Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Holy Crap!

I really would apologize for the title of this entry, except that it is just SO fitting.


One of the first things you learn, upon moving to the country, is to deal with poop. Now, as having been horse owners of 3 years and long term horse riders / volunteers, this was not a surprise to us. What was a bit of a surprise was the size of the manure pile that the sellers had on the property, AND that they they asked us whether we wanted it removed or if we wanted to keep it. Um, let me think, yeah - please remove it before turning over possession of the property. Thanks..


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(I actually had to search awhile to find a picture with the manure pile in it. Aparently I never decided that focusing on the pile itself was a worthwhile snapshot. Here you get a feel for it - tan pile behind the tree - though you still can't see it all.)


So time goes by while we're visiting our horse, Shoni, who was living on the property during the entire 6 week rent-back period the sellers were still living there. The poop pile wasn't disappearing. Everytime I asked, the seller promised that the dairy guy really did want it. The story was that there are a few dairys in the area who produce fertilizer, but raw dairy manure is too 'rich' and needs to be cut down with horse manure to be marketable - so they were willing to come pick up the pile for free.


Now, this is one of those things that just sounded a tad too good to be true to me. Manure disposal is a major issue for horse operations. Basically your options are to spread it on your own fields - which may be advantageous or not depending on the number of horses and acres you have - or to pay to have it hauled away, which ain't cheap. I've never heard that there might be a dairy who would come and cart it away for free!


So I was getting a bit nervous a week before possession and it was still there. Finally the seller's wife admitted to me that the diary man was supposed to have come by now - and that if it wasn't gone by a week after possession they would pay to have the pile hauled away. Ah Ha - another chink in the story that continued to sound too good to be true.


Possession comes and goes, and the seller stopped by a few days later "to check to see if our roads were dry enough for trucks to come in and remove the pile". Granted, it did rain the entire weekend we were moving, and our roads were very sloppy. (Did you get our email that mentioned our movers got stuck in the neighbor's yard for 1.5 hours because they turned up the wrong driveway?) So the seller gave me the number of two dairy guys to contact. Huum, now all of a sudden the contacting was up to us.


But, Dave made the call on Tuesday, and they said they'd be out on Thursday or Friday. And they came on Thursday (yesterday!) I guess it wasn't too good to be true - they showed up about 11:00 with a big skip loader and a truck and set to loading it up. After the first load, they returned with 3 trucks..


I, of course, was at work all day missing out on things. In fact it was at 9:00 pm when I was driving home that Dave called. Pissy mood or not, he told me something that totally cracked me up. I asked how many truckloads did it take to clear out the pile. "14" he said. "14 Dump Truck Loads?!" I exclaimed? No, he said. "14 Semi-Trailer loads."


Now that's one big pile of crap.

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