It just came time to move the feed barrels out of the barn, yes it did.
Due to certain logistics of the property, the barn set-up has always been untenable. Every possible factor added up to the certainty that the hay stall would, at some point, be left open. “Come inside, Duncan Horse, and eat up all the goodies you can find!”
Duncan eats hay, hay pellets, and beet pulp pellets–there’s no rich grain hanging around. Plus he’s not one of those horses who gorges; even free-fed, he eats modestly and then stands there humming. So the risk factor has always been pretty low, even if the door just plain got left open permanently.
This past summer, Duncan colicked badly in the unusual heat; the first vet who saw him labeled him Dead Horse Walking. I’m so glad that vet was wrong! But it means Duncan is now forever a horse of Colic Potential. The benign pellets are now, in their way, a threat.
That meant all my existing barn security routines ramped up to DefCon Colic levels, including a lot of stress–because the barn is completely obscured from view until one is upon it, and facing directly away from the house at that; there’s no way to casually check its status. Nonetheless, DefCon Colic measures all worked, so far as everything stayed routine.
But now the barn area is slowly being disassembled for moving, and routines are blown away. And yesterday…
Well, he wasn’t in there very long.
So today I faced off against the two big garbage barrels full of pellets (150 pounds when full…these weren’t quite). Twenty yards of hauling made it pretty clear I wasn’t going to make it to the house with them. But desperation is indeed the mother of invention, so you may now amuse yourself with the mental image of me grabbing up the old rope that the property’s previous occupants had left buried in the ground (some of it is still there, too deep to get out) and hitching myself up like a sled dog.
Hey, the pellets are safe. My horsie is safe. And for the first time in a year, I don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night and wonder, “Did I close that hay stall door–?” without having any way to check besides suiting up and going out into the cold.
Now, someone please tell me I’m not the only one to beat myself against the “Did I remember to [insert crucial task]” meme this way!