June 27th, 2005


Coqet's Reach

The call from the hauler who is to take Angelina to Ohio came at noon Sunday, a day early. I called the vet and set out about 2 pm to get the bale of hay to accompany her on her journey.

He was not going to be there, but he set one on top of enough others that I could climb up on the rack and roll it into the bed of the truck. He gave me directions from his new house, but he gave them as though I would be coming from the SOUTH instead of the north (a natural enough mistake, as his former home was south of his new one.) One of the landmarks to get me to the right place was a corn crib. I saw the "second driveway", leading to the nice new house, and dutifully ran up it -- no corn crib. I took the one just south of it -- a corn crib. A flatbed with a HUGE square bale, a year old, positioned on the end of it... but NO WAY could I hope to budge a ONE TON bale off onto the truck, nor would it be suitable for putting in a three horse trailer.

That got me to thinking. My initial call had been fielded by his wife. I could not remember if I had told him what I needed beyond a square bale... I'd like to THINK I'd specified "small"... He had assured me it was a "smaller" bale, and this one was a bit smaller, probably from drying out thoroughly over the winter...

I was trying to think of who else might put up square bales as I retreated down that driveway in defeat. Spying two more corn cribs on the next gravel road north from his house (still on his farm), I decided to try it, although I would not call a gravel road a "driveway". When I got up there, sure enough, a "driveway" led in one gate, along the front of a huge shed, past two enormous corn cribs on the other side, and out another gate. Both gates were open.

Pulling in, there was one lone hay rack filled with small square bales with two of the middle ones pulled up onto one corner of the front of the rack. I backed under that corner, then had a terrible time climbing into the bed of the pickup to get into the hay wagon. It was easy to tip the bale into the truck once I had, but I had to shuck my shirt and pick the hay off it, as I'm allergic to several kinds and am NOT adept at spotting a small enough amount to cause me trouble when it gets next to my skin.

After gassing up the truck in Corydon and doing nearly $100 of grocery shopping, I headed home, pulling the truck in next to the deck to facilitate the unloading.

Even though I'd rolled the bale into the far back part of the 8' bed, Coqet had hooked into it and dragged it out the end by the time I got the meat, frozen goods and refrigerator items safely put away. When I'd pulled in, she'd been happily munching away on her own big bale situated at the end of the circle drive leading to the house. She's quick, LONG-necked, and like the grass being greener on the other side of the fence, the new bale far surpassed the allure of last week's fresh bale!

All Nighter

B., the hauler's brother, was supposed to call an hour out sometime Sunday afternoon. Instead, around 9 pm, he called 5/6 hours out... So, my wish that Angelina be hauled during the evening instead of during the day happened for the first leg of her journey.

I got busy working on my web site and writing, and soon it was 2:30 am or so, so I decided I could last another hour. Truth to tell, I was afraid that if I did go to sleep, I wouldn't wake up even if the house were burning...

At 3:30 am, I was making so many mistakes that I stopped and shut down. I'd finally gotten hungry, but I kept thinking that if I put something on to cook, he'd show up and I'd forget it was cooking (yes, I HAVE done that before) and burn everything. At four, I gave up and fried two sunny side up eggs and two pieces of lunchmeat ham, eating them on a bagel, as I was out of bread.

No sooner had I finished than he arrived. He called from PROMISE CITY, a good five minutes away, not "an hour out". I went down and caught up Angelina, then brought her up to the top of the hill where the bale of hay, somewhat scattered, awaited. There's no way it was going to get carried down the hill...

He backed up, pulled forward, backed up again, pulled forward, and finally started the "small" (15' slant load) trailer up the hill. As I walked over, I handed him the paperwork and introduced him to Angelina, holding his hand up for her to sniff. She was sort of snorty, walking toward the Christmas tree-style lights after being spotlighted by the four eyed monster that chugged and rumbled. He'd shut off the engine, but the position lights were still on, and we were WAY off from where any light from the yard light could help.

But Angelina was a real trooper -- I started her toward the dark pit of a doorway at a stout walk, intending to walk her right on as though it were nothing out of the ordinary. She came willingly, not tightening up the lead rope at all, looking as if she'd just walk right in for me at once when B. left the side door he was holding open and stepped directly in front of her to ask me if he should get a flashlight.

I gritted my teeth and thought "driver only; not a horse person". "Only if she won't just follow me on because I asked her to." But I was thinking, "oh, yeah, eerie light shows ought to really reassure her that getting in is a good idea."

I turned part way to her, touching her neck in praise. "Walk, Lina," I said in the voice of command, then concentrated on climbing smoothly up into the trailer without any clanking. She put her front feet in just as he again started forward. Was he going to spook her back out? My head shot up, twisting toward him. He stopped, not sure what he ought to do. Obviously, portly ladies leading well-behaved horses right into the trailer in the middle of the night was not in his repoitory.

He got the flash light and showed it up into the top of the trailer right AFTER I got the loop located and had the boline finished.

"I need to get the hay and some water," he said, starting to walk off.

"Shut the back door first," I told him. That prompted him to come inside and fix the stall divider in place. His girlfriend came and held the back door closed while I took him over to the broken bale and the water.

"Be sure you check the water. This is treated water, but she's been on creek and pond water, so she may not want to drink it." As if she understood what I was saying, she dipped her lips into the water, splashing in it, but not drinking. "She's been in the stud pen with constant access to water, but that doesn't mean she's drunk recently. She turned it down when I offered it, but she has no way of knowing what's ahead."

He filled the hay net, leaving the rest of the bale on the ground. Since it was not hay she'd been on, I didn't say anything. My hay is all baled in 1200-1500 pound bales, so no way was that going onto a trailer. She'd been on it less than a week, anyway.