Sunday, September 4, 2011

I need to ride a horse to get to my horse.

Seriously. Boyfriend was putting up some hooks for me in my tack cubby, so I decided I'd go rattle some grain and call up Amber so I could fly spray her and put some ointment on her little nips. Except I didn't see Amber, or her "herd", only the three horses who live in an adjacent, smaller pasture. I rattled the grain. The neighboring horses perked their ears, but none of Amber's group was to be seen. I sighed and started to the back on foot. There is a small piece of the pasture that wraps around behind a group of trees - which was, of course, where the group chose to graze today. This really is a huge field - it's magnitude is even greater than I realized. I didn't even see them until I had walked almost all the way back. I didn't want to rattle the grain now that I was in the middle of the field, because, well, I'd walked this far, and I didn't want to catch her in the middle of the field with the rest of the horses trying to get the grain. Yep, they were in that little back pocket. I was wishing I'd taken the trail wagon about that time...but for some reason, I was thinking my grain would be heard by the gate, and it was not. She was pretty uninterested in me at first. Probably thought I was there to take her in. Food always gets her attention though - of course, I got her halter on first. Some of the others were also interested in the treats, but I make a point when I feed any treats in a pasture when I'm actually in the pasture holding a horse, not to feed any horse but the one I have haltered, and quickly pop the lead at any others interested. A 10 y/o girl or a natural horsemanship guru would probably think I'm super mean, but to me that rule has been a matter of safety. Once you start feeding, it's harder to get them out of your space, and out of your horse's space, who may receive some threats/attacks. Fortunately, Amber learned long ago when she knocked me down to avoid the pasture bully that I am MUCH scarier than the meanest horse in her pasture, and if she behaves, I can deal with the pasture bully for her. I gave her a heavy coating of fly spray and sprayed her bites. The one I thought was the worst is actually mostly hair gone, not any abrasions to the skin. Hopefully the hair will grow back. Going to put some of that sheen oil on it that seems to promote hair growth...the one on her neck is a little deeper, but it's smaller, and should heal pretty fast. She followed me all the way back to the gate, head in the bucket, licking crumbs. I took her out of the gate and put her back in, since she was up there, because she has had a bad habit of bolting through gates when she's in a new place, and I was fairly sure I stopped that anyway last time...but she seems to recognize Goldsboro. I told Casey she knows she's finally back home. I took her halter off and reached out to pet her after I let her back in, and she shied away, like she was expecting me to smack her or something. She ended up with her rear end towards me, although like a time a while back, it's mostly her not paying attention, and she had moved well away from me and was looking at something in the distance anyway, so I didn't take it was a threat and didn't see fit to reprimand her for it when it wasn't directed at me and she wasn't near me, nor in a halter and lead. I gave her a pat and she lost interest in whatever she was ogling at, and waddled off to graze. I can tell she's still a little suspicious that I might take her in and not let her back out...but she's got enough manners to let me catch her, thankfully. I'm not sure how she'd feel about being lead by the trail wagon, but it might be time she learned if she's going to live out there...

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