Hundreds of Fence Posts, 1 Injured Horse, and 7 Steers Gone
I Spent the week between Christmas and New Year cutting and hauling locust trees out of a neighbors woods with my friend and sometimes hired man Seamus (he's the one driving the team in the photo). The weather was about as bad as it could be for this type of work, 30's and raining. The worst part was that we had to drag the trees down to the road across a very muddy cornfield. We didn't tear the field up much but the logs ended up very muddy, which dulls a chainsaw in a hurry. Still things went pretty well and there is a lot more posts in that woods than I thought.
On Friday afternoon though the luck started to turn ugly. The first incident involved trying to pull a couple of trees out of the woods with a long cable. We got them moving until one of the butt ends stopped dead on a stump. The logs stopped, the forecart I was riding on stopped, me and the horses kept moving. The horses were fine although they did tear the neck yoke and evener off of the tongue. I ended up with some pretty impressive bruises on my upper legs from hitting the hand rail on the forecart. We got everything repaired and finished hauling out the rest of the logs we had cut.
I unhooked the horses from the cart and tied them to it for a lack of a better thing to tie them to, and began cutting the logs into fence posts. Everything went fine for about 20 minutes, then I heard the commotion. The younger horse, Tiny, had started fooling around and got his front feet up over his fathers' (Don) back and gotten a foot caught in the harness. The cart went over on its side then Tiny went down on top of it. The infamous handrail punched a hole big enough to put a baseball into into his belly. Luckily it didn't rupture the membrane between the guts and the outside world. I was able to walk the horses the mile home and tried to get a vet out to stitch him up. Our regular vet, who does do horses was away for the week. One of the other vets in that practice was actually in my town when they got him on the radio, but he refused to come. After a couple of failed attempts with other vets my neighbors who are dairy farmers came over and sewed him up. It is getting harder all the time to get a large animal vet out in our area. Tiny is healing up well.
The weather was too bad to take my steers to the Middleburg sale a few weeks back, so I ended up taking them to the sale in Athens, Pa on New Years Day. Seven fewer steers should make the hay last until the 22 head left are out on pasture in the spring.