Saturday, September 15, 2012

Duke Day Lite (Solo Edition)

Our barn is currently full to the brim, boasting a record number of horses on the premises. This makes some of our traditions a bit cumbersome. Duke Day, for instance, is when the farrier comes and does all the horses' feet. Except there are so many horses now this is actually no longer possible. It's too much for one man to do in one day.

So Brian and I have partnered with our friend Kat (who has the two Icelandic ponies) and split off from the main group so Duke can do our five horses on their own day. Unfortunately we were a little slow getting it on the calendar this time, and Brian had to work when Duke was available.

Which meant I found myself driving out through a wet, rainy afternoon to tend to all three horses. I decided to lead them all in at once, but thought I might have to leave one in the airlock while I maneuvered through gates. It ended up though that the hardest part was getting their halters on. I tried to halter them starting from the least dominant (Laredo, Steen, Bear) but Steen has a pretty bad sunburn on his neck and shoulders right now, and it was chilly, and whenever he is uncomfortable he wants to come to me as fast as he can. So he kept moving Laredo off in his attempts to get to me and at one point Bear came over and moved both Steen and Laredo because he wanted to say hi too.

But really it was all fine. It only took a few minutes before I had them all haltered and following me across the pasture. They all lead well, and they all respect people, so it was actually no problem leading them all at once. I sent Steen through the gates first because he follows a feel the best, and then brought the other two behind me.

Once inside, I turned them all out. They were all very happy to get out of the rain and roll in the sand. (Steen actually rolled quite a few times.)


Then I encouraged them to move around a bit. They weren't as inclined to get into it as they are in the winter, but they did get going a few times. Laredo even went and played with the ball quite a bit, going to far as to push it with his nose and then run after it.


After I (gently) drove them around a little, I stood in the center of the arena. Laredo had gotten off on the other side of the arena from the other two, and the second I looked at him he put his ears way forward and gave me this funny look. I realized he thought we were playing "the game" and he was ready to come to me so I wouldn't chase him anymore. I took a step back and dropped my gaze and he trotted all the way across the arena for some pets.


Trims were uneventful. All the horses behaved well. Kat and I were able to trade off my three with her two and rotate them all through in no time at all. I took Bear and Laredo back outside first so I could put a soothing gel on Steen's shoulders, then put him out as well. It was actually pretty fun to hang out with all three of them at once.

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