Monday, December 20, 2010

Picky Poo Picking

This morning, it was about 11F with no wind when I turned Pie and Dawn out.  Pie's naked and Dawn's in her heavyweight Rambo, and they're both comfortable in their own ways.  Since it was a pretty nice day and since I was dressed already for outdoor work - our barn is unheated - I decided to give my long-suffering husband some help and poo pick Pie's paddock (nice alliteration there if I say so myself!).  He usually does this, since moving the manure cart through the snow can be a bit of a physical challenge, and the poo is frozen to the ground.   This morning, though, the snow was pretty packed down so I thought I'd do it.  I use a hoe to free the poo from the snow and frozen ground and then pick it up with a rake.  Not really too hard, although it's about like picking up small rocks - they make an amazing clatter as they hit the manure bucket.

Pie's turned out to be less neat in the bathroom department than I had expected - the poo piles were pretty well-distributed around the paddock, with a few in the shelter.  He was probably so neat in his stall because he wasn't moving around much and the stall was pretty small for him.  I must say the boy is no slouch in the manure production department - there were an amazing number of piles for less than 24 hours - but then he's no slouch in the hay-eating department either.

I've always enjoyed the parts of horse ownership that relate to making my horse comfortable - the feeding, stall cleaning, poo picking, changing out water buckets (although that's my least favorite chore, especially when Dawn makes a "deposit" in hers), and grooming and blanketing, and even things like paste worming and veterinary after-care.  It's nice to contribute to the welfare of happy horses, and I'm picky enough (no comments from family members about this point, please) about the quality of their care to enjoy getting it as right as I can.

I was really pretty happy up there in Pie's paddock this morning picking poo, and watching the horses in their dry lots.  When I was done, I went out and gave Pie a nice hug and scratch.  He was glad to see me, but even happier to get back to eating hay.

19 comments:

  1. I don't enjoy deworming at all. There's just no immediately obvious payoff to it, like with wound care. Everything else is pretty enjoyable though. :)

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  2. I used to love picking paddocks :) I don't get to do it any more, but it was always one of the more pleasant chores.

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  3. Haha, I wish you lived here. I acknowledge the necessity of mucking and am willing to do it (I don't put Izzy back in a dirty stall ever), but it is not my most favorite thing. 13 years of cleaning 24 stalls multiple times a week cured me, I guess.

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  4. You stay on top of things no matter what the weather! :)

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  5. Those are some pretty cute ears in your header picture!!!

    I'm glad Pie is adjusting to his new sleeping quarters, and I've never had a "neat" potty horse. As a matter of fact they seem to go as soon as put into their stalls, or horse trailer, or anywhere non-public!

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  6. Frozen poo picking is a challenge. The hot poo freezes into the ground and cements it there. Sometimes even the hoe doesn't work very well.

    Winter chores are not my favorite, but I do have to say that once you get out there and start working, you do get nice and warm.

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  7. "Picking Poo, or frozen Doo`s! Whats been dropped, and left for you, its easy while ground is hard, but when its soft not so easy too!"

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  8. Jeni - the ear are Dawn's!

    Cheyenne - words fail me . . .

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  9. I can't say cleaning stalls is the favorite part of my day, but maybe it's because I have so many. I'd love to have the barn fairy do it.

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  10. I've fallen behind with the poo picking. I tried to go out and do a little yesterday and found them all frozen solid into the ground. I was a little worried about breaking the manure fork so I didn't get into it with gusto. I'll be giving it another go with a heftier tool.

    Poo, poo everywhere and not a place for hay!

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  11. I use the same technique cleaning paddocks and pastures and I do it every day. That way nothing gets too frozen to pick. Being picky is a good trait by the way.... I refuse to overworm my horses and am pro having fecals done. I am only worming two times a year now and have always had clean fecals. Fortunately I can worm the horses inside or out with just a rope around their neck. All are very cooperative.

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  12. Second attempt to comment - blogger ate the first!
    I, too, like to keep a tidy pasture! Mom and Melanie are home now pitching the frozen manure rocks, but they claim they like it too, so I don't feel too guilty. I enjoy cleaning stalls, but I ABSOLUTELY LOVE cleaning pastures. There is something so great about being out with them and keeping their space clean. Ditto for bucket cleaning, although I admit, I do not like cold temperatures and bucket scrubbing.
    There is a direct correlation, I believe, with horse caretaking and horse behaviour. They seem to appreciate my time and repay me. Your Pie and Dawn appreciate you! (I keep commenting about Pie and then remember that we both have a Pie!)

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  13. Never thought about posting about picking poo, but a necessary thing it is. I dont pick much here except in the small pens cause its too spread out and we clean all the corrals in the spring with the tractor. But good to keep on top of it before it gets carried away.

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  14. So glad to hear I'm not the only person in the world, that doesn't mind picking poo! In fact, it's almost therapeutic... weird I know. My husband thinks I'm crazy. I just like the quiet and the companionship of my horses... and the monotony of the task... and, like you, making those I love comfortable and happy.

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  15. We're pretty picky about poo too! Frozen muffins aren't my favorite chore but if you leave them for too long they're impossible and with 7 horses the mess builds up awfully fast.

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  16. Kate, I love the alliteration! I, too, like cleaning poop- sometimes when Buckshot is just nibbling hay or soaking up some sun in his pasture, I like to clean their stalls and the area close to their stalls. It is just a nice time to watch them and appreciate them, and help them out by removing the poop. And this time of year, it is my failsafe whenever I start to get cold - mucking out instantly warms me up!

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  17. At times I find cleaning stalls to be a very therapeutic activity. A good friend of mine says cleaning tack is therapy for her.

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  18. It must be the sign of a true horse lover that we like picking poo. I've never been able to explain it to my non-horsey friends and family and here are a whole bunch of comments from people who love it, just like me!

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  19. I've had some of my greatest revelations picking poo. It sort of stimulates some hidden part of my mind to let go and open up. I completely relate to what you're saying. Caring for my horses is caring for my soul.

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