Relative Something

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

Wish Granted

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IMG_iP2364eCHPretty much from the very first day that we assembled the fence panels of the round panel, Cyndie has been wanting sand on the ground in there. We are darn close now. She’s got sand, finally, just not quite enough.

Our source of lime screenings for our paddock, and sand for the round pen, is an excavating company that delivers by dump truck. Yes, that’s the very same company that did the initial damage to our paved driveway over 2 years ago with their heavy truck.

We’ve gotten over that, and the driveway, intentionally neglected ever since, has reached a point where further heavy traffic on it doesn’t seem to make any significant difference. The paddock, on the other hand, suffers quite an impression from the heavily loaded truck.

To save money, and because the excavators don’t have time, we opted to do the spreading ourselves. Their truck can fit through two of our gates to get close to the round pen, but not through the last one, so he dumps it just short of the target.

I was able to leave the day-job early yesterday and quickly jumped onto the tractor seat for my exercise in frustration. It isn’t quite as bad as I make it out to be, because I do move a lot of sand in a reasonable amount of time, but I just haven’t mastered the art of getting that big machine to do exactly what I want, when I want.

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There’s a lot of physics involved when you add a full load in the bucket on the front, which causes the tractor to handle in mysterious ways sometimes. I have a penchant for spinning my wheels more than I like. That ends up creating divots of my own, which I then repeatedly roll into in the process of scooping up subsequent loads. That complicates my attempts to adjust the height of the bucket when approaching to pick up a load, as the up and down of the front wheels alters the level of the bucket.

Repeatedly, in my attempts to scrape the bottom of the pile off the top of the ground, I ended up digging down into the paddock dirt, when all I wanted was sand from the pile. It wreaks havoc on a person’s perfectionism, I tell ya.

With Cyndie’s help on some ground work, I got the bulk of the pile moved inside the pen. It still needs to be spread out better in there, but the pile has been cleared out enough that there is room for them to drop another load that is needed to finish the job.

After that, I moved on to distribute a pile of lime screenings that had been dumped right inside the gate of the paddock. We needed additional lime screenings to fill in the rills that the rain has created on the slope beyond the barn roof. I had to get that pile moved to make room for the dump truck to back in again toward the round pen with a second load of sand.

If we can get that to happen, Cyndie will have the rest of her wish finally granted, and the horses will finally have a layer of sand to do laps on in the round pen. It’s turning out just like we planned!

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Written by johnwhays

July 30, 2015 at 6:00 am

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