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March 10, 2018: Deferred Poop

What follows is a guest dispatch by Dan LeMay. You can poop me now, or you can poop me later. Or Deferred Poop.

You can poop me now, or you can poop me later. Or Deferred Poop

Interesting discourse relayed recently on the nuances of equine fecal matter and the generally acknowledged slog it is to cleanse the pens.

As I stand by the glass door on a sun drenched spring feeling day, enjoying a restorative cup of java, having spent the greater part of the forenoon on firewood, I contemplate my next chore, horse manure

clean up. With the recent snowfalls providing cover, I could delude myself that all was well. Suffice it to say, it was only a self-satisfying delusion. Now that the piles are starting to peek out of their shrinking white covering, it is time to face that chore.

With 4 horses, who do most of their ‘business’ in roughly the same areas in the pen, the chore is slightly more contained than if they were broadcast spreaders. Having a full time ‘day job’ I don’t have the freedom of time the host and owner of this blog does to tend to tidying chores throughout the day. With 2 daughters who need the occasional running here and there and all the other husbandly and fatherly responsibilities of fixing fences, cleaning the mini’s pen, working on the vehicles, keeping the house maintained, cutting/hauling/splitting the firewood, tending the wood stove, etc. I try to leave the cat box and food to daughter #2, and the horse grain to daughter #1. Of course my spouse participates and has primary responsibility for the llama pen.

I too am feeling tired of the horse manure chore this time of year. Cold feet in rubber boots, the long procession of chipping the piles of road apples free from Jack Frost’s loving grip. The frozen piles in their sheds. Why do horses treat wood shavings as an invitation to relieve themselves, when the clear intent I try to convey is that they are a comfortable place to lie down?

Alas, I do tread forth feeling the power that comes from, as Katy Bowman who writes all about movement would put it, outsourcing my labor to internal combustion and steel. That old backhoe scrapes away the road apples at a much more efficient rate than this human could ever muster. But there is a cost, the noise, the lack of intimacy with the horses as one would otherwise saunter from pile to pile with shovel, manure fork and sled, they don’t cozy up to John Henry’s nemesis any more than you or I do. That backhoe multiplies my effort in the interest of time. It is a labor saving device, but is it the labor I seek to save? Or is it the perception that efficiency is paramount in our hassled and hurried world? That’s how I feel, day job, limited time, always too much to do. Speaking of, the Java’s done, the indoor animals are satiated. I have deferred this task long enough, time to close and as the saying goes, ‘Time to get my (horses’) shit together (into the growing Mount Manure).

Next: 70. 3/11/18: The Writing Life, The Horse Life: Transitions

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