New pasture for the horses.

The neighbor behind us used to have sheep in this pasture. Unfortunately the sheep were killed by coyotes and the pasture has been farrow for a few years. I finally got a hold of our neighbor and he said I could use the pasture for our horses.

I built a little gate and let them out into the long grass. They wandered around a while looking bewildered but now they are grazing up close to our back fence. I guess they don’t want to get too far away from home.

I can’t say I blame them. I love being here myself.

Bad, bad horses!

Just kidding. I should say horses having a frolic down the neighborhood street through perfectly groomed and just planted yards.

Yesterday, I was running errands and my horses got out. Fortunately there was someone at home to go get them when one of the neighbors kindly came and told us. My son, and a young man who is doing some work for me, went and wrangled them back home again. Unfortunately, in their outing the horses had done some damage to two yards.

One of the neighbors didn’t get too upset but they have horses so they are more sympathetic I guess. The horses did bend over their newly planted crêpe myrtle tree as well as fling up bark dust in their newly landscaped backyard.

The other neighbor was a little more upset. He controlled his anger but I could still feel it plenty. He didn’t yell or anything but the horses had left their footprints all over his freshly smoothed out dirt that he was having planted the next day. He said he spent the last three hours smoothing it again. He let me know if they came over after it was planted he wouldn’t be too happy about it.

I let him know that I would have come and smooth it out if he would have let me know. I felt pretty bad. I went in my room and cried. I felt like moving from our “country” neighborhood to the real country where people are a little more used to animals and their ways. I feel like my neighborhood is not meant for country people but for fancy yard people.

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:


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???


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


“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!

How many layers of carpet does it take to keep my horses feet out of the mud?

My sister Cheryl and I were having a conversation yesterday about why we tend to do things in unconventional ways. Why don’t we just do things the way “normal” people do? We think it stems from the necessity of having to figure out alternative ways of doing things as we were growing up due to lack of money.

I remember trying to make a saddle for my pony out of burlap bags and twine because I couldn’t afford a saddle.  I also tried to fence in our backyard with pallets because we couldn’t afford a fence and there were some old pallets sitting back there.  The only reason I was able to even have a Shetland pony and later a Morgan/welsh filly was because people in the neighborhood allowed me to keep my animals on their property for free, and I was able to buy them and pay for their food with my babysitting money. 

Fortunately, they both stayed healthy and I don’t remember having to deal with any thrush. I trimmed their feet myself and don’t remember ever trimming their frogs but they always looked normal and never overgrown or smashed flat. Maybe angels came and took care of that for me, I don’t know.

Dealing with the horses foot thrush I concocted the idea of carpeting the corral. The first layer got stepped on by the heavy horses and created empty little pockets pushed down into the mud.  For the second layer, we found some large carpets being torn out of a business and having two layers worked much better but still, the hooves were creating pockets being pressed down.  

Today I brought some more old carpet given to me out of a dumpster and laid down a third layer. Unfortunately the pieces weren’t as large so they tend to get moved around a bit. We’ll see what it looks like tomorrow!

I would think that with enough layers the horses feet will stop making pockets in it!  

Hey see that certainly is curious about The carpets though. She really examines them when she first walks on them.

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.


Horse tales . . . Or maybe I should say horse tails. 

When I got my Missouri Foxtrotter’s, they’re gorgeous long tails were so matted, the centers of their tails were big fat dreadlocks.  We have all three horses baths last summer and began working to untangle and comb out the two Foxtrotter’s tails. I could see it would not be easy.

When our new Ferrier came to trim their feet, she said she would just cut the dreadlocks out. I decided to do that. I cut them out and quickly regretted it when I saw them lift their tails. The long side tendrils hung down and the stubs from the cut off dreadlocks stuck up like weird looking bobtails.

I gave the cut off dreadlocks to my sister Krista, who would use them in her pottery. I guess when you put horse hairs in pottery when you fire them they make interesting patterns. But I always felt bad when the horses tried to switch their tails at the flies and were so ineffective.

One day when I was in the saddle shop I saw some long hairs hanging on the wall, held together with rubber bands here and there along the length, that looked kind of like a horse tail. I asked the owner what that was and he said it was horse hair extensions! 

I said, “Really? They have hair extension for horses?” 

He said, “Yes!” And smiled, kind of amused as my mouth fell open. 

Then I had an idea.  I decided to get the tails back and reattach them if I could. I think super glue would work. I’ll let you know how it goes. 

Here’s a picture of the tangled tails I got back from my sister.

I’m going to try to get them all slippery with water and conditioner and see if I can untangle them first. I’ll keep you posted on this project.

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.