Auventura 2's barn misadventure made me think we need a thread recounting everyone's "Tales of Whoa" -- those "oh, sh%@" moments on the farm when you are thankful your ponies cannot tell tales.
I'm a human low-light film -- or as a friend told me, I do my own stunts, so I could tell many tales on myself, but here's my favorite:
One cold winter night when we still lived in town, I went out to feed our horses, wearing my ugly,extra heavy duty barn coat. We stored grain in our garage -- a tank of a structure from the 1920s with strange "improvements" by the previous owner. The side door hinges and door knobs were strong enough to suit a bank vault, but the step up was wildly inadequate and required a huge step to get in and out.
I came out of the garage with a feed bucket in each hand, pushed the door open wider with my shoulder, then stepped out into the darkness. The very second my critical mass shifted downward, I realized the (extra heavy duty) belt on my coat had hung up on the door handle. My momentum swung both the door and me outward, the door suspended by its hinges, me by my belt. I couldn't get a foot back on the threshold or on the too-low step, so I hung there in mid air.
I'm rather frugal, and the thought of dropping the buckets and spilling grain did not please me, but neither did the thought of my husband coming home hours later to find me swinging from a doorknob. I finally dropped the buckets, somehow managing not to spill them, unzipped my coat and dropped to the ground.
Mine happened when I was 7 months pregnant with my son. YEARS BEFORE my husband had cut a service door in our big, sliding wooden barn door. It was about 10" off the ground. Well after stepping over it for YEARS, that one night I just plain forgot about picking up my feet and fell right on my pregnant belly! Thank goodness babies are well-protected. And people worry about RIDING while pregnant! Oy. And I also zapped myself on the electric fence. While pregnant. Don't call CPS, my kid is 14 now.
I zapped myself on the ear with the electric fence tonight. Decided to duck through the fence to bring the horses in because it's less walking (and I have a bum knee right now), said bum knee really hurt when I put my weight on it, so I straightened up. Directly into the wire.
On the plus side, the horses heard me swearing and came to see what the noise was, so I didn't have to walk to get them anyway.
Saturday, while we were working on the new equipment shed, I managed do drop a 30 ft. extension ladder on my thigh. Have no idea what made me think that my leg was strong enough to break the stupid thing's fall?
I now have matching injuries on each thigh... the dent from being kicked 3 years ago on the left and now one from the ladder on the right. And don't you know the damn dog keeps jumping on exactly that spot!
The first time I met my sister's now-husband, she brought him down to see my new farm. I made a super-awesome first impression when, not five minutes into the visit, I bent down to get my new dog away from the fence, accidentally touched my forehead to the top hot wire...and knocked myself out cold.
Unfortunately, I have a looooong list starting from the time my idiot brother rode his bicycle into the barn and square into the ass of the cow I was milking to getting stuck in mud/snow, tp rescuing Wallkicker from the dread ice covered pasture (less than 1/8" of ice on 1" of water between grass bunches but it sure was glittery) to digging Mr Fussy out of a snowbank to falling through the hayloft floor just above the pen of colts to the runaway toboggan..........
The runaway toboggan is always good. I used to haul water and beet pulp with the toboggan, over the huge snowbank between the house and the barn. After a blizzard, the bank, unknown to me, had changed configuration on its north face from a gentle slope to a near sheer drop. Off I go, struggle up the much taller bank with my handy dandy toboggan, reach the top and look down and all I can say is 'Oh shit!!!'. Walk along the top, looking for an easier way down and thought I struck paydirt. Down I go and realise this is NOT going to end well but there wasn't much choice in the matter. Give the toboggan rope a tug and down it zooms, like a demented snowboarder. I unsuccessfully leap gracefully out of the way, getting clipped by the toboggan, which is now on a collision course with the gate. I roll downhill, toboggan zooms across the flat bit, and hits a bit of long grass, and halts just inches short of impact. Oddly, the toboggan held two jugs of water and a huge pail of beet pulp, and nothing got spilt. Cousin came and dug a path and we went tractor shopping for me that same winter.
Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!
Mishaps are TNTC and happen multiple times/wk but I do remember one good one lately. My stalls open out to sacrifice paddocks and there is a 4-6" high 2" wide board the width of the door so all the bedding won't get pulled out. In spring to fall I toss the left over water buckets outside to the paddock. My water buckets are the insulated ones with a 5 gallon bucket. It had recently rained so the ground was wet but I have gravel and stone dust about 20' out from the stall doors so it's not muddy. As I was carrying an almost full bucket to the door to toss it, I tripped over the 4" board leading outside and bucket and I went down in the wet stone dust. Bucket and I came up covered in lovely grey stone dust. I was just glad no one saw me do that one.
Also about 6 wks ago, I was dragging the barn hose(150') out about 70' to the asphalt driveway to spray the underside of the mower to get the grass clippings out. I'm almost to the mower, tugging quite hard, when I heard a CRACK at my knee! I waited a second and determined I probably didn't break a bone as I was still able to stand but it hurt like hell so I knew I did something to the knee. I hosed the mower, limped back to the barn to wind up the hose ( thank god for hose reels),limped up to the house, grabbed one of the ice bags out of the freezer (I believe in the boy scout motto of 'be prepared' as there are about 3 ice bags in the freezer) and then one of several knee braces. I grabbed crutches too because while I could limp along pretty well, I also knew my knee could freeze up and I possibly might end up not being able to walk. Well, the crutches weren't necessary and while it took me 3 times as long to get around, I could. I also called the orthopedic surgeon but couldn't get an appointment for about a wk. I figured if it was bad the next day, I'd go to urgent care. It hurt like hell at night trying to sleep but it didn't seem too bad the next morning so I just kept icing it and using the knee brace and didn't try to walk fast, not that I could anyway. Turns out I tore the medial colateral ligament. I'm in a prescription knee brace and while it's feeling a lot better, it's far from great. With winter coming on, that knee brace is going to stay on all winter cause one little slip or slide on the snow and ice and I re-injure it again.
Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you!
At my old barn, long ago, the manure pile began at the top of, and continued down, a pretty steep bank out in the back. Well one day, while dumping the wheelbarrow - I'm sure you know where is story is going - I accidentally shook/shoved it too hard and it fell down the pile! About half way down the 20 ft embankment.
Of course I had to go down and get it, which was bad enough. But trying to struggle up the steep hill of poop and shavings while dragging a wheelbarrow about did me in. After shrieking and cursing I realized how ridiculous the situation was and started laughing hysterically.
I finally made it up and was a disgusting mess, covered in dirty shavings. I will never forget that day!
I was breaking in my horribly stiff, super high dressage boots and I needed to adjust my spurs. So I sat on the corner of a water trough to fiddle with the straps, couldn't reach them since boots were so high and stiff, so I jacked my leg up to my opposite knee, lost my balance and back-somersaulted into the full water trough. A full immersion from head to toes. Horsie just stood there laughing. The dunking helped the boots a little, thank God.
I think I've shared this one already, but it's funny.
This happened the first summer or two I had the farm, on a hot night with a full moon. It was about 2 a.m. and I was, of course, sound asleep when I heard something outside my bedroom window. *Something* convinced me I'd left a gate open and a couple horses were out, and I pretty much woke up headed toward the front yard wearing nothing but a pair of Birkinstocks. I hadn't even managed to grab a flashlight.
There were, indeed, two horses in the grass between the house and the road. With a great deal of arm-flapping, I got them walking back toward their paddock. We were almost there when the GSD woke up, noticed the horses in the wrong place, and "WOOF!" I saw gigantic fangs leaping out of the dark, the horses freaked out and bolted, and the race was on.
