Countryside Adventures

A Purring Day at the Funny Farm

Its been a funny week.  Life has dried up though, which is soooo wonderful.  The mud, no matter how much humans and horses alike tried to smile through it, was hard going and pretty testing on all of our tempers.  IMG_3595

So we can ride again!  And we have old and young riders back in the saddle, on ponies and horses that got a just a little too used to the lazy days of winter…  Not mentioning any names – Chippy and Lady!

We are active again after school and gearing up for February when we will be offering sessions on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons for junior riders.  IMG_3607

Adults, its perfect weather during the day up here on the hill – so come up and get some trail riding in. In fact, I thought it was going to snow this afternoon it was so cold!

If you visit us nowadays, you will be treated more and more often to a view of up to 14 horses, ponies and mini horses, all on the hill – hanging out together.  Its a huge deal to be able to happily put that many personalities together without issues and I am very proud of the more ‘stuck in their ways’ horses who have been here long enough to have a right to stamp their feet, in not doing so and letting the ‘Hillbillies’ graze amongst them! Its pretty cool to be able to look up and see almost every colour and size of horse you could imagine, right there in front of you…  We mustn’t forget Jamie the Donkey who was seen charging around his paddock this afternoon giving a convincing impression of a overgrown rabbit!

Of course the later part of our All Creatures Great and Small menagerie, continue to feature in our day.  My latest foster member is a beautiful kitten I have named ‘Chocolate” (for those that know me that’s not a big surprise!) She is a PAW graduate -so spayed and vaccinated and all the colours, of all the chocolates and caramels, you could dream of.   She is ‘Tortola Siamese’ and sports just one and a half eyes, this only adds to her overall charm!  Still timid, but no longer feral, I am hoping now she is over her tummy issues, she will become tame and go to a loving home.  This afternoon she purred at me for the first time! So if you are looking for a special, young cat watch this space…IMG_3582

Advertisements

Christmas Winds

A selection of images to sum up the ever changing weather at Diamond Estate Farm this week…

Christmas at Diamond Farm Estate and Country Centre

lady in red

We are currently taking bookings for JUNIOR FARM DAYS during the coming Christmas holiday.

This is an opportunity for children to spend all day (or a morning if very young) learning, playing and developing skills amongst our Team of horses and ponies.

December 21st / 22nd / 23rd and 29th / 30th

9.00am – 3.00pm each day.      $55.00 per person per day.

The Kid

20151121_124130

“Pick me, Pick me.”

20151121_124133

“No seriously, Pick me I am really fast..!”

20151121_124129

“Come on guys, this is not funny, I wanna PLAY NOW!”

Wetlands are where I came from… But I left!

Oh wow, I was just checking my facts (that I was already sure of) on Wikipedia and I learnt something new – the word ‘sniper’ comes from the bird!  That is so apt.

So maybe I should go back several steps…

As you can see from the title of this piece we are now designated as, and I quote: “wet marshy settings including bogs and swamps, wet meadows, along rivers and ponds”.  Because no longer is our Snipe; a small wading bird that I used to see frequently on marshes and broads where I was brought up (and left!) on the east coast of England, a very rare, once a year, if we are very  lucky, visitor at Diamond Estate Farm – it’s moved in!jacksnipe_tcm9-18297

So we’ve not got a Hippopotamus yet, but we have wetland wading birds!  Seriously, the Snipe is so shy I see him at least twice a day but no way can I get a pic, he is however, loving the muck heap (which is getting higher fast by the way gardeners).

Our Snipe has it made, ‘wetlands’ due to sooooo much mud EVERYWHERE and a muck heap brimming over with bugs, worms, beetles and other tasty creepy crawlies.

Here’s some other pics from this week’s muddy activities…IMG_3276IMG_3281IMG_3272

This Months Happenings on the Funny Farm Or, “Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud”

Nothing quite like it for making life really hard on a farm based on the side of a steep hill.  But anyway, funnies and ironies from the past couple of weeks…

‘Penguin’ seen here learning about farms, was dumped on our doorstep last weekend just before a major thunderstorm.  We are hoping she will go to her new home at the weekend, as keeping a very small puppy from under many large hooves is not easy!

Penguin    If you look carefully you will see 5 tortoises and yes, a cat.  Spencer just can’t resist joining in breakfast with the Pets Corner Family…
cat and tortoises

IMG_3181

“My lips are verrrrry long I can reach leave it to me…”

 Shuffle and Joey trying to break into the bin full of hay at the top of the hill.

IMG_3183

“No let me try, I can twist my neck just far enough to get some…”

tortoise legs

“If I can ….just tip forward a bit more….. and swing my legs a bit longer…. I may make it over the edge….”

My favourite – a young Tortoise on a ‘seesaw’ trying her best to get into the dish!IMG_3172

An excellent ‘Follow my Leader’

WHITE HORSES, HALLOWEEN AND HEAVENS ABOVE

On Friday I realized that I began my ‘Funny Farm’ feeding routine with the stars still bright in the sky and then replicated the performance that evening with a glittering solar system scattered above me.

This is due to three things:

Firstly to fit my day into the 24 hours provided by my clock, I had to begin at 5.00am.

Secondly it was a busy, daylight filled Friday and so by the time evening hunger was making the Funny Farm family even more pleased to see me, it was dark once again.

Thirdly I looked up!  The much wished for rain has been dumping thousands of gallons at a time on us over the past week, which has meant cloudy skies hiding those stars; Friday was a welcome break in the overcast heavens. 518dd192d1a8fa2d31f652f97cd6c753

Since then Halloween has come and gone, but thunderstorms are still persisting.  Fortunately horses (or at least our horses), are not fazed by the thunder, or the stark, horror movie scene that lightning creates on the hill for a fraction of a second at a time.  I looked for ghosts in the barn, on the hill, I felt there should be some – both human and indeed equine, but was treated to nothing more than ‘Spook’ our neighborhood owl, as I made him jump (well take off) when the dogs and I went out for our last pee.  That sounds like I had a pee in the bush too… I didn’t.  So anyway, at least I saw an owl on Halloween.

Mud is an unusual issue in the Caribbean you would think.  I guess for some visitors who get the rare opportunity to dust off their Wellie boots, it makes it feel like a ‘real’ farm.  For me, the horses and ponies it makes it messy, treacherous and disappointing.  We have lots of water for a change, so it’s tempting to spend hours bathing the team.  We do this, but it’s a very unsatisfying task.  Have you seen a 1500lb, light grey horse, roll completely upside down in brown, gooey mud?  Did you know the rolling reflex is brought on by being bathed?  We also have a totally white horse.  What can I say…

Treacherous, because the property develops a skating rink type feel.  Horses are not known for their skiing ability, but ours do seem to feel that they should work on it.  Watching a thoroughbred mare prance down the side of what is in fact a mountain, in the rain is I am sure, close to being witness to a total novice downhill skier hitting the black run on day 2.   I really do close my eyes and cross my fingers a fair bit on days like this.

Disappointing as we are unable to teach in such slippery conditions.  Comparing the sport to sailing is a common habit of mine, but this is tougher when it comes to weather.  When the storm passes – sailors go back on the water.  If we want to horse ride, we have to hope for full-on sunlight for 24 hours to allow us a solid, safe surface.

But we keep the routine going, come rain, stars but mostly real Caribbean sunshine – it matters not whether the team has worked or rested, they need to be cared for -all day -everyday.

At least the ducks are happy, Quack, Quack…