Thursday, January 8, 2015

Fixed It

Sometimes when I have a repetitive problem, it behaves like a pesky fly I have to keep swatting out of my face, but once it is out of sight, it is also out of mind, so I don't put much time into thinking about a solution.  Then it comes back, and I swat it away again until finally I'm like, "I'm going to kill this freakin' fly if it lands on me one more time!"

So, Gabbrielle has been performing some rude, obnoxious behaviors that suck up my time every morning and every night, and I've been getting annoyed with her, only finding temporary solutions that last about 30 seconds, but last night I finally fixed the problem permanently.  Well, Gabbrielle fixed it.  Let me explain.

First off, all the horses have their assigned stalls, and all the horses go voluntarily into their assigned stalls at feeding time.  I lock them in, and then deliver the food.  However, Gabbrielle started this habit of going into Bombay's stall to pee or poo first.  I find that to be so rude.  It would be like if I went over to my neighbor's house to use his toilet because I didn't want to have to clean my own toilet bowl or smell my own stink.  So, I have to keep shooing her out of Bombay's stall and chasing her into her own.

Then when it comes time to let the horses out of their stalls, I have to open Gabbrielle's gate before Bombay's, because I have this cord that I wrap around both of them to keep them open and Gabbrielle's gate stands open by itself, while Bombay's gate wants to swing closed, so I have to hold it while fastening the cord.  Gabbrielle has this habit of racing into Bombay's stall the second I open his gate, and then she pins her ears back and sends him away from his feed trough.  He usually backs up quickly and rams his butt right into me, smashing me into the railing.

So, I've been chasing Gabbrielle away from his stall, but all she needs are a couple of seconds of my inattention to sneak past me behind my back while I'm struggling to fasten the cord.  Then I have to turn around quickly and smack Bombay on the butt to let him know I am in his trajectory.  It's one of those things that is just repetitive and annoying.  Then, of course, once Bombay is out of his stall, Gabbrielle uses it as her personal outhouse in addition to eating his leftovers.

So, last night she did her usual stunt of going into Bombay's stall to relieve herself, and I got a bright idea.  I locked her in there with her own urine and manure.  Oh boy, she didn't like that.  Then I told Bombay to go into her stall, because that was going to be his new stall for now on.  At first, he just stood at his old stall gate, trying to unlatch it from the outside.  I encouraged him more to go into Gabbrielle's stall.  He was shy and reticent, but once I put hay in the barrel, he had no problem going in there.  I realized that now when I have to open the gates to let everyone out, I can open Bombay's stall first, then Gabbrielle's.  The only other horse who might try to chase Gabbrielle away from her food while I'm fiddling with the cord to hold the gates open would be Lostine, so I just have to make sure that I let Lostine out last.

It's amazing how one little dysfunctional gate can cause so many problems in a herd of horses.


Katharine Swan said...

Nice fix!

achieve1dream said...

Perfect fix!!! It's crazy how things that happen daily just slip by our attention like that. I'm bad about not noticing things until it becomes really annoying. :) Such a simple fix too! I love it! Good job!