Thursday, October 18, 2012

Gentleman's Agreement

I've noticed the past month or so that suddenly the geldings' side of the barn has gotten tidier. Keil Bay has always been, at best, a slob in his stall. He was like that when he was stalled for portions of the day/night, and he has remained that way with back doors perpetually open to the great wild yonder.

To be fair, he's a big horse and if he turns in the stall he tends to stir up any manure, hay, whatever is lying in there, into one big swirl. Though if he would choose to drop the manure along the stall wall this swirl would be much less likely to happen.

Cody is the neatest of the geldings. He has selective areas for urine and manure and he doesn't get hay all over the place. His water bucket stays clean too. No hay dunking for him.

The pony is neater than Keil Bay, but to be fair, he IS smaller and so it's easier for him to move around without stirring things up. He tends to clean up every strand of hay and that too makes his stall a bit nicer.

We could speculate that the manner in which these guys keep their stalls is directly related to how they have been kept in their lives.

Keil Bay has always had people coming in and mucking up after him a number of times a day. To put it another way, he is extremely accustomed to maid service.

Cody was young when he came to us, but based on what I saw when we bought him, I suspect he spent much of his young life in a stall, with very specified turn-outs. If one stays in a stall more hours than not, keeping it tidy is a sort of self-protective mechanism.

The pony lived out for the most part. Being in a stall at all was relatively new to him, and he seems half-annoyed and half-intrigued with the notion of being in a "room." He definitely does NOT understand the concept of "room of one's own" and is constantly barging in and out of Keil Bay's room and Cody's room, which as you've read before, creates a problem sometimes.

I've noted before that the three of them tend to play musical stalls when the back doors are open. They often sneak out of their own stall and drop manure in each other's spaces.

But recently something different has been happening. Out of the blue, they seem to have come to a gentleman's agreement. Manure goes outside the stalls, underneath the shelter, to the right. Urine goes outside the stalls, underneath the shelter to the left.

Sometimes the agreement shifts. Today the manure went outside the stalls to the right, but urine went in the end stall along the back wall. As it happens, that stall is the pony's and it had more/deeper pine bedding than the other two.

I wonder what Cody and the pony had to do to get Keil Bay to concede to this agreement?

Did the pony agree to stay out of Keil's stall if Keil would knock off the slob behavior? Did Cody mediate and use his low-man-in-the-herd status to sneakily get the two squabblers to come to a truce?

Did Keil suddenly decide to have a slightly-past-midlife crisis and change his ways?

I have no idea, but I can tell you - maid service has gotten easier!


Grey Horse Matters said...

Who knows what actually did happen but I'd take the change with a smile. Maybe, Salina laid down the law to all of them and is making them behave like gentlemen. A lady needs a clean home after all and those boys may have been given notice about how things are going to be from now on.

billie said...

Ha! Salina's favorite thing is to drop manure in the middle of the barn aisle, thus keeping her stalls clean and making sure we see it so we can muck it up quickly. :)