The ramblings of a personal assistant to Bart and Belle (& Foxy, Lady, and Antares)
Sunday, January 4, 2009
I want my blankie and I want it NOW!
Let me preface this by saying that it is cold. -2 without counting windchill. with the windchill it is freaking cold. The pilot light went out in my boiler over night and I woke up to freezing temps in the house. We finally got that started, but I really need the boiler replaced so that we don't freeze to death or the gases do not asphyxiate us, or the boiler does not just explode, but it is a rental, so. . . Anyway, we (me, kid 1 and kid 2) put on our carharts, hat, gloves, boots -- actually we looked a lot like the kid from Christmas story, and headed out to the barn. We weren't planning on riding because I feel like death and the kids freeze too quickly. Fortunately, the girls can exercise themselves by chasing each other and farting and kicking around. They also like to roll in the indoor arena. Something about the footing. So, we begin by cleaning stalls. I normally strip stalls on Saturday, but i didn't, so today was stall stripping day. I normally use an enzyme product that reduces ammonia build up, but it was frozen. My shipment of hay came in. Oh, great. It is in a huge pile, not stacked, but thrown in my general direction. Lovely. I will have to stack it tomorrow before those around me start to complain. Lovely. While I strip stalls, kid 2 is supposed to get shavings. Normally he can fill a wheelbarrow with fresh in about the time that I can with dirty. I had four wheel barrows dumped and four bales of hay brought in before I went in search. He was taking time out to warm up. I am not sure how he thought that he was warming up by stopping, but whatever. So, kid 1 was now assigned to help with shavings. Within 5 minutes kid 2 had whacked kid 1 in the head with a shovel, breaking her new stampede string on her new cowgirl hat. Death threats ensued. I walked away. They might be mine, but I don't want to hear it either. I dumped the first load of shavings into Belle's stall. Apparently, the wheelbarrow had not been empty when kid 2 began to fill it. I then cleaned the stall again. I let kid 2 dump that load. Kid 1 was sent to go get one of the girls. I should have been more specific. Belle needs to be brought in first. If she is left out, she throws her weight around. Literally. The panels are not designed to withstand a cranky Clydesdale that crashes into them. This photo shows the panel that Belle has thumped on a few times. She is not the only one though. But While I was out of town, she was pretty brutal to it.
Foxy went straight into her stall, took a mouthful of grain and then poked her head back out of her door, looking for Belle. I sent Kid 1 back and told her to just open the gate and let her out. (did I mention that I am not feeling well. I know that I should have gone down corrected Belle's behavior, but I didn't) Belle came trotting down the aisle, no one else was there, and straight into her stall. Now, Belle loves grain. She knows that it is an important part of her diet and she loves it. I is also the only way that I can keep weight on her since she moved into a stall. Normally, she goes straight for the grain and if it is not in her stall she will try to get back out of the stall and kick her grain container until she gets it. Today was different. I had taken her blanket off for her to roll and play. I was holding the blanket but I was going to take her halter off first. Nope, she stood there and tossed her head around until I put the blanket on her, then she dove for her grain. Like I said it is cold.
I have three kids, four cats, four horses, one fish, a ton of rabbits, millions of chickens and roosters, Turkeys, 1 llama(+1 we llamasit), 8 peafowl, and 5 dogs. I have a wonderful husband that puts up with it all.