|Still my favourite safety graphic...|
However, unless you are a cave troll (in which case, congratulations on mastering literacy & internet use!), if you are involved with horses, you will find yourself faced with Outside Tasks. Whether it be opening a hay bale, removing a loose nail from a fence post, or something else, it is critical to always use all available safety gear & plan ahead to avoid needless injury (the last bit is our horses’ job, duh!).
Because Eventer79 Wants To Keep You Safe: Things You May Not Have Considered
For example, you may have a few pine trees in your horse’s pasture, carrying a collection of small
|My pines only LOOK innocent|
- Pine trees have brittle bark, which splinters into tiny shrapnel with every blow. You should definitely not bother walking back inside to get sunglasses to protect your eyes. Your prescription is already –8, there’s not much to lose anyway.
- Make sure & stare directly at the branch when you hit it, preferably with your mouth open, so that all of your mucous membranes can enjoy the shower of bitter, painful pine shards.
- To avoid this, you can adjust your position in relation to the branch. I suggest standing precisely downwind, so now, the shrapnel can be blown right into your face with no effort whatsoever.
If you are standing below say, a dead limb, & you whack at it with a sharp, metal object, the limb, being subject to a force called Gravity, will fall down when loosed from the tree trunk.
No worries! By ducking & cursing, you may get lucky & only part of it will bounce off of your body (layers are your friend).
Returning To The Brittle Nature Of The Pine
Another special characteristic to enjoy goes something like this:
- After whacking at the base of a larger branch with your hatchet for a few minutes, you may decide
this isn't fun anymore & your shoulder is tiredthe connection has been weakened enough that you can now use your body weight to snap off the whole thing at once.
- Remember your physics: the farther away from the pivot/breaking point (where the branch joins the tree) you are, the greater force you can exert with the same amount of effort. So you don’t want to try this right at the base. Torque = Force x Moment Arm, people! (No, I have no idea why that one stuck with me, but it's been endlessly useful since 1998. If you know what a breaker bar is, you know what I mean.)
- Pull back hard a little ways out & if you do it correctly, the part you are holding will break off in your hands so you fall down immediately. Success!
- Even better, the large chunk between your hands & the tree trunk will also break off at both ends & become a completely unpredictable 12” projectile of 2” diameter wood. Remember: DUCK & CURSE.
|Nooo...not like that!|
Finally, If You Can Still See
And you have not managed to cut off your ear while scratching your nose with the hand holding the hatchet (sharp end right next to your face, of course):
|STOP LAUGHING, PLANT!|
- Halfheartedly whack at poison ivy vines as thick as your arms.
- These are even better because instead of splinters, the vine disintegrates into a powdery dust. Just like campfire smoke, no matter where you stand, this delightful cloud is guaranteed to blow directly into your face & eyes.
- In optimal conditions, you are also allergic to poison ivy.
|Oh, sorry, too late...|