Friday, January 13, 2006

Shit and Ashes

Rain is coming, allegedly.

Central California rains mean "preparation" for horse owners and fools who heat their houses with woodfires. This morning I mucked out my horse's paddock so that if it does rain, the water will run off instead of making slimy, mooshy lakes. Horse poop soaks up water like a sponge, and holds it for days. As the horse tromps through it, the hoofprints make mini-reservoirs to trap and hold the dirtied water. After the last heavy rain, I managed to clear about 2/3 of Dink's paddock, so that much was dry and easy to prepare. The low part of the pen, where he feels compelled to paw and dig, was still soaked and heavy and nasty.

But I got it done, and thus, I will sleep the sleep of the weary ones tonight. (Terri would have told me, "Otsukaresamadeshita" -- "O You Weary One!") Dink himself won't be too concerned about it. His main pleasure in my cleaning his pen was that he got turned out into the open arena where he could visit with the other horses and exchange loud screaming insults. He talked dirty to the mares and made them scream; he sidled up to the other gelding's paddocks and stomped at them and made them cry havoc. He was pleased with his results.

The remainder of the day has been largely involved with keeping a fire going. Foggy days, the fire is sluggish, and hardly wants to burn. If the damper on the stove is opened, it burns like mad, but try to slow it down a little, and the fire sulks and smolders. We'll need the fire tonight. We're supposed to get rain, and the temps are supposed to get cold.

Babe continues to seem recovered; he even let me groom one side of him today. Only a bushel basket of hair came loose. Howie was totally insulted that I spent so much time on Babe.

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