Last week while putting out hay, I was driving my tractor around the property. I was looking at the new grass growing and feeling a great sense of pride in how much my property has improved over the past 6 years. When I bought the place; the pasture was nothing but weeds, 3 foot high. It took me a week, using a push and riding mower to cut it by myself. At the time I didn’t have a mower/bush hog for my tractor, only a hay spike and grader box for counterbalance.
So, I’m following my fence line, feeling peaceful, when I come across a section of downed fence. My heart sank, it was late in the afternoon and nobody to help me. I’ve got sheep/goat field wire, because it’s smaller squares than regular field wire. Horses tend to get their feet hung up in larger wire and if they can get hurt, they will. I get off the tractor and inspect the area. The fence had been stomped down by one of my draft mares, hoof prints gave away the culprits. Also on both sides of the fence were cow hoof prints, so the 3 bovines had been playing in the neighbor’s yard but hadn’t been spotted outside their fence.
I pulled wire and straightened as much as possible. I didn’t have any extra T-posts to secure the fence to, and it was too late to get any. I knew I had a busy week ahead, so I crossed my fingers and said a prayer, hoping they would stay within the confines of their own fence. The following weekend I could replace the damaged fence. All week extra head counts were done and gratitude prayers each time counts were correct.
The next weekend, my truck was loaded with 7’ tall T-posts, pole and chain saw, hand clippers, fuel for the saws all to remove extra foliage along the fence line, and my fencing bucket with all the proper tools to attach fence. My daughter brought the tractor with a new roll of 5’ high non-climb horse fence wire, which makes it harder for the horses to push wire down with their hooves. The squares are only 2” x 3” instead of 4” x 5” like before. Also, with it being taller than the previous 4’ high fencing, they can’t hang their heads over it and push it with their chest. So, Win! Win! Situation. Every animal in the pasture: 15 horses; 3 donkeys; 3 cows; and 2 goats, followed us to the downed fence, investigating the on goings of the afternoon. They were hoping for treats, feed, or seed in the back of the truck. All at attention, they watched, supervised, then wandered off bored with the mechanics of running a farm.
The fence is replaced, my animals are safe, and all is right at the farm. Watching my herd grazing on the spring grass is so gratifying. My soul is reenergized, and my strength renewed. I’m blessed and grateful for the life I’ve created.