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Friday, May 13, 2011

This and That

Well, life on the ranch goes on. Just to bring you up to date, here is what is going on.

Trailers: I put my two horse trailer on on May 2nd and sold it the very same day for only slightly less than what I was asking for. I was amazed! The proud new owners picked it up on the 6th. I did some of the financial two-step and our new (new to us at least) three horse, goose neck trailer came home on the 12th. I would love to load our tack in it but

RAIN: It started raining on Wednesday the 11th and it rained all day and into the 12th. When I went out Wednesday morning I was greeted with this:Those are icicles hanging from the eves of the barn.

It takes me between 20 and 30 minutes to muck things up (which is impossible when the entire field is muck) and feed the horses. By the time I was done, this is what things looked like"Those are now flakes reflecting the flash and surrounding Mariah as she munches happily on her hay.

Our back yard is that "wonderful" Colorado clay and the top 3" has basically turned into snot. Its actually a pretty good workout to walk around in. I hate it. Unfortunately, the horses love it. More specifically, they love to roll in it. And the have. Repeatedly. As the mud dries on their coats it attains the same basic structure as concrete. Ever try to clean dried concrete off a furry object? The only saving grace is that they are not completely shed out so the mud comes of somewhat easier than it will later this summer. It is the only redeeming grace for shedding season.

The vet is coming today to do spring shots. She is also going to check Ebony over who is looking a bit off. The vet asked me to put her in a stall and isolate her so we can check the goes-ins and the goes-outs. (Is she eating and drinking and pooping and peeing) I was not looking forward to doing this as it meant slogging through three inches of boot-sucking snot. The first step was to set up a stall to keep one horse in and the other two out. This is accomplished fairly easily by nailing a 2x4 across the opening at chest height. Actually, I nail one end and tie the other end off so if need to open it quick, I can. Next step is to go catch the horse. Not needed.

Ebony is the curious horse in the bunch. She saw me doing something in the barn so she figured she better come up and check things out. While she was coming up I got a few treats from the tack room. She stepped in to get the treats, the 2x4 came down and presto - isolated horse.

Last step was to get water in the stall for her. I filled the bucket at the spigot and brought it in. To keep it from falling over, I have a lead rope wrapped around the bars of the stall that we hang a water bucket from. It has a bull-snap on the bottom that I hook through the bail of the bucket. For those of you unfamiliar with bull-snaps, it usually takes to hands to open. So I set the bucket down and picked up the lead rope to get at the snap. Ebony put her head over my shoulder and tried to taste the lead rope. Then she tried to help me open the bull-snap. Her lips were all over the rope and my fingers. (In a nice way) I got the bucket on the rope despite the help. I'll let you know what the doc says.

A few days from now, when things dry up a bit, it will be time to take the box blade to the pasture. As the horses walk through the mud it leaves their hoof prints all over. Rather deep hoof prints. Up near the barn where they spend most of their time, they have churned the earth into a right nice mud pit. But as it solidifies once again into concrete it makes the footing quite treacherous for the horses. So I run the box blade around the pasture and it smooths everything out quite nicely. The only trick is to do it when its dry enough for the tractor to actually get some traction.

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