horseplay after the rain!

 

Warm sunny day after some great rain 🌧 we love observing our herds dynamics and take them as example as to how to be a trustworthy friend to them 🐴leadership is not achieved by dominance- it’s achieved by calm, confident and fair treatment. We need to prove our horses that we truly respect them and then they will be willing to play with us.

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Ibalansi Horse Transport

Two Friesians transported in two days 🐴 
We treat your horses as if they’re our own. We supply fully packed lucerne nets, tail guards and boots, as well as our super comfy traveling halters with sheepskin all round. Horses are tied with specific panic hooks and our german imported Boeckmann box offers many safety features, such as releasing the chest or butt bar from the outside if a horse gets caught and panicked.

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Welcome Libby & Rocket

Libby, our clients percheron/shire cross mare having her first session. She’s very young and quite “in your bubble”, as well as a bit spooky and not looking where she’s going due to lack of focus- so that’s the first thing we’re working on 

Rocket or 'Rocky' as we call him is also here for backing and schooling. He is a young Freisian and has a very friendly/relaxed nature. He is a local from Stillbay and needs a lot of TLC. We support all our clients horses with full livery for their horses and social interaction with our herd outside (interaction with a electrified camp between them for safety of course*). They are groomed twice a day, fed twice a day, temperature checks, night checks, farrier service (if required and granted), dental and full veterinary service available (their is a equine hospital in Riversdale should any horse require medical attention or hospitalization). Quality feed is given to all the horses or clients can supply us with their horses dietary requirements. Ibalansi's 'classroom' is a big custom made 60x40m sand arena where we train, communicate and school your horse/s and our own on a daily basis. We want to give all our guest horses a full 5 star treatment when they visit our farm. Our mission is simply to ensure your horse is comfortable and enjoys his/her schooling and stay at Ibalansi.

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June Latest news

 

DID YOU KNOW...

If you are too far from us for personal sessions- don’t worry! Remember we offer a very special long distance counseling program!
Horses are too Individual with their own personality, background, traumas and physical abilities. Therefore we don’t believe in a set “one fits all-“ method. We tailor make a training plan and send you weekly videos, instructions and explanations.
Whatsapp us for details: 0730700083

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the story of Lara's Penguin

On Ibalansi Farm, we have a love for all animals. Lara and i are die-hard animal lovers as we are both nature guides and love all things wild and domesticated. When we got the farm we decided to definitely share our home with almost any kind of animal that we could think of (within limits of course).

We try to keep our farm organic and so we are pretty much off the grid and natural. In organic we do have a a veg garden and we try to grow as many of our own produce as possible and we really enjoy eating what we can grow from our own vegetable patch. We also decided to get poultry. I had told Lara that one day, when the supermarkets get too expensive or theres not enough food, we will have to grow our own so to have chickens is a great investment. Lara loved her new little birds out on the farm! Every one of them now has a name and are forbidden to be consumed. We can consume the eggs though which they produce in the masses! Nothing like fresh free range farm eggs for breakfast! We had been getting so many eggs that we started to barter with our neighbors with them just like the good old days! Then one day, our hens decided that we would not get anymore eggs...I woke up the morning as a i always do with my cattle dog Brumby to get the day started, we opened up their A-frame chicken coop and one our rooster Romeo would come out for his daily feed while the hens stayed inside. I thought not to disturb them as they are laying eggs for us to collect later once they leave the nest box. A few hours later i went to check if there were any eggs for us to collect and to my surprise the hens were still in the nest boxes! What is going on? Have the hens gone on an egg strike? Being first time chicken owners, we googled of course and soon we discovered that the hens weren't on a strike but getting ready to extend the family!

Lara and i waited in anticipation, day by day, to see when the news chicks were going to hatch. After about the googled recommended hatching dates of three weeks, i went to investigate. I put on my garden gloves as the hens were getting quite pecky when you get too close and i slowly lifted each hen up to see what she was hiding. Low and behold as a i lifted the little bird up i found a few little fluffy feathered fingerling chicks! I slowly lowered the hen down dubbed 'blacky one' (we have two austrolorp black hens Lara calls Blacky one and Blacky two) and ran with excitement to the house to get Lara.

