Saturday, August 29, 2009

It Feels Like Fall, and the Horses are Crazy

This morning it was very chilly and windy - the rains have finally cleared through. Things are very muddy - we got around 3 1/2 inches of rain over two days. We've moved one herd of horses up to one of our winter pastures, since getting them down the long aisle to the far pasture is hazardous due to the mud. Putting down gravel or improving the drainage would be good options, but our barn is always short of cash and there are some big projects looming - the barn is desperately in need of painting and that's probably coming next spring. So we slog through the mud, but there's mud and then there's mud.

It was a good thing the horses were in pastures close to the barn, since the wind and chill made everyone frisky. The mares went out first and were actually quietly grazing at the far end of their pasture when something spooked them and they came galloping up towards the gate, with bucks and cavorts thrown in for good measure. I waved them off as they approached the gate and they veered off, with much slipping and sliding - at one point Dawn almost fell down. Off they went again in the other direction at high speed. Our mare herd is relatively young - all the mares are between 10 and 20, so they're a fast, agile bunch. I always worry a bit when I see them running like that, particularly when the footing is poor - I lost a horse to a fracture in a turnout accident a number of years ago. But they all seem to have survived without harm.

Then the geldings went out. I turn out the friskiest geldings first so they can have their fun before the old guys get out there - a couple of our old geldings, particularly Joe and Noble, who are in their late 20s, will try to give the young ones a run for their money and really shouldn't. Fritz, Fred and Scout went out first. They noticed the mares were nearby (at their electric fence line staring at the geldings) and started running too. Fred wanted to join in, but his hind end is pretty weak and he really couldn't do too much. Their pasture is square, so Fritz and Scout started doing laps at high speed - those two, once they start, just keep running until they run out of gas, which takes a while. Fritz particularly just goes crazy, and can't seem to figure out how to calm down. Much running at high speed, with associated slips and near falls, but everybody was walking sound when it was over - I expect they'll be some sore horses tomorrow, and I wouldn't be surprised if some shoes are missing. I was bringing Joe out when Fritz and Scout went crazy, and Joe was ready to bolt, so I put him in a small paddock until the runners were done. Then Joe, Noble and old Blackjack went out and everybody was quiet.

We're supposed to have a couple more days at least of this cool weather, with lows in the 40s at night, so I expect there'll be more frisking to come!


  1. I am patiently here waiting in PA for your cool temps to reach us. Not looking forward to the frisky/silliness, but so looking forward to cooling off just a little. Remind me I said this when I am complaining about my fingers being frozen!!!

  2. It's been in the 40's and 50's at night and in the early mornings here in the mountains of New Mexico. But then it gets up into the 80's during the day.

    I would have loved seeing your frisky horses running and cavorting together. Maybe take a video to share sometime?


  3. Can you send some of your cool weather this way? Our rain finally cleared, and then it got hot and humid! I'm eagerly anticipating the crisp weather and the friskiness that goes with it.
    I know, I know, there's obviously something wrong with me......but I do love the challenge of a frisky horse. When the weather gets cool the horses feel so full of life, I can't help but catch their enthusiasm. It makes me smile!

  4. I enjoy watching horses when they hav the friskies but I'm also always holding my breath a bit. I wish there wasn't so much truth to the saying that horses are born looking for a way to kill themselves.

  5. It wasn't 100 today. First time all summer. Keep thinking cool thoughts!

  6. That must have been quite a fun scene to watch. I enjoy seeing horses run and play. But, yes, I too hold my breath that they don't slip or stumble.

  7. No one is having a good summer in the Midwest. My mom says it is feeling like Fall already. Hoping some sunny days head your way.

  8. Warm and humid here too, in between the rain showers...thunder...etc.

    Love to watch the horses cavort, but like you, I worry someone will get hurt. Of course, losing a shoe is another potential outcome.

    I hate the mud. I, for the first time ever, have spots in my paddocks that have not dried out all summer, even with the heat and sunshine.

    Need some kind of fill.....

  9. Feels fall-ish here too, but not too many horse shenanigans-my guys seem rather placid lately-maybe their bellies are too big from all the pasture-munching.

  10. I love watching horses run together like that! Panama likes to stir everyone up and get them running, but they don't like it as much as he does. He also likes to playfully bite at the other horse's necks and get them to rear up with him. I worry that he needs a younger playmate who will enjoy frisking around with him -- he had one for a while, but that horse left in the spring.

    We must have gotten your cool weather -- it was gorgeous yesterday, but today is overcast and chilly!

  11. I noticed the trees turning the other day! Yikes! My Mom was sad to see the Mum (plants) pots out for sale...sure sign of fall!

  12. We've had so much rain too! Everything is always so muddy--it's like the neverending Spring! Then, when i try to practice my barrel racing in the arena, all this water bubbles up and Lilly slips around the barrels! Now that can't be good for either of us!
    I love the name Blackjack! Brilliant!!


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