Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Celebrating The Birthdays of Duchess and Misty

Duchess and Misty are celebrating important Birthdays this week. Duchess turns 29 June 1st, and Misty turns 27 May 27!
We feel very blessed to be in the lives of these two magnificent creatures.

Misty, Outstanding in her Field, May 25, 2011
Misty has been with Doc for most of her 27 years, working in various occupations. For the last 12 years, she has been a reliable staff member of Doc Hammill Horsemanship, working as an instructor for begining and advanced students. Misty has  taught hundreds of students to drive. She has also co-starred in several of Doc's Instructional Horsemanship DVDs. Misty is still a regular instructor at Doc and Cathy's Montana Workhorse Workshops, and will be working with students again for the 2011 Workshop season.

Misty teaching a student to ground drive

Duchess, Outstanding in her Field, May 25, 2011

  Duchess, a Suffolk Punch Draft horse, started life at Mountain View Farms where she and her sister Delilah were born.  These two became the leaders of the Mountain View hitch of six Suffolks and were shown extensively in Washington and Oregon. Cathy acquired Duchess and Delilah when their earlier owner retired; these two taught her a lot about driving.  Duchess as a single has been Cathy's 'Go-To' horse for many years now; always having been easy to work with and ready for a parade, some field work, log skidding, a county or state fair, plowing the home garden, a buggy ride, or teaching people to drive. Duchess is the kind of herd leader that Mark Rashid talks about..a leader that gained the respect of the rest of the herd through her quiet, strong leadership. Duchess is retired from most physical aspects of ranching.

Duchess plowing in the garden May 2009

Misty and Duchess now both spend time daily teaching Doc and Cathy lessons about horses and life.

Happy Birthday Gals!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Horse Powered Farm Work: Harrowing

May 5, 2011

We are having a very normal Rocky Mountain Spring time this year; We woke three days in a row last week to new snow! Here is a view we walk past on our way to the barn.

This photo shows Ten Lakes Farm, the  organic market garden and CSA, owned and operated by farmers, Todd and Rebecca, on Therriault Creek Ranch. Snow doesn't stop them, they are set to deliver their first CSA baskets to customers the third week in May!
Misty and Duchess, the Equine Grand Dams of Therriault Creek Ranch, are in the center of the photo. From this prestigious vantage point in their pasture they monitor all human, animal, and plant activities undertaken on the ranch. A disproportionate amount of  their time seems to be devoted to gazing dreamily at the carrot patch and hay meadow growth.

What a welcome sight! One thing about N.W. Montana,  only a bit of sunshine is needed to see the pastures 'green up'. Therriault Pass is beyond the meadow and pastures.

Finally! An opportunity Doc has been waiting for....the chance to get out and get some work done! 
What is the first thing he did? Hook Kate to a harrow.

Tomorrow, Doc is working on getting that bigger harrow going....!