After the fiasco we had last fall and winter making a shelter for the horses, wouldn’t you know that the only critters that still don’t have a shelter this year are the poor horses. We have a storm coming — either freezing rain or lots of snow, depending on what forecast I believe. I spent all last night dreaming, worrying and fretting about where to put the horses. The brilliant solution I came up with in my dream was to cut the hoop house in half and move it into one of the fenced paddocks. I woke up and was quite disappointed that that wasn’t actually possible.
So I walked around today in the pouring rain with Aaron, trying to figure out where we could put them. If we could build a ramp strong enough to hold a Percheron, perhaps we could put them in the 18-wheeler trailer that I had hoped to bury and use as a cheese cave. I didn’t see how we would attach it, and couldn’t figure out what we could build a sturdy ramp out of. We’d like to use that to store hay as well, but need a ramp to drive the tractor on as well. That wasn’t going to happen today, in the rain, without Frank home.
We could put them in the hoop house, but there’s nothing to tie them to, and there’s no paddock around it, so they’d have to stay in there tethered to something. There’s a really light-weight single layer of pine flooring in there that they would destroy. If we had time, we could reinforce the floor. We’d also have to haul a lot of manure, but in a pinch, I think we’d just trust that they wouldn’t harm their legs breaking through the flooring and suck it up.
We have fit all three of them in the livestock trailer, but that was months ago, and Polly is almost full size now. I’m not sure I could fit them all in there now. I wondered about getting Polly into one of the sheds and tethering her there, and putting Prince and Pearl in the trailer.
Then I was wondering if we could put posts in somewhere in the already frozen ground, and put a tarp over that. We tried that last year and Prince kept scratching on the posts and knocking the whole structure down, so I wasn’t optimistic.
Then I saw the pergola. My pretty, pretty pergola. It has four posts, and beams across to support a shed. Aaron and I spent the morning covering it with a tarp and re-routing some cattle panels to give them access to it. After he left, I put some 4x4s across the top to help hold the tarp even more once I saw how it flapped in the wind.
Everyone keeps telling me that we need a barn raising. Oh my do we need a barn raising. We are hoping to spend much of next year cutting wood for exactly that. All the volunteers in the world won’t help if we don’t have the wood cut, so that’s going to be our focus.
Dear storm that is coming: please don’t blow the tarp off. Thanks!