Saturday, November 7, 2015

Updated photos and video of Fenella

Recently, Savana went out to the pasture with me to take some (much overdue) pictures of Fenella.  She is growing "like a weed", and progressing well on her training.  She is rather mouthy, and will sometimes nip, but I never let her get away with this, as I detest nippiness.

She is so sweet and easy to train.  I am beginning to want to keep her for myself, as Fannie is getting older.  Maybe there is some way to grow more grass...

First I ponied her from Fannie...

She hadn't been ponied since she was only two months old, so she had some re-learning to do.  By the time I thought it was time to stop, though, she was following pretty well.

Fannie was as good as gold, though she has been ridden very little lately.

Then it was time to do some groundwork with Fenella, while Fannie took a break tied up to the fence nearby.

First I asked her to yield her hindquarters.

Notice how loose the lead rope is; I'm not pressuring her head at all.

Now it was time to back up.

I was very pleased with her back-up.  I did not have to pressure her dramatically to get her to move, but while she was very responsive and respectful, she was not frightened.

Now I ask her to flex her neck and drop her nose.  I only just introduced this to her a few days before these pictures were taken, and she has caught on very quickly.  I use the voice command:  "Turn your head", while I'm asking her to flex, and she seems to respond to it

 Notice how loose the lead rope is again.

Now flex the other side...  Very good!

I also picked up all her feet, but we only have video of this...

Now for some fun:  riding bareback and bridle-less!  I have been riding Fannie some like this recently, and she is doing very well.  The only issue is stopping her once she goes into a canter...  I'm still working on "putting some brakes on her"!

When we were done, it was time to let the horses out into the yard (as the grass in the pasture is very thin and I don't want it too badly overgrazed).  Time to settle down and have some lunch!

Here is the video we took while we were out there.

(Please note:  the music is from Georges Bizet's opera, "Carmen".  I do not like it much, but was in a hurry and so used it anyway.)

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Paso Fino Filly For Sale~ Fenella de Festina Lente

 Fenella de Festina Lente is a very special filly, with lots of spirit and character.  Her bloodlines include Capuchino and Plebeyo.  I was able to begin handling her within 20 minutes of birth, and have continued her training since then.  She is very friendly, and not skittish, though she is very alert to her surroundings.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Halter Breaking, and Early Training of Fenella

My filly, Fenella de Festina Lente was born in early May.  She is the first foal I have ever been able to handle and train, so I wanted to be prepared.  As the time was drawing near when Fannie was due to foal, I began researching various training methods, trying to come up with a plan for training the foal right from birth.  I knew that I wanted to begin its education as early as possible and not wait until it had formed bad habits, or developed a fear of humans.  Very quickly I decided that I wanted to imprint it, if possible.  What I read about imprinting just made sense to me.  After all, it is reasonable that what an animal is exposed to on a regular basis from the moment of birth should seem normal to it in later life.  I did not want to be too extreme with my imprinting; rubbing the baby with noisy clippers and plastic bags just seemed like a little much, and I didn't want to stress Fannie too much.  So when Fenella was born, I simply rubbed her all over, handled her feet, ears and mouth, tried on a foal halter, and talked to her gently.  My theory was that I would build trust, and introduce her to the clippers, plastic bags, etc, later, rather than desensitize her to them at birth.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Fenella de Festina Lente: Paso Fino Filly, Daughter of Jesse el Rubio and Acuarella de Benji

Jesse El Rubio

Acuarela de Benji

Saturday, May 2nd, was an unusually busy day for us on our small farm.  There was a lot of work to be caught up on outside; from dosing a sick cow who was off her feed, to fixing a small pen in the front pasture.  I let Fannie out into the yard as usual to graze, after she ate her usual portion of Gestolac feed, with a special herbal tea added to it.  As I checked her bag, I thought she couldn't possibly be far from delivering her foal.  After all, she was bred to Jesse el Rubio, son of El Chino de el Batey, on May 4th, 2014, and now it was May 2nd, 2015.  According to my research, horses have a gestation length of 316-360 days, so she was a bit over due.  Her udder had distended to nearly twice it's usual size now; surely she must be close.
Photo taken 4/28/15

Fenella at 3 Days Old

Fenella de Festina Lente was born Saturday, May 2nd, 2015.  My 16 year old sister, Savana, took these pictures for me on May 4th.

