Friday, May 30, 2014

A Hot Ride and Something to Nibble

I didn't think I'd make it out for a trail ride today because it heated up in a hurry.  I took the dogs outside just after sunrise to do their business and found myself seeking shade to stand in, so that we could get out of the furnace.  It's about 103 degrees right now.

However, by the time P.S. arrived, there was an occasional breeze, so we did ride out, but stayed mainly in a windy part of the desert.  It's really odd, because if we ride in the eastern quadrants, the air is stifling, but once we head west we always seem to catch a breeze, and on weird weather days we run into whirlwinds there.

Both Bombay and Gabbrielle did really well, carrying their heads low and relaxed.  I think it helps when it is a hot day.  I wish I could say they were too lethargic to spook, but Bombay did jump at nothing a couple of times.  Fortunately, they were only half-spooks, so I didn't wind up with a tweaked neck or back.  Here are some pictures...

I chose to use my Tucker trail saddle today, because it offers such a secure seat.  Bombay can teleport all over the place and my butt doesn't budge.

The horses are getting much better about riding side-by-side and passing each other.  A few months ago there was a lot of eat pinning, teeth baring, face slapping with tails, and blocking going on.

I remembered to swap out those unmanageably long loop reins with shorter ones this ride.

P.S. has been practicing opening and closing the round pen gate on Gabbrielle.  At first, Gabbrielle was shying away from it.  Now she just needs to learn to sidepass better.  Here we tried having her walk forward in an arc while closing the gate, but I had to stand in the gateway to prevent Gabbrielle from trying to barge right through it.

The horses hooves are beginning to dry up and chip, so we put Hoof Alive on them.  The hot Arizona sun turned it to a liquid mess.

For a minute there I thought this picture was upside down, but then realized this is the way it looks when you are standing upright and bending over the horse's hoof.

Christie of the Can I Have a Pony? blog directed me toward NibbleNet as a slow hay bag feeder.  I saw her bags on her blog and liked them.  Most of the hay nets, hay bags, and slow feeders I've explored were liabilities for Bombay and Rock, who can't seem to get past the belief that everything is a toy to destroy or injure themselves on.  These bags appeared to be durable and safe, so I took my chances on them.  The horses had a hard time figuring them out at first, but now they've got the hang of it.  I only needed two two-sided bags for four horses, because one horse could eat off each side of them.

They spent a lot of time shuffling around, thinking the other bag was easier to eat from.  It will be interesting to see if Bombay has less cuts and bites from rough-housing now that the horses have something new to keep them occupied.


Crystal said...

Those are cool hay bags, I think I need to get something for my obese horse she gets bored and loves food so I think a slow feed bag would work perfect for her. Heading over to have a peek at them.

Christie Maszki said...

So glad you are trying them out! I love mine. I worked forever trying to develop my own slow feeder and Dani would destroy it. The first one is going strong still a year later and I just got a second. Love that it keeps them busy!

appydoesdressage said...

Really looking forward to seeing the durability of the NibbleNet, I use slow feed hay nets because I haven't been able to convince myself to spend that kind of cash on one. My horses love the slow feeders! Please include a follow up on them!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

appydd - Will do. And you know my horses make the best quality assurance testers on earth when it comes to horse products. I need to find out the brand of the latest toy ball I bought them, because they haven't put a dent in that and have had it for about two months. They shred Jolly Balls in a couple of days.

Laura Lee said...

It looks HOT there, I can imagine the 100 degree breeze blowing through the shady paddocks when looking at your pictures LOL.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

So far, the only problems I've had with these bags are that Rock has figured out that he can get more hay if he shakes the bottom of the bag. Hay falls out and he eats it off the ground -- the last thing I want him to do. Rubber mats won't help because the wind will just blow the hay right off them. I could put the old sheep troughs under the bags, but then the horses will start kicking and throwing those around, and the noise will keep everyone awake at night.

The other problem is that the metal clips on the straps hit the metal fence panels every time a horse takes a bite, and the ding ding ding noise is driving us crazy. So, I had to wrap duct tape around all the hardware. Unfortunately, if we have to remove one of these bags from the fence in a hurry, we'll have to cut it off.

Otherwise, the horses have been feeding off the bags for days and the bags still look like they are brand new. No rips. They take a beating and keep on feeding.

achieve1dream said...

Those look like such great hay bags! I'm glad they are working aside from the minor annoyances.