Monday, September 08, 2008

some random notes to begin the week

I feel like I hit this week with far too many loose ends, things to do, and things to play catch up on, so my day and my thoughts have been scattered.

The pony is somewhat horrified by his new grazing muzzle. He is an opinionated pony and yet he is not really expressing his opinion wrt this thing we've strapped onto his head. I expected him to tear it off, rub it, fuss and complain. Instead he stands and looks pitiful. Dare I confess that we could not even leave it on all night so far? I actually brought all the geldings in to the paddock at midnight last night b/c I couldn't bear to leave the pony standing in the field w/o the ability to graze. So far we are managing to keep him off the field altogether during the day, limiting his grazing at night, and giving him a few hours of the grazing muzzle in the hope that he will figure it out.

Another random pony note: when we left him the night before last he was a dark brown mud color all over due to rolling in the paddock. When we went out yesterday morning he was perfectly clean (and he is a painted pony, white and brown, so it's somewhat amazing that the white was... white again). I maintain that there are pony fairies who travel from farm to farm, taking care of their smaller pony friends.

Rafer Johnson is doing well. I know he would like to be out running around but he's handling his confinement pretty well so far. He loves his time out to graze in the evenings and he also loves his licking ball.

Why is it that when Mom becomes overwhelmed and types out detailed chore lists, all the kids in the household disappear?

I awoke from a horse dream this morning - a natural horsemanship trainer had come to do a trial session with our herd. I looked out the window and he was out there with the entire group of 4 horses and donkey in the arena at one time, directing all of them simultaneously through a series of walk/trot/canter and airs above the ground moves. He had Keil Bay doing some sort of dance that involved Keil going down onto his knees and then coming back up again. He had built a wall of big rocks and the horses were climbing it for him, like giant mountain goats.

I went out and proceeded to interview him, as if I were only moderately impressed with these feats. He wanted to know the entire history of each horse and donkey, and I was impressed with that, and proceeded to tell him, while the horses continued to show off all the new tricks he'd already managed to teach them.

If dreams are wishful thinking, I suppose that's what I longed for just before waking - a day where everything went as directed, gracefully, breathtakingly in sync with my commands.

Let me assure you - that is NOT happening.

It's one of those days when I can identify that the chaos is inside ME, almost at the cellular level, and the world around me only SEEMS out of control. Tomorrow the chemistry will have shifted and I'll be back to the regular perspective.

There is an ongoing discussion on several different horse forums right now about feeding practices. A man from Scotland typed in what I feel is the most elegant, simple, natural feed routine I think I've ever read. The fact that it happens in Scotland certainly must be adding to my romantic idea of how perfect it is. And he has herds of cattle to graze fields before putting horses onto them, to break the parasite cycle and to bring the grass down for the horses so they can graze round the clock without getting too much.

Still, his use of barley and green leafy things such as shard, some vegetable oil, salt, molasses for those who need it, seems wonderful.

He tapes each horse every week, puts the data into Excel, and creates a spreadsheet so he can track weight gain/loss accurately over time, rather than eyeballing it and guessing. Guess what went onto my to do list this morning?

We have hoof trimming tomorrow, I have a 3-day spread of client sessions, a meeting I'd like to attend on Friday morning, and all the regular stuff on the agenda. Maybe the extra activity will counteract the chaos!


the7msn said...

Billie, I subscribe to Jessica Jahiel's email newsletter and she just posted an entry on grazing muzzles. I don't know how long the grass is in your pasture, but if the pony is having some difficulties with the muzzle, maybe the grass is rather long? Here is an excerpt from her post:
"One other possibility I should mention is this: Some horses barely manage to get any grass, or get no grass at all, NOT because they are stupid or because their grazing muzzles are adjusted badly, but because of the grass itself. If your pastures are mowed regularly and kept fairly short, your horse will find it relatively easy to push the grazing muzzle against the ground and crop the bits of grass that poke through the hole. On the other hand, if your pastures are long and overgrown, your horse may not get any grass at all because in that case, pressing the muzzle against the ground will simply flatten the long grass sideways under the grazing muzzle! Sometimes adding grazing muzzles requires you to make a change to your pasture management routine, at least when it comes to mowing height and frequency."

billie said...

Thanks, Linda - M. said something similar when we first put it on. But our grass is what I'd call right in the middle height-wise, and we tried it in the field that was fairly grazed down, and in the field they're just rotating back to, and basically he is marching around or just standing perplexed.

Fortunately this is not our only alternative, but I had hoped it would work . It's the easiest of the solutions!

mamie said...

I can say that your posts are consistently wonderful. Hang in there.

billie said...

Mamie, thank you. :) I appreciate that.