Sunday, June 18, 2017


Farewell to another great pair of jeans.  I found a place that had Jolly Balls on sale for $10 each, so I got a couple of those to keep them entertained until my next pair of jeans grows holes in the thighs.

We are in the midst of a heatwave, so I'm hosing down the horses and trying to keep the dogs in the shade when we walk outside.  The ground can be as hot as 150 degrees some days, which burns puppy paws.  If I have to carry them to shade, I do.

We had another weird stranger encounter.  Stewie woke me at 3:30 AM, so I took him outside.  My husband was awake and he asked, "Is that lady still out there?"

Huh?  I was still half-asleep.  "What lady?"

He said he had just taken the dogs out, and he could hear some lady walking down the street in the dark talking to someone.  He didn't know if she was walking with someone else, talking to a dog, or talking on a phone, but it was quite strange being 3:00 in the morning with only a sliver of moon to guide her way.  She didn't have a flashlight or headlamp.  She was just prowling the neighborhood at an inappropriate hour.  That's risky.  She could have stepped on a rattlesnake or run into a cougar.  We've been chased indoors by large packs of coyotes in the past when we were out with our little dogs.

She may have been out there, but I couldn't hear anything because the air conditioner and our water softener were running.  I'm glad I started locking up everything on our property.  Way, way too many strangers coming around at odd hours, and they are obviously not people who live in our neighborhood.

My physical therapist and I weren't having any luck making my pain go away by strengthening my muscles, using electrodes, and stretching.  In fact, I was getting worse.  I almost couldn't drive myself to my last appointment, because it hurt too much to lift my leg off the gas pedal and press down on the brake.  I got stuck at a really long red light and my leg wouldn't stop shaking.  I was scared that it was going to slip off the brake pedal.  I tried holding it down with my other foot.  Next time I'll put the truck in park.

I gave him a list of things I do at home that is hard on my leg, and he zeroed in on the fact that I pull wagon loads of manure around all day.  He said that pulling a wagon uses a lot of hip.  I always pull with my right arm, leading with my right hip, so that made sense.  He said, "Is there any way you can NOT do that?"

My eyes got all big and I shook my head no.  He said, "What's it for?  Why do you haul manure?"

Being a city boy, he probably thought I was gardening.  I told him that I have four horses I have to clean up after.  He mimed different positions one could use to pull a wagon, and I told him I can't pull the wagon backwards because I have to see where I'm going.  Too many rocks and rattlesnakes.  He had never heard of such a problem.  He asked if I could get someone else to shovel manure for me just for a few days so that we could see if my pain gets better.  I said my husband could do it when he's home on the weekends, and because of the heatwave this week, he arranged to work from home to help out with the barn chores.  We also agreed that if I do have to clean up manure, I would push a wheelbarrow instead of pulling a wagon.

I'm two days into not pulling the wagon, and my pain has already subsided.  I don't realize how hard I work my body until I have a chance to rest.  So, I didn't need stronger muscles, I didn't need stimulated muscles, and I didn't need to have my muscles stretched out.  All I needed was rest.  It's too bad I'm having to go through a month of physical therapy to figure that one out.  That also explains why the massage at the spa helped so much.  That was a form of rest and relaxation.  I might meet with the physical therapist one more time, and then cancel the rest of my appointments, and just use the wheelbarrow and go to the spa next time I'm in pain.

My husband has been toying with the idea of getting a little UTV that can pull a wagon around.  The main problem with that is getting it through gates without the horses escaping.  I'd have to open the gate wide, walk back to the UTV, drive it in, go back to the gate and shut it.  That offers the horses a lot of time to be bad.  I'd have to lock them in their stalls first, and I usually do that when I feed them.  I'd have to switch the order of how I do things.  I was chasing them out of the barn so that I could clean stalls, and then once the stalls were clean, I'd lock them up and feed them.  With a UTV, I'd have to lock them up and feed them first, then drive it in and work around the horses' legs to clean.  Does anyone else use a UTV to clean up manure?  How does that work for you?


TeresaA said...

You know- someone should invent an automated manure cart - they would make a fortune.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Teresa - They aren't easy to find in stores, but there are a few manufacturers that sell motorized wheelbarrows and motorized wagons online. Some of them even have a power dump option. The reason why we are looking at UTVs is because we also want to hook our harrow up to it to drag the arena.

Cindy D. said...

We use our tractor as a wheel barrow. We drive the tractor to the gate, get off and open the gate, drive the tractor in, and then get off and shut the gate behind. Most of the horses are pretty good about backing up away from the tractor. Trax is the only one who will make a break for it once in a while, but I have him pretty well trained to stay back. I have found that it is a great ground training tool. I can pretty much point and send them all where ever I want them to go, even away from an open gate.

For my small stalls we usually just pull the horses out and throw them in the round pen, or if we can't do that we either just nose the tractor in the gate enough to block it and fill the bucket, or we just scoop the poop and dump it in a little pile outside of the stall and then drive the tractor the pile and scoop it up.

Having something motorized to pull your manure is a great way to save you time and pain. You do have to get creative with your "system" but sometimes change ends up being a great thing. :)

Linda said...

I've always wanted a little bobcat, but they're expensive. It'll never happen for me. I've been hearing about that hot weather you're expecting on the news. They're telling people to rethink traveling there when the temps get to 120 plus. Great photos of them playing with your jeans!! Your herd has a lot of personality.

Mrs Shoes said...

We used an ATV & wagon to haul manure (& bales) for 8 years; the small size made it very easy to maneuver. The wagon cost less than $200 and is easy to hook up & unhook, plus super easy to dump. A friend uses a Gator for all her chores & wouldn't trade it.

Mrs Shoes said...

For those with $ to burn, there are manure "vacuums" even!