Thursday, February 10, 2011

Signs of Spring and Pie Meets the Ball

Despite the very cold weather we've been having, there are some encouraging signs of spring.  The cardinals have started singing - they're usually the first - and I've seen some at the bird feeders.  Just before our snowstorm last week, I saw a flock of at least 30 bluebirds - bad timing on their part - and saw one again this morning.  And most importantly in my world of horses, ladies and gentlemen, we have shedding!  Just last night when I was grooming Pie there was the smallest amount of shedding going on.  Spring will be here before we know it (along with the mud, and the cold rain . . .)!

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This afternoon, I introduced Pie to a large ball I got him as a toy.  I'd already ordered it when I saw the video which is included in this post from Equine Ink - the video of a foal playing with a ball is priceless - take a look.  My husband, who is quite a fan of Pie's, even though he is not a horse person, blew up the ball - here he's putting on the finishing touches:


I put it in the arena and led Pie in there.  He looked at it, touched it with his nose and looked at me as if to say, "nice, now can we go in and have dinner?"  Then I kicked it - he startled just a tiny bit then walked up to it with me and nosed it.  He said, "ok, I see the ball, dinner, please?"  So I took him in and he had dinner.  Talk about a horse who doesn't believe in drama!  We'll see what Dawn thinks of it - the objective will be for her not to end up in the next county, and the introduction will be gradual, and will involve allowing her to approach it at her own pace using clicker.

17 comments:

  1. It's fun to watch horses' reactions to new things. How nifty that Pie was 'ho hum' about it, especially if that is how he treats most new things!
    My friend's horse plays soccer with her large ball. He'll kick it and go after it to kick it again!

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  2. sounds like a fun day!

    You should see if you can teach him to kick it or push it with his nose.

    A lot of horses decide that balls are really fun to play with.

    Mary

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  3. Hey, you're spicing things up now! Horses shedding...birds arriving...and a big blue ball!! It's time to play!

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  4. We gave our horses a large ball and they just looked at it. We left it out with them for several days and it just sat there, blown next to the fence by the wind.

    Dan

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  5. I have one of those balls...may just have to take it out to the paddock! Today is supposed to be the last of our arctic weather for awhile. Tomorrow up to 25 and 42 by next week. I might just faint.

    Why do you take Pie's blanket off if the barn temperature is 6 degrees? Doesn't he wear it outside? I guess everyone has a different idea about it. Glad he's doing better in the eating department. Could the extreme cold have caused the problem?

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  6. Lori - Pie is very cold hardy and is very comfortable naked with shelter between 0 and 10F - his coat doesn't even stand up. If he's outside, due to wind, I usually blanket him if temps are in the single digits or low teens, otherwise he's very comfortable naked. Dawn, on the other hand, has to be double-blanketed when it's in the single digit, wears an extra-heavy blanket with full neck when it's in the teens, a regular heavy blanket in the 20s and only goes naked if it's in the 30s or above with little wind. Each horse is different.

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  7. Reggie, my husband's horse, doesn't want to play with the ball, he wants to kill it.

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  8. My filly LOVES her ball. I can't leave it out with her for long because I am certain she would destroy it. She pushes it all over her pasture and tries to get the other horses to play with it along with her. I am sure you will have "balls" of fun with it!

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  9. I've tried to give horses balls to play with more than once and I've yet to get any more of a reaction than Pie gave his ball. I hope you have better luck with Dawn or someone else as I agree, it is fun to see them play with their toys!

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  10. I just now showed Brian the picture of your husband blowing up that toy for Pie and told him to get his lungs ready - we need a ball like that!!!

    I bought the boys the big jolly ball and the coyote stole it last year and played with it and chewed up the handle.

    A big child's ball blew into the pastures and Pie and Sovey "had a ball" playing with it but we took it away because we didn't think it was "horse safe". This ball you have looks like the very thing.

    We have had a lot of bluebirds because my mom puts hot water out for the horses and the bluebirds LOVE it! I am looking for the singing cardinals. We had someone singing on Monday - I never saw who it was. If you have shedding though, it must be true! Oh, please be true!

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  11. Yay for shedding! Ours started this week too :)

    I can imagine the "You want me to do WHAT?!" looks regarding the ball. If anyone starts playing with it please post some video!

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  12. I tried a jolly ball with Phoenix and Eurus, Erus played , Phoenix ignored it . Then mistakenly I put the mop I was using ot clean troughs against the fence and Phoenix took it and proceeded to chase Eurus around flailing him with the rag mop end. You never know what will take thier fancy

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  13. Yeah, Dixie was totally unimpressed when I showed her a ball. She wasn't scared, even when it moved "on its own" (wind), but she didn't want to interact with it. Oh well - I'll take laid back over freaked out any day!

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  14. I watched that video of the baby horse and loved it so much. talk about frolicking! And what a great thing to do when a horse is so young. These days, I bet my horse would freak out if I rolled a ball like that next to her. I have done it before, and this spring I should get the ball out a again. OK, and also adorable: your husband! From the concentrated huffing to the suspenders, he looks like quite the dear.

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  15. I think Pie and Lucas would get along great. That was Lucas reaction to his ball as well. Let us know if Pie ever gets the hang of playing with it!

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  16. Hehe Pie's reaction is cute. :D I can't wait to hear what Dawn thinks of it.

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  17. Your husband is sweet to be so involved in your interests.
    Do you think you will try playing games with Pie with the ball? I saw a video last year where a man was tossing a huge equine ball back and forth with his handsome draft horse. It was plain to see that they both were having so much fun together.

    Apache has a half deflated basketball in her paddock and I taught her to push it with her nose and hoof when I'm with her. I've yet to see her play with it on her own, but I believe she does because the ball can't roll on it's own, but I sometimes see that it has moved to different areas around her paddock. :)

    ~Lisa

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