Jeremy came over this weekend, and helped us knock together the frame of the horse structure. We busted our tail non-stop, and barely got enough done. We had a drop dead time of dark on Sunday to meet, and we did, but have so much more to go. We just covered the frame with a tarp for now, which was oh so fun with a 12′ tall building. That was not one of our brighter design ideas. We couldn’t find our tall ladder, which we haven’t seen since we’ve been back, so all we could do was use the tractor bucket, which was unsafe and scary when we are both a bit afraid of heights. They had to do a lot of hammering and screwing over their heads, too, so both have hugely sore arms today.
But, it was done enough, since we finally brought Pearl and Polly home last night. Prince was really glad to see them and he and Pearl nuzzled together like they hadn’t seen each other in years. She kept trying to keep between he and Polly for a bit, which caused lots of huge Percherons charging my crap fence in a too small run out, in the dark.
I kept hearing and seeing that horses will respect almost any darn thing for a fence, which is true for Prince and Pearl. But little Miss Thing Polly is just crouching down and slithering under, doing a naughty little run around, and then going back in. She’s going to outgrow that, right? I really don’t need another critter that won’t stay fenced!
Why, when they have an entire paddock to go out in must they insist on establishing the manure pile under the shelter? That’s going to be the most inconvenient to keep clean, and I’d been hoping to be able to use the tractor for hauling manure. I still can in a stall, but it would have been much easier out in the yard bit. We still need to find someplace secure to hang grain buckets, and keep reinforcing the fencing, get the electric rope live.
For the structure itself, we need to build the entire roof structure, and finish the siding. I’m thinking it would be nice to have a door in front that slides, so that we could either completely close one side, or half close both. We don’t have it situation really well for shade in the afternoon, so need to come up with something pretty quickly. In the meantime, I moved the chicken coop into the paddock so there will be at least *some* shade. We baked out there this weekend, so I was really aware of how awful it can be.
So Polly is a month old now, mouthing hay, nibbling grain from my hand. She’s just started getting a bit nippy, but a sharp “no!” seems to be doing the trick. She goes into a halter easily, and will give me each of her feet when I ask.
She won’t budge on a lead yet, although Frank and I figured out how to load her last night with him pulling the lead, one step at a time, and I shoved from the back, then praised and released when she took a step on her own. The two horse people who we were with had said she would just follow Pearl on, but that didn’t work at all.
(I had tried to back the trailer in closer, and failed miserably. I then went up to their neighbor’s place and managed to jackknife the trailer onto the truck. Oy. We were already stressed and tired and rushed and late enough!)
(I’d already gotten my right foot stomped on really hard by Prince earlier, and had no time to even deal with it. Adreniline is a good thing. I think the big toe is broken, and there’s a nice round hoof footprint on the top. I know, I should have had boots on, but it was so bloody hot out there.)
Pearl loaded really easily, but the noise scared Polly, and she’d turn and run back out, then Pearl would follow. It’s really hard to get a Percheron to be still when they don’t want to! But after a bit, we got Pearl to chill out in the trailer while we nudged Polly along, after putting her in the halter. I want to start working on that with her right away.
It’s so nice having them home. That (finally) completes all the new critters on the farm this year. We (knock on wood) seem to have them all in place, and can start working on getting them places for the winter. I’m still getting used to their pounding hooves. Three of them make so much more noise than Prince alone. I keep thinking that something is wrong, or that someone is coming up the driveway, but now, it’s just the pounding and echo of horses running around in circles. Watching Polly leap is so much fun, and Prince and Pearl are just giddy to be back together.