I had such a good laugh today. It was the second day in a row that I made a pretty BIG mistake. I can laugh about it because thankfully disaster was averted. (I am grateful that my husband was a good sport about it too!)
Yesterday’s Mistake: This is our first week taking care of our horses on our own land. And we are trying to figure things out as we go, especially since Ellie is on stall rest and limited turn out. I picked up some temporary electric fencing to make small paddocks for her to hang out in for part of the day. Small enough that she can’t gallop around and go crazy, but big enough that she isn’t frustrated in her stall all day.
Well…I noticed after two days the grass was nibbled down to nubbins and I needed to move the electric fencing to cordon off a different spot in the pasture. After moving everything around, I removed Ellie’s lead rope BEFORE closing the gate, ay!
She made a run for it and escaped into the front yard. I was so panicked because she can NOT run around with that laceration healing and I thought if she ran around the house she would go crazy with the hills and pasture space tempting her. Worse, the farm perimeter is not fully fenced in, so she could get out into the road by our driveway. So, in my not-so-farm-girl moment…I ran to the house opened the front door and screamed, “Emergency, come out!”, then slammed the door and called my older daughter on the phone which thankfully she picked up even though she was at work. She, the amazing horsewoman that she is, reminded me calmly to get some grain in a bucket and shake it for her. Oh yes. I knew that. But in the moment, I just wasn’t thinking straight. So I take off running for the barn, creating quite the spectacle. Our three construction guys that were doing the finishing touches on the barn (insulating the tack room, gutters, etc), came over to the driveway to head Ellie off if she came that way. (That was so nice of them!)
Luckily, Ellie did not take the opportunity to act like a maniac. While she did go around the house, she came back rather quickly and was more interested in checking out the flower pots and other items around our front porch. I think she was too scared to go far since she has not yet been in that part of the pasture and it is only her first week at home. When I returned with her grain, She came and walked eagerly back into the little paddock. Phew!
Today’s Mistake: Okay, this one could have been a really, really, bad mistake. I had to move the horse trailer (a small two horse bumper pull) out of the way so the gutter truck could get near the barn.
So, for the first time I parked it on the hill near the exit gate on our barn drive. Today, I spent much of the 90 degree hot day measuring, cutting and installing the remaining kickboard. In an attempt to make the job go by faster, I was going to load up the wood into the back of my truck then drive it over to the barn. Yeah, unfortunately, the lumber had to be delivered near the house, because it was a rainy day and the delivery truck did not want to pull into the barn driveway, which doesn’t have any good footing on it yet…still mostly dirt. So, I had been carrying over the cut lumber, but today I was going to be more efficient and just load it all up and drive it over. So, I unhooked my trailer. Have I driven the horse trailer before? Yes. Have I parked the trailer before? Yes. Have a taken it to shows and to our trainer’s barn? Yes. One would conclude that I should be able to do this correctly — hmm, not so.
I dutifully unhooked the chains and started cranking up the coupler. As soon as the coupler cleared the ball, the trailer started rolling down the driveway towards the barn!!!! I screamed (who knows what I said, all I know is high pitched screaming was involved) and I tried to hold on to the trailer as it went sliding. Images of the trailer crashing into the brand new barn, smashing the glass windows, all the money and time invested… I desperately hung on to that trailer, waiting for help to arrive. Luckily, the trailer jack (you know that little foot stand) started to dig into the ground and the trailer stopped. At the time, I didn’t realize this had happened. I actually thought that I was holding it! It was only when my husband pointed out that it had dug in, did I realize how lucky I was. There would have been no way that I could have stopped the trailer myself. Someone was looking out for me today 🙂
I quickly put wooden blocking in between the wheels. We had bought these wheel chocks, but they got lost in the move, so we have been using 2×6 wooden blocks. Never, ever unhitch your trailer until your wheel chocks are in place! That is a lesson I will (hopefully) never forget. Disaster averted again!
Tomorrow’s Mistake: TBD
I actually quite enjoy this new adventure and learning the ropes along the way. I realize that for the first time now I am doing some of these chores on my own. So, even if I might have seen them done or helped in some way, being solely responsible takes it to another level. I’m sure there will be many more mistakes made, and perhaps some with not so happy endings, but for now I’m smiling and loving my farm life.