Thursday, September 3, 2009

Still Grazing

I discovered a cache of pictures I had taken on my camera since last Thursday. That was the last day I could take off from work. This is what my breeches looked like after my equitation lesson. See the sock line? Where the sock would normally be is what color the breeches should be. Everything above it is dirt...

I always feel dirty and have some grit in my teeth after riding, but didn't realize just how thick it got caked on. I've been separating the horses every other day, putting two in the pasture and leaving one in the paddock for lunch.

The horse that is left alone always freaks out and has to run back and forth along the fence line whinnying for hours on end...

The dominant horse in the pasture tries to soothe the other horse's nerves by pacing the fence too, keeping one ear pointed at the horse in the paddock and the other ear pointed at the horse in the pasture...

I guess Lostine feels it is her responsibility to keep the herd together. The subordinate horse in the pasture is the only one who seems to relax and enjoy the grass...

The single horse in the paddock eventually starts eating her hay, but only in quick snatches, and then returns to trotting along the fence to make sure the rest of her herd didn't disappear...

The pasture still looks nice despite it being early September. The grass is usually dried up by now due my watering not being able to keep up with the heat. However, this summer hasn't been too hot. The horses have probably spent more time at pasture this year than any year in the past thanks to a more mild climate allowing the pasture to stay green and growing for a longer span. The dominant horse in the pasture only settles down to eat when I'm nearby...

If it weren't for my picture taking, Lostine would be one skinny whinny. The sky has been smokey due to a variety of fires. I think on this day we were getting the smoke from the fire in Yosemite National Park.

8 comments:

Breathe said...

There are days I identify with being the horse left in the paddock.

Neat pictures!

KD said...

Your pasture looks great! I don't have a "pasture", but my girls get to graze in the evening in our back yard.

lytha said...

curious, so when lostine stays behind, does bombay stand at the gate and worry?

that must be so frustrating that when you try to turn two out, only one gets to have fun.

and it must be loud, if they are calling to each other. good thing you live in horse country!

i wonder if they will learn to just relax in this separation training, or if it would need to happen way more often (what you probably cannot manage because you are thinking about the health of your pasture).

i am fascinated by this kind of training, let us know if you see progress!

°lytha

Leah Fry said...

I wouldn't be surprised if you're also getting smoke from the CA fires, depending on which way the wind is blowing.

Yeah, my two do that carrying on when I try to take one out. Poco surprised me last time by not answering Jaz's calls. Does the one you have out act up, like, "Take me back there with my buddy?"

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Nice pasture! I completely understand the scarce water and wildfire situation. For a couple of months this year I put 2 of my horses in the BIG field for 24 hour grazing. They needed 24 hours to get enough to eat, lol. I pulled them out last week because, although they still look good, I was worried that there just wasn't enough to eat anymore. There were my two, and the crazy neighbor's three, and Dolly, and the field is just plain barren.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Breathe - I'm usually the dominant one taking care of everyone else and not getting anything to eat. You can't tell by my pant size, though. Ha ha.

KD - We have really lush grass in our front yard, and I'll hand graze them there too, except too many dogs have been doing their business on it lately. I can always tell where a dog peed, because Gabbrielle starts sniffing the spot and gagging.

Lytha - That's exactly right. I meant to mention that. Bombay paces and stands guard if Lostine is left behind. Gabbrielle rarely paces for another horse if she has at least one with her, though. She'd rather eat as long as she has some security.

Leah - They do try to bust out the gate if they sense they are the one who is going to be left behind on that day. However, if I stay with the horse who is left behind, they are starting to think my presence is as good as having another horse, so they relax and become more sociable than usual with me.

Fantastyk - Oh yeah, my pasture does get eaten down in a hurry. That's why I only put them in there for about three hours every other day. It's not anywhere near as big as the pasture you've been using, though.

fernvalley01 said...

I don't envy you the pasture situation . Here almost everyone is on grass from mid May till, fall .It is pretty dry this year so we will be feeding more and more as we go .your horse look great all the same so obviously you system is a good one

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Only having one horse, I never got to see any of that sort of herd behavior until I put Baby Doll into the leased pasture for two months. She's never herd bound, though. She's more barn sour, if anything. Although she enjoyed having her own herd of geldings to hang out with a roam over the several hundred acres, she also seems glad to be back home again.

I really did enjoy seeing her being a horse. Even though the grass was rather sparse and poor, she is fat and fit after grazing and walking 24/7.
And now that it's been raining, the grass is finally growing again. I may move her back over again before winter comes.

~Lisa