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Cedar's 13

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Chem 'made' me look to see where I am on my 13 in '13. And re-evaluate. I don't care that it is the end of 2014, just like on my other post.. I will just continue to plug along on it.

Animal Husbandry — Learn how to drive a draft horse team - Done
I can hitch up a horse, figure out how to put a harness back together, I can ground drive, and I have driven a large farm type waggon. I consider this still in progress, even though I can get the 'job done'. It is an art and every time you change working partners, even if it is an animal, it takes 8-12 weeks to work as a well oiled machine. However, I am looking for another partner. Currently I am looking at Rescue Drafts, and looking into mules. I have always had a thing for long ears and since SP has donkeys, getting another long ear will fit right in. "Whiskers" our Clydesdale is getting old, has no teeth and it is hard to keep weight on him, and he is refusing to lift his feet for a farrier. Whether this is obnoxiousness on his part, or he is in pain (common in older draft horses) from lifting his feet, his feet cannot be done unless we throw him. Even this summer, on full pasture, he was on 9-18 quarts of Senior horse diet a day, and he is still ribby, and losing muscle in his hind legs.  We may have to put him down this winter.

Gardening — Crash course in Silviculture - In Progress
Managing, using, conserving, and repairing forestland.
I have actually learned alot since my original post. Most of my neighbors are timberworkers of some kind and I pick their brains alot. We have started thinning our forest. Evaluated it, and have done Added Value projects in it.

Carpentry — Done
Been building alot of things, although Z won't let me tackle a job on my own. I do get lazy as he can do Trig in his head and I cannot add 2+2, so it is easier having him as a walking calculator.

Beer Making — In Progress and not gone forward one step.
Still have not gotten to this one yet.

Animal Husbandry — Hogs - Done

Weaving — Done
I still have not set up my large looms yet, but I have been working on the smaller ones and teaching people as well.

Alternative Energy — Planned
We keep wavering on which direction to go, or a hybrid.

Food Storage — Spring House - Planned
A little further along, but I missed my window in August when the water was down.

Communication — Ham radio license - In Progress
I signed up for class in February and got 2 of my fire team, 1 TSPer, and my person I am mentoring signed up as well.

Water Catchment/Filtering — In Progress
We are soon adding three 1,000 gallon+ water catchments. One will be for the well, so I that is not really catchment, but it is storing drinking water. The other two will be set up for water catchment off the North Barn and carried via pipe from the North Barn tank, down the hill to the Greenhouse Complex tank for watering the greenhouses. Overflow and drains to keep the tanks/pipes from freezing will go to our ravine creek and then to the river.

Bio Fuel — Nixed
Nixed. But there is a guy I see every Wednesday and we have talked a long time each time about his BioFuel truck as we sit on his or my tailgate. So I have learned a fair bit from him. At least a working knowledge. So I learned, but decided not to do for many reasons.

Electronics — Planned
Learn basic electronics, like build a radio from scrap like they did in WWI. I plan on doing that this winter, when it is grody and yucky winter weather and I would rather be near the woodstove.

Education — Economics - In Process.
Learn basic economics better than I have a grasp on now.



--- Quote from: Cedar on October 27, 2014, 08:03:24 PM ---Animal Husbandry — Learn how to drive a draft horse team

--- End quote ---

I have upgraded this to 'teach a donkey to drive' goal.

"Whiskers" our Clydesdale is no more. And I have been looking at a new working partner for a year maybe. I looked out the window one day while I was thinking about it and spied the donkeys down on the field.

"Tilly" is my new victim, 'guinea pig' project. And she seems to have a willingness to work. We put the packsaddle on her again with panniers and went on a 4 hour walk yesterday. The 'rigging' for the packsaddle is pretty much in all the same spots as a harness. It has a breastcollar (not a work collar), breaching, things here and there.. and even grabbing her tail and stuffing it through the breeching, she does not mind. I just take it slow with her and let her check things out. Donkeys are different than mules or horses, something I would have not believed until I was working with one daily.

