Happy Easter!

Isn’t this quite the, WTF year.

Today Mr. Sheppard asked me what I was doing, I was like looking at a knuckle boom truck. You would think he would be happy I was looking at cranes to buy, but not T-Bone. You see, I need a couple yards of topsoil, when I lived in Southwestern Ontario, we could get them delivered by the bag, big cubic yard bags – apparently, nobody here does that. (I have since found out, there is a guy) So my idea was, we buy the bags, where we buy our peat moss, we are wholesale customers, we buy a boom truck, the knuckle boom is best because it can get under hydro lines, so it’s safer. (I am always thinking about safety) We buy and deliver landscape supplies – in bags. Everyone we know has a farm, so storage isn’t an issue and on the weekends when Mr Sheppard isn’t working, he delivers the bags. Of course Mr. Happy has to tell me, it’s a great idea, except you can’t do it right now, it’s not an essential service. Well, blow me down… I had the numbers calculated right down to the amount the machine needed to earn hourly. Tear up that cheque. Someday I will use my powers for good.

So that happens multiple times a day, anything and everything to keep busy. Still we are healthy and relatively happy. 🙂

How are the minis, well they are great. I don’t get to spend much time with them, Equine Ontario has recommended all training stables to shut and only people directly responsible for the care of their animals are allowed in. We have our own insurance, including a liability clause on the barn and we do all the work with the minis in terms of their day to day care, we buy our own feed, hay and bedding, we muck our own stalls, so we can still visit them, long enough to take care of them.

I did sit with Red the other day, in their pasture, just sat and hugged her and talked to her, she is such a wise little soul.

I go between thinking about the future of the company and not thinking about it at all. I like the quote, nothing will go back to normal, because normal didn’t work before, if we go back to normal, then we learned nothing. What does our future look like, what does the future of long term care look like, will we be included in their future? I can only control, what I can control. We’re going to work with the U of G, tweak that Bio-Security policy, we are going to have to look into a portable grooming system, so that we can bathe between visits. There goes my wash stall at the house. I am going to have to change clothes and boots after every visit. The biggest thing for me, this virus is zoonotic in origin, I do not want the horses exposed, if it is transferable. We have an equine corona virus (can not transfer to humans), I want to talk to experts about the probability of transference, I want to know, because Ivermectin kills the virus, under a microscope, can it prevent it in my horses. The last thing I want, is my animals suffering from some mutated pathogen, because their antibodies only work on a part of a virus.

I am working on a workbook to accompany our visits. It will be available on Amazon, so the option of video visits can happen, or it can accompany our actual visit. *If* we can go back to in person visits, we are working up a more educational program to educate urban kids and families about their rural counterparts as a second program. Maybe include more animals, it’s tough, to include more, we have to exclude the animals we use, from the food chain.

**This is important, all animals, interacting with the public, must have rabies vaccinations. That is why, at fairs and events, you will see, Do Not touch the Animals, signs on the livestock exhibits – they are not immunized, they are part of the food chain. My horses have a full work up of vaccinations annually. We are also open with our parasite protocol. As one dear lady reminds me every time I see her at Hillsdale Estates, horses can get lice. For now, as we treat with Ivermectin, mine shouldn’t, but as we parents know, there is always the fear of super lice, which do not respond well to anything. Off my soap box now – just I see things and hear things and believe me, I love good competition from other providers, I think we can create something really special working together – but the public needs to know, we do have to maintain standards and they should know what they are. An educated public is an educated consumer, an educated consumer, becomes a valuable stakeholder in agriculture and agricultural processes. At the end of the day, my drum has always banged for better and more effective communication between consumers and producers, finding creative, passive ways to educate and inform, completing the feedback loop with recommendations that are non critical and effective.

So Happy Easter! I am going to do something special for the minis tomorrow. Watch our social media. I will leave you with one of my favourite Easter traditions, we do this at church, it’s called the flowering of the cross. Reverend Denise – probably the best minister I have ever known, has this wonderful tradition, it strips all the sadness of the cross away and we celebrate it, not as an object of death, but as a catalyst for something so much more. Every member brings flowers of their choosing and we place them on the cross. I kinda thought we should put it up outside and our members could still flower it, but with the regulations about gathering, we didn’t want it to seem like we were encouraging people to gather, or fail to social isolate. So here is a picture, this was from the year Mr. Shep, Jessie and I became members at our church!

Blessings to you and yours.

Published by shbhs

Equine wellness services located in the beautiful Kawartha Lakes and North Durham Region.

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