After I Walked Two Miles


First thing this morning, I walked two miles. With a 100 acre farm, it’s not unusual for me to walk around a lot anyway, but that is mostly broken up in the pursuit of various chores. Fitness walking–walking in a concentrated effort for cardiovascular strength–is a different thing. Weston is taking a fitness walking class this summer, along with a calculus class. I decided to use that as my inspiration to get back to fitness walking myself, even though Weston is walking in Morgantown. When he gets back in another five weeks, I want to be able to keep up with him! I decided to start walking out toward the back of my farm, where the road turns to dirt and it’s pretty isolated. It’s a pretty way to walk. The road is enfolded by an arch of trees, thick woods all around, birds singing in the twisty limbs, sun peeking through the leaves. It’s uphill all the way for a mile, then I come to a cemetery, touch the gate, and turn around for the much easier downhill home.

After that, the farrier arrived for a big day. The farrier days here get bigger all the time. Because Jack has trouble with his hooves (always has, before we had him, before the people before us, and perhaps into infinity–we don’t know all of Jack’s history), the farrier comes every 6-8 weeks to do the donkeys. I’ve started also having him help me with the goat hoof trimming, because that’s hard to do alone, so every other time he does the goats, and now every other between time he will be adding the horses. If he ever runs out of things to do, I will have him polish my toenails. (hahaha)

Morgan decided she HAD to go camping with a friend this weekend, so it was all on me to get ready. Getting ready for the farrier means:

1) Shut the main front gates at the driveway. (Security measure.)

2) Get the donkeys out of the upper pasture WITHOUT letting the horses out.

3) Convince the donkeys to go into the front barn yard and on into the alleyway of the barn where I can shut them in to await the farrier.

4) Open the main front gates at the driveway for the farrier.

(There’s a lot of “non-fitness” walking involved, just sayin’.)

When the farrier arrives, he whips together a makeshift halter out of a rope and I hold each donkey as he does the hoof work. Jack goes first, then he’s ejected from the alleyway so he doesn’t try to kill the farrier while the farrier works on his BELOVED POKY. Then I shuttle the donkeys off to the back barn yard while I get the goats. We get the goats in a stall and I tackle and hold each goat as the farrier trims their hooves. I am covered in filthy hoof prints from my ankles to my forehead by the time this is over.

Then I take the goats back to their yard, the farrier leaves, and I repeat steps 1 through 4 again to get the donkeys back to the upper pasture.

Then it’s time for bed. Where did the day go??? Oh, wait, it’s only 1 p.m………….

View from the studio deck:

I think I shall plan nothing but “fitness” walking for tomorrow.


  1. NancyL says:

    I am so “green” with envy of your beautiful, colorful view! Do you miss having the goats right below you, or are they visible from the house itself?

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Nancy, I can watch the goats from both the back porch of the house and the studio deck. They aren’t as close as they were from the porch of the other farm, but I can still watch them and walk out to them easily. I love being able to enjoy the goats all day!

  2. PinkyMac says:

    I think it is wonderful that you have time to fitness walk. At the old Stringtown farm it seemed every minute of your time was taken with just working to exist and handling emergencies. Sassafras Farm is a delight to see. Thank you for sharing.
    Kathy :snuggle:

  3. yvonnem says:

    “It’s a pretty way to walk. The road is enfolded by an arch of trees, thick woods all around, birds singing in the twisty limbs, sun peeking through the leaves.” — And you didn’t take a picture for us? Bummer!

  4. yvonnem says:

    …LOL! OK, I’ll let it slide *this time*!

  5. Granma2girls says:

    First of all, I never realized that goats and donkeys had to have their hooves taken care of and regularly too.Secondly, I thought your farm chores would give you all the exercise you need. There’s a lot of walking around your property, a lot of upper body movement handling animals, garden and farm tools, lifting feed and hay. And alot of squatting if you garden. I paid for fitness classes for years. It sounds like you get a pretty good workout almost every day. I understand the benefits of fitness walking and I could see how it would be a great way to supplement your daily physical labor.

  6. whaledancer says:

    I’m surprised you don’t get a good cardio workout just getting through your daily chores. They sure sound like they’d be a good workout.

  7. holstein woman says:

    I need your stamina, I’m having a hard time keeping up with my disabled husband and fencing the new 56 acres. Don’t let me get you down.
    I’m really jealous of the beauty of your hills, but I am so glad we are moving away from the hills we have. Our hills are muddy.

  8. Darlene in North GA says:

    “I think I shall plan nothing but “fitness” walking for tomorrow.”

    Is that going to be like “I’m just going to sit here and rest”? Then all xxxx breaks loose and there’s Suzanne trying to wrestle an animal(s) back to the house. Hope not!!! :bugeyed:

  9. Diane says:

    Good for you on the fitness walking. I agree with the other ladies you are probably in great shape just from the farm work you do daily. I do think its great you are doing the extra so that you can walk with your son when he comes back home.

    I saw your pretty truck sitting there in the picture. Are you having a better time driving it now? My husband is fixing up a old truck we have and we just got another one. I can drive a stick but its been awhile and he is fixing up the one truck for me to drive while I get things fixed on my car. I was just telling him what I want fixed in addition to what needs fixed so that I can drive it with out fear of drifting back into someone one a hill!

  10. SanAntonioSue says:

    Good for you, Suzanne!! My doc and my husband are firm believers in the benefits of walking and, after some convincing, I am too. Physical health/ability aside, it is a wonderful stress and anxiety reducer. I, too, do a lot of random walking just getting chores done but have found that the “pleasure walking” I do at least 4 days a week, maybe because it’s “just for me”, helps me “see” things clearer, calms me and I sleep better. Its cheap, easy(most days), doesn’t require fancy equipment, and can be done whenever I want/have time. Keep up the good work! I promise you won’t regret it!

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