Friday, January 11, 2008

Callisto Jumps Again!

This morning, Callisto and a few of the other horses in the mare pasture were visiting over the fence with the baby horses in the back pasture. The babies were feeling frisky and running all around.

A few minutes later, I looked out the window and saw that Callisto was now in the back pasture, happily playing with the babies!

I put on my coat and went out, thinking that maybe somehow the gate between the two pastures had come open. But no, the gate was fine. Other than the fact that Callisto jumped it!

I could tell by the hoofprints in the mud exactly where she went over. No problem! The 4 1/2 foot tall gate is not bent or damaged, Callisto's legs aren't scraped anywhere. She went over it clean, just for the fun of it.

I think I have a jumping prospect on my hands!

She's so cute about it, too. I went out there and said, "Callisto! What did you do?"

And she just looked at me like, "This is OK, isn't it mom?"

So, what the heck, she's not doing any harm, and the babies all love her, so I'll let her stay there at least until evening feeding time.

There's a new development in the trading-horses-for-sheep deal too. The other sheep breeder has tentatively offered to trade me 8 of his bred ewes plus two rams, one of which is a champion, for...

Char and Scylla!

It's a fair offer, value wise, especially since he would also give me $1,500 per foal when their foals sell (or else I could take the foals back for free). But, oh, what a hard decision, to have to give up Char, even to a nice home like this one would be.

The sheep he offered are worth a total of about $6,000. Plus each of the bred ewes should have lambs (probably 2 each) in the spring. If they all lived and I sold them all at an average price ($500 a piece), the whole sheep deal would be worth in the vicinity of $13,000, plus the $3,000 for the foals. $16,000 just for trading my two bred mares is VERY fair indeed!

Of course the reality won't be quite that perfect. Usually a few lambs die, or a few ewes might have singles instead of twins. And not every lamb grows up to sell for high breeding-stock prices.

Still, Icelandic sheep are far easier to sell than horses, plus they don't eat as much expensive hay in the meantime. And, if for some reason one doesn't sell and you don't want to keep it anymore, you can always eat it! So it's a much lower risk investment, too.

But I LOVE my Char-char, and would be so sad to see her go!

On the other hand, if I'm being realistic, my goal has always been to gradually thin my horse herd down to 4-6 of my best mares, plus Senter. I'm definitely keeping my two Art Deco fillies, Grace and Glory. It makes sense to keep Callisto, Callista, and Torchsong, for their builds, height, and color.

So if I look at it rationally, I know that I'll have to part with Char and Scylla eventually, so my main choice should be how to get the most value out of them for my farm while still finding them a home where they can be happy and loved.


Farming is a hard career, physically. But emotionally, it is tougher still.


Anonymous said...

Oh Nancy. Such a hard decision. I hope you find some way to come to peace with it.

Anonymous said...

Nancy, my heart dropped when I saw who he wanted to trade for. It is a good deal but I know how much Char means to you. On the plus side: what a corker that Callisto is! My son (who also rides) and I loved the video of her trying to get out of work. I think she will keep you laughing for years to come.

threecollie said...

Your horses are simply magnificent! I stumbled here via a blogger who reads my blog, but I will certainly be back to enjoy more of your lovely photos!

Nancy Chase said...

Thanks for your very kind comments, everybody!