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Horseback

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This has been a pretty exciting week. This week was rodeo week here. It was nice to spend a couple evenings with the kids taking in all the rodeo sights. Madison had waited a year to see “bubble gum Bob” the clown again, but for some reason they had a new clown this time around. Mattie was kind of upset at first, but it didn’t take “pork chop” the new clown long to win her over. Seeing the kids with that great big smile on their face means the world to me. I enjoy all the events, but most of all I enjoy seeing the kids have fun.

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There’s not been any slowing down this week. Madison and I met up with some nice folks from Ohio and finally took a horseback ride in the Big South Fork. Madison handled the trail and her horse like an old pro. She was having a great time until we saw the bears. As we were riding we heard a bunch of noise over off the trail and 2 bear cubs appeared. I can’t believe I didn’t have my camera. Not knowing where their mother was we didn’t get too close. Madison was a little scared because Kim and I wanted to go on up the trail past the bears. Madison firmly objected so we turned back. I’m no bear expert since we’ve not had many encounters with bears here over the years, but it looks like if we are going to spend much time in the Big South Fork we better learn about black bears.

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I can’t believe I have lived in the heart of such a magestic national park and not made time to get out and enjoy it. There is so much to do. There is literally something for everyone. Most of all it seems the park caters to horse people. They have 2 very nice campgrounds. One on the Tennessee side and one here in Ky. There are trails ranging in length from 30 minutes to all day or even overnight. Here in Ky there is a nice little resort just before entering the park. Bear Creek Resort has cabins that are for sale or rent with all the comforts you can imagine along with stalls for your horses. So if you’re in the market for a getaway for a week, a night, or for good you owe it to yourself to check them out. The one pictured below is awesome and it’s for sale. If you might be interested leave me a commet and I’ll put you in touch with the folks selling it.

Cabin 10 by you.

Folks must be doing some late summer landscaping because the topsoil is finally moving. I’m glad to see it go. Especially since there will be another big pile to sell from the second building pad. I have to make time to get to the Mahindra dealer soon and try to make a deal on a smaller HST 4×4 tractor loader backhoe combination. Our current flock of chickens will be leaving Nov 24th. That’s when the fun begins. We will be scrambling to get everything cleaned up for the next flock. I think a small tractor will fit good for cleaning out the 9 1/2 ft sidewall houses. Plus I can think of a million uses for it when we aren’t using it to clean out.

Well as always tons to do and not enough time to do it all so I best get at it. Thanks for reading, check back soon, and feel free to browse all the pics I’ve added!


15 Responses to “Horseback”

  1. Kevin Says:

    Hi Joel,
    Glad to read that you and the kids got to enjoy the Rodeo. Also nice to read about the bears. The main thing I can tell you is let you presence be known; make noise (talk loud, shout, bang something together). Generally most black bears will yield to you when you give them a chance to size you up and decide that they want to move on. Your problems come when you get too close, startle them, get between a sow and her cubs, or intrude on thier space when they are eating. They tend to be grouchy, like some of us, when they are coming out of hibernation. Also remember, if they try to charge, most of the time it is a bluff. With black bears you can usually stand your ground, raise your arms, shout and yell at them and they will decide to leave. If you run, they will try to catch you, and that is when you will get mauled. Just watch out for them “grumbling”, slobbering and chomping. When they do that it usually means they don’t want to back down. My bear experience is limited, but one of my friends was an Anchorage Alaska policeman. He had the experience of going after a Kodiak after it mauled and killed some hikers. When they did a necropsy on the bear it still had buttons, and other things in it’s belly. Chris said the bear was in good shape, and a young adult. He said that if they hadn’t killed it the chances were that it would have killed again. Once a bear learns not to be afraid of people it is more likely to be aggressive and dangerous.
    Kevin

  2. Jen @ J&J Acres Says:

    I love the picture of the kids on the fence! That was a good shot. And I\’d love to go horseback riding again…. although preferrably with no bear sightings! :)

  3. Ray Says:

    The Big South Fork is one of my favorite places to go spend a weekend with the horses and do a lot of trail riding. Now that you have mentioned it I am thinking I should head down once more this fall before it gets to cool later.

  4. paintsmh Says:

    Wow hard to believe it is already time to change flocks! Good job!

    And ahh horseback riding. So fun.

  5. joelw Says:

    Kevin,
    As I’m sure you’ve gathered, the kids anxiously await rodeo time every year. Now that I’m not so tied down I’m hoping to get out and visit some other rodeos and take them to some not so familiar places. Always looking to broaden their horizons so to speak.
    Bears are unpredictable that’s for sure. I’m sure even the tamest horse would be spooked by a bear.
    Glad to see you’re still reading. Check back soon, things are slowing down a bit so hopefully I’ll be posting about some more of our adventures soon!

