|This is the only kind of horseback riding we’re going to get to do for a while.|
Though I grew up as a city girl, I’ve had enough autumns on the farm to know that if you aren’t ready for winter, you’re going to be sorry when the freezing weather, snow, ice, and lack of green grass rolls around. Knowing that our weather was going to take a dip in temperatures, we spent the last warm-ish week making sure we were as prepared as possible.
Though the work isn’t always the most entertaining and often requires a lot of walking, we make it work, especially when it’s just Henry and Zoey with me. Usually, that means a lot of rides in the wheelbarrow so they can keep up, although it’s sometimes a treacherous ride when it gets a bit off balance. Luckily, the kids think tipping around is pretty entertaining.
And, of course, if your big brother is going to be the one pushing, you’d better make sure you take precautions and wear a helmet.
One of the jobs we had to get done before snow (because pushing a wheelbarrow through snow is akin to torture), was to bring up the wood that had been stacked by the previous owner in one of the sheds so we could burn it in our fireplace. We didn’t use our woodburning stove as much as we should’ve last year and after paying for the heating oil during our exceptionally long, colder-than-normal winter, I changed my tune.
It was definitely a workout pushing loads of wood uphill to the house but Henry was right there, ready to help. I love the kids’ work ethic, which grows with them the bigger they get.
We checked all the animals and made sure they were as ready as possible for winter–that they’re well-fed (Dancer is a bit too well-fed), that their fuzzy winter coats had grown in, and that generally, they’re in good shape. Everything was in order with everybody.
Even without foreknowledge of the impending dreary winter weather, all the animals seemed to take advantage of the warmth and sun. No one can resist an afternoon nap, cows, cats, or horses.
Autumn around here is synonymous with harvesting. Left and right, there are combines eating up the corn and soybean fields (there’s even a turnip harvest going on not far from us, which is all done by hand!). If Jack happens to spot a spill of corn on the road, he’s the first to pull over and grab what he can so I can give the horses and cows a treat. True love, right there!
With the last of the green grass being nibbled away, we herd all the animals into the back paddocks so the pastures can rest. They’re not happy to go but it’s part of life.
Without grass on the pasture, that means we have to roll out hay for them. The first day they had access to a round bale of hay, they all stood there for about five hours straight, eating and eating and eating, then taking a nap on what they’d dropped outside of the hay ring, then immediately going back to eating when they had the tiniest space in their stomachs for more hay. Hay isn’t all bad because, as inherintly lazy creatures, they relish being able to stand in one spot and eat.
|Everyone sharing nicely at the hay ring.|
Our introduction to winter weather was an ice storm. Our part of Indiana is prone to them and I am not amused by them. I’d rather have a foot of snow than deal with a sheet of ice on the roads. So, we broke out the winter gear and enjoyed the two hour delay from school, and kept on with life.
Of course, the kids find all of it magical and took every opportunity to sneak outside and eat an icicle. A little gross to me but it’s good for their immune systems, I guess…
And riding on the penny pony at the grocery store because it’s too chilly or dark or icy to go out and ride the real horses. At least they get a thirty-second riding lesson from me every time we go to the store.
|He’s even holding his reins correctly! This equestrienne is so proud.|
Until spring arrives, we’ll make the best of winter and hoped we’ve been as prepared as possible to meet what life brings us next!
|Keeping with tradition! All the kids have had wheelbarrow rides while busy working.|