Ranch Work


Thursday, April 29, 2021 (27 days before the full appearance of May’s “Flower Moon”.)

Yesterday, a warm shirtsleeve-type day, encouraged me outside into a horse area that’s needed repairs for a couple of years. The damage is from a time the horses were intent on damaging their environment, not from badness but because of very high energy.

Back then I drove both horses daily. Driving requires caloric intake to support hard exercise. A horse might for miles pull, on roads and up-and-down hills, several hundred pounds of cart and driver. My horses were in top physical shape from pulling, and supported by lots of hay, gain, and minerals. Well-fed and well-exercised horses.

After the driving season, I recognized that my horses had been in a condition of “too-hot”. In other words, grain fed to energize may do so excessively, beyond what a horse can work off.

These horses during years of living with me never chewed wood. Suddenly, they went after all reachable wood–stall walls, outdoor fence rails, the loafing shed’s sides and overhead beams. Their unstoppable chewing puzzled and frustrated.

After driving season, when no longer receiving grain, both horses ceased chewing. I recognized that, though in great physical condition, they’d been overfed, becoming too hot and needing more exercise than I was providing.

Somewhere along the way, I’d heard that grain generates heat, but didn’t associate driving with too many calories. Previously, I’d only ridden horseback with easy-keepers performing well on grain-free diets.

From yesterday, here’s a section of dividing fence in their loafing shed.

Notice the new board on top. Today, I’ll replace the lower chewed boards, and more that are in another divider set. Looks easy, too. Just follow instructions, “measure twice and cut once”. Inevitably my way forces another process.

Like yesterday, when after measuring once and cutting twice, my board was too long. I re-measured and re-cut, but the board remained too long. And, so-on, until usually, a board becomes the length to fit or becomes too short, when I’ll re-start with a new 2×4. The board in this photo took three re-measures and three re-cuts before fitting into the opening.

Now, about my RV garage. Until yesterday it’s purpose was to store hay. Now nearly empty of hay, it’s become a shop, with carpentry tools, and it’s a cool place, with a comfortable chair and a tiny refrigerator that holds and chills up to six cans of beer. Because we realize that measuring and cutting correctly can be throat-drying.

More about that loafing shed. Each time I entered, a little bird flew out quickly. Surprising speed made it unidentifiable. I searched around for a nest, finding one in a tiny space.

Squeezed into one-inch behind rafter supports

Those guest residents likely are Mountain Bluebirds. They’re not smart for often nesting in weird and unsafe spaces, but they’re loveable, cute, and they have identifiable fun calls.

Dear Friends: If warm weather holds, the horses and I soon will go playing in National Forest. Diana

2 thoughts on “Ranch Work

  1. I think the horses are doing artwork portraying their view. That lower board looks like the profile of Mt. Bachelor, the South, Middle and North Sister in a row and the middle one could be anywhere along the Cascades. I’ll hang them in our outdoor miscellaneous arty looking things part of the yard if you don’t want them.

    Liked by 1 person

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