Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Fitz

Horse blogs, horse blogs, horse blogs! I just had to write that three times, so that my horse blog will show up higher in the search engine results when people search for horse blogs. By the way, did I mention that this is a horse blog? Well, today it is both a horse blog and a dog blog!

Gabbrielle's hind legs did recover quickly from her spill-in-the-round-pen incident. (See R-E-S-P-E-C-T.) She's been cooped up in her stall in bad weather, and when I let her out, she gets The Fitz. The Fitz consists of ripping around at top speed, leaping over snowbanks, sliding on ice, making lightning quick turns, rearing, bucking, and a few other unmentionables.

Midge, my Corgi, has finished her pills and recovered from surgery well. (See Horse Pills - Dog Pills.) She too has been getting The Fitz. In fact, late last night I took the dogs outside into the snow with me to check on the horses. Gabbrielle hung her head out her stall window with her nose hovering just above ground level, so that she could get a better look at the dogs. This gave Midge The Fitz, and she tore around the paddock at top speed, racing right under Gabbrielle's nose multiple times as if playing tag and saying, "You're it!"

My horses have not had a whole lot of exposure to my dogs, so I was proud of Gabbrielle's friendliness and lack of fear. I'm sure that had I let Gabbrielle out of her stall, she would have gladly joined Midge in The Fitz. I, however, haven't taken chances like that since my gelding Bombay and my Shetland Sheepdog Monty had a collision. When I work with the horses, Monty usually just keeps his distance and minds his own business. However, one day several summers ago, the horses spooked and took off running. Monty couldn't resist inserting himself into all the excitement, and managed to insert himself right in between all four of Bombay's hooves while he was at a full gallop. His hind hoof came up and pegged Monty right in the rear, sending the poor dog into multiple somersaults. Fortunately, his excessively thick coat saved him from harm, but both the dog and I were shaking uncontrollably afterwards. In the same instant we had seen his life flash before our eyes.

I also had problems years ago with my gelding chasing my yellow Labrador. I never knew if the horse had plans to bite or stomp on my dog, or if he was just playing. The horse hung his head to the ground and kind of pushed the dog along like a snowplow until my dog jumped through the fence to get away from him, kind of like taking a left turn to shake off a tailgater.

Some people have told me that they keep their dogs and horses separated for safety reasons. Yet I see plenty of dogs co-existing with horses peacefully. They seem to learn each other's boundaries and stay within them. I guess it all depends on the dog and the horse.


Mrs Mom said...

We are owned by Jo The Wonder Nanny Dog- half Queensland Heeler, and half... well, barn yard indescrestion(SP- I know..LOL). Heelers are known to be wonderful herding dogs, but not so much with Jo. If it weighs more than her substantial 70#, she avoids it like the palgue! She likes to watch the horses- from inside the house. If she sees me schooling Sonny on the ground, she whines and gets anxious... Silly pup! For his part, Sonny the Rehab Horse thinks it is a BLAST to makes faces at any dog that comes near him, and pretend he is a fire breathing dog eating monster.

Go figure. The herd dog who is afraid of large animals, and the dog eating horse in one family... Makes life interesting!

photogchic said...

My horse doesn't mind big dogs like the Australian shepards out at the barn, but put a little one like a Boston Terrier around her and she wants to stomp it.

Rising Rainbow said...

Good luck with the search engines. I totally understand. LOL