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Copyright 2008 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

Dog Hair & Mule Sweat

with Natalie Riehl

editor@rockymountainrider.com

 

April 2008 Issue

 

     Has anyone ever fallen into the trap of buying a useful product that comes in a box with the words “Requires Assembly” printed on the outside? There’s a good photo of the finished product, some instructions, and you think, “How difficult can it be?”

     Ask that of the two men who were assembling the handy, two-wheeled barn “cart” on my mud-room floor last week. Parts were lined up in orderly fashion, but the gadget turned out to be much more complex than anyone could have imagined.

     The cart is part of the ever-ongoing weeding project. After having tried many other methods of weed eradication, we decided to try the propane torch. This requires hauling a propane tank around, and the photos on the torch package showed a home-owner blasting his weeds with the device, while easily pulling the propane tank on a two-wheeled cart.

     Things were going smoothly with the assembly team until they got to Step 5. Yes, and here is when it became apparent that I had failed when making the original purchase. I had not noticed the large amounts of packing tape that were plastered over the top of the box.

     The assembly team was muttering about how “those parts” must have been put on in China because they were on backwards. The huge amounts of tape on the box flashed into my fore-brain, and it dawned on me that the cart had been purchased by someone else who had messed up Step 5, could not get the hinged supports off, and had returned the box to the store without mentioning that the contents were not in a pristine, untouched condition.

     My assembly team — skilled, intelligent and patient — told me to skedaddle to the office and, in my absence, managed to complete the fabrication. After only a couple more hitches, like flat tires on the cart and a leaky propane tank, we were ready to incinerate the weeds!

     The lesson here is to look really, REALLY carefully at the boxes in the store. If there is too much tape… beware!!!

 

     About those weeds in the driveway… they are coming up green and strong this spring, WAY before any other vegetation… say the 150 spring flower bulbs we planted last fall. At this writing, the crocuses are up at most a half-inch and the other bulbs are nowhere to be seen! But the weeds are in full throttle, putting down woody roots and continuing their march across the drive.

     The horses have been shedding for several weeks, but not the mules or the donkeys. The curry comb makes fantastic piles of hair, which I always hope will be carried off by a nest-building bird. Realistically, it will probably meet the same fate as the four-inch chunks of mule manes trimmed last fall next to the horse trailer: scorched by the weed torch on its mission to search and destroy!

 

     Thanks to all the readers who have noted that this column has been absent for a few months. I’ve been taking a little time off, and hoping that a few new ideas would percolate upward.

 

     Please be sure to take our “Reader Survey.” Simply go on-line to the RMR website, www.rockymountainrider.com, and click on the Survey Link on the home page.

     We would like to know about your horse habits — from the breeds you own and ride to all the equine activities you do. In fact, I believe there may be more activities and competitions than there are breeds!

        And if you take the survey, your name will automatically be entered in our drawing for a $250 gas card.

Copyright 2008 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

 

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