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Kim Lemmon

Kim Lemmon has been a member of the Ohio's Country Journal staff since 1999. She is currently the manager editor.

Kim graduated from The Ohio State University with a major in Agricultural Communications and a minor in Equine Science. Kim and her husband, Mark, reside in Marion County.

The Lemmons currently own miniature horses. They also breed and raise a few pygmy goats each year.

Kim has owned horses since she was a child and has been involved in many aspects of the horse industry since that time. From 2002 until 2010, Kim operated her own riding lesson program that included coaching 4-H members, adults and a college equestrian program. She is also a former 4-H horse judge.




Merry Christmas from the critters!

Some folks like to make sure their critters don’t miss out on participating in sharing the Christmas spirit with others. One of the ways that people try to make their pets and livestock feel included in spreading Christmas joy is by dressing them up in Christmas attire and snapping a few photos to share with friends and family.

My Facebook friends were kind enough to share photos of their critters dressed up for Christmas with us. Be sure and view the photo gallery below. It will be sure to put you in the Christmas spirit.

If you have photos of your own critters all decked out for Christmas, be sure and share them with us.

Merry Christmas!

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Update on Coy Wolf sightings in Ohio

Apparently my friends weren’t the only Ohioans to have large wild canines running around on their property. Not only was my blog about a Coy Wolf sighting widely read, but we also received some interesting new information and photographs from readers.

Unfortunately, Tyler McMillen also has large wild canines causing problems on his family’s farm near Granville and on the hunting preserves and cattle farms where he works in Morrow, Delaware and Knox counties. The cattle farm in Morrow County had coyotes attack and kill livestock this fall.

“They killed a two-day-old calf on Oct. 24,” he said. “Damages that have been done are luckily just the one calf, but we calve year around! I’m getting worried of what might happen in the cold weather when the ‘yotes get hungry.”

It is not surprising that livestock has been killed when you look at his photos from his trail cameras and you see the number and size of the coyotes working together.… Continue reading

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Which cat are you ACTUALLY seeing in the woods in Ohio?

Reports of unusual sightings of big cats are not uncommon throughout the United States and Ohio. From celebrities like Uncle Si of Ducky Dynasty professing to have seen a large panther-like black cat to friends and neighbors quietly professing to have seen such a cat or its tracks in Ohio, it is certain that the Buckeye State is not excluded sightings of large cats in the wild.

I recently checked in with a Wildlife Communication Specialist with the Ohio Division of Wildlife and I asked her what ODNR’s thoughts were on mountain lions residing in Ohio.

Here’s ODNR’s official statement on cats in Ohio as of late-November 2014.

“Last summer, an off-duty wildlife officer spotted what he believes to be a mountain lion in Jefferson County. Nothing ever came of it after his reported sighting. No photos snapped by local residents of the county pre- or post-sighting by the officer, no trail camera photos, no scat, no hair/fur, no tracks, etc.Continue reading

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Black and white barn surprise

When I spotted several black and white critters dashing through my barn, my first reaction was to hold my nose and run away as fast as I could. I’m no stranger to herds of skunks overtaking my barn (Read: What’s that smell? A white striped tale of critters in the barn).

Since the incident several years ago, I haven’t seen skunks in my barn, but this year I have suspected they were back. I’ve seen signs that skunks have been digging in my yard, and I have a mystery hole under the hay in my barn.

When I spotted black and white critters running for cover in my barn I wasn’t surprised I had skunks in my barn, but I was still horrified. They seemed to show themselves after I had put the cat food out, but was still working in the barn. They were bold! Ugh!

I finally managed to rally the nerve to peak around the corner to see how many skunks were in my barn, and I discovered that the black and white critters weren’t skunks, they were three cute little black and white kittens.… Continue reading

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Accidental draft horse squeeze chute

Things of a colorful nature tend to happen when I’m working in my barn or with my animals. I’ve become accustomed to the fact that I’m going to have some complications regularly either as a result of my clumsiness or my goofy livestock. If I’m not falling down or hurting myself, then either the goats, horses, or cats are trying to amuse themselves at my expense.

