Tuesday, October 30, 2018

NOW October 26, 2018

For me lately it's been all about the horses.

First it was the rush to get ready for Cass's arrival. Getting him here took a couple of days longer than we anticipated. He finally arrived safely, if a bit scraped up from his experience. He adapted pretty quickly to his new home.

After Cass got here, we had two weeks to get ready to move our other four horses. We had to build two more corrals, another pasture, and a training square pen. All of our corrals and pastures are fenced with electric fencing, not hard boards. For one thing, electric fencing is a lot less expensive than board fencing. It's easier to repair and it's easy to move or reconfigure. Normally  we use metal T-posts for the electric fences. Because most of our T-posts were already in use in the existing pastures, we decided to use "palos"--Puerto Rican cut-from-the-woods fence posts--for the corrals. Using special insulators, we can attach the fencing wire to the wood posts.

So what's with electric fence anyway? For those who aren't familiar, it is a fairly common fencing in the U.S. Here in PR, not so much. We use a poly rope with wire embedded in it for the line. An energizer--a source of electricity--is attached to the lines. We use solar-powered energizers. We don't need a connection to electrical service so we can put them anywhere, even in remote fields where there is no electricity. They can generate up to 7,000 volts. But--and here's the key--it is at very low amperage, less than one-half amp. If you touch the line it, will give you a jolt. but it won't hurt you. It startles and stings the horses. They don't want any part of it so they stay away from the fence.

The horses seem to know when the fence is on or off. I don't know if they feel it or hear it, but somehow they know. If it's on, once they've been "tagged," they don't challenge it. If it's off, well, they just might.

The one place we're not using wire is the training pen. That is all palos, both for the posts and for the rails. We're getting the for a little over $1 a piece. That's a whole lot less than $13 for 4"x4" posts and $5 for 2"x4" rails. And I really like the way it looks.

Our friend Moses has been amazing. He arranged to get the wooden palos for us. He put most in most of the palos in the corrals. He pretty much built the training square. Because so many of our T-posts are still in the old pastures, the new pasture is a mix of T-posts and palos. Moses put in all of those palos as well. I absolutely could not have completed this without him.

Last Sunday we moved our four horses to their new home. Elaine and Marie rode KTJ and Zip. We trailered Chocolate and Sprocket, They too seem to be settling into their new home.

We now have a routine to work the horses every day. This is the first time they have been consistently regularly worked since before the hurricane. They all need the exercise. We've ridden a couple of times this week. I'm kind of alternating between Chocolate and Cass. Choco is still gaining strength back in his leg after tendon pull so we're taking it slow with him. I'm grateful that I have another horse available to ride.

Since our horse are now here, we've taken down all the fences at the old place. Now I have T-posts and wire to start fencing new fields. 

There is a little bit of flashback to the months after the hurricane for me right now. I'm not shooting surf pictures any more, at least not for now. Between waves and bad visibility caused by rain, I haven't been diving in nearly two months. Add to that all the horse work and it feels like after the hurricane--all work and no play. I need to change that. My soul is crying for time in the water.

I thought about going diving today but Elaine and Marie are across the island evaluating horses. The two mounted police units on the island are disbanding. The Department of Public Security is planning to donate the horses to non-profits that work with their communities. Hmmmmm! So they are meeting with people from DPS and checking out more horses. She's sending me photos of horses as I type this. Oh. dear goddess--more pastures, more corrals.

Well, I think you're up to date now.

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