Lease a farm, they said. It’ll be great, they said. It’s a 30 acre farm with fencing and horses…what could possibly go wrong?
Remember the Chevy Chase movie from the 1980’s where the author and his wife moved into what they thought was a spectacular farm only to discover it was a disaster waiting to happen?
Cue two potential boarders interested in viewing the facility. Over Thanksgiving break, while all my students were at home, I decided to do a little spring cleaning. To say it was a massive undertaking would be, well, a massive understatement. In the midst of all this, I get the message the girls would like to come see the place. Totally feasible, I thought, to schedule them at 11:30.
First, my working student who normally feeds Wednesday mornings had to work. She offered to come out and feed before work, but I told her I could take care of it. She had to be at work at 7:30. I’m a slave driver, but I’m not heartless. No biggie, I threw the stall ponies their grain before taking Carson to school. It should’ve been a red flag that I hit every. single. red. light. on. the. way. Seven of them. I counted. It’s 6.8 miles from the barn to his school. I managed to avoid 3 of them on the way home.
When I returned, I turned out the stall ponies and loaded the pasture ponies’ feed in the mule. First stop: the drafties. Well, draft crosses. My big lugs. They’re the ones who don’t need feed, but get a cupful out of guilt. They’re also the ones who demolish fencing. Which is what Josh was attempting to do.
After repairing the mess he made (thankfully a minor repair), I jumped in the mule to go feed my cripples. (One is a retiree with severe chronic founder; the other is an OTTB who at one time had a broken pelvis.) Except, the mule wouldn’t start. It really, really needs a new battery. Unfortunately, it was too close to the fenceline to just leave it, so I had to put it in neutral and push it until curious drafties wouldn’t be tempted to sample the hay in the back.
I grabbed two armfuls of feed buckets and began walking. As I approached the end of the fence line, I looked up to find my cripples in the jump ring adjoining their pasture. Somehow, one of them had managed to bust down a board and escape.
My second fence repair of the day completed, I headed over to feed the QH pair. Owin & Dime are pretty easy, so I figured the drama was finally over. My last two buckets of grain in tow, I squeezed through the escape space and glanced at the water trough (morning feedings include water trough checks, of course). There were no less than a dozen fish floating belly up. I keep goldfish in the stock tanks to eat the algae (YES, this works great–I didn’t clean a tank all summer long after I put the fish in). I only keep 2 per tank, but after fishing several weeks ago, my husband, not wanting to waste the leftover bait, released several minnows into this stock tank. I could see no reason for the massive suicide pact–I can only assume the minnows repopulated and without aeration, there wasn’t enough oxygen to support them all (guessing here…).
Six stalls later, I had 20 minutes left to clean a tack room shared by 8 boarders that also functions as our closet. I somehow managed to condense 3 people’s clothes and shoes into a closet space intended for one, vacuum, and light a scented candle before the prospects arrived. Just another day on the farm!