Tuesday, April 3, 2012

You say you don't spook easy

What a sorry sack of photographs I have for this post. I brought the wrong cell phone and it has gone wrong. Yesterday was gorgeous with spring colors and they were only captured in a blurry, watercolor-y style. Sorry. If I can get good ones today, I will substitute them in. This is Pie, above, on our ride. It was windy and chilly, but he was a good boy. 

Last week I was missing from the blog because we had plumbers out to run a water line and electric from my grandmother's house to a pasture. We did a similar project previously and have been spoiled in that pasture by not having to carry water buckets. Also, in winter, the electric allows for a heated 16 gallon tub to be used. If Sovey didn't swim in that tub, all would be perfect.

This new project was not as easy. My grandparents' house was built on a concrete slab so the plumbers had to guess about the location of various underground pipes. The good news is that somehow their backhoe missed the septic tank and they missed the drain field pipes. They avoided the Dogwood tree roots, Maple tree roots and septic line. Hooray! But, they hit the water main line coming into the house from the street. A geyser of water plumed upward for a few minutes until the water company could come out. Adding to the excitement, the state highway people had paved over the turn-off valve so the water company had a treasure hunt when they arrived. 

The whole week-long process was monitored by three attentive foreman, Pie, Sovereign and Foggy. They thought we had kindly installed a great big television for their viewing pleasure. It was turned to a comedy channel, I think. Between backhoes and geysers and water pipes and plumbers and electricians there was much activity to watch. Every day when I arrived at the barn, my three horses were clustered around the plumbers and they didn't want to come in to do anything. 

I rode Foggy bareback the first day and almost went off. He doesn't shy at anything and I knew the plumbing project would be nothing for him. Stupidly, though, I left Pie and Sovey out in the pastures when I rode. I felt bad dragging them into the barn when they were obviously having so much fun watching the plumbers. As Foggy approached the water pipe ditch and backhoe, (bored and yawning), Sovey decided to act like he was suddenly worried and he raced away. Pie joined him and Foggy was determined to get me off his back so he could go with them. I was outside the pasture (I never ride in a pasture with other horses) and I was near the road. Foggy isn't too tall and falling off wasn't my biggest worry. I just didn't want sweet Foggy to get out on the road, which made the whole ordeal a bit terrifying. Foggy bucked and reared and bunny-hopped and wiggled. I slid off and managed to get him into a pasture gate. Ugh.

This is the location of the fuss up, although this photo is from last November. The road is behind me. I rode Pie the next day and put the brothers in the barn! Pie had no problems with the plumbers. They are amazing horses not to get too worried about machinery at the farm. I didn't think I would ride last week, but it ended up being a non-issue to them.

Today's project is figuring out a way to secure this hideous looking barrel at our new water pipe location. Our plastic horse water troughs, perfect and lovely hunter green, are turning out to be a muddy disaster because of our pawing swimmer boy, Sovereign. I was kindly given two blue plastic barrels like this one with their tops cut off. I need to weight them down with rocks and then insert our troughs in the top. This is all I can figure out to keep Sovey out of the water. Until we can build him a swimming pool, we will just have to hose him off daily by hand. He dumps and muddies everyone's water all day long, summer and winter. Foggy is my biggest drinker and his adorable, tiny front feet both have a small area of white line disease according to my farrier. I am treating him for it, but the year-round mud hole around the water troughs doesn't help. So, a layer of pea gravel, two blue heavy barrels and elevated water (ridiculous for horses) are all I can come up with for now. Oh, Sovereign, you make my hair grey. 


  1. Silly Sovey! He is a sea horse!!
    Sounds like a busy week! But at least you got to ride some :)

  2. Juliette,
    The photos (two of them) are really quite pretty! The first one is sort of dreamy and would make a great painting, don't you think? And the one with the purple mane is also very pretty.
    It is such fun to read about your horses' reactions to the construction, and how they find it fascinating and want to watch it. I think they are equine construction foremen!!
    Poor Foggy for getting all excited- good for you that you handled it well and no one was hurt. Sovereign is sure a clever horse for thinking up such things to do with his water tub. Your idea sounds good. Sometimes we have to be one step ahead of them, don't we!! Glad you are getting water out to the pastures- that is a big help!!

  3. Not sure if it's a possibility but what about installing a Nelson automatic waterer (or similar)? All our turnouts have them and they are pretty awesome.

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  5. Sounds like a busy project compounded by chaos with the water line and the highway dept. I'd love to watch the horses "supervising" the goings on! And with all that, you sneaked in a ride--albeit a dicey one at that!
    Good luck with the water trough project.

  6. Your boys are so curious! I can imagine them watching the plumbing with great interest. I bet Sovey would have loved to play in the water main gusher.

  7. Horses are the best supervisors! Mine were overseeing our weekend project very bravely too.

    Good job staying put - worrying about horses getting to the road is terrifying! Well done. :)

    I love the fourth picture - beautiful!!

  8. Sounds like an eventful week with all the snoopervisors helping out.

    If the outside automatic waterers aren't in the cards just yet how about building a square wooden box around the blue pails. Or maybe coiling and gluing some heavy rope on them. I also wonder if there is some sort of paint you can paint vinyl/plastic with and do a flower vine sort of decoration on them or make them look like antique milk cans. Good luck with whatever you decide.

  9. The pea gravel is like spa day for the horses, they will all enjoy it :) I miss ours and Laz would happily stand in it for hours-ahhh. I too, am grey far too early ;)

  10. I like the water color effect :)
    I'm sooo impressed that you were able to stay on a bucking, rearing horse bareback and then slide off and keep things under control. Good riding.
    Happy Easter!

  11. Your watercolor pictures are very dreamy! Maybe you are secretly a french impressionist in PA? YES! I screamed with hilarity when I read about the three foremen! HAH! Juliette, I adore your sense of humor. And what's more: I can imagine those three foremen looking on perfectly. It sounds like there has been all kinds of excirtement at Honeysuckle Faire lately! Hold on, cowgirl!


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