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No more rusty metal gate

No more rusty metal gate

Rusty metal gate

This week I was looking through pictures from last year, longing for warmer days when I found pictures of our pasture access gate. It was a rusty mess. We’ve looked at and walked through this gate a million times and couldn’t take the rust any more. It was ugly, it made my hands red, it made noise and was in danger of disintegrating into a pile of rust. The solution was a simple one.

Our pasture has three gate access points: 1) through our back yard using this small rusty gate, 2) through our barn using a galvanized metal gate (no rust) and 3) via the road going past our place using a large rusty gate, big enough for a truck, tractor, etc. to get through. One summer day, we decided we had enough of the smaller rusty gate and picked up some primer and green Rustoleum at Walmart. The gate (pictured) took 2 cans of primer and 2 cans of paint. We selected green because it matched the color of the grass back then. What a huge difference it made in the appearance of our back yard.

A few thoughts when painting pasture fence and gate stuff:

  • Horses are curious creatures and have large nostrils with which to inhale psychedelic paint fumes (careful, those of you who have a horse that cribs/sucks wind/wood).
  • It’s easier to avoid getting paint on you with gloves than it is to wash paint off of your skin
  • Keep the horses away, especially if you’re using non-horse colors like white primer and green. Yes, horses come in white sometimes but mine are black.
  • You think you know this but trust me when I say – don’t spray into the wind. Lesson learned…again.

10 months later, this gate looks about as good as it did when I painted it. Next, we’ll do the big rusty gate, though it’s a lower priority since I don’t look at it every day from the house.

We’re in need of some more gates and we’re thinking of building our round pen with these 12-foot gate sections. But I’m at the point where I need to decide on painted or galvanized. Painted looks nicer…at first. I don’t know how long this paint job of ours will last but I sure don’t want to paint gates every year. I don’t want to spend the time or money. Paint for this little gate cost us almost $20 and a new, painted gate isn’t much more than that. I’m strongly considering galvanized. I think in the long run we’ll save money.

Tree: 3; Chainsaws: 0

Tree: 3; Chainsaws: 0

Chainsaws stuck in tree…also, Tree: about 50; supercharged F-150 SuperCrew: 1. We went a few more rounds with the tree in our pasture that blew down a few weeks ago. If you look closely at the very blurry picture to the right, you will see two chainsaws – one pointing up, one pointing down. The reason why it’s so blurry is that it was taken at about 7:00 at night with my cellphone. It was the only camera on hand, and I only had it in case I needed to call 911. (Thankfully, that was not necessary.)

Split tree
(Tree in daylight, sans chainsaws)

It was yet another of those things that seem so simple and turn out to be anything but. About 1/3 of this tree had split off the trunk in a bad windstorm, and it was a pretty big tree. It was kind of an eyesore, probably not too safe for the horses who liked to wander underneath it and most importantly, was an irresistible magnet to the neighbor kids who were denied permission to play on it but were doing so anyway. So we headed up to this tree at about 4:00 Saturday afternoon (that would be December 30) thinking that we’d just get the broken limb detached from the trunk. About 15 minutes later, the chainsaw got pinched in the cut. No problem, we think, we’ll just wiggle it out. Half an hour later, we decide to try a crowbar. Half an hour after that, we decide to try an ax. Half an hour after that, we decide we’ll just hook up a tow rope and pull the limb loose with our truck (there was only a small un-sawed part left). Twenty minutes of skidding and fishtailing later, we decide we might need help. So we call up our way too put-upon friends, the Watsons, and ask to borrow a chainsaw. Mr. Watson generously offered to not only bring his chainsaw but to help.

Five minutes after his arrival, his chainsaw is also stuck in the stupid tree. Again, out comes the crowbar; again, no luck. This time, we skipped the ax and went straight to the truck. The Watson chainsaw came out fairly soon after we began pulling, but our saw still wasn’t going anywhere. Another ten minutes of revving that V-8 and sliding all over the place and the father of the neighbor children joined us. (The tree is about 20 yards from their back door; he was wondering what all the ruckus was.) We eventually moved the tow rope to the other side of the branch and pulled the limb downhill, and it finally gave up the ghost – and the chainsaw. What was left of it. Needless to say, we were done chainsawing for the day and the tree will rest unmolested until we get a new chain and bar.

Invisible horse in dark pasture
Can you find the horse in this picture?

By the way, if you were wondering – our two very helpful horses spent all this time getting too close to the unstable tree limb, too close to the chainsaw and too close to the truck, in addition to not moving from behind the truck when we needed to back up, trying to go through the gate with the truck each time we opened it, and scaring Mr. Watson by appearing suddenly in front of him in the dark (they’re pretty much invisible at night, being black – see picture to left).

Sometimes I think our life is just a bad sitcom.

Horses and chainsaws

Horses and chainsaws


Nope, not a Halloween post. The other day Mikki and I were out in the pasture cutting back a large section of a tree that had fallen during a storm. We headed on out with a chainsaw and an ax to clear the tree away from the round bale of hay resting under a nearby tree. The fallen tree presented a hazard to our horses so like good horse parents we were gonna fix it. I figured the horses would be afraid of the loud noises the chainsaw made but was surprised to see they didn’t seem to care. I guess they trusted since the noise was coming from around us, they didn’t have to fear it. At least we didn’t bring any plastic shopping bags with us. Now that would have been scary! Of course, I didn’t saw very close to them and had they approached me Mikki would have shooed them off. And I didn’t cut any branches that would have fallen on them or snapped towards them, despite how close they look in the picture (it was a staged photo).