It's June and normally in Northern California we're experiencing mid 80's to well over 100 degree weather. This 'continuation' of winter is unusual at best. Considering I'm an anti-sun type (run around with gloves and hat most of the time), I should be in a more jubulient mood, but I was ready for clip and photo time with the horses, which is now postponed. Now I'm glad it's not 105, but this is so abnormal I'm wondering what the long term effects will be for all of us. I'm imagining farmers are having a fit as this can't be good for their growing season.
I know when I was at the feed store, I was told they were behind on cutting (he said three cuttings?), but this is going to affect hay prices for sure. Alfalfa right now is $15-18 a bale, and I was told the dairies are buying up all they can now, as many farmers put in wheat this year. I love alfalfa and have fed it from day one, but if it climbs up much higher, we will be switching to one of the grass hays.
Fortunately this extended winter has extended the growing season here too, so our hills are still pretty grassy and the horses out on the hills are still well past the pleasingly plump stage! I still have a 20 acre section closed off, that I was going to open up for them in a few weeks. Right now they all could go on a 'trim down' feeding program! That is except for the stallions in with mares. OMG! I can't keep weight on Hollywood or Dance - they look awful. Ringo has started filling out slightly, but those two are thin and won't stop and eat for long.
As breeding season is winding down for me (Twila, Dresden, Remy and Leelee are still in with Dance), I'm wondering about cover rate this year. All the stallions seemed fairly uninterested in the mares, so is the weather and lack of sun causing this? ACK! I did pull a bunch of mares a week or so ago, as it just seemed like a good idea to limit breeding. So, if all are open next year though, I'll be fine with that. I'm excited to see foals from Dance and Hollywood, but I can wait to 2012 too!
Good note, Honeybun, Baroness, Bre, Gemini and Libbe should all be off to their new homes in the next few weeks. I'm always pleased when horses are going somewhere they're truly wanted and will be cared for. I'll miss Libbe the most of that group, and it will be hard to see her leave, but the retirement herd is growing, and I can't retire everyone here. Well maybe if I'd play and win the lotto!
Buyers have been calling this weekend, another yeah and have a few appointments this week. A couple sound like ideal homes, retired/older people that want to have Minis. So, I'm crossing my fingers that will work. I get worried about some calls that just want a Mini, and then proceed to tell you they can't afford much. Well that purchase price is the cheapest part! The long term daily, weekly and monthly expenses will exceed the price of a Mini in a few years. Well maybe not if you're buying uber-Champion, but the average buyer, if you can't afford to purchase, how can you afford to support it?
The EHV-1 scare seems to have tapered off a bit, although I'd still have concerns taking horses to public venues. Western States Horse Expo (the 10th-12th Sacramento Cal Expo) is apparently going on as planned. (see statement here). A friend and I are going by on Saturday, but just to be cautious I'll be viewing horses from a distance and removing all clothing/showering before going near mine!