Thursday, January 17, 2008

rainy day in january

We didn't get much snow at all, if any. There was sleet and icy rain and now just cold rain. The horses are in and out of the stalls, not really wanting to go out, but needing a break from standing still. Fortunately they all have paddocks to march around in. Later when the rain breaks I'll give them a turn in the arena to get some energy out.

I've been out several times today to keep the stalls mucked and make sure they have fresh hay and clean water, and each time I go out they each get a turn in the barn aisle where they can walk around and get rubbed. I decided to take their blankets off since they're staying in. Inside the barn, with lots of hay to munch, it stays plenty warm for them.

I'm very relieved today because Keil Bay broke out in hives yesterday afternoon. After consulting with the vet, since he didn't seem uncomfortable, we opted to give it a day with no intervention. I'd started a new vitamin/mineral supplement on Monday, so I've discontinued that for him for a week to let things settle down before trying it again. This morning the hives were gone, thankfully. I hope it was simply a weed in the hay or a bit of something in the field that didn't agree with him.

Tomorrow it warms up and we'll have some sun for our riding lessons.


Around 4, I went out to the barn and got the horses back in their blankets so I could give them some play time in the arena. I've learned from past experience to put the blankets on first if it's cold, because the first thing Cody and Salina do is roll in the arena footing. They end up looking like gray ghosts and have to be cleaned up before bedtime blanketing. Much easier to blanket first and let them roll in the blankets, which can simply be dusted off.

They came marching out of their stalls when they realized I was opening the gate into the arena, and trotted one by one through the paddock and then the gate. I used the time to muck stalls again, refill water buckets, and set up their hay in the mangers.

In between I took breaks to watch them play. Keil Bay was just full of himself, and I was very happy to see that not only was he doing his huge, floating trot, but some nice big cantering as well, and landing on his heels. Even Salina was trotting around, although once she'd stretched her legs, she retreated to a safe spot and watched while the boys went wild.

Rearing and bucking and running, spinning and pawing and play-nipping. They were at it for nearly an hour.

Once they were done, they filed out of the arena and back to the barn. It's amazing how methodical they are.

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