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

Next Level

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For the second day in a row, Cyndie has been able to spend some quality time with the horses. Wednesday involved some impromptu efforts to detangle knotted manes which then paved the way for more thorough grooming of all four mares yesterday. Cyndie said that Swings was getting lulled to sleep by the soothing effect of being completely combed out.

We discussed a shared realization that the horses would do well to be given a dose of training to reestablish proper respect for our presence in their proximity. I have not done more than a bare minimum of discipline in the months since Cyndie broke her ankle and I took on the role of primary person tending to the herd. They each have a tendency to behave disrespectfully on occasion and Light, in particular, has reared up in front of us several times which is not safe.

They have had more than enough time to adapt to this place as their home and us as their handlers. Since they are beginning to show some signs of undesirable behavior, we want to move to the next level of interacting with them. By “we,” I mean, Cyndie. She is much more experienced than I am in doing groundwork exercises with horses. My expertise has more to do with filling wheelbarrows.

Cyndie’s mobility is improving every day but is not quite where she needs to be yet for being quick on her feet and dancing with 1200 pounds of horse. While I was working on cleaning up the winter accumulation in the large paddock yesterday, I saw Cyndie trying to correct Light’s behavior while hardly taking a step. Light wasn’t displaying much sign of feeling intimidated.

Yesterday, we also decided it was time to protect the pastures from the horses while the new grass was trying to sprout. They have really been interested in spending time in the back pasture lately and when I finally closed the gate that was their access to it, they did not seem happy with me.

Luckily, they are willing to nibble any grass that tries to grow inside the paddocks. They were all grazing in there in the afternoon before I closed the pasture gate.

When I came down to serve dinner, they were all busy on the far side of the pasture. They showed up promptly when I set out pans of feed, which then kept them occupied while I walked over and closed the gate.

It was the second day in a row of record-breaking heat and it was again accompanied by a dramatic gusting spring wind that triggered a fire risk warning. Apparently, that all ends today. The weekend is expected to involve much cooler temps and chances of slushy precipitation. I’ve apologized to the horses in advance that their thick winter fur has been brushed loose and carried off on the wind.

As tough as this hot weather has been to deal with so soon, a return to snowy precipitation is not the next level we were hoping to experience.



Written by johnwhays

April 14, 2023 at 6:00 am

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