Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 81 My accomplice

Becky likes to ride around three in the afternoon every day.  Which is okay, as it goes well with my schedule which usually revolves around picking up my child from school.  The only thing that bugs me about this arrangement is the fact that if the horses come in after 2 pm, they only get to be out about 5 hours total.  However, now that we have day light past 8 pm. I have been working on Becky to agree to let the horses back out after her ride.  She hasn't exactly agreed to this idea, as she feels that the two horses are fine in their stalls ("tucked in for the night" as she calls it)  I tried to explain to her that Little Love really needs to be moving as much as possible for the sake of her feet, but it hasn't really convinced Becky - so far. 

But, now I have an accomplice in my mission to get more pasture time for the horses:  Col. 

Today, when Becky was brushing him in the area behind the barn she uncharacteristically had him lose.  Usually she ties him on the side of the barn where the rings are, but I'm thinking my example has made some sort of impression and she is now attempting the "free grooming".  She brought out some hay to make sure Col stayed put.  But Col, being Col, had none of it and ran off back into the field (the gate was open).  Becky collected him and brought him back.  She closed the gate, but as soon as she resumed the brushing, Col walked off and went to the gate to stare at the pasture.  This happened three times. 

I was mucking Little Love's stall and when I came out with the wheelbarrel  and saw Col standing at the gate,I said:

"Is he trying to tell you he wants to go back into the field?"

:-) Yep, I know, but I couldn't help it.  Such a perfect opportunity to bring that up.  And Col was wanting back into the field.

Becky went off on her ride and Little Love and I soaked the hooves (yay, we soaked the right hind for ten minutes today, first time she accepted hind foot soaking for more than 30 seconds and didn't break any buckets!).  She seemed more tender on all four today, especially on hard ground.  Sigh.  We walked in the arena exactly 30 loops which took exactly 30 boring minutes.  In the meanwhile Becky and Col came back from their hack and Col was delivered into his stall.  In his stall where he commenced to scream to Little Love every three minutes or so (have I mentioned that he sounds like an elephant? :-) 

Finally, after the 30th lap, Little Love and I stopped walking.  I took Little Love to the back pasture gate, because I thought it would be nice to eat some grass and walk back through the soft pasture rather than the hard parking lot. Right when I was about to close the gate behind us, I heard hoofsteps on asphalt.  It was Col who has busted out of his stall by pushing through the chain across the door!  He ran into the arena and showed us a few bucks.  Becky followed, holding a leadrope.  She'd been making tea for us in the kitchen, talking on the phone to her friend, when she saw her horse pass by the window.  That phone call ended fast!

I let Little Love go in the pasture, where she ran back and forth on the fenceline, while Col bucked and reared on the other side in the arena.  It was obvious he would not let anyone catch him, so I opened the gate to the pasture and in he went (I swear he was smiling as he passed me!). 

The horses were overjoyed to be united.  And I was worried about Little Love's feet?  She didn't look too sore to me... Here is a picture of them running:

Note my other dog in the lower right corner.  She was digging in the pasture and was surprised by the two horses cantering by, poor thing. 

What I like about Becky is that she doesn't freak out when horses run.  I have known so many people during my life who can't handle running horses, but she is not one of them.  In fact, she likes to see them run!  By the time they were done going back and forth, we were both smiling.  In the end, we got our teas from the kitchen and went into the pasture to sit and watch our two horses graze and be horses. Col rolled, of course, and Becky just shook her head.  She can handle the running horse, but the dirty horse is another story.   I swear Col knows this and makes sure to roll at every opportunity he gets (especially when he has no blanket). 

So, the two horses got some extra pasture time today.  When I left at 5:30 pm, they were still out there.  Thank you Col!  :-)


  1. How brilliant of him!

    Don't give up on Becky, I think she's starting to come around.

  2. What beautiful countryside! And what beautiful running horses!

  3. You could try telling Becky about the hoof pump mechanism - about how horses have a disproportionately small heart for the size of their body, and the squeezing action in the hoof, as it's compressed and released by the weight of the horse in motion, helps the blood to circulate effectively. A horse standing in a box doesn't have the benefit of that.

  4. What a lovely story this turned out to be! The photos are gorgeous, those two are beautiful specimens, and to see them doing what they do best... being horses is, a gift! Becky seems to be taking small steps towards a different way of thinking about her horse, which is wonderful.

  5. Just lovely. I think there are lots of us who would have loved joining you for a cup of tea and watching those beauties running together.

  6. That is so funny!
    Becky sounds like a friendly, open-minded gal. I enjoy watching my horse run as well. Grif has arthritis in his hocks and when he is running and playing in the pasture, I know that I am doing my job in helping him feel good :)
    I think the more people try to restrict movement in their horses (i.e. stalls 24-7), the more likely they are going to wind up getting hurt. Playing and having fun keeps them limber and fit (...and no amount of riding compares to that "kind" of fitness). A limber horse is far less likely to be injured then one who is cooped up and gets only short, explosive bursts of exercise.
    I also had to laugh at the grooming comment..because Grif and I are exactly the same way. I am absolutely anal about keeping Grif clean and it's the one thing I just can't bring myself to give up. ...and like you said the more I clean my boy, the more he tries to stay dirty. I joke all the time that his name should have been "Pig Pen."
    I love the photos. You can just "feel" the joy and happiness in that picture of the horses running together :) ....and the shot of Lilo & Col's faces... Priceless.... that one is deserving of a frame!

  7. I know, Becky is coming around. So many things have already changed to the better (for the horses) She really is a nice lady and very generous, too. Col is a riot; that horse has so many ideas and he is slowly implementing them all!

    Carol, you are so right about the horses that are kept in stalls. THere is this one woman I know who never lets anyone else put her horse out. So when the whole barn full of horses go out in their individual runs in the morning, hers stays inside until she comes over on her lunch break to put him out. She stands next to the gate and if he runs, in he goes. The poor horse never runs anymore and he is the stiffest horse in the barn. It's sad to see this, but there is nothing you can do about it. The lady's previous horse broke his leg when she was longing him so she is now "extra careful". Could be that keeping the horse like this will eventually cause an accident, like you said. Since he has been kept like this for years (Since he was young), his bones are probably twice as brittle than the horses that are out running about...