 Fannie grazing peacefully in the yard, with Fenella sleeping under her watchful eye.

Friday, May 8, 2015

13 Boer, Boer X and Kiko Goats For Sale in Bronson/ Williston

I recently purchased my neighbor's herd of 10 Kiko, Boer, and Boer/ Kiko goats.  I also have Honeysuckle and Mabel's twin doelings for sale.

Goats available:
Chester:  3 year-old proven Boer buck.  Weighs approx. 300 lbs, produces great kids.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Nubian/ Boer Doeling Kids for Sale!

I had a surprise this morning:  Mabel delivered two beautiful doelings last night!
They are strong, healthy, and have lovely udders and markings.
D.O.B:  May 1st, 2015
Sire:  Boer buck  (pictured below
Dam:  Mabel  (pictured below)
CAE free by parentage.

We will be holding one of the doelings with a deposit until mid July; the other is for sale now as a bottle baby.
Bottle doeling:  $175
Weaned doeling:  $225

If you are interested in purchasing either doeling, please contact me via
or call/ text 352-745-3576

 Doeling 1:

Doeling 2:

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Another Day with the Goats- Pt. 8: How to Trim Goat (or Sheep) Hooves

I am certainly not an expert when it comes to hoof trimming, but I have learned how to do a basic trim, and my goats don't have foot problems.  Here is a video tutorial of how I do it.
Remember, when you are trimming their feet, pay attention to their condition.  Foot rot can be a problem if your goats are copper deficient.  If you have foot rot, this recipe cures it in one or two treatments.
1/4 lb. copper sulphate,
4 cups water
1/4 cup vinegar.

Dissolve copper in the vinegar and water, and soak affected foot for 10 minutes once per day until the foot rot is gone.  (For a more extensive article, please visit:  Natural cure (and prevention) of foot rot in goats, sheep and cows

Here is the video:

The goat in the video is Honeysuckle, the daughter of Mabel.  (She is currently for sale.)
I hope it is helpful!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Dealing with Staph Mastitis

Sometimes it is tempting to only blog about the good things happening on our farm, but the fact is, that we have problems too.  I have just been reminded that I don't know nearly as much about raising goats as I sometimes think I do.  I am currently dealing with my first (and hopefully only) case of staph mastitis.

Shortly after I bought Mabel, she developed a knot in one teat that soon made milking impossible, and that side dried up.  Twice when she has kidded the vet has opened the teat surgically.  It would stay open for a week or two, then gradually close again as that half of her udder dried up.
I thought this was scar tissue from an injury received at her former home, as did our vet, but last month I noticed that side of her udder swelling suspiciously.  When I felt it, I knew something was drastically wrong.  It was hard, with round lumps- not at all normal.  It was not hot, so I hoped it wasn't mastitis, but some research and talking to a very knowledgeable dairying friend soon brought me to the reluctant conclusion that she has staph.
Close up of the affected side of Mabel's udder.  You can see the round lumps clearly.

Needless to say, I was pretty discouraged about the whole matter, knowing that staph is very difficult to clear up.  Researching natural remedies led me to dosing her twice daily with a tumeric tonic to help cure staph,* and a heaped teaspoon each of vitamin C and dolomite.
*My tonic does not include coconut oil since we are currently out.  I will be adding it when we get some more.
The swelling decreased significantly after I started giving her the tonic, then she swelled up some more, and now it's decreasing again.
In the meantime, she doesn't seem to be in any pain or discomfort, and is just her usual self.  I am thankful that the infection is confined to one side, and that with good hygiene, there is little danger of it spreading to any of the other animals.
One other good thing that has come from this problem, is that our pre-milking washing has changed.  We now wash the whole udder with warm water, with a few drops of iodine in it, then dip each teat in straight iodine.  After letting it sit for a few moments, we put on the lotion, discard the first squirts of milk, and proceed as usual.
I don't know if these remedies will work or not.  I'm not sure what will eventually happen with this situation, but I do know that God is in control even over the comparatively small things, like a sick goat, and that this will be a learning experience, even if she is not cured.