Saturday, December 3, 2016

Manual labor

A horse owner's work is never done.

Theo lives out 24/7 because he's a jerk in a stall.  He's gotten a lot better since he's started doing away shows, but he would still rather be out.  His field has a shelter, so no need to bring him him.  But his shed has a history of flooding in heavy rain, which kind of defeats the point.  He doesn't want to go in a shed ankle deep in water so he stands out in the weather.  It gets worse in the winter when snow melt pools in there and refreezes.  It turns his shed into a skating rink.  Right now we bring him in when the weather is really bad.  We managed it last winter, but I'd rather head the problem off at the pass.

Today I went out with a shovel to fix this little problem.  The water runs down a hill, pools in the low point at the back corner of his shed, then fills his shed on it's way down the hill.  If you look close, you might even see the water line on the side of his shed.

So I put in a small trench to keep the water from getting to his shed.  Instead, it's being rerouted around his shed to join with the main run off path down his field.  It's about six inches deep at the end.

It took about 1.5 hours to put this in.  New Hampshire is cruel when it comes to any kind of earth works.  Granite, granite everywhere.  Anywhere else in the country, I could have been done in 30 minutes.  Here?  I had to chip through the hunks of granite just below the inch of top soil.  Not my favorite way to spend a Saturday, but now I feel confident that his shed will stay dry and he can hide out from the bad weather.

In summer I'm thinking about having a new load of gravel dropped off and topping it with stall mats so he can have excellent drainage and a completely dry spot to sleep year round. 

Maybe next weekend I can handle some other work that's been piling up.

Tack lockers going into winter are very, very scary places.  Somewhere in there I have all of the stuff I need to make Theo look fancy for Monday's clinic.  Somewhere.  Far in the back.  Where I can't reach.  I might need a search and rescue team.

I still have my number from regionals.  I'm a sentimental fool.


  1. A few years ago I developed some expertise with trench digging. If you want to this to stay permanent you may want to put some small rocks in it. Otherwise, the rain may turn the sides to mud and they might fill in.

  2. I feel you on the terrible soil. Here in Texas we have Limestone everywhere. Once you get deeper than 6-8 inches, it's so hard to dig and you basically need a jackhammer. If you're trying to put in t-posts, the jackhammer usually isn't even optional. Blegh. But what a lucky pony to have a mom that works so hard to keep him warm and dry!