Desperation, the Mother of Invention

0905.Duncan.12.SMMIt 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!

About Doranna

My books are SF/F, mystery, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense. My dogs are Beagles, my home is the Southwest, and the horse wants a cookie!
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4 Responses to Desperation, the Mother of Invention

  1. Lorraine says:

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve left the house, driven down the driveway, only to pull back up to make sure I’ve locked the house. Sometimes at the cottage, I’ve driven down the road a couple of miles and turned around to do the same thing. And don’t even ask about the times I’ve wandered into the kitchen only to forget why I went there. My Dad always said, “your head is full of tommyrot.” He was right.

  2. Doranna says:

    Since the colic, I’ve definitely turned back down the road to go out back and make sure that hay stall was closed. Usually I can devise little ways to make sure I don’t walk away without doing what needs to be done (I used to clip my car keys to the grain room at one barn where I rode), but this situation seems to have defeated me!

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Me too, on several issues. Did I lock the gate? Did I remember to shut the (handy for us when horses aren’t in the north lot) gate to the 80 acres before opening the gate into the north lot for the horses? Did I actually hook the barrel-snap to the chain on the gate to the barn breezeway or just hook the chain in the gate slot (which I don’t trust, even with an angled slot, because of Mr. Mouth of the extremely agile lips.) Did I lock the kitchen door before leaving? (When working in the back yard and barn, I often lock the doors on the front of the house, but leave the kitchen door open for those sudden dashes to the house plumbing. We lock all the doors when going out on the land.) Did I put the cellphone in my purse when leaving for the long drive to the city? (No, not–about half the time.)

  4. Doranna says:

    Ohhh, the cell phone!

    No, at *least* half the time it doesn’t make the trip with me. It just isn’t enough a part of my life for me to think about it. Which is frustrating, because it exists mainly for emergencies, and when am I going to have an emergency and I can’t reach the house phone? On the road! Duh!

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