Saturday, July 30, 2011

Pondering the Future

How to Run a Barn on No Legs 

I am going to face some problems once my knees are replaced.  Of course, when I first come home, I will need some kind of support to help with the horses. The big problems will be cleaning the stalls and getting the hay over to the barn. Currently, my hay is stored in the carport, about 60 feet or so from the horses.  I am not sure how I will get hay to the Boys. If I am still using a walker, it will be hard to carry anything of substance. If I have a cane, I might be able to put hay in the cart and pull it over. But I certainly won't be able to lift a full bale into the cart to take over.

If I can depend on the kindness of friends, it would be possible to keep five or six bales of hay in the aisle of the barn as I do in the winter.  But getting it into the aisle will be something I will not be able to do.

Depending on my mobility, I MIGHT be able to use the two wheeled wheelbarrow as a kind of walker to clean stalls, but that too will have to be explored.

Grain would be no issue, except that bags of grain weigh 50 pounds and apparently, after replacements, you should not lift more than 40 pounds. I do not know if that is a golden rule without exceptions, but I also have to figure out how, when I buy grain, I am going to get it into the barn and into the storage cans. Plan A, with no help, would be to open each bag, take out perhaps 20 pounds, and then take the bag in to dump into the cans.  This, of course, will take twice as long as a normal unloading, but it may have to do.  The alfalfa cubes are stored in the barn in their bags, so that presents another problem. It seems to me I would have to transfer 15 pounds or so from each bag into an empty bag already in the feed room, put the partially full bags in the feed room and tie them all closed until I need to use them.

I could, perhaps, pay someone to come once a week to do some of the more complex chores and to put the hay in the barn. But I certainly will need a way to handle things on my own should a snow storm snow us in so no one could get here to help.

Where there is a will, there is a way. Somehow,I will figure things out.  And, I always have the tractor with the front end loader, so perhaps I can modify my storage system so I can use it to do my work.

I just have to think it through.


  1. I know if some of us - your blogger friends - lived close by we would volunteer to help!

    It sounds like you're thinking it through. How long is your recovery expected to take? Could you get extra storage - trash cans or whatnot - and ration out feed etc. ahead of time?

  2. Some of the logistics do pose problems. I don't know how long you plan on being in the hospital or if you are going to rehab straight from the hospital or not.

    I can tell you that I only used a walker for about a week. Then it was onto the cane. Of course, I only had one knee done so I don't know if your recovery will require a walker for longer. Ideally, if you could get someone to come in for a week or two when you come home that would be very helpful. Maybe the local tack store or your farrier or vet could recommend someone to hire for a few hours a day. I wish I was closer and could give you a hand with all this. I'm sure you'll find a way to get everything taken care of.

  3. Yes, I were closer, I woudl come to help ..wishfull thinking. I am sure you are finidng a solution. Make sure you get enough rehab time for healing properly teh first time! Give you some time for healing then double it!

    Really somebody coming OFTEN, will be one good solution!

  4. i'd be inclined to think of purchasing more storage bins, of a rodent and horse proof variety, and stock up on hard feed in advance

    as for hay - if it's small bale, then you don'e necessarily need to move and entire bale at once, you could use nets and take them over one at a time. and again, you could fill a load of nets in advance and hang them somewhere useful...

    but you ARE going to have to hire in help - even though your boys are out more than they're in, it'll still be necessary...

    I'm sure you have loads of local horsey friends who will rally round - we all would, but we're all a bit far away, sadly....

  5. Ditto all the comments - I wish I were closer too. Horse proof cans in the aisles, filled in advance should go a long ways towards the grain solution but the hay seems a bigger challenge. I think there is no way around help, at least once a day. The help can feed the hay when they are there and perhaps put the next feedings (until they come again) in front of the stalls so all you have to do is throw it in. They will have to do the stall cleanings for a while too. Because it's both knees my guess is that you will be using a walker for a while. Eventually though it will be much better than it has been for a long time!