What a Deal
We got two more stalls overhauled this weekend - stalls 10 and 12. We've numbered the stalls: odds on the north side, evens on the south, going east to west. You'd think this would simplify our discussions about doing stalls, but we're still constantly stopping to mentally count out the stalls and then checking with each other to make sure we're counting the same way.
Stall 10 went great. Dave rigged up a new method of moving mats that involves laying a pipe underneath the mat, hooking chains to either end and then throwing an S-hook in the center to hook onto the tractor's front loader. Pretty slick! Course, it works much better now that we have a pipe and set of chains/hooks sturdy enough to take the weight of the mat. The first try wasn't nearly so impressive when the hooks simply pulled out straight.
Stall 12, however, was a disaster. The mats were in horrendous shape - some of them retaining only 80% of their original size. Something about big gaping holes between mats that fail to keep the upper stuff on top made for one heck of an excavation to dig out underneath. It was pretty cool, though, by the time we'd finished digging we had our own relief map of the grand canyon right in our barn. Until we had to fill it back in. It took 5 full tractor scoops of gravel to level that stall.
But... 8 out of 13 stalls are done! (notice the lovely After Pressure Washing picture above, as compared to the Before)
Ohh, I forgot to mention - we bought a new tractor! Yep, brand spankin new. Not a big brand name, but new. Dave's done a lot with the old one - replacing the battery, replacing the muffler which actually broke in half and then fell off, de-rusting 1/2 of the connection points on the three-point hitch, etc. At this point we just hope it's actually worth what we paid for it. Anyone need a tractor? Have we got a deal for you.