Sunday, March 25, 2007

How to Drive a Tractor

Into a Door

Like the title? Want a lesson? Forget just how far the front end loader sticks out then then go to strip a stall.

I guess I can blame the mud a little because the tractor did slide a little, but sure enough, I crashed the front end loader against the side of Tucker's stall door and cracked the wood where the door was hinged. Duh!

So there I was with a heavy door hanging by one hinge and a sharp piece of wood sticking out with the bent screws that had once held the other hinge. Looked like a job for Super Friend! That's my conservation save the farm cohort, Bill. Bless his generous heart, he came over after dinner and in short order moved the hinge to a section of good wood and the door was fixed!

I suppose I could have figured out how to repair it myself, but first I'd have to collect all the right tools, make a plan, think about it, and then discover I didn't have the right tools yet, so I'd have to get more tools.....I am not an efficient operator, as you can tell. Bill is.

Hey, at least I got the stall done and managed to clean out about half of the run in shed area.

Which left precious little time to really ride.

So Toby and I went out for a hack in the woods. Then, as Bill arrived, I was getting Chance ready for a long lining session. For some reason, Bill spooked him badly in the barn.

Now, there are two theories on this. Bill did have a cigar, which may have upset him, or he was genuinely scared of Bill himself because he had been badly handled in the past by a tall man. Considering what I know of his past, I tend to think that might have been the trigger.

At any rate, I got him settled down, and gave him a very short school on the lines, getting him to stretch down into the bit. Then, I brought him in to make friends with Bill, who was absolutely great about gently petting him and telling him what a beautiful boy he was. All that praise and a few carrots won him over and by the time we were done, Chance was nuzzling Bill's hair, perfectly content and relaxed.

By then, Tucker had decided that going far out into the pasture was the best way of avoiding work, so I let him have the day off. Once I let him know he wouldn't have to do anything, he came back in to see if he could mooch a few treats and get a bit of attention.

I am not worried about riding him every day as his work has gotten very consistent lately and he certainly is not having any problems with fitness.

On the public front, I have now been quoted in the Sunday New York Times. The article about the Van Dyke farm was published today.
It really is a lovely article and covers all the important issues about saving the farm. Apparently people are noticing it because three people from church mentioned it this morning, and Bill heard from several other people about it at home.

Now we just have to wait and see if it sparks any action.


  1. Thank god for friends like Bill...

  2. that's a really good article, jean, good photo, and you all get a mention! hope it all does some good!