Usually when the livestock misbehaves, no major damage is done to them or the barn, and after a few moments of mischief on their part and scolding on mine, things return normal. That is, unless the draft mare, Julie, becomes involved with their games.

I tend to think that Julie really likes her miniature horse friends and that she believes she is the same size as them and that she should be able to join in all the games they like to play. Unfortunately, her enormous size puts often snags in her plans for mischief that create larger problems than when her miniature buddies play the same games.… Continue reading

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Coy Wolf spotted in Ohioans’ backyard

The Coy Wolf is not a myth or a legend; it is an actual living creature that is a hybrid of the coyote and the wolf. Believe it or not, these creatures exist right here in Ohio.

No, my imagination has gotten away from me, and I didn’t bump my head. Sightings of abnormally large wild canines that are neither dog, wolf nor coyote are being spotted in Ohio.

Coyotes average around 30 pounds, but a friend of mine recently photographed a 60-pound canine on his trail camera on the five acres of property that lie behind his house. Not only did the creature not look like a traditional coyote — it had “a squarer jaw and snout” according to him — but at 60 pounds, it doubled the size of a traditional coyote.

After much debate and a review of evidence, my friend and the wildlife professionals he contacted, believe the monster he photographed is a Coy Wolf.… Continue reading

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Visit to Cabela’s Ohio store provides an eyeful

Despite the fact that Cabela’s Ohio location has been open for more than a year, I had not yet had the opportunity to visit their new location. I drive past the exit that leads to their store regularly, but when the store first opened it was so crowded I couldn’t bring myself to stop in and look around.

Time passed and life moved on and I became used to seeing their store on my way to work, and I forgot my original wish to visit Cabela’s Ohio location as time passed.

This fall my husband needed to stop in to the store to pick up an item he had ordered online from Cabela’s. I decided to tag along so I could finally see the inside of a Cabela’s store.

I only had about five to ten minutes for my visit because we were in a hurry so while Mark picked up his item at the customer service center, I started walking around the store.… Continue reading

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NASCAR on the verge of becoming WWF

I only watch NASCAR about half the time. I like to watch the start of the races and then take a nap and watch the finish of the races. I had even begun to skip watching the races all together this past summer, because I found them to be sort of boring this year.

This fall, though, boredom has not been an issue. The new championship rules have emotions and tempers stirred up so high that there is as much action on and off track after the races are over as during the races. The fall of 2014 has been a great time to watch NASCAR if you like wrecks and brawls and love to hate NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski.

The last few weeks have been filled with drama as Keselowski has wrecked driver after driver during and after races. He has always been known as an aggressive driver, but he has taken things a little further than normal by wrecking drivers after races are over to show his displeasure with them.… Continue reading

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Welcome to the Stink Fest

No, I don’t technically hold a festival dedicated to all things stinky at my house each fall, but despite that fact a powerful stench annually wafts from the barn area.

I’m not polluting the air, and I haven’t started a home for wayward skunks, but despite that fact things tend to get a little raunchy smelling in my barn this time of year. In the autumn, nature takes its course and my Pygmy goat bucks try to impress my Pygmy goat does with their level of pungency as breeding season begins at my house. Pygmy does can be bred anytime of year, but I prefer spring kids and though the bucks like to impress their ladies with their odor during nearly any season, they take it to stinkier levels as the air turns chilly during the months of fall.

I do notice the offensive odor that permeates my premises as the bucks strut their stuff, but I have become partially used to it.… Continue reading

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I fought the manure spreader and I won

The manure  pile at our place was in desperate need of spreading this fall but it is a task that neither my husband, Mark (nor I) treasure, which is why the pile had reached its current height. If the job only entailed hooking up the spreader and going for a joy ride in the tractor around the field then it wouldn’t be a big deal, but spreading manure at our house is a process.

First the manure has to be loaded into the spreader. This isn’t a big deal, but it does require that all the ground near and around where the pile and the spreader is located be very dry so the tractor can load the manure.

