As mentioned previously, Perrie’s dad and stepmother keep two horses on their property. I don’t remember what Rojo’s story is, but Shirle used to ride Gracie for dressage, and later jumping, if I remember correctly. Anyway, most of the property is devoted to the horses and related things, like barns, hay storage and manure piles. The horses’ space is fenced into several separate areas, with grassy pastures, dry paddocks and other grassy pastures.
The horses seem to spend much of their day standing around and munching grass in the small pasture behind the barn. Every day, though, Shirle lets the horses out from that grassy area into the big grassy area in front of the house. They seem particularly excited to go there, especially the long straight run down the side of the property. When they get to the end of the run, they stand around eating grass. To my eyes, it didn’t seem much different than what they had been doing before they were let out, but I’m not a horse, so I might be missing something.
Meanwhile, one of Mel and Shirle’s neighbors farms hay in the fields beside and across the road from Graceview, and sell some of it to them. The farmer happened to be “opening up” the field across the road while we were there, so we went to check it out. As the mower approached us, it pulled to a stop and the driver hopped out to say hi.
Mack (I think that was his name) is a young guy, late 20s I’d say. He and his dog were doing six laps around the outside of the field to let the wind blow through the middle to help dry it out. He was happy to show us the working parts of his John Deere R450 Self-Propelled Windrower. They look simple, but under the hood there’s a lot going on! The tractor was connected to a 994 Rotary Platform which cuts and flails the hay and forms it into neat windrows. It has a dozen or more lawn mower-like blades in there, with the ones on the left side cutting clockwise, and the ones on the right cutting counterclockwise to help move the grass to the middle of the machine. Then the grass passes through a flail system which breaks the stems to help it dry quicker. The stuff you never knew!
Here are the pictures, including one from my cell phone: