This may only look like a muddy bare field, but it is the result of hours and hours of hard labour from our two pigs, who dug up all the docks and forgotten spuds from last year and prepared the ground, ready for harrowing and planting. In the background, you can see the half of the field the pigs didn't get to, which will need to be ploughed. The sheep tried their best to reduce the grass and buttercups in the last week, but it's best to turn over the sod with the plough altogether before harrowing and planting.
So what could be better as a warm up before tackling the ploughing than going to the woods for a few days to pull out some firewood? We are working on a job in Glengarriff Woods - still a couple more days work or so, as the site turns out to be more difficult than expected at first. The thinning was done as a part of a chainsaw course, and they must have run out of time at the end of the course, as there are still too many trees standing in places. Plus, the trees were cut off quite high, leaving many tree stumps as obstacles. The timber was cut into quite small length, so we need to bundle it to make each pull worthwhile, which is more time consuming that just hitching up one big log of course. Also, there's ditches...anyway, we are getting there, and we'll come out of it stronger and fitter than ever!
Henry has truly shown again last weekend what a versatile horse he is!
We started off on Thursday with a Therapeutic Driving Session for a visitor. Therapeutic Driving is a therapeutic intervention where horse and cart/carriage are utilised for therapeutic work with people with identified needs. Since 2011, we run sessions from our place in therapeutic driving and therapeutic riding as well as equine assisted learning, and if this caught your interest, find out more on equineassistedinterventions.com!
On Friday we went out for a drive with Winnie and the cart and Henry came along as side horse, trotting alongside Winnie - this way, he gets his daily exercise and I don't need to do two separate trips. (Hopefully, soon our two-horse cart will be made, and then I can drive them on the road as a team!)
On Saturday, we ran our first course this year - 'Introduction to logging with horses', and Henry excelled at helping to teach a group of newcomers how to pull timber out of the woods in a low-impact way.
Sunday was our leisure day out, and we went to the West Cork Trec League - only to come back with a red rosette for our collection! Henry jumped the 'jumps' and walked the 's-bend' and trotted the 'bending poles' and perfected the 'immobility', just to name some of the obstacles he had to master in the Trec obstacle course.
And we didn't even start to work with Henry and the plough, the harrow, the seed drill...he has more talents than you could fit into a weekend!
So, Monday was his well-deserved day off, whilst I had to go off to work, using my other talents...