Friday, January 30, 2009

Chewing and Pawing

I really wish I had time to re-stain the front and inside of the barn before winter came.

This is Gabbrielle's favorite chew spot...

It wouldn't be there if I had fresh stain on the barn. Horses like the smell of wood, but not the smell of stain and paint. This is the inside of Lostine's stall door where she likes to kick and paw in an attempt to wake me up so I will feed her...

Sometimes she kicks the door so hard that she loosens the bolts that the door hangs from, and then my husband and son have to go out there to readjust it before the entire door falls off. The door weighs a lot, maybe between 100 and 200 pounds, and I am very accident prone, so that's why the boys handle it. Of course, I refuse to feed Lostine immediately following one of her hoof-banging demands. I usually chew her out and go back in the house. Then when she's been quiet a while, I feed her. This is Lostine's favorite place to paw when she is impatient...

It's right beside the window of her stall. This took many years of pawing to get this deep. Someday she'll break through and I'll have to remove all the wood panels to get the broken panels out. I'm not looking forward to that day. Until then, I'll just keep staining the wood to remove the blemishes, and Lostine will keep kicking and pawing.

The other morning I was woken by the loudest stall kicking I'd ever heard. I went out in the dark in my P.J.s all pumped up and ready to chew out Lostine, but it turned out to be my neighbor's horse. Of course, all of my horses were "pointing" with their noses in the direction of the guilty party, which cracked me up. I saw that my neighbor's light was on, so I didn't have to go over there to make sure that her horse wasn't cast against the side of the stall, unable to get up. She would have called me if that was the case and she needed help, so I guess everything turned out alright.

9 comments:

Flying Lily said...

Have you tried hanging something on her kick spot like empty detergent bottles or the like? Sometimes this works. They get their gratification from the noise, and something that interrupts the kick or damps the sound can reduce the 'kicks' ha ha they get from it.

Grey Horse Matters said...

They sure can be destructive. I once had a horse that chewed the edge of my wooden tack box top to splinters in a night. It was outside his stall where we boarded and I had no place to move it. We tried painting it with hot pepper sauce, but I think he just really enjoyed the new taste. There must be something on the market now for the beavers and I think Flying Lilies idea sounds like a good one.

dp said...

This is why I bought a steel shelter! We used to use 2L pop bottles for kickers like Flying Lily suggests. I have also heard of people stapling up layers of large bubble wrap...

Fantastyk Voyager said...

I know it's not correct but I always have a little used motor oil laying around to paint on the wood. It looks terrible but it works. They won't chew it.

Katharine Swan said...

Panama has experimented with both chewing and pawing, but lucky for me he is really sensitive to getting into trouble! After a few good scoldings he never tried either again.

Well, except for the time he got jealous and threw a complete hissy fit because I was paying too much attention to another horse...

Shirley said...

Another solution is to put rubber mats on the walls in the trouble areas, like they do in horse trailers. It would pay for itself in the long run. Also, my husband suggested lining the stalls with puck board (the stuff they use in hockey arenas). It's 3/16 " thick, and easy to install. It's white, so it would brighten up the stalls, and is virtually indestructible.

ranchette said...

They find all sorts of ways to keep us busy don't they? What in the world would we do with our time if we didn't have to fix chew, paw and bite marks on all sorts of surfaces! Beavers is just the right term for them. hehe

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Wow. That's a lot of destruction. I've never seen Baby Doll paw or kick at walls ever. She's pretty patient. The only time she's not is if she thinks were taking too long to feed her...and then the only she does is stare at the house (I swear I can feel her stare right through the walls), whinny very loud, and pace in circles a little.

We don't have any wood that she has access to either. Everything within her reach is steel pipe and wall.

I sure hope you can figure out a good way to stop those silly horses of yours from destroying your barn and fences. It must drive you a bit nutty. :P

By the way, stop by my blog, as I've got a goodie for you :)

~Lisa

Lulu said...

I'm lucky that I don't have any wood chewers currently!! Poco does protest at feed time though; she'll grab the gate in her teeth and bang it around. I'll be walking to the barn with one of the other horses and her the gate clanging around behind me!!