A Note about Sugarbush Draft Horses

I see it over and over again, and no matter how many times it's said, it's still wrong. "Sugarbush Drafts are just an Appaloosa Draft Cross". Uh.... no. The Sugarbush Draft Horse was a breed created many years ago in Ohio. While the initial cross was made using Percherons to Appaloosas, in the many generations following, the breed has been solidified into a consistent type. Saying these horses are "just" a draft cross makes as much sense as saying that AQHA horses are "just" a Thoroughbred cross, American Cream Drafts are "just" a dilute Belgian, or that Morgans are "just" a grade.

Monday, May 24, 2010

How far we've come

I was looking through old pictures. Many were taken a couple of years ago. You can see the garbage, the unpainted fences, the broken fences, and the entire mess. I have mentioned before that we purchased our dream home, but it came with a lot of "extras". Garbage being the main one. These pictures are after much of the major clean up had already happened. Most of the trash was picked up, a lot of the fences had already been repaired, and we had even started painting a bit.

Now, we're in full swing, and things are starting to look better fast. The arena fence has been moved back. The pipe fences are mostly painted. The garbage is picked up even more, and much of the large debris is gone. AND, Jae has gotten a huge section of the new fencing up.

This is where I make my plug for Centaur Flex fencing. WOW, do I love that stuff. I am not paid by them, I don't get any bonuses for saying this, but it is the most amazing fencing I have ever seen. It took Jae longer to figure out how to start then it has for him to finish 200 feet. It's super easy to install, it looks just amazing, and the very best part? I paid less for it then I would have to do barbed wire fencing! Not that I would, but just for a comparison.  The cost per foot is very reasonable.

So, that I have something to compare, I'm posting pics of old and new. I always see what needs to be done, but every once in a while it's nice to look back on what we have already accomplished.

Ok, I had great intentions to finish this, but I completely forgot that I had loaned out my camera to my mother.  My parents are in Pottsboro, house sitting for a friend, and have a couple of my yearlings there keeping the pastures mowed.  Mary P is a wonderful lady who lives in Alaska for the summer, and Texas for the winter.  She asked my folks to house sit for her while they wait for their new house to come.

So now that I have my camera back, here are pictures!

Notice how the arena fence no longer blocks off the access to the main pasture (front right) and long pen (left).  That corner used to be a nightmare to get horses through, especially with a stallion in the catch pen (far right).  The "easiest" way to get through there was to use the 2 doors in the corner, and cut through the catch pen.  No more!  Now we have full access to the alley way.

Here's another:

This is looking over the catch pens out to the pasture.  Catch pens are in the foreground, long pen is on the left in the distance (with all the garbage in it).

And this, is looking directly down the alley today:

Much easier access to everything, although we're still not finished.  See that lovely Centaur fence in the back ground?  Yeah, soon all the barbed wire will be centaur!

In the future, we hope to remove that gate at the end of the alley, and move it to the front.  There will be another gate at the far end of the alley (not visible in picture).  This gives me a level of comfort when moving vehicles in and out of the pasture.  Drivers will have to go into the safe alley area, close a gate behind them, then move into the pastures and paddocks.  As a side benefit, we hope to run the alley area completely around the property, and be able to use it as an exercise track.

Forgive all the water hoses, I was filling troughs while taking photos!  Running water lines comes soon too, and I won't be dragging hoses every where!

And this is from the opposite side toward the house:

 And here it's taken closer, today.  Much of the garbage is gone, and most of the "stuff" stacked there is fencing.
Still a lot of work to do here!  That cute little black house in the distance is my house.  It's currently empty, and we've stripped the entire inside and are rebuilding everything!  The house was built in 1917, so it's almost 100 years old.  I just love it personally.  Little things like electricity had to be completely rewired (last update was in 1929) so the backside is primed, but unpainted, waiting for electric boxes, and such.

The barn:
Note the nasty ugly siding!  ICK!  The barn has 15 "stalls".  One is currently a chicken coup due to unsafe footing, one is completely bare, and is used to store tools for the moment, but will be a run in with paddock behind it for Spot, my stallion.  2 are storing hay, because the stall walls are NOT horse safe.  And the last is a tack "area" because it has no walls.  Soon it will be a real live tack room, complete with sink and A/C!  Unfortunately, the tack room will probably be another year before it's done.

And here's the upgrade to the barn:
WOOD SIDING!  It's a work in progress.  Soon the siding will be painted black, like the house, there will be white trim covering the seams, and there will be windows to each stall.  This is the back side, and the grassy area will be Spot's paddock.  You can just see the bare stall to the left that will be the run in stall.

We still have a lot to do, but looking at these pictures, it makes me feel better, and I think it's pretty obvious that in our 3 years we have accomplished a LOT.


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