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*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Big Strides

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Today we have reached a milestone of 2-years since the day we stood in the suburban Verizon store making a purchase of a mobile device to provide internet access at our new home. I know that because our 2-year contract ends on the 17th. That step was the first of many we would be making to transfer our lives from Eden Prairie, MN to rural Beldenville, WI. For some reason, I have a solid memory of that Verizon event, probably because it was the first. Most of my other memories are much more vague.

With the daytime temperature yesterday soaring into the 70s, it was a banner day to get things done around here. I finally finished getting the bird feeder re-built and re-installed in its old location outside the sunroom. It feels great to have that off my list.

I spread out just enough of the pile of gravel in our driveway to see there would be enough to put some down as a base in the round pen. That is another goal we have wanted to achieve for a long, long time. Cyndie is home from work for a couple of days and she was able to help distribute the gravel that I was bringing with the tractor.DSCN2506e

She also asked for my camera and took some action shots while I was manning the controls. You can see I left the wood chipper attached to the back, to serve as a counter-balance, but that was a nuisance because it inhibited my maneuverability inside the limited space of the round pen.

Luckily, she didn’t get pictures of me panicking at the start when I realized I left a gate open and the horses were getting into the area I intended to work. I had removed a panel from the round pen and laid it down, and then propped open the gate into that pasture area. Then I headed off to get the tractor. As I was driving over to get access to the gravel pile from behind the barn, I spotted the horses milling about in the area I was planning to work.

I stopped the tractor and rushed over to remedy the situation, but did not check my energy. They picked up on my anxiety right away and started their own mini-panic. Two of them reacted correctly and rushed back into the paddock. The other two turned the opposite direction, extending my problem. I didn’t know which way to go, back to close the perimeter gate I had propped open which would give them a complete escape, or to the paddock to contain the two who had moved inside where I wanted them.

My hesitation allowed the two in the paddock to come rushing back out where I didn’t want them. In their hasty flight, they cut right through an area of composted manure I had spread to create a viewing plateau. Legacy slipped in it and smeared his entire right flank with a huge tattoo of blackness, but kept his momentum going and continued on with the rest of them.

I eventually restored order and got on with my task, but they were all amped up and continued to sprint around the hay-field and back into the paddock a few times before finally settling down again. Cyndie said that they were getting some good exercise out of it.

Between their energized running and our finally accomplishing the goal of getting a base layer down in the round pen, it was a day of truly big strides.

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Written by johnwhays

October 17, 2014 at 6:00 am

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