Today was another epically long day, though knowing we might be in for a 12 hour (well if you count babysitting we are at 14 hours and counting) day made it easier to get through.
We woke up at 7 and did cow chores as normal, actually finishing about 45 minutes earlier than normal, and came in for breakfast at about 8:15. Instead of going straight out to do training rides like we'd done yesterday, this time we saddled up three of the very obliging ponies and tolted off down the road two farms down, where a preschool visit was happening. They call it kindergarten here, but I think it's closer to what we consider preschool. We took about 40 kids for little pony rides up and down a field, it was pretty fun and cute. All of the kids have adorable little headscarves that they wear, which we're thinking we might need to hunt down for ourselves--they seem like the ultimate multi-purpose tool.
After we walked them around, we got coffee, which was amazing thanks to the situation, and these funny, crispy cousins of donuts, which are pretty good.
We tolted back home and got our next ponies and headed back out for a regular training tolt. I was on Loki this time, who is so far my favourite, very sweet and lovely gaits.
After our second ride we played musical ponies so that the stud could go out (all of the mares need to come in), swept out the main loading bay of the barn, and then headed up for lunch which was an intriguing chocolate pudding in liquid form type of object, along with toast and hard-boiled eggs and cheese. There is no shortage of cheese and bread and milk around here!
Then it was back out to the barn for what T termed the 'shitty job.' Now there's an intro. Basically we put two by eight boards into the slats of the grates behind the cows, where the poo gets caught, and with the help of a running hose, mushed the whole thing around into a slurry, and slopped it off the edge half way down the length of the barn into the deeper holding tank. It was roughly as pleasant as it sounds.
I was lucky and got rescued half way through to go help put in fence posts for a field which I think will hold some kind of crop eventually. It was cool though as I held the fence posts and then T lowered the bucked of the tractor on top of them to push them into the field. Pain-free fence post pounding.
We finished up the fencing around 4 and rescued C from her slurry pushing to go up for a snack of bread and cheese and then back to the barn around 4:30 for cow chores, which included a side of musical ponies. T came to get Cecilia and asked her to hold a sheep while she stuck her hand up it and pulled out a half-dead lamb. After a LOT of swinging and hitting and rubbing and mouth-to-mouthing (!), T got it to be semi-breathing and sort of slightly happier looking. She spent about 20 minutes trying to rub some life into it, and then we left it in a new mommy stall with its mom, and we'll hope for the best in the morning.
Back to the house just after 8, T left immediately and in a bit of a panic because the two older kids were having a school concert that started at 8 and she wanted to get to part of it, therefore leaving us to babysit. The two younger ones were watching Eurovision semi-finals (Iceland got through!) and we took a break just before finding out the winners to feed them a quick dinner (our leftover lunch). Once it finished there was a bit of an argument to get the six year old to bed (it's REALLY hard to negotiate when neither of you speaks a word of the other's language!) but we tag teamed and things went down decently well. The 4 and 6 year olds share a queen sized bed and getting them to stay quiet is absolutely ridiculous.
Finally at about 9:45, T, who was at that point down at the barn helping another sheep lamb, came up to the house and sprung us, which is lovely, as I need to be up at 5 for work, and then 7 for chores...