Our pond is very low, as is everyone's this summer. (This top photo was taken in the spring; the rest are current. You can see that even in spring it was much lower than normal.)
There is a wire fence that runs through the pond dividing the horses' pasture from the hayfield on the other side. The fence is old and we can see that it is rusted away on the bottom and in several other spots. We've planned to replace it if the opportunity ever comes up - we know it's a hazard in its present condition - and this summer might be the time. While we hope the pond won't get that low, we would like to get the refencing project done. (In the photo below, the water level should be above the top of the photo; in other words, this would all be under water. Just the very tops of the fenceposts are usually visible.)
We'd also like to get the mangled sheep shed out of the pond. It's low enough to do that now. We lost the shed in the storm in January 2010 that also claimed the roof of the old goat barn. You can see the remains of the sheep shed in the lower right corner of this photo below.
The mud on the bottom of the pond is sticky and deep. Hubby got the ATV stuck in the mud at the water's edge last week. When the horses drink from the pond, their hooves make a loud, sucking noise as they back away from the water. Even the dried mud is silty and soft and deep - there's a lot of topsoil that's washed into that pond over the years.
(By the way, in a really dry year like this one, standing in the mud occasionally is good for the horses' hooves. Dry hooves are hard and they crack and chip easily. They absorb some moisture from the mud, which is good. As well as the pond, the horses have 3 water troughs from which to drink clean water.)
Plus there are snakes in the pond; we see them draped on the wire fence occasionally, sunning themselves just above the water. And turtles, including snapping turtles. And crawdads. Ick. Who wants to stand in that? My rubber boots have holes in them.
Chuck, our steer, walked right through the pond and through the fence Wednesday and was grazing in the hayfield. Fortunately it was feeding time when we discovered him. I put the horses in their respective places for their supper, hubby opened the gate and I rattled Chuck's feed bucket, and he came galloping back to the right side of the fence and his bucket of feed.
We know that it's only a matter of time before our escape artist-horse discovers this hole. He'll follow Chuck through, and the other horses will follow him, and then we'll be forced to brave the mud and muck to fix that fence.
It wouldn't be the first time they've gotten loose out there.
In the meantime, we've strung two ropes tightly from fencepost to fencepost to hopefully deter Chuck... but I don't think it's going to work for long.