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Rainbow’s End at our Little Ranch

July 26, 2011

Each day I think about what I will write here in my neglected blog.  So many ideas occur to me throughout the day and I say to myself, tonight I will have extra time.  Then something comes up,  like a cool afternoon perfect for cutting firewood in the backcountry or when my horse decides to stay in the trailer for 14 hours.  It was a wonderful day, a lovely sky awash with sun galore and late afternoon clouds.  I worked in the garden beds that had not yet been converted, chopping out hunks of weedy roots with a pick, hitting rocks in numbers, digging around them, moving them, getting wheelbarrows full of manure and compost, digging that in, in other words work.  But I loved it.  Tim was painting the very last of the house and there was even talk of a shot of tequila.

My plan for trailer training was to ask Two Feathers to come in part way and back out.  She has no trouble loading, it is backing off the ramp that she wants no part of.  We stepped on to the ramp and off, two feet on, two feet off, four feet on, four feet off. No problems.  Then I asked her to step front feet into the trailer, back feet on ramp and off, still no problem.  Next was my final step for this training session – half way in and out.  Slam dunk.  Get out the shot glasses.

She barged all the way in.  There was no stopping her.  She would not get out.  This was about 4pm.  By 10pm it was getting dark and we hadn’t eaten dinner.  We drove the rig into her pasture and decided to let her sort it out.  She had come within 3 steps of unloading 50 different times, but she would not complete the process.  I resigned myself to a negative sleep balance.  After checking on her for the final time at 11:30pm, I knew we were doing the right thing.  She was calm, her sister was right near her side, she just needed to gather the courage to back on out.  I offered her water, but to get her food, she had to take those three steps.  At the crack of dawn, I was scared to look out my bedroom window.  There she was, still in there, but with all four feet now on the ramp.  Sonata was standing next to the trailer, probably wondering what the big deal was.  I lay back in bed, waiting for the morning to dawn a bit more.  Within 45 minutes, I heard some motion.  I looked out the window and two girls were running about the pasture in jubilation.  I went straight out to feed her.  Here is what I learned.  By not forcing her out, by letting her figure it out for herself, she held no ill will to me.  She was loving and happy.  She was completely uninjured.  Later when we cleaned up the trailer to move it, she came right over and stuck her nose in (I had already closed the top!).  I also got to see Tim in action with the horses.  He has a natural knack and had more success getting Two Feathers to make any kind of move backward.  Tim and I worked together to keep each other positive and when one of us got tired or scared, the other filled in.

So there you have it.  Life is unpredictable.  But we are getting set up.  We now have 9 tons of hay in our stack.  We have 3 cords of firewood cut.  The pasture is steadily getting de-rocked. The house and deck are finished.  Our little ranch at the end of the rainbow is coming along.  Can’t wait for our first visitor!

Hey, that's our hay!

Tim and his horse!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 26, 2011 8:25 am

    I liked your post and photography, especially the rainbow pic! Very cool!

  2. July 26, 2011 5:44 pm

    Once more I feel I have truly ‘been there’. And such a nice positive visit, that is to say,’no sweat’ for me. 🙂

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