I grabbed Lara and ran back to the coop and showed her what all the fuss was about. As i lifted the hen again, Lara couldn't believe her eyes! We were soon giving the hen praises and danced around in excitement! Our first batch of chicks were born! Soon mama blacky was leading her chicks out the coop and into the big wide world.

After she had left i noticed she had left a few eggs behind. Sadly not all the eggs were hatched successfully. I guess thats just natures way. However, one particular egg was cracked and slightly open. Upon closer inspection of the egg, i noticed something...it was still alive!

I slowly carried the egg to lara and showed her what was happening! 'Lara this chick is still in there and is trying to get out! we must do something!' Lara grabbed a box and towel and we lowered the egg into our home made nest box. I had then grabbed the tweezers from the bathroom and slowly started to dissect and remove the egg shell and casing carefully. The next thing, a little beak popped through the opening and took its first breath. like the classic movie Frankenstein i shouted-'its alive!!!' Lara was over the moon! We slowly pushed the little wet, sad looking chick out of its egg and onto the towel. I then left Lara to clean and gently care for the little new born bird while i went off to town to find those heating lamps they use for breeding little chicks. Upon my return with the lamp, i quickly wired it up and put it on and Lara had successfully cleaned the little chick up and wrapped it in a warm cloth. The little chick started chirping as it warmed up next to the lamp. A few days later, the little chick opened its eyes and saw us for the first time. We both in this moment became the new chicken parents. The little chick became more feathered and fluffy by the day and its colouration started to come through. It had this coloration of that of an african penguin. Thats when Lara turned to me and said-'we shall call this little chick Penguin or Pengu for short'. And so Penguin came into the picture.

Penguin was also joined by another chick called 'Mouse'. She was named that after being brown and small like a mouse. She was a lucky survivor of a mongoose attack in our coop. a little mongoose became a problem and ate the eggs and two chicks whom our hen 'Red' was trying to raise. We were too late to save them and we were quite sad. But, our little survivor Mouse was there to keep the penguin company. As they grew up together they got more and more use to us feeding them and their chirping got louder and louder like little infants wanting food all the time! It was almost like full time parenting and we don't even have kids yet!

Since we didn't know the sexes of our two little chicks we had to wait a while till they finally matured to see what would become of them. We soon discovered that our little mouse was a girl and our Penguin, was a boy! Oh was lara overjoyed! She had bred a little rooster! We then assumed later on that perhaps his mama was trying to remove that egg. Maybe she knew it was going to be a rooster and was trying to eliminate competition for Romeo. Who knows....

Soon, Mouse was reunited with the chicken pecking order of the flock with the two other chicks Snowflake and Chestnut and the rest, While Penguin was happily living in his nest box with us in the bedroom. The little rooster became extremely bonded to Lara. So much so, Penguin thought he was one of the dogs and would follow Lara everywhere she went. Ares our boxer and Brumby our cattle dog, were not impressed! It was time we built Penguin a home of his own. For Laras birthday, while she was visiting family in Germany, i secretly built a beautiful aviary. When she got home i blindfolded her and led her into the boma. As she opened her eyes she found her little aviary with a big red ribbon around it. She was ecstatic! The aviary also came with a little dog house i built for Penguin and he soon took occupancy of his new home alongside his two flying budgie friends.

Today, Penguin has grown into a beautiful black and red crested rooster and still enjoys a cuddle and company from us and visitors from time to time. He had overcome immense obstacles to be here with us today. With the love and care from us we are happy to have him crying his morning call for us to awake as the sun rises on our farm. I guess its safe to say that birds of a feather really do flock together!

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the Kruisrivier wild fire

'The fire has come into the valley' said my neighbor. This was the news i was dreading to hear as i knew that once it was over the valley that the fire was en-route to our farm.

the fires over the last few weeks were too far away to be considered a threat. We saw a helicopter and airplane fly overhead almost daily towards the plantations along the mountain side. I would drive up to our sundowner deck with binoculars to see what was going on. From a distance i could see the working on fire teams and trucks fighting the blazes in the pine forests. If only i knew that those exact fires would pose a threat to my own farm.