Once the spreader is full of manure, the fun continues. Since the jack on the spreader is broken, the spreader has to be jacked up by hand and then the tractor has to be backed up and hooked to the spreader and then the jack has to be released.… Continue reading

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Impressive size and comfort added to new sale barn at Mt. Hope Auction

I finally had a chance to visit the new building at the Mt. Hope Auction during the fall Mid-Ohio Draft Horse Sale. I was surprised by the size of the facility and the length of my stay at the sale.

In the past,  whenever I attended a sale, my visits were often brief due to the small size of the old facility. I never had an opportunity to sit and watch the sale. At 240 feet long and roughly 120 feet wide, the new building is large enough to offer seating to accommodate all visitors who wish to watch the sale.

I enjoyed watching the horses sell and hearing the prices. I would think the comforts offered by the new facility would continue to attract new potential buyers since there is now an opportunity for many more spectators to watch the sale. I attended the sale during the crossbred portion of the auction.… Continue reading

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World Percheron Congress: “You win at home”

As many Ohio Percheron owners prepare to leave the Buckeye State and head to Massachusetts for the World Percheron Congress in October, Ura Hershberger is confident that the Percheron mares he exhibits will be prepared for the show.

Ura drives a mare hitch for Eagle Creek Percherons, of Montpelier. He and the crew at Eagle Creek have been readying the mares for shows since early spring.  The World Percheron Congress has long been the finish line, the folks at Eagle Creek Percherons were working toward this show season, but much work was necessary at home before Ura took these mares on the road.

“Basically you have to do your homework at home,” Ura said. “At home is where you win. At home is where you get them to focus on you.”

Often very long days were necessary to make sure all the mares were ready for the show season.

“It starts at eight in the morning and sometimes goes to eight at night,” Ura said.… Continue reading

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Ohio draft horse hitch named North American Six-Horse Hitch Classic Series Reserve Champions

Oak Haven Belgians, of Fremont, Ohio, and Flat Rock Draft Horses, of Bellevue, Ohio, represented the state well when they traveled to the Oklahoma State Fair in September to compete in the 2014 Gentle Giants North American Six-Horse Hitch Classic Series Finals.

The top four Belgian, Percheron and Clydesdale six-horse hitches are annually invited to compete in the Series Finals based on membership in the Series and points collected at shows throughout North America and availability of the hitch to attend the Finals.

The 2014 Finals were held at the Oklahoma State Fair. The two teams competing from Ohio placed well throughout the three-day event. Flat Rock Draft Horses placed fourth overall and Oak Haven Belgians were the Reserve Champions. The Blue Ribbon Days hitch of Farmington, Mo., earned the title of the 2014 Gentle Giants North American Six-Horse Hitch Classic Series Finals Champions. They bested Oak Haven Belgians by one point to win the title.… Continue reading

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Phases of labor and delivery for a goat midwife

Nearly everyone that raises livestock looks forward to the time of year when their planning comes to fruition as the baby versions of whatever livestock they are raising are born. I took a couple of years off of raising goats, and I’ve been looking forward to once again welcoming baby goats to our barn this fall.

Despite all the excitement and planning, this goat midwife becomes a little frustrated and impatient as my goats’ delivery dates approach. It doesn’t seem to matter whether or not I know the exact dates the does were bred or if I’m just guessing, my girls make sure they hold onto their kids as long as possible so they can lengthen the extra attention and games they like to play as they near their time of labor and delivery.

Phase One of all deliveries is Excitement. These first few days are busied with reading kidding supplies and pens and giving the expectant mothers extra love and attention as we all look forward to the upcoming birth of new kids.… Continue reading

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2014 World Percheron Congress is quickly approaching

The 2014 World Percheron Congress will be held Oct. 6-11, 2014, in West Springfield, Massachusetts, at the Eastern States Exposition Fairgrounds.

Don’t let the host state fool you, Ohioans are sure to play a large part in the event. Not only is the office for the Percheron Horse Association of American located in Ohio, but a chart the World Congress show committee put out last summer, showed Ohioans submitting more entries to the Congress than in other state in the Nation.

I’m not sure what the final tally for entries that closed Aug. 1 was, but regardless of the final totals, many Ohioans and their Percheron horses will head east in October to be a part of this event that was last held in the United States in 2010 in Iowa.

