Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Problems: New and Old

"The Week that Was" continues in this 3rd installment. I'm starting to think I'm glad I was out of town!

Now, if the pasture situation isn’t bad enough, with our main pasture closed off, we encountered a new problem… Prairie dogs! When we purchased our property, we were happy that there were no prairie dogs anywhere close around. Now, all of a sudden, we have 7 holes popped up in our North Pasture (yes, the only pasture we can currently turn our horses out into!). This is a very scary situation, because our horses like to gallop up and down the pastures for fun. And, prairie dogs can take over and decimate a pasture very quickly. While we are wildlife lovers, we have decided to take the “Don’t Ask; Don’t Tell” policy in this instance because it is a sometimes emotionally charged subject for the general public. Since our business depends on the public, we are being as quick and low key as possible. Enough said.

Stall Shavings. Our stall shavings arrived Monday morning. We’ve been researching stall bedding for months and have “experimented” with different shavings and the pellets that turn into sawdust. The pellet/sawdust stuff was wonderful in the easy-to-clean category. However, it got quite dusty and blew through the barn and into feeders and waterers. And, it was tedious and time-consuming to set up with having to water them down and stir several times after each addition. We were having a hard time finding anyone to deliver shavings for less than a semi-truck load. A couple months ago, Roger offered to go pick up a trailer load of shavings that they told us was for horse stall bedding. When it got here, we found it to be a lot of thick, sharp wood splinters, much like a garden mulch bedding. We used it up with caution and tried to find another source of the thinner shavings. A couple sources told us that what we need to ask for is “planar” shavings, or those planed from the wood source in the paper-thin chips. Being now totally out of the old splinter shavings and the bags of pellets, we got a regular truck load of the planar shavings delivered. But, oops… the dump truck couldn’t dump them under our barn roof overhang. So, Dave had to use the tractor to put the big pile in the place he had spent so much time preparing for them.



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