Saturday, April 25, 2009

Herd dynamics

Bright and early Page and I are at the barn, get horses fed, barns cats fed and let out, chickens let out and fed.......then clean stalls, empty the wheelbarrow, then dump, clean and fill the stock tanks. The sun is out and the morning chill gradually warms up with a little sun. Hmmm......chore of the day? We need to move horses around in paddocks. Sounds like a small project, but not really. First we need to make a new fence line to keep the pony in his new area with his new loafing shed.....this will free up a stall that we need for Rio. Ollie and Rio share a paddock with a loafing shed...but need to be moved to the larger paddock which is attached to two stalls. The paddock is larger so they have more room to roam. The real issue here is that Ollie will not allow Rio into the Noble shelter when it is raining so Rio has to stay outside with just his nose inside the shelter. Rio needs shelter. So we will take the pony's stall and then Winston's stall. Winston will take the paddock with the Noble shelter. We pound some posts into the ground. We have to use metal with caps.......although we will eventually change these to wood. I hate metal, especially with big horses.

Okay, so we separate the pony into his new area and Winston cannot stand the change....he bolts right through the hotwire and goes in with the pony. I wonder who will get the upper hand. Beaver(the pony) is 11 hands but top dog around the farm. Winston is a large 17H warmblood and a drama queen. He has his nose in everything......he needs to know what everyone is doing and he needs to be part of it.

Page's eyes are the size of saucers. I tell her to duck under the fence to safety while the boys work it out and I will try to catch Winston. I get him cornered and into the holding pen.....then laugh as Page asks why they are so upset? I say......."because they have the brain of a gnat" and 'any change is exciting and a reason to buck and run". I tell her that the fun is not over yet, because we still have to move Ollie and Rio.

I get Ollie caught up and move him first.......he proceeds to buck and fart and run the length of the paddock. Then I get Rio and he follows suit. Winston is running laps in his holding pen and rearing on his hind legs. I go to him and halter him, then lead him out to the smaller paddock. ZOOOOOMMMMMMMMM. He is down and back and around.........snort, fart, buck. I decided that the term "fire breathing dragon" was man's interpretation of freshly turned out horses and not really dragons after all...all the horses were now running, making deep groaning sounds and then blowing out while practicing their best passage moves at liberty. Then one by one they threw themselves down in the dirt to take a quick roll and then got up and raced each other around the paddocks one more time. Finally all is quiet......Ollie and Rio start to graze. Winston decides to check out the Noble shelter and gazes up the driveway at my mom's house. My mom is gardening and Winston is fascinated. The chickens are going single file down the driveway and so I must go head them off before they get to the road. They must have heard that joke......?

I have leaves to rake and the barn to blow out. I decide that blowing leaves is really what the blower was for. I make a mess of the leaves. I figure there must be a science to this leaf blowing. I go back to blowing the barn out.....then I rake leaves for a while. I look at the horse trailer and it needs a wash job. Tomorrow....yes, tomorrow I will wash the trailer. Tomorrow I will repair some more fencing and decide how best to expand the arena. I hope it won't rain. I have a loafing shed that needs the roof fixed/expanded. Sunshine would be appreciated.

I trimmed manes before I fed dinner.....I did the bridle paths a couple of days ago. My mom states that the mane trims look like "home haircuts"........ hmmm......well maybe they do, but they look better than they did.

Tomorrow will be Sunday before we know it.

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