barn right now. That's a good feeling.

The runs are almost done, and they look great. They are strong and stout, but they are not exactly horse ready - the gates aren't up yet, and one run is only partly done.

There's been a wee little snag on the fence. Here's the good news - all the posts are set. They are nice and straight and set in concrete. They are drilled. Here's the problem - our fence builder is waiting on the insulator tubes that go through the posts. Of course they were supposed to be here by now, but they aren't.

So we're not quite horse ready (except for the barn itself), but we're getting close.