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! :-)