Tuesday, June 11, 2013


My husband installed a round pen on the unused portion of our property this weekend.  He first dug out all the bushes and rocks, spread some manure, and then dragged the area with a harrow.  We were able to nab the last gate and panels for cheap, because they were a mish-mash of 10' and 12' panels, some with chain hookups and some with peg hookups.  We figured it didn't matter.  We're not perfectionists.  It's almost 60' in diameter.  When the store orders more panels to replace what we bought, we can buy more and expand it, should we decide we want it larger.

I gave it a spin last night with a couple of horses and was happy to see that its location affords us a decent amount of privacy.  Right now when I ride or work with the horses in my arena, the neighbors to the north can sit on their porch and watch, or do their yard work just a few feet away.  Sometimes they fire up their weed whacker right when I'm riding past and that spooks my horse.  Their puppies have grown up and they like to stand at the fence and bark at me, so I no longer get much peace and quiet in the barn and arena.

The location of the round pen puts their house behind my hay barn and horse barn, so their view is blocked, and it's far enough away from their yard that anything they or their dogs do shouldn't affect our horses.  They're good neighbors.  They don't stare at me like my old neighbors, but I still get self-conscious when I know someone is watching me work with my horses.

One day I was trying to quickly exercise the horses by cracking the whip at them to get them to run around the arena because I was short on time and couldn't lunge each of them on the long line, and I overheard my neighbor say to her husband, "Why is she chasing that horse around with a whip?  It didn't do anything wrong."

Then I have memories of one horse owner in my old neighborhood sliding her kitchen window open to yell at me and correct me for the way I was training or riding my horses.  I figure the further I am away from the neighbors' houses, the better.

There are two houses that face the round pen, but one is just a vacation home and the owners only occupy it for maybe three months out of the year.  The other is a house belongs to the best neighbor in the world.  This guy is way too busy to be interested in anything that I do, he doesn't own any barking dogs, and he doesn't have much reason to be outside, so we get along just great.

More proof that the horses are okay with Rock now...

Gabbrielle is not wearing her fly mask because once again Bombay ripped it off her face.  She encourages both him and Rock to do that.  I figure if she can't appreciate her fly mask, then she can live with flies in her eyes.

Rock sleeps a lot.  I was worried at first, thinking he might be sick, but that didn't make sense because the vet had just checked him out a week ago.  Then I remembered that when Gabbrielle was the baby of the herd, she spent most of her time lying around while everyone else stood guard.

No saddle yet.  Once we get more sand moved into the round pen and the saddle arrives, I can take Rock for a test ride at home, and then start giving my husband riding lessons on him.  The heat factor has been pretty intense lately, so I've been limiting most of my horse activity to before sunrise and after sunset.  I don't want to wear them or myself out.

I adopted a new wild bunny.

This one lives under our hedge, which I normally forbid bunnies from doing since they tend to chew through the drip system and cause geysers to shoot up into the air.  However, this one has allowed me to come within a couple of feet of it, and I've observed it enough to know that it politely waits for the drip system to turn on, and then it licks the water as it drips out.  I went ahead and set a bowl of water out for it on the porch, which I'm sure will attract other animals we don't want, but it seemed so desperately thirsty today.  I wanted to help it out.  How can one resist such a sweet face?

I know, I know, now everyone is going to rant about how destructive rabbits are.  Yes, yes, I see where bunnies have been chewing the stem of the hedge underneath the chicken wire.  Well, they can be as destructive as they want as long as they sit in my lap and let me pet them.  Soooooo squishy and awesome.


Grey Horse Matters said...

Rock looks like he's settling right in. Like the round pen too. I'm sure you'll get lots of good work done there. Don't worry about the neighbors they're nothing like the old ones. I'm not crazy about barking dogs but the horses might get used to them. Love the cute little bunny.

fernvalley01 said...

nice round pen, stay cool

lytha said...

i cannot imagine living in a place where people worry about the wildlife getting enough to drink. your horses always look so incredibly comfortable, either standing or lying on that fluffy sand. and they stay clean. i think rock is lying down because he's comfortable there on that deep sand, at least i hope so. i wish i had a roundpen but there's simply nowhere to put it, unless we did major excavation and surface building, and then it would have to be right next to the street adn i don't want an audience either.