Tuesday, June 14, 2011

just being a horse

Today when I arrived at the ranch the horses were having a lot of fun. While doing yardwork the gate was left open to another large pasture, and Major and his friend had to investigate. Major, even though low-man in herd dynamics, instigates most of these adventures. He wasn't scared to squeeze by the quad and downed tree limbs, and the other followed. I got to watch them buck and fart around, dashing here and there, the light-weight fine Arab playing with the heavy (but beautifully light on his feet) warmblood. They were having so much fun I just let him be. Just being a horse.

Now the chainsaw is going and logs are being thrown into a trailer about 30 feet away. And he's just eating the newly-found pasture grass, happy.

I'm moving him into a different pasture, which has it's up and down sides. At the barn there are 2 options: small pasture with 3 horses and night in a small paddock, or a private pasture where he'll be out all the time. I'm going to try the small private pasture for a couple reasons. In the summer riding early in the morning is essential. I'll be able to take him out even if he hasn't finished breakfast and he won't have to go back into the small paddock to finish eating when we get back. Another reason is just having room to move around 24-7. If he wants to wander around in the night, or stand in the rain, he can do that. The bad part is not being turned out with others to play with. He'll be next to other horses, but can't interact directly. But he doesn't play much with his current pasture mates, they gang up on him and he is usually grazing alone. Changing practices is always hard, but I reserve the right to admit I'm wrong and change again. I think he'll be happier wandering around as much as he likes.

In a perfect world Major would live in a huge pasture with compatible friends, some grass (but not too much), safe fencing, amazing trail access and no mud, ever. There would be slow-feeders and a stream and good gravel for his feet. I'd have a heated tack room, covered arena and a permanent awesome trainer to help me. I imagine lots of people would join me wanting the same thing! It's always a compromise when you board (and even if they're kept at home), and I hope the new change is worthwhile.

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