Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Issue Reversed

I talked about trying to keep Bombay's stall locked so that all the horses would stop using it as an outhouse.  The urine build up is so bad that the ground hasn't dried out in months.  However, the horses have figured out how to unlock the gate to his stall, so it's been difficult to give the ground a chance to dry out.  I put a fake second layer lock on his gate just to deter the horses until I find something that is actually impenetrable to horse lips.

This morning I overheard a lot of banging and clanging, and I thought, "Someone's gotta pee really bad."

When I walked out to feed them, I noticed that Gabbrielle, Rock and Bombay were all clustered together and Lostine was as far away from them as possible.  It's not unusual for Gabbrille and Rock to hang out together, but the only time anyone lets Bombay near them is when they need his tail to swish flies away.  Rock won't even play with Bombay anymore.

As I got closer, I saw that the three of them had somehow managed to lock themselves into one stall.  I knew that if anyone was going to start kicking, it would be Gabbrielle.  Rock will bite another horse on the rump, but I've never seen him kick anyone.  He bucks in the air to protest or kick up his heels, but if he's simply telling another horse to move along, he pins his ears back first, and then if he doesn't get a response, he bites.  If Gabbrielle is really angry because a horse she has given a warning shot to has not moved out of her way, she'll make sure that the next kick connects.

So, I had to be careful about how I approached.  If Gabbrielle thought I was going for the hay or grain, the kicking would commence.  I made it clear with my trajectory that I was walking straight toward their stall, and I talked to Gabbrielle the whole time to keep her focus on me.  When I opened the gate, Bombay beat it out of there, but Gabbrielle had Rock pinned in a corner.  So, I shooed her away from me, which released Rock, and all was well.

Whew!  Close one.  I don't need anymore veterinary bills right now.  It's been a week, and I still haven't heard back from the vet about Bombay's test results.  I'll either have to call her today or wait until after the holidays to see what's going on.  Ironically, Bombay is eating really well now, and Lostine is the one who is dropping weight and leaving the majority of her hay untouched.  I'm starting to think that they simply don't like this hay I bought most recently.  There's nothing visibly wrong with it like mold or dead animals bundled inside.  I think they are just sick of Bermuda grass.  Either that, or they are just smart enough to know that I increase their supplements when they stop eating hay.

4 comments:

Ms Martyr said...

The next blog I read happened to discuss offering diversity in horses diets: http://www.horsenation.com/2014/11/26/natural-horsekeeping-variety-is-the-spice-of-life/

Sounds like your theory of yours being bored with the Bermuda grass may be right.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Ms Martyr - Thanks for the link. I think I'll start spending more time in the produce section at the grocery store.

achieve1dream said...

Yikes that was a close one!!! Maybe all of the gates need double locks to keep the doors open lol. They sure know how to keep us on our toes huh?

fernvalley01 said...

scary near miss!