Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Big Pile of Horse-Pucky

Despite working out with the trainer today, my day was mostly about horse manure. I have three horses, which leads to a neverending supply of potential fertilizer. It's a big piece of the horse disease, deciding what to do with their waste. If I'm not picking and sorting it from the clean shavings, I am researching to find the best way to cart it out to where it needs to be piled-usually far, far away from the house and the barn.

I have been toting the day's waste with a small, plastic cart pulled by the farm's Mule(no not one that brays, kind of an ATV with a roof and a small bed). That works really well. In the summer. Rainy days? Winter? Not so much. It has a roof. No windshield. Brrr.

After much research, we decided to get a larger dump cart. The farm used to have a manure spreader, but that went the way of the indoor arena. The cart was ordered and scheduled to arrive while we were away. I thought that would at least make life easier for the man who graciously cares for the horses in my absence. The shipment was delayed, then the blizzard interfered. The next issue was that UPS needed a signature to deliver, but no one was around to sign(we were trying to get out of Bermuda and everyone else was also enjoying thier holiday).

Yesterday was the day. The cart was going to arrive between twelve and two. I packed a lunch and my computer and headed to the barn. A lack of internet connection really motivated me to work on my writing projects. Woo hoo!

Ok- I cleaned tack, rearranged the tack room, ran some saddlepads through the washer, and generally found everything else I could do to avoid booting up the computer. I did finally give in and actually made progress, but by two-o'clock, no cart. Mr. W. called and informed me that it was now being delivered between four and five. Sigh.

Long story short, the cart arrived at four. In a box. Unassembled. Argh.
At least it was here and it gave me something to do today. I put together the chassis and then got stuck. Where was the hydraulic lift? You know, the part that would actually make the cart easier to use? It's coming Fed Ex.

With the cart half done and piles of manure that couldn't be dumped during the storm molding in an empty stall, I treked out to use the tractor to push back the huge worm of little poop-piles from our little dump cart out at the dump site.

It was going well until I got the tractor stuck.
Text to Mr. W.: Got the tractor stuck.
Reply: How stuck?
It's a tractor. If it's stuck its' bad.
What are you going to do?

My wounded pride and I went for help in the form of the caretakers and the farm truck. They had been washing mold off the barn walls. So the truck cab was filled with a lovely combination of bleach(them) and horse crap(me). Did I mention they had been ready to go home. Yeah, they loved me at that moment. But thanks to them, the Kubota is no longer axle deep in compost.

I headed back to the tractor shed, with my figurative tail tucked. I wasn't feeling very farm-girlish at that moment. Wait. What is that ambling aross the field? A racoon? A big racoon. Coming toward the me and my large, orange machine. Not good. Can you hear me yell and clap my hands? Do you see that beast ambling toward me. Did he just pick up speed? Watch me jam the 'Bota into gear and rushed to park it before my tormentor gets too close.

I don't mess with racoons, especially when they aren't behvaing normally. Rabies, anyone? As I was backing into the shed I saw it pause under a pine tree. Too close. Shut down the tractor, leapt off, and was a good hundred yards away when I turned to look. Poof! A magically disappearing racoon! Crisis averted. At least until I have to go back in the tractor shed-I'm going to be packing at least a two-by-four when I do!

I still have a big, crappy problem, but at least I didn't have to get Rabies shots. And I got some needed aerobic exercise.

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