I know you’ve heard it before: “X is my life,” or “He eats, breathes and sleeps X.” Well, I’m hear to tell you that horses have actually become our life. Occasionally, work or sleep or some other mundane thing intrudes, but generally everything we do in some way relates to the fact that we have horses.
This weekend, for instance, we drove all the way to Knoxville (about an hour) to rent a chipper/shredder at Home Depot on Saturday. We spent about six hours collecting fallen trees and branches in the pasture and sending them through that terrifying, but oddly satisfying, maw of wood death. Then on Sunday, we drove the hour back to Knoxville (missing church, btw) to return the behemoth within our 24-hour rental period. We are both so sore we can hardly move and have stuffy noses from the dust, and our bank account is $150 lighter (not counting the gas to drive up there and back twice) – but about 27 tons of deadfall is now nice neat mulch. Of course we want our pasture to look nice, and that’s probably why most people would spend their Saturday clearing it out, but frankly, we could have left all that stuff indefinitely. That’s a lot of hard work, and the “natural” look is best for a pasture, don’t you think? But our horses walk through the woods out there all the time, and we’ve been concerned for their safety for months now. So once again, we devoted a weekend to horse maintenance. Last weekend…well, I don’t actually remember last weekend, but past weekends have included putting up hay, fixing fences, fixing barn stalls, clearing weeds in the pasture, driving to the city to get horse supplies – oh, and actual riding, once in a while. Our weekends coming up will include installing a new outlet to plug in the stock tank de-icer, building out the unfinished stall for Romeo, fixing up the old barn for hay storage, installing an electric fence…and that’s just what has to be done before winter.
I wish we had known ahead of time how time-consuming horse ownership really is. On second thought, maybe it was better not to know.