Thursday, November 15, 2012

Summer camp in the winter

We're now on week 5 of "camping out" with the horses. Have you ever had to pick feet by lantern light? How about mucking stalls by headlamp? A couple of days ago, I told John I felt like I was back at summer camp, only in much colder temperatures. As a trip counselor, I spent most of my time out of camp, somewhere in the Vermont wilds, with 8 to 10 campers and their horses. I remember doing my night watch shift, walking up to each horse in the dark without spooking them, and checking that they had hay and water. Well here I am, decades later, still checking my horses in the dark, only it's in the 20's instead of the 50's (yes, there is global warming, I remember wearing sweatshirts at night and staying close to the campfire for warmth!). We ought to bring marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers to the barn!

I've never been much of a cat person, but this little fuzzball, named Precious, has become the best little barn cat. Rather than hang out at the house, she spends all her time in and around the barn, popping out of nooks and crannies now and then to say hello. She's a friendly cat; she even wanted to say "hi" to Harley, who snorted at her! She has startled him a time or two when she appears out of nowhere in the dark barn. I'm thinking she's a good mouser!

Before darkness overtook me tonight, I got everyone groomed. It seems they are bent on finding the best wallow to roll in. Harley and Rolex were both rather dirty, but Ruffy, our little neatkins, prefers to not have caked mud on her hide. Our little mudball Rolex Girl was not keen to come inside until she realized the rest of the gang was in for the night too. As long as EVERYONE will be in, she'll deign to be shut inside as well.

Do I look fat in this picture?

The loggers began cutting today, clearing the woods out back by the ring and will soon be going along the fence line as well. Our next chore will be getting some temporary electric fencing up to keep horses and logging equipment separate.  I will be a happy camper when the loggers are done, the barn is fixed and electricity is restored. We'll have a "Welcome back to the 21st century" barn party!

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