Sunday, December 9, 2012

Rushing, Slipping, Slopping, Sticking in the Mud

Here on the hill (now officially known as Gilbert’s Toad Song Farm, or simply, Toad Song), we have been scurrying around, trying to pack in whole gobs of big projects before I go under the knife.

"Who you calling a brat?"
If you knew me, you might recognize the kind of fevered frenzy in which I have whipped us both -- “both” being my husband and me.   When I get like this, we just start going first thing and don’t stop until it’s too dark, and then sometimes we work after dark as well, and then we finally both just collapse on the coach and start thinking about all the places our bodies hurt.  And my husband eats a bowl of ice cream.

One factor that is both contributing to the frenzy and slowing it down is the huge amount of mud that has taken over the farm world of the Northeast.  Once upon a time, the ground used to freeze, usually in December, and that was a huge boon.  Now, we sometimes go whole winters hovering at around the freezing mark, and this means what used to be snow is rain, and what used to be frozen mud is just mud.  

And that’s what we have now, just mud, everywhere.
The run-in, unloaded from the truck, gets a ride on a cool gadget.

Its own little pad.
This mud has both driven our activity and also brought it to a dead halt, literally.

For example: We have a sacrifice pasture, which is an area that the horses live in during the muddy season, when the grass starts to go dormant.  If we didn’t do this, the pastures would all become muddy messes during the winter, and the grass wouldn’t have a chance to rejuvenate.  We had a portion of this area made into a pad last year, under our pole barn and stretching into the paddock, ensuring an always-dry area.  It’s great and we love it.  

However, we have seen the need to divide this sacrifice area into two, so we can house horses separately at times.  And of course, it has to be done NOW!

The top part of the sacrifice pasture is not on the pad, so it gets muddy.  To house a horse there safely, we needed some improvements and shelter.  We don’t have time to build this, which is what we normally would do, so we decided to purchase a pre-made run-in shed.  It was delivered to its own little dry pad on Friday.

So, one mud-influenced project is nearing completion.  Yesterday, we augered holes for some additional wooden posts and today we’ll run the fence.

Another example of the mud influence in my world: I decided that, while I’m laid up, that little booger Stormkite, my sole gelding, and a cheeky one, Is going to get some larnin’.  He needs to be trained to be ridden and generally to be a horse and not a brat, and so I delivered him on Friday, after the freezing rain turned to just rain, to Ashley Haffey at Lane Cover Dressage, Greene, NY.

"I have to work?"
Ashley trained my former horse, Dee, to be ridden, and Dee is now being ridden by her new owner, and is boarded at Ashley’s.  Stormkite, Dee’s full brother, joined her there on Friday.  I believe Dee recognized him right away. 

We put him out with another gelding, a striking red quarter horse/Arab mix, and the two pretty much just sniffed each other and said, “Cool.”  That never happens with mares.  It’s always dramatic when mares meet, but with these boys, I think, there was one squeal and one raised hoof, but no kicks or strikes.

Anyway, back to the mud.  After Ashley and I did the paperwork, I started to happily drive away and immediately got mired in the mud on what had been a patch of grass at Ashley’s, until my truck turned it into a big mess. 

Have you ever gotten your truck and trailer stuck someplace?  I have twice now.  Once at Ashley’s and once, believe it or not, in a creek.  That’s another story and one I may not have told my husband, so no need for details. 
Objects on mirror are closer than they appear.

In both cases, it was a farmer with a big tractor to the rescue.   

It makes quite a parade, a tractor pulling a truck pulling a trailer.  Ashley suggested photos for the blog, which I regrettably didn’t take.  But this shot of the mirror should tell you something.

And only five more months of this to go!


  1. I saw that cute little shed yesterday, Very nice. Don't forget if you need some backup pony help while you are laid up, I'm just over the hill. Of course the offer is only good until January 9th when I have my shoulder suregery.

  2. PS:email me if you need help.