In which we make more fence, and unearth something very unusual

Another day of fence-building. The perimeter fence posts are in, and all the t-posts are now capped for safety. We still need to attach the web mesh and then run electric fence tape...which sounds like a lot of work, and it is.

Fortunately, the electric part is very quick and easy to install, and I decided tonight that if necessary to make our "move out" deadline at the other barn, I'll run three strands of electric tape around the perimeter as a temporary measure, and we can mount the web mesh as soon as we can.

The mares won't be allowed to be in the entire field at first anyhow, because they have been living in a place where the grass is sparse, and our place is lush, which is a recipe for founder if we are not very careful to ration their exposure to grass at first.

I'm preparing them for the move by grazing them in the grassiest spot at the boarding barn for 2-3 hours each day. When they move home this weekend, we will keep them in the sacrifice area at night and during the middle part of the day, allowing them an hour or two of grazing in the "grazing strip", a small portion of the pasture, in the morning and evening, building that time up gradually so that in a few weeks they will spend all day in the pasture.

Today Willy and I built the first grazing strip. These step-in posts are MUCH quicker and easier to plant than T-posts and railroad posts, because they are designed to be temporary fencing. When the mares have eaten the grass down to 3-4" in this part of the pasture, we will uproot the step-in posts and enclose a different portion of the pasture.

Luna, OITF as always, watches Willy stringing the electric tape.

Mimsy admires the new fence. It took us about an hour to install this whole thing.

Then, Jim took down a big portion of it so he could get Tootles in-and-around the pile of hogsfuel to level out the sacrifice area. It took us about 3 minutes to put the fence back when he was done.

Geez that's easy.

I also moved most of our tack and stuff from the old barn to the new place today.

Our temporary "hay barn" is too small, and located in the wrong place...but it came with the property and it doesn't leak. So we've brought in some hay, and stacked up our stuff. We have all the blankets and extra tack--an inevitable accumulation of more than 15 years of horse-keeping--stashed elsewhere on the property, and we'll usually keep our saddles in the trailer as we've done for years at the boarding barn.

The stuff in the hay barn is:

* stuff we need immediately (fence-building gear, for example)

* stuff we'll need every day (the manure barrow, grooming kit, riding helmet), and

* stuff I hope never to use but don't want to hunt for it if I need it (the emergency kit).

It smells so nice in the hay barn now--an evocative blend of sweet hay, turpentine and coppertox.

I sold the 2 plastic ponds in about 2 hours, for $50 cash. (yay, Craigslist).

That left the remaining pond, which was constructed in a very curious way....

Can you tell what they used for a pond?

Do you know how difficult it was to excavate?

And yet, Willy and I perservered.

At last, we unearthed it: the Ugliest Water Tank in the Universe.

Undeniably ugly, but totally useful. It will be the mare's new water tank.

Perhaps somebody has suggestions for making it slightly less hideous? (Please, don't suggest burying it in sand again. It was REALLY hard to get out of the ground!)

I have an idea! We'll make it into an Objet d'Art. Now we just need ideas.

G'head everyone: PIMP MY WATER TANK!

Send me your suggestions (and sketches)? Nothing poisonous or dangerous, please--remember that a horses are endowed with an amazing talent for troublemaking. Glue-on rhinestones and strings of xmas lights just won't work.

I'll do my best to implement whatever y'all suggest.

'Cuz I'm just that kind of a person.


  1. So Willy is your teenaged child who helps willingly in all of these endeavors? Amazing.

  2. willy has the coolest shorts! what fashion sense, he looks great just working around the farm. wish i could do that. i'm terrified the neighbors will come by and see me in what i wear out there.

    ugliest water tank in the world? *lol* but i beg to differ: a bathtub is the biggest eyesore tank IMO. yours is much better. and that is one big hole you are standing in!

    your grazing stripe is awesome! (i say stripe cuz it's similar to the german word.) your temporary posts are way cooler than ours, and you have way more of them. your pasture is pancake flat, flat as north germany, where you can see your sunday guests coming on friday. it's good for some galloping i think.

    american fencing mesh is so much better than the goat wire they use here - you know the fencing with 4 inch by 4 inch mesh - just big enough to get a leg/hoof thru? stupid. well, yesterday i rode by a field with that 4X4 goat mesh, and a couple of mini shetlands came running over and one of them was so anxious to visit, he stuck his head thru the mesh - up to his eyes!!! i said "AGH! You're not supposed to be able to do that!" and left quickly so he'd quit.

    so i have a question for all people out there with electric horse fence - how critical is it to keep the grass clear of it? we only have two strands, up high, and still, our grass is touching in some spots. i use a scythe to cut it back, but still i find grass touching. does that render the fence "off"? or?? i am probably seen as paranoid, constanly cutting under my electric wire! (our lowest wire is hip-height on me - not so low! we could never have a shetland here.)

    so is june 1 the horsey homecoming day?

    i'm so excited for you! thanks for all the pictures, giving us a sense for your barn and property. you have a horsey mail box!

    that reminds me, i wanna get a cool sign with our name on it, and perhaps a horse design, to identify this place. not a welcome sign (cuz not everyone is welcome, ya know) but a "farm sign" ....oh, we still need to decide on a name. i'd like to hire a local artisan to make it out of that cool slate that all the houses here are made out of. oohh!! that would be cool... you need a sign too. it can say haiku farm with a haiku on it that has some clever invite to pirates. or just a pic of your mares, stylized.

    so, is mr. fashion sense gonna stay on at haiku farm or is it just a temporary visit?

  3. Since we're talking about horses, I say the pimping needs to be limited to a serious scrubbing. It's not as if your girls will care one way or the other :-)

  4. great to see your progress girl!

    For your water tank I say a couple coats of purple spray paint ought to do it. Maybe cozy it up with some cute girly daisies for the mares... :)


  5. It's true that the MARES won't care what this water tank looks like, but it will be planted right outside my dining room window.

    I'll have to look at it every day.

    That's why, even if we can't make it pretty, I'd like to make it less ugly....

  6. Just found your blog - looks like you've got an adventure going! I can't wait to hear more! Your plans for a sacrifice area/grazing strips is a good one. I wouldn't bother, myself, about the water tank - as long as it's clean and the horses are drinking from it - that's all I expect. Think of it as beautiful because it works!

  7. Everything is looking so good around there. Your hard work shows.
    If it were me and I had to look at that water tank (how fortunate to have found that under the ground instead of another plastic one...except how grand that you got money for them. hehe!) I'd maybe paint it dark blue and then sponge paint glow-in-the-dark stars on the sides. Then it would be visible, and pretty, even at night.

    I also like the idea of painting it purple with bright yellow and orange flowers on it.
    Or maybe paint it your favorite color, with handpainted swirls?

    Have fun!

    ps, I also have been meaning to stop by to thank you for all of your really wonderful and thoughtful comments you've left for me lately. They mean more than I can explain and I really appreciate you for thinking of me and speaking to my heart. :)

  8. Oooh! Got another idea for your water tank. It reminds me of a basket. You could paint it tan and brown and just follow the lines and dips already on the tank to make a basket design.

    And one more idea. Paint it completely white, and then paint over the white almost to the very top with blue.....making wave-like the top of the ocean. Leave the top 5-6" a glass of water.

    And if you like playful designs, you could even add little painted fish, frogs and plantlife within the faux water. :)


  9. I just made myself laugh! If you did my last idea, then you'd actually turn your pre-pond/post-water tank back into a pond again. What an irony! lol!



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