Tuesday, March 03, 2015

harrowing experience (with thanks to McLeod's Daughters)

Yesterday we had 60 degrees and sunshine and Keil Bay was coated in dried-up ground-in mud from rolling in our very wet pasture. Both sides of his face were solid mud and his mane still has little muddy tips that I simply could not get out without spending hours doing each one by hand.

I gave him a good grooming on his body and legs and opted to do some groundwork to get back in the swing of things. He was responsive and not at all spooky, which was nice after the past month's very reactive behaviors toward the woods behind our back field.

As we worked in the arena I was reminded that it's past time to harrow. There were areas where the horses and donkeys have dug with hooves trying to locate... buried treasure? gold? I'm not sure. There were also areas where they galloped and bucked and dug in deep through the sand and screenings. After finishing up with the Big Bay I served his peppermint (did I write here that I got him a huge bin of soft peppermints and he could not believe his eyes?) and let him head back out with his herd.

Later in the day I got the truck out and hooked up the harrow. It's heavy and it was flipped over to the flat side so I had to turn the entire thing over and then untangle the tines. I was looking forward to driving into the arena - I love harrowing - and opened the barnyard gate and drove through.

It never occurred to me that the barnyard was still so wet and mushy I might have some issues with the truck. I got about halfway through the barnyard and the wheels started spinning. Dear daughter poked her head out of the barn to laugh at me. There I was, ready to harrow, but stuck and getting more stuck. 

I considered abandoning the whole thing and just leaving the truck there until things dried out some. But I hate leaving things unfinished, and I hate leaving messes where there were none before, so I remembered something I saw in a McLeod's Daughters episode and went and gathered fallen pine branches and leaves and stuffed them underneath the rear tires. It helped. I then vaguely remembered Tess McLeod having to stuff actual sticks under the rear tires and that was what did the trick. Off I went into the arena.

I spent a long time harrowing, leveling the footing and enjoying the repetitive circling. The herd came to the arena fence and watched, and I had the truck windows down so I could talk to them as I drove by. I always wonder what they're thinking as they watch me harrow. They seem fascinated to see me circling around and around.

When it was time to go back through the barnyard I hoped for the best and the truck sailed right over the path of branches and leaves I'd made. The barnyard isn't as pristine as it was before I harrowed but I covered my tracks, literally, and at least it looks naturalized again and not like a long ripping wound across the grass!

Everyone in my family makes fun of me for loving McLeod's Daughters but I was grateful for Tess McLeod yesterday and who knows - once I finish my 20th re-watching of West Wing, maybe it will be time to go for my 20th of of Mcleod's Daughters. :)


Calm, Forward, Straight said...

That title had me worried lol...

I thought something scary happened and the McLeod's daughters (neighbors maybe?) showed up to save the day. Too funny.

Well done on your resourceful solution. (Are McLeod's daughters related to McGyver by any chance?!)

billie said...

McLeod's Daughters is an Australian TV show about sisters who inherit their dad's huge cattle ranch. The ranch ends up being run entirely by women and although at times a tad bit overly-dramatic, it is a good show with lots of riding horses and showing the real work that gets done on a ranch/farm. They show the flies and everything! :)

And there is lots of mucking, which is so so true.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Nice save with the branches and sticks! I've never watched the show but I guess you're glad you did.

I know what you mean when you say you wonder what they're thinking when you harrow the ring. I usually have an audience too.

Matthew said...

Loved the story :)

billie said...

A, isn't it weird, the horses watching so intently? When I was stuck in the barnyard the Little Man came up and thought it was just fascinating that I was spinning in the mud. :)

billie said...

Matthew, I was proud that you didn't have to come home and dig me out. :)