Thursday, December 15, 2016

Wild Horses in the Wind

What is it about the wind that makes horses lose their minds?

Another ginormous storm moved into our area today.  We are on a high wind watch and a flood watch with the potential of receiving 4 inches of rain in less than 24 hours.  The ground is already soggy and the water from the last storm is still making its way down the streams, into the lakes, and down to the delta.

Brett keeps clearing oak leaves off of the driveway and the porch, but they stick and refuse to move.  He shovels sand and rocks, that tumble and then stick in the drain pipes, blocking the flow of water and creating ponds where no ponds should be.  There has been a large pond, ankle deep, stretching from our front gate to the road.  Brett sloshes around in his rubber boots, fishing out shovel-fuls of sand and leaves and rocks, between downpours.

I helped Brett bring the horses into the barn this morning before leaving for work.  It was still dark when I let myself out the back door and walked toward the warm light coming from the barn, where Brett was getting the stalls set up with fragrant flakes of hay and buckets of vitamins topped with carrots.

We walked to the boys' pasture first, careful not to trip in the dark.  After putting a safe distance between himself and Flash, Tex stood quietly for me while I slipped on the halter.  Flash has been feeling good lately -- and when he feels good, he is a pill.  Brett will defend him, of course, but Flash nips at Tex, nips the goats, and pins his ears at me.  Ever since we put shoes back on his front feet, he's been a new horse -- back to his old feisty self.

We brought the horses into their stalls through the back of their run-outs.  Tex is still uncomfortable in the stall -- jittery and tense with the four walls closing him in.  He's fine in the run-out though, and I was able to walk him to the run-out gate on a loopy lead.  He stood quietly, with his head low, while I slipped off the halter.  He waited for his cookie, took it politely, turned and walked into his stall for breakfast.

The sky was starting to turn from black to grey as we approached the girls' pasture, leaves blowing around our feet.  They were both waiting at the gate.  Pistol took a cookie from Brett and then turned to me.  She ignored Brett initially, hoping to snag a cookie from me.  Eventually, she gave up and went to Brett.  I buckled Lucy's halter without incident.  Then, halfway out of the gate, a gust of wind came up and she jumped forward and tried to spin.

Honestly, Lucy.  You aren't a princess pony anymore; you are a ranch horse.  Get a grip.

It took awhile to get to the barn; lots of corrections for Lucy along the way as she tried to levitate with each gust of wind.  She did eventually settle, sort of.  I could feel her energy surge before she reacted and was able to administer reminders (via tugs on the lead line), that I expected her to behave.  Once in her run-out, she ducked her head, just long enough for me to remove the halter, then spun and headed into her stall.  I gave her cookie to Tex.

6 comments:

  1. I honestly don't know why a little wind under their tails gets them acting out either. But I'm always careful with that sort of weather when dealing with them. Guess Tex made out pretty good cookie-wise...

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  2. Yep, nothing stirs up a horse like a storm! I wonder if they're picking up lots of sounds and smells through the wind. It might be that extra amount of input that causes chaos.

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  3. Mares! They don't like impending storms!

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  4. Boy, you have been getting some weather out there!

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  5. Here in the Oregon Outback the weather is quite unpredictable. Lots of high wind warnings. Our four have grown use to the storms thank goodness.

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  6. My neighbor's three horses live a field close to my house and when the wind blows hard, they go wild. They gallop across the field, hooves thundering, hind legs kicking up at the wind. This makes my dogs go wild too, barking. So I know and rush out to watch. The rain we've had has been long lasting, but slow moving, just perfect, so no mudflow or worse here. Have a lovely holiday with Brett and all your critters.

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