Thursday, November 5, 2009

Most hated barn tasks

Thurs, Nov. 5, 2009: Day 3 of antibiotic-free Riley, he's doing fine. No news is good news!

Seems like I was busy doin' somethin' close to nothin'

But different from the day before...

--- Prince, Rasberry Beret

"Something close to nothing" -- that pretty much characterizes the barn tasks I hate the most. Mucking? Hey, it's exercise. Feeding? You're making the horses happy. Sweeping? It's progress by the linear inch. But some things are so unsatisfying to do! These are a few of my least-favorite things...

  • De-cobwebbing is definitely close to nothing.
  • Filling buckets (I'd rather scrub than fill).
  • Checking for moldy hay. Why would I want to get close enought to make the determination of dust vs. mold?
  • Anything to do with leg straps. Wrong end of the horse.
  • Folding blankets. I only have one set of bedsheets so I don't have to fold them. They're in the wash or they're in play.
  • Anything to do with bell boots.
  • Feeding the cats.
This last one I feel guilty about, but in my less charitable moments I reason that they shold be eating MICE.

So what are your most hated tasks?


  1. This amuses me because de-cobwebbing is a favorite task for me. Instant gratification - extra gratification when I get to smush giant prong-legged spiders! (We have some nasty ones down here in FL - I leave the harmless ones alone).

  2. good question, there is couple:
    i HATE removing the mineral build up on the coils of my water heater...ok, it's usually not that often, only couple of times year but still i HATE it...
    and leg straps - all the way with you, those things can get ridicolous...

  3. Breaking the ice on dry lot water tanks when the heaters quit overnight - I just love having to take my gloves off and get my hands wet when temperatures are well below freezing! Same deal for attaching hoses to fill outdoor tanks.

  4. Untangling the laundry ball of polo wraps and rolling them. I commute an hour to the barn from NYC and save this task for when the car is idling at red lights.

  5. Feeding the cats tops the list for me too, but not because I resent feeding them. They are awesome mousers, and they earn the food I give them. They are just huge jerks when it comes to feeding time.

    If I had a nickel for every time one of them knocks the food out of my hand while swarming me like locusts, I could buy a nice new bauble for my horse. I have taken to holding a can lid out like an ancient warrior to fend them off so I can get the food into their bowls without mishap.

    I don't love sweeping the aisle either, but nothing tops my loathing for feeding the cats. On the upside, they are super cuddly (for barn cats) after they're done eating, so I get some kitty hugs from them on a daily basis. So that kind of but not really makes up for their bad behavior.

  6. Well fed cats are actually better hunters.

    Sweeping the aisle, I guess and just general cleaning...not the stalls so much, but trying to tidy up all the equipment and various "things" that seem to collect in the barn.

    Not too fond of unloading the grain from the truck either. It's a little hard on my knees.

  7. I have to second the polo wraps and the laundry. I will extend that to ALL leg dressings (quilts, no bows, standing wraps, track wraps, AND polos). I am a dunce at rolling them, and it doesn't help my washer is a destructive monster (eats bras too).

    I actually just took what I thought was a load of just rags home from the barn to wash tonite--to come to the bottom of them and find quilts and polos. Blah!

  8. I don't enjoy getting bales down from the hay loft and carrying them. Firstly because I lack upper body strength. Secondly because I get hay everywhere from my bra to my socks.

  9. 1. Dumping new bags of feed into the bins

    2. Cleaning the drain in the wash rack

    3. We store our shavings in the aisle (conveninet for rebedding) but I HATE raking hay out of the shavings.

    4. Picking hay and hair out of the velcro on splint boots.

  10. I worked at a farm where I had to use pine sol to clean the varnished wood stall fronts. By the time I had gotten to the next stall, the one I just did had a thin film of dust. It was the most unrewarding task! It did make the barn smell lovely though....

  11. I hate blanketing. I don't blanket often, just when it is raining and cold and they are out. It just takes so much time. Then you have to take them off when they come in! Also I really don't like dumping and scrubbing the water troughs.

  12. Oooh....I have some:

    1. Breaking open water tanks, I usually end up soaked.

    2. Dressing and undressing horses in winter, makes me soooo cranky.

    3. Carrying bales of hay through three feet of snow! BLECH.

    4. I HATE HATE HATE sweeping the isle.

  13. Oh, emptying bags of grain -- not so bad, unless the person who fed *before* you managed to eek out their feeding but left you with a bunch of empty bins. It's not the labor, it's the principle of the thing.

    Oh, and opening supplements that have the lids practically welded on.

  14. It's funny that people hate feeding the barn cats. I like feeding mine, even though they are a little obnoxious, because they are so happy when they eat...they eat with their eyes closed and purr the whole time. It makes me laugh because I'm pretty sure I have just about the same reaction to food sometimes! At least I would if I could purr...

    My least favorite barn chore is really anything to do with blankets. They get so filthy, I feel like I'm always cleaning them, which I hate. And then putting them on, taking them off, trying to maneuver them without dragging them through the's neverending. This is why my horses don't get clipped and go "naked" except in the worst of conditions.

  15. Anything I have to do that involves me walking through above ankle deep mud.

  16. I like visible progress! On the other hand, I hate snow, mud, stacking bales, and picking up after other people.

    Some of the most magical words my hay & straw guy can say are "I have help with me."

  17. Getting the blankets cleaned. I always seem to put it off until well into the summer. By then they are pretty ripe.


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