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Hose Rage

Published: 1/26/2010
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Winter, Horses, and Another Fun Chore!

By Sonia Theobalds

I like to think of myself as a "tub half full" kind of person.

However, I admit it, I suffer from Hose Rage.

Some people have Road Rage.
I have Hose Rage.

Today is the day to dump the big water tub, scrub and refill it. Like most horse owners, I do it every few days to keep it fresh. Such a soothing job in August.

Not so in January.

In August you can hose the hay chaff off your arms, legs, and feet. The result is cooling, soothing and you dry immediately.

Not so in January.

And so, this morning, I set out to tackle the hose and the water tub. First of all, over my first cup of coffee, I discovered that the connectors were all frozen solid, so my teenage daughter lent me her state-of-the-art hairdryer before she left for school. After 15 minutes of standing on my head holding said hairdryer on the faucet, I finally got to do the "Lefty Loose-y" thing and rejoiced when the hose ends were finally freed from the tap. The blood is just now returning to its regular places in the rest of my body.

Once unthawed, I wrestled the five and a half miles of hose into the kitchen so they could warm up (with me) beside the woodstove. This sounds like a fun and easy aerobic morning activity, but it wasn't. It was a marathon of sorts, keeping the two cats from blasting out the door while I exercised a variety of original swear word combinations and waved my arms hysterically at the would-be feline escapees while wrestling a giant frozen snake between a screen door and two wooden doors.

The patience meter was in the red zone by the time I finally shut the doors behind the stiff coils of black rubber and the cats were bug-eyed by my erratic behavior.

But I got the whole thing inside and made a cup of tea to soothe my irritated nerves.

Hoses annoy me at the best of times.

- They refuse to wind up by themselves and can take on a life of their own if you turn your back on them.

- It takes a sailor's strength and coordination to get the things back on the hose holder.

- No matter how long I manhandle 'em, they always invent some kink that sends the rest of the hose haywire.

- If you leave them out on the driveway for even a minute without supervision, they manage to get themselves run over by a well-meaning visiting neighbor, friendly Fed Ex driver, or enthusiastic CMP meter person.

- Hoses require constant supervision.

My long-suffering horse-husband has an amazing knack for repairing and rejoining hoses because, thanks to me, he's had a lot of practice.

- Snowplows and hoses don't mix.

- Lawnmowers and hoses don't mix.

- Tractors and hoses, well, they don't mix either.

Somehow, Doug can always patiently mend, reconnect and add to the smooshed and squished pieces.

This morning, after all the cursing and uncoiling, I finally managed to unthaw and unwind the whole nasty, black mess. As I scrubbed the tub just now in The Big Chill of this bitterly cold January day, the sun came out and made me think how fortunate I am to have such a wonderful stream of fresh water bubbling through the hoses that had ticked me off earlier.

The horses came over and dunked their hay and slurped and slooshed around in the trough as if to say thank you. They too are grateful.

And the cats, after checking that I was not completely insane, are now laying by the woodstove, lapping up the dribbles on the kitchen floor.

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1/28/2010 Julie
Wonderfully written...and so true!! I've had my own moments of hose rage...I think you could hear me a mile away saying, "arrrgghhhhhh!!!"
2/2/2010 Holly
I sooooo understand your hose rage! Even though my hose rage moments are farther apart, your story brings back those moments when Ive had to just walk away from THE HOSE, leaving it snarled and frozen, and staring at me with its beady little nozzle eyes and resign myself to hauling numerous buckets of water instead!
2/2/2010 Frannie Burridge
Hey Sonia: I pretty much solved my hose rage with a hose caddy on wheels that can easily be taken to a warm place between uses.
5/11/2011 Andrea Perry
I unscrew my hose after every use in the winter. climb the ladder to the hay loft with one end of hose in hand to drain it. I hook the center of the hose on the ladder so both ends are hanging down the ladder so there is no pooling in the hose left to freeze...saves a lot of anxiety.. :)

"An owner of a Tennessee Walking Horse once said that his horse reminded him of a lightning rod, for, as he rode, all the sorrows of his heart flowed down through the splendid muscles of his horse and were grounded in the earth." - Marguerite Henry