Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Human Work Day (picture heavy)

For a while now, we've been wanting to put in a hitch rail. While we can saddle the horses one-handed, and they do okay with it, it would be awfully nice to have a place near the tack room to park the horses. Now that business is slowing down for Mom and Bill, they were able to pencil us in to spend the day helping with "farm chores".

My friend was absolutely wonderful and came over last week to dig the post holes. I actually asked him to bring his tractor over with the auger attachment, but he said it was much easier to just dig it by hand. I admit, I was being lazy by asking to use the auger. The last time I dug a post hole was back on my first day working for Bucky at the livery, almost two decades ago, so when he wanted to dig by hand I did not argue.

Jay and I bought all the supplies and then couldn't wait to see what it was going to look like, so we mocked it up briefly.

We knew it was going to be awesome!
Unfortunately, Jay had to work today, so it looked like it was just going to be Mom, Bill, and me. However, once Mom and Bill got here this morning, they brought the bad news that Bill had jacked up his back while getting ready to come down. The "heavy lifting" was going to fall to me and Mom. Luckily, we're both badasses. Just ask us, we'll tell you. ;)

Jay reminded me late last night that I have built in slave labor in the form on my children, so this morning I sent Digger a message to see if he wanted to come work play for a little bit. He didn't get back to me right away, so we started without him.

Getting the center post ready to be attached

Yes, I'm short, and, yes, the hitch rail is very tall

Of course, he had to check our work. It was killing him to have to stand aside.
We bolted the rail together, made sure that it was all level, then started in with the pouring of cement. I bought ten bags of QuickCrete thinking that would be enough, and it was ... barely. Mom and I took turns mixing the concrete, while Bill had the very important job of keeping the wheelbarrow from falling over. I'm not even being a smart ass - the wheelbarrow has seen much, much better days.

After reading Bill's blog about their ride yesterday, I knew I had to inscribe something into the freshly poured concrete. Just so happens we had three posts and three horses with three different brands. It was a no brainer. (I don't know why blogger rotated the pictures, so forgive me that you have to cock your head to the right to read them.)

Skeeter: 10-247888

Copper: 10-858120

Pearl: 11-858621

Digger arrived just as we finished up with the concrete on the hitch rail, so we put him to work digging a post hole in the horses' pen. We decided to put in an "anchor" post to help with unloading hay from the truck and also to use as a patience post if necessary.

Gizmo (the cat) must have thought she'd get put to work too!

It took Digger no time at all to get the hole dug.
Since we used all ten bags of QuickCrete I had purchased, we had to run back in to town to pick up another couple of bags to set the anchor post. We had originally intended to use the left-over 4x4 from the hitch rail, but I was concerned that it wouldn't be strong enough to withstand repeated use pulling 1,200# round bales from the truck. We decided to get a metal pole and fill it with concrete to make it strong enough to do the job we need it for.

Once we had the anchor post in, we went back to finish the hitch post. Despite using deck brackets to hold it together, Jay and I decided we wanted to use lag bolts to attach the crossbeam to the uprights. We did allow Bill to do use the drill to make the guide holes, because there wasn't much chance of him hurting his back even further.

My badass mom looks like she's in her 30s! How does she look 10 years younger than me?


We had to try it out - looks good!
We didn't actually tie up the horses, as they're not hard-tied often, but that's going to change soon. We'll give the concrete a couple of days to cure before we start tying them.

They did well pretending to be tied, so we introduced them to the new anchor post in the middle of their pen. Our concern, of course, is that they'll find some way to hurt themselves on it, so we put a couple of pallets around the pole just as a visual reminder that it's there.

They're such goofballs. I love them, though.

1 comment:

Allenspark Lodge said...

We had a great time with our workout! Now, to try out the hitchrail. Tomorrow, we go riding.