Tonight, five minutes before we finished work I was dashing to the field to turn the last horse out and my colleague followed me in the off road vehicle. We call them mules.
As I went through the corral to the geldings field he went along the track to give some hay to a pair of horses. I heard a shout, and when I looked behind, I found him to be stuck in the mud! He’d forgotten to use the 4×4 setting and what little mud we had had stuck him fast.
So I trundled over to help him, and with a bit of pushing and revving we managed to well and truly sink the back wheels. We tried putting a thin plank of wood under each wheel but it didn’t work, and then the haylage bags under, but the wheels just spun them underneath.
So I went back to the yard to get the other mule, and some rope. Unfortunately at 6.15 no one knew where any rope was and all the stores were locked. So I took an oldish lead rope, and someone else found some planks and off I went.
My colleague tied the lead rope around the tow bars of the mules and, remembering to put mine into four wheel drive I put the mule into low ratio and my foot down on the accelerator. With a jerk, the stuck mule bounced out of the rut and the lead rope snapped. Not a problem, it’s only a lead rope.
So we cleared up the mess and drove back to the yard.
I remembered while we were doing this how a couple of years ago I managed to reverse the work land rover (an ancient rust bucket which was used to hay the fields and give lifts to and from the fields) off a bridge down into the stream …
It was my late night, and about 5.30pm I drove up, fully laden with hay bales, and pulled up by the field, turned in the road and started backing up. Suddenly, I felt the back end drop. In panic we got out and peered round. The rear wheel was suspended off the road, hanging over the little stream. Unsure, and unwilling to go back to the yard and admit my error, we unloaded the hay and spread it out in the field before trying to shift the landy.
After about ten minutes we walked back to the yard with our heads down. It was about finishing time for everyone else and I had to go to the yard manager and explain all. She was furious! After a lot of discussion she and one of the livery men when up in the equally decrepit and rust ridden tractor to pull out poor Leonard the Landy. It didn’t take them long, and by the time they got back I and my little helper got my bum in gear and swept all of the barn and got the horses ready for the lessons. It took a while for me to live that tale down.