Saturday, October 10, 2009

A taste of winter, and a catalyst

Although the forecast was calling for highs in the 30s today, I'm pretty sure it never got above 25 degrees. Since the temperature dropped fairly suddenly, I was worried that the horses hadn't had a chance to grow enough of a winter coat, and went out to the barn this afternoon to check on Panama.

Sure enough, he was shivering. I fed the horses their grain (so they would all leave me alone — they hadn't been fed yet) and blanketed Panama once they were done eating.

While I was there, the barn owner parked a trailer in the pasture, so that it stuck out from the side of the barn. It's a flat bed trailer, with what looks like dog run panels fastened to the sides to keep hay in, and the support bar that holds up the front of the trailer is about three feet tall — tall enough to do some damage to a horse. So for obvious reasons, the fact that he was parking it in the pasture concerned me.

When I asked about it, he said he was going to make his son unload the pile of dirt on the trailer's bed to level out the ground next to the barn.

"You're sure he's going to do it today?" I asked skeptically. For one thing, it was only 25 degrees out (at the most), and for another, I remember how the work his boys are supposed to do never seems to get done. Piles of mulch are one thing, but I don't think it's a good idea for a trailer to be sitting in the pasture for weeks.

Perhaps anticipating my objections, the barn owner said in a nonchalant tone, "I hope the horses don't get hurt on it, but I don't have a choice. I have to unload the Suburban."

Uh, yeah, you have a choice. You can choose to park the trailer in the driveway (which is big enough to hold four such trailers and still leave room for a couple of cars to pull in and out) until you know for sure that your son is going to do the work.

I promptly put the horses on the other pasture (the eviction deadline isn't until the 29th), checked their water, and gave them extra hay (as he still hadn't blanketed the other two). I'm furious, though, and I'm thinking I will probably move Panama a week early as a result. Overlapping board by two weeks certainly isn't ideal, but $100 or so isn't enough of a savings to risk Panama getting hurt.

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