Howdy 'n Welcome to JKs Rough String Ranch

Thanks for stoppin' by!! Grab a hot cup of coffee, and enjoy the ride! You can contact me at gtyyup at wildblue dot net. See ya on down the trail!
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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Update on Colt & The Truth About "Growing"

Many of you have inquired about Colt's progress. Thank you so much for your concern...and, I'm happy to report that he seems to be coming along nicely. He's still on stall w/run confinement, and I can exercise him daily on a lunge line in the round pen (weather/footing permitting). This has been a good opportunity for us to work on the ground work exercises that Mike Bridges showed us at my Project 5 clinic last fall...Colt's gettin' pretty good at 'em!

I'm sure he's as bored as can be, but he has some toys to play with lots of grass hay of course. In fact, he's finally gained some weight! Colt's beautiful photo in my header is a nice one of him, but he's awfully thin IMHO. That photo was taken after a full summer of riding and showing. He was on green pasture and also getting alfalfa and grain...he's just a growing boy!

Colt's also enjoying his daily dose of brushing and a couple of treats too.

We have an appointment with Dr. Knox at Idaho Equine Hospital on March 12...Yeah!!, six weeks is finally getting here! So, we'll keep praying that he's recovered enough from his injury that he can be started back in training. We're letting the Doc determine that for us.

Thanks again for all of your prayers and healing thoughts for Colt...they are obviously working!


The Truth About "Growing"

Over a week ago, the Sunday Stills photo challenge was the letter "G," and I chose the word "growing" as my subject.

I got a lot of comments about how other folks around the country were wishing they could see something growing in their neck of the woods.

Well, in all honesty, there really isn't anything actually "growing" here either...except for the first onset of nasty weeds which don't really count as plants in my opinion ;~)

My post for Sunday Stills showed My Man spreading fertilizer on the alfalfa fields...the weather was perfect for it. The annual spreading of fertilizer is the first thing we do to prepare the fields to grow alfalfa. The alfalfa is actually in it's dormant stage still...and will be for a while longer.

We had watched the weather forecast and just as predicted, three days after the fertilizer was spread, we got this:

A nice blanket of really wet snow!

Which is the snow melts, it takes the
fertilizer into the soil with it!
This photo was taken on Feb 24.

Taken yesterday, the only green in this photo
of the alfalfa are emerging weeds.

So the next step...we spray for weeds, and that has to happen before the alfalfa comes out of dormancy. Without spraying for weeds, the first cutting would be full of cheat grass and other obnoxious weeds that are potentially harmful to the animals. It also prevents the weeds from choking out the alfalfa plants. A stand of alfalfa will only last 6-9 years, and it all depends on how you care for it. We want our fields to wasn't cheap to put in new alfalfa.

But, it really is warming up a bit...a lil' above 50 yesterday! I can actually see some green coming in parts of the yard that are sheltered and close to the, spring is on its way...we just have to be patient.


My Man was busy this weekend replacing a nasty barbed wire fence. I wish I had gotten a before photo...but of course I didn't. Trust me, it's one of those fences that made me cringe and it's finally taken care of!

My Man had to play with use the big back hoe
to move out some large boulders and then put in
a juniper post, stretch the field fence and
add the top rail. I like it!
This photo makes the fence look must
be the angle of the camera and the slope
of the really is straight...honest!

It's nearly impossible to get a post into the ground
when it's this close to the rock rim, so whoever
put in the original barbed wire fence used
this simple but effective solution to hold
the steel post against the, why
try to reinvent the's holding
the new fence just fine.

From my post about the wild horse adoption and the Faces of the Homeless, there were lots of questions in the comments...sorry that I haven't answered them. But they are good, serious questions that deserve more than a brief blurb. I'm going to do a post, and try to answer all of your questions...see you then!



AKPonyGirl said...

Do you use 2,4D? That is the best stuff?

I'm envious of your weather. We still have about a foot of snow on the ground but with temps in the 40's during the day it will soon rot and go away.

Sarah said...

Hey the fence turned out great! I love that last shot picture of the nail in the rock. Isn't it amazing what can be turned into art?

Sarah said...

Hey the fence turned out great! I love that last shot picture of the nail in the rock. Isn't it amazing what can be turned into art?

mj said...

Very glad to see and hear that your "Colt" is doing well. He does look good with a little more meat on his bones! Good luck with the vet check-up.

lopinon4 said...

YAY! New fence and fat Colt! WOOHOO!

jane augenstein said...

Oh, how did I miss that Colt had hurt himself?? Well, glad he is doing better, I am glad you kept him. I think he is gorgeous!
The Golden Pony left on a truck yesterday heading your way via USPS; he should be at your ranch in a few days!!! :-)

Shirley said...

Lookit that hip on Colt! Oh my!He sure is looking good, hope he gets a clean bill of health on his vet check.

Anonymous said...

Colt's lookin' great!! Fence looks good too. It's smelling like spring here today too and my porch has eau de dog and cow manure:(

Paint Girl said...

Great news about Colt!! I bet you can't wait to get back on that boy and ride!

Anonymous said...

Glad Colt is doing well, and good that you were able to replace some barbed wire fencing.

Ed said...

Very cool, and informative..:-)

Andrea said...

I am glad that Colt is doing better! The new fence is looking great! We need to do some fence replacing around here, too!

mugwump said...

Colt looks so good! I can't believe how behind on the blogs I have gotten.It's always such a nice break to come to the Rough String.....

Janice said...

Glad to hear your boy is doing well. Fence is looking good to. I'm always happy to see barb wire go bye bye. I look forward to a post on the Wild horses.

brett said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Question: Are the weed killing sprays you use toxic? If so, what is more dangerous to livestock: chemicals or weeds? I'm clueless. Do the weed killing chemicals leach into the soil and water table, too?
I wonder if there is a more organic natural way to control weeds in a hay field. Interesting stuff.
I'm glad that your fertilizer was soaked by snow so it could be absorbed into the soil better.
Colt sure does look good, all filled out and moving pretty.

Fencing....a never ending job on a ranch, eh? You guys are hard working folks!


gtyyup said...

AKPonyGirl~We use a product called Velpar Alfa Max combined with a glyphosate formula and a product that helps get the formulation to stick to the plants, in this case we used Syl-tac. Velpar is a restricted herbicide that must be applied by a certified applicator. So we have to hire it out. I'm not sure that 2,4-D can be used on a legume type plant. I always include 2,4-D when I spray Round-up type products.

Lisa~Everything in this world is toxic to some extent when not used in the right amounts. As I stated in the reply above, Velpar must be applied by someone who is certified. They must follow the prescribed mixing directions. The product is approved for this use. I can't answer all of your technical questions...sorry. We learn and follow the experience of our neighboring farmers and ranchers who have been growing alfalfa for decades...and it's working for them.

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