This is Patriot, my Belgian. He is one big boy! He was the first addition to the farm after we moved here.
Strange story this farm has.It was built in 1935 and was a parcel seperated & bought off the original 700 + acre farm that has been in the hands of the same family for the past 190 years!It was a family that came over with William Penn & eventually made their way to this village area.The original barn burnt down but was never used for anything in particular, it appears.Then in the 1970's, the current barn was rebuilt, then added onto.The previous owners had horses & breeding mares & did a beautiful job of adding onto the stalls and lower barn for the horses & pasture.The upper level is a hay barn~~ BEE-UUUU--TEE--FULLLL HAY!! A great place to pack a picnic lunch & read your book- up high on the mountain of haybales! Peaceful, quiet, only the sounds of horses chomping on hay with chickens cooing & making their contented groaning sounds below.
In October 2004 I sat on the porch and wondered 'what was not right here' ? We had not moved in yet, the house was empty & immaculate, the barn was empty- no hay ,the tack room clean as a whistle, no cobwebs,no sounds.THAT was it!! No SOUNDS belonging to a farm. A beautiful but empty barn, with the exception of the 11 barncats that ran wild, caught mice & avoided eye contact and touch. No petting these guys!
Strangely enough,there were not even birds congregating in the trees! The trees are HUGE!! I wondered why? I think now because since the previous owners moved out, there was no longer loose grain scattered in feeding areas.Not a single songbird or chirp!
Patriot & his sweetheart, Sophie ( a grey QH) joined us in November.From then on we have had regular additions as I learned how to manage chickens, turkeys,pigs,ducks,sheep,newborn lambs,goats,incubator chicks,kittens, and grandchildren.
Patriot is still a young drafthorse & I have plans for him.I'm hoping to purchase harnessing for him soon & build a skid so that we can keep this barn free of manure.Drafthorses need a job to do . Belgians are a very proud breed and will go down to their knees to pull a heavy load for you when other draft breeds will call it quits.
He is my most affectionate horse & loves to be groomed. I love the smell of him.We'll probably grow old together!The above picture of him was when he was quite young (6) & trim. He is significantly heavier & 4 yrs older.
Birds have returned to the immense trees on the front lawn by the thousands! They lift off the branches & blacken the sky.Circle around ,touch base, lift off again & circle and eventually snuggle into the great arms of the grandfather tree for the night.They stop talking & chirping all at once. "We're Home !" ~~~~and I am HOME ! I desire no other vacation area, except an occasional fishing date with the ocean.