Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Caught off guard

Oops! Generally one of us has an ear to the weather forecast. Thus it was with a rather large start that I looked out the window this morning to see it had snowed! We had no idea it was to snow, and generally we bring the horses into the barn seeing as how they have nearly no shelter in the pasture. Funny how when there is snow all over there is so much more light. That's how I was able to look out about 6:20, when it is usually pitch black, and see the kiddos grouped down by the 2 bare Russian Olive trees. Bare they weren't providing much of a wind break. I did think it was odd, though, that the three boys all had their butts to the wind, but Shoni was facing into the wind. She's a bit of a strange one, but it must not have been so terribly cold. Never the less I headed out early to feed since there was light to see by. I clearly caught them unawares, because I had to call them up from the tree to feed when normally they are milling around waiting for me. It still amazes me what temperatures they can handle - none were shivering when they came up.

Pasture shelters are next on our list of improvements. We've decided to install 2 immediately, even though we plan to split the pasture into three portions. The second one we will install in a location where we can run the fencing on either side to determine which pasture segment it is on. Also, we hear that our neighbor might be interested in one as well, so we'll try and get a 3-shelter deal on the pricing.

We have pretty much selected our vendor who can install them, but we need to prepare flat landings. Knowing that pasture shelters often turn into horrible mud pits, we also want to prep the landings with gravel to minimize the quagmire. Since most of the pasture has a good slope to it, this means building up on the downhill side and digging in on the up hill sides. This is the task for this weekend, to stake out locations and figure out how much leveling / prep we get to do on the next good weather weekend.

OH! Huge news - we overhauled the last of the stalls this weekend. WooHoo! Still haven't loaded the trailer yet though - it was very mucky muddy mess this weekend.

On the never ending electrical front, the latest is that David has located the break in the supply wire from the house to the barn. It is four feet from the circuit breaker box, right where the wire comes out of the concrete floor. Again, the decision to not use conduit is leaving us flabbergasted. Dave says it looks like someone simply hit the wire with a shovel or something, because a good section of the wire is totally burned out. He also said he wish he could see the shovel that did it.

That is the good news. The bad includes the fact that the wire coming into the barn is not of sufficient gauge to carry the load it is given. And aluminum. Now, the wire leaving the house is fine. That means there is a splice somewhere in between. One electrician recommended yesterday that we just retrench all the way from the house to the barn and abandon the wire in use. To the tune of $700. The second electrician suggested that the utility finder service could at least locate the path of the existing wire, and then we, using a binary sort algorithm, could dig down and locate the splice and then re-run wire and conduit only from the splice on. Assuming this is possible this is our plan of choice.

Ok, the binary sort algorithm was my addition - I doubt the electrician said that.



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