Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The chore from hell

The floor of my barn is dirt, a suitable surface for my herd of equines. They occasionally hang out in their stalls during the heat of the day 
or during a storm, but otherwise, the stalls are merely a thoroughfare from the corral to the pasture. 

The problem with a dirt floor is that every once in awhile, you have to add more dirt. The last time I added more dirt, 
I vowed that the next time, I would cover the dirt with stall mats so that the dirt would never blow away again.



Witness the dirt blowing away. I took this picture on Sunday afternoon around 3:30, 
just as I was preparing for the arrival of my neighbor, also known as Jane Deere, the tractor woman.



Jane arrived with John to scoop bucket after bucket of dirt into the middle stall of the barn. I think by the time all was said and done, 
she had dumped about 20 bucket loads of dirt. In layman's terms, that would be about 80 bazillion shovels' worth. 

Then the real fun began. I got to divide the dirt between two stalls, then spread it and level it. As if that weren't enough excitement for 
the afternoon, I got to wrestle with the stall mats. Have you ever moved a stall mat? If not, you really need to put it on your bucket list. 

I Googled around to find out how much each stall mat weighs. Google lies. 
They said each mat weighs 100 pounds. I think they dropped a zero.



Anyway, I accomplished my mission.


Lucy and the boys returned to the barn Monday morning to inspect their new digs. 


Apparently, they did not see my sign.

29 comments:

  1. Good gosh, I guess that was a chore from hell!!! The 'children' do have to read the sign and be more respectful of their mom, but then I have to laugh, cuz kids will be kids, and so it goes ....

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  2. All stall signs must be in flashing neon. Don't you know anything? LOL

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  3. Seems they need to go back to school to learn how to read.

    I've wrestled with stall mats too, not a lot of fun they're heavy and awkward. Was dragging one up a slippery grassy hill once and my feet came out from under me - landed on my butt and slid down the hill much to the delight of a few onlookers at a previous barn. Glad you got it done though it will help keep the dust down...the extra water in there will help too!

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  4. Ugh. I hate moving stall mats! I agree, more like 1000 pounds each!

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  5. No one reads the signs here either. :)

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  6. I need to do that too. All my dirt has drifted down the arena to the gate so that my five foot fence is now about three and a half feet tall. And the concrete around the posts are becoming exposed.

    Well, they had to christen it, right?

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  7. I need to move 2 stall mats and I just keep putting it off. They are HEAVY!!!! I'm amazed you did all that by yourself!

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  8. If I'd known, I could have given you one quick hint: use two Vise Grips on a side to act as "handles"--it makes it just a little easier to maneuver the mats around.
    Glad you got 'er done. I've been slowly adding a stall/run-in area's worth of mats as I have the $$ to get them (and when they come on sale). It's a BIG chore, but worth it in the long run.

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  9. Stall mats are such a chore!! My sweetie has his own technique that involves rolling it up and putting a chain around it. I just stand back unless we have to finesse it into position. Harry and Gunny appreciate them in the winter because our soil has clay in areas and gets very very slippery. You could put down a few shavings or straw for the pee.....oh wait, I suppose the wind would blow that way too. Still, washing stall mats is easier than bringing in more dirt.

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  10. Estella from Co.6/28/11, 6:54 AM

    I find tying carrots to the signs hang enough so they can't reach them, BUT high enough so they can see the message. ha ha ha NO RESPECT Your dust storms are NASTY Well, job well done (for another couple of years). Hugs to the kids

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  11. I do believe donkeys are known for being stubborn...? I used to think cleaning the chicken coop was the chore from hell... but think this has that beat! (no need to go to the gym today! :)

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  12. Back to training school boys and girls!

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  13. That wouldn't be a fun job, even when the temps are pleasant. Just consider all that huffing and puffing and sweating as your workout for the day.
    Sorry that your patrons didn't read the sign. Maybe you should lower it? :)

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  14. For some reason, every time I dump and wash the litter box, and sometimes when I just scoop out the litter box, the cat decides that it must be immediately used. (So I hang around and scoop it a second time.) I wonder if it the same type of logic - it's new and clean and we must mark it immediately!

