Wednesday, July 20, 2011

In Early and Pie Goes Out With the Boys

Today's supposed to be a doozie - the heat index is supposed to be 110F - I can't remember it ever being so hot for so long.  We had a brief, intense thunderstorm in the middle of the night last night, so if anything the humidity is even more oppressive than before, although we certainly needed the rain - we've had barely a drop of rain in the past month.  I expect the horses, who were out, appreciated the rain as well.

This morning Pie went back out with the gelding herd - he's been out of the herd for several months waiting for the grass to dry up sufficiently so he can graze again.  He's up to 4 1/2 hours of grazing in the large dry lot - it does have grass but not as much as the pastures do.  So this morning I put him out with the geldings in the pasture for 2 hours - a.m. grasses are lower in sugars (but with our heat and drought, grasses may be high in sugars even in the mornings as the sugars accumulated during the day aren't used as they should be for growth in the nighttime). But our grasses are looking pretty dried up right now, so I expect it'll be OK.  When I came to the barn, Pie was lying down in his paddock - it was very sweet to see his head and ears poking up when he saw me.  He was delighted to get out in the "real" pasture and headed off by himself to graze - he showed absolutely no interest in the other horses despite having been separated from them for several months - apparently grass took priority over socializing.

I was interested to see what Drift would do.  He can be aggressive with newly introduced horses until they've fallen into line, and when Fritz went back in after a time in a small paddock due to an injury, Drift did some striking and kicking out.  Drift's fine with Fritz now unless Fritz shows interest in the mares, then he herds him away. This morning Drift basically did nothing - he saw Pie grazing, looked at him with some interest but didn't really do much else.  When I went to get Pie, he was grazing near the other geldings but was happy to come in with me - he knew it was going to get uncomfortably hot soon, I think.  Drift tried to approach us at the gate while I had Pie on the lead, but I easily shooed him away - for safety, I never let loose horses approach a horse I'm leading.  I like non-events, and it looks like Pie's going to fit right back in the herd.  Pie has almost no interest in mares, and I expect that keeps him off Drift's worry list.

This morning I brought all my horses in earlier, by around 8 a.m.  They had had their fill of grazing, the flies were terrible and the temperature and humidity were unpleasant, although not dangerous yet.  The geldings were standing near the gate waiting to go in - Pie was still grabbing grass - and the mares were nearby.  Everybody got a rinse and scraping off, and they're in under their fans for the day.  It's supposed to stay very hot right into the evening, so it may be quite late tonight before the horses can go out again.

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