    Jen,
    Bear sightings or not I’m always up for a ride. Madison is chomping at the bit to get out, but I have to be at the chickenhouse this weekend. Thanks for the compliment on the picture. The kids make taking pictures fun! Thanks for the comment and check back soon!

    Ray,
    Do you ride on the Ky side or on the Tn side? You should give us a shout when you’re headed this way again and we’ll ride along. Thanks for the comment!

    paintsmh,
    Glad to see you’re still reading! It is hard to believe this flock will be leaving before you know it. Where does time go? Seems like just yesterday summer was beginning and now fall is creeping up on us. Thanks for the comment!

  6. paintsmh Says:

    Hey of course I am still reading. And yeah i know! My summer seemed so short. But at least I didn’t have to go back to college! We’re (my mom and i) freezing sweet corn as fast as we can for winter. We’ve done probably 600 ears worth. But it is going the wrong way fast…so now my chickens are starting to eat very ripe sweet corn. And I have to say it is depressing to look at how close winter is. My gelding and the cattle are growing out their coats big time. We had a cute heifer born and she’s got a full winter cover. Guess it is time to start breaking out the sweatshirts and insulated coveralls!

  7. Jim Says:

    Hey guys, Ive not posted in awile we ve been working day and night. my wifes went back to work driving and seems to realy be doing well at it she was out west laast week and found her first snow storm she was in wyoming.this week shes been playing wit the huricans in texas. Joelw sounds like youve been doing well our kids have been back to school for about 3 weeks now our oldest is in the band so we been running around for the band alot dustin is starting flag football and the varsity games are friday nights and the oldest has to go to touse for the band hes in the 8th grade but our schools that makes the first year in high school:(.
    Also we bought a house tailer from a gury and its needed some tlc to make it livable but we like the trl and its paid for so thats always good we had been in asmall trl in the barn so its nice to have a bigger place the guy we got it from is letting us rent the spot its on for the next year so that we dont have to add to the workload for the fall.i hope the new houses work out for you.We had the remenants of ike come through ohio sunday night and it took out the power all over the place we wont get our power back on for a week so we packed up and came to my moms house in colombus tostay our trl is on a wellso we did not have any water not good nice thing is its only three miles from the farm. the schools are closed till power comes back on too.well ive talked to long agine so for now love the pics and the blog. so be good too one another and god bless ps im still off with my back.

  8. Kevin Says:

    Hi Joel,

    I was wondering about somethings, maybe you could provide the answers. You wrote awhile back about getting some young roosters (spikes) in to help with the fertility of the flock. When you move out the older hens and roosters will the spikes stay or will they be moved out with the rest of the flock? I know that it might be difficult to know which were the older roosters and which were the younger ones, especially if they are about the same size now.

    I was also wondering if you were going to get a permeanantly mounted backhoe on your new tractor, or if you were going to get one of the three point mount attachments that has a seperate oil resevoir and pump (run off of the PTO)? I understand that on the smaller tractors the 3pt attachment type is better, if the tractor isn’t set up at the factory for a high demand hydralic attachment.

    Take care and have a great weekend!

    Kevin

  9. Heidi A. Says:

    Great site! Glad I came across it! It\’s a beautiful location and your children sure are blessed to have that fresh air and sunshine and…..a good Dad!

  10. mlytc Says:

    Joel,
    When considering whether or not to get a backhoe, remember that although the sidewalls are 9 1/2 feet the nests will hang considerably lower,so a permanent mount backhoe will be a hindrance. Also, it is going to take a lot more HP than you think when you start moving litter. I tried it the first year with my 4110 and wound up contracting it out to a crew with the proper equipment.
    Kevin,
    The spikes will go when all of the rest go.

  11. Kyle Says:

    Joel? Are you there?

  12. Catherine Says:

    I enjoyed reading about your farm and family. I have been looking for a job with either children to care for or animals. Horses, dogs, ponies,chickens,cats,sheep etc. I raised 4 kids the last one is just starting college. We used to have land, abeautiful Morton barn with horse stalls, pony stalls and a heated tack stall. My dreams were coming true. Then we were suddenly hit with expensive health problems and we lost every thing,We had to move to a small house in town. Some way I will figure out how to work on my dreams again.
    Take care,Catherine

  13. admin Says:

    Catherine,
    Hang in there! Your story is a very familiar one in these tough economic times. Things haven’t been easy for a lot of people as this recession progresses. It’s hard to have faith, but I do believe that things such as this do make you stronger. Thanks for your comment and Glad to have you reading!

  14. Brigitte Says:

    Alias Smith and Jones was a old TV western about two robbers who stole from the rich and gave go the poor.

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