Two horses, me, and the dog proceeded to make a high-speed circuit of the front 10 acres. Of course, by this time the horses were much too excited to meekly return to their paddock and I was mad enough to chase them 'til they dropped, getting madder every time I fell off my d*mned sandles or tripped over the idiot dog. But, about the third time I galloped through a rose bush naked, I calmed down enough to go fetch a couple of halters and quickly ended that little adventure.
I'll admit, it made a lasting impression. I never go out in the middle of the night now without shoes I can run in.
In 1979, I boarded a 21 yr old Arab mare who was due to foal Feb 19. I told the novice owner I had no experience with babies and would take no responsibility. "Don't worry" he said in his Irish lilt, "It will all be taken care of."
So it starts to snow and snow, and snow. I go out every other hour to see if the mare's foaling. The snow's getting deeper. The roads are closed. By 5 am she hasn't foaled, and I leave the plywood sliding door open a bit so I don't have to disturb her.
At 9 am, I push my way thru 3 feet of snow. The mare is hot sweaty and frantic. There is afterbirth hanging down. I call the vet from the barn. Of course, even tho he lives around the corner, he can't come over. "Put your arm down in her and see if you feel the baby." Did I say its 12 degrees out? I take the snowsuit off, I can't feel anything. "Are you in the right opening ?" the vet asks, poor mare, I do it again.
Just when we are mystified, a very cold baby walks out an ajacent stall. The mare is happy, I am happy, the vet is happy. I have to walk 1/2 mile in waist deep snow to get iodine from a neighbor. The vet comes the next day. The mare has an infection of course, but she recovers. The vet tells my husband the foal needs to be out in the sun, so DH has to shovel by hand the whole paddock area so the foal can get out.
The whole east coast knew this story. Both mare and foal lived to a ripe old age.
Two years later, my own mare foaled in the reasonable month of April, at 8 pm. We were much better prepared.
There is no snooze button on a cat that wants breakfast.
I was riding in the back of the (now-defunct) little farm dump truck. A Datsun, so you can imagine what it looked like. It was a stick shift (and I don't know how those work) but we almost made it to the top of the hill and then it stopped and then started rolling down the hill. The brakes went out.
So I'm sitting next to the hay in the bed/back thinking, "Haha, this is fun," because it had never NOT stopped before. Except it kept going faster and faster, the driver in the cab yelled "WATCH OUT <Slewdledo>" and crashed it backwards into one of the run in sheds to stop it. I literally threw my arm over my head a SECOND before it crashed. Into the support post, which broke but not quite all the way through so it held and the shed didn't collapse.
I didn't think it was that serious, but the other guy who had jumped off at the top of the hill to open the gate still shudders when he thinks about it, because he watched the whole thing and swears I missed being impaled by inches.
I try not to think about it.
Another is the night when I was on foal watch in the barn office. There's a bathroom, but the bathroom wall doesn't reach the ceiling. So I'm lying there on my back on the bed in the dark and start to hear a scratching noise. Mouse, rat, no big deal they don't bother me. And for some reason I'd left the bathroom light on, so I could see it glowing up above me. The scratching continues, and I see something come over the top and just fall. I YANKED the blanket over my head and was totally freaking out - WTF????
It was a BAT. Fluttering around the room. So I got down on the floor and crawled to the door and opened it. Winter, of course so it was freezing but I was NOT going back in there until the bat was out.
Lastly, one night (the night of Daylight Savings Time in March, actually) I was on foal watch in the same office. It was cold, I had too many things going (TV, heater, clock, lamp) and the power strip went out. So I reset it, and it went out again, but only in half the room. Reset it, and the fuse blew. No power in half the room. (Naturally, the half where the bed, clock, and TV were.) Then I had a baby, and the baby hiplocked. I was catatonic from too many nights, so I called the boss on the phone (phone between my ear and shoulder, both hands on the baby) and didn't say hello, didn't say anything except, "SOMEONE'S got to help me get this baby out of here." Click. (if you knew me, you'd know this isn't like me at all to be gruff.) Then I got the (giant) baby out, called back, "Never mind." Click.
