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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.

Getting A Room

Getting A Room

Sharing a stall damangeHaving a boy horse and a girl horse is interesting, even if it’s a mare (can make baby horses) and a gelding (can’t make baby horses). They still go through most of the motions, especially her and it’s obvious to me she gets quite frustrated when our gelding doesn’t show as much interest as a stallion would. But still they flirt. They nibble eat other, posture and he’s sorta interested. When they’re near the barn I usually tell them to get a room. Well…this week they did that.

The night before it happened we were outside roasting marshmallows and I thought I heard banging in the barn. I went to investigate and I swear the horses were looking out of their stall, whistling, as if to say “nothing to see here, move along human”. I looked around and saw nothing. The next morning I get up, walk to the barn and notice troublemaker Valentine’s head poking out of Moonshine’s stall. When I got to the stall I saw her in the background, eyes wide open as if to say “I told him we’d get in trouble…IT WAS ALL HIM!”. That banging was apparently Valentine, our big gelding, kicking the boards between his stall and hers (see pic). Upon closer inspection, I can’t see how he got through there, as he’s wider than the opening.

So I let the horses out and we re-installed the boards, this time with screws.

Now as funny as this is, a few things have me concerned:

  1. I’ve heard horses shouldn’t be in the same stall, even if the stall is pretty large. They’re big, powerful and not graceful in small places.
  2. The displaced stall boards were laying on the ground with the nails poking up. Most of the nails were bent over so I imagine they stepped on them.
  3. Even with strong screws, if this 16.3 hand gelding wants to visit my mare, a few screws and a 3/4 inch wood slat isn’t going to stop him. I hope this isn’t a trend.

Oh, and to be fair I see how she encourages him so my mare isn’t the least bit innocent in this incident.