Monday, September 28, 2009

Windy; Chilly: Frisk, Frisk!

The temperature dropped overnight by more than 20 degrees, and the wind picked up even more - this morning when I went to the barn, it was barely 50 degrees and the wind was blowing 30-40 mph with gusts to 50. We may make it to 60 today, but the wind will continue.

Scout's leg was still swollen, particularly in the area around the knee. But he was happy to go out and walked pretty well. Noble seems recovered from whatever it was - he had eaten all his hay last night and was happy to have more, wanted his breakfast and had appropriate amounts and texture of poop in his stall. He did give me a little scare, though - he choked for a moment on his hay - lots of coughing and gagging, but he fixed the problem himself and was fine afterwards. I've had one episode of choke (Dawn a couple of years ago when one of our rotating Saturday p.m. feeders gave her insufficiently soaked beet pulp) and it's an experience I don't want to repeat.

The weather change had all the horses excited. Everyone was extremely well-behaved on the way to turnout - fortunately we're in dry lot right now and the distance wasn't far - this is one of those days I was glad not to have to lead a bunch of excited horses all the way to the far pastures. Once the horses were loose, they made their feelings about the weather known. As usual, I didn't have my camera with me - there were some amazing stunts and aerial action. The mares were snorting and cavorting - Sugar was dashing around and giving little kicks and bucks, Maisie was doing her "levitation" move - rounded back and all four feet off the ground at once, and Dawn was doing her usual athletic feats - lots of trotting, galloping and bucking. At one point, she was doing her pawing routine - with snatches of grass in between - and then she did a huge rear, and as soon as her front feet touched the ground, a buck.

Dawn has an amazing trot when she's free - her neck is perfectly arched, she drives from behind with enormous power and elevation and is engaging her core perfectly. She would make an excellent dressage horse if she could learn to control that power and maintain the softness with a rider.

The geldings did a lot of galloping - even the older horses. Noble was racing from one end of the pasture to the other, doing flying changes - even though he's 29 and has some arthritis, he's basically completely sound - and he's still pretty fast although not the lightening bolt he used to be. Joe and Fred were feeling good enough to do some cantering too. Scout was flagging his tail and even doing some trotting and cantering, although he's still somewhat off in the left front. I turned our oldest horse, Blackjack, out last so he wouldn't be caught up in the action - he's too old to get out of the way easily - but even he did a little running walk as he left the gate.

I don't know how much work Maisie, Dawn and I will get done this afternoon with the wind and an arena that's a swamp. It sure is feeling like fall!

13 comments:

  1. It's really windy around here too (Iowa)! I was very surprised yesterday to find that Mosco was as calm as could be yesterday, despite the gusting winds. He even let me put his winter blanket on (checking to find the areas that rubbed last year so I can pad it with some fleece), despite the fact that it was flapping around. He LOVES wearing his blanket and will duck his head & stretch out his neck for me to slide it on! I'm so glad to hear Noble is doing better!!!

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  2. We have had some pretty strong wind here today too - it's autumn coming up I guess.

    Nice to hear that Noble is doing fine again.
    If you get any more trouble, why don't you give prebiotics a try? Can you get hold of Bailey's products over there?
    I had tremendous results with their "Digest Plus Prebiotics" and I got the tip from a friend that had several old horses (30+) that had had problems with reoccuring colic.

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  3. HorseOfCourse - I've used probiotics (I think they're the same thing you're mentioning) before, with horses who've been on antibiotics. Thanks for the suggestion!

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  4. We've had a weather change here as well as of today. High of 75 today and highs in the low to mid 70's for the next few days before creeping back up to 80. I think one night this week is going to go down to 49 which is pretty brisk for September, at least for here.

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  5. Wow! How fun! I'm not nearly that excited when the weather changes. I mean, I get out a couple of sweaters, but that's about it. :)

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  6. Warm here, with a wind, and now more rain. I love fall, but when it gets soggy, it's not as much fun.

    I love it when the horses "cavort" on their own. Makes me feel good to be alive just watching.

    Glad Noble is feeling better.

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  7. Good to hear Noble is feeling better. It's windy here too with a severe thunderstorm coming through tonight. Love watching the horses enjoy themselves too.

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  8. I love watching horses when they play and in general show that they are feeling really good!! :o) Aren't you glad they don't do their acrobats while we are on board! :o)

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  9. Well down here in NZ its spring of course but we are experiencing downpours of rain on a never ending basis with thunder roaring for extra effect. I have the fire going and it sure doesn't seem like spring. Both horses are hunched up out side (well rugged) with their bums to the weather. Fall and spring....aren't they unpredictable times of the year!

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  10. I love watching "frisky" horses play when the weather changes. They turn into to mischievous foals when the temps drop. Always fun to see.

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  11. Very disappointed you didn't have your camera to capture the antics of your herd, Kate! Not like you!!
    Windy here in the UK too (it never used to be so windy so often surely?) But still quite warm and we haven't had rain for weeks and weeks!

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  12. We've had a slight dip in temps also, and my Boyz are really enjoying it. I can only ever get pix from inside. If I go out, the two nosy ponies will be in my face.

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  13. We had wind yesterday too and Misty was seeing bogeymen. It's fun to watch them frolic. Sounds like you had a front row seat to quite a performance.

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