Hanks: There’s always a better way | TheFencePost.com

Hanks: There’s always a better way

Gentle readers, there’s always a better way to do something or other, or so it seems in hindsight.

After chores and breakfast this morning, I was sitting on the front deck with a cup of “get up and go” (coffee). Down the road a quarter mile or so I noticed some activity as my neighbors were seemingly trying to load a propane tank into the back of a fully covered stock trailer.

The propane tank was chained up to a bucket on a tractor and they were trying to force it into the trailer. Well, it just wasn’t working too well.

I finally, ashamedly, got the binocks out and was interested to see if they ever finished this task. I was thinking “why don’t you just lift the tank up high enough to get it in the back of the trailer and then brace it with the bucket and BACK THE TRAILER UP WITH THE PICKUP until you have it loaded?”

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It took the better part of an hour but they finally got it loaded by “a little here and a little there” with the bucket and a lot of hand waving by others around.

I have always trimmed my own horses hooves until I started to have some lower back issues. I have been through three farriers in the last year and a half because I expect them to arrive (within reason) when they say they will.

I grow tired of excuses and drop one and pick up another. The last one was to call me on a certain date and make an appointment to come out and trim. I never heard from her, sooooo, I got online and ordered a hoof jack and a new set of nippers.

A hoof jack, if you don’t know, is a telescoping post that has a large round base and a V-shaped, padded top to hold a hoof while you clean it and trim it.

It always bothered my back to grab a rear wheel of a horse and try to hold it and clean and trim it. My old knees would start to burn as their foot rested in my lap and if they resisted at all, it was just more than I wanted to deal with at times.

Let alone if their feet had been dry and hard for a long period, it seemed as if you were trying to cut steel. It seemed to me that the better way of doing it was by buying a hoof jack and new nippers.

I dropped a little over $300 to make my life hopefully a little less stressful and easier on the pocket book in the long run.

A couple of days ago — with a sore back — I started in and trimmed the front feet on both horses.

The next day with a back that was more stressed than the day before I started on the back feet. I got along fairly well but it was hot, the flies were bad and my gas tank seemed to be almost empty.

I got one horse done and started on the other. All was well with the hoof jack on one rear wheel but when I got the other, things just sort of fell apart.

The old pony kept jerking his foot off of the jack while I was was trying to trim it. Out of exasperation and out of patience, I untied him and swatted him a few times with the lead rope.

That didn’t work so I wound up holding his foot in my lap and with burning knees got it trimmed.

I have to tell ya, I was one old worn out cowboy when I got through with that chore. Their feet were dry and very hard and it was hot and I was OLD. And that’s never a good combination.

“THERE’S GOT TO BE A BETTER WAY!” Children, I do hope you find “that better way” to do the things that you need to do. I know there are those times after we have completed a chore, we have already thought of a better way to do it next time.

I want to thank you folks who have purchased your calendars. I see so many of the same names year after year. I still have a good supply on hand.

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, and look for that “better way.” Me thinks that there certainly must be a better way for Americans to come to grips with our problems than the way we are going about it now. I’ll c. y’all, all y’all.❖

Mad Jack Hanks

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