We’ve all heard the long running joke that actually riding horses is a very small part of having horses. And here’s my latest example. Still haven’t ridden since last summer, and I spent my free days doing farm work. It just needs to be done. But it’s setting me up to be able to groom/tack up/ride efficiently, so in the long run, it’s for the best.
The main task I completed was taking down the electric band fence that enclosed the paddock Stu and Ollie first lived in. I want to keep that area fenced but it’s impossible to keep clearing away to make more pasture when there’s a fence in the way. Plus the grass became so overgrown on the fenceline I was literally cutting the bottom strand out. (In the picture, the tall grass is where the fence came out of.)
Once it was all removed, I brought in the tractor and mowed down everything I could reach. This included the overgrown fenceline, the areas behind the fenceline, and part of the open area that I couldn’t reach for the last two years because the fenceline had no gate. It was a little depressing how much grew up after we spent so much time clearing out that area.
I plan to keep cutting down trees and expand the area into a nice pasture. I wish I could start using it now, as the grass grew up really nicely since last summer. There haven’t been any horses on it since last fall, so it got a nice window to grow in.
The tree cutting won’t start up until late fall though, when the weather gets cooler. So this project will be on standstill for a bit. But, there’s so many other things to work on, I’m sure I won’t even notice.
Perhaps too ambitiously, I want to build the new stalls for Stu and Pony, and create little runouts for all the stalls. It would be so helpful for keeping them stalled so the grass can grow in, and giving them their own spaces when the snow comes. We’ll see how much I can manage to get done with that though.
But going back to things I actually got done, I continued with my mowing work and mowed the arena. Yes, the arena, as in the place I leveled out and filled with stonedust. It hasn’t been used, and hasn’t been dragged so a forest of weeds has tried to take it over. It looked pretty gross.
I’m happy to say it now looks better, but I need to do some work there as well. I spent last summer fixing the drainage (ugh, dealing with water runoff is by far the most annoying aspect of a farm), and although it did fix the problem, I still have to repair the ditch that formed running through my arena. I’m going to wait until I correct a drainage issue that I know is going to happen on the opposite side, and then I’ll put up a small retaining wall to keep in the footing, relevel, and put down more stonedust. This might be the last time I have to get stonedust for that thing, and I look forward to that moment. Maybe next time I can get actual arena footing.
The arena issues are my priority, selfishly because I want to start riding again as soon as possible. Also, I don’t want to risk losing more stonedust because the cost of that stuff adds up. Plus, I actually don’t think it would take much manual labor on my part, most of it will be done sitting in the tractor, so it really won’t be that hard. Then, on to the stalls.
Think I can get it done before the end of the year? I highly doubt it. But… if I plan out the days right, and prioritize it, maybe it will actually happen. The lure of being able to ride again is pretty strong motiviation.