Well, I noticed a while ago that the hose was no longer attached to the auto waterer, because the gloriously corrosive well water had eaten through the cheap metal of the end of the hose. However, the hose was still in the tank, and I was actually losing less water, with the hose set to trickle, than I had been when the waterer was "working" (because under pressure, it consistently sprayed water around), so I didn't think twice.
I should have, because there are two hose sections feeding this tank. But this is Deferred Maintenance Acres, it was morning, and I was already a half hour late for work, so the thinking part was not actually online yet. Instead I put the hose back in the tank, noticed no water was coming out, and trekked up the hill to turn up the pressure. Went back down, tied the hose into place (baling twine; if you haven't got it, you haven't got a farm), and observed not really enough water coming out the hose. Looked back up the hill, and suddenly focused on the wide green spot and visible water half way up the hill.
Yes, the cheap metal end of the second hose section had also corroded and was watering the weeds instead of the horses. Once I got over my acute attack of frustration, I dug out my spare hose and was grateful to find that a) it was the right length, and b) it has a plastic hose end. I swear I'm going to OSH and buying half a dozen. Water, that lovely polar solvent, doesn't have much to say to long-chain hydrocarbons. I'm getting me some.
Nonetheless, I was clearly still in the grasshopper class, because -- cutting to 100 miles away and 14 hours later -- the phone rang. It was the friendly neighbor. Palisades was out and raising a ruckus with his stallion. We discussed the issue and agreed that he would catch Palisades and do something sensible, as I was two hours away. Fifteen minutes later the phone rang again; he couldn't catch Palisades.
[Y'know the dark sizzle marks some cartoonists use above a character's head to denote deep disgust? Pencil 'em in over mine now.]
So I took elflet back to his place, borrowed a pile of tools (somehow my drill walked off; I need to replace it. Anyone got recs for a studly cordless drill?) and drove home. To find Palisades imitating an equine statue. Butter wouldn't melt in his mouth, except he was definitely in the wrong field. I caught him up, explained in no uncertain terms that I didn't want to hear so much as a nicker out of his mouth, led him past the other stallion, mare and colt, and tied him to a post right outside my bedroom window. I will repair his fence in daylight.
Needless to say, this eats major holes in my school schedule for tomorrow. And if I weren't waiting for the caffeine to wear off, I shouldn't be writing this now. If I am lucky, morning will arrive with nothing more broken or in need of repair than exists right now ....