Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ready to Roll

Yesterday I picked up my repaired and reinforced cart from Tink's place. For ten dollars he welded and painted over the new metal. I was so excited. Not just for the parade in Salem this weekend, but to have my cart back. Merlin is a blast to ride, but there is something special about putting on that harness and hitching him up to that cart. Driving horses is a hobby and skill few people possess any more, and not for the lack of interest. When I hosted The Farmer's Horse workshop back in October there were people of all sorts and interest levels, but one couple from a New York farm south of Cold Antler really struck a cord with me. The couple have a vegetable CSA and were on the fence between getting a team of horses or a tractor. They came to the workshop to learn in a safe and welcoming environment, to get on a horse and behind a cart and learn things likes tack and harnessing. I just got an email from them this week saying they made an offer on a team of Hafflingers! For them it was a no-brainer. Horses offer a kind of work, pace, and nostalgia their members would adore and they would love too. A horse-powered farm means you not only can market a truly sustainable product to your customers but you have these animals you can saddle up and ride across the pasture, or meet new people with, and attend things like parades and trail rides. Ejay and Kim will be cantering across their fields on their own mares by next October. I hope they come back to help teach at next fall's horsemanship and fellowship workshop!

I digress. So the cart is back and for ten dollars at Rite AId I was able to buy some garland and battery-operated lights and this weekend the little Yuletide Wagon will ride along in the Christmas Parade. With garland and lights, and a fake crow attached to the back you best believe we'll be a sight. I can't wait to trot down the city streets with my boy.

To the people of Salem I exclaim, Behold a Dark Horse!


Blogger Victoria said...

What a sight to behold that will be! I think Merlin might need some red ribbon to dress up those bangs. Without tarnishing his masculine charm, of course!

December 5, 2012 at 10:29 AM  
Blogger Mist said...

So excited for you and Merlin! Tink is a wonder...

December 5, 2012 at 10:55 AM  
Blogger Sandy said...

don't forget the sleigh bells =o)

December 5, 2012 at 11:54 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth from the Berkshires said...

Yay Ejay and Kim! Well done! I can still see Kim ground-driving Steele at Patty's... she looked like she was born doing it.

December 5, 2012 at 12:06 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth from the Berkshires said...

Will Gibson be riding shotgun in the parade? You'd be such a hit! (You will anyway...)

December 5, 2012 at 12:07 PM  
Blogger Ngo Family Farm said...

Very snazzy! :)

December 5, 2012 at 1:37 PM  
Blogger Brenda London said...

if you are thinking bells, better give it a practice. my horses do not tolerate bells. also, practice ringing bells near him, he will hear them in the parade. if you suspect any issues put ear plugs on him (just push them down into his ears), or put an ear hood on him, fabric cap ties under his chin with vinyl inserts that go into the ear parts that cap over his ears, a red one works well, looks festive, can also double as a devil hood for Halloween and will really spare him having to deal with squealing kids, ringing bells, fire engine buzzers, whatever new sounds he may encounter on the parade route. the hood is also really great when the wind gets really howling and the coyotes may be yapping. we have some that race in ear plugs but we pull the ear plugs for the last quarter of the race, they need to hear the excitement and rise to it. We use the hoods in the paddock if the noise level is too much for the horse. But, I also use the hood to walk the horses on windy days or when I suspect the garbage hauler will show up while I am walking a horse. They are very good protection for me and my horse. I also use fly masks for the same issue, to deal with environmental overload. I saw a horse under saddle fall apart at the Turning Point Parade when faced with a large flag flapping around in front of him on the route. The very experienced (aka old)rider was perplexed since the horse was great last parade with a 12 yr old rider. just a horse being a horse, not much else you can do about that. Just be aware and be picky about where they have you and Merlin placed. Be aware that kids and even adults have been known to dash out in front of parade units. If you have anybody with horse experience willing to walk the parade route on the sidelines near you that would really behove you, you see this with most experienced driving horse units in parades, even one horse units and donkey units. Maybe we will go to the parade, if so , just to see you and Merlin. I sound like a nervous Nellie, but not really, just comes from years of trying to anticipate the unexpected to protect me and my horses, no reason to shy from going though. Now, have I covered everything (the old grandmother asks seriously)? lol! oh, dress warm!!! and have fun!!

December 5, 2012 at 1:43 PM  
Blogger Katey and Dave said...

Ever thought about tacking your URL to that plate on the back of the cart? You might generate a few more local readers. Just a suggestion.

December 5, 2012 at 2:20 PM  
Blogger RamblinHome said...

Hope to see pictures!

December 5, 2012 at 5:52 PM  
Blogger Brenda London said...

liking Katey and Dave's comment

December 5, 2012 at 6:56 PM  
Blogger DarcC said...

Great to hear Kim and Ejay's news!

December 5, 2012 at 9:26 PM  
Blogger kwdiving said...

Tink sounds like one of those people who are worth more than their weight in gold! A multitalented fixer. Priceless. Please introduce us to him when we move up in spring. Hope you and Merlin have a wonderful time at the parade! Sorry if this double posts my phone is acting strange.

December 6, 2012 at 7:22 AM  
Blogger R'Eisen Shine Farm said...

Thanks for the well wishes Elizabeth and DarcC- we are super excited and honored to have such a nice mention on the blog! R'Eisen Shine Farm's 2013 season will be horse powered!

December 6, 2012 at 7:26 AM  

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