Thistle breath does it again

We’ve had a pretty action-packed week. It all started when I went to water the vegie patch and found the taps were dry.

Now, let me explain. We’re on rainwater here, but we’re lucky enough (or unlucky enough, depending on which way you look at it) to be sitting on top of an underground spring. Our dam is spring fed so it never runs dry, we have a bore to pump water into a tank for watering stock and plants, and our lawn never entirely dries out cause the spring seems to run directly underneath it.

So, when the bore water tank turned out to be dry my first thought was that Wayne had forgotten to fill it up on the weekend (long story… among all the pump/water challenges we’ve had, the bore water tank stop valve was malfunctioning so we decided to over-ride it and fill the tank by turning it on manually).

Anyway… naturally, being the caring sharing partner that I am, I instantly lay the blame on Wayne. Of course he swore he had filled the tank the day before. So where did all the water go?

He suggested it was Wally’s fault. Ever since we got Dancer and put her in the paddock opposite, the boys have started to hang around near the water trough like any teenage boys hanging out on a corner trying to look cool. Other than staring longingly at the new girl, there’s not much to do over there. They munch a bit of grass, they gnaw on some old bits of wood, posture trying to look tough, and they play with the float in the water trough.

I scoffed. No way could Wally’s bouncing the float cause the entire tank to run dry!

So we filled it again and sure enough, next day it was dry again.


We filled it again, turned the tank tap off and checked next day. Yep, still full.

Ok. Time to get down to business.

Wayne got into CSI mode and went out to look at the tank. The float had taken a bashing but was still working. However, as he investigated things started to look bad. Very bad.

Somehow (and I blame Wally, Ben is entirely innocent) the horses had kicked the pipe going into the trough and broken it so that it no longer connected with the wall. In other words, water was going into the tank to replace the water the horses slopped over the edge when they splashed around… but it was also running down the outside and seeping into the soil. So it was pouring out in a steady stream.

Wayne locked the boys out of that paddock and was soon up to his shoulder in trough water, up to his knees in mud (again) and up to his neck with the whole pump/water/trough/horse ownership thing.

He worked on that thing all day on Saturday. The result is a tank that actually has water in it for longer than 24 hours, a trough which could give Alcatraz a run for its money, and two very confused horses who’s toy has been taken away.

Two boys who were back in that paddock without either of us opening the gate. SOMEONE has learned to open gates…

Meanwhile, Dancer is coming along nicely. She still won’t come to me and she’s a bit too free and easy with her back legs for me to force my company on her. She’ll come to me and sniff but won’t stay if I reach out. So I don’t reach out. I want her to want me to touch her.

Yesterday Wayne and I were looking at her tiny paddock thinking its time to give her a bit more space. An hour later she was in the big paddock.Turns out Wally and Ben aren’t the hoodinis round here!

Ben is doing great. He’s lunging well on both reins now, better for Wayne than for me of course. I just feel useless at times, but I persevere. Wayne’s been building a round yard so things will be easier… I hope!

Yesterday was an eventful training session. We lunged him for a while, him testing me out and seeing what he could get away with with me and behaving well for Wayne. Then Wayne stood on an old barrel and I led Ben up to him so we could mess around with him in a different way.

Wayne swears he told me to ‘step aside’ cause he was going to jump off and Ben would no doubt startle… I heard ‘step to his side’…

I stepped to Ben’s side.

Wayne jumped.

Ben jumped.

Onto my foot.

I landed in a mass of thistles.

I had a bruised foot and thistles on my butt.

I put ice on my foot and indulged in some self pity, but I’m fine today. At least the foot’s fine. Bruised and a bit sore to touch, but working as you’d expect a foot to work.

Ah. The joys of horse ownership!


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