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

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When we noticed a large gash on Swings’ side a few days ago, I probably should have searched further for the possible cause but I assumed it was either from one of the other horses or the fence up by the overhang where they spend the majority of their time.

Yesterday, we had a farrier appointment that had me closing gates and putting halters on the horses in preparation. When I came to the gate by the round pen I found an alarming sight.

I’ve worried that the individual cross boards might not hold up against the weight of the horses when they push against them but I never expected they might snap off one of the 4×4 posts. Oops. Most likely, too many horses were trying to squeeze through that gate opening at the same time, and at high speed and Swings smacked into the fence. That must have been quite a scene.

I won’t be able to replace it until the ground thaws so I’m planning to splint it for a temporary fix. I need to buy some big wood screws first, though. Until then, that gate is closed to further traffic.

There was a bit of wind yesterday that contributed to unsettling the horses before I started putting halters on them and closing gates. Getting haltered just riled them up even more. I worried that this would make things much harder for the farrier, Heather, but she breezed through all except for Light. The delays of Light’s skittishness over being constrained and having her feet picked up were not atypical behavior. We’ve changed our minds several times about what her issue might be but we’ve found that simply out-waiting her reluctance without adding to her anxiety has allowed Heather to give reasonable attention to all four feet during the last two sessions.

We are grateful that Tom and Johanne from This Old Horse always show up to support Heather, which takes some pressure off us in managing the horses’ behavior. It also feels good to have them get a fresh look at how the horses are doing.

Other than a broken fence post and a big scuff on Swings’ side, the horses were assessed as looking good and doing well.

Now it’s time for me to put on my fence-repairing carpenter’s hat.



Written by johnwhays

March 22, 2023 at 6:00 am

2 Responses

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  1. Poor Swings, I hope it doesn’t hurt. I am learning that Light is the beautiful White one?


    March 22, 2023 at 8:10 pm

    • Oops, no. Mix is the white mare. That gash on Swings probably stung when it occurred but these kinds of scuffs don’t appear to cause long-lasting discomfort after they happen.


      March 22, 2023 at 8:24 pm

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