Saturday, April 17, 2010

Scout and Joe Get In Trouble

Actually, it wasn't their fault. While I was cleaning stalls this morning, Scout and Joe's owner came running back into the barn - "Help, I put Scout and Joe in with mares by mistake!" I went out with her - she's a very experienced horse owner but said she was thinking about something else as she turned them out - the mares were at the far end of their pasture at the time. Much galloping ensued. When I got out there with her, the mares were clumped together at one end of the pasture keeping a close eye on the intruders, who were pasted together at the other end of the pasture. Everyone was grazing - the attractions of grass win out every time.

We went down to catch the two errant boys - Joe refused to be caught - I guess he was afraid we were going to take him in. He started running and so did the mares - Dawn and Sugar were aggressively herding the other mares to keep them away from the boys. I heard someone get kicked, but all legs were still operational so we focussed on getting Scout and Joe out. We took Scout out through a lower gate and Joe followed and could then be caught. We took down the electric in that pasture, which allowed us to get back into the aisle. Scout and Joe went off to the correct pasture, and I went to inspect all the mares for injuries. Sugar had a gash on the front of her right hock, but it wasn't even bleeding and she was sound - just the skin was taken off, so I called her owner and left it at that.

Dawn's had a somewhat swollen left hind the past several days - I think she got it by kicking the gate and fence between the two dry lots (showing the boys who's boss, I expect). There's a little scrape and some lumps. This morning it was a bit better, and she's completely sound.

* * * * * *

I got to see something wonderful this morning - there was a Yellow-headed Blackbird on the ground following Dawn as she grazed and eating the insects she was stirring up. I've never seen one before - they used to be common in the Chicago region before development eliminated much of their preferred wetland habitat. They're now an endangered species in Illinois, so seeing one was a real treat.

Never a dull moment!


  1. I'm off to look up yellow headed blackbirds. I never even heard of them.

  2. Silly boys! they should have known you were ther to rescue them

  3. It's good that no one got hurt. I'm glad my little herd gets along so well. I've got 2 mares, a gelding, and a filly. They've been together for years (well, except for the filly ;) ).

  4. Glad to hear that everything turned out alright. I have always run my geldings and mares together. If introduced properly, it is not a problem. Right now I have 4 mares and 2 geldings in 1 small herd. It seems pretty natural to me.

  5. I'm surprised the boss mare didn't give them bad boys what for!

  6. We run two herds for rotational grazing purposes, and our oldest mares are younger than our youngest geldings (except Scout), so it makes sense to separate them - otherwise the younger mares would run the geriatric geldings around too much. So they're not used to being together!

  7. I had a laugh when I read your post. Could picture the horses realising they were all in together. good to hear all safe at the end though

  8. Oh my, horses are always giving us such exciting adventures! Glad everyone was okay and I too am off to look for a yellow headed black bird.

  9. Just googled the yellow headed blackbird-- wow, what a gorgeous bird.

    When I lived in chicago during college I loved the red winged black birds. We don't get them down in TX and I had never seen one before moving to Illinois. They are beautiful when they open up their wings and take flight.


  10. Oh, what fun--nothing like getting your heart rate going! I often think how dull life would be without horses and all the small heart attacks they give us. :)

  11. I'm glad there were no serious injuries. What excitement. I kept picturing the girls like a pack of showgirls in their dressing room with the boys barging in to play peeping toms. lol!

    I know...silly!

    The pretty bird must have been a wonderful treat!



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