Rail Peelers of Tipper Creek: Building a round pen

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Building a round pen has been on our list for a couple years. In fact we installed the treated wood posts 18 months ago and haven’t got any further until now. A round pen is a great place to train and work our horses, to keep them in shape and keep our little riders practiced. Its also a nice safe place for beginners to ride.

Check out the rail peelers of Tippercreek here:

We first found a patch of dead pines that were perfect for the job, long straight and almost totally clear of branches. We filled the pickup twice with 14’ poles, between 4″-8″ diameter, about 80 poles in total.Building a round pen

After offloading them adjacent to the pen, the rail peelers went to town. We peeled the last three feet or so on both ends, the rest could be peeled later. Using an impact drill we secured them to the posts with 6”, 8” or 10” TimberLok structural screws, which are amazing.

Building a round pen

We still have a couple gates to build, but it was complete enough to give it a try with the horses. Its still pretty redneck, the ground is uneven, the brush hasn’t been cleared, there’s a foot of snow on one side and a foot of mud on the other; whatever.

Building a round pen

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Snow Day: Sledding and Snowblowing with the Toolcat

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IMG_0037The driveway has an ideal sledding hill… and yes, that means that the driveway is not the ideal driveway.  A fresh 6″ makes it an official snow day. Perfect for sledding and snowblowing with the Toolcat.

I get to play with the snowblower.  The Bobcat Toolcat; 65hp diesel, 6″ hydraulic snowblower, all-wheel-steer, heated cab for two is the natural companion for an acreage. Our little piece of land located many miles from the nearest ploughed road required a work mate of some type to maintain year round access.  We have tried a few tactics over the last few years; hiring a grader (not reliable), ploughing it with a pickup with a snow blade (too much snow), using a smaller gas snow blower (too much snow), giving up and not clearing the road (too much snow).  We resisted getting a machine for a number of reasons but eventually our need for access justified the purchase.

The Toolcat has not disappointed.  In fact, if you like machines, you can guess that it has been a blast.  Besides the snowblower, it can handle a plethora of attachments including our other favourite, the brush smasher.

The kids get to sled.  We have a snowmobile skimmer for our snowmobile.  Except that we don’t have a snowmobile.  The skimmer is more of a bobsleigh for the kids.  It can fit a half dozen when they want.  Sledding is maybe one of our finest activities.  The equipment required (sled) is approximately 1/1,000th the cost of a snowmobile, it provides exercise, excitement and just the right amount of pain.

Snow days are one of the reasons we live in the woods.  In the city snow is often the enemy, but with a lot less other stuff to do, we can sometimes actually just play with it.

Check out the video mashup of the Toolcat snowblower and the kids killing it on the sledding hill:

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