Friday, May 20, 2011


It's been raining for days.  Days.  Everything is muddy.  And, when you live with hooved mammals, you get a special kind of super-sucky mud.  My horses weigh about 1200 pounds.  All that weight is balanced on pointy, sharp hooves that are only about 6 inches in diameter.  That pretty much makes horses the most efficient rototillers ever.  The churning of those little hooves makes the mud around here really, really deep.

Very Large Rototiller

The other important thing to know about horses is that they poop every 2-3 hours.  And, in a cruel evolutionary joke, they lack the opposable thumbs necessary to clean up after themselves.  So, that leaves it up to me to clean up.  Luckily, I have a handy-dandy dump cart to help me.  It hooks up to the lawn mower like so:

With my handy-dandy dump cart and lawn mower I can zip around the pastures and clean up with no problems.  Unless its muddy.  Lawn mowers hate mud.  Especially deep, sticky, hoof churned mud.  Do you see where this is going?  I wish I had.....

I was very skillfully maneuvering my lawn mower through the mud, being careful to stay in areas where it wasn't too deep.  I thought I was very clever.  But, as my cart got more full, it got heavier.  As the cart got heavier, the mower sank lower into the mud.  Eventually, the inevitable happened... I got stuck.  I rocked the mower, I crammed straw beneath the tires, I kicked it and yelled obscenities (didn't help get it unstuck, but made me feel better).  Nothing was working.  I was stuck.

Enter our hero:

I would have to pull the mower out of the mud with the tractor (I probably should have been using the tractor instead of the lawn mower in the first place, but I digress...).  The problem:  the only place to hook the straps to pull out the lawn mower is the back bumper.  The back bumper that had a dump cart full of horse manure attached to it.  I would have to take the dump cart off and move it to get the lawn mower unstuck.  Do you know how heavy a dump cart full of poop is?  I do.

As I struggled with the dump cart in the slick mud, I wondered to myself "How long before I manage to injure myself doing this?".  Not long.  Pretty much as soon as the thought was finished, I slipped and went face first into the back of the lawn mower.  To add insult to injury, as I fell I tripped the dump mechanism on the cart.  All the manure I had diligently picked up was now right back on the ground.  I surveyed the scene:  The mower was still stuck, the cart was also now stuck, there was poop everywhere, I was covered in mud (I hope it was mud) and rapidly developing a nice shiner on my eye.  At this point, I did what any sane person would do:  I went back to the house and made myself a margarita.

Invigorated by tequila and lime, I was able to scoop up the manure, move the cart, hook up the mower and pull it free.   From now on I think I will avoid using the lawn mower in the mud.

Next project: teaching the horses to clean up after themselves!

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  1. If it's not one thing, it's two! Glad you got out of your mess with nothing worse than a shiner. Have another Margarita ... it won't help, but it will make you feel better.

  2. Oh my gosh! I'm laughing, but I shouldn't be! Sounds like you were in one heck of a mess!
    Good luck with the mud and muck and thanks for your entry!

  3. Shannon,
    Now you are making me feel bad about taking horse pooh from that nice pile. Next time you will probably send me and my truck out to the pasture to follow the horse around :-)

  4. Well put! Hope the Margarita was a good one. We have had tons of rain too, and normally pick the paddocks and pastures every day. No lawn tractor for would sink like yours. Fortunately, we have fields next to the pasture and I can toss the manure there, where they use it as fertilizer. How many horses do you have?

  5. it's been raining and/or cloudy A LOT here too. Sunny today though...hope it's headed your way.

  6. So sorry - I laughed at the thought of you falling because that's something I would do! But I am glad you're o.k. (except for the shiner) and that you fortified yourself with a stiff drink!

  7. Been there done that. I too have had my mucking incidents. Not so fresh smelling after that one. Smelling like horse sweat is bad, but I can attest this is much worse. And you are so right. The pasture or corral after a hard rain and frisky horses, rolling in the mess, oh you want to ring their necks.

  8. So I just had to check out this post. When I was in high school my good friends last name was Muck. Isn't that sad. Luckily she was female, therefore she wasn't stuck with Muck for the rest of her life like her little brother is! She married a Cook. Better.

    Blessings, Debbie

  9. What a story! As always, I marvel at how different our gardening (cleaning up manure is gardening, isn't it?) experiences are.

  10. Sounds like a day around here! So glad the cart didn't dump on YOU


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