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September 9, 2018: Hay, Hay, Hay . . .

Some people board their horses and others keep them at their place. We fit into the latter category. Those who board are paying for convenience – quite often, someone else or someone elses water, feed, turn the horses out to pasture and bring them back to the barn. The owner-boarder is then free to spend their time doing other things. Boarders pay dearly for their animal’s care. The owner-horse on site does all of the above.

We fit into the latter category. Our horses are here, by choice, and we do it all, all being all aspects of horse care and property maintenance. If, 14 years ago, I had known that having the horses here would be as much work as it has turned out to be, I would have reconsidered

bringing Raudi and our ghost horse Siggi home. Alas, the elusive fortune telling globe was not in sight.

Today was a typical home-based, horse-owner’s sort of day. Actually, maybe not completely typical since we also live off-the-grid. I got up, dressed, and even before eating breakfast went to feed, water, and clean up after our charges. I let Ranger and Stormy out of their pen so that might run around while I worked. I, as a matter of habit, looked over all the animals, in order to make sure that no one had sustained injuries during the night.

I gave Tinni his slurpy, and the mares their supplements. All the animals got hay.

In my absence, Pete called John DePriest who said that, yes, he had hay and yes, he was baling today, most likely in the late afternoon. So after breakfast Pete and I hooked up the flatbed trailer to the Ford 350 and then ventured over to the hay shed. The right hand side had just a few bales on hand, but there was little excess hay on the floor. The left hand side had a few out of state bales on the floor and more excess hay on the floor than the right hand side.

I leaned over and pulled up a piece of wet, rotty plywood. I then said to Pete that perhaps we should clean this shed out. He agreed. So within minutes we were in the thick of cleaning up a terrific mess. The underlying plywood was damp and crumbly and the majority of the pallets had rotted away. Ugh. It was huge and onerous job, cleaning out this, the left hand side.

We filled several plastic garbage cans with crud, and then loaded them and the crumbly pallets into the rear of the Tundra. Pete will on Monday take the full load to the landfill.

We ate lunch and then I took Raudi and Tinni out for a ride on our trails. When I got back, Pete said that John was baling. So off we went, to pick up a load. It was in the field, and therefore cheaper than the in the barn hay. We were able to make short work of getting the hay because bales of ten were piled next to one another. Hoorah for mechanization. Pete handed me the bales and I stacked them.

Once at home, we immediately unloaded the hay, with Pete stacking and me tossing the bales off the trailer. This, too, did not take long.

I concluded the day by cleaning the pen, filling the water buckets, and saying good night to my wonderful ponies.

If we boarded, I would have had a differing tale to relate. I would have gotten my horse out of the stall, tacked him or her up, rode for a while in an arena, untacked my horse, and called it good.

Far better to have a day like today. At the very least, I had something to write about.

Next: 252. 9/10/18: Good Weather

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