Saturday, April 23, 2016

Jackson's New Stall

During the winter, when the ground is soft and any sharp ridge of mud or small stone can lead to an abscess, Jackson lives in the small arena by the goat area and front pasture.  This works out great, for the most part.  However, the sand is not deep and when it rains it becomes rock hard.  There is also no shelter from the weather -- wind, rain or snow.

When winter storms come through, we move the horses into the barn.  They are perfectly happy in their pastures during a light rain but in biting wind, slashing rain, and freezing hail... well, they prefer their large stalls.  The four stalls are spacious and they have large, long run-outs so when the rain stops, the horses can go outside.

Notice that I said four stalls.  We have five horses.  And Jackson would not do well with access to a wet run-out.  So, his stall is the covered round-pen that is attached to the barn.  It has very high walls, all the way around, with an entry from the barn aisle.  When we moved in, that door was a tall sliding, solid door -- so, when the door was shut, Jackson was in solitary confinement.  Not good.

Brett installed a gate and we use that instead of the sliding door when Jackson is in residence.  We keep the sliding door closed otherwise because Kersey likes to go in and swim in Jackson's water trough.  Jackson is pretty happy in his round-pen, as long as the other horses are in the barn as well.

When the storm passes, we turn everyone back out into their pastures.  Jackson goes back to his arena, because left alone in the barn he screams.  Seriously.  He screams all day long.  Let me out! Where is everybody?  I'm all alone in here... and I'm scared. And, back in his arena/pasture, he promptly gets an abscess or two or three.

We decided to take out the top of one of the panels of the walls of the round-pen.  This would give Jackson a view to the outside world and remove the solitary confinement feel to the round-pen.  We chose a wall that faces the boys pasture, with the ability to also see the tie-rails, the house, and the girls' pasture off in the distance.

Jackson immediately hobbled over to check it out.

He approves.  Now we can keep him on dry, soft, sandy ground and avoid those abscesses.  When the rains stop, the ground dries, the weather is consistently warm, and his soles get nice and hard, he will go out to one of the pastures.






10 comments:

  1. What a great solution. He looks happy.

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  2. Great idea! Hope it is working.

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    1. So far, so good. He really likes it. The test will be whether he gets any additional abscesses this spring.

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  3. That last photo is sweet. Hope everyone is happy for the time being

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  4. What an amazing roundpen. I don't remember seeing it before. It looks like the perfect solution for Jackson.

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    1. It is a very nice roundpen. We haven't used it much as we prefer to be in the larger arenas. But, it does come in handy for lunging on occasion. It's funny, western riders come to our place and drool over the roundpen and we haven't been big fans -- because of the claustrophobic feel and we just don't use it. It sure has been a life saver for Jackson, though.

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  5. Horses do love to look at things don't they!

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    1. Yes, they do love to look at things. That, and they don't like to be alone. Jackson doesn't need to be with the herd, but he definitely needs to be able to see them.

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  6. The round pen seems like a good solution to the problem. With the panels out it gives him freedom to look around and see his buddies. I wonder if he would feel less bored if he had some horse toys to play with in there? I tried that once with a stall bound horse and it seemed to help keep him busy.

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    1. A stall toy or two is a good idea. Right now, he is dealing with the pain of an abscess so he isn't bored. But once he is sound on all four, he might get bored. I'll keep your suggestion in mind. Fortunately, the round pen is large so he can move around, roll, etc.

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Thanks so much for commenting! I love the conversation.