I knew that it would eventually come to this: a frank and forthright discussion with all four horses about the state of the paddock, meaning poop producing and clean-up particulars. I’m just surprised that we didn’t have this conversation years ago. As it was, for me this was quite revelatory
Alys: Here I go again, picking up poop.
Hrimmi: You do this quite often.
A: Yes, at least three times a day.
Raudi: And often, more often than that.
Tyra: Why is this?
A: Why do you think this is?
R: Because you obviously have a lot of free time.
A: No, I don’t have any free time at all.
Tinni: Well then, why are you so obsessive about cleanup?
Alys is on it
A: There are numerous reasons. First of all, poop carries parasites. Secondly, it is a primary cause of thrush, a bacterial infection in the hooves. Thirdly, I suspect you’d all be quite unhappy if you found yourselves having to stand around in shit.
Tyra: You make what we produce sound derogatory. It’s actually a gift to you from us. We produce energy nuggets, which when they decompose, are beneficial to plants.
Tinni: Our poop becomes a soil amendment.
A: Yes, and you notice that most of what I pick up ends up in the compost station.
H: And other good things end up in the compost, like old hay and household scraps. I really like it when you put banana peels and the like in there.
A: Hrimmi, I wish you’d stay out of there. That stuff could make you colic.
R: I know all about colic. The gut ache is dreadful.
Tyra: I don’t think that nibbling at the kitchen scraps is going to make any of us sick.
Tinni: You never know. Best to stick to just eating hay.
Raudi: We don’t get enough hay.
A: Look at you all. You’re all carrying more groceries than you need.
Hrimmi: Maybe. Come spring, when you start exercising us more, it will disappear.
R: And don’t forget that right now we all have very thick winter coats.
H: Especially me. I’m very warm today.
A: This is because its 40°F out.
Tyra: Is this due to climate change?
Tyra: I am familiar with Pope Francis’s climate change encyclical. He says we need to do a better job of taking care of the planet.
A: Come on now, you can’t read and you don’t have access to this information.
Tinni: The ravens – they pass on the information to her.
R: That’s because she’s the only one who listens.
A: Back to the poop situation. We also haul it up behind the hoop house.
H: Oh yes. That’s where the worm farm is.
R: There are thousands of them under all that manure.
Tinni: Worms are good. They enrich the soil.
A: And this enables us to grow really good produce.
R: Only problem is, you and Pete don’t share much of it.
A: That’s because we need to have the energy to continue to pick up poop.
Tyra: It’s obviously a cycle of sorts.
R: Keep up the good work.
A: You all are humoring me along, right?
R: Yes. That’s our job. By the way, you left a pile over by the far gate. I suggest you pick it up, now; otherwise you’ll have to pick it up later.
A: Yes, I’m on it.
Tyra: Here that everyone? She’s on it.
Next: 26. 1/26/19: The Golden Hour