Thursday, July 5, 2012

one of my many regrets

Spent the day shopping for and installing the electric element to the horse pasture. Since the horses will have an area that was once (twenty years ago) a tractor shed, there are parts I will need to dig out and clean up of metal and holes, but for now, will fence off with electric polyrope. I bought a 3-mile solar charger and 400 meters of the rope today, along with step-in posts and some other bits like t-post toppers for neither of the beasts cut or impale themselves on the metal jagged tops. It was a few hours out there, repairing, nailing, slamming in new t-posts, and running the poly rope. I'm still not done but the majority of the work is finished and I feel a lot better putting the horses in an area that is as safe as I can make it with some electricity to keep them inside it.

Got some sun, that's for sure. Sunburn and enough deer fly bites to start a moonscape across this working body. Part of being a range animal, I suppose. I have scars and bruises, cuts and bites, tan lines and sweat pimples. But at the end of the day I either jump in the River or get a cool shower and then come home and change into my Thai fishing pants in a clean cotton, and a muslim chemise top and between the castile herbal soap and the loose fitting natural clothes I feel like a field worker from another place and time, the same tired feelings, and the same relief at works end and a clean body. A bit of ale, a dinner to please, a hammock, a fiddle or banjo and a lamb asleep on my chest.

I can't believe I waited so long to quit that job.

19 Comments:

Blogger Alison said...

Recognizing your own happiness is just as important as achieving it. Good job.

July 5, 2012 at 8:35 PM  
Blogger Sassafras and Winterberry said...

You're inspiring!
Hugs,
Courtney

July 5, 2012 at 8:42 PM  
Blogger MollyKnits said...

Hmmmmm,

Sounds wonderful

July 5, 2012 at 8:45 PM  
Anonymous Pooh Overalls said...

I feel your pain...with the sunburn, at least! Spent my 4th reinforcing fencing around my back garden and trimming trees. My back and shoulders are so burnt!

Next 4th I plan on enjoying watermelon straight from my garden!

July 5, 2012 at 9:01 PM  
Blogger Daisy Farm said...

Isn't it great to put in a full day of physical work? I try to explain to people that during the summer when I'm preparing my large garden of vegetables and flower gardens, I work so hard that I think of food merely as fuel....just get me something to eat and a glass of wine at the end of the day to toast myself. No fancy meals during the summer. It's fuel. Fuel that I grow. I'm so happy to read how things are progressing. It's fun to think back to less than a year ago (maybe?) when you had your first class/seminar/workshop on the farm. Now look at you! Just like they say, if you don't move forward, the option is staying put! Cheers!!

July 5, 2012 at 9:58 PM  
Blogger PattyW said...

Would you appreciate today as much if you had not done the time at the desk job? I can not wait to not go somewhere else to work!

July 5, 2012 at 10:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have had a 3 mile solar charger for 5 yrs now and still going strong in Michigan year around Bought a 10 miler this winter for a second pasture. Does the trick for sure

Have started used electro braid wiring. 25 yr warrantee. 1st winter and really think it will be a wise investment. You can space t posts 20 to 50 feet apart depending on climate. I went 20

Anna

July 5, 2012 at 10:53 PM  
Anonymous Raining Iguanas said...

Always leave in better shape than when I arrived. Have I said that here before? I'm pretty sure.

July 6, 2012 at 6:27 AM  
Blogger Noël said...

I agree! I was just fixing fence last weekend, and it is hard work! Can't wait to see pictures of Merlin in his new home. Yay!

July 6, 2012 at 12:03 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

I've never heard of muslim tops before ;).

Regrets are a part of life; just think how you'd feel if you had waited another 5 or 10 years!

July 6, 2012 at 1:02 PM  
Blogger ladyfarrier said...

I hate to rain on your parade (although heaven knows we desperately need that rain here in the Midwest), but step in posts and poly rope fencing aren't very high on the list of "safe and reliable" fencing to keep horses in.

Seriously. It *might* work for a temporary interior fence for rotational grazing, but don't count on it to keep your horses contained and/or safe. The best money you will ever spend will be on strong, secure, visible, SAFE fencing for your horses. JMHO.

July 6, 2012 at 2:28 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Working the land is fulfilling in a way few things are. I am soaked in sweat, have dirt under my fingernails and a rash from the butterbean vines and I couldn't be happier!

