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*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Archive for August 21st, 2014

Fly Masks

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Sometimes I think the flies on our horses bother me more than they do the horses. Legacy approached me while I was raking up manure in the paddock yesterday, and my intuition told me it was about the flies. Lately I have been noticing increasing numbers of flies congregating around the eyes of our horses, so I went into the barn to get fly masks.

DSCN2281eEven though Cyndie tried these last fall with limited success, I figured it was worth another attempt. I may be anthropomorphizing their behavior, but the way the mares willingly accepted the protection while the guys rebuffed my offer like I was offending their egos, seemed to match a common human gender tendency.

It took a lot of patience on my part to outlast Legacy’s hesitation about wearing one. Hunter never did give in, but of the 4 of them, he seemed to have the least problem with flies, so I let him be. I’m curious to find out if the masks will all still be in place this morning.

At one point while they were grazing in the arena space, I tried one last time to get Hunter into a mask. I had tucked a ziplock bag with carrots into my pocket to offer a treat as incentive and walked toward a position to address Hunter.

Legacy seemed to immediately read what was going on and approached me, cutting off Hunter from my attention. I walked around to rearrange my position, but it was obvious that Legacy was not going to give me any space. I walked away from him and he followed, closely. I decided to walk the entire perimeter to see how long he would keep this up.

I was surprised to see him put in so much effort while out in the hot sun, but he stayed right in step on my heels. I made a couple of diagonals across the arena space and he was still with me. As far as I was concerned, he had just earned himself a carrot snack. I wouldn’t try again with Hunter, unless he chose to come to me.

Later in the afternoon, I was sitting on the ground at the fence line of the grazing pasture, covering damaged insulation on an electric wire that had become tangled with my trimmer. While I was engrossed in my task, Legacy wandered up behind me. He nosed around some of my gear and then started eating grass right next to me. RIGHT next to me. He snorted his runny nose all over my arm. Next thing I know, I am being harassed by a cloud of flies. Legacy was sharing his flies with me!

If I still had the mask with me that I was trying to get Hunter to wear, I would have tried it on my own head at that point.

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Written by johnwhays

August 21, 2014 at 6:00 am