Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Small Stories From Hot Days

We're having a bit of a heat wave - the heat index is over 100 today so the horses came in from turnout very early, and it was very hot yesterday as well.  So no riding and much stall picking - the horses seem to appreciate being in their stalls under the fans.

One of the things I love about spending so much time with my horses is getting to see the quirks of their personalities and the "small stories" that tell who they are.  They give me a lot of delight, and often make me laugh.

Yesterday, when I brought Pie and Red in, I put them for a while in a shady paddock next to the barn while we were waiting for shavings to be put in the stalls in their barn aisle.  I gave them some hay, and the two of them were standing side by side, eating the hay with their noses just inches apart.

I took Pie into the barn first to put him in his stall, and ground tied him in the aisle to pick his feet.  Pie ground ties very reliably.  As I was picking his feet, I put one down and was just reaching for the next when he suddenly darted into the nearest stall door, which happened to be Red's.  Very odd behavior . . .  A second later, he stretched out and peed, and peed, and peed - it seemed like gallons.  Poor fellow - I guess he just couldn't hold it any more and didn't want to pee on the concrete barn aisle - he's a bit of neatnik about things like that.

Every afternoon, if the horses have been in, I walk Pie back out to the pasture water tank so he can have some big drinks - with episodes of tongue sucking in between - he'll drink out of his stall buckets, but he much prefers the pasture troughs, even when they're hot and not as clean.

This morning, I brought Dawn in first - all the other mares were coming in.  There was a huge septic tank pumping truck in the indoor arena (there's actually a septic tank under the arena floor) - we have to lead through the arena to get to our barn - and it was roaring and making loud sucking noises and there were huge green hoses lying everywhere.  The barn owner, who was bringing in the other mares, asked if I should take Dawn around the outside of the barn to the back gate to get her in, and I said no, I thought she'd be just fine.  So we marched into the arena, right past the roaring, sucking truck and hoses - Dawn could have cared less and barely gave it a glance - what a good mare!

This morning, after I brought Dawn in and the septic truck had left the arena, I went out to the pasture to bring the boys in.  I only took Pie's halter, and Red came right along, "helping" out by nipping Pie on the flanks as we went - he likes to herd Pie and the other horses - it was really more of a pinch than a bite but if I'd been Pie I would have let him have it - Pie didn't really mind and I told Red to cut it out.  Once we got started down the hill to the barn, Pie was really wanting to get there - I think he was thirsty and the tanks are right by the gate - so I unsnapped him and he and Red rocketed off to the tanks to have big drinks.  They were standing there as I came down the hill - but before I got there they rocketed back off up the hill again.  I had to laugh - they looked quite sly about it and Pie was really laying it out - Red, who is faster, had to hustle to keep up.  I left them to it and went to make up feed packs - when I checked they were back at the gate and ready to come in.

Some small stories for hot days - hope your weather is better and you're getting in some good horse time!

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