Don’t miss your chance to be a part of the event. It is not too late to make plans to attend and watch the show.… Continue reading

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Unusual surprise found in sawdust pile

I have sawdust delivered to my barn in bulk about once a year or so. The driver just backs the truck into my barn and unloads it, and my husband uses our tractor to pile the delivered sawdust into a corner.

Last week, I had just put some clean sawdust into a stall when I noticed a hunk of it was sticking together. I beat on it a little with a shovel but it wouldn’t come apart. I assumed it had gotten wet or something and was not going to be any good for absorbing stall messes so I just removed the large hunk and threw into into my wheel barrow.

As I went to move the wheel barrow with its new load inside, I noticed that the hunk was actually an ANIMAL LIMB. The limb is not from any type of animal that lives in my barn.

After closer examination, it appeared that the limb belonged to either a calf or a pig.… Continue reading

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Be specific with wishes, God has a sense of humor

I have a very vivid imagination, so I spend a good deal of time day dreaming about goals I have set and imagining them coming to fruition.

I keep most of my goals to myself, but one goal that I have shared with close friends and family is my desire to one-day ride on the wagon behind a 6-horse hitch. I spend a lot of time thinking about it and imagining how it will feel to be behind so much power. I also spend time worrying about how to climb up and down from one of those large hitch wagons in a lady-like fashion.

As it turns out, I didn’t need to spend time daydreaming about the last half of that scenario as God had a different type of 6-horse hitch in mind for me than I did. My daydreams always included draft horses, but God’s plan did not.

This year at the Ohio State Fair, I made friends with the folks of R & M Drafty Acres.… Continue reading

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Indiana State Fair to host three national draft horse shows

It isn’t news to followers of draft horse shows that Ohio as well as Indiana play a large role in hosting and providing exhibitors for some of the countries’ largest draft horse shows.

 

The Ohio State Fair hosted a North American Six-Horse Classic Series show and offered many opportunities for draft horse exhibitors to show off their horses.

 

The Indiana State Fair will host three national shows. They will host the National Clydesdale Show (Aug. 10-12), the National Belgian Show (Aug. 14-17), and the National Draft Haflinger Show (Aug. 14-17). Hosting national shows is nothing new to the Indiana State Fair. They have also hosted other national draft horse shows in the past.

 

In addition to the national shows mentioned above, the Indiana State Fair will host a Mule and Donkey Show (Aug. 6-11), the Mid-American Percheron Show (Aug. 10-12) and a Draft Pony Show (Aug. 14-17).

 

Since so many of our website viewers showed interest in results and photos from the Ohio State Fair Draft Horse Show, we will be trying to work with the Indiana State Fair staff and exhibitors to provide some photos and official results from the Fair since it is hosting shows that have national significance.… Continue reading

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Hitching mini horses: Determination is the key

If you have been reading my blogs, then you know that my pursuit of finding an additional team of miniature horses hasn’t been going too well. I wanted another really well-trained team so that my husband, Mark,  and I could each drive a team at the fair and so that I could hopefully eventually learn to drive larger hitches.

I have been trying to decide whether nor not I should just keep the three good minis I have and be happy with them rather than continuing to search for another reliable miniature horse to add to the group. There is probably a point in time when I just need to give up.

Common sense would have determined that I probably should have stopped with three. I do most of the daily work involving their care myself plus it is looking like the price of hay could go up considerably this year.… Continue reading

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Inventing a new miniature horse haircut

I body clip most of my miniature horses in late spring or early summer every year because they don’t tend to shed their winter hair very well. Most of them are easy to clip as them seem to enjoy the removal of their winter hair. It probably also helps that Ohio is usually experiencing consistent, very warm temperatures before I start body clipping the miniature horses. They are usually hot and ready for their summer haircuts.

This year I was down to my last horse, John, and the clipping had gone very well up to that point but events took a pretty drastic turn for the worse when it was John’s turn. He decided he liked his winter hair and didn’t like the clippers. It took all of my patience and several sets of clipper blades to remove half of his body hair.

Another set of blades had become dull and I decided John and I could also use a break so I set the clippers down to rest a bit.… Continue reading

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