Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Ponies have a Barn!

We finished our barn project in record time...less than 2 weeks from start to finish! A week ago Monday, Tom and Julio started harvesting trees and digging the holes to plant the corner posts and put up the framework. By the end of the week, they were harvesting the cohune leaf for the roof, and on Saturday we had a barnraising party with all of Julio's family and a bunch of friends from 7 Miles.

The men and boys went up on the roof framework to tie on the thatch, and the women stayed on the ground to pass the palm fronds up to the men.

Even Odaly was hauling the leaves up, and this isn't as easy as it looks. The palm is heavier than you would expect since it's not dry, and climbing up and down the ladder with an unwieldy weight isn't easy. I ended up having to put down the camera and my cooking utensils and doing this job on Monday, and I have to admit I was a little bit sore the next day.

Most of the job was done on Saturday, and by Monday lunchtime Julio and Angel were tying down the roof cap. We cheated a little and used some old zinc roofing we had taken from one of the cabins because it leaked, but we didn't think the horses would mind that their roof isn't totally authentic.

On Tuesday Tom and Julio turned the barn into four stalls with feed bowls installed on stumps in the four outside corners...and on Tuesday afternoon, the horses had their first dinner in their new home.

The individual horses haven't taken to the barn (or not taken to it, as the case may be) as I would have expected. Nessa, the oldest of the four and the mother of Elphie and Lodo, wants nothing to do with it. She won't even go in a stall. This doesn't surprise us because we know Ness doesn't like change, but it does surprise us because she's one of those horses who just likes to keep herself clean, and we thought that giving her a place to get out of the rain or sun would have made her happy. Glinda, who is basically a feral pony and who always likes to be in charge of the other horses, doesn't go into a stall on her own, but once there she's pretty happy to just chill in her own space. Elphie and Lodo, neither of whom has ever seen a barn, think it's the coolest thing ever, and we'll look out during the day and see them standing in or around the barn even when they could be out grazing with Glin and Ness. We expected them to be the ones that wanted nothing to do with it, and they both seem to like it. This isn't the first time we've guessed wrong about our horses' reactions to things, and, in fact, I think I'm almost always wrong so I don't know why I thought this time would be any different.


JRinSC said...

Nice job guys!!

Love your hearth also but curious... do you use hardwood scraps or just small trees? Do you have to go a good distance out to get your wood?

Take care,


Marge & Tom Gallagher said...

We use both wood scraps (Marge loves it when I am working on shop projects) and we have a lot of brush we have cleared from around our fruit trees and deadfall from nature. So, we aren't cutting trees down for firewood, just using what is all ready down right around the house and cabin.

JRinSC said...

See what you mean, Tom. I guess living in a jungle has some advantages I hadn't considered.

Tell Marge I'd love to have a piece of her first home-baked bread!! I was on a submarine and the night cook would often let us share a loaf. It was the best bread I ever ate -- straight out of the oven with real butter... wow. I'm afraid of what would happen to my waistline if I bought a bread machine now... lol.

Take care,


sandy a said...

I am no horse expert, but I have noticed that a lot of horses don't like to go in barns at all--they'll stand outside in the rain or whatever (maybe under a tree) and suffer instead of going inside the barn.