I always have mixed feelings about this time of year. The horses went to Winter pasture early, since we ran out of grass so quickly in their lot, so of course I miss them. I went down to the other side of the property to see them yesterday, with apples and carrots, of course. They ran down the hill upon hearing me call, the two goats doing their insane weaving in and out from horse to horse at a break-neck pace. We had a brief visit, I checked the condition of their feet, rubbed a nose or two and walked back up the hill.
This time they spend on Winter grass is good for them. They must run up and down hills, and they get to see the parts of the property where they will be ridden. My feed costs go way down, (except for the hay I put up) and I am able to work out back without bothering to close gates behind me every time I need to do something. The hard part of this arrangement, though, is that all the time you spent with them in the Spring, Summer, and Fall will mean nothing for a few weeks when they return. You have to start all over again, earning their trust, and their respect, if you want to deal with them safely. This will be Supermousey’s year to take control of the day to day care and feeding. She doesn’t know it yet, but I plan to pile more and more responsibility for what happens here on the farm on her. Nog too, but he hasn’t embraced the large animals yet.