Hay Thief Caught In The Act! Or maybe just a lonely horsey?

Cheryl heard some bumping around in the barn and looked over her loft edge to see what was going on.  Honey and BaeBee were where they belonged in their stalls, but Cheryl couldn’t see Mairsiedotes anywhere.

Upon further investigation, this is what Cheryl saw:

mairsie-goofball-1

Mairsiedotes had managed to lay down with her head under the stall wall.  We can only guess she was looking to sneak some of Honey’s hay . . . or was she just lonely???

getsies-upsies

Once Cheryl caught her in the act of . . . whatever she was doing, Mairsiedotes scrambled back to her own side of the wall.

i-wasnt-doin-nothin

“Who me?  I wasn’t doin’ nothin’,” one could almost hear Mairsiedotes say.

I guess I’m going to have to add another board to the bottom of that wall before someone gets themselves stuck again!

Horsey emergency at 3am!

Cheryl came into my room at 3am this morning saying something was wrong with Mairsiedotes.  She was stuck under the stall wall between her stall and Honey’s and couldn’t get out.

I knew there was a gap there of about a foot high but I didn’t think any of the horses would get stuck there considering so many of the horse stalls I have seen are made of bars which do not go all the way to the floor.

I pulled on my robe and warm jacket over my thin pj’s and pulled on my boots and followed Cheryl out into the night.

Mairsiedotes was laying calmly there, belly toward Honey’s stall, all legs under the bottom wall board between the stalls, her front legs almost all the way under.  Cheryl went to her head and continued calming her while I went into Honey’s stall and attempted to bend Mairsiedots’ front legs and get them on her side of the wall.

That wasn’t going to work.  Next, I got a long 2×10 and placed the flat part under her front feet, thinking she might be able to push herself back and out from under the wall.

That didn’t work either.  Then I got the cinch from a saddle to put under her front girth just behind her front legs.  My robe and bulky jacket were getting in the way so I peeled them off and dropped them out of the way.  I had a couple lead ropes to clip onto the ends of the cinch for when we were ready to pull.  Then I squatted down and began working that cinch under her front legs.

I felt Mairsiedotes mouth on my backside as I was kneeling and bending to reach under her legs with the cinch.  “Don’t let her bite me, Cheryl!” I said quickly, coming upright, remembering her old habit of nipping when we first started messing with cleaning her feet.

“Oh, OK!” Cheryl said as she held Mairsiedotes head securely.

I don’t know if Mairsiedotes was intending any harm or not.  Most likely she was just curious about what I was doing, but I was not taking any chances.

I got the cinch under her front legs near her belly, clipped the lead ropes to the ends of the cinch, and Cheryl and I backed up and pulled.  “HEAVE!  HEAVE!  HEAVE!”  Mairsiedotes was out from under the wall.

She sprang to her feet and moved nervously around, as if she were still a bit panicky.  We gave all the horses some alfalfa treats because, after all, they all went through quite a trauma!

This morning when Cheryl got up, Mairsiedotes was all loves and hugs and kisses to her.  She was obviously giving Cheryl big horsey thank you’s in the best way she knew how.

 

Another Painfully Learned Horsey Lesson

Ok, so things have evolved in the horsey world in our barn so if Honey and Bae are in stalls next to each other , they will pick at each other and cause a stir.  Usually, if Bae does not like what is happening in Honey’s stall, including us giving Honey attention, Bae will threaten Honey with ears back and teeth bared, reaching over the boards of the half wall, and Honey will scream in a little high pitched scream to let everyone know something bad is happening.  There is often kicking of the walls involved too.  We have made it a point to separate them, with Mairsiedotes in the stall between, when putting them in for the night, so they will lay down and sleep instead of fussing with each other all night.

Today I learned of a new danger to the horses when they are in adjacent stalls.  In their spat this morning, Bae reared up and lashed her hoof out at Honey, and Bae got her foot stuck on top of the boards that make up the half walls that divide the stalls.  She didn’t seem to be able to get it loose, so I went in to help her.  This is where the painful lesson came in.

Cheryl was with me as I entered the stall.  She warned me to be careful.  I was being careful, but not careful enough.  I talked to Bae and she calmed down.  I gripped her stuck foreleg and began lifting her leg and body to free her.  She helped by rearing slightly as I was pushing her hoof over the top board, but then she put her trapped hoof down before we were completely free of the board.  My mistake was having my left palm still under her hoof, between the board and her hoof, when she pulled down.  Her hoof pressed and raked across the top of my hand as it slipped off the board.

Fortunately my hand only hurt for a minute or so, and I was able to finish my work in the barn before going in, but I learned a lesson I should have already known; I did already know, just forgot to apply when needed.  Never put your body between a horse and another object.  That is why instructors say to never go in front of a tied horse in case they move quickly forward, like if they get spooked, and crush you.

You can bet, and I will hope, if I ever have the need to un-trap a hoof again, I will remember my lesson and proceed with greater caution and wisdom.