Monday, March 31, 2008

The Horses

At the moment, we do not ourselves own horses. Instead, we open our gates to the horses who live on the next ranch up the hill. Our neighbors, actually relatives – aunt and cousin, and her husband - have their winter ranch here, and operate a guest ranch in the High Sierra during the summer. They have something around forty horses just now, many of them having been born on their ranch. The most recent addition is Marie, a yearling buckskin filly. The horses stay here most weeks of the year, but during the summer are trailered to the mountains.

During the time the horses are at the winter ranch, they are left free to graze across 800 acres of ranch land, including our 128 acres. At the end of summer after they return from the Sierra, they receive supplemental hay feeding as there is very little forage after the hot and dry summers.

And of course, we have been known to offer the occasional carrot treat when one of the horse groups comes to visit. We enjoy greatly seeing the horses graze as we look out our kitchen window and watch them arrayed across the meadow at the bottom of Ant Hill, where the grass seems to be especially sweet and tasty.

When we move to the ranch full time, we will get our own horses, a prospect we both happily anticipate. For now, we are having fun enjoying our occasional visitors without the feed or vet bills!

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