Then the mare WENT TO SLEEP http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n...IMG_0062-1.jpgI was trying to figure out how to convince her, yeah, you've got a baby you better start bonding with. And I had no idea what time it was other than 3AMish because A) the power was out and B) it was the night of daylight savings so the time changed at some point overnight. But I knew I was in for minimum two hours to make sure the foal did everything he needed to do.
Once the mare & foal were set, I went back in the office to watch them through the window (no TV, remember) and warm up (blankets, not heater.) Little guy had just nursed, it was probably 4:30AM, still full dark but I could hear the cars on the highway so knew the world was waking up. Ready to go home, check on everyone else - and a maiden who was not due for awhile was all sweated up and rampaging in circles around the stall.
At that point, I got the blanket, sat down in the dark outside her stall and just waited for THAT baby to come. First time mom jumped up immediately after foaling and was scared of the baby, guys didn't start work till 7AM so it was all on me and NO sleep and again I had NO idea what time it was. Really fun night but sooo exhausting. When the manager finally came out I was like, "Ihadtwobabiesthey'rebothboyseverything'sOKbye ."
I was leading a reluctant goat by his horn and went to run across the mucky doorway of the barn. He took a great leap to clear it, both my oversize muck boots stuck in the muck and I flew out of them and I landed face first in it in a full body splat!
The barn crowd, including the five goats, Number the Thoroughbred and three minis came over and started sniffing and pawing me as I struggled to get back up and out of the mire.
I love the electric fence stories now I don't feel so stupid.
Years ago while leading my horse from ring to barn after a lesson, I opened the gate...completely forgetting or just blind to the hot wire stretched thru gateway. I hit the hot wire with my forehead, zapped myself and my horse who I had my hand on his metal bit...we both jumped...big jump!!
Mine pales by comparison...but after getting horses home from an overnight visit & long drive home, I was unpacking the trailer - accompanied by my nosy, talky, across-the-road neighbor.
I blame her for distracting me & making me rush (yeah, I know, still my fault) - I just wanted to get things put away & fall into a shower then bed.
Next morning I went to feed and saw both horses standing just outside the paddock.
I could swear I had latched that gate, but obviously.....
No halters on them, and it was Summer, so no jacket on me to sub for a halter/leadrope.
It did cross my mind to use the t-shirt I had on & flash the neighbors, noone would be tossing any beads at me.
Lucky for me they both saw me and thought "Breffy!"
Big Horse walked right back in with just an encouraging pat on his butt, but TB gave me an OMG moment when he pulled back from me and eyed the too-nearby road.
TG the thought of grain must have been more appealing than Freedom.
& TG the grass just outside that fence was lush & kept them occupied from whenever they escaped until I got up.
*friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon: Steppin' Out 1988-2004 Hey Vern! 1982-2009 Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
I'm always very careful about going out to get a horse from around the round bale as they always seem to jockey for position and I have no wish to be caught in the midst of milling hungry horses. However, just this week I had go out into the very muddy paddock to get a particular horse for the farrier. Very carefully I tramped out in my mud boots grabbed the horse, haltered her and went to turn and my boot got stuck and down I went. I fell full body length into fairly deep mud, the horses thought it was fairly funny and bless my farrier for not laughing. The horses honestly all stood around me with the most comical look on their faces while I struggled to find my boot and get it back on so I could stand. It reminded me of an audience watching mud wrestling, I could tell that they were quite entertained. When I finally got into the shower I had mud encrusted right into my scalp and the clothes I took off at the back door could almost stand up by themself they had so much mud on them.
SO and I were walking through a friend's property this weekend and had to step over a barbed wire fence to get to the path. The friend has beef cows, hence the fence, but it's in such disrepair we never take it too seriously. I grabbed the fence with both hands to hold it down for SO to step over saying, "Watch out. It's electric. Ha Ha." Just as he straddled it, I got a huge zap and let go. Fortunately SO had his Carhartts on!