Well, here we are. It’s 2017.
2016 certainly had its ups and downs for us.
We moved into our new property in February 2016. We’ve started living our dream, and paying the price with a massive mortgage.
To our family, we welcomed standardbred-cross horses Lorde (bay–darker) and Fern (buckskin–paler):
Later in the year, we said goodbye to Fern, as we needed a little cash. She now lives in Invercargill.
We also welcomed Welsh Pony (3/4) cross (1/4 Kaimanawa) Diego:
His perlino colouring and beautiful proportions make him quite the stunner.
Diego and Lorde are just 2, so it will be a few years before they are ridden or pull carts, although we hope to get them doing both in the future.
We welcomed our miniature horse Chino to our family home (he’s only ever lived on rented pasture).
Chino is nine and can give pony rides to small children. He also quite enjoys getting out of the paddock for a trot with a handler.
In April we welcomed puppy, Alexia “Lexi”, to the family:
While she is a puppy full of beans, she is settling into a nice family pet.
Within our first week of living here, a big black rooster moved in. He helped our chickens feel happier, so we welcomed him. Unfortunately, he became aggressive and attacked me a couple of times and had to be put down at the end of the year. He did give us a learning experience, though. We learned that a friendly peacock will attack a rooster that is attacking his owner/feeder. And so John, the peacock that lived here before we bought the place, earned some extra rations.
Sadly, we also had to say goodbye to brown chicken “Blinky”. We are not sure what happened to her, but as our chickens free range, it is possible a predator attacked her.
And also “Limpy” passed on at the end of the year. She was also here before we bought the place and we suspect she was quite old.
We did welcome two Orpington chickens, Anne (black) and Jane (white) to the family in the middle of the year:
Unfortunately, Anne decided to range a bit too far, and we haven’t been able to find her. Luckily Jane has hung around.
Also missing, is our six-year-old Jack Russell Dog, Lucy. She went missing in August and we haven’t been able to find her, dead or alive. We have had a possible sighting near the Otago University in Dunedin itself, but we had no luck locating her. It is likely she is somewhere else in New Zealand, now. She is micro-chipped and registered as missing, so will hopefully return to us one day.
And finally, we welcomed kitten Cozmo:
Who, as you can see, gets on very well with Lexi. Cozmo and her two siblings were born in one of our sheds. We asked Animal Rescue to help us catch them. Cozmo’s siblings have gone on to find new homes, but we decided we could take on one more cat.
And along with all our animal friends, we have made a start on our native tree planting:
We have 8 planted so far, and protected from the horses by boxes made of pallets. Our plan is to plant many, many more, creating a perimeter fence that will force the horses to only have the outer areas of the large paddock, with a few loops for interest, inside of which we will plant a “forest”. In the long run, we can picture lights strung through the trees at Christmas time and ponies pulling carts along the track… could be fun! There may also be birthday parties and weddings.
Right, apologies for boring and any incoherent text, but I’m a mum who doesn’t get time away from her children (they’re in the room, now, talking, of course)… nearly finished.
As well as our own animals and plants, we welcomed and farewelled guests, via the HelpX website, from Germany, France, the UK, Belgium, and the USA. And we helped out the friend of a friend from Hungary. We have enjoyed meeting our guests and appreciated the help they have offered us.
And so, 2016 was a year of good and bad, comings and goings.
We’re hoping that 2017 will be more settled and will be a time where we can really get stuck into turning this place into our dream.
We look forward to sharing it with you in future.