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Squeak, Rattle, Crunch, Tear

I have been spending some of the most blissful moments of the farm season during the fall clean up. Ever since I got my new Belgian team, Sally and Sandy, I have been working them a lot. My previous team was a bear to work with and, consequently, they didn’t get worked because it wasn’t any fun. But my new team—aaaaaah!—has been for the most part a dream.
However, the other week I was away for a few days and put them out on pasture so that my kiddos didn’t have to worry about them. I came home, caught them, harnessed them, and set out for the field. Fortunately, my good friend Ken, from Horse Drawn Produce on Lopez, was visiting and we worked them together. Those two fillies were a handful that morning. When it comes to horses, I am a greenhorn, but Ken is a real teamster. I had bought the girls from Ken and he quietly reprimanded me and said, “No more green grass for them.” Our pastures are very rich and so after feeding off them for a week the Belgians were affected like a toddler on soda pop—they were all wound up. It took a couple of hours driving them around the farm to burn off that excess sugar!
I have always pastured my horses and so this experience got me thinking that maybe my previous team was just high strung because their feed was too rich??? I will never really know. However, I did notice today that when I harnessed up Katy, the remaining horse from my first team, for the most part she was amenable working with me. And she has been off pasture for a couple days and eating our local hay. (We have local hay available if you would like some.)
Yesterday and this morning, I harnessed up Sally and Sandy and we backed up and headed out to the field. It was like I was “Driving Miss Daisy.” We leisurely wandered out to the field got the disc and went to work. Squeak, Rattle, Crunch, Tear… all these sounds as the disc cut through the corn stocks. I have never heard a disc as it did its job. When we are on the tractors it is too noisy to hear yourself think let alone a disc cutting and tearing. But even before, when I was using my previous team, I had to concentrate so much on those horses as they raced through the field that I couldn’t enjoy the moment.
But today, Squeak, Rattle, Crunch, Tear… were the sounds of music. I love that sound and nothing could be finer than working with my team, the mountains in the background and the sun shining overhead! Working steady horses on a beautiful day, an old English poet from Suffolk once said, “is a poor excuse for work.” And this farmer said, “Amen.”