ChicagoBoyz Horse Update

At our hobby farm we have cattle for beef, chickens for eggs, cats for rodent control, a dog for a warning system (and to kill a coyote/fox if needed) and horses for pleasure. I don’t really do the horse thing but the wife and kids sure do love ’em. It is nice that we have our own grass hay to feed them, making their maintenance cost very low, just need to keep their hooves taken care of and the occasional vet visit.

Below are Cowboy, the miniature horse and Tanner, a Pony of the Americas.

Cowboy came to us virtually free from a farm that had too many. Tanner was totally free. There seem to be a lot of places that are trying to scale down during the difficult economic times. Cowboy is fully grown. He is pretty fluffy now since winter is coming. It is amazing to me how animals just do their thing when the weather comes. Tanner is also fully grown. Cowboy isn’t trained yet, but Tanner participates in cart and sled driving and is ridden in kids classes.

Below is Lady Astor, we just call her Lady.

She is a Shire cross and stands 17 hands. She is a magnificent animal. She is ridden in dressage and hunt classes and also pulls a cart. My wife has won a competition with her driving cart already and we have only had her for a year and a half. It is hard to describe how large this beast it until you are right up on her. Very mild mannered though. That is a qualification to living on our hobby farm – if the animal is “hot” it isn’t for us.

Winter is coming and that means sleigh rides. It helps make the season pass more quickly when you are doing fun things like that.

13 thoughts on “ChicagoBoyz Horse Update”

  1. Nothing more expensive than a “free” horse.

    While growing up I used to fly back east summers to my uncle’s farm in WV. It was a 200 year old family farm, and while my uncle was a contractor, he had many eccentric hobbies such as collecting old golf cars and fire engines. Yes, you read that right.

    For a 12 year old boy to be able to drive a WW2 era jeep anywhere, ride horses, shoot, was paradise.

    Since my cousin was more horse crazy than boy crazy (she has since sworn off both of them) we attended many horse shows.

    She had 100s of ribbons to show for her efforts.

    My uncle was a practical joker extraordinaire.

    One day he informed me that my cousin and I were entered in a horse show.

    I had never been in a horse show as a participant before.

    We were to ride this horse drawn carriage and look stately.

    My uncle gave me a red vest and derby to wear just to look the part.

    Only trouble was this being the summer and hot humid WV I was wearing plaid Bermuda shorts which, with the black derby and red vest, made me look dapper.

    At least that is the story I am sticking to.

    Well we came in second, I like to tell people.

    I don’t tell them there were only 2 entries.

  2. It is a nylon type material that is electrified. WAY cheaper and easier to move than a permanent type of fence and even a dope like me can hook it up. This has come in very handy as we have rearranged things a few times so far, but hopefully we are almost done.

  3. “Nothing more expensive than a “free” horse.” This is true if you are boarding it somewhere, but if you have your own land and feed like we do it isn’t really that bad compared to some other hobbies.

  4. They have run ins (this is a small shelter) to get out of the wet and/or wind. They stay outside all the time. The two larger horses don’t have coats like the mini so they get heavier blankets when it gets colder. What you see in the photo above are their light sheets. It is a fine line though. Horses are made to fluff up when it gets cold, leaving an insulating barrier of hair/fur to keep the cold out. If you blanket too much, you mat down their hair and the barrier goes away and they shiver. We typically only blanket when it is wet or very very cold.

  5. Do not use the word “hobby” on the same page as you use the word farm.

    You need to discuss the “hobby loss rule” (IRC § 183. Activities not engaged in for profit) with your accountant.

  6. Michael – if you are a Tuscon resident perhaps you can clear up a long memory.

    it seems one of Tuscon’s famous residents was Joe Bonanno, longtime Mafia chieftain (retired to Tuscon) or simple businessman, depending on whose story you believed.

    it was said that crime in Joe’s neighborhood was alomst non-existent.

    Bill (incognito)

  7. Growing up, My cousin Tom had a farm on which were three Quarter-horses he had bought for his daughters. They all went to college without the horses, so I would go over and ride them.

    At some point he also acquired a Shetland Pony. This is midlands South Carolina so there was some worry the pony would suffer in deep summer, but she seemed to do okay. Maybe they gave her a haircut. But when winter rolled around she would practically explode in fuzz. That always amazed me, too.

    He also had a two or three wild horses from out West. At the time, IIRC, the Gov’t was trying to thin out the wild pony herds b/c they were too many of them for the lands they ranged to sustain, or something. Rather than kill them they would shoot them with darts from helicopters, knock ’em out, & go collect them. Then you could buy them, cheap; or maybe they just gave them away and made you pay for transportation.

    I loved those horses. Canny beasts. They were pretty squirrelly at first; not hostile but suspicious and stand-offish from people and the other horses.

    Things like apples, carrots, sugarcubes, and the sight of the other horses enjoying them wore them down. They got to be very affectionate, though nobody tried to ride them; my cousin just liked horses & had plenty of pasture to support them.

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