Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Mud Was Just Fine

Yesterday, the mud was just about perfect, said my horses. Not too wet, not too dry, just perfectly damp and slimy. Three bay horses compete to see who is the muddiest:

Good, said Noble:

Better, said Dawn:

Best, said Maisie:

I think Maisie won this one, hands down. Both Dawn and Maisie had clover leaves plastered in with the mud. Much scraping later, they were uncaked but still very dusty and dirty.

The farrier came, and Maisie really did well - the best she's done in a very long time. I did give her one gram of bute the night before and one in the morning, which probably helped. She stood well, didn't fuss or head bob or try to head butt, and didn't try to take any of her legs away, although she did lean a bit when he was working on the left front. He was able to do both backs in the aisle and she was very sedate for the whole thing. I think she's just feeling better generally, also realizes that things aren't going to be that uncomfortable and that I'm going to be consistent in requiring good behavior. It was really not any trouble, which was a pleasant change.

When I took Maisie back to the dry lot to turn her out, I opened the gate and it came off its hinges. I think Misty, in her anxiety about Dawn being out of the pasture - she has an odd fixation on Dawn - had leaned on it and detached one hinge, and when I moved it to open it, it came off the other hinge. I couldn't rehang it myself, so I tied it up with lead ropes. All of our gates are installed improperly with both hinges facing up, so if a horse pushes on the gate it can lift right off the hinges - this hasn't happened before which is lucky. To redo them is a major effort which we haven't undertaken yet. When Charisma's owner showed up for her farrier appointment, she held the gate from one end while I reattached the hinge side.

While I was working on the gate, Sugar started acting strangely. She had been rolling, but suddenly jumped up and started crazily galloping around the dry lot, bucking and kicking out. This continued for a while, with the other mares watching her and not participating. Finally she stopped by the gate, blowing hard, and repeatedly kicking hard at her belly with a hind leg, and looking at her belly as well. I was worried about colic, or some sort of abdominal pain - sometimes rolling can cause a torsion in the intestines - but after a few more minutes she drank from the water tank and moved off to graze. She might have had a momentary sharp pain from something like gas colic, but I think it's more likely that she was stung by something, perhaps a ground hornet, when she rolled. When she came in later that afternoon, she seemed fine, which was very good.

It's supposed to be sunny today - we had a bit more rain last night - so perhaps some of the mud will dry out a bit. Have a great day, and may it include horses!


  1. Oh - those are some muddy horses! Mine looks just the same this time of year... Somedays I think I got off easy, because the side of him I see in the stall is fairly clean - then I lead him out and realize the other size is mud ear tip to tail! *sigh* That's fall for ya!

    Glad Maisie was better for the farrier - that must be a relief...

  2. Great muddy horses!!! Just think some people pay lots of money to get covered in mud for spa treatments... the horses just love it! And with all our rain the mud is not going anywhere fast!

  3. Aaah, the mud contests, we are having WAY too many of those around here lately! The grey horses are now yellow and brown, it is so much harder to get the stains out of their longer winter coats which are coming in. Well, Lily's coat is in all the way (I hope!) and has been for a few weeks now. She does not plan to be cold!

  4. Glad to know the mud is good for something! This is a good reminder that we shouldn't feel so sorry for them when we look out and see their turnouts all swampy--they probably don't see it as such a bad thing!

  5. Melissa - Lily does get an amazing coat, and it's so soft and plush - at least when it's (sort of) clean!

  6. Tsk tsk, Maisie, you left some bare spots. :o)

    Panama would have put all three of them to shame on Monday. I took his sheet off in the morning, and apparently his first order of business was to coat BOTH sides of his body with mud. He looked like Maisie's hip and back -- from head to toe!

  7. I always feel so sorry for swaybacked horses, because they have such a hard time getting a proper mud crust caked onto their spines. Poor Noble! (Yes, I worry about some very strange things!)

    Maisie looks quite smug. :)

  8. All the mud sucks (no pun intended ha-ha)! I was at the barn yesterday and Tammy announced that we do NOT need any more rain. I think she's sick of loosing her boots in it while doing chores.

    Grif was a mudball yesterday as well. I think I spend well over an hour grooming him. Grif even gets it in his ears.....gobs of it. I have never worked with a horse that can get it in their ears the way Grif does **sigh**

    I love the pictures of your kids. Maisie definitely is the winner. OH- how they do love to roll in that gooey, icky stuff!

  9. Maisie won that one hands down! The only good thing about mud... and I mean the ONLY good thing is that it is so rewarding to brush out! There is nothing like getting a horse as mucked up as Maisie all clean and slick... it is like mowing a really overgrown lawn! lol

  10. yep Maisie definitely scored highly, lol

  11. So many reasons to love blanketing--they stay more or less mud free. Maisie's covering is impressive.

  12. Good job, Maisie!! A win by all accounts.

    Your gates and most of my gates are hung the same way...wrong. I have one tied at the hinge end with baling twine. Just use a nice color and it works just fine! *lol*

    I do know how hard it is to line up the hinge end when they come off, though. I've managed myself when I've moved one, but it surely isn't easy.

  13. Maisie is definitely the winner in the mud rolling competition. I hate to clean them when they get like that. Glad she had a good farrier visit. Bummer about the gate though.

  14. Cracking up at the mud pix! Oh yeah, I think Maisie won hands down.

    Bummer about the gate!

  15. Ooooh, I'm glad we've got no mud at the moment. Just damp grass and dust.

  16. I feel your pain about the mud!! I see it non-stop until May. My poor white horses, nothing but mud caked fur here!

  17. Ahhh! Your horses look like mine! A bunch of wannabe piggies slopping around in the mud and loving it. I especially love it when they grind it into their ears and beneath their tails.

    And more rain is on it's way. Ugh.

  18. Bless their grass-loving little hearts, they sure do find the best spots to wallow, don't they? I've seen them do it to keep the flies off, but once the flies have gone, I can only speculate that the rain feels itchy and they roll to get the feeling to go away. Silly ponies!

  19. wonderful! they look so happy!

    i just got my equus magazine (it comes a long way and i really appreciate it!) and there was an article about rolling. they did a study whether if horses are provided with a rolling spot, will they roll more often and longer?

    also, they used three types of materials in making the rolling spots. dirt, sand, and i forget the third. anyway, guess what the horses preferred? the dirt!

    and i was fantasizing about creating a luxurious sand pit for my horse to roll in. but they like the way mud and dirt stick and provide friction.

    ok then!



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