I’m now spending inordinate amounts of time in the horse pen because this is what I do at this time of year. Old manure and hay is surfacing. It must be moved out in order for the horses to remain healthy. Ice patches must be broken up so that the horses don’t slip and fall. Water must be diverted, so that the horses have room to move around.
This takes time. I find myself getting a bit impatient late in the evening because then I’m tired. I tend to slip, trip, and stumble more. And moving the manure sled uphill seems to take more time than it does early in the day.
It’s appearing as though this year’s breakup is going to take a record amount of time. This is because the snow came late last fall, so the ground froze deep. Also, we got a lot of late winter/early spring snow. Last year it was very dramatic – the temperature rose fast, the snow melted quickly, and the water moved out. No, not so this year.
This is what’s now going on here. There’s currently a large puddle of water in front of the hitching post, perpendicular to the driveway. And the driveway itself has an ice coating. The pen has some large puddles in it, but the water is not yet moving. I can see, but can’t get at the underlying layers of manure.
I sloshed back and forth, in, and around the puddle, as I was getting the Siggi ready for an outing. I didn’t mind this – it was fun to be sloshing around in calf-deep water, although dangerous because the base layer is comprised of slick ice. The horses, who did not like standing with their rear feet in the water, stood parallel to the hitching post as I brushed them. (This year, shedding season is coinciding with the onset of breakup).
The horses also made it clear that they did not want to slosh through the stuff on their way out. So I made a pathway to the driveway, packing down snow. This was fine. But then we had to get down the driveway. What to do?
Hrimmi came up with an answer. She saw Signy going out, and wisely decided to wait by the far gate. This was the answer, since it was a shortcut route to the road. Smart horse. She never ceases to amaze me. So, out the rear gate we went.
We’re now waiting for the snow in and around the base of the fence to melt. After this happens, the water in the pen and the upper driveway will flow into the holding area. From there, it will enter the pipe, spill into the driveway, run down to the road, and from the road go to places unknown. This works well in part because the heavy stuff settles in the holding area. Some years I shovel it out, and we put it in the garden.
Yep, moving right along. Attempting in my own way to herald spring.
Next: 110: 4/20/13: The Most Boring Dispatch of all Time