Last spring, while working on all the projects around the farm to prepare for the engagement party a lady stopped by to talk about a horse. This horse happened to be my old horse that I’d given away during my divorce. I couldn’t afford the luxury of a horse and I’d found her a good home with this family.
The lady came to tell me they weren’t much interested in her any longer. She has periods of lameness that exceeds their limits. Would I care to have her back? Would I? Wow.
Having a horse is big undertaking. It’s not like a goat or a pig who can pretty much take care of themselves as long as the essentials are provided. Wintering a large animals can be difficult. Water situations must be managed, hay and often grain to help the animal create heat is often necessary.
I approached Brent with the idea. He gazed thoughtfully off in to space for a while until I was getting nervous and then he said “we could do it”. That simple. That sweet. He wasn’t thinking of excuses not to do it, he was coming up with a plan. Who doesn’t love a guy who comes up with a plan?
We went back and forth on the subject several times. He said he’d rather have a cow, but he can see why I’d like my horse back. He gets the sentimental value and he gets the real time cost and he still wants to bring my horse home.
We didn’t actually decided until last week that we’d take the horse for sure and it wasn’t until I called and talked to the lady that I got excited. The problem is: I want her now! What a kid.
But, first – the fencing.
We decided to use a combination of twenty rod livestock fence and electric. We started pulling out the old fencing on Friday with the help of our good friend Chuck. It took the three of us and the back hoe two hours of good hard labour to removed twenty year old rusted farm fence with a steel top rail. We all begged for tetanus shots by the end, but the fence line was cleared of wire and pipe.
We decided to leave the line of trees that have grown up along that fence line. We decided it was good food for the goats (who will be keeping Autumn company in the big field) and shelter from the wind. We’ve expanded this paddock by hundreds of feet and brought the fence line over to share the one with the dogs directly off the house.
We’re aware there will be moments when we open the laundry room window and bid a happy good day to a horse. The thought makes me giggle.
On Monday our friends Tanya and Justin came over with their two pugs: Chewy and Twinkie, to help with fencing. We started around ten in the morning and by eleven we’d pushed twenty-seven posts and were nearly ready to pull some fence. We ran the new fence line across the front of the property just east of the house. We x-braced the posts and rolled out the fence, which is great work out for the legs, and hooked up the back hoe to the fence and started to pull. It tensioned beautifully!
We put Tanya and Justin to work wiring the fence to the steel posts (it’s impossible to push cedar posts on this property – I swear it’s rock only three feet down). We’re going to put up a decorative wood fence in front of the steel one to make it more visually appealing from the road at a later time.
Right now, we need to get some functional fencing.
We managed to push another seventy-seven posts and pull five hundred feet of fencing thanks to the help of our friends. In return they have plans to make us clean their driveway with a toothbrush or perhaps there’s a sewage problem we can fix. It’s worth the trade in labour to help bring Autumn home.
Today we’ll work on the electric part of the fence. It may be a time consuming process as our insulators are made for wood posts and we’re working with metal. How hard can it be to drill through metal anyway?
We have a few more weeks until Autumn comes home and there’s so much to do, but we’re making great progress.