Donkey's are not stubborn.. well.. yes.. but no.. they have to check things out, study the situation for a bit and determine it is ok, before they are cool with it. They don't always take your word for it, they want to check it out for themselves, which in alot of respects in life, is probably a good idea. Where the stubbornness comes in, is the human getting involved. The human is in a hurry and wants to hurry and wants the donkey to hurry up, which makes the donkey wary and plant its feet stubbornly. Which is why donkeys get the label of 'stubborn', when it is in fact the human that actually starts it. So don't push, pull or do anything to the donkey before it decides the situation is alright. When donkey's are spooked, they tend to stop, or if they do bolt, it is like 12 feet, they stop turn around and stare at the thing which scared them. Unlike horses and mules, if a donkey has a threat.. it doesn't run away from it, but tends to shove into it, or stop it, which is why they are good guardians for sheep. They will run over and stomp a coyote.

They are also horribly playful.... which is good, if you can turn that into something fun and productive. It takes about three times to suggest to a donkey what you want it to do, but when they learn it, they do not forget it. So I have to make sure I am (and Z is) consistant each and every time.

I have two harnesses to try out on her. One is a nylon one, that I just got, which I think is too small, but it has the blinkers and two sets of lines. I have my horse or cob sized 1800's doctors buggy harness and I have it on the floor in front of me to move buckles and such to see how small I can make it (as soon as the woodstove warms up enough I can feel my fingers). I do have black nylon which is the same thickness on a reel, so I could modify the nylon harness if it is close. If not, the tack sale will be coming up in a few months.

So yesterday I wanted to see how 'bombproof' "Tilly" is. We were walking past a blue plastic tarp on the ground, and I walked her over it.. and then 10-15 minutes later, I hung it on her withers, neck and ear. She stood. She looked like "Excuse me, that thing is cold and wet!", but she never budged. I talked to her former owner yesterday (and showed her pics of the walk with did with the donkeys yesterday) and asked if she had 'sacked' them out. She said she had ten years ago, but has not messed with them since about that time.

So if it stops raining between now and this coming weekend, I will be fitting "Tilly" to a harness (or the other way around) and see what happens there. If none of them fit, I will have to order another one in, or wait until the Tack Sale in the spring.

I am tired of studying for a bit, so I think I will attempt that leather harness now.


I see that Whiskers is no more but I seemed to miss of what happened with Cody?  Very cool that you are working with draft animals, we have plenty of Amish here in the midwest who are experienced with working animals.  Good luck with trying to get a hydro plant going.


c. 1983 - May 6, 2013

We do not know a lot about "Cody's" history, other than he was a logging horse in Oregon most of his life. He came into our lives in January 2013 and was a pasture buddy to "Whiskers". I had a photo of him in his prime in harness with another horse pulling logs out of the Oregon Coast range. He was GORGEOUS in his prime and working.

I know he had heart to the end, prancing his high leg action only a few days before we put him down, that it seems only Clydesdales can do with all that feathering on their legs. I know when I harnessed him up last September when we were considering purchasing "Whiskers", I tossed the collar and harness on him, although I was not too interested in him at the time, but you could see his eyes light up and he really wanted to go to work and he drove like a dream. He was the sweetest horse ever (unlike "Whiskers").

At 30 years of age, he was starting to fail even with having his teeth done. Basically he had no teeth. Even with special feeds, and on full lush pasture he was dropping mass amounts of weight at the end. It was time to let  him go. He is buried at the farm.

Even though we did not buy him, he came along as a friend to "Whiskers", a bonus....I am glad that in his last few months he had a good retirement with a good friend on nice green pastures instead of a drylot where we found him. May there be 'good pastures' where he is now. "Cody", thank you for all your years of hard work for all us humans.


Rest in peace Cody


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