Sunday is Mucking-Out day

The problem with horses in winter is they take a lot of looking after. And if, like me, you work during the week, weekends are precious ‘free’ time. Except that for horse-people, weekends aren’t free.

 Our nags are turned out during the day and stabled at night. So being around the yard in daylight instead of twilight means the horses can be groomed and ridden, the yard can be swept, dark barn corners tidied out, buckets properly washed, rugs folded instead of thrown in a heap, and of course the stables can be ‘mucked out’.

 Now this doesn’t mean that during the week the horses are left knee-deep in poo; oh, no. They get ‘skipped’ (or ‘skepped’ – depends where you come from) out, which means the droppings are removed and the bed ‘set fair’ or ‘straightened’ – that’s what it’s called, though how you ‘straighten’ a pile of shavings is something of a mystery.

 Doing it this way saves time when you’re rushing to and from work in the dark, without affecting the animals’ comfort. But it has one big disadvantage. At some point you must do a major muck-out, getting rid of the all the wet, soiled straw or other bedding, letting the floor dry out, then putting down a complete new layer – enough to last another week. It probably takes double the industry-standard mucking out time of 20 minutes per stable.

That’s why I don’t much like Sunday.

The dog? Well, a picture of just a muckheap would have been pretty boring, wouldn’t it?

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~ by cavalrytales on February 15, 2010.

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