As I work third shift, getting up early to drive to my parents’ barn is not always my idea of a good time. I got home on Thursday night, let the dogs out, went to fill the bird feeders, fully intending to top them off and go to bed so I could get up bright and early.
The I hear “maaaaaaaaa!” from near the garage.
I’m thinking, “Please, let that be one of the neighbor’s goats got loose because the one thing I am not prepared for is a premature delivery of SteamGoat…” “MAAAAAAA!” It is, of course, SteamGoat aka Toby, tied (fortunately with a stout chain on a concrete-set support post) by the shed I’ve cleaned out but not yet fenced as a goat shelter.
So, after some temporary fence-and-goat-picket wrangling, including hefting of MDF boards that was best done in the dark so I didn’t have to see what was living on/under it, I have a temporary shelter, better picket position, and giant water tub (man, that’s heavy-it’s a large muck tub from my favorite toy store, aka Tractor Supply) with lean-to for….SteamGoat!
Luckily I happened to have cracked corn for bird food to mix with ration balancer and he has tons of access to grass while I was off to the parents’ because who needs more than four hours’ sleep anyway. (I mean, for a start, I have to come up here to borrow Dad’s t-post driver to make a fence…) And again, somehow, riding is always the last thing on the list. Though going to get hay is also critical. The Brenderup once again demonstrated its use as an all-purpose trailer that fits forty neatly-stacked bales of orchard grass, timothy and alfalfa mix. 39 bales will go to the bottomless pits, one is going with me and the post-driver (Toby is a wether, but the hay is low-percentage enough I’m not worried about excessive alfalfa.) The hay is still first cutting, tight-packed, dry, and smells lovely. So back we go, deciding to wait until the free child labor (aka cousins) arrive to unload. (That’s what visiting children are for, right?)
Obviously, Tice isn’t ready for much of any kind of work (he’s basically sound for light riding, though I’d like to get a current x-ray of his ankle to be sure of that) and the whole concept of “longe” seems a bit confusing at the moment. But he did, despite being a fussy cross-tier, drop his head and reach for the bit when I put the bridle on him. While it’s going to be a long time before I’d even consider putting the side reins on, today I might try putting a pad and the surcingle on him. Just to give him something to think about. Besides, since going in a circle apparently is very complicated he might like ground-driving better for some exercise.
Might practice that on the goat first.