Relative Something

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

Group Effort

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DSCN3784eUnder a strange sky on a day when rain wasn’t predicted, Cyndie and I planned to work on improving the landscape around the round pen to stop the sand from getting carried away in runoff every time it storms.

The passing disturbance in the sky overhead dropped some intermittent showers that were light enough that nothing became soaking wet, so it didn’t interfere with our efforts.

While Cyndie worked on the low side of the round pen, reclaiming sand that had spilled out when 7 inches of rain poured down on us last Wednesday, I prepared the soil on the outside perimeter by pulling our ABI rake/grader behind the Grizzly ATV.

DSCN3791e It was working perfectly until impact with a rock sheared the bolts holding the hitch on the Griz. With towing done for the time being, I picked up a shovel and went to work shaping a trench and berm combination in hopes of preventing the water from flowing directly through the round pen.

If I got the slope shaped right, the water should meander around to the low side where it can make its way harmlessly into the drainage swale, minus our precious sand.

Obviously, this is effort that would have best been done before we brought in the sand, but we were in a hurry to get the footing in the round pen improved in time for the training sessions that had been planned.

With Delilah off-leash and the horses free to mingle, we had a lot of “helpers” that were keeping us company while we worked. Between her bouts of barking at the horses for no good reason and wrestling with their exercise balls that she thinks are her toys, Delilah took time to stop by and help me while I dug up the sod. I would toss a shovel-full to the perfect spot for building up the berm, and then she would grab that piece of sod like it was a piece of steak, carry it away, and tear it apart heroically before coming back for more.

Seriously, she took three of the best pieces I had placed in a short span of time, but I didn’t have the heart to dissuade her, as she seemed to think she was doing the greatest job of helping me. That berm better not leak at that spot or she is going to be held permanently responsible.

The horses were also inspired to participate in their own way. Shortly after I got started, Hunter grazed his way so close to me that I didn’t have room to work the shovel. At that point, he was standing on the area I hadn’t dug up yet, so he was packing down the soil I had just churned up with the grader. At that proximity, he also ended up sharing the cloud of flies that were all over him.

They have my full sympathy about the flies. They went up my nose more than once which can really make one irritable. I considered trying on one of their fly masks, but figured the fit might not work out quite right.

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Legacy and Dezirea wandered over to inspect my progress and test out the trench. It confirmed for me that they would have no problem navigating the altered footing in the vicinity of the pen. I think it met with their approval.

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Written by johnwhays

August 22, 2015 at 8:26 am

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