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October 11, 2012: I Don’t Get It

Okay. I’m at a loss to fully understand what’s going on down the road. Is it that my horse care standards are too high? Or is something really amiss? I am driving myself nuts attempting to figure out the answer to this multi-sided question.

Mother, who has moved horses to her son’s property, is now working alongside a crew of guys, all are building a horse shelter before the snow flies. The past few days there has been a lot of hammering and banging going on.

I’ve gotten a sense of what’s going on, mainly from the road, as I’ve ridden past the place in question. And I’ve talked a bit

with Mother, who every time, has been hurrying off to one place or another.

Today, on my first trip out (riding Tinni, ponying Signy), I noticed that the building framework was complete. And on my second trip out (riding Siggi, ponying Signy) I noticed that mother was moving a horse supplement bucket from her truck cab to her trailer. Siggi, seeing the bucket, stopped and waited for his share. So because my horse was in her face, Mother had no choice but to stop and chat. I played good cop, and said that the structure was going up fast. She said that this was because she had good workers – they don’t smoke or drink. She added that the structure “is expensive” and that she “had to take out a loan to pay for the wood.”

Glasses askew, crooked smile, blonde hair tumbling out of her face, Mother said when asked that she’s not sure of winter plans. “Might go down and work in the Kenai,” she said, adding “right now I’m working three jobs.”

Signy was getting restless, so I moved on. I went back after they left, this time on foot. I wanted to take a close look at the building. It was difficult getting to it, because it’s surrounded by swamp land. I went far afield, and got there by jumping from tussock to tussock. Three horses, who were milling about, came over and said hello. I gave them carrot slices that I had in my pocket.

I went inside the building, which I estimated was three quarters complete. Construction wood was scattered about, both inside and out. And a few sheets of roofing material were perilously close to the barb wire fence.

I returned home, deep in thought. Our property is off the grid, making it labor intensive. We who live on site, hand water our animals, heating it first on the wood stove, then running it down to the shelter and pouring it in insulated buckets. We do this several times a day. The footing in our pen has a gravel base. It stayed fairly dry, even in heavy rain. Our horses are fed, on an average, four times a day. I poop scoop when I feed.

The place across the way is also off the grid, making it labor intensive. The one dwelling is uninhabitable, so I seriously doubt that anyone is going to live there this winter. So the horses won’t have access to water. The footing is going to remain questionable. If the horses are lucky, they’ll be fed once a day. No one is going to do any poop scooping.

As I wrote and revised this, I came to the conclusion that something is really amiss at the place down the way. I suspect that what’s going to happen is that when the snow flies the horses will one day be taken elsewhere. And a very expensive shelter, one that will be chock full of manure, will remain. I’m just trying to make sense of it all.

Next: 306. 10/12/12: Columbus Day for Real