Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Birthday Tales Continued

Meanwhile, time is flying by! I guess I'll have to settle for the quicky versions, to catch up.
First, my birthday weekend was continued on Friday by getting our pasture shelters delivered and installed. This was quite the production! It was all made that much more exciting by the fact that our widest gate is about 12 ft - 1/2 inch wide. The shelters are 12 x 25 feet - we were rubbing on both sides at points. Second was the fact that the wind picked up fairly strongly after they arrived - and wouldn't you know it but it was blowing out of the South - just the right direction to grab the shelter's opening and push them around while the guys were attempting to unload them. We finally decided to anchor them with the trucks - until we could get them bolted to concrete footings.

Saturday we were trenching for the electric - still. We'd actually started this the prior weekend, by renting a walk behind trencher. We figured that this trench, being only 2 feet deep, ought to have been a cinch. No way - we are just cursed when it comes to trenching, and we ended up going back to our neighbor to borrow the bob cat again. So anyways, trenching continued but it was time to return the bob cat so we were all trying to get it done with any moments available (because we were also putting in concrete footings for the shelters). This trench had the added bonus of needing two sections of tunneling done - one under the concrete irrigation ditch to get to the telephone pole, and the other under the sidewalk to get into the small barn. New experiences. Dave was digging the tunnel into the barn and managed to have a salamander drop out of the hole - thank fully NOT onto his head!

The forecast was for snow that night, so we decided to move the three new horses into the barn. With the shelter in place we figured our four horses would be fine. Then came the blizzard of 2005. They actually were calling it that on the news - though that was a bit exagerated. Never the less, the wind was fierce and dropped probably 8 inches of snow though we only had 2 wind swept inches or 2 foot deep drifts. First thing Ginger went down to check on the pasture horses - and found that Jordan would condesend for only one other horse to share the shelter with at a time. So two were left huddled outside, but still within the wind break. She grabbed two of them and brought them in, and then she and I proceeded to try and catch Jordan and Shoni - without any luck. The shelter was so comfortable, however, we decided they'd be fine. I threw hay anyways, and everytime the wind died down a little bit we could see their heads sticking out around the wall. About mid day the wind died and they came out to eat.

Meanwhile, unfortunately the horses in the barn didn't fare too much better than those outside. We'd left the external doors open for their stalls, and all three of them had 3 inches of snow all the way across their stall. Poor Shadow was soaking wet and shivering like mad, so we move him and the sorrel to indoor stalls on the other end of the barn. The Mustang - recently named Chaco - still didn't like being in a stall much at all, so we moved him to an in/out stall on the other side. Then tackled clearing out those three stalls with snow shovels. At this point Dave showed up because we were having troubles with some of the auto-waterers. They are finicky things, and adjusting them was no picnic. But, they are now all working as well. We didn't get to go back to the house until about 11:00. We'd planned on organizing the tack room that day, but we were already over exposed with the cold and wet, so decided to delay that as well.

Just as I came home last Wednesday, Dave told me he'd made reservations at our local spa for me - on Friday afternoon. While that was incredibly thoughtful of him, Friday wasn't very good timing as we had the shelters being delivered. I ended up rescheduling for Tuesday afternoon, meaning I worked half day both Monday and Tuesday instead of taking Monday off. Monday afternoon we continued trenching, and then had our farrier out to see to the Gray, whose feet were in terrible condition.

Tuesday we built a bunch more saddle racks for the tack room - so that we now at least have a space for each of our own saddles (it was a bit surprising to pull them all out and count them - we have 8 western saddles and 6 english!). We'll have to build more for boarders, but for now we are so pleased just to not have to be stacking any saddles on top of each other! I should have a picture here... but don't. Check back and I'll update soon.

And THEN... finally I went to the spa - got a massage, manicure and facial! It was fantastic! It was spectacular! It was wonderful after many back breaking hours (weeks / months) at the ranch. (Thanks Honey!!)


Last week we got the underground inspection done on the electric lines - so we are about 75% done re-burying that trench! Ginger said it best - "Ooops, I just walked by the trench and accidentally kicked some dirt down into it,... AND I DON'T CARE!" We've had far too many weeks of trying to keep these darn things open and deep enough (the blizzard was absolutely no help in that). It was very therapeutic to be able to finally throw dirt back in. Well - for the first several hours at least.



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