Sunday, June 26, 2011

Day 169 Night owls

Becky is living proof that people can evolve, even then they don't really want to!  Last night Becky did the unthinkable: she let the horses stay outside in the pasture the entire night.  I don't know how long I have been talking about this, but it has been a while.  Then Jean-Claude came along and told her that his horse lived outside 24/7 at the moment and that he would like that to continue at her place.  I asked her then and there, what it was she was so afraid of.  She couldn't even look me in the eye, the subject was so difficult.  After a long while she said that initially she was afraid Col would just eat and eat and get all crazy and she wouldn't be able to ride him.  But she is no longer afraid of that.  Then she said that it freaked her out to think of how dark it was out there and that they wouldn't be able to see. 

I listened to her and did my best to understand.  It had been really, really hot here for the past few days and it is suposed to get even hotter.  The bugs flock around the horses like bees around honey and neither of them want to put a foot out of the barn during the day.  Can't blame them.  I reminded Becky of this and also said that really, being outside at night in the cool air would be the best thing that ever happened to Col and Little Love at this point.  They could always come inside, as the door is always open. 

At 10 pm BEcky sent me a text message telling me she was going to go for it.  The horses were in the field at that point, happy as clams.  I sent her encouraging words, hoping it would help her stick to her guns.  And she did.  When she went into the barn in the morning, the horses were still outside, enjoying every minute of the cool, nearly bug-free time in the field.  I was happy to hear Little Love had been outside at night, because she has always been quite afraid in the dark.  But I guess it is different when you have a human sitting atop, riding you down a trail, steering you every which way.  I think I might be scared in the dark in that situation, too.

But I am so proud of Becky!  She didn't get a lot of sleep, but she also didn't run out into the field in her pj's at two in the morning and bring the horses inside.  She is a good example of self-control, because apparently it had crossed her mind during the night more than once. :-) Jean-Claude visited today with his horse, Dakota, and he was happy to hear of this new development (Becky was beaming from all the praise).  I think he is going to be a good influence. 


  1. OMG! All I have to say is brilliant! What a shift for everyone, and especially the horses. Big kudos to Becky, and you for gently and continually reminding Becky that the horses aren't human! Sounds like Jean-Claude might carry the torch for you from here!

  2. Good for her! She'll probably find out quite quickly that living outside will change Col- for the better :)

    The change in my horses when I moved them out 24/7 was night and day. They are SO much happier now.

  3. I've taken care of seven horses at my current place. None have ever been stalled--they share a three-sided shelter for shade and wind protection, but other than that, they are outside. I have never had a horse with a hoof abscess. I have never had a horse seriously injure one of the herd members with a kick or bite. I've never had to blanket a horse because they appeared to not be handling the cold (and we've had plenty of cold weather). Last winter was so nasty we had a fence failure (we had a drift that covered the fence) and I had to lock the crew up in a large arena. Within ten days, one of my mares developed ulcer trouble and was miserable. I always think about whales and how their bodies aren't built to withstand being out of the water. Horses are just built to move!