Monday, August 24, 2015

Fencing

Mom and dad came down yesterday to tackle the fencing project in the big drylot. About two years ago we replaced the original fencing because Dude and Chaos had been pushing on the fence (and the old fence posts were starting to give way). The drylot used to be an old cattle feedlot, so the nitrogen in the soil destroys wooden fence posts (and trees).

Well, we didn't realize at the time that the horses would climb the fence and this spring I saw Dude climb the fence. It was probably the second or third time that Chaos managed to escape. So we decided instead to put up corral panels. Luckily we had enough and it's a good thing we did because the horses were even pushing on the corral panels at one point.

But I need the corral panels now that the excavator has cleaned up the old mare pasture on the east side of the Sanctuary. We won't have time to put in more fence posts before the ground freezes so I figured we'd use corral panels until I needed to use some of the corral panels for stalls this winter. We are never not using corral panels! (Anyone want to donate a few?)

Mike, mom, and dad worked hard on getting the new fence up. We learned that with the fencing materials we are using that we need to add a few additional fence materials. Fencing is a learning curve! They were able to get the entire east fenceline fixed and started on the north fenceline but ran out of materials. I'm hoping that we'll have time this coming weekend to finish up the north fenceline.

After this weekend, we won't have any time for anything (at least not for the next month).

I've been hearing some grumbling about fencing lately. I'll always grumble about fencing. Whenever you have livestock, you will ALWAYS be working on fencing. We are lucky enough to own the land and when we bought the acreage that the Sanctuary sits on, I made it very clear that we NEEDED to own the fenceline. It doesn't matter if you own the fenceline or not when you have animals. If you have livestock, you have to maintain the fenceline. That's why I wanted to own the fenceline. If I am going to put a ton of my hard earned money into a fence, I darn well better own it. But in the past we have had to rent a pasture and then we still had to put in fence posts, string wire, and make sure everything was in tip top shape. Unfortunately, it is NOT the landowner's responsibility to maintain fence when it's YOUR livestock on that land. I'm not sure if it's just a South Dakota thing or not. But that's just what it has always been (at least for me). But fencing is a long term and never ending task. Just ask any farmer that has livestock.

I am excited to have a fenceline again that looks nice. We are finally making small changes around the place. Those small changes are making a huge difference. Now if only I had more time to get stuff done before the baby came to make more improvements around the place.

I'm hoping after the first month (all of September), that I'll be physically able to do some harder work, like washing horse blankets, getting them repaired, and waterproofed before winter comes. I have a feeling we are in for a long and cold winter. The katydids have been singing since mid July. And if the old wives tale is correct this year, 60 days from katydids singing is the first hard frost, which puts us at mid-September. And the weathermen are talking about El Nino, which if that's the case, the old wives tale of 90 days from fog will actually work (it doesn't work with La Nina). But I guess we'll just have to wait and see. I'm in the final days of pregnancy and counting down so not much is happening at the Sanctuary these days. We are around but I'm not doing much other than minimal activities. I'm worn down and just need to keep my feet up for the next 10 days.

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