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Thursday, May 26, 2011


That's right, our barn was vandalized. By our horses.

Apparently, when I went out to feed the other morning (about 5:30am) I got a bit distracted and left on of the stall doors open a bit. About 4:00pm I got a text that said, "Naughty, naughty horses." Since it had been raining I figured that they had been rolling in the mud again. I was wrong. They had discovered the open stall door. It wasn't open very far but they had a fix for that. Simply push against the door until the bottom board holding the guiding wheel comes offthe post and presto, they're in.

Once in, they are staring at about 90 bales of hay. Yum Yum. I imagine the conversation between the horses went something like this:

Horse 1: WOW! Look at all that hay.

Horse 2: Cool.

Horse 3: Which one should we eat?

Horses 1 and 2: One?!

Horse 1: Lets try them ALL!

And so they proceeded to start pulling bales off the pile and sample each one looking for just the right bale.

Horse 1: This one is to small!

Horse 2: This one is to dry!

Horse 3: This one is not sweet enough!

After about 4 bales the grooming isle was so full of hay that they couldn't really get any more down. But they did manage to spread those four bales around pretty well. And then they pooped on it. At some point, the Arabian Bandit (as Beamer will hence forth be known) decided that that tantalizing smell of grain needed to be investigated and figured out how to open the grain barrel.

About 4:00 Kira went to check on them because it was raining and she couldn't see them. Ebony is usually forced to stand in the rain so if its raining hard we will throw a rain sheet on her to help her stay a bit more comfortable. (In Colorado the rain is cold and their summer coat will not keep them warm during a long, cold, rainy night.) She found Mariah in the grooming isle munching on hay. Ebony in the door of the stall with a bale of hay wedged in the door munching away and the Arabian Bandit with his head in the grain barrel contentedly munching away.

Oh-oh. To much grain is BAD for horses. Colic bad. Dead in 24 hours colic bad. I normally give each of them 1 quart in the morning mostly just to supplement the hay. I looked in the barrel and it looked like the Arabian Bandit only ate a few pounds but we had to be careful. Of all the horses to get into the grain, B was probably then best one. He does not take huge mouth fulls, he just nibbles his way through his grain. Takes him twice as long as the other two to eat his grain but that's okay.

The vet suggested that we exercise them a bit so we took them for a walk. We would have liked to ride but it had just stopped raining and the footing was a bit too slippery for comfort. So Kira and I put halters on them and spent the next hour an a half walking the horses around the neighborhood. It was kind of a nice walk actually. Kira and I chatted and I need the exercise as well.

When we got back we checked stomach sounds, all good. Though Ebony got in trouble. Ebony was brood mare and does NOT like an ear pressed into her side. She tried to cow kick me a couple of times. Tried. Enough said.

We put them back in the pasture and then one of the differences between kids and horses became apparent. If the kids had vandalized the barn, they would have cleaned it up. Instead, I was cleaning up the barn while the girls worked on school projects as this is the last week of school. I am bagging up the fouled hay, sorting out the clean hay and cleaning things up. All the while there were three horses following my every move. Ears up, eyes bright, looking very innocent and expectant, wondering when I was going to give them some more hay. The ran away briefly when I turned on a horse eating drill to drive some screws into the stall door guide to fix that.

Just before I went back in to start dinner, I spread out a small bit of hay so that I wouldn't have to deal with the said eyes and mournful faces of three horses who didn't get fed at feeding time. (It was just a small bit of hay and the vet said that would be okay.)

I am happy to report that all three horses were fine the next morning and the pasture was full of poop. No colic.

Horse people must seem really strange to the rest of the civilized world. Not many people find poop an acceptable topic for conversation.

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