I love seeing all that you are up to. I need to be better about tracking my progress on my blog...in my other spare time.

July 6, 2012 at 2:28 PM  
Anonymous Dianne @ My Southern Heart said...

Jenna, it was all part of making you who you are today...and I'd say that's a good thing. I've had a few nursing jobs that I seriously did not like (mostly working with LAZY nurses)but in the long run, I still learned that my work ethic would always be better than that. Now, you can enjoy generating your own work and income for YOU - instead of a corporation!

July 6, 2012 at 2:35 PM  
Blogger redbird said...

Never had a problem with my horses breaking out of electric wire. What I did have a problem with were deer. At least a few times a year deer would come running through at night and knock the wire down or bust through it. Sometimes the horses wouldn’t even know it was down and other times I’d wake up to horses in the front yard or in the neighbor’s field. Always lived where this wasn’t a problem though and it didn't happen often. I was using the skinny yellow/black wire in a double strand on t-post. Can't wait to see the set-up for the boys.

July 6, 2012 at 11:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I schedule my check-up appointments at the doctor, ob-gyn, etc. in the summer, but I have wondered what they think of me when I come in skeeter bitten, chigger bitten and scratched to heck and back by blackberry briars. I present a clean well dressed appearance, but the body looks like a homeless person! Beth in Ky.

July 6, 2012 at 11:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also have electric fence with step in posts and the only time we have an issue is if a deer runs through it, and like red bird said, usually we notice before the horses do. The few times they have got out they just stand there eating grass anyway. It's worked for us for longer than I've been alive, our oldest horse is about 32. When we put a new horse in the field ( about 3 times in 30 years) we walk them around the inside border on a lead so they can check out the perimeter. And if you ever have to use electric wire instead of poly rope or tape we tie cloth strips or surveyor's tape to the wire to make it more visible. Even when the electric is off the horses don't realize it but our 6 month old cow does! Thanks for sharing! Erin in PA

July 7, 2012 at 9:00 AM  
Blogger ladyfarrier said...

Regarding the effectiveness of hot wire to keep horses in:

"Never had a problem with my horses breaking out of electric wire. What I did have a problem with were deer. At least a few times a year deer would come running through at night and knock the wire down or bust through it. Sometimes the horses wouldn’t even know it was down and other times I’d wake up to horses in the front yard or in the neighbor’s field."

and
"I also have electric fence with step in posts and the only time we have an issue is if a deer runs through it, and like red bird said, usually we notice before the horses do. The few times they have got out they just stand there eating grass anyway."

My points exactly. Now, if those fields were green corn, or soybeans, or chemically treated crops, you've got a colic or laminitis problem. Once a customer's horse got through the hot wire and ate a bag of chicken feed....died from the colic.

I could go on and on with real life examples, but the point is....horses are not easy animals to fence in. Apparently, at least on this blog, neither are sheep.
But you need a good strong, SAFE fence, that deer can not take down, allowing your horses to put themselves at risk. If it's not deer proof, it's not horse proof.

Sometimes you don't get a second chance when sh*t happens.

July 8, 2012 at 11:19 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

But better late than never. You have your priorities right, and you live a beautiful, productive life close to the earth. Or i should say, as part of the earth. I hope you're proud. You should be!

July 8, 2012 at 8:20 PM  
Blogger redbird said...

I stopped wanting to put up "real" wire when my favorite horse ripped her nose open on it. It was a fence made of horse grade red brand wire, installed by professional fencing friends and I thought I was moving up in the world and ended up with a vet bill that cost more than the fence to get her sewn back together. Then about a week later one of the other horses somehow got his foot in the fence. Never done anything but electric since and never had an injury or horses getting sick due to getting out in 15 years of using it. It also fit my somewhat transient lifestyle much better than more permanent fencing. If I lived by a highway I'd still put up electric via tposts and may use a thicker wire or that tape and probably wouldn’t have as much of a deer problem as in the middle of nowhere. I've always found horses very low maintenance in regards to fencing...cattle and goats not so much at times. I’m sure Merlin and Jasper will discover real quick not to mess with it. A three mile charger should provide plenty of juice :-)

July 9, 2012 at 1:30 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home