Monday, June 10, 2013

A Return to the Journey of 2011... The Farm........

  Part 1

With me being home Dave and Lindsay no longer had to make the trip to the hospital to visit but there were aspects of my care that required more time than visits had been. That left my youngest daughter shouldering more of the horses care than she had already been doing.

Thus situation was very distressing to me. I not only worried about the horses but I worried I was being unfair to my husband and daughter. There was so much to do and not only was I unavailable, my care was taking away Dave as well. I couldn't help but worry about all that entailed so it was one more stressor for me.

As it has been said in the comments, situations like this require reevaluating one's priorities. You do what is absolutely necessary and other things get let go. On a farm the size of this one that means a lot of the maintenance issues get but on the back burner. The end result of that is a deteriorating facility and that was certainly happening here.

Before I got sick we had experienced a difficult winter. With a rainy season more persistent than usual there was plenty of flood damage needing to be addressed but the waters had not even receded yet by the time I was hospitalised. The last indicator it was safe to do repairs happens to be my round pen and it was still floating in July.

One of the issues caused by all that water was the destabilization  of the ground underneath some of the stalls. Even though there had been a thick layer of gravel, rolled and tightly packed under the mats originally, the amount and duration of the rain had created a situation we had not experienced before.

The weight of the horses moving around on top of the mats had caused the iver saturated ground beneath the layer of rock to rise up and mix in with the rock. The end result was a softened surface that was malleable. It rose and fell with more powerful movement of the horses. The end result was an uneven surface to the stall floors. The worst examples were a few floors that looked more like moguls than a horse's stall.

As this problem evolved we worked on those floors. We evened out the floors but we were unable to remove the excess water that saturated the ground so it was just a temporary fix.  Mother Nature was the only one who could dry the ground out enough so we could do a permanent fix.

Unfortunately, the rainy season kept on but the usual rain wasn't as much trouble as the huge downpours that saturated the ground beyond its limits.  The horses still acted like horses sometimes spinning around or racing from one point to another to look at whatever had elicited this response and the soft ground underneath was sculpted into those moguls again. We could fix the stalls one day and have an undulating floor the next.

While we had had flooding in years past in one barn aisle, we had never had this issue with the ground staying saturated for so long that it began to be influenced by the horses' movement in the stalls and weird as this may sound, it was dry on top of the mats. We had no flooding in the stalls through this.

As another indicator of how weird our weather had been, we experienced this issue to a lessor degree in stalls in barns that have never flooded. By the end of the rainy season any stalls that did not have concrete floors were affected to some degree except for those in the one small barn. That meant half our stalls were affected to some degree and it drove us all crazy but it was just a part of what needed to be addressed. For a perfectionist like me, it was another aspect of vulnerability to be exploited.

To be continued.......

More Issues.......


  1. The stall situation certainly sounds like a big job. I can understand how this would have made you feel helpless.

  2. my husband once brought a bale of hay into the house - over 11 years ago after my radical hysterectomy - because I wasnt allowed to feed the horses because I just got out and I heard one of the horses cough (i had more then Ebony and Sally then). I was frantic as I didnt want them to be fed moldy hay- is our hay turning moldy???!!

    but when he brought that bale into my kitchen for me to smell and approve LOL, out of breath and full of hay from the hay mow, I started to laugh at my craziness and from then on started to learn how to let go of that perfectionism. It still comes out once in awhile but I always remember how poor mike was trying so hard to do the right i can totally relate!

  3. Haha Feral you make me laugh!

    But I can understand, when I can not do my chores (from being gone not from being far at least) I make them as simple as possible, I get so picky about who and how my horses are handled and luckily I have enough pasture to just turn them out. Sometimes it seems like when one thing goes wrong everything goes wrong and this sounds like another thing to make hard work for you guys.