Sunday, November 18, 2007

How Tacky

Today I got all the horse stuff out of the U-store place, and put it in the new, completed Tack Room of  The Barn.


The barn has electricity, and its own electric meter. I can't quite figure out how the meter reader will get in to see it, given that the horses and/or the dogs will be loose in that area, but I guess we'll find out.

It has water plumbed into the frost-free hydrant in the main barn, and into the big sink in the tack room. The tack room, additionally, has HOT water. Hot damn!

There is an area just under the water hydrant where the cement has been jackhammered out. We will not comment further on this.

The horses are obviously pleased with their new quarters, and with being able to see each other all the time.  It has made them very easy to handle, feed, etc. without all the hysterical screaming of  "She's gone!!! The wild bears have eaten her!!! Run for your life!!!" all of which got really really old when the missing horse was tied just past their line of sight.

The dogs, who now are near enough matched in size that they won't do any major damage to each other as they chase, attack, maul, drag, etc. each other, are enjoying sleeping in the barn on their big cozy blankets on top of the hay, and we enjoy having them not bark or whine all night long in the garage or crate.  The outdoor cats have now re-staked their claim on the garage, which is heated and has a kitty door they can use, now that the dogs are not poking their noses through it all the time.
The very first thing I put in the tack room was a mini-fridge and a six-pack of coke.

I used to be so compulsive about my horse care.  When I only had one, he was brushed every day, feet picked out, stall cleaned.  My first horse was a palomino (gold with white mane and tail--think Trigger) and I kept him show ring clean all the time.  People at the stables would laugh at me when I washed his mane and then used a blow-dryer.  I kept his ears, bridle path , and fetlocks all trimmed, and body clipped him in the winter.  Cheez, it was as bad as washing your car tires after each drive.  Now my three beasts are frizzy wild ponies by comparison, but I'm sure they're just as pleased not to be fussed over.  They still, of course, get their feet done, yearly shots, wormed every two months, and so on.   

[When we lived in San Fran, I boarded my horse at Golden Gate Park, and I felt pressured to keep him beautiful.  He was often photographed when we rode, or just when I had him in hand.  In fact, somewhere I have a clipping from the San Francisco Chronicle where he made the front page:  after a wind storm blew part of the barn down on top of him, he was unhurt, but trapped in a tiny area with his head held down to his knees.   The fire department had to free him with acetylene torches (one poor guy had to wrap a fire blanket around his butt to shield him), but thank god for calm quarter horses, after all that he only had scratches.  I guess that was my 15 minutes of horsey fame.... It nearly gave me a coronary, of course...]

The final cost of the barn was double the amount we planned to pay, and the whole project took three times as long.  We have far more sweat equity in this than expected, too.  We couldn't have done it all without #1 son help, and even so the DH worked his butt off, even when we hired a handyman to help.  DH only fell off the ladder backwards once (!) and only got shocked on the light switch once.   The son only lost one nail, when he smacked his thumb with a two pound sledge hammer.  The handyman only stepped through the tack room ceiling once.   And everyone in our family agrees--never again. 

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