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two red circles and a thick black line - Ambar
December 17th, 2005
07:42 pm

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two red circles and a thick black line
Up at noon. Sam the farrier was due at 2, so at 1:30 I went out and herded mares into the round pen, which proved to be much easier than I expected, mostly due to marely greed for alfalfa. (Me to Sam: "You know, when I first got the bill for this round pen, I thought I was being foolish. Nope." He agreed.) Also got the truck stuck in the pasture... sigh. With luck next weekend will be drier, and I'll be able to get it out without AAA's help. Next time, 4-wheel-drive, and hang the maintenance costs.

Nonetheless, we succeeded in getting six horses trimmed despite interruptions (the neighbors' gelding got away from them, and he and Palisades were squealing at each other over the fence) and excursions (Lustre thought being caught to be trimmed was optional. Sorry, lady, it's not). Palisades was perfectly happy to be fussed over, until it started to rain on him. He disapproves of rain. Since we were half-way through his trim. I told him to shut up and deal, which he did. It didn't even occur to me to blanket him, until he was already wet enough that it would have been a bad idea. Oops.

For bonus points, I even wormed 4 of the 6 -- hadn't grabbed the wormer yet when we did Palisades, but he's easy. Forgot to worm Cap before I got her halter off, but oh well! Will try catching her tomorrow. Today I caught her last, and since she had watched the 15-minute Lustre-catching extravaganza, her protest was half-hearted in the extreme. ("Don't catch m-- wait, the sooner I let you do this, the sooner I can leave, right?" Cap's a cynical old broad.)

In the "it's always something" department, Cap also turned up with a heck of an abscess in her left fore, covering something like a third of the white line. Considering she wasn't even lame (before or after the trim), that was quite something to see. Nothing to do but keep an eye on it -- Sam suggested iodine half-heartedly, but as it was raining on us quite happily, it would have stayed on her foot for all of five minutes.

I must admit it's very pleasant after spending three hours out in the fog and rain to come in, peel all the wet layers off, and have dry clothes, hot tea, toast and soup ready to hand. Not to mention a wool blanket and a nest of pillows. *dig*

Good news department: Recap's sire is finally DNA tested. One more signature to go, and maybe we'll have Recap registered before one of us dies of old age....

Current Mood: accomplished
Current Music: Shriekback - The Dancing Years - "Deeply Lined Up"

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From:r_wolfcastle
Date:December 18th, 2005 05:56 pm (UTC)

I hope you don't actually need this hint, but...

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Our farm in Mississippi was a bog about half the time, and we would often get vehicles stuck. Since the previous owner had cut down all of the trees in prep for farming the land (which he never got around to), we would usually be stuck in the middle of a field, with no tree to which to attach our 2-ton come-along.

Once my Dad's old Ford pickup got stuck. A friend was over in his gleaming new Chevy pickup and, desirous of showing the superiority of Chevy, he tried to tow my Dad's truck out, and he got stuck. Then we employed our little Kubuta tractor with slip differential, and it got stuck.

Our standard toolkit for handling this included the come-along, a shovel with a long narrow blade, and a 6-foot length of heavy metal beam with holes in it. We'd dig a trench in front of the stuck vehicle, perpendicular to the direction the stuck vehicle was pointing. Then we'd dig another trench from the first trench back towards the vehicle, making a T shape. Attach the come-along's hook to a hole in the center of the beam, and drop the beam into the top bar of the T. The come-along's cable now lies in the stem of the T. Hook the come-along to the front of the vehicle, and winch it right out. We could extricate almost any vehicle this way with about 20 minutes worth of digging effort. And one person could do the whole thing if necessary.
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From:ambar
Date:December 18th, 2005 08:44 pm (UTC)

Re: I hope you don't actually need this hint, but...

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Fascinating. Now, if only I had a come-along. Or had ever seen one in use. :-)

It's not that the place the truck is is boggy; it's that the tires are optimized for hauling trailers on the freeway rather than off-road. Things are slick from the rain, and the mud's built up in the treads.

Now I'm worrying that AAA will refuse to dig me out, if I ask them, because it's not on an actual road. Well, that's next weekend's worry.
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From:r_wolfcastle
Date:December 19th, 2005 09:31 pm (UTC)

Re: I hope you don't actually need this hint, but...

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If you've ever tied something (or someone) down using those moving straps (web straps) that have a little ratchet gizmo to tighten them, then you already know what one is, in essence.

It is just a cable wrapped around a ratchet spool with a hook at either end of the cable, and a long (2' or so) handle so you have plenty of leverage to tighten the ratchet spool. Attach one end of the cable to an immovable object, attach the other end to your truck, crank on the ratchet handle (same way as you would a car jack, only this is horizontal), and you pull the truck out.

You can get a 2-ton model for under $30:

http://www.mytoolstore.com/app/18600.html

You can also use it as a hoist. For example, we used ours in combination with a home-made A-frame to lift, into a boat hull sitting on a trailer, a jet pump and a 287 taxi engine to power the pump. Very handy thing to have around a farm.
[User Picture]
From:ambar
Date:December 19th, 2005 10:00 pm (UTC)

Re: I hope you don't actually need this hint, but...

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Oh! A fence tightener!

You may now mock me liberally. :-)
[User Picture]
From:tersa
Date:December 19th, 2005 05:32 pm (UTC)
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I continue to enjoy your stories of horse husbandry. Just wanted to let you know. :)
[User Picture]
From:tinhuviel
Date:December 22nd, 2005 01:27 am (UTC)
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After doing a search for fellow Shriekback fans, I found you! And, since you used Shriek lyrics for this post, I feel it only fair that you know the Shrieks have released a brand new album.

CORMORANT

It's a fantastic album and pure Shriekback. Just an FYI.

Anyway, I like your journal. You're a fine writer.

Peace,
Tin
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