Wednesday, October 31, 2012

We Survived

I was worried how just my one neighbor and I were going to organize getting all three horses over to his place before sunrise.  If we left any horse behind for a second trip, there would be a lot of whinnying and calling out, which would wake the neighborhood.  I think most people are already out the door to work by 6:00 AM, but I didn't want to take any chances making a racket if just one neighbor was at home sick or trying to get some rest on a vacation day.  So, I had decided that I would lead two horses at the same time and pray that they didn't spook or jump on top of me or start kicking each other.

Fortunately, my husband solved that one by telling his boss he'd be in late, so we had three people to lead three horses, and with the exception of Gabbrielle pulling repeatedly on my arm and Bombay pooping on the neighbor's driveway, all went well.  Gabbrielle is a handful, because she's like a toddler, full of energy and an excitement for life.  If you take her somewhere new, she wants to run all over the place and investigate everything, completely forgetting that she's on the end of a lead rope.  So, she needs more halter training in new spaces.  She's fine on line as long as she's bored with her surroundings.

Here are some pictures from the day:

The horses in my neighbors' paddock going on alert as the first couple of dump trucks arrive.

Lostine was the brave one who approached the fence to get a closer look.  After all, they might be dumping food.

The drivers' chained the back flap so that they only released a little sand at a time and then drove forward to help spread it.  That cut back on a lot of the loud banging noises.

It was funny how the horses raised their necks and heads higher each time a dump truck lifted its bed.

I was trying to get a shot with all three horses having their ears pinned forward, but Lostine kept cocking one ear back.  I think she was keeping an ear turned toward the dog kennel.

The drivers were unable to spread at the front of the paddock by the barn, so they dumped piles...

...which I will have to spread myself.  I'm sure the horses will help.

Follow the sandy soft road...

My neighbor helped me bring the horses back home mid-day.  I figured they'd be better behaved since they knew the route now, so I decided to lead two horses.  I noticed that both Lostine and Bombay were chasing Gabbrielle around and kicking her yesterday, so I thought it would be best for my neighbor to lead Gabbrielle since Lostine and Bombay can handle having each other in their personal space, but can't deal with Gabbrielle crowding them.

My biggest challenge was just steering both horses around cacti.  Sometimes they'd look the other way and start walking into one.  Gabbrielle froze up a couple of times when she didn't want to proceed past something unfamiliar to her, but my neighbor just talked to her in a soothing tone and assured her that she was safe.  We got her into the barn and she spotted the big mounds of dirt, jumped straight up into the air and came down with all four legs splayed.  She wouldn't budge from that position until she saw the other two horses go to feed troughs and start eating hay.

I can't wait to watch them when they finish eating and realize how soft the sand is.  They're usually like kids in a candy store whenever I bring them a mountain of dirt.  They play King or Queen of the Hill, paw at it, make sandcastles, and roll in it.  Ahhhhh, I feel so complete now that the hard part of this project is done.  It won't be long before I'm back in the saddle retraining the horses to prepare them for the trails.

13 comments:

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Argh. I just went out to the barn and noticed that all three horses have hives. It's either nerves from being relocated and all the noise from the trucks, or they ate some poisonous weeds over in my neighbors' paddock. I knew it was too good to be true that they would get through this unscathed. Oh well, at least we don't have any leg injuries this time.

Dreaming said...

The pictures of the horses on alert are simply gorgeous! Hives?! Nope.... I will not have Arabians! Give me Haffies who take everything in stride!

Katharine Swan said...

Could the hives be from some kind of bug they encountered in your neighbors' paddock, or during the trip back and forth? Maybe they were standing in ants, for instance, and they were too busy watching the dump trucks to notice they were getting bitten.

In any case, better hives than leg injuries!

Reddunappy said...

Thats really weird that all three of them would have hives!

Do you feed psyllium to protect against sand colic?

sydney K said...

Sand! Indigo loves nothing better (ok well maybe eating) than being allowed to roll in a sand arena.

Cheryl Ann said...

My gelding, Sunni, had hives and I have NO IDEA what caused them with him. He wasn't out or anything...go figure. They lasted a few days and then disappeared...

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

What a nice neighbor you have to help you with this project.
Your equine trio looked so gorgeous on alert towards the dump trucks.


~Lisa

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Reddunappy - Yes, I feed psyllium to protect against sand colic, but the horses will not be eating off the sand. The sand is for exercise and riding on. I have a different material on the ground where I feed them, and I feed them out of containers.

Reddunappy said...

Thats good, I have seen that you feed out of containers. You are such a good Mom!

Did the hives resolve?

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

The hives are gone as of this afternoon, so it was only a 24-hour thing, but Lostine did pass out in the sand and started flinching and kicking in her sleep like a dog. Either she was totally exhausted from the experience or was having a mild stroke.

Vaquerogirl said...

Looks like things are really progressing! Yippee!
Hope the hives are better~

fernvalley01 said...

looks good, and helpful kind neighbor too!

achieve1dream said...

I'm glad it all went well and that the hives went away. I bet they are loving the sand!