The winds had been particularly strong that day and for the days during the event of the fire. Within a few days the smoke was drawing closer and closer until the evening where the community sent out a distress that the fire was over the river and into the kruisrivier valley. i loaded up my home built fire fighter onto the bakkie and headed off down to my neighbours farms down in the valley. There i was met with with a team of neighbors and their laborers busy filling up their tanks on tractors, bakkies, trucks etc. preparing to fight the oncoming fire. The local fire truck was also on stand by at the very end of the valley where my neighbors had their thatch roofed house. They we particularly concerned as a thatch roof can catch alight in a matter of seconds. We prayed and we held thumbs that the fires wouldn't reach their home and it was a miracle that it didn't.

That evening was just the tip of the iceberg. The fire spread quickly with the wind and travelled into my neighbors plantations of wattle and pine and were totally obliterated by the fire. The working on fire teams worked day by day trying to contain the fire but the winds kept making it move faster and grow with the dry material and fynbos which could catch fire faster than a match striking a matchbox.

Then the fire spread through the night, jumped the road and boundary and entered our beloved farm on the wilderness side. I thought we could still beat this fire as the next morning the teams of fire fighters, firemen and aircraft raced onto our farm and headed up our mountains and used our sundowner deck as the perfect platform to direct the helicopter where to throw down his buckets of water. The fire manager was assure that today we beat this fire...but never underestimate mother nature. The helicopter and teams fought hard and ended to flames. We were sure this was it, its over. it was going to die down in our valley. however, mother nature gave us a shock of note, the winds picked up again from the wrong direction and any smoldering coals simply caught the dry vegetation alight and continued on its path of destruction. it even managed to spark a fire over the bottom of the valley where the vegetation was at its most dense and here it was green, dense, wet and moist. I was so sure this would make the perfect natural barrier to stop it coming up the hill towards the sundowner deck and down to the stables. How wrong was i to assume this. Next moment the helicopter had run out of time and fuel and left, the fire teams were on the other side of the valley and the fire restarted heading towards our farm! we jumped on the bakkie and began to fight the fire with the water sprayers and beaters but the fires were too hot and too fast for us. we had to evacuate from the mountain.

The fire truck was called in next to the stables. their mission was to save all infrastructure and buildings and to ensure the flames don't get to them. unfortunately, the worst thing imaginable happened. the fire reached the small hill where the deck was and within seconds, the deck was totally and utterly destroyed. I cried really hard that night. All that hard work i put into that deck. Financially it was a loss and emotionally. I constructed the deck entirely by myself, a solo build. We celebrated literally days before the fire on our deck inviting neighbors and guests having sundowners and snacks with the beautiful views of the mountains and wilderness. And the fire took it all away.

The fire that night once it had gone through my deck, continued its way up the next mountain above the stables and house and we were petrified that the fire was surely going to engulf our home. we were terrified. Thank goodness the fire teams were there to make sure this didn't happen and that mother nature was kind to us as the fire steered up and away from the house and stables continuing through the dry vegetation and fynbos. The next in line for destruction was our pine plantation and the tower on top of the hill. A few day earlier i visited the tower to see the damage and I'm pretty sure the telecoms company won't be too happy to see the state of their town which we gave permission to setup on our farm for our neighbors to have internet and cellphone reception. The tower is history.

that afternoon as it remained in the mountain, the fire teams fought hard to battle the blaze as it was again heading down the valley towards more homes. Then, as if God himself was watching the whole event unfold, turned on the taps and delivered us a drenching rain shower! the fire teams ululated and sang and joys of victory were shouted! the fire was finally out! The fire teams packed up and went home and the next morning in the wet, we were left with the dust and the ashes of the runaway bush fire. Our farm is a real survivor and so are we. We had just survived a cape storm, drought and now a bush fire. Whoever said being a farmer is easy, this life and work as a farmer is not for the faint hearted!

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