here are some many things I've been wanting to post but, unless I do it on the bus between Seoul and Punggi, I can't find the time. I've taken my laptop with me the last three weekends in a row in hopes of getting a blog post in, but I didn't quite have the will power to put aside much need sleep and drag it out of the bag.
I thought that I might get something done at the farm. ("Very funny Miss Z, " I say to myself.) Technically I did get a lot of somethings done on Sunday. Super had pulled a board off his hay feeder so I repaired that, then I cut some boards and built one hillside step. More are in the planning. Then I build a tools organizer thingy and put out a load of mulch.
There's a story behind said mulch. My friend and I bout two 400 kilogram bags (about 900lbs each) a year ago. The place loaded them on the truck with a tractor. We don't have a tractor on the farm or anything to do heavy lifting.
"How are we going to get these off?" She said.
"I don't know. I didn't think about that." I said. We chuckled over our two peas and a pod.
After not too much thinking I suggested we tie a rope around on bag and tie the bag to the building. My friend would drive forward and I would watch for signs of breaking the building. Well, on the first try the rope broke. A few more tries later, we had a lot of little pieces of rope. And a few more tries again we had even more pieces of rope. Thankfully we were actually successful...ish.
But the two bags have been where they landed for over a year. However, we emptied one during Chuseok and that leaves one bag.
Then I took the weed eater, lighter, fire starter, cowboy halter, and training stick to the back. Now if you think about this for a bit you'll probably come up with... nothing you would need all those things for.
Actually, I was multitasking. Since Superman does not eat apples, we let him have the run of the farm during the day. As in not fenced in. All the grasses and clovers are motivation to stay home it seems. Anyway, I knew he was hanging out toward the back and I wanted to weed eat some weeds and burn some of the stuff my friend and I had cleared a few weeks prior. Alas the weed eater wasn't working so I had to settled with setting fire to things. Then I caught up Super, did a little groundwork, took him and all the things back to the front of the farm, a good ten minute walk because I was limping. I hit my knee with a hammer earlier.
It was just after four pm by then and though I was dying to ride I had feet to do first. This might require a bit of explanation. Though there are lots of farriers and many have actually learned about the natural barefoot trim. But the concept, though widely accepted its also still controversial in places. And I'm applying that statement to the United States. The idea of not shoeing a thoroughbred... it actually caused a lot of problems at the Bonghwa stables. Well, pretty much everything we did, caused problems.
"Why are you feeding that horse good grain? He does nothing all week?"
Actually, that last one not only came from the stables but are feed guy kept asking us if we really wanted to feed Super such expensive feed because he's only a pet, sigh.
So I did Super's feet, then groomed him, then saddled and finally went out for a ride. Super has been getting sticky in certain places because he's decided that he wants to go down the apple isles, which with spider webs and trees slapping you in the face aren't exactly fun. Not to mention the shiny tarps that help the apples have good color all around. It's not a matter of Super being scared of them. We've taken care of that in his training. But he can't step on them or knock apples down.
So in training horses you try to make the right thing easy and the wrong thing hard. Apple isles are the wrong thing. So I let him go down and backed him out. And then asked him to go forward. If he turned away from the isle I left him alone. If he went back in I let him got a little further and had him back out a little further.
We rode around the whole farm pretty much, letting him go where he wanted and worked on his backing. He'll back to timbuctoo now and isn't very fond of the apple isles anymore.
And then it was time to put him away, carry six five gallon buckets of water from the pond to the water trough... my watering him is part of why he gets to stay at the farm so I have to fill his trough with a weeks worth of water. Then I put a 60 kilo (120 ish lbs) of hay in his slow feeder, reconnected the electric fence and it was time to catch the 2 and a half hour bus home to Seoul.
Below is a picture of Gabe dressed up as captain America trying to put Super up for the night. That was last weekend. As you can see, Super is finally a chunky monkey. (Disclaimer: The comment about monkeys being chunky is in no way intended as a primate stereotype. Some monkeys may or may not be chunky.)
Mariel R. is an ESL teacher, horse trainer, writer, editor, sporadic blogger, and lover of beer. She lives in South Korea with two cats, three horses, a German Shepherd and 17 chickens.
Bear (Gom in Korean) then (above) now (below)
Geumbi (Goldy in English) R.I.P February, 23, 2018