Thursday, July 10, 2008

Humidity Broke

And So Did My Mower

With the lower humidity, I decided to mow the lawn. I have a riding mower for this job, and, last year bought a brand new little John Deere lawn tractor. I have another one in the garage that needed repair, but I put off sending it out.

Big mistake. If I'd repaired the other one in a timely fashion, I would not now be mowerless. I had the front lawns done and went back to mow near the barn. Stupid me forgot there was a stall gate lying in the grass. I went over it. There was a loud clunk. The engine kept going, but the mower was dead. A pully wheel was lying in the grass near the gate. The bolt was shorn off.

So, now I have no mower at all. I called the repair place and they may be able to pick them both up on Saturday. But I will check on that. In the meantime, the lawn is mostly done, at since we are not expecting much in the way of rain, the heat will keep it from growing too much.

Once I'd broken the John Deere, I decided to do some weed whacking. I have an electric string trimmer and I started off full force until...whip, snip, the string broke or else just got used up. The first problem was getting the head off the trimmer and the second was not having the right string to put in. So, I had to drive to the hardware store to buy a reed of heavy duty trimmer string.

Messed around with the trimmer for another half hour or so, then headed back out. I have a bank along the road in front of the house that stretches for at least 150 feet. Grass and weeds grow on it, looking bad and making it hard to see when I pull out of the driveway. I can't trim it during the day because the traffic is so bad, but since rush hour was over, I decided I'd risk it. This, especially since the weekend is supposed to get hotter again.

Suffice it to say, by the time I had the bank done, I was done too. I decided I would at least lunge Tucker and Chance but not ride since I was too worn out.

Chance was no problem, but Tucker joined Toby in a game of "can't catch me." This is definitely something he learned from Toby since he was never a problem to catch until Toby started herding him away. Now, Tuck thinks he's a hot shot too and will walk away from me, just out of reach.

After using the "walk away before he does" technique for about 20 minutes, I decided to go back to the barn--the Boys had gone out to the pasture--to get some treats. My Boys are all suckers for horse treats. I ignored Tucker when Toby came over, caught Tobe and took him into the barn for some fly spray and a carrot. Then I turned him loose and went back out with the hoof medication and fly spray for Tucker. I caught him immediately as soon as he saw I had the treats. I took care of him and called it a night. I'd already had plenty of exercise hiking all over the place in the catching game.

I intend on working on this nonsense sooner than later. So aside from treats, any catching suggestions welcome. While I could set up a kind of round pen, I'm not sure any of those techniques would work. Neither horse is acutally impossible to catch, just frustrating.

When PJ was bad about it, I chased him around the pasture until, dripping with sweat, he finally surrendered and I don't think I ever had much trouble with him again. I can't do that any more as I can't run or move that quickly myself. One webpage suggests that walking away before the horse does works well as the horse eventually finds the game no more fun and gets curious as to what you are doing. I'm not sure Tucker will fall for that. Tonight all he did was keep grazing.

The treat technique is fine, but I really don't like the concept. I really think my horse should come to me without a bribe.

Or am I just a dreamer??? *G*


  1. I really like Jl conditioned response "coming-in cue" taht can be taught in the round-pen.

    For Linda the first 6 months she was turn-out in a medium size paddock. If she was not coming to me I used RP technique. it worked. I could then turn- her out in the BIG field she was ALWAYS coming to me even if she was in compagny.

    It might be a bit tricky, but JL rp is fantastic, or what I wrote to you teh Parelli tough method.

  2. It doesn't sound like the most successful day you've ever had Jean!