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  15. As usual your posts make me smile. Thank you for the another "morning grin"!

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  16. if you can figure out a way to get them potty trained let me know. the door is always wide open but my horse uses his stall as a toilet and bed and kitchen all in one. agh! i've heard that if you don't use any bedding on the mats they are less likely to urinate but apparently not in your case.

    i recently visited a barn where the horses have a big open area instead of stalls, it's concrete with some straw strewn over it. i don't know how but all 5 horses are potty trained to go outside and pee on the concrete area outside the barn. amazing!

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  17. Oh, dear. And I thought I had it bad with two cats and hairballs on the carpet.

    Are any of your beasties trained to pull things? Too bad you can't hitch them up and have them pull the stall mats around.

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  18. That looks like one dirty job! And, yes, I've attempted to handle stall mats, but could get no further than lifting a corner. They are damn heavy, is all I'm sayin', proving once again that you are indeed Super Rancher Woman.

    I don't think they were peeing on their new mats. They were christening them.

    (On the other matter - you better believe I'll be blogging about 'it'! *grinny grin*)

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  19. I've tried everything in our shelter to keep the dust down...from a dump truck load of pea gravel to a backpack sprayer full of orchard oil (what they use in organic orchards to try to kill bugs). In the summertime when it gets hot I'll water down the dirt (the chickens will even go stand in the puddles to cool their feet off). I've always thought about getting some stall mats, but after reading about how much fun you've had with them, I think I'll stick to gravel!

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  20. That does look like a dusty dirty job. Funny how you're doing this now, because that's what we're doing tomorrow! The Bobcat arrived last night and is sitting waiting. We're cleaning out the wash and pushing dirt back up on the fence line. I'm not looking forward to it (as I am manning the shovel, not the Bobcat) but I don't have to move mats this time. (whew!) I know exactly how heavy those are, and I had to laugh when you said "they dropped a zero". That's what I think too.

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  21. I can just imagine lugging dirt and stall mats. Looks good, though. LOL on the last photo!

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  22. okay... that just sounds down right miserable..... although I want to be the kind of "Jane" that can drive a tractor like that. Cool..... that part looked fun... but woman-handling those mats looks like a big ole pain in the ass.....

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  23. Stall mats are ABSURDLY heavy!
    Your donkeys are extremely ADORABLE!

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  24. Shudder...
    We did the sand, leveling it, and installing stall mats two years ago. It was one of the toughest things I have ever done. You are to be commended for all of your hard work!
    My boys decided that they prefer to pee outside... maybe after they realized pee splashes.... your boys will make the 'right' choice!

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  25. They meant 100 lbs per square foot. Those things weigh more than the horses.

    You'd think they'd recognize that this was no longer a barn, but a fancy schmancy dance studio! Ah well.

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  26. That's a lot of dirt! I feel your pain, when my parents had our first barn built, it was me and my sister's chore to haul in wheelbarrow loads of clay to level the stalls. Then we put the mats in. That summer I was more bronzed and toned than ever before (or since!).

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  27. wow - I feel your pain. I use 4" of 3/4" gravel under 4" - 6" of I-sand (very fine rock) to cover the shoe-sucking red clay in our turnout shed. It holds up great, doesn't blow away (we live on top of a ridge with lots of wind into the shed for ventilation), but man is it a killer to spread it with a rake into all the corners. My husband dumps it in with the loader, but I rake, and rake, and rake! What a workout! As far as the stall mats, I have one word of advice - VICE GRIP PLIERS (ok, so it's 3 words...). They make it pretty easy to drag those heavy mats and pull them up, drag/flip them, etc. Get a good sized pair, with a tight screw adjustment and spare your hands! Good luck & thanks for all the great laughs and sharing your world with us :-)

    Chris in KY

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