Have you ever noticed that when one thing changes in your horse life, other changes occur right behind it? That's sure been the case at my place since right before Christmas, when icy-road mishaps sent two cars through our roadside pasture fence to leave a 100-foot hole.
At first, I was just glad that no one got hurt and that the only damage was to insured and replaceable property. "This won't be such a terrible deal," I thought. "The drivers' insurance will pay pay for the property damage, I'll call a commercial fencing outfit to handle the job, and the horses will be able to go back out in no time."
You know what they say about famous last words. Thanks to weather delays, equipment breakdowns, work crews with the flu and other delays, it's taken all of six weeks to get that fence fixed. In the meantime, I've had six horses with nowhere to live except inside the barn, and no place to get exercise except a 60x60-foot workout pen. Here are some of the ensuing changes that followed those cars through the fence:
* My daily horse-chore time went from an easy 30 minutes to at least a couple of hours. So much for free time for anything else (like, for instance, blogging).
* With six stalls to clean instead of one or two, my winter's suppy of bedding disappeared while the manure pile grew to the approximate size of Kansas.
* Since I hadn't figured on buying more bedding 'til sometime around Mother's Day, I had to spend money I'd saved for something else in order to restock the supply.
* The horses ended up bored and cranky, causing havoc in ways that only horses can dream up. I won't even go into the vet bills.
Today, I finally got to open up the back barn door to let the horses go out into the wide-open spaces of their pasture. And for the final ha-ha-ha on me, all they did was stand by the door and beg to be let back in--and why not? They had six weeks of being waited on hand and foot, with meals delivered and the bedsheets (so to speak) changed and fluffed up every night. Why WOULDN'T they want that to continue?
I left them out there with plenty of hay and assurances that they'd live through this change in their recent routine. Then I came in the house, poured a nice glass of wine, and toasted the fact that I'd lived through the changes that were part of it.