Saturday, January 10, 2009

Updates on Flooding, Repairs and Injuries on this Arabian Horse Farm


With a break in the weather it was repair time around this Arabian horse breeding farm. There were lots of things to be tended to but none as important as the supports on our shavings shed.

The problems with the shavings shed were not something new. During at least a couple of deliveries the driver had clipped the edge of one of the poles supporting the roof. Despite my repeated warnings to Dave that these poles needed to be fixed, he somehow kept moving that job to the bottom of his ever growing list.

It wasn't totally his fault. It seemed that when the timing looked about right we might actually get the job done, the shed was too full of shavings to be able to do the work. When the shed was empty, Dave was at work or didn't have the help he needed. Either way, the job waited.

With our record snowfall in December the support provided by those compromised poles showed it was suffering. The roof of the shavings shed began to sag........... badly. We are very fortunate it did not collapse. That's probably a testament to the heavier than needed poles and such that Dave used in the first place.

Currently we can't get shavings even if we wanted to and Dave has no job. Hunting for one on the weekend isn't very successful but the weekend IS a good time for Dave to line up help to install the new that's what happened around here today.

They had to jack the building up to put the new poles underneath. They also installed those new poles on the outside instead of inside of the shed. That way if we should ever be able to get shavings again and the driver accidentally hits the wall, the poles supporting the roof will not take the brunt of that mistake.

That's one big job finally completed and probably another dozen or more to go. After this round of flooding we can see what we need to do to keep that complex of stalls, feed and shavings storage dry. We're either going to have to enlarge the size of the pipe in our French drains or add additional drains. On the back side of that building we will need to add French drains there as well, these will have to be routed straight to the creek instead of into the pond.

The heavy rainfall also helped us to see what are problems with the location of the new stalls we are trying to construct. What we remembered happening with the ground water isn't exactly what happened. There must be modifications to those plans before we can continue on with this build. Better now than after, that's for sure. But it means it will take that much longer before I get all of my horses back at home.

On another note, I went back to the part today to leave notes for the horse owners there. Since I wasn't able to get much out of the park grounds keeper, I figured trying a more direct approach might work. When I reached the barns, I found all the stalls empty. I hope that means those horses were able to go back to their homes and their owners didn't sustain too much damage.

I still plan on doing some investigating to see if I can locate horse owners who might need help. But at least for now it looks like maybe these people in Orting did not have the catastrophic damage to their farms that happened in the early winter of 2007 to the farms in Lewis County. (Those folks are still trying to dig out and get their lives back in order.)

In the meantime we are still drying out a few stalls and cleaning up silt. It is slick work. That silt is every bit as slippery as ice or at least it seems that way to me. I've about fallen on my b*tt more than a dozen times. That makes this work on the slow side but each day I can see the progress. Maybe we'll get this farm whipped into shape before the next round of storms hits.

For those wondering about Richard, he did finally go see a medical doctor. They needed new x-rays so he had to wait for results. Richard and I use the same doctor. I happen to know from experience that he is NOT good at letting his patients know what their x-rays have said. So Angie bugged them until they finally got the results.

Richard actually broke four vertebrae in his back. One piece of broken bone is actually rubbing against the large portion of that bone causing pain. The only way to fix this is surgery. However, Richard doesn't have insurance AND (probably more important to Richard) the time for recovery is very very long. Richard has opted not to do surgery.

According to the doctor that is ok as long as Richard can tolerate the pain. Sooner or later it will go away as the bones heal. The doctor's assistant guessed it would take about a year before Richard rides another horse. Anyone want to take bets on that?

More to come on that story............and on me getting back into the stay tuned there's more posts on ground driving and still more to tell on Percy's kindergarten lessons, not to mention how Tag, Louie, Hope and Vee are doing. It's going to be an exciting year.

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  1. Very nice blog.
    Great pictures. Wow...

    Please visit:

    Keep blogging.
    Have a great weekend.

  2. Glad you are drying out up there. It has been a crazy winter for us in the NW. I spent some time up in Chehalis and Kalama and it looks like no loss of livestock around there which is great news. Nothing like Vernonia last year. Glad to hear things are getting back to normal for you. Love those puppies!

  3. Wow, I hope Richard is careful with his back during this healing period. If it were me I would especially be super careful the first three months or so. Does he have a back brace? It might help to wear one whenever he is out of the house/has more pain. And ice can be a really good thing for weeks after an injury like that.

  4. I'd highly recommend some comfrey (old-timers called it bone-knit)for Richard, it really speeds the healing process and raw apple cider vinegar. Jarvis says it dissolves calcium that's in the wrong place and puts it back in the right place. We used Super Salve ( on my dad's gangrene and maggot infested abcesses and it healed in THREE days. Super Salve has comfrey in it. He also ate raw comfrey leaves. Sure'n he'll be back on them hosses quicker'n even he can imagine.

  5. This is a tough winter all over. I hope Dave finds a new job quickly and that Richard is really really careful. At least the doctor says it will heal eventually. I know all about flooded stalls and I'm glad that you didn't have that mess to clean up. If you do get wetness, I've found that the horse bedding wood pellets are really good. They soak it up and then you can just shovel them out and replace them. I like the kind made by ABM - which is available on the West Coast, but unfortunately not available around here in New England. Those puppies are adorable - more pictures please!

  6. Glad you all are drying out there! Great repairs too!
    Prayers for Richard and his family. To a quick recovery!
    Cute puppies!

  7. Glad to see that you're getting the place back under control after the flooding. Take it easy and watch that slippery stuff and falling on your butt, that's got to hurt. Hope Richard will listen to the doctor and not overdue it.

  8. Wow...poor Richard.

    This weather has been wicked, to say the least. Glad you shavings shed didn't collapse, and good to hear things are beginning to dry out.

  9. I was wondering how you were surviving over there! This winter has brought a lot of collapses and damage. Seeing the flooding on your side makes me glad I left there years and years ago. Snohomish and Lewis couldn't PAY me to live in those! And have animals too! They always suffer the most!
    Glad you are Ok....for the most part.

  10. So glad to hear you are getting back into shape and that it seems is the same with all of your neighbors.

    If I know men like I think I do I am willing to bet Richard will be back in the saddle in days let alone years LOL. Where are the vertebrae broken? Are they in a place where he can wear a brace around his middle section which will help keep his spine still. Not too comfortable but might help with the healing especiallly if he is going to continue riding.

    Looking forward to more updates and stories about the brood. (((((Hugs)))))