I did something today that I have been looking forward to for 5 months. Something that has been quite expensive and laborious. Today, I turned my horses out.
Back in February we had our 10 acres property surveyed so we could fence off 90% of the property for pasture. The difficult part is that we live in the middle of an older forest and there are parts of the property you can't walk through without bringing a weedwacker, nippers or a machete. Even after the property lines were staked, to actually walk the line required walking several feet on either side of the line to get around bushes, vines and branches. In March we started clearing the fence line, trying to clear cut 10 feet in from the property line , taking down tons of young trees, heavy brush, twigs, bushes, branches, things with thorns, living and dead things. Progress was ridiculously slow due to the nature of what we were clearing and the fact we did it all with 2 person power. Armed with nothing but a chainsaw, weed wacker with a blade, a pair of super awesome Fiskars and determination we made progress foot by slow foot.
By late May we made it to the "end" of our western north/south line. We were excited because that line was the thickest and started to hope that maybe we would get the line cleared by the end of the year! We started stocking up on supplies that would be needed, buying many rolls of Electrobraid fencing when we got a 10% off coupon in the mail, buying the copper split bolts when we could, asking for fence insulators as gifts and more. About this time my riding dropped off significantly, if you haven't noticed lol. I rode to prepare for my show but that is about it.
By mid June we hadn't made the progress we would have liked on our east/west line and were afraid maybe the project would drag on until September. The remainder of the fence line required cutting lots of big trees, the thing about big trees is that they have lots of branches making it just as hard to clear this line as it was to clear the previous line. We ended up with some amazing help the last week of June and beginning of July that helped us push through and over the week of July 4th we finally broke through and could consider the clearing our fence line Done. We were then able to borrow a post hole digger and set 95% of the fence posts by July 7th when our week long vacation was over.
Since then, between hay and fence, it has been a non-stop list of things to do. Hang the fence insulators, set the corner bracings, run the fence, stretch the fence, build a temporary fence to section off an area full of trash, weedwack fence line, buy gates, dig up existing fence wires, bury new fence wires, dig ditches, take down the old fencing, the list goes on. Mornings before work, usually lunch hour and evenings after work have been filled with fence or hay prep work making for very long days with little to no fun and/or horse time. This past weekend was going to be THE weekend. THE weekend that the fence was going to be Done. I was so excited about having time this past weekend to work on my project as I desperately need to get back to a more normal schedule and ride more. While I was successful in clearing the "trash fence", building the trash fence, weedwacking the fenceline and getting the hay for the winter, alas I fell short of finishing the fence. Again.
With being foiled yet again and still facing the fence project, we decided Monday night was going to be The Night. We were going to finish the damn fence! SO and I both got out of work as early as possible and he brought home some chinese so we didn't have to cook and were outside working by 545p. We buried wire under the new "big" gate and then went to wiring everything up. Things went fairly smoothly with tightening the fence, running the jumper wires and then zip tying things so they are tidy. We did have to make a change on our eastern north/south line and add a second set of rollers as it just looked like having a single roller was going to let go and break, that fix took up an annoying large amount of time. We got it done though and while we added the last jumper wires via tractor headlights and came inside at 945p, we were DONE.
This morning I went out at 6a and moved the last of the old fence out of the pasture, plugged in the charger and tested everywhere. Everywhere I tested had a very consistent 8600 volts. Success! Everything has worked! Our (very) hard work is paying off by having not a single issue with the voltage! I doused the horses really well with fly spray and took both of them for a walk along the fence line. I wanted them to see the fence line and I also wanted to walk the line to ensure that the fence looked 100% correct and nothing was shorting out anywhere. It was funny as the boys were both fairly snorty at things, they were very cute but were very respectful on the lead line and I had no issues walking through the woods leading both at the same time. When we finally got up to the front I took their halters off and off they ran! All of about 15 feet before putting their head down in grass hahaha! They have now been out in their new pasture for 3 hours and haven't gone anywhere new, go figure.
Tonight we are going to try to finish up the last bit we have, we need to finish building the fencing for our winter sacrifice pasture and then we will officially be Done. They now have 7-8 acres of room to run around in and will now be outside 24x7 except for when feeding times and when the weather is really bad. It also means I shouldn't need to feed hay for a while which should help my hay pile tremendously. I am so happy to finally be done. So, so happy. Maybe now